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If you had elves who can train bulls and other animals to do all sorts of tasks... would bulls be useful as cavalry for war? Would they be useful enough to use a bull instead of a horse, in some circumstances?

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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately: If you mess with the bull, you get the horns. :-( $\endgroup$ – SurpriseDog Dec 28 '19 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ A quick google search led here: quora.com/Have-bulls-ever-been-used-in-battle $\endgroup$ – mu 無 Dec 28 '19 at 3:41
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    $\begingroup$ @mu無 Cattle were also commonly used in China, sometimes with explosives attached. I doubt anyone rode them, though. $\endgroup$ – mustardMan Dec 28 '19 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ The answer to "IF this were possible, would it work?" is always "yes." You made it so. Early horses were too small to ride - they pulled chariots. Millenia of selective breeding made them large and strong enough to ride. Do with your bulls what you will. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Dec 28 '19 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see elves on bulls, but I could see dwarves on water buffalos. $\endgroup$ – Stephan Branczyk Dec 28 '19 at 23:49
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  • Suicidal chargers? Sure. A big strong animal is good.
  • Maneuverability is lacking I'd wager.
  • Speed. I think horses are faster.
  • Can a bull match a horses capacity to move for long periods of time? That is marching, maneuvering, scouting, charging...etc. And in war the ability to force march or keep fighting the longer is vital. More important that mere damage. And actual armies spent more time moving and camping than fighting.
  • Scouting. Does not seem like a particularly good idea to scout with bulls.
  • Riding. Would it be comfortable for a couple of hundred/thousands cavalry men to ride on bulls for hours on campaign?
  • Now what are cavalry? Scouting, harassing, chasing fleeing enemies, intimidation..etc units. And a horse does all those things well enough.
  • For charges speed and maneuverability is good. If you charger a line of pikemen and they don't budge you get the heck out of there and try another section of the army that is weaker. You don't just lodge your unit in the middle of the enemy. Also humans are making most of the killing and you armor the thing to begin with.
  • Perhaps there is a reason we stuck to horses or camels for cavalry rules.
  • Elephants are another matter. They had a different function altogether on the battlefield.
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if you want it to just charge into enemy you can do it by burning their tail or other parts basically scare them to make them panic and stampeding the people in its front (may including yours) without riding it.

but if you want to ride it as cavalry, it have horn that can get hook or tied by rope such as lasso by enemy which may can stop its momentum, it also not as fast as horse (unless in angry mode as far as i read from google, but i guess it not last long just a sudden burst) so maneuverability is poor against other cavalry type, but i believe genetic manipulation may can fix it, just my opinion.

also that horn may can end up stuck with a lot of corpse weighting/dragging or slowing it down, and to remove it, he need to swing forcefully which is not that good for cavalry i guess....... unless the person can design special type of saddle to not get thrown out, but still that action (in attempt to remove the corpse) probably hampering/slowing it movement/momentum too, including disturbing the rider action in attempt to attack its opponent, and can endanger the rider from his own weapon.

unless the rider is so skilled, strong, and fast enough to remove the stuck up corpse, after thinking again this may make the rider develop a tool for that specific reason, but i dont know what kind of tool it be. still i guess it basically to much chore compare to horse.

so you probably need to cut/remove the horn to make it viable.

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