Author: ThyReformer
Published: 2019-09-30
Lacsirax: I never get to write eulogy slides, but this is the biggest tease yet - I must be, what, 2 turns away from finally getting to do one? Well, I'll let Lordie wax about what could've been next week, as it's bad luck to mourn the not-yet-dead. But there isn't too much more to say - short of the peace deal of a century, Scotland will be our 57th ranked civ. If I was going to be undeservedly charitable, I'd say there's a spearman hanging around Galloway that could potentially flip the city back if/when it falls, but it would still be prolonging the inevitable. I guess all that's left for me to say is that I told you Robert the Bruce was an embarrassment to his name, I told you to vote for James VI in the primaries, I told you to vote for the Picts in the final votes, you all voted him in anyway. Is this the legacy you wanted, Scot fans?
Doom: Canada remains in second last place this part, only beating Scotland. Unfortunately for Canada they are uniquely vulnerable. As Venezuela showed, anyone with a handful of triremes could eliminate Canada. For some reason King seems to be content with this and hasn't bothered building units. To be fair, at this point it wouldn't save Canada for more than a few extra turns but it's disheartening to not even try.
Aaron: The bad news: it turns out that production and tech are what wins wars. Despite starting off strong and having many allies help them weaken their foe, the Murri absolutely cannot compete with Australia's sheer bulk and end the war having lost two of their own cities to the continental power. The very bad news: their ally New Zealand, in very Hollywood-villain style, does not tolerate failure from their henchmen. They have switched sides and attacked the Murri's core with advanced frigates. The Murri capital Cavanbah has fallen and Meanjin will probably go too before the end. The good news? Boobarran Ngummin is pretty far inland, out of reach of New Zealand and hence safe. The Murri could very easily survive a while as a city state. What is the Murri's best course of action in this spot? Come up with a Tibet-style deal with Australia so as to remain safe as an enclaved city state for as long as possible - that's all I've got.
Gragg: Oh shoot! Someone remembered the Czechs exist! Time for them to come up with a new strategy cause invisibility has stopped working. Luckily Ostrava has shown itself to be a resilient city. It’ll need to continue to be near-invincible if the Czechs have any hope of keeping it though. The pair of wars against the Turks doesn’t look like it’ll be enough to take their attention off the city. This is where gifting away Brno will really hurt, as they can’t move any reinforcements from Prague. If they can hold on here though, they actually have a couple of opportunities here. Opportunities may be the wrong word because they’re pretty unlikely. Their neighbors in HRE and Prussia both have unprotected cities along Czechias borders.
Aaron: Nothing has changed for the Seljuqs since last part and they move up 1 spot on account of the Murri. The Parthian assault on their core is continuing to fail. The Maldives retirement plan is still safe. They might be a rump, but they they have taken every precaution in order to stay alive for as long as possible, whether that be by stubbornly sitting in their mountain fortress for centuries, or by living out the rest of their days on a sunny beach.
Shaggy: The Murri getting their gains completely wiped and losing their capital have affected the bottom 10’s rankings more than any action of their own. Poverty Point spent this part doing absolutely nothing, but rises a part because of the Murri drop. The Apache’s forces are being whittled down in their war with the Iroquois, so that’s one fewer enemy Poverty Point has to worry about in the short term, but if the Iroquois makes inroads into the center of the continent, Poverty Point will soon be even more restricted than they are now as they currently have no way to do anything productive with this extra time they’ve somehow found. With nothing going on, no way to make anything happen, and a top 10 civ eyeing lands in their direction, Poverty Point is a bottom 5 civ who will almost definitely stay in the bottom 5 for the remainder of their time alive.
LonelyRS: It’s easy to forget that Oman exists, sometimes. Hell, I’d imagine most people scrolling through the sub today just assumed that the civ who had dared to contest Palmyra for control of the Middle East was already dead. But no, that would be too easy, too simple a fate: instead, Oman remains, in suspended animation, a living museum piece. Come, see the relics of an earlier time! Get taken back to the early days of the cylinders, those heady days when a three city empire was seen as a threat to end all others, when the streets were not only not even delineated but also completely free of fellow passers-by, when cities consisted of three huts and a fire! Roll up, roll up, everybody come and see the freak of nature, the wondrous time capsule preserving the way things were, the nation of the past brought to the present day! Really, once Palmyra gets zoos, they should declare all of Oman an exhibit. That’s what they are, now.
Reformer: Help arrives, from an unlikely ally... As Shikoku joins the war against Qin, Canton's position looks stronger than it has looked in a long time - while before Shikoku posed an existential threat to the pirates, now it poses an invaluable ally against the eastern bloc, the Northern Chinese trio. While defending against Qin should be no big deal now, going on the offense is unlikely, and would be more of a needless risk than anything else. If Shikoku manages to push inland, then perhaps Canton can become increasingly opportunistic. But for now, simply defend, settle more cities where you can fit them (there is one more spot on Luzon), and enjoy your new-found job security.
Doom: The beleaguered Aztecs continue to suffer this part as the hover just outside of the 50s but comfortably within the bottom 10. While the Apache have moved on now the Aztecs could resettle their old land. This isn't much of a solution as even at their peak the Aztecs were not a threat to Venezuela or the Apache and don't have the naval presence to take on Haiti or Haida. Their best shot now would be to hope that the Iroquois manage to leave some Apache cities in such poor condition that even Montezuma could take them. This does not seem likely. This was also easily New Zealand's best part so far as they both keep their Australian cities and successfully captured the Murri capital. Coincidence?
Gragg: The most exciting episode the Ottomans have had in awhile. The warmonger penalties for eliminating Minoa are finally having an effect. Perhaps even more exciting is that they declared war on their long term rival the Czechs, and are once again trying to take the invincible city of Ostrava. Luckily for the Turks the two DOWs they received, Prussia and Venice, might not be as threatening as they initially seem. The Prussians are otherwise occupied with the Sami and will have trouble maneuvering units against the Turks. Venice is unable to bring their navy against the Turks which leaves their relatively weak and out of position land military. Unless something changes it’s likely that the Turks will end this snafu with Ostrava and few losses. Though any number of things could go wrong. A DOW from Palmyra, Venice getting their fleet in position, Ostrava continuing to be invincible, etc.
Techno: The Golden Horde is, to put it bluntly, not in a good position. The Goths have a firm hold on their capital and now threaten Bolghar as well. And yet, the Golden Horde still ranks higher than many other low-tier civs. The reason for this is simple: while their holdings north of the Caucasus are unlikely to hold, the Golden Horde's remaining cities are all near-impenetrable mountain fortresses. With this durable core, the Golden Horde looks likely to last a while more, especially given how the Gothic military is looking rather sparse now.
Aaron: What a disaster! Sulu have just lost a third of their cities! What started off as a very promising extreme-science strategy has just floundered and burned (the latter literally). Their extremely high science, once the number one of the entire cylinder by a mile, is now all the way down to a dismal 43rd... Though they are still second in tech, that won't last for long. There seems to be very little hope for a comeback. Where did it all go so wrong? Well for starters, they didn't settle enough cities. If you go back to early power rankings, you might find phrases such as "Sulu needs to settle more cities for them to be top tier" and in the war against Papua, this lack of cities came back to haunt them as they didn't have the production to keep up with Papua. The second thing that went wrong was an unwillingness to upgrade their UU Proa to a more useful ship - they delayed researching compass for as long as possible (without getting masonry), and even after they had optics, their fleet was still mostly composed on an ancient era ship. This meant that all their various wars against Canton, Taungoo, Shikoku, Australia, they never went anywhere as they didn't bring enough power to take any cities. The third thing that went wrong (and this is similar to the second point) is their unwillingness to upgrade to frigates, again squandering their vast science lead on useless gold-related techs. Despite weaker tech, Papua was the one to get frigates first and boy are those ships powerful, able to tear through Sulu's defences. What a terrible series of errors for a civ once though of as the spiritual successor to Korea.
Shaggy: EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! NENETS ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING THIS PART! The Arctic battle between shamans and reindeer is heating up with the Nenets recapturing Vorkuta from the Evenks. If you’ve been hoping for a Nenets rise in the ranks, this is your week. They rise a whopping one rank for their efforts. Sure, that rise might be much more related to the drop in the ratings by another civ of similar colors (cough Sulu cough), and sure the Evenks may have recaptured but Sulomay, effectively wiping out any Nenets gains while swinging the pendulum of the war away from the arctic purple mysteries, but hey, when else are the Nenets active if not battling their icy rivals?
LonelyRS: Secu has fallen to the blue horde. This is fine. Clearly, Kuikuro simply got just a tad overambitious with settling. This is fine. The rest of the empire, surely, will not fall. After all, Kuikuro has never been known to meet a jungle they didn’t like! This is fine. Uruguay never did break through earlier, anyways, what’s one little base right on the stalemate line going to do? This is fine. Sure, Uruguay is nearing the point where they can quintuple Kuikuro production, but everything is alright! This is fine. Besides, even if things do go poorly, there’s always the Caribbean, right? This is fine. Who really needs crossbows, anyways? Not the essential turtle civ, that’s who! This is fine. The invaders are two tiles away from the capital. This is fine. Things are fine. Everything is alright. Please enter the shelters in a calm, safe, and orderly fashion.
Msurdej: Toussaint is still a island civ with mediocre stats. He's lagging behind all his neighbors (with the possible exception of Kuikuro), and the chance to take some land off of Venezuela is closing more by the day.

But he got Himeji castle, so he's got that going for him. Which is nice.
