|Appears in||Napoleon: Total War|
|Soldiers in each unit||15/30/45/60|
|Cost||580 SP/640 MP|
|Turns to Train||2|
An elite force, superb when charging home to deliver a shattering blow to the enemy.
These cavalry are among the fastest moving in any battle. They are equipped with lances, weapons best suited to the charge where their long reach can deliver the first strikes in any action. They are best when used charged and then withdrawn before prolonged close melee can develop, as in such fights a lance is ineffective and the cossacks will suffer unnecessary casualties. Despite their elite status, the lifeguard cossacks are fairly ill-disciplined, as might be expected of any cossacks! A good general does not use them to attack enemies in square formation, or disciplined elite infantry; their good qualities would count for little in either situation.
While called “cossacks”, and listed as being Don or Black Sea cossack regiments, the historical cossack lifeguards do not seem to have been the usual rough-and-ready steppe horsemen. While dressed and equipped in cossack style, something that would intimidate foes quite successfully, many cossack lifeguards came from the regular Russian cavalry. This was little comfort to their foes: the men were selected on the basis of their physical toughness, size and bravery. This kind of selection policy was quite common in the Tsar’s army of the period. Enemies who fought against the “red” cossacks of the lifeguards commented that they were all strapping fellows, true cossacks or not, and complimented them on their wild courage in action.
Lifeguard Cossacks are a unique regiment of lancer cavalry available only to Russia. Despite their regiment limit and their glowing description, they are in most ways barely better than Cossack Cavalry, though their melee attack stat is significantly better. Offsetting this, however, is their significantly higher cost. They are about the same statistically as Russian Ulans, with identical defense and morale, slightly higher melee attack, and a slightly weaker charge bonus. However, Lifeguard Cossacks are significantly more expensive.