THE OFFICIAL CIVILIZATION BATTLE ROYALE X POWER RANKINGS: PART 4

Author: SZAFNGA
Published: 2019-07-15
Msurdej: With the XIa removed, someone has to be the new bottom rung of the ladder, and this time around, it's Canada. King has struggled to make it in North Armerica: both Hiawatha and Tehera have been taking their cities, and the Metis continued to close in. That coupled with the weakest military and the lowest production rates on the cylinder, means that Canada under King is doomed to meet the same fate as Canada under Pearson, just at a much faster pace.
Andy: Oh Algeria, how we cry for thee. Suffice to say, Algeria has not had a good part, or even a good series of parts. In fact, Algerian performance over the past few parts can be said to be an effectively unmitigated disaster. The Libyan War was a debacle, with Benghazi was brought down to near-black, before a lack of melee units resulted in the siege being broken. Any hopes of restarting the siege were then crushed again as the peace with Songhai cost the Algerians Mascara. Finally, having peaced out with both of their neighbours, Algeria has dropped ten ranks in a part, successfully lost a war to Libya, and resisted so little in the face of Songhai dominance that the Songhai are a city short of touching the Mediterranean coastline.

While Algeria still has a settler left to get them a new third city in Morocco, the fact that Algeria has six Great Generals and 0 citadels should provide an image of Algerian competence and resource utilization.
Msurdej: The good news is that Rajapapua founded a third city, and did not have a disastrous part like Canada or Algeria.
The bad news is that he still only has three cities, most are a stiff breeze away from falling to a navy, and the Sulu and Australians continue to look far and away better than anything Papua has done since the game started.
Msurdej: Minos rises to the highest theyve ever been: a whopping 57. This is mostly due to the failures of civs like Algeria and Canada than to Minos's achievements though. If anything, things are looking worse for Minoa, as Palmyra looks more impressive with nearby settles. Gournia is looking like a juicier and juiceier target each turn, and if Minos doesnt start increasing his cities, production, and army; he'll be sleeping in the Mediterranean.
Scissor: Soooo... Tonga definitely exists... To be honest thats all I wanted to say about Tonga. They are a civ that has consistently bored me and even looking them up to write about this part kind of hurt me inside. Tonga are a naval civ with a high expansion bias. They definetly possess a navy, in that they have 8 triremes. But their "high expansion" has not manifested. Their claim to fame lies only in the fact that they have one of the highest population cities on the cylinder. A whole lot of good that'll do them if Saosi doesn't build settlers, a fact exemplified by the complete dearth of settlers in Tonga right now.
Thy: Perhaps the most disinteresting civ that hasn't lost any cities, Nenets have earned a title of questionable value: They are the last civ to not have produced any settlers! Against all odds, with civs like Papua and Haiti on the cylinder, Nenets are the only civ to completely forgo settlers. What good did the wide playstyle did to us, anyway? For all we know, wide playstyle is working for the Kazakhs. Buncha traitors, the lot of them. But of course, tall playstyle is not for the Nenets either, as proven by their extremely lackluster statistics. In fact, one could believe that the Nenets are copying someone else's playstyle: Distract an enemy while your allies swoop in to capture some barely valuable desert cities. Sound familiar?
Scissor: This part was especially hard to read as perhaps the most fervent Canton supporter on the sub. Ching Shih declares a war that she thought she could have won against the Qin. In her eyes, the worst that could happen was that Qiongshi would be taken but as the saying goes, never tempt fate. Hong Kong is now in Qin hands and the core city of the Cantonese empire is gone! The only consolation is that Hong Kong is being razed so that Ching Shih can resettle, but this is a setback that could spell doom for Canton.
Scissor: Korea really got the rug pulled out from under it by Shikoku. Ever since Pyongyang became the property of Sakamoto Ryoma, Seonjo really hasn't put his A game into settling cities. Korea is more vulnerable than ever because of this. Shikoku has a landing spot and Qing have the largest military in the cylinder. East Asia proving to be a bloodbath already so Korea must make up its losses if it hopes to not follow Xia into a shallow grave.
Techno: Oh, the poor, poor Murri. They had a shot at the start, but ever since Australia's settling choices cut them off, the Murri have been confined to just a small region on the coast. And yet, their rank rose a bit this part. This isn't as much due to their successes - as those have been few for the Murri - as it is due to New Zealand's inability to launch a naval invasion and the inability of the civs ranked below the Murri to punch with any weight at all. The Murri are just a single settler away from being sealed off entirely from the rest of Australia by land. Perhaps the only thing keeping the Murri afloat is their defensiveness, as their military and rough terrain combined mean that any invader would need a navy that's more capable than just a few triremes.
