|Appears in||Napoleon: Total War|
|Belongs to||Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Spain (Europe campaign only), Denmark, Hannover, Hessen, Sweden|
|Soldiers in each unit||15/30/45/60|
|Produced from||Staff College|
|Turns to Train||4|
Horse Guards are an elite heavy cavalry unit, armed with deadly sabres and a devastating charge.
Heavy cavalry’s purpose is to break the enemy by shock. Simply put, the Horse Guards are expected to charge home and smash enemy ranks by weight and speed. They are not for chasing down enemies: this is the work of faster, lighter cavalry forces. Instead, they are a battering ram, hurled over short distances against close-formed enemies in the hope of producing a breakthrough and further confusion. However, when confronted by elite infantry in a square formation, these horsemen meet their match and charging blindly in could lead to heavy losses.
Historically, the Horse Guards Parade buildings in London were designed by William Kent, completed in 1755 and used for the “Trooping of the Colour”, a tradition that continues to this day. Indeed, the Horse Guards, as part of the Blues and Royals, themselves remain a feature of the modern British Army, although they now use tanks rather than horses.
Horse Guards are exceptionally fine heavy cavalry. In Prussia's case, they are the best heavy cavalry in their roster by a considerable margin. However, they may only be recruited if Prussia is a Republic. Russia and Great Britain, on the other hand, have superior cavalry as monarchies.
Like all heavy cavalry, horse guards have superb melee and defensive skill for cavalry, as well as a strong charge bonus (though not compared to lancer cavalry). Despite their strengths, however, they fare poorly against heavy infantry in protracted melees, particularly for those prepared in a Square Formation or with a terrain height advantage. Against other targets (particularly disorganized, distracted foes), however, they can be devastating. Horse guards quickly tire, and they are at their most effective when they save their gallop for only charges, and close most of the distance between them and their targets at a trot. This same lack of stamina makes them not particularly good at chasing down fleeing troops--a job better suited to light cavalry.
Horse Guards play an important secondary role of being a relatively rapid way one can provide morale boosts to wavering units on the battlefield. While Generals and Foot Guards and their variants also inspire nearby units, the former runs the risk of dying and further reducing morale, and the latter move more slowly.
Russian Horse Guards are unusual in that they are some of the only Russian units that are not resistant to cold fatigue, making them also susceptible to winter attrition.