Techno: A quiet part has boosted the Yup'ik ranking by one slot. After all, in these low ranks, no action is far better than action. While the Yup'ik core is isolated, the Haida still pose a serious threat to their well-being, and the Yup'ik simply do not possess the infrastructure to properly defend their land. The best that the Yup'ik can hope for is that nobody else wants a chunk of their arctic wastes, but as both the Haida and Métis have shown, the AI will greedily occupy even these frozen lands.
Doom: Tonga reach a new all time high of 41 this part. Unfortunately New Zealand are also on track for a new all time high and could eviscerate Tonga if they felt like it at a moment's notice. This leaves Tonga in an unenviable albeit largely self inflicted position. While they haven't made any significant blunders on the scale of Scotland or Canton they haven't done anything worthy of commendation either. On the plus side given Sulu's recent performance Tonga may not finish the BR as the most disappointing Oceania island civ.
Lacsirax: Nzinga's Ndongo falls into the 40s for the first time, rendering them among the lowest-ranked civs to still have a considerable land empire (depends on your opinions of the Yup'ik, really). As each part passes without a hint of a stir from them, our dreams of an incredible rags-to-riches breakout turn from vivid hallucinations to a half-remembered image you try and fail to describe to your family at the breakfast table. Hope isn't over - with Madagascar and Beta Israel continuing to flex new-found muscles, Nzinga could still weave a couple of daring alliances to wreak havoc on the sleeping lions of Zimbabwe. But in such a scenario, they'd likely find themselves the weaker power to whichever partner they brought along, adding to their list of potential threats.
Msurdej: Ivan has some interesting opportunities at his hand now. With the Goths focused on the Golden Horde, the Sami focused on Prussia, and Frederick is handling a two front war. Ivan could use these distractions to further Muscovy's mediocre power, attacking a civ while their back is turn and peacing out before any sort of true reprisal could be achieved. Now ofc, one of these options (Prussia) is far better than the others. But given Ivan's terrible lackluster war history, it seems unlikely that in the already unlikely event of him going to war that he wouldn't pick up cities.
Msurdej: While Piye wasn't the most exciting civ this part, two important insights can be gleamed. One is that his open borders with Mehmed II is preventing Venice from bringing its navy to bear against the Turks, making Piye an effective peacekeeper. But most exciting was the news at the end of the part, where it was revealed the Nubian religion of Amanaiism only has 2 cities. In Northern Africa. The same place as the Ayyyubids in Mk 2.

Party Pope's coming back folks!
Shaggy: Literally 0 shots of Nepal this part, 0 mentions of Nepal this part. We barely got to see the Indian subcontinent at all. The most I found of Nepal’s presence on the cylinder this part was a few units watching the Seljuqs get smacked in the face and a scout here and there. Even the info sheet jebaited me into thinking we had missed a city flip until we realized it was a typo and Nepal wasn’t involved at all. The subcontinent has been oddly quiet for the last few parts with each of the civs quietly building up a military. Hopefully something happens soon, otherwise the denizens of the sub will use Indian subcontinent politics as a sleeping aid.
Gragg: Interesting Benin fact of the day: they currently have ~8 settlers in their landlocked empire. This isn’t totally unusual at this point of the game but usually civs have some kind of military carpet as well. Benin is still looking quite empty. While they haven’t done much to impress recently they do still have a chance. Songhai is still weak and, in my opinion, Zimbabwe, Nubia, and Ndongo are all potential targets with the right coalition. First things first though, Benin has to sort out this no-military problem that seems to be plaguing Africa right now.
Shaggy: Triremes and swordsmen and Antarctic settlements, oh my! This week Selk’nam’s rank plummets towards the abyss from which they had arisen. Though they may be the only civ that has figured out how to walk on water, it may have hindered them from discovering more advanced methods of aquatic navigation somewhere along the line. Yes, its 1700 CE and Selk’nam still have a navy of triremes. They are similarly behind in land units, showing swordsmen to Uruguay’s knights. I believe the prevailing thinking is that Nazca have been supplanting Selk’nam as the weapon to surpass Metal Gear underdog to take on Uruguay, and the rankings are a reflection of that.
Lacsirax: On popular online quiz website Sporcle, there's a very simple quiz made by Jackk in which you have to name every civ that was in the CBR Mk 2. It's a fun quiz, you can find it here:

Once you've had a go (and noted that Kimberley is spelt wrong), head over to the results tab. There you can see the most and least guessed answers. There are some surprises (how is Sibir below the Maya?!) but the bottom of the list mostly makes sense: civs that weren't so notable as to die first, but you'd also struggle to name one thing of interest about them. Civs that make you ask, what did you actually add to the game? There isn't a CBRX version of this quiz yet, but when they do, I know who I expect to see in that bottom five or so. And I wouldn't be surprised if the HRE, a vacuum of interest merely clogging up space in Europe with an army too big too kill and not big enough to do the killing itself, wind up holding the whole pack up.

