Published: 2019-07-01

Part of the campaign:


Previous part:

Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's


Images: 61, author: SZAFNGA, published: 2019-06-23

Msurdej: Ah Xia, a land of firsts in this new BR. First civ to lose its capital. First civ to be reduced to a single city. But while getting taking apart by Qin and Qing is very bad, Emperor Yu can look on the bright side. Not only does he get to use his UA, but he's also the first civ in CBRX to have 0 deviation in the Power Rankings!
Msurdej: Papua continues its downward spiral as the cylinder turns. Besides not having any more cities, Rajapapua now has to deal with the Sulu on their home island. Basically, all the cards are turning up bad in Papua, not because others are smart, but because of their own failures.
Lordie: [aside] See where an OTI start in Europe gets you, Poblano?!

Yeah, Minoa are low again owing to the fact that they lost Phaistos, and both of their two other colonies are in potential warzones. Nubia bringing melee units was a surprise, I'll grant that, but getting bogged down in the Nile War is just playing to Nubia and to all their neighbours who can box them in. It may be too early to say a Mediterranean empire is off the table- Italia is unsettled, after all; but honestly at this rate Minoa will end up as either Exclavia 2.0, or have a wonky empire stretching from Riyadh to Albania.
Homusubi: Don't panic. While we're at it, don't forget your towel.

It is true that the Nenets have ended this part at war with the civ that started out at the very top of the power rankings. But I would invite you to look a little closer at the situation at hand. The Kazakhs have to attack a city surrounded by unique chariot archers (admittedly, in this scenario, without any advantages over regular ones), through an unending blanket of forest, with not that much in their possession that isn't a warrior. I might be wrong here, and for the record I was wrong about what would happen to Xia after part 1, but it looks like the Nenets will hold the Kazakhs off.

Leaving them with a grand total of, um, two cities, and zero settlers, an ignominious situation shared by only four other civs. What's more, the preliminary tests were worse for Nenets than for any of those other four, to the extent that their TSL had to be constantly fiddled with in order to find a place that they could start and not immediately turtle. Well, it didn't really work, and it looks like it's stuck that way here. Prediction? The Kazakhs will lose more opportunities with this war than the Nenets will, but the Nenets lands will still turn cyan, just much later on.
Lordie: Yeah, that could have gone better. Despite WLMK ("Wall Mack") holding off the Iroquois no problem, the fact that Poverty Point managed to take Montréal is worrying, and sees Canada plummet to the bottom five. Even the Iroquois, despite an uber-lacklustre start, are starting to settle more, and with the Apache looking more and more dangerous, and Métis having always looked dangerous, it's looking very grim for Wall Mack. However, it's not over yet, and perhaps they could rebound? Maybe?
Msurdej: Is it Tonga Time? I think it's Tonga Time
Tonga rises a few ranks, but make no mistake, they're still mostly here for the memes. They founded a third city, and while its in a better place than Neiafu, its still pretty close.
Timrtabor: Scotland has the numbers in terms of manpower for the Manx war but lacks a tech aadvantage. He will probably perform decently ijust due to the AI tendency to handle a quantity of troops better than a smaller group of quality troops but being behind in tech this early isn't a great pointer to his bias rolls being optimum to win it all in the long run...
Adm. Cloudberg: The Murri continue their rapid plunge into the bottom tier with another disappointing part. They attacked Australia but, as many of the rankers suspected, made no progress against Bob Hawke’s superior production and rough terrain. Gambu Ganuurru spent so much energy on this fruitless war that he failed to settle any more cities, and now Australia is rapidly blocking off all of Murri’s potential expansion routes. It seems as though the winner of the race for the Australian continent has already been decided, and sure ain’t these guys.
