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Thread: Sacred band of Carthage.

  1. #21

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    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.
    They are Carthaginian citizens. They count. From what I can gather, during the 3rd century bc, Carthaginian citizen infantry seem to have been called up in times of crisis. I will adress why I believe that aristocrats fought as cavalry in the text bellow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    Either way, we know that during the game timeframe Carthaginians fought in the major campaigns both as infantry spearmen and cavalry.
    The times Carthaginian citizen infantry are mentioned during the game's time frame are times of crisis - Roman invasions of Africa, Mercenary war etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    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.
    I'm inclined to believe that Carthaginian aristocracy fought as cavalry in the 3rd century bc.
    There are no mentions of elite/noble/rich hoplite formations in that time right? I don't know of any.
    They had an unfortunate track record fighting as hoplites in the 4th century bc. It was far safer to be mounted.
    Carthaginian armies shifted more attention to cavalry warfare in the game's time frame.
    They could afford it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    To be honest I dont see why is less justified than both liby-phoenician infantry and cavalry given the data we have.
    I can live at ease with those two units.

    We know that Carthage had infantry and cavalry. The Liby-Phoenician hoplites represent men of average wealth. Men of average wealth formed up the heavy infantry.

    The Liby-Phoenician cavalry represent men of above average wealth. Together with the aristocrats, they form up the cavalry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    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.
    The Sacred Band was wiped out in the 4th century bc and are never mentioned again. There are no mentions of elite hoplites in the game's time frame. That, Carthage's unwillingness to once again commit its best citizens to the front ranks (I am by no means calling them cowards, the Romans did the same) and Carthage's shift towards a more cavalry oriented warfare makes me believe aristocrats would have fought as cavalry in EB2's time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    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.
    That's the thing. When things are going well and Carthage is fighting abroad, citizens do not form a significant part of a Carthaginian land force. Only when things go bad do they get called up en masse. That's the smart thing to do. You do not risk people who are vital in many ways, especially vital to the economy, without good reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    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.
    Greek/Macedonian elite units are well documented and were a vital part of any successful campaining Hellenistic army. They deserve every slot.
    On the other hand, when we talk about successful campaining Carthaginian armies, we're talking about Libyans, Iberians, Numidians, Celts etc.
    Very different approaches.
    I believe that the Carthaginian aristocracy should be represented with a cavalry unit, while an elite citizen infantry unit requires more evidence.
    Last edited by Rad; January 03, 2020 at 09:52 AM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    They are Carthaginian citizens. They count. From what I can gather, during the 3rd century bc, Carthaginian citizen infantry seem to have been called up in times of crisis. I will adress why I believe that aristocrats fought as cavalry in the text bellow.



    The times Carthaginian citizen infantry are mentioned during the game's time frame are times of crisis - Roman invasions of Africa, Mercenary war etc.



    I'm inclined to believe that Carthaginian aristocracy fought as cavalry in the 3rd century bc.
    There are no mentions of elite/noble/rich hoplite formations in that time right? I don't know of any.
    They had an unfortunate track record fighting as hoplites in the 4th century bc. It was far safer to be mounted.
    Carthaginian armies shifted more attention to cavalry warfare in the game's time frame.
    They could afford it.


    I can live at ease with those two units.

    We know that Carthage had infantry and cavalry. The Liby-Phoenician hoplites represent men of average wealth. Men of average wealth formed up the heavy infantry.

    The Liby-Phoenician cavalry represent men of above average wealth. Together with the aristocrats, they form up the cavalry.



    The Sacred Band was wiped out in the 4th century bc and are never mentioned again. There are no mentions of elite hoplites in the game's time frame. That, Carthage's unwillingness to once again commit its best citizens to the front ranks (I am by no means calling them cowards, the Romans did the same) and Carthage's shift towards a more cavalry oriented warfare makes me believe aristocrats would have fought as cavalry in EB2's time.



    That's the thing. When things are going well and Carthage is fighting abroad, citizens do not form a significant part of a Carthaginian land force. Only when things go bad do they get called up en masse. That's the smart thing to do. You do not risk people who are vital in many ways, especially vital to the economy, without good reason.



