Animal Movement Rates – the British Way!

I was just reading Al Nofi’s CIC at Strategypage, and he showed some information on animal movement rates from Sir Garnet Wolseley’s The Soldier’s Pocket-book for Field Service. Sir Garnet was apparently the inspiration for Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Modern Major General”. I thought these figures might be useful for RPG’ers, at least as a comparison to the overland rates given in our favorite RPG’s. All of the following is drawn from Nofi’s post …


Animal Speed Pack Load Draught Load Work Day
Ass * 4.0 mph 150-175 pds 900 pds 15-16 miles
Camel 2.5 300-600 1000 20
Dog * 6.5 na 160 60 by sleigh
Elephant 3.5 800-1200 8000 15-20
Horse 4.0 250-400 350 15-16
Human 2.5 40-80 120-150 4-8
Llama * 2.5 65-125 na 12-18
Mule 4.0 150-300 500 15-16
Ox 2.2 160-200 300-500 4-6
Reindeer 18 na 300 50-100 by sleigh

Note: Since Sir Garnet didn’t campaign in places where some types of beasts of burden were in common use, we’ve added a few of these, as indicated by an asterisk. Pack Load includes weight of the pack; Draught Load includes that of the vehicle; na, not applicable for military usage.

Thought I add to this – the work days, in NOD hexes, would work out to …

Ass: 2 to 3
Camel: 3
Dog: 10 (by sleigh – impressive)
Elephant: 3
Horse: 2 or 3
Human: 1
Llama: 2 or 3
Mule: 2 or 3
Ox: 1
Reindeer: 8 to 16 (again, by sleigh wow!)

The sleigh pulling animals are quick – could be a good magic item – a sleigh that makes its own snow. We usually went by the rule of thumb of 1 hex on foot, 2 by mount, which isn’t too far off, though maybe 1 hex on foot, 3 by mount is better.

2 thoughts on “Animal Movement Rates – the British Way!

  1. Military load is AFAIK “safe load for rugged terrain”. Same could be said of speed. I guess all those stats (esp. the “Work Day”) can be improved hugely by pushing the animal to strain itself. Possibly to death. :/


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