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Thread: Sacred band of Carthage.

  1. #1

    Default Sacred band of Carthage.

    They look awesome.

    But did they still exist by the time of EB's start?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    AFAIK they were destroyed in the battle of Krimisos and a battle after that and the Carthaginians from that point onwards never again used much of it's Caananite citizenry for military campaigns and instead relying on mercenaries.

    It would be unlikely that they would exist by the game's start date.

    The unit's description is relying on guesses instead of historical fact for the unit's existence.

    About the unit itself there's also another debate in these forums whether the Carthaginians ever used lamellar armour because the Sacred band is wearing that type of armour in-game.
    Last edited by NapoleonMaster; December 28, 2019 at 07:27 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    If they did not exist in the time of EB's start, I suggest that they be removed from the game.
    I'm an avid Carthage player and I love that unit's design, but I don't like the idea of having them in the game if the available data points that they were not active in the 3rd century BC.
    Surely, they would have been mentioned in the African battles of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Punic wars?

  4. #4
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    True, true, although if Carthage became powerful enough to swallow the entire Western Mediterranean, hypothetically speaking as many players do in their own campaigns, then the Carthaginians would undoubtedly have the manpower and strength by that point to muster and levy Punic citizens for the needs of war. You can't just continue building and maintaining an empire of that size with nothing but mercenaries, whose unreliability is pretty much a mainstay feature in every era of history. Peace and prosperity, with Rome now out of the picture, would also guarantee the growth of existing Carthaginian settlements and establishment of new Punic colonies. From these one could imagine native Punic troops being levied and not just from the city-states of Kart-Hadast and Atiqa.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Let's not go into the "what if" scenarios. You're not getting your mailed pikemen and that's final, mister!

  6. #6
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    The "sacred band" was destroyed in battles in Sicily, but the last written memory of the use of "elite" Carthaginians in battle as them fighting good against their opponents and then having to retreat due to a bad strategic decision of the army General, so they weren't destroyed. Sadly, we don't have Carthaginian written sources so we can't really know, but this unit is not a real what if scenario since Carthaginians continued to be present in all their armies, althought in small numbers but still enough to compose a unit of this since, especially in Africa.

    Even if we don't have records of a "sacred band", we do know that Carthaginians kept fighting, once again, especially in Africa, and many of them would be very well armed, so this unit also serves to represent those noble soldiers, composed of the rich and nobles.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    When was that battle that mentions elite Carthaginians?

    If the Sacred Band still existed in the 3rd century BC, the Romans would have mentioned it. They never missed opportunities to brag about the people they killed.

    If there is evidence that wealthy Carthaginian citizens regularly fought as hoplites, a rebranding could do. Otherwise, I don't see any point to them other than to make fanboys happy. Carthaginian citizen soldiers are already well represented with the hoplite militia, elite cavalry and naval units.
    Last edited by Rad; January 01, 2020 at 03:35 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    As i understand it, having carthage make use of epilektoi hoplites (picked hoplites) during this period is plausible, so this is why the unit exists. The actual sacred band as it was may have disappeared or have been reorganised in another fashion, but the continued use of wealthy carthaginian citizens as a picked unit of hoplites isn't far fetched for the period, considering the hoplite regalia was in use by the less wealthy citizens or lybians. In a way, it is similar to Hetairoi representing different elite successor cavalry units, even if they weren't actually called that or if there were organizational differences between them (how they were equipped, where the men came from, how they were maintained, etc.)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    A change in the name and the description could do, then.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    This game is not about reneacting history but altering history, thats literaly the whole point of the game and its mechanics. Even if they were destroyed who says you cant say alright lets reform them as part of our new military approach. And honestly idealy speaking there should be more options like that in the game but obviously thats far overreeching the capabilty of Medieval 2

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribal View Post
    This game is not about reneacting history but altering history, thats literaly the whole point of the game and its mechanics. Even if they were destroyed who says you cant say alright lets reform them as part of our new military approach.
    EB2 is a historical mod. The game starts at 272 bc and starting units should match the types of troops that existed in 272 bc. Any evolution in tactics, equipment, training etc must have a solid historical basis - socio-political changes, greater degree of wealth, contact with other nations etc. You can't just invent troop types based on your own tastes without turning EB2 into a fantasy mod. If that's not enough to dissuade you, there is a fixed unit cap. I'd much rather see it filled with units based in history than with "what if" units.

