Author: ThyReformer
Published: 2019-08-12, edited: 1970-01-01
Aaron: A lot of people will wonder why Canada is still in last place despite having a great part and settling 2 cities. So here's the explanation. Canada is essentially an entire tier below the "terrible tier" which contains ranks 59 and up. They look terrible EVEN when you compare them to the other terrible civs.

The average number of techs for the terrible civs is between 15 or 16 (the second lowest are Scotland and the Turks at 14 because they're beelining workshops), Canada, with zero beelining, are somehow still only at 13 techs. Even the shittiest civs on the entire cylinder have a significant tech lead over Canada!

Canada are bottom on science with 28 effective science per turn - The second worst, the Nenets, have 37. Canada are bottom on production with 29 - the closest comparison is Poverty Point, who have 45. Both of these are really huge factors. They're approximately the same factors that exists between ranks 55 and rank 42... If you think rank 55 looks really bad compared to rank 42, then that's how bad Canada looks compared to rank 59. And it's even worse than that, because Canada is deficient in not just one stat, but every relevant stat..

Don't get me wrong, the 2 new cities are fantastic for Canada's chances, but the giant rank 60 hole Canada have found themselves in is so deep that 2 tundra cities are simply not enough to dig themselves out. By far their best hope of achieving rank 59 is if someone else actually dies.
Doom: Minoa's rank seems to have stabilized this week. Unfortunately that rank is second to last. With pretty much no way to win a war by themselves they will have to wait for a neighbour to get coalitioned and try to steal some cities. Venice and the Turks could both get new cities next part, increasing the gap between Minoa and their enemies. On the bright side Canada are still lower than them for what it's worth.
Andy: It is not a good part to be Táhera. In fact, it hasn't been a good part to be Táhera for some time now, but it's really starting to show. For starters, Poverty Point is tied with Minoa for fewest cities. In other words, that means that as it stands, Poverty Point has less cities than worthies such as Canada, the Yup'ik, Tonga, and the fucking Nenets. Even then, Poverty Point finds a way to distinguish themselves from Minoa, by getting into more wars. While Minoa only fights the Nubians, who are currently being partially eviscerated by Palmyra, Poverty Point is formally at war with Venezuela and the Metis, in addition to the actual threat of the Iroquois.

Why is Poverty Point not dead last? Because if nothing else, at least they're only two techs behind the pack (4 techs behind the frontrunner), manage to beat out the Canadians in basically all stats (not an achievement), and perhaps most importantly, they're fighting the Iroquois, whose military efforts frankly inspire little confidence.
Scissor: Whatever happened to that settler that Siaosi sent out several parts ago? Who knows because it certainly wasn't used. Tonga was never destined for greatness but this performance is just embarrassing. After a failed invasion of Canton, Tonga is quickly running out of civs that are open to conquest in the region. Tonga seems to have peaked so far and I believe it's all downhill from here. The only saving grace for Tonga might be a weak Murri but Tonga are so incompetent that I don't think it matters.
Adm. Cloudberg: Oman enters the bottom five for the first time this part, falling from 55th to 56th. Oman was in a bad situation before this part and is now in an even worse one, after they failed to take the Nubian colony in Arabia and let Beta Israel get it instead. The only city they could reasonably conquer is their own second city that they gave away to Parthia, which is really not a good look. Oman also attempted to attack India's coastal city but they don't seem to have gotten anywhere. Left with three low-production desert cities, Saif bin Sultan is out of options and out of time.
Techno: Peace at last. This part saw the end of the Coral Conflict, giving the Murri a chance to rebuild and a chance to prepare for the next Australian attempt at conquest. While this war was a near-fatal blow to Murri ambitions, Australia did not come out of the conflict unscathed either, meaning that the Murri can still protect themselves from Hawke if need be. Unfortunately, New Zealand and Papua still exist and still pose a major threat to the Murri, meaning that Gambu Ganuurru will have to act strategically to avoid being crushed when the second Coral Conflict comes to pass.
Doom: Disaster strikes the perennially embattled republic this part as the HRE collect Liberic and the Turks seem ready to capture Ostrava for the third time. Czechia will most like fail to flip either city. All in all, things aren't good. At this point all that awaits Czechia is a slow death. A good example of the stakes for the other mainland European civs and how cutthroat the CBR can be.
