From BL Liddel Hart's Scipio Africanus, you get a picture of why Scipio chose New Carthage as the place to start operations against the Carthaginians in Spain.
Scipio was greatly out-manned in Spain, so he choose a symbolic and logically important place with the campaign - Cartagena, or "New Carthage."
The Carthaginians were confident it was well-defended, since there were four armies within a week's march from there, but Scipio managed to take the city in a few days, which shocked Carthage and put their people off balance - and most importantly, made Carthage's Spanish allies question their support.
From the book -
In summing up this first brilliant exploit in command, the first tribute is due to the strategic vision and judgment shown in the choice of Cartagena as his objective. Those who exalt the main armed forces of the enemy as the primary objective are apt to lose sight of the fact that the destruction of these is only a means to the end, which is the subjugation of the hostile will. In many cases this means is essential -- the only safe one, in fact; but in other cases the opportunity for a direct and secure blow at the enemy's base may offer itself, and of its possibility and value this master-stroke of Scipio's is an example, which deserves the reflection of modern students of war.
A reader of this site recommended, JW Deming, recommended B.H. Liddel Hart's "Scipio Africanus" to me - and I'm damn pleased I got it.
It's excellent. It combines a mix of strategic thought and analysis with diplomacy and looking deeply into motivations for actions. From chapter 3, after leading a surprise attack and taking the city of New Carthage -
Chapter III: The Storm of Cartagena
"Some young Romans came across a girl of surpassing bloom and beauty, and being aware that Scipio was fond of women brought her to him… saying that they wished to make a present of the damsel to him. He was overcome and astonished by her beauty, and he told them that had he been in a private position no present would have been more welcome, but as he was the general it would be the least welcome of any… So he expressed his gratitude to the young men, but called the girl's father, and handing her over to him, at once bade him give her in marriage to whomever of the citizens he preferred. The self-restraint and moderation Scipio showed on this occasion secured him the warm approbation of his troops."
Livy's account enlarges the picture, saying that she was previously betrothed to a young chief of the Celtiberians, named Allucius, who was desperately enamoured of her; that Scipio, hearing this, sent for Allucius and presented her to him; and that when his parents pressed thank-offerings upon him, he gave them to Allucius as a dowry from himself. This kindly and tactful act not only spread his praises through the Spanish tribes, but earned a more tangible reinforcement, for Allucius reappeared a few days later with fourteen hundred horsemen to join Scipio.
Last Wednesday a friend decided to buy an RV in Portland, Oregon. Knowing that a decent part of my recent life has been dedicated to ripping apart my RV and rearranging it, he offered to fly me up there to check it out with him and drive back down. Done deal.
Two days later we're greeted at the Portland airport by a beautiful 2000 Roadtrek 170. I used to think that my RV was the shortest fully functional RV, but I was wrong. This thing is only 17 feet (vs. my 20'8"), and still manages to pack in a bathroom, kitchen, and all that. The only thing stopping me from selling mine and buying one is the fact that it doesn't have a full-time bed. Other than that, this thing is ideal. So if you're RV shopping in this size range, check it out.
Here are a few snippets from the trip: