THE OFFICIAL CIVILIZATION BATTLE ROYALE X POWER RANKINGS: EPISODE 22

Author: Msurdej
Published: 2019-11-18
LonelyRollingStar:
You know how the Seljuqs had an army a while ago? Like, sure, they were woefully outmatched in every statistical metric, but at least they had some crossbows. Yeah, those crossbows are in Parthia now. The Seljuqs’ Poverty Point-ification is already well underway courtesy of Zenobia’s quest to humiliate all her rump state neighbors, and the five land tiles the off-brand Turks now own are surprisingly not large enough to fit much in the way of an army. Even with Papua mere inches away from death, even with Muscovy suddenly among the city-states, the Seljuqs are still last place, and it’s not even particularly close. Nothing’s going to be able to unseat them. The Murri could be down to a half-health capital in the face of hordes of melee units in a war they’ve no hope of winning and even less of surviving and we’d probably still have the Seljuqs inch them out. Alp Arslan is that fucked. He, his three crossbowman army, and his one entirely superfluous remaining settler hoping to create an unusual presence in East Asia can now rely on only the slowly rising pile of corpses beneath them for any hope of a rankings increase. The dead are the only people they can so much as think about surpassing, if only because the dead aren’t constantly ranked. If they were, Canada or somebody would probably still be able to overtake them.
Shaggysnorlax:
The Papuan Disaster continues this part as Rajapapua has lost the last vestiges of one of Season 1’s greatest surprise invasions and has fled to his island holdings. Only Papua’s avoidance of city-state status is keeping them from the absolute bottom of the barrel, though it’s only a matter of time. I’ll save an actual eulogy for when they truly are killed, but given how much of a bloodbath Oceania has become, I’d prime our F keys.
LonelyRollingStar:
Frederick’s peacing out with Muscovy may seem, at first glance, to be an act of mercy. It isn’t. It is an act of the utmost cruelty, the most mean-spirited, diabolical, and downright rude action that can be so much as devised. For, you see, by leaving Ivan with just one city left in his fragile empire, Prussia has sent Muscovy straight into the city-state downward spiral. There is no escape from the spiral. There is no chance of survival. There is no recovery. There is only a long, slow, drawn out death knell, a burial by citadels and technology, and then a funeral service that nobody really remembers to mark on their calendar or cares enough to go to so only one person shows up and that person is Vaclav Havel. It starts with a war, an act of “mercy”, an attempt to make amends and forgive the now suddenly powerless neighbor trapped in a 40 pop city. Then the neighbors war, and after they’re done leave their wasted generals to settle down in a place where the only people who get upset held no power to begin with. It happened to Poverty Point. It happened to the Seljuqs. And now, horror of horrors, it is happening to Ivan the Terrible, who suddenly finds himself with five land tiles. There is no escape. There is no end. There is only a distinct lack of fire and notable absence of blood.
Cloudberg:
The Murri are now employing what I like to call the Nenets Strategy: do nothing, and climb up the rankings by not dying. So far, Gambu Ganuurru has made it from 56th to 48th in this manner. How long will it last? What other civs might meet their maker before the Murri? I can think of some candidates.
LonelyRollingStar:
Ah. You see, it can always be hard to understand your neighbor. It’s really quite difficult to just step in one’s shoes, after all, and empathy is a trait that many are sadly lacking in. But now, Mehmed understands Vaclav Havel. It all makes sense now. Being now a two-city civ with no possibility of any connection himself, now, everything he did has become crystal clear. Of course he’d give up a city to the HRE. He had to! Anything could kill him at this stage, so there should be no greater cause than self-preservation. Stacking up Ostrava with defense makes so much sense now, in retrospect. Why, Mehmed would be lost if anything happened to Edirne or Bursa. Building those great cannons, hiding in those mountains, it’s all a necessary sacrifice. Really, it was all just one big understanding. Mehmed didn’t know. But now, thanks to his friends in Palmyra, he does! And it’s all better now. He understands. He and Vaclav can be bros, again.
