THE OFFICIAL CIVILIZATION BATTLE ROYALE X POWER RANKINGS: EPISODE 26

Published: 2019-12-16

Part of the campaign:

THE OFFICIAL CIVILIZATION BATTLE ROYALE X POWER RANKINGS: EPISODE 2

Cloudberg: This episode, Anetü suffers one of the biggest tumbles in recent memory, falling nine spots to take last place for the first time ever. It's certainly well deserved: somehow, the Nazca and Venezuela utterly destroyed Kuikuro's green wall, taking their capital and third city in a decisive blow that has left the power rankers mostly in agreement that Anetü will be eliminated next part. With their last city already taking damage, it would take a miracle for them to survive. The discussion has therefore focused on what this means for the future of South America: perhaps this is good news for Uruguay? Would the Nazca be easier to steamroll than the Kuikuro were? Or does it make no difference—after all, many believe that if Uruguay had kept fighting just a little longer, they would have broken through. Regardless, the Kuikuro are likely to leave the game having fundamentally changed its course, despite doing very little at all.
Cloudberg: Wait a second, you're telling me that the Seljuqs are no longer last? ALP ARSLAN HAS A CHANCE!! CALLING IT NOW!!
Cloudberg: Ah, Montezuma, welcome to the city-state club. You're in good company! And hey, at least you made peace with Venezuela, unlike the Kuikuro, who are going to die real soon. And at least you'll probably never be worse than the Seljuqs. And really, that's about where the good news ends for the Aztecs. Some would even argue they're worse off than any other city state simply by virtue of being on the coast, where more different civs could kill them. But anyway, I think this proves once and for all that I was right when I said the Aztecs were screwed all the way back in part 0, and that their high ranking was built on a foundation made out of pure unrefined hype. It was never going to stand the test of time.
Msurdej: The Horde go up a rank, but make no mistake, things got worse for Tokhtamysh this part. Merv became even more citadeled this part, losing parts of its eastern border to Parthia. But nobody among their neighbors seems to want to finish them off. Sure the Nenets are trying, but they're the Nenets! You can't rely on the Nenets! No, the Horde is a safe rump state for now, but it won't take much to knock them over.
Techno: Muscovy climbs three ranks purely by virtue of other civs faring far worse than them. After all, they have no active wars against them, Prussia's licking their wounds from the Viking air campaign, and both the Goths and the Sami have proven to be mediocre at best when it comes to taking cities. That being said, little could save this 44-pop anomaly from certain death should anyone actually care enough to take them out.
Gragg: Some rankers have fantastic creative writing skills that allow them to write two paragraphs on a civ like the HRE. I’m not one of those rankers. I’m gunna save both of our time to remind you that HRE isn’t dead yet. Their biggest threat, Prussia, is at war. Venice and Palmyra could still do the job if they declared. Palmyra even has some bombers nearby. Even an ‘irrelevant’ war with Uruguay would be very damaging.
Gragg: For every episode a runt civ doesn’t die they go up a rank. It’s a little pat on the back for civs that manage to get out of bed in the morning and good it a try. The Ottoman’s TWO whole cities places them above 6 other civs. The fact that they’re separated gives them a little extra survivability too. Prussia dying helps their short term chances as well. Eventually they’ll draw the wrong neighbors attention though.
Shaggy: Oof. I’m not sure what else needs to be said about the Qing. Big oof for Cixi, big oof for Qing. They’ve been iced out of China, and it doesn’t look like their arctic outposts are going to warm them up much.
Shaggy: Is the meme that the Nenets never do anything dead yet? They declared war on Nepal (useless) and got declared on by Metis (also useless). Not sure what they possibly could have done to draw the ire of a civ of that size (snow envy?), but rest assured that Metis will not be the one to kill Nenets. Cut to 10 parts from now when Riel takes the last Nenets city and I eat those words…
Gragg: Near the top of the runt list lies Korea. They’re fully carpeted and have a number of defensible cities. Two of their neighbors have comparable tech, which is good for Korea’s survival. Khamugs don’t have enough of a navy to wipe out Korea in one go. That leaves Haida and Shikoku as the immediate threats. Shikoku is otherwise occupied and Haida has only a one tile gap to pass through. We could see Korea sticking around for a good long while. What's more, they even have an expansion opportunity in Qing. I love the grudge match that East Asia has become.
