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philqw78
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Post by philqw78 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:39 am

mbsparta wrote:Elephant questions:

I was told that if a BG of cavalry is within a base width of an elephant, only that element is disordered not the entire BG. Is that accurate, because I do not read the rule that way?
Those bases within a base width are disordered. Its very subtle. The BG is not steady, some of it is disordered. Also dice loss for combat works subtly in the favour of friendly, to the elephant, cavalry. But yes only those bases within 40mm (15's) or 60mm (25's) are disordered. There are lots of threads on this. Look carefully.
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Post by spikemesq » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:39 pm

Strategos69 wrote:
spikemesq wrote: Wow, that would make Elephants a mess.

Recall that the disordering effects apply to both sides, so El would cripple friendly mounted and even some friendly foot (e.g., Pikes and spears). Enemy mounted would never break-off from foot in the open if an elephant was nearby.

Cheaper and +50% in dice?
The point is making them better but also encouraging to fight on their own. And if they route, you can suffer the consequences. I can't remember any battle where Carthaginian and Roman elephants were used combined with MF or HF, thus the disorder effects, to avoid watching them in the middle of the line where they were not deployed. It is true that in Magnesia they were deployed between the gaps of the phalanx, with disastrous effects by the way.

Indian elephants are another story but it seems that they could be dealt better with a special formation.
But your proposal would force elephants to be entirely on their own, poisonous to any friendly troops, and isolate them far from the army they support. The only places to put elephants in that system would be (a) on a flank march; or (b) on the shelf.

Elephants should be powerful but fear their traditional nemeses -- light/med infantry with missiles. They should be hard to coordinate with mounted troops and heavier infantry, but not impossible. Their loss should have the potential to hinder/harm friendly troops, but should not be a nuclear meltdown.

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Post by Fluffy » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:57 pm

What spikemesq said.

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Post by Skanvak » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:55 am

"Elephants should be powerful but fear their traditional nemesis -- light/med infantry with missiles. They should be hard to coordinate with mounted troops and heavier infantry, but not impossible. Their loss should have the potential to hinder/harm friendly troops, but should not be a nuclear meltdown."

I support making the elephant stronger, they are somewhat weak right now. I think they should cancel more ennemy POA not armour only. According to ancient reading even one or two elephant were very efficient warbeast.

About the Elephant not paniking in FOG, I feels this is relatied to the absence of stratagem in FOG. I thing the roman did prepare for elephant when they make them panick (the burning pigs) if they don't they were quite crushed. I think that such thing as burning pigs or other stratagem/formation (like Alexander's loosening his phalanx tight formation to let pass the schyted chariot of the persian) should be present like the stake or fortification to be bought before battle.
Last edited by Skanvak on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:52 am

spikemesq wrote:
But your proposal would force elephants to be entirely on their own, poisonous to any friendly troops, and isolate them far from the army they support. The only places to put elephants in that system would be (a) on a flank march; or (b) on the shelf.

Elephants should be powerful but fear their traditional nemeses -- light/med infantry with missiles. They should be hard to coordinate with mounted troops and heavier infantry, but not impossible. Their loss should have the potential to hinder/harm friendly troops, but should not be a nuclear meltdown.
In most battles I can think of in the Western world elephants were deployed in the front line (or in both alae but in the front anyway) on their own, teaming with light foot. Sometimes they were used as a reserve to protect the rear of the infantry. The deployment among the ranks of the heavy infantry was the less common practice, whereas it is not the case right now in the AARs I have read.

You are right that they would be very hard to use (thus the reduction in points, maybe more?). Elephants would not disorder light foot, so they can combine quite well with these troops and make your first line. They can also be a very powerful reserve when gaps appear in the line. There can be thought variants for what I proposed like the elephants only disrupt friendly infantry when disrupted, for example, but I prefer the idea of a powerfool tool but troublesome.
As a side note, it is true that if Carthaginians are allowed six bases of elephants, keeping an equivalence in numbers some succesor's states should be allowed more elephants (at least six bases). And if you have six of them it is easier to think of them as a line on their own.

