Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Die Fighting Part 1 - introduction, and setting up the forces

Die Fighting is a new (just released this month) set or wargames rules for the Horse and Musket era by Bob Jones. There is plenty of introductory information about the game at the publisher's (Bob himself) website, Repique Rules . Now, a disclaimer of sorts... I've followed Bob's wargames writing, designs, activities and antics from way back in the early NEWA Courier days (circa 1970), and first met Bob in person more than 10 years ago, at Fall In in 1999, if I recall correctly. I consider him to be a friend, and one of the more talented and original wargames designers. I wrote the second edition of Piquet: Band of Brothers (with Ken Baggaley), and the Piquet Fantasy rules, Hostile Realms, so I can make no claim to be a neutral observer.  Last year, Bob brought out Zouave, which is aimed at fairly large battles in the transitional era circa 1860-1870. While Zouave had quite a few interesting ideas, it was for an era where I have no armies and only limited interest. Zouave, while very much an original game, showed obvious influence from Bob's own Piquet, including the use of 10 sided dice, cards, and a sort of impetus.

Die Fighting is a completely different animal. No polyhedral dice whatsoever; not a single one... but plenty of old fashioned D6's - maybe hundreds, even (no, you don't really need to have hundreds of dice, although you may decide you want to!).  There are just a few limited cards as an optional rule. No formal impetus, but....  there are the Dice. Lots and lots of Dice. Actually, Die Fighting uses three different kinds of Dice. The key concept behind the rules has to do with the Resource Dice, which by convention are supposed to be red, like the lifeblood of the army. *Every* action a player's troops take in a game of Die Fighting needs Resource dice - moving, firing, melee, and even retreating and rallying. When they are used, they are gone forever. When the supply runs out - you LOSE!  End of game, add up the scores (and Die Fighting is uniquely set up to score the results of the battle, which promises to be especially useful for the follow up Campaign rules promised by Bob, to be called Die Marching). Each army gets a certain amount of pooled Resource Dice, determined by the composition of its forces and possibly scenario or campaign determined variables. Usually, the only way to gain more resource dice is to take designated terrain objectives, which have an assigned Resource Dice value which is added to the pool of Resource dice when the terrain is taken (or re-taken!). The Resource Dice thus act as a sort of combined Impetus and Morale Chip pool (to place it in Piquet-esque terms) and more. Careless frittering away of the Resource Dice will lose you a game very quickly! The second type of Dice are Leadership Dice; each leader in the army gets a small number of these, ranging from 1 to 5, based upon their rating (usually randomly determined). These Leadership Dice, by convention yellow, are consumed as they are used, but unlike the Resource Dice, they are replenished once a turn. Ordinarily, they are used to add more "oomph" to an activity where Resource dice are already being expended, say a critical attack, move, rally attempt, etc. Wise use of these appears to be critical to improve your forces' odds of success where it matters most. Finally, there are "free Dice", which are green by convention. They are much like the various modifiers for tactical situations, etc, and are awarded solely based on the situation and are not consumed in the sense that the other dice are (which is why they are "Free").

My plan is to do an annotated playtest game next month, of course set in the 1809 Campaign, probably using a fictional scenario. As the process for setting up a force under Die Fighting seems a bit confusing at first, I thought I'd give a fairly detailed example of how it is done.  I used the "late" (1809 -1815) Napoleonic tables (Bob calls them templates, and there are four of them in the rules, covering roughly 1700 - 1870, with more to be released online in the future) for rating the units and Leaders (in each case based upon the sum of 2 D6's). I thought that NC for the Austrian generals was a bit generous for1809, especially with the French Leadership modifier dropping to +1 from +2, and the French Command divisor (this determines the number of Leaders in a force relative to the number of units - lower is better) dropping from 2 to 3. Therefore, when the Austrian generals rolled for their leadership ratings, if the higher of the two six-sided dice rolled was "dark", then one was subtracted form the score; ties were ignored. This is a bit similar to dark/light resource dice adjustment in rating the units, and translates (sort of) to about a 15/36 chance of a minus one;  or minus 0.42, roughly. :-)  Note also that the "Initial Dice" listed for Leaders are their individual Leadership Dice, and do NOT add to the Resource Dice pool of the army.

