Frei-Korps (ETW Unit)
On the battlefield, they are skirmishers used to counter enemy light troops that cause problems to the highly regimented Prussian regulars. Those recruited into the Frei-korps include foreign mercenaries, ex-prisoners and deserters from other armies. Their less-than-reputable nature makes the Frei-Korps perfect for raids and independent operations where the ability to live off the land (by stealing) is more important than parade ground drill. They travel light and their uniforms are deliberate plain to avoid drawing unwelcome attention.
Historically, Fredrick the Great (1740-86) had little respect for the Frei-korps. He was a believer in discipline and drill in soldiers, and the independence of light troops held little appeal. The men were basically sneaky and professional rascals and this was simply un-gentlemanly and dishonourable to the 18th Century mind. Frederick’s army was supremely disciplined, but even he had to accept that sometimes a certain “flexibility” was required, hence the Frei-korps.
Despite the name, the Freikorps formed in Germany after the Great War had little in common with these 18th Century troops, as they were “free” brigades of anti-communist ex-soldiers, returning from the front with no prospects and little loyalty to the Weimar Republic.
Frei-korps are light infantry unique to Prussia. They have the same range as light infantry with slightly inferior accuracy and reloading skills and far superior melee capabilities. In addition, Frei-korps have 50% more manpower than Light Infantry, making their durability fall in somewhere between Light and Line Infantry. In practice, the Frei-korps are improvements over Light Infantry in most ways; their lower accuracy is irrelevant given their much larger volume of fire, and the improved melee capabilities along with the extra manpower allow Frei-korps to survive much better in a melee. However, Frei-korps lack the ability to deploy stakes (unlike Light Infantry). This, combined with their lack of bayonets and inability to form squares, make them vulnerable against cavalry if deployed incorrectly.
When they are stationary on the world map for more than two turns, Frei-korps have the ability to deploy anti-cavalry barricades and fortifications, further setting them apart from their Light Infantry counterparts.
Unlike most DLC units, an unlimited number of Frei-Korps can be trained.