Revival of olden things – Chariot shock

Another unique aspect of Seleucids is the use of Scythed Chariots. Not that chariot warfare ever was very successful as history has proven, but they do have certain twisted appeal in [Basic] Impetus. Not because they are terribly powerful – they can be, but are highly volatile with VBU 2, Impetuosity 5 and being impetuous. Normally, I would think perhaps twice, but what makes them interesting is their sacrificial nature – they are very cheap, and their loss will not make you feel any worse.scythed chariots1


scythed chariots3scythed chariots2War chariots are really old idea. Some of the older designs go back to 2000BC, however it is not certain that they were used as active weapon of war. It is said that the war chariots cultural home would be in India and Persia.

While most were platforms for archers or javelin throwing troops, holding perhaps as many as three men crew, first evidence of scythed chariot is from King Ajatashatru of Magadha (modern noth-eastern India) – incidentally claimed to be the inventor of them.

Scythed chariot was perhaps not a weapon of great military value against forces of good training and discipline. They were relatively easy to defeat and prone to breakdown in unsuitable terrain. However, regardless of their obvious limitations, their use continued until 22AD by nomadic tribes of Sahara.

scythed chariots5We may only guess why one would continue use of such a relatively unpredictable weapon, but it is likely that in all their defects, scythed chariots were mainly weapon to induce fear. Most opponents were not well disciplined, and mere presence of scythed chariots caused element of terror among enemy troops. Regardless of their real world effect – the terror could potentially cause fatal disruption of enemy morale and cohesion.scythed chariots4


Surely Seleucids have known the limited value of the scythed chariots as a weapon, and on the other side the imagination catching element. In that respect, they are worth the points.

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2 Responses to Revival of olden things – Chariot shock

  1. Jon Freitag says:

    Nice work! My Baccus chariots ended up much the same as yours. Wheels out of true and the bed a bit unlevel.

    • Tichy says:

      Thanks! I found the models rather terrible. Luckily they are the first and last of their kind. I did think of building new ones from scratch, but then again, their visit to Any battle ground is very brief. 😉

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