elephant quality

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
Karvon
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elephant quality

Post by Karvon » Sat May 23, 2020 10:40 am

I'm curious why there is no distinction between elephants in army lists; all of them are rated average. In earlier rule sets such as dbm and wrg there were different grades. In campaign games your elephants can improve beyond average. In historical works, writers recognized differences between the quality of elephants in different armies, so wondering what the rationale is behind all elephants being the same.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by GeneralKostas » Sat May 23, 2020 1:18 pm

Elephants are overpowered. +250 Impact POA against every other units is too much and lead to unbalanced matches. You can loose a fight only from elephants. In many battles, elephants are undefeated by light troops shoots. They suffer no casualties. How is that possible? Did they have a invicible shield around?

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Re: elephant quality

Post by Jagger2002 » Sat May 23, 2020 2:17 pm

Elephants are fun, fun, fun!!! Unless they are stomping through my troops.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by Ludendorf » Sat May 23, 2020 2:21 pm

Hmm... fair point here. Although Superior quality elephants would be terrifying.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by 76mm » Sat May 23, 2020 3:26 pm

GeneralKostas wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:18 pm
In many battles, elephants are undefeated by light troops shoots. They suffer no casualties. How is that possible? Did they have a invicible shield around?
Elephants seem pretty vulnerable to light troops to me. Also, even when it looks like they aren't taking casualties, they are--IIRC the displayed results are rounded down (often to zero) but they are still taking casualties that will add up.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by Barrold713 » Sat May 23, 2020 4:15 pm

76mm wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:26 pm
GeneralKostas wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:18 pm
In many battles, elephants are undefeated by light troops shoots. They suffer no casualties. How is that possible? Did they have a invicible shield around?
Elephants seem pretty vulnerable to light troops to me. Also, even when it looks like they aren't taking casualties, they are--IIRC the displayed results are rounded down (often to zero) but they are still taking casualties that will add up.
I would certainly agree with that. One of the primary considerations I have when defending against elephants is that some resource has to be selected and allocated to deal with them. The potential damage they can do always calls for countermeasures.

They are such a potent double-edged sword that the thrill they add to the match makes them irresistible to me when I see them on a list.

BDH

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Re: elephant quality

Post by rs2excelsior » Sat May 23, 2020 5:50 pm

Elephants are most definitely vulnerable to shooting. Just ask my elephants in my Ptolemaic vs Turkish match, both of them got fragmented by horse archers. They can actually be rather fragile against shooting, in my experience.

I personally would like to see Indian elephants rated above average. At Raphia, IIRC, the Seleucid Indian elephants had an advantage over the Ptolemaic North African elephants, partially because they were larger.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by keyth » Sat May 23, 2020 5:53 pm

You need to screen your elephants before contact, then they can be astonishingly destructive. Average seems OK to me.
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Re: elephant quality

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat May 23, 2020 6:29 pm

rs2excelsior wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 5:50 pm
At Raphia, IIRC, the Seleucid Indian elephants had an advantage over the Ptolemaic North African elephants, partially because they were larger.
They do in the epic battle Raphia scenario.
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Re: elephant quality

Post by rs2excelsior » Sat May 23, 2020 6:55 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 6:29 pm
rs2excelsior wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 5:50 pm
At Raphia, IIRC, the Seleucid Indian elephants had an advantage over the Ptolemaic North African elephants, partially because they were larger.
They do in the epic battle Raphia scenario.
I haven’t taken a look at that scenario, I’ll do that and see how it’s implemented. I think it would be nice to see reflected in some way in the custom battle army lists as well. Would add a touch of variety to the elephant units and a bit of differentiation between the army lists for the successors (among others too, but, say, Indian and Carthaginian lists are already pretty different).

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Re: elephant quality

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat May 23, 2020 8:22 pm

The problem is that there is no evidence that one type of elephant was any more or less effective than the other, except against other elephants. After all, to a man, even a slightly smaller elephant is still huge.
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Re: elephant quality

Post by 76mm » Sat May 23, 2020 8:26 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:22 pm
The problem is that there is no evidence that one type of elephant was any more or less effective than the other, except against other elephants. After all, to a man, even a slightly smaller elephant is still huge.
Were there differences in training or experience, perhaps? And did elephants of different armies wear different sorts of armor? Don't know much about them...

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Re: elephant quality

Post by Ludendorf » Sat May 23, 2020 8:35 pm

What about Indian elephants vs African elephants? That was fairly decisive, though they only fought each other once.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by GeneralKostas » Sat May 23, 2020 8:37 pm

Barrold713 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:15 pm
76mm wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:26 pm
GeneralKostas wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:18 pm
In many battles, elephants are undefeated by light troops shoots. They suffer no casualties. How is that possible? Did they have a invicible shield around?
Elephants seem pretty vulnerable to light troops to me. Also, even when it looks like they aren't taking casualties, they are--IIRC the displayed results are rounded down (often to zero) but they are still taking casualties that will add up.
I would certainly agree with that. One of the primary considerations I have when defending against elephants is that some resource has to be selected and allocated to deal with them. The potential damage they can do always calls for countermeasures.