Andy: Ah, Muscovy. Despite having risen in rank as a result of others' fall, Muscovy remains in the red. Their military is miniscule, with a score of 322, compared to the 922 of the Goths, and the 540 of Prussia. While Ivan the Terrible at Conquest has proven himself to be Ivan the Brilliant Diplomat, that doesn't change the fact that Muscovy has been reduced to a thin line between the Prussians and the Goths. Muscovy's hopes and dreams should probably be pinned on their neighbours continuing to be busy with each other, and not removing their Russian buffer state.
Andy: Toussaint impresses us all, having gone ahead for a settlement on the mainland, right next to the Venezuelan core. Suffice to say, we fully anticipate Venezuela to conquer it. Why then, has Haiti risen? Simply put, Venezuela is terrible at prioritizing. Instead of having gone after Haiti, Chavez takes the time to go after the Kuikuro. This guarantees Haiti's survival for the next bit. Furthermore, Haiti's reputation and looks can be deceiving. On paper, Haiti has a military score of 741, which is actually greater than the Venezuelan score of 733. That will be another factor preventing a Venezuelan conquest, giving Haiti time to grow.
Reformer: Experiencing a mighty surge through the bottom of the rankings, our favorite island dwellers look to be doing better than expected. With three cities on the Isles and a fourth one about to land somewhere on Ireland, they are certainly beating out their nemesis on the Isles, those mighty Scots. And with said Scots seemingly declaring war on the Manx out of pure jealousy, one might be worried for the Manx - but realistically, the Scots have little chance of decisively damaging the Manx cities, unless they feel like marching all the way to Peel.
Homusubi: After a brief rise in the rankings, Korea plunges back down again almost to where they started. The reason is obvious: Shikoku is launching the game’s first naval invasion, and Seonjo is set to lose his second city on the first turn of part 3. Korea’s army remains pathetically small, and their upcoming settle in Manchuria could easily be taken by Qing if Cixi were to join the war. All around, Korea is stretched very thin—an especially bad sign considering they don’t have very much land to be stretched across.
Reformer: With multiple enemies converging upon their location, the Seljuqs' chances of becoming a regional power are dwindling, and fast. Although Oman and Palmyra feel content waving their sticks around menacingly, Parthia has not been as merciful, snagging the Seljuqs of a city, and what a city - one that the Seljuqs won't be recapturing any time soon. While the rest of their cities seem safe for now, the loss of Hamadan to the Parthians is a decisive blow.
Andy: Venice, despite having done just about nothing other than begin settling into Southern France, thus forward-settling both the HRE and the Moors, actually rises several ranks. Rather than being due to Venetian brilliance, this is more because so many civs are having their rankings drop like flies. Depending on how the Moors and HRE react to being forward-settled, this may be the highwater mark for the Venetians.
Doom: Things are going exactly as expected for the Kuikuro. They found a few cities in the Amazon, get invaded, watch the invaders get lost in the jungle thanks to the Kuikuro UA and repeat.
They move up several spots this week and escape the bottom 10 as other civs are closer to death.
A particularly good settle right in the middle of Venezuela's army during a war sends a strong message but ultimately that's all it does. There's no evidence that the Kuikuro will be able to reinforce it with an actual army or go on the offensive.
Aaron: Despite a good first part, settling their third city well before anyone else, the Yup'ik have since stagnated. They haven't got much in the way of production, science or... anything really. Their best statistics (food and population) are mid-tier at best. What the Yup'ik have been concentrating their efforts on is religion. They have built Stonehenge which has given them the faith required to get the 7th religion of the cylinder. We haven't seen what its bonuses are yet but hopefully we will by next part.

In other good news, it looks like Yup'ik will finally be the second civ of North America to reach 4 cities. They could have been the first if they had actually used their warrior's special ability to found cities but at least settling now is better than never.
Msurdej: Holy Tanking Ratings Pedro! Once a top 20 civ and a possible regional power, Czech had a disatrous week, losing him more than 30 rankings. The part started rough, with Memhed II barreling towards Ostrava with his armies. And while Havel did not lose the city, he did lose Plzen. To Prussia of all people. Now boxed in on all sides, Havel's gonna have-l a hard time clawing his way back.