Thy:
Welp, there we go. It was definitely looking bad, when Venice and Vikings both pushed on and on into HRE lands last part, but I'm not sure anyone anticipated a carnage this intense. After a rough peace deal with the Vikings, the HRE core has been reduced to two cities, and both are threatened by Venice, who are still looking for blood. And blood they will have: these two cities aren't particularly defensible - not that the Empire has much units, either. 2 musketmen, 3 crossbowmen, and 2 cannons remain in the HRE core of Aachen and Liberec. Yes, that's right, the capital is still here. And its fall is...inevitable. It might as well have already happened, that's how certain it is. But, if it's any consolation, the Empire still holds two cities outside of its collapsing core: Brno, a former Czech city that Venice reasonably will never take, and ULM, a city on Greenland. The irony could not be stronger. For a civ that never really did that well, the HRE has been entertaining, and that is quite the high praise, all things considered.
LonelyRollingStar:
Constantiyye has inevitably fallen, and with it, so has the dream of a Czechia with two capitals. It was fun while it lasted, if it’s any consolation to the grieving Vaclav Havel. Still, the real battle, the one that will determine the future of this red rump state, is just starting. Ostrava, impregnable fortress of Czech ideals well-known for providing a startling +30 to city defense when attacked by kebab, versus the Palmyrene army, all-devouring conquerors who might have lost a war, once, just to see what it felt like. The Czech, as they often are, are horribly outclassed, most of the units who have long since resided around the city killed in the siege of the old Turkish capital and canal city and kept from recovering by an opportunistic Palmyrene citadel. Palmyra has seized worse targets before, and even the massive 38 city defense the city has shouldn’t pose much of an issue to Zenobia should she have her sights set on it. But it’s going to take a while to take, and Havel will have plenty of time to put his diplomatizing skills to work, put out a peace deal… and probably give the city up anyways in the treaty. I mean, he gave up Brno. That city had a wonder in it. The immovable object might not budge, but it ought to find itself in Palmyrene borders anyways.
Cloudberg:
While Vavlyo sits on his two disconnected snow cities, he can only watch as the Kazakhs and Evenks fight over what used to be his land. His former city of Vorkuta has fallen to the Evenks, which actually gives him an opportunity: join the war on the same side as the Kazakhs and try to take it. Then maybe he will have undone one of his many mistakes—after all, he gave the city away in a peace treaty, and all he would be able to do is reverse that.
Gragg9:
You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking the Golden Horde did nothing this part. Nothing much changed in this area. However, they’ve been busy holding off the Goths, a la Kuikuro. Say what you want about the Horde but this part was pretty good for them in relative terms. It also seems their borders are becoming a haven for victims of Goth warfare as we see a large number of Muscovy units.
Aaron:
A Kuikuro write-up is basically a sneak peak at the Uruguay write-up that will come much later, for indeed how well the Kuikuro do is exactly equal to how long until Uruguay figure out a weapon that can get passed jungle. In that matter, they have made progress, building the Manhatten project though not yet having the nuclear fission that allows for nukes. Though they researched planes last part and didn't build any, they have finally started. Luckily for the Kuikuro, it appears that Uruguay is prioritising filling carriers in the south Atlantic. Planning for some overseas conquest once Songhai is dealt with? Maybe. Who knows, the important thing is that for some reason only 2 planes out of Uruguay's entire airforce are being used against the Kuikuro at the present time. Uruguay also researched artillery on the last turn of this part, which is another weapon that could beat the Kuikuro if they actually bother building any. Nevertheless, we can remain optimistic about the Kuikuro as Uruguay is showing no interest in taking them out and doesn't even seem to realise they are at war with them.
Gragg9:
We’ve known that Aztecs won’t be able to expand on their own power for a while. They require distracted neighbors and good coalitions. Well...this is the moment. Venezuela could still do incredible damage but they’re weaker than they’ve been in a long time. Apache though is a golden opportunity right now. It won’t be a Murri/Australia level invasion but this is as good as it’s going to get for the Aztecs. Let’s hope they don’t waste what may be their last opportunity. (Or hope they do cause go Apache).
