A strong commercial and agricultural activity, experienced mercenary armies and a powerful and advanced navy have been sufficient to keep our nation secure and prosperous for centuries. But now new challenges arise. An expansionist and warlike city from the italian peninsula is rising and they respect no treaties you may have made with them in the past. Their vast manpower resources and their resolute determination in expanding their empire, even if that implies capturing lands and resources from former allies by means of war, may throw our prosperous nation and colonies very shortly into a prolonged conflict.
In order to prevail if such confrontation occurs, you have to be strong and ready for total war. Access to powerful mercenary armies which your coffers can afford are still plenty. Battle-hardened, agile and extremely skilled sword infantry as well as fast and experienced light and heavy cavalry from Iberia; devastating and highly ranged slinger units from the Balearic Islands; swift and javelin-armed expert light cavalry from Numidia and fearless Celtic warriors from Southern Gaul and Northern Italy are available to complement perfectly with your highly trained african phalanxes, elite heavy cavalry and terrifying trained war elephants. To command so diversified armies, you have at your services some of the brightest and most experienced generals to have ever walked on earth. However, if you are to engage in such prolonged conflict with such a vastly outnumbering foe in terms of manpower, even your rich coffers may falter. You have to prepare your country not only to field specific elite units but also large, reliable and battleworthy standing armies if you are to prevail.
It is also advisable to strengthen and extend your peace and trade treaties throughout the mediterranean to military ones and, most important of all, to unite your own people under your leadership, struggling together towards the ultimate cause, the prosperity of the Kart-Hadastim. As mentioned, the Romani are our enemy or will be soon. They are at war with the Greek kingdom of Epeiros and our spies say they have the advantage. The Romani will turn their eyes to us soon, and you should prepare our army in Elymia for war. The Romani might not be as rich as us, but their soldiers are better trained and disciplined than ours. Although the Romani are not our only neighbours we should worry about. The Ptolemaioi to the east are among the few in the world who can say they are as rich as us and not be accused of lying. We trade with them, and as you know with trade comes gold and rumours. Should they hear we are in trouble they will send soldiers across the desert, but not for aid. Should they be in trouble though, we could do the same! Closer to home, we also have the Numidians to the east, a nuisance at best and a threat at worst. They have no council or tyrant to rule them, but their petty kings might attack us from time to time. Taking a more drastic measure against them might be appropriate should they pose a threat. In Iberia our colonies are bringing us much wealth, but wealth attracts warlords and troublemakers. The Iberians who live north of our colonies are disunited and under no strong ruler, but rumours are trickling in from the mountains that some of the tribes are starting to form closer bonds. Do not disregard these rumours. The Iberians might be savages, but warlike savages who often serve in our armies and serve well too. Should you invade them, remember that it is their land you fight on and they are expert ambushers. And they will unite against any invader.
Rule wisely, young general, and victory shall be undoubtly ours!!
Around 814 BC, Carthage - meaning 'new city,' was founded by the Tyrian Queen Elissa, fleeing the tyrrany of her brother King Pygmalion in Tyre. Her flight from the island city was prompted by her brother's assassination of her husband, the priest of Melqart, leading a number of prominent nobles and former royal attendants to accompany her in flight.
After travelling for some time, Elissa's party landed in Libya, within a short distance of the older the older Pheonician city Utica. Upon their arrival, Elissa secured land from the local Libyans for temporary use, but eventually settled in the area after some encouragement from the Uticans and the discovery of good omens in the land where the city would be founded.
The first trading empire of Carthage was built initially on a strategic position for trade within the central and Western Mediterranean, and eventually building up most of it's clout by trading heavily with the wealthy Iberian peoples of Tartessos. After the fall of their older Iberian trading partners, the Carthaginian merchant ships bypassed the ancient cities location, and approached the major tin producers in North-Western Iberia and among the Southern Britons directly. To suppliment a newly envigorated trade relationship with the Iberian tribesmen and the Celtiberians in the North, Carthaginian merchants also moved along the Mauretanian coast and even farther south towards Senegal to establish informal trading relations.
