"They built hundreds of bridges for us, they helped to build and launch more ships for us than Helen ever did for Greece."
— William Slim, 20th century British General
Super heavy cavalry unit with powerful splash-based attack, highly effective versus melee units, but near worthless against missile units, especially composite archers.
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The strongest melee unit in the game, the War Elephant is a thing of terror. Large, repugnant in scent and capable of tearing down primitive forts, this unit is a menace to everyone but has a marked weakness to javelins and is limited in its ability to take ground by its slow gait.
In Bronze Dawn, War Elephants are a mercenary unit trainable from the Pavillion (Bronze Dawn’s version of the Outpost), for very much the same cost in exchange for the same tactical stats. Aside from that, however, there is little else going for them, other than a change of skin. War Elephants are best deployed against melee cavalry-heavy factions and are used as a "Camel" unit of sorts by southern nations against northerners who use both chariotry and horsemen. Don't deploy them alone and expect them to win a battle, however: they are vulnerable to missile units, so if you are able to screen them against enemy archer units, you should do well. The best units to use to protect your War Elephants, then, should be any unit armed with crossbows — these are often the best units, even if they don't have great rates of fire, but in large numbers, they should be able to decimate any enemy who does not use siege weapons.
- Very strong melee unit, trainable from the Angkor Wat wonder, immensely powerful in melee engagements but susceptible to missile attack.
- Livin' Large — These units consume a fair amount of resources and have a huge pop cap cost. Thus, only the most warlike and the richest cultures can afford to recruit War Elephants.
- Bigger Is Not Better — War Elephants are weak to ranged weapons and ships, so should not be fielded on their own. Use Crossbow Infantry to defend them from unwanted encounter with long-range missile fire.
War Elephants are not a common sight for most of Rise of Kings' 24 nations, with the exception of the Gajnal Mahout but encountering these beasts without firearms can be a nasty shock. Unhappily, you are bound to meet some of these animals if you are venturing into India and Southeast Asia. While the vast Deccan Plain allows for some manoeuvreability against these humongous monstrosities, the riparian nature of Southeast Asia means that you might be at a disadvantage. In which case, overrunning regions wholesale with armies might be a better choice as opposed to attacking them piecemeal.