LonelyRollingStar:
Toussaint probably won’t be contending for first place. Nor second, nor third, and he probably won’t even get an honorable mention, either. But he’s sure as hell got that participation award locked up, because if there’s one way you can describe the Haiti-Venezuela war, it’s that both sides certainly tried. At least, I assume. It’d be rather hard to get Caracas down to low health and then peace out just before a certain capture for roughly the seventy-fifth time intentionally, unless one happened to be so bafflingly incompetent as to be able to kill a plant within five hours of purchasing it. It’s probably better this way, though. I’m not sure the world would be ready for a Haiti with some semblance of military aptitude. Given how well-trafficked the Caribbean is, almost every major nation in the Americas would find themselves in mortal peril should Haiti suddenly decide to aspire to something more than being the Yup’ik of the Equator. Like, alright, imagine Haiti as it is now. Yes, yes, very good. Now imagine Haiti as it is now, but with one extra city. The mind reels. Reality spins ever further away from you, your mind achieving the same internal consistency as an overcooked burrito, the lights begin to move, the voices in your head all raise a terrible fuss and ask for some milk. It can’t be done. You can’t even conceptualize it. This is how they were meant to be.
Gragg9:
Lots of bad news for Korea fans. I hope you weren’t too attached to your homeland. Maybe by season 5 or 6 we’ll have a successful Korea. This episode saw Korea losing any claim to the Korean peninsula and parts of Japan. They still have some navy nearby capable of flipping Taejon but I’d be surprised if the war ends with that city in pink. On the other side of Japan, Korea’s second largest city is under increasing pressure. It’s likely that city falls if the war doesn’t end too early. Haida is also looking more and more threatening to the North. The good news is that the new Korean capital is in a very defensive position on the coast of mainland Asia. New strategy, just survive till endgame.
Msurdej:
HOO NELLY!
With the Moors to the North, the Benin to the South, and even a surprise successful Uruguay Invasion, the Songhai are looking to be in dire straits. And with a crumbling infastructure, a military on its last legs, and a list of enemies so long we've kept it as a jumble, Askia's troubles seem FAR from over. If I were him, I'd start making peace without giving too much away, and hopefully stay alive as long as possible.
Gragg9:
Well damn, Canton has one of the better screenshots in this image. Never thought I’d say that after episode 4. Remember when the dismantling of Canton was the biggest and most sudden we’ve ever seen? Times have changed since then. They’ve held on/recovered quite well though. I think they time may be near when they can actually make an offensive. Or Tuangoo will swallow them. We’ll see.
Gragg9:
Did you know Nepal was ranked 11th after episode 1? It’s hard to imagine after this episode. Despite not living up to that initial hype they have been entertaining enough. Sure they don’t give us a lot of bloodshed and conquest but not every civ is destined for that. Nepal has given us a flip of their rival India’s capital, awful border gore, the best color scheme in the area, and some very saucy citadel chains.
Shaggysnorlax:
The Manx look to rebuild this part. As they have since making peace with the Vikings. They lack an ideology as of my last checking, though, which can’t bode well for them as their European rivals are trending forward in thinking about the world while the Manx continue to be relatively belief-less. They can not survive as a middling civ for much longer, but to be honest, I don’t see an easy way for them to get back into things. Their relative strength and potential to turtle up on island cities later allow them to escape the bottom 10, but that rank could drop at a moment’s notice. All it would take is a Moorish DoW, and the Moors look really scary…
Technostar:
With just one declaration of war that wasn't even their own, the Yup'ik went from an irrelevant backwater civ to a relevant member of one of the cylinder's largest coalitions. The ill-advised Metis DOW was perhaps the best possible thing that could have happened to the Yup'ik, as it has given them the opportunity to expand their empire for the first and perhaps only time since the early days of settling cities. That being said, the Yup'ik still have to actually capitalize on this and capture some cities, which, given the AI, is absolutely no guarantee. And even if the Yup'ik walk away with an extra city or two, it still does not change the fact that the Yup'ik are still one of the weakest civilizations in North America.
