Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Hannibal's Carthaginian Veterans

Hannibal's veterans from his army in Italy.

This afternoon I completed another 16-figure unit of Carthaginian soldiers for my Hannibal Project. The figures represent the veterans of Hannibal's army in Italy (HaT set number 9212) and many of them would have re-equipped  their kit with captured Roman chain mail, shields, swords, javelins, etc. For this reason, the figures are depicted wearing Roman chain mail and carrying Roman style shields.

My Brief HaT Rant and a Potted Finance Lesson

The set 9212 is out of stock and HaT seems to wait several years before they put "out of stock" SKUs into a production run. HaT has a Proboards forum and they actually ask members to vote on which out of stock sets to put back into production. Wowzers! This strikes me as evidence that the company may be having cash flow problems if they can't afford to make production runs of items for which they already have the moulds. 

They don't seem to want to make that investment in more inventory to keep everything in stock. Inventory is an investment and a user of the company's cash. If they spend the cash to put a SKU back into stock then that cash investment sort of sits in the inventory until the boxes of figures are sold and converted back into cash.

Most companies restock the SKUs when they sell down to zero. I'm a retired banker and back in the days when I was underwriting loans to businesses, I'd keep close tabs on the borrower's "working capital" as a proxy of its liquidity. Working Capital is basically total current assets (receivables, inventory) minus total current liabilities (payables to vendors, employee payroll etc.). In the odd world of "cash flow accounting", buying inventory and increasing ones receivables is actually a bad thing, because when you buy inventory you are using up your cash. Likewise, when you sell an asset that is a good thing because you sell something and that brings cash back into your coffers. So increasing assets - Bad! Decreasing assets - Good!

Back To Talking About Miniatures

So here are some recent pictures of my 54mm toy soldier Carthaginian army:

Spanish Allies based in three ranks.

Carthaginian Veterans based in two ranks.

That nice temple was made by Herb Gundt.

Companison of three ranks formation (Spanish) to two ranks formation (Carthaginian veterans).

As you can see in the last picture above, I am still wresting with how large to make my army units and how many ranks to deploy them in. I like the look of the 16-figure Veterans in two ranks, but I could add a third rank of 8 figures to field a unit of 24-figures, while still having the same 8 figure frontage.

This is what six units of 16-figures would look like. They take up a frontage of approximately four feet.

I don't need to make any basing and unit size decisions right now, but it is something that I need to decide in the near term before I start ordering movement sabots from Litko.


  1. As the Carthaginian veterans are basically all wearing Roman kit, why not just use Roman figures for them if the line is OOP?

    1. The problem is that I’d need to use the Roman Triarii figures, which are the ones that I can’t find. The Hastati only wear a small breast plate and no chain mail.

  2. Jim, your brushwork on these figures is superb.

    Having spent a career in demand forecasting and inventory planning for manufacturing, I can say that "most" companies do not wait until the bin is empty before restocking. With varying lead times for components, waiting until the bin is empty before ordering a restock leads to stock-outs and back-orders. Perhaps this is acceptable for slow moving SKUs but not for faster moving items.

    1. It may well be that the Romans are a slow moving SKU, but this problem seems to cover a multitude of historical eras in the HaT 1/32 scale ranges. I understand using the cash to restock the big sellers, but do you begin to lose sales of faster moving SKUs when the needed support sets aren’t available? I don’t have an answer for that.

      I have a lot of slow moving SKUs in my Minden and FD figure ranges, but I keep them in stock because, for example, a unit of Prussian Dragoons needs to have a Dragoon drummer and standard bearer. Keeping those figures in stock enables me to sell lots and lots of Prussian Dragoons.