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Thread: How to use chariots effectively?

  1. #1
    badass7's Avatar Libertus
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    Default How to use chariots effectively?

    Apologies if a silly question, but what is the most effective way to use chariots units? I'm used to having heavy infantry / cavalry in my armies so thought I'd give chariots a go, but they get decimated any time I order them to charge a unit. Are they better off skirmishing from a distance, or clicking behind the unit for a proper charge etc?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    They aren't very good at skirmishing, and in general they're pretty awful on the battlefield. The best advice I could give would be to use rear charges since they have a decent charge value, and if not that then make use of their Inspires nearby units effect and keep them behind a line of infantry. They're not good at much else, even at chasing down routers. It's a result of the engine thinking that they're elephants, basically. It's amazing that the early EB team even got them to work for M2TW.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    You don't.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    It depends.

    Celtic chariots are imho garbage. Don't even bother.

    Scythed chariots are actually great for flank/rear charges because they can cause genuinely impressive damage (I've had them wipe out nearly 1/3rd of an entire unit of libyan infantry in one charge, some 50+ men) and they cause fear (like elephants) so they will often kickstart massive chain routs, although they are quite fragile and they panic easily.

    Indian chariots are fast and therefore make very good harassment units that won't necessarily cause a lot of casualties but they can be used to draw enemy units away - I like using them to lure enemy light cav within range of my indian longbows and spear militia.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Scythed chariots can be used to some extent to fight off enemy cavalry, to disrupt enemy formations and to rout not so confident enemies. Just never ever let them get stuck in melee or get caught by javelins. Other chariots, well, they can be used a bit in the same way but are less effective, have a (not that usefully) ranged attack and usually an reasonable inspire units ability.

    I understand that during this period chariots were quite obsolete but still (as with elephants) I feel they are a bit underpowered in EB2, though with this engine it's difficult to represent them properly, and I'm glad that they are in-game.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    It's probably not the intended use, but I've found that AI cavalry really likes to prioritize running at my Karroi whenever they poke their heads out from behind my main infantry line. I've had one unit of Karroi lead two enemy cavalry units on a wild goose chase all around my army without the cavalry turning to flank the infantry.

    Of course, I'm not doing that any more, now that the Age of Chariots is over, and my one Karroi unit is going to spend the next two-and-a-half centuries in Bibrakte. *grumble grumble*

  7. #7
    badass7's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Thanks for all the responses everyone, it does sadly sound like they aren't very practical. I guess I'll just stick to cavalry!

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Good man.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    The main uses i have found for Karroi are these
    - Sit back and bolster the morale of your line, at the point where you need to hold. They can pepper selected enemy units (favour big targets or armoured units = high value targets) from behind.
    - Deploy them as skirmishers on a wide formation in front of your line, allow them to receive long range enemy missiles. This only works with arrows and not javelins, mostly low power projectiles, due to their very good armour and shield most will be wasted - they will soak a lot of fire intended for your infantry. Javelins are different because chariots are "elephants" in the engine, so they are much more vulnerable.
    - Pursue routing enemies like cavalry, making them unable to regroup, and charge engaged enemy infantry in the back for decent damage.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Is there any way to retrain Karroi as the Aedui after reforms?
    Now that I'm getting the hang of using them the only unit I could recruit before the reform fired is down to 6 man. I'll miss them when there gone.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    I've had some good success using chariots (Gallic, Indian and Garantine, besides the already proven scythed) and there are some tips I can share (many are also applicable to elephants):
    - Good use of chariots require a lot of micromanagement so I recommend using only one unit by army. Less is more.
    - Keep the chariots behind your main battleline as a reserve during the start and brunt of the battle, to be used as a decisive blow. Most chariots have the inspire friendly units trait so they will
    - be aware that the AI likes to focus their ranged units on them.
    - Search for weak spots or wavering units on the enemy battle line and use the chariots to trample them! Use the double click to charge as with cavalry but after engaging the enemy don't let them get bogged in melee and keep them always moving. Go after units that are already engaged in melee and trample them, just be careful not to lose momentum, static chariots are dead chariots. If possible use shock units like swordsman, axeman or heavy cavalry to exploit the holes in the enemy line created by the chariots.
    - Keep the chariots for use in decive moments, park them safely behind your lines (bolstering the morale of your troops) when they are not needed, avoid overusing them and they will do great.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    I hate AI having harmata. And overall those guys going berserker are a way worse than raging elephants, because those at least stick together. But also routing unit of scythed chariots, while doing minimum damage to cavalry in combat, can devastate any kind of cavalry type in blink of eye. Do not have much experience with unscythed ones, but as above said, they should be used with caution and only for ''final hit''. However weird it is, unlike a scythed ones, they are capable to do some reasonable damage to cavalry in prolonged meele fight - so they can work as a support unit for cavalry on flanks, just do not let them be charged by enemy cavalry. ( Now that i think about it, if they are considered elephants, their somewhat efficiency vs cavalry makes a much more sense)
    Last edited by Maroslav; January 07, 2019 at 05:41 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maroslav View Post
    However weird it is, unlike a scythed ones, they are capable to do some reasonable damage to cavalry in prolonged meele fight - so they can work as a support unit for cavalry on flanks, just do not let them be charged by enemy cavalry. ( Now that i think about it, if they are considered elephants, their somewhat efficiency vs cavalry makes a much more sense)
    Noticed that as well, Indian Chariots are decent for chasing nomad horse archers

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    I always fail at using my elephants (ptolemaic). The AI goes at them very hard with hard counters. What's more they cost 8k and the upkeep is very high... Found out they were also pretty bad as calavry screens, since the ennemy cavalry usually shoots them first and then swarms them. One final note : they always run amok early on... So that's that.