Thy:
No, nothing happened in East Asia this part. North Japan being ravaged by war doesn't count. And, of course, East Asia includes a civ for whom we held much hope, back in the day: Qing. While their expansion seemed a bit lacklustre, or somewhat...misplaced, their stats seemed good enough for quite a while all the same. You can imagine my disappointment when this civ - with such a beautiful color scheme, too - decided to have five or six, maybe seven cities at best in its core, while its greatest rivals, those of Khamugs and Qin, were far more expansionist. Now, Qing stands out like a sore thumb. Engulfed by Khamugs and Qin, and lightly poked in the stomach by Shikoku, it would not be fair to say that Qing is becoming locked in. They have been locked in for a long, long time now. At this point, there is not much that Qing can do. Even a coalition on one of their neighbors would be difficult to take advantage of, and even then, we all know such action is merely to delay the inevitable.
Aaron:
As a giant Songhai coalition continues Nubia is still surprisingly absent, prefering to sit this one out. This seems like a big mistake. Nubia is the smallest African civ with the least production and worst tech. What Nubia does have is a big (though slightly outdated) army, notably having more troops than either Songhai or Benin. But what use is a big army if it doesn't get used? If they just sit on their army and do nothing, the their neighbours will just outtech and outproduce them until Nubia's outdated army loses its usefulness. There are two good options, here: declare on Songhai or declare on Benin. Songhai is almost certanly the right choice, as they are now in total collapse mode, with less than 9k military and they still have quite a few cities going. What's more, attacking Songhai gives them diplomatic points with all the other civs in the coalition, which sounds really useful. Benin is a less good option but still doable and it might be good to take them down before they get strong from their Songhai gains. Perhaps Nubia's apparent inaction is simply waiting for the soldiers to tire themselves out and it's only then that will Nubia pounce.
Thy:
Was that Tonga Time? I can't really tell. Regardless of time or lack thereof, there was a relevant Tongan peace deal this part - namely, with Nazca. While Tonga did burn down two cities, thus inflicting a loss on the South American civ, it is apparent that Tonga did not particularly gain from this war. And while Tonga did have a settler on Galapagos, where a Nazcan city used to be, it was not settled, to my chagrin. A missed opportunity - and it means that this war wasn't all that beneficial for Tonga, in the end. But no worry: Tonga Time is the truth. Tonga time is inevitable. Tonga time is ALREADY HERE.
Technostar:
With the invasion of the Nazca not resulting in any important gains, it seems that the Selk'nam are running dry on expansion opportunities. The Antarctic Venezuelan outposts are already conquered. Offshore loom Zimbabwe and New Zealand, both naval juggernauts, and Tonga, a surprisingly potent naval force all things considered. And with the Nazca looking like an increasingly unviable option to attack, the Selk'nam are left to contend with the harsh reality of being Uruguay's southern neighbor. For the time being, the Selk'nam have found a way to coexist with their eternal foes, as their open borders with Uruguay indicate friendly relations, but given that a bad ideological selection could quickly sour relations, I would not count on the Selk'nam being able to maintain this position for long.
Shaggysnorlax:
In the Age of Industry, India was unformed, shrouded by fog, at least to its far flung opponents. A land of grey crags, purple units, and everlasting dragons (ok, maybe not the dragons). Sure, India might be slightly more interesting than Lordran pre-Flame, but not by much. No change in the rankings this week and only one mention in the part as an ancillary description to a Maratha slide. Nothing interesting even happening off-camera in the Director’s Cut… I’d tell them to do something, but I’m a bigger fan of Nepal and Maratha, so I guess just keep stagnating and having good enough stats to avoid the bottom 20.
Aaron:
Parthia gain 2 ranks, one from Songhai's collapse, and the other from India who they are oscillating around. Their beelining of public schools a few parts ago has allowed them to keep up with the top-tiers in terms of tech (ie: they have more tech than either New Zealand or the Apache), which could have allowed them to punch above their weight. Unfortunately, it appears most of that science went into researching cruisers in the Caspian sea, which can help in taking out the Golden Horde but are otherwise completely useless. Even worse, Parthia are unable to compensate for their midtier production in quite the same way as they did their science, and thus their army is still quite small. Parthia's gameplan at the moment should be focused around beating India, as they are the only neighbour they can take on that still has a reasonable number of cities. But they don't appear to be doing a very good job of that, wielding the same unit as India (crossbows) but having less of them. Sure taking out the Golden Horde is good short-term, but 1) Parthia need to actually declare war on the Golden Horde 2) it's not ambitious enough to get Parthia into a good position where they can be relevant.
