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Thread: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

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    Father of the EB Isle Member Aymar de Bois Mauri's Avatar
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    Default Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Greetings Europa Barbarorum fans!



    Yes, yes, we are late. Due to motifs later to be explained in further detail (maybe), I am the one making this preview (and what a preview it is ). In fact, I really wanted to keep "destroying your dreams, lives and beliefs with such laxness (;))" as was mentioned last week, but I'm a good bloke after all and sadism isn't really my forté.

    So, paraphrasing another person: "The tradition will be reinstated in its full glory from now on, that is sure as the fact that you’re reading this preview at this moment."

    At least until the next time...



    Compliments, felicitations and overall adulation should go to myself, for skinning and modeling the units, taking screens, as well a making quite a few of the historical research and even presenting this preview. Not that I wanted it really...

    In reality, you must also thank Urnamma, Dux Corvanus, Dictator Sulla, Sarcasm and [cF]HanBaal for the historical research, unit research and faction information organization, to Teleklos Archelaou for making the faction banners and the large beautifull map, to Dux Corvanus for writting the faction description and to myself again for the faction shields.

    This week, the EB team is proud to present:





    We're not a nation, we ain't an empire. Just like distrustful neighbours living together under a big roof.


    Some things never change. No matter who comes, he'll respect us or go. Many peoples and nations live south of the high frontier, in the land of acorns and rabbits, thriving around the deep rivers, between the sea of merchants where the tuna fish abound, and the sea of the lands of the tin, where high waves threaten the boldest. Foreigners have come and gone, bringing their knowledge, traditions and richness. Never our arm rised against them: the one who comes to teach and share is welcome. The one who comes to enslave us and rule us is bound to know our determination to lead ourselves.


    South of here, there is a place in the east where people learned to melt the copper without help, and a place in the west where a silver king ruled for centuries under the dictates of the verses of a poem-law. Their lust for luxury and profit made them all marry the uses and daughters of the cultivated foreigners that came from the east. Some say they have reached freedom, others that they are free no more. But, who cares?


    Here in the inner lands we are a thousand tribes, we learned so much from a brood of wise warriors that came from the north, in those times when memory was dark and strange. We are peasants, we are shepherds. We are warriors. We have strong cities, because a peasant and a shepherd can't trust the greed of his neighbours. But a warrior must trust other warriors when strangers come to prove his patience and take the fruit of his labor.


    Hard times are coming. First they were those savage acorn-eaters that dwell in the mountains in the north by the sea. They're so fierce and lawless that none could suspect they are ruled by their wives. And now the world we know is becoming smaller and smaller. Soon, the greedy foreigners of the eastern sea will not find satisfaction with their rich settlements of the coast. They want our iron and our copper. They want our fields. Until now, they hired us for their armies: so strong they knew we are. But now, they'll want us to fight on their side for nothing.


    Who do they think we are? We are not their slaves. If we didn't trust our neighbours, are we to trust strangers? It's us who decide when to fight, it's us who cultivate the wheat and eat it, it's for us that our sharp swords are forged.


    We're not a nation, we ain't an empire. But if some things never change, some things do. Now we prefer to trust a neighbour than a stranger. And those who prove our patience may see what happens when neighbours unite.





    HISTORICAL INFORMATION

    Ancient chroniclers, since the end of the VI century BC, gave the name of Iberians to the Iron Age populations living in the coastal areas of the mediterranean, from the Rhone delta (Camargue) to Heracles's columns (Gibraltar) and that were clearly distinct from the Celtic influenced populations that lived more to the interior of the peninsula.

    Was there only one Iberian people or many? Present day Andalucia (ancient Turdetania/Tartessania), the eastern coast of the peninsula, including present day Catalunya, and the south of France are regions of diversified culture. Ancient Andalucia was the domain of the Tartessos; the southeastern coast the center of the El Argar civilization (a civilization of the early and medium Bronze Age) and, as much in the south of France as in Catalonia the traditions from the civilizations of the Champs d'Urnes (beginning circa 900BC and already of pre-Celtic culture) remain alive and well preserved until the Roman conquest. It's therefore necessary to examine all elements of a civilization, as much the archeological as the linguistic data.

    Can we skip the elaboration of a chronological panel? The Tartessian power, one of the Iberian components, it's the first to develop itself as soon as the 10th century BC. Nevertheless, the celtic expansion begins in the 9th century BC; the Iberians sustain and are reinforced by this probation and their civilization develops itself from the 5th to the 3rd century BC, influenced by Greek and Punic cultural influences. The Iberians mingle with the few Celtic populations in the area presently known as Aragon and Castille to form the Celtiberians, with great predominance of the Iberian ethnicity and culture. From the beginning of the 3rd century BC, the Iberian regions are occupied by the Romans and romanization will advance in a peculiar way due to the pre-existance of an high level civilization in the area.



