Author: ThyReformer
Published: 2019-08-27, edited: 1970-01-01
Msurdej: Well the shovel has been handed to Czechia, as the civ falls to bottom place, narrowly beating out the next bloke, who had a much more checkered ranking, whereas nearly everyone had Czechia in 60 or 59. And its easy to see why: Czechia is still two separated cities with bad production and science. The only reason they haven't outright collapsed yet is that their army is still fairly strong, and their neighbors are not focusing them yet. But given enough time, the advanced armies of Prussia or the HRE should have no trouble rolling over Czechia.
Lordie: Another dismal week for the Scots as their relegation to rump status is confirmed by the loss of St Andrews. Whether it gets burnt or captured, with its loss Scotland are exiled to the highlands and basically, irl Scotland. This is aptly captured in their plummeting to 59th. Alas, this run, it just wasn't meant to be for the boys in blue. Their only saving grace is that Robert's hill bonus and the Great Wall mean they might outlast other civs. Maybe. Time to jump ship and become a Manx fan, I guess.
Adm. Cloudberg: Minoa edges up to 58th, which is the second highest they've ever been (the highest being 57th). This is largely due to a few exciting facts. First, Minoa has military units. Second, Minoa has more than one city. Yay! This will prolong Minoa's survival because they have another city that they can give away in a peace treaty. Wait...
Lunar: Somehow Shikoku raged on the Macao coastline, stealing another Cantonese city and probably going to flip it into non-existence; leaving on their capital as a profitable and powerful city remaining. With stats below even Canada (the metric for bad Civs) and being slightly fragile to Sulu and completely contained by Qin; it seems that any hope of relevance has been dashed away.
Lordie: Canada may be out of last place and stabilizing, but when it comes to their stats, the centuries, nay, millennia, of being on a capital and one new city have really hurt them. Bottom in tech and bottom 5 in production, if WLMK is to have a run in this game he'll have to pull an absolute blinder. As it is though, he may take the offer of two free cities from Illiam Dhone, and if he keeps his head down he may be able to scavenge some more if the Iroquois or Métis get locked into a big war.
Aaron: Poverty Point has managed to make peace with both the Iroquois and the Metis without trading away any cities. That is the only good thing to say about Poverty Point. They're now stuck on 2 cities and still have not managed to settle, which is starting to get ridiculous considering even the Nenets, Haiti and Shikoku managed that simple task many parts ago. Canada of all civs has managed to overtake them in production - you know things are bad when that happens. At this point, it's just a waiting game to see who will kill them first. They do gain 2 ranks this part, but this is only by following the general upwards flow that can be found at the bottom of the rankings.
Reformer: Oman declared two wars this part: Against Tonga, and more worryingly, against Maratha. While Maratha doesn't seem too interested in actually invading Oman, this kind of poking the bear (or maybe wolf? or fox?) is no laughing matter. Next time might be your last. Instead, Oman should be poking the one bigger civ that makes sense: Parthia. Nizwa is still very much undefended, and would serve to strengthen Oman's position a bit. From there, the best course of action would likely be to build a proper navy and attack one of the navally-weak civs nearby - Beta Israel comes to mind. But this might all be too hopeful. But hope is good. Let's hope Oman can keep on going.
Jmangelo: The Yup'ik would have been safe next to any other American civ, but the Haida were the worst civilization to face. Their incredibly defensible mountains and hill in Alaska does not protect their coasts, and losing a city to CANADA proves that the Yup'ik are too far spread out and ripe for the takings. Can the Yup'ik hold the Bering Strait?
Aaron: Mehmed rises by 1 rank, though his situation hasn't changed. He still has the 3 cities he has spent the entire game on. The Ottomans are still at war with Prussia but fortunately Prussia is unable to navigate the small gap between Czechia and Muscovy; the Ottomans should be able to hold Edirne as long as they don't give it away in a peace deal. Their best hope for expansion at the moment is - wait for it - Ostrava! Yeah: that city which they have got down to the black 3 times so far and yet never walked away with due to bad peace deals. Will Mehmed try again for a fourth time? Will Mehmed ever succeed? Or will someone put him out of his misery first?
