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Thread: Elephants in Greece?

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    Member Member TKaz84's Avatar
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    Default Elephants in Greece?

    looking at the recruitment Viewer I noticed that Epeiros can recruit Indian Elephants in Epeiros with a level 5 factional MIC. Now obviously Pyrrhos used elephants in his campaigns, but being able to recruit them in Greece seems a bit odd to me...

    On a somewhat related note, I always disband the one unit I start with as soon as i use it to capture Pella, as 3000 minai for one unit is not really something that I can afford at the beginning. Has anyone kept them for longer and if so how?

  2. #2
    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    It's there to represent the possibility of Elephants being sent to Epeiros... It's simmilar with the Arche Seleukia... They can recruit elephants in Antioch, even if they didn't live there since you would have to hold India in your hands to get them any other way, while we all know the AS didn't hold India when elephants were used. (the same with Carthage i think)... Elephants were a trading good of sorts...
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    Member Member Teucer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    I believe most (but not all) of Carthage's elephants were locally caught. It is believed that they were a subspecies of the African bush elephant (the big guys) which disappeared sometime during the Roman period.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_Elephant

    Apparently Hannibal had one elephant names "Surus" (The Syrian) which was probably an imported Asian elephant.

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    Member Member Qvintvs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    To simulate it, you can increase the number of turns to recruit them.

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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teucer View Post
    I believe most (but not all) of Carthage's elephants were locally caught. It is believed that they were a subspecies of the African bush elephant (the big guys) which disappeared sometime during the Roman period.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_Elephant

    Apparently Hannibal had one elephant names "Surus" (The Syrian) which was probably an imported Asian elephant.
    I ment the city Carthage... IIRC there were no elephants in the near vicinity (nearer to other cities in EB) but they are still recruitable there, since cought elephants were sent to Carthage
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    Member Member Andy1984's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    These elephants would either be gifts from states (like the ones gifted to the AS, or the ones the AS gifted to Epeiros), or were caught in campaigns that were set up for catching elephants (e.g. the Ptolemean expeditions in Africa, the expeditions from Carthage to Mauretania). Some other Mauretanian elephants were possibly traded by Mauretanian traders. The RTW-engine is however incapable of representing such political gifts, gifts by treaties or even ordinary expeditions. Making them a recruitable elite unit seems to me the best option the team had. In a perfect world such expeditions would be represented by agents.
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    Klibanophoros Ton Rhomaioktono Member Duguntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    It'd be a nice roleplay thing NOT to recruit elephants until you got trade right (or even alliance) with a faction who have elephants in there homeland (Baktria and Cartage) and thus simulating elephant trade and shipment! This plus tweaking the number of turns it takes to recruit them = pretty historical way of having elephants to smash your neighbor!
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    Parthian Cataphract #03452 Member Zradha Pahlavan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    That's part of the reason they're so expensive. Shipping them around would be hard.
    I bet it would suck to be on an ancient-style boat with an elephant or small group of elephants on it in difficult seas...
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    RABO! Member Brave Brave Sir Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Would there be any way to tweak the merchant agent in M2:TW to represent elephant expeditions by various factions and when they are sitting on an elephant "resource" you might be able to recruit elephants at different locations? It seems like it could be a stretch although through scripting maybe possible? The price of the agent could be very expensive to represent the vast resources needed to be able to not only maintain the beasts, but also the teams of trainers and such who would be needed to find and tame them.

    More on topic, I am currently playing an Epiros campaign and I hung onto the elephants you start with. Sure it makes your early money situation difficult but I took a good part of my forces and shipped them to Italy, disbanded most of my fleet, conquered Arpi and Ariminium within 12 turns or so, and took Pella, Corinth and the Thessalian town rather quickly as well. With all this under your belt, you will be turning a decent profit and then I turned north and took the two Illyrian towns as well which also helped the situation of my economy. Remember, more than almost any other faction, Epiros is primed, and it is actually historically viable, to blitz Greece.
    Last edited by Brave Brave Sir Robin; 05-25-2010 at 17:55.
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    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    We were sort of stuck at an impasse with gameplay. It is important to remember that the Seleukids actually had stables and a breeding program for elephants in Syria. Obviously though, they weren't the best at it since the numbers kept dwindling and they couldn't even raise enough for replacement. For Epeiros, we wanted to represent the possibility of the establishment of such a program (remember that Pyrrhos' elephants were actually a gift from Antiochos - read: a way to keep Pyrrhos from making trouble in the east) and give the player more options.


  12. #12
    Member Member TKaz84's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    I guess I've never really had a battle where I thought to myself "I really wish I had some elephants right now." The problem is that we KNOW how to counter them, whereas the Romans the first time the Macedonians and Romans encountered them they were terrified.

