Developer's diary part 1 - The people of Carthage
The Carthaginians are one of the two nations introduced in Celtic Kings: The Punic Wars, which brings the total number of nations in the game to four. Below you’ll learn about the Carthaginian people – who they were and where they lived. You’ll also find out about the specific aspects of their life which made it in CK: The Punic Wars.
The people of Carthage belong to an ancient civilization of merchants. Their city is located on the north coast of Africa in the land of the modern Tunisia. Their empire covered the whole west Mediterranean and their trade and war fleet ruled the sea. With clever use of gold and steel, the empire grew and the riches of Carthage multiplied. Mercenaries from the conquered territories left their homes to fight for the cause of Carthage in exchange of the gold of Carthage looted from their own people. Trade, conquer, sack and hire new recruits - this was the way of Carthage.
Until one day, a new enemy – the Republic of Rome stood against Carthage and in the exhausting wars that followed it became clear that there is not enough space under the sky for the two empires. More than a century later the wars ended with the total destruction of the city of Carthage.
Some historians argue that the Carthage mercenary army had weaker motivation as opposed to an army mostly of citizens, such as the one used by Rome. The fact is that Carthage was a smaller city than Rome and it could not afford the death toll of the endless wars it waged. Carthaginians won many battles where they had fewer warriors than their enemies and ultimately their mercenary army did well.
In the game, hiring mercenaries in the Carthaginian barracks does not reduce the population of the stronghold. It is the only nation, which needs only gold to raise an army. Due to their nature all mercenary warriors can be hired from the beginning of the game without the need of an additional upgrade.
Carthaginians were merciless masters. They were tyrants to their subject cities, which were about 300 in Libya alone according to the Greek geographer Strabo. But they were careful as well – they founded many colonies and never lost a single one. With its large army Carthage protected its colonies during war and controlled them in time of peace.
As a Carthaginian you can be a tyrant to your own people by selling them as slaves on the market in effect converting population into gold. At the same time you can be kind to your military by spending gold on the same market for potions to quickly heal the wounded. And as a true Carthaginian you always keep an eye on your profit – in the market you can sign a pact with the mercenaries to get back some money for every one of them who died.
There was one frightening part of the Carthaginian army – the war elephants. They were of the small African mountain type – less than 2.5 meters in height. They were used in the first line of attack to panic and disorder the enemy. Once the chaos takes over the enemy lines the elephants were led out of the battle for in the melee they were as much benefit as trouble.
In CK: The Punic Wars< you can hire war elephants in the arena. In addition to their toughness and high attack, the war elephants have trample and regeneration. The trample effect does damage to any warrior who’s trying to fight the elephant. The regeneration means that the elephant consumes food five times as often thus healing and starving five times faster.
Carthage had a flourishing economy. It could afford huge expeditions as the one undertaken by Hanno the Navigator around the Atlantic cost of Africa. The ancient records suggest that as many as 30,000 men and women and 60 ships with 50 oars each took part in this expedition. Although these numbers are questionable the expedition was nevertheless a monumental achievement.
In another occasion, 10 years after the end of the devastating Second Punic War Carthage offered to pay in full the yearly tribute imposed by Rome for the next 40 years.
It is not clear how the ancient Carthage could collect such resources. In the game however the path to a fortune is clear. After an upgrade your warriors collect a “spoils of war” item for every enemy they kill. When they enter a townhall each item is converted to 50 gold. No wonder the townhall has a gold plated roof. After a few successful battles you army would pay back more than its cost. Another command you can issue in the townhall is the military training, which increases the experience of the garrisoned warriors. The more gold you spend, the higher is the level of your warriors and the better they fight.
One small part of the Carthaginian army was not mercenary – the Sacred Legion. It consisted of nobles from the wealthiest families. It was high honor to be able to serve in the Sacred Legion. Where the legion went, the victory was always on the side of Carthage.
In the temple you can form the Sacred Legion, which will let you equip nobles - the strongest Carthaginian warriors. They’re not mercenaries as the rest of the warriors at your disposal, and would reduce the population of the stronghold when equipped. The shamans who are also called in the temple can curse the enemy warriors. A cursed warrior does minimum damage on his next attack. They can also forage food from their surroundings and feed the nearby warriors.
As you might have already guessed from the description so far the strength of the Carthaginians is in their economy, which is tightly connected to the wars they wage. Once you get that war machine going, it feeds back resources and powers itself further so you have the gold to show your enemies some nice tricks until they’re finally overwhelmed and overpowered.
If you’re interested in the game or the historical period of the Punic Wars visit www.haemimontgames.com/punicwars to read more.
Gabriel Dobrev - CEO Haemimont Games.