LonelyRollnigStar:
…And, right as Tonga was about to mount a serious threat to Nazca’s actually good cities, the coalition peaced out. Lovely. Barring any potentially hilarious invasions of the Aztecs, Cahuachi seems to have had his fill with war, and the Nazca have thus settled back into the land of quietly above-average milling about that we’re so very familiar with. Should be all they’ll be doing, for the time being, given that their land army managed to die off spectacularly well for what was ostensibly a naval war. Still, given how utterly desolate and terrible all the non-Uruguay parts of South America are, nothing should really have changed for them much. Venezuela is still a tantalizing attack vector the Nazca will never pursue, the Kuikuro are still about one good war away from succumbing to their wounds, and the Selk’nam are still completely screwed in every respect, so the loss of pretty much all the Nazca’s overseas colonies shouldn’t change things, much. Well, you know, except for making them dead certain to be in the grave when Lavalleja finally invades as opposed to just very likely, but that’s more regressing to a level others have already reached than anything else.
Msurdej:
Last PR episode, Shaggy talked about the two camps of Madagascar rankers: Those that have faith in Madagascar, and those that do not. I am firmly in the second group of Madagascar rankers. Sure their army is in the Top 10, and currently overflowing into Benin, but when you live on an island, overflowing can be pretty easy. But with a lackluster production and an abyssmal war record, Ranavalona is going to have to step up her A game if she wants to change the minds of myself and the other PRs.
Gragg9:
No dank memes for you here this week. Beta Israel is one of the quietest civs on the cylinder. I suspect this will be the new normal for them, barring any more sick city snipes. They’re stuck in a spot with little to no expansion prospects. Their UU will keep them from being rolled for quite some time though. Expect to see the civ around in its current form all the way till endgame.
Gragg9:
As I write this I can already feel the heat we’re gunna get from Venice fans. They didn’t do anything bad this part. In fact, they had quite a good part. The rank drop is largely due to one pessimistic ranker who has been absent for a bit. Their reasoning is that Moors will declare soon and roll them. Their neighbors are certainly getting scarier as Vikings move into town. It’s also undeniable that they wasted their UU, and maybe their chance at a mediterrenean empire. Instead they’ve opted to be more of a Holy Roman Empire that the Holy Roman Empire.
LonelyRollingStar:
Just another ordinary part for Qin fans, which is to say that nobody attacked them, nothing of interest happened and everybody left feeling mildly disappointed. Mild disappointment is almost a byword for blue China at this point, now almost twenty parts into their hibernation and still showing no signs of waking up. Even if they did happen to awaken from their centuries-long slumber, brush off the cobwebs, and get back to conquering, though, they probably wouldn’t be any better off for it. Their army is an embarrassment, their neighbors are almost universally either tougher than they are or Canton, and their main strength is an area which the people across the pond are lazily lapping the field in. The Qin aren’t just a completely neutered power, now. Now they’re a completely neutered nation. No adjectives, nothing out of the ordinary. They’ve slept for so long that what was once good enough for fourth is barely good enough to keep them in the top twenty-five. There’s no going back to the glory days for the Qin, now, those days when they were undisputed kings of the region. They’ve crossed the Laziness Event Horizon. They’ve lost. They had one of the best positions in the game, and then they bobbled it away and now they’ve just lost. That’s it. They’ve lost. It’d save everyone time if they just buggered off and went home, and the game would probably be better off for it.
Msurdej:
Euware went whole hog this episode, and it shows. Having taken Four, count'em, FOUR, cities from the failing Songhai, Benin finds itself on the up and up. And with the war still raging on, there's still more oppurtunity for plunder. But be warned Benin fans, all is not well in Africa. Benin's tech, production, and military scores are behind other civs in the high 20s, and if he wants to keep this high rank, he'll not only have to conquer more from Askia, but get those cities up and running quickly.
