For the Napoleon: Total War version, see Cuirassiers (Napoleon: Total War).
|Cuirassiers (Empire: Total War)|
|Belongs to||Most Western factions|
|Soldiers in each unit||15/30/45/60|
|Tech requirement||None; can benefit from formation technologies|
|Produced from||Military Academy|
|Cost||1090 SP/830 MP|
|Turns to Train||1|
Cuirassiers are heavy cavalry who still wear armour, who rely on the shock of impact to defeat enemies.
These are big men, mounted on big horses, and their primary task is to crash into enemy forces and engage in hand-to-hand combat. To this end, they wear back- and breastplates over leather padding – the cuirass – and usually wear reinforced metal helmets too. Heavy straight swords are the weapons of choice. A wise commander with a cuirassier force under his hand keeps it as a battering ram to hit the enemy at the critical point.
Historically, armoured cavalry were the direct functional descendants of armoured knights and the three-quarter-armoured “lobsters” of 16th Century armies.
Despite the military mania for neatness and order, nearly all cuirasses had a small dent in them. This was the proofing mark, where a pistol ball had been fired into the cuirass to “prove” that it worked as armour. A cuirass with a hole in it after this test would be thrown back into the furnace!
Cuirassiers still exist in modern armies, although their armour is now purely ceremonial. The French army still has two regiments of cuirassiers, the Italians have a Presidential Honour Guard, and technically the Household Cavalry in the British army are also cuirassiers.
Cuirassiers are the standard heavy cavalry available to most European-style rosters. Generally, the only cavalry that are more heavily-armored are Household Cavalry and certain faction-unique regiments.
Due to their very high defense, cuirassiers can withstand a prolonged melee much better than Regiments of Horse and most light cavalry. Their high attack allows them to obtain a good amount of kills in a melee, although they still fare poorly against good melee infantry such as Line Infantry.
The biggest weakness of cuirassiers and heavy cavalry in general compared to light cavalry are their very poor stamina. They are best kept well-rested and very close to enemies before charging to maximize their potency. They are just as vulnerable as any other cavalry to artillery, and have the added disadvantage of not being able to close the distance quickly.
Austrian cuirassiers have superior statistics, but are correspondingly more expensive to train and maintain. The differences are detailed below.
|Regular Cuirassiers||17||15||12||10||1170 SP/700 MP||350|
|Austrian Cuirassiers||19||17||14||10||1260 SP/850 MP||370|