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Old Mar 08, 2008, 04:21 AM   #1
Matjillam1
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Elephants getting bonus vs. mounted?

This is a more history vs. civ question.

Because in civ, Elephants gets bonus vs. mounted units. But as far as I remember, wasn't it exactly mounted units that was used AGAINST elephants?

If I remember correctly, the romans used horsemen with torches riding around the carthagian elephants to panic them.

So what are the argument to give elephants bonus against mounted units?
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Old Mar 08, 2008, 04:40 AM   #2
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Elephants were used effectively on many occasions to rout enemy cavalry. Antiochas triumphed over the Galatians this way. Lucian writes, “…A group of four or five elephants were sent against the cavalry on either flank, the remaining eight attacked the scythed and two-horse chariots… Neither the Galatians themselves nor their horses had previously seen an elephant, and they were so confused by the unexpected sight, that while the beasts were still a long way off and they would only hear the trumpeting and see their tusks gleaming… they turned and fled in a disorderly route before they were within bowshot. Their infantry was trampled by their own frightened cavalry.”

http://www.clickfire.com/military-us...-roman-period/
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Old Mar 08, 2008, 10:08 AM   #3
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I heard that just the smell, let alone the sight of an elephant would near panic horses.
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Old Mar 08, 2008, 10:14 AM   #4
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It makes perfect sense for elephants to have bonus against horses. It doesn't take much to frighten a horse, so just imagine how they would react when a large, trumpeting beast comes stampeding in their direction.
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Old Mar 08, 2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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Elephants and camels both scared horses unless they were used to them.

At Zama Scipo is supposed to have defeated Hannibal's elephants by having his troops part to form corridors that the elephants passed down avoiding the Roman troops but these were raw untrained elephants

I haven't heard of the Romans using horsemen to frighten elephants although

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A last innovation, mentioned by Dionysius, but considered dubious by many historians was Roman use of flaming pigs. Supposedly the Romans tarred pigs with pitch, set them alight, and sent them in the general direction of the elephants causing them to stampede. No less a historian than the highly reputable H H Scullard considered Roman use of flaming pigs not only possible but also probable.
I don't expect elephants like fire more than any other animal does.

edit: The flaming pigs were used against the Epirote general Pyrrhus
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Last edited by AmazonQueen; Mar 08, 2008 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Removed footnote numbers from quote
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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...and don't forget the bit in Lord of the Rings with the really big elephants vs. cavalry!


I'll get my coat.....
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 11:31 AM   #7
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Yeah I'm not sure if you've ever spent much time with horses, but they are definitely easy to startle-- hell if you walk up to them from their blindspot you can easily spook a horse and may even get kicked in the chest for your trouble (happened to a cousin from the city who was visiting the ranch). So yeah now here's this giant, loud beast towering over them, damn rights they're gonna break and run in a hurry. As for the cavalry with torches? I dunno, fire scares the . .. .. .. . out of most horses as it is, I don't see how elephants would be more likely to bolt at the sight of it.

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Old Mar 12, 2008, 10:04 AM   #8
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The accepted counter to Elephants and War Chariots was executed by Alexander at Zama and became SOP for ancient armies. This was to have highly trained spearman part and form "chutes" that the horses and elephants would charge into. They would then be surrounded and slaughtered. This is the tactic that Amazon Queen is attributing to Scipio.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bestbrian View Post
The accepted counter to Elephants and War Chariots was executed by Alexander at Zama and became SOP for ancient armies. This was to have highly trained spearman part and form "chutes" that the horses and elephants would charge into. They would then be surrounded and slaughtered. This is the tactic that Amazon Queen is attributing to Scipio.
Alexander may have used the tactic before but it was defnitely Scipo that fought Hannibal at Zama.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Zama
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazonQueen View Post
Alexander may have used the tactic before but it was defnitely Scipo that fought Hannibal at Zama.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Zama
You're a million times correct, I mistyped as I meant to say the Battle of Issus. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 08:19 PM   #11
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Elephants should also have a bonus against mele units. Elephants are known to just swat a human like a fly with it's trunk, and then trample them or crush them by bearing down pressure with their trunks and heads.