Reformer: Worried? Nervous? Anxious, even? These might be some of the feelings going through someone living in Murri lands when the advanced Papuan navy came along, supported by the Papuan army marching south from Darwin. Veterans of the Coral War, once on the same side against the wicked Australians, now fighting one another.

And then, just like that, it was over, peace was made, and the Papuans declared war on Australia again. Of course, Murri was probably never properly threatened: the best ranged unit Papua brought to the fight was an archer, while Murri defenders used the effective composite bows, ensuring great losses for the Papuan forces. While the war was brief, it proved that Murri can still put up an effective defense, at least for the time being. A longer war, or a war further in the future might not be as easy to stalemate, and it's not successful defense that wins you this game.
Msurdej: Well, here it comes folks. The Palmyrene DoW on Seljuqs puts Alp Arslan in a really bad spot, with Palmyrene forces besieging Rey. While the majority of forces are ranged, there are a fair bit of melee units of Palmyra outside the walls, which could see the city fall. Alp's production isn't enough to get him back in the game if he loses the city, and while the Seljuq Maldives mean that he won;t outright die, he could very well lose his mainland holdings.
Aaron: Algeria finds itself in its third war with Songhai. That by itself is already a game-ending threat, but to make things worse, the Moors have joined in from the North. Algeria has a pitifully small military of only 468 - about half the size of the second worst military on the cylinder. What they do have instead is a carpet of Deys, their great general replacement that can't fight... not that useful when they have no units to command. Algeria has defended against Songhai in the second Sahara slapfight but being partitioned between the two biggest civs in the region while having no military ... pretty terrible situation to be in. This war is more likely going to resemble the first Sahara slapfight... Algeria's best hope for survival is a premature peace deal or a 'forgot to bring a melee unit' situation. Both the Moors and Songhai are at war on their opposite side and look to lose cities there so a premature peace deal might not be out of the question but Algeria would probably have to trade away several cities to make it work.
Reformer: IT'S TONGA TIME! In a great reversal, Tonga pushes back the New Zealand invaders and takes the rude forward settle, that of Palmerston North. While Tonga is still quite far from being successful by any definition, it is a great start. Next step would be rebuilding a proper navy, as New Zealand and Papua with their compass-enabled Medieval navies are quite worrying. Tonga time could end as abruptly as it began, but for now, it is most definitely Tonga time.
Msurdej: While its already been talked about on the Minoa slide, the loss of Derna to Minoa is nothing short of an embarrassment for Libya. With low scores across the board, its only a matter of time before somebody like Venice or the Moors picks them off. However, they have a chance to improve their lot if they can join the dogpile on Algeria and snipe a city.
Aaron: The Nenets continue their glorious rise through the power rankings by doing absolutely nothing. Long gone are the times when they were perpetually 59th in the stats week after week. Now they have risen to the lofty position of 53rd in my stats table, thanks to other civs screwing up badly. And their current power ranking is even higher than their stats indicate thanks to not being in any major danger of dying! Their war against the Evenks is producing no results whatsoever, despite having a large portion the cylinder as their ally, including Kazakhstan. It seems they will just continue to exist, irrelevant and invisible until eventually someone finally discovers their location and kills them.
Reformer: And finally, a quiet part of recuperation. All this peace and sort-of prosperity might be short-lived, however, as their only relevant neighbor - the Goths - blunder their way to peace. But even if the Goths lose a city to the Kazakhs and give away another to the Sami, they are still a formidable opponent for the Horde. Which, if you for whatever reason decided to disregard their abysmal stats, would be the main reason they're this far down. Water to the west and the east, mountains and a Palmyrene behemoth to the south...the Horde is out of options, there is no way around it.
Doom: Nubia continues to rise and even overtakes Libya in the rankings again.
Piye learned from the many mistakes of the Turks and the golden horde and managed to make peace with Palmyra without trading away a city.
Nubia now looks capable of retaking Manikoura. Derna falling to Minoa hurts but is a temporary set back, nothing more. Even stealing a city or two from a distracted Songhai or war weary Beta Israel isn't out of the question entirely.
