I'd compare Carthage's martial prowess in the first Punic war to Sparta. Also during this period we see archaeological evidence they used children in burnt offerings. They were very blood-thirsty and tough. After that, the aristocracy got rather plump and generals like the Barcas were "fond reminders, relics of an earlier age of greatness." The "fat bodies" got too insulated in their trade income and extravagancies and that spelled doom at the hands of Scipio Africanus. They didn't leave Hannibal a damn thing to "work with".