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Post by hazelbark » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:38 pm

Skanvak wrote:About the Elephant not paniking in FOG, I feels this is relatied to the absence of stratagem in FOG. I thing the roman did prepare for elephant when they make them panick (the burning pigs) if they don't they were quite crushed. I think that such thing as burning pigs or other stratagem/formation (like Alexander's loosening his phalanx tight formation to let pass the schyted chariot of the persian) should be present like the stake or fortification to be bought before battle.
How many times did large numbers of elephants panic through friendly troops in the classical period?

How many times were burning pigs used?

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Post by expendablecinc » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:14 pm

Strategos69 wrote: In most battles I can think of in the Western world elephants were deployed in the front line (or in both alae but in the front anyway) on their own, teaming with light foot. Sometimes they were used as a reserve to protect the rear of the infantry. The deployment among the ranks of the heavy infantry was the less common practice, whereas it is not the case right now in the AARs I have read.
Would they be better reflected as expendables (scythed chariots) then?
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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:18 pm

hazelbark wrote:
How many times did large numbers of elephants panic through friendly troops in the classical period?
Many. I don't have the statistics but I would venture to say that at least as many times as they did not. Check here and the following posts for some examples (this same thread from page 2 on):

viewtopic.php?t=19316&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=20
hazelbark wrote:
How many times were burning pigs used?
Only against Pyrrhus that I know. They also invented some sort of anti elephants machines and they did use trumpets too, but I guess that for sculptors a burning pig is something more appealing. In the other hand, it was an oddity.

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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:27 pm

expendablecinc wrote:
Would they be better reflected as expendables (scythed chariots) then?
It has been argued that for the use Carthaginians made of them and maybe that is right. But they are expendables that did disorder cavalry, ran into their own ranks randomly, could enter difficult going, formed mix formations with infantry. Thus they don't have some of the features scythes charriots have in FoG. It seems that in the East elephants were used in a different way.

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Post by hazelbark » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:53 pm

Strategos69 wrote:
hazelbark wrote:
How many times did large numbers of elephants panic through friendly troops in the classical period?
Many. I don't have the statistics but I would venture to say that at least as many times as they did not. Check here and the following posts for some examples (this same thread from page 2 on):

viewtopic.php?t=19316&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=20
I believe many of your accounts do not support the random charge away where angry beaten routed elephants charged through units say perpindicular-ish to the direction of their foes. I am not saying it never happened. But I am not sure even 1 in 4 times is supported by any text.
Your quotes in particular of Illipia, Metaurus, Raphia do not indicate anything other than when they lost they ran.
I agree I would not want to be a foot escort of an Elephant turning in panic. But that is very different than being 70 yards to the right of 25 Elepahnts who is all likelyhood turn (as your Rpahia quote) and flee to their rear through anyone who is there.

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Post by Skanvak » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:41 pm

I see a problem with routing elephant effect (disordering when crossing a unit) and normal elephant fighting ennemy : Elephant are animals, so if they panic and attack a friendly unit, they will just try to kill the elephant if they can. The point is that if we consider friendly troop cannot kill elephant then ennemy trooop should be at same difficulty... (Or so, I can understand that elephant are rare and they might hope to recover them later, but still, a phalanx will rather kill the paniking elephant or keep it at bay with their spear than be trample or disordered by it).

again historical insight is needed.

Suggestion : treat routing elephant as 4 attacks in random direction for a BG, then the Elephant dissapear if they were in melee.
Last edited by Skanvak on Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:54 pm