Shaggy: YAR HAR FIDDLE DEE DEE! Being a pirate takes some balls, and damn do Canton have them. The notoriously plucky rump has had enough of the New World mask men taking what is rightfully Cantonese waters. It’s like when the awkward middle school kid on the playground has beef with a high schooler from another district and musters up the courage to walk up to them and kick them in the balls in front of the girl they’re trying to ask to the prom. Sure, they’re definitely going to get their ass beat once Haida turns around, but they’ve got to make moves sometime. Still, those battleships are going to absolutely destroy Canton’s navy…
Aaron: Horray! Maratha have agreed to peace and they only took 1 city! This means Nepal can concentrate its efforts on an enemy closer to its size: the isolated city state of Patan, that they foolishishly gave away to Kazakhstan all those years ago. Even though Kazakhstan proper is unable to reinforce it, this is probably an impossible task as the city has 88 defence surrounded by mountains with an airforce. But at least by going on the offensive, they might avoid losing a second city, and uncomfortably plausible scenario... In other news, Taungoo has resumed citadelling to the point where Nepal has now been split into two disconnected parts. Normally being split into two pieces is terrible for a civ and completely puts them out of contention. But for rumps it is a good thing as it means it is harder to capture all their cities because you need open border to reach them all. Is Nepal a rump yet? Maybe. Though it is a lot stronger than your typical rump state, it is certainly not looking very healthy. Perhaps we can compromise and say that Nepal consists of 2 seperate rump states, North Nepal and South Nepal?
Lonely: Ah, so this is what being obliterated feels like. Crushing despair and hopelessness. Cool. Turns out great defensive abilities that rely on pillaging aren’t that effective when your enemy doesn’t actually need to be in your lands to chop your cities’ health down, and so Beta Israel finds itself little more than a buoy swept up in the massive tsunami that is Zimbabwe. And things were going so well, too. Once the darlings of Africa, now a nine-tile shell of their former selves with their geographical advantage erased, their backs to the Red Sea’s wall, and an enemy that can attack from the goddamn clouds, it’s looking grim for Gudit, who, in that oh-so-common twist of CBR fate, finds herself a historical conqueror getting conquered pretty decisively in the virtual world. Her only hope now, really, is a quick peace deal: her army’s in tatters, and her navy can only really do so much against an enemy with rocketeers and paratroopers. The tip of Africa’s Horn may be a terrible, terrible spot to lead a civ from, but at least it’s something, and right now Beta Israel will take all the somethings they can get if it means they get to live a quiet retirement ringing the Bab el Mandeb. Well, at least until somebody finishes the job, but hey, no shame in living out your days as a quiet scrub if it means not dying before Episode 30.
Gragg: Ok so here’s how Haiti can still win thi
Aaron: So... where are those Steam Packets? I was promised Steam Packets. The Manx researched them on the last turn of last part, yet here we are one whole part later and I don't see a single one. For those of you who don't know, the Steam Packet is the Manx's unique Ironclad replacement. It's special abilities are that it doesn't require coal, it can carry two aircraft and it can sell goods to neighbours. In particular, I'm noticing that "doesn't require coal" ability which means not having the ressources is not an excuse. Yet for some reason, the Manx fleet STILL consists almost entirely of galleases the MEDIEVAL boat. How have the Manx even managed to be this far behind in tech? Not only do they have poor science, they have chosen a terrible tech path (avoiding all boats as an island civ) and to top it all off, the Manx's spies are inexplicably failing to steal anything. The only tech the Manx managed to steal in this entire game is steel, well after everyone else on the cylinder had it. In fact, based on this stealing of steel, I think I can conclude that the Manx have to be spying on the Nenets: they are the only civ terrible enough that even the Manx have eclipsed them in tech - except, crucially, for steel, which they researched about 10 turns before the Manx stole it. If that is true this is just one of many many trully and utterly awful decisions the Manx science advisor has made. If you were trying to get the worst science possible I'm not even sure you could manage to do as badly as the Manx are doing.