Caption: But with a rise of 6 ranks, Benin is the Most Improved civ this part.
Australia:
Among everything else that happened last episode it’s easy to forget about Australia’s good part. They reclaimed two cities on their subcontinent and for once didn’t get coalitioned. Oceania to the North is such a mess that no one there should be a threat for another episode. New Zealand is currently receiving a trimming courtesy of Tuangoo and Australia. That leaves no immediate threats for the second most hated on the cylinder. Long term prospects are still less than great. New Zealand will still be a threat when they peace out and Taungoo has moved into the neighborhood in glorious fashion. Soon we’ll see just how bad picking an unpopular ideology will be.
Aaron:
Despite getting declared on by the superior Kazakhs, the Evenks gain 1 place, overtaking the Qin. Although the Evenks look to have a large number of troops, they are mostly ancient-era reindeer archers, and their military score reflects this, being one of the lowest in the cylinder (lower than Canton for comparison). The best they can hope for is for their reindeer to create a wall of bodies to slow down the Kazakhs long enough for their cities to shoot them. Though their science and production have caught up and now reflect their large size - they are now higher than the midtiers - so many parts of having almost nothing means their tech level is pathetically low, and this is one of the reasons why their army is so outdated. The other reason is that reindeer upgrade to knights which require horses and there are simply not enough horses in siberia for ridiculously large number of reindeer. Not even close. And thus the evenks will just have to weather to Kazakh storm. They have enough cities that losing a few isn't the end of the world and they will likely continue on just fine.
Cloudberg:
Somehow, Hugo Chavez simultaneously won big and narrowly avoided disaster not just within the space of one part, but within a single war. While the Venezuelan navy pounded Cuba, recapturing Maturín, Haiti poured everything it had into capturing Caracas. And they almost succeeded, bringing the capital down to red and forcing Chavez to make peace prematurely to avoid an embarrassing defeat. But while he only got one city out of the war and almost lost his capital, Chavez set the stage for future domination of the region, as there is no way Haiti will be competitive again. Right?
Gragg9:
Navy doesn’t mean a damn thing in a land war. Haida is repeatedly being burned for leaving their inland holdings exposed. Still they maintain a respectable ranking due to their strong stat line and enormous navy. There are plenty of conquests to be had in the Pacific right now. That navy will be able to defend a bit more now that all of their cities are coastal. They only way they lost any cities now is very badly timed peace deals.
Cloudberg:
Prussia made some major gains this part and rises in the ranks accordingly. Although one of the Muscovite cities is being razed, the other is still quite a catch, and it gives them a border with the weak and vulnerable Goths. Frederick has unlocked the first of his two unique units, a solid and powerful rifleman replacement, that could propel him deep into Gothic territory with little difficulty. Most of his other neighbours aren't any stronger—Czechia or the HRE would crumble even faster. This is the geopolitical situation that has put Prussia back into the top 20 for the first time since part 6.
Msurdej:
Alaric has a somewhat boring part. He's made peace with the Sami, and didn't lose anything else to them, which is good. This lets him focus on his war with the Golden Horde, which he has the clear advantage in. But he must also be cautious; a rising Prussia could bring a far better rival to Alaric's doorstep than Muscovy, and the Sami will continue to be towering over the Goths for the time being. Knocking out some weak neighbors for now seems good though, and should keep Alaric in the Top 20 as long as the situation doesn;t get worse for him.
Msurdej:
The Coalition of Anti-Metis Tribes continues to hammer Riel from all sides. Well except maybe the North. But it's still very bad for the Metis. Hiawatha continues to take charge as the leader of the Coalition, with the Apache now joining the fight from the south. The Haida have been replaced by the Yu'pik, and while it doesn't seem likely that the Yu'pik will take the city gotten off the Haida, that city won't make up those lost to the Iroquois, or those that could fall to the Apache. Metis should start using their Top 10 production to roll out more troops, protect the homeland, and then think about recouping some losses.