    - Tartessos -

    Ancient chroniclers place the fabulous kingdom of the Tartessos, identified as the biblical Tarsis, in west Andalucia, whereas, in the east, in the beginning of the Bronze Age, the Almerian civilization (from the present day name of the region = Almeria) had its most brilliant period clearly visible with the archeological area of Los Millares and its rich megalithic thombs. Since the beginning of the II millenia BC that the economical wealth was based in the exploration of the silver (Sierra Morena) and copper mines (Rio Tinto), as well as with the maritime trade that was centered in the importation of tin from the Galician and Cornwall regions. The Phoenicians, settled at Gader around the beginning of the I millenia BC, will enter in conflict with the Tartessos being able to subdue them later. But, when the Phoenician power knows it eclipse around the 7th century BC, the Tartessian civilization reemerges, extending its domain up to Cabo de La Nao (the cape between present day Alicante and Valencia) and tries to nurture a good relationship with the Phocæan Greeks; it's from this era (630BC) the fostering of Colais of Samos by King Arganthonios. The defeat of the Phocæan fleet before the Carthaginian in the battle of Alalia (535BC), marked the decline of Greek interest in the peninsular coast, and the end of Tartessian power.

    The exact location of the Tartessian civilization could not be thouroughly circumscribed until now and its inhabitants remain poorly known. The cremative thombs are, at times, monumental and remind us of the Etruscan thombs. The eastern influence is quite common by the number of bronze objects and jewels (El Carambolo treasure, near modern day Seville, representing in excess of 3,5 kg of pure gold). The relations between Iberians and Tartessians remain obscure.

    Both are indigenous populations (with certain african influences dating back to the neolitic period). The inscriptions in the Turdetanian alphabet are markedly different from the ones in Iberian inscriptions and transcribe a language (not yet decifered) of non-indoeuropean origin, but also different from the Iberian language. This ancient kingdom vanishes around the 5th century, in the precise moment in which the Iberians enter history. Therefore, do these two populations form one; being two different successive manifestations of the same civilization?



    - Generic features of Iberian civilization -

    The powerfull energy of the Iberians was reinforced by the Greek and Punic contributions, directly or indirectly through the Iberian mercenaries sent to Sicily or Carthage. The problem regarding the origin of the Iberians remains as long as the origin of their language is open to discussion. This language, poorly known and of difficult interpretation is somewhat similar to the Tartesian language but also to the Pirenee-Cantabrian languages that still survive today in the form of the Basque language. One of the most concrete characteristics of this research is given by the inscriptions. We have today, in our possesion, hundreds of inscriptions (most of them from the 3th century on), encompassing several hundreds of symbols (like the ones in the Alcoy lead inscription). These inscriptions remind us of the minoan, cypriot and phoenician characters. The work of M. Gomes Moreno allowed the recognition of 29 alphabetical characters, encompassing, in turn, simple and double symbols; the remains of a syllabic writting give this configuration a pronounced archaic characteristic.

    The houses were rectangular and varied according to the available space; wood and raw brick are very rarely used and only as auxiliary materials; almost all constructions are made of cut stone tailored to fit. Stone walls have depressions before the wall and are skillfully constructed; there is even the case of cyclopic walls (Tarragona).

    The economy centers around agriculture; the wine and olive were introduced by the Greeks. Breeding, specially regarding the horse, is highlighted by the ancient chroniclers. Mining was very important, specially in the region of Sierra Morena; silver mines near Gader and near Cartago Nova as well as the abundant iron mines in the Ebrus valley. A true Eldorado for the Greeks, Punics and, later, to the Romans.

    Among the traditional craftsmanship, swordsmiths and armourers enjoyed an unmatched reputation. Romans would later adopt some of their productions. In Andalucia, the most common and characteristic weapon was the falcata, a curved heavy-tipped saber derived from the greek machaira; we can also find the soliferrum, an all-iron heavy javelin with up to 2m in length. Ceramic works shows many warrior's representations, dressed in short tunics, with breastplate and helm. Ancient chroniclers mention many times the warlike nature of Iberians; besides the excellent mercenaries already mentioned, their thirst for fighting and banditism is legendary.

    It's the ceramic itself, by its abundance, even in poor buildings, that gives us the most important informations. Iberian ceramic art manifests itself by semi-circular, circular or segmented circular ornamentation. Geometrical decoration, which corresponds to the older ceramic, it's very frequent in the everyday use ceramic. Later, although still very soon, representations of plants, animals or humans appear. The archeological finds at San Miguel de Liria have shown the world a series of ceramic vases in which the artists dedicated themselves to represent in inscriptions the several ocurrences of everyday life in Iberia, like the daily in-house tasks, hunting and even religious ceremonies. The Iberian clothing looks inspired from Greek clothing; close fit tunic, long mantle and sandals (or tall boots in the case of horsemen). These clothes are normaly embroided with varied motifs, while women exhibit a pronounced predilection by barroque jewelry (complex and highly ornate).