Msurdej: The Golden Horde try to pick up the pieces of last episode's fall, and just continue to stumble further. They've been frantically trying to resettle inside the former Atil territory, but the Goths continue to breath down their necks, and Sarai Batu has begun t take damage. Even more problematic is the state of the Golden horde army: It is now the weakest army on the cylinder. Weaker than Minoa. Weaker than Tonga. Even weaker than Canada. If Alaric commits to wiping the Horde out, Tokhtamysh will almost certainly lose his capital.
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Msurdej: Canton stonks rise this week to their highest in roughly a month, as the majority of Ching Shih's problems are washed away. The Sulu and Tonga invasions failed, the Qin have made peace, and most of the new DoWs are from far off states that can't hurt Canton (though Maratha has the best chance of those being relevant.) But make no mistake, the future remains uncertain for Canton. Shikoku managed to take their Khamug city from them, and their military and production are still languishing at the bottom of the stats. Ching Shih is gonna have to navigate the boat of state safely if she wants to keep Canton rising.
Aaron: The Ottomans rise 3 ranks thanks to their 3rd war against Czechia going well. This is more thanks to their ally - the HRE, who have captured Liberec, than anything they have done. Ostrava is at 0 hp, but it is still Czech. The Ottomans also receive some war declarations; Edirne is under attack by Prussian horsemen, while the Turkish navy is under attack by Gothic triremes. Luckily Muscovy's borders are getting in the way of both Prussian and Gothic troops which might allow Edirne to survive.
Andy: Piye is not having a good time. With the fall of Gournia to Palmyra, came the fall of Nubia's rank. As Nubia slides down 11 ranks in the aftermath of one part, it's definitely worth examining what the hell happened. For starters, the Palmyrene War has been nothing short of a delayed but otherwise unmitigated disaster. Nubia has been permanently trapped behind the Sinai.

Now, had Piye been fighting Palmyra alone, while the Nubian rank would have fallen, it would not have tanked quite so much. Gournia, while important, is on the Levantine side of the Sinai, and sufficient amounts of bows would be able to hold the Suez. However, Piye was never fighting Palmyra alone. To the north, the Minoan war continues, as Minoan troops render the northern coast of Nubia a death zone. To the west, the Libyans are invading, and furthermore damaging Phaistos. They've also already captured Nuri. To the south, Beta Israel proves itself to be very alpha, by beating Oman to the punch, and seized Pedeme from the Nubians. In other words, all of Nubia's neighbours are invading, and Nubia's taking more and more losses failing to stop them.
Adm. Cloudberg: Yup'ik settled two cities this part (including one in the "ghost turn" that was accidentally leaked in the video), finally expanding their core for the first time since part 1. But despite this new expansion, Apaanugpak slips two places to 48th, largely due to the even more impressive expansion of their neighbours, the Haida. Haida's large navy, productive core, and newly energized expansion saw them shoot up 16 places this part, largely at Yup'ik's expense as rankers predict a war between the two would likely paint Alaska pink.
Msurdej: Remember how the Seljuqs rose last part? Well they're back down again, as all their opportunities dry up. Former Horde lands that could be settled? Denied. Possible takeover of Hyderabad? Failure. Across the board, Alp's stats are mediocre, and his lands continue to be boxed in by stronger civs. It's only a matter of time before the Seljuqs bite the dust.
Homusubi: The British meatgrinder rolls on, but looking at the most recent few turns, it appears as if the Manx have the upper hand. The land war, a theatre in which the Scots were expected to have the upper hand, has gone on for long enough that the more productive Manx now have the more impressive carpet. Robert's saving grace is that his naval behaviour appears to be smarter than that of Illiam, and is holding the three-legged peril to a draw in seas that once posed a severe threat to St Andrews. There's still everything to play for, but the overriding consensus appears to be low-forties; if only they could think a bit less about walls and a bit more about boats, they might just get to Greenland before the Moors do.
Adm. Cloudberg: Could anyone have predicted this? Algeria rises five places after essentially beating Songhai in a head-to-head war, in which they lost their horrible colony but captured Taghaza and almost took back Mascara. The Venetian naval attack on Algiers, while dangerous, looks slightly too small and disorganized to capture the city. If Algeria can come out of that war in one piece, they'll be in a good position to consolidate, rebuild their military, and stand firm against the inevitable next DOW.
Andy: While Ivan has managed to settle two more cities, with another settler on the way, north of Gothic Durostorum, he has failed to in any way fundamentally alter his position. Naturally, he also fails to alter his rank, although his deviation drops slightly. In a nutshell, Ivan is trapped. While the Goths at present are definitely distracted, giving Ivan an opportunity to potentially break out through the Goths, such an endeavour would most likely be foolhardy. Even with Alaric distracted, Ivan's empire can only muster 98 hammers to Alaric's 145 - beyond the first strike at Reccopolis, the attack would falter, and the Prussians would probably jump into the fray.

Overall, Ivan isn't in a great position, and the noose is tightening around him. As is stands, his best hope is that the Goths bleed out against the Kazakhs, Pray, Ivan, because you sure as hell could use some salvation right now.
Scissor: Anetü is stuck between a rock and a hard place. To the south is an Uruguay that would be suicide to attack and to the North are Caribbean powers Haiti and Venezuela. Kuikuro seems to have gone after the Northern powers and has settled the islands off the coast of Northern South America. If Kuikuro jumps in on the Venezuela-Haiti war, they might be able to come out with an extra city and hopefully a fighting chance on the continent.
Msurdej: slow clap Well Ranavalona, you blew it.
This was your chance to make a larger splash on Africa's mainland, and take a city off of Beta Israel to ensure the continued relevance of Madagascar.
But you blew it.
Is this the end of Madagascar? Well no, someone (prolly Zimbabwe) still has to kill them, but its not like they have anywhere else to go. At best they can become this game's Hawaii, a civ so out of the way that it will be a while before anyone eliminates them. And while their rank might rise, its unlikely that Madagascar's chances of winning wil go anywhere but down.
Lacsirax: The poor Evenks continue a downward slope as the war declarations keep on coming and the Kazakhs, finally facing a foe they can see, start to tear through their western hinterlands. On the other hand, the Evenks did make a net gain of cities this part, founding three new cities to replace the two they lost, and their other cities might be a little too far for the Kazakhs to reach. That said, they'd be safer if they brought that huge army clashing with the Nenets back from the middle of nowhere. I know you're tetchy, Bombogor, but I don't think they're going to be a threat. All in all, while it gets harder to see an ascendant Evenks with every passing part, they still have a comfy amount of room, and until the Khamugs finally come knocking, I wouldn't expect them to slip into the bottom 10 just yet.
Scissor: HAHAHAHAHA! Suck it Japan! Honshu is rightful Joseon clay. When great leader Seonjo ceded Pyongyang, many thought it would be the end of us but this just proves that it was only part of his master plan. Great Leader Seonjo is here to cripple Shikoku by laying claim to the Home Islands, and convinced with Ryoma's settler-phobia, this is only the start of a greater Korean counteroffensive.
Lacsirax: I predicted Libya would be rising soon last week, and indeed they're this week's second most improved civ! With their natural rival Algeria dealing with their own threats, they became the first civ to draw blood from Nubia, pipping Palmyra to the post. Nuri isn't a particularly useful city, even with Libya's desert-friendly uniques, but it's a welcome portent of things to come. Their options from here are fairly numerous: they could try pressing the advantage on Nubia, but I'm not sure they'll be able to get much further on land. Instead, I'd be directing the navies to raid the distracted Venetians, scoring some diplomacy points with Algeria in the process. Alternatively, Minoa would be an incredibly easy target, though perhaps those cities would be harder to hold in the long term than the nearby Venetian sitting ducks. If there's one major sticking point, it's production - their dismal 66 is bottom 10.
Andy: Although Toussaint successfully captures and holds Maturin, the fact that Venezuela successfully settled Barcelona is a black mark against Haiti's record, and the failure yet again to capture Caracas is a second one.

That being said, Haiti rises two ranks anyway, because Barcelona's doomed to fall at this rate, Louverture has the larger military, and Venezuela's attention is divided between multiple fronts. As it stands, Haiti has many options for conquest. For starters, there's Barcelona, isolated on Cuba. Moving from there, Haiti can choose between gunning for Venezuela's Central American cities, their defenders killed off by the Aztecs, or go for another attempt at Caracas. However, Haiti's navy bled itself as red as the civ's colours in their last attempt on Caracas, so any naval actions past Cuba may prove difficult.
Adm. Cloudberg: New Zealand finally settled a couple new cities this part, in the Solomon Islands and on the homeland, and they have another settler ready to colonize Western Australia. So why did they drop this part? Probably because the rankers are losing confidence in them for every part that passes without a successful war. The longer New Zealand delays body-slamming a neighbour with its navy, confidence will keep dropping. Could a couple of Kiwi cities on Australia next part turn that around? We'll see.
Aaron: And exciting week for Venice, as they team up with Songhai to take on the beleaguered Algeria, sending a large fleet of triremes directly to the capital. Their ally Songhai has peaced out with what they wanted, but Venice is still fighting and has Alger down to the yellow. It remains to see whether they can actually make gains here, or whether they are just losing their entire navy for nothing. Though they now have a nice number of cities, they are still behind the European powers and will have to watch their back. Once final point to note is they are using extreme beelining to unlock their unique galleass, well ahead of everyone else, which should significantly boost their naval power. On the other hand, this extreme beelining has made them skimp out on spearmen, composite bowmen, chariots, horsemen, catapults and even the iron resource. If the European powers stop fighting each other (and don't mess up again - looking at you, Moors), Venice's land army would crumple like paper.
Adm. Cloudberg: The Manx fall one rank this part as the rankers are not really sure what to do with them. After episode 7 they seemed set to claim Iceland, but then they bypassed Iceland for Greenland (leaving the Moors to take it) and then only actually settled one city in Greenland. Two of their settlers are still wandering around and one of them is about to plant a city in North America. Is this good or bad? Nobody really has any idea. The fact that the drop wasn't larger suggests that most rankers believe they could still establish a good number of cities in the various Arctic islands.
Andy: Despite having gained a foothold by successfully seizing Cantonese Ba'arin, our lovable Bidoof drops three places. For the most part, this isn't due to Shikoku's own failures, rather being due to a variety of previously low-ranked civs defying expectations and shooting above Shikoku's position. That being said, Ryoma still holds some measure of culpability for his civilization's fall. Japanese settling efforts are still nonexistent, with the Koreans successfully settling Jinju roughly (Homusubi and the other Japanese please forgive me if I got this wrong) where Aomori would be IRL. This marks a significant blow against Shikoku, as if the Koreans successfully take more of Japan than the Japanese, the tables will turn in time. After all, the Koreans already have parity in city count, a nominally larger army, and more settlers.
Lacsirax: Ragnar slips to a new low on the rankings, as he becomes more and more trapped by the Sami, and yet still seems reticent to unlock his powerful unique units. There's not much room left to expand peacefully - he did plonk a city down near IRL Oslo, and has a settler hovering on the Shetlands, but any further expansion must be through the sword or the sail. The next few parts are incredibly important for the Vikings: if they tech their impressive uniques and use them to good effect, they could carve out a neat little niche of mainland Europe or the British Isles, and start emulating their Swedish predecessors. Fail to do so and, well, they'll look a bit more Norway.
Andy: Fun fact: Nepal does not show up once in the narration of Part 8. In a part where Nepal yet again declares against their ancient enemy, India, Nepal is mentioned all of zero times, Narayan once. It's pretty clear that nobody is expecting anything out of Nepal, beyond a continuation to the ancient stalemate. I'm really goddamn tired right now, I'm going to bed. Please feel free to replace this with something that works better.
Scissor: Indira seems to be the hot new item on the block. Except for Mithridates, all her neighbors can't seems to get enough of her. First Shivaji tried his luck at wooing Indira at Hyderabad, but that failed. Distant Jamukha tried and failed to impress her at Bangalore. Saif of Oman even is trying his luck. But none seem to have the allure that Prithvi Narayan has on Indira. Nepal and India have fought since the very beginning of the Royale and each time the teasing gets more intense. With Narayan citadeling Delhi during the last war, Indira has yet to respond and she might respond yet. Both are very evenly matched empires but Indira has the slight edge in most stats. Will any cities be exchanged? I doubt it, but anything is possible.
Homusubi: With the Medieval Era's election coming up, William is ramping up his re-election bid in the traditional way – pointing at someone weaker than himself and bragging. Or, in this case, taking a city from said weaker individual. Yes, Liberec, initially expected to be successfully defended by the Czech carpet, is now flying the brown and yellow. This marks the first successful Holy Roman city capture of the game – a watershed moment for any civ in the early power rankings, and one that has pushed Nathaniel Silversmith's home back into the top half. All eyes are now on the potentially decisive (and thus even more potentially Forgie-provoking) Moor War, where production meets swords in an almost perfectly statistically balanced contest. Oh, and Iceland is now a war zone. Fun times.