Techno: Nubia makes peace with Beta Israel, but the timing couldn't have been worse. Now, Beta Israel is under threat from the might of Zimbabwe, and Nubia won't even have a chance of getting a bite out of it. To be fair, the Ethiopian highlands make any incursion difficult, but Nubia should have at least stuck with the war to try and make some gains. After all, none of their others are likely to show a sign of weakness anytime soon, as Nubia's stuck in the unfortunate position of being the weakest out of their immediate neighbors.
Gragg: Yup’ik continues to be their cheeky selves. If they keep this up for a few parts they may even challenge Murri for the top spot in the cheekiness rankings. Other inclusions would the Haiti, Czechs, and Canton. Not necessarily good company if you intend on winning. But hey, if millions of your fellow countrymen are gunna die ya might as well have some fun with it.
Techno: Tonga moves up slightly in the lower ranks, but it's still a long way from what could be considered relevant. After all, while other Oceanian powers vie for dominance, Tonga is clearly far behind and must be content with just observing the bloodshed around them. And unless New Zealand loses a significant chunk of land or leaves some islands exposed, there's not much Tonga will be able to do besides sit back and watch.
Msurdej: Xo'on still has a bevy of declarations against him, but most of them won't amount to anything. The Taungoo and/or Shikoku probably aren't going to send a floatilla to attack the Selk'nam's shores , despite the weakness of the Selk'nam army. At this point, as it has been for a while, only Uruguay can pose a threat to the eldritch forces.
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Lunar: Indira is not in an enviable situation no matter how you slice it. The are stuck in the western mountainous region of India with no hopes to expand eastward with all the people they could take over are higher teched and carpeted. There's absolutely no out for India at this rate, which is equally sad as it is true. The only out I could see is a meatgrinder war to east resulting in slight gains like the Yupik, which I mean worked for the Yup'ik.
Aaron: As the Zimbabwean take-over of Beta Israel continues, it is more and more certain that Madagascar has well and trully missed the boat and failed to suitably establish themselves on the continent. With Zimbabwe, Palmyra, Maratha, Taungoo and Australia all being large regional powers lining the edge of the Indian Ocean, where can Madagascar possibly make gains? The answer is India: India is the last place that Madagascar can hope to one day conquer. But even if they manage to conquer India's coast, will it even be enough? Alternatively their peacekeeping forces can hope to spread out across the world and snipe some cities but that is an extremely unreliable tactic, especially if your peacekeepers are outdated.
Cloudberg: Parthia continues to hover in the doldrums known as the low 20s, where civs that aren't rumps but have little to no hope of breaking out go to congregate. The Goths are stronger than them; the Kazakhs are stronger than them (and also have nukes); Palmyra is stronger than them; and the Golden Horde has like 3 whole tiles up for grabs. they could probably take a few cities off India but it would descend into a stalemate fairly quickly. So Parthia's expansion opportunities basically amount to killing the Golden Horde and taking like 2 Indian cities, and after that I expect they're screwed. At least they're more memorable than the Timurids, right?
Lonely: Really, Frederick should have seen this coming. The Goths had finally peaced out of their war with the Golden Horde, and over to the west, the occupied Prussians made a tempting target. But even if he should have foreseen this, Frederick’s played this whole situation perfectly, and aided by Gothic incompetence is now riding back from Konigsberg ready to turn what looked like another loss on paper into a meatgrinder stalemate. Shame that what keeps his civ alive isn’t strictly entertaining, but eh, what can you do. Vladimir looks set to fall anyways, with the Goths finally remembering where they’d put that blasted Fenrir tome and besieging the city with one (1) melee unit, but there’s a chance to keep Bromberg alive, maybe, and against a foe with planes that’s a more than passable effort. Well done, Frederick, you’ve bought yourself time. Now comes the matter of actually getting out of this in one piece, which, alright, maybe you don’t have much of a chance in that regard with a depopulated army and the production disadvantage, but at least there’s a way to survive, now, and all you have to do is just keep improvising until you can either make peace and return to your old, fragile lifestyle or die horribly.
