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Thread: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

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    Member Member Llywelyn's Avatar
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    Default Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Hi everybody,

    I've recently started a Carthaginian campaign. I've been playing RTW for 6 years or so (when it was released) but I had never tried VH/VH.
    Happens that I just can't win against the Scipii: their infantry (mainly Hastati) is just no match for my Iberian Infantry.
    I took advantage of their army besieging Syracusa to take Messana in Sicily but then I have always suffered huge losses against them.
    I tried training some Rounded shield cavalry, but even if I sometimes manage to break the Hastati's formation, when my infantry gets to close combat with them, they will either rout or be cut in pieces.

    What can I do to challenge the Romans ? What's more, the Brutii and the Julii are even sending more troops in Sicily. I barely can survive in Messana and there's no doubt that when they'll have taken it over I will loose Lilybaeum in the 3 or 4 following years.

    On the other hand, I managed to take Carthago Nova in Spain but Spanish armies are also a big deal for me.

    Has anyone here managed to complete a full campaign with Carthage in VH mode ?

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    I don't play VH/VH so I can only suggest what I would do if I did.

    I would get to my ellies and Long Shield Cav ASAP, followed as quickly as possible by Libyan Spears. Roman infantry are overpowered even at lower settings, but their cav are only average and their archers are vanilla flavored. Iberian Infantry are simply too weak to hold up against even Hastati, and Round Shield Cav will get trounced by Equites.

    If you cannot hold Sicily, then build a strong navy to deter naval invasions. Sinking their armies at sea is much easier than defeating them on land, early on. Carthage gets to 6k pretty quick, so you can have triremes long before the Romans and they will pretty much give you naval dominance, early. Hopefully, it might be enough to buy you time to get to your more advanced units like Sacred Band and Armored Elephants which will turn the land dominance to your favor.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 03-28-2012 at 20:20.

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    Member Member Llywelyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Hello ReluctantSamurai !
    Thanks for your answer ! Why don't you play VH/VH ? You seem to be a well experienced RTW player...
    I am quite worried that if I leave Sicily to Roman rule I'll have to constantly watch my coasts... According to you, I should better expand against the Numidians and the Spaniards for instance ?
    I'll try to restart my campaign and get my Long Shield cavalry as soon as possible. Wonder if I can even do amphibious assaults on Italy if I get naval domination and destroy their cities to ruin them...

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    I will occasionally play VH for the campaign map, but I find it rather frustrating to have even the best of battle plans go for naught because at VH the AI gets such ridiculous bonuses to stats. I once thought that made me less of a "general" so-to-speak, and maybe it does, but I wasn't having all that much fun with it, and fun is the reason for playing games, right? So I just play the battles on hard.

    According to you, I should better expand against the Numidians and the Spaniards for instance
    I'm a type of player that is not afraid to give ground, where necessary. Not saying it's the thing for you to do, but just what I would do. You have Carthage. At this point it's one of the largest, and fastest growing cities outside of the Nile Delta. Thapsus can be brought online rather quickly, and Cirta is also excellent for getting ellies. So what if you have to constantly watch your coasts? As long as nothing gets through, the Romans can't touch you, right?

    If you own Carthago Nova, Cirta, Tingi, Osca, and Lepcis Magna, you have an excellent trade-net that should more than compensate for the loss of Lilybaeum and possibly Caralis.

    I would also suggest you stay away from the Temple of Milquart as later on your family members start with some very undesirable traits. Use Tanit for "slow-growers" like Palma, and some of the Iberian towns (you can always change to something else when you get a city to its' desired population level). Your most used temple will be Baal. Decent enough law & order stats, and of course, Sacred Band.

    Then when you are ready, you return to Sicily with a vengeance!
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 03-31-2012 at 22:54.

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    Member Member Llywelyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    I will occasionally play VH for the campaign map, but I find it rather frustrating to have even the best of battle plans go for naught because at VH the AI gets such ridiculous bonuses to stats. I once thought that made me less of a "general" so-to-speak, and maybe it does, but I wasn't having all that much fun with it, and fun is the reason for playing games, right? So I just play the battles on hard.
    Yeah you're probably right: VH looks a lot more like a hindrance to slow down the player than a decent balance of the AI. I thought at first that the AI would act more like a human player, not that it would be given ludicrous bonuses.