Doom: The Aztecs rank plummets this week leaving them solidly in the middle of the pack. The war with Venezuela isn't going anywhere as many rankers feared. To make matters worse they're now at war with the Apache as well. It's not clear why the Apache invasion is moving so slowly. Montezuma's propaganda seems to have scared the Apache army stiff. It's not clear where the Aztecs can go from here. Venezuela and the Apache have them surrounded and Montezuma doesn't exactly have a good navy to help him escape.
Adm. Cloudberg: In a surprise turn of events, Beta Israel rises five places in a part where most people expected them to drop. The failure of Madagascar to invade their southern coast gave them a boost, as did their successful conquest of Nubia's colony in Arabia, giving Gudit control of the Red Sea. She's also making good use of her unique composite bowman that has extra range. In fact, her position has probably never been better than it is now—and her new high point of 28th shows that the power rankers have recognized this.
Thy: Well, I can't say much happened for Papua this part. Still five cities, still kinda poor stats. But hey, they have a settler out. Compared to Australia's settlers embarking into Indonesia, though, it's not really good enough. One will notice an eerie similarity to the time before the Papuan-Australian war - in which Australia settled numerous barely defended cities far from its capital. Deja vu much? Right now, Australia's furthest settles are once again barely defended, even if they are more pointed at Sulu, or, god forbid, at Taungoo. Can Papua fulfill its destiny and go full deja vu? Or would it be nothing but an act of overextension, merely setting the stage for a Sulu invasion? Or could the two perhaps work together? Nah, who am I fooling. This is the cylinder, after all.
Homusubi: Umm, OK, this is awkward. See that big deviation score? A lot of that is down to me putting Sulu almost twenty places lower than this mid-twenties final ranking. The trouble with Sulu, as we all know, is their reluctance to use their thoroughly decent military force on anyone (despite there never being a lack of decent targets, and even the one time they did – during a cylinder-wide coalition – got them nowhere. But wait, no, I have to be positive about Sulu, right, because they're mid-twenties? Fine. They actually have shown signs of life this part, settling a city for the first time in ages! Could this be the start of a Sulu revival? Could they follow Haida and New Zealand in finally deciding to fix their settler deficit long-term? If they do so, and wake up at last, they could take out quite a few of the civs around them and become a serious underdog contender. If not... argh, islands.
Thy: For the first time this game, the ball is in Haida's court. The pressure is on, roll for initiative! As Haida enters the Medieval era through Civil Service, it is becoming abundantly clear that Koyah's power level is far beyond that of Yup'ik's. Both a great army and a great navy sit within Haida's borders - and while the land approach is dotted with mountains, and thus nigh-impossible, Yup'ik strategically lacks a navy to protect the many coastal cities she has settled. In contrast to this, Haida has carpeted her seas with War Canoes, a trireme replacement, capable of both moving after attacking and healing when ending its turn next to a forest. While this unit is far from overpowered, it does enjoy the benefits of the first half of Haida's UA: "Naval melee units can perform attacks on land." With this, Haida is set for a naval invasion rivaling that of the historical vikings'. And judging by the mutual forward settles, war is likely not far...
Aaron: Our most consistently midtier civ remains midtier, but one higher than last part. Despite a new ally joining in the form of Haiti, the attack on Venezuela is going nowhere - there are currently 0 Nazca units within Venezuelan borders. This is unfortunate, as a distracted Venezuela is probably the only chance the Nazca will get at expanding outside the lands they settled. The Kuikuro to their east are made up of indestructible tree fortresses (and remember they nearly lost Paredones last time they tried). To their south, Uruguay and Selk'nam are both terrifying monsters. Venezuela seems like the only viable option, and the Nazca are failing to capitalize on it. Perhaps the Nazca plan is to survive as the citystate of Paredones? As the surrounding Kuikuro cities are well known to be invulnerable, they could easily survive as an enclave of an enclave of some larger south american superpower well into the lategame...
Aaron: Benin survives the war against Ndongo with no cities lost. Only Zimbabwe remains and they can barely get 1 unit in at a time. It seems that building a bunch of walls all over the place really is enough to defeat all the other African civs. Perhaps that is their destiny? To be just one big wall separating the number 1 African civ from the number 2 African civ? Perhaps. If they wish to escape that fate, they will have to expand. Though they did a good job of it while under siege from all their neighbours (and now border Libya) they only have space for only 1 or 2 more cities. One option that looks particularly attractive is to attack the only African civ that is even more hated than they are - Nubia. After being at war with the rest of Africa for most of the game, Nubia is extremely worn out and is showing weakness in their defences. An opportunity worth taking?
Scissor: Good news for Ndongo: Zimbabwe refuses to attack you and instead focuses on distant, unrealistic foes. Bad news for Ndongo: Your war against Benin was an absolute failure. This puts Nzinga in a pickle. She can only fight Zimbabwe if she expands her way out of her Central African region but she fails to attack the only other vulnerable option. If you ask me, as good as Ndongos's stats are, she's destined for a repeat performance of Mk. 2.
Andy: Ah, Prussia. As ever, one of the most deviation-inducing civilizations on the cylinder. Prussia's ranking, according to the team, is somewhere between 12th, and 39th. In other words, we couldn't agree on what Prussia was a part ago, and we sure as hell haven't gotten there now.

That being said, Prussia overall does drop one rank, out of the top 20. In general, this can be explained by Prussia having a relatively quiet part. Outside of an invasion of Ottoman Moldavia through Potsdam, the Prussians haven't done a tonne, outside of having their own Siberian colonial efforts rebuffed.
Adm. Cloudberg: The Selk'nam are a mystery to most of the power rankers. They're strong on paper, consistently coming in the top tier in the stats for reasons that are unclear, but their only neighbour is Uruguay. Some believe that their window to beat this formidable opponent has passed, and the Selk'nam will be relegated to their little corner of South America. And others believe that in a coalition with the Kuikuro, Xo'on Uhan-Te could still bring down the giant. I propose an alternative: a transpacific invasion of Australia. After all, if Papua could do it, why not Selk'nam?
Thy: Another war, another hopeless meat grinder. While the German defenses might at first seem a bit...lacking, and the Moor army in turn quite impressive, Abd-ar Rahman III has already proven that he is not as competent as one may wish. But if there is a ray of hope, it's the German citadel - or rather, the former citadel, as the Moorish army has already pillaged the otherwise well-placed citadel, perhaps in an attempt to prove that the Moors CAN indeed flip a city. Either way, there was an obvious better target directly south, Abd-ar Rahman III. You know, the civ already getting battered, the one with no navy, the one with their capital already in yellow? Yellow like your civ? Well, it's not quite the same yellow, but you get the point. Pick a better target next time.
Techno: The Apache rise in rank slightly this week due to two extra settlements in the Rocky Mountains and a war against the Aztecs. However, while their eternal rival of Poverty Point has been reduced to just two cities, the Apache still face a massive threat to the north. The Metis are currently competing with the Apache to settle the American west, and the sheer size of the Metis should raise concern for any Apache fan. Still, it appears that the Apache have the room and settlers to claim 3 or 4 more cities before the closing of the frontier, and if they can make use of those extra cities, perhaps they won't fold quickly when the Metis eventually turn their attention south.
Andy: Hawke rises a rank with the settlement of the Lesser Sunda Islands, as Newcastle is founded to cement Australian claims to the area. Despite Papua retaining a massive force on Australia proper, cementing the loss of Perth and Darwin, Australia bounces back admirably with another city founded, and two more on their way. With production now well above that of the Papuans, and now a larger army, Australia is much more secure than it was shortly before.

Overall, Hawke has done an excellent job of taking advantage of the Scramble for Indonesia. While Australian efforts at settling Sumatra were rebuffed by the Marathas and Taungoo, Java is all but guaranteed to be locked down for Australia. This provides the Australians with a potential workable Krakatoa, as well as a new avenue of expansion.
Aaron: Good news for Venezuela: they succesfully hold off the Aztecs and Nazca. Bad news for Venezuela: Haiti captured Maturin. Though this is mostly caused by Venezuela's bizarre decision to settle 2 cities on Cuba where Haiti already has a city. The city placements were so bad that it looks more like Venezuela saw how much his northern neighbour was struggling with building settlers and decided to help him out and show him how it's done. Alternatively, maybe they were placed as a distraction to get Haiti to stop attacking Caracas. Whatever the case, Haiti is taking them. Venezuela are overall stronger than Haiti but have been severely worn down by the coalition war with all their neighbours, giving Haiti a slight edge in military.
Aaron: The Iroquois remain in second place of North America. Unlike the Apache, who are in a similar situation, they are protected from the juggernaut of the Metis by the Great Lakes, and have slightly better expansion opportunities. Canada is as weak as ever, while Poverty Point has bungled their attack on Akwesasne so badly that at this point they might lose more than just Montreal if Hiawatha were to send more troops down south. The Iroquois are however, losing out on the opportunity of settling Greenland, as the Metis and Manx have both got there first and the Iroquois don't appear to have even discovered it.
Techno: In a parallel to the real-life Qing dynasty, being eclipsed is something the Qing must now worry about, and their rank falls several places to reflect that. The Qing have a reasonable military and a reasonable amount of production that would put them in a powerful position in any other region. But unfortunately for the Qing, East Asia is not a forgiving region. 7 cities and a low population put the Qing at serious risk of not being able to catch up to the more powerful Qin and Khamugs. At the very least, the Qing are not fighting any relevant wars, giving them time to get back into gear, but their window for settling more cities is closing fast.
Aaron: This week, Taungoo settle 2 cities. One immediately got citadelled by the Qin. The other has ended up on the opposite side of Marathan Indonesia. The best move in their position would probably be to connect it to their core by taking out the Marathan colonies and stifling Marathan expansion before it grows too much. Maratha currently has more military and production than Taungoo, but it's almost all in India. The west Taungoo cities are exceptionally well protected by mountains and bays and would almost certainly be able to hold against anything Maratha sent at it while the Marathan colonies are vulnerable to attack from the East Taungoo navy. It looks like a good option. Other avenues for expansion would be fighting Canton again, or settling the Philippines which Sulu has been ignoring for some reason. And of course, while doing this they must be wary of the Qin, lest that northern citadel turn into something worse.
Homusubi: The Goths, now back out of the top ten but still riding high, are a rather tricky civ to rank. No other civ is decisively winning a war at the same time as decisively losing another; no other civ has a strong carpet over half their land and no carpet in the other half. Then, of course, there's the matter of Alaric's well-known penchant for city razing, which if the fate of the Golden Horde's Black Sea holding is anything to go by, has cropped up once again in CBRX. On the plus side, they look in pole position to neuter the Golden Horde and execute the second capital flip of the game, no mean feat in a single-digit part. All in all, a very unpredictable civ, and one that will be particularly interesting to look at come part nine.
Techno: If there's one thing to know about Parthia right now, they are STRONG. Their military is the second-strongest military on the cylinder right now behind only the great blue blob in South America, while their empire's production and city count suggests that they are able to maintain this strength. However, Parthia did fall one spot this week, primarily a result of their inaction and the resurgence of the Kazakhs. It turns out the Parthian conquest of several Kazakh cities, while damaging to the infamous khan, was not enough to stymie their growth completely, and now Parthia lags behind in both cities and production. Nonetheless, Parthia has a powerful position that they can take advantage of, earning them their high rank.
Andy: Shivaji sees his rank rise three places, despite his war against India ultimately failing, Hyderabad holding despite all odds. This is due to Maratha having exceeded our expectations, and solving one of the fundamental issues that we saw with their performance. Namely, that they could not expand, without first somehow defeating their northern enemies, India and Nepal. However, with the settlement of Baroda and Shivneri, Maratha simultaneously reinforces Dhar (Marathan Singapore), while at the same time locking down Malaya and Northern Sumatra.

In addition, Maratha has not been quiet on the Indian subcontinent. A well-placed citadel at Satara cuts into Delhi's territories, and with more Great Generals on the move, the next war against India may go far better for Maratha. Will Shivaji be able to make use of his opponents' fighting to finally push through them and secure his flanks? Will Shivaji be able to defeat the Taungoo if war were to break out over Sumatra? These questions are what will define Maratha in the parts to come.
Thy: Eh? Still at war with the Vikings? It looks like the most exciting event of said war was the settling of a Sami city right on the frontline. And it's telling that the city hardly took damage. Telling of how much of a stalemate this war is, that is. Eadni would greatly benefit from peace, seeing as this war is nothing but a waste of hammers. That being said, the Sami remain among the top dogs of the statistics, with the fifth highest production on the cylinder, and technology comparable to the frontrunners in Zimbabwe and Uruguay. Their war record could use some work, that's all. Muscovy is right there, after all!
Andy: For all of their power as the alleged kings of West Africa, Songhai severely disappointed this part. Not only did they end the war having only traded Taghaza for Tlemcen, but had they not made peace, they would have most likely lost Mascara. Overall, this war was a humiliation for Songhai, but only that. Will Songhai be able to bounce back from this embarrassing defeat, and bring the war machine once again into Algeria?
