UNIT: Death From Above: Ming Dynasty Rocket Wagons 架火戰車



The 架火戰車, or rocket wagons (lit. "Fire Chariots") was one of the most dangerous and surprisingly versatile Ming weapons. Essentially 6 detachable packs of rockets laid over a wheel barrow frame. Each incorporates four pods of "Long Snake Soul Breaking Arrows" (長蛇破敵箭) of thirty poison tipped rockets per pod, and two pods of "Rush of Hundred Tigers Arrows" (百虎齊奔箭) of a hundred rockets per pod, for a total of 320 rockets that all have a centralized fuse which enabled them to be fired in one barrage. Aside from these armaments, each cart also consisted of three detachable muzzle-loading swivel guns pre- loaded for the crew to use when the enemy came close, as well as two spears and a thick cotton curtain to defend against incoming arrows.


Because of their light weight, these carts could be easily moved around on the battlefield and quickly launched by the simplest of peasant soldiers. The fact that they could saturate a massive area from two whole football fields away then quickly reposition made them a frightening spectacle for enemy formation that was caught beneath it.


Aside from their devastating barrage and mobility, two other factors made these wagons extremely deadly. One is that because all of the rocket pods are compartmentalized like detachable blocks of LEGOs, after firing, all six of the used pods could be easily disassembled then fitted with whole new pre-loaded rocket pods- enabling the crew to ready to fire another barrage within minutes. The second factor is the potential for these rocket wagons to be linked up and provide a mobile line of defense (cont. below)


A detailed diagram of a 架火戰車 rocket wagon (lit. Fire Chariot,) that shows the detachable pods of the 3 thin "Long Snake Soul Breaking Arrows" (長蛇破敵箭) 30 poison tipped rockets per pod, and 2 pods of "Rush of Hundred Tigers Arrows" (百虎齊奔箭) 100 rockets per pod, for a total of 320 rockets that all have a centralized fuse which enabled them to be fired in one barrage. Also showing the 白子銃 detachable muzzle-loading swivel guns for the crew's defense, as well as two spears and a thick cotton curtain to be spanned over the front to defend against incoming arrows.



(cont. from above) We have talked about how these rocket wagons had an innate ability to soak up arrow fire (+10 to surrounding units' missile defense!) with its thick cotton screens- the Ming commanders realized very early on that he could chain these wagons together to form a defensive line that could serve as a rally point for his soldiers as well as provide a hellish "wall" for any attackers.

At any time any formation ordered to attack this formation would be faced with the prospect of having a steel storm of thousands of incoming rockets and poisoned arrows launched against them. And this is long before they even come within the range of any of the gunner squads.


Extended diagram showing the rocket wagons being linked up together to provide a mobile defensive barrier. They could be both deployed defensively as a protective rally point as well as offensively in the front of the gunners to act as a forward deterrent for any incoming attack. 



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