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Elephant rework?


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Hey guys,

I've seen some mention around here about how the Elephant mechanics are not very historical in 0AD, thought I'd make a thread where we can propose a simple way to rework them. As many of you know, Elephants were not used as siege engines in the ancient world, they were used to break the ranks of a phalanx, because soldiers would typically flee when Elephants approached a shield wall. Elephants also had an adverse effect on cavalry in a similar fashion, causing horses to "spook" and veer off the course of their riders. In this way, Elephants were primarily used to disrupt the execution of military strategems and cause havoc in the ranks of the enemy. There were also turrets on the Elephant's back that allowed for rangers to fire down on enemy soldiers. These Elephants were sometimes intoxicated with wine before battle, this supposedly caused them to go into a berzerker rage, and might have made them less sensitive to pain. Below I propose how to apply these effects to elephant units in the game.

1. Elephants cause enemy units within radius to flee (Use code that causes women and slaves to flee)(Exempt elite infantry/heroes from this effect?)(All cavalry should spook IMO)

2. Use elephants as mobile turrets with the ability to garrison ranged units on top of the Elephants.

3. Polemic African Forest Elephants were notably smaller than Indian Elephant and African Bush Elephants, thus these 3 types of elephants should have different turret capacity, health, speed, and damage based on their size. (Bigger = stronger and slower)

--Ptolemaic Elephants 1 or 2 garrisoned rangers (Perhaps Ethiopian/Kushite Elephants in this category) (fastest, weakest)

--Indian/Mauryan, Persian, Macedonian, Epirot Elephants 4 garrisoned rangers

--Carthaginian, Ethiopian, Kushite Elephants 5 garrisoned rangers (slowest, strongest)

4. There should be an upgrade at the Elephant breeding facility called "Elephant Wine" that costs food and glory and buffs Elephant damage, health, and speed. (Trade elephants shouldn't cause enemies to flee.)

5. Hero units like Hannibal that ride on Elephants should reduce one available slot for garrisoned archer units depending on the elephant type.

6. Elephant merchant units could potentially double or triple resources acquired through trade at the markets, and notably have more HP, with the ability to fight enemies.

7. Reduce Elephant damage to buildings but not units, any elite units or heroes that face these units should take damage. This enforces the historical strategy of how elephants were defeated in battle, primarily by ranged weapons.

8. the 2 larger Elephants should start slower than most units without the wine upgrade, allowing units to flee without being damaged by the elephant itself. (rangers still can do damage)


In closing, reducing Elephant utility as a siege weapon might create some imbalance issues with certain factions that otherwise don't have good siege weapons. That being said, these units could be used strategically to scatter enemy troops to capture locations. Imbalances might also be addressed by creating simple siege weapons like a battering ram, or ladder (Setting ladders against a fortress causing 2x damage &/or capture rate). I feel like this game has a lot of potential to improve it's mechanics, and it seems like Delenda is the most active with making these kinds of modifications so I'm leaving this comment here. Just something to think about, would love to hear some input about these ideas.


Edited by AeonAnimus
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