|Chasseurs à Cheval|
|Appears in||Napoleon: Total War, The Peninsular Campaign|
|Belongs to||France, Kingdom of Italy|
|Soldiers in each unit||15/30/45/60|
|Melee attack||10 (France)/9 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Charge bonus||12 (France)/11 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Defense skill||9 (France)/8 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Morale||8 (France)/6 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Accuracy||45 (France)/35 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Reloading||30 (France)/25 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Cost||580 SP/700 MP (France)/510 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Upkeep||180 (France)/160 (Kingdom of Italy)|
|Turns to Train||2|
Fast moving and good in melee, these light cavalrymen can pursue fleeing enemies and keep them from regrouping.
These light cavalrymen do not hold with armour, even the sensible steel skull caps many other units favour beneath their officially-sanctioned hats and caps. Chasseurs à Cheval carry swords, carbines and pistols, but they are not expected to charge home, merely harass and pursue enemies. This makes them effective against skirmishers and artillery. Their horses have good endurance, are fast and properly looked after: a cavalryman without his horse is useless. They are vulnerable when matched against heavier cavalry and well-trained infantry in square.
Historically, the Chasseurs à Cheval were given the impressive nickname of ‘Invincibles’ by Napoleon. The men of this regiment were veterans from the Guides à Cheval, a regiment created to guard Napoleon’s headquarters when he was on campaign in Italy. The Chasseurs went on to act as a personal escort to Napoleon, following him everywhere. So deep was Napoleon’s respect for this unit and its men that he regularly chose to appear in public sporting their green undress uniform. This affectation also suited his sense of theatre and emphasised his common touch with the ordinary soldiers.
Chasseurs à Cheval are missile cavalry available to France and the Kingdom of Italy. French Chasseurs à Cheval are significantly better in most categories than their Italian counterparts, though they are also more expensive to train and maintain. Chasseurs à Cheval are a hybrid of conventional light cavalry and missile cavalry, with the characteristics of the former while having added flexibility of missile attacks. This gives France and the Kingdom of Italy a significant advantage in their campaigns, where Chasseurs à Cheval can be fielded from even the most basic training centers. By contrast, other missile cavalry are only available from mid-late game training centers.
Like all missile cavalry, Chasseurs à Cheval are flexible and can be used to engage in melee attacks or to provide firepower in equal measure. They can be used in hit and run tactics due to their superior speed, and they can be used as light cavalry due to their superior stamina. Their height over infantry allows them to fire over heads with little risk of friendly fire, so they can be placed behind line or light infantry to concentrate firepower at key points in the battlefield.
Compared to other missile cavalry, Chasseurs à Cheval have much better melee stats and morale. In particular, their defence and morale are stronger than even light cavalry (which generally outclass missile cavalry in this department), though the Chasseurs à Cheval have the relatively poor charging bonus characteristic of most missile cavalry. Their accuracy and reloading, however, are average at best (Italian Chasseurs à Cheval have much worse accuracy and reloading than any other missile cavalry), and this is further hurt by the fact that Chasseurs à Cheval have 25% fewer men than all other forms of missile cavalry outside of camel cavalry. Chasseurs à Cheval also cannot dismount, though this is usually of small loss as dismounted cavalry don't offer many advantages.
In addition to Chasseurs à Cheval, France may train Guard Chasseurs à Cheval, light missile cavalry that are superior to Chasseurs à Cheval in every way but are limited to just one regiment.