    After the Sacred Band was destroyed for the second time, the Carthaginians never used that name for a military unit in fear of inciting the wrath of the Gods. If wealthy Carthaginian citizens continued to fight as elite hoplites after that event, the unit can exist, but with a different name.
    Last edited by Rad; January 01, 2020 at 04:52 PM.

  12. #12
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Let's not go into the "what if" scenarios. You're not getting your mailed pikemen and that's final, mister!
    I WANT MY MAILED PIKEMEN AND PIKE AND SHOT TO GO WITH IT!

    Wasn't Carthage already mustering citizen soldiers, not just Libyan-Punic ones along with Iberians & Numidians, during the last phase of the Second Punic War, as an emergency situation at the very least? I think that I recall some of them being present as a rear guard at the Battle of Zama after Scipio's invasion of the Maghreb. Mind you, they weren't the Sacred Band that had been disbanded long ago by this point, but it does show that full-blooded Punic citizen soldiers were levied for war, and some of them would have been finely dressed, equipped, and armored for war. The Carthaginians were a bunch of decadent rich merchants, after all.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I WANT MY MAILED PIKEMEN AND PIKE AND SHOT TO GO WITH IT!

    Wasn't Carthage already mustering citizen soldiers, not just Libyan-Punic ones along with Iberians & Numidians, during the last phase of the Second Punic War, as an emergency situation at the very least? I think that I recall some of them being present as a rear guard at the Battle of Zama after Scipio's invasion of the Maghreb. Mind you, they weren't the Sacred Band that had been disbanded long ago by this point, but it does show that full-blooded Punic citizen soldiers were levied for war, and some of them would have been finely dressed, equipped, and armored for war. The Carthaginians were a bunch of decadent rich merchants, after all.
    We already have the decently equipped levy hoplites to represent regular Carthaginian citizens and the elite cavalry to represent the rich. That's 2 units - 4 if you count the Liby-Phoenicians.
    I don't see a point of representing the rich with another elite level unit without evidence of its existence in EB's time frame.

    P.S. As punishment for being so obstinate, you won't get the Transalpine Celtic cataphract archers either!
    Last edited by Rad; January 02, 2020 at 12:37 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    We already have the decently equipped levy hoplites to represent regular Carthaginian citizens and the elite cavalry to represent the rich. That's 2 units - 4 if you count the Liby-Phoenicians.
    I don't see a point of representing the rich with another elite level unit without evidence of its existence in EB's time frame.

    P.S. As punishment for being so obstinate, you won't get the Transalpine Celtic cataphract archers either!
    I can't argue with the naming and context of the unit been up for a change as I simply dont know enough and its not something easy to find due to the circumstances of Carthaginian history records. We do know carthaginian citizen spearmen were used during the game's timeframe even if mercenaries were usually the bulk of the infantry, so its not really out of thin air.

    However arguing about the number of units itself as in we are eatin away spots I dont think makes much sense. 2 units for core carthaginian citizens and 3 more for mixed/lower class carthaginians doesn't seem out of proportion. True that is only one faction and one that didn't liked to use its citenzry that much militarily, but other factions/ethnicities get many more units. There is 12 pure roman different units and around the same number of italics. Hellenic/istic factions have also wide core I dont need to tell you. As an example only for "rich/elite" alone theres 4 royal makedonian factional elite units, 1 factional greek elite, another 5-6 more restricted factional elites and a bunch of regional elites. All on top of the good amount of non elite core units and half-core/half-regional hellenized units.

