The Swabian War Campaign

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w_michael
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The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:29 pm

The Swabian War – A Pike & Shot Campaign

Historical Background (from Wikipedia)
The Swabian War of 1499 was the last major armed conflict between the Old Swiss Confederacy and the House of Habsburg. What had begun as a local conflict over the control of the Val Müstair and the Umbrail Pass in the Grisons soon got out of hand when both parties called upon their allies for help; the Habsburgs demanding the support of the Swabian League in the south-west Holy Roman Empire, and the Federation of the Three Leagues of the Grisons turning to the Swiss Confederation. Hostilities quickly spread from the Grisons through the Rhine valley to Lake Constance and even to the Sundgau in southern Alsace, the westernmost part of Habsburg Further Austria.

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Many battles were fought from January to July 1499, and in all but a few minor skirmishes, the experienced Swiss soldiers defeated the Swabian and Habsburg armies. After their victories in the Burgundian Wars, the Swiss had battle tested troops and commanders. On the Swabian side, distrust between the knights and their foot soldiers, disagreements amongst the military leadership, and a general reluctance to fight a war that even the Swabian counts considered to be more in the interests of the powerful Habsburgs than in the interest of the Holy Roman Empire proved fatal handicaps. When his military high commander fell in the battle of Dornach, where the Swiss won a final decisive victory, Emperor Maximilian I had no choice but to agree to a peace treaty signed on September 22, 1499 in Basel. The treaty granted the Confederacy far-reaching independence from the empire. Although the Swiss Confederation officially remained a part of the empire until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the peace of Basel exempted it from the imperial jurisdiction and imperial taxes and thus de facto acknowledged it as a separate political entity.

Pike & Shot Campaigns
The Pike & Shot Campaigns computer game covers European armies from 1494 to 1698, and I thought that it would be interesting to try out the new campaign system using the Swiss Confederation when it was at its peak, but using something different than the popular Italian Wars for the early period. I chose the Swabian War because it was a classic match between Swiss pike blocks and German Landsknechts, and it might be a challenge to play the Imperialists since they lost every major battle historically.

In addition to three historic campaigns, the game allows you to create an ad hoc campaign where you fight over a hypothetical territory using any of the army lists contained in the game. The Swiss Confederation army list was easy to find: Swiss 1494-1515. The Imperialist army list came down to a choice of two: German States 1494-1542 or Imperialist 1494-1519. I decided that it would be simplest to assume that the German list would be for the Swabian League forces under Heinrich von Fürstenberg, while the Imperialist list would be for the Habsburg armies under Emperor Maximilian I. Since I could choose only one army list, I decided to play the Swabian League. I will play one campaign year (six turns) at the “Colonel” difficulty level and use the Balance of Power stated in the game to determine the winner.

Initial Positions
I let the computer choose the starting armies and their locations for a quick start to the campaign. The system selects a starting year for the campaign based on the army lists chosen, so when you see 1494 on a screen shot please read it as 1499. The provinces on the map are considered to be predominantly agricultural unless they are marked by a woods or hills symbol.

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The Swiss Confederation starts the war with a slight advantage in manpower and tax base (Balance of Power). The standing of all of the field armies are as follows:
  • League 1st Army (4,898 foot, 992 horse) in Quakenwald
  • League 2nd Army (5,379 foot, 1,204 horse) in Uffenstein
  • League 3rd Army (3,900 foot, 1,381 horse) in Jeverhausen
  • Swiss 1st Army (est. 5,135 foot, 209 horse) in Viernstadt
  • Swiss 2nd Army (est. 6,013 foot, 617 horse) in Rheinbrück
  • Swiss 3rd Army (est. 3,240 foot, 359 horse) in Neukingen
  • Swiss 4th Army (est.1,935 foot, no horse) in Traunburg
This gives the Swabian League a total of 14,177 foot and 3,507 horse, and the Swiss Confederation a total of 16,323 foot and 1,185 horse. These are only estimates of the Swiss forces, which can vary from between 75% and 133% of the true strengths.
Last edited by w_michael on Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:47 pm

Late Spring 1499 – Swabian League Turn
In order to win the Swabian League must have a combination of either more men under arms and/or a larger tax base. Therefore, we will pick our battles cautiously (or be defeated by the elite Swiss pike kiels) and invade agricultural provinces (highest tax value) as the first priority. Agricultural provinces will also have the most open terrain, which suits our cavalry superiority nicely. Another consideration is supply. An army draws supplies from the province that it occupies, but also from friendly adjacent provinces. Thus, advancing incrementally is more prudent than a fast advance deep into enemy territory.

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Dorngeld fits the bill, so the League 1st Army advances from Quakenwald. It will have a 10% chance of subduing the province this turn if the Swiss do not lift the siege. The League 3rd Army will hold the centre at our province of Jeverhausen, while the League 2nd Army will advance from Uffenstein to battle the Swiss 2nd Army in the agricultural province of Rheinbrück. The Swiss have decided that they like the odds so they remain and offer battle.

The League 2nd Army before the battle consists of the following foot battalions: two pike kiel, one massed arquebusier, one skirmishing arquebusier, one skirmishing crossbowman; the following horse squadrons: one gendarme, one late gendarme, two demi-lancer, one mounted crossbowman; and one light gun battery. The terrain ahead of the deployment area is a plateau with lots of broken terrain; not ideal for cavalry. The Swiss have the following foot battalions: two pike kiel, one small pike kiel, one halberdier, one skirmishing arquebusier, one skirmishing crossbowman; and the following horse squadrons: one mounted crossbowman, one mounted arquebusier. The plan will be to pin the large Swiss pike kiels in the front long enough for a League unit to work itself behind for a charge from the rear to disrupt them. Our Landsknecht pike kiels cannot stand up to their Swiss counterparts for long on their own.

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The Battle of Rheinbrück was a decisive Swabian League victory! The Swiss 2nd Army lost 4,465 men and retreated to Neukingen, while the League 2nd Army lost 714 men and started to besiege the cities in the province (8% change of falling this turn). The Swabian League 3rd Army hasn’t moved, and could do so now, but they will remain a central reserve in case we have a reversal of fortune. Let’s see how the Swiss react in their turn…

Late Spring 1499 – Swiss Confederation Turn
The Swiss 3rd Army was incorporated into the retreating 2nd Army in Neukingen. The Swiss 1st Army moved from Viernstadt to attack the League 1st Army besieging cities in Dorngeld, and local Swiss forces supplied reinforcements of four battalions of arquebusiers. The general commanding the League 1st Army decided to stay and offer battle.

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The League 1st Army before the battle consists of the following foot battalions: one pike kiel, two massed arquebusier, one massed crossbowman, two skirmishing arquebusier, and one skirmishing crossbowman; the following horse squadrons: one gendarme, one late gendarme, and two demi-lancer; and the following artillery batteries: one medium gun, and one light gun. I am dismayed to find only one Landsknecht pike kiel because there are bound to be several Swiss pike kiels and the Swabian League has nothing else that can go toe-to-toe with them. The terrain ahead of the deployment area is clear except for a large patch of rough ground further afield. On the right flank is a high hill, where I will move the medium gun battery for a commanding field of fire. On the left flank is a large woods which the light foot will secure. Deployment is done, so let’s see what forces confront us. The Swiss have the following foot battalions: two pike kiels, six skirmishing arquebusier; one mounted crossbowman squadron; and one light gun battery. It is not as bad as I feared, but the Swiss have a lot of firepower to back up those pike kiels. At least the League has overwhelming cavalry superiority.

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The Battle of Dorngeld was a major Swabian League victory, and not the challenge that I was expecting, so I will now increase the difficulty level to “Sergeant Major General”. The Swiss 1st Army lost 3,673 men and retreated to Traunburg, while the Swabian League 1st Army lost 719 men and continued to besiege the cities in the province (still 10% change of falling this turn).

The Swiss 4th Army in Traunburg marched through Viernstadt to Bleichernach. The Swiss 2nd Army advanced from Neukingem to attack the League 2nd Army in Rheinbrück, who were caught before all of their forces could assemble. The Swabians will start the Second Battle of Rheinbrück with incomplete forces, and missing troops will arrive sometime during the battle.

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The League 2nd Army before the Second Battle of Rheinbrück consists of the following foot battalions: two pike kiel, one massed arquebusier, one skirmishing arquebusier, one skirmishing crossbowman; the following horse squadrons: one gendarme, one late gendarme, two demi-lancer, one mounted crossbowman; and one light gun battery. The terrain between the deployment zones is mostly open; perfect for Swabian League cavalry. I plan to play defensively with the foot until the reinforcements arrive, but aggressively with the horse.

