From Ex illis wiki
- Slow, inaccurate but deadly unit
- Devastating against tightly-packed enemies
- Shots affect enemy morale
The Mangonel is a piece of field artillery. It can shoot at a great range and cause tremendous damage. While it is quite inaccurate at first, each consecutive shot in a same zone becomes more precise. The Mangonel is an excellent weapon if you want to force your enemy out of a strong defensive position.
- Laborious Movements: Moving requires twice the usual time. The unit cannot charge or retreat. When it flees, it is considered destroyed.
- Psychological Weapon: Inflicts a morale penalty (-10) to every unit in the target zone.
- Artillery: Must reload between each shot. Heroes are less likely to be hit. Each consecutive shot in the same zone scatters less.
- Generic: Basic Leadership of allied Heroes is increased by 50% toward this unit.
The term “mangonel” was used to describe a wide variety of artillery pieces, ranging from counterweight trebuchet-like engines meant to bring down castle walls to the smaller torsion-based weapons used on the battlefield to attack enemy troops. Field artillery was an underdeveloped aspect of warfare prior to 1244. The long reloading time, the obvious lack of precision and the burden of carrying these machines on a campaign prevented the widespread use of these engines.
However, perceptions started to change with the coming of the Flael. Suddenly, the introduction of fleaudian troops made up of dragons, giants and colossal demons which could shrug off enemy bolts and arrows, forced generals to revisit their views on field artillery. Ballistae and small catapults started to be carried in large expeditions and deployed en masse when such foes where seen on the battlefield.
Field artillery assumed a “monster-killing” role up until 1288 when the general William della Torre led a Sienese army against the papal forces, employing over forty pieces of field artillery against the enemy troops. The increasing interest for catapults allowed the Italian engineers to develop adjustment tools and techniques to hit smaller targets on a constant basis. The combined effect of seeing a shower of boulder falling onto their heads and the spectacular death of their comrades forced the papal warriors to retreat from the field. Unfortunately for della Torre, the impressed papal artillerists quickly grasped the idea and the Italian general himself was crushed by a boulder four months later.
With the arrival of magic into standard warfare, mangonels became more than a mean of throwing simple rocks at the enemy. With the proper training, artillerists can load various types of projectiles, mundane or magically infused, to send raining down on their enemies. Many generals choose to carry field artillery in their ranks to sap the will of the enemy or force them out of their defensive position.
As a piece of field artillery, the Mangonel is a unit that can deal impressive damage if unbothered for the whole game. Its shooting mechanism is quite different from an archer’s and the Mangonel should therefore be dedicated to targeting stationary enemies rather than moving ones.
Moreover, tightly-packed enemies are much more vulnerable to artillery than others. A Mangonel’s basic role in an army is to force the enemy to move out of his/her defensive position. It will outmatch any standard shooting in very long ranged combat thanks to its bouldered projectiles which have a range of four and gain in Accuracy shot after shot. It results in a simple tactical fact: the longer the enemy lingers in its defensive position, the deadlier the Mangonel becomes.
Thus, it may be interesting to target a unit which is likely to remain behind the main line of melee, like a Marrenne, Longbowmen or even Ympes, and this, early in the game. When shooting at smaller targets, consider using Adjustments to reduce your scatter. It will not turn the Mangonel into a sniper rifle, but it will certainly increase its chances of hitting a lone unit or firing a lucky shot on an enemy Hero’s head. Also, when facing weaker foes, scattered shots should prove to be much more efficient than trying to squash a single enemy under a huge boulder.
To be safe, keep a bodyguard unit near your Mangonel. While deadly at long range, artillery is worthless in melees. A single Hobelar unit coming through the main line of melee could have a disastrous impact if it charges an unprotected Mangonel.
The Mangonel is a low-cost unit and is part of the “Special” Muster Category. It should prove easy to field in most armies, yet difficult to overuse.
Main Article: Stats
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