Henri IV's Cuirassiers 1585-98 : DBA-RRR Mar 13, 2021 6:23:25 GMT
Post by snowcat on Mar 13, 2021 6:23:25 GMT
Having read and studied Ronald S. Love's excellent article, "All the King's Horsemen" - The Equestrian Army of Henri IV, 1585-1598, I've come to this conclusion: Henri IV's innovative reinvention of his mounted gens d'armes into what would become known as 'cuirassiers' is a curious fit for DBA-RRR and DBR for that matter.
Essentially, Henri combined the deep caracoling reiter formations with the shock of the charging knight.
Compact squadrons 300-600 strong, and 5-7 ranks deep. Lances dispensed with, pistols reserved for the ensuing melee. The charge was done with the sword. (An alternative view is that pistols were fired immediately before impact.)
Time and again, these squadrons would wait for the enemy lancers (knights) to charge at them en haie in their long shallow lines (usually 2 ranks), before counter-charging with the supporting fire of dismounted companies of arquebusiers-a-cheval, meeting the enemy usually at the gallop and smashing their way through with great destruction. Even on those occasions when the enemy knights were met at the trot, such as recorded at Bonneval in 1589, the results were the same.
What is this in DBA-RRR? Pistols? (And is that with or without rear support?) And in DBR a Pi(S)? Or is it something else?
Henri's gens d'armes during this period (1585-98) often had little more protection than a cuirass. Combine this with the charge at the gallop with the sword, reserving pistols for the ensuing melee or point of contact, it reads a lot like Pi(F) in DBR, which gets re-classed as a Knight in DBA-RRR. That doesn't appear to be a great alternative option to Pistols, given that Henri's cuirassiers were knight-killers, not knights.
I'm putting together an optional army list for the Huguenots for the above period to allow Henri's forces to be all-mounted, as they often were. Call it the (d) list.
But I'd appreciate a better sense of how to best reflect Henri's compact squadrons of charging cuirassiers. If 'Pistols' is the short and simple answer, then the only question that remains would be the one re rear support: is a formation 5-7 ranks deep represented in DBA-RRR by one or two elements? I'm presuming the latter.
I have numerous examples of how Henri used his gens d'armes and arquebusiers-a-cheval from the article (and other sources), and if some of these are needed I can certainly oblige. But for now, the above information should hopefully be sufficient to get the ball rolling.