Except for a few instances Horse was employed at a much lower density on the Celtic Fringe then in England or in Europe proper. This was due – in part – to the lack of suitable mounts but also, I suspect, to the operational cost involved and to the terrain in many parts of Scotland and Ireland. Still Horse comprises about 30% of my available combat pieces.
Horse Combat Pieces – These uniformly have two 10mm mounted figures mounted in a single rank. There are fewer types of horse combat pieces than foot and fewer classes within each type. The typography that I use is not classically associated with the mid-seventeenth century (although it works well before OR after). I consider “Forlorn Hope” to be the mother of all ECW rules and “Galloper” or “Trotter” is an excellent classification system, one that I still see frequently used. I have a “Pistols First” rule that will force any cavalry unit to function as “Trotter” otherwise it is assumed to be “Galloper”.
Light Horse is most often applied to Celtic Fringe horse. They are lighter mounts and somewhat faster than heavy horse.
Although the Scots certainly employed some heavy horse this type is most typical of English horse (particularly in later years). Being heavier they have greater shock (close combat) values but are somewhat slower than the light horse.
Light lances are the once and future weapon of choice for cavalry. A century before they had been nearly ubiquitous among cavalry of most types and in most countries but had quickly been replaced by pistols and carbines (which have both a greater reach and impact). A century later (and for the next one hundred and fifty years or so) they were once again in wide use particularly against unprotected infantry. In the mid-seventeenth century, however, lances were in use only on the periphery of Western Europe which naturally includes the Celtic Fringe. Their use in both Scotland and Ireland is well documented but the reasons are not totally clear. Lances were certainly much easier and less expensive to make than firearms or swords, an advantage in equipping troops in isolated areas, but likely also they were a weapon that matched well with the lighter mounts available. Also, in Scotland in particular, the lance was a weapon that had probably never fallen out of use.
The combat value of lancers is higher on first contact (the first round of close combat) as indicated by the number in parenthesis for combat values in the chart above. A lancer combat piece has the speed advantage of light horse and the equivalent (initial) hitting power of heavy horse.
In the system I use “Cuirassier” is applied only to fully (or 3/4) armored horsemen. By this period they have already become anachronistic and would rapidly disappear as the wars wore on. To the best of my knowledge they were employed only in England and then only in the early stages of the First Civil War. I plan, however, to add one squadron ( four combat pieces including command) to use in fictional battles, probably as the “life guard” of some select general.
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