The army of Lichtengrein is made up of predominantly Swiss, French and Germanic client state troops formed around a nucleus of several units of the Lichtengrein leib-garde, horse grenadiers, hussars, freikorps and artillery arm.
The yellow and blue uniforms worn by Lichtengreiner troops are the colors of the royal coat of arms. The foreign forces are variously colored white (French), red (Swiss and Anglo-Hanoverian) and blue (Germanic) which makes for quite a spectacle on the field of battle.
The leib garde foot grenadiers are the personal bodyguard of the reigning monarch, the most fiercely loyal followers of the realm and protector of its leader. A minimum of ten years service and several campaigns is needed as an entry requirement into this elite formation. These household troops provide a stabilising force whenever the army puts into the field.
These men are known for developing a blood lust in combat though this often results in losses as they are regularly used as assault troops and committed to battle – fortunately, there is always a willing manpower pool to serve in such an elite body of men, for which privileges are many – foreign mercenaries have even been known to swear allegiance to the prince and serve in his guard for life, such is their fame.
Cavalry forces are formed from the central rural pasture land communities. This central region is the bread basket of the country and provides the recruiting ground for the prince's cavalry arm. Two hussar brigades form the light cavalry components of the army. Those that serve do so in one of the two brigades known as the black knight and white knight hussars – these formations are manned by an ancient feudal levy of the two principal bergmeisters in the area, hence their separate distinction. A healthy rivalry exists as is to be expected of these fiercely independent horse mounted people.
The prince’s finest mounted soldiers, the leib-garde horse grenadiers are recruited from the best and toughest men of the existing hussar regiments. To be accepted, a minimum of eight years service is required and at least one campaign fought. Positions in the horse grenadiers are much sought after as officers are often sent to foreign courts to accompany diplomatic missions - the brightly clad 'canaries', as they are known, are court favourites at Versailles and the Schönbrunn.
Because of manpower limitations, Lichtengreiner armies employ forces from all corners of Europe, thus its army has a very eclectic feel that is ever changing. The majority are foreign veterans as the prince generally requires his allied contingents be composed of 'measured men', though due to the resources of various client states, sometimes regular line units are sent to supplement the better quality troops. The Prince's gold enables his foreign battalions to be kept up to full strength which allows Lichtengrein militia and freicorps units to keep their establishment near full strength, hence their large size. In addition, a number of wealthy merchant brigades are formed from the major town centres. These forces comprise the regular Lichtengrein line infantry that are considered a cut above the milita and comparable to foreign troops, but not the veterans.
The very nature of the rugged terrain and the irascible hunters of the Lichtengrein hinterland have caused the prince much discomfort over the years. He has attempted to counter such kleine krieg tactics with his own townsfolk formed into freikorps units, who unfortunately never quite adapted to irregular fighting tactics because of their urban artisan ways, however they have developed a trait of being fearless and stoic defenders once given a task, typical of the spirit of the citizenry - this problem of irregular forces still plagues the princedom to this very day.
In recent times, Lichtengrein forces have been in the service of Prussian, Austrian, and Bourbon kings – predominantly as an allied force; however it is not unknown for them to have been fighting on both sides of a broader European conflict, though never confronting fellow countrymen on the field of battle – more typically, Lichtengrein armies are involved in a number of lesser conflicts with neighboring states or large raiding forces – such are the constant warlike conditions the principality exists under.
Close ties with the state of Nordmark exist. On occasion they supply shock cavalry and regular infantry forces as contingents. In addition, a permanent cadre of instructors constantly drills Lichtengrein forces with musketry –the exception being the leib-garde foot grenadiers whose primary role is shock action. It is a condition of service for foreigners that musketry is maintained to a consistently high standard and the prince takes a personal interest in such matters.
Militia forces are formed from the remote communities and central city 'trained band', of which the prince is colonel. By their nature they are fierce defenders of the state and need little more encouragement than seeing the nation's battle standards aflutter to give a good account of themselves. Unfortunately their civilian tasks as artizans, market owners and traders prevents them from attaining proficiency with firearms, of which the prince is most understanding.
Because of the the rugged landscape of Lichtengrein, space limitations for large scale army maneuvers involving all forces, restricts most field 'exercises' - therefore marching and deployment skills are limited for all troops, excepting those of the leib-garde - these troops regularly practice drill in attaining a high degree of mobility in keeping with their roll as shock troops. For the rest of the regular army, most of their time involves practicing musketry drill, polish their boots and entertaining the local lady folk whilst awaiting their next call to arms.
Such is the character of the Lichtengrein army that has so many unique qualities of its own.
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