Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A few thoughts on building Hussar Regiments and Light Corps

I'm cleaning up the first few castings of the box of RSM Hussars I received from DPC in the US the other day. They are really nice. The castings are very clean, very crisp, almost flash free and with only a few points on them from casting vent channels.

Their designer, the late Steve Hezzlewood was a giant among sculptors and I wish that other manufactuers would take many leaves from his book. Preferably, they might just take the whole book!

These are the Prussian Hussars in the Mirliton with an additional Austrian one in the fur Busby/Colpak to serve as an officer (according to my references the Turpin Hussars' Officers were so attired). I've a Line Trumpeter in tricorne and the coat with the hanging sleeves as the musician - his uniform is reasonably accurate as to my sources. I've no idea what their standarf-bearers wore and as RSM never did a standard-bearer for the Hussars, I'll be using a Line Cavalry trooper with a flagstaff in place of his sword. I wouldn't do this to one of the Hussar troopers as the conversion would require major surgery.

Having ordered, I've found myself with a figure or three over from my new cavalry establishment (two officers, a guidon, a musician and two squadrons of eight troopers) of twenty figures.

This led me to start flipping through my Ospreys for inspiration.

I discovered a light corps called the "Volontaires de Saint-Victor" with a charming Hussar uniform of red laced white with a buff pelisse and shabraque. As we know, many of the light corps raised by France were composite units incorporating infantry, cavalry, and, in some cases, artillery!

The "Volontaires de Saint-Victor" were no different in this respect, incorporating eight companies of hussars, eight of fusiliers and one of grenadiers. The infantry wore a blue coat and collar lined and turned up in red with white small-clothes, buttons and hat lace.

I thought it might be worth raising a couple of companies of hussars and a couple more of fusiliers. I do wonder though at their role on the tabletop, though. I mean I can see that you might use the infantry as skirmishers, but the cavalry?

I suppose I could brigade them with the Turpin Hussars. If nothing else, I suppose I could use them in a small skirmish battle of foragers versus foragers, or in a scenario involving scouting forces. I guess I see their role as being more operational rather than tactical and am having trouble getting my head around their tactical role.

No comments: