Iberian Caetrati are light multi-role infantry quite often able to produce very unpleasant surprises to units not normally vulnerable to light troops. They should use their mobility to stay clear of enemy cavalry units.
Expert at Hiding in Woods
Can Hide in Long Grass
Caetrati are a deceptive type of infantry. Well able light troops, they can skirmish while softening their enemy before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. Although sometimes they use their mobility to keep them out of the reach of enemies, they are quite often able to produce very unpleasant surprises to units not normally vulnerable to light troops. Four things contribute to this capability: their agility on the battlefield, their all-metal heavy javelins ("soliferum"), the traditional Iberian ferociousness and their superb swordsmanship. They are not, however, due to their light equipment and occasional warrior status, designed to face experienced heavy troops and should be spared to those types of combat. Their lack of anti-cavalry weapons and armour also makes them very vulnerable to such enemies.
Historically, the Caetratii were one of the most numerous type of troops in Iberian armies. They were multi-purpose light infantry made up of non-professional soldiers that filled several roles generally reserved to various types of troops. Although most Iberians were not professional soldiers, they were very used to constant tribal warfare and, as such, became skilled and resolute. Caetratii were known for their unique style of swordsmanship that employs two specific types of equipment: a curved heavy-tipped sword known as "falcata" and the small, agile buckler the Romans called "caetra". Hannibal lavished upon his Caetratii, and many of them wore white linen tunics with a crimson border.
Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battlefield tasks and personal preference - most swords ("falcatas" and "gladius hispanniensis") were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strength of it's owner. Even though Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used. The Iberians' ability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to surprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans "concursare", and sometimes described as "simple absence of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organization and signaling that was probably performed through the use of rounded ceramic horns. Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberians' great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constituted a unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.