Austrians    +1 to Cavalry rolls, - 0.42 to Officer rolls
Unit Name                          Type       Quality           Initial Dice  Dk/Lt   Plus/Minus     

C-in-C - General #1            Officer      Headstrong              4            N/A         

Advanced Guard Division

1st Bde - General #2           Officer       Inept                        1            N/A
Grenz Infantry A                  Irregulars   Average                  10           Dk               -5
Grenz Infantry B                  Irregulars   Crack                      10           Lt                +5
Landwehr A                        Militia        Average                    8            Lt                +5
Landwehr B                        Militia        Average                    8            Lt                +5
Line Infantry A                    Regular      Crack                      12           Dk               -5
Line Infantry B                    Regular      Crack                      12            =                  0

2nd Bde - General #3          Officer       Average                     3         N/A
Hussar                                Elite LC      Crack                      14         Dk               -5
Uhlan                                  Light Cavalry Average                 14         Dk               -5
6# Cavalry Battery A         Horse Arty   Average                   16         Lt                 +5

Line Division - General #4  Officer         Very Dependable        4        N/A
Line Infantry C                   Regular        Average                     12       Dk                -5
Line Infantry D                   Regular        Crack                         12       Dk               -5
Line Infantry E                   Regular         Poor                           12       Dk               -5
Line Infantry F                   Regular         Average                     12       Lt                 +5
Line Infantry G                   Regular         Average                     12       Dk               -5
Line Infantry H                  Regular          Average                      12      Lt                +5
Line Infantry I                    Regular          Poor                           12      Dk              -5
Line Infantry J                    Regular          Crack                         12      Lt                 +5
6# Foot Battery A             Lt Field Arty  Average                      14      Dk               -5
6# Foot Battery B             Lt Field Arty  Average                       14      Lt                +5

Reserve Division - General #5  Officer    Foolhardy                       3     N/A
Grenadiers A                    Guards           Crack                          16      Dk                -5
Grenadiers B                     Guards          Crack                           16      Dk                -5
Grenadiers C                    Guards           Crack                           16      Lt                 +5
Grenadiers D                    Guards           Crack                           16      Lt                 +5
6# Foot Battery C            Lt Field Arty   Average                       14       =
Cuirassier Brigade - General #6  Officer  Headstrong                     4       N/A
Cuirassiers A                   Heavy Cavalry Average                        16      Lt                 +5
Cuirassiers B                   Heavy Cavalry Average                        16      Lt                  +5

  Dice Total (not including LD):   352     +/-:   -5       Grand Total:   357 resource dice  

French  +1 to Officer rolls
Unit Name                        Type         Quality     Initial Dice  Dk/Lt   Plus/Minus  
C-in-C  - General A            Officer        Average           3           N/A

1st Division

1st Brigade - General B         Officer       Average           3           N/A
1st Legere                            Elite Lt Inf   Average         14          Lt                +5
2nd Legere                           Elite Lt Inf   Average         14          Lt                +5

2nd Brigade - General C      Officer         Headstrong       4           N/A
1st Ligne                              Regular        Poor                12          Lt                +5
2nd Ligne                             Regular        Poor                12          Dk               -5
3rd Ligne                             Regular        Crack              12          Dk              -5
4th Ligne                              Regular        Average           12          Lt                +5

3rd Brigade - General D       Officer         Average             3           N/A
5th Ligne                              Regular        Poor                 12          Dk               -5
6th Ligne                              Regular        Poor                 12           Lt              +5
7th  Ligne                             Regular        Average            12           Lt              +5
8th Ligne                              Regular        Average            12           =                 0
1st 6# Foot Battery              Lt Field Arty Average           14           Lt               +5

2nd Division

4th Brigade - General E       Officer           Fabian                5            N/A
3rd Legere                          Elite Lt Inf      Average            14           Dk              -5
4th Legere                          Elite Lt Inf       Average            14           Lt               +5

5th Brigade - General F       Officer            Average              3           N/A
9th Ligne                            Regular            Average             12          Dk              -5
10th Ligne                          Regular            Crack                12           Lt              +5
11th Ligne                          Regular            Average              12          Dk              -5
12th Ligne                          Regular            Average              12          Dk              -5

6th Brigade - General G    Officer               Average               3           N/A
13th Ligne                         Regular              Average             12          Dk              -5
14th Ligne                         Regular              Average             12          Dk              -5
15th Ligne                         Regular              Average             12          Lt               +5
16th Ligne                         Regular              Average              12          Dk              -5
2nd 6# Foot Battery          Lt Field Arty      Crack                 14          Lt               +5

