Monday, July 8, 2024

Mammoth Masher

The next installment for my War Machines series and the next step up from the Command Chariot is the Mammoth Masher, a multi-section vehicle pulled by two to four mammoths. Click here for the Command Chariot. The game stats are for D&D BECMI.

The Masher Mk I includes three large wagons hitched together aside from the beasts of burden. The Vanguard Wagon stands directly behind the mammoths. Its function is to protect the drivers and carry a squad of artillerists and combat troops. Attached to the Vanguard comes the Great Carriage housing supplies, an invading horde’s war chest, quarters for the chieftain, and the latter’s bodyguards. Towed in the last position, the Rearguard carries additional guards, the chieftain’s stable, and siege machines. Mashers Mk II and Mk III include extra wagons, larger siege weapons, and additional mammoth teams to pull them. These vehicles are built of wood, with four to six wheels each, arrow slits, and the tribe’s standard. Doors are reinforced and studded.

Vanguard Wagon Mk I 

Vehicle: 60-80 Hull Points (HP), AC 7. Drivers on the upper deck use chains connected to a capstan to guide the mammoths. The capstan’s axle connects with the front wheel beneath the wagon’s lower deck to help with steering. Retractable ramps enable access to the lower deck on its sides. These are heavily reinforced wooden panels fitted with sharp metal studs on the outside. Winches on the upper deck pull up the ramps to shut these entrances, drawbridge-style. Anyone in the 10’x10’ area underneath the ramps when they are dropped open suffers 1d6+2 damage. A trapdoor in the floor (usually locked from the inside) enables exiting beneath the wagon. Clearance underneath the wagon measures 2.5’. Overheads are about 6’ above the decks. A canvas canopy covers the upper deck.

Movement: 120’ (40’); half speed on rough terrain; half speed if a mammoth is badly wounded or slain. The wagon is 20’ wide at its wheelbase. The steel blades extend another 8’ on each side.

The mammoths require hit rolls to attack anyone in their way (75% tusk or 25% trample attack). Anyone run over also sustains damage from the moving wagon if caught under its wheels or from the blades extending from its axles (1d10+4 crushing damage per wheel and/or 1d8+2 slashing damage per blade). No hit rolls are required for the wagon itself, although PCs are permitted a saving throw for half damage.

Armored Mammoths: AC2, HD 15 (L, about 15' tall), MV 120’ (40’), AT 2 tusks or 1 trample, D 2d6/2d5 tusks or 4d8 trample, Save F8, ML 8, Int 2, AL N, XP 1,650. The mammoths bear metal protections on their lower legs, heads, and foreheads. Studded leather covers their necks, flanks, and rumps. Wicked barbs adorn their tusks. Mk II and III contraptions include howdahs on the mammoths’ backs, each housing 2-3 warriors with projectile weapons.

Crew: Eighteen 2HD warriors (all with artillery skills) and two drivers (one 4HD Vanguard Master and a 3HD Subchief). If both drivers are disabled, the Mammoth Masher comes to a halt unless the mammoths panic.

Siege Weapons: Two ballistae facing sideways are located on the upper deck, behind the drivers’ casemate, and one light catapult facing forward sits on the wagon’s forecastle, above the casemate. The catapult shoots over the mammoths harnessed in the front of the wagon.
Ballista: AC 4, HP 9, Crew 4 (among the 18 warriors), Range 100/200/300 (min. n/a), D d10+6, RoF 1 per 2 rounds.
Catapult, Lt.: AC 4, HP 18, Crew 6 (among the 18 warriors), Range 200/250/300 (min. 150), D d8+8, RoF 1 per 5 rounds.

Battle Rating: Add a +20 bonus to a unit’s BR if the Mammoth Masher’s crew and beasts of burden account for 10% or more of the unit’s HD. Add another 10 if there are two or more in the battle unit.

I hope you'll pardon me for the doodles. Gotta kill downtime in some way, right?

More in the next installment: The Great Carriage.

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