France IA Redux: Part 9 - Vive le Roi! (fin)

Author: porkpotpie
Published: 2019-11-03, edited: 2019-12-02

Part of the campaign:

France IA Redux

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Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

France IA Redux: Part 8 - The Clock Strikes 11

Images: 83, author: porkpotpie, published: 2019-11-03, edited: 2019-11-22

Bonjour les amis! Welcome to the final part of France IA Redux, the game that had more France's per unit of measurement than any other game. This will be an extended episode as it is the last one.

15 votes this time around, and surprisingly not every vote was for West Germany. 1 vote was for Cornwall, and 1 was for Flanders. Lets see if the voters are correct, shall we?

We start this part off by continuing coverage of the Francois-Flanders War, where Francois has been pushed back from his strong line at the Loire River to a point further south. His capital and Nantes are currently the front line, but it looks like Flanders has overextended itself. Speaking of Flanders, they're also now at war with West Germany, the powerhouse of the game. Let's take a look at the front.
Well, it doesn't look that bad actually, the two armies are tied, but while Flanders' forces are almost entirely composed of Future Worlds units, West Germany still has a sizeable amount of non-FW units which could lead to some losses by the Germans. Something that West Germany has in abundance, however, is aircraft, which they've used to bring all but 4 Flemish cities to dark red health.
Taking advantage of the situation, Francois goes to peace with Flanders, recapturing Lucon but leaving the Flemish island of Tournai. You can see the territory controlled bu Lucon thanks to the Great Wall's rearrangement. Anyway, Francois has surely gone too far this time, declaring war on the Papal States, who as a city-less entity are thus completely unkillable.
Ath is captured by Flanders, as expected, while West Germany captures Courtrai. The Flemish air force attacks the West German cities on or south of the Seine River, but they'd do better to defend Chavonne, as it looks like the city will fall next turn.
Speak of the devil, there it goes. That was once Georges Clemenceau's capital, a long time ago. Flanders looks pushed back in this image, all forces centred on defense.
In the north Carleroi falls, but it should flip next turn. Mons is likely the next target for West Germany, all things considered.
A painful turn for Flanders, losing Ath and Mons. Brussels is also West German, but I'm pretty sure that was from a turn or two ago.
On a different front, Flanders has annexed most of the cities it gained from New France, so their base of production has moved from their core to their conquests. Looks like Tours is the current front line, and it could go either way at this point.
Flanders pushes back, recapturing Ath, but the concentration of forces around Mons looks pretty strong in antiair. Lyon has flipped a few times by the look of its population.
Mons is recaptured, likely as it was nuked until the units around it died. Its a shame that the Flemish fleet can't do anything, it looks very impressive.
Bayonne falls to Flanders, and now the front moves to Orleans (the not-capital one). West Germany's army in this area is small, almost nonexistent. What happened to the carpet they used to have, why isn't it being used here?
Quick, a break in the fighting to see who is happy and who isn't!
Looks like Flanders managed to capture both Orleans, and is somehow pushing West Germany back.

Alright, seriously, where is the giant carpet that West Germany had that made them such a fearsome threat to the rest of the game?
Hell, even up here their carpet has evaporated... Flanders recaptures Mons and Brussels.
And now Liege as well (the non-capital Liege). What the hell?
There goes Chavonne, and it looks like Courtrai is next. Lille is also under attack, and to add insult to injury the Visigoths have attacked the West Germans as well.
It doesn't look like they'll get much without open borders with Louis XI, Darantasia and maybe Bourges if they can get through Francois' territory.
Lille and even Arlon have fallen. Is West Germany dead or something? Adenauer, wake up!
The West German insettle of Stuttgart has fallen, maybe the fall of a West German city will wake up the West Germans?

