Elephants

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tadamson
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Elephants

Post by tadamson » Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:01 pm

How are you integrating elephants?

Will you represent the four types used in Indian warfare? (war, riding, trained and wild)

Tom..

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Re: Elephants

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:51 pm

tadamson wrote:How are you integrating elephants?

Will you represent the four types used in Indian warfare? (war, riding, trained and wild)

Tom..
This would be beyond the level of complexity we are aiming at with AoW.

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Post by coldknight » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:20 am

But it still wouldnt be too bad of an idea

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Post by tadamson » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:08 pm

The reason I ask is that war elephants fought very differently to riding elephants.

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Post by larrydunn » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:16 pm

Tom, why would they represent anything other than war elephants? Just curious as to why, say, riding elephants would be represented at all.

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Post by tadamson » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:44 pm

In the Indian systems..

'war' elephants are line of battle troops, each has a mahout and armed crew of one to three men on a howdah (platform), later these evolved into towers, the animals were often armoured from 3rd C onwards. Each elephant is accompanied by associated infantry. Early manuals specify five groups (each of 3 archers, 3 spear men and a horseman) per elephant. Later accounts are of just infantry (in the South often just spear men). The elephants are in patti's (usually translated platoons) of 9 elepants on a 3x3 formation with their accompanying troops. These then line up to form the main command and can be used in the two flank commands.

'riding' elephants normally have the warrior on the animals neck with sometimes a single mahout (as a sort of groom, caddy type) on the rump. These elephants were seldom armoured, had no accompanying infantry, fought alongside the cavalry in the flank and wing commands. They were used as heavy cavalry.

Many medieval Indian armies used both types.

'trained' elephants were the 'living bulldozers' of the period, widely used as support troops and in sieges.

nb. Indian manuals required a centre command, two flank commands, two wing commands further out, a vanguard, central reserve, optional flank reserves and any ambushing or other special troops.

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Post by larrydunn » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:00 pm

The two types that seem to be relevant for gaming purposes are War El and Riding El. I don't know how the rules work, but it sounds like that could be handled with one basic troop type, "Elephants," with modifiers to speed and combat strength based on crew and escorts.

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Post by whitehorses » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:31 pm

larrydunn wrote:The two types that seem to be relevant for gaming purposes are War El and Riding El. I don't know how the rules work, but it sounds like that could be handled with one basic troop type, "Elephants," with modifiers to speed and combat strength based on crew and escorts.
What about Elephants going berserk?
Did that happen with any armies other than the Carhaginians & could this be reflected in the rules if so? Might make players more cautious about taking lots of Jumbos if they went after the nearest BG when they get Fragmenteed or Routed.....


Cheers,
Jer

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Post by tadamson » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:16 am

You get accounts of routed elephants fleeing backwards and destroying formations behind them. Then again you get reports of routing infantry and cavalry doing the same thing. Most wargames rules have a very skewed view of elephants as they are based on the Mediterranean (indeed Hellenistic/Roman) view of warfare, where elephants are an exotic and rather erratic troop type.

I was rather hoping that these might be a rule set based on a wider perception of warfare, at least including Chinese, Indian and Central Asian warfare as well.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:23 am

You get accounts of routed elephants fleeing backwards and destroying formations behind them. Then again you get reports of routing infantry and cavalry doing the same thing.
This is what happens in AoW. Friends burst though by routing friends drop 1 cohesion level.

In the next iteration, friends burst through by routing elephants or scythed chariots will drop 2 cohesion levels.

They will thus be easy meat for enemy following up behind the routing elephants.

However, we will not be having rules for elephants going berserk.
Last edited by rbodleyscott on Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:48 am

tadamson wrote: I was rather hoping that these might be a rule set based on a wider perception of warfare, at least including Chinese, Indian and Central Asian warfare as well.
I think you'll find they are based on more than just the classical model.

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Post by tadamson » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:04 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
You get accounts of routed elephants fleeing backwards and destroying formations behind them. Then again you get reports of routing infantry and cavalry doing the same thing.
This is what happens in AoW. Friends burst though by routing friends drop 1 cohesion level.

In the next iteration, friends burst through by routing elephants or scythed chariots will drop 2 cohesion levels.

They will thus be easy meat for enemy following up behind the routing elephants.