JMan: Beta Israel barely even deserves a mention, as the showrunners would agree. They were not even granted a narrated screenshot this part and rightfully so. They have yet to found a religion, still only have two cities, and their neighbours are growing much larger than them.
Reformer: With limited improvement, Libya is one of the more worrying civs out there. While their three cities is better than the two that Benin and Beta Israel have, it is still a rather sad showing, especially considering the bigger and more proactive civs nearby in Nubia and Songhai. Even their current war against Algeria is effectively to bait Algeria while Songhai cleans house. While Derna is a nice city and their religions is certainly a plus, neither will salvage the fact that Libya is overall just 'meh'. Expect a slow decline in their rank.
Doom: Benin slide out of the top 20 in style, losing 24 ranks in the space of a single part and all without losing a city or having a neighbour attack them. As Benin continue to not build settlers, military units or much of anything at all it seems inevitable that the songhai will turn on them once the pesky Algerian forward settles are gone.
At this point Benin need to build as many settlers as they can to return to the top half of the rankings. They can't hope to out produce the massive Songhai empire with two cities and some citadel attacks.
A cool icon won't save Benin from elimination.
Reformer: Despite a poor showing, Turks climb a few spots. This slight rise is likely due to other civs' ineptitude, as Turks fail to both capture Ostrava and settle much cities of their own. Having peaced out of the Czech war, the Turks remain only at war with Palmyra, but this war at most amounts to preventing the Turks from settling Anatolia, as the region is infested with Palmyran units. Already running out of space and failing to capitalize on Czech misery, what else awaits the Turks other than an inevitable defeat?
Reformer: Algeria is in some hot water now. With Songhai and Libya forming a coalition to attack the blue-and-white nation, Algeria is guaranteed to lose at least one Saharan city in Constantine, if not a second one in Tlemcen too. Of course, the majority of the threat of this coalition of sorts comes from Songhai, marching with little resistance towards Algerian Sahara. Libya, on the other hand, is far less threatening, with the Libyan army forced to struggle through the rough terrain between Algeria and Libya. In fact, it would seem that Songhai is practically using Libya as bait, and Algeria would seem to be taking it. With most of the Algerian army focusing on defending against Libya, Songhai has free reign in Sahara...
Lordie: The Horde haven't done too badly this part. They managed to hold off the ravenous Goths, and with Muscovy all but begging for an incursion, Tokhtamysh or however it's spelt, may well be safe for awhile yet. As was pointed out, they've settled the Caucasus which gives them a potential defensive fallback, and when it comes to the two Hordes (Goth and Golden) there really isn't too much between them. If they have a good next part, it's easily foreseeable that they climb heavily.
Adm. Cloudberg: During this part Madagascar sat quietly on its island and settled cities in conservative spots. They have settled an outlying island but there’s no sign yet that they’ll go for the mainland—their current settler looks like it’s going to plop another city down near their capital. However it is good that Madagascar will most likely be the first island civ to found five cities, so that’s nice I guess.
Doom: Haida lose a few ranks through inactivity this week although that could be said for almost any North American civ. Fortunately, that includes the Yup'ik. Unfortunately, Haida can't sit on their islands in peace forever. A particularly isolated start gives them more time than most civs to expand peacefully but they can't afford to keep wasting parts like this.
A naval invasion to neuter the Yup'ik or simply a settling spree would return the Haida to their former rank.
