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Historical Overview Section

The original Swiss Confederacy was formed as an alliance among the valley communities of the central Alps to facilitate free trade and ensure peace on the important mountain trade routes. The Federal Charter of 1291 agreed between the rural communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden is considered the confederacy's founding document; even though similar alliances are likely to have existed decades earlier. By 1353 the three original cantons had joined with the cantons of Glarus and Zug and the Lucerne, Zürich and Berne city states to form the "Old Confederacy" of eight states that existed until the end of the fifteenth century. By 1460, the confederates controlled most of the territory south and west of the Rhine to the Alps and the Jura mountains having beaten the Later Medieval German Habsburgs (Battle of Sempach, Battle of Näfels), the Ordonnance Burgundian army of Charles the Bold of Burgundy and pretty much anyone else who dared come into the mountains. The Swiss also enjoyed an unrivalled reputation as the mercenary infantry of choice for the noble houses of Europe.

Key battles of the era included

  • Morgarten, when 1,500 Swiss ambushed 3-5,000 Later Medieval German Austrians between Lake Aegeri and Morgarten pass where the small path led between the steep slope and a swamp. When about 1500 men attacked from above with rocks, logs and halberds, the knights had no room to defend themselves and suffered a crushing defeat, while the foot soldiers in the rear fled back to the city of Zug. A chronicler described the Confederates, unfamiliar with the customs of battles between knights, as brutally butchering everything that moved and everyone unable to flee. This founded the reputation of the Confederates as barbaric, yet fierce and respectable fighters.
  • Sempach, where 3-4000 Later Medieval German Austrian knights under Leopold attempted to lay siege to the town of Sempach, against a relieving Swiss force of 6-8,000. As the Swiss attacked under heavy fire from Austrian artillery and gunners, Leopold believing the entire Swiss army was attacking him, committed his forces only to find that he was only fightingthe confederates' advance guard. The main body of the Confederation army they attacked the knights from the flank, immediately overrunning the Austrians and the entire Habsburg army was carried away. Duke Leopold and with him a large number of nobles and knights were slain.
  • Grandson, when Charles The Bold of the Ordonnance Burgundians siege of the town was releived by 20,000 Swiss on 2 March 1476. The Swiss advanced in three groups, however poor reconnaissance from Charles meant when he was engaging the Swiss vanguard he believed he faced their entire force. The Burgundian knights soon surrounded the Swiss vanguard, but then Charles ordered his cavalry to pull back so his artillery could reduce the Swiss forces before the attack was renewed. At the same time, the main body of the Swiss emerged from a forest which had obscured their approach. The Burgundian army, already pulling back, soon became confused when the second, and larger, body of Swiss troops appeared. The withdrawal soon turned into a rout when the Burgundian army broke ranks and ran. For a time, Charles rode among them shouting orders for them to stop and hitting fleeing soldiers with the flat of his sword. But once started the rout was unstoppable, and Charles was forced to flee as well.
  • Morat: Charles The Rash had another punt at attacking Switzerland, this time laying seige to the town of Murat and attempting to draw the Swiss army into a battle on a field of his chosing. However, after setting up a well thought out plan, the Swiss failed to arrive on schedule and so Charles army stood down for the day - only to see the Swiss army appear to decisively rout the Burgundian pickets after a desparate struggle, and then follow up into the presumably unfortified Ordonnance Burgundian camp, slaughtering many Burgundians.
  • Nancy. A somewhat depressed Charles The Bold was attempting another siege when he was assaulted by the forces of Rene, Duc de Lorraine in January 1477 with some 10-12,000 men from Lorraine, and the Lower Union (of the Rhine) as well as 10,000 Confederation Swiss mercenaries. Yet again a well prepared Ordonnance Burgundian position was undone as the Swiss unsportingly refused to mount a suicidal frontal attack, and instead outflanked the Burgundians by marching through nearby woods. Although the right wing Burgundian cavalry saw off their Swiss rivals the mass of Swiss infantry pushed on to engage the outnumbered Burgundian infantry square in a one-sided fight. The Vorhut threw back the Burgundian left wing and put the artillery to flight. As Charles attempted to vainly stem the Gewalthut's advance by transferring troops from his left flank the sheer weight of numbers arrayed against him became obvious and the once proud army of the Duchy of Burgundy started to melt away in flight. Determined to the last, Charles and his staff tried in vain to rally the broken army, but without success. His small band was carried with the flight until eventually surrounded by a party of Swiss. It was three days until the Duke's disfigured body was finally found and positively identified amongst the detritus of the slaughter.