They are such a potent double-edged sword that the thrill they add to the match makes them irresistible to me when I see them on a list.

BDH
They bring only chaos and routed units. Nothing more.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by rs2excelsior » Sat May 23, 2020 8:39 pm

Wasn't one of the big differences that the larger Indian elephants could carry three riders (a mahout and two fighters), while the North African elephants could only carry two. And I think the Seleucids used Indian mahouts, rather than local ones, where they could? I don't know if that would be enough to qualify for an increase in PoA against all enemies. I don't think it sounds super unreasonable, but then I'm far from an expert. Something like splitting up the elephant types and giving NA elephants a -50 PoA against the Indian type would probably be doable but more work as well. Overall it's not really a high priority change, I think, though I do think it'd be interesting to see in some way.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by Ludendorf » Sat May 23, 2020 8:53 pm

It also depends how long they had to train the elephants. One of the reason Hannibal lost his elephants at Zama may have been the fact they were hastily raised and couldn't be relied on to do much more than run in the general direction of the enemy.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat May 23, 2020 9:23 pm

rs2excelsior wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:39 pm
Wasn't one of the big differences that the larger Indian elephants could carry three riders (a mahout and two fighters), while the North African elephants could only carry two. And I think the Seleucids used Indian mahouts, rather than local ones, where they could? I don't know if that would be enough to qualify for an increase in PoA against all enemies. I don't think it sounds super unreasonable, but then I'm far from an expert. Something like splitting up the elephant types and giving NA elephants a -50 PoA against the Indian type would probably be doable but more work as well. Overall it's not really a high priority change, I think, though I do think it'd be interesting to see in some way.
FOG is a top-down rules design. The main weapon is the elephant itself, whether they had 2 or 3 fighting crew would make little difference in the grand scheme of things. Old wargames rules paid too much attention to minor details like that and ended up less realistic as a result. (Over-representing a difference is worse than not representing it at all).

The Indian vs African Forest elephant thing was only important in 1 historical battle, and it was because the African Forest elephants were frightened of the larger Indian elephants, not because the latter had an extra crewman. The two types rarely had the opportunity to meet in any case. It's a cool difference to include for the Battle of Raphia (as we have done), the only historical battle where it had an effect, but it isn't needed in the rules as a whole.

It's a design philosophy thing. We try to concentrate on what was a regular part of Ancient warfare, and not on things that only occurred in one or two recorded instances.
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Re: elephant quality

Post by rs2excelsior » Sat May 23, 2020 10:40 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:23 pm
FOG is a top-down rules design. The main weapon is the elephant itself, whether they had 2 or 3 fighting crew would make little difference in the grand scheme of things. Old wargames rules paid too much attention to minor details like that and ended up less realistic as a result. (Over-representing a difference is worse than not representing it at all).

The Indian vs African Forest elephant thing was only important in 1 historical battle, and it was because the African Forest elephants were frightened of the larger Indian elephants, not because the latter had an extra crewman. The two types rarely had the opportunity to meet in any case. It's a cool difference to include for the Battle of Raphia (as we have done), the only historical battle where it had an effect, but it isn't needed in the rules as a whole.

It's a design philosophy thing. We try to concentrate on what was a regular part of Ancient warfare, and not on things that only occurred in one or two recorded instances.
Fair enough, I can see the points for and against. I don't think it makes a huge difference one way or the other, regardless.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by SLancaster » Sun May 24, 2020 12:26 am

I think elephants as they are in the game are fine. They can be devastating but equally you can lose them quickly with some bad rolls. They add excitement to battles as you never quite know how they will do.

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Re: elephant quality

Post by Barrold713 » Sun May 24, 2020 12:27 am

GeneralKostas wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:37 pm
Barrold713 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:15 pm
76mm wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:26 pm


Elephants seem pretty vulnerable to light troops to me. Also, even when it looks like they aren't taking casualties, they are--IIRC the displayed results are rounded down (often to zero) but they are still taking casualties that will add up.
I would certainly agree with that. One of the primary considerations I have when defending against elephants is that some resource has to be selected and allocated to deal with them. The potential damage they can do always calls for countermeasures.

They are such a potent double-edged sword that the thrill they add to the match makes them irresistible to me when I see them on a list.

BDH
They bring only chaos and routed units. Nothing more.
...but oh what a ride...oh what a ride

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