Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Military March

Being interested in the military, but never having served, I spend some time reading to get a sense of what the military is like - which is even more important when the military I am interested in is from 400 years ago. I like a fair bit of realism in my gaming so when I wanted to know how fast a soldier marched, I did a little research. Fortunately Al Gore invented the Internet...or was that CERN? Or maybe ARPA? In any case, nowadays a little research is easy.

So for anyone who likes realism in their gaming...

Napoleonic Pace Step
(in ft)
ft/min mi/hr

British Light Infantry 140 2.5 350 3.98

Line Infantry 120 2.5 300 3.41

Highland Infantry 112 2.5 280 3.18

Slow March 60 2.5 150 1.70

Quick March: This is an instruction to begin marching at the Quick March speed with the left foot. The standard pace is 120 beats per minute with a 30-inch step, with variations for individual regiments, the pace given by the commander, and the speed of the band's rhythm: British light infantry and rifle regiments, for example, Quick March at 140 beats per minute, a legacy of their original role as highly mobile skirmishers. Highland regiments, which march to bagpipe music, march at 112 paces per minute.

For the US Marine Corps, the interval between ranks and files is both 40 inches. The light infantry version of the march is also used by the Spanish Legion during parades, as well as the Chasseurs of the French Army (Chasseurs alpins inclusive).

Slow March: This is a ceremonial pace, used for funeral marches and when a unit's colours are marched out in front of the troops. It is the iconic march step used in the French Foreign Legion. The standard pace is 60 paces per minute.

In my next post, I use the military marching pace to approximate the time it takes a sentry to go about his rounds in the garden of the Hôtel d'Angoulême.

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