Oh, and check this quiz out too, because this one's very good:
Reformer: A new challenger approaches, and her name is Haida. While the war was certainly declared by Haida, it seems to first and foremost favor Korea - for now, that is. While Tlell especially is practically guaranteed to fall, any progress past Tlell seems unlikely. Haida's temporary lack of units on the front betrays a far superior production and overall military, meaning this war will inevitably turn in Haida's favor, should it go on long enough. Indeed, Korea's best bet will be a quick capture of Tlell and an equally quick peace deal, in no small part due to the danger posed by their southern neighbor, Shikoku. While Shikoku is distracted by Qin for now, that could change quickly - and as the Shikoku-Qin war is mostly waged on land, it creates no deficit of naval units, which is what would be used for a war between Shikoku and Korea in turn. Time is of essence, but Korea hardly has the benefit of control over time - it is more likely that Haida, the fledgling empire that declared this war in the first place, will also be the civilization to decide when it ends. Cross your fingers, supporters of Korea.
LonelyRS: Remember when the Qing were a top ten civ? No, seriously, not even ten parts ago, Yellow China was as high as seventh. Those days of naïve, misplaced optimism at Cixi’s ridiculous forward settling of the North Pole seem so distant, now. With the Evenks, Korea, and Shikoku all making moves, willing or otherwise, to secure a foothold in the midgame, and powers like the Khamugs and Qin still hopelessly humbling them, the Qing find themselves surrounded by civs even or flat-out better than they are, with no sign that they’ll ever be able to break out of their presently split existence. As it turns out, dicing your empire in half is, surprisingly, not a good move when it comes to your continued survival! Who’d have thunk it? All hope is not lost for Cixi, of course. One of the perks of being in such a stalemated region is that just anybody can seize control with one well-timed coalition. But given what we’ve seen of her play so far? She’d end up the target of such a war before she’d ever think to instigate one, and neither would come fast enough to prop up her rapidly closing window.
LonelyRS: India finds itself in the middle again, clinging to mediocrity like a drowning man to a rock. Yep, it’s the same old, same old for Indira, gazing lustily across her Nepalese border, hoping Maratha doesn’t decide that that particular shade of purple is out this winter, and blatantly disregarding anything that happens west of the unfortunately-named Hyderabad. Really, Nishapur would make the perfect target: citadels already paving a road to the city’s front gates, a large border to attack from, a defense force comprised entirely of civilians… and, of course, the added bonus of entering the Isfahan sweepstakes, a lottery where anybody can win except for, apparently, Parthia. And even if the Seljuqs are simply too busy starving their own citizens to die, other civs that seemingly only exist to be put out of their misery are still around (coughs in Oman), and India certainly has the production to replenish any losses with ease. Really, were it not for the ticking clock counting down to her eventual evisceration by the much, much better Indian civ next door, Indira might have actual reason to be optimistic about the future.
Msurdej: Prussia remains in the fight of their life as the battle with the Sami rages on. Cities like Stettin and Romsa are flipping back and forth, and occasionally being set on fire by the conquering army before getting put back out when the city is retaken. Seeing no problem here, Frederick has decided to join a few fellow civs of Europe in a jolly ol war against the Turks. But if he let's this war in the south distract him (and the Sami move some more melee units to the front), we could see the collapse of Northern Prussia.
Lacsirax: The Nenets-Evenk war is a quaint little thing, isn't it? As eliminations and power shifts rock the Cylinder, there's always time or two for a slide on the two Asian Arctic frenemies engaging in their unending squabble. What makes it feel so slight isn't just that the only city that's ever changed hands is Sulomay, which flips gently back and forth between Nenets opportunists and the Evenk pioneers who settled it. It isn't just that the main forces called to the front are either woefully outdated (triremes, catapults, I even spot a warrior) or the notorious reindeer riders. No, what makes it feel so light-hearted is how ultimately pointless it is. The Evenks may be able to bully their tiny Nenets cousins (and they're not even doing a great job at that) but when the big civs come knocking, their woeful tech and unbalanced army won't last a minute, and they'll be left hoping mountains and forests alone can save them. That said, it won't be the Khamugs. Don't ask me how I know. But I know.
Reformer: Well, that was a quiet part. Indeed, it was a quiet part for most of Africa yet again, with only the war in Northwestern Africa being of note. Sure, Zimbabwe is at war with Benin and Songhai, but somewhat obviously neither of the two wars are relevant. One could easily consider this a golden age of peace and prosperity for (most of) the continent, but we here don't care for peace and prosperity, we care for bloodshed, and bloodshed alone. But for Madagascar, that bloodshed has mostly meant wars against Beta Israel - and we all know how well that has gone for the many civs that have attempted it. All this seems to point at a single fact; that Zimbabwe has Southern Africa wrapped around its finger, and Madagascar especially, waging its only relevant wars alongside that giant of a civ, is probably the mainstay of Zimbabwean Hegemonial power over Southern Africa, as annoying as it may sound to our many ruthless observers. Indeed, only an external disturbance could probably end said Hegemony. When is Uruguay getting frigates, again?