Gragg: Nazca has accomplished the impossible, but at what cost? They have opened the door for the greatest terror on the cylinder and exhausted their carpet to do it. They now share a very long border with the largest military we have ever seen. Unless a timely peace deal come along it looks like Nazca will eliminate Kuikuro next episode. Along with eliminations come warmonger penalties. I don’t think I need to spell this out but (Warmonger Penalties+Weak Military+Border With Uruguay=BAD). I predict record levels of -Nazca coming soon
Gragg: The rebuilding process for the Evenks has been slower than I had hoped. The army is certainly more advanced than reindeer archers now but is still too outdated to make any forward progress. They haven’t managed to turn their surprisingly good production into much of a carpet either. At first glance at the above image I thought Khamugs and Evenks had open-borders, which would’ve been my silver lining. Unfortunately that’s some of the most brutal citadeling and border gore I’ve ever seen. The Evenks are essentially split East to West. There is only a one tile gap all the way to the North. Yikes.
Lonely: Slow part for the Beninese this week. Normally that’d be a cause for concern, but given that this is Africa, land of the dead, stagnating, or Zimbabweans, it’s just about acceptable. Still, there are definite troubles in Ewuare’s newly-minted Zimbabwe-stopping paradise, most of which have to do with a seeming complete impassivity towards the Madagascaran troops slowly assimilating his core. I suppose in the age of planes and Haida’s privateer stacking land area for military units isn’t quite as mush of a necessity as it used to be, but with Benin still pulling sub-60 tech numbers, Benin’s going to need those tiles if they want to make serious overtures against either of their two superpower neighbors (or Nubia). If there’s one plus for Benin here, it’s that they’ll be able to get pretty good just by consolidating their power, with an already-impressive production figure and other civs seemingly paying them no heed. It almost looks like Benin could be a dark horse in the region… then you remember that they’re surrounded by three bona fide superpowers (and Nubia), all of whom could at any time elect on some West African cuisine. Then the situation looks a little less favorable for Ewuare.
Msurdej: Geronimo stays in his place as he continues to hold off Hiawatha. But the cracks are beginning to worsen in his defense, with the core of his nation only having a handful of troops in it. But Hiawatha has something that Geroniom cant anticaipate: Paratroopers. Now Hiawatha can get forces to the front lines from his production bases in record time, and even threathen Geronimo's undefended positions. The longer this war goes on, the worse the Apache's chances look.
Shaggy: It’s a coalition, Auntie Em! The age of flight has left Haida more vulnerable to the Metis forces than in previous wars, with 3 of their cities being dropped down to the red and one bombarded to half health entirely by the Metis air force. Dadens is looking the most vulnerable with a Metis infantry close to knocking on its snowy doors. The other cities being damaged don’t have enemy units nearby, so they should be able to rebuild their defenses. On the Pacific front, Haida more or less needs to fart to keep Canton away from their island colonies, definitely won’t be a problem. Also they’ve joined in with a large portion of the world in joining forces against the eldritch horrors of the south. Despite the distance, they might be able to actually have an impact in that war if they ever wanted to send a contingent of ships south, but who knows what monsters they might find in the abyss. Maybe it would be better to leave that for another civ.
Shaggy: Enrico didn't do much this week. but still goes up a rank as other civs continue to sputter. But despite the words of Chairman Dandolo, all is not great in Venice. Sure, more and more of the former HRE and Czech cities are being unpuppeted, but the Moors and the Vikings continue to stand above them, and their military is falling behind (Heck, Tonga has a stronger army than them.) But there is oppurtunity; Prussia is weakened from the recent Viking conflict, Nubia is woefully behind in tech, and the Turks are still the Turks. There are still options for The Most Serene People's Republic of Venezia, but if Dandolo doesn't act fast, her will be at the mercy of the Moors.
