|Belongs to||France, Quebec|
|Soldiers in each unit||20/40/60/80|
|Tech requirement||Machined Rifling|
|Produced from||Army Board|
|Cost||670 SP/660 MP|
|Turns to Train||2|
Tirailleurs are a type of light infantry in Empire: Total War.
Light infantry forces form a skirmish line to slow the enemy advance and keep their own line unmolested by enemy skirmishers.
Whether they are called light infantry, jaegers, tirailleurs or chasseurs a pied, it is the job of these men to screen the main battle line, harass the enemy and, if possible, pick off important men in the enemy's ranks. Unlike their fellows in the line infantry, light infantryman are trained to think for themselves, use the ground and cover intelligently, and not fight in rigid lines. Instead, they form loose skirmish line and fire independently at their own designated targets. The effect is a constant, low-level barrage rather than the crushing thunder of a volley but the effect is quite deadly as officers and sergeants are picked off and removed from the fight. Against cavalry, however, their best defence is to withdraw to their own battle line.
Historically, the Austrians were widely regarded as producing the finest light infantry forces in Europe. Other nations did catch up but in the case of Britain and France it was their experiences in fighting in North America that persuaded them of the wisdom of light troops. Battle lines were simply impossible to manage in these dense woodlands, and largely pointless against the native tribes!
Tirailleurs are the French and Quebecer variant of generic riflemen. Aside from appearances, they share identical statistics and other characteristics with riflemen. Unlike riflemen, who are nearly ubiquitously available, Tirailleurs may only be trained in France.