...And that's not even mentioning the dreaded Gore; The charge of death.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 08:53 PM   #12
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Elephants are also known to not be particularly agressive and resist attempts to get them to charge at large groups of hostile men. Outside of the Sri Lanka/India/Southeast Asia area, they've usually been if not a minor facet of warfare, at least not a dominant one. Hannibal's single biggest victory against the Romans at Cannae did not need elephants to pull off.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 08:55 PM   #13
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Actually on all of the nature shows I see, Elephants are quite agressive towards humans. They will charge if they fieel you are in their territory. At least African Elephants...
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 09:16 PM   #14
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African plains elephants were almost never used, outside of local stampede incitings, in organized warfare. (Because they're too agressive to be easily trained.) Almost all armies that used elephants in battle used the more docile Indian elephants or the now extinct forest elephants.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 12:39 AM   #15
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Carthage in North Africa...
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 01:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RulerOfDaPeople View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Carthage in North Africa...
In what I've read, hannibal likely used both northern african elephants as well as imported indian elephants. but anyway, for the record, (northern) african elephants were most certainly domesticated and used in war quite commonly.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 02:05 AM   #17
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Yeah...they got it right giving elephants a bonus against horses but I think camels should also have a bonus against horses giving the Arabs a very powerful camel archer similar to the cossack, maybe +50% versus mounted but a weaker overall strength than the knight since they don't require horses to build. Also, Mali's skirmisher should get a bonus versus elephants because throwing spears at them was apparently a counter to elephants. At least skirmisher units work well against elephants according to Rome: Total War with the latest patches.

I do believe that war elephants were imported from Asia from what I remember. I'm not really sure but I'm not sure if there are any northern African elephants. I thought they were further south but maybe there were elephants in north Africa in that time period.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 02:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emac78 View Post
I do believe that war elephants were imported from Asia from what I remember. I'm not really sure but I'm not sure if there are any northern African elephants. I thought they were further south but maybe there were elephants in north Africa in that time period.
Elephants were much more widespread in those days, including places like Syria and Ethiopia. Use in war, mass slaughter in the Roman games and, particularly, ivory hunting meant that they were soon wiped out from North Africa and the near east.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 03:03 AM   #19
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I just looked it up on wikipedia. I don't know how reliable it is but there were north African elephants that became extinct due to overexploitation known as Loxodonta africana pharaohensis. Carthage did domesticate them and used them in warfare. They were apparently smaller and got too scared to be used reliably in warfare than the Asian elephants that Alexander encountered in India. The north African elephants would not have the tower (howdah) on it so there would not be archers, just a mahout leading for an elephant charge. Eventually Alexander and his successors, especially the Seleucids(Alexander's successors of what was Persia) incorporated Asian elephants from India and Sri Lanka into their military. Also, the Seleucids and Hannibal used elephants from Syria, Elephas maximus asurus , which Hannibal thought were the most impressive of all. Syrian elephants were likely transported throughout the Mediterranean. The African savanah elephant known as Loxodonta africana oxyotis , are much larger than the north African and Asian elephants. These larger elephants were much harder to tame and were rarely used in warfare. Also, China and India used elephants for hundreds of years in warfare before they made their way west.

It also does appear that horses were afraid of elephants at the battle of Heraclia in 280 BC between Rome and King Pyrrhus of Epirus where Pyrrhus saved his Pyrrhic victory by throwing his elephants at the Roman cavalry causing the Roman cavalry to flee in panic.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 06:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by RulerOfDaPeople View Post
Elephants should also have a bonus against mele units. Elephants are known to just swat a human like a fly with it's trunk, and then trample them or crush them by bearing down pressure with their trunks and heads.
One or even a couple humans does not a unit make.

IMO in Civ a "unit" of elephants is maybe a half dozen, while a "unit" of spearmen (or whatever) is a couple hundred humans, or more. So yeah, a few humans would be trampled, represented by the spearman unit losing a few points of health. Meanwhile, the other 190 surround and kill the elephants.

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