    Religion is poorly known; ancient chroniclers do not refer to it often and votive inscriptions were not decifered. The objects found and the sanctuaries indicate a polytheistic and naturalist religion of mediterranean characteristics, strongly influenced by greek culture. Some known representations of gods include the Maitre des Fauves (greek Potnia Thérôn) and a goddess of the Afrodite-Astarte type. We can also find representations of fabulous animals (lions and sphinxes) as well as of bulls. The most important religious sanctuary is the one from Cerro de Los Santos, a rectangle with 20 m in length and 8m in width (in antis); in the interior a stone platform was placed to recieve the statues; eastern influence is still very visible. Greek influence is also clear in sculpture where the master piece of Iberian art is represented by La Dama de Elche; her face is elegant and refined, somewhat sad, but very classic and it is in stark contrast with the barroque exhuberance of the jewelry (ornate detail, enormous necklaces and wheels in the hears - this last detail seems to have their origin in Cyprus) and the complex wealth of the hairstyle, but are in harmony with the Iberian style. Whether she is a priestess or a princess, the problem in dating is the one of all Iberian art. Specialists estimate the first signs of Iberian art to the end of 6th century BC and La Dama de Elche to the mid 4th century BC. This sculpture cannot make us forget other impressive and significant works of high quality like the Gran Dama d'El Cerro de Los Santos, that represents a priestess performing a ritual, as well as an imense variety of different statues in stone or bronze.

    In this way, one can have a view of the life of a rich feudal society, where life was separated in hunting, fishing and warfare. This life, that reminds us of the life of Minos in Crete or of the Micenian chieftains, seems anacronistic in the age of the Scipii. Ancient chroniclers designate this rulling aristocracy by the name of "Senate". Kings are also known, as is visible in the case of the Edetanii and Ilergetas; the hereditary system seems the normal rule. Sometimes suzeranity by a stronger overlord is also recognized, and, as such, extensive but fragile confederations are formed; Strabo recognizes that the Iberians are rebelious against each and every form of outside authority, which makes them similar to Celts. But the practice of fidelity bonds and comittments takes on an exceptional role: the fides iberica is not a vain term, it can reach as far as the suicide.

    The extent of Iberian civilization far surpasses the area of southeastern Spain and Andalucia. In the Celtiberian area (Aragon and Castille), the mediterranen influence merges itself with the Halstattian tradition. The best example of this situation is Numantia; the ortogonal village is more recent than 133BC. Before that time, over 8 square hectometers, a city of ruled planning developed on this plateau and, in its rim, the streets followed the hill topology. The Numantine house had two rooms and a domed basement. The ceramic presents a marked stylization, and has, sometimes, a fantastic decoration, although the characters and figurines are still influenced by the art of coastal areas.

    In the northwest of the peninsula, in Galicia, Asturias and northern Portugal, small fortified villages (called castros) are built. With round houses, of wood and, later, stone construction, the Tartesian influence is felt less and less as time goes by. These villages are already in this area althrough ancient times.



    - The Lusitanii -

    Strabo defined the Lusitanii as "the greatest of Iberian tribes, that the Romans fought for a long time". Considered as the finest Iberian warriors in terms of guerrilla tactics, their influence extended through the fertile lands around the river Tagus, comprising what is now north and central Portugal, and wide regions of west central Spain. Independent and warlike, Lusitanii tribes were also under strong influence of the Celtic world - both in religion and material culture - and as their Celtiberian neighbours, were at constant strife and competition.

    Master in ambushes, and in the use of light and throwable weapons, the Lusitanii rarely fought in an open battlefield, though they were able to do so, as was known on several ocasions. A very frequent tactic consisted of harassing the enemy army using fast hit-and-run incursions to strike specific detachments at unexpected places and situations. This had the objective of tiring and trimming down their forces before a previously planned encirclement and assault was made by the whole army. These disorientating tactics, enhanced by their supreme knowledge of the terrain, their determination and sometimes blind ruthless ferocity ensured that even the wisest opponent would be put on the defensive.


    They say that the Lusitanii are skilled in ambushes and chasses, swift, quick and sthealthy; they wield small shields two feet wide and concave in their outside, being manouvered with the help of two straps around the neck, and, so it seems, without grips. Beyond that they use daggers or knives. Most of them wear linen armours and leather caps, very few others mail armours and three feathered helms. Some infantrymen also use greaves, and each of them carries several short spears; some of them with bronze tips.

    Strabo of Amasya (Pontus), Greek historian, 63 BC - 24 AD


    The Lusitanii are the strongest amongst Iberians; to war, they carry very small shields, made out of esparto (a natural hard vegetable fiber), with which can easily defend their bodies. During battle they wield it skilfully, moving it from one side to the other of their bodies, defending themselves with ability from every blow that falls upon them. They also use spears, entirely made of iron with harpoon-shaped tips, and ware helms and a sword very similar to the Celtiberians; they throw their spears with precision and to a great distance, very frequently causing grevious wounds. They are swift while moving and fast while running, so they flee and chase quickly (). With these light armours, being able to run very fast and being very sharp-minded, they can only be defeated with difficulty. They consider the rocks and ranges their homeland and so seek refuge in them, because they are impracticable to large and heavy armies. So, because of that, the Romans, who have organized countless expeditions against them, although being able to counter their daring, have not, dispite of their commitment, been able to end their pillaging.