The army is unchanged from the first battle, but it is important to note the content of the whole army because in this battle not all of the forces are available at the start. The computer chooses the reinforcements for you, but you can deduce what they will be by comparing the starting list of units to the units list screen at deployment time. I can see that the reinforcements will be one Landsknecht pike kiel and the skirmishing arquebusiers. This is one of the great features of the campaign system; that you are not always fighting standard pitched battles in open terrain. The situation here is entirely plausible. The League was besieging cities in the province when the Swiss army arrives. They try to concentrate their forces to confront the Swiss threat, but some of the forces were just too far away or the roads too congested to be available at the start of the battle.

The Swiss have the following foot battalions: two pike kiel, two small pike kiel, two halberdier, three skirmishing arquebusier, one skirmishing crossbowman; and the following horse squadrons: one mounted crossbowman, one mounted arquebusier, and one gendarme. Yikes! I would have a tough time defeating this force even if I had all of my army at the start. This is will very challenging to say the least.

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Another nice feature of the campaign system is the separate tracking of a unit’s experience and elan. In this battle my mounted crossbowman squadron was charged by their Swiss counterpart. Normally this would be an even contest, but because my squadron had fought in a victorious battle it has a higher elan then the opposing unit (which has low elan from participating in that same battle where their side lost). Both would have the same experience level though. This is reflected by the above average League squadron having a +16 troop quality POA and the average Swiss squadron having a -2 troop quality POA.

The Swabian arquebusier reinforcement arrive at the beginning of their Turn 10. We will need them, but the kiel would have been much better. Perhaps next turn (and they do). The cavalry has done a brilliant job delaying the enemy, but they are committed to close combat are will soon be outflanked.

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The Swabian League lost the battle (2,990 men) and withdrew to their province of Uffenstein to regroup, with the Swiss losing 1,205 men but lifting the siege. I lost the battery of light guns in combat, but I would have lost them anyway as the defeated army never escapes with any artillery. The victorious army does not gain the captured pieces though.
Last edited by w_michael on Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by rbodleyscott » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:59 am

Very nice report.

Two things:
The system selects a starting year for the campaign based on the army lists chosen, so when you see 1494 on a screen shot please read it as 1499.
If you want to do this sort of thing again, you could change the date quite easily by editing the campaign save file.

1) Start the Campaign
2) Save it
3) Look in \My Documents\My Games\PSCAMP\Saves. The save should be the most recent .LSF file. (Make a backup copy of this in case anything goes wrong).
4) Open the save file in a text editor (e.g. Notepad).
5) Change the Date in V_CampaignYear to the year you want.
The Battle of Dorngeld was a major Swabian League victory, and not the challenge that I was expecting, so I will now increase the difficulty level to “Sergeant Major General”.
Increasing the difficulty level half-way through a campaign will partially alter the difficulty, but the campaign will not be the same difficulty as if you had started it on the higher difficulty level. This is because, when the campaign starts up, the game assigns a certain amount of off-map income to each side to balance the overall incomes of each side to match the difficulty level. This does not get reset if you change the difficulty level after the campaign has started.

However, the new higher difficulty level will ensure that the AI will not accept battle unless it has better odds than on the lower difficulty level, and your generals will accept battles at worse odds. Also the AI will get more local forces when fighting in its own provinces, and your army will get less local forces when fighting in your own provinces.

So the difficulty will be increased significantly, but not as much as if you had started the campaign on the same difficulty, because the AI will still have the same off-map income as on the lower difficulty level.
Richard Bodley Scott

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w_michael
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:11 pm

Thanks for the tip on the campaign game year. That worked fine.

How the difficulty level works in the campaign seems fine except for the "local forces". I tried a few trial runs of this campaign at the Sergeant Major General level and lost every battle as the Germans. The risk aversion level seems to work well, but every time I would invade a Swiss province the Swiss army would receive an insurmountable number of "local force" battalions. One time I counted nine freebies. I have never received any "local forces" myself. What is the purpose of this balancing feature? I can see altering the AI forces in one-off skirmish games, but it seems counter-productive in a campaign where losses are supposed to carry over.
Last edited by w_michael on Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by rbodleyscott » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:30 pm