Techno: Of all the civs in the Americas who have been steadfastly inactive these first two parts, the Aztecs are perhaps the most surprising of the bunch. Stuck at 3 cities and with no settlers in line to found more, Montezuma has consequently fallen over a dozen places in the power rankings. His stats are unremarkable as well, placing in the middle of the pack for production and military. For a civ ranked rather highly in part 0 (in large part due to their reputation as an aggressive warmongerer), this lackluster start has surprised most of our rankers. At the very least, their defensible terrain prevents any foe from being an immediate threat, but the Aztecs are also devoid of any good expansion opportunities beyond building more settlers, although they seem reluctant to do that. Of note, this was the last civ to receive a writeup this part. Perhaps we were afraid of the backlash from the Aztec fanbase or even from Montezuma himself, but we must be honest here. The Aztecs have a long way to go before they demonstrate that they are up to the standards we set for them in our Part 0 rankings.
Adm. Cloudberg: Amazingly, the vanilla AI most known for its berserk expansion rate is still sitting on two cities! It's no surprise therefore that Hiawatha falls 18 places this part, since much of the rankers' confidence in him was based on his reputation rather than an objective analysis of his performance. But it's clear now that time is running out for the Iroquois to get the ball rolling. They do have two settlers headed out, but is it too little too late? Has their fruitless war with Canada bled them dry, exactly as some predicted it would? Part 3 shall tell.
Msurdej: Canton's small rise in the rankings can be attributed more to the failings of other civs than their own work. While Ching Shih has managed to throw down another city, her isolation is being questioned by both the Taungoo and the Khamug Khanate, who continue to push into her land. If Ching wants to rise to her previous ranking, she'll have to do better than treading water.
JMan: Alaric falls to the middle of the pack, but he is still not in a terrible position, He still sports one of the largest militaries on the Cylinder and has more settlers last we had checked to settle more of Europe. Given a little time, Alaric should be able to start punching his way up to the top before Prussia starts to gain any traction.
Timrtabor: Nazca are so far playing their cards right by starting to settle the more fertile bits of land closer to Amazon rainforest. They also have easy defensive choke points via the Andes Mountains. The next question I have though is can they DOW and eat the Kuriko or Venezuela (because Selk'nam and Uruguay are too militarily dense to even think about right now) before they become irrelevant to neighbors with better cores?
Reformer: The Sulu soar through the rankings, and for a reason: their immediate neighbor, Papua, is playing perhaps the worst game it could, and Sulu has not forgotten to capitalize on this opportunity, as proven by the settling of Sandakan on Papua (the island). While certainly not godlike in statistics, Sulu still remains in possession in plenty of open land around them, especially with Papuan weakness. One can only hope that they don't become like Indonesia from Mk.2, and instead manage to project beyond their starting region. But of course, for that to work, they'll need to defeat the feared Australians...
Aaron: The main enemy of the Vikings isn't another civ: it's the tundra they live in that makes their city growth slow. Despite making some progress in that regard and settling two cities outside the tundra, the Vikings drop yet again in the rankings. The reason for this is their eastern neighbour: the Sami are perfectly able to grow their cities in the snow and tundra, and are now eclipsing the Vikings in terms of stats. Though they are currently settling into Finland, they may choose to go towards the Vikings and then there will be trouble.

If it ever comes to war, then the Vikings do seem to have the strategy nailed. Their second city towards the Sami is protected by a mountain and a narrow choke point. It forms an extremely difficult to take bufferzone keeping the Sami away from the capital. The other Viking settles are far to the south, out of range of any Sami attack. A human playing in Ragnar's place couldn't do better. Though the Vikings are outnumbered and outeconomied, they would almost certainly survive.
Timrtabor: Gandhi has a few options for expansion. She could Go south...and risk leaving her self open to a Nepali attack. She could go west and try to get past the rough terrain in Persia but that again leaves her open. Indira does have one boon though and that is her aggressive military bias.If she can build excess troops and pounce on a war torn neighbor (perhaps Nepal in a hypothetical Martha or Taungoo war). As long as Indira remembers the simple bare necessities of war.