Lacsirax: They were always going to be back. After two disappointing wars, the Kazakhs spent their downtime building as many cities as they could, and making sure their production and science remained competitive. And while they found waging war north and south difficult, they're having heaps more success fighting east and west. In the east, they've already made short work of the local Evenk outposts, adding both cities to their empire (and only forming a small border with the Khamugs, who in fairness look less scary now than they did a few parts ago). In the west, their troops surround Ravenna, with Gothic defence forces nowhere to be found. They could very feasibly take two or three cities there, if they're canny. We always said the Kazakhs would have a somewhat easy ride in the early game, and it's proven true; despite some of the worst opening moves we've seen in the game, they're almost looking as scary as their Sibirian ancestors.
Andy: The most notable achievement from Jamukha this part was the settling of yet another three more cities, all of them north of the Qing, all of them in Siberia. It seems that the Khamugs are moving to cut off Qing attempts at making any sort of cohesive connection from Yin on the Yellow River, to Fuzhou in Kamchatka. While the Khamugs fell two ranks, this can be attributed more towards the successes of other major civs cylinderwide, as well as the fact that at the end of the day, China grows more and more militarized, meaning any break between the Big Three (Qin, Qing, Khamugs) would result in a massive and bloody war with relatively few results.
Andy: Palmyra rises two more places, and has entered the top 5. Frankly, Palmyra has exceeded just about every expectation we've held for the Middle East to date. Usually, it's where countries fight each other and proceed to get eaten by an external force. Here, Zenobia has successfully unified the vast majority of the region, with the capture of Gournia giving Nubia yet another well-placed Mediterranean port.

While the Suez could have posed a challenge in terms of troop movement, Nubian withdraws towards their city and inner tile enables Palmyra to potentially stream in, down the Suez. From there, solid next steps would be to move into and annex Egypt. With Nubia having so many enemies, Palmyra has been given a de facto free hand in terms of AE.
Adm. Cloudberg: After briefly rising to third, Qin drops back to fourth after failing to invade Canton. However, the small magnitude of this drop shows that Qin’s high ranking was not riding on the assumption that they would take cities; rather, their position is inherently strong: they have high stats, lots of cities, a large army, and powerful contemporary unique units. But, while their ranking doesn’t reflect it, could there be signs of trouble on the horizon for Qin Shihuangdi? I think the answer might be yes. If Qin could not invade Canton, they don’t have an easier target—their other neighbours are Qing and the Khamug Khanate, both of which have large armies, and terrain makes invasions of Taungoo and Nepal all but impossible. Unless one of their neighbours crashes hard, creating an opening, they could be in trouble in the long term.
Msurdej: This week, the bronze medal goes to Lousi Riel, and while they might not have been in last part for much, they certainly were busy!. The Metis settled a staggering SIX cities this part, expanding their empire to the west, and starting to claim a far off island of Greenland. Stat wise, their production is third on the cylinder, and the only thing on North America that compares to their military is the (slightly stronger) Iroquois. There's still more land to settle in North America, and with weak neighbors like Yu'pik, Haida, and Canada, Metis will ensure their dominance in North America soon.
Doom: Another exciting part for Zimbabwe as they continue to not declare relevant wars. Instead they slip back to second place as Uruguay takes the lead. However, Madagascars failure against Beta Israel means that Zimbabwe won't have much to worry about from the east so it really is just Ndongo to kill. Every part they don't is another part that other civs spend building up and conquering new lands. Even if Zimbabwe never wake up they won't be going anyway for a while with one of the most defensible cores in the cylinder.
Msurdej: After a couple of weeks of the top spot being held by Zimbabwe, we have a new top dog: Uruguay. The end to the war with Selk'nam last part saw the continued growth of Uruguay, and while they only added 1 city, they added much more troops. In fact, Lavalleja's army now clocks in a a staggering 8,627 manpower (compared to the 4.693 of Zimbabwe and 5,413 of Parthia), have the second strongest production at 217, and are top of the tech class now.

But where do they go from here? Wherever they want. Short of a coalition, Uruguay has no more existential threats at the moment, and its hard to imagine one of the nearby civs barreling past Jaun's empire. While the Kuikuro jungles might be a slog to get through now, the Nazca and Selk'nam had best watch their backs unless they want Uruguay troops taking over, and bringing forth the second coming of Pedro.

Check out another AAR:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 1, Blitzkrieg and Destruction

Images: 34, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01, edited: 1970-01-01