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Medieval German City Leagues

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Medieval German City Leagues

The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their guilds that established and maintained a trade monopoly along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages and early modern period (c.13th–17th centuries). The Hanseatic cities worked together to protect each other militarily. The chief city and linchpin was Lubeck; with the first general Diet of the Hansa held there in 1356. Lubeck's location on the Baltic provided access for trade with the Post-Viking Scandinavians and the Kievan Rus, putting it in direct competition with the Post-Viking Scandinavians who had previously controlled most of the Baltic trade routes. A treaty with Visby Hansa put an end to competition: through this treaty the Lübeck merchants also gained access to the inland Later Russian port of Novgorod. Other such alliances formed throughout the Imperial German? Holy Roman Empire.

Between 1361 and 1370 the League waged war against the Medieval Danish. Initially unsuccessful, Hanseatic towns in 1368 allied in the Confederation of Cologne, sacked Copenhagen and Helsingborg, and forced King Valdemar IV of Denmark and his son-in-law Hakon VI of Norway to grant the League 15% of the profits from Danish trade in the subsequent peace-treaty of Stralsund in 1370, thus gaining an effective trade and political monopoly in Scandinavia.

The Swabian League cities attained great prosperity under the protection of the Imperial German? Hohenstaufen emperors, however the deposition of Emperor Frederick II in 1245 and the extinction of his dynasty in 1268 was followed by disintegration. In 1331 22 Swabian cities, including Ulm, Augsburg, Reutlingen and Heilbronn formed a league at the insistence of Emperor Louis IV of Wittelsbach, who in return for their support promised not to mortgage any of them to a vassal. The count of Württemberg was induced to join in 1340. Under the rule of Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg, the lesser Swabian nobles began to combine against the cities, and formed the Schleglerbund. With civil war ensuing in 1367, the Emperor, jealous of the growing power of the cities, endeavoured to set up a league under his own control. The defeat of the city league by Count Eberhard II of Württemberg in 1372 and the breach of his obligations by Charles IV led to the formation of a new league of 14 Swabian cities led by Ulm on 4 July 1376. This renewed league triumphed over Count Eberhard II at Reutlingen in 1377, and was rapidly extended over the Rhineland, Bavaria, and Franconia. However, Württemberg struck back and united with the forces of Elector Palatine Rupert I and the Nuremberg Burgrave Frederick V of Hohenzollern finally defeated the league in 1388 at Döffingen. The next year the city league disbanded according to the resolutions of the Reichstag at Eger.

Using the army in FoG

  • It's a right dogs breakfast this list, but one with lots of bits that are gristly and tasteless that need to be avoided.
  • There are so few Superior knights it's almost worth considering a purely pedestrian army - but the knights can dismount anyway.
  • Average Knights are the wrong choice in 99 out of 100 possible situations – even if they are the only drilled ones you can get.
  • The meat of the army are the fairly decent foot. Pikemen, Spears, Heavy Weapon men are all very good in period and if supported well can stand fast against enemy knights if they co-ordinate well together.
  • Defensive spears struggle to push forwards against most things - only take them if their role is going to be to hold up the enemy, or you are building a plan on having lots and lots of them and forcing the enemy to beat them to win.
  • Co-ordinating Defensive spears and charging Pikemen together is a nightmare. Best to give them separate jobs in separate areas of the table if you can.
  • A deployment that alternates Knights and Spears may not be a bad choice against enemy LH/Cv. It lets you deploy knights with some ranks in reserve, maybe even with the gaps filled with Xbows to help chase away (or at least make life challenging) skirmishing enemy
  • Crossbow units generally are troops which do not win battles. They can cause heavily armoured and armoured knights pause for thought and are pretty good against cavalry but generally unless you expect to face off against lots of knights, or cynically plan to use them as a unit of 6 in column to support spearmen from behind you may be better spending points elsewhere on game winning units.
  • Difficult terrain is good for this army - it's good, as your army will be small, and the Free Canton spearmen are pretty decent in rough terrain in period until they meet Almughavars.
  • You have plenty of small LF units to bulk out the army size.
  • The Wagons are viable in this army, with 1-2 units acting as a clever flank guard for your narrow yet tough force. The army will only advance slowly anyway, so their need to pass CMTs to move is not that much of a hindrance - especially if you can squeeze in an IC.
  • LF archers and crossbowmen are generally better value than MF ones.

Tournament Results with this army

Have a look for them on the Official FoG Database on the FoG site

User-contributed links about this army:

Allies

  • Swiss Some hard core pikemen to steel the line of pointy spears
  • Medieval German - this lot again, or Later Medieval Feudal German? - all sorts o'bits and bobs
  • Low Countries - Yet more pikemen

Painting and Collecting the Army

  • Paint schemes, insignia, shield designs? Put it here.

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures suitable for Late Medieval Armies

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image Image Image


Army Lists

800 AP list - no mounted

  • 1 Free Canton LF LF unprotected Average undrilled Javelins Light Spear - 4
  • 2 LF Crossbow LF unprotected Average Drilled Crossbow - - 6
  • 3 Handgunners LF unprotected Average Drilled Firearm - - 4
  • 4 Swiss Handgunners LF unprotected Average Drilled Firearm - - 4
  • 5 Swiss Pikemen HF Protected Superior Drilled - Pikemen - 8
  • 6 Landeschknecht Pikemen HF Protected Average Drilled - Pikemen - 12
  • 7 Bidenhanders HF Protected Average Drilled - Heavy Weapon - 4
  • 8 Militia Spears HF Protected Average undrilled - Defensive Spearmen - 8
  • 9 Militia Spears HF Protected Average undrilled - Defensive Spearmen - 8
  • 10 Pikemen HF Protected poor Drilled - Pikemen - 12
  • 11 Militia Spears HF Protected Average undrilled - Defensive Spearmen - 8
  • 12 Militia Spears HF Protected Average undrilled - Defensive Spearmen - 8
  • 13 Free Canton Spearmen MF Protected Average undrilled - Offensive Spearmen - 6
  • 14 Free Canton Spearmen MF Protected Average undrilled - Offensive Spearmen - 6
  • 15 Free Canton Spearmen MF Protected Average undrilled - Offensive Spearmen - 6
  • 16 Landeschnecht Verloenhauf MF Protected Superior Drilled - Heavy Weapon - 4



Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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