w_michael wrote:One time I counted nine freebies.
The province owner can get up to 300 points of garrison/militia troops in an originally owned province, 150 in a captured province. This applies equally to either side, but it will only happen if the army needs topping up to get closer to the relative force sizes dictated by the difficulty level.
every time I would invade a Swiss province the Swiss army would receive an insurmountable number of "local force" battalions.
The defender's army will not be topped up beyond the relative force size that would occur in a skirmish battle at that difficulty level. Therefore, if you find it difficult to beat the Swiss in a skirmish on Sergeant-Major General Level, you will mostly find it difficult to beat them in a campaign battle at the same difficulty level.
What is the purpose of this balancing feature?
Primarily to increase the number of situations where a battle will occur, rather than the weaker side retreating. Also to make sure that most battles that do occur are a challenge, rather than an inevitable defeat or an inevitable victory. Such unbalanced battles are tedious to play out.
I have never received any "local forces" myself.
Actually you can make good use of the "local forces" rule as part of your overall strategy. For example if you leave a small field force in each border province, the enemy will need to invade with a substantial force to counter your local forces. If a battle occurs and you win it, you have effectively done so with a mostly free army. If you lose it then you have only a few units of demoralised troops, so no biggie.
I tried a few trial runs of this campaign at the Sergeant Major General level and lost every battle as the Germans.
Which is entirely historical!

I have not played all that many campaigns to completion, but I have won two campaigns in which I lost more than half of the field battles, so it certainly isn't necessary to win a majority of the battles to win the campaign.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:14 pm

Thanks for the insight. I feel better for knowing how it works.
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:22 pm

Early Summer 1499 – Swabian League Turn
The Swabian League now has a slight advantage in the Balance of Power, having won two major victories and suffered one loss. Also, the battles have taken place in Swiss provinces, which lowers their taxation value until they slowly recover over time.

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Here are the standings of the various field armies:
  • League 1st Army (4,177 foot, 857 horse) in Dorngeld
  • League 2nd Army (2,465 foot, 354 horse) in Uffenstein
  • League 3rd Army (3,900 foot, 1,381 horse) in Jeverhausen
  • Swiss 1st Army (est. 2,050 foot, 94 horse) in Traunburg
  • Swiss 2nd Army (est. 4,835 foot, 317 horse) in Rheinbrück
  • Swiss 4th Army (est. 1,935 foot, no horse) in Bleichernach
The Swabian League has a total of 10,542 foot and 2,592 horse, while the Swiss Confederation has an estimated 8,820 foot and 411 horse. The League 1st Army has a 20% chance of capturing Dorngeld this turn, and they greatly outnumber the opposing Swiss army, so they will remain in place to continue besieging the cities there. The Swiss 2nd Army however cannot be ignored. After my defeat at the Second Battle of Rheinbrück, the League 2nd Army is in no shape to attack them alone. It is time for the reserve League 3rd Army to come into play, so it advances from Jeverhausen to Uffenstein to join the veteran League 2nd Army. The greatly reinforced League 2nd Army then marches back into the Swiss province of Rheinbrück, but the Swiss realise that they are outmatched and withdraw to the wooded province of Neukingen losing 139 men in the retreat. Rheinbrück has a 13% chance of falling to the Swabian League this turn. The Swiss are on the defensive now, but their fast moving, elite pike kiels are to be feared.

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Early Summer 1499 – Swiss Confederation Turn

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The Swiss 2nd Army moved from Neukingen to Viernstadt, while the Swiss 4th Army redeployed from Bleichernach through Neukingen to the Swabian province of Jeverhausen. With no battles, both sides attempt to seize control of enemy provinces by besieging and capturing their cities. No provinces fell. The besieging armies suffered losses in their attempts: League 1st Army in Dorngeld lost 174 men, League 2nd Army in Rheinbrück lost 107 men, and Swiss 4th Army in Jeverhausen lost 96 men.

Late Summer 1499 – Swabian League Turn
The Swiss 4th Army in Jeverhousen is estimated to have 1,863 foot and no horse, so I will split the League 2nd Army in Rheinbrück to create a new army to kick them out. The new League 3rd Army contains 2,444 foot and 431 horse and advances to relieve the siege in Rheinbrück. As expected the Swiss 4th Army retreats to Viernstadt, losing 75 men in the process. Hopefully I will be able to capture some territory this turn. Dorngeld and Rheinbrück have a 28% and 19% change of falling respectively.

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Late Summer 1499 – Swiss Confederation Turn
The Swiss 4th Army moved from Viernstadt to Traunburg to merge into the Swiss 1st Army there. The combined army (est. 7,439 foot, 448 horse) then advanced to Dorngeld to break the League 1st Army (2,937 foot, 786 horse) siege there, but the Swabian troops had constructed defensive fieldworks and the Swiss 1st Army withdrew back to Traunburg to avoid a battle. Once again we see the strength of the campaign system where it creates a Defence style battle instead of the ubiquitous open battle.