Adm. Cloudberg: Parthia falls for the fifth straight part, and this time it's a bigger drop than even before, almost taking Mithridates out of the top half. There are a multitude of reasons for this besides just their embarrassing failure to kill the Seljuqs. Parthia is lagging severely in many critical stats, hasn't had a top tier military in ages, and faces limited prospects for growth. And on top of all that, just looking at the map tells you quite a bit: Parthia just doesn't stand out from its neighbours anymore. In fact, they don't really look any bigger than India or Nepal. Their only saving grace might be the Kazakhs, who still have an undefended southern border, but if Mithridates doesn't jump on that weakness as soon as he discovers crossbows, then his prospects will become increasingly bleak.
Lacsirax: Oh god, my eyes! How they burn to see such crimes against humanity! But now I've acclimatised to looking at Papua's bright green colour scheme again, let's talk about the razing of Sandakan and Maimbung, two of Sulu's largest cities that are now two of Papua's largest bonfires. Most of the major civs are unhappy at the moment, and a fair few have razed a city or two, but we've never seen metropolitan massacres like these, with Papua throwing away potentially crucial island outposts and walking away from their war with Sulu with a zero net gain of cities. This might only be a technical point, because they do have nearby settlers that would win the race against Australia to resettle both spots if they set off immediately - though I'd never put money on an AI using a settler well. While Papua's rank has understandably hit a setback this week, the chaos hitting the Oceania region still leaves Papua in decent stead. Other than the ascending Kiwis, any nearby civ is a good target, though they'd do well to give it a few days, as the unhappiness caused by the razing of Maimbung is currently giving them a combat malus of roughly fifty percent.
Reformer: And so ends the last of the protracted wars waged by - or against - the Manx. With the Vikings focusing their attention entirely on what remains of the Scots, Illiam Dhone is finally able to recuperate. While the Manx did not lose much land through the chain of wars, the loss of their Canadian holdings and their struggling in Europe represent a temporary stop any imperialistic ambition Castletown might've had. While their southern neighbors grew their influence and power, the Manx spent their energy in an attempt to defend an overextended empire - if one could've even called it that. Never truly superior in their neighborhood, the Manx were merely a state with imperialist ambition, and their future success or lack thereof depends on whether the proud civilization can recuperate properly, and restart that ambition. The Moors are looking awfully distracted, for one...
LonelyRS: The thought that a civ could declare war on the Qin without getting blown to smithereens seemed to be seriously in doubt after Canton tried it, but things have been going so well for Shikoku that the DoW may have just been a strategic masterstroke. Macao – the city Shikokoof spent years battling Toucanton for – looks set to be the site of yet another bloody stalemate, but the Qin’s curious propensity for using their production on research and wealth has left the northern part of their empire open for attack should Southern Japan be able to send a land assault force there. That would be an easy task, if Shikoku had anything even approximating an army in its borders. For now, the war appears to be coming down to the question of whether Qin’s apathy or Shikoku’s naval focus will break first, with the latter leading to a grand boon for the silvered science civ and the former almost assuredly taking Shikoku’s mainland ambitions behind the woodshed and burying the body next to the Manx’s. In other words, no pressure.
LonelyRS: Europe seems to be pretty into culling those on the edges of their continent: First Minoa, then the North Africans, and now, at last, Scotland finally seems to be drawing its final breath. Celebratory mead will no doubt be passed around the Viking empire, mighty warriors and sailors rightfully getting themselves hammered as can be. But, the morning after, as they awake from their hangovers, the question has to be asked: what next? The Manx, Sami, and Holy Roman Empire ring the Viking homeland, vast navies and/or bigly mountain ranges creating natural barriers to conquest. Of the three, the Germans would likely make the most appealing target, what with Frankfurt Am Main’s position essentially serving it up on a silver platter. The Manx might prove equally as juicy, but a recent war gave nothing to either side, and saw a whole armada of ships crushed in a futile attempt to capture Colby. Declaring war on the Sami would be similarly grinding, Scandinavia’s unique geography making it nigh-impossible to wage either land or sea war. Still, the Vikings could be justified in letting themselves go for a bit after they bring Bobby B’s life to a premature end. They’ve certainly earned it, after all, and it’s hard to imagine anyone gutting them with their guard down.
Adm. Cloudberg: Beta Israel falls back out of the top 20 as we sit here poking them and shouting "Do something." Gudit still has outsized production for a civ that's otherwise pretty small, but if she doesn't use it effectively, I don't see it making any difference. It's also increasingly looking like Beta Israel doesn't have any soft neighbours they can take. Nubia is totally carpeted, and Benin is full of walls that will slow them down even more than the mountainous terrain near their border. So where does Gudit go from here? My guess is farther down.
