Recently, we took a look at the brand-new boxed set of Roman Commanders for the upcoming Hail Caesar Epic battles. Now, Romans are undoubtedly very cool, and (so they claim) exceedingly civilised, but the Punic Wars would be a bit naff if there was nobody to oppose them – thankfully, we’ve got the might of Carthage to keep it all nice and spicy! With such a diverse force of mercenaries from all corners of the Mediterranean, not to mention the elephants (did we mention the elephants yet?), you’ll need some seriously good commanders to keep your troops in line and make sure they follow your orders on the tabletop. Fortunately, the Carthaginians had some absolutely top-quality generals, and we’ve included a selection of them in our new Warlord Resin boxed set. Let’s take a look at who you’ll get!

Hannibal Barca

We’ll lead off with the top dog, who also lends his name to the new battle set – Hannibal Barca! Definitely most famous for a certain feat of pachyderm-borne Alpinism (we’ll get to that, don’t worry!), Hannibal might actually be one of the most underrated commanders of all time. In his own era he was ranked alongside (depending on who you asked) the military legends Alexander the Great and Pyrrhus – not a bad set of company to be keeping – but nowadays his renown as a commander plays second fiddle to his legendary crossing of the Alps.

No longer! In Hail Caesar Epic Battles, Hannibal’s tactical genius takes centre stage and rightly so – in many ways Hannibal was born to be Rome’s nemesis, and thus he’s the perfect leader for your Carthaginian forces. The son of Hamilcar Barca, one of the leading Carthaginian commanders of the First Punic War, Hannibal was raised to despise the victorious Romans, reputedly swearing an oath to his father to ‘never be a friend of Rome’. Initially serving under his father and later his brother-in-law, Hannibal would be elected the supreme commander of Carthage’s armies in 221BC, aged only 26. Embarking on a series of campaigns aimed at consolidating Carthaginian holdings for the next two years, he would ignite the Second Punic War with his capture of Saguntum (a Roman protectorate) – from there he would truly begin to forge his own legend.

In an operation years in the making, Hannibal forged alliances with the Celtic tribes of the Po Valley, into whose territory Rome had been aggressively expanding. Seizing upon Rome’s distraction, Hannibal aimed to make a daring outflanking march, sweeping from Hispania across the Pyrenees, and over the Alps, sweeping down into northern Italy and falling upon the Romans with the full force of Carthage – elephants and all! There was just a tiny little obstacle standing in his way… something about a snowy mountain range…

Hail Caesar Epic Battles - Crossing the Alps on elephant back
Hannibal conquers the Alps, on elephantback!

Sources vary as to exactly how many troops Hannibal brought with him on this audacious manoeuvre – around 35-45,000 infantry and perhaps 10,000 cavalry, along with 30-40 elephants seems a reasonable average – but it was not a small undertaking. Little is known for certain as to exactly where Hannibal’s army would cross the Alps, but what is without doubt is that it was a brutally harsh crossing, with many casualties suffered to the bitter cold and dangerous terrain. The elephants in particular suffered badly, with very few survivors, but crucially Hannibal had succeeded in his objective – his army had crossed into Italy proper, and could begin operations against the Roman heartland. At the Battle of the Trebia he would annihilate an incautious Roman army, at Lake Trasimene he would defeat another, and at Cannae he would accomplish one of the greatest victories of all time, displaying a level of tactical brilliance far in advance of his enemies.

This would, however, be the high-water mark of Hannibal’s military career. The Second Punic War devolved into a stalemate thanks to the Romans’ attritional strategy, and Hannibal’s supply lines were stretched dangerously thin in Italy. Compelled to withdraw to Africa, in 202BC he would suffer a stunning defeat at Zama at the hands of the great Scipio Africanus, effectively ending the Second Punic War. After a period of peacetime politics, Roman pressure would force Hannibal to flee into exile, where he would spend some years as an advisor and general for Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, an enemy of Rome, before further defeats forced him to take refuge at the court of the King of Bithynia. With Rome applying pressure on Bithynia to hand over their hated foe, Hannibal Barca committed suicide by poison in the early 180sBC, defying the Romans to the bitter end.

