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Renaissance Swiss, 1500-1550

Renaissance Swiss halberdier as painted and based by Raven Painting.
The Swiss had already cemented their reputation in the late Gothic Period as the best infantry in Europe, and in the sixteenth century brought that to market, serving as mercenaries in large bands in French armies, and also fighting in alliances with other powers, though often for pay for all practical purposes.

The prowess of their huge attack columns, now increasingly made up of pikemen, was legendary, and justly so -- this was arguably the greatest development in infantry shock combat to date. Some historians think the fear of the unstoppable Swiss pike column was largely responsible for bringing on the "Military Revolution" itself.

The Swiss were incomparable for their bravery and ferocity up until the terrible slaughter of the Battle of Bicocca, when firepower laid the attack columns low. But even after that reverse, the Swiss pike squares continued to be a redoubtable foundation of any army, and their combat performance continually outshone that of their Landsknecht rivals.

These models are dressed in the elaborate slashed garments on this period, with voluminous sleeves. We have ended the line at 1550, when pluderhosen became the most common legwear of the Swiss mercenary. The models clearly depict the cross of the Swiss warrior slashed onto chest, arm, or leg, rather than the "X" (the saltire raguly) that marked the Landsknecht mercenary. They also carry the small half-moon-handled Swiss dagger or the long hand-and-a-half sword of the Swiss mercenary, rather than the distinctive Katzbalger shortsword of his Landsknecht foe. The models wear baretts, but also the turbans which Swiss mercenaries preferred, many of which have ostrich feathers in them, another peculiarity of the Swiss mercenary. Gamers will also note that the dress of the Swiss, though elaborate, is somewhat less so than the Landsknecht.

We've even had made a model in the image of Death, the constant companion of the Reislaufer, holding an hourglass, in case you wish to have this character march alongside your pike squares, as he does in so many wood cuttings of the period! (And naturally he is an ideal adornment for our Field of Glory Cohesion Marker.)

Sculpted by Mike Broadbent.

CodeContentsPrice (US$)Order/Progress
KM-2100PRenaissance Swiss attack column infantry, armoured, pikes (x 8)$4.99
KM-2100HRenaissance Swiss attack column infantry, armoured, halberds (x 8)$4.99
KM-2101PRenaissance Swiss attack column infantry, unarmoured, pikes (x 8)$4.99
KM-2101HRenaissance Swiss attack column infantry, unarmoured, halberds (x 8)$4.99
KM-2102Renaissance Swiss Arquebusier Screen (x 6)$3.99
KM-2103Renaissance Swiss Command, Officer, Drummer and Standardbearer (x 3, flag not included)$2.19
KM-2104Renaissance Swiss Light Gun with Crewman$3.99
KM-2105Renaissance Death$.75
KM-2106Field of Glory Renaissance Swiss Attack Column (64 infantry -- 53 pikemen, 8 halberdiers, three commanders)$36.99
TR-3European Medieval or Renaissance Soldier's Tent (x 1)$2.99
TR-7Supply Ox Cart$4.49