Full Item Description
The Dwarven war chariot is rather large as far as chariots go. It is supported four iron-rimmed wheels, each with an associated leaf spring to absorb the shock of the vehicle as it travels rapidly across the battlefield. The carrying area of the chariot has high sides, often covered with sheets of armor, or being made exclusively of metal plates. Dwarves riding in the chariot generally cannot see outside of the box like back. The back of the chariot drops away to become a ramp that the dwarves inside, generally anywhere from two spike-covered berzerkers to half a dozen normal axemen use to exit.
The driver whips a team of four dwarven ponies, stout creatures with mule-like dispositions, to pull the chariot. Four abreast, these animals wear chain barding to keep them safe from arrow-shot. Should an animal fall, the driver can cut it’s part of the harness loose and drop the injured or dead animal from the team. Next to the driver, there is an elevated position for a crossbowman to stand, ostenably to defend the driver while he keeps the chariot moving.
It is well known that dwarves are not celebrated runners. It is also well known that position is of great importance on the field of battle. While most dwarves have faced this problem with normal resolve, and staggeringly heavy armor and locked formations, the War Chariot is a new line of thought. Adopted from human chariots, the war chariot allows the dwarves to move from one place to another rapidly. Since the reach of the dwarf arm is short, this limits the value of the chariot as an actual fighting vehicle.
The true value of the war chariot and it’s high sides as it is a method to counter the dwarves most pressing difficulty, their slow movement. Instead of trudging across the field of battle, squads of dwarven warriors could be ferried quickly too and from battle. Fresh warriors would be disgorged by the chariot, and the wounded could be loaded and carried away from the line of battle. In areas where the chariot could be deployed, dwarven casualties decreased since the injured were able to be relocated and healed rather than fight on until death took them. This strengthened the dwarves when not fighting on their own mountainous soil.
The Dwarven War Chariot is a primitive Armored Personel Carrier. While the modern APC developed after the advent of large scale deployment of armored vehicles and the inability of infantry to keep pace with said vehicles. Though the APC itself is a new innovation, the idea of using vehicles to move soldiers to and from battle is far from new. Britons used chariots in their wars against the Romans in the 1st Century AD, deploying fighters 1 at a time, with the exhausted or injured being removed from the battlefield.