Bourges is indeed Visigothic, but it looks like Alesia of all places has a bit of a military presence.
This should be fun, seeing the weakness of the West Germans, their southern neighbours Louis XI has declared war on them. If Flanders' progress is any measure, Louis should have no trouble making massive gains.
See what I mean? The front is devoid of West German uints.
Antwerp falls, not to be confused with Antwerps, and there really is no West German military might left almost. What the hell happened?
Dijon falls to Louis, and other formerly Swis and Burgundy cities are in the black.
Binche falls, with Liege-the-Capital looks like the next battleground.
Troyes falls to Flanders, as Autun falls to Louis. Lutetia looks like it could go either Flemish of Visigothic, if those two units survive, and I think the Visigoths go first in the turn order.
Geneva falls to Louis as Autun goes Visigothic. A nice island from which to hop to the next city I guess.
In the north Flemish forces gather in strength as they take the fight to Metz and Luxembourg. Treves and Soissons have already fallen to the Flemish Flatteners.

The Visigoths and West Germans go to peace.
Here you can see all of the Visigoths gains: Darantasia, Bourges, and Lutetia. Not a lot, but not bad considering they barely shared a border. Unfortunately it likely won't be enough as the war to decide the new powerhouse of France is being waged by Flanders and Louis.
Liege-the-Capital falls to Flanders. What happened to those badass military wonders you built earlier Konrad? Why aren't you using them to win the war?
Finally, a West German... uh... Unit? does something, and captures Antwerp. A bit of a case of too little to late Konrad...
To the south Cologne falls, essentially cutting off all former Swiss and Holy Roman Empire cities from reinforcements, not that there are any.

That Norman great general must be amazed at how this war is progressing.
Wow, West Germany's military really did evaporate, I'm not sure that they'd be a threat to even Cornwall at this rate. Vercingetorix must be rolling over in his grave considering how competent and effective West Germany's military was when it invaded him.
Munich falls to Flanders as Antwerp is nuked out of existence.
Bern is taken by Louis, who has quite an army moving up from his core.
Dortmund and Metz fall to Flanders, as Louis captures Freiburg im Breisgau, former HRE capital.
Flanders settled Ypres where Antwerp was, but West Germany managed to push the front line back enough to capture it and both Lieges. Maybe we're seeing the start of a counterattack by the West Germans?
Well, in the north at least. In the south Zurich falls, and Essen and Magdeburg look set to.
Look, the West Germans captured Soissons and Metz from Flanders. Progress. Louis captures Dortmund and Magdeburg.
Luxembourg falls to Flanders, and they control Munich and Liege as well.
Oh boy, Maastricht falls to Flanders. You know things are bad if cities this far west fall.
Lousi pushes into Essen, and it looks like Heidelberg is next for him.

Konrad's West Germans have retaken Luxembourg temporarily.
Diekirch and Echternach have fallen, reducing the formerly massive and very intimidating West Germany to 4 cities. How the mighty have fallen, and with so little resistance too.
Oh, Heidelberg is recaptured, but not for long. I count more civilian units than military units, and that's a bad sign.
After a small push over 3 turns the West Germasn have recaptured some cities, but they're shells fo their former selves and this won't be enough to stop them from kicking the bucket.
One final overextension, eh? For old times' sake.
And now the walls come crumbling down. Louis makes the first move, from the south.
And Flanders continues in the northwest.
Louis has a massively popular tourist destination with Grenoble, but none of his other cities are on the list. Weird. Interesting that West Germany still has two cities on the list, their capital and second city.
Louis suddenly rushes up to take Echternach, placing him close to West Berlin.
With Flanders cleaning up the western approaches, Louis takes West Berlin, reducing West Germany to 3 cities.
Well, West Germany is still at 3 cities, but they traded Bonn for West Berlin. Methinks they won't keep West Berlin for long.
Nope, called it. Fladners is moving on Hamburg, but Louis' army is nowhere to be found.
I guess they found some units. Frankfurt falls to Louis XI and Hamburg to Fladners. Thus ends the fall of West Germany.