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    Member Member Albath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by TKaz84 View Post
    I guess I've never really had a battle where I thought to myself "I really wish I had some elephants right now." The problem is that we KNOW how to counter them, whereas the Romans the first time the Macedonians and Romans encountered them they were terrified.
    I concur. When I happen to have elephants in my roster, I use them to charge behind the enemies hammer-and-anvil style (when cavalry can achieve the same thing). If the AI happen to have them, I just javelin-spam them repeatedly.
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    Nikesas Barbaron Member HunGeneral's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duguntz View Post
    It'd be a nice roleplay thing NOT to recruit elephants until you got trade right (or even alliance) with a faction who have elephants in there homeland (Baktria and Cartage) and thus simulating elephant trade and shipment! This plus tweaking the number of turns it takes to recruit them = pretty historical way of having elephants to smash your neighbor!
    Thats for sure. Although I my case I wouldn't have to roleplay it sicne there so damm expensive that I can't recruit them at all until I have an empire by the size of Alexanders empire...

    By the way: are there any rumours on how Unit recruitment will work in EBII? I read somewhere that they won't be using a baracks system like in EBI (looks like no more elite factional and elite native troops from one city at the same time for me..)
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    EB Online Founder Senior Member vartan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by HunGeneral View Post
    By the way: are there any rumours on how Unit recruitment will work in EBII? I read somewhere that they won't be using a baracks system like in EBI (looks like no more elite factional and elite native troops from one city at the same time for me..)
    You shouldn't have elite local and factional from the same city anyways. The only way this is possible is Type 4 >> Lvl 5 local brx, destroy Type 4, provisional, Type 1 >> Lvl 5 factional brx. And that's not what should be done according to unwritten EB Ethics.
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    EB on ALX player Member ziegenpeter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Hmm I think this AOR and a factions ability of recruiting is an interesting Topic.
    If you can "send" units from India to greece, why can't you recruit Scordisci Heavies in Buridava? Why are there some Units you can recruit in far of areas (like Eles in Antiochia or other High tier Makedonian units in Alexandria/Pella/Antiochia/Baktria) but not others?
    If Epeirotes can recruit Elephants in greece, why cant the macedons? Why do the Selekids have Babylonian Spearmen but not the Ptolies when they conquer Babylonia?
    What determines which faction can recruit which regionals? (I think the diadochoi eg should have the same regionals in the same region. Not sure if thats the case)

    I know that we shouldnt enable all units to all factions, but I hope in EBII there will be a higher diversity, especially in the regional roster, contained by a lower replenish rate..

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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Even if u have trade agreement with the right ruler,licence for transfer throught allied territory and after all enough money and patience,how much elefants do u think may survive way to greece?And how long they much travel?Because i believe they need a shitload of fed,u need them move trought some +- deserts...with food and enough water,because these elefants are from India.They know nothing about dryness or even about dry air,they live in places with big dampness in air.

    I think u will do this elefant bussines only once,after all it must be very unprofitable exchange and with very unclear end.They are real in greece,but with bloody recruitement time.Just know how much actions in political scene or battlefield must Pyrhos do to finally obtain his elefants.How big is their real influence to history?

    For example imagine Attila casulties betwen horses during transfer from his steppe home,much better climate then persia or syria/turkey,but cost him more then battles.
    Last edited by william weedzor; 05-30-2010 at 01:05.

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    Member Member Cambyses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    They are a major status symbol, and at times they were very effective in battle. When things didnt go so well, it was generally because they werent used right or were too inexperienced to be effective. Rookie elephants were considerably less useful as they arent accustomed to the battlefield whick makes them more likely to spook.

    But also you have to remember elephants were used as beasts of burden / construction assistants all over the wealthy parts of the ancient world. Nero allegedly needed 200 of them to move his "colossus" statue is Rome for example. They were perhaps an expensive luxury in war, but they were also used extensively as working animals in prestige empires that could afford it. So, elephant transfers woudnt have been that unusual throughout the Mediterranean.

    And, I have to say as well, the fog of war at the beginning of the game is a representative thing put in for gameplay reasons, to suggest that in 272BC Carthage, for example, would not know of the existence of Baktria and vice versa is absurd IMHO.

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    EB Online Founder Senior Member vartan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cambyses View Post
    And, I have to say as well, the fog of war at the beginning of the game is a representative thing put in for gameplay reasons, to suggest that in 272BC Carthage, for example, would not know of the existence of Baktria and vice versa is absurd IMHO.
    (Emphasis added). Why?
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    Member Member Qvintvs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    I heard the elephants knew the existence of Carthage by 272 BC

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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cambyses View Post
    They are a major status symbol, and at times they were very effective in battle. When things didnt go so well, it was generally because they werent used right or were too inexperienced to be effective. Rookie elephants were considerably less useful as they arent accustomed to the battlefield whick makes them more likely to spook.