Nubia's long term future remains in doubt however. Palmyra and Songhai are some of the biggest powers in the cylinder and Nubia will not be able to build up enough before the inevitable storm.
Lordie: Muscovy, despite having every single opportunity to prevent it, have now been boxed in by a joint effort from their neighbours. As it is now, they will have to war one of the several more advanced, better-off-in-every-way civs that surrounds them to make much more progress in the game. And that's best case scenario. Given how things look right now, it's not impossible that the Goths or the Sami, or both, notice Ivan sitting there and just roll him over. Also of note is that his cities to tiles ratio is dreadful too, with even canton better off. Ivan the terrible indeed.
Aaron: Well, we're one part into the war against Uruguay, and so far zero Kuikuro cities have fallen. Heulugihiti and Kuhikugu, both on front line against the Urug horde, haven't even taken any damage yet! The Kuikuro truly are the shield that guards the rest of the cylinder from the terrifying Uruguay. It is the Nazca of all civs that is having the most success, having managed to bring Hatsikugi down to the red. They will likely capture it, marking a severe blow to the Kuikuro's reputation of being invincible and taking revenge for Paradones. Further to the north, it seems the Kuikuro are so confident in their southern cities ability to hold the line (overconfident judging by Hatsikugi) that they are actually on the offensive against Palpa. If they take it, they will still have come out of this war ahead, despite fighting the number 1 in the entire cylinder. That's certainly something.
Msurdej: Alright, I'm just gonna come out and say it: The Aztecs have been disappointing. No not just their lackluster attack on Venezuela (which was also bad), but I'm talking about the MEMES. I was promised glorious shit posts that would make the Spartans quiver in the boots. But We've gotten nothing! The last shitpost we got was over a month ago. For Crying out loud, the Scots are having better shitposts than you guys. So get off your butts Aztec supporters, and shitpost for your shitpost god. Who knows, maybe it'll inspire Montezuma to do good.
Jmangelo: Haiti fails with their land forces this part. Haiti may have had an above average start, but they seem to be slipping. A lack land combat capabilities and threats to Maturin by only... two naval units? What is Haiti even doing? Can they push past their incompetence?
Doom: Madagascar holds position this week although the Zimbabwe - Beta Israel opens up an interesting chance for Madagascar to snipe some cities from a weakened Beta Israel before Zimbabwe gets there first. This may also Madagascar's last chance to attack an African civ that isn't Zimbabwe. With a good level of tech Madagascar could start capturing colonies in the Middle East or even closer to India in the future. But if they can't even defeat Beta Israel how will they fare in later eras ?
Adm. Cloudberg: New Zealand falls six places after Seddon managed to drop the ball yet again. First he razed the city he acquired on mainland Australia, now he somehow managed to lose a city to Tonga. On top of that, the settler he disembarked on Australia hasn't moved since part 8, and Australia has settled all the good land nearby. Maybe the only thing going for New Zealand right now is the fact that Seddon has unlocked a medieval era navy. But since Papua has one too, and other civs might build them soon too, this isn't enough to prevent New Zealand from taking a dive in the rankings.
Reformer: The beast has at last declared a relevant war, and poor Beta Israel is on the receiving end. Against all odds, though, this poor and weak Semien seems to be holding back the Zimbabwe horde with little effort. Balankab has hardly been scratched by the invading force, and the reasons are clear: rough terrain combined with Semien's 3-range comp bow replacements mean that the Zimbabwe troops can be whittled down from afar while they attempt to traverse the endless hills and lakes in the way. The continuous embarkment of Zimbabwe troops into said lakes, or into the ocean, is another factor in this war. Neither side really comes out on top here, but at least Gudit can come out of the war with her honor intact.
Lacsirax: It looks like this rally car is running out of gas. Obligatory NASCAR metaphor aside, the Nazca really do look exhausted, having lost Paredones to everyone's favourite jungle-dwellers the Kuikuro. Not only that, but Palpa may well follow, although the silver lining is we do think the Nazca will take the city of Hatsikugi to the south, albeit with Uruguayan help. Still, if the Nazca can only go 2-1 down to a civ that are barely even playing, what hope do they have against the perennial top 3 contender sitting on their doorstep? Uruguay may be allies for now, but Cahuachi can't keep it that way forever. To have any chance of competing with them, he'd have to pull a miracle turnaround in both production and military. But he's already running out of gas. And in the CBR, there are no pit stops.