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Commanders - Hannibal Barca
Hannibal Barca with his shield bearer

As befits perhaps the greatest single foe Rome had faced to that point in her history, Hannibal Barca is an absolute mastermind on the Hail Caesar Epic Battles tabletop. Naturally, his Leadership of 10 makes it very likely that his troops will follow his orders to the letter, whilst a pair of special rules allow him to dominate the battlefield. Master of Ambush allows him to hold one division in the army in reserve… in a terrain feature on the table, from whence they can spring! His Martial Esteem rule further increases the Stamina of Gallic and Spanish units, making the core of his army even more dangerous! Depicted in all his glory astride his horse, he’s the ultimate centrepiece for any Carthaginian army – get him on the table, and watch the Romans tremble!

Such is his renown, we’ve not been content to produce just a single Hannibal Barca miniature. You’ll find an alternative sculpt in either the Hannibal battle set, or within the Hannibal Barca’s Carthaginian Army boxed set. Both boxed sets contain a wealth of Carthaginian and Allied troops with which to take the fight to Republican Rome!

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Commanders - Hannibal Barca Alternative Sculpt (Hannibal Battle Set & Hannibal Barca's Carthaginian Army)
Hannibal Barca Alternative Sculpt

Hasdrubal Barca

Hannibal might be the scourge of the Roman Republic, but he’s not the only commander of note available to lead the Carthaginian forces – and not the only one included in the new boxed set! It’s something of a family affair to begin with, with Hannibal’s two brothers – Hasdrubal and Mago, the three collectively known as the Barcids – also serving as generals during the Second Punic Wars. Hasdrubal was a pure warrior as well as a solid commander in his own right, ever brave throughout years of victory and defeat in almost equal measure, and even managed his own crossing of the Alps, albeit a decade later and in reputedly less severe conditions than Hannibal’s initial endeavour. Arriving in Italy, and attempting to link up with his brother, he would be intercepted by Gaius Claudius Nero at the Battle of the Metaurus. Outmanoeuvred and defeated, Hasdrubal refused to surrender. Charging the Roman lines with his bodyguard, he went down fighting. After the battle, Nero had Hasdrubal’s severed head thrown into Hannibal’s camp, as a symbol of his victory. Despite his messy fate, Hasdrubal’s courage was never doubted in his own time, and his skill as a general often overshadowed by his brother.

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Commanders - Hasdrubal Barca
Hasdrubal Barca with standard bearer on foot

With a Leadership of 9 he’s no slouch at all in command, while his Warrior to the End special rule allows him to add a whopping 4 Attacks when joining a combat – a powerful addition that just might tip the course of a battle in a pinch! Depicted mounted, ready for one last, glorious charge, he’s a fantastic division commander under Hannibal, or an army commander in his own right.

Mago Barca

Youngest of the Barcids was Mago, who would play a pivotal role in many of the battles in which he was involved. Commanding the ambushing forces at the Trebia, holding the centre with his eldest brother at Hannibal’s great victory of Cannae, and joining Hasdrubal in Iberia while Hannibal led in Italy, where the Barcids would do battle with the Scipio brothers, both sides tasting victory and defeat, before the Carthaginians were eventually compelled to withdraw from Spain. Mago would then lead an invasion of northern Italy in 205BC, managing to control the region for several years, before being mortally wounded at Insubria. Recalled to Carthage to defend against Scipio Africanus, he would die at sea before reaching his homeland.

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Commanders - Mago Barca
Mago Barca with fan-bearing servant

An oft-overlooked general, Mago firmly deserves his place on the Hail Caesar Epic Battles tabletop,  with the same Leadership of 9 as his brother Hasdrubal making him an excellent choice to command either division or overall force, and his noted affinity for commanding elephants is reflected in the Pachyderm Master special rule, which makes all the elephants in his army Drilled. If you want loads of war elephants (and let’s be honest, if you’re collecting Carthaginians, you want loads of war elephants!), Mago’s your man!

Hasdrubal Gisco

Moving away from the Barcids, we come to another Hasdrubal – for avoidance of confusion, we’ll refer to him as Gisco! While not a general of the same rank as Hannibal or his brothers, nor the Scipiones or some of the more talented Romans such as Claudius Nero, Gisco was still an excellent commander on the battlefield, and also possessed of significant political talents. Arriving in Iberia in 214BC, he would operate with Hasdrubal Barca against Publius Scipio (father of Africanus) and his brother Gnaeus Scipio, defeating and killing both Roman generals before embarking on a series of drives to raise fresh troops for his army – something at which he would prove incredibly successful throughout his career. Defeated by Scipio Africanus alongside Mago at Ilipa, where he was utterly outclassed, he would retire to Africa to raise more troops by forging an alliance (secured by Hasdrubal’s offer of his daughter’s hand in marriage) with the Numidian Syphax. Despite intense political wrangling, Gisco would be engaged and defeated by Africanus at the Battle of the Great Plains in 203BC. Returning to Carthage, he would take his own life, reportedly to avoid being lynched for his failure – Carthage being something of a ‘tough crowd’ given the state of the war!