Corps Artillery - General G  Officer             Very Dependable 4           N/A
1st 12# Foot Battery         Hvy Field Arty    Average              16          Dk             -5
1st 6# Horse Artillery        Elite HA              Average              14          Dk            -5

Lt Cav Bde - General H      Officer               Very Dependable 4           N/A
Hussars                            Elite Lt Cav          Poor                   14          Dk            -5
Chasseurs                        Light Cavalry        Average              14          Lt             +5
Chevau-Leger Lanciers    Light Cavalry        Average              14          Lt             +5

 Dice Total (not incl LD): 358   + or -:   NC   Grand Total:    358   resource dice  

So, the players are now set (and yeah, I  know the French Chevau-Leger Lanciers are post 1809, but I just painted the unit and I want to put them on the table, OK?). Next time we'll set the stage with a scenario, and then finally let the show begin!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Battle of Aspern-Essling

On May 20, 1809, Napoleon's Army of Germany began crossing of the river Danube,seeking to bring Archduke Charles and the Austrian Hauptarmee to battle and hopefully defeat it and end a war that he had never wanted. As we know, instead the crossing was plagued by repeated breakages of the bridge and lead to Napoleon's first unequivocal defeat on May 21-22.

The first set of pictures are from the May, 2009 playtest of  the Aspern - Essling scenario, run almost exactly 200 years after the actual battle at the Time Machine in Manchester, CT,with the assistance of members of the Hartford Area Historical Gaming Society.

Long view of the 18 foot by 6 foot table, looking from Essling towards Aspern. The road (and accompanying low berm) runs between the two villages, about to become famous in history!

Another view of the setup, looking towards Aspern from the Austrian lines.

An eye level view of the Set-up.

Austrian troops near Essling

A view of the long central portion of the battlefield. Note how sparse the French defenders are, compared with the masses of Austrians approaching in the distance.

A close up view of Essling and the far end of the battlefield.

The Austrians surge to the attack at the village of Aspern.

Heavy fighting around the church at Aspern, which was destroyed in the process of the two day, bitterly fought battle.

Cavalry combat swirls around the road and its associated berm.

Austrian and French Cavalry contest the center.


The next batch of pictures are from the actual convention game, run Friday evening at Historicon 2009. Dan Beattie was lead 'Rat for this one. He also supplied the handsome buildings used in this game, as well as some additional Hapsburg artillery - correctly painted, Dan tells me, with *black* barrels on the guns!

David moves the Austrians of his command to the attack near the village of Aspern.

"Just don't roll a 'one' on that D20 Leader Survival check, and you'll be fine." 

"Uh... Ooops!"; A field ambulance picks up a fallen Austrian general.

(For Field of Battle Veterans, we 'Rats use a D20 for leader survival checks instead of the D20 called for in the rules; otherwise we find there are too many leader casualties for our tastes, and that slows the game down considerably)

"Sacre-bleu, Mon Capitan - zere are so many whitecoats out on ze Marchfeld it looks like ze snowstorm in Grenoble!"

In this version, the Austrian attackers have swept the French from the Church early on, and are now pressing the assault on the rest of Aspern with grim determination.

Smelling Frog blood, the White Menace has infiltrated across the branch of the Danube onto the Gemeinde Au, and from thence are launching a separate attack on the "back" side of Aspern.

Darren moves his Austrians carefully forward on the attack!

The French are down to just one remaining building that they are clinging to, heavily outnumbered by the fired-up Austrians!

As the day draws to a close,  masses Austrian Infantry prepare to attack Essling as well.

This game ended with a marginal victory for the Austrians, but had the action continued on into the second day, it is hard to see how the French would avoid defeat. Faced with this situation, Napoleon might well have withdrawn overnight rather than fighting on another day, hoping to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

I found these games very helpful in understanding better just how heavily outnumbered the French really were, and yet how much difficulty the Austrians had in bringing those numbers to bear effectively, especially in the center, where at first glance it seems the Austrians will clearly sweep the sparse defenders away with little ado. Somehow, that never happened in either game, although the French defenders are stretched extremely thinly between the bastions formed by the two villages.

Until next time,


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Imperial Guard Infantry

The French Imperial Guard originated from the units of the Consular Guard, established shortly after the Consulate itself (1800), and the subsequent maneuvering that lead to General Bonaparte becoming First Consul of the French Republic. The Consular Guard itself derived from several sources, including the respective Guards of the Directory and the Legislative Corps. It was transformed into the Imperial Guard by decree in May, 1804. Although the nomenclature wouldn't be fully established and codified until 1812,  the senior units in all branches were referred to as the "Old Guard" as the Imperial Guard expanded over time.

 Certainly when we think of the Old Guard, this is the unit that comes first to mind - the Grenadiers a Pied, 1st Regiment (there were  as many as 3 regiments by 1811, the second being raised from Frenchmen, and the third, wearing a distinctive white uniform faced crimson, from the former Dutch Royal Guards). In 1809, however, there was but the single regiment of two battalions, each of eight companies of 102 men and officers.

Note the gold  cords on the bearskin as well as the gold embroidered red leather bandoleer of the the Eagle bearer, who was usually a Lieutenant. This differed from the line where the Eagle bearer was usually a senior NCO.  The NCO drummer  has mixed red and gold cords on the bearskin, as well as mixed red and gold epaulets. These particular NCO distinctions were common to Sergeants of all of the infantry units of the "grenadier" branch of the foot guards.

This rear view of the Grenadiers a Pied is somewhat blurry, but it shows the solid red turnbacks ornamented with grenade emblems, which were aurore on a similarly shaped white patch. The infantry units of the Guard also generally had solid dark blue collars in contrast to the red collars of the line and leger regiments, and solid white lapels without piping. The cuffs of the Grenadiers were red with a white three pointed cuff flap. All buttons were yellow metal/gold for officers. These are Foundry figures. 

Here is the other unit (aside from the Marins or "sailors") of the Old Guard Infantry, the Chassuers a Pied. The regiment had two battalions, similar in organization to the Grenadiers. A 2nd was regiment raised in 1811. The red over green plumes, and green epaulets with red crescents are emblematic of the Chasseur corps of the Guard. The Chasseurs also had red pointed cuffs piped white, which was different in several details from the cuffs of the Grenadiers. All buttons were brass/gold.

This rear view of the Chasseurs a Pied demonstrates that, unlike their Grenadier counterparts, their bearskins lacked a cloth patch on the back. The French soldier's slang for this, by the way, was cul de singe, or literally "monkey's butt".  The French certainly deserve an award for original slang, LOL.  The bearskin cap of the Chasseurs also lacked the brass/gold plate on the front which was found on that of the Grenadiers. The turn backs of the Chasseurs were ornamented with grenades alternating with hunting horns, with coloration as for the Grenadiers. 

The NCO drummer wears cords of mixed red, green,and gold, and epaulets of the same threads. Once again, this was common to Sergeants of all infantry units from the Chasseur branch of the infantry of the Guard. Drummers of Guard infantry units generally had gold lace around their lapels, collars, cuffs, and turnbacks, (or mixed red/gold or green/gold for the Old Guard Grenadiers and Chasseurs, respectively). Note also the gold cords on the Eagle Bearer's bearskin (once again a Lieutenant in the Guard regiments), as well as the green bandoleer ornamented with gold.  These Foundry figures are standing in Reserve, the usual station of the Old Guard infantry. Required to be veterans of at least 10 years service with outstanding records, or promoted from the Fusiliers after 4 years service there (but only by Imperial decree!), the Old Guard were "almost too precious" be committed to battle.

The Fusilier-Grenadiers were raised originally as the Velites of the Guard (1804), attached to the Grenadiers a Pied. They were organized as a regiment in their own right in 1806, and formed what would become the Middle Guard Infantry, along with their Chasseur counterparts.

The Fusilier Grenadiers were unique in having white epaulets with 2 red stripes on the straps, and red crescents. Their turnbacks bore white eagles. These distinctions, and their shakos (substituted for the bearskins of the Grenadiers a Pied) aside, their uniform was otherwise identical to that of the Grenadiers a Pied.

The Fusilier-Grenadiers, like all the Guard infantry aside from the Old Guard, were not given Eagles or standards, but rather carried fanions of various designs and colors. The most important requirement was they bear no inscription that identified them as belonging to the Imperial Guard. These are Foundy Line Voltigeurs painted as Middle Guard.  Flags are by GMB.

The Fusilier-Chasseurs were analogous to the Fusilier Grenadiers, forming the Chasseur branch of the Middle Guard. There was never more than a single regiment.

