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Chariots!

 
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:12 am    Post subject: Chariots!

Mark and Greg had a pickup battle recently. Mark's Shang fought Greg's Zhou...Greg earned a victory.

These two chariot armies are pretty different from one another...even if they seem similar.

I'll let either or both of them comment.

Would any of you run a chariot army?
If no, why not?

If yes, which one and why?

Here's a bonus list, Cypriot:
CinC JLS,B in 4h HCh Reg A crew LTS
& 4h HCh Reg B JLS,B/LTS
Ally similar (sadly they have to be allies)
3x2E Reg B LC JLS
2x4E Reg C LMI JLS,Sh (8E required spearmen, might as well be useful terrain troops)
12E Reg D(1 C) MI B,Sh/B (could be multiple loose order units, but a mobile terrain feature that shoots can be useful)
2x6E Reg D(1 C) LMI B,Sh/B (here they are as loose)
8E Irr D LI B
4x2 4h HCh Reg B LTS/JLS,B
each with a detachment of 2E Reg B LMI JLS,Sh
2x6E Reg C HI/MI LTS,Sh (Hoplites)
That's 1596, 2 commands, 21 units (4 detachments), 22 scouting
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:42 pm    Post subject:

Another Bonus List:
Neo-Assyrian (Early)
CinC JLS,B in 4H HCh Reg A JLS
& Reg B 4h HCh JLS,B/JLS
Sub similar
5 units of 2 Reg B 4h HCh JLS,B/JLS
2E Reg B HC/MC L,B
6E Reg C LMI JLS,Sh
6E Reg C LMI B
5 units of 4E Reg B LMI JLS,D,Sh
6E Reg C LC B
2x4E Reg B LI JLS,Sh
1594, 2 cmds, 18 units, 24 scouting

The Reg B LMI fight two full ranks...the chariots seem like nothing special, but can skirmish (if one rank deep) and as Reg B make most of their counters...all for only 78 points a unit!
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:12 pm    Post subject: Early Canaanite

Note also the interesting chariot units available to the Early Canaanites.

3 Irr B 3h HCh JLS,B/LTS w/ 2 Irr B LI B on base 136 points
This can skirmish...firing 8 out of 1 element, counting as 21 figures or on 1E wide as 18 figures.

Hard to hurt...some decent shooting...only 3 horses per chariot...but frustrating to deal with.
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lilroblis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:38 pm    Post subject: Having a blast with chariots

Just finished up another game last night using Qin Chinese - while chines heavy chariots cannot skirmish, it is still a fun list to use - not at all sure what one does when faced by large numbers of Elephants - Qin really has no answers - though I am in the middle of a game against 10 that looks like it could be ok - he is killing my CinC - I am killing his (next turn I expect both will go away - so it will depend on wavers - try some of the lists - for me they are fun lists that hit hard
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Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:57 am    Post subject:

Here's a bold statement for you: chariots are the best anti-lancer troops in the game.

Let's look at a couple of matchups to illustrate that (a) this is an attainable aspiration, and (b) that it takes just the right chariots to pull off. Assume even die rolls for all combats.

Start with a very generic heavy chariot: front rank 4 horse, Irr B, crew of 2 w/JLS, back rank some other heavy chariot. (First lesson - if you can't get 4 horses for the front rank, don't play the army.)

We'll assume they are charging impetuously at some lancers who are also charging impetuously at them.

Matchup 1: lancers are 2 elements of Irr B SHK L,Sh.
Chariots are: horse v SHK = 3 +1 (charging) +2 (impetuous) = 4@6 = 20
Crew is 2@0 = 2, for a total of 22.
SHK are L v HCh = 4 + 1 (charging) +2 (impetuous) = 7. 5@7 =30.
So the knights win 30 to 22. Bad for the chariots, right? But the chariots don't rout, and even if the knights roll up 1 the chariots still don't rout. Both sides end up tired and disordered. Knights follow up. Assume they cannot or do not want to expand, which is the majority case.
Now consider the next bound.
Chariots don't get horses. Crew is 2@0 -1 (tired) = 2@-1 = 1.
SHK are other cav is 2 +1 (following up) -1 (tired) -1 (disordered) = 3@1 = 4.
Neither side does a CPF. So nothing much happens, right?