    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    I'm a type of player that is not afraid to give ground, where necessary. Not saying it's the thing for you to do, but just what I would do. You have Carthage. At this point it's one of the largest, and fastest growing cities outside of the Nile Delta. Thapsus can be brought online rather quickly, and Cirta is also excellent for getting ellies. So what if you have to constantly watch your coasts? As long as nothing gets through, the Romans can't touch you, right?
    Yes I might just sink their entire navy and blockade their harbours so I'm sure they have no opportunity to land troops in Africa.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    If you own Carthago Nova, Cirta, Tingi, Osca, and Lepcis Magna, you have an excellent trade-net that should more than compensate for the loss of Lilybaeum and possibly Caralis.

    I would also suggest you stay away from the Temple of Milquart as later on your family members start with some very undesirable traits. Use Tanit for "slow-growers" like Palma, and some of the Iberian towns (you can always change to something else when you get a city to its' desired population level).
    Well I hope trade income will compensate for the loss of the fertile lands of Sicily. What are the problems caused by Milqart temples ? Building Tanit temples seems to be a good idea indeed, especially for provinces such as Nepte that are very slow to grow. I guess that appointing a governor in these scarcely populated town and enslaving the pop. of new towns also helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Your most used temple will be Baal. Decent enough law & order stats, and of course, Sacred Band.
    Are they that good ? I prefer using Poeni infantry... even though Sacred Band is easier to get as you don't need to tech up the costly infantry buildings...
    So my armies should field armored ellies, Sacred Band and Long Shield cavalry ? It's very different from the usual roster I used to field, i.e huge stacks of experienced Iberian Infantry and Round Square cavalry and some Lybian Pikemen/Poeni Infantry...
    Last edited by Llywelyn; 04-02-2012 at 19:22.

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    Member Member Llywelyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    edit: double post
    Last edited by Llywelyn; 04-02-2012 at 19:18. Reason: double post

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    I thought at first that the AI would act more like a human player
    That's what I thought, as well. I just didn't find it all that much fun having to scramble against even rebel peasant units. But my hat is off to those that do.....

    I might just sink their entire navy and blockade their harbours so I'm sure they have no opportunity to land troops in Africa.
    Exactly what I do. In fact, I got very lucky once in that I sank so many Scipii fleets with armies and generals on board that the faction was destroyed when I sank a fleet with their last remaining family members....

    What are the problems caused by Milqart temples
    In the twisted world of RTW traits, it starts out good and rapidly degenerates: Good Trader-Deceiver-Cheapskate-Embezzler. Go figure......

    Are they that good
    Attk/Chrg/Def #: Peoni 11/7/20 Sacred Band 14/8/25 You decide

    Don't overlook Sacred Band Cavalry once you build a Royal Stables:

    Attk/Chrg/Def # Long Shield 11/8/15 Sacred Band 14/9/20

    I also make extensive use of Spanish Mercs...Scutari look-alikes. I love those guys a lot and use them to screen my ellies before I turn the big boys loose. I have an old save-game somewhere. I haven't played Carthage in quite some time, but I'll post a couple of screenies if I can find the saves. I had two types of armies: a mobile strike force of armored ellies, Spanish Mercs, and Sacred Band Cavalry for crushing infantry-heavy armies like the AI typically builds for the Romans; and an assault army of Sacred Band spears, Heavy Onagers, and Long Shield Cavalry for sieging cities. All my Carthage campaigns were played at H/H settings so keep that in mind when decideing what to do for a VH/VH setting.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 04-03-2012 at 05:28.

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    Member Member Skela's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Llywelyn View Post
    Hi everybody,

    I've recently started a Carthaginian campaign. I've been playing RTW for 6 years or so (when it was released) but I had never tried VH/VH.
    Happens that I just can't win against the Scipii: their infantry (mainly Hastati) is just no match for my Iberian Infantry.
    I took advantage of their army besieging Syracusa to take Messana in Sicily but then I have always suffered huge losses against them.
    I tried training some Rounded shield cavalry, but even if I sometimes manage to break the Hastati's formation, when my infantry gets to close combat with them, they will either rout or be cut in pieces.

    What can I do to challenge the Romans ? What's more, the Brutii and the Julii are even sending more troops in Sicily. I barely can survive in Messana and there's no doubt that when they'll have taken it over I will loose Lilybaeum in the 3 or 4 following years.

    On the other hand, I managed to take Carthago Nova in Spain but Spanish armies are also a big deal for me.

    Has anyone here managed to complete a full campaign with Carthage in VH mode ?
    Hello, I'm new to this forum, but I'm not new to rtw.

