Good question Karl. There is no provision for superior light infantry in the rules, as i didn't think this was an appropriate category for this period. In addition, I doubt that dismounted cavalry (especially cuirassiers, who form the most common superior cavalry) would make exceptional light troops. So make superior cavalry who dismount standard. Standard light troops can be very effective units when used properly.
thought we had been down this little lane.would large men in big boots and metal breast plates really be able to nimble skip over country gates and roll along hedge rows with gay abundance or would they walk 50 yards and stop muttering in suitable germanic dialects, repeating the classic bugger this for a game of metal toys figures.would they actually have enough powder and ball to act in such a scandalus manor?where did I put my tar and feather kit.
Well it is only Karl's second post so he might not have seen earlier threads? TBH I'm minded th think even rating them as standard, at least for shooting, might be a bit generous as I think Cennedd's description of dress and attitude is spot on. Blundering through the brush trying not to get my spurs or sabre tangled up is tricky enough, but trying to shoot with my (probably) second Rate carbine against a rifle armed jäger who starves if he can't shoot well sounds like very bad news.
Where there might be a case perhaps is with dragoons in the earlier periods some people have adapted rules for.
Thank you for your responses, gents, from which I would make the following observations:-
* "cennedd" - I wasn't thinking so much of the "breast plate" wearing heavy cavalry, and certainly not any speaking a German dialect. My interest is with British dragoons, and as Keith points out on page 44 Britain fielded "Dragoon Guards" which could be considered "elite" (and therefore "superior" in the rules).
* My understanding is that some Dragoon Guards incorporated a "Light Troop", (for example the 3rd Dragoon Guards), and that these sometimes fought dismounted - (certainly when taking part in operations such as St.Malo & Cherbourg in 1758).
* So my original question, (even though it's only my second post), maybe should not be so easily dismissed out of hand. I'm mainly interested in British troops from the 7YW and we did field several regiments of "Dragoon Guards". It would be surprising if there was never an occasion when such troops dismounted to fight, such as in built up areas where the reduced range of carbines is not such a disadvantage.
* Yes, Keith, even though we've only been playing HoW for a month or two - the value of light infantry certainly makes them worth their cost. (This is at variance with some rulesets I've used over the decades - especially with regards to ancients.)
Karl is certainly right about the "light troops" of the British cavalry regiments. They were brigaded together and used on all the expeditions against the French coast. However in studying those engagements I've not yet come across any references to them dismounting. They were the only cavalry on those expeditions so I'd suspect that they were more likely to be used for scouting. I'm not clear what happened to the light troops once their parent regiments went to North Germany as I've never got round to delving into the actual regimental archives.
On the other hand at the last battle of the French coastal invasions, St Cast, the French Marbeuf Dragoons did fight dismounted.
On British "Dragoon Guards" some had only recently been reclassified and renumbered from being "Regiments of Horse" so whether they should be classified as Superior or only the Blues and the Carabineers so designated.
However I think one key point is that while you may be "superior" in morale and hand to hand on horseback that shouldn't necessarily mean you're above average carrying out a secondary function.
Currently reading Duffy's The Military Experience in the Age of Reason and there is an interesting commentary on heavy/superior cav dismounting to fight on foot on page 120. It boils down to stiff/thick riding boots vs supple/light boots. And I quote, "that thick boots made it extremely difficult for a cavalryman to mount his horse without assistance...For tactical purposes, therefore, a dismounted cuirassier was as much use as a dead man".
The thinking of some cav commanders that stiff boots afforded greater protection for riders when in close order, took up less room and would not be afraid of being crushed against other riders, their stirrups, weapons etc. I struggle to see how superior cav would make effective or 'superior' light infantry. You look at todays British Household cav boots and I've always wondered how they could walk let alone jump over logs and crouch down to take a shot. Just my 2 cents worth.
In February this year we had a lively exchange about dismounted cavalry. One of my points was that a dismounted cavalry unit was significantly smaller than an equivalent light or line infantry unit even before you deducted horse holders and therefore couldn't be as effective as the infantry simply in terms of numbers. Beyond that my own opinion is that men in big boots make awful light infantry. The exception are the French dragoons who, during the early 18th century, seem to have worn long gaiters and then a form of long riding "chaps"or thin long boots. They appear to be the only 7YW line cavalry that are recorded as skirmishing on foot against allied light troops. The French dismounted dragoon tradition was very strong and I would consider the footwear as an important indicator of that.
I just wouldn't do it. It's a bit gamey. It doesn't feel right. Maybe in a small skirmish type game but not in a decent sized battle. The Russians had dismounted dragoons at Zorndorf but that was more due to a lack of horses than any tactical consideration. I can't imagine any circumstances where you'd find Cuirassiers or even other 'line' cavalry dismounting unless it was part of a siege. And IIRC the British Dragoon Guards were classed as such from a cost point of view as it was cheaper to raise and pay for DG than horse. The carrot o these units was to call them Dragoon Guards. I stand to be corrected of course.
Absolutely right Colin. The dragoons fought just as effectively as the horse in the WSS and during the peacetime cutbacks this was seen as a money saver. The conversion came in two stages, one before and one after the WAS. So during the latter you have references to Dragoons, Dragoon Guards and Horse. The title of DG was a sop to the converted regiments in terms of status and the reduction in pay. No new regiments were formed.