During the ensuing years, increasing dependancy on Carthage as well as the great trading empire's reasonable military aptitude, led to the political assimilation of the Balearic Islands East of Iberia, as well as Sardinia and Corsica, and parts of Sicily. Their burgeoning prospects also found them in lasting alliance with the Etruscans of Italy, who would trade with Carthage for centuries, and even enter into military alliance with them.
The Carthaginians dominance in the Western Mediterranean was finally challenged however, by a maritime power closer to their own former homes in Pheonicia: Greece. This conflict finally culminated with the first Carthaginian attempts to finally secure Sicily, and ensure their guard against the Greek armies there.
The war in Sicily began when Carthage's general Hamilco led an enormous army onto the island, landing first at Panormus. His numbers, reduced to an extent by storms during their transport, were virtually wiped out by Gelon, the ruler of Syracuse, at Himera. Hamilco would be one of the earliest Carthaginian generals to partake in suicide for failure, and would not be the last.
Peace between Carthage and Syracuse ensued, though it was tenuous at best, and it was quickly ended. By 410 BC Carthage had lost it's colonies in Iberia, but had replaced them with new ones in North Africa, as well as an expansion of their territory beyond the great inland Sea of North Africa and into the Libyan coast. In addition to their great territorial expansions, they enjoyed another reinvigoration of their trading parternships throughout the whole of the Mediterranean, and new territories discovered by previously unmatched efforts of exploration throughout Africa.
With a burgeoning power base at his back, Hamilcar's grandson Hannibal Mago, renewed the war in Sicily by seizing several cities in the South, as well as the site of his grandfather's defeat. Despite his initial succcess, his siege at Agrigentum was broken, and his forces thrown back - suffering from the plague.
Hannibal Mago's successor, Himilco, managed to continue the war farther into Sicily by defeating the Syracusean tyrant... but was eventually forced to sue for peace after his forces had been weakened by another plague. After this, the peace would again disintegrate, and leave Carthage to war with Greece for many decades - leaving them finally restricted to a Southern corner of the island.
In 311, the tyrant Agathocles of Syracuse renewed the war against Carthage, seizing most of their remaining Sicilian holdings and laying siege to their only strong positions. In response, the Carthaginian general Hamilcar was dispatched to raise the siege and take the offensive against the Greeks. Within a year of his arrival in Sicily, Hamilcar had raised the Greek siege, and made himself master of much of the island. Without any recourse against his superior opponent, Agathocles moved against Carthage itself, prompting Hamilcar's recall to the African coast - where he crushed the Greek army. Despite an admirable position, Hamilcar concluded a peace with the Syracusean tyrant, leaving his home-city as the final stronghold of Greek power.
After decades of Carthaginian dominance, Sicily was once again raised to war against Carthage when Pyrrhus the Eagle arrived on the island - whose inhabitants proclaimed him king around 275. With several victories over the Carthaginians, Pyrrhus' army and his popularity were exhausted, and his withdrawl was beaten quickly - leaving Carthage almost exactly as it had been before the conflict.
Despite a secure hold over Sicily, the Northern city of Messina had been held by Italian mercenaries previously employed by Agathocles, now calling themselves the Mammertines. While fashioning themselves an independent power in the region, the Mammertines were concerned by the Hiero, the recently empowered tyrant of Syracuse. In response, they requested a garrison from both Rome and Carthage. While Rome debated the issue, Carthage responded, sending both an infantry and naval garrison for the city. Though the Mammertines were still ostensibly an independent power, the Carthaginians had begun negotiations with the Syracuseans, leading them to fear for their own survival. In response to these fears, the Mammertines renewed their call for Roman aid, which brought the Carthaginians and Romans to odds for the first time.
