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Thread: Elephant mounted cannons

  1. #31
    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander the Pretty Good
    How about a multi-staged weapon?

    An elephant has a cannon on its back that shoots another elephant into the air. The second elephant, which is smaller, has a swivel-mounted cannon on it. Perfect for siege assualts; the second stage elephant is shot over the walls and then shoots the defenders off the walls from behind. Now that's Total War.
    What about some kind of two-stage weapon with MIRVed flaming pigs?
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  2. #32
    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Perfect. Pork-round Pachyderm-based Pyro-mania.

    The second elephant fires a salvo of flaming pigs. Unstoppable.
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  3. #33
    Seii Taishōgun 征夷大将軍 Member PROMETHEUS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Did u know that flaming pigs where used in history right?, more than once , even timurids used flaming camels against elephants ....

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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Not literal flaming camels.
    They placed smoking straw in braziers in large baskets on the back of camels and sent them into the elephants. The elephants became frightened by the smoke, smell and camels and ran amok through their own troops.

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  5. #35
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    I find it odd that people are so set in their views of the past.
    Why is it that so many people can't seem to accept that odd things did happen? Flaming pigs have been flamed more than they ever were in reality and these cannon-eles seems to be going in the same direction. DESPITE certain evidence.

    Why is that? I mean we produce far stranger stuff today. War-dolphins (sniffing for mines) and plants that grow in strange colours when on top of a landmine... Those are in a stranger chategory than either the eles or the pigs.
    People back then weren't any different than us in thoughts, they too would create odd things.

    What should be argued is if the use of those units warrent an inclusion (and some people luckily go this direction). That is far better. And instead of just trying to shoot down these odd units try and see if they actually existed before doing so. It saves a lot of 'looking foolish'.
    Last edited by Kraxis; 03-01-2006 at 15:47.
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    I totally agree.... strange things did happen and still do...monkeys in space, dogs sniffing for bombs,drugs etc, pigeons delivering messages, parakeets to detect poison gas, monkeys to explode landmines,

    Pigs on fire were used
    Camels on "fire" did happen
    Elephants with small "cannons/guns" on their backs were used
    Dogs and handlers were part of history
    Pigeons delivered Caesars messages
    Cats and foxes had a rope attached to their tail with a oil ball of cloth and were set alight and sent into enemy crops and villages.
    Priests did march into battle
    Women did howl and scream at the enemy
    Oxen, buffalo, etc, were panicked into approaching troops
    The list goes on and on

    The world is strange and history is a sure example of man’s genius at coping with it. Strange things happen in love and war………….I can’t wait to blast a hole in the gate with my elephant gun or mow down a charging knight. If you don’t like the units don’t use them or mod them out but don’t say CA can’t put them in. They are using history as a resource and expanding the opportunities of the gamers.

    Elephants with guns on their back are a part of history. It may not have been effective or used to a great extent but it is documented.


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  7. #37
    Member Member TB666's Avatar
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    Default Sv: Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Personally I love these odd stuff and is more interesting then the normal stuff and should be in.
    If they could create such units in the past then we should be able to create them too.
    Of course they should be tweaked so that they don't become uber.
    The flaming pigs were a nice balance IMO.
    The chance of success were slim with those units and it seemed to have been the same historically.

  8. #38
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Let's not forget that people are still very adamant about certain, even modern, strange contraptions.

    For instance the well documented (and pictured) mine-dogs of the Russian army in WWII. People continually deny their existance, even if they have no proper knowledge of the matter. It is simply too 'strange' to be true.
    Keep that in mind when you are about dismiss something...
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  9. #39
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    I saw a book a while ago about military animals. Quite some strange things in there: bats carrying mini bombs.

    No doubt a lot of doomed projects, some never pulled off. And several of those that did, were limited in use.

