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Thread: How do you use chariots?

  1. #1

    Question How do you use chariots?

    I've played a little bit of an Egyptian campaign, and I'm now playing Iceni. In both, I've had some opportunity to use chariots, and I haven't figured out yet what to do with them. Any tips?

  2. #2
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    No idea. I guess they're good at crashing through lines and breaking them like that but it's kind of crap because of the way everyone's been complaining about units being too quick, so chariots are now about as fast as light infantry and you charge them somewhere only once because by the time you turned them around, they'll be dead.

    -E- I think the Iceni chariots also have javelin people on them, so super slow skirmishing cav is another 'role' I can see them in.
    Last edited by Sp4; 09-23-2013 at 16:50.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Near as i can tell chariots have no melee attack, they only score kills by charging. They automatically try to push through enemy units and will continuously charge them, but (and here's a big but) if they get bogged down in enemy units they don't seem to be able to defend themselves and get slaughtered.

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    if they get bogged down in enemy units they don't seem to be able to defend themselves and get slaughtered
    Which is exactly what happened to them in R1. I never used chariots much in R1 and I don't know if any of the following could apply to R2:

    Pick a point beyond the unit you want your chariots to attack. You want your chariots to wreak as much havoc on unit formation as possible, and move through the enemy to regroup on the other side, if possible. Chariots don't get many kills, outright, but they disrupt formations and lower morale.

    Follow up the chariots with a hard-hitting cavalry unit. The unit just hit by the chariots will likely be disorganized (although if R2 "unit-blob" doesn't get fixed, it won't make much difference) and taken a morale hit. In R1, as the Seleucids, a devastating combo was scythed chariots followed by cataphracts. Only the most elite of units could take this double hit and not immediately rout....
    High Plains Drifter

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Were chariots used in real life as a continuous melee unit or did it just blow through a line and move on? What I'm asking is are these units actually true to life?

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Historically chariots were mostly used as transports for the nobility, they'd ride them into battle then hop off to fight. The greeks actually practiced boarding and disembarking chariots as an Olympic competition. Some cultures also used them as mobile archer/skirmisher platforms, but that died out in favor of horse mounted archers/skirmishers. Chariots were pretty much only ceremonial vehicles by the games timeline. Only the Britons still really used them in the west. The Scythed Chariots were developed as a dedicated shock weapon during this time, but there's not much evidence they were widely used.

  7. #7
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiDamascus View Post
    Were chariots used in real life as a continuous melee unit or did it just blow through a line and move on? What I'm asking is are these units actually true to life?
    They were used to get rich people into the fight. I have no idea how it worked irl or how it must have looked but I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would think the sort of tactics they explain in the encyclopedia are any good or any better than any other tactic really.

    You use 2 horses, or 4 in some cases to get -a- guy, two at the most into the fight. Seems a bit hurrr to me but maybe they had 500000 chariots constantly swapping out 500000 guys but that seems unlikely too.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    It seems to be they are mostly accurate in usage then? And I personally would completely avoid them.

  9. #9
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    I'm gonna try and see if I can make them work. The Iceni ones.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Here's a few links:

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

    At a time when cavalry were without stirrups, and probably had neither spurs nor an effective saddle, though they certainly had saddle blankets, scythed chariots added weight to a cavalry attack on infantry.

    There was one occasion when Pharnabazus, with 2 scythed chariots and about 400 cavalry, came on them when they were scattered all over the plain. When the Greeks saw him bearing down on them, they ran to join up with each other, about 700 altogether; but Pharnabazus did not waste time. Putting the chariots in front, and following behind them himself with the cavalry, he ordered a charge. The chariots dashing into the Greek ranks, broke up their close formation, and the cavalry soon cut down about a hundred men.
    Seems R1 wasn't that bad of a battle sim afterall

    Another:

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

    And a rather lengthy, but interesting discussion:

    http://weaponsandwarfare.com/?p=2664
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-24-2013 at 14:27.
    High Plains Drifter

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  11. #11

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Quote Originally Posted by gauch0 View Post
    I've played a little bit of an Egyptian campaign, and I'm now playing Iceni. In both, I've had some opportunity to use chariots, and I haven't figured out yet what to do with them. Any tips?
    I play Iceni; I still havent tested Egypt.

    Tip 1: You shouldnt take chariots into your army unless Andraste has blessed you with wisdom to see their benefits. So either take chariots or take cavarly instead.