The First Punic War opened with operations in Sicily, led by the Roman general Regulus, who successfully seized the city of Agrigentum after defeating a Carthaginian relief force. In response, the Romans sought a swift end to the conflict, and Regulus led a direct assault on the Carthaginian holdingsin Africa. Though his campaigns in Africa initially weighed in his favor, he was eventually expelled thanks to the machinations of Spartan mercenary General employed by the Carthaginians: Xanthippus.
While Carthage had triumphed over the Romans, they would face an even greater threat from their own former mercenaries, disgruntled over their lack of pay. During this mercenary rebellion, the great general Hamilcar Barca emerges, and by the genius of his tactics is victorious over the rebels.
Carthage suffered greatly in the peace ending the First Punic War, losing their Sicilian holdings and suffering a massive indemnity. To make up the difference, Hamilcar initiated a massive personal campaign in Iberia, seizing enormous territories and resource rich lands for his family, would would continue the campaigns after his death. As Hamilcar's successor, Hasdrubal the Handsome is equally successful in expanding Carthage's interests in the peninsula, though he is eventually killed by disgruntled Iberian tribesmen.
After Hasdrubal's death, a man who is arguably the greatest general in the world's history, emerges to command the armies of Carthage against Rome in their final engagements as equal powers. The great general, is Hannibal.
Hannibal began his service to Carthage by destroying Iberian rebels, and finally opens hostilities with Rome, by destroying the Roman's allies in Saguntum. Not allowing them any time to respond, Hannibal immediately marches North, and approaches Italy via the Po Valley. Approaching the Italian peninsula, Hannibal defeats numerous armed contingents of Gauls, and eventually gains numerous others as his allies upon his arrival in the North.
Marching now towards the South, Hannibal smashes the Roman legions at the Battle of Trebia, killing both of it's highest leaders in battle. Moving on, Hannibal completely wipes out another Roman army at the Battle of Lake Trasimene during one of histories most renowned ambushes. While in Italy, Hannibal wins every major engagement he ever fights with the Roman army, either fighting to their destruction or to a stalemate. Despite the final numerical superiority of the Roman army at the end of Hannibal's sixteen year stay in Italy, the fearsome reputation of Hannibal allowed him to occupy Bruttium without significant harassment.
In order to draw Hannibal out of Bruttium, the Roman general Scipio arms and organizes his own legions for a direct invasion of Africa, in emulation of the defeated Regulus. Like Regulus' strategem, Scipio succeeds in bringing the Carthaginian general to him in Africa, where his better armed and more numerous forces bring about Hannibal's first and only clear defeat during his generalship. The Carthaginian gamlble to fragment the Roman's confederacy in Italy by destroying Rome has failed, thanks to their unwillingness to fund and properly reinforce Hannibal, and with their own significant force destroyed, Carthage is left to accept Roman war indemnities once again. Though these new demands again required enormous tribute, they were even more strict now - forbidding them to make war.
With the Second Punic War lost, Carthage managed to pay off the Roman war indemnities in an incredibly short time period, reinforcing a fear of the Punic traders in the Roman politicians. While the Romans are occupied with Eastern conquests, Carthage is able to reclaim much of their prosperity through trade, leading the Romans to wonder if they might not eventually renew combat with them. Fearing the worst, the Romans dispatch Scipio Aemilianus to assimilate Africa as a Roman province. After a three year siege, Carthage is completely razed, and would remain unoccupied until Caesar resettled the region more then a century later.
A Carthaginian army can draw upon various troop types with an wider selection of spear & pike infantry, various cavalry and skirmishing infantry. From it's home provinces it can recruit spearmen, elite pikemen, assault infantry & heavy cavalry in addition to Numidians as skirmisher infantry & cavalry. From Iberia and the Balearic Isles a Carthaginian general has access to good quality troops for almost any battlefield role, from light infantry to elite slingers to heavy cavalry. And Karthadastim can recruit other troops from Gaul, Italy and beyond as well, meaning a Carthaginian army can have a massive difference in units when it comes to nationality and fighting style.