Proper war chariot promotions


Aug 16, 2007
I read the UU guide that someone posted and all it really said was take flanking over combat if up against spears. Outside of that I'm not sure if I should promote combat or flanking really early game when I'm just rushing with war chariots. For city capturing should I still get flanking II even though immunity to first strikes is wasted? So far that's what I've been doing and the extra survivors really pay off when you get a GG => medic III.

I realize that at least someone should get combat to better defend the stacks but for the units raiding the city what do I want? Fortified archers can really be a pain before cats.
Chariots aren't immune to first strikes, and neither are war chariots (in Warlords anyway, not sure about vanilla and BtS). It may have been removed when they got a 100% bonus vs. axes I guess. So the flanking 2 immunity to first strikes is good against archers. Cavalry aren't immune to first strike either, only knights and horse archers (again, this is warlords).

I use flanking chariots like catapults, to soften up a defender (no collateral damage though). Then I finish off with combat chariots.
I probably should have specified that I'm playing BTS. For some reason I thought War Chariots have immunity to first strikes. :confused:
It should say when you hover over the picture of the unit in the bottom left corner of the screen when it is selected. Otherwise check the back of the manual. I can't imagine they added immunity in BtS though.

And looking at the warlords manual, the only change to chariots from vanilla was the 100% bonus vs. axeman and they reduced the withdrawal chance to 10%.
See I know I saw it in the mouseover thing, but maybe I already had flanking II (whoops) when I saw it. I can't check right now but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

So you think like 50/50 promotions should be good? Then after I get cats do I still go with both?
Don't promote (except a few combat or a combat medic I) until you are about to attack. Then use withdrawal until most of the top defenders are injured. If the odds are bad (say 60% or less) I use withdrawal, combat otherwise.

I don't class unfortified archers (i.e. just built) as top defenders either really. Make sure you have at least 2:1 attackers:defenders ratio though.
In BtS, the following Mounted units are immune to First Strike:
- Camel Archer (Arab UU, replaces Knight)
- Conquistador (Spanish UU, replaces Cuirassier)
- Cuirassier
- Horse Archer
- Knight
- Numidian Cavalry (Carthaginian UU, replaces Horse Archer)
- War Chariot (Egyptian UU, replaces Chariot)
Weird, looks like they added first strike immunity to war chariots in BtS (or a warlords patch then), unless the manual is wrong (possible).

It's not like war chariots are underpowered though...
Thanks Percy. I thought I saw immunity to first strike on a fresh unit.

Saving promotions until I actually fight is definitely a good idea. I just find myself in a bind trying to manage all that in an attack while doing everything else at the same time in blazing MP. (I realize I didn't specify mp in the post) I just need practice with making quicker decisions.
Whoops, looked at the warlords manual again, it does say War Chariots are immune to first strikes, sorry. Don't know how I missed that on the first 2(!) readings... Normal chariots and immortals don't get the immunity though.
Depends. Flanking I is pretty pointless on its own, so War Chariots straight out of the barracks are probably best with Combat promos if up against a hard opponent. But generally you can get quite a lot of them to 5xp from barbs, so I like to give them flanking and send them in first, and use the Combat promoted chariots to finish up (combat is better when the odds are higher, and War Chariots are strong enough for it to be worthwhile). The first strike immunity thing from Flanking II is wasted on the majority of units that can take it anyway, so it's not something to be particularly worried about.

I also like to use the obelisk to bulb Theology super early, so I can get Flanking II chariots straight out of the barracks - this really extends their effective lifespan too.
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