Chariots?

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jedavis.e504
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Chariots?

How would one model chariots in DaW? Given that they were employed up through Alexander's day / Gaugamela at least, might be a nice thing to have stats for. Probably sort of an odd combination of War Machine and Cavalry movement...

(The alternate answer is "Sounds like you should've gone for a higher kickstarter level, bub!" :P)

Kiero
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Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13

How are you seeing them being used? Reality was past their zenith, they were either glorified battle taxis or else a novelty without much real application on the battlefield. You need a nice, flat plain for them to be useful, and ideally opponents who are poorly armoured and without their own good cavalry.

Nerdnumber1
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Joined: 2013-03-08 18:02

I know that chariots were feared in certain eras. According to the Bible, having GOD on your side wasn't enough to beat guys with iron chariots. Yes the default setting of ACKS is based on an era when chariots were already obsolete, but there are other eras to play and magic may change the dynamics of war in somewhat unexpected ways.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

At the request at one of our very high-level backers, Chariot rules are being written for D@W!

 

The Dark
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Huzzah!

jedavis.e504
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Excellent!

The Dark
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Out of curiosity, will the rules cover different types of chariots? The Egyptian rear-axle chariots were quite a bit different from Mitanni heavy chariots, Shang two-horse chariots, or Zhou four-horse chariots.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

The rules (now written) cover three types of chariots - light, medium, and heavy, corresponding to Egyptian, Hittite, and Neo-Assyrian respectively.

Chariot, Light: A light chariot is an open, two-wheeled vehicle used for hunting, racing, or warfare. It is built for speed, with a lightweight frame of elm or ash covered by hide. The axle is set at the very rear of the body for maximum mobility and stability. The chariot’s wheels are about 2’6” in diameter. Its wheel track is about 5’9” wide, while its total length, including harnessed creatures, is 11’6”. The cab measures 3’3” wide, 1’8” deep, and 2’6” high, with room for two man-sized creatures, one of whom must be the driver. The cab includes three built in weapon-cases, with room for a composite bow, 3 javelins, and 20 arrows. A light chariot has AC 0 and 1 shp.

A light chariot may be pulled by one or two creatures whose normal loads add up to at least 40 stone. When used in war, light chariots are typically pulled by two light horses. The chariot can transport up to the harnessed creatures’ combined normal load at 3/4 the harnessed creatures’ movement rate, or up to the harnessed creature’s combined maximum load at 3/8 the harnessed creatures’ movement rate. The chariot may not exceed 180’ per turn in any case. Light chariots can only move through deserts, forests, mountains, or swamps if a road is available. Historical examples include the New Kingdom Egyptian chariot, the Mycenaean rail-chariot, and the Celtic chariot.

EXAMPLE: A light chariot is harnessed to two light horses (movement rate 240’ per turn, normal load 20 stone). The two light horses have a combined normal load of (20 + 20) 40 stone, and a combined maximum load of 80 stone. The light chariot can transport up to 40 stone at (240 x 3/4) 180’ per turn; or up to 80 stone at (240 x 3/8) 90’ per turn.

Chariot, Medium: A medium chariot is an open, two-wheeled vehicle used in hunting and warfare. The cab is constructed from slates of hardwood. The axle is set beneath the center of the cab, adding to strength of construction. The chariot’s wheels are about 3’ in diameter. Its wheel track is about 6’6” wide, while its total length is 13’. The cab measures 4’ wide, 3’ deep, and 3’ high, with room for three man-sized creatures, one of whom must be the driver. The cab includes three built in weapon-cases, with room for a composite bow, 3 javelins, and 20 arrows. The sturdily-built cab provides its occupants with a +1 AC bonus against attacks to the front and flank. A medium chariot has AC 1 and 1 shp.

A medium chariot may be pulled by two or three creatures whose normal loads add up to at least 60 stone. When used in war, medium chariots are typically pulled by two medium horses or three light horses. The chariot can transport up to the harnessed creatures’ combined normal load at 2/3 the harnessed creatures’ movement rate, or up to the harnessed creature’s combined maximum load at 1/3 the harnessed creatures’ movement rate. The chariot may not exceed 120’ per turn in any case. Medium chariots can only move through deserts, forests, mountains, or swamps if a road is available. Historical examples include the Hittite Anatolian-type chariot and the Mycenaean box chariot.

EXAMPLE: A medium chariot is harnessed to three light horses (movement rate 240’ per turn, normal load 20 stone). The three light horses have a combined normal load of (20 + 20 +20) 60 stone, and a combined maximum load of 120 stone. Based on these factors the medium chariot could transport up to 60 stone at (240 x 2/3) 160’ per turn; or up to 120 stone at (240 x 1/3) 80’ per turn. However, a medium chariot cannot exceed 120’ per turn, so its movement rate at normal load is capped to 120’.

