There has been a bit of a break in painting but now that the weather is turning foul again, I’d expect to get some painting done – I still have large number of pikes to paint, and a whole army of India…
There were clearly a need for additional Carthaginian allies in Italy to make sure that right there is constant pressure over Romans. I do like immensely the multitude of possibilities that Impetus has in store for Carthage and no, I am not one who optimizes everything because that would take the fun out of it. So, for purposes of Carthaginian geopolitical designs, enter Samnites – ages old and powerful tribe that were famous for putting up a good fight against Roman legions long before Carthaginians arrived to the scene. They are after all, formidable allies that can fight toe to toe against Roman legions.
Samnites were once allied with Romans against the Gallic onslaught that occurred in 354BC but merely in ten years time became bitter enemies of Rome. Three wars were conducted against the Samnites, spanning over 50 years. Samnites did win spectacular victories over the Romans, such as Battle of the Caudine Forks but in no avail. Their fate was, like many other Italian tribes to be subjugated to Roman rule. Once again, Roman long term resiliency won the day.
Subjugation was not, however the end of the resistance. Samnites took up arms against Rome first alongside Pyrrhus, then with Hannibal and finally in Social War. During civil wars Samnites sided with Carbo against Sulla, which was a really bad move in prospect of a long term survival as a ethnic group. Defeat in in 82BC in hands of Sulla was to be the last straw. Soon after he conducted cleansing that removed Samnites to the pages of history and their whereabouts were never again heard of.
Samnites stand as light foot (FL) and have rather good VBU of 5, but no missile capacity. They should be very good for protecting flanks of the Carthaginian army, normally a weak point when spear armed hoplite type forces are fielded. As seen multitude of times, missile armed Spanish FL with VBU 4 are rather powerful, but they do suffer from certain weakness especially in open field and against much, much heavier legions (of course, nobody says that one should hit the legions straight on with them…). Samnites should combine staying power and flexibility – after all, they are about as good as regular hoplites in shallow formation.
No game set for these yet, but hopefully we’ll see in relatively near future how well they behave in Impetus.