Aaron: Celebrations are due! Scotland finally works out how to settle and doubles their city count! Only 1 settler remains, and there are two available spots for him, though both are pretty bad. One could forgive Robert the Bruce for these late settles. After all, he was informed that, as an island civ, he would be given optics for free and would be able to send out his settlers to the many islands. That did not happen, which means that Scotland is trapped on Great Britain for the time being. It would seem that Robert spent many turns trying fruitlessly to colonise the Hebrides or Orkney islands and has only just now realised the injustice that has occured, and moved onto plan B. Though Scotland are now better than they were, being trapped on an island, unable to expand, with only 4 cities... it's not an enviable position to be in, so they remain near the bottom of the power rankings.
Msurdej: While Liya goes up in ranks this part, its once again more to do with other people's failures than Omar's successes. Sure Algeria is no longer attacking them, but those forces were really a huge threat what with the lack of melee units in Benghazi. Meanwhile, the only expansion Mukhtar seems to want to do is expanding his religion (which is the most practiced religion tbf.) But a good religion does not a good civ make, and Libya will need to make more cities if they want to escape the bottom of the ladder.
Adm. Cloudberg: The Seljuqs only climb slightly this part, but there is good news for them: their army is about as large as those of its neighbours, which means they’ll probably survive for now, and they didn’t lose Rey to Oman. That said, these “gains” are really just reversing a decline, and it’s hard to see how Alp Arslan can start to actually improve. He barely has room for even one more city, Palmyra and Parthia are ascendant, his other neighbours are hard to reach. This is why the Selqjuqs are down in this part of the rankings—it’s just not clear where they can possibly go from here.
Lacs: Oof. Cahuachi really did that, huh? That'll smart. Mean forward settles aside, the Kuikuro position is functionally the same as where we last left them - not threatened, not threatening. If there's one thing we can commend them for, it's sniping a settler from Venezuela, which will really nerf their biggest rivals in the short term and give the Kuikuro more space to expand if they ever feel like building a city again. We'll check back in with them when they inevitably take Paredones in around five or six parts - I'm not sure there'll be anything else to report on until then.
Msurdej: Remember how everyone was really psyched about Haiti invading Venezuela? Well the wind is outta those sails completely as Hiait decides NOT to take Caracas. Or anything from Chavez. No Toussaint took his navy somewhere else, shooting their chances of greatness in the foot. And while most of their stats aren't bad, the lack of more than three cities means they'll get left behind as more civs start to expand.
Lacs: Now this is a war I wouldn't want to call. Round two, Czechs vs Ottomans. The stats don't help - roughly equal military size, Czechs with the edge on production but Mehmed has those vital composite bowmen. The Czechs were clever enough to build walls in Ostrava, but their army is still hanging around Brno. It could go either way - the Ottomans definitely had more of a lead last time, and if not for an untimely peace treaty they'd have grabbed Ostrava for sure. Either way, this is a distraction for the Czechs they really didn't need - it would've been a great time to pounce on Prussia or snap up that new Venetian city of Lido before it amassed too much of a defence force. Instead they're fighting for survival. Best of luck, Havel.
Lacs: Well Mehmed, you blew it. Palmyra gave you all the time in the world to settle Anatolia, but you didn't take the chance. Minos bumbled around the Eastern Med for a good while, but you still let him sneak Malia into Greece. So here's the last gambit: finish what you should have finished years ago, and seize Ostrava. The Ottoman tech advantage is strong, and while I'd like more melee units, there are enough to take the city if they don't forget how to use them. Even then, it's becoming increasingly difficult to calculate a Turkish path to victory - turn on Venice? Rush Palmyra while they're distracted? There's too many ifs and maybes here. Sell sell sell.
Lordie: But two civs have received a constant improvement in ranks after five instalments, and one of them is Venice. Yes, part of this is due to the incompetence of other civs (looking at you Papua) but it must be said the Venice this game is looking... Okay? After managing a core and settling a fourth (gasp) city, they've thrown their hat in the ring regarding Europe. Whilst this still doesn't guarantee success, they've done enough right to warrant consideration outwith the bottom tier- they're not even the worst civ that borders Venice. Hopefully they continue to defy expectations and satisfy that Doge-shaped hole in our hearts.