Konrad Adenauer of West Germany (Rank: 6/40) was everyone's pick to win the game at the start of this part, and was for a majority of the game. He built up his corner of the map when his neighbours didn't box him in and warred intelligently in coalitions against his enemies. He was strong all game, and displayed it when conquering the Gauls, blitzing them and adding them to his core, but after that was stagnation. Attempting to take advantage of a distracted Flanders was his undoing, as his military was outdated and horrendously underreinforced. Louis XI jumped in after Flanders did all of the hard work and managed to feast on the corpse of West Germany. A great game until they blew it in the end by not building more military units once they ran out of carpet.
A few turns later, the Flemish, not content with putting away the strongest power in the game thus far, decide that those Cornish sons-of-a-bitches are going down and declare war on them. Things bode badly for the Cornish, as they're out-empired by Flanders. At least most of Cornwall's cities aren't coastal.

Bonus points to whoever gets the reference.
Aaaand the first city that falls is of course Cornwall's capital, the easiest-to-access coastal city that they have. Also, the Cornish army appears to be mainly concentrated in the east, so its likely to stay that way.
Chester and Winchester both fall to Flanders as the Cornish military appears to consists only of 3 units. At least they flipped their capital, right?
Pennsans falls as well, reducing Cornwall to Aberfal. The Cornish military forces consist of a Cybersub and a... Uh... thing? I don't know, but if I remember correctly they can't capture cities, so Cornwall is up shit creek without a paddle.
Or not. Happy with Winchester and Truro, Flanders goes to peace with Cornwall leaving them in Aberfal to await the end of the game.
Everything is all smiles in Flanders and Francois' territory. Less so in Cornwall.
Money! The usual suspects lead.
Alright, This was supposed to be the end of the part, and then Total War was supposed to be declared, but seeing as Total War isn't long enough to merit its own part, its getting added to this part.

Here are the population stats. It isn't entirely meaningless to show this, as population does mean production.
The true determining factor of the game, production! Flanders leads by a significant margin, so it looks like they're the ones to beat. Cornwall isn't doing so badly all things considered.
Military manpower is probably the second determining factor, and somehow Louis XI is leading here. It isn't a dominant lead, but he should be able to make some early gains.
Finally happiness. It is important as well, but everyone is so happy that it doesn't matter how many cities they take over, they'll still be happy.

Anyway, here's Total War!
We start Total War by looking at what will be perhaps the most active part, the middle.

Civs with only units left are also included in Total War, as its no fun if they survive with just units, we're looking for the true dominant power of France.
After the first turn of Total War Louis XI makes the most gains, taking Nemossos and Alesia from Flanders, and Darantasia and Lutetia from the Visigoths. Darantasia will likely flip, but the other cities look like Louis' cities for the next little bit.
To the west Flanders and Francois are going at it, Flanders attacking from the north around Mont-Saing-Aignan, and Lucon, Nantes, and Toulon falling. The Francois-Visigoths front is quiet for now apart from some of Francois' units near Bordeaux.
In the south Engordany falls to the Visigoths, so perhaps it isnt't as quiet as I thought it was. Motst of the Visigoths' cities are in the red, apart from their capital.
Locon is recaptured by Francois, as is Toulon, but Amiens and Mont-Saint-Aignan fall to Flanders. Bordeaux is flipped, and Saigon looks like it'll be next.
Almost as an afterthought, Flanders eliminates Cornwall.

Michael an Gof of Cornwall (Rank: 5/40) lived much longer than he had any right to. He didn't war much at all, warring with the Anglo-Saxons (he won that one), Franco's Spain (He won that one too, to capture Santander), Francois (he lost Santander), and finally Flanders (he lost twice). I think the only reason he survived is because everyone forgot he was there. A lackluster performance overall.
San Sebastian falls to the Visigoths as Francois' core looks rather barren of units. The Visigoths have many units, however they are being besieged on all sides.
As previously mentioned, Louis has managed to capture Emerita, Encamp, Andorra la Vella, Arras, and Narbo from the Visigoths.
They're also making great progress against Flanders in the north, capturing Maastrich, Diekirch, adn some other cities just south of what we can see. Don't tell me that Flandres caught West Germany's disease...
There is no peace once Total War is declared. No turns of peace, only war, constant war.

