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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome: Total War Discussion » chariots suck, what'd I do wrong
Topic Subject:chariots suck, what'd I do wrong
posted 01 February 2005 01:08 EDT (US)         
Me= Seleucids, 1 sctyhed chariot, 2 militia hoplite
Them= Rebels, 1 Hoplite, 1 Peltast

I engage the hoplites with both of my militia units, peltasts run off. Ran chariots directly behind and facing the enemy phalanx. Charge.

Chariots hesitate, spread in a semi-circle around Hoplites, charge piecemeal, scattering my men in the process, everyone routs.

I KNOW that if I had a cavalry unit, they would have charged straight into the backs of those rebel Hoplites and victory would be mine.

What special touch do I need to command chariots.

You cannot conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
posted 01 February 2005 01:19 EDT (US)     1 / 24       
I'm currently in the middle of a Selucid campaign, and I can't say I'm impressed with the scythed chariots. They don't behave consistently when given attack orders, they can very easily disrupt your other units, and for all their expense and fidgety pathing, they don't seem to pack much of a punch. The only thing I see as an advantage to them is that they are a shock troop that you can get early.
posted 01 February 2005 03:46 EDT (US)     2 / 24       

Bah. All of the game's chariots are absolute rubbish. The only exceptions to this rule are;

British Light Chariots. They're just as bad as other chariots but in their theatre (Barbarian west) their arrows are rather effective and their mobility more of a plus. Just don't ever put them in hand to hand.

Egyptian General. It sucks having a general who can't join a mellee if things get tough, but at least he can be constantly firing arrows over your troops heads while stationed in the rear (not as cool as an eastern general, but still usefull).

Apart from that, all chariots are absolute crap because of the following:

Selucid, Pontus, Egypt: cavalry heavy regions make chariot archers worthless.

Pontus, Selucia: Scythed chariots behave poorly and often run wild for little or no reason.

Egypt: Heavy chariots suffer from everything their Scythed counterparts do.

The only exception to this rule is using Scythed Chariots for counter-charging through narrow streets in a seige. But even then cavalry are usually a better solution (or Elephants).

posted 01 February 2005 04:06 EDT (US)     3 / 24       
The other thing that makes chariots ineffective in the east is the predominance of phalanx armies - it's hard to use chariots effectively against a phalanx.
posted 01 February 2005 07:28 EDT (US)     4 / 24       
"The other thing that makes chariots ineffective in the east is the predominance of phalanx armies - it's hard to use chariots effectively against a phalanx"

It's hard to use Chariots effectively against anything except for light armoured, weak willed infantry (Missile Chariots) or barbarian warband-style infantry (Dacian Falxmen, etc) for heavy chariots.

Everything in the east seems to kill chariots. Pontic Cavalry, Horse Archers, Phalanxes, etc. Hell you can't even safely slam dispirited Eastern Infantry with Scythed Chariots if they're anywhere near their full number.

Personally I say sack it. All Chariot armies get good shock troops anyway (exept for Britons but Chariots are reasonable in their region). Pontus get Pontic Heavy Cavalry and Cappedocian Lancers, Egypt get Desert, Nubian and Nile Cavalry and the Selucids get Companions, Cataphracts and Elephants.

I'd rather have Greek Cavalry than chariots. I hate them that much. They friggin suck. Though oddly enough when the computer uses them they're unspeakable killing machines.

posted 01 February 2005 07:42 EDT (US)     5 / 24       
I love chariots, I just don't use them against infantry, but against cavalry... they REALLY tear horse legs apart.

in my humble experience chariots kill almost all cavalry units, INCLUDING cataphracts, when used properly.

posted 01 February 2005 07:43 EDT (US)     6 / 24       
oh, and the special touch with chariots is NOT to just attack a unit, but letting the chariots 'run' to a point behind the unit you wish to attack. that way they don't stand still... standing still = death.
one_eyed willy
posted 01 February 2005 07:48 EDT (US)     7 / 24       
The only time chariots were effective for me was when they ran amok in a siege and couldn't get out through the gateway. They slaughtered my cataphracts as they tried to get into the city. After that I never used them again.
(id: The_Ferret)
posted 01 February 2005 11:26 EDT (US)     8 / 24       
Why is it that the A.I chariots kick serious Butt where as the human controlled ones are a discrace to the name humanity. This is why I get a general to keep the chariots, put him nearby (exept against overwhelming odds) and attack with another force, therefore the Chariots are A.I. Problem solved.