    Tip 2: Holding ALT and clicking left mouse button orders an attack with secondary weapon. Use that to charge enemy ranged units.

    Tip 3: Charriots are like cavarly and should whitdraw after charge. But they have wide turning range. Whitdraw trought the charged unit by charging another unit behind it.

    Tip 4: If you are engaged in melee, activate the skrimish and attack with normal javelin attacks instead. You may also use the javellins to soften heavy spear infantry.

    Tip 5: Spearmen have shields and spears pointed forward; Their backside is the same as any others; Charge that backside if they are engaged on the front fight.

    Tip 6: My charriots get around 200 kills each but I never keep more than 3 because they are time consuming to use.

    May the goddess bless you with lots of kills.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Here's a few links: (etc etc)
    Great stuff, and very interesting. That last link in particular was indeed lengthy, but fascinating. I started just by scanning the intro just to get the idea without trudging through it, but wound up reading every word.

    Even after reading all that, however, I'm still not clear on why chariots developed, rather than horse archers, in so many of these cultures. It would seem that any society sufficiently advanced to develop chariotry (domesticated & war-trained horses, chariot construction, effective arms & armor) should have been equally capable of achieving same or similar tactical effect, with much more efficiency, by simply mounting the archer on a single horse instead of dragging him in a cart behind multiple horses.

    Maybe the underlying reason isn't really technological but rather biogenetic? Perhaps horses in the Bronze Age Mideast and Eastern Med were not yet large and strong enough to carry, and provide a stable firing platform for, a sufficiently-armored rider/archer, and it took many centuries of breeding to eventually achieve the warhorses of late antiquity and the medieval period?

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Breeding might have been part of it, but half remembering something I read once, the saddle and stirrup weren't invented until the just before classical antiquity, and many Mediterranean people didn't even adopt the stirrup until the migration period. Without a saddle ridding a horse for long periods is extremely taxing on both the horse and rider and without stirrups it's difficult for a rider to maintain balance on horse back in combat. Horses were originally domesticated as beast of burden, odd as it seems pulling a wheeled vehicle might have just seemed a more natural use for them to the ancients than using them as proper mounts.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    As of now the chariots are bugged out just like the phalanx sitting there and shuffling around (Aggony Prussian Prince video) while the downhill bonus applies to the people fighting uphill.

    Wait for patches... Sadly.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Maybe the underlying reason isn't really technological but rather biogenetic? Perhaps horses in the Bronze Age Mideast and Eastern Med were not yet large and strong enough to carry, and provide a stable firing platform for, a sufficiently-armored rider/archer, and it took many centuries of breeding to eventually achieve the warhorses of late antiquity and the medieval period?
    From what I can tell, this is part of the reason. From an article called Turkish and Persian Mounted Archery:

    The domestication of horse, riding and selective breeding appeared by 4000-2000 BC, in the steppe between today’s Ukraine and Russia. Horses were initially herded for meat, milk, hair and other animal products. Horse breeding has been practised from very early in the history of horse domestication. Breeding for type would continue unabated as long as the horse was needed for specific tasks, and Iranian-speaking peoples are known to have breed as early as 1000 BC, as well as for size, big enough to carry a warrior to battle. By the time of Parthians, the region around the river Amu Darya in Central Asia was well known for horse breeding. Breeders were mixing the blood of the wider steppe horse with taller and faster horses of the oasis and desert fringe, such as the Karabair and the Akhal-Teke, the latter having been used as a fast cavalry horse for the last 3000 years.
    The most important developments in the time of Scythian were the ones that made the rider become more effective in a military sense: composite bow, the small and tough Przhewalski horses. Unlike the taller horses that could carry armored men but were unable to survive without stables and sufficient food, this breed could survive under the hard conditions of steppes. Especially Mongols who invaded all the Asia and a large part of the world under the reign of Genghis Khan rode these steppe ponnies whereas there is strong evidence that archaic Turks rode horses of different breed that was taller, had thinner legs and longer neck.
    Full article is here:

    http://www.tirendaz.com/en/?page_id=84

    It appears that two things had to come together...well three actually if you count the horsemanship, the composite bow and the right kind of horse suited for this type of warfare. The composite bow had been around since the second millenium BCE, but it took the development of the asymmetrical recurve bow to make horse archery as we've come to know it in this time period a threat.