Lacs: The Manx maintain their lead over Scotland this week, with both civs gaining 4 ranks as they continue to exceed our abysmal expectations - many rankers were predicting that the Moors or Vikings would be first to settle Ireland, after all. Mann's lead over Scotland is deserved, too. They outpace them in terms of production and technology, although Scotland maintain the edge in military score - and considering much of Mann's military is tied into their navy, they should probably convert that production lead into a more spritely land army in the home counties of Douglas and Peel. Expectations for the war with HRE are low, however; Mann's navy may be the biggest in the region, but that's on their competition, or rather lack thereof. It doesn't look meaty enough to crush Vienna or Frankfurt an der Oder, HRE's only two coastal cities.
Msurdej: Holy Gudit-amole! Beta Israel had a couple of rough parts, but they're starting to turn their fortunes around. This last part, they settled not one, but TWO cities, and all but secured the horn of Africa. And while this is a good step in the right direction, Gudit has a long way to go. Her military and production are laughable (especially compared with their neighbor Zimbabwe), so Gudit's gonna have to get the horn and her mountains secured fast, and start pumping out an army to defend her home.
Homusubi: OK, so here's what's going on with Madagascar. Ranavalona doesn't actually make decisions of national importance herself. Instead, she has a lemur perched on each shoulder, and depending on which way she's looking, one of the lemurs whispers its thoughts on the governance of the Malagasy empire into her ear. What happened this part is that, after centuries of listening to the less intelligent of the two lemurs and thus ordering her people to do things like settle Mauritius instead of the African mainland, the queen has decided to hold all of her official meetings with her throne on the other side of the room, thus opening her other ear to some decidedly better prosimian suggestions, such as “how about settling that absolutely massive island right there?”.
Unfortunately for smart lemur and for the people of Madagascar, by the time it took over the royal attention from dim lemur, the whole thing took long enough that Zimbabwe has now expanded north of the new Malagasy mainland colony, and, to add insult to injury, has settled inland. Madagascar, then, is still very much an underlemur, but, CBRX being CBRX, could still pull off that miracle if they get round to building an actual military some time before Zimbabwe builds Skynet.
Scissor: This part was a disaster for Oman. Not only have they lost all chances of infiltrating Mesopotamia, they have also allowed Palmyra to expand unchallenged into Jordan and further expansion into the Arabian peninsula. To be honest, land expansion for Oman seems pretty bleak and this might be the time to lean into the naval side of things. Southern India is looking ripe for an Omani city and Maratha have neglected their flanks. Oman might even succeed settling into the Horn of Africa, just do what it can to get away from Palmyra.
Adm. Cloudberg: Ivan settled a fourth city! Hooray! Wait, what do you mean that’s not good enough?

Yeah, Muscovy gained a few spots this part, but mostly just because they’re not dead yet or in any real danger of imminently dying. They have the lowest production of any civ in Europe—yes, even less than Minoa—and are second to last in Europe in military. If you think they’re gonna take Danzig from Prussia, you’re delusional. And the only place they have left to expand is north with a conga line of cities into the tundra, even if they don’t get completely cut off by the Sami and the Goths.
Thy: Haida's job this part was to look pretty in the background while- wait, no, there were no slides with Haida in them. Maybe next part. Regardless of visibility, Haida seems to have become the laziest North American civ, and with how lazy most of North America is, that is a considerable feat. Even Canada is still producing settlers, but Haida seems content with their little three-city core. The only thing going in their favor is indeed the company they are in, but even their non-Metis neighbors are starting to realize the benefit in constructing settlers, now. Koyah will find himself left behind at this rate, and at that point their pretty color won't save them.
Aaron: Last time I had the Yup'ik 2 parts ago, I mentioned that they would be the second civ in North America to get 4 cities thanks to their newly built settler. This did not come true: it turns out that settler is still wandering around California 20 turns later. Also, their "highest production on the cylinder" from last week, is no more: they've actually managed to drop 7 production and are now 46th in the cylinder or 6th in North America. Upon further investigation, it turns out last week just so happened to catch them during a golden age. Why then have the Yup'ik gained 5 ranks this week? To be honest, I have no idea; I gave them their lowest score this week and am very confused at this. One interesting this is that the Yup'ik are currently researching optics, so might get a city in Tchoukotka or the Aleutians islands - though a Qing settler is already in Tchokotka, and Haida rules the sea...
Techno: Another part passes, yet Benin remains committed to inaction. Granted, action is probably not the best outcome for Benin right now, considering they sit right next to Songhai. But Benin does need to take some action, as they will not get very far if they do not settle more cities. A powerful military can only take them so far if they don't have the infrastructure to back it up. Just one bad DOW now could spell doom for this civ, as defensively inclined as they are. While Benin ranks as mid-tier for now due to their military and nearby open space, they must take action to secure their spot.