    Diodorus Siculus of Sicily, Sicilian historian, 80 BC - 20 AD


    A unique characteristic about the Lusitanii was their ability to adopt foreigners in to their own population. This was known by the Romans as hospitium and led them to believe that among Lusitanii there was something similar to the devotio. In particular, among the Lusitanii, we must mention a very special protection given by the powerfull, the Ambactii that, according to Julius Caeser, were soldiers linked to their respective patrons by oaths of personal dependency, sworn in religious vows and faithful to the death to their chiefs.

    Lusitanii were known by their neighbours as expert pillagers and raiders. This behaviour was motivated by the uneven distribution of wealth among them, the lack of open and fertile agricultural fields in their own territory, as well as the greater material wealth displayed by their more industrious and commercial southern and coastal populations. It is this permanent stress that will serve as a catalist to the later Roman conquest.

    Although their social organization was built up of noble and non-noble classes, in times of war their military leaders were chosen by an assembly of the whole population. Contrary to many other tribes or tribal confederations, the caudilho (military commander) of the Lusitanii could be or not of the noble class. He was choosen for his bravery, skill in battle, inteligence and popularity amongst the population, before his ascendency was taken in to consideration. The Romans and Greeks designated them as Dux or Hegoumenos respectivelly.

    Romans were not welcome. They learned the errors of challenging some of these famous caudilhos like Punico, commander of an alliance of Lusitanii and Vetonii that devastated the Beaturia and Betica in 154BC. Or of the likes of Cesaro, commander of the northern Lusitanii tribes, whose victories against the Romans motivated the Celtiberian tribes and the southern Lusitanii (commanded by Caucenos) to join in their efforts against Rome. These victories lead to the pillaging of Turdetania that would continue during the time of Viriatus.

    In 150BC, a group of Lusitanii tribes forced by war devastation to seek fertile lands, were promised peace and lands by consul Servius Sulpicius Galba. He invited the Lusitanii to attend unarmed to an open field, and once there, he ordered his troops to attack and annihilate the defenceless crowd. Very few survived to the slaughter. One of them was a brilliant tactician called Viriatus.

    Viriatus never forgot the treason. He rose as a popular leader and persuaded his countrymen to resist Roman rule. Gathering the Lusitanii under his command, he defeated the Romans in 147BC and started an elusive war that surprised and humiliated the Roman invaders. During the next two years he established control over a vast area. One Roman defeat followed another. Legion after legion crushed. The victories of Viriatus encouraged the Celtiberians to renew their resistance to Rome. Then, in 140BC, the senate sent an army under Fabius Maximus Servilianus, which Viriatus succeeded in trapping. Instead of destroying this army, he concluded a peace and allowed the Romans to leave. But he demanded to Fabius that he and the Lusitanii would be considered amicus populi romani and that their conquered territories would have to be recognized by Rome and never attacked again (something that had never happened, Rome being dictated peace terms, that are analogous to admitting defeat to a bunch of barbarians). Within a year the humiliated Roman Senate would break, as usual, that treaty.

    Finally, in 139BC, a tired and disenchanted Viriatus sent three men to negotiate peace to the Roman quarters. When they got back, the bribed emissaries killed Viriatus. They never enjoyed their reward. When they got back to consul Quintus Servilius Scipio, he ordered them to die, saying: "Rome does not reward traitors". The death of Viriatus marked the beginning of the end of Lusitanii resistance, but not of its myth.



    - The Celtiberians -

    The Celtiberians were tribes who inhabited an area in present north-central Spain from the 3rd century BC onward . These Celtiberians inhabited the hill country between the sources of the Tagus (Tajo) and Iberus (Ebro) rivers, including most of the modern province of Soria and much of the neighbouring provinces of Guadalajara and Teruel.

    In historic times the Celtiberians were mainly composed of the Vaccei, Vetoni, Arevaci, Belli, Titti and Lusones. The earliest population of Celtiberia was that of the southeastern Almeria culture of the Bronze Age, after which came Hallstatt invaders, who occupied the area shortly before 600 BC. The Hallstatt people were in turn subjugated by the Arevaci, who dominated the neighbouring Celtiberian tribes from the powerful strongholds at Okilis (modern Medinaceli) and Numantia. The Belli and the Titti were settled in the Jaln valley, the Sierra del Solorio separating them from the Lusones to the northeast.

    The material culture of Celtiberia was strongly influenced by that of the Iberian people of the Ebro valley. Horse bits, daggers, and shield fittings attest the warlike nature of the Celtiberians, and one of their inventions, the two-edged Iberian sword, was later adopted by the Romans. To the west and north of the Iberian peninsula developed a world that classical writters described as Celtic. Iron was known from 700 BC, and agricultural and herding economies were practiced by people who lived in small villages or, in the northwest, in fortified compounds called castros.

