Alphabattle Part B: Battle Begins!

Author: BobSmithIV
Published: 2018-04-25, edited: 2018-05-07

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Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

Alphabattle Part A (Introduction): \'Allo \'Allo!

Images: 29, author: BobSmithIV, published: 2018-04-22, edited: 2018-04-23

Welcome back to the Alphabattle, the battle to decide which is truly the best letter of the alphabet! Results from the strawpolls last episode were unsurprisingly well spread after just the introductions. Poland gained the most votes to win, while opinions were split on Lithuania, Minoa, and the Xiongnu, who all gained votes both to win and to be eliminated first.
Starting things off, we see the Xiongnu settle Lungtang towards Hejaz, threatening to box them in, and forcing Hejaz to do the same to the Jomon by settling Medina. The Jomon seem quite content to stay on their defensible peninsula for now though.
Romania advances towards Normandy, who have chosen a very questionable spot for their second city, a coastal desert without many resources to speak of.
In the south of the island, we see Akkad, Bulgaria, Wampanoag, The Zapotec, and Finland all settle towards Scotland, leaving them unable to find a nice spot to found their second city, despite the fact it's already turn 9.
Yukagir (white) forward settle Eora, who use their UI to found the first pantheon, giving them even more faith and pretty much guaranteeing them a religion. Unlike all their neighbours, they have yet to found their second city as it seems their heart is set on a coastal retreat.