"Live forever, or die trying!"
TWH Baths Forumer of the Month - November 06
posted 01 February 2005 12:10 EDT (US)     9 / 24       
1 sctyhed chariot? What can you do with 1 sctyhed chariot? You need 20 units of sctyhed chariots, or even 5 to see what they can do. Sure it costs money, but it's worth it. I found that it is unbeatable. Try it...
posted 01 February 2005 13:05 EDT (US)     10 / 24       
I've found chariots controlled by me to be utterly worthless. For some reason when AI controlled they are quite nasty though.

The only chariots I like are the British chariot archers, against barbarian races they are awesome.

Commisar Clark
posted 01 February 2005 13:14 EDT (US)     11 / 24       
Chariots are good and chariot archers are even better!
You should read the units description. All chariots are well controlable but scythed ones are slightly uncontrollable and may run amok at the first sign of trouble!

The Mighty Pharaoh AKA Jonathon Clark
"Gods...I hate Gauls...My grandfather hated them too...Even before they put out his eyes..."
posted 01 February 2005 13:28 EDT (US)     12 / 24       
Even when not running amok I ahve had trouble getting results out of my Seleucid scythed chariots. What everyone else is saying follows for me......when I was Egypt the seleucid chariots would rip right through my infantry and now that I am seleucia they just don't do it for me well enough to be worth the money and two turns to recruit. I would still recommend having a few in the early game, however. Not like you can train anything else of value at that point. Now that I have cataphracts, I don't need any stinkin chariots.
posted 01 February 2005 13:53 EDT (US)     13 / 24       
Seleucid spiky-whatever chariots kill all calvary as soon as they touch them, basicly. What are you talking about? Trust me...I took down a large group of Armenian horse archers with a group of the things.

That's what they are for. They aren't too good at killing infantry head on, though...but that's what Phalanx Pikemen are for, eh?

Destroyer Joe
posted 01 February 2005 16:23 EDT (US)     14 / 24       
Well, it only makes sense that chariots have limited effectiveness. By this time in history, chariots were largely obsolete as a weapon of war, thanks to the phalanx. The phalanx was developed to stop a head-on chariot charge, and it worked very well. Some nations, like Persia, tried to incerase the effectiveness of their chariots by adding scythed blades to the wheels, but the chariots were still ineffective against a disciplined body of spearmen. Besides, the invention of the saddle meant that mounted cavalry, which was cheaper and more maneuverable than the lumbering chariots, were more effective in combat (though as a shock unit, chariots were still used against undisciplined ranks of foot soldiers to a great effect, as the terrifying sight of the horses and the spinning scythe blades often caused green troops to turn tail and run).

[This message has been edited by Destroyer Joe (edited 02-01-2005 @ 09:31 PM).]

posted 01 February 2005 20:18 EDT (US)     15 / 24       
I haven't used scythed chariots yet but has anyone tried running them along the edges of enemy formations so the scythes come into their own?

If you charge straight in, I would have thought the scythes would not be able to be used to the best effect.

If this is a dumb theory, please be gentle with your replies!!

"We must fight so well, that each man believes himself to be the chief cause of our victory."
posted 01 February 2005 20:31 EDT (US)     16 / 24       
Well, I tried charging three units of scythe chariots at three units of roman cavalry auxilia. I got slaughtered, chariots turned tail and ran amok like THAT. Also, on the way to the cavalry auxilia some infantry stepped in the way and toppled several chariots.
Later I charged two full units of cataphracts and a general into one Egyptian generals unit...and lost over half of the cataphracts even though the general was slain in the first wave.

Edit that: I started with two full units of 27 cataphracts and ~11 generals bodyguard. The cataphracts hit first and I was left with 17.

[This message has been edited by Themistocles472 (edited 02-01-2005 @ 08:34 PM).]

posted 02 February 2005 00:05 EDT (US)     17 / 24       
Thing about scythed chariots is that they will run amok if about 4 chariots are killed. Also all chariots have a weakness vs javelins so charging them at cavalry auxillia wasn't the best use of them. The best way to use chariots is to charge them threw a line of enemy troops not at them. A subtle distinction but a major one too. If you charge chariots at a unit they will hit them and stop to melee, charge them threw and they go threw running down foot troops as they go.

Your monarchist friend Lars


I came, I saw, I kicked ass

posted 02 February 2005 10:23 EDT (US)     18 / 24       
Savage you beat me to it. I was going to mention how weird it is that when I have chariots, they always suck, but when I am facing chariots, they are always merciless monsters of death...