    But also you have to remember elephants were used as beasts of burden / construction assistants all over the wealthy parts of the ancient world. Nero allegedly needed 200 of them to move his "colossus" statue is Rome for example. They were perhaps an expensive luxury in war, but they were also used extensively as working animals in prestige empires that could afford it. So, elephant transfers woudnt have been that unusual throughout the Mediterranean.

    And, I have to say as well, the fog of war at the beginning of the game is a representative thing put in for gameplay reasons, to suggest that in 272BC Carthage, for example, would not know of the existence of Baktria and vice versa is absurd IMHO.
    Do not compare dealing inside mediterranean and dealing with distant countries.If u want,u can load african elefants in Leptis Magna and after two weeks unload them in Ostia.Do same thing betwen Epeiros and Baktria:).I dont simply care how much elefants Nero have and also its pointless in this case,because they are from africa,same common stuff as lions or lion furs.Rome in his times have infrastructure for this and it was deal inside one state..Roman Empire.But Epeiros must deal with end of known world and foreign powers.For example Nero need say: 200 elefants or there will 200 dead animal traders and he have his elefant,no big deal.Also betwen Nero times and Pyrhoss times are 300 years difference and world change.

  22. #22
    Member Member Cambyses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Quote Originally Posted by william weedzor View Post
    Do not compare dealing inside mediterranean and dealing with distant countries.If u want,u can load african elefants in Leptis Magna and after two weeks unload them in Ostia.Do same thing betwen Epeiros and Baktria:).I dont simply care how much elefants Nero have and also its pointless in this case,because they are from africa,same common stuff as lions or lion furs.Rome in his times have infrastructure for this and it was deal inside one state..Roman Empire.But Epeiros must deal with end of known world and foreign powers.For example Nero need say: 200 elefants or there will 200 dead animal traders and he have his elefant,no big deal.Also betwen Nero times and Pyrhoss times are 300 years difference and world change.
    heh, I dont really deny any of your points about the ease of transportation within one mediterranean empire or the difference in the world of the two ages. However, we certainly dont know that Nero's elephants were African. The tradition of using elephants in that manner was unusual in Africa outside of Carthage. It is much more typical in the east. An elephant would need to be trained from birth to be any use in such circumstances and not try to fight its mahut. So, just grabbing a bunch of wild elephants off the African svelte would not work, they would need to be doemesticated and IMO the more likely place of origin for large numbers of working elephants would be the east. We can speculate all we want on this point, but ultimately we cannot know. Wild elephants were only good for the Colosseum.

    In war, elephants also needed to be highly trained to be effective.

    In my opinion modern students of history tend to underestimate the abilities of ancient civilizations because of the perceived scientific deficit between us and them. In this case it is perhaps best to look at the south-east asian societies that still use elephants in their construction and logging industries to understand what would or would not be possible - or more or less likely. For example its clear that an elephant responds best to one personal handler - that will likely stay with it for life. A practice that both ancient and modern societies are said to have in common.

    Im not trying to suggest that elephant transportation was "normal" or commonplace, but it would not have been exceptional in times when good transportation routes existed between the mediterranean and the east. In Pyrrhus's time such good transportation routes were in place across the seleucid empire. A territory that we all know extended from near the borders if India to the Mediterranean - and i refer you to your earlier point at how much easier it is to move goods - of any kind - within the borders of a single empire.

    Anyway, all Im trying to say is that it was infinitely possible and conceivable that given sufficent money, co-operation from the seleucids and political will that elephants could have made the journey to Greece.

    Quote Originally Posted by vartan View Post
    (Emphasis added). Why?
    Because surely the Carthaginians knew of Alexander, his conquests and his legacy. Their own "mother" city was initimately caught up in the whole process. Leaving aside the fact that the balance of power was shifted right across the whole Mediterannean. Even if somehow they had missed that, the province of Baktria was well known and respected within the Achaemenid Empire previously, of which again Tyre had been a part. And all this within the lifetime of the fathers and grandfathers of the influential Carthaginians in 272BC.

    But most of all they were a major trading hub. They didnt need to make regular trips to places to know they existed, just see and handle the goods, and meet their merchants halfway.

    Why would you think that they wouldnt know about the place? They were not isolationists or xenophobes.
    Last edited by Ludens; 05-31-2010 at 17:31. Reason: merged posts

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    EB Online Founder Senior Member vartan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants in Greece?

    Only way to ensure knowledge of places by nations is to look at sources.
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