    The warriors of Celtiberia enjoyed a reputation as the finest barbarian mercenary infantry in the western world. They were believed to possess the finest qualities of the Celts, savage battle lust and great physical courage, along with the steadiness and organization of the more civilized Iberians. Their reputation was such that after the rout of the Carthaginians by Scipio Africanus at the Burning of the Camps in 203, the arrival of a band of only 4,000 Celt-Iberians encouraged the Carthaginians to take the field once more.

    The Celtiberians first submitted to the Romans in 195 BC, but they were not completely under Roman domination until 133 BC, when Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus destroyed Numantia. The Mediterranean way of life reached the interior only after the Romans conquered Numantia.



    - The northern tribes -

    The rich in iron northern provinces of the Peninsule were inhabitated by several tribes known by their fierce character. While the Galaeci that settled in the Northwest had been under the strongest Celtic influence amongst all Iberians, the Astures and Cantabrii that lived in the mountains near the North coast were poor and primitive, and formed gynaecocratic clans that made bread from acorn flour, and lived on cattle and on plunder, often offering themselves as mercenaries or raiding the lands of their southern Celtiberian neighbours in search of grain. All of them built unaccessible strongholds, similar in all to a Celtic castrum, and were experts in hit and run tactics. These were the last cultures in the Peninsule to be submitted by the Roman, August often leading the armies who fought the last great rebellions of the northern tribes in the so-called Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BC), where the legions learned to fear the unforgiving rough terrain, the ruthless ferocity of these people ready to suicide before being enslaved and their guerrilla tactics.

    The northern tribes adopted many celtic uses, specially in religion and warfare, but had strange uses in the eyes of the Roman chroniclers. Although warriors had immense prestige and there was a kind of council of elders, women had huge power, and in fact, they were the ones that inherited property and owned the land. Cantabrians celebrations included a number of fierce dances around the fire, medicine consisted in forsaking the ill ones by a road so they could hear the advices of the travelers, and law couldn't be simpler: the punishment for any infraction was death by being thrown to a chasm.



    - The Iberian provinces of Rome -

    The Punic, that knew for quite some time the shores of the Iberian peninsula, wanted, after their first defeat against Rome in 241BC, to remake their strength thanks to an overseas empire centered in the area, through the efforts of the Barcids like Hamilcar, Hannibal and Hasdrubal Barca. Such is the case of the city of Sagunto (Arsé) that declenched the 2nd Punic War (219BC). In that same year, Roman soldiers, disembarked in Ampurias (Emporion); their presence will reveal itself decisive, as, since 206BC, after having conquered Gader and all Carthaginian cities, Scipio creates Italica (not far from present day Seville), first example in a long series of foundations that will accelerate roman colonization and subsequent romanization. After the rulling of Cato (197-195BC), all of eastern and south Iberia are in Roman hands.

    But the resistance of Iberians, and especially Celtiberians, was long and ferocious. It takes the shape, in the 2nd century BC, of endemic guerrilla warfare lead by the mountain tribes of the west and center of the peninsula against the sedentary urban centers in the plains. The most famous commander of these incursions is Viriatus, who is able to bleed Rome's armies during the period of 147-139BC. On the other hand, the Celtiberians will meet their Alesia in Numantia, having prefered to vanish instead of tasting defeat at the hands of Scipio Emilianus (133BC).

    This violent refusal to kneel to the foreign power is, nevertheless, changeable in the presence of a chief that is able to seduce by his victorious virtues. The renown of Scipio comes precisely from this; the future African, by the claim of his divine nature and also by his moderation, will be homaged with the title of king by the Edetanii. In the 1st century BC, with the growth of the general's power in the late period of the Republic, Sertorius (80-73BC) and his adversary Pompeus, and, after them, Caesar, will know how to exploit this curious characteristic. This profound devotion to the chief will also serve Octavian Augustus well; by the strengthening of the relation between commander and soldier, the Iberian provinces were in a more advanced situation than Rome, and played a decisive role in the birth of the Imperial cult in the West.

    Octavian Augustus will finish the conquest of the Peninsula by submitting the Cantabrii (19BC) and will organize the 3 Roman provinces of Terraconensis, Lusitania and Betica. The northern and northwestern areas, less evolved, where tribal organization still persists, make a stark contrast with the coastal and plains areas, where the indigenous populations have taken to the Punic and Greek taste for profit; for this is the birthplace of the spectacular economical development and of the romanization; based on the exploitation of mines, fishing and olive tree planting.



    Here is Teleklos large map showing the starting territories for our revealed factions:





    - Unit descriptions -

    Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough, determined and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battelfield tasks and personal preference - most swords (falcatas and gladius hipanniensis) were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strenght of it's owner. Eventhough Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used. The Iberians' hability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to suprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans concursare, and sometimes described as "simple absense of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organization and signaling that was probably performed through the use of commonly found rounded ceramic horns. Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberian's great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constitued a unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.