The red-over green plumes and green epaulets with red crescents of the Fusilier-Chasseurs, along with the rest of their uniform is exactly identical to that of the Chaseurs a Pied, save only for the shako and the substitution of white eagles as the ornamentation on the turnbacks.  Note the mixed red, gold, and green cords on the shako of the NCO/Sergeant.

The Fusilier-Chasseurs, marching off into history!  By the later part of the Napoleonic Wars, it is arguable that the Fusiliers were perhaps better fighters than the Old Guard themselves, by virtue of their considerably younger average ages.

One final view of the Fusilier-Chasseurs, showing detail of the officer's dress. Both Fusilier units were frequently used as a source of cadre for the Young Guard regiments to come, as well as replacements for losses from the Old Guard. Officer uniforms from Captain and above were identical across the infantry branches (Grenadiers vs. Chasseurs), which helped avoid massive expenses for uniform changes each time an officer was transferred from one regiment to another.

This unit is the 1st Tirailleur-Grenadiers, formed in January, 2009. This unit marked the inauguration of what would become the Young Guard. Drawn from the cream of the conscript class, they were all supposed to be able to read and write. They wear a simpler uniform with a shorter dark blue coat bearing red shoulder straps piped in white in place of epaulets, but with distinctive red over white plumes. The collars, pointed cuffs and turnbacks were red, with white piping on the cuffs, pockets, and the dark blue lapels, and white eagles on the turnbacks. The Fanion, like all shown in this post, is by GMB flags. These were to be white for the Tirailleurs by a decree of 1812. These figures are by Old Glory - actually Sailors (Marins) of the Guard painted as Young Guard.

The Young Guard infantry regiments covered here generally had 2 battalions per regiment, each of 4 companies, and totaling about 800 men per battalion at full strength. Unlike the senior formations, the Young Guard were more often understrength due to battlefield losses, illness, straggling and the usual attrition of active campaigning, which generally effected them far more than their senior comrades.

A different view of the Tirailleur-Grenadiers. A second Young Guard grenadier regiment, termed Conscript-Grenadiers, was raised later, in March 1809. This was rapidly followed, in April 1809, by first a second regiment of Conscrit-Grenadiers, and then a second regiment of Tirailleur-Grenadiers. The 1st Tirailleur-Grenadiers  and the 1st Tiraileur-Chasseurs (only) joined the main army in time to see action at Aspern-Essling and  Wagram, but the Conscrit-Grenadiers and other Young Guard units did not. The uniform of the Conscrit-Grenadiers (not shown) was a dark blue short tailed coat with dark blue lapels and shoulder straps; the lapels piped white (another source says no piping) and the straps piped red. The round cuffs were red with white three-pointed cuff flaps. Turnbacks were white piped red, with red eagle ornaments. Pockets were piped in white (another source says red), and all buttons, were brass/gold, same as for the Tirailleurs. Red plumes and cords were worn on the shako for full dress, otherwise a red pom-pom.

Later, in December, 1810  the 1st and 2nd regiments of Tirailleur-Grenadiers were redesignated as just plain  Tirailleurs, the 1st and 2nd regiments. Their uniforms, aside from differing plumes and/or pom-poms by regiment, were unchanged from their original ones. In February, 1811, the 1st and 2nd Conscrit-Grenadiers were redesignated the 3rd and 4th Tirailleurs and adopted the uniform of the Tirailleurs. When Napoleon learned that it was actually considerably cheaper to raise and maintain a Young Guard regiment than a new Line regiment, he ordered more regiments formed, including a 5th and 6th regiment by later 1811, ultimately reaching as many as 19 regiments of Tirailleurs by 1814! It would seem there was probably very little elite about the later regiments, especially those formed in 1813 and 1814.

The Tirailleur-Chasseurs, shown above, were the Chasseur branch equivalent of the Tiralleur-Grenadiers, and the first regiment was raised in March 1809. In place of epaulets, they had green shoulder tabs piped in white (or red) on their short dark blue coats. Collars, cuffs, and turnbacks were red, with white piping on the pointed cuffs, and alternating green grenades and hunting horns on the turnbacks. The dark blue lapels and pockets were piped in white, and all buttons were brass/gold.

A second Young Guard Chasseur regiment was raised in early April 1809, termed Conscrit-Chasseurs. As with the Grenadier branch, second regiments of each followed by the end of April 1809.  All of these units were an attempt to shed a more glamorous light on the practice of conscription,which was becoming increasingly unpopular as the wars of the Empire dragged on. The Conscrit-Chasseurs (not shown) wore the same short dark blue coats as the Tirailleur-Chassseurs, but with dark blue turnbacks piped red, and bearing white (or green according to another source) turnback ornaments, alternating eagles and hunting horns once again. Dark blue pants were worn.

Another view of the Tirailleur-Chasseurs; they carry a red fanion (as per the later 1812 decree for the Voltigeurs). Subsequently, the Tirailleur-Chasseurs and Conscrit-Chasseurs were combined into new units of Young Guard infantry termed Voltigeurs (December 1810 for the Tirailleur-Chasseurs, and February 1811 for the Conscrit-Chasseurs). Like the Tirailleurs, the Voltigeurs of the Guard underwent rapid and extensive expansion reaching 19 regiments at their peak. The uniform of the Voltigeurs of the Guard was the same as that of the Tirailleur-Chasseurs, except that the collar became yellow (or buff) piped in dark blue, and green epaulets with yellow crescents were adopted. The plume was red over green with a yellow pom-pom at the base for full dress, otherwise a green pom-pom.

The regiments of the Young Guard fought bravely, but never attained the status or quality of the more senior formations of the Imperial Guard. Never the less, they became all but ubiquitous on the battlefields of 1812, 1813, and 1814, as well as service in Spain starting in late 1809. Napoleon commented that in war, he profited more from his Young Guard than the Middle and Old Guard. Similarly, the wargamer, while doubtless wanting some units of the Old Guard for their own collection, will probably find that the Young Guard units will find themselves on the tabletop far more often than their exhalted seniors!

As they originated after 1809, I have deliberately not covered some of the later Guard Infantry formations, i.e., the Pupilles (cadets, drawn from orphans of soldiers), The Flanquer-Grenadiers and Flanquer-Chasseurs, and the Gardes-National of the Guard. Similarly, I have also omitted the Velites of Turin and Florence, formed in 1809, but playing more of a ceremonial role in the courts of Napoleon's sister and brother-in-law.

I'll be covering the Battle of Aspern-Essling in my next post, and then perhaps we'll return to the Austrian side of the aisle!

Good gaming,


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

French Dragoons

Dragoons were originally a sort of mounted infantry, but gradually evolved into "medium" cavalry, their role being somewhat intermediate between the light cavalry and the armored Cuirassiers. In the French army, they were expected to maintain their capacity to act dismounted as infantry. Shortage of mounts meant that some dragoons served semi-permanently on foot in 1805 and 1806, although reverting to the mounted role once sufficient captured horseflesh became available. When serving dismounted, the trumpeters exchanged their instruments for drums. Out of respect for this traditional dismounted role, the Elite company of each Dragoon regiment included 8 sappers and a sapper corporal, complete with the traditional crossed axes badge on their sleeves, as well as the wearing of full beards. No other French Cavalry included sappers among their ranks. This peculiarity aside, the organization of the Dragoon regiments was essentially the same as that of the Chasseurs a Cheval, as discussed earlier, namely 4 squadrons, each of two companies.

The Royal army had only 18 regiments of Dragoons as of the start of the Revolutionary Wars, increasing to 21 by 1792. Napoleon, as First Consul, increased the total to 30 regiments of Dragoons in 1803. The Dragoons wore medium green coats. Regimental facing colors under the Empire were as listed in the table that follows; as with the chassuers, colored collars cuffs, and cuffs flaps were piped in green, and green collars, etc were piped in the regimental color.