Bors: After peacing out with the Moors, the HRE finds itself in an odd place, with few expansion options but a solid core. From a statistical standpoint the HRE is actually quite strong, managing a top 26 in all 5 of the major stats, and having no real significant weaknesses. The problem comes when you look at their positioning: they are completely boxed in. With neighbors too strong to take on in a normal one on one war, their hope for expansion lies in 3 possibilities: Taking over Czechia, Escaping via naval conflict, or joining in a coalition against Prussia.
Lacsirax: Huh. The Evenks rise... 6 ranks. Your guess is as good as mine on this one, folks, as bar a couple more cities it was a nervy part for the Evenks, with the Kazakh invasion just about stemmed but a couple of nations making a number on their new northern outposts. Normally I'd chalk this down to "statistical noise, other civs fell harder, move on", but it feels like there's something more to it. I think it does come down to those extra 2 cities, or rather what they represent - growth. There are only a few civs who can afford peaceful expansion at this stage in the game, and the Evenks are one of them. Furthermore, but for the two cities settled a little too close to the firebrand Kazakhs, their comfortable isolation will allow them a good few centuries of relative tranquility until a fierce power finally comes a-knocking. There's little optimism for the Evenks to exceed expectations at this point, but equally it's hard to see them shuffling off the cylinder... a perfect mid-table.
Bors: Nepal is currently at peace, and you would be forgiven for thinking that they’ve been at peace this whole season, and yet, they’ve actually waged their fair share of wars. They’ve been to war with India three times, and Maratha once. This illusion of inactivity comes as a result of their lack of proper conquests, as in all 4 of these wars, they’ve taken only one city. This is not really due to any fault of their own, but rather the effect of the harsh Himalayan landscape, which makes warfare an impossible affair. This has resulted in the stagnation of the empire, an unfortunate affair but one that can be overcome, if only Prithvi Navayan were to settle more cities, or take on foes on even terrain.
Reformer: Well, that was a disappointment. Venice comes off the war with Libya with only once city captured, and it is Malia, the city of many owners. Arguably Venice's low happiness meant that they would've probably burnt down any other cities they captured, but that would still be better than this. For the time being, Venice is quite safe from all trouble, as Czechs, Turks and the HRE can hardly reach them, Libya is weakened, and Algeria is in a vice grip. More interestingly for Venice, however, a new contestant has entered the stage: Minoa has captured Derna, thus making themselves vulnerable to the advanced Venetian navy. Just get slightly happier before doing so, Enrico.
Aaron: Like the Evenks, Korea rises 7 ranks... somehow? It is true that Korea is in an extremely similar position to the Evenks, so the two large rises might be related. Like the Evenks, Korea has very low science but are compensating by building a bunch of cities in the few remaining empty spots of land on the cylinder. They are not quite as extreme as the Evenks, having far fewer cities and not quite so terrible science, but the similarity is there. Dismally low science is quite worrying for a civ in Korea's position considering both their scary neighbours (Qing and Shikoku) are getting universities at this very moment. The positive aspect of this is that both Qing and Shikoku are too busy being science turtles to actually settle which is what is allowing Korea to build so many cities in the first place. Qing has so far been uncharacteristically sleepy, and although they could probably invade Korea, they have shown no desire to. Shikoku on the other hand are playing extremely aggressively and have already declared war on Korea twice - best be prepared for when that third war inevitably happens.
Bors: Nzinga has built a nice, healthy, strong empire. The Ndongo are still far from a superpower, but their solid core lays the foundations for a potentially great empire. Despite this, the window of opportunity for Nzinga is closing. As with many civs, what keeps the Ndongo from rising in the ranks is the poor opportunities for expansion, with only two real neighboring civs, both being very difficult to take down. It’s understandable then that this squeezed nation would attempt to find a new path by charging into the overextended and incompetent Songhai. As it stands, Nzinga looks very likely to take Kangaba, with the potential to maybe flip Tlemcen too. With a distracted Zimbabwean army too, the Ndongo are successfully pushing while they can, and will undoubtedly rise in parts to come.
