Swiss Guard (ETW Unit)
Resplendent in bright red uniforms, the Swiss Guard is recruited in the cantons of Switzerland. Armed with smoothbore muskets, these men are not just a decorative, court regiment, but very capable warriors, certainly the betters of ordinary line infantry units. Their origins mean that they can be trusted not to involve themselves in French conspiracies. French monarchs are not the first to realise that foreign soldiers are often hated and distrusted more than the monarchy itself by many internal enemies! The Swiss Guard, therefore, live and die in the service of the throne because, viewed cynically, their survival demands it.
In August 1792, France was in turmoil. King Louis XVI (1774-92) was a hollow, hated figurehead. The Swiss Guard were his last line of defence, guarding the Tuileries Palace when the revolutionaries attacked. The Bourbons escaped, but hundreds of their loyal Swiss Guards were killed. Many survivors succumbed to their wounds or were murdered during the September Massacres. Finally, in 1821 a statue was erected in Lucerne to commemorate the sacrifice made by the Swiss Guard. It depicts a dying lion, symbolically protecting the French monarchy.
Recruitable only in France, and available only to France, the Swiss Guard are a unique and Elite Line Infantry. They posses significantly higher statistics than their Line Infantry counterparts and so, can be relied upon in the heat of battle. Elite units such as the Swiss Guard should be made best use of by positioning them in the middle of the line in order to maximise the effectiveness of their morale boost.