Aaron: The Apache lose 2 cities and drop 6 places as a result. True, one of them was settled in the middle of enemy territory and was a goner anyway, but it is still bad. And now the Iroquois are continuing by attacking Shis-Inday. The Apache do have comparable military, production and tech to the Iroquois but are currently facing two main problems. First of all, the Iroquois' cheated in autocracy is now in full force and is significantly helping them with conquest. Secondly, most of the Apache army is down south fighting the Aztecs. While the Apache can't do anything about the first problem, they can solve the second problem by making peace with the Aztecs and moving their army north to defend. Shis-Inday is in a very useful chokepoint so making sure it has enough defenders should be of paramount importance.
Aaron: The Nazca remain at their highest ever rank for a second week in a row. They are statistically the second best civ in south america, slightly eking out Venezuela. The problem Nazca have (apart from the obvious big one) is that they have very few expansion opportunities. Though they did win their last war against the Kuikuro, they can't really expect the same again from the invulnerable turtle god. The Selk'nam are currently weak from prolonged exposure to Ȧ̶̉n̵̍͑t̷̍̔à̶͘r̴͌͐c̶̈́̕t̵̓̅i̶̛͘c̵̞͐W̶̢̓å̶̛ṛ̴̊p̴̷͒̊̋͗ but a revenge against them would still require going partially across the Pacific (which is difficult and the Nazca currently do not have the tech for it). Tonga similarly also requires partially going across the Pacific to reach. That leaves only Venezuela and that is a bad expansion opportunity as the two civs are nearly equal. Any attempt would likely stalemate and do nothing but weaken them both for Uruguay. They are pretty stuck.
Techno: The Aztecs are falling. Haiti has run out of land to claim with only 5 cities to its name. The Kuikuro have even lost a city. All in all, Venezuela seems to have a leg up against most of its neighbors save for the Nazca. That being said, a leg up means nothing unless Venezuela makes use of it. A strike against the weakened Aztecs or Haiti could go a long way, but since the loss of its Canadian colonies, Venezuela hasn't been particularly active. Unfortunately, with Uruguay an ever-present threat lying just beyond the Great Green Wall of 'Kuro, Venezuela needs to step up its game to ensure that they can compete with the powerhouse to the southeast.
Shaggy: In one of our few shots of Venice this week, we see them declaring against the Turks in a coalition! We’ve been saying for a while that Venice needs to do something to have a shot at being the civ to conquer Europe and this is a fantastic first step. By my count, 4 of the 5 Ottoman cities are coastal or on an island, including both capitals under their control, and the Venetians are well ahead of the Turks in terms of naval tech. Combine that with the diplo hit the Turks got for killing Minoa, and this is a recipe for the Doge to start controlling the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. As such, Venice catapults into the top 20 for the first time this season. To be honest, I had hoped that Venice would jump into the North African theater and take a bite out of one of its larger rivals, but this actually works out better for them to establish a solid footing to further expand south and east. Now if only Nubia could move their peacekeeping units…
Adm. Cloudberg: Boy was this an eventful part for New Zealand! It's been an eventful part for them in the power rankings as well, with our boy Richard Seddon skyrocketing 11 places to get himself a respectable spot in the top 20 for the first time since part 1. And unlike in part 1, this time he actually deserves it. New Zealand spent part 15 making a series of brutally effective strategic maneuvers: first they made peace with Australia in time to preserve their gains, then they immediately backstabbed their erstwhile ally the Murri, capturing two more cities including the capital using Seddon's newfangled navy of privateers, frigates, and galleons. These sorts of ships—and New Zealand has a lot of them—will give Seddon a massive advantage over several of his neighbours for a decent window of time. And with Papua crippling Sulu but gaining nothing of its own for its effort, there doesn't seem to be any up-and-coming rival to match. Bar a significant turnaround from Papua, Oceania may come down to Australia vs. New Zealand, and I know which one I'll be rooting for.
Adm. Cloudberg: What on earth do we make of Australia this part? Hawke rises two spots as the power rankers tentatively decide that he is in a better position than before, but it's really a mixed bag. He rebounded and took back everything he lost to the Murri, but failed to retake the cities lost to New Zealand. And now New Zealand is busy killing the Murri, Australia's best expansion opportunity, while Hawke has made peace. Overall, New Zealand is ascendant, sporting a military that is 50% bigger than Australia's and with many more advanced ships. For now, geography might protect Australia from New Zealand, but Hawke will need to invest in his navy and think about conquering Sulu or Papua before he finds that he's met his match in the form of Richard Seddon.