    Greek/Macedonian elite units are well documented and were a vital part of any successful campaining Hellenistic army. They deserve every slot.
    On the other hand, when we talk about successful campaining Carthaginian armies, we're talking about Libyans, Iberians, Numidians, Celts etc.
    Very different approaches.
    I believe that the Carthaginian aristocracy should be represented with a cavalry unit, while an elite citizen infantry unit requires more evidence.
    I think we agree to disagree then. I kind of see your point and I praise your aim for more historical accuracy. The problem here is the scarcity of the sources makes difficult to be "certain" (as much as one can be when speaking of history) if they continued or not to fight as infantry. We know for sure they did a few decades before. For the game time's frame it boils down to what we feel is more "plausible".

    You feel is more plausible they didn't fight as infantry mainly because:

    - Destruction of Sacred Band
    - It was safer and they were influenced by their recent defeats.
    - The shift towards a more cavalry oriented warfare.
    - They could afford it

    I feel is more plausible the continued to do it because (following a bit your points):

    - The Sacred Band was defeated but not really destroyed. I may be wrong but I recall the sources mention them retrating last, but doing so. And also estimated casualities compared to estimated numbers show a lot of the force survived.
    - The Sacred Band itself seems to have been mounted ad-hoc from "distinguished/brave" soldiers. Which implies that there were likely veteran carthaginian aristocrat infantry to pick from. So there was some tradition for them to fight as infantry before the Sacred Band itself its mentioned. It doesn't seem like an experiment that failed and they dropped. Drastic change wasn't common in these times, I find harder to believe that they suddenly stopped fighting as infantry at all.
    - They started giving more relevance to cavalry indeed. However in the time frame when carthaginians are mentioned as part of any army they are mentioned both as infantry and cavalry and still in biger infantry numbers (though we both assume all the lower classes are there too) I think in most if not all cases. If you agree that the closest to them in wealth and importance (Liby-Phoenicians) fought both as heavy infantry and cavalry that points to the tradition to fight as both which likely steemed from the core citizens. To be honest potentially some of the "elite" hoplites could even be of picked/veteran Liby-Phoenicians.
    - They could also afford to be greatly equipped hoplites. Again if Liby-Phoenicians could be cavalry and they still were used nearly as often as infantry, it feels like that tradition had to come from somewhere, specially as they had enough sources of infantry as you mention. If the focus was so much on cavalry by the time, why didn't Carthage send more cavalry to Hannibal when they commanded him to come back to protect Carthage and do a last stand on Zama? They had less than rome in the fight and most of it was numidian. Given Hannibal had a total of 4000 and there was around 1500 roman cavalry in that battle it seems carthaginian citizen cavalry was around that of the roman expedition or at best a little more numerous (without the local numidians led by Massinisia). Seems weird that if they were so cavalry focused they were unable to bring more than waht notably infantry focused enemy had in an expeditioanry army, while they themselves were fighting at home.


    A last note related to last two points, basically in these later Carthaginian usally lybians, numidians and mercenaries from different locations are distinguished and citizens forces are just branded carthaginian either in cavalry and infantry (usally always heavy in both cases). So its impossible to be certain if they contained phoenician aristocracy or not in either thouh we assume that at least in Africa there was some phoenician/aristocrat presence. Saying it was only in the cavalry is a complete hit or miss. I find easier to belive that, given everythin points to the fact that there was an existing tradition fightin in both ways that they continued to do so.

    We will either find a way, or make one.



  3. #23
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    One semi-related point to this, the Carthaginian elite cavalry have been removed as a recruitable unit. Their presence as the general's bodyguard is more than enough representation.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Agree to disagree it is

