Today I have the pleasure of telling you about the Punic missions, and give you a deeper look into the mission system.
For Carthage, we have split the missions into two categories, conquest and infrastructure, for the sake of simplicity. In the conquest based missions we have focused on the Punic spheres of influence like Sicily, Africa, Iberia, Rome, and even Phoenicia. Whereas for the infrastructure ones, we have looked at some of their strengths, i.e their navies and their commerce.
It should be noted that most of these missions would become active for any Punic country of some size, not just Carthage themselves.
Aegis of Africa (Conquest)
Africa is the heart of the Carthaginian might, with its rich fertile farms and many Punic settlements. At the start your have a lot of small feudatories as well as the two large tribal vassals in Musulamia and Massylia. Historically the latter would go on to defect to Rome during the Second Punic War, and form a large kingdom threatening their weakened Punic neighbor.
For the mission tasks in this mission, you will mainly focus on integrating your many feudatories, and put an end to the tribal vassals at your borders. As for your larger Feudatories in Emporia and Tripolitania, their integration is set aside as optional mission tasks, giving the player the choice if you want to keep them as feudatories or not. As for the final task, you will be given the choice of two permanent bonuses.
An End to Sicillian Warfare (Conquest)
Sicily was a thorn in the side of Carthage, as the Greco-Punic wars for the island had already been an on-going thing for close to 200 years at this point. Just before the start date of Imperator Agathokles, the Greek Tyrant of Syracuse, had brought the war all the way to Africa and ravaged the Punic heartland.
The mission tasks for this mission is focused around completely conquering the island, and building up the ancient Phoenician cities on the island. In addition, early on you have a choice if you want to liberate or… “liberate” Akragas.
In the second half of the mission we have set aside some optional mission tasks to build some heavy ships, and for the player to be able to improve the wine and grain trade goods across the island. When finishing up the mission, you will be able to focus your efforts on integrating the area or to make a Feudatory that will be put in charge of the island.
The Iberian Struggle (Conquest)
The Phoenicians settled in southern Iberia several centuries before our start date, and by the time of the 3rd century BCE these areas had mostly fallen under Carthaginian influence. The Carthaginians would go on to take control of the rich silver mines of south-eastern Iberia, and the Roman occupation of the area played a decisive role in turning the tide of the Second Punic War.
For the mission tasks in the mission, you will focus on taking control of the silver mines in south-east Iberia, as well as setting up defenses in the nearby area. You will be able to move down two separate routes to either the mission task ‘Hispanic Overlord’ or ‘Rise of Carthago Nova’. The former will quell the unrest in the area, and the latter will make a new Colony subject named Carthago Nova who will gain control of your holdings in Iberia.
Aftermath of the Revolution (Infrastructure):
During the war with Agathokles Bomilcar was a leading commander, and some say a Suffete of Carthage, and one of the strongmen in charge of the state. It is said he was willing to let the Greeks run wild, in the hopes that he could overthrow the Carthaginian government and become a tyrant in his own right. Though his coup failed, the Carthaginian state was still shook for a long time by this unbecoming little revolt.
At the start of the game you will be able to pick up the pieces of the failed coup, and try to make your own mark on the Carthaginian government. You could either try to ally up with the Council of the 104 and turn the state more oligarchic, find like-minded among those who once took part in the revolution and turn more plutocratic, or strengthen the current system. The old “Mercenary Patron” decision has also been implemented as part of this mission, and removed as a decision.
Trade Investments (Infrastructure):
The Phoenicians were known as avid traders through most of the Antiquity, bringing goods from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, making quite a fortune while doing so. With the rise of Carthage in the west, they became the new overlords of the western trade routes, growing wealthy on the mines of Iberia and Sardinia.
The Trade Investments mission is fairly split up, with a lot of optional tasks you can choose to do. You can choose to build up your riches in Sardinia, set up another journey to explore the borders of Africa, or settle the Libyan desert. The main mission tasks include improving trade relations with Egypt or the Seleucids, and to improve the city of Carthage.
Naval Supremacy (Infrastructure):
The Phoenicians, and later on their Punic descendants, grew a certain reputation for dominating naval warfare. Unfounded or not, it is clear they had a lot of expertise at sea after setting up trade routes all across the Mediterranean.
The mission will focus on improving your navies, dominating the ports in Africa and expand the Cothon in Carthage (the old decision have been removed). An optional task will let you try to buy a port in Gaul, if you want to start looking that way. One of the benefits of the mission is that you can set a focus for all your ports in Africa, giving them a permanent military, commerce or assimilation bonus. There’s also an optional task to set up relations with your Phoenician ancestors to gain access to the great cedars of Phoenicia, to improve your ships.
Entering Magna Graecia (Conquest):
Magna Graecia was a patchwork of alliances, wars, and treaties between the Greek settlers, the locals, and the Italics coming down from the north. Though we never saw the Punics ever enter Magna Graecia with the exception of Hannibal’s campaigns, it made sense to give them a mission in the area if they were to take control of Sicily.
For the Magna Graecia mission you have an optional path all the way to the left, where you can choose to take a more… hands-on approach. Whereas for the rest of the missions, you can mostly do with increasing relations with the major port-owners in the area, and take specific cities. For the final missions, you can choose if you want to focus on approaching the Greeks, the Italics or simply focus on your own territories in the area.
End the Roman Wolf (Conquest):
Though Carthage and Rome were on friendly terms before the First Punic War, they ended up as the two major players in the western Mediterranean. As neither was willing to back down, they eventually up confronting one another, and after three brutal long wars, Rome was the only power left standing.
After you start the mission to beat Rome, you will have a main path to follow as well as one optional path. The optional path on the left will be based around beating the Roman navy, and potentially giving you access to the Rome-exclusive Corvus invention.
For the main path, you will be able to decide if you want to try and enter Italy from the north through Cisalpine Gaul or through Magna Graecia in the south.
In either case, you will be able to release cities in the area you focus on to fight Rome as well. And after you have finally subjugated or conquered Rome, you will be able to do with it as you see fit.
Liberating Phoenicia (Conquest):
The Phoenicians played an important role in bringing trade, inventions and ideas all across the Mediterranean, as well as settling colonies all across the southern and western parts of it. But in-spite of this, they were rarely independent, and often had to pay tribute to one overlord or another. If Carthage were to grow into a strong empire of their own, they might be able to return to their ancient homeland and liberate it from foreign forces.
For the mission, there is an optional path for taking and improving Cyprus to become a copper trade hub. Whereas the main path will focus on retaking core Phoenician lands, and the great cedar trees situated across Phoenicia. At the end of it, you will be able to release Phoenicia as a feudatory, or to take control of the area as a hegemon of the Phoenician cities.
Iberian Investments (Infrastructure):
After the Carthaginian conquest and subjugation of the Iberian tribes, a strong faction grew up around the city that would later be known as Carthago Nova. Particularly Hamilcar Barca and his sons took control of Iberia and made it their power-base, one that would later go on to attack Rome itself.
If you have finished up the Iberian Struggle mission, you will potentially be given the option of building up the infrastructure of Iberia to secure the wealthy lands. The mission is based around the Barcid family’s rise to fame, and you will see Hamilcar and his sons play an important role in it.
I hope you enjoyed this little preview into the Carthaginian missions! Next week we’ll take a look at the savages in Rome, and what kind of missions they’ll be getting.