Monday, October 7, 2019

Using Horse Holders in Your War Games

Minden Prussian dismounted hussar, with horse holders, get into a fire fight with some Minden Austrian Croats.


As the owner of a historical miniatures figure company, I am often asked if I could add dismounted cavalry, largely dragoons and hussars, to the Minden and Fife and Drum ranges. The Minden range has dismounted Prussian hussars, both in mirliton and busby headgear, and that is it. I have included some photos that I took yesterday to demonstrate how dismounted cavalry could be used.

Some of the figures are generic-looking enough that they can represent the troops of other nations. For example, the hussars wearing busbies can be used as Austrian hussar with just a minor amount of conversion work on the sabretache. The mirliton wearing hussars can be used for some of the Russian or French hussar regiments, using the "conversion by paint" method.

Dismounted HR2 Zieten Hussar protect the flank of the wagon convoy. Some Prussian freikorps soldiers are in th vanguard, in front of the column.

I just paint over the Prussian royal cypher on the sabretache. Other than that, a hussar is a hussar is a hussar for pretty much every country in the mid-18thThe Prussian jagers could also be used as dismounted dragoons for many nations. The only minor conversion item is the removal of the belly cartridge box on the jager. The jagers wear cavalry boots and have aigulettes on the right shoulder. I simply overlook the existence of the cartridge box and paint it black. Believe me, nobody is going to notice.

Now the convoy is in for it as Croats emerge from the woods to the front and flank
while Austrian  grenadiers attack from the rear of the convoy.

I think that the best application of dismounted cavalry is to use them in skirmish games, as shown in the pictures that accompany this article. I glue my skirmish figures to 25mm round bases that I purchase from Litko bases. When you buy the movement tray for 12 figures the bases are included with the tray.

I can imagine a scenario that is based on General Buford's stand on McPherson's Ridge during the opening stages of the battle of Gettysburg, in the ACW. The hussars ride up to a ridge and see that a brigade of Austrian infantry is approaching. The Prussian hussars dismount, their horse holders going to the rear of the makeshift hussar skirmish line. The Prussians must hold the ridge until their regular formed infantry can arrive and take over.

However, I have rarely seen dismounted anything used in war games, which leads me to believe that the occaisional request for dismounted cavalry doesn't jive with the actual demand. I am happy to be proven otherwise, so if you use dismounted cavalry, then leave a comment on this blog thread and give me some examples of how and when you used them.

Here are the product codes of the Prussian hussars and jagers that can be used for dismounted cavalry in your wargames

MP-015 Prussian Jager Command
MP-016 Prussian Jagers skirmishing

MP-018 Dismounted Prussian Hussars wearing busby
MP-019 Dismounted Prussian Hussars wearing busby

Minden is adding a dismounted hussar standing firing a carbine, both headgear styles, available end of October/early November this year. The figures are currently at the caster getting the moulds made and the figures cast.

Feel free to leave comments, below, or send me pictures of your dismounted hussars in action, via email at

I'm interested in seeing what kind of response that I get.


  1. I've used them to hold a village as the main body of the army comes up. Also in small skirmish games as on foot detachment in border areas.

  2. I'm plnning some for my SYW games, for the ability to advance, dismount and hold an area before the main troops arrive.

  3. I use dismounted cavalry with horse holders for 10mm ACW, 28mm Napoleonic dragoons, and 30mm ECW dragoons. All see action on my table.

  4. My SYW French Bercheney Hussars and Fischer Legion Dragoons and Chasseurs A Cheval all have dismounted men. Fun to use tactically. So far I only have a few horseholders for my Fischers. I need to get the rest painted and based. Thank you for the reminder Jim.
    Bill P.
    Chronicler for The Adventures of General Pettygree