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Thread: Elephants for Makedonia

  1. #1

    Default Elephants for Makedonia

    I want to emphasize that this isn't a criticism or demand to the team, I'm just curious about the thinking that led to giving Epeiros the ability to recruit elephants but not Makedonia.

    Now obviously Pyrrhos used elephants in his Italian campaign and in the conflict of 273-72, but the Antigonid Makedonians used them during this time period as well, both before and after 272. For example, Antigonos used them against the Gauls at Lysimachaeia in 277 (Just. 25.1-2) and against Pyrrhos himself in 273 (Plut. Pyrrh 26.3). Antigonos also used them in a battle near Megara, (Polyaen. 4.6.3) probably during the Chremonidian War or during some other post-272 conflict, as there's no evidence I'm aware of for any fighting in that area involving Antigonos before the 260's. It may well be true that Antigonos had no elephants in the spring of 272, but lots of factions can recruit units that aren't part of their starting armies.

    Were elephants given to Epeiros and not Makedonia for game balance purposes or because elephants are more associated with Pyrrhos than the Antigonids, or is there another reason I'm missing? As you may be able to tell, I have an interest in this period, and I'd be genuinely interested if there's a source out there on the Epeirot or Antigonid armies that was the basis of this decision.

  2. #2
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    The only argument I could think of is that giving even a single unit to the starting army of Gonatas, would be more elephants than he ever owned...
    If you notice only for Pyrrhos a specific number is mentioned. I even wonder how Gonatas could feed any in his early years, without much of an income...
    They (Antigonos') are hardly mentioned in a way to suppose an active tactical employment, but rather as a psychological trump card...

    Personally I never liked Epeiros being able to recruit them, a scripted unit for the start sure, but steady recruitment in Hellas for Indian Elephants is too much...
    Afaik these beasts were the remnants of Ipsos. No one really "recruited" them, but either captured them or loaned them from the Ptolemaioi or the Seleukidai...

    Imo a mercenary elephant for the Eastern Mediterranean is more accurate, perhaps with the scripted necessity of being allied with either of the aforementioned Hellenistic states (if such a thing is even possible)...
    Hopefully since EBII will use M2TW's engine, which has recruitment pools, players in Hellas will be able to recruit Elephantes only once every several years...
    Last edited by Arjos; 08-07-2013 at 06:29.

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  3. #3
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    IIRC, an EB developer mentioned that the elephant recruitment in Ambrakia represents Phyros' attempt at setting up a breeding program. The reasoning is that if Phyros had survived and Epeiros thrived, he would have been able to do that.

    I agree it's a rather slim justification. Even today, elephants aren't truly domesticated. AFAIK Indian work elephants are captured and tamed rather than bred. It takes too much time and effort to grow a baby elephant into a mature one. Add a small population base and a very long breeding cycle, and the breeding program becomes a long shot.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    Could war elephants be transported by sea? If the answer is positive, I don't see a problem, as long as the recruitment pool is low. However, I wouldn't restrict it to Epeiros, unless somebody provides an explanation why that should be the case. What magical abilities Pyrrhos had that the Macedonians didn't have?

    I'm not a fan of scripted units. I find them artificial. If X was able to recruit Y, I should be able to recruit that unit, too, as long as I meet whatever conditions the devs placed there.

    Another annoying feature is when sth is in the starting OOB (not mercenaries!), but you cannot recruit that kind of unit at the start. Then you notice that you have to build 5 lvl barracks or whatever to be able to recruit this unit type... which is lame. Hopefully, with MTW2's recruitment pools, this problem will disappear.

  5. #5
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Could war elephants be transported by sea? If the answer is positive, I don't see a problem, as long as the recruitment pool is low.
    The point is that there never was an Hellas-India convoy to recruit/hire manhouts and their beasts...
    Not even an Hellenic recruiter going to struck a deal to have them sent...
    Pyrrhos was given 20 by Ptolemaios Keraunos (frankly imo in order to get rid of the logistical/financial burden) in all likelyhood (Ptolemaios II Philadelphos promised him more, which were likewise captured, probably in Mikra Asia. If instead he took them near Syria, then his promise might well have been quite empty), and were already in Makedonia, because Seleukos marched them there. Gonatas simply hired them somehow after 279 BCE, from the very remnants of Seleukos. These elephants were already well in their life, 75 being obtained by Antigonos Monophthalmos around 315 BCE when he had access to the Upper Satrapies. These probably weren't even battleworthy by the 270s BCE. While 500 more brought by Seleukos I Nikator had been given to him in 305 BCE.