The Swiss victory in the Swabian War against the Swabian League of Later Medieval German Emperor Maximilian I in 1499 gave the Swiss Cantons de facto independence within the Later Medieval German Holy Roman Empire. The Swiss had acquired a reputation of invincibility during these wars, but this was ahattered in 1515 with the Swiss defeat in the Battle of Marignano where massed artillery destroyed the tightly packed pike blocks. This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history.

Using the army in FoG

  • Don't compromise the army by picking too many non-pikemen!!!
  • No-one is going to be surprised by your army composition, so keep the aggression rating low with no IC and few light troops and plonk a big lump of pikemen down first — probably opposite the enemy baggage so you can charge at it!
  • Maybe keep one block until the last batch as a surprise - they can fight well even if somewhat isolated so they don't ALL need to be together
  • If you take them, consider putting the crossbows down last. There are quite vulnerable to some troops so you'll want them in the right place
  • Don't worry too much about throwing a LH or LF screen in front of your pikemen - the lights may be better elsewhere, but still racing forward to deny the enemy a chance to get quickly onto your flanks.

UK Tournament Results with this army

1 / 10 Swiss Britcon 2008 25mm (open)
4 / 12 Swiss Leeds Doubles 2008 (SoA)
39 / 41 Swiss BHGS Challenge 2008 (open)
50 / 62 Swiss Britcon 2008 15mm (open)

User-contributed links about this army:


The Swiss have no allies. Only enemies who are begging not to be beaten by them. Again.

More Swiss Pikemen Facts

  • We don't know if Swiss Pikemen enjoyed a good fight. No-one ever managed to give them one.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A Swiss Pike block a day kills.
  • A drilled Swiss Pike block turning 90 degrees will unscramble an egg.
  • A Swiss Pike block built the Matterhorn with buckets and spades whilst digging a camp latrine.
  • If you get charged by a Swiss Pike block in your dream, you die.
  • A Swiss Pike Block can have their cake AND eat it too.
  • Some people get lucky and kill two birds with one stone. A unit of Infants Perdu's once killed four birds with half a stone. What's that? You say there's no such thing as half a stone? The four dead birds didn't think so either.
  • S is for Swiss Pike block, as is every other letter of the alphabet.
  • Swiss Pikemen don't breathe, they hold air hostage.
  • Swiss Scientist Einstein's original Theory of Relativity was; if a Swiss Pike Block hits you, your relatives will feel it.
  • During the middle ages, The Swiss National Lottery numbers were not random. They were just the number of people Swiss Pikemen killed that given day.
  • During the wars against Charles The Bold a Swiss Pike block came across a bear in a forest near Morgaten. It was so terrified that it fled North into the arctic. It was also so terrified that all of its decendents now have white hair.

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures suitable for Late Medieval Armies

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Core Troops

  • Pikemen. Go figure.

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army


  • 4 LF UnPr/Avg/Dr/XB
  • 4 LF UnPr/Avg/Dr/XB
  • 4 LF UnPr/Avg/Dr/FA
  • 6 LF UnPr/Avg/Dr/FA
  • 4 LH UnPr/Avg/Dr/XB
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike
  • 8 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/Pike

(expecting something else? ;)

  • 4 HF Pr/Sup/Dr/HvyWpn

CinC TC and 3 Sub TC
14 BG, 0 PBI
Not at all subtle. 9 fighting battle groups is good, but they do not cover much horizontal space. Given high morale, you can use a table edge as a flank protector, and step back at the other end of the line with the little Heavy Weapon unit set for intercept charges to protect that. Hopefully a terrain feature and your skirmishers delay your opponent's attempts to outflank you long enough for you to get into the meat of their army with your pikemen...which should do the trick.

Name of Army / Date

  • Using asterisks inthe edit mode creates a bulleted list in the actual site
  • This is a lot easier to do than easier than setting up tables
  • For FoG I suggest listing your army in order or march
  • with troop desctiptions on each line, for example
  • 4 HF Armoured Average Drilled Impact Foot Swordsmen
  • 8 LG Undrilled Unarmoured Poor Bowen
  • Dont forget to include your Generals !!!

Include any notes you want here, including comments on how to use - or play against - the army.

Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 12 of November, 2019 19:00:29 GMT by admin. (Version 28)
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