    Now behold some of the warriors that have sworned to fight for you:


    Iberian Milites:


    These men are ocasional warriors that are levied when there is dire need for it. Recruited from all professions of Iberian society, they form a surprisingly reliable and versatile militia. As many warriors in Iberia, they use the usual combination of javelin + spear to fight. Although ill-equipped light spearmen, as their only protection is given by their sinew helms and their traditional large oval shields, their skirmishing abilities and speed makes them a nuisance in many situations if used properly. Although not as reliable as more permanent or experienced warriors like Caetratii or Scutarii, they are handy to reinforce the line or when springing tactical ambushes on enemy units. Eventhough they are mostly untrained, in accordance with most men in the Iberian peninsula they are no strangers to the disputes among tribes and are on a much higher level of skill and morale than other levied troops.

    Historically, the militias were mostly organized among the southern Iberians as a way to respond to sudden unexpected pillage incursions of other tribes, that came mostly from the poorer northern, mountainous regions of Iberia. This permanent state of alert throughout the decades creates harder, higher skilled men and, even if only "ocasional" warriors, they were known to have far greater resilience in battle than expected for levy infantry.


    Iberian Caetratii:


    Caetratii are a deceptive type of infantry. Well able light troops, they can skirmish while softening their enemy before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. Although sometimes they use their mobility to keep them out of the reach of enemies, they are quite often able to produce very unpleasent surprises to units not normally vulnerable to light troops. Four things contribute to this capability: their agility on the battlefield, their all-metal heavy javelins (soliferum), the traditional Iberian ferociousness and their superb swordsmanship. They are not, however, due to their light equipement and ocasional warrior status, designed to face experienced heavy troops and should be spared to those types of combat. Their lack of anti-cavalry weapons and armour also makes them very vulnerable to such enemies.

    Historically, the Caetratii were one of the most numerous type of troops in Iberian armies. They were multi-purpose light infantry made up of non-professional soldiers that filled several roles generally reserved to various types of troops. Although most Iberians were not professional soldiers, they were very used to constant tribal warfare and, as such, became skilled and resolute. Caetratii were known for their unique style of swordsmanship that employs two specific types of equipment: a curved heavy-tipped sword known as falcata and the small, agile buckler the Romans called caetra. Hannibal lavished upon his Caetratii, and many of them wore white linen tunics with a crimson border.


    Iberian Loricatii Caetratii:


    The Iberians are famous the world over for their extremely versatile and excellent quality light infantry. Loricatii Caetratii are no exception. Among the most able and skilled warriors, some men became veterans and assume in Iberian warfare a more permanent warrior role near their chieftains. Used to take advantage of the spoils of war that more permanent fighters are able to enjoy, these men are therefore better equipped than the lighter Caetratii, having as protection a breastplate and leather armour combination suplementing their bascinet-type bronze helm. Fighting with the traditional soliferum + falcata + caetra set, and being more motivated and resilient than greener troops, they are dangerous foes able to strike vulnerable spots in the enemy lines. These men are a step above normal light infantry, and they can be relied upon to defeat far more heavily armored opponents in battle. They are vulnerable to cavalry though, due to their lack of anti-cavalry weapons.

    Historically, as with most Iberian warriors, weapons were a matter of preference and depended on the style of fighting they used. Therefore, some men had equipement to become considered Scutarii but prefered the use of the falcata and caetra to the spear, gladius and large oval shield combination. Veteran and well-equipped Caetratii were among the most feared opponents of the Romans. With their martial art of sword and buckler fighting allied to the impredicatability of Iberian ambushes, they were excellent in single combat and were often able to surprise and kill Roman soldiers in this manner. In unit combat, they were almost as fierce, easily equaling the Roman Hastatii.


    Iberian Scutarii:


    These Iberian spearmen are referred to as Scutarii by the Romans because of their large oval shields (the Latin word for shield being Scutum). They are well-equipped medium spearmen, being armed with the dreaded all-metal soliferum, a spear as their main weapon, a short straight sword and a small dagger for backup. They protect themselves with a combination of leather armour and bronze breapsplate. When all this equipment is put together you are left with an extremely versatile and quick infantry. As more permanent warriors than the Caetratii, they are more experienced and skilled, as well as better equipped and protected, generally forming the main line in Iberian armies. They use their soliferum before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. Although being considered by enemies as heavier troops then the Caetratii, they are, nevertheless, fast and come in handy when springing tactical ambushes on enemy units. Most Iberian warriors were known for their determination and skill and Scutarii are no exception. They are, with the traditional Iberian ferociousness, quite determined.

    Historically, Scutarii were the rank and file infantry of both Carthage and the Iberian tribes. The design of the later Roman legionary sword (or gladius) was influenced by the blades carried by these men (known by the Romans as gladius hispanniensis). This design was adopted after Roman armies had faced large formations of Scutarii during the First Punic War. They fought in a densely packed formation, much like the Romans they most often fought, but had the advantage of speed over their Roman enemy. An advantage that they exploited in the sort of hit and run warfare that characterized the combat in the hills of the Iberian Peninsula. Scutarii were present at many major battles throughout the Punic Wars and the guerrilla campaigns in Iberia after the Carthaginian presence there was extinguished. They gave a good account of themselves and were much feared by their Roman enemy.