Francois and Louis decide to squish the Visigoths, Louis takign Antium, Aurillac, Gergovia, and Toledo, and Francois retaking San Sebastian, Bordeaux, Vitoria, and Barcino. The Visigoths were a potent military force, as the only nation with a full carpet, but being attacked on 3 fronts isn't good for an empire. At least they managed to recapture Andorra la Vella though.
In the Centre of France Louis' forces advance, capturing Limoges, Nimes, Bourges, Arlon, nad Lille, and apparently flipping Orleans (capital). Francois is struggling to retain his original core, capturing Lucon and Tournai, but losing his other cities with all of the Hyperstructures.
Luxembourg, Soissons, Treves, Stuttgart, and Cherbourg fall to Louis' march to the sea.
Louis also marches to the bay, as he captures Escaldes, Andorra, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Poitiers. The Visigoths are about to be eliminated, as they only control Engordany.
Its now a 3 way battle as Francois eliminates the Visigoths. Lille, Congnac and Nantes fall to Louis as the Flemish try to hold the line.

Leovigild of the Visigoths (Rank: 4/40) didn't do too badly, becoming the power to the north of the Pyrenees. They fought their neighbours early on to carve a large empire for themselves, but unfortunately they didn't keep expanding. Their full carpet couldn't help them when besieged on all sides and they didn't have the city count to be able to keep fighting after losing a few of them. Well done, but not good enough to win the game.
Louis has taken all of the former Visigothic cities. Francois's new capital is Strasbourg, that city that once split Navarre in two.
This is the main reason why rankings won't be updated for reborn civs: Liege's return starts a trend. As Louis' armies advance on Flanders, capturing Binche, Munich, Coutrai, and Chavonne, the Flemish counterattack captures Liege and frees it. While this is a smart idea on Flander's part in normal war, every civ that exists in the game during Total War is included in said war, so Liege becomes involved.
Francois recovered their capital from Louis long enough for Flanders to capture it. Marseille is totally undefended, so someone could just walk into it and take it. Actually, a few cities in this slide are. Maybe I should start building an empire?
Georges Clemenceau is reborn in Chavonne, and immediately joins Total War. Both Lieges fall to Louis.
As Louis marches on Catherine de Medici and Louis XVI are reborn as well.
Belgium is also reborn, but all 3 reborn states will have war declared on them next turn as I got excited this turn that Flanders would use the creation of neutral vassals to act as a buffer between himself and Louis. Speaking of Louis, he captured Mons, Brussels, and Ypres.

If you look on the minimap you can see that Francois is putting up one hell of a fight against Louis.
Heh, you can see a Flemish nanohive inside of Liege, which somehow doesn't recapture the city. Interesting.
Louis XIV is reborn, as is Luxembourg. Somehow Louis XVI built a trade caravan for some reason, and Louis XI captured Ath.
Even Richelieu is reborn. The Louis XI and Flanders front here is quiet, almost as if they had a truce or something... Time to see about that. In the north, you can see Flanders invading Lille to retake it from Louis XVI. This is the second time de Medici has been revived this war.
Charleroi, Antwerps, Mons, Lyon, and Ghent fall to Louis XI. He's so close he can smell the sea up here.
In the north Flanders' capital falls, and is moved to Lancaster of all places. Louis XVI is reborn again, and Louis XI and Flanders try to go to peace, but there is no peace in Total War.
This time its Normandy's turn, as Louis captures St-Omer and Rouen, leaving Leuven as the only core Flemish city still in their control. Somehow Normandy even has two units, a caravel and some musketmen.
Versailles, Mont-Saint-Aignan, Amiens, Tournai, and Orleans (capital) fall to Louis as de Medici is brought back for the third time.
New France is brought back to life this go around as Flanders and Francois go to peace. You know what that means: more war.
Saint-Lo, Trois-Rivieres, Lancaster, Tours, adn Rennes fall to Louis. Francois is still holding the coastal strip to the south somehow. Very impressive.
I just had to say something... San Sebastian adn Strasbourg fall to Louis as Anne of Brittany is revived.
Flanders is reduced to Brittany and the Cotentin peninsula. it looks like Flanders did catch what West Germany had, as they didn't put up much of a fight. We're only 23 turns into Total War and they've been reduced to this and southern England.
Pamplona falls to Louis as even more people are revived.
Return of New France and the Anglo-Saxons are back. Brittany is gone though.
Apparently conquering large swaths of France makes Louis incredibly happy, over 1000 happiness, damn...
Uh oh, the formerly proud Flemish fleet is essentially gone, as Louis pulls a reverse Operation Overlord and invades England to take Mechelen and Buckingham. The Anglo-Saxons are revived in Stafford, for now.
The final stand of Continental Flanders: Brest, Algiers, and Oran.

