heavy chariots

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heavy chariots

Post by player » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:36 am

How is it that the 2 horse possibly 3 man chariots get the same status as heavy as the much later 4 horse, 4 man chariots? Surely these heavier chariots were designed bigger, heavier and with more mena and horses for a reason. One way to differentiate the two would be to have these heavier and later chariots armed with bot Bow and Light Spear, as indeed they were. This would give them the extra effectiveness which I think they warrant. Any views on this?

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Post by grahambriggs » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:48 am

Same reason theat C12th men at arms and C15th are both rated as "heavily armoured" when the latter had much more complete protection. Simplicity within the rules system.

Yes, there may well have been a finer differentiation of chariots as they evolved. However, they didn't generally fight each other. There's also a limit within the structure of the POA system of how many levels of advantages that can be had (without improving chariots to the degree that they can beat lancers frontally)

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heavy chariots

Post by player » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:57 pm

The extra POA can still just apply for chariots against other chariots so that it stays in period without really any more complication than it is already in my opinion

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Post by hammy » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:41 pm

While some heavy chariots are 2 horse 3 man and others are 4 horse 4+ man they simply don't come from the same era much like 12th century knights and 15th century ones. Troops are classed to get the correct results against their historical opponents, not according to their absolute strengths or weakness.

If you look for example at armoured troops in the 4th centry BC and then compare their protection to many protected troops in the 14th century AD then you will find that the later protected troops are actually far more heavily armoured. That is just the way the game works.

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Post by player » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:02 pm

Yes I get your point Hammy but there were still 2 horse and 4 horse 3 man chariots around at the time and fighting the heavier 4 horse 4 man chariots. Obviously in the rules, to no effect as they are the same.

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Post by hammy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:34 pm

player wrote:Yes I get your point Hammy but there were still 2 horse and 4 horse 3 man chariots around at the time and fighting the heavier 4 horse 4 man chariots. Obviously in the rules, to no effect as they are the same.
While there was a crossover period I don't actually think it was that long or that there were many encounters between different types of chariots that the game classes as heavy chariots.

There perhaps should be different classifications of a lot of troops including some that actually fought (African and Indian elephants for a starter) but these subtle distinctions have been left out for simplicity. Why should there be distinctions between similar troops that didn't actually fight each other much if at all?

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Post by player » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:13 pm

I disagree as there were many occasions when different classes of chariots fought each other in the same time frame. Take the NKE and Hittites in point; and that is why some nations came off better for developing technology. As to making the rules more complicated, I don't think giving an extra POA for a chariot having a spear and bow is any more complicated than the rules are already. Light Horse in later eras have bow, spear and sword, which you could say is more complicated. The point about the Late Assyrian chariots is that they were more powerful in close combat as well as having long range bow capacity - that is why the chariot was developed heavier to achieve both. In FOG the Hititte chariots can beat the late assyrian chariots in close combat by virtue of the spear, and which is not correct, otherwise the Assyrians would not have develped a chariot which was better. The rules have just not got it right and there is little point in just defending them because they are written. You may say it is about balance in the game but that can easily be achieved with a points increase for such chariots.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:23 pm

player wrote:I disagree as there were many occasions when different classes of chariots fought each other in the same time frame. Take the NKE and Hittites in point;

And the Hittite can be HCh whilst the NKE are always LCh - this doesn't really support your point.

Have you any examples of historical match-ups where the rules do not currently give a proper representation/outcome that would support your idea? Comparing C13thBC Hittites with C7thBC Assyrians isn't one I'm afraid.
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Post by player » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:46 pm

Well I actually disagree that Hittite Chariots should be classed as heavy anyway but that is another argument

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Post by player » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:57 pm

Two horse (and the debatable 3 horse) as well as 4 horse 3 man chariots were used agaisnt the very heavy late Assyrian chariots by Uratians and Neo-Babylonians. Evidently those involved in either writing the rules or playtesting it don't wish to re-consider. I would rather have a view from those outside of that circle.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:48 am

player wrote:Well I actually disagree that Hittite Chariots should be classed as heavy anyway but that is another argument
perhaps one you'd like to start a thread on in the Player Designed Lists forum?
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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:50 am

player wrote:Two horse (and the debatable 3 horse) as well as 4 horse 3 man chariots were used agaisnt the very heavy late Assyrian chariots by Uratians and Neo-Babylonians.
And what about those match-ups, from the historical record, leads you to think that the current rules do not give a proper representation?
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Post by pyruse » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:26 am

What's debatable about the 3 horse chariots?
There are clear artistic representations of them in action.

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Post by player » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:49 am

The debate about the 3 horse chariots is how they would actually work when the yoke is for 2 horses only. 1 horse on each side of the yoke as outriders is ok as it is balanced but 1 horse extra would unbalance the chariot and tend to pull it to one side. These early representations were not necessarily accurate. For example some representations show chariots with a central axle and some with a rear axle with chariots purportedly of the same design. From studies and reconstructions of chariots it seems that central axle chariots would unbalance it when moving, hence it may be that some representations are poorly observed by the artist?