Bors: Another part passes, and Benin continues to be the least significant African state. After surviving two proximity wars without any real casualties, Benin has sat in silence hoping not to draw the ire of their neighbors, of which they have plenty. During this time of peace, Benin has still not managed to crack the top 40 on the infoaddict sheets, with very middling numbers in major categories such as military and production. The longer Benin stays put without expansion, the more and more their empire will stagnate, eventually dooming them to mediocrity.
Doom: India continues slowly moving back up through the ranks for no apparent reason, most likely due to other civs failures. While powerful late game UCs will take them far they will have to survive long enough to unlock them. At the moment this is far from guaranteed. Even if Nepal can't progress through war they can keep placing citadels straight into the Indian core. Maratha are also an existential threat to India.
With every part that passes it's more and more difficult to see India taking a city, even from Nepal.
Lacsirax: Sulu bounce back from their slump in last part's rankings. That slump probably came about as their attack on Canton dissolved; ironically, this episode a similar thing happened with an assault on Taungoo. Dala seemed a sure bet to fall, and I'd have put money on Sum Chen too... then they made peace, as happens so often. It's encouraging that they were able to bring heat onto a civ, and equally I'm pleased to see them settle a new city for the second part on the trot. But I can't mask my disappointment that they're yet to deploy their advanced navy in a meaningful way, even as Papua next door are doing a lot more with a lot less. They're running out of excuses, and like so many other civs sitting in the midtable, running out of time.
Adm. Cloudberg: Shikoku slides slightly as the power rankers become increasingly concerned about Korea's settlement of Japan. In fact, Korea now has more cities in the Japanese archipelago than Shikoku does, which should be enough to make any self-respecting Japanese person explode in fury. The settler seen last part has only just started moving, and it appears to be headed south toward Okinawa and not toward the one remaining area of Honshu that Ryoma could still try to claim.
Adm. Cloudberg: In a course of events that even the rankers have found somewhat baffling, the Vikings rise 11 places this part. Sure, a rise is certainly warranted. Ragnar has settled both the Shetlands and the Faroes, attacked Scotland, and unlocked his unique Longship (whose ability is unclear as there are several different versions of what it does and when it's unlocked). But there are also reasons to doubt that Ragnar can live up to the hype. He recently gave away a city to the Sami and it doesn't seem like he'll get that land back again. And although he captured Saint Andrews from Scotland, he's burning the city to the ground, opening up the area to Manx resettlement. Next part we will probably learn whether this sudden and dramatic rise in the rankings is actually justified.
Msurdej: Scissor said it best in the part's last slide: "Selk’nam would be a first rate power anywhere but right next to Uruguay. " The continuing slide down the rankings of Selk'nam is more due to them going to have to fight Uruguay to gain any sort of real gains. Their failure to do so a couple of parts back all but sealed their fate. Now a navy of blue and yellow is ominously close to the border of Selk'nam, and most of their navy is on the other side of the continent. While it may not fold immediately, the chances of Selk'nam do not look good.
Aaron: Prussia drop slightly, more due to brownian motion than anything they did. They remain top 10 in the stats worldwide, though only 3rd highest in Europe (behind the Sami and the Moors). Their war against the Ottomans is going nowhere - the gap between Czechia and Muscovy that Prussian troops have to fit through is just too small to effectively maneuver. More problematic is their low happiness (4 currently) which would ensure any conquests would probably be burnt for no gain, something we have seen a number of other civs struggle with. I would say by far the best target for Prussia at the moment (or once the happiness issue is fixed) is Muscovy - not only are they fairly weak, but they are so long that they are getting in the way of every other war in the region.
