Carthage (Hannibal at the Gates)
|Phoenician Trade Heritage: +10% wealth from all commerce buildings|
|Mercenary Armies: -25% mercenary upkeep costs|
Following catastrophic defeat in its first war against Rome, Carthage has spent the intervening years clawing back its power and prestige. Whilst Rome was occupied by conflict in Illyria, the legendary general Hamilcar Barca set about creating a new power base in Iberia to pay both Roman reparations and replace the lost wealth of Sardinia and Sicily, now under Roman control. After much manoeuvring, he wrestled control of the region's rich silver and gold deposits from the local tribes, making enough both to pay off Rome and build a colossal army based at the port of Gades (now modern-day Cadiz).
218BC. Now, the promising general Hannibal - Hamilcar's son and a sworn enemy of Rome since childhood - has taken action following the death of his father and assassination of his brother-in-law, Hasdrubal the Fair. Taking command of the Carthaginian mercenary army in Iberia and capturing the pro-Roman settlement of Saguntum, he hopes to ignite war with Rome once again.
Despite showing great strength and strategic cunning with this opening move, Hannibal must use his every ounce of his keen intelligence to capitalise on the situation. Many of the Mediterranean tribes have not warmed to Roman interference, and could be rallied against his mortal enemy if handled correctly. Carthage and its allies must act as one if victory is to be achieved, and there are many challenges standing between Hannibal and his ultimate goal: the utter breaking of Roman power in the Mediterranean!
- Strategic Effort: +10% movement range for all armies and fleets
- Popular Support: Public order bonus (maximum of +4) from presence of Punic culture
- The Great Enemy: Major diplomatic penalty with all Latin factions (cultural aversion)