    From the Wiki article:
    A reflex bow is a bow that has curved or curled arms which turn away from the archer throughout their length. When unstrung, the entire length of the bow curves forward from the belly (away from the archer), resembling a "C", Look like this Korean bow ; this differentiates a reflex bow from a recurve bow in which only the outer parts of the limbs turn away from the archer. The curves put the materials of the bow under greater stress, allowing a fairly short bow to have a high draw weight and a long draw length. This allows a bow that is 1:2 the length of a recurve or 1:3 the length of a long bow to fire at the same or greater velocity and stopping power. The materials and workmanship must be of high quality. Highly-reflexed bows are more difficult to string and may reverse themselves suddenly; they have seldom been used for hunting. However, they were the main armament of the Mongol armies that conquered much of Asia and Europe; their short profile compared to longer bows made them ideal for horseback use.
    The full article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurve_bow
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-25-2013 at 03:00.
    High Plains Drifter

  16. #16

    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    I find using chariots to trash through enemy lines is pretty effective and they also seem to last a reasonable amount of times in melee which is not the case with cavalry.

  17. #17
    Member Member Nick The Hun's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    History of early chariots

    Before the classical ages we go back to the Neolithic. We survived the ice age (10.000BC) and wandered the world for 2000 years.
    Tribles settled in Europe and Asia already. But there is a group in the lower Ural. They have to deal with severe winters. Around 8000 BC the weather went colder with a big dipper. So the pastoral nomads moved from valey to valey, to survive the hard weather.

    They moved to the west, and further further west. Walking over the grasslands of Russia. Which stretch from Mongolia to Europe.
    In Russia they probably spotted wild horses and saw them in the winter, searching for their own food in the snow. Pastoral animals like sheep do not do this. Just like the North American Indians who saw the horses searching for their own food in the harsh winter. Someone probably thought of taming a horse. And after years or decenia used it for hunting.

    There we have the first horse rider. So eventually someone came up with the idea to use the horse for transport. And build a cart, which was pulled by a horse. These inventions all made the human move on long distances easlier.
    They are called the Indo-Europeans. The germans used to call them AriŰrs in the second world war, by their own propaganda.
    The Indo-Europeans came from the Ural and moved towards Ukra´ne, Eastern Europe and the Balkan. Other divisions became the Hittites in Anatolia and Armenia. While others went to the south right into Central Asia. They were the forefathers of the Parthians and Persians.
    Conquering Central East Asia and the Middle East with their horses and horse archers.

    The Hittites and their forefathers were the first to bring chariots to the eastern world around 5000-4000 BC.
    Later on the Egyptians and Eastern people took the chariots in. Same for the Romans.
    And the Persian families were of later time and went horseback again.

    In Europe the big family of Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Italian, Slavic and Daco-Thracian families were all one. They led their own families into eastern europe. First on the grasslands of Romania and Bulgaria, they made the local people their slaves and became their nobility.
    Just like the Hittites and Daco-Thracian families went on to Greece and became the local nobility. The same thing happened all over Europe.
    The Indo-European families became one with the excisting population and mostly became the nobility. Because of their superiority by chariots.
    The only warfare men knew by that time was clubs, axes and skirmishers.
    So the chariot skirmishers were as devastating as a tank is now.

    Later on they invented the bow and as seen with the Hittites was even more devastating. And eventually people would go horseback.
    The Iceni are the only one left with chariots as a European faction in Rome 2. But in reality they were not. Most of central Europe probably still used chariots, like the light versions with one man on top of it. They were like early cavalry fighting against men without armor.

    This is why i love the Boii chariot modpack, it's devastating! haha, they conquer central europe with ease.

    Another great example of chariot use is classical China. The Spring and Autumn Period, is when they used chariots to crash through infantry formations.

  18. #18
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    I've found that they're all collectively pointless. That is any kind of chariots, elephants or any other fancy, exotic unit. They do the same thing that a core of heavy infantry does and the heavy infantry does it with a lot less of a mess on both sides.

  19. #19
    Member Member Kamakazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    The iceni ones are like terrible short range skirmishers... they don't pull through well at any time

    other chariots however do really well if they don't get bogged down
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  20. #20
    A Livonian Rebel Member Slaists's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you use chariots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazi View Post
    The iceni ones are like terrible short range skirmishers... they don't pull through well at any time

    other chariots however do really well if they don't get bogged down
    Do they still do well? Patch notes suggest chariots were nerfed in the latest patch (mass reduced).

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