Reformer: Though the part was a bit quiet for the Manx, that doesn't mean nothing happened. On the Isles, Scotland suffers another defeat as the Vikings start their viking, and the Manx ought to be a bit nervous as multiple somewhat random war declarations come their way. The actually relevant ones here are Iroquois and Moors, where Iroquois might be a bother to their Canadian colonies, but more importantly the Moors, who are actual neighbors to the upstart civ. The Moors might've slightly overestimated their strength, however, as they have arrived into a two-front war out of their own volition. The majority of Moor troops appear to be charging south into Algeria, giving the Manx a surprising chance at making gains on the mainland. Unfortunately, the Moorish garrison in France seems to still be quite strong, meaning a permanent capture is unlikely. Seeing as this is one of the better scenarios for this war, one can only hope that the war doesn't drag out into a situation where the Moors make peace with Algeria and focus on the Manx.
Adm. Cloudberg: Venezuela seemed to stabilize this part, making peace with some its troublesome neighbours and getting some room to breathe. They built up their army and infrastructure a bit too, which should make them more resilient next time Haiti tries to invade. That said, their expansion opportunities have not gotten much better. Venezuela has never taken a city from any of its neighbours, and unless they can find a way to start doing so, they will not be able to challenge Uruguay in the way we all hoped they might.
Adm. Cloudberg: Papua climbs nine ranks this part, which strikes me as a major overreaction—but there is some justification. One part is that a lot of civs above them have not been doing well. More significantly, Papua is making good use of its medieval era navy while their neighbours are still researching compass, allowing them to easily knock Alice Springs down to red and all but ensuring it will fall next part. Papua is aiming in the right direction too; after all, if they want to have any shot whatsoever at controlling Oceania, they need to cut Australia down to size before it's too late. Here's to hoping they can do some damage.
Lordie: If the Ottomans were the Old Man of Europe, Cixi is definitely the Old Lady of Asia. Not insofar as age is concerned, naturally, but with regards to her declining status as a major player.Yes, she's still a top 20 civ, but in a region with four other top 15 civs within sight, and her other two neighbours both also in the top half, there's no real weak neighbour for them to feed off of, which is kind of how the Qing play. They are meant to tech up quickly, but their lack of expansion has led to their being surpassed by the top civs. Unless something changes soon, for instance, a blitz of Korea or the Bering cities- the Qing could be entering a long twilight.
Reformer: The war to the north trudges on. Neither side seems to care for actual fighting. Unless we're talking about the battle of Frog Lake, of course. The cleverly named city is so far the only city to flip in the Metis-Apache war, with masses of troops from both sides filtering into the land surrounding the city despite being in the Rockies, as compared to the easy-to-traverse plains to the east. What would compel two civs, powerful in their own right, to focus on the mountainous bit of terrain on a massive front? Why, the answer is obvious. Frog Lake is the city of world's desire. And it is telling of Apache's competency that they managed to at least flip the city, when it was Metis that declared this war.
Reformer: Peace, at last, but at what cost? Well, considering the minimal value of Ravenna and Baiyara, one could argue that the biggest loss was Alaric's honor, but even the most stubborn Goth supporter should admit that the loss of two cities stings. Goths might have settled a new city where Baiyara was, but in the end, Civ is a zero-sum game. Anything your enemy gets is away from you, and everyone is a current or future foe. An inevitable conclusion is that you should always take a city your enemy offers to you, and if you can't protect it, you should probably burn it down so it cannot be of use to your enemy. A culmination of this ideal might be postponing the razing of a city until it is threatened, where you might connect the city to your empire before that occurs. Either way, despite the bleeding, Goths remain statistically strong and maintain the ability to absolutely wreck Muscovy, an action that would certainly bring salvation to the troubled leader.
Lacsirax: Haida pass the Apache to take the #3 spot in North America, and it's been comfortably earned. Taking Imangaq was almost too easy, and while their navy are a little confused by the icebergs around the Bering Strait, with any luck they should make quick work of Niugtaq too - in other words, they're on course to be the second civ to two capital cities. That said, we're watching them best a very easy foe, and while any conquest is good, it's not like the Yup'ik homelands will make the best production bases in the wars to come. They'll have to work on their home infrastructure: despite a very high population their production is still fields behind the Métis and Iroquois, and is even outpaced by the Apache. It can't help either that they keep pouring that production into superfluous wonders, grabbing Machu Picchu this part (which at least looks very pretty next to Skidegate).