Aaron: More losses for New Zealand as Australia blitzes 4 cities in only 7 turns, cementing itself as the best Oceanic civ (again). New Zealand's foothold on the continent now consists of just the Murri capital of Cavanbah, only defended by Uruguay peacekeepers. New Zealand are still decent, but hopes of a Kiwi Oceania are slipping away. There are no more oceanic civs that New Zealand can beat. But wait, Tonga is still around aren't they? Well, that would be nice except for the fact that Tonga has a larger and more technologically advanced navy than New Zealand (ie: it has a lot of destroyers in it). This is a problem, but Tonga is pretty far below New Zealand in both science and production, so it's the type of problem to go away if you wait long enough. New Zealand's navy, on the other hand, is still composed of mostly privateers. They are assaulting Selk'nam which should be a good choice of target except that New Zealand aren't sending in the bulk of their fleet, prefering to keep it at home (perhaps to ward off the scary Tongan navy?). Little progress is being made which is bad - best case New Zealand loses a bunch of ships, worse case New Zealand loses a city.
Shaggy: Chavez puts his boot firmly up Montezuma's butt this week pushing further up Mexico. He also manages to grab a city off the failing Kuikuro, putting both civs down to a single city. But then Chavez pulled his forces back and made peace, leaving both civs clinging to the edge of a crumbling cliff. This may be due to the ire of Hiawatha, but Chavez could have had more diplomatic incidents to deal with if he had taken out the Kuikuro or the Aztecs. Leaving the battered civs alive for now, while he manages to get his new gains online, puts Hugo in a Hu-good position.
Shaggy: AWWWWWW YEEEAHHHH! Its the battle for eastern Europe and I couldn’t be more exi- wait a minute, do the Goths think that melee units are for posers? Damn, this actually looks to be a war of relative incompetence. Prussia’s armies are currently amassed to the west due to their recently ended war with the Vikings and the I find the Goth’s lack of melee units disturbing. They’ll need to reinforce their melee capabilities on the front lines with those Great War infantry closer to their core cities if Prussia has any kind of melee targeting prioritization. That being said, if the Gothic capture of Vladimir is any indication, this war could prove devastating for Prussia and it might be exactly the kick in the ass Alaric needed to get going in Europe.
Gragg: Qin has finally achieved dominance over it’s yellow twin. The Qing have been banished to the frozen wastes of the North along with Korea. Now that the easy war is one it’s time to start thinking, “what’s next?”. There are four options: Shikoku, Taungoo, Canton, or Khamugs. None of those are good options at present. The best move is to bulk up for a couple parts and hope the Khamugs stay asleep. This kind of hollow carpet is going to become more and more dangerous as neighbors start to get paratroopers, like Shikoku is already fielding. It’s only a matter of time before Khamugs and Taungoo get them as well. Qin stats are good enough that they can hang in there with some good decisions though.
Cloudberg: Surprise, it's a Metis comeback! But don't let that fool you; we're still dropping them in the rankings, even though they're likely to take a bunch of Haida cities. After all, Haida will continue to flip them back endlessly with their ridiculously swole navy. However, it's interesting to see Louis Riel rocking modern infantry and other technologically advanced toys, and definitely makes me wonder if they could stage a more spectacular comeback by attacking the Apache while they're still at war with the Iroquois.
Gragg: Straya is back with a vengeance! And FREEDOM! Having finally recovered from numerous consecutive coalitions, Australia showed New Zealand that it is still the king in Oceania. At the end of the day a ‘mainland’ core will be better than any island core. The Green Giant gained no less than 5 cities this part. More than any other civ this part. The flipside is how coalition-prone Australia is. Especially now that they’ve taken the freedom idealogy, they’ll never be popular in the cylinder. That was bad when they had Murri, Papua, and Sulu to contend with. Now they have Maratha, Taungoo, NZ, and Uruguay. Australia had better hope they can stay on the offense for a while.
Shaggy: Literally every mention of Shikoku this part is in some way deriding their naval warfare strategy, finally ending with a formal version of the de facto peace they reached with Taungoo. BUT WAIT, THEY HAVE NUKES! Get ready for Asia to heat up as Shikoku is in competition for the lead in tech and are one of the first civs to actually have built nukes. Who will be the first to be irradiated to shit? Only Pedro knows.