Doom: The Qin move up another spot as they find themselves at war with a rather poorly prepared Shikoku. There's a chance that this will be the catalyst that gets the Qin to build an army but it's too early to be sure. With such a lacklustre army they remain at risk of losing cities to some combination of the Qing and Khamugs if either manages to blitz the Qin cities and peace out quickly before the Qin can put their production to good use. Making gains against Shikoku or Canton serves as a nice distraction for a few parts but sooner or later the Qin will need a real army.
Gragg: Haida’s streak of impressive military decisions has come to an end. If it were a fair fight Haida would come out on top of this war with Korea. Instead Haida’s core is an ocean away, leaving their colonies to fight against the army Korea has been saving up for several episodes. It’s likely one or two of these cities will turn a more vivid shade of pink by the end of the war. Certainly not a huge loss for Haida but certainly a setback. That Yup’ik carpet is looking similarly threatening as well… Some good news though is that Haida has two escorted settlers almost to Hawaii. Shikoku, Taungoo, and New Zealand seem to have settlers on the way too so it’ll be a race to see who can put a city or two down.
Techno: Just shortly after sending Algeria to an early grave, the Moors are showing once again that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their war with Songhai has been evenly matched for the most part, although the Moors did take a city along the Barbary Coast. And with Songhai lacking a proper military force, I expect these cities to remain in Moorish hands. That being said, the Moors would fare far better if they tried to expand against the relatively weak European powers around them, but for the time being, any gains against Songhai are a useful trophy.
Gragg: The Goths continue to be successful against the Golden Horde. Just take a look at the hollow core though. Holy Huskarls. There’s almost as many workers as military units. I do see a few settlers though which is good for a civ that is fond of burning down conquests. Despite their vulnerable position they are likely to be just fine. The only neighbor they have that could take advantage of the temporary weakness are the Kazakhs, and their military leaves something to be desired as well. Besides, with the Goths outstanding production they should start to fill up again fairly quickly. Regarding the war with the Golden Horde, I love the commitment to the superior siege weapon. A few knights are on standby to capture cities so I think Bolghar will eventually end up in the hands of the Goths.
Msurdej: Taungoo has generally been overshadowed by Maratha for most of the game. But make no mistake, Bayinnaung is far from out of this game. He has a good deal of options available as potential conquests, from the carpeted but technologically outdated Nepal, the distracted Qin and Canton, and the recently crippled Sulu. Although its unsure if Taungoo could capture Bauang, there's a good chance Taungoo could get something if it decides to wake up and use its energy.
Lacsirax: Hanging on to the top 10 for dear life is Songhai, still the shakiest of the civs in these upper echelons. If you only read/listen to the part, you'd be forgiven for asking why Songhai should slipped a couple of places, given the brutal Moorish invasion that was foretold last part amounted to, well, flipping the inessential and indefensible outpost of Misrata. In fact this war has proven to be a textbook example of Forgie's Law: while it may feel incredible when two regional powers go to war, they're often some of the least interesting conflicts on the cylinder (case in point: Mk 2's Khanflict, CBRX's Apache-Metis War, and WW1). An initial look at the raw video too shows that early Moorish advances into the Canaries and Mauritania failed to punish Songhai's weak reserves, and neither front appears active enough now to see a flip, at least not for ten turns or so. But where Askia has fallen in our estimations is his failure to mobilise the nation into meeting this serious threat with any sense of urgency; there are still no reserve troops, not on the front lines or back at home. Benin and Nubia would still easily squeeze a couple of cities out of them, and a full blown coalition might be curtains for them. Furthermore, their navy is still very token, and we're nearing the point in history where the Atlantic starts to feel quite narrow... say, are there any South American civs with huge military reserves that could be of worry to them in the future?
Reformer: Another part of proper peace, another part in the top 10 for but one of the horse lords. Peace has served this civ well, allowing them to consolidate and prosper, keeping up their great production stats. In regards to military, however, the Kazakhs seem to stumble a bit: While their 11k military is just fine in comparison to their non-Khamug neighbors, it is noticeably weak in comparison to other top 10 powers, where 11k is nothing more than a sign of weakness. Indeed, while the Kazakh horde has been admirably imperialistic after the failures against Parthia, their currently meek army is unlikely to stand the mettle as the world enter the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. But this doesn't mean that the Kazakhs are in a bad position - quite the opposite. Only the Khamugs, dubbed "the Warden of the East", can truly threaten them, while the rest of the states around them could turn into prey somewhat easily, should Ablai Khan be able to reinstate his horde as the formidable military might it deserves to be.
Doom: The Khamugs move up an impressive 5 places this part, returning to the top 10 after a brief 3 part absence. This is almost entirely because the Qin are adamant about not building an army which means that Jamukha is now back on top of the three China's. However the Khamugs still remain almost entirely unproven. A war against any neighbour could work at this point with the possible exception of the Kazakhs who remain unpredictable. A war against the Qing would be safe. Although they have a large military they simply do not have the production to maintain it in the face of any protracted invasion. The infamously hated Evenks are another possible target as finding allies to coalition them with should be trivial.