However, we will not be having rules for elephants going berserk.
So routing elephants are worse than routing cavalry or chariots ?

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:24 pm

tadamson wrote:So routing elephants are worse than routing cavalry or chariots ?
Which would you find scarier, being routed through by elephants or by cavalry?

If you think they should only be equally scary, can you tell us your reasons why, as the double drop for being burst through by elephants or scythed chariots has not yet gone into the rules.

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Post by tadamson » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:09 pm

Hi Richard,

I'm just not entirely convinced that there was much difference. If there was then Social factors are probably more important. After all, troops that don't rout in sympathy are the ones picked out by ancient authors as unusually steady or well led. The couple of (Hellenistic - <grin>) accounts we have re the terrible effects of routing elephants and scythed chariots are very similar to reports of other dramatic losses (eg the death of a hero in Viking warfare, or Late Bronze Age infantry when their chariots are broken - must pester Nigel about that).

As long as the normal effect is for troops to rout in sympathy it should be ok.

Tom..

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Post by tadamson » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:11 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
tadamson wrote: I was rather hoping that these might be a rule set based on a wider perception of warfare, at least including Chinese, Indian and Central Asian warfare as well.
I think you'll find they are based on more than just the classical model.
I hope so Nik..

but when you have 'African' and 'Indian' elephants, but not 'war' and 'riding' ones, it does suggest otherwise.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:30 pm

tadamson wrote:Hi Richard,

I'm just not entirely convinced that there was much difference. If there was then Social factors are probably more important. After all, troops that don't rout in sympathy are the ones picked out by ancient authors as unusually steady or well led. The couple of (Hellenistic - <grin>) accounts we have re the terrible effects of routing elephants and scythed chariots are very similar to reports of other dramatic losses (eg the death of a hero in Viking warfare, or Late Bronze Age infantry when their chariots are broken - must pester Nigel about that).

As long as the normal effect is for troops to rout in sympathy it should be ok.

Tom..
You obviously have superior knowledge on elephant warfare, so I would not presume to dispute your view on that.

However, the effect of being routed through by scythed chariots is likely to have been far more than psychological. You have only to read Appian's account of the successful scythed chariot charge at the Battle of the River Amnias in 88 BC to see that the effect of scythed chariots was far from purely psychological. (Although it was about the only account I could find in the sources of a successful scythed chariot charge).

Appian wrote:"At the same time the scythe-bearing chariots were driven at great speed into the Bithynians, cutting some of them in two instantaneously, and tearing others to pieces. The army of Nicomedes was terrified at seeing men cut in halves and still breathing, or mangled in fragments, or hanging on the scythes. Overcome rather by the hideousness of the spectacle than by loss of the fight, fear disordered their ranks."
We also want to discourage players from keeping their scythed chariots protected from enemy shooting behind other troops then letting them burst through to charge the enemy. According to Livy this was far too dangerous to be used as a tactic. The double drop for being burst through be scythed chariots (charging or routing) seems a good way to deter such unhistorical tactics. It also makes closely following up a scythed chariot charge (the only real way to benefit from the disruption caused to the enemy) a decidedly risky bet.
Last edited by rbodleyscott on Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by larrydunn » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:33 pm

tadamson wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:
tadamson wrote: but when you have 'African' and 'Indian' elephants, but not 'war' and 'riding' ones, it does suggest otherwise.
As I've suggested, it might not really be necessary to have them as different categories if you simply specify that elephants with escorts move at foot speed but elephants without escorts move a bit faster, or that elephants with a large crew get some kind of combat boost over elephants with small crews.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:36 pm

tadamson wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:
tadamson wrote: I was rather hoping that these might be a rule set based on a wider perception of warfare, at least including Chinese, Indian and Central Asian warfare as well.
I think you'll find they are based on more than just the classical model.
I hope so Nik..

but when you have 'African' and 'Indian' elephants, but not 'war' and 'riding' ones, it does suggest otherwise.
We don't any more. The distinction was taken out because it was also considered to be beyond the complexity of simulation appropriate to AoW.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:35 pm

Must admit given the definitive contemporary statement that Indian jumbos were better than African ones I think this is an error :?

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Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:15 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:the definitive contemporary statement that Indian jumbos were better than African ones
Only against each other IIRC.

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