    Everywhere I read about Carthaginian strategy, I see people saying that you should just give up settlements endangered by the romans, and expand to Iberia and Africa. Since the romans has such awesome infantry.
    I have never ever given up a settlement to the romans while playing Carthage on VH/VH. The key clue is not using elephants, although they help alot, they're not essential for a swift victory.

    This is my strategy:
    Get alliances with the spaniards and the gauls, they won't respect it for many turns, and will besiege Cordoba, but it gives you some breathing space. Don't expand into Iberia at this stage, just defend Cordoba with as little resources you can.
    Get an alliance with Numidia, they will respect it longer than the previously mentioned factions.

    Get your troops over to Sicily,keep the boats in port at all times possible, build stables(!) in all nearby towns, and start making round shield cavalry, don't spend huge sums on elephants unless you can afford it. The Scipii will besiege Syracuse, let them take it. Get a trade agreement with the greeks, and an alliance. Sell all alliances with map information for gold, if you need it. When the Scipii has taken Syracuse, attack the Roman settlement of Messana with your troops from North Africa and Lilybaeum, play all battles yourself. If you are having problems playing siege without good infantry, wait them out. They will attack your besieging force from Syracuse, and this will make it alot easier for you.

    When you fight against the romans, you should primarily have Round Shield cavalry, in addition to a little(!) infantry, some Numidian mercs, General(s) and other troops you manage to scrap together.
    The Romans will have primarily Hastati and Velites. Simply surround their force with your cavalry and charge them, and when their Hastati are in close combat, charge them from behind with more cavalry. Keep your General close, and attack with him as well! The Roman general should also be swarmed by round shield cavalry and if possible a unit of elephants.

    This is the simplest thing in the world! Simply swarm the enemy units with round shield cavalry.
    They are cheap, you get them from lvl 1 stables, and they are fast, and most importantly, the romans don't have spearman early on. If you encounter triarii, try to avoid them, or engage them with many units of iberian infantry.

    When you have taken Messana and Syracuse, your starting general might be dead, this varies as he sometimes gets almost 80 years old, and sometimes he doesn't.

    Now, you will get attacked by the Julii at Caralis, if you don't build roads there, they just stand there looking dumb on the north side of the island a few turns before they attack you. You may now choose to make round shields in North Africa and send them over, or you can add to the impact of the invasion of Italy.


    The Scipii only posess 1(!) city now that you have taken Sicily with such ease. Rebuild your army with round and long shield cav, a few iberian infantry and some hoplite mercs. Get your boats from port to port, to keep them safe, and get them to Messana. Get your invasion force into the boats, while at port, and wait one turn until they have enough movement points to get you to Italy. You may choose to attack Brutii first, but I always go for Scipii first to clear them out of the map. If you are unlucky, the SPQR will help the Scipii, but this is rare, and you can defeat their army in the field if you are good. After taking Capua, focus on taking the Brutii Italian settlements. This should give you loads of money , and you can now focus on taking out the SPQR. I never attack them while in a siege, I try to ambush them or get them to attack me over a river or bridge, and when they try to cross, I charge with my round shields, or let hoplite mercs stand in their way. The rest is up to you.

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    Member Member Decaywolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    I'm still on my juli VH/VH campaing and after 70 territorys without civil begins and AI playing a real stupid I don't think I'll try anouther campaing so soon...

    But let me ask one thing, you said your iberian ins't tough enough... And your cavalary? They are cheap and don't need much to recruit... Romans armys are composed by infatary power... They are extremly weakness agains't cavalary forces... So use it as your favor, AI is always stupid... You could make heroic victories without much effort :P
    And hestasi/principes can't stand against a good cavalary size doesn't matter if it's a light one... I love cavalary they are the best troop to exploit battles...

    Mhmmm, also archers are quit good, they could use fire arrows when enemy is weak on morale, it's good to make them flee, but you need a strong melee army as well... by the way carthagians have war elephants and planx units not? Both are extremly deadly against AI, mainly planx units... Cheap and usefull.

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    HopeLess From Humanity a World Member Empire*Of*Mad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Strange !!
    Despite Total War Created Romans & Greeks SUPERNATURALLY Powerful !! But I Defeated Seleucids & Pontus on VERY HARD !!
    but i know i cant beat Rome !!
    i Hope Rome 2 Be More Natural & Accurate !! (but i dont think so !!)