Wrong. Because the knights are loose order, and because neither side did a CPF, by special dispensation for being chariots, the chariots break through. This is a second cause of disorder for the knights, and thus an immediate waver test. In addition, the knights are no longer in frontal contact with anyone, and are rallying disordered (not eligible to counter). So any reserve troops backing the chariots are now ready to finish off the knights.

Matchup 2: EHC actually fare slightly better because the horses don't get an additional +1 (horse v EHC is 2, as opposed to horse v SHK which is 3). The crew is better, though, starting at a 1 instead of 0, and getting the JLS+ for 2@2. Still, they only do 20 in total instead of 22, giving the EHC a slightly greater chance of doubling and thus routing the chariots in initial charges.

So the matchup against knights is pretty solid, the matchup against EHC still good, but a little more die roll dependent.

But wait.

We can make better chariots. What if we give the crew LTS or 2HCT? This is basically all the chariots in Oriental Warrior, and dings the lancers with an additional -1. And what if we arm the crew with bow or crossbow, so they can prep shoot? This is also pretty much every heavy chariot in Oriental Warrior. In addition, Oriental Warrior chariot armies tend to come with an abundance of dense foot shooting. The result is that it's very tricky for lancers to avoid taking some CPF in prep so that they are tired at contact for that first charge. Now there are many situations in which the HCh start out winning.

And unlike lancers, winning chariots don't get worse in follow-up. Lancers lose lance, and lose rank and a half. This means if they cant' rout a thing at contact, they often can't rout it at all. Chariots, on the other hand, still get all their horses in follow-up, and all their crew. They keep grinding away with pretty much the same force as their initial charge.

Also, remember that chariots are an automatic cause of unease. If you happen to get someone behind your target's flank, or isolate them from support, then those B class lancers are going to be uneasy and thus not impetuous.

The main disadvantage for chariots is that these tactics take time to play out. So you have to get into contact, and get into the right contact, quickly. And you have to support your chariots well, so that their flanks aren't vulnerable and so that you're well positioned to exploit chariot break throughs.

There's an art to it. I've been playing chariot armies for more than a decade and still don't have it mastered. But it's a lot of fun -- and very different from other armies -- when it all comes together.
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:25 am    Post subject: Biblical

Biblical Warrior is, of course, full of chariots...

They're basically two types...the skirmishing type, often Reg A and B, and the smashing type, generally Irr B.

Some also shoot (Elamites).

Support troops are variable...this is often what distinguishes one army from another.

While a bit unwieldy...I think we don't see as many chariot armies as we should.
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lilroblis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:41 pm    Post subject: Chariots

Frank I agree - however - the caveat for me is that chariots have some major weaknesses - they cannot go into brush (even had ruled once they could not go within 1 element of brush - they really struggle against elephants (as a rule) - they charge 120 paces (as heavies in Mark's example) - all of which can be dealt with.
I have played Han and Qin for 35 plus years and won a lot of tournaments with them - very flexible armies that can hit hard. There are multiple Biblical armies that are intriguing, as well as a lot of the Chinese armies - the Shang list Mark played against me a while back was excellent.
Its finding the right combination of what you like to play and whats available - I fully intend to keep playing them as a viable option for open play.
I actually also like some of the lists with elamite allies in Biblical as well- again - fun, fun to paint and hit hard
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Chariots

lilroblis wrote:
Frank I agree - however - the caveat for me is that chariots have some major weaknesses - they cannot go into brush (even had ruled once they could not go within 1 element of brush - they really struggle against elephants (as a rule) - they charge 120 paces (as heavies in Mark's example) - all of which can be dealt with.
I have played Han and Qin for 35 plus years and won a lot of tournaments with them - very flexible armies that can hit hard. There are multiple Biblical armies that are intriguing, as well as a lot of the Chinese armies - the Shang list Mark played against me a while back was excellent.
Its finding the right combination of what you like to play and whats available - I fully intend to keep playing them as a viable option for open play.
I actually also like some of the lists with elamite allies in Biblical as well- again - fun, fun to paint and hit hard


