So my mate Phil and I are planning to play a little bit of Hail Caesar over the next few months.
(Incidentally, when I say 'a little bit' that's exactly what I mean; we're going to be playing 6mm. There are a couple of reasons for this; firstly, we're both currently quite limited for space in our respective houses, so we can get a decent sized game in on a small table and secondly, 6mm's a pretty cheap way of trying out a game like HC, before taking the plunge and deciding to invest more significantly in 28mm armies, which we both intend on doing once we've got a grasp of the rules and have more space.)
We're looking to play some Punic Wars, which is an entirely new era for me. I'm going for the Carthaginians, as Phil has had a hankering after a Republican Roman army for some time. I've picked up a bunch of figures from Baccus to get me started and I'll quite happily pick up some more in order to put together a usable army. The thing is this; having no experience of (or, indeed, a great deal of knowledge about) the era, I don't really know what a Carthaginian army should 'look like' if you see what I mean. I've got both the HC rulebook and the army lists book (so can put together a list from that easily enough), but would appreciate some guidance on what sort of shape my army should be taking.
Hope that makes sense and thanks in advance!
(Incidentally, I suspect this would be better off in the HC section of the forums. Oops! Uh, anyone want to move it for me, or is it fine where it is?)
I am at one with my inner geek. I still punch him occasionally though.
From my rather limited knowledge, I believe that their armies where very heavily centred around mercenary units and that they used very few citizen soldiers, Also, Elephants
sorry i can't be of more help
"Leap, fellow soldiers, unless you wish to betray your eagle to the enemy. I, for my part, will perform my duty to the republic and to my general." -The Aquilifer of the 10th legion A link to my Blog: http://theminiatureblog.wordpress.com/
Yeah, they had quite a few mercenaries, both from Africa (Numidians) and Iberians. Search for those terms and you'll get some good hits. Also, I assume there is an Osprey book or ten on the Punic Wars, could be a place to start?
It would partly depend on which Punic War and which theatre. Carthaginian armies tended to be made up of troops drawn from the areas they held influence in (much like Rome with auxiliaries). Iberians would have comprised a significant part of the armies of Hasdrubal and the earlier armies of Hannibal but far less so in the First Punic War. Hannibal picked up Gauls as he marched on Italy whilst losing most of his Elephants and Numidian cavalry was famously part of his army. Meanwhile the Carthiginian army of Xanthippus fielded Carthiginians in a phalanx along with elephants and cavalry.
Your best source is Polybius though an Osprey might be a quicker and easier read.
EDIT: This is from Polybius Book 1 -
"He (Xanthippus) ordered out the elephants, and placed them in a single line in front of the whole army. The heavy phalanx of the Carthaginians he stationed at a moderate interval in the rear of these. He divided the mercenaries into three corps. One he stationed on the right wing; while the other two, which consisted of the most active, he placed with the cavalry on both wings. When the Romans saw that the enemy were drawn up to offer them battle they readily advanced to accept it. They were however alarmed at the elephants, and made special arrangements with a view to resist their charge. They stationed the velites in the van, and behind them the legionaries, many maniples deep, while they divided the cavalry between the two wings. Their line of battle was thus less extended than usual, but deeper. And though they had thereby made a sufficient provision against the elephants, yet being far out-numbered in cavalry, their provision in that part of the field was altogether inadequate."
And this is Hannibal drawing up his army for Cannae from Book 3 -
"Hannibal brought his Balearic slingers and spearmen across the river, and stationed them in advance of his main body; which he led out of their camp, and, getting them across the river at two spots, drew them up opposite the enemy. On his left wing, close to the river, he stationed the Iberian and Celtic horse opposite the Roman cavalry; and next to them half the Libyan heavy-armed foot; and next to them the Iberian and Celtic foot; next, the other half of the Libyans, and, on the right wing, the Numidian horse. Having now got them all into line he advanced with the central companies of the Iberians and Celts; and so arranged the other companies next these in regular gradations, that the whole line became crescent-shaped, diminishing in depth towards its extremities: his object being to have his Libyans as a reserve in the battle, and to commence the action with his Iberians and Celts. The armour of the Libyans was Roman, for Hannibal had armed them with a selection of the spoils taken in previous battles. The shield of the Iberians and Celts was about the same size, but their swords were quite different. For that of the Roman can thrust with as deadly effects as it can cut, while the Gallic sword can only cut, and that requires some room. And the companies coming alternately,—the naked Celts, and the Iberians with their short linen tunics bordered with purple stripes, the whole appearance of the line was strange and terrifying. The whole strength of the Carthaginian cavalry was ten thousand, but that of their foot was not more than forty thousand, including the Celts."
The two descriptions offer two very different armies. The core of Xanthippus' army is Carthaginian phalanx supported by mercenaries, screened by elephants and with cavalry on the wings. Hannibal has no elephants or phalanx, screens his army with slingers and spearmen, his infantry is a mix of Iberian and Celtic with Libyan heavy infantry either side of them and he stations a mix of Celtic and Iberian cavalry on one flank and Numidian cavalry on the other.
Polybius gives these numbers for Hannibal's army before Trebbia -
"Hannibal waited for the right moment to strike, and as soon as he saw that the Romans had crossed the Trebia, throwing out eight thousand spearmen and slingers to cover his advance, he led out his whole army. When he had advanced about eight stades from the camp, he drew up his infantry, consisting of about twenty thousand Iberians, Celts, and Libyans, in one long line, while he divided his cavalry and placed half on each wing, amounting in all to more than ten thousand, counting the Celtic allies; his elephants also he divided between the two wings, where they occupied the front rank."
This was Hannibal's first battle with Rome following his entry into Italy. He does still have elephants at this point though they are lined up on the flanks rather than screening the infantry as Xanthippus used them. The rest of the army is much as it would be at Cannae.