Adm. Cloudberg: The Metis slip another place as confidence in their ability to defend their large empire continues to fall. And then there's also the fact that some of their cities are straight up hurting them, and that their neighbours (such as the Iroquois) are starting to look stronger. What keeps Louis Riel so high is the sheer size of his empire, with 8 more cities than the next largest civ (the Khamug Khanate). Whether he will do anything with it, or whether he will only continue to stagnate, is still an open question.
Reformer: Can you say 'hegemony'? From the beginning of the game, Zimbabwe has been economically and militarily head and shoulders above their neighbors in Southern Africa. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, this Hegemony has been relatively unchallenged - only Beta Israel on the Zimbabwean periphery has been brave enough to challenge this Hegemony, while the likes of Ndongo and Madagascar seem to have submitted to the Hegemony, probably with peace and prosperity on their mind. Indeed, the wars against Beta Israel are the only wars within Zimbabwe's sphere of influence. Easily one of the most prosperous regions on the cylinder. But this all may be changing soon: With the dawn of deep-sea vessels and ever-more interconnected world, Zimbabwe might find itself challenged once more, especially as the economical superiority of this great civilization begins to slowly but surely slip. Can Zimbabwe maintain its Hegemony, or is too late to correct this course?
Aaron: Palmyra manages to remain in the top 5 for yet another week, though their position is starting to look shaky. Deserts are pretty bad terrain that make it hard to build big productive cities and it's starting to show in their stats, which are now approximately as good as the Moors. Still, Palmyra continues to be ranked high thanks to the weakest set of neighbours of the entire cylinder with Oman, the Seljuqs, Turks, Golden Horde and Nubia not looking so hot, not to mention the isolated Parthian colony of Nizwa. Only Beta Israel shows any sign of resistance. Palmyra could quite easily make up the gap between them and the other top tiers by conquest, an option that isn't open to most of them, mostly because of happiness issues (happiness issues which Palmyra is not suffering from). But having the advantage of weak neighbours and using that advantage are two different things. Palmyra will have to make a move if they don't want their low stats to catch up with them - and the top 5 is currently particularly volatile, with other civs going in and out quite frequently.
Msurdej: With stats that completely outclass their opponent's, it was predicted Sami would roll over Prussia. 15 turns into the war however, we've seen little to no progress: Both Stettin and Romsa were capture then recaptured by their respective holders. Despite having the largest army in Europe, and the 2nd largest production in the cylinder, Eadni continues to struggle in this war. Will this mediocre military skill haunt the Sami for the rest of the game, or will they pull a turn around and cripple Prussia? Only time will tell.
Techno: Many civs have had good parts. Some have even had great parts. But it's rare to see a civ have a part as excellent as the one the Iroquois just had. Leaping into third place, Hiawatha has shown that his Vanilla reputation is well-deserved. In a blitz of Tomahawk Raiders, Hiawatha's forces have captured the last Canadian Apache colony and begun to push through the narrow border with the Apache, capturing the city of Tchihende and paving the way to Shis-inday. The Apache are struggling to assemble a response, as the image above shows only 10 Apache units in any position to defend. Frankly, this invasion is one of the most aggressive power plays, if not the most aggressive, of the CBRX so far. With powerful stats to back them up, including the fourth largest military, the Iroquois certainly deserve their high rank. Many top tiers are strong because of an overpowered starting position, but only the Iroquois got where they are through brute-force conquest. Hiawatha, you have impressed us so far and we expect great things from you in the future.
Adm. Cloudberg: Maratha continues its inexorable rise, reaching second place for the first time ever! This comes on the heels of Maratha's similar rise up the stats sheet, where they have displaced Zimbabwe in overall second place. They have the second largest army in the world, rapidly approaching the same size as Uruguay's, and their production is formidable. The technology gap between Maratha and its neighbours is also growing, giving them plenty of opportunities to roll over in their sleep and kill someone like Nepal or India. And now they're finally researching some naval techs, putting Oman in reach as well. By virtue of their secure position, scary good stats, and squishy neighbours, Maratha makes for a worthy second place as things currently stand.
Gragg: If it were any other civ we’d be talking about how incompetent they seem. Honestly there have been whispers in the PR server that Uruguay might not be as scary as it seems. More likely though is that Uruguay knows it has no equals on the cylinder. They’ve reduced the neighboring Selk’nam to rubble through fear alone. They toy with the Kuikuro jungle dwellers to give others a head start. Uruguay is biding its time. They will consume the world only when it has grown strong. And Brazilian sub will bear witness to the might of the Guay. And all those aboard will tremble in fear.

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Images: 9, author: HiroTsuguS, published: 2017-08-11