Cloudberg: It's a big part for Palmyra—not because of anything that they did in the game, but because it's the first time since episode 5 that the power rankers have moved them out of the top 10. After dominating her neighbours early in the game, Zenobia maintained a 21-part streak in the top 10, but we're starting to lose faith. It's been a long time since Palmyra made any serious moves—yes, they took Konstantiniyye and Ostrava, but that's the only thing they've done since the early game. They have so many weak neighbours that they could crush with little effort, and yet Zenobia just keeps waiting—and for what? Only time will tell.
Techno: This civ just reeks of ranged unit syndrome. With the Nepalese war yielding Maratha just one city, it's clear why other civs have done much better than Maratha when it comes to expansion. It's one thing to be able to take a city down to zero HP, but you also must clear out the units around the city and send in a melee unit to capture it. With their 1-tile ranged unit army, Maratha failed at both of these tasks despite the hard work of their air force. And if Maratha can't even defeat Nepal or India, they'll have a very tough time breaking free of the Indian subcontinent given Taungoo's strength.
Lonely: At long last, the Kazakhs have gone nuclear! And goodness knows they’ll need it; they’ve managed to lose their core again, and are once again doing the seventy parts of rebuilding song and dance before they go and grind it all to death on the Khamugs or something. Rinse, repeat. Their location is great, at least, with only the Khamugs among their immediate neighbors capable of putting up enough resistance to stall them out, and Parthia, the Goths, and Evenks all very tasty targets when they, you know, grow their army back a hundred parts down the line. (Seriously, how do you do that twice? I know the Evenks are hard to fight, but it’s like they’ve exclusively been in grind fests since turn one.) When they do finally remobilize, it’ll be hard for anybody to be able to stand up to them, which I suppose is some solace, but they’ll have to do it fast. Asia won’t remain perfectly balanced for long. Someone’s going to make a move soon, and if Ablai Khan isn’t in a position to capitalize on the resulting diplomatic clusterfuck, he could quickly find himself bounced out of the ridiculously advantageous position he’s in.
Aaron: The big question on everyone's mind, is what is happening to the Viking's tech count? In just a hundred turns, the Vikings have gone from having fairly normal european tech to having the 4th highest tech in the entire cylinder, rivalling tech giants Zimbabwe and Shikoku. Looking more precisely at the chart, we can see two periods where Viking tech shot up by a huge amount, one at around turn 370 and the other at around turn 400. During these periods they averaged 1 tech a turn, and not just small techs from long ago - big important techs. In between these periods their science is fairly normal compared to other civs around them. What happened in those periods? Did they bulb a load of great scientists? Did all their spies come back from Uruguay with advanced techs one after the other, somehow avoiding the Great Firewall? Did they somehow brain-drain away all the scientists away from the Manx? I don't know; the most likely hypothesis is probably great scientist bulbs but then why isn't any other civ doing the same? Whatever the explanation, it is very impressive and awards them 3 extra ranks this week, the highest increase. The one disappointment this week was the complete failure to capture any Prussian cities but with their tech and vast navy, the Vikings will have plenty of opportunities for wreacking havoc on their neighbours.
Cloudberg: BREAKING NEWS, DRUMROLL PLEASE, CALL THE VATICAN: The Khamug Mongols captured a city. Yeah, they've gotten a few in peace treaties before, but this is actually honest to goodness the first time that the Khamugs have actually captured a city, with units, like a normal civilization. There is hope yet for the monsters in blue and gray, who have so far played a lot like Yakutia with their enormous unit carpet and generally peaceful disposition. And don't forget, of course, that time they lost a city to Shikoku. That goes on their war record somewhere too.
Msurdej: The Sami continue to have great stats, but they seem very reluctant to use them. Every day, the Vikings grow stronger, as do the Goths and Prussia. While Eadni could possibly win a war against any neighbor, she seems content to watch her enemies fight and listen to her radio shows. What could she be planning? Is she even planning anything? We'll have to wait and see what the Sami have up their sleeves.
Gragg: The Moors take a part for a breather. As some on the sub have noticed they were oddly absent from this part altogether. There’s not really much of an update to give either. Their neighbors haven't even been too active so their situation remains essentially the same as last episode. The only thing I want to point out is what didn’t happen. The Moors still have very little land army, especially compared the their massive yet outdated navy.
