Help support TMP

"How does one use Light Infantry ? " Topic

23 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Cold War (1946-1989) Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Back to the 20mm WWII Message Board

Back to the Getting Started with Napoleonics Message Board

1,770 hits since 13 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Khaki0813 Mar 2017 3:36 a.m. PST

I have been trying to reach Matador Models concerning an order I placed back in December. The guy only has a fax number and a postal address on his website.
A friend spoke to him at On Track in Folkestone and was advised to email the On Track email address. I have tried this without success. Anyone got any better ideas?

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 3:36 a.m. PST

In the French orders of battle I am collecting for Waterloo 1815 , I appear to have 3 battalions of the 13eme Leger. Uniform wise they look nice and pretty and a bit different to the line battalions . This is all great but …………..

How does one use these in a typical game and how are they different from say normal line infantry ? Will they also be more vulnerable to cavalry ?

Thanks guys

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 3:47 a.m. PST

Bug strikes again!

Mysteron – By the time of Waterloo there was not much difference between French Light and Line Infantry. Both were used in formed and skirmish roles. Originally the Light regiments were formed as specialists in skirmishing. Light troops probably regarded themselves as a cut above regular Line regiments so you might want to give them slightly better morale if you want to differentiate. You could also make them more effective in places where troops had to operate in open order, such as woods and built-up areas.

Khaki08 – Sorry mate, can't help. I've not heard of 'em….

Tarleton Inactive Member13 Mar 2017 5:16 a.m. PST

Maybe its time to write to him?

Vintage Wargaming13 Mar 2017 5:54 a.m. PST

Good luck with all that. I have a couple of orders outstanding, one for about a year, one for around two. The only way to buy safely is to catch them with stock at a show

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 6:32 a.m. PST

Thanks Cerdic. Its the roles that confuses newbies like me For skirmishing that's what I thought the company of Voltigeurs was used for ? If they weren't included in the formation then things could have been a little clearer lol

Khaki0813 Mar 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

Thanks VW, I had a horrible suspicion that might be where were were at, but I wanted to check others' experience. Annoyed I didn't just get my mate to buy the stuff there and then and cancel the cheque I sent him.

In the absence of the conversion kits, anyone know a good reference for upgrading the Airfix Scorpion to a 1984 Spec? Extra turret stowage etc?

MadMax17 Inactive Member13 Mar 2017 7:02 a.m. PST

Hi Mysteron,

There wasn't much of a difference by that point apart from the morale bit that Cerdic pointed out. They had voltiguer companies just like the Ligne battalions, and grenadier companies as well (though they called them "carabinier" vs grenadier).

Basically line infantry that see themselves as a cut above.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 7:04 a.m. PST

Thanks guys .I will just treat them like a line battalion but perhaps better morale and nicer uniforms.

nickinsomerset13 Mar 2017 7:56 a.m. PST

Khaki, I don't think there was a uniform change, best bet is to carve off the light clusters, floatation screen and front track guards. Also don't bother with the met pole on the turret. Google is a good place to start for various stowage references,

Tally Ho!

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 8:49 a.m. PST

this is a real mixed up post!

dwight shrute13 Mar 2017 9:15 a.m. PST

Bill Hanna ( the owner ) is on facebook he posts a lot often on the cromwell community

Vintage Wargaming13 Mar 2017 11:30 a.m. PST

Khaki, they've always been upfront about long delays with orders on the web site, I think it depends on what they have on hand and when they get round to casting some more. It's frustrating but they don't suggest it'll be any different. I've never had any issues about them cashing cheques before sending orders. The other thing I have done is order via the Scale Link web site on which you can only order if the item is in stock. But I've been looking at it for several years for a Japanese Vickers Crossley armoured car, which is one of my outstanding orders.

Now to see which topic this post ends up in…

Khaki0813 Mar 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

Thanks Nick, Andy at Cold War Gamer has a nice reference for how he 'upgraded' his.

Dwight I will have a look on FB and see how I get on.

Its frustrating as I love his stuff (I did the Matchbox LRDG conversion a year or two back), just cant get hold of it!