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Despite Total War Created Romans & Greeks SUPERNATURALLY Powerful
    Not really. If you sift through the Carthage guide, and some of the AAR's, you'll see that plenty of folks win with Carthage at VH/VH.

    but i know i cant beat Rome
    Again, read the AAR's to see how it can be done.

    i Hope Rome 2 Be More Natural & Accurate !! (but i dont think so !!)
    Have a little faith, friend. CA did very well with Shogun 2, and if you browse the Rome 2 Forum, you'll see that RTW2 promises to continue that.

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    HopeLess From Humanity a World Member Empire*Of*Mad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Not really. If you sift through the Carthage guide, and some of the AAR's, you'll see that plenty of folks win with Carthage at VH/VH.



    Again, read the AAR's to see how it can be done.



    Have a little faith, friend. CA did very well with Shogun 2, and if you browse the Rome 2 Forum, you'll see that RTW2 promises to continue that.
    Dear Friend !! i just didnt mean Reality in Game !! but in history ! i Mean in be more accurate by history !!
    for example i know that infantry of Parthians were weak ! but Total War made it truly weak !! The KURDISH Units are disgusting!! The Kurds were very Brave & Fearsome for the Enemy!! XENOPHON Too Admissioned with being frightened in ANABASIS about Kurds (Karduchians)!! if parthia had these kind of infantry in history, they would surly be destroyed soon!! and Rome would Take Whole of Iranian Plateau !!

    I dont know i dont have faith in Rome 2 !! i mean for accuracy not better gaming !! i appreciate them and thank them for their great game that will be released ! but, i havnt seen a very good & accurate total war !!! the only accurate total war, its what the mods People made !! like Rise Of Persia & Europa Barbaroum !! i Really want to Greatly Thank to those modders that created it !! when i first played parthia in Europa Barbaroum i was totaly suprised !! the things the armors the wore the Musics were awesome Specially that every culture has its own Language for The Game (That was more Surprising For Me!)!! and..... which of these the Total War maders Did ?!Non !!
    but i still have hope they see these beautiful mods and just don concentrate on Rome Or Torned Greek Factions !!
    Last edited by Empire*Of*Mad; 05-07-2013 at 09:39.

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    New Member Member hellcatfighter's Avatar
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    Angry Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    I TOTALLY agree with you. I have played the Carthaginian campaign for two times. In the first time, I managed to take all of Sicily, but was instantly attacked by Scipii and Brutii, and ended up losing the whole of Sicily. The Julii then took Corsica, and two Roman armies landed on my African coast. I gave up after that. In the second time, I conserved my strength and slowly expanded, also building up my navy to combat naval invasions. My plan failed miserably, with three Roman full twenty unit armies landing on the African coast and taking Carthage itself. I rage quitted after that. Like you, I just can't handle all those Roman armies, even when I managed to have a 3-to-1 kill ratio and winning all my field battles. I love Carthage, but it seems they just can't win.

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    I love Carthage, but it seems they just can't win.
    Once again.....read the Carthage AAR's! It can, and has been done...even at the highest difficulty settings.

    I can understand getting booted off Sicily. It's happened to me, as well. But allowing the Romans to sail their navies wherever they please is a tactical mistake, IMHO. Once you retrench in Africa, get Carthage and Thapsus cranking out as much navy as you can support. Nothing in blue/green/red should get anywhere near your coastline. Slap the Numidians into place by taking their capital, and they won't be much of a threat thereafter. All of this buys you time to develop your tech tree and then you return to Sicily with a vengeance.

    Of course if you are bold enough, you take and hold Sicily from the start. The secret is Hanno and the recruiting of every merc on the island that you can afford. Take Syracuse from the GC, then kick the Scipii out of Messina. Now you sink every Roman fleet that approaches your shoreline.

    Beginning to see a pattern? Strong navy>dead Romans.

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    Member Member jaspritsingh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Carthage on Very Hard / Very Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by hellcatfighter View Post
    I love Carthage, but it seems they just can't win.
    Yeah, the game hates all non romans. I tried playing Carthage on M/M. Roman Town watch beat Iberian Infantry one on one
    Its early game for me and I have only Iberians (getting Poeni in one place now). I tried kicking the Scipii off Sicily and I found out that the only way I can win is if I hit their line on a flank with Infantry and ram a wedge of cavalry to break the unit and repeat this on their other units before they can bring their entire army to bear on me. Its cumbersome and doesnt always work - but I managed to get Sicily and now the Gauls kicked me off Spain.

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