    These were the animals that fought in the Mediterranean and only two Diadochoi actually recruited them, they were later gifted/loaned to allies, captured or hired after the death of the former paymaster. This could go on solely for the lifespan of those specific animals.
    After that only the Arche Seleukeia, of the Hellenistic states, had access to Indian Elephants (Antiochos I requested some from Baktria. Another indication to see how old and unfit those of Ipsos were at the time and how many were lost with the death of Seleukos). The Ptolemaioi attempted to ship them across the Indian Ocean, but it proved unfeasible, so they settled for African Elephants. And these only when contacts with Kush were possible, because "breeding farms" were just as unfeasible...

    The Seleukidai on the other hand had friendly relations with the Maurya and the open route across Baktria. If it's not clear to recruit elephants a polity needed direct land access to India in the Hellenistic Period. With that gone it wasn't possible.
    Recruiting them from Hellas, without an alliance with the faction in charge of the landmass from the eastern Mediterranean to India, is pure science fiction...
    Personally I wouldn't even like for such thing to happen, because this was a 'diplomatic' gain, Shogun II's feature from the co-op campaigns to gift units comes to mind. With M2TW's engine I'd say bribing the elephant unit would be the way.

    At most elephants were shipped from Africa to Sicilia, across the Adriatic from Apulia or across the Hellespontos and Bosporos...
    Last edited by Arjos; 08-10-2013 at 20:13.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    One could make "nobles-council" missions for that, aka, you do "something" for thegood mister Seleucid and in turn you get a unit of elephants in your capital.

    Furthermore this really throws up the question why CA never implemented a sort of "capture enemy war material" mechanic, thus after totally defeating the enemies Army you'd be able to take Siege engines, Elephants and not paticulary loyal Mercenaries in your service. Now if that would not make battles decisive I don't know what would :D
    Last edited by Ca Putt; 08-10-2013 at 19:25.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    Recruiting them from Hellas, without an alliance with the faction in charge of the landmass from the eastern Mediterranean to India, is pure science fiction...
    Personally I wouldn't even like for such thing to happen, because this was a 'diplomatic' gain, Shogun II's feature from the co-op campaigns to gift units comes to mind. With M2TW's engine I'd say bribing the elephant unit would be the way.
    If it's possible to implement these triggers, that will be great. If not, then I think that a low recruitment pool would be the way to go.

    Bribes? You mean getting 1 elephant unit in the middle of nowhere and marching it manually back to your homeland? Yuck. Not to mention the fact that with EB's economy, bribing high cost units isn't really feasible, at least not when you really need them, i.e. in the first part of the game, before you conquer half of the map...

    One could make "nobles-council" missions for that, aka, you do "something" for thegood mister Seleucid and in turn you get a unit of elephants in your capital.
    This idea has potential. Does the team plan to use the council missions at all?
    Last edited by Cybvep; 08-10-2013 at 22:45.

  8. #8
    Mmmm, Antares is tasty! Senior MemberModerator Alien Attack Champion Nightbringer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    Other mods have managed to create event scripts that pop up from time to time and can have effects. These could maybe be used as a way for the occasional opportunity to pop up where you can buy elephants.
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  9. #9
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    I don't think we're sure yet what we want to do about elephants as we haven't had serious conversations about it, yet. Breeding elephants in captivity has proven practically impossible; even with modern technology we can't successfully do artificial insemination. We've thought about using guilds, but we may not have a good answer until after the first release.

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  10. #10
    EB on ALX player Member ziegenpeter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elephants for Makedonia

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbringer View Post
    Other mods have managed to create event scripts that pop up from time to time and can have effects. These could maybe be used as a way for the occasional opportunity to pop up where you can buy elephants.
    Yep I am for eithar that or mercenaries with very slow replenish

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