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Post by hammy » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:10 am

There are indeed a number of different interpretations of the art and experimental archeology has yet to come up with a euraka explanation.

In a lot of ways the 3 horse chariot could be a wargaming myth but I don't see how it is relevant to a discussion on the relative effectiveness of 4 horse heavy chariots and heavy chariots with fewer than 4 horses.

There is a perfectly valid argument that a 4 horse heavy with 4 crew would have an advantage over a 2 horse heavy with 3 crew BUT that is only relevant if there were instances where these two troop types fought. It is much like saying that a medieval swordsman with a steel sword and steel armour should have an advantage over an Egyptian swordsman with bronze armour and a bronze weapon.

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Post by ethan » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:33 am

player wrote:Well I actually disagree that Hittite Chariots should be classed as heavy anyway but that is another argument
If you read the list notes for the Hittite list you will find the authors might think there is a point to this, but as they did (for right or wrong) in a number of cases is to allow multiple interpretations.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:43 am

player wrote:The debate about the 3 horse chariots is how they would actually work when the yoke is for 2 horses only. 1 horse on each side of the yoke as outriders is ok as it is balanced but 1 horse extra would unbalance the chariot and tend to pull it to one side. These early representations were not necessarily accurate. For example some representations show chariots with a central axle and some with a rear axle with chariots purportedly of the same design. From studies and reconstructions of chariots it seems that central axle chariots would unbalance it when moving, hence it may be that some representations are poorly observed by the artist?

I don't think any suggestion that the depiction of the 3 horse chariots is some sort of mistake can really stand up, there are too many depictions showing them for which a suggestion of a mistake would not be credible.

For example the following:

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 6173610354

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 6473935826

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 7535280882

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 6803910034

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 8302130434

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 4765370690

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 0825294546

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 9994324274

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 7242316242

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/nikgaukro ... 4157034610

All from various reliefs at Nimrud where, I would suggest, you are not going to get mistakes 8)


How they operated in practice is a different question, however, IIRC Nigel Tallis (something of an expert on the subject) has posted ideas on the Ancmed yahoo list in the past.
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Post by player » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:30 pm

Unfortunately many of the competition set do not adhere strictly to historical match ups' so the it then becomes odd if there are the earlier chariots with the same classification as the later ones. If the idea is to make things a little more simplistic then there should not be any Heavy Chariots out of time in the late bronze age. All should be light chariots with the distinction as to the weapon class. Hence Egyptian chariots would have bow while the Hittite would have light spear so that they have the advantage in close combat. There does not seem to be any evidence that the Hittite chariots were so radically different than the Egyptians. Currently in FoG there is no way your Light Chariots would want to face the Heavys straight on. This goes against the evidence that there were straight fights between Hittite and Egyptian chariots. The same applys to the Minoan and Early Mycenaean where it is even more ridiculous with a Heavy Chariot classification with only two men. Again, Heavy chariots out of sync with te times, even if relative to other so-called light chariots in other armies. I don't see why the advantage cannot be distinguished with the weapon i.e bow and light spear rather than the apparent "weight" of the chariot? If you are looking for apparent results of say Hittite or Minoan chariot fights against other nations of the day, I cannot think of any where they are significantly different. I think there has been a simplistic look at this in the rules such as 3 men in a chariot therefore it must be heavy or the Minoan - with the dendritic armour - "it must be Heavy". Surprisingly in the Later Myceanean the chariots then regress to lights? Of course we don't know for sure but my view is that these earlier chariots were all probably used in the same way and not for shcok effect like the later Iron Age Heavy chariots?

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Post by hammy » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:51 pm

Looking at the Hittite army list you can have light chariots with light spear. You can also after 1275 have heavy chariots either with bow or with light spear.

Granted Kadesh is after the time at which the Hittites can gave heavy chariots but if you think that is wrong then if you are fighting Hittite vs Egyptians don't use them.

As for heavy chariots being way better than lights I am not so sure. They are a lot more expensive, are shock troops and move slower.

Essentially FoG has two classes of chariots, those that can skirmish (light chariots) and those that want to get stuck in to melee (heavy chariots). Light chariots with light spear are a sort of half way house and to be honest are probably about the worst kind of chariot there is.

IMO the choice of light or heavy has little to do with 'weight' and a lot to do with the way the vehicles are thought to have been used.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:57 pm

hammy wrote: IMO the choice of light or heavy has little to do with 'weight' and a lot to do with the way the vehicles are thought to have been used.
Indeed this is the case. HCh and LCh behave in different ways and this is used to distinguish some that are perceived to have different behaviour but are otherwise the same. The old top down as opposed to bottom up approach idea.
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