    What would Hannibal say when we told him we use bacteria to kill each other in modern 'civilised' warfare?
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  10. #40
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    What would Hannibal say when we told him we use bacteria to kill each other in modern 'civilised' warfare?
    Well... He would likely say: "What's that???" But given he knew what they were and where they came from, he would say: "Ahhh... We did the same, we tried to get halfrotten dead animals or people into besieged cities."
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  11. #41
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraxis
    Well... He would likely say: "What's that???" But given he knew what they were and where they came from, he would say: "Ahhh... We did the same, we tried to get halfrotten dead animals or people into besieged cities."
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  12. #42
    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by PROMETHEUS
    Did u know that flaming pigs where used in history right?, more than once , even timurids used flaming camels against elephants ....
    Yes.
    The idea that I would recruit them, and maintain them in my army, and have them take up a slot that could be occupied by something else is madness though.

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  13. #43
    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Sykotyk Rampage
    I totally agree.... strange things did happen and still do...monkeys in space, dogs sniffing for bombs,drugs etc, pigeons delivering messages, parakeets to detect poison gas, monkeys to explode landmines,
    Soviet dog-mounted anti-tank mines seem to be the closest modern equivalent to anti-elephant flaming pigs. :)

    The fact is that elephants were an important part of warfare on the Indian subcontinent for far later than they were further West; it's not peculiar that people would search for ways to use firearms with them. If the game covers this area, and includes the development of firearms, then there is no problem with such units being recruitable.

    I personally think that units like the flaming pigs in RTW are less likely candidates since they were used rarely and with dubious effect. The best elephant killers tend to be artillery or skirmishing troops who don't have rigid lines to smash into - not walking barbeques. ;)
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    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraxis
    Let's not forget that people are still very adamant about certain, even modern, strange contraptions.

    For instance the well documented (and pictured) mine-dogs of the Russian army in WWII. People continually deny their existance, even if they have no proper knowledge of the matter. It is simply too 'strange' to be true.
    Keep that in mind when you are about dismiss something...
    Oh dammit! I figured someone would beat me to it.
    The Soviet mine-dogs are especially funny, given the different fuel-systems of German and Soviet tanks of the period. :)
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    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    I saw a book a while ago about military animals. Quite some strange things in there: bats carrying mini bombs.

    No doubt a lot of doomed projects, some never pulled off. And several of those that did, were limited in use.

    What would Hannibal say when we told him we use bacteria to kill each other in modern 'civilised' warfare?
    The USA during WW2 was going to use bats to terrify the Japanese weren't they? Someone high up was convinced that Japanese people were absolutely terrified of bats.
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  16. #46
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    In the late 1600s Carolus XI of Sweden attempted to create an unit of elk-mounted cavalry, being something of a fan of the big animals and there being no shortage of them in the Scandinavian forests (Swedish monarchs found them useful royal gifts to the regents of less arboreal lands, too). As you might imagine it kind of... didn't work too well. The project was quietly abandoned after a lot of broken bones among the riders.

    Compared to that, or foe that matter the odd stab at mounting swivel-gun sized artillery on horses, utilizing elephants as light anipersonnel artillery platforms sounds quite sensible.
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  17. #47
    Member Member Zenicetus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    In the late 1600s Carolus XI of Sweden attempted to create an unit of elk-mounted cavalry, being something of a fan of the big animals and there being no shortage of them in the Scandinavian forests (Swedish monarchs found them useful royal gifts to the regents of less arboreal lands, too). As you might imagine it kind of... didn't work too well. The project was quietly abandoned after a lot of broken bones among the riders.

    Compared to that, or foe that matter the odd stab at mounting swivel-gun sized artillery on horses, utilizing elephants as light anipersonnel artillery platforms sounds quite sensible.
    I'm still trying to figure out why a swivel gun on a howdah would be better than an archer or two, especially if it's not a modern breech loader. You're going to load powder, shot, wad, then tamp, and then light a fuse on a moving elephant in the heat of battle? The reload time must have been very slow. Maybe it was only used for "shock and awe" at the start of battle?

  18. #48
    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenicetus
    I'm still trying to figure out why a swivel gun on a howdah would be better than an archer or two, especially if it's not a modern breech loader. You're going to load powder, shot, wad, then tamp, and then light a fuse on a moving elephant in the heat of battle? The reload time must have been very slow. Maybe it was only used for "shock and awe" at the start of battle?
    Interestingly, such reasoning was why the Ottoman sipahi were so slow to adopt fire-arms, traditionally their bow-skill was a mark of their status and so they were unwilling to trade their bows in for guns which were dirty, noisy, and had a lower rate of fire.