Francois recaptures the coastal cities, as well as those to the south of the Pyrenees. He's holding off against Louis pretty well, but methinks that's because Louis is focusing on Flanders first despite being at war with both.
Well, there goes that last stand. Flanders has been kicked off of the continent.
And the fight continues in England, with Louis capturing Wallingford and Wareham. Flanders is reduced to the maximum extent of Cornwall currently... How the mighty fall.
Francois recaptures Pamplona, but loses Paris and the coastal bay cities in the north.
The final 4 Flemish cities, and only 3 more capitals to go until Louis wins it all.
We can see the remains of the oft-contested Spanish lands, currently Francois' last defense.
Pennsans falls to Louis, and Flanders' army is 4 whole units.
There go Cambrai and Truro.
And finally Aberfal. As Aberfal was the last city of Flanders, Robert III knows how Michael an Gof felt when he was eliminated not so long ago.

Robert III of Flanders (Rank: 3/40) played well. He was hampered by many neighbours, but managed to coalition them with allies and made great gains. His war against New France cemented his place as a power in the game, but all seemed lost when West Germany invaded while he was at war with Francois. Against all odds, Robert was able to fight off the West Germans and pushed them back. With the entry of Louis XI against West Germany, Robert managed to capture the industrial core of West Germany. This may have been to his detriment however, as he caught what had infected West Germany: Not producing military units. Well done, but something went terribly wrong at the end...
I hope you're prepared to see lots of images of this part of the map, as this is all that's left.

Also, I've been listening to Sabaton while narrating Total War, if you like the Great War or WWII give them a listen, they sing rock about the two and they're really good.
I'll make it quick: Sebille and Bilbao fall to Louis.
Followed by Madrid and Pravia. Santander is the current capital of Louis, but don't expect it to remain that way.
Cangas de Onis is captured, but somehow Santander still flies Francois' flag. Also, there's a settler near Pravia?
Ah, there goes Santander, Barcelona, and Oviedo. Louis XI has captured all of the capitals of the game, and is hereby the winner. But Francois still exists, so has he really won yet?
Of course not! Leon falls, reducing Francois to Montpellier!
And there goes Montpellier. With this, Francois is eliminated (I could wait until the cybersubs are destroyed, but what would be the point, they can't capture cities anyway).

Francois of France (Rank: 2/40) turtled hard early game and focused on teching up. When he deemed his tech had reached sufficient levels, he expanded outwards, capturing Navarre and then going on to conquer Spain. After that, he helped eliminate New France, but lost most of his recently gained lands in a foolish war with Flanders, his cobelligerent against New France. That war ended when West Germany declared war on Flanders, but the damage was done. He built most of the Hyperstructures of the game, but those couldn't help him when Total War came around. Either way, well played Francois, you were resilient to the end and knew when to war and when to turtle. A good game.
Here it is, the capital of France, Grenoble. Louis XI (Rank: 1/40 and game victor) has proved himself to be the best France of the game. Despite some bad warring early on, he did well against Burgundy, but was pushed back by the Gauls. He then took care of his immediate neighbourhood by eliminating Monaco, then joined in against West Germany when they were being demolished by Flanders. Fortunately for him, Flanders caught West Germany's idle bug which made it easy for them to be conquered by Louis. Total War lasted for 44 turns.

I'm extremely pleased that a France won France IA Redux, and while statistically they were most likely to do so, it wasn't an easy journey. Thanks so much for reading, I appreciate your comments and thoughts on the game. Its been a pleasure to run this for you! Until next time, this has been u/porkpot.

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