    Iberian Equites Caetratii:


    The Equites Caetratii are a light skirmishing cavalry that are not quite as famous as the Numidians, but every bit as useful. Their surefooted, agile Iberian horses and ability to fight in a melee for a limited duration make up for their lack of armour or heavier weaponery. The Equites Caetratii are armed with several javelins and the standard Iberian falcata and caetra combination. They are very good horsemen, but do not have any armor at all other than their shields and caps. This could be a disadvantage to less hardy horsemen, but the Equites Caetratii make up for it by trading protection for agility, stealth and resistance. They are excellent skirmishing cavalry, able to carry many javelins and hurl them at enemy formations while staying out of that formation’s reach.

    Historically, Equites Caetratii were used many times to great effect by the Carthaginians. The Iberians used them more as stealthy, mobile guerrilla troops to harass and cut down a few unware enemies before disappearing back into the hills. This was possible due to one of the surprising characteristics in Iberian armies: their peculiar trainning of horses. They were taught to keep silent and laying down, in all situations when their rider told them to. As such, many of the deceptive ambushes performed by Iberian tribes were even more surprising to the uncautious enemy.


    Iberian Curisii:


    The Curisii are no different from most cavalrymen in Iberia. They are surprisingly good horsemen for a country with common rough terrain. Riding their agile, resilient Iberian horses they are good medium cavalry that are able to perform the role of shock against light troops. They wear bronze helmets and chest plates combined with leather armor, which gives them staying power in a melee contest. They carry the normal falcata and caetra combination of the Iberian tribes, which allows them to hold their own in a melee situation, although being more adept at spearing down fleeing enemies. They are armored and fast enough to stand up to most light and medium cavalry and some medium infantry, but will generally get cut to pieces by heavier spear infantry or cavalry. A good commander will take this into account.

    Historically, the Iberian Curisii were excellent medium cavalry, being used by the Carthagianians, due to their agility, in a more versatile screening role than heavier cavalry. Iberian tribes used them in the same task on occasions of open confrontation, but prefered to take advantage of their their stealth before using them in a surprise charge against enemy units, as all Iberian horses were trained to be quiet and silent. This skillfull training of Iberian horses combined well with hit and run surprise tactics. Due to the lack of quality of Roman cavalry, they almost always had an advantage that was muted somewhat with the arrival of mercenaries from Numidia and the eastern steppe. In adition, the Curisii demonstrated their great ability to chase down light cavalry, making them truly a unit deserving of the fame given them.



    Now lets us deviate from warfare and focus on some geographical features:





    And the small SIG to prove your renewed allegiance to EB:



    We heartily invite our fans to use these sigs. They’re here for you, and we delight to see them be used by our great fans!



    We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s update!

    Please note that unless stated otherwise, ALL pictures shown in our previews are of works in progress. We continue to improve on all parts of EB, and we will continue to do so long after our initial release.

    Since some areas where these news items are posted cannot handle wide images, we appreciate your restraint from quoting full-size images.

    As always, if you have questions or comments, the best place to post them is here, where the EB team is most active:

    Europa Barbarorum ORG forum

    Europa Barbarorum TWC forum

    We give special thanks to Imageshack that provides us with a simple, foolproof, and free way to show you all these pictures each week.


    Have a great day!


    Sincerely,

    The Europa Barbarorum team.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Boom ya! Just wanted to show my committed lurking to EB by posting first! I will now read the preview! Cheers EB!
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  3. #3
    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Another great preview. I can't wait for the open beta release to try all these new units

  4. #4
    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Very good. You guys are cerainly making it tough to chose a faction to start off with, all armies have something appealing about them.
    Just one quick question, what's with the use of Latin names of units? Other factions' units mostly seemed to be referred to by their native names.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

  5. #5
    Don't worry, I don't exist Member King of Atlantis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Yeah, i have the same question. Great preveiw, but how come all the names aren't native.

  6. #6
    Member Member Dago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Wow, fantastic work! I have one question, what are those strange spears?

  7. #7
    EB Unit Dictator/Administrator Member Urnamma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Well, put simply, we don't know the native languages of most Iberian tribes! They're lost to history, unfortunately.
    'It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.'
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  8. #8
    Father of the EB Isle Member Aymar de Bois Mauri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    Very good. You guys are cerainly making it tough to chose a faction to start off with, all armies have something appealing about them.
    Just one quick question, what's with the use of Latin names of units? Other factions' units mostly seemed to be referred to by their native names.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    Yeah, i have the same question. Great preveiw, but how come all the names aren't native.
    In reply to both of you, because there is not enough remainder of the several Iberian languages. The best sources for units names come from Hellenic or Roman chroniclers. The southeastern populations had a large linguistic influence of Punic and Greek but, aside from that and some of the northern populations Celtic speech (Q-Celtic and K-Celtic) very little can be used as reliable.

    However, I can say that units from regions where the main languages were Q-Celtic and K-Celtic will have their designations on those languages. These ones are only the Southeastern units, more in contact with Hellenes, Carthage and Rome.