Note that when the Eora spawned, for some reason they didn't get the normal number of units a deity AI gets, so I added them in manually. Unfortunately, I gave them the default Warrior rather than their unique Eora Warrior, hence their two default Warriors pictured, my bad.
More second cities are founded in nice locations...
...though the Lithuanians (brown/blue) seem to be waiting til they find the perfect spot, as their settler wanders between the two Zapotec (purple/green) cities.
Turn 15 sees our first war, as the Xiongnu (of Luut Hot) and Wampanoag (of Potumtuk) both attack Akkad! The Xiongnu have access to their UU, the Altaic Rider; its only real combat bonus is +1 movement, but they are built faster for every featureless plains or grassland tiles inside the city's limits, and there's no shortage of them around Luut Hot and Lungtan.
Meanwhile, Poland is building a sizeable army that looks like it could take on any of their immediate neighbours, Khazaria is the first to three cities, and Eora does indeed build themselves a nice coastal city.
The Xiongnu found Lungzi on the other side of Bulgaria, safe from Akkadian attackers, while they seek to prevent Akkad from getting their third city by attacking their new settler's escort.
Pliny informs us of the well fed empires of the world, while in the background we see the Akkadian settler's escort is down to the red. Poor Scotland still hasn't found anywhere for their second city, as they keep their settler in Edinburgh until their Scout finds the perfect spot.
The Ghaznavids claim the Desert Folklore pantheon, pretty much guaranteeing them a religion too. Lithuania's settler is still searching for a city spot too.
Vietnam also founds a pantheon for some bonus science, while the Eora found the first religion already on turn 26. Protestantism allows the building of Mosques which is always nice, but Papal Primacy will be rather less useful in this city-state-less game.
The Xiongnu successfully deny Akkad a third city by capturing their settler and enslaving it to work their fields, while they already have a fourth settler of their own out looking for a good spot. Meanwhile Finland (dark blue) gets the Dance of the Aurora pantheon, which with their start will also almost guarantee them a religion.
Qocho (yellow) founds Stonehenge and uses it to claim a pantheon for themselves, as we see they've settled a third city, and Romania (dark blue) and the Uyghurs (light blue) looks to do likewise shortly. The Zapotecs build the Great Library.
Lithuania finally founds their second city, and founds their third on the very same turn to catch up. Corsica founds their third city of PrupiĆ  on Lake Victoria.
The second war of the cylinder begins as the Ottomans and Lithuania declare war on Taiwan! The Ottomans seem to have forgotten to build an army to actually attack Taiwan with, however, though they have managed to surround Taiwan with their cities, which could prove challenging for them.
The Xiongnu are the first to four cities, founding Tsagaan towards Bulgaria, which they're clearly not happy about, as they declare war on the Xiongnu, bringing Qocho along with them. Qocho have some way to travel south if they want to prove relevant however.
Both the Bulgarian city of Skopje and the Xiongnu city of Lungzi seem to be in danger, though both sides will need to direct more forces that way in order to actually capture either city. Meanwhile, Akkad have built their first Laputtu, their stronger Spearman replacement, while neither of the civs they're at war with seem too threatening right now.
Some units take damage in the north west of the island, but no cities seem to be in danger.
This is not the case in the Xiongnu-Bulgarian war however, as both Skopje and Lungzi fall to the yellow, while Xiongnu peaces out with Akkad in order to focus on Bulgaria. There aren't any melee units near the Xiongnu's city however, while the only Xiongnu unit near Bulgaria's city is in the red, so maybe both have a chance. Meanwhile, the Ghaznavids use Desert Folklore to found Islam, with Monasteries and extra faith per city following the religion.
However, the Xiongnu quickly decides that being at war with just one of their neighbours is really far too boring, and declares on the Uyghurs with Romania.
Akkad also makes peace with Wampanoag, while the Xiongnu have successfully defended Lungzi, and taken Skopje down to the red with a melee unit ready and waiting at the gate. Corsica claims the powerful Temple of Artemis, while the Zapotecs build the Temple of Halicarnossos. Scotland seem content being a city state, as their settler still hasn't even left their borders.
Eora enhances Protestantism, as Poland's army looks terrifying, especially next to the more or less non-existent armies of Khazaria and Corsica.
Bulgaria manages to save Skopje at the last second, and it seems fairly safe from further damage for now...
...because the Xiongnu seem to be focusing more on their northern front against the Uyghurs, who have their Altaic Rider UU, a Horseman replacement that's faster and stronger in rough terrain. Their settling of Shihezi has also confirmed the Jomon's confinement to their peninsula without military action. Qocho founds Manichaeism, with Pagodas and extra culture for foreign followers, and Yukagir builds the useful Statue of Zeus, giving them an edge when attacking cities.
The very next turn, Finland founds their own religion, Oriental Orthodoxy, whose temples produce happiness, and whose missionaries and prophets produce science for Finland when spreading the good word.
The Taiwan-Ottoman war has little progress, as a Trireme crashes into Marsim, damaging it slightly but not phasing the Ottomans at all.
We take our first look at Iberia's third city, the tundra city of Numantia, as Eora's army seems much larger than any of its neighbours.
Poland smartly declares war against Corsica, who panic as they realise they forgot to build any real military. Poland's done a much better job, with a well balanced army looking like it could do some serious damage to the Corsican empire.
Emboldened by Poland (try saying that three times fast), Eora declares war on Iberia. Their unit composition isn't quite as good as Poland's however, without a single ranged unit in sight, but in sheer numbers they've got Iberia well beaten.
Ptolemy interrupts the battle to let us know that Corsica is truly in trouble, with Poland having the 5th highest military. Qocho could do some serious damage to Xiongnu too from the looks of things, if they actually decided to take part in that war properly.
Sure enough, Lento falls to the yellow...
...and Poland claims the first city capture of the game against Corsica! It doesn't look like they're done yet either, as the Polish forces descend on the Corsican capital.
Iberia on the other hand is doing a much better job at defending themselves, with Eora failing to make any real progress.
Back in the east of the island, the Uyghurs are the first to five cities, so Wampanoag and Lithuania jealously declare war! Both are quite far from the Uyghurs' core, which is still being lightly harassed by the Xiongnu, but under no real threat; however Kashgar could be in danger, especially since Lithuania has the second largest army in the world right now.
Eora retreats, while Poland surrounds the Corsican capital, still looking strong.
Vietnam found Buddhism, whose beliefs provide extra production if the city has specialists, and extra gold per city following Buddhism for Vietnam. The Ottoman-Taiwan war is quieter than ever.