Techno: You may be forgiven if you forgot about the Evenks. After all, this area has been one of the least active parts of the cylinder so far. The only forces to touch the eastern Siberian tundra so far have been peaceful settlers, the Evenk religion of Samanism, and the latest gathering of Scout-Con. But nonetheless, the Evenks have climbed in rank. A full part of consistent settling can do that to a civ. However, the Evenks do face one considerable problem: The Khamugs to their south have the largest military on the cylinder. This one fact alone is enough to stymie the Evenks' position in the rankings. Bombogor has his work cut out for him, although the frigid Lake Baikal does offer some good defense.
Homusubi: First blood! I admit I originally thought the Non-Pointy Pyramid Gang wasn't going to get very far at all, hemmed in on all sides by enemies and desert. Others thought that their aversion to melee units was going to be their downfall. But no, Piye proved us all wrong by training just enough warriors to grab, and hold on to, Phaistos, the first city capture of the game. They also founded Kerma between the two (sorry, Suez Canal fans) in order to consolidate their hold on the Nile and more properly integrate Phaistos into their empire. The Minoans, for their part, aren't in denial over de Nile, accepted defeat in so-called Egypt (named for a mythical people found in Nubian folktales, known for making inferior pyramids) and have struck out north and east instead. Nubia still have problems, not least their lack of expansion opportunities, although an unimpressive Beta Israel and Libya have also helped them to an extent. But more than anything, the Nubians have proven that they have what it takes to capture a city and hold it. And in the early stages of CBR, that can sometimes be enough.
Techno: Oman is one of just two civs to keep the same rank as last part, earning a comfortable spot just above the middle of the pack. This spot is fitting, as Oman has just about all the makings of a middle-tier civ. They face no real threats at the moment with Palmyra busy with the Turks and Seljuqs, although that peace could vanish given Palmyra's large army. The Indian subcontinent and Nubia are similarly busy. As an added bonus, the Seljuqs pose a good potential expansion opportunity for Oman, although they would have to throw together an army first to take advantage of it. All around, while Oman's position isn't bad, it's not good enough to merit anything higher than mid-tier.
LacsriraxAriscal: Shooting from 35 to 16 last week, New Zealand have now stabilized at a rough average of 25, with a deviation that suggests rankers still haven't settled on the Kiwis' potential. That said, this part wasn't the most glowing endorsement of Seddon's ruthless AI, founding no cities nor building any new settlers. He's close to missing his chance for a stake on the Ozzie mainland, though a route through the Murri core still seems very viable, as it's much more susceptible to a naval attack than a land one. The next part will be a crucial one for Seddon; take another few turns off and he might find himself irreversibly behind, with only Papua and Tonga to chew on. Use the early naval advantage before Australia catch up and Hawke could have a new enemy #1.
Homusubi: I'll admit, for most of the part, I was worried about dear old Shikokoof. Kochi was thriving, true, but they weren't putting any production into making extra settlers, and the tests with Qing Tohoku weighed heavily on my mind. But then we saw where Sakamoto had been putting all that production. And then it got better, as the Mouse of the Rising Sun struck the Koreans with all its triremed might in the closing turns of the part, pushing Pyongyang into the red, and, barring a very AI-esque cock-up, securing its capture next turn. Granted, Shikoku is still very much an underdog at continental level, what with the strength of the various civs in the northern China region, and Nakamura's frustrating inability to claim the Mount Fuji tile despite it being in the second ring. But it can now be said that they are actually in the game, no mean feat for an island civ. What can I say? I'm proud.
Aaron: Bismark has a good part. Last part he made a declaration of friendship with his fellow Germans in Prussia, and that alliance has been immediately been put to use in succesfully halting the Czech expansion. Now that the Czech problem has been nipped in the bud, both the HRE and Prussia are in far better places that expected. The HRE now has a decent empire and although space is running out in Europe, they can still squeeze in about 2 more cities into their area.