Yup, terrain is tough...so any chariot army needs decent loose and open order foot...more difficult on a NCT Saturday with all that terrain.
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Ewan McNay
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:44 am    Post subject:

4hLCh are excellent but sadly rare.
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Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:16 am    Post subject:

Ewan McNay wrote:
4hLCh are excellent but sadly rare.


Again, Shang are the winners here. Irreg B, 4 horse, crew of 1 with both LTS and B. I take 10 of these chariots on my version of the Shang, but there are LOTS of options. You could build a whole version of the list around maximizing the light chariots, and who knows? That might be the right way to go.
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:33 am    Post subject:

Mark Stone wrote:
Ewan McNay wrote:
4hLCh are excellent but sadly rare.


Again, Shang are the winners here. Irreg B, 4 horse, crew of 1 with both LTS and B. I take 10 of these chariots on my version of the Shang, but there are LOTS of options. You could build a whole version of the list around maximizing the light chariots, and who knows? That might be the right way to go.


I do think the Shang is probably the best LCh army...but...LCh have a certain flaw, that although they can charge anything, should they lose, they have to break off...which can be fatal.

Thus a bit of care must be exercised when employing them.

I've tried 2 horse LCh (generally Biblical)...and they have use, but, here there's almost always going to be something on the list containing them that's better.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:31 pm    Post subject: Urartian

Another bonus list...
Also Biblical:
CinC JLS,B Reg A 4h HCh JLS 108
& Reg B 4h HCh JLS,B/JLS 34
Sub similar 92
2 Reg B 4h HCh JLS,B/JLS 78
4 Irr B 2h LCh JLS,B 93
6E Irr B MC B 115
2x12E Irr D MI B,Sh/B 194
2x4E Reg C LMI B,Sh/B 132
2x4E Reg C LMI JLS,Sh 148
3x4E Reg D LI S,Sh 102
2x6E Irr C LC B 146
Neo-Hittite Ally JLS,B Reg B
4h HCh JLS/JLS
& Reg B 4h HCh JLS,B/JLS/JLS 130
3 Reg B 4h HCh JLS,B/JLS/JLS 133
4E Reg B LMI JLS,Sh 90 = 1595
19 units, 3 cmds, 52 scouting
The Reg B LMI in the Allied command gets Assyrian infantry rules. Lots of archers that, fairly rare in Biblical, have shields.
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lilroblis
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:15 pm    Post subject: Chariots - I like the Reg chariots with generals

So a couple of fun lists - Cypriot - HCh with LTS, reg B lc, good foot , and Neo Babylonian - gives a very good variety of troops - some slight weaknessses but some great strengths - the LTS though is a huge difference maker
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Chariots - I like the Reg chariots with generals

lilroblis wrote:
So a couple of fun lists - Cypriot - HCh with LTS, reg B lc, good foot , and Neo Babylonian - gives a very good variety of troops - some slight weaknessses but some great strengths - the LTS though is a huge difference maker


Yeah, as Mark notes, LTS (or 2HCT for later Chinese) is a game changer in many circumstances.

'Other' chariots are relegated often to skirmishing.

Note also the effect of having a detachment behind. This changes calculations as well, and there are a small few 4hHCh with LTS or 2HCT that can also have detachments of LMI JLS.

Such detachments place certain limits on said chariots...yes...but up the combat capabilities significantly (and the figure count of the chariot unit for combat casualty calculation, of course). Still, add in a detachment and your chariot unit can rival the cost (or exceed) of a SHK unit.

So...we have chariot armies that are 'more finesse', skirmishing, bow crew...and those that are 'more attack', making use of detachments.
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