Lonely: And so, once again, an Oceanic pretender to the throne is ganked horribly by Australia. What does this mean for the Taungoo? Surprisingly little, but for a new set of diplomacy values to worry about. The Aussies, at this point, amount to little more than a techier, more well-connected New Zealand. They aren’t a civ one can grind down with attrition. They’ll require a defter touch. Still, though, the Taungoo should be able to handle themselves admirably in their chosen theater, what with their overwhelming advantage in almost all categories against Oceania, full stop. Where things could get really interesting for the big brown blob, however, is to the north. Earlier in the BR, the intimidating mountains separating Qin and Taungoo kept either from ever really making a move there. Now, though, in an age of terrainless warfare? Qin’s characteristically empty core could prove a lethal tactical mistake if Taungoo can get enough troops in to back their air force. Really, were it not for Canton and meleeitis, the Goo could easily take advantage of the Qin’s recent contest to form an empire the likes of which the world has never seen… but for now, they’ve no choice but to stick to their little pond, until the buffer state passes on and the real fun can begin.
Msurdej: With a roaring engine, planes begins to drop Zimbabwe soldiers onto the fields of war. City after city fell to Mutota this part, and though some were reclaimed, its seems likely that more cities will end up flying the green and red of Zimbabwe. This lead many to bring Mutota back to the top 3, but leaves him with a harder challenge; breaking through back into the top spot. His military and production are on par with Uruguay(though his production is still a fair bit from Hiawatha's #1), and while there trail behind Uruguay in tech is noticeable, they're still the #2 for science. The war with Beta Israel keeps looking good for Zimbabwe as well, and with Nubia out of the way, that leaves all the spoils for Mutota.
You might be wandering how come Uruguay is down here. After all, didn't they just capture 2 cities off the new number 1 civ? And isn't Uruguay's influence so vast they were even able to flip an Iroquois city all the way in Greenland using nothing but local peacekeepers? Should the cylinder not be really worried that Uruguay's peacekeepers spread out across the world have now proved they are capable of flipping cities off even the Iroquois, while their large navy of destroyers can capture and hold Iroquois cities even when 34 tiles away from their capital? (for comparison those islands are only 19 tiles away from the Iroquois' capital - well in their theoretical sphere of influence) And that's not even flipping and capturing cities off some backwards 3rd world country like what Finland did in M2, this is the civ that was rated first last week! Well apparently not. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. As for civ number 3, Zimbabwe, they are getting stronger thanks to their invasion of Beta Israel and are approaching Uruguay's stats. I say 'approaching' because every single one of Uruguay's stats is still better than Zimbabwe with only one exception (number of nukes). As for science, Uruguay is still ridiculously in the lead, and look to keep it that way with the science-based Enrichment Center, the first of many powerful future worlds wonders. Closer to home, there is even better news: the invinceable Kuikuro have been proven to not be quite as invinceable as previously thought. Soon the Nazca will cut down the jungle and then there will be nothing stopping Uruguay from marching in and claiming what is theirs. In the meantime, a coalition has formed against the Selk'nam. Perhaps now is the time to hop in?
Lonely: Okay, Hiawatha, but seriously now – when are you going to finish the Apache off? Geronimo’s battered, his core all but empty, his lands are literally 404’ing on him, and yet Iroquois troops still mill about Shis-Inday, preparing their hundredth or so assault on that cursed, cursed city. The Apache sure as hell aren’t holding out because of tech, or military prowess, or even productivity, so what the hell’s going on? Sure, the Iroquois will probably finally start to make headway soon, now with melee units on the front and artillery and planes striking from Poverty Point to beat the Apache down once and for all, but after the past few parts of complete and utter stagnation it’s hard to picture a reality in which the Iroquois actually manage to break through. And if they don’t? With the loss of their Caribbean colonies and a Metis attempt to take down Haida, Hiawatha could be in for a much harder time than what his stats and rank would have one believe. Granted, all this, of course, goes out the window the second the Apache battlements fall, but… this repeated failure to chip down a weakened opponent on their home turn reflects rather poorly on the autocrats.

Next chapter:

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