AI Mythical Domination - Part Zero: Islamic Penguins & Other Introductions

Author: Sakoran
Published: 2017-10-15, edited: 2017-10-15
Sakoran's first ever AI-only Civ V Match, complete with 15 Civs and a lost Polynesian Nuclear Submarine. When Santa Claus, Cthulhu, Aliens, Zombies, The Headless Horseman and more are pitted head to head, who will emerge victorious in a battle to become the most revered legend.

Part of the campaign:

AI Mythical Domination

Welcome to AI-only Mythical Domination, hosted by me, u/Sakoran! I will be narrating a mighty conflict between major legends from all around the globe, such as the North Pole and Yaoguai, so it will definitely be a wild ride.

The Aggressive Expansion Mod is also enabled, so expect lots of war and conflict, observed from a lone, lost Polynesian Nuclear Submarine that has its crew wondering how their Captain allowed themselves to get frozen in.

With that out of the way, let's begin!
The first nation identified by the lost Polynesian submarine is the glorious biblical city-state of Sodom. One of the two City-States in the game referenced by Genesis, will they fall to a Mightier Power or become a much-desired ally for Expansionists?

Referred to as one of the "city of the plains" in the Hebrew Bible, locals considered it the Metropolis of the surrounding cities. However, the citizens were sinful and greedy, causing God to commit vengeance against them. However, Abraham protested and convinced God not to strike the city if he could find 10 righteous people. God agreed, but Abraham failed and the City was struck and burned by divine justice.
Just to the North-West of Sodom, we have Santa's Workshop, the capital city of the North Pole, a mighty empire led by St. Nicholas and his army of elves.

St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, is a legend found all across Christian Europe, entering Chimneys on Christmas Eve to provide beaming, hopeful children with expensive gifts. Saint Nicholas can be traced back to the Dutch, Scandinavian, Greek and Turkish, but in every instance, he was a kind and charitable man.

Santa Claus' North Pole is a Civ that wouldn't seem an obvious competitor in a Domination match, however their UA (50% reduction of unhappiness from Cities and Population) could allow Santa to annex cities without much of a problem. Their UI of a Snowman provides +3 Food and +1 Production on Tundra tiles, which justifies their poor positioning, and their UB provides a ridiculous +15 Production and +6 Happiness, meaning they could be a strong player and a possible winner.
The Second Major Civilization, the Undead Horde, led by the Lich King could bestow darkness unto the world, if given the chance.

The Lich, meaning Corpse in Old English, differ from Zombies as instead of being the resurrected dead, the Lich come from powerful or greedy Kings, Oligarchs and Merchants transforming themselves into immortal dead beings, or walking corpses. The Lich King is not a particular part of mythology, however a generic ruler of the selfish magic-users.

The Undead Horde have an amazing UA (Land Units heal every turn even if they perform an action, and land units have 50% less maintenance cost.) Their UU replacing the Swordsman, the Walking Corpse, heals at double the speed and doesn't require iron.
To the East of the Undead Horde, in the Chinese province of the Guangxi are the Yaoguai, lead by Niu Mo Wang (The Bull Demon King), are a threatening aggressive force that could prove a problem to the Lich King.

The Yaoguai, similar to the Yokai in Japan, are malicious spirits, often in the form of animals, that wreak havoc onto locals. Coming from "Yaogai" (Strange Ghost) and "Yaomo" (Strange Devil), Yaoguai roughly translates to Demon. Many powerful Yaoguai fought each other and ruled small barbaric Hordes and Kingdoms, and the most notable is Niu Mo Wang, who was made famous by movies and works of literature such as "Journey to the West" by Wu Cheng'en.

The Yaoguai have a good UA (+25% combat bonus in Friendly territory) which ensures they will have a strong defense and be tough to take down, but their UB (Demon Gate replaces the Monastery and provides +3 Culture and +3 Fait) isn't amazing in relativity to some of the others.
The Second Minor Civilization we have uncovered is Kituwa, a Sacred Cherokee Site and the believed origin location of the Cherokee and their culture. As a religious CS, might a Faith-Oriented Major Power gain their friendship, or will they fall to their power-hungry
neighbors?

Kituwa became a shrine and root of Cherokee culture, although it was frequently burned and used for Agriculture by the native Cherokee. Cherokee eventually lost Kituwa to the United States in the Anglo-Cherokee Wars from 1558-1561.
Next, we uncover the R'lyeh Empire, led by Cthulhu, a major mythical cultist figure. On a small, isolated island, can Cthulhu create a monstrous coastal empire?

While the Cthulhu is not from folk-tales or tradition, it became a popular figure for cultists and was renowned for its creepy, octopus-like aesthetic. The Cthulhu is the source of anxiety for people all across the world, invading and poisoning their thoughts without their knowledge or even understanding of him.

The Cthulhu UA (33% of Faith Per Turn is added to Capital Science and any holy sites provide +1 Production and +1 Food) allows the Cthulhu, a Faith-based Civ, to remain a relevant Civ even into the late game, and even be a threat to the Transhumanists if they survive to that period. Their UU, the Shoggoth is a more expensive infantry that also performs the actions of a worker, heals every turn and heals when it defeats an enemy. It also terrifies bordering enemy units. This UU means that the Cthulhu will be a major force to look out for in the Mid-Late game and could be a strong contender for victory.
The City of Doom, the Capital of the Cultists' land is another isolated island. The Cultists, led by the Dark Priest, are a threatening force that could sweep their dark beliefs across the globe.

The Cultists are a phenomenon found all across the Globe, where leaders promise their disciples power, wealth or other materialistic or spiritual reward in exchange for supporting a Cult's horrific and nasty beliefs. Many Cults prevent their followers from leaving with a punishment of death, and a large number torture their enemies and even themselves as a punishment.

Their UA (Cannot Gain Settles, Raze Cities at Double Speed and units fight at full strength even when damaged) is a combination of The Huns and Japan with a large punishment. However, their UUs (Guardian of the Underworld is an incredibly strong, fast melee unit rewarded to the Cultists after researching Theology and Succubi are fast units that gain points towards a Golden Age every time they defeat an enemy unit) mean they have a feasible chance at victory if they strive for a win in the mid-game.
Swiftly, we discover the Geats, a real Civilization led by Beowulf, a leader shrouded in legend and mythology. Can Beowulf commit feats that destroy empires rather than just Grendel's Family and a Dragon?

Beowulf comes from a 3,182 line Old English poem detailing his aid to the Danish, fighting off Monsters such as Grendel and later their mother, before dying in a conflict against a Dragon. The Geats historically fought against the Norwegians and the Swedes, and hence could push back against any other enemies.

Their UA (Units bordering defeated enemies gain +3 exp) is clearly geared toward a domination victory, and is a bonus that will last all game, unlike the abilities of lots of the other civs. Their UU, the Tegn, is a slightly more expensive version of the swordsman that has a 25% chance of gaining 40hp instead of dying and gains experience 25% faster. This means if the Geats strike in the Mid-Game, they can have an incredibly strong army for the Mid-Late game and could muster enough of a force to make them a serious contender for victory.
To a nearby east, we find the Halfling's Capital, Halftown, surrounded by Forest and Jungle to their south and plains to their North. Led by the Halfking, can they muster an army slightly larger than their average citizen?

Halflings were found infrequently in European folklore as half-human and half-fairy creatures, although they were only publicized after the novels by Tolkien. Hence, most of their lore comes from Tolkien, who decided that instead of being half-breeds, they were simply short, agile humans.

The Halfling's Uniques are not directed at all toward Domination, their UA (25% of Food Carries over after someone is born in the Capital) is aimed toward expansion and their UU (Supply Cart replaces Horseman and can stack with other units to heal them) deals no damage on their own and can easily be destroyed.
The Third City-State found is that of Hy-Brasil, a small island off the coast of the Eastern Mainland. As a cultural City-State, potentially Civs looking to develop and fill out their social trees might flood towards this City.

The Mythology surrounding the "Phantom Island" stems from the Irish myth that there was an island to their West in the Atlantic, forever shrouded in mist with the exception of one single day every seven years, in which it was visible but unreachable.
To the West of the "Phantom Island" and the East of the mainland, the Capital of the Lycanthropes, the German Lycosura can be found. Led by the miscellaneous Lycaon, can the pack mentality of their army destroy their divided enemies?

Werewolves, or lycanthropes, are an underlying piece of European mythology, with much of the early emphasis being on normal humans being cursed by the Gods and forced to transform or deliberately acquiring the power themselves in order to terrorize their enemies. They also paralleled witches, and while alleged witches were persecuted all over the Western World, supposed Lycanthropes were also persecuted by the Swiss all until the 18th Century.

The Lycanthropes have a fitting UA for their starting location (Double Movement in Forest or Jungle, and a +20 Bonus for Great Generals) and the Great General bonus might prove useful, however the UU (Pack Alpha replaces Swordsman and heals after killing, as well as not requiring iron) becomes irrelevant after a certain period meaning that they might be a strong early to mid game force, but soon fade out of relevance even if they survive that long.
Over to the South of the German Lycanthropes, we find a similarly stereotypically Germanic Dwarven Civ, their capital of Karaz-A-Karak protected from the North-West with a wall of mountains. Led by the fearsome Thorgrim, will their hammers swing them into glory?

Dwarves or Dwarfs first appeared in Norse and German mythology and were humanoid figures that resided in and near Mountains. In Norse Mythology, they were a species proficient in mining, healing, and forging. Despite modern misconception, Dwarves were never pictured as Short, although this could have come from the fact that Dwarfs were minor, and hence "small" beings, although this can never be confirmed or disproved.

Their UA (+50hp and +2.5 defense in cities, and Iron Resources doubled, as well as starting with Mining) classifies them as a strong defensive Civ who will not be taken down easily, however their UI, the Ironbreaker (Stronger than Longswordsman and custom promotion of +25% defense) is relatively 'meh' compared to some of the other Civs. Overall, the Dwarves undoubtedly have a strong chance and will not go down without a fight.
Our Fourth Minor Country is the second of the Genesis Pair, along with Sodom. A mercantile nation led by King Birsha to the West of the Dwarven Kingdom, will they fall to the warmongering Dwarves, Lycanthropes, Halloweens or some other external force?

Another "City of the plains", Gomorrah was one of the four out of five cities burned by God according to the Hebrew Bible, alongside Sodom, Admah and Zeboim. Their existence is speculated by scholars, and if they did exist at all, they were most likely destroyed by natural disaster.
The First Civilization in what I call "The Triangle of Turmoil," is the H+ Empire of the Transhumanists, led by Ray Kurzweil. With the sea on the North and West, and Major Civs on the South and East, can Ray Kurzweil still prevail?

The Transhumanist movement, while considered obscure or even dystopian, is a movement led by Kurzweil that aims to use futuristic technology to overcome the innate ethical and physical limitations of humanity, and hence become more intellectual, faster, stronger and more logical, rather than allowing our emotions to cloud our vision. Similar to the Lich, Transhumanism could also be seen as a quest for immortality, and if so the earliest of h+ examples could be the quest for the Fountain of Youth.

Their UA (+40% chance of Great Scientist, Free G.S. after researching Education) pushes them towards a Science win, rather than Domination, which is impossible in this scenario. Therefore, they have to rely on discovering better weapons to play a late game domination, hopefully using XCom Squads and Atomic Bombs while its foes use Trebuchets.
To the East of the Transhumanists are the Second Turmoil Triangle Civilization, the Zombies. Led by the, get this, Zombie Master (What an original name, 10/10, A++), they are protected from their East by mountains and hence can only expand further into the Triangle of Turmoil. Can the Zombie Master spread the plague into its enemies?

Zombies are one of the most mainstream mythological or fictional species, historically originating from Haiti, which refers to the dead being reanimated via magic, which provides a sharp contrast to modern examples of Scientific causation of Zombies such as radioactivity. Even earlier than this, Zombies can be found in African mythology and necromancy is referenced in even Mesopotamian scripts.

The Zombie's UA (80% chance of converting barbarians) is useless and their UI (Shamblers and Sprinters replacing Warriors and Scouts) mean that unless they rush domination in the early game, they could fall as easy prey to stronger Civs.
The Final Civilization of the Triangle of Turmoil, Antartica! Ruled by the Pengu Overlord and with a harsh perception of "dirty apes" (or humans), Antartica rules with an iron fist. As well as this, for unknown reasons, Islam has embedded itself deep into Antarctican Culture, and the Penguins would rather die than not pray their five times a day. With a frozen wasteland of an environment, can the Penguins fend off the humans and conquer the Triangle?

Lacking an indigenous human population, Antartica was only colonized and discovered in the 19th Century, and hence Penguin rule isn't as nonsensical as you may believe. While an overlord named Pengu is obviously comedic, Penguins really were the main species in Antartica and hence Pengu is an appropriate leader. There isn't much mythology regarding Antartica, however, a Penguin Civ seemed hilarious so why not put it in?