Aaron:
The Korean war continues to go well for Shikoku as 3 more cities fall. Though Shikoku don't have coal for factories and ideology, they managed to unlock autocracy anyway by researching flight. They are down to 3rd in tech now that Zimbabwe has overtaken them, but that's still more than enough to take on Korea's outdated units. Korea has finally managed to upgrade their navy to the enlightenment era which does equal Shikoku's navy (since Shikoku has no coal for an industrial era navy) but Shikoku is one step ahead and is researching submarines for total naval dominance. However, Korea is not the main reason why subs are the perfect choice of tech; the main reason is keeping Haida off Shikoku's back as they digest Korean lands. Through magic unit stacking, Haida has an exceptionally large navy and a lot of production to back it up - a declaration of war against Shikoku while they're still distracted with Korea could do a lot of damage. That is, unless Shikoku gets submarines out to defend their waters, which is luckily exactly what they are doing right now.
Shaggysnorlax:
A bit of a controversial part of New Zealand among the Power Rankers. They peaced out with Australia (nice), but have found themselves being invaded by the Taungoo navy (not so good). They drop 3 ranks as a result of the Goo Attack and fall out of the top 10. I love New Zealand, but they may have overextended themselves a little bit in their bid for Oceanic domination. I really do think that they just need to regroup a bit as none of their neighbors other than Taungoo look to pose much of a threat in the near future. If Seddon can send his navy to defend their northernmost islands and take back the bits of his empire that Taungoo has stolen, New Zealand should go very far this season. And if I can put on my Nostradamus hat for a second, I’ll make the bold prediction that Oceania will come down to a Kiwi/Goo standoff, but in my head canon New Zealand has taken more of the Australian continent.
Lunar:
I might have to update my definition of funnels of power. It turns out, having too many tiles can be an inhibitor to warfare; as the AI will spread a rather capable army across every single tile of their border to attack all the cities at once. Only to run into run into five cities defense and crumble into nothing. It would take a lot lot more than to just cram more units into the production queue, it'll be effectively using and selecting the appropriate target for them to success. So, uh, good luck there Geronimo! Something tells me he will stumble into success however, so it'd be an unwise decision to put them anywhere but going up... just, don't go betting Apache to succeed big episode.
Aaron:
The Vikings end their war with the HRE, allowing Venice to pick up the remaining pieces. The next obvious target in the never ending string of wars is of course the Manx, who are STILL using galleases as their main naval unit, even as the Vikings unlock cruisers. The Vikings should easily be able to reunite the British isles if they choose to attack. Further down the line, their options are more limited. Both the Moors and Sami keep huge armies with them at all times and would both be extremely difficult wars (Moors have slightly more production while Sami have sightly better tech). Prussia is strong; they have their UUs out, but after a theoretical war with the Manx they should be slightly less scary. The easiest target would probably be a betrayal of their Venecian allies once the HRE is gone. Though this might be a poor idea because what the Vikings really need down the line is allies. Team up with Prussia and the Goths to take out the Sami? Team up with the Sami and Goths to take out Prussia? Team up with Venice and the Iroquois to take on the Moors? All of these seem like better options than going into a war alone.
Shaggysnorlax:
The Kazakhs break into the top 10 this week, and for good reason. They’re definitely showing that they are able to use their military and look like they could take a city or two off of the Evenks sometime soon. They also are saving the remaining Nenets cities like so many pieces of pie in the fridge; delicious, but to be eaten slowly to savor the flavor. I like what the Kazakhs are showing and I think they can prove to be a major contender for Asia, especially against the Khamugs, if they play their cards right. Other than the tasty looking Nenets, they don’t have many readily conquerable neighbors, nor a major naval presence to look to far-off cities to take, so into the meatgrinder Ablai Khan!
Lunar:
The world turns, as small armies clash on the border, the former first place hoarde just sit in the background sucking on a lollipop, cranking out classic rock and sit on the porch discussing how their neighbours always cause a ruckus. But it doesn't have to be like that. The Khamug are an amazing Civ with huge swaths of lands just screaming for them to rush in and steal with neighbours either inept or under carpeted for them to be taken in a second. But instead, the Khamugs reach for another cold one. Jeoprady is on at 7PM after all.