    For the same price you can buy 1 phanligitai, 2 hoplitai and one good cavalry which allow for very strong combined-arms tactics...
    Last edited by JC_von_Preussen; January 10, 2019 at 01:13 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Quote Originally Posted by JC_von_Preussen View Post
    I always fail at using my elephants (ptolemaic). The AI goes at them very hard with hard counters. What's more they cost 8k and the upkeep is very high... Found out they were also pretty bad as calavry screens, since the ennemy cavalry usually shoots them first and then swarms them. One final note : they always run amok early on... So that's that.

    For the same price you can buy 1 phanligitai, 2 hoplitai and one good cavalry which allow for very strong combined-arms tactics...
    In my own build I've reduced all elephant prices and upkeeps to half and it works a lot better now. Imho . So at the moment in my game the African elephants cost 2500/4000 and the Indians 5000/75000.
    I did the change mostly so I could use them in custom battles using regular budget and I think it does work pretty well. Besides, while keeping a dozen of elephants, their riders and their installations should be pricey, but so should be keeping the hundreds of rare, well breed and highly trained horses needed to maintain an elite unit like Hetaroi or Catraphactoi.
    In previous versions of the game I also used to improve elephant stats but at the moment I'm quite satisfied by their performance, even by the AI.

    Using elephants, as chariots is not very easy but it you take in account the tips I told about chariots it will work much better and will be pretty rewarding.
    Quote Originally Posted by LusitanianWolf View Post
    I've had some good success using chariots (Gallic, Indian and Garantine, besides the already proven scythed) and there are some tips I can share (many are also applicable to elephants):
    - Good use of chariots require a lot of micromanagement so I recommend using only one unit by army. Less is more.
    - Keep the chariots behind your main battleline as a reserve during the start and brunt of the battle, to be used as a decisive blow. Most chariots have the inspire friendly units trait so they will
    - be aware that the AI likes to focus their ranged units on them.
    - Search for weak spots or wavering units on the enemy battle line and use the chariots to trample them! Use the double click to charge as with cavalry but after engaging the enemy don't let them get bogged in melee and keep them always moving. Go after units that are already engaged in melee and trample them, just be careful not to lose momentum, static chariots are dead chariots. If possible use shock units like swordsman, axeman or heavy cavalry to exploit the holes in the enemy line created by the chariots.
    - Keep the chariots for use in decive moments, park them safely behind your lines (bolstering the morale of your troops) when they are not needed, avoid overusing them and they will do great.
    With elephants ,forget the part about the inspire morale (hello frighten enemy troops) and be particularly aware that the AI will focus their missile units on them, so even just behind your battleline might not be very safe (from archers and slingers), so keep your distance and guard them with lighter troops (as the Hellenistic kingdoms did historicaly)) while waitingfor the moment to use them in a decisive blow.
    Last edited by LusitanianWolf; January 10, 2019 at 05:14 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    I agree about cavalry prices. But in this respect, I think the prices are already high enough. The balance issue rather comes from skirmisher cavalry, which is, in some cases, too expensive imo. I think they might be better priced the way skirmishers are in comparison to infantry.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Last time I was using elephants, they weren't even good enough at killing enemy units in melee until they went berserk. They could easily just get bogged down and let themselves lose hitpoints.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Quote Originally Posted by JC_von_Preussen View Post
    I agree about cavalry prices. But in this respect, I think the prices are already high enough. The balance issue rather comes from skirmisher cavalry, which is, in some cases, too expensive imo. I think they might be better priced the way skirmishers are in comparison to infantry.
    Regarding cavalry maybe reducing heavy cavalry unit size to 80 ( for non steppe factions ) while keeping the current prices would be an possible solution, though I have yet to test it.
    I was talking more about the comparison between elephant and cavalry prices, in a way that the official build's elephant prices are a bit exaggerated in comparison to everything else imho. While I understand the reasoning behind it, in terms of balance makes them almost unusable.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    Quote Originally Posted by LusitanianWolf View Post
    Regarding cavalry maybe reducing heavy cavalry unit size to 80 ( for non steppe factions ) while keeping the current prices would be an possible solution, though I have yet to test it.
    I was talking more about the comparison between elephant and cavalry prices, in a way that the official build's elephant prices are a bit exaggerated in comparison to everything else imho. While I understand the reasoning behind it, in terms of balance makes them almost unusable.
    How about just increasing steppe cavalry to 120 units?

  20. #20

    Default Re: How to use chariots effectively?

    I just wanna echo LusitanianWolf's elephant advice. Elephants are incredible battering rams that can and will break whole armies, but they are hard countered by focused missile fire (in particular javelins). I use them like cataphracts on steroids - keep them well screened and well positioned and if all goes well they'll only need to perform one or two charges to collapse the enemy's entire line.

    Those Indian elephants you get from one of the Baktrian missions have won me numerous heroic victories against the Saka, I used them as counter-charge units while my main cavalry force took the brunt of Saka fire and tied them down. One time they broke the enemy general in a single charge, it was great.

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