    Not saying the others numbers aren't justified. After all we are speaking of several factions, in bigger areas of the map and that used its core citenzry a lot militarily, and covering reforms and such. Just that the proportion seems sensible enough.

    We will either find a way, or make one.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    EB 2 is historical mod, the game is historical. The game is not about reneacting history, its about altering it. Do you understand these two differences or do I need to point you out how giving a player a map and gameplay where everything you do even if you tried really hard wont be according to how it happened in history. Thats altering history. The whole thing about giving player A MAP is to let him alter history that is set in time by it being historical game
    And your claim about it being fantasy is just pure nonsence. There are games that are already implementing what I said and its obviously a big gameplay plus since its give player more choices, more things to do which equals gameplay. I hope you are capable of comprehanding that aswell.
    And med 2 units cap? yes thats what I mentioned by med2 limitations.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribal View Post
    EB 2 is historical mod, the game is historical.
    Damn right it is. I intend to help keep it that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribal View Post
    The game is not about reneacting history, its about altering it. Do you understand these two differences or do I need to point you out how giving a player a map and gameplay where everything you do even if you tried really hard wont be according to how it happened in history. Thats altering history. The whole thing about giving player A MAP is to let him alter history that is set in time by it being historical game
    You're confusing two different things - the player's freedom to play and expand in any desired manner and the synchronicity of the era, area and available troops.

    In a historical mod, the player has absolute freedom to expand any way he/she wishes... using troops that existed in the era of the mod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tribal View Post
    And your claim about it being fantasy is just pure nonsence.
    Artificially putting a military unit that stopped existing in the 4th century BC into a 3rd century BC setting is fantasy. Using the same bad idea, we could also have Persian Immortals in the game.



    Disclaimer: I don't know for sure that the Persian Immortals stopped existing in the 4th century BC. Not my area of interest. If they were still a thing by 272 BC, please correct me.
    Last edited by Rad; January 02, 2020 at 03:53 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    We do know carthaginian citizen spearmen were used during the game's timeframe even if mercenaries were usually the bulk of the infantry, so its not really out of thin air.
    We already have a citizen hoplite unit. Two, if you count the Liby-Phoenicians. We need to answer the following: Did some rich citizens fight as elite hoplites in the 3rd century BC, or did they only fight as cavalrymen? What evidence is there that some of them fought as elite hoplites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    However arguing about the number of units itself as in we are eatin away spots I dont think makes much sense. 2 units for core carthaginian citizens and 3 more for mixed/lower class carthaginians doesn't seem out of proportion. True that is only one faction and one that didn't liked to use its citenzry that much militarily, but other factions/ethnicities get many more units.
    That is one of the reasons I started this thread. As Carthage, you're supposed to have Iberians, Celts, Numidians, Libyans, Greeks, Italics etc form the bulk of your land forces, especially those campaining abroad. Those peoples field an incredible variety of units, all within easy reach. With that in mind, an elite citizen hoplite unit we cannot truly back with data feels like a waste. An elite citizen hoplite unit backed by sources would be awesome, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    As an example only for "rich/elite" alone theres 4 royal makedonian factional elite units, 1 factional greek elite,
    Companions, Shield bearers, Elite pikemen, peltasts and picked hoplites - They are well documented in EB2's time frame, that's the most important difference. That and the vastly different approach to warfare the Carthaginians and the Greeks had.
    Last edited by Rad; January 02, 2020 at 04:39 PM.

  18. #18
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Look Rad, around 311 BC, Hamilcar son of Gisco's expeditionary army of 14,000 included 2000 citizen troops, among whom, (writes Diodorus) were many of the aristocracy. Agathocles arrival on Carthage's doorstep the following year brougth forth a uniquely large army of citizen troops, if Diodorus can be believed: 40,000 foot including once more the Sacred Battalion, along with 1000 horse and 2000 chariots. All of them citizens because "they did not wait for the soldiers from the countryside (chora) and the allied cities".