Lacs: While Sulu could still be a great contender, I'm not sure about the cards they've been playing these past few turns. They have a great military score with a healthy smattering of their unique trireme, the Proa. They have an understandably great tech rating too - I even spy catapults in their army! But all that's as much of a muchness at the moment - no one's invading them and no one will invade them for a good few turns. What they should be doing is exactly what they're not doing, and that's settling. It's repeated so much here in these early rankings it's almost a cliché, but if you don't settle early you don't win. Boers? Settled incredibly in the early game. Inuit? Nothing special, but got the cities out. Brazil? Yup, another quick settler. Have all the stats you want - if they don't make another settler soon, there'll be nothing worth defending.
Techno: If there's one word to describe New Zealand this part, it would be "fizzle". I say that because that's what happened to their naval incursion of the Murri. As things currently stand, New Zealand's attacking force has completely evaporated, leaving the Murri safe for now. However, to give New Zealand some credit, triremes are certainly sub-par for any naval war. Give them time to get better naval units and perhaps the Murri lands could go dark.
Msurdej: The Evenks are here, and this time, the PR team didn't forget about them! Bombogor didn't do much ever this part, but he continues to sit right next to the ever impressive Khamug Khanate. Worse still, the beliefes of Shamanism are terrible, with giving cities -2 science... for +6 faith. This, plus their missionary spamming, means that there spending less time making an army, which will be bad once Jamukha decides to turn on them.
Andy: Piye rises six ranks, as the forces arrayed against Nubia enter piecemeal and divided. While Oman and Zimbabwe have both joined in on the Nubian dogpile, both are far away, and in the case of Oman losing a war against the Palmyrenes. The first wave of the Kongolese troops have been severely reduced, with the Nubian UU archers tearing through the Kongolese army like paper. So long as Piye doesn't surrender any cities in the peace, Nubia should get out just fine from its war against the Kongo.

With regards to the other combatants, one in particular that stands out is Zimbabwe. It's a testament to Piye's notoriety that the rest of Africa, more or less, has declared against him, and Zimbabwe's travels from the south end of the continent illustrate how hated Piye is. If there's one thing that's a strike against Nubia, it's the complete failure of their diplomatic corps. That being said, the Zimbabwean assault will likely end much the same way the Kongolese one did - in bloody disaster for the attackers.
Msurdej: Now I won't lie folks, we MIIIIIIIIIGHT have overestimated Ol' Ryoma last rankings. While he has kept Pyonyang, Korea is determined to recpature the city, and the fighting has worn out the military forces of both sides, with Korea looking more likely to take the city at the end of the day. Worse, even though Shikokus's military score rises, they aren't sending more troops to Korea. Will Sakamoto be able to secure Pyonyang with a peace deal, or will Shikoku fall back to the 40s?
Homusubi: Things aren't looking too great for the Red Mountain Boys, despite not doing much wrong per se. They're settling, albeit slower than their neighbours are, and have an army to match anyone around them. Having said that... they've just sat around, really, while India and Maratha expanded and outshone initial expectations. The early knockout blow that some predicted with their high ranking has clearly not materialised, which damages Nepal's standing in itself. However, they're not completely incompetent (this doesn't look like one of the randomly bad Nepal results I sometimes got in AI games), and this being the AI, there's always the possibility of a neighbour (coughtaungoocough) being more incompetent than they are. So yes, they've fallen down the rankings and are now below arch-rivals India and Maratha, but they're mid-tier for a reason, and they could well bounce back.
Lordie: There's not much to speak about regarding the EU Au squad, honestly. Almost all their metrics are in comparison to the Goths- they have a huge military, but don't use it as well as the Goths; they're in a position to punish Ivan, but won't do as much as the Goths. It does come down to if they catch a good break before Alaric or someone else takes away the easy Muscovy option. In any case, do I think they can win a war with their unruly cousin neighbours? Yes, but not as much as the Goths.
Lacs: NASCAR results will have to wait, because Cahuachi actually did something this part! And look at that, it's batshit insane! The Nazca settle Paredones in the midst of Kuikuro territory - literally, right in the middle of the triangle of Kuikuro cities. While the settle would be suicidal against any other civ, we don't have that much faith in the Kuikuro ever being able to take a city. And the Amazonian rainforest that serves as such a good barrier for their cities will also prevent them from making much headway against Paredones for the time being. Still, with a failing Venezuela Anetu should be able to... oh goddammit! The Nazca are so boring, I started talking about another civ entirely!
Techno: While the Aztecs were as inactive as ever this part when it comes to wars, they had an important gain that has caused them to rise in the rankings: They now have more cities than all but one of their immediate neighbors. Make of that what you will, but one thing's certain: In a continent full of civs allergic to settling, the Aztecs are slightly less allergic to the flag-bearing civilians.
Lacs: Even with war engulfing the European mainland in the past couple of parts, HRE still seem rather untroubled by the world around them - they've attacked no one, and no one's attacked them. On land, that is. As petty a threat as it is, the first invasion of Germany will come from the Manx, with their triremes bearing down on Vienna and Frankfurt. It's not the kind of attack force that will have Ashurbanipal quaking in his boots, but it will be a distraction for his army, potentially leaving them open to a counterattack from one of their many, many neighbours. That's the thing about being a European civ, and the reason I've never ranked any of them too high - any success on one front is a probable loss on another.
Lacs: Our first real snoozer of a part from Tahera and the gang, and it couldn't really have come at a worse time. The Iroquois have finally started making meaningful progress against Canada, as well as securing the east coast of America through peaceful settling - look closely and you'll notice another settler hovering around Cincinnati, threatening to cut Montréal off from Poverty Point's core. The Apache meanwhile are butchering their attempts at being a scary carpet, sending the bulk of their army northwest into oblivion... but Poverty Point aren't able to capitalise on the opportunity due to a peace treaty. We're expecting PP to settle next part, as they have a settler on the go, but that's not enough to save them from a fairly serious slip in the rankings.
Lacs: One of the biggest falls of the week, and arguably one of the least explicable - what did Taungoo do to deserve this? Well, aside from probably being overranked last week, it's what they didn't do that made all the difference. We were astonished when Taungoo settled 3 cities in part two, as we thought they'd be reticent to even settle one that quickly. And sure enough, since then it's been a more classic Taungoo affair, slipping to midtable not just in cities but in production and military too. One thing will keep them in the top half for a while though - Canton have collapsed and Nepal are disappointing. Unless Qin turn their eyes south, it's difficult to see Taungoo losing any cities in the near future - and indeed, if their denouncement of Canton is anything to go by, they may well pick up Sum Chen at some point.
Lacs: Are the Vikings doing well? Beats me. I keep being told they're making the right moves, and their ranking has significantly increased for the first time this game. Yet it's still hard to see them besting the Sami, with their higher production, larger military and greater amount of techs. And yet... this is the first part the Vikings have finished with a higher city count, snapping up the remainder of Sweden just as the Sámi had noticed it was there. My worry before was they didn't have enough cities to churn out the amount of UUs they'd need to casually destroy Scotland or the HRE. Now I wonder if the only thing that can save those those two civs' from Ragnar's wrath is a prepared and confident Sámi invasion.
Lacs: Geronimo takes a tumble in the rankings this week; there are a fair few factors, so let's go through one by one. Firstly, the bump he received last week came mostly from the prospects of him invading a weak Métis, but instead his army seems to be marching in the direction of the Haida or Yup'ik, two civs he has no chance taking on due to difficult geography. And unlike Zimbabwe, another civ that made some questionable invasion plans this week, their empty core is now very vulnerable to a counter attack from their acrimonious neighbour Poverty Point. Speaking of them, Tahera has emerged from her brief war with the Apache with the larger military, and even the Aztecs are catching up. But most damningly, Geronimo hasn't settled a new city in aeons. While that's not unusual for the strangely conservative North American civs, we've now seen the Iroquois expand at the rate of roughly a city a part, Poverty Point have a settler near Apache borders, the Aztecs are creeping north and even the Yup'ik have a settler in the Rockies. If Geronimo won't commit to an easy war, he needs to expand by other means, and pronto.
Lordie: Venezuela copped some good luck this part, with Chavez smartly making peace with Haiti without any cities changing hands. As such, they've climbed a little in the rankings. However, stats wise, they're not looking too good, with nothing super special to be seen coming out. Add in surprisingly competent neighbours and honestly, I'm personally quite stunned as to how our favourite oil barons aren't midtable. At this point Chavez really needs time to reset and remilitarize, and to start working on his neighbours or this'll be the highest we see him for some time.
Adm. Cloudberg: Prussia continues to hover in the low 20s, and although this already annoys a lot of Prussia fans, they probably ought to be even lower. Why, you ask, are they down here if they’re in the top 10 in many important stats? Well, we take more into account that just stats—and Prussia’s opportunities to grow those stats are not great. Some rankers believe they’ve already peaked. They have relatively little room to settle and the terrain makes their neighbours hard to invade. Their army is large but not world-class. So, when looking to the future, it really seems like Prussia is going to get left behind.
Homusubi: I should really start paying more attention to this region, seeing as of the five PRs so far, there has only been one in which I didn't get assigned either Ndongo or Zimbabwe. At first glance, right now, this looks like a pretty fair contest: only one city's difference between the sizes of the two empires, and army strength stats that are near-identical to each other. What's more, Ndongo can't really be said to be in a two-front war situation, thanks to a fairly sleepy Benin that's only just started to settle. The one advantage Zimbabwe has over Ndongo is a production lead, but it's a massive production lead, and one that gives Zimbabwe a clear edge in any war, especially given the terrain between the two empires.
However, that's all academic, because right now, both civs are engaged in hurling their armies in a line stretching across most of Africa, hoping that forming an orderly queue of warriors will somehow net them a Nubian colony of questionable utility. The real question, then, is who wakes up from this weird trance first, and whether they'll strike the other one before they, too, realise what's going on. Given that Ndongo can teleport units along rivers (and I have been told that the AI do indeed use that ability), they aren't at as much of a disadvantage as the northerly position of their units initially suggests, but that isn't enough to turn the tide in their favour. Ndongo, therefore, gets a solid 'wait for it' out of 60.
Lordie: O͞͞N̨͟C̕͞E̸͜͏ ҉̴̧͝͞M̷̷͜͠҉O̸̵R҉̧́͝͝E̛͠ ̀͘҉Ţ̶͘H̕E̴͞Y̵̢͘͠ ͢͠Ç͘O̴̴M̢̛͢҉E̵͟͞ ̡͜͢͜T̀O͟͢͠ ҉͡T̨́̕̕H̴҉͜͝E̵҉̶̸ ̨҉̵̨E̴̢̢͝͞ǸD̵ ̧͏̴͡O͜͝F̴̶̴̛͟ ́͟T̵̨͝͝H҉̧̛͟͠E̡̢͟ ̶̡̨̛W̷̕͟ÓŔ͠L̷̸̀͟D̡́̕ ͜͏̢͠͝ and here it is we find the Selk'nam, doing well following another decent part. Although we wait with bated breath for Uruguay to pull the trigger and declare war, Xo'on Uhan-Té is in a fine position to defend most of his territory. Furthermore his navally expansive tendencies will serving well assuming he doesn't decide to approach the source of the corruption, I mean, Antarctic OTIs. They might have managed to avoid being sealed away in Tierra del Fuego but time will tell if they can push past the demons at their door, or end up like Chile- victorious against a neighbour but still ultimately boxed in. Even so, they do have the largest military in South America, so may benefit from war if they play it well. It is apt to quote Erudax and Volazj: Y̛͢Ẁ̴̢A̛̛Q̸̛͝͞ ̴̧͟͝M̡̀̀͞À̧͞Q̴̛ ̀͟͞O̡̕͝Ơ҉̨̕҉U̴͘,͠͡ ̢̧͘̕͢Y͡W҉̶͠͝͡A̸̵̵̕Q̧͢͠҉̧ ̵̧̡͠M̵͢À͝҉Q̶̡̛̛ ҉͢͡S̸̵͡͞Ş̶́Á̡Ģ͜͠͡G͘͡͝H̛̀.͞͞ ̵̕͜͝͞Y̸̧̕͞A̷͟W҉Q͟ ̵̴̢̢͢M̧͘͜͡A̢̛͢ ͝͡Ş̴̨̢͠H̢̀҉́Ģ́͝͠'̸̴̡F̸̶́͟H̨́N͟҉̵̕͟.̵̶̕̕͝
Homusubi: India is a tricky civ to analyse properly, and not just because it's in just the wrong place to be able to get a clear look at it through the screenshot-bot. Indira is effectively playing in two regions at once: the Subcontinent, where she is engaged in a standoff with Nepal and Maratha, and Persia, where there is a similar standoff with Parthia. Both of these would be finely balanced if they became wars; the reason India looks so good in the stats table is because she has the fairly rare ability to maintain two standoffs at once. If she could get her entire army to one side or the other, she'd have a decent chance both of gaining ground on that side and losing ground on the other. So it all depends on what she does next and whether she can keep increasing her production base faster than her neighbours – and to her credit, she hasn't stopped churning out settlers. One last thing to note is that the Indian army emphasises spearmen more than pretty much any other on the cylinder, which should come in handy when the next subcontinental war happens. Add an extra rank or two for the promise of nuclear fireworks in millennia to come if India survives, and you've got the current ranking.