"Your wisdom is surpassed only by your ignorance"
posted 02 February 2005 11:18 EDT (US)     19 / 24       
the # of chariots shouldn't matter in this battle, I had the enemy hoplites fully engaged and I tried to hit them from behind with my chariots.

I would never spend 10 turns on 5 chariots, I'm better off with 6 phalanxes and 4 archers.

I was just trying to kill some rebels, possibly gain some experience for my militia. It's rather disappointing

You cannot conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
posted 03 February 2005 02:26 EDT (US)     20 / 24       


If you charge chariots at a unit they will hit them and stop to melee, charge them threw and they go threw running down foot troops as they go.

Precisely! It took me awhile to figure this out... I refused to play as Egypt and Britannia for a long time. I still don't like Scythed chariots, and as was mentioned the British Light Chariots are very effective against warbands and such. Anyway, get your chariots in proper position (in front of weak infantry, or maneuver them behind a phalanx... I never really use them against cavalry). Then, tell them to run right through the enemy formation. The result should usually be your chariots bashing right through them, cutting many of them down in the process- MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT STOP TO MELEE!!! Then, turn your men around (unless the phalanx would then be facing you) and repeat. Finish them off with whatever you need, unless this routs them in which case the chariots can then engage in melee without facing certain death. Also, be very wary in charging at peltasts and javelineers and such, as was also mentioned earlier. Chariots should never chase these units for a prolonged period of time, as they will simply be murdered. Also, try and be sure your chariots have a good amount of space to get their charge started, otherwise they might have a slow charge and get stuck in the enemy formation. Also, on a side note, until the 1.2 patch comes out, chariots are known to be underestimated by the auto-resolve feature, so don't be surprised if you tend to lose a lot that way. Even knowing all this, I'm still not a big fan of chariots. I'll take a few units of cavalry before chariots almost any day. However, I felt it necessary to explain that chariots aren't THAT bad.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 03 February 2005 11:56 EDT (US)     21 / 24       
Thing about chariots is that like phalanx units they need to be used in a very specific way and if not used properly they are useless. They both require you too go threw not at your targets.

Your monarchist friend Lars


I came, I saw, I kicked ass

posted 03 February 2005 12:25 EDT (US)     22 / 24       
I love chariots! At first it was difficult. Yes, they do get stuck in melee. But once I learned to send em through (same with other cavalry units), life became much easier! I don't have a problem with them taking heavy units like principes even. They mow down heavy cavalry, esp generals' bodyguards. However, they do take some damage against the javelins, esp on direct attacks on spearmen/phalanxes. So I'll usually take some light cavalry in to rush em around the same time, so the line gets disrupted right before the chariots attack. Chariots cause a lot of kills too, so it's a great way to get a "man of the hour" award!

Favorite way, as Egypt, to beat the computer in open ground battles: archers, light cavalry, chariots. Forget the other units! Woohoo

[This message has been edited by discopalace (edited 02-03-2005 @ 12:28 PM).]

Tardy V1002
posted 03 February 2005 18:03 EDT (US)     23 / 24       
Exactly! chariots are cool, their easy to get and if used properly they're awesome. While their useless against phalanx, they're great against heavy shock infantry like desert axemen of legions. Ill always have at least one in my army to break formations before the real attack.
posted 07 February 2005 10:50 EDT (US)     24 / 24       
I never really used charitos before, but now that I'm playing as Pontus, there is little else in the early part of the game that is very effective.

In the battle illustrated here:,1477,30,10 At bottom, in discussion of tomb.

I was attacked by two armies. The first one outnumbered me and the second had just as many men. Without the chariots, I would have been done for, but I lined both chariots up on the right flank one in front of the other.

I charged them forward and took out the cavalry on his left flank (my right flank), the general charged and got run under the wheels of the chariots, I ripped through two groups of peltasts (mere infantry, poor beggers ), and then hit to hoplites in the back, they collapsed right away, I turned the chariots to the other hoplites (coming in from the side) and routed the entire first army and my infantry and peltasts never moved! (There was a bit of an assist by my cavalry units on the left flank who took out two units of missile cavalry).

Now here comes the strange thing. The chariots never panicked even when in the thick of battle. However, in other battles I'll use the chariots and then back them out of battle after they've done their work to keep them from panicking (so I can use them again later). But more often than not, when they are just sitting there they will panic even when there are no enemies near them.

So is chariot panicking a time thing? Are they just set to panic after 4-5 minutes, or what? Or in their spare time do they set up alters to Pan and start freaking?

[This message has been edited by ahenobarb (edited 02-07-2005 @ 10:54 AM).]

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