|Garde à Cheval|
|Appears in||Empire: Total War|
|Soldiers in each unit||15/30/45/60|
|Produced from||Army Staff College in Muscovy|
|Cost||1250 (1080 MP)|
|Turns to Train||2|
The Garde à Cheval are gentlemen of quality, hand picked from the best families, who protect the monarch.
The Garde à Cheval are a court regiment where appearance is just as important as fighting prowess. The gentlemen of this unit (and they are all gentlemen) are not the common sort of soldier, and they are not respected by the rest of the army. Often, they are also unloved by the people too, as they stand with the monarch, and this can mean taking a sabre to their own countrymen.
Historically, from 1721 the Russian throne was protected by a mounted guard regiment, a unit drawn almost exclusively from the nobility. Because of their duties and control of access to the Imperial family, the Garde à Cheval had significant political power. Although drawn from the nobility, the original guards were not appointed for their military skills: as the bodyguards of the Empress Elizabeth, they were chosen for their other “endowments”. The Empress had a roving eye, and a taste for handsome young men of good blood. A certain kind of stamina was also required! This kind of behaviour merely served to confirm the prejudices against Russians in the more refined (or so they liked to think) royal courts of Western Europe.
The Garde à Cheval are the finest heavy cavalry available to Russia, comfortably outclassing even their Household Cavalry. Although they are somewhat more expensive to train than Household Cavalry, they have lower upkeep costs, making them cheaper in the long run.