Back in October I began the angst filled process of choosing armies to take to the DBA competition at CANCON. The CANCON DBA competition is over two days, one using a Book I or II army, and the other using an army from Books III or IV. The criteria I’d set for myself were that the army had to be reasonably good (or at least not terrible), it had to fit in with my existing armies to some extent, and it had to be one I’d not used at the Wellington competition. My friend Mark was visiting with his family and he sat patiently through the few hours I spent trawling the army lists and vacillating. We decided that my Book I and II armies were the most lacking, either because they lacked staying power or because they lacked offensive punch.
After much searching I realised that the Early Carthaginians kind of have what it takes. They are not a particularly flash army, they have no Elephants, Blades, or Scythed Chariots, but they do have a good solid block of Spears, with adequate supporting Psiloi, and a reasonable punch from their one or two Heavy Chariots. I’ve played a number of games with my Philistine army, which is similar but lacks that punch as it only has two Light Chariots. Some elements of the Carthaginian army, especially the early list, can be used for Phoenicians, and that gives the link back to my other armies from the ancient Levant.
The search for figures then commenced. The ‘set text’ for the army is still the venerable WRG book Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars (as well as a couple of paragraphs on the Phoenicians in Armies of the Ancient Near East). These showed the Carthaginians to have Assyrian style helmets, scale or linen armour, or bronze cuirasses, and shields similar to hoplons (AMPW describes a ‘dished’ shield but later opinion is that that was a misinterpretation). Unfortunately a number of figure manufacturers have produced ranges based closely on the book without noticing that the book covers a long time period, so some troops are equipped correctly for the early period, where others have equipped for the Third Punic war, hundreds of years later. I have settled on a rather cosmopolitan mix of figures, for the moment.
A more detailed writeup is on the army page, here.