Regiment        Lapels     Turnbacks   Cuffs       Cuff Flaps     Collar      Pockets     
    1*                 Scarlet      Scarlet       Scarlet     Scarlet         Scarlet     Horizontal
    2                   Scarlet      Scarlet       Scarlet     Green          Green       Horizontal
    3*                 Scarlet      Scarlet       Green      Scarlet         Scarlet      Horizontal
    4                   Scarlet      Scarlet       Scarlet     Scarlet         Scarlet      Vertical
    5                   Scarlet      Scarlet       Scarlet     Green          Green       Vertical
    6                   Scarlet      Scarlet       Green       Scarlet         Scarlet     Vertical
    7                   Crimson    Crimson    Crimson   Crimson       Crimson    Horizontal
    8*                 Crimson    Crimson    Crimson   Green           Green       Horizontal
    9*                 Crimson    Crimson    Green       Crimson      Crimson     Horizontal
   10*                Crimson    Crimson    Crimson    Crimson      Crimson     Vertical
   11                  Crimson    Crimson    Crimson    Green         Green         Vertical
   12                  Crimson    Crimson    Green        Crimson     Crimson     Vertical
   13                  Pink           Pink           Pink           Pink            Pink         Horizontal
   14                  Pink           Pink           Pink           Green         Green      Horizontal
   15                  Pink           Pink           Green        Pink            Pink         Horizontal
   16                  Pink           Pink           Pink           Pink            Pink           Vertical
   17                  Pink           Pink           Pink           Green        Green         Vertical
   18                  Pink           Pink          Green          Pink           Pink           Vertical
   19                  Yellow       Yellow        Yellow         Yellow      Yellow     Horizontal
   20                  Yellow        Yellow       Yellow         Green       Green     Horizontal
   21                  Yellow        Yellow       Green         Yellow      Yellow      Horizontal
   22                  Yellow       Yellow        Yellow         Yellow      Yellow         Vertical
   23                  Yellow        Yellow       Yellow         Green       Green          Vertical
   24                  Yellow        Yellow        Green         Yellow      Yellow         Vertical
   25                  Aurore       Aurore       Aurore         Aurore     Aurore      Horizontal
   26                  Aurore       Aurore       Aurore         Green      Green       Horizontal
   27                  Aurore       Aurore       Green          Aurore     Aurore      Horizontal
   28                  Aurore       Aurore       Aurore         Aurore     Aurore         Vertical
   29*                Aurore       Aurore       Aurore         Green      Green          Vertical
   30                  Aurore       Aurore        Green         Aurore     Aurore         Vertical

* Note that the 1st, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 29th Dragoons were converted into Chevau-Leger Lanciers in July, 1811.
Pants were in varying shades of tan, off white, and or grey. Belts were white. For headgear, the Dragoons wore a brass helmet with a black horsehair "tail" and brown fur turban. In full dress, plumes of a bewildering variety of colors, including white, red, and green with a regimental colored tops, among others, might be worn.

In December, 1811, the 1st, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th and 29th Dragoons were converted into Chevauleger-Lanciers, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th regiments respectively. They will be covered in a post of their own, eventually.

The first regiment up for review is the 9e regiment, with its crimson facings. All my dragoons are Wargames Foundry figures, and quite hefty they are, too! I particularly like this pose, charging with their straight swords thrust forwards.

The bearskin and red epaulets mark the soldier of the elite company.

9e Dragoons again; note the trumpeter in reverse colors, red jacket faced green, and white horsehair on his helmet.

These fellows are the 19e regiment of Dragoons, looking spiffy in their yellow facings. Once again the Trumpeter is dressed in reversed colors, with white horsehair "tail" on his helmet, and rides a grey horse.

This regiment, like the 9e, has white plumes on its helmets... except the trumpeter and Elite company are wearing red ones!

The swallow tailed standard is indeed the correct version for Dragoon regiments.

Next up is the 15e Dragoons, with their rose pink facings. Note the bearskin of this regiment's elite company has white cords instead of red ones; both variants are known to have been used.

The trumpeter rides a white horse, in reversed colors once again, has a Rose pink jacket faced green. In the context of the regiment, I think this looks just fine, even handsome. Recent discussion on TMP included some commentary about pink jackets looking "gay", an association that certainly did not exist during the Napoleonic wars. Overall, I think we're pretty much past that sort of idea now days anyway!

A final view of the 15e regiment of Dragoons; they have all adopted red plumes for full dress. From 1808 on, the Dragoons formed the bulk of the French cavalry in Spain. After the enormous losses of troopers and horses in the 1812 campaign in Russia, the Dragoons were the best remaining branch of the French cavalry, and many regiments were recalled from Spain for service in central Europe with the Grand Armee.

Our last unit of Dragoons is the 30e, with aurore facings, and red plumes on their helmets.

Once again the trumpeter rides a white horse and is resplendent in his reversed colors - aurore jacket faced medium green, and white horsehair on his helmet.

Parting shot of the 30e Dragoons; note the trumpet cords of mixed green and white; they might also be aurore and white, or even green and aurore.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Cavalry branch with a case of identity confusion; were they still mounted infantry, or were they light cavalry, whose primary mission was scouting and screening, or were they a type of battlefield cavalry in their own right?  Some, none, or all at various times and places, it would seem!