However, the Holy Roman Empire isn't out of the woods yet. Though the threat of Czechia has gone, it has been replaced by a large and intimidating Prussia: best hope they stay allied for the time being. On the other side, the Moors are rapidly settling France and will soon be bordering them... or at least, they will be as soon as that Venetian forward settle has been cleared out... The HRE are currently ahead of the Moors in stats but only slightly: they will have to settle northern France fast to keep it that way. Of their other neighbours, the British isles appear to be irrelevant and Venice is small. Meanwhile the Vikings are still settling Scandinavia and aren't ready to start their raids on the mainland just yet, though the HRE do need to prepare for those when they come.
Adm. Cloudberg: After climbing into the top 20 in part 2, the Moors experience a slight correction back down to 22nd. The Moors are pretty average as far as stats go, but their settlement pattern is promising, as they fill in the gap between their core and their colony in southern France. So far it looks like the Moors are still on track to lock down Iberia and parts of France, but their drop in ranking may be attributable to the rise of the HRE, which is so far exceeding expectations and could end up dominating western Europe.
Msurdej: Shivaji continues to build out an empire, and earned the ire of both India AND Nepal. Thankfully though, while there is an army (mostly Nepali, but a few Indian) marching south, the Marathi have a good deal of defensive nature on their side. Don't expect Marathi to lose more than one city, if at all.
JMan: Geronimo continues to take a Geronimo in the rankings. This is mostly due to Poverty Point flexing their muscles on them and the Apache being very quiet in their three tiny settles. An albeit impressive early army to show off their usually intense militaristic prowess is leading some rankers to believe that the Apache are going to be middling if they fail to use it
Aaron: You wouldn't think it by reading the part, but Palmyra are currently fielding the 3rd largest army of the entire cylinder and has declared war on both their eastern (Seljuk) and western (Ottoman) neighbours. Knowing that, you would expect Zenobia to be tearing down the walls around her enemy's cities, right? However, that is not the case: it appears the soldiers are purely defensive. Their only job at the moment is to prevent the Ottomans and Seljuks from sending out settlers in her direction. If that is indeed her strategy, she needs to follow it up by spamming out and plonking down settlers in the lands controlled by her army, before she loses her advantage.
Reformer: Score! Parthia joins the small gang of early city captures with the sudden fall of Hamadan. The single city capture has catapulted them into the top 15, as their dangerous northern neighbors look elsewhere, leaving our blue-and-purple horse lords in a very safe position for the time being. As long as they consolidate their holdings now and settle the immediate region, they'll be set for the midgame. Just ride this wave!
Homusubi: Ndongo proved themselves to be one of the most divisive civs when ranking this part: at the time of writing, they have the second highest standard deviation out of all the civs, and have a respectable army and core with a good AI record to back it up. Their problem is that they're in perhaps the roughest neighbourhood on the cylinder. The southern half of Africa is like a bigger version of Australia, in that it is hard to see a scenario in which multiple civs coexist on the landmass, and Zimbabwe, well, they just look stronger in general, what with their expansion comfortably encapsulating the Cape. This has been a good part for Ndongo, and if Zimbabwe's recent lack of military production turns out not to be just a phase, they might, just might, have an outside chance at a glorious victory. For now though, however decent Ndongo look, the smart money is still on their southern neighbours.
Timrtabor: India is a tough sub continent to crack in CBR as we saw with Sri Lanka and now Nepal. Being surrounded by tough enemies on 3 sides(2 of which are rather aggressive neighbors) it seems like the wisest course of action would be to settle the himalayas but that has its own share of issues with expansion opportunities as we saw with Tibet last game. That being said I suspect Nepal will be alright in the immediate future because well....
Techno: What a jump! In one fell swoop, Taungoo leapfrogged ahead of half of the cylinder's civilizations, placing them firmly in the top 20.
So, what changed? No wars to speak of and no extraordinary collapses have affected this nation's rank. But a quick look at the map tells the story. Taungoo has grown a full 150% in just 19 turns, showing that their AI has the capability to make use of the huge tracts of land nearby. Combine that with no imminent threats to speak of and some of the most defensible terrain on the cylinder (behind only Kuhikugu itself) and you have a civ with enough potential to warrant such a high rank.