Kashgar starts to take damage, but Lithuania will need to send a few more troops to be able to capture it. The apparent abundance of settlers in their land is due to a graphical bug; the units with the settler icon are actually their UU, the Samagotian Warrior, which both is stronger and heals every turn when in forest.
Corti takes its first nick of damage from the Polish forces, and plenty more looks set to follow.
Seeking revenge, Akkad restarts the very first war of the game, and this time they're the aggressors against the Xiongnu, and they seem to have a distinct advantage too, with a larger army and both of their UUs. Tsagaan is in real danger here.
In the north east, Taiwan and the Ottomans end their wee skirmish, with only a couple of damaged units and one pillaged tile to show for it. The Ghaznavids enhance Islam, while Bulgaria builds the Terracotta Army.
The Polish assault seems to be slowing down, as Corti remains at full health for now. Is the technological superiority of the (tiny) Corsican army proving too much for Poland, or are they just waiting to get their army into the best position?
Just below them, Eora are struggling even more against Iberia, with the Iberians pushing back and now almost starting to look threatening to Eora themselves.
Meanwhile, Hejaz (brown) joins in the war against the Uyghurs, who are now fighting four different civs, though the Xiongnu are currently distracted by Akkad, as they manage to expel the Akkadian troops from their borders. Hejaz looks reasonably strong here though, and could even take a city, especially if Wampanoag and Lithuania step up their attack; Kashgar is back to full health.
Finland declares war on Bulgaria, and a large army is already threatening the Bulgarian capital. This could be bad news for fans of the letter B. North of this, the Akkadian army continues pushing on the city of Tsagaan.
Minoa founds Hellenism, with beliefs that extra faith to world wonders and extra happiness to the Minoans. We also get our first proper look at the Minoa's third and fourth cities, Malia and Gourna. In the northwest, we see Poland still yet to damage the Corsican capitol or even the bowman defending it.
Lithuania belatedly makes peace with the Ottomans, after only joining the war as a favour to Taiwan. They don't seem to be offering much more to their war against the Uyghurs either, though we do get to enjoy the amazing bordergore their UB provides just south of Kalnas.
Suddenly everything happens! Finland reform their religion, then decide to also take on the Xiongnu. Even if they split their army in two between Preslav and Lungzi, the latter at least seems doomed.
The Ghaznavids and Lithuania declare war on Minoa, and while Lithuania is again only joining in as a favour, the Ghaznavid army is no joke. Minoa seems to have a decent defence prepared however, so this could go either way.
Hejaz also joins in the war against the Xiongnu, putting the latter at war with 4 out of 5 their neighbours, having just made peace with the fifth. Even without the other civs' help, Hejaz's army looks like it has the strength to potentially take at least Lungtang, which is currently fairly undefended thanks to the Xiongnu throwing their units against the Uyghurs to frighten them.
The Zapotecs and Wampanoag also declare war on the Xiongnu, as they decide that five civs is the peak they can deal with and peace out with the Uyghurs. Neither new civ looks like they have an army situated well enough to take advantage of this war however, other than through gaining some nice diplomatic boosts with their war allies.
Wampanoag also joins Finland against Bulgaria, though again it seems unlikely to be for anything more than a diplomatic boost to make up for stealing Finland's city spot with Pokanoket. In other news, Scotland's second settler has finally left the nation's borders, and is out in search of new lands, only 63 turns into the game!
In the north, Romania peaces out with the Uyghurs after a disappointingly quiet battle, perhaps due to seeing the size of Normandy's army compared to their own and getting worried.
Lungtang, the Xiongnu's largest city, starts to take damage, as Hejaz's strategy to more or less ignore the Uyghur front in order to make gains against the Xiongnu seems to be working. On the bright side for fans of the letter X, Tsagaan seems to be repelling Akkad pretty well.
Both Corsica and Minoa are defending themselves well, but the Ghaznavids have managed to cut Malia off from reinforcements from Minoa's core, and that group of composite bowmen around Balkh could be very dangerous if they're sent to Malia.
In the west, Khazaria and Eora tire of the world's first warmonger, and declare a sandwich war on Poland, and in doing so, Eora themselves also find themselves in a sandwich war, though the Iberian front looks fairly quiet. Poland look fairly well prepared, with a similar sized army still in reserve to either the Eora or Khazaria, though it now looks unlikely they'll make further gains against Corsica. Khazaria do also have their Tarkhan UU now, a weaker Knight available early which heals completely on pillaging and receives defensive bonuses, so if they start spamming that, it could even mean losses for Poland.
In the south east, Finland can't seem to decide whether to attack Bulgaria or the Xiongnu, so just swithers between the two rather than actually doing any damage yet.
That doesn't mean the Xiongnu are entirely safe though, as Lungtang falls to the red, and Hejaz have two melee units around to capture it. The Xiongnu do now have Pikemen, but is it too little too late for them?
And that cliffhanger brings us to the end of the part and the InfoAddict stats! The Dervishes, who have been quiet this part, lead in population despite (or perhaps because of) having only two cities. Poland's two new enemies claim the second and third spots.
At the bottom of the list we see the tundra boys, the Yukagir, and surprisingly Hejaz just above them. Scotland isn't doing too bad for having yet to settle their second city...
Qocho leads in production, helped doubtless by their UA, and it's the three civilizations facing multi-front wars which claim the next three top spots.
At the bottom we see the Dervishes have clearly sacrificed production for growth, with only the wannabe city state of Scotland below them. Yukagir and Hejaz are low here as well which is worrying.
The Ghaznavids lead in military, while Minoa is in the middle of the pack, though The Ghaznavids' advantage isn't actually that large at this stage of the game, with only about 11,000 soldiers difference, meaning their army is about 20% larger than Minoa's.
We see Hejaz are doing surprisingly well with a relatively small army, though helped by the fact that the Xiongnu are even lower.
Jomon has taken an early tech lead. Everyone else in the top half is remarkably even.
Trailing a little we have Scotland (unsurprisingly), the Ghaznavids, and Normandy, while the Dervishes are remarkably low considering their population lead.
And that's it for this instalment! Will the Xiongnu, Poland, Eora, and the Uyghurs be able to defend themselves or make gains in their multi-front wars? What will the outcome of the Ghaznavid-Minoan war be? Will Scotland ever actually settle their second city? Watch this space!

Here's the strawpolls for your predictions and opinions:
Who will win?
Who will be eliminated first?
Who do you most want to win?

Next chapter:

Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

Alphabattle Part C: Capitals Collapse!

Images: 73, author: BobSmithIV, published: 2018-04-27, edited: 2018-05-01

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