hazelbark wrote:
I believe many of your accounts do not support the random charge away where angry beaten routed elephants charged through units say perpindicular-ish to the direction of their foes. I am not saying it never happened. But I am not sure even 1 in 4 times is supported by any text.
Your quotes in particular of Illipia, Metaurus, Raphia do not indicate anything other than when they lost they ran.
I agree I would not want to be a foot escort of an Elephant turning in panic. But that is very different than being 70 yards to the right of 25 Elepahnts who is all likelyhood turn (as your Rpahia quote) and flee to their rear through anyone who is there.
I think the main idea came from the battle of Zama, where some elephants (fristly deployed in the center) were killed by troops in each flank (where they had fled) or are described as routing thorugh friendly troops on one of the flanks (very far away indeed, like the Numidians in one flank). You are right that the odds should be calculated so that it gives a good impression and there could be many option, but I think that the mechanics of impredictable rout are about right. I posted a while ago this chart:
strategos69 wrote:
For example, roll two dice and sum them:
2 Elephants flee to their left
3-4-Elephants flee in a 45 degrees angle to the left
6-9 Elephants flee straight back
10-11 Elephants flee n a 45 degrees angle to the right
12 Elephants flee to their right
It can be changed so that the most likely outcome is fleeing straight (for example, from 4 to 10), but I still think that some randomness on the direction would be good.

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Post by Skanvak » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:56 pm

According to your account, the elephant flle forward too no? And especially flee in different directions.

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Post by philqw78 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:58 pm

Lots of rules complication for miniscule play benefit.

Might be OK for the computer game, but not table top.
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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:02 pm

Skanvak wrote:According to your account, the elephant flle forward too no? And especially flee in different directions.
What all the sources point out is that when they were defeated, scared, they turned and fled. I wouldn't punish the enemy for breaking a unit, but if their flight movement crosses an enemy unit, the disordering effects should be applied. The original proposal involved only losing one cohesion point.

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Post by kdonovan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:11 am

philqw78 wrote:
Another thing for elephants.

Enemy non-nelly mounted should CMT to move closer to elephants in 6MU. That would keep them at a 25pt value.
There are a fair number of accounts describing Muslim/Turkish light horse types fighting Hindu elephants. The elephants come off very badly against horse archers who aggressively seek out the elephants. (For example, IIRC the last king of Vijayanagar suffered from this.) Thus cavalry ought to be allowed to come closer than 6 MU, though perhaps not charge them.

Also, in the grand scheme of things the disorder that elephants cause cavalry is often not really much of a penalty in FoG. This hardly captures the effect of examples like Issos where a loose string of them blocks the return of the cavalry.

At a broad brush it seems that Hellenistic cavalry which relied on hand to hand weapons were very severely affected by elephants, while Islamic horse archers treated elephants as more of a target than a threat.

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Post by kdonovan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:39 am

Strategos69 wrote:
hannibal wrote:The 3 dice idea sounds interesting, and would have a similar result as my earlier thought about causing disorder to foot and severe disorder to mounted - namely that the elephants end up with more dice than their opponents. IMO elephants should win quickly or die quickly - doesn't feel right for them to hang around in a protracted melee.
Marc
Yes, I think you are right and therefore they should be given a bigger advantage at impact (I don't think PoA's cover that right now).
Elephants sometimes fought for quite a long time. Poros's elephants held out for a considerable period of time against Alexander. Arrian mentions repeated charges by the elephants and many other developments, such as the entire protracted cavalry engagement on the wing, etc., that occurred during their fight against the phalanx.

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Post by kdonovan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:59 am

hammy wrote:
rpayne wrote:Perhaps as a simple way to simulate Elephants having a more disastrous effect when they rout through allies, rather than having random flee directions and etc, you could simply have a -1 to the cohesion test of units within 3" of elephants when they break.
I like that as an idea.

The random flee direction thing is fine when an elephant represents one beast but when it is representing 10-20 it is hardly likely that they will all panic in the same direction.
Maybe, but they are a herd animal and will stampede together not willy nilly (or nelly).

However, often they just seem to sit in place, bleating, trampling anyone unlucky or stupid enough to approach.

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:17 am

kdonovan wrote:However, often they just seem to sit in place, bleating, trampling anyone unlucky or stupid enough to approach.
Like lambs ?
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Post by pcelella » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:35 pm

Seems to me that the problem with elephants is that they die too easy for their point cost, and they don't do enough damage frequently before they disappear. Maybe the solution would be a reduction in cost in combination with more of a combat threat. I don't think the POA's need to change, but maybe do something like having elephants fight with 3 dice per base instead of the 2 they currently have.

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