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"WAS Irregular Infantry" Topic

5 Posts

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625 hits since 9 Jan 2022
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Comments or corrections?

ianjgow09 Jan 2022 11:24 a.m. PST

I am trying tweak a set of Napoleonic rules that I happily use for Peninsular War, for my War of the Austrian Succession in Italy games. They fit pretty good except for a couple of things.

How did Irregular Infantry in Loose Order operate – as skirmishers of sorts or were they just indisciplined & less formally trained – a kind of frontier militia?

How prevelant were they in 1740s European Armies & were the Austro-Hungarian Pandurs anything special or were they just present in greater numbers than French or Spanish armies?

In the rules, permanent Loose Order units are slightly cheaper but have greater range & accuracy than Formed Infantry – WAS Irregulars are in Loose Order but are NOT trained Napoleonic Light Infantry. I'm assuming my Pandurs should not be able to shoot further or with greater accuracy like Voltiguers or 95th Rifles.

Also, Were squares formed in response to Cavalry this early or did Infantry rely on firepower?



JimDuncanUK09 Jan 2022 12:38 p.m. PST

Irregular Infantry in Loose Order would normally operate on the flanks of the main battle line in bad going cross country or wooded areas. They may have been using their normal hunting skills so had little need for close order drill.

Squares could be formed but there was less need for close order infantry to do so as they usually had secure flanks and formidable front facing firepower.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 1:19 p.m. PST

It takes special training to operate as skirmishers and close order. To replicate irregulars such as Indians in our War of 1812 games they form as a 'horde' or loose gaggle or group, which is classed as 'open order' for firing and movement purposes as per our rules (GdeB).

For a horde formation the 28mm figures must be at least a half base (10mm) apart. The shape of the unit horde can be anything from a rectangle to kidney shaped.

ianjgow10 Jan 2022 4:27 p.m. PST

So Jim, does "hunting skills" equate to longer range/better marksmanship? The Napoleonic rules give these to Light Infantry precisely because they were recruited from the best marksmen & most nimble troops, specifically trained to operate in Skirmish & Close order. I'm not sure this should apply to Trenk's Pandurs & the ilk yet many rules I have seen do confer at least greater range to these troops.



crogge175712 Jan 2022 10:48 a.m. PST

WAS light troops should certainly not be played like napoleonic skirmishers.
Basically, if such units would be found in a battle, they would be found occupying/defending some terrain feature such as farm, bridge crossing, wood etc. You would not find them fighting in the open. If caught by cavalry in the open they'll be cut to pieces. No ability to oppose them.
Regarding their fire arms, I'm not aware there had been so many Jagers with riffles in the WAS. They should have the same range as normal line infantry. However, Austrian grenadiers would occaisonaly fight not so differnet as French napoleonic skirmishers. They indeed had riffled muskets (the front part of the barrel being riffled for some inches). They could fire at somewhat greater range, which is confirmed by Prussian accounts. I think also French dragoons moreoften fought dismounted and could be handled as light infantry. They were equipped likewise with a higher quality dragoon muskets, that were also rifled, I believe. Later models, at least, were. Such as the one French voltigeurs used during the nap period. I play my French daragoons this way in my SYW games. They can dismount and become skirmisher battalions.


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