View Full Version : Early Swiss and Steep Hills
11-03-2005, 01:06 AM
Are there any other lists that provide a predominately useless home terrain for a particular army? Obviously the topography for the Swiss Cantons (Confederation) should be hilly in DBA terms, but the list is composed as 9x6Bd (including general), 2x2Ps, 1x2Ps or 2Lh and that terrain selection (steep hills or bad going) is pretty useless for this army. With this gaming paradox, the Swiss can not reflect their dominance with their well use of hilly (mountainous) terrain. So in the end, should the Swiss's home terrain be arable so they can use gentle hills? Just a thought, since I don't really see a point in using steep hills for an army that has very little light infantry.
[ November 02, 2005, 22:08: Message edited by: Darren Buxbaum ]
I've yet to finish my own Early Suisses, but I've noted these terrain issues also. The E. Swiss seem to be an oddball in DBA - they don't seem to get a fair shake simply because of the nature of the rules, or at least the categories that they are assigned to. Perhaps 'broken' in the same manner some people think the Polybian Romans are 'broken'.
You're going to have to explain a little more how gentle hills would be an improvement over steep ones, though; gentle hills would seem to be either a liability or a non-issue when fighting their historical enemies, and regardless of what terrain you put down your main problem is getting those same historical enemies - those non-dismounting Austrian Knights of the one-size-fits-all IV/13b - to fight you in it.
You don't think 4 or 5 max-sized pieces would do the job? smile.gif
11-03-2005, 08:34 AM
Surely it depends who you are playing? Against knights who can't dismount, those steep hills will serve perfectly well to protect your flanks. Against bow-heavy enemies they would, as you say, be a complete pain.
11-07-2005, 03:59 AM
You don't think 4 or 5 max-sized pieces would do the job? Eric,
you have a point, but I am not a big fan of lots-o-big terrain pieces due to command radius constrictions.
Since Bd is QK'ed by Kn, the Bd is a liability. I would have no problem charging Kn at Bd even with the Ps support (+4 vs +3). If the Bd was uphill, then that would be foolhardy. The problem with steep hills for the Bd heavy E Swiss is that it is bad going. If the Swiss keil is uphill on a steep hill it fights as a +2 vs mounted and loses it's Ps support (the Kn at +1 since it is fighting an opponent in BG). The only good thing for the Bd is that it can't be QK'ed by the Kn since the Bd is in bad going, and isn't pursued by the Kn into the bad going either. On a gentle hill, the uphill Swiss keil (Bd) with Ps support would be at +5 (the Kn +3). I am probably worrying about nothing, but a +1 (Kn) vs +2 (Bd) seems more likely to double the Bd. There is also the the complication of group movement since the steep hill is bad going. So for PIP management, the gentle hill would be better as well.
I guess my real hang up is that most of the Early and Later Swiss battles were fought by the Swiss being uphill. At home (Mortgarten, Sempach), this was usually achieved by trapping enemy forces in a terrain that was well known by the Swiss and their use of the letzins (spelling?) to block passes. Abroad (Arbedo), the Swiss are still uphill against the Italians. So with my previous comments dealing with rough vs gentle hills, the Early Swiss have a home terrain that is possibly ill-suited for their tactics even against their historical opponents (Medieval Germans, Italian Condotta and Early Burgundians). I would like to thank Andrew for his comment as well. Obviously the E Swiss are an "all rock" army and wouldn't be a great tournament army, but the historical match-ups aren't that great with the steep hills either.
These were just a few thoughts on the subject.
11-07-2005, 04:24 AM
Only one correction Darren,
your Bd don't lose their +1 support from Ps in bad going.
Wb lose their rear support from other Wb but Bd, Ax and Sp can chase them into the rough with Ps support.
11-08-2005, 02:59 AM
thanks for pointing that out. A +3 Bd (uphill in BG w/Ps support) vs a +1 Kn (fighting an opponent in BG) changes things. In the end I think that the steep hills aren't so bad after all. It just makes PIP management more difficult, but saves the Bd (and gives the Bd a better chance of killing the Kn). I figure one would have to place the steep hill in front of the Swiss camp to protect it from mounted enemies.
11-08-2005, 03:41 AM
Glad to have helped Darren.
Good luck with the Swiss against their traditional foes.
As far as the Ps support goes, you should have heard the bleats from the Prussian Player in one of our Baltic Campaigns when he discovered that the Lithuanian Ax could fight his Wb in the marsh and still get rear support while the Wb did not get their own back rank.
11-08-2005, 04:42 AM
At home (Mortgarten, Sempach), this was usually achieved by trapping enemy forces in a terrain that was well known by the Swiss and their use of the letzins (spelling?) to block passes. Just two minor spelling points :
The battle in 1315 was fought at a place called "Morgarten" (and not "Mortgarten" even if it must have been a mortal event for many Habsburgian combattants).
The breast-high walls or ramparts were called "Letzi". The origin of the word is Middle High German meaning "obstruction" or "weir". There are still places in Switzerland named after the past ramparts. One of the two football (soccer) stadiums in Zurich is called "Letzigrund", meaning "the place of the Letzi".
11-08-2005, 09:53 AM
thanks for the clarifications. The post was written off the cuff. I should have checked my books on the spellings, but the additional info was quite interesting. My greatest fear is that I had mispelled "keil".
11-08-2005, 10:31 AM
Keil (wedge) is ok.
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