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El Nino
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Carthaginian Conquest of Hispania ???

Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:32 pm


As the designer of the AJE scenarios, I want to follow the birth of Rome, with the revenge of Carthage...

On a future scenario of that expansion, the Carthaginian Conquest of Hispania can be done, between 235 and 226 BC.

For the first side, we have a carthaginian player with the great Hamilcar Barca, the heros of the first punic war, the winner of the mercenary war.

For the second side, it's more difficult, because of the too many iberic tribes.

It could be possible to create a single player scenario (only one player), but I think the big spanish community want to play the Iberic chiefs like Indortes, Orissos or Tago...

So, I'm searching the good idea for playing that spanish side today during many turns (more than 7 years, in fact 100 turns or more...).

If you have some ideas about that scenario, tell me here ! :sherlock:
Peuples ibères.jpg

Brigadier General
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Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:21 pm

No Romans, no party. :neener:

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Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:10 pm

Sounds like an excellent idea for a scenario. :thumbsup:

I don't know much about the history of Hispania in those days, but one thing that comes to my mind after playing the Cantabrian Wars scenario in AJE is to not make the tribes too unified and able to cooperate perfectly. It was a major weakness of the Celtic and other tribes that they often spent as much time fighting each other than foreign invaders. In short, they had no real feeling of nationality as we understand it today. Expansive powers like Carthage and Rome could take advantage of such disunity and used some of the tribes as their allies to fight against other tribes.

This is definitely something that I'd like to see modelled well in that scenario.

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Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:19 pm

I also do not know much of that part of history.

IMHO, we could have a 3 or 4 way scenario with CAR vs 2 or 3 main tribes, each also selectable by players (like the AJE scenarios), the minor tribes controlled by the AI,all hostile to CAR. Not sure if and how many tribes were the main contenders.

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Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:34 pm

Maybe the best it's to duplicate this post in Spanish Subforum ?

I will try to do so tonight.

Marco, perché vai così forte in salita?» «Per abbreviare la mia agonia.

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Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:01 am

the tribes are all iberic not celtiberic or celt tribes and can be turdetani,bastetani and edetani.
hispanic faction or hispania had not existed by that time, I think the tribes involved may fundamentally turdetani, bastetani and edetani.
Interestingly, this scenario would be more in diplomacy basse with tribes and cities gain through diplomacy that through of force and events and strategic decisions historical or plausibly could have happened, to reflect historically forged alliances that carthage with the Iberian tribes rather than through weapons.

In the annals of history Hamilcar Barca is mostly forgotten in the shadow of his son Hannibal. However Hamilcar was a brilliant general in his own right. Following the twin disasters of the First Punic War and the Mercenary War Hamilcar went to Iberia to rebuild the fortunes of the Carthage.

In 237 BC the Carthaginian Republic, humiliated by military defeat and the theft of Sardinia by Rome, sent her star general to Iberia on a gamble. As a military hero, Hamilcar Barca was able to build a political faction around him. With the aid of a young aristocrat named Hasdrubal the Fair (whom he made a son-in-law) Hamilcar was able to secure his election to Supreme Commander (Strategos Autokrator, a Hellenistic title). As effective military dictator there were little limit on his power, except for political considerations.

With this in mind Hamilcar chose to take his battle-hardened veterans to the Iberian Peninsula, believing the vast wealth of the region would help Carthage to regain her standing after the loss of her maritime empire. But Hamilcar was also aware that if he failed in Iberia, his political career was sunk.

So on landing he secured his base of operations by renegotiating the old alliance with the city-state of Gadir. Gadir, modern day Cadiz, was a Phoenician colony much like Carthage itself, but preserved its independence and was a sovereign state. With other neighboring Phoenician colonies (such as Malaka, modern Malaga) it formed part of a Punic colonial confederacy led by Carthage. Hamilcar needed to use Gadir as a jumping off point into Iberia, and knew better then to occupy it. Eventually the Phoenicians of Gadir allowed their city to be used as a supply depot by Hamilcar. Who then turned his attention to the silver and copper mines of ancient Tartessos (a Bronze Age trading empire of legendary wealth), to the northwest.

