Sicily - The rise of Syracuse   1 unit = 1000 HI, 500 LH,
  2 - the Battle of Himera - 480BC   660 LMI or Cv, 333 LI
 

At about the time that the Spartans and allied Greeks were facing off against Xerxes' Persian invasion army at Thermopylae, Carthage launched an invasion army against the island of Sicily. This was perhaps no coincidence, since Greek colonies on Sicily had rich resources in manpower, ships and grain that could otherwise be used to aid the Peloponesian Greeks, and Xerxes would be well served if mainland Greece was denied these resources. In any event, the invasion of Sicily would curb the progress of the Greek cities there. Himera had been governed by a Carthaginian tyrant, but he had been driven out by a Greek tyrant called Theron. The Carthaginian fleet sailed to the city of Panormus (current Palermo), which had a safe harbour. A 50km march overland would take the Carthaginian army to the gates of Himera. But the weather wreacked havoc and the first of three horse-transport fleets was destroyed. The leader of the Carthaginian army, Hamilcar, son of the King of Carthage, neverthless decided to push on without his cavalry. When his army arrived in front of Himera, he set up camp on the beach, opposite the City itself, while he marched the bulk of his army inland. Meanwhile, Himera had sent for help to Gelon of Syracuse. The fighting opened when Himera's troops were led out of the city to confront the Carthaginians, before Gelon had arrived with his reinforcements. The 5000 or so men were easily driven back into the city, but were protected by their cavalry covering their retreat. His own lack of cavalry had robbed Hamilcar of a complete victory and he sent for mounted reinforcements from the allied town of Selinous on the other side of the island. The message was unfortunately intercepted and Gelon, who had meanwhile arrived, decided to turn the situation to his advantage. He disguised part of his cavalry as horsemen from Selinous who rode for the Carthaginian camp on the beach. They were let in without suspicion and promptly sacked the place and opened the gates to a waiting infantry contingent from Himera. Hamilcar was killed on the beach where he was preparing a religious ceremony for the gods' blessings. Nearly all the beached Carthaginian ships were burnt where they lay. The Greek phalanx meanwhile marched up to the Carthaginian army and a stubborn fight ensued with neither side giving ground. As the smoke of the burning ships reached the battlefield however and news of their slain commander reached the Carthaginians, they started to panic. It was at that stage too that 2000 hoplites slammed into the flank or rear of the Carthaginian line, led across the mountain by Theron. The Carthaginian army collapsed and was destroyed in detail.

Game notes
The Syracusans may use a flank march involving 2000 infantry. This may arrive in the rear of the Carthaginians, having been guided across the mountain along obscure pathways. 2000 Carthaginian marines and 1800 Greek cavalry are deemed to have been involved in the debacle at the Carthaginian beach camp and are not available for the main battle itself. It is alleged that the early Carthaginian spearmen used a shorter spear than the Greek hoplites, who were the better equipped soldiers of the time.

Historical note
Himera was eventually destroyed and its population sold into slavery in 409BC by the vengeful Carthaginians. They also sacked and exterminated the town of Selinous in a later war, on grounds of that 'friendly' city having sent its cavalry to trick Hamilcar into opening the gates of his beach camp. The fact that Selinous was never aware of Carthage's request for assistance, was never clarified and Carthage continued all that time to live under the impression that Selinous had betrayed it.

 
     
 
CARTHAGINIAN ARMY Early Carthaginian - list 54
Command: +3 Army demoralisation value: 34
Hamilcar: killed in his beach camp
  Command 1         command strength 19,5
CinC Carthaginian gnl detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
3 3000 citizen sacred band HI spear Elite 2UD 5   4 4 short spear = -1 if winning melee; armour
9 9000 Poeni & African militia MI spear Mediocre 2UD 5   4 4 short spear = -1 if winning melee; no armour
9 3000 Numidian etc... javelinmen LI javelin Ordinary 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 javelin vs LI & LH
  Command 2         command strength 6
Sub Carthaginian gnl Included competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
3 3000 Lybian mercenaries* HI spear Ordinary 2UD 5   4 4 short spear = -1 if winning melee; armour
3 3000 Mercenary hoplites HI spear Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 armour
  Command 3         command strength 8,5
Sub Carthaginian gnl detached competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
6 4500 Spanish scutarii LMI javelinmen Ordinary 3UD 4 1UD 3 2  +1 impact; no armour; evade
4 1500 Spanish Caetratii LI javelin Ordinary 3UD 2 1UD 2 1  -1 fire; +1 javelin vs LI & LH; evade
 
     
 
SICILIAN ARMY Syracusan - list 50
Command: +3 Army demoralisation value: 37
  Command 1         command strength 21
CinC CinC: Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse detached Strategos  +3 CP Range: 8UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
3 3000 bodyguard spearmen HI spear Elite 2UD 5   4 5 armour
6 6000 Syracusan hoplites HI spear Mediocre 2UD 5   4 5 armour
6 2000 slingers LI sling Ordinary 3UD 2 2UD 2 1  -1 fire
3 2000 Campanian mercenary cav Medium cav Ordinary 4UD 4   3 3 no armour; evade
  Command 2         command strength 14
Sub Greek general Included competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
8 8000 Italian mercenary hoplites* HI spear Ordinary 2UD 5   4 5 armour
3 3000 Himeran hoplites HI spear Mediocre 2UD 5   4 5 armour
6 2000 archers LI bow Ordinary 3UD 2 2UD 2 1  -1 fire; evade
  Command 3         command strength 2
Sub Theron from Himera Included competent  +1 CP Range: 6UD      
units Troop description type Quality move strength Range M ft M mtd Abilities & notes
2 2000 Himeran hoplites HI spear Mediocre 2UD 5   4 5 armour
 
     
 
 
Download scenario here
 
 
     
 
 
Area around Himera. Broad valleys and gentle hills
 
Hamilcar surprised in his beach camp, apparently about to sacrifice some naked victims to the gods.