Lacs: Shivaji and the Marathi hold off India by just one rank, claiming a second week at the top of the South Asian stakes. Their military and science still lags behind India, but sometimes that extra city makes all the difference - and while India have fierce competition from an ascendant Parthia, there's no one really contesting Maratha's defensible position just yet. At the same time, they're still the most hated civ in the Subcontinent, and Nepal are the closest they've ever come to threatening one of their cities, the recently founded Gingee. Maratha's place in the top 20 depends on them holding out and settling a little further afield - there's still plenty of Malaysia and Sumatra free for the taking, and they'll need to grab Sri Lanka before Oman do.
Adm. Cloudberg: Ablai Khan continues his inexorable slide out of the top ten after an ill-advised declaration of war against Parthia. The Kazakhs have more troops than Parthia, but they’re all wandering around in Siberia looking for the Nenets, and Mithridates is poised to seize two or three small Kazakh border cities before Ablai Khan can do much about it. Ablai Khan continues to rank highly in numerous statistics, especially production, but at the moment the situation on the ground is not going in his favour.
Msurdej: I'll level with ya folks, I've been disappointed with Hiawatha's start. I was expecting a cityspam that would coat the entire East coast in Iroquois cities. But its only in the last two parts that we've begun to see those expectations start to come alive. Not only that, but they continue to secure land away from their main neighbor, the floundering Canadians. Will Hiawatha keep this streak going? Or will he tank, crash, and burn? I think we all know the answer.... MAYBE!!!
Msurdej: Alaric remains in the 13th spot this week, and it's easy to see why. While his number of citites hasn't grown, most of his stats are still impressive, particularly his high military score. If he plays his cards right, Alaric will be able to roll over Muscovy at a moments notice. But he must also be cautious. his might is rrivaled by that of his neighbors in the Golden Horde, and any movement away from Gothlands could give the Horde an edge. Worse, Alaric remains on a technical level with the likes of Algeria and Canada, meaning that while his army is massive, it can be outclassed fast if he's not careful.
Aaron: The Moors continue to rise. They have 6 well-placed cities and built another 2 settlers to fill out Iberia. Their southern neighbour of Algeria is looking more and more like easy food, though it would put them closer to Songhai who are quite large and scary. The other main threat is Prussia, but they're also far enough away to not be a problem right now. Apart from that, things are looking much the same. They continue to have a slightly larger army than any of their neighbours. Their science remains high. Their other stats are above average. Things are looking good.
Thy: In contrast to most other civs, Parthia's rise is not due to their own competence, but rather due to another civ's incompetence. While the Kazakhs are far from weak, their declaration of war on Parthia is weirdly timed, as most of the Kazakh army is away vacationing in the Urals, perhaps looking for the rumored Nenets cities. The other sudden attacker, the Golden Horde, while similarly not lacking in military strength, is positioned behind the Caspian Sea. Due to this stroke of genius comparable to the Sami DoW on Prussia, Parthia is in a great position, and stands to take one or more cities the Kazakhs. Yesterday the Seljuqs, today the Kazakhs, tomorrow the world!
Andy: Palmyra, simply put, is doing everything right this part, and thus, has seen an appropriate gain in rank. Storming Nakhal shows that Zenobia is great at timing wars, and its fall illustrates that surprisingly enough given history thus far, Palmyra can into war. Indeed, by the end of the part, the Omani forces have retreated to Nizwa, making virtually no effort to retake their lost city. Between this and Seljuk weakness, as well as two (!) cities settled in Anatolia, the Palmyrenes are on the rise.

However, not only are they on the rise, but we project them to be on the rise long-term with their elevation to top 10. 7 cities in the Near East is an extremely impressive feat, and all of their neighbours are either weak, distracted, beaten, or some combination of the three. Strengthening our confidence is that on Slide 58, one can see two more Palmyrene settlers heading towards the Arabian coastline. 9 cities would bring Palmyra to the largest civ on the map. If they are able to continue pushing at this rate, we may see a dark horse out of the Middle East - a region not typically noted for world conquerors.
Lacs: Does anyone get the feeling that the powder keg of northern China might have become too big to risk blowing up? It's been four parts and despite fielding the world's largest army, Qing's sole war so far was their uncomplicated inclusion in the Xia's destruction. And while other easy targets are self-evident - I've no doubt Cixi could be the second leader to own two capitals if they invaded Korea - I sense there's a fear in the court of Beijing that any war would leave them wide open for invasion from either of their two powerful neighbours, Qin and the Khamugs. Of course, such worries haven't stopped the tyrants and warlords of the CBR before, and it's surely only a matter of time before the Qing army faces its first worthy foe. The outcome of that war might make or break Cixi - after all, she's proven to be far less expansive than those two neighbours, so if the Qing state is to expand it must be through conquest.
