Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby bvandewalker » 02 May 2015, 17:31

TheInsane wrote:
bvandewalker wrote:true, the only reason I mentioned the shorter single handed sword is that I know a landesheckt reenactor and he said the short sword (it has German name, Katzcarl or something like that).


Katzbalger. Translated it means Cat Skinner. Why they would call it a cat skinner, I have no clue... But, there it is.


probably a story there, (that involves skinning cats) :lol: .
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby 1classybadger » 05 May 2015, 09:15

probably a german got reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaally drunk and very irked at a mouthy cat. intrestingly enough, a good number of german and swiss mercs were scotish and irish, just a random historical tid bit
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby TheInsane » 05 May 2015, 20:57

It is also postulated that a lot of Swiss mercenaries were former Templars, or their close descendants, as the Swiss mercenaries appeared not long after the Templars were disbanded, and excommunicated. A lot of them were thought to have fled to Switzerland, or the area thereof.
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby bvandewalker » 05 May 2015, 21:59

Didn't know about that, but I do know that Swiss where excellent Crossbowmen and that they used handguns, WGF could probably have a pavise or two with both range options all on one spur.
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby mrinku » 08 May 2015, 18:03

I reckon WGF has about a two year window to do these before the Perrys decide they'd like to. It's already too late to do early 15th C - they've got pretty much everything locked down in 28mm plastic already.

Of course, if they are negotiating with Warlord, they may well be assigned an era (and this one is wide open). Warlord, Empress and Perry seem to touch base with each other to avoid duplicating lines too much. Most likely over a pint in some Nottingham pub.

However, I suspect Warlord's main interest is the existing and expanding Post Apoc line and Dreamforge.
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby bvandewalker » 08 May 2015, 23:41

You mean WGF (Warlord doesn't own those properties :lol: ), and yeah that is what they are doing for the immediate future, but they did AWI British and Colonials troops even though Perry did them already (and they aren't even as useful as Swiss since both sides changed their uniforms drastically after AWI) and Perry actually takes about as long to release their plastic sets as WGF, so I decided to go with a positive out look on this and proposes Swiss.

All of that aside, one could argue that Perry has already done Swiss equivalents for HWY with their mercenary box and I still think WGF could make money on a set and the only reason Warlord is doing landsknechts for plastic is because they where able to buy the mold blueprints off some other guy, and they are only going to do the pike troops and maybe the gunners in plastic from the looks of it (everything else will be metal).

Quite frankly anything that is medieval or fantasy is probably going to do at least as will as any additional Sci-Fi/apoc sets WGF does in the future simply because fantasy has two big well recognized war games going for fantasy (you know what and Kings of War, which could both use Swiss troops as stand ins) plus a ton of skirmish games, RPGs, and lesser known big battle games (and that is just fantasy, I have not even gotten to Medieval history which is one of the bigger eras for history gaming).
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby 1classybadger » 13 May 2015, 21:09

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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby puster » 18 May 2015, 13:19

TheInsane wrote:By the way. Does anyone know what the difference is between the Swiss, and Germans?


Depends.

Up to the Burgundian wars (and actually two more decades) the Swiss were formally part of the Empire. When they declared war upon Charles the Bold, they nominally did so because the Emperor commanded them (he actually did, as Charles had invadec the Empire and besieged Neuss for a full year).

Anyway, you probably mean the difference between Landsknechts and Swiss. The Landsknechts were formed around 1487 by Maximilian - the later Emperor and then duke of Burgund - and using Swiss to train mainly German mercenaries to fight in their style, ie. with massive pike blocks. The Flandern contingents that had won him the battle of Guinegate against the French knights in 1479 had proven to be unreliable, and many cities were in almost constant revolt against his rule. At the start, there was not that much of a difference between Swiss and German mercenaries, though the Swiss levies naturally were different in motivation and style.

The major break came in 1499, with the Swabian wars between the Swiss and the Swabian league. There were a couple of bitter battles between large hosts, usually with the Swiss coming out winning. The Swiss habit of taking no prisoners created bad blood that never went away between these factions, and rarely would later engagements between blocks of Landksnechts and Swiss be fought with quarter given or asked. Novarra, Marignano, Bicocca and Pavia were later engagements with bitter struggles - and despite being usually recognized as the better soldiers, the Swiss lost in the latter three vs. Landsknechts.

In appearance the Swiss started out with the larger swagger. The main visible difference would be the swiss cross - with vertical and horizontal lines - cut into their clothing, while the Landsknechts had the Andrews cross - from the Burgundian cross, which became via Maximilian an Imperial symbol. The sideweapon of the Landsknecht was indeed the "Katzbalger", which you should translate into "cat fighter" - balgen = fighting. If you have ever seen two cats trying to kill each other regardless of the cost, you know what they mean - the idea was that this was the style of fighting you had when the blocks of pikes clashed. The Swiss had the "Schweizerdolch" instead for the infighting, and often wore swords.

In contemporary illustrations from 1510-1530 its often hard to decide wether Swiss or Landsknechts are depicted, until you look for the details. Generally the Swiss were more famous for wearing feathers, including the ostrich (no idea where they got these). After around 1530 the appearances start to differ more, with the Landsknechts getting even more flamboyant, with the worst excessed of the Pluderhosen still out a couple of decades.
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby puster » 18 May 2015, 13:32

TheInsane wrote:It is also postulated that a lot of Swiss mercenaries were former Templars, or their close descendants, as the Swiss mercenaries appeared not long after the Templars were disbanded, and excommunicated. A lot of them were thought to have fled to Switzerland, or the area thereof.


Well...
there is indeed a rumour that many Templars fled to Switzerland and led their military experience to the locals. The first successfull battle against the Habsburgs, Morgarten, was within a decade. At Lauppen 1339 the first documented usage of the Swiss cross is recorded - which is the inverted templar color (though using a simple cross).

Still, its only a rumour, and even when true the number of Templars and Swiss hardly justifies to call the Swiss "former Templars" - especially when you look at the Renaissance which starts at the earliest some hundred years after the influx of the Templars.

There are, however, other stories that go back to the original settlement of the era during the reign of Charles the Great, around 800, which tell of two waves of Frisians who settle in the era - the first coming from a contingent that returned from Charles army in Italy, the other large one leaving the coastal area due to famine. Double names like Zurich/Zürich or Groningen/Grüningen and a strong similarity in the military and civil habits tend to lend some credit to this. The levies created by the Frisians or by Dithmarshen in 1500 are not very different in structure from those raised in the free cantons.
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Re: Medieval and renaissance mercenaries

Postby TheInsane » 18 May 2015, 20:59

No, I meant the difference between the Swiss, and Germans... It was a joke. Germans are the ones who couldn't make it up the mountain.
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