Colonial Light Cavalry (ETW Unit)
These horsemen have many national titles, and military fashion plays a huge part in their employment and naming: light horse, chasseurs à cheval, chevau-légers, even hussars and dragoons are used as titles by light cavalry forces. Regardless of the name, their purpose, tactics and equipment usually have much in common. They disdain armour, even the sensible steel skull caps favoured by many beneath their officially sanctioned tricornes and helmets. They carry swords, but they are not expected to charge home, merely harass and pursue enemies. Their horses are always fast with good endurance, well bred and well looked after: a cavalryman without his horse is, after all, useless.
Traditionally, light cavalry forces also undertook the role of communications for an army. Their speedy horses made them ideal for carrying messages between camps, or as gallopers on the battlefield. They were also among the most “dandified” of soldiers, and light cavalry uniforms of the period are some of the gaudiest ever created. This made recruitment easy, because prospective troopers could see what a dashing figure they would cut for the ladies!
While not as sturdy in a head-on fight as heavy cavalry such as Curiassiers, light cavalry hold the advantage of having very high stamina, allowing them to traverse the entire battlefield quickly without tiring out too much. This trait means that light cavalry are ideal for assaulting positions that are vulnerable or not guarded, such as unattended artillery pieces, a general in the far back, or wavering and routing units. Their speed means that they can quickly traverse the battle field to an area which needs their attention. However they are vulnerable against prepared infantry in Square Formation and Heavy Cavalry. In fact it is unlikely that Light Cavalry will be able to defeat a full unit of Infantry armed with bayonets, even if they are not in squares.