Reformer: Preußens gloria! In a shocking display of competence, Prussia jumps up the rankings as they capture a Czech city to become tied first in city count. With their direct neighbors of Muscovy and Czechia weak, and their other neighbors hardly able to reach them, Prussia seems set, at least for now. Whether they continue to be competent from here on or not, now that is a different thing. In the tightly packed Europe of the Civ Battle Royale, one does not simply take a turn to rest. A turn wasted means defeat, here. And this competitiveness is what worries the rankers, as on any other continent they'd easily be top 10. Watch them closely.
Selk'nam fall in the rankings comes not from their actions, but by those of Uruguay. With the change of political parties, Lavalleja has become far more agrreisve, boosting his military and more than doubling his cities. Xo'on meanwhile, hasn't built any cities, insteading funneling his production into a wonderous and terrible statue, which whispers dark thoughts into the minds of his denizens, a̫̭͡ ̳̣̙h͓͜ͅa͏̩͉r̵̪̟b̰̩̘i̢n͇͢ģ̺ͅe̠̺ͅr̷̭̹ ̘͡o̖̬̭f̧̰͖ ͕̭̹t̢͚̯h̶̖̘e̴̻̞ ͉͓́m̠̬͢a̷̘̻d̠̙̗n̩̠̼e͔͇̗s̫̠s̖̯̱ ҉̦̻͍t҉̞̰̫hͅa͔̬̦t̢̜ ̛̘̭is̟͔̠ ̘̫͜t̲̰͟o͟ ̢̰̦c̝̳͕o̴͎̤m̶͇̹e̤̤͞.̨̣̦
Aaron: In a surprise move, Poverty Point joins the Iroquois' failed war against Canada! But unlike the Iroquois, Poverty Point actually comes out of it with a city: Montreal! This means they finally have a third city, alleviating worries that they would be stuck on 2 cities, and boosting them through the rankings.

However, things might not continue so nicely. To their east, The Iroquois have only just started sending out settlers in their direction to gobble up the land while Poverty Point still has not built a single settler this entire game. To their West, the Apache are fielding a huge army and look like they might use it next part. Poverty Point is almost even with them on military so are able to defend but it would still be bad for them and would delay settling even further.
Lunar: With a weaker Korea, a extinguished Xia, the only thing attacking Qing is the pot-boiling Khamug's to the north. With expansion somewhat impossible at this point in the normal Qing fashion, they have to select the weakest wall and push against it. The biggest problem is at this point, all the walls around them are closing in. The time for Qing to be the Asian powerhouses is going to be tested this part.
JMan: Hugo Chavez returns to his original spot in the rankings this week, as their military is still extremely impressive, yet they wasted a great opportunity to take some Kuikuro cities and allowed the Haitian forward settle to fortify.They still hold a dignified spot, settling the Panama Canal and still sporting an unmatched military on their continent. But Hugo needs to pick up the pace if he wants to get ahead in this sleepy, yet dangerous continent.
Lunar: While Europe has grinding cities and tight environment; Metis and gifted a total open space and are doing nothing with it. Even Poverty Point are making gains where the Metis should be against a floundering Canada. I can easily see them winning the nortern Americas; but with the south showcasing a willing to fight Poverty Point and an acceptable Apache; they seem unlikely to do much more. A true shame. Whoever wins versus Apache, Poverty Point and Metis will be the undisputed top power. But for now... we wait?
So, that happened. In one fell swoop, Ying Zheng, as foretold, conquered the first capital of the game, taking Yangcheng without breaking a sweat. However, whilst this is undeniably an achievement, they've actually gone down in the rankings despite being in the lead? Why? Diplomacy.

The AI has a penchant for DoW'ing warmongers, and the Qin have a tendency to go for complete kills. This means they could likely face a coalition war from one or more of their neighbours. Plus, they didn't even get Xia's second city. #BlameCixi. Time will tell if these early gains end up being the petard by which the Qin are themselves hoisted.
LacsiraxAriscal: Australia gets a small rise in ranking this week as the power gulf between them and the Murri becomes ever clearer. But while the Murri's failings are the headline, that's not to belittle the successes Australia did achieve this part, with two strong cities in northern Queensland and Northern Territory, scaring off any potential settles from Sulu or Papua. Hawke's next step should be to work on a decent navy, as an armada from one of his island neighbours will be the only real threat for the next few eras.
LacsiraxAriscal: There are worse things to be than overrated. Indeed, as the Kazakhs tumble out of the top 5 for the first time, it's still hard to find many things to fault with their performance; three strong core cities, a brazen forward settle that for the time being seems to have paid off, and a war that every pundit and their uncle predics they'll win. But therein lies the issue; while other civs are surpassing expectations, the Kazakhs are simply meeting them, with no flourishes and no flair. They're still without any particularly scary neighbours, though expect the Khamugs and Qin to start eyeying the land west of them eventually. Ablai Khan hangs just outside the top 5, but it would only take an eyebrow-raising moment or two for him to reclaim his title.
Andy: Askia is out to kick ass. With six cities already established, a large military beating down the gates of Constantine and smashing Algeria, a neutered two-city Benin to the southeast, and a far weaker Libya to the north, Songhai has virtually no competition, and has soared 15 ranks to be the undisputed regional power in West Africa. Askia has given us quite the opening play, and it bodes very well for his long-term success.
LacsiraxAriscal: After confidence in the South American Psychos dropped last week, Uruguay hurtle back into the top 4 with an impressive showing that saw them settle three decent cities, including Paysandú placed startlingly close to the Selk'nam. While they don't have the fiercest army on the continent (that would of course be Venezuela), they do field more soldiers than both the Selk'nam and the Nazca, their two immediate neighbours, so for now they'll likely keep growing in peace. Lavalleja's best moves this part would be to place a similarly daring city as Paysandu, designed to hole the Nazca up in Peru, as well as to continue settling southern Brazil. The open fields they occupy would also benefit from a little Great Wall protection too.
Msurdej: The Sami keep the bronze medal this week, and with good reason. Their good is looking better each part, while their main rivals, the Vikings, are looking weaker each part. Eadni also begins to look south , creeping out of Scandanavia and into St. Petersburg. While Muscovy may not do much about this, a plucky Prussia might take offensive to this settling and push Sami back.
Doom: Zimbabwe lose the number 1 spot this week to the Khamugs but dont take it as a sign of weakness. With several more cities to help them pull ahead of Ndongo and Madagascar and Beta Israel staying put, Zimbabwe aren't facing any serious threats yet and likely won't for a long time. South Africa is a very secure and resource rich area and Zimbabwe are set to take it all. In short, more bad news for people that don't want a repeat of the boers from Mark 1 and 2 and the Zulu from thenyanmaster game.
Techno: At long last, we find our #1 civ. While the sentiment is not unanimous among all rankers, the Khamugs do benefit from a perfect storm of just about every factor we can consider. They're tied for the largest empire. They field the largest military. Their production infrastructure is second to none, and their AI and opportunities suggest that they can remain a powerhouse for the foreseeable future. However, their position at the top is by no means guaranteed in the future, as the Khamugs could lose their edge as quickly as they gained it. To prove their worth, the Khamugs NEED to make use of their strong position now before they slip behind. They already have two settlers out to expand their empire further, but to truly cement a lead, the Khamugs must make use of their army. Perhaps the Qing pose the best target - a coalition with Qin support, for instance, could help the Khamugs connect their aggressive forward settle to the rest of their empire. But whatever the route they choose to take, the Khamugs can't afford to just idle around like Zimbabwe or the Kazakhs have, for their foes are too close and their lands too poor when compared to our previous #1s.

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