Napoleonic French Dragoons

Moderators: Vis Bellica, Laffe

Post Reply
Grahamc
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:23 pm
Location: Fleet,, Hampshire, UK

Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Grahamc » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:39 pm

Hi,

I have just got some French Dragoon.

The army list in the rule book, shows them as mounted. 8 horses in a group.
I also have 8 dragoon’s on foot, firing carbinnes.. I assume they dismount as a skirmish group, like a voltiguer?? And have the same stats?

If they dismount. I assume that would cost 1 action, or if it was the first thing they did, they could do it for free? Bit like a change of formation?

Thoughts?

Contrarius
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:35 pm

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Contrarius » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:51 pm

Yes, they dismount as a 6-figure skirmish group, it being assumed that two men remain behind as horse-holders. The stats, I believe, would vary depending on year and location.

In reality by the Napoleonic Wars few dragoons were being used in their old role as mounted infantry, the French were one of the few nations to keep on this tradition. However, it was far more common to see French dragoons dismounted of necessity as a result of lack of horses, in which case you could even argue for 8-figure dismounted groups. For what it's worth, French cuirassiers were also occasionally forced to serve on foot, without their breastplates, much to their chagrin.

Grahamc
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:23 pm
Location: Fleet,, Hampshire, UK

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Grahamc » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:10 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Any thoughts about going from mounted to dismounted?

User avatar
Derek H
Posts: 1224
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:50 pm
Location: Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Derek H » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:16 pm

Grahamc wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:10 pm
Thanks for the reply.

Any thoughts about going from mounted to dismounted?
Choice is made before the game.
All the Lard News in one place - Lard Central http://www.netvibes.com/lardcentral
Pimping my blog - Dereks Wee Toys http://dereksweetoys.com/

Archdukek
Posts: 3739
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Archdukek » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:51 pm

That's not quite right. See the definition of Dragoons on page 11.
You can choose to field them as mounted or dismounted before the game. If dismounted they are fielded as a 6 man Skirmish group who cannot remount, their horses having been left off table. If you field them as mounted then they can dismount and remount during the game at the cost of an action, but two men must remain as householders.

John

Grahamc
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:23 pm
Location: Fleet,, Hampshire, UK

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Grahamc » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:06 am

Thank you all, for the clarification.

To dismount, that would be impossible if they were cantering or galloping. Unless of cause they come from a circus.😀

Seems logical, there previous movement should be at a walk?

Archdukek
Posts: 3739
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by Archdukek » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:19 am

Yes, they would need to be at the halt to dismount, since they can reduce speed by one level each turn then the maximum speed on the previous turn would be a walk.

John

BaronVonWreckedoften
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:28 am

Re: Napoleonic French Dragoons

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:01 am

Just for general information, in case anyone is looking at an "organised" formation of "dragons a pied":-

If they are in a Peninsula context, then dismounting dragoons to skirmish (against, say, guerilleros or militia) would be quite common, and such an ability was one of the main reasons why dragoons were sent to Spain in such numbers and kept there. The reference to them being formed into dedicated dismounted units due to lack of horses only occurred in central Europe, and then only on four specific occasions between 1803 and 1806, after which the huge numbers of captured horses allowed all the men to be mounted.

In 1803, every company (of eight) in a French dragoon regiment had 54 mounted and 36 dismounted troopers; the dismounted element would then have NCOs in proportion, and one drummer per company. At the Boulogne Camp, two divisions were formed from dismounted men - one of three brigades, each composed of men drawn from three different regiments, the other of two brigades, each composed of men drawn from four different regiments; each regiment provided the equivalent of two squadrons (four companies) of men. The purpose of these formations was to provide troops capable of creating and defending a bridgehead as part of the invasion of England.

In 1805, 24 of the 30 dragoon regiments were given a "mixed" organisation, of three mounted squadrons and one dismounted squadron, these being further organised into four mounted divisions and one dismounted division, initially for the Army of England, but later for the Ulm/Austerlitz campaign. The mounted divisions had two brigades, each of three regiments, whilst the dismounted division had eight battalions, each consisting of three dismounted squadrons (six companies), grouped into four regiments, in two brigades. In Italy, Massena organised men from 5 regiments into a dismounted battalion of 333 men, which lasted for four months, until January 1806.

The last occasion was in 1806, when Napoleon ordered the "spare" men of the regimental depots to form two regiments of dismounted dragoons, each of two battalions, each battalion consisting of men from four dragoon regiments. One regiment was assigned to the Grenadiers a Pied of the Imperial Guard, and the other to the Chasseurs a Pied; however, at the end of the campaign, both regiments were given captured Prussian/Saxon horses and returned to their parent corps. Despite being allowed to march with the Guard, service in the dismounted arm of the dragoons was despised (as it also was on the three previous occasions) and this should be reflected in any morale rules.

Post Reply