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Commanders - Hasdrubal Gisco
Hasdrubal Gisco with Carthaginian officer reading from a scroll

Despite his reputation as a ‘lesser’ general (although in fairness the vast majority of generals were ‘lesser’ than Hannibal Barca!), Hasdrubal Gisco is no slouch, with Leadership 9 making him a perfectly capable leader. In addition, his ability to raise troops seemingly wherever he goes means he can add a unit of Citizen Levies to his own division, absolutely free! His model has him encouraging his troops forward, fully armoured, and aiming for another victory.

Hanno, Son of Bomilcar

Finally among the named Carthaginians, we come to Hanno, son of Bomilcar. A nephew of Hannibal, he served as his uncle’s cavalry commander during the crossing of the Alps, helping to secure the crossing of the Rhône. At Cannae, Hanno commanded his Numidian cavalry superbly on the right flank of the Carthaginian force, defeating his Roman opposite number handily and paving the way for Hannibal’s crushing victory. During the Carthaginian campaigns in Italy he appears to have acted as a minor commander, sometimes stepping in for Mago Barca, and other times leading small armies of his own with mixed results, but never quite reaching the meteoric heights of his uncles. Recalled to Africa, he would serve briefly as commander of Carthaginian forces there, before being replaced by Hannibal, at which point he seems to disappear from the historical record, as do so many people in antiquity.

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Commanders - Hanno son of Bomilcar
Hanno son of Bomilcar with mounted standard bearer.

What we do know of Hanno, however, paints a picture of an expert handler of cavalry, and his Master of Cavalry special rule reflects this, granting him Leadership 9 when ordering cavalry units (as opposed to 8 otherwise) and making all cavalry in his division Marauders – the perfect man to have on hand if you’re bringing plenty of horsemen! Hanno’s model reflects this, depicting him with sword aloft, ready to deliver a devastating charge.

Officers & Attendants

Alongside these legends of Carthage, the Commanders boxed set additionally includes five unnamed officers, perfect for accompanying them into battle or providing the basis for a fantastic diorama to represent your divisional commanders. Two standard bearers (one foot and one mounted) provide rallying points for the armies of Carthage, while an officer reads from a scroll, no doubt containing reports of another famous victory. A shield-bearer stands ready to defend his general, and finally a servant with a fan is on hand to keep his master cool – it’s a hot business beating the Romans!

Available to Order Now

Also Available:

Carthaginian Division:

Hail Caesar Epic Battles by Warlord Games - Carthaginian Division
The Carthaginian division boxed set contains 2 mounted Carthaginian commanders, 2 mounted Gallic Celt commanders, 2 mounted Gallic Celt standard bearers, 3 bases of Libyan heavy infantry (20 soldiers each), 6 bases of Galic Celt Warriors (20 soldiers each), 2 bases of Gallic Celt skirmishers with slings, 3 bases of Iberian Scutarii warriors (20 soldiers each), 2 bases of Nimidian skirmishers with javelins, 2 bases of Liby-Pheonician cavalry and 2 bases of Numidian cavalry.

Carthaginian Casualty Markers:

Hail Caesar Epic Battles Carthaginian Casualty Markers
All good commanders know that casualties are the unfortunate price of victory, and this remains true in Hail Caesar Epic Battles. These casualty markers are an essential addition to any Carthaginian General’s collection – win or lose, you’re going to need them, as battle is a bloody business!

Hannibal Barca’s Carthaginian Army:

Hail Caesar Epic Battles - Hannibal Barca's Carthaginian Army
Want to put the upstart Romans in their place and remind them who really rules the Mediterranean? Of course you do – and this awesome boxed set will give you the tools you need to do it on the Hail Caesar Epic Battles tabletop! Packed with the many and varied units of the Carthaginian army and their allies, this army box lets you field a force that’s both epic in scale and full of fantastic variety, presenting amazing hobby opportunities. Oh, and did we mention the elephants?! No Carthaginian force would be complete without their legendary war elephants, and with four of these mighty mammals in the box, you’ll be ready to trample any Romans that dare stand before you!
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