|Appears in||Napoleon: Total War, The Peninsular Campaign|
|Belongs to||Great Britain|
|Type||Mounted Infantry, Light Cavalry|
|Soldiers in each unit||15/30/45/60|
|Melee attack||10 (Great Britain)/9 (general)|
|Charge bonus||12 (Great Britain)/11 (general)|
|Cost||560 SP/640 MP (Great Britain), 510 SP/610 MP (general)|
|Upkeep||230 (Great Britain)/160 (general)|
|Turns to Train||2|
Light dragoons are mounted skirmishers, riding to a fight then engaging the enemy on foot.
Dragoon’s horses are primarily for mobility, but they are also fast and can deliver a reasonably effective charge. These characteristics make light dragoons effective against skirmishers and artillery: they can close quickly enough to not suffer too many casualties. When mounted, they are effective with their curved sabres, but to use their carbines they must dismount first. On foot, they are vulnerable to enemies in melee.
Historically, light dragoons often performed as a kind of police force, and were useful in suppressing riotous and rebellious civilians. Their horses give them strategic mobility, allowing them to control large areas and quickly come to the aid of the local, civil authorities. As the 18th Century drew to a close, they had lost their role as mounted infantry and most became another kind of light cavalry, although they retained the dragoon name. The officers and men welcomed the change, as “proper” cavalrymen had glamour for the ladies, a higher social status, and better pay rates!
Light Dragoons are the earliest cavalry available to Great Britain, Denmark, the United Netherlands, and the factions that spawn in the initial regions of these factions. They are the equivalent of Hussars for most other factions, and serve as general light cavalry. Swift and not easily fatigued, they are suitable for hit-and-run tactics, particularly when attacking the flanks or rear of their targets. Their excellent stamina allows them to cover great distances and tackle multiple foes. However, owing to their low defense, they suffer in prolonged melees.
Unusually for early game cavalry, light dragoons are mounted infantry. They fare very poorly in this regard owing to their poor reloading and accuracy statistics, and especially their very small regiment sizes. However, being able to dismount is useful in certain situations, such as when guarding walls or buildings as well as weathering long-ranged attacks.
British light dragoons have slightly better melee and charge bonuses than those of other factions, but are slightly more expensive to train and maintain. Another negative trait unique to British light dragoons are that they are impetuous, meaning that they may occasionally attack targets when they are not ordered to.
Among all playable factions, Great Britain's light dragoons have arguably the worst killing power when compared to similar light cavalry. While Austria fields the excellent Hungarian hussars with their 17 charge bonus, Prussia has standard hussars with their 15 charge bonus and Russia fields both hussars and cossack cavalry (charge bonus of 35), light dragoons have an anemic charge value of only 12. French chasseurs à cheval share this weak charge value, but they have the advantage of being able to fire while in the saddle, while light dragoons cannot. Great Britain's cavalry forces are further neutered as light dragoons are the only cavalry available until drill schools, tier 3 military buildings, are constructed.