    Perhaps the advantage of the elephant as it was an elevated and defensible firing position, and it could also accomodate some additional crew to reload the firearms. Firearms might have also offered greater range and penetration over the types of bows that were able to be effectively used on elephant-back.

    Perhaps though it was just a mania for these fancy new weapons coupled with the idea that elephants were the supreme battlefield vehicle?
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  19. #49
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenicetus
    I'm still trying to figure out why a swivel gun on a howdah would be better than an archer or two, especially if it's not a modern breech loader. You're going to load powder, shot, wad, then tamp, and then light a fuse on a moving elephant in the heat of battle? The reload time must have been very slow. Maybe it was only used for "shock and awe" at the start of battle?
    That is the point. They were used in the east as far as I have understood. There the elephant tactics were a bit different than the rather aggressive western (Persia and westwards) ones. Elephants were meant to be a stabilizer, and a sort of bulwark against enemy attacks, thus they were relatively still for a lot of the battle.
    The elevated position would of course help a lot too. A small 1-2 pounder could really do damage to dense infantry blocks, and it wouldn't take up much room either, not much more than an archer (since the gun would be mounted on the howdah wall rather than in the middle). So in effect you could have a gun and two archers. Good combo if you ask me.
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  20. #50

    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    from what ive heard this only ever happened once in recorded history so im not sure if it should be included but i spose they have to open it to a wider range of people so they have to include units with small historical accuracy
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  21. #51
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by littlegannon
    from what ive heard this only ever happened once in recorded history so im not sure if it should be included but i spose they have to open it to a wider range of people so they have to include units with small historical accuracy
    Well, that is how the argument should be made. Does the usage of the unit warrent its inclusion. But look back a little and see how people dismissed the thing as pure fantasy...
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  22. #52
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraxis
    Well, that is how the argument should be made. Does the usage of the unit warrent its inclusion. But look back a little and see how people dismissed the thing as pure fantasy...
    True.

    But there's more. You can say: 'it didn't work in history so exclude it'.
    You can also say: 'it didn't work in history, but it was there. Can you, the player, make better use of it'?

    It's wrong to make such units uber and have them dominate the battlefield (stat or cost wise: a strong unit should cost a lot, a normal unit shouldn't get supernatural powers ). It's also wrong to introduce completely out of time technology (V2 rocket for HRE). But demi culverins in 1380 or 1392? A history book may tell you the exact date. These games are a what if -if they weren't, why are people actually playing it and trying to beat Rome playing the Greek?- not a 100% re-enactment.

    1,000 history books - close to reality (cough).
    TW games - 'what if' reality.
    Lord of The Rings -fantasy.

    I think it's nice to include these things for several reasons (and remember, since MTW, we can always remove any unit we don't like. Kraellin advocated that a lot):
    -There's something educative about it. Medieval times is not just about knights and princesses, there were elephants too.
    -Can I make use of it? It fails because, but can be made to work if? A hallenge for the player.
    -It possibly attracts more people, more people means $ale$. Despite what people say: money is required to make things.
    -More units imply more possibilities for the game-engine (sure more bugs to hunt) --> more playing and more mod fun (remember you can REM units but also create new ones) and more unit parameters to make units. MTW VI stats allowed to do much more than STW MI.

    Of course there's also a problem with balancing it. A difficult task, very difficult and impossible even when there are not enough individual parameters, the game using too simplified models (which don't allow any tweak) or other features in the game totally voiding all efforts. Some examples.

    -MTW had vs cavalry defending and attacking bonusses, individual for each unit (one stick is not the other). Very useful to balance the important cavalry vs infantry. Unless I completely overlook something, that in depth tweak is not around in RTW. STW didn't offer this at all: a spear was a spear was a pike.

    -While arquebusses are a very clear part of Sengoku Jidai, the STW gunmodel is too simplistic to include firearms. There's no way to make them so that you don't run into some disturbing glitch or two.