But the native Iberians and Celtiberians were already preparing to meet the Carthaginian threat. Under the leadership of a Celtiberian mercenary leader named Isolatios and his brother a loose coalition led by the Turdetani was formed to stop Hamilcar from crossing the Rio Tinto. Leaving Hasdrubal behind to keep the Phoenician coast defended, Hamilcar marched north to confront Isolatios. In the resulting battle, according to ancient writers, the coalition was cut to pieces and much of the leadership was slain. Hamilcar treated the survivors with kindness and offered them a place in his army, resulting in 3,000 recruits. From a larger standpoint Hamilcar had achieved his immediate objective and now had a firm base to build on, stretching from Gadir to the lower Baetis River (modern Rio Guadalquivir) Valley, including the famed Tartessian mines.

With his base secure and the silver already flowing in Hamilcar plotted his next move in the Iberian conquest. The Baetis valley was a flat and fertile territory stretching from the Atlantic coast to the mountains of what is now southeastern Spain. It was also heavily populated, dotted by various independent powers that answered to no one. The Carthaginian interest in the area was in the mountains to the north, the modern Sierra Morena, and the silver mines there. Hamilcar set out to conquer the Baetis area in either late 238 or 237 and met a second, more formidable, coalition arrayed against him.

Formed from the powers of the central and eastern parts of the valley, this coalition was far more extensive then the first, and was headed by Indortes, king of the Turdetani. Ancient sources number Indortes’ host at 50,000 men, but while this may be an exaggeration it does give a sense that Iberia was waking up to the threat of Carthage. Hamilcar, it appears, did not engage Indortes immediately and instead undermined his position by deception. As a result when Hamilcar did move to engage the king he retreated into the hill country and was boxed in by the Carthaginians. When Indortes tried to break out at night he was captured with his men. Hamilcar dealt harshly with Indortes, blinding and mutilating him before sentencing the king to death by crucifixion. The remaining prisoners, numbering 10,000, were set free.

It was clear the Carthaginians were telling the rest of the valley that their leaders could expect no mercy, but the populace itself would be well treated. By 235 Hamilcar had succeeded in conquering the rest of the Baetis River Valley through a mixture of military force and diplomatic negotiation. With the area secure and the Sierra Morena in reach Hamilcar had Hasdrubal begin sending the silver to Carthage.

Just as the newfound wealth of Hamilcar's labor began to roll in other matters soon called his attention. A rebellion had erupted among Carthage’s Numidian (the ancestors of the modern Berbers) allies and this threatened the city itself. As Hamilcar’s military powers made responsible for Africa as well as Iberia he decided to deal with the problem by sending in Hasdrubal. With the aid of the Massyli (whose ruling family was tied to Hamilcar by marriage) Hasdrubal quashed the rebellion and redrew the map of Numidian politics. He then gave the eastern half to the Massyli and the western half to the recently elevated Masaesyli.

While Hasdrubal was busy in Africa, his father-in-law was no less busy in Iberia. From 235 to 231 it appears that Hamilcar was kept busy by the business of consolidation in the Baetis Valley and by making extended assaults out beyond it to the north and east. This eventually led to Hamilcar launching a full-scale attempt to tame the southeast, bringing Carthaginian control out as far as the modern Cape de la Nao.

In 231 he founded the city of Akra Leuke (Greek:White Cape) both as a capital for the new Carthaginian colonial empire and to take the pressure off Gadir as the logistical center. However the site of Akra Leuke remains in dispute, although modern Alicante is the most commonly advanced site. About this time Hasdrubal the Fair returned, bringing with him Hamilcar’s second son, Hasdrubal the Younger.