Chariot, Heavy: A heavy chariot is an open, two- or four-wheeled vehicle used in warfare. The cab is constructed from slates of hardwood and reinforced with bronze. The axle is set beneath the center of the cab, adding to strength of construction. The chariot’s wheels are about 5’ in diameter. Its wheel track is about 7’ wide, while its total length is 15’. The cab measures 4’6” wide, 3’3” deep, and 3’9” high, with room for four man-sized creatures, one of whom must be the driver. The cab includes three built in weapon-cases, with room for a composite bow, 3 javelins, and 20 arrows. The armored cab provides its occupants with a +2 AC bonus against attacks to the front and flank. A heavy chariot has AC 2 and 2 shp.

A heavy chariot may be pulled by two, three, or four creatures whose normal loads add up to at least 80 stone. When used in war, heavy chariots are typically pulled by three medium horses or four light horses. The chariot can transport up to the harnessed creatures’ combined normal load at 1/2 the harnessed creatures’ movement rate, or up to the harnessed creature’s combined maximum load at 1/4 the harnessed creatures’ movement rate. The chariot may not exceed 90’ per turn in any case. Heavy chariots can only move through deserts, forests, mountains, or swamps if a road is available. Historical examples include the Neo-Assyrian chariot, Chinese Anyang-type chariot, and Classical Indian chariot.

EXAMPLE: A heavy chariot is harnessed to three medium horses (movement rate 180’ per turn, normal load 30 stone). The three medium horses have a combined normal load of (30 + 30 + 30) 90 stone and a combined maximum load of 180 stone. The heavy chariot can transport up to 90 stone at (180 x 1/2) 90’ per turn; or up to 180 stone at (180 x 1/4) 45’ per turn.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

To answer Kiero/Nerdnumber1's posts above, if used with horses, chariots are inferior to cavalry, as they were historically. As such they would rarely be used in the Auran Empire setting (where cavalry predominate) or in a medieval setting.

However, I can imagine chariots drawn by creatures unavailable to our historical ancestors being truly frightening and fielded even late into the cavalry era. Part of the reason for that is that chariot steeds don't need to be as highly-trained as war mounts since they are controlled by harness and the rider needn't balance on their back. Thus some "dumb" monsters that wouldn't make good mounts (e.g. crocodiles) might show up as chariot steeds.

An example I give in the rules is of elven heavy chariots drawn by saber-toothed tigers. These get something like ~ 14 attacks on a charge.

koewn
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4 Centaur (or controllable crossbreed - slap half a hobgoblin on a horse chassis) archers pulling a heavy chariot with 3 archers and a driver for 7 missile attacks.

The Dark
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Technological and sociological development were what ended the chariot's use (along with the inconvenience of its need for flat terrain). There are carvings of Egyptians riding horses, but they rode them like mules, with pads back at the rear hips. This makes for a very rough ride, since a horse's hindquarters are more active than a mules at high paces, and it's not healthy for the horse. The near-withers saddle allowed for more speed and endurance, since it put the rider in a position that moved less as the horse ran. The shock value of cavalry and their maneuverability was greatly reduced until the Roman high-treed saddle or the stirrup came into use in an area, since maintaining one's seat was more difficult.

Thinking on some other possible animals to be used as chariot-pullers, both bears and boars come to mind. The owlbear would be interesting for pulling a wizard's chariot. Neanderthals in heavy chariots pulled by woolly rhinos could fit into a Lost World style setting (titanotheres and triceratops are probably too large). And, of course, dire wolves for goblins too primitive (or cowardly) to ride on the wolves' backs.

Kiero
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Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13

Uh, shock cavalry was in abundance throughout the Hellenistic era, centuries before the Roman era. What do you think Alexander's cavalry "hammer" to his pike-phalanx "anvil" was? The Romans didn't invent the war saddle they used, like many things they adopted something already in use by someone else.

The stirrup is totally meaningless in the context of the shock charge, it's one of those oft-repeated myths. It provides side-to-side stability, important as a missile platform (it's no coincidence that it was probably invented by nomadic horse-archers) and in a standing melee. Totally irrelevant in the context of a couched charge.

The Dark
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I think Alexander's cavalry is pretty near the sole exception, with their only definite charge against prepared infantry being at Gaugamela - Arrian and Diodorus Siculus disagree about Granicus, Hydaspes was cavalry vs. cavalry, Alexander fought with the Hypaspists on foot at Issus, Jaxartes was against Saccae cavalry, Persian Gate was a pincer envelopment like Thermopylae, and the Uxian Defile was a brief campaign of maneuver. They were melee infantry, but rarely shock infantry. The Roman war saddle seems quite similar to the Sassanid saddle, which they used for their cataphracts, who were used at the charge. Cavalry without a high-cantled saddle were primarily missile troops (Greek cavalry, Saccae, Numidians) or were used against other cavalry or in pursuit of fleeing foes (early Roman equites, the usual use of Macedonian cavalry).