    Three years later, three separate armies, totalling 30,000, were again sent out from the city against the invaders, but many would also be from the countryside as Carthage was crowded with refugees.

    Sixty years were to pass before another mention occurs of citizen forces. Carthaginians were fully involved in the very larges fleets of the time of the 1st Punic War. But in 240, with the city blockaded from Tunes by some rebel mercenaries and Libyans, while a small army operated rather fruitlessly in the countryside against others, Hamilcar Barca was elected general to lead out a second force of about 10,000 troops, made up of citizens, loyal mercenaries and even some deserters. Since he cannot have left Carthage herself undefended and there was still a navy of sorts in being, his citizen contingent (perhaps 6-7000 strong) would not represent anything like the total number of military-age Carthaginians at the time.

    The final appearance of citizen troops-before the special conditions of the Third Punic War - was in Hannibal's army at Zama in 202 BC. There they formed its second line together with Libyan infantry. One wing of the army, too, consisted of Carthaginian (apparently citizen) cavalry.

    These are the ones that we really know that Carthaginian citizen were present because the ancient authors documented their presence there, there could be more of course.

    Would Carthaginian armies have numbers of well armed aristocrats? Surely they would have, how many, we don't really know for sure, but this unit in Carthage is not an exageration of Carthage power as we have evidences of both citizen infantry and cavalry on the field during that time, more even during the time of the Third Punic War.

    But since you started this discussion and we sure don't want it to be for nothing x) There will be a change on one of Carthage's core units and this has been discussed many months ago. It will be more historically accurate now.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    We already have a citizen hoplite unit. Two, if you count the Liby-Phoenicians. We need to answer the following: Did some rich citizens fight as elite hoplites in the 3rd century BC, or did they only fight as cavalrymen? What evidence is there that some of them fought as elite hoplites?
    Different kinds though. The citizien hoplite is the multiethnic Carthage more general citizenry, and the description itself also points it been more of an emergency units. Though as already said Carthage was stingy when it came to use citizenry on its armies.
    Either way, we know that during the game timeframe Carthaginians fought in the major campaigns both as infantry spearmen and cavalry. I dont know why is seems so crazy to you to assume that part of them were aristocrats when you have specific mentions of the commented unit in the last important campaigns Carthage had before the game start. And the specific "Sacred Band" unit that is briefly mentioned by the ancient sources seems to have been assmebled ad-hoc for both ocassions between the most distinguished/brave soldiers of this Carthaginian phoenician families. They couldn't have done that if the phoenician aristocracy had not already been fighting as infantry in the first place. Or at least, the scarce info we have from the anciente sources points to that been the most likely scenario.
    To be honest I dont see why is less justified than both liby-phoenician infantry and cavalry given the data we have.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    That is one of the reasons I started this thread. As Carthage, you're supposed to have Iberians, Celts, Numidians, Libyans, Greeks, Italics etc form the bulk of your land forces, especially those campaining abroad. Those peoples field an incredible variety of units, all within easy reach. With that in mind, an elite citizen hoplite unit we cannot truly back with data feels like a waste. An elite citizen hoplite unit backed by sources would be awesome, though.
    So? I don't see how this unit changes anything of that given its rarity. I think this is actually well represented. The factional troops of Carthage in general and rarer than any other factions so you do need to use those other troops. Only if you are doing very well or in a comfortable position without much war can you really be a bit ahistorical and have higher ratios of punic troops in your armies.
    All those units are also from other factions so its not like Carthage access to them uses up slots or anything. Carthage just has a bit more spread and factional based acces to them despite then not been "factional". But even Rome can recruit those in the same places more or less, and other factions that expand into the area can probably do too. Just not in their most "core" goverments (as they cant even place them in those places).