With his chief lieutenant having returned Hamilcar was prepared to extend operations. In 229 while sending Hasdrubal elsewhere the main bulk of the Carthaginian army struck out on a campaign against Helike, whose location remains unknown. However one promising thesis places the location of Helike to have been in the modern municipality of Elche de la Sierra. If this was the case then Hamilcar’s goal may have been to bring the upper reaches of the Anas River (modern Rio Guadiana) under his control.

In any case during the winter Hamilcar sent most his army back to Akra Leuke while staying behind with his sons and a small holding force. It was then the Oretani, the rulers of the important silver town of Castulo, came to relive Helike. Hamilcar was caught by surprise, as he thought the Oretani his allies (the king’s daughter had been arranged to wed Hannibal). Negotiations followed and it appeared the situation was settled.

But the king betrayed him and struck at the retreating Carthaginians during what was supposed to have been a mutual withdrawal. Hamilcar lost his life in the fighting; according to Diodoros Sikulos (Diodorus Siculus) he willingly gave his life to save that of his sons by leading the Oretani down one road by himself and sending the boys down another. In any case the father of Punic Iberia was dead by the beginning of 228. Hannibal, just 20 years old, was judged too young by the Senate of Carthage to serve as Strategos Autokrator, and the title went Hasdrubal the Fair who would take up Hamilcar’s task.

In conclusion Hamilcar Barca’s role in Carthaginian history was major, but overlooked. Over the course of 9 years he took his small, but elite army, and carved out a colonial empire for the Carthaginian Republic. One that would more then compensate for the loss of Sicily and Sardinia. Whether Hamilcar meant for his conquests to be used as a springboard for a war against Rome, as Hannibal did, remains controversial among historians. But Hamilcar’s accomplishment remains impressive nonetheless.


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Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:17 pm

Franciscus wrote:I also do not know much of that part of history.

IMHO, we could have a 3 or 4 way scenario with CAR vs 2 or 3 main tribes, each also selectable by players (like the AJE scenarios), the minor tribes controlled by the AI,all hostile to CAR. Not sure if and how many tribes were the main contenders.

Will there be diplo-like decisions for allying with AI-controlled minor tribes (while playing one of the major ones)?

I'm not familiar with the details of the Carthaginian conquest of Iberia but it sounds like a lot of fun if there is some extra dynamics between all the tribes.

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:27 am

El Nino wrote:
So, I'm searching the good idea for playing that spanish side today during many turns (more than 7 years, in fact 100 turns or more...).

If you have some ideas about that scenario, tell me here ! :sherlock:

I can see your difficulty, the strategic options for the native tribes is limited. Perhaps the key for the native tribes is to play off Carthage's weaknesses at that time:

- lack of money following additional fine on declaration of war by Rome over Sardinia (1200 talent fine)
- lack of Carthaginian bases in Iberia (initially they used Gades, an ally)
- Numidian discord following the Mercenary War (Micatani rebellion - see below)
- Roman-Carthaginian Cold War
- Internal issues at Carthage - opponents of the Barca's

Turdetani led by King Indortes (and perhaps a young Chalbus)
- keep the Sierra Morena mines out of Carthaginian hands
- stir up a the Numidian Micatani
- remove Carthages main ally, Gades
- destroy Carthaginian colonies and keep them from establishing bases
- Ultimately cross the Straits of Gibraltar to take out Carthaginian ally/colony Tingis

Keys to victory for the Turduli/Celtica coalition lead by Isolatius and his brother
- keep the Tartessian mines from the Carthaginians
- stir up a the Numidian Micatani
- destroy Carthaginian colonies - remove Carthages main ally, Gades
- destroy Carthaginian colonies and keep them from establishing bases

235 BC - Hamilcar attacks and conquers the Bastetani

234BC to 229BC - period of consolidation, the founding of Akra Leuke. War with the Numidians (Micatani?) in Africa. Hasdrubal returns to Africa to deal with the rebellion.

229 BC - Hamilcar moves to the north and besieges Helice.

228 BC - Orissi attack and death of Hamilcar.

227BC - Orissi finished off by Hasdrubal after Hamilcar's death.

Best of luck. Are you doing an Agathocles scenario?

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