Dorngeld finally fell to League forces, who lost another 224 men. The League 1st Army deployed three battalions (arquebusiers and crossbowmen) to garrison the province. Dorngeld has a tax value of 48 to the League, which is enough to raise a battalion of light troops in the new year.

On a small trivia note the game’s flag icon for German States is that of the Margraviate of Baden, which happens to have been a member of the Swabian League.

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Last edited by w_michael on Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:41 pm

Early Autumn 1499 – Swabian League Turn

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Here are the standings of the various field armies:
  • League 1st Army (2,937 foot, 786 horse) in Dorngeld
  • League 2nd Army (3,754 foot, 1,247 horse) in Rheinbrück
  • League 3rd Army (2,444 foot, 437 horse) in Jeverhausen
  • Swiss 1st Army (est. 7,439 foot, 448 horse) in Traunburg
  • Swiss 4th Army (est. 1,807 foot, no horse) in Bleichernach
The Swabian League has a total of 9,135 foot and 2,470 horse, while the Swiss Confederation has an estimated 9,246 foot and 448 horse. The Swiss 1st Army is definitely a threat, so the League 3rd Army will reinforce our 2nd Army in Dorngeld. The Swabian League 2nd Army will continue to besiege Rheinbrück. Dorngeld is at risk, but I want to take Rheinbrück before I send more reinforcements north from Rheinbrück.

Early Autumn 1499 – Swiss Confederation Turn

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The computer surprised me by marching the Swiss 1st Army south from Traunburg through Viernstadt to Bleichernach, while the small Swiss 4th Army advanced west to their wooded province of Neukingen. I would have attacked Dorngeld, but perhaps the Swiss 1st Army is not as strong as my spies report.

The siege of Rheinbrück continues, with the Swabian League 2nd Army suffering the loss of 163 men.

Late Autumn 1499 – Swabian League Turn
This is the last turn before armies retire to winter quarters. It looks like the Swiss are going to combine their two armies and attack the League in Rheinbrück. Each army starts a turn with 6 Action Points. It costs 2 AP to enter an agricultural province, 3 AP to enter a wooded or hilly province, and 1 AP to combine armies. They can just do it. Therefore, I will split the League 1st Army with the bulk of it marching south to reinforce the League 2nd Army. The remainder (League 3rd Army) will advance to Traunburg and hope to surprise the garrison (i.e. get a very lucky siege roll at a 5% chance) and take the province in one turn. If the reinforced League 1st Army is not dislodged by the Swiss in their turn then there is a 62% chance that Rheinbrück will fall into Swabian League hands.

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Late Autumn 1499 – Swiss Confederation Turn
The computer surprised me again. Rather than attack League forces in Rheinbrück the small Swiss 4th Army decided to try the old surprise assault on the Swabian League province of Jeverhausen (like the League is doing in Traunburg). The main Swiss 1st Army returned to Traunburg trying to engage the small League 3rd Army there. Having only 3,003 foot and 240 horse the general commanding the League forces in Traunburg withdrew back to Dorngeld, losing 28 men in the process.

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The League 1st Army (having integrated the 2nd Army) continued the siege of the cities in Rheinbrück, but failed to take them, suffering the loss of 412 men. With winter coming the army will retire to Uffenstein. The Swiss 4th Army was unsuccessful in assaulting the cities of Jeverhausen, lost 100 men, and returned to winter quarters in Viernstadt.

Early Spring 1500 – Swabian League & Swiss Confederation Turns
Winter is over and come early spring taxes have been collected and each side has the opportunity to recruit new troops. The computer does this first and then you have the opportunity to do the same (with the advantage of seeing what the computer did before committing your treasury). All existing armies are automatically refitted at the end of each campaign year – the manpower and cost being deducted from throughout your territory automatically. This may dilute a unit’s experience and elan. Paying and refitting the existing troops has been done as the first priority, and the cost removed from your treasury. The regions controlled by the Swabian league should raise 1,074 and there is an unspecified amount of additional empire income added, but you can see that the treasury stands at 953 after the troops have been paid and refit.

The Swiss have raised two new armies, one in each of Neukingen and Rheinbrück. At this point the Swiss have a slight advantage in the Balance of Power because the Swabian League has not spent the Thalers in their treasury yet, so to gauge the winner of this time-limited campaign the Swabian League has to recruit.

