Siege Weapons


Catapult
Catapult

Civilization: Egyptians

Cost: 200 Wood200 Gold

Information: Masters of all forms of ranged combat, the Egyptians delight in bombarding enemy structures and formations with catapult fire. After softening the enemy ranks, the Infantry moves in and finishes off any survivors.

Weaknesses: Infantry and Cavalry Units

History: Though the Ancient Egyptians did possess the technology to build catapults they are never mentioned in any Egyptian military account.

Siege Ram
Siege Ram

Civilization: Egyptians

Cost: 150 Wood150 Gold

Information: When forced to contend with staunch enemy defenses, the Egyptian army would send in the Siege Ram. Not only does it smash through enemy gates, it's also more than capable of destroying key structures.

Special Ability: Rams can only attack structures.

Weaknesses: Infantry and Cavalry Units

History: The Ancient Egyptians used Siege Rams infrequently. Ladders were the favored devices against fortified positions. The few references to Siege Rams in ancient sources describe nothing more complex than a large log used as a battering ram.

Ballistae
Ballistae

Civilization: Greeks

Information: Field Siege that is good against buildings, walls, and large units. Countered by Cavalry and Infantry.

Weaknesses: Cavalry and Infantry

History: The ballistae (Latin, from Greek ballistes, from ballein “to throw”) is a powerful siege engine of war invented by the Greeks sometime around 800 BCE, and also later used by the Romans. Ballistaes were constructed of different sizes depending on the purposes of siege and field warfare. They not only looked similar to that of a giant crossbow, but also worked on similar principles. Some of the largest ones could throw projectiles weighing up to fifty pounds as far as 400 yards! This particular version fires stones or lead balls, although other versions did shoot (arrows) and darts. Siege engines of similar design were utilized by Alexander during the long-drawn sieges of Tyre and Gaza.

Fire Raiser
Fire Raiser

Civilization: Greeks

Information: Good against all melee units. Countered by Archers and Heavy Siege. The Fire Raiser spews hot “Greek Fire” from its mouth, incinerating any unit in its path.

Special Ability: Sets enemy units on fire.

Weaknesses: Archers and Heavy Siege Weapons

History: The first record of “Greek Fire” being used in a military conflict does occur until 700 CE. The substances itself is also believed to have been invented around 673 CE. Thus the Fire Raiser is not only a fictional weapon, but it makes use of substance that did exist in this period.

Flame Onager
Flame Onager

Civilization: Persians

Cost: 300 Wood300 Gold

Information: A siege engine that hurls projectiles to smash enemy defenses and buildings.

Weaknesses: Countered by Cavalry.

History: As the use of siege weaponry continued to enhance into the latter part of antiquity, so did their efficiency by means of better technology and sophistication. The catapult was one such siege weapon that proved not only useful against city walls and fortresses, but also on the battlefield. It is not known exactly how far back in antiquity catapults made their first appearance on the battlefield or in sieges, but sources do confirm their first major appearances in latter Greek times between C. E. 400 B.C. and 300 B.C. Alexander the Great utilized sophisticated catapults which aided him in helping to subdue several cities he besieged; included the city of Tyre and its “impregnable” grand island fortress. There is little to no evidence of the use of catapults by the ancient Persians, however, seeing that numerous documents and much historical data has been lost, we should not omit the possibilities--as it can be stated with certainty that advancements in siege weaponry were being made during this time period.

Griffin Siege Tower
Griffin Siege Tower

Civilization: Persians

Information: The Griffin Siege Tower is a super siege tower for the Persians. The Griffin Tower not only comes up to the siege stricken wall of a city, it has archers who can use it as an attack platform. Rather than a series of ladders, there is a Griffin head at the top through which the forces emerge, creating an effect that is sure to stop more than a few soldiers in their tracks.

Weaknesses: Infantry, Cavalry, Siege Weapons.

History: Ancient sources perfusely highlight the use of the siege tower as the preferrable method for assaulting deffensive positions, such as walls, towers, and other fortifications. Aside from that, sources also confirm the use of mobile towers on the battlefield equiped with archers. The historian Xenophon also mentions the use of "mobile towers" deployed by King Cyrus of Persia at the battle of Thymbra (547 BC). Xenophon's account follows thus:

"And because the Persians had to hold out their little shields clutched in their hands, they were unable to hold the line, but were forced back foot by foot, giving and taking blows, until they came up under cover of the moving towers. When they reached that point, the Egyptians in turn received a volley from the towers; and the forces in the extreme rear would not allow any retreat on the part of either archers or lancers, but with drawn swords they compelled them to shoot and hurl."

"...and when Cyrus had mounted he saw that the Egyptians were now assailed on every side; for Hystaspas also and Chrysantas had now come up with the Persian cavalry. But he did not permit them yet to charge into the Egyptian phalanx, but bade them shoot and hurl from a distance. And when, as he rode round, he came to the engines, he decided to ascend one of the towers and take a view to see if anywhere any part of the enemy's forces were making a stand to fight. And when he had ascended the tower, he looked down upon the field full of horses and men and chariots, some fleeing, some pursuing, some victorious, other vanquished; but nowhere could he discover any division that was still standing its ground, except that of the Egyptians; and they, inasmuch as they found themselves in a desperate condition, formed in a complete circle and crouched behind their shields, so that only their weapons were visible; but they were no longer accomplishing anything, but were suffering very heavy loss...."

Source: Cyropaedia of Xenophon; The Life of Cyrus The Great By: Xenophon (c. 430 - 355 BCE)

As evidenced by the account, mobile towers proved their effectiveness on the field of battle. They gave archers not only a platform from which to shoot, but also proved useful in allowing commanders and kings the ability to get a good view of the battlefield and hence make strategic decisions.

Siege Ram
Siege Ram

Civilization: Persians

Cost: 150 Wood150 Gold

Information: When forced to contend with staunch enemy defenses, the Persian army sends in the Siege Ram. Not only does it smash through enemy gates, it's also more than capable of destroying key structures. Rams can only attack structures.

Special Ability: Rams can only attack structures.

Weaknesses: Countered by melee units.

History: Since ancient times up through the middle ages, battering rams were used to break open fortification walls or doors. Some of the more sophisticated battering rams deployed by armies of antiquity consisted of a ram slung from a wheeled support frame by ropes or chains so that it could be much more massive and also more easily swung against its target. The support frame served two main purposes: to hang the swinging ram, and to support a roof which protected the soldiers who were operating the engine from missile and arrow fire. After a given number of repetitive rams against a wall or gate, a breach would form allowing the attackers to break through the defenses.

Ballista
Ballista

Civilization: Romans

Information: Siege that is good against buildings, walls, and large units.

Weaknesses: Countered by Cavalry and Infantry.

History: In the days of the Roman Empire, the Ballista was a permanent fixture in Rome's armies. Though originally a Greek technology, after the absorption of the Ancient Greek City states into the Roman Republic in 146 BC, much Greek technology began to spread to the Romans. Over time, modifications and improvements were made to the Ballista by successive Roman engineers.

Palintonos
Palintonos

Civilization: Romans

Information: The palintonos is a modified catapult. Instead of firing one large projectile, the Palintonos fires several smaller projectiles that bombard an area, killing and maiming anyone caught in its fire.

History: One variation of the Roman catapult was the palintonos, the name of which was derived from the "fold-back spring" design which allowed the two torsion arms to swing forward far further than was possible in the more traditional "straight spring" euthytonos.