Their UA (All Naval and Land Units convert their enemies to Antartican upon defeating them. -50% Wonder Production but +25% Production of everything else) means they are an amazing Domination Player and can easily create an unstoppable army from just a few units. Their UU, the slave, is not militaristic however and merely replaces the worker and can build on Snow and Tundra tiles, justifying their location. Their UA means that unless they get overpowered in the early game by one of the other Turmoil Triangle Civs, they will most likely dominate the region.
On a narrow strip of land connecting the South (The Triangle of Turmoil) and North (North Pole, Halflings), Atlantis claims the land near the Great Barrier Reef. With not much room for expansion, can Thoth Ampheres build a navy ready to wreak havoc upon the World?

Atlantis, the sunken city of the sea, was a strong Atlantic naval power which attempted to conquer Athens before falling out of favour with the Gods. Plato, in his writing, mentioned Ancient Athens, his idealized nation, had the power to defeat Atlantis despite being outnumbered, and hence after this, without the aid of the Gods, Atlantis sunk into the Sea.

Their UA (All naval units have +2 movement, can immediately embark and cross sea, and +1 faith from sea tiles) directs them towards being THE naval power of the game, but exposes them to the weakness of threatening land armies attaching their cities. Their UU, the Thalmako, starts with the Amphibious promotion and gains gold when attacking cities. This Civilization can be made or broken depending on the importance, and how quickly Atlantis can form a decent navy to rule the seas.
The Fifth City-State observed is the great kingdom of Camelot, ruled by the mighty King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. As a Militaristic City-State, they could become vital in a Domination Match.

Thought to have stemmed from 11th and 12th Century Romantic Writing by the French, Camelot is believed to be a small Kingdom in Britain which fought a series of wars with its neighbors and some believe they had magic and wizards on their side.
Something Spooky must be going on over at Sleepy Hollow, as the Headless Horseman roams the night. Located to the West of the Dwarves and blocked off from the Zombies, Halloween has good room to expand and therefore could potentially become an unrivaled superpower later on.

Believed to have stemmed from old Celtic Farming and Harvest rituals, Halloween is a European tradition beginning on Allhallowtide which is dedicated to remembering the dead. The Headless Horseman also stems from Germanic and Celtic culture, with the most common myth being a prominent warrior losing his head in a battle, denying him his dream to become a chieftain. In retaliation, the Headless Horseman roamed the land, frightening anyone he encountered.

While Halloween has no specific UA or UUs, a large number of units have "Spookier" versions which don't require resources and cause a 10% combat penalty to surrounding enemy units. Because this bonus has the same effect from Early-Late game, Halloween might be the strongest Civ in the entire game, and could easily grasp victory.
The Final City-State uncovered upon these lands is the City overrun by Gold, El Dorado. With Buildings laced with gems and gold coating the streets, El Dorado must be the richest City-State I've ever seen, and hence could they become a valued ally for rich Civilizations or a conquest of a Poor, Bloodthirsty Empire?

The term El Dorado (The Golden One), while typically considered a City, originated from a Spanish legend about a Native American Tribal Leader who covered himself in Gold. Over time, El Rey Dorado (The Golden King) became an entire tribe of Golden People, before becoming a city, as it is known now, and even believed to be an Empire by some. However, numerous expeditions proved fruitless, despite lasting belief from people in the Modern World.
To the North of El Dorado, our Final Civilization reveals us the shocking fact that Aliens, led by Xeno (The Not So Greeno) has begun to create its first colony on Earth, namely its capital, the Earth Settlement. Can Xeno conquer Earth and add it to his intergalactic Empire?

Aliens have been a prominent part of Science Fiction writing for centuries, and are based on the idea of sentient, often humanoid creatures residing on other planets coming to Earth, often interpreted as villainous and aiming to conquer Earth and create an intergalactic Empire. On the other hand, Aliens are also sometimes seen as persecuted by humans and overall just an inferior species that become enslaved, similar to cattle.

Their UA (World wonders provide +3 Happiness, +2 Culture, +2 Science, +3 Food and +1 Production as well as Military Units receiving promotions at twice the speed and having a massive four more spies.) make them a colossal force and one I'm sure will be hard to reckon with, even if their Ability means they will probably focus on attaining culture prior to militia.
Finally, as I was finishing the slides, I noticed a mysterious border on a singular desert tile near the R'lyeh and Aliens.

Upon closer inspect, it seems like a lost city border. Maybe this is a sign of the Mythical elements found throughout the game?
Rank who you believe will win and who will lose for the Power Rankings here:
http://civs.cs.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/vote.pl?id=E_88a453a5f3bef041&akey=bde6796b086c9f90

Next chapter:

Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

AI Mythical Domination Part One: Antarctica is a douche bag

Images: 49, author: Sakoran, published: 2017-10-16, edited: 2017-10-17

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