Glencairn Inactive Member13 Mar 2017 12:26 p.m. PST

Hello Mysteron,
On a wargames table you might treat French LI as: 50 percent remaining with the command stand, the other 50 percent spread out a bit in front, skirmish order, but able to return to the main body quickly.Hope I'm right in interpreting your query..

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 3:58 p.m. PST

Legere regiments were not 'just like line regiments.' It's more accurate to say that some ligne regiments were just like Legere regiments in experience and ability. Such A Davout's Corps in 1805-1809. His corps ability in this is one reason that his corps among all of the army in 1806 did not have legere regiments.

The French and Napoleon retained the one Legere regiment for every 3 ligne regiments throughout the wars, from the time they were created during the French Revolution to 1815, even when filling the ranks of any regiment was difficult. If the ligne and legere regiments had 'been just the same', there would have been no reason for all the effort to continually maintain the ratio and differentiate them.

The differences were these:

1. The first troops to be used as light infantry in skirmishing were the Legere regiments and Voltigeur companies. THEN line troops reinforced them. That was always the case if Legere were available, then Voltigeur companies when they were not.

2. Because of this practice on the part of the French, any Legere regiment was going to be more experienced at skirmishing than ligne troops. [See Davout's instructions for his ligne troops in 1811…it was stated as a given that the Legere regiments already knew how to skirmish and could teach the line troops to work with them.

3. Because of this capability and experience, legere regiments were seen as a step above ligne troops. While the entire Grande Armee was degraded over time, this distinction remained. The Legere regiments/battalions even held the far right of a line in the position of honor in a division or brigade--if not being the leading line of troops, such as Jena 1805. [For instance, see the formations for the Battle of Austerlitz.]

The continuous distinction between Legere and Ligne regiments was kept for a reason, and that reason never disappeared, even in the years of 1813-1815.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 5:07 a.m. PST

Thanks guys. So there is a bit of distinction between light and line. I dare say the rules will also determine to a degree on how effective they are in a game.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

I dare say the rules will also determine to a degree on how effective they are in a game.


Yep. I would imagine that would depend on the rules. Basically, the rules would need levels of ability between skirmisher types… light specialists or experienced infantry vs line troops just the way they do between elite, veteran, regular and conscript/militia. Of course, it isn't necessarily that simple, but that would be the minimum for portraying the differences in effectiveness.

When it was said during the Revolutionary period that 'All infantry were Tirailleurs", that doesn't mean they were any good at it, only how they were used. grin

forwardmarchstudios16 Mar 2017 1:17 p.m. PST

One of the reasons for using skirmishers and light infantry screens before an attack is so that the commander can determine where exactly the enemy is located prior to committing troops to the attack. A commander would not want to "hit air" during an attack. But, given the helicopter issues in table top wargames this extremely important function becomes cosmetic, no? Maybe instead of skirmish attacks as such, we should use skirmish markers as a preporatory step to launching an assault, with armies with poor or non-existant skirmish doctrine/skills at a disadvantage in the following combat. Not at a disadvantage from skirmisher inflicted casualties, but an aggragate of [tactical uncertainty that is missing due to helicopter view] and psychological effects.

14Bore16 Mar 2017 4:36 p.m. PST

I send the lights and skirmishers out first

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 5:57 p.m. PST

A commander would not want to "hit air" during an attack. But, given the helicopter issues in table top wargames this extremely important function becomes cosmetic, no? Maybe instead of skirmish attacks as such, we should use skirmish markers as a preporatory step to launching an assault, with armies with poor or non-existant skirmish doctrine/skills at a disadvantage in the following combat.

Finding the enemy is certainly one of the missions for skirmishers and not having hidden movement negates this role. However, it isn't the only one or even their primary mission during a formal battle. Their purposes were to:

1. Keep enemy skirmishers from harassing friendly formations.
2. To harass enemy formations, particularly infantry and artillery
3. To pin the enemy, establish the 'front' and to seize significant terrain for formed troops or because formed troops couldn't.
4. For the French and the Allies to some extent depending on the time and place, provide the fire power for any attack.

Mako11 Inactive Member16 Mar 2017 7:26 p.m. PST

Very carefully, since they can be fragile.

number4 Inactive Member01 Apr 2017 10:50 p.m. PST

Khaki 08: Set the light infantry on him!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.