Aaron: An exciting part for the Moors, as they follow up their victory over the HRE with an incredibly ballsy move of taking on both their southern and northern neighbours at the same time. The war against Algeria was probably a good idea as it should hopefully allow the Moors to grab some Algerian clay before Songhai eats up the whole thing. Algeria has 1/13th the military the Moors have - their lands are only defended by a carpet of generals. Their cities are free for the taking IF the Moors can get across Gibraltar (which is something AI typically struggles with). The war against the Manx on the other hand, seems rather ill advised. The Moors do have a lot more military than the Manx but fighting a 2 front war is difficult, and most of the Moor navy and army is down south. Despite a large number of composite bowmen lining the shoreline, Malaqah is still in a very vulnerable position to attacks from the sea and has a good chance of falling. Though perhaps this is a genius bait - if the Manx attack Malaqah, then whether or not if they take the city, one thing for sure is that they will lose a lot of triremes - triremes which then can't be upgraded to Carracks once the Manx hit compass... Forgie's law not withstanding, the next part will be an exciting one for Moor fans.
Adm. Cloudberg: Australia holds steady in the rankings this part, not because nothing changed, but because a lot did. We had rankers putting Australia everywhere from 7th to 27th as we struggle to decide whether Australia's rapid expansion or its military vulnerability deserves more weight. On the one hand, Australia settled six cities this part, which is equal to an entire Papua. On the other hand, Papua is on the offensive again and will face little resistance in taking at least one of those six new cities. The question is: will more of Australia's neighbours join the fight?
Jmangelo: The Burmese Pythons survive a brutal Proa attack from the Sulu! Whilst maintaining their top 15 position from pure defensive luck alone, the Sulu were coming and almost came! With a dangerous amphibious invasion, any further wars can determine whether or not the Taungoo can maintain hegemony over the South China Sea. Without any major damage, however, the Taungoo will continue their burning rivalry with the terrifying Marathan Great Power.
Adm. Cloudberg: Hiawatha suddenly looks, well, not too shabby! He's once again on the offensive against poor helpless Canada, and last part he easily captured London with only a few ships. As if that wasn't enough, he also declared war on the Manx in an effort to get their Vinlandic colonies. However, it remains to be seen if the Iroquois have enough ships to get that far. Still, it's unlikely the Manx will reinforce them, considering their rather distracting war with the Moors. So if everything goes right, Hiawatha could pick up quite a few cities next part, possibly including a capital—a move which would certainly propel him into the top 10, at least temporarily.
Msurdej: Mithridates was only mentioned in passing this part, being in no relevant wars. Speculation was made however, on an Indian x Parthia war. However, this ranker believes Parthia should throw their lot in with Palmyra. An attack on the Seljuqs would make for easy gains, and the allied fight with Palmyra would do good for diplomacy. Stats-wise, while their military looks good, their production is starting to suffer. If Mithridates wants to get back into the top 10, he's gonna have to do something.
Reformer: Fresh off the disappointments of the Libyan war, Askia has decided that the best way to make everyone forget he ever failed is to declare yet another war. The Third War of the Burning Sahara has arrived as Songhai declares war on Algeria for the third time - but this time, they have friends to the north, in the form of Moors. Not that they need the help, as the Algerian army seems to have disappeared into thin air since it was last seen. No, I'm not kidding: Algeria has the smallest army on the cylinder right now. Of course, the Algerian territory will still pose a problem for Askia, he is still probably vulnerable to a poorly timed peace deal - and, of course, to the Ndongo navy cruising around by his southern cities. Kangaba is likely to flip, but unlikely to be taken in any permanent capacity. Unless, again, peace deals...
Reformer: It is a quiet but good part for Maratha as the war with Australia predictably goes nowhere. Not much has changed for Maratha: a good naval invasion of Taungoo or Oman might go somewhere, and avoiding a war on the Indian subcontinent will be beneficial for now, as such a war would likely become a stalemate once more. Aside from that, Shivaji does not have very many targets. Turtling and buffing up for now might not be a bad course of action.
