(Poeni-Iberian war boat)
|Unit type||War boat|
|Base cost||60 Food, 60 Timber|
|Ramping cost||2 Wealth|
|Line of sight||Poor|
|Population cost||1 Population|
This lightly built yet agile vessel is the staple warship as inherited by the Iberian tribes, and is basically a vintage Bronze Age design, being a curved monoreme with a prominent prow — possibly to protect the crew as the ship moves forward. The Currtaho doesn't have the same rate of fire or toughness as the Lembos (which the Celtiberians can obtain, thanks to their more sophisticated diplomatic links to the Greeks), but can be recruited in vast numbers due to cheap cost. While slightly slower than the Lembos, it still has better turn speed and the lack of minimum range of the Currtaho allows harassment of larger warships, sufficient numbers willing. A fleet of Currtahos and Fire Rafts against the larger Mediterranean heavily galleys of the Greeks and their rivals can be devastating.
The best way forward with these ships is to use them to go on raids against your opponents' less well-defended settlements and assets. If you see your opponent setting up a Dock, send four Currtahos against it. If your opponents have undefended trade vessels, use the Currtaho to sink them and take their Wealth from them. If you see fleets of Lemboi or Liburnae, overwhelm them with your greater numbers. You should avoid medium warships like the Trieres, but generally you should be able to use Fire Rafts to knock them out, preferably from the flanks where they may cause the most damage.
It is unknown when exactly the Spanish peoples first began building ships (if ever at all beyond the Phoenician colonisation of Spain in the 9th century BCE, but there is ample evidence that appears to imply that the early Celtiberian tribes had some contact with Aegean civilisations as early as the Late Bronze Age.Classical authors had noted the existence of a complex and sophisticated culture developed by local Spaniards around the city of Tartessos (or Tarshish as named in the Hebrew Bible although this is disputed), which was said to have traded extensively in metals and is quoted in the Bible as having a seafaring tradition.
Much later, the Iberian Peninsula was visited by the Phoenicians, the greatest sailors of their time. The Phoenicians had considerable territories in the south of Spain and their westernmost colony was in the South of Portugal (present-day Lisboa), where they might have had considerable cultural influence upon the locals, especially in the south and the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula (much later, they had to compete with the Greeks who had settled Saguntum and Emporion to the north). Even so, by the time the Greeks and Carthaginians (the successors of the Phoenicians in the Western Mediterranean) began to make their mark, it's thought that the Celtiberian tribes were more advanced and sophisticated than previously thought. While links have been suggested between the Celtiberian tribes and the mysterious Nuragic culture of the Tyrrhenian Sea region, petroglyphs depicting Eastern Mediterranean sailing ships have recently been discovered in Galicia and the Balearics, and Minoan artefacts recovered from the south-eastern coast of Spain suggest some prehistoric contact with the world beyond the Mediterranean and Pyrenees.
The introduction and design of the Currtaho is thus based on this albeit fragmented and anecdotal evidence, and is modelled after the less elaborate and more atavistic designs of pre-Axial Age nautical technology in the Mediterranean — the Currtaho here is depicted as a simple monoreme hulk, with a sail and an elongated prow reminiscent of Minoan ships of the Bronze Age, minus a fighting deck or a foc'sle that would have been present in early Phoenician vessels of the early Classical Age. If such ships were indeed existent in pre-Roman Spain, it would have been imposing in battle, but would have been very inadequate against the new multidecked vessels of the Carthaginians and Greeks, whether in speed or tactical strength.
- Donald Alexander Mackenzie, Ancient Man in Britain