  9. #9
    Father of the EB Isle Member Aymar de Bois Mauri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dago
    Wow, fantastic work!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dago
    I have one question, what are those strange spears?
    Strange spears? They have long spearheads, is that what you are saying? Take in to consideration that the perspective of the camera makes them appear a lot bigger than they are.

  10. #10
    Member Member Dago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Yes they have long spearheads and they look slightly curved.

  11. #11
    Isänmaantoivo Member Kääpäkorven Konsuli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    But you just can't name it Iberia! That is cheating! The native languages must still exist, you just din't look hard enough.
    Even if this is free mod we must have right to expect atleast somekind of dedication!


    Bliss is ignorance

  12. #12
    Father of the EB Isle Member Aymar de Bois Mauri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dago
    Yes they have long spearheads and they look slightly curved.
    Let me show you this then:



    See the big, long spearheads? And these are not the longest found.

  13. #13
    Member Member Birka Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Wow great preview again EB. I can't wait for the open beta....

  14. #14
    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    These guys sound really cool. I am a lover of light or nimble armies and these guys look quite exceptional. I wish we had more viable history on the Iberians, they sound really interesting.

  15. #15
    graduated non-expert Member jerby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    great previeuw anymar! i LOVE the falacata, excellent detail! even the line going threw the blade! OMG!the spearheads look terrifying!

    Q: will the falcata get an: effective against armor-bonus? it is a slashing sword with great effect.
    Q: why didnt you show Iberian heavy cav? afaik, those were pretty famous.
    Q: for such a big spearhead, the scutarii are holding the spear really much at the end. WIP? or Phalanx?

    still,excellent previeuw. definatly a top-ranking-faction
    Last edited by jerby; 08-01-2005 at 11:14.

  16. #16
    Father of the EB Isle Member Aymar de Bois Mauri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by jerby
    great previeuw anymar!
    Aymar. I'm not anymating anything...

    Quote Originally Posted by jerby
    i LOVE the falacata, excellent detail!
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerby
    Q: will the falcata get an: effective against armor-bonus? it is a slashing sword with great effect.
    Yes. Effectivelly a sabre.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerby
    Q: why didnt you show Iberian heavy cav? afaik, those were pretty famous.
    Not finished yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerby
    Q: for such a big spearhead, the scutarii are holding the spear really much at the end. WIP? or Phalanx?
    Perspective, camera perspective. The spearheads are distorted by the perspective. I really should have taken the pics in another angle. But it might need some adjustments.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerby
    still,excellent previeuw. definatly a top-ranking-faction
    Good to know.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    WOW! Excelent units, excelent introducion...


    We're not a nation, we ain't an empire. But if some things never change, some things do. Now we prefer to trust a neighbour than a stranger. And those who prove our patience may see what happens when neighbours unite.


    Wonderful!

  18. #18
    graduated non-expert Member jerby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Aymar de Bois Mauri
    Aymar. I'm not anymating anything...

    Perspective, camera perspective. The spearheads are distorted by the perspective. I really should have taken the pics in another angle. But it might need some adjustments.
    ok, aymar. sorry bout that.
    no what i meant was the position of the Hand that is Holding the spear. the spear is wielded almost at the end.
    "for such a big spearpoint" was to state the weight at teh tip. the scutarii wields teh spear almost like hoplites do in vanilla( hand-shaft)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    the textures I do not like anything

  20. #20
    Egomaniac sexpert Member Dux Corvanus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Malakay
    the textures I do not like anything

  21. #21

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Lol, none of them at all? That's very unfortunate for you, cus I think they're beautiful, 'specially the decorated horses

  22. #22
    Member Member zemaniak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    What will done to gameplay in order for the Iberians to take advantage of their speed, knowledge of the terrain and ambushing skills?

    In vanilla and in darth, they get slaughtered quite easily

  23. #23

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    great work guys! i liked it

  24. #24
    graduated non-expert Member jerby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dux Corvanus
    and a new tradition is born. very smouth dux...
    it's all an opinion, even his. but if you dotn like the look of these units (detail-wise) then quit the game...it's not getting better
    Last edited by jerby; 08-01-2005 at 15:05.

  25. #25
    Speaker of Truth Senior Member Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dux Corvanus
    you know, you look just the way I tought you'd look like.

    No, I like the units tough I've never seen that long spears but since they're historical I don't mind.

    Like always; nice work guys!

  26. #26
    Member Member cunctator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Great work. Especially the fantastic intorduction.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    I believe that the models in 3d very well, but skin I do not like anything, very simple, the previous ones better

  28. #28
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Another excellent preview, thank you! I sometimes feel that even if the EB project folded and never produced any mod, this previews would be a worthwhile output! When viewed collectively, I doubt any book has equalled them as a compendium of military units of the period.

  29. #29
    graduated non-expert Member jerby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    Quote Originally Posted by Malakay
    I believe that the models in 3d very well, but skin I do not like anything, very simple, the previous ones better
    hm, i'm not s skinner/expert. but what dont you like? should it wield a flamethrower?

  30. #30

    Default Re: Countdown to Open Beta - Iberia

    yeah mate...... all people it must use flamethrower..... sure..... this is a history theme.....

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