Doom: Jamukha continues to do nothing even as other sleeping giants like Zimbabwe start to wake up and actually invade their neighbours. While Seonjo is very much not a threat, Jamukhas attitude to the war doesn't fill us with confidence. Lacklustre settling from Qing and the worldwide hatred of the Evenks leave both civs vulnerable to the Khamugs should they decide to try. The Kazakhs are also a safe bet if the Khamugs want to expand through conquest rather than settling.
Reformer: The war with the Goths ends rather quietly, while the war with the Evenks goes similarly quiet. The Kazakh horde, content with proving that they're not incompetent at waging war, calm down once more. Mind, this is not necessarily a mistake on their part: Any further, and they might be overextending to the point where Parthia would feel confident in attacking right into their core. A chance to recover and consolidate their holdings is a good choice indeed. One should keep in mind that Parthia is the only civ that could pose a credible threat to the Kazakhs, as the Khamugs are behind some unfriendly terrain, and the rest of the neighborhood can't contest Kazakh military superiority.
Msurdej: Now you might be thinking, what the heck PRs? Why have Palmyra fallen a rank when they're making the right play, attacking the weaker Seljuqs. Well folks three reasons:
One) The attack on Rey should have already succeeded, with the superior force Zenobia has at their disposal.
Two) Their production is starting to lag behind
Three) The PRs were more divided on how strong Palmyra is, leading to an overall lower rank.
Msurdej: Qin drops a rank this week, but it has less to do with his failings and more to do with others doing better. The boys and girls in blue are still doing the best in the region, with a sizeable military and one of the strongest productions on the cylinder. What's hurting them though, is their inaction. They could make moves against Shikoku or Canton, or perhaps one of the other Three Kingdoms, but at this stage, not playing the game is a definite way to go down in ranks.
Adm. Cloudberg: The Sami rise to their highest rank since part 2, and the reason is obvious: everyone's favourite grandma has decided that military units are even better than cookies. That's right, the Sami military has exploded in size, making them only the second civ (after Uruguay) to surpass 10,000 soldiers. For contrast, Uruguay has 14k, and no one else is even above 8k. As for Eadni's overall position, there are still some unanswered questions, however. For example, she is apparently suffering from happiness problems, because she was gifted two cities in the peace treaties this part and razed both of them. That's not the sort of behaviour that we need to see from the Sami. Nevertheless, their sheer size makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Jmangelo: The Meaty Boys maintain 3rd place again! Being the largest civilization by far, their lack of any military success is starting to wane on the PR. Whilst being the strongest civilization in North America by far, could this civilization be a paper tiger? Only time will tell...
Msurdej: Zimbabwe still remains in second place this week, but they seek to change that by going to war. Now, Mutota decides to forgo all reason put forth by Cloudberg in the last ranking, and decides to attack Beta Israel. While it hasn't produced any results yet, Zimbabwe's forces are moving towards Balankas and defending their own cities. And if Nyatsumba can take Balankas, many of the east coast cities of Beta Israel will be easier to take, and allow Zimbabwe to follow the path of the Boers.
Reformer: Another episode, another dozen skirmishes in the Amazon that lead nowhere. Uruguay has proven that having the biggest military on the cylinder means little if you can't use it properly. Or if your enemy hides in the jungle. Or both. But even so, there is a silver lining: Uruguay's friends in Nazca are finally making progress against a Kuikuro city - Hatsikugi, to be specific. In an ideal world, Hatsikugi falls to the Nazca, and the Kuikuro defenders panic, allowing for an opening that Uruguay can take advantage of...ah, who am I fooling, this war is doomed to be a failure for Uruguay. Whether it's enough of a failure to nudge down this rank 1 civ, is yet to be seen. For those cheering against Uruguay, this war is obviously going just as intended: with no benefits for Uruguay. For those cheering for Uruguay, well, you can always be happy with the fact that Uruguay would have to fuck up many, many more times to be out of the running.

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Images: 27, author: TheMusicArchivist, published: 2018-03-02, edited: 1970-01-01