Elephants are the backbone of the Carthaginian army. They can terrify even the bravest souls on the battlefield and are unlike any other unit in Total War: ARENA. Heavy battle machines, elephants are nearly invulnerable to enemy attacks. They can crush infantry with ease using their Trample attribute. By smashing the ground, elephants can deal huge damage to the warriors in front of them, while their roar reduces the morale of all nearby enemies for an extended time.

On the other hand, elephants are rather slow and may become an easy target for armor-piercing weapons, including pikes, falxes, and light artillery.

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African Elephant (Tier VI)
Despite the now-extinct North African elephant being a relatively compact breed, it played a vital role in the battle between Carthage and Rome. Nothing destroys enemy morale like a charging elephant, panicking horses, scattering infantry and sending even the most hardened soldiers fleeing for their lives. Their presence was most useful when Hannibal was crossing through the Alps, as the elephants smashed through a Gallic ambush and potentially saved Hannibal's life.

Breeding elephants in captivity proved impractical, so war-elephants were captured and tamed - sometimes with difficulty. Only the males were used in battle, as females would run away when they saw a male. Given their size, there is some debate as to whether the North African elephants carried howdahs on their back to protect their riders, although images on contemporary coins from the region suggest they did.
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Armoured Elephant (Tier VII)
However intimidating and effective a war-elephant may be in combat, it is vulnerable to attack, especially on its flanks. Despite its tough skin, away from those swinging tusks and stomping feet a well-placed sword-thrust or javelin shot can still bring an elephant down. Taking heavy damage in this way could panic the elephant, and the Carthaginians prepared for this by giving every mahout a hammer and chisel-blade so they could kill their elephant instantly if it started rampaging.

The solution to stop this happening was to add armour in the form of shield-like metalled plates, hung from the rider's howdah to cover the animal's exposed flanks. Thus protected, even the relatively small North African elephants used by the Carthaginians became a force to be reckoned with.
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Caesai (Tier VIII)
Although the Carthaginian language is long dead, several sources concur that their word for elephant was Caesai. One of these sources is Julius Caesar himself, who claimed that an ancestor of his killed a Carthaginian war-elephant in the First Punic War, and from this his family acquired the cognomen 'Caesar'; he even featured an elephant above the word 'Caesar' on the first denarius he had minted.

Other sources claim Caesar’s title came from more mundane familial features such as hair or eye colour, or the manner of his birth, but it is no surprise that a great leader should want to associate himself with mastery over this most magnificent of beasts.
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Baal (Tier IX)
Baal Hammon was considered the King of the Gods in Carthage; a deity of weather, fire and vegetative fertility, he was depicted as a bearded man with either a tall headdress or curling ram's horns. Child sacrifices were thought to be carried out in Ba'al's name and he is associated with the Greek god Cronus and the Roman god Saturn. Many believe that Hannibal - Hannibaal - was named after him.

If a war-elephant was to earn the title 'Baal' - an honorific meaning 'lord' throughout the region - it would have to be an exceptional creature, and the Carthaginians may have breed their compact and sometimes flighty North African elephants with the larger and more easily tamed Syrian elephants to produce such superior war beasts. These heavier animals were also capable of carrying more armour, with protection on their head and legs as well as their flanks.
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Tanit (Tier X)
Tanit was the main deity of the Carthaginian Army, and consort of the god Baal Hammon. She was associated with the moon - and sometimes equated with the goddess Astarte - but also with fertility and war. She was sometimes represented with a lion’s head, to indicate her ferocious aspect, and it is likely blood sacrifices, including of children, were made to her.

Adorning a heavily armoured war-elephant with Tanit's holy symbol would have inspired the Carthaginian forces and weakened the resolve of the enemy.

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