    And to be honest, historians even debate nowadays if it was indeed so rare for Carthaginians to use citizen troops. The idea comes mainly from the first and second punic wars were expeditionary armies outside africa (the ones the romans fought the most) were mainly mercenaries. But they mention that almost every other punic army usually contained notable presence of citizen troops. Some even say that is wrong to assume that something similar to the sacred band was so rare, problem is we can't know for sure either way.
    I certainly can't say, as Im unqualified for this and mostly just know what I have read here and there. And in this particular topic the loss of punic records is a killer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Companions, Shield bearers, Elite pikemen, peltasts and picked hoplites - They are well documented in EB2's time frame, that's the most important difference. That and the vastly different approach to warfare the Carthaginians and the Greeks had.
    I basically said the same in my post so we agree. I didn't said those or the others I mentioned weren't justified, specially given Greeks/Makedonians tried to use citizen troops mostly even when they were minorities. This part of the argument was more in answer to the "limited slots" and "slot waste" arguments you gave to others. Basically if we can spare over a dozen slots for differentiated hellenic elite units (which Im glad are there as I enjoy them a lot been hellenics my more played factions by far), we can certainly spare 2 for very plausible punic elite units.

    Again I never said that the name/description of the unit was neccesarilly appropriate for the date (I sincerely don't know). Im just talking about the concept.
    Last edited by Jervaj; January 03, 2020 at 08:57 AM. Reason: Man, writing long posts on the phone is a pain.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Look Rad, around 311 BC, Hamilcar son of Gisco's expeditionary army of 14,000 included 2000 citizen troops, among whom, (writes Diodorus) were many of the aristocracy. Agathocles arrival on Carthage's doorstep the following year brougth forth a uniquely large army of citizen troops, if Diodorus can be believed: 40,000 foot including once more the Sacred Battalion, along with 1000 horse and 2000 chariots. All of them citizens because "they did not wait for the soldiers from the countryside (chora) and the allied cities".

    Three years later, three separate armies, totalling 30,000, were again sent out from the city against the invaders, but many would also be from the countryside as Carthage was crowded with refugees.
    Those events are not relevant to this discussion, because they happened decades before the mod starts and because the Sacred Band was destroyed for the final time in 310 bc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Sixty years were to pass before another mention occurs of citizen forces. Carthaginians were fully involved in the very larges fleets of the time of the 1st Punic War.
    Yes, they were fully involved in naval warfare. However, the focus of this thread is on elite citizen hoplites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    But in 240, with the city blockaded from Tunes by some rebel mercenaries and Libyans, while a small army operated rather fruitlessly in the countryside against others, Hamilcar Barca was elected general to lead out a second force of about 10,000 troops, made up of citizens, loyal mercenaries and even some deserters. Since he cannot have left Carthage herself undefended and there was still a navy of sorts in being, his citizen contingent (perhaps 6-7000 strong) would not represent anything like the total number of military-age Carthaginians at the time.

    The final appearance of citizen troops-before the special conditions of the Third Punic War - was in Hannibal's army at Zama in 202 BC. There they formed its second line together with Libyan infantry. One wing of the army, too, consisted of Carthaginian (apparently citizen) cavalry.
    These reports mention infantry and cavalry, but they do not mention who formed the infantry, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Would Carthaginian armies have numbers of well armed aristocrats? Surely they would have, how many, we don't really know for sure, but this unit in Carthage is not an exageration of Carthage power as we have evidences of both citizen infantry and cavalry on the field during that time, more even during the time of the Third Punic War.
    Of course Carthaginian armies would have well armed aristocrats. However, there is a lack of evidence that points that those aristocrats fought as fully armed hoplites. I am more inclined to believe that Carthaginian aristocrats fought as cavalry in the 3rd century bc, in part due to their unfortunate track record as infantry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    But since you started this discussion and we sure don't want it to be for nothing x) There will be a change on one of Carthage's core units and this has been discussed many months ago. It will be more historically accurate now.
    Teasing should be punishable by international law
    Last edited by Rad; January 03, 2020 at 04:23 AM.

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