The Dark
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*sigh* Replace infantry with cavalry in "They were melee infantry, but rarely shock infantry." I'm mildly ill, and I'm apparently not quite running on all cylinders.

Kiero
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Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13

Arrian seems pretty clear about Granicus, and given we know he was a soldier and commander, I'd favour his account over Diodorus Siculus'.

"Alexander's cavalry" was the model used by his successors and all the various imitators of Alexander's techniques, so there's no meaningful exception at all. It probably marked the high water mark, since he was able to gather more good quality heavy cavalry than his successors, but there was nothing rare about it in that era.

Furthermore, you seem to be implying that you can only be considered shock cavalry if you charge (frontally?) against formed infantry, which seems pretty erroneous too. Most shock charges were to the rear or at least flanks of an infantry formation, usually one already engaged to the front.

koewn
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Elephants/dinosaurs pulling giants maybe? What would be the scaling of the mount required for Ogre chariots or Giant chariots?

The Dark
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As always, this is just my SWAG, but here's how I approached it:

An Egyptian chariot was around 75 pounds, based on reconstructions. If you estimate crew members (driver and archer) totaling around 250 pounds, with a composite bow, multiple quivers of arrows, and a few javelins, it seems reasonable to put the Egyptian-style chariot's weight at 1/4 the crew's weight. The animal would thus need to be able to draw 5 times the chariot's weight overall. (Note that this is 37.5 stone total, which is close enough to Alex's 40 stone for a SWAG ;) )

A chariot with a pair of hill giants (using weights from the Pathfinder SRD) would need to weigh somewhere around 600 pounds - the two giants would be 2200 pounds, and 200 pounds of equipment would allow them giant-size weapons, but not armor. Thus, the animals would need to be able to draw a total of 3,000 pounds (2200 pounds of giant, 200 pounds of equipment, and 600 pounds of chariot). This is 300 stone, so a pair of elephants could draw it at 3/8 speed, or three elephants at 3/4 speed.

The Dark
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(Continuing the SWAG)

Ogres are smaller, at 650 pounds each. That makes a pair of ogres 1300 pounds. Giving them 100 pounds of equipment puts them at 1400 pounds, and would require a 350 pound chariot. That's a total of 1750 pounds, or 175 stone. 3/4 speed could be accomplished with 5 heavy horses, 6 medium horses, 4 oxen (although the idea of a light chariot drawn by oxen makes me snicker), or a pair of elephants (with a lot of excess capacity).

Jard
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Sorry to resurrect such an ancient thread, but this seemed the closest to my issue and it still doesn't quite answer my questions.

So... first question: light and medium chariots have 1SHP each.  I'm assuming they are wooden which means that huge creatures and magic weapons deal 1/5th damage to them... does this mean a +1 sword that does at least 5 damage destroys the chariot? Also, for animals and size, is huge the next step up in size categories? In 3.x the scale went medium -> large -> huge.  Not sure if it was intended to skip right from man-sized to huge.  This would quickly determine weather a couple medium warhorses could potentialy trample a chariot to bits.

Second question: you mention chariots not needing warmounts because they're harnessed.  Getting your non-war mount shot can lead to a Very Bad Time(tm).  Are there any advantages to shooting at chariot horses besides a potential to reduce speed?

GMJoe
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

So... first question: light and medium chariots have 1SHP each.  I'm assuming they are wooden which means that huge creatures and magic weapons deal 1/5th damage to them... does this mean a +1 sword that does at least 5 damage destroys the chariot?

-Jard

I suspect the "magical attacks" in "Unless otherwise noted, giant sea monsters and magical attacks will do 1 structural hit point of damage for every 5 points of damage their attack normally does" was intended to be about spells like fireball rather than hits from a +1 dagger, but it's hard to be sure. Certianly, the idea of cleaving a chariot in twain with a moonstone-encrusted scimitar is a seductive one.

The Dark
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Second question: you mention chariots not needing warmounts because they're harnessed.  Getting your non-war mount shot can lead to a Very Bad Time(tm).  Are there any advantages to shooting at chariot horses besides a potential to reduce speed?


-Jard
When chariots were done for AD&D (in Dragon #81), the rule for a non-warhorse was that it would panic if it took 1/3 or more of its max HP, and the driver would have a 10% chance per level of avoiding a crash. A crash would deal 1d8 damage for every 60 yards of movement (rounded down). If a horse was seriously wounded (>50% HP) or killed, then if the crash was avoided, the chariot would come to a halt until a different horse could be harnessed. It didn't have rules for attacking the chariot directly.