Lacs: Aaaand... exhale. The Métis looked a little on the ropes last part as they appeared totally unprepared for the oncoming Apache army... who swiftly turned on their heels and went on a voyage to the Yukon. Relax. Now we can go back to celebrating all the things that make Louis a Riel contender. Great production stats, at least for the continent, a decent array of techs and most importantly, a high settling rate, being two cities clear of the next largest civ on the continent, and the Iroquois had to conquer theirs. The only reason they're not top 5 is their stats aren't internationally significant, and we still can't count out the vast space to the west of the Apache eventually being settled by them, at which point the Apache go from being a cantankerous neighbour to a terrifying prospect indeed.
Msurdej: Hawke remains in 7th place this week, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon. Hawke continues to settle along the northern coast, both denying the Murri more possible land, and setting the stage for the New Wobbegong Armada to take Indonesia by storm. But what then? Will Hawke be able to use his power to make it to the mainland? Will he be able to secure a foothold? Or his Bob doomed to repeat Parkes's mistakes, and remain locked out of the major continents?
Andy: Eadni's war against the Prussians has been an extremely bloodless war, with the only units between Divtasvuodna and Danzig Muscovite troops. It seems that for the time being, the Sami are more interested in moving troops down Scandinavia, even as the Vikings begin to lock down Scania and West Sweden. While Eadni falls one rank, the Sami certainly aren't doing poorly by any measure. The best move for the Sami, by this stage, is to invade and crush the Vikings, and from there move against the Prussians - as it stands, not too much is happening up north.
Thy: Strike! Another war, another Chinese rival crippled. With a flawless track record so far, Qin climb another spot and overtake the Sami. But, of course, in such a competitive neighborhood, such performance is the minimum requirement. With both the Khamugs and Qing maintaining large armies and statistics worthy of the top 10, Ying Zheng is right to do everything in his power to remove weaker competitors. For Qin, a successful future holds dealing a death blow to the pirates before the inevitable showdown in Northern China. Which of the three do you support?
Lacs: Even as the top 3 keeps on rotating, Uruguay hold steady in fourth. It's a worthy place for them to hold - they're impressive but not dominant, comfortable but not unchallengeable, the continent leaders but lacking the incredible stats of a Khamug or a Zimbabwe. The top spot is definitely within their grasp - gobbling up southern Brazil might do it, and taking out the Selk'nam would definitely tip the scales, both of which they're capable of. With Venezuela faltering and Selk'nam still a little trapped, Uruguay stock won't be falling any time soon.
Lacs: What ninth-circle-of-hell atrocity did Piye commit that every civ in Africa decided to forgo their obvious invasion plans in order to send their army to Nubia and cast him back down into the inferno? For the third time in a row, the power rankers called a clear and obvious war declaration that didn't manifest, but where the Khamug-Qin War would've been inconclusive, and the Apache would probably have run out of steam against the Métis after only a couple of cities, Zimbabwe could easily have destroyed their only neighbour in a matter of minutes. Instead, they seem to have sent their mighty army north, following on the heels of Ndongo. We paid this wasted opportunity its due and moved Zimbabwe down from their perch as the top civ in Africa; the only small mercy is Zimbabwe's now-empty core will also go unconquered by Ndongo.
Msurdej: And with Mutota's fall, Askia rises to second place! This should come as no surprise: They've wiped the floor with Algeria, they're putting cities down left, right, and center, and their stats are all around great. With Production only beaten by Zimbabwe, and an army that dwarfs Muota's, Askia has all but ensured his dominance in West Africa. At this point, only a coalition could stop their rise, but with Askia part of the Anti Nubia Treaty, its seems unlikely that Songahi will leave the top 3 anytime soon.
Aaron: Another week in the top spot for Jamukha. Like many of the top 5, he has a large production base and a huge military to accompany it. Where the Khamugs really stand out though, in in sheer expansion. They already have the most cities at 8, but are looking to smash that with an additional 4 settlers out! Their settling pattern shows great ambition; though Qin has just taken out 2 civs, the Khamugs are not scared and are forming a wall of cities to contain Ying Zheng's expansion. By starting at the boundary of his future planned empire before settling the center, Jamukha is staking out the entire Gobi desert for himself - an area of about 20 to 30 cities! Though the Khamugs aren't guarenteed success - both surviving Chinas are looking very scary. Qin is settling more cities into Cantonese lands and currently have even more production than the Khamugs, while Qing has the largest army of the cylinder right on the Khamug's doorstep! Beating them won't be easy.

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Images: 31, author: Discix, published: 2018-08-23