You can raise troops in any of your original provinces subject to the limits of your treasury and the manpower available in that province. Like taxes the more conflict in a province, the less manpower is available. Most of the battles and sieges were in Swiss territory so the League’s provinces will be more generous that those war torn Swiss provinces.

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The Swabian League has 953 in the treasury. The League 1st Army in Uffenstein is worth 1,171 points, the province has 600 manpower available, and the province can supply 1,950 points. Rheinbrück is an obvious target for the next campaign season and the Swiss forces in Rheinbrück and Neukingen are a little smaller in size, so there is no need for reinforcements there. The Swiss 1st Army at Traunburg is a big threat, but a new army cannot be raised in Dorngeld because it was originally a Swiss province. The Swabian League provinces of Helmwalde and Merkenstadt are hilly and wooded respectively and therefore only have 450 manpower available each. Quakenwald and Jeverhausen on the other hand are both agricultural and will yield 600 manpower each. With only 953 in the treasury, the League can raise one 600 point army on an agricultural province, and then spend the rest in any other province. The Swabian League raises an army in each of Jeverhausen and Merkenstadt.

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Early Spring 1500 – Epilogue
Since the historical Swabian War ended with a negotiated peace before the 1500 campaign season, we will end this campaign here as we planned. The Balance of Power shows a slight German advantage so the Swabian League is declared the winner. I will carry on the campaign to see what happens.
Here are the standings of the various field armies before the 1500 campaign season:
  • League 1st Army (8,392 foot, 2,627 horse) in Uffenstein
  • League 2nd Army (5,541 foot, 1,247 horse) in Jeverhausen
  • League 3rd Army (2,675 foot, 240 horse) in Dorngeld
  • League 4th Army (2,436 foot, 946 horse) in Merkenstadt
  • Swiss 1st Army (est. 10,190 foot, 723 horse) in Traunburg
  • Swiss 2nd Army (est. 4,623 foot, 402 horse) in Neukingen
  • Swiss 3rd Army (est. 6,284 foot, no horse) in Rheinbrück
  • Swiss 4th Army (est. 2,884 foot, no horse) in Viernstadt
The Swabian League has a total of 19,044 foot and 5,060 horse, and the Swiss have an estimated total of 23,981 foot and 1,125 horse. The Swiss Confederation is far from being defeated (especially at this difficulty level), and the Swabian League has only a minor advantage.

As you can see the new campaign system introduced in Pike & Shot Campaigns is very compelling. It will create battles for you to play that are different from historical battles or run of the mill open battle skirmishes, and adds a strategic level of play to the game. An ad hoc campaign cannot be as historically nuanced as one of the three historic campaigns, but you can still get the flavour of the competition.

I only have two things on my wish list: multi-player, of course, and the ability to have allies on a side. I appreciate that a multi-player campaign system is not in the works due to the complexity with the game engine, but it has to be requested. Allies, though, are possible as seen in the Great Turkish War historical campaign where Austria and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth are a team against the Ottoman Turks. The two allies each have their own recruitment provinces, so if this could be added to the options of an ad hoc campaign that would be fantastic.
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Re: The Swabian War Campaign

Post by w_michael » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:34 pm

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I played the campaign to completion and I won with the Swabian League (German States 1494-1542). As you can see from the statistics above, the Swiss were able to win almost half the battles, but they were on the strategic defensive almost all of the time. As the war continued, the Swiss had to manage with fewer and fewer resources (money and manpower).

The raising of new Swabian League armies was challenging because the mandatory units (one Landsknecht kiel, one Gendarme, one Late Gendarme, and one Demi-Lancer) consumed a large portion of the manpower in the province. At best you could raise one more Landsknecht kiel at the cost of not having enough artillery or light troops. This ensured that your armies always had a superiority of horse, but your foot were outnumbered.

My greatest challenge in the battles was to use the heavy cavalry effectively. Too often I would charge and eventually break a Swiss battallion and end up having the pursuing cavalry charged in the flank by a Swiss kiel. This would almost invariably lead to the routing of my heavy cavalry, so I would be trading them on a 1 for 1 basis; which is not good enough. You also have to remember that the Swiss kiels are determined foot, so they have a 33% longer charge distance and ignore ZOCs other than from other kiels. The computer can and will take advantage of a long charge through a gap in units for that decisive flank charge.

The campaign system is an enjoyable addition to Pike & Shot, with many hours of re-play possibilities.
William Michael, Pike & Shot Campaigns & Field of Glory II enthusiast

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