Since we know that the Carthaginians were eliminated by the Romans there is no real history to report after the ending of the third Punic War. This gives me a little more freedom to do what I want with this nation. One theme will rule this AAR and that is Commerce. Motivated by trade Carthage became an Empire of Merchant might not military supremacy. Motivations for Expansion were not to necessarily defeat another empire but rather to secure their continued trade. The overall theme will be that of commercial dominance. Of course this will lead to conflict which is why the Carthiginian military will have to be a professional and competent machine. Ports will be a great priority as maritime supremacy is paramount to controlling a merchant empire. Having finished several books on the history of Carthage, or the Phoenician colony, and having read a biography of Hannibal I feel I have enough background knowledge to get started. I played with the faction for about 25 game years and have a feel for the mechanics. I have a rudimentary foundation of how the Carthaginians waged war and their tactics. Combining Phalanx with more mobile troops and Cavalry gave them a sort of Hybrid between Roman Maniples and Hellenistic phalanx.
The format of the AAR will not be like a history book like that last AAR but rather from the perspectives of the Commanders themselves. Sometimes they will be commanders and other times they will be governors. It will be in Journal format that I may add third person perspective to when needed to show additional goings-on. Overall I want to give a rich and encompassing aspect to the game. As much as I enjoy the battles, there are so many other treasures to this game and I will make an effort to expand on them.
Without further delay here is an Introduction to get us up to date on the situation with Carthage and her interests:
"Around 814 BC, Carthage - meaning 'new city,' was founded by the Tyrian Queen Elissa, fleeing the tyranny 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 traveling for some time, Elissa's party landed in Libya, within a short distance of the older the older Phoenician 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 supplement a newly invigorated 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 dependency 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 re invigoration of their trading partnerships 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 success, 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."
-Taken from the Introduction at the EB page at: http://www.europabarbarorum.org/ebco...m_history.html