French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

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LeGrognard
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French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

Post by LeGrognard » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:31 am

I am looking to create a force for SP based upon the French in Egypt. Which of course means that I need camels!!! (Couldn't possibly go without! ;) )

I was going to use the later "Revolutionary Wars" list for the force, however I am thinking that Les Dromadaires should be closer to the Dragoons listing in the "Glory Years" list (however with a normal musket), as they are really mounted infantry scouts who dismount to fight.

Any thoughts?

Archdukek
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Re: French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

Post by Archdukek » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:01 am

I don’t know much about the Egyptian Campaign, but did Les Dromadaires ever fight mounted? As you say, I thought they were mounted infantry in which case the “Irregular Cavalry” category would be more appropriate. Classifying them as Dragoons would encourage their use as cavalry to my mind and make them too powerful in that role.

You could always improve the individual characteristics from those usually found in Irregular Cavalry and allow them to dismount as Skirmishers rather than Irregular Skirmishers.

John

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sjwalker51
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Re: French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

Post by sjwalker51 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:50 pm

As John suggests, better to treat them as Dismounted infantry from the start of the game and just use the camels as part of the deployment point.

If you really want to treat them more like Dragoons, able to move mounted on the table, they should be severely penalised in Fisticuffs if caught mounted - a bit like the Gordon relief expedition in 1885.

LeGrognard
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Re: French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

Post by LeGrognard » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:17 am

Looking at some of the references, they were quite disciplined, motivated and effective. They conducted a number of raids on British outposts. So classing them as irregulars doesn't really do them justice. They were armed with both sabre and musket, so theoretically could have charged mounted (like the Arabs).

If you pay the points for them being Dragoons, I don't see how they could be OP as there are no advantages over actual Dragoons.

I am wondering if to give them the right flavour, to classify them as "Dragoons - Wars of the French Revolution" (Point value 7/Size 8) so they can be mounted or dismounted (normal Dragoon rules apply), but give them an adjusted stat line from the "Infanterie Legere Skirmishers, 1796-1802" (Formation: No Shock (as per Dragoons), First Fire: Yes-dismounted, Step Out: 1), and the Characteristic: "Sharp Practice" vice "Tally Ho!".

That encourages you to manoeuvre the unit mounted, but once in position dismount to skirmish with muskets. You can make a formation, but only at the start of the game. The change in characteristic supports using them for their Fire capability vice combat.

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Captain Reid
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Re: French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

Post by Captain Reid » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:41 pm

Marmont says they fought on foot: “There were 600 men mounted on 600 camels; each soldier carried his ammunition and food for himself and his beast (a week’s rations), and they were able to make several days’ excursion in the desert without suffering. As soon as this corps arrived in the neighbourhood of the enemy the men dismounted and fought on foot. Never was a force more appropriate to the country whether it was employed and it rendered great service. It alone was able to keep the Arabs in check.”

However in the early days they seem to have been two men to a camel, which would definitely mean dismounting to fight (although somewhat bizarrely they also had lances . . .).

Personally I'd run them on foot as Light Infantry but allow them to deploy as Scouting Cavalry (ie with Scouting Cavalry deployment range).
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Archdukek
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Re: French Dromedary Corps - Egypt

Post by Archdukek » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:40 pm

I’d agree with Captain Reid’s approach which seems to fit with how they were used.

Being willing to pay the same points as Dragoons doesn’t give them the ability to fight mounted as dragoons if they didn’t do so historically.

John

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