Gragg9:
A curiously bad part for Palmyra. They woke up and started taking Turkish cities not long ago. They were supposed to roll through the entire region instead of stagnating. Instead they’re taking a couple cities and stagnating. Palmyra has dropped significantly in the stats sheet as of late. Their position is still fine though so they have time to turn that around. If they don’t they could find themselves missing from the top 10 soon. Taking Ostrava would certainly give a small boost to their stats and position but there are a number of annoying peacekeepers in the way.
Technostar:
While Taungoo may hogged the spotlight this part, Maratha spent this time busily adopting new technologies. Specifically, I'm talking planes and the often-associated "flying carpet". Maratha's been the first civ to adopt planes en masse, as while Uruguay beat them to the technology, a lack of refrigeration meant that Uruguay took far longer to acquire the necessary oil reserves. Maratha's also the first non-island civ to adopt the "flying carpet" military doctrine, as their units have begun to spill beyond their current borders and into Kazakh lands. Unfortunately, few of these units are melee units, suggesting that Maratha is still undergoing severe ranged unit syndrome. Nonetheless, they still are a powerful force, and with an ever-growing military, they continue to have options available to them for expansion.
Technostar:
The end of the Sami war against the Goths paints an interesting conundrum for us rankers. On one hand, the Sami appear to be locked away up north for the time being, as they have routinely failed to make headway against their far weaker neighbors. That being said, new technologies that will change the face of warfare are just around the corner, so a stagnant position today could quickly grow to be a dominant one tomorrow. With the Muscovite-Prussian war ending, the Sami now share a far more significant border with Prussia as well as a nearly-undefended capital city, and with the Sami's high statistics, they seem poised to take advantage of it.
Technostar:
Zimbabwe continues to rest for yet another part, and given their severe happiness issues, I think it is merited. After all, why conquer lands when you cannot reap any of the rewards? Zimbabwe's stats still place them as the strongest nation primarily based in Africa, and with several weaker neighbors still available to conquer, Zimbabwe can afford to focus on infrastructure rather than expansion. That being said, pure passiveness is not a recipe for success, and Zimbabwe's rank has slipped slightly as a result of other nations gaining a foothold in Africa through the collapse of the Songhai.
Cloudberg:
The Moors continue to grind their way up through the hardest part of the rankings to conquer, pushing inexorably toward the holy grail at the top. And it's clear that Abd-ar-Rahman deserves this rise, as he absolutely curbstomped Songhai this episode, capturing no less than 6 cities in a single part. And more will most assuredly come as Askia's empire collapses into dust. With top tier stats, a huge military, and weak neighbours, there's plenty of room for the Moors to continue on their present trajectory and become the cylinder's largest empire.
Gragg9:
With this episode Taungoo has secured their reputation as an Oceania power. In the director’s cut it was shown that they took the remaining Mariania islands and no NZ reinforcements are nearby. They next New Zealand target is to the South near former Papua and looks takeable if the Goo focuses. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned in the PR slides before but I want to take a moment to bring attention to the Goos UA. During golden ages each puppeted city owned by the Goo produces a free melee unit every 5 turns. When you consider how many puppeted cities they could potentially have soon that’s a pretty massive bonus.
Msurdej:
Hiawatha keeps the pressure on the Metis this part, taking some cities, and gaining new allies. Now with most of North America aligned against the Metis, Hiawatha will have much less to worry about in terms of reprecussions for beating the tar out of Riel. Statwise, his production is 3rd place, and his army is just outside of the Top 5. But still, when you're up against the might of Uruguay, it's gonna take a lot more than that for Hiawatha to take the #1 spot.
Gragg9:
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that Uruguay is now fielding submarines and garrisoned aircraft carriers in the carribean and Atlantic. Not to mention the fact that the Guay now has dynamite and the Manhattan Project. The good news is that all Kuikuro cities are currently on full health, Their Songhai conquest is likely to be flipped back, and their stats lead is faltering. Zimbabwe is closing in on the production of Uruguay. Still, the tech lead for Uruguay is undeniable so they remain at the top for now.

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Images: 6, author: Slendermang, published: 2019-09-30