One, their enemy is Rome. Rome starts with Legionaries with the ability to produce more, and said units are from the getgo the best any civ has. As in, 3 defense (highest defense in the campaign), with 4 attack (highest attack in the campaign short of heavy cavalry). And that unit is upgradable, getting stronger with time. (I think it caps out at 8/5? Would have to check to be sure.) Plus has an extra unit of health per unit: regulars 4, veterans 5, elite 6. Oh, and they also have access to a cheap-as-spearmen garrison unit with 3 defense.
Two, the unique unit of the Carthaginians? They don't begin with it. It has to be researched and horses need to be acquired. (Admittedly the latter is an easy task as they have horses within their starting boundaries, just not with roads pre-built to them.)
Three, the Carthaginians begin with absolutely zero in the way of offensive units. They technically have a couple of archers in the back corners of the map, but they have basically nothing. Their strongest offensive unit they have a few of at the beginning? A defensive unit, 2/3, which until you build a road to ivory (which takes time not to mention a new settlement), you can't replace. What you start with is what you get.
Four, their army (every civ starts with one) as a consequence of this? The best they can immediately dump into it for use is a regular swordsman. (3/2.) In short, the Carthaginians have basically no way to counter the rise of Rome except through save scumming: they're at a disadvantage on the offense, and at a HUGE disadvantage on the defense.
Their main saving grace? They start with enough galleys to transport units effectively, and can win ship-to-ship combat with I believe slightly higher than random odds in their favor, allowing them to sink transports containing would-be invaders that I'd otherwise be defenseless to avoid.
So they're who I consider the hardest to win as. Persia? Victory by default. Just stave off Greece's army, then use your own to decimate Greece, and because the Persia-Greece dynamic is determined by who attacks first (their 3-3 Hoplite vs. Persia's 4-2 Immortals), just be aggressive and bam, easy win.
Rome? A bit harder, since you're in a race against the clock to expand your boarders such that they're greater than Persia's, but once you eliminate Carthage, it's ridiculously easy: settlers with 2 movement costing only 1 population to build plus the aforementioned garrisons and legionaries? Ohh. Yeah.
Greece? Just a flip from Persia, and one reason I didn't bother trying them out. Go on the offensive with your army, kill their army, conquer their cities one by one and be aggressive with Hoplites which're the cheapest of the unique units to build. (Immortals and Legionaries both replace swordsmen, and thus take 30 to build--60 for Legionary 2, 90 for Legionary 3. War elephants I'm not so sure about but they aint cheap to produce. Hoplites? I believe replace spearmen, 20 shields, and thus are cheaper than anything else and also require the least resources to build.)
It wouldn't be that hard to pull off, I feel.
But the Carthaginians? Now there's a challenge! The only thing I debated was what difficulty to try on. Chieftain (easiest) is the setting I prefer, since I find higher difficulties to more or less just be annoying. They increase the workload. But I decided to ultimately go for Warlord (second-easiest), since I wanted some challenge but not Deity-challenge. (Speaking of which I should try Deity as the Persians. I keep saying that's victory by default; playing on Deity would be the ultimate test of that theory.)
And so my crusade began. I've gotten fairly far already. I took Syracuse quickly, and have devised a system where it takes two turns for troops to land on the Roman mainland; I've conquered the bottom two cities and am working my way up, sieging a third. I'm also beginning to advance troops from New Carthage up the Iberian Peninsula to approach from below.
I also recently have begun production of war elephants. Don't have any yet, but they're coming. Once Rome is gone, I'm going to focus on expanding with my war elephants exploring and creating settlers after settlers. There's a lot of land on Africa unsettled. Admittedly about half is desert, but there's plenty to settle. There's also the possibility of storming Egypt. That'll require my outpost there to be well-stocked though, which I'm working on bit by bit.
Push come to shove, if I do the above with Egypt, I can always launch an attack on my choice of Greece or Persia. (This time it might be the Greeks I attack if they complete a wonder first. I did some spying and they're going to beat me to building it if I don't do something. I'm trying to buff up my shield production on the city I'm making it in, but if that doesn't work, then I'm gonna have to attack them to stop it, or capture Sparta in the heart of their empire to control the wonder.)
Butyeah. I'm playing. Again. Whoops.
In other news, verdict on sweet onion for subs: is good. It still takes a bite or two to adjust to the flavor, but once I do, I'm liking it more and more.
Also, I went to Bellevue today. Well, my mom drove me, but same thing. It was for my routine biannual check-in with my psychiatrist to get my medications refilled. A bit annoying, but I got a Starbucks coffee from the ordeal all the same.
Similarly, on Monday I don't think I mentioned I went to Lynnwood, for the blood draw necessary to do prior to the check-up. It requires an 8-12 hour fast, which sucks. But from that, I got a McDonald's meal for my trouble. Both causing my mom some duress as she struggled to locate anything.
But funnily enough, the Starbucks we first went to today was full parking-wise...so we went across the street...into another Starbucks. (Well, within a QFC anyway. Where I got two donuts too.) I probably have had more happen today, but I really should be preparing myself for class, sooooo...this'll have to do for now. Then dance after that.