|Appears in||Napoleon: Total War|
|Soldiers in each unit||20/40/60/80|
|Produced from||Drill School|
|Cost||550 SP/650 MP|
|Turns to Train||2|
Mounted Riflemen are skirmishers and snipers without peer, picking off leaders to sow confusion in enemy ranks.
Organised and equipped as light infantry with muskets and horses as mounts, these riflemen see themselves as an elite force. Chosen for initiative and intelligence, they fight without close supervision from their officers. Their uniforms set them apart in an age when soldiers dress like peacocks: they deliberately blend into the landscape, firing on the enemy from the safety of the undergrowth. If these men are forced into close combat they will suffer heavy losses, but their ability to fire both mounted and on foot makes up for this shortcoming.
Historically, the most famous riflemen, the British Greenjackets, carried infantry rifles designed by Ezekiel Baker. This muzzle-loading flintlock fired a small ball from a tightly rifled barrel to give superb accuracy, with accounts of riflemen holding targets for each other at more than a hundred paces! It was a slow business to load the piece properly and could take a minute or more to do properly, but the resulting shot was deadly over astonishing ranges. Baker even carefully supplied a long “sword bayonet” so that the overall length of his rifle plus bayonet matched that of a line infantryman’s bayonet-tipped musket.
Mounted Rifles are Russia's only missile cavalry and mounted infantry, allowing them to fulfill roles unique to them in the Russian army. Of the playable factions in the European Campaign, they are the only missile cavalry with the larger than average number of men per regiment, giving them a firepower advantage (particularly against cavalry, as they present larger targets). Compared to other Russian cavalry, even light cavalry, they have relatively poor melee stats and morale. This makes them more suited to harassment from the sidelines and vulnerable when bogged down in a melee. They can still fare well against cavalry if they manage to fire a volley before engaging with their sabers.
Despite being named "rifles", mounted rifles have only 80 range whether they are mounted or dismounted, and they can't utilize light infantry behavior or skirmish, making them more akin to an undersized line infantry regiment than a skirmisher regiment. Dismounting severely reduces their mobility, but makes them less vulnerable to musket and artillery fire. Mounted and dismounted stamina count separately, so an exhausted mounted rifles regiment may find itself more effective in a melee fighting dismounted instead (and vice versa).
Like all Russian units, mounted rifles are resistant to cold fatigue. This gives them a stamina advantage on snowy maps, and makes them immune to cold attrition.
Compared to missile cavalry from other factions, mounted rifles have the worst accuracy and reloading as well as poorer defense, but make up for this with their better charging and melee statistics.