Thursday, January 15, 2009

Swiss Pikemen

Languages: German
Abilities: +1 Talent Farming, Military arts
The confederation of Swiss Cantons remains nominally a part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, in all respects they are effectively independent despite numerous attempts by their neighbours to assert control or take lands from them. It is their well disciplined militia, raised from the free men in every community that has achieved this feat. They from large units armed with Pikes and Halberds and are the most sought after mercenaries in Europe.

Description: Must be Swiss
Swiss Pikemen were the most sought after mercenaries in Europe. They first rose to prominence through remarkable victories over powerful forces composed of Knights and then later sold their skills on battlefields throughout Europe. While the forces of the Swiss cantons often won their victories by impressive maneuver, Mercenary Pikemen were inclined to just grind down their foe with a frontal push. Despite commonly being referred to as Pikemen, they employed halberds almost as frequently as pikes.

Skills: Melee arms, Maneuvering, Military Arms, Ranged Arms, +1 LP

Secret Masteries:
Marching Pikes (Maneuvering (Footwork) Mastery) The core of successful pike combat is using formation and superior pike skill, to either out maneuver or just grind your enemy back. This was the heart of the Swiss innovation, a hundred years earlier defensive pike formations had bested Knights at Bannockburn and the Battle of the Golden spurs. However, this only succeeded if the enemy cooperated by charging the Pikes. The Swiss required no such cooperation and utilised a marching drum to keep the pike block in formation on attack. The Pikeman is recognised as a Sergeant of Pikes and is able to advance and force their opponent to give ground (one yard PDL of attack) when successfully hit, the opponent can prevent this only by beating the accuracy roll with a footwork roll of their own.

Pike Maneuver (Maneuvering (Footwork) Grand Mastery) Though the mercenary Pikemen preferred frontal attacks, the Pike styles evolved by the Canton forces were more mobile and flexible. The Pikeman is accounted a commander of Pikes and if their opponent successfully parries or blocks against an attack, they must reroll the defense due to the feints employed by the Pikeman. Opponents may evade the attack without a reroll, but must also give a yards ground.

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