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    - The Sacred Band was defeated but not really destroyed. I may be wrong but I recall the sources mention them retrating last, but doing so. And also estimated casualities compared to estimated numbers show a lot of the force survived.
    From what I can tell, they were not completely annihilated like the Theban Sacred Band. However, Carthage's Sacred Band was never reformed after the defeat in 310 bc. If it was reformed, the ancient authors would have mentioned their presence at least in the crucial battles on African soil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    - The Sacred Band itself seems to have been mounted ad-hoc from "distinguished/brave" soldiers. Which implies that there were likely veteran carthaginian aristocrat infantry to pick from. So there was some tradition for them to fight as infantry before the Sacred Band itself its mentioned. It doesn't seem like an experiment that failed and they dropped.
    I think that the more significant factors to their reputation were training and equipment.
    As aristocrats, they would have had the luxury of free time, time they could spend training.
    Like every other hoplite phalanx, the most well armored hoplites would be the first ones to make contact with the enemy - be they veterans or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    Drastic change wasn't common in these times, I find harder to believe that they suddenly stopped fighting as infantry at all.
    I don't think it was a sudden change at all. They were defeated first in 341 bc and again in 310 bc. They had time to think it through after the first defeat. They opted to try again. They finally dropped the idea after the second defeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    - They started giving more relevance to cavalry indeed. However in the time frame when carthaginians are mentioned as part of any army they are mentioned both as infantry and cavalry and still in biger infantry numbers (though we both assume all the lower classes are there too) I think in most if not all cases.
    Like I said, I believe that after the defeats in the 4th century BC, the infantry was formed from the lower/average class, while the above average/rich folk formed the cavalry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    If you agree that the closest to them in wealth and importance (Liby-Phoenicians) fought both as heavy infantry and cavalry that points to the tradition to fight as both which likely steemed from the core citizens.
    I believe that those who could fight as cavalry did so, especially after devastating defeats we mentioned earlier. Unlike most of Greece, the terrain the Carthaginian citizenry fought in was more cavalry friendly, so there is really no reason to risk sticking to hoplite tactics if you can afford to mount up and have the less fortunate act as infantry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    Again if Liby-Phoenicians could be cavalry and they still were used nearly as often as infantry, it feels like that tradition had to come from somewhere, specially as they had enough sources of infantry as you mention.
    I believe that the Liby-Phoenicians were divided by wealth. Those whose wealth was average fought as infantry, those who were above average wealth fought as cavalry. The EB team seems to think so as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jervaj View Post
    If the focus was so much on cavalry by the time, why didn't Carthage send more cavalry to Hannibal when they commanded him to come back to protect Carthage and do a last stand on Zama? They had less than rome in the fight and most of it was numidian. Given Hannibal had a total of 4000 and there was around 1500 roman cavalry in that battle it seems carthaginian citizen cavalry was around that of the roman expedition or at best a little more numerous (without the local numidians led by Massinisia). Seems weird that if they were so cavalry focused they were unable to bring more than waht notably infantry focused enemy had in an expeditioanry army, while they themselves were fighting at home.
    There are a few reasons that can explain why Carthagian cavalry was not present in bigger numbers at Zama.
    Unless we're talking about steppe nomads, cavalry will always be less numerous than infantry in any army.
    During his campaigns in Italy and Spain, Hannibal was able to have his cavalry form a larger than usual percentage of his army because he could draw from more recruitment pools - Libyans, Numidians, Celts, Iberians etc. The Carthaginian army that defended Africa was not able to draw on those same resources, either because they were cut off (Iberia and Cisalpine Gaul) or they defected to Scipio (Massinissa's Numidians).
    Also, prior to Zama, Carthage suffered huge defeats and losses on African soil.
    Last edited by Rad; January 03, 2020 at 03:28 PM.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    One semi-related point to this, the Carthaginian elite cavalry have been removed as a recruitable unit. Their presence as the general's bodyguard is more than enough representation.
    I am quite fine with this. They're still in the game and a unit slot is freed up.

  6. #26
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Sacred band of Carthage.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    One semi-related point to this, the Carthaginian elite cavalry have been removed as a recruitable unit. Their presence as the general's bodyguard is more than enough representation.
    That's a shame, they're a very pretty unit, but like you said the bodyguard unit uses the same model and the Liby Phoenician cavalry is still available, plus more authentic to the time period in question. I'm quite satisfied with recruiting Liby Phoenician cavalry as Roman and Hellenistic Greek factions, along with all the great Libyan-Punic units by the late period of the game. It feels like a full complement to the recruitment of various Roman and Italic troops to the north and Iberians to the west.

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