    -All TW games, except MTW VI, have MP battlefield upgrades. Fine/acceptable in some cases, but there are also some extreme ones that void any balancing effort made. Cheap STW H0 Kensai only had to made 2 kills to become H1, 4 to become H2 and thus become a much more expensive and dangerous unit. H0 no-dachi were very effective in 1,000 koku games for the same reason, MTW Lancers, RTW has the battlefield upgrades too (arcanii?).

    The upgrade by itself is an example of disturbing balance (not saying upgrading is a bad thing or unrealistic): better training and better quality weapons are fine and authentic. But the way it works is wrong: in STW and MTW any unit gained the same, swamping the original purpose of that unit (a submarine captain doesn't learn how to fly a Raptor. RTW improved by updating the ranged effectiveness.

    So, an important question to include a unit is: does it look good and can it be made to work logical/physically realistic?

    Kensais did exist, not like Mushasi after Sengoku, but they weren't 12 feet tall. Ninjas did exist, and them performing battlefield tasks is not unlikely (Oda Nobunaga even waged war against them), them wearing black kimono's and cowls on the battlefield is not likely, but ok. Them wearing large banners, but also having a portable Romulan cloaking device and thus gunners being unable to target them is a clear no.

    The 'more is better doctrine' is wrong, the 'more is worse thought' is also wrong.

    More & more can be good.
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  23. #53
    Member Member ZombieFriedNuts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    I think that if they tried it once, you should have the chance to try it
    Last edited by ZombieFriedNuts; 03-05-2006 at 18:13.
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  24. #54
    Member Member Zenicetus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    <snip>
    So, an important question to include a unit is: does it look good and can it be made to work logical/physically realistic?

    <snip>

    The 'more is better doctrine' is wrong, the 'more is worse thought' is also wrong.

    More & more can be good.
    But only when a developer has unlimited resources and time to throw at a game, which is never the case. Every unique unit in the game has to be modeled, animated, and playtested for game balance. That puts a cap on the number of unique units. There may also be technical issues (polygon count, RAM space, etc.) that limit how many unique units can be represented at once.

    Given that reality, my $.02 opinion is that semi-fantasy units, or units that are somewhat "fringe" types that are interesting but were seldom used, are fine in the game.... but ONLY if they're in a faction where all the main bases have been covered, so the army is more-or-less historically representative.

    It can be a problem with factions that did use may different unit types on a regular basis, and there are barely enough slots to represent them. That's where "stealing" a slot with a fringe unit should be avoided. So it basically depends on the faction, and how many slots you need to make the army more-or-less authentic.

  25. #55
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    As a side note, early small-end guns - just the sorts of swivel-guns and very light cannon an elephant howdah could conceivably accommodate - were quite commonly breechloaders. Or at least the gunpowder was in a separate, detachable iron "bottle" that was wedged in place and replaced after use. Presumably you could pack the ball in one too, but I'm not sure if this was actually done. So long as you had ready "bottles" available rate of fire was obviously pretty high, however this sort of design was abandoned as both unsafe and underpowered (as the gas tended to bleed from the less-than-perfectly-fitted join between the "bottle" and the gun proper).
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  26. #56
    Member Member Bobby G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    I didn't believe it when I saw it!!!!!!!

    http--image.com.com-gamespot-images-2006-255-931592_20060913_screen001.jpg

    That is definitely an elephant with some sort of mounted gun.
    I'll have to wait and see how they behave in the game. Then I'll decide whether they should be in the game or not.

  27. #57
    Member Member Callatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby G
    I didn't believe it when I saw it!!!!!!!

    http--image.com.com-gamespot-images-2006-255-931592_20060913_screen001.jpg

    That is definitely an elephant with some sort of mounted gun.
    I'll have to wait and see how they behave in the game. Then I'll decide whether they should be in the game or not.

    Loll .. I've played with them - as well as with the missile launcher elephants:



    Last edited by Callatian; 10-10-2006 at 20:15.
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  28. #58
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    It looks exactly like the historical artwork.

    Oops, I guess they got it right.
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  29. #59
    Member Member SirGrotius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephant mounted cannons

    Elephant artillery, eh...

    This reminds me of players in FPSs who always use rockets and power ups and have ADHD.
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