Author: ThyReformer
Published: 2019-09-23, edited: 1970-01-01
LonelyRS: Well, we should have expected this. The signs of insanity were there from day one, when, out of the blue, Abdelkader decided to name his second city after a makeup product. Things went downhill from there. Now, eliminated by the other civ bordering the rock of Gibraltar, I have to imagine that Abdelkader regrets nothing. His number was called pretty much as soon as the mark again, immediately provoking Songhai with a taunting forward settle only to watch half his empire reduced to, presumably, the embers at the back of Askia’s leaderscreen. Then he tried again. Losing Mascara and the most ill-conceived city in the history of cities for Taghaza, things almost looked like they’d be okay… before Algeria ran into the lawnmower of Europe, the Moors. After flipping Oran entirely too many times for an army comprised of generals and generals only, Algiers fell, and, slowly, the cookie crumbled. Two parts later, via the sand magic of one lone horsey boi, Algeria finally collapsed for good. Abdelkader got entirely too many second chances throughout his short, fast-paced life, bringing himself back from the brink of death only to get immediately shot right back down almost every time he bit it. But now, at last, the madness has consumed him. He does seem to have had some part of him outlive his body, however: After all, the Moors and Songhai were best of friends only a short while ago…
Gragg: Suck it Algeria. Libya outlived their North Africa bros by 10 turns, as well as beating Minoa. That means we have a winner of the best North African civ contest. Libya wins with flying colors. It’s hard to say exactly where Libya went wrong to die so early. If I had to pick I’d say the part 2 war with Algeria slowed down their start just enough that they couldn’t keep up with their neighbors. Their peak rank was 38 in part one (39 in part 8). Though they spent most of the season in the 40’s. North Africa has been surprisingly competitive (and entertaining) so I suppose you could blame the rough neighborhood as well. It just goes to show how important those first few parts can be. We wish Libya a pleasant stay on the sub where they’ll spend the rest of the season spectating and pulling pranks on Algeria. F.
Aaron: Stirling has been destroyed the Vikings, after many centuries of raids. All that remains of Scotland is the single city of Edinburgh, still under assault from the relentless waves of Vikings crashing onto its shore. The good news is that some of the Viking raiders have been distracted by the Manx city of Colby on the Hebrides which gives them some breathing room. But with the Vikings upgrading their navy to the medieval era, the Great Hadrian's wall might not be enough to keep them safe much longer.
Gragg: Screenshots of Canada are becoming increasingly rare, and it’s understandable why. Unlike other runt states that are in the middle of the action, Canada is tucked away in the arctic wastes. Not to say they’re safe there. Let’s be real, Canada’s just trying to beat out the other ‘C’ civs. Invisibility is the only viable strategy here. Also can someone make some OC for the great admiral, archer, trader, and worker they have left? I like to think they have little adventures in the wilderness up there.
Gragg: Welp. Just like every ‘C’ civ we’re just kinda wondering when they’ll die. To make things interesting, let's take some bets. What’s the order of death going to be between Canada, Czech Republic, and Canton? PRs seem to think Canada then Czechs, with Canton being the winner of the C civs. Personally I’m rooting for Canada. Both them and the Czechs are using the invisibility strategy. The Czechs have mastered it by now. In case you came here for analysis of how the Czechs get back in the game...Maybe try donating a few hundred bucks to blue cassette? I don’t see any other way.
LonelyRS: There are, allegedly, civs worse off than the Seljuqs. I say allegedly because if there are, we sure as hell don’t see them. When you lose a city to a civ whose fall was one of the focal points of the episode, and, more importantly, don’t take it back, you know things are going terribly for you. Really, the Seljuqs have mainly existed thus far to be a justification for a humbling war: first a Palmyrene/Beta one after the seizure of Rey, now a Gothic/Golden one following the capture of Merv. For a civ that’s been on the precipice of city-state status for several parts now, the Seljuqs sure are well-connected. Add in the sheer difficulty of trying to take down a civ nestled in mountains, and Ol’ Alp’s best bet for continued survival is probably by just being too annoying to conquer. It’s as good a plan as anything else, at this point. Not like he’s going to be able to fend off the Parthians at his gates with his cylinder-trailing army.
Adm. Cloudberg: Wait, you mean Poverty Point isn't dead yet? Oh yeah, that's right. They're still here. Their neighbours appear to view them only as a place to store spare citadels, while otherwise ignoring poor Táhera and fighting each other. Maybe one of these days someone will put her out of her misery. How I miss the days when Poverty Point and the Apache looked evenly matched...
Gragg: Look’s like I get the sweep of ‘C’ civs this week. That’s fine by me though because this has been the most interesting part for Canton in quite some time. Mostly because they declared on the Golden Horde. Also due to them drawing the ire of the Qing and Qin. The Qin especially could prove especially dangerous. They have a proven track record for burning Canton cities to the ground, specifically ones named Hong Kong. They don’t have much of a military at the moment but what little they do have is more than enough to deal with Canton’s mainland cities. That could leave them with one city, Chu Hoi, just off the coast. So while the other ‘C’ civs are going with the invisibility strategy, Canton has been trying to involve itself in global politics and settle where they can. We’ll see if it pays off.
Gragg: I think it’s safe to say that the Oman have successfully ‘defended’ from the Maratha invasion. At least until Maratha decides to upgrade their navy, which could be at any moment. It’s only a matter of time before India, Madagascar, Palmyra, or anyone else in the region dows them. It may look like they’re fully carpeted but those spears and archers will do nothing to slow down an invasion of anything other than triremes. With Madagascar new ‘peacekeeping’ force protecting Nizwa they’ve even lost their only avenue of expansion.
Aaron: Disaster! The Goths have captured Sarai Batu, the capital of the Golden Horde. The new capital is... Merv? A Seljuq city? Wait what? I don't know why the Golden Horde would pick Merv as their new capital instead of, say, Sarai Berke, their second city and also largest? Despite losing their capital, the Golden Horde have actually made a net GAIN of cities this part, thanks to two generous gifts. The Seljuqs declared war despite having no army, and the Goths settled Berea inside a citadel complex but didn't send troops to reinforce it, thereby granted the Golden Horde control of all the Gothic citadels. Berea is now an extremely tough city for the Goths to recapture, with the mountains and citadels protecting it and will likely hold the line. Bolghar is cut off and almost certainly lost, but the Horde will probably not be eliminated and instead just join the rumps.
Gragg: Oof. We’ve seen many instances where civs have bungled invasions when there are mountains or water involved. Unfortunately for the great Montezuma, this was not one of those times. Haida peaced out without holding any Aztec cities but the Apache now claim several with Tlacopan looking likely to fall as well. Between Poverty Point peacekeeping forces and the mountain tiles it’s unlikely the Apache will march towards the Southern cities, leaving Aztec safe from elimination for now. That all changes if/when Venezuela decides to shift their attention back to South America. It seems to me the Aztec’s power is directly tied to the amount of memes they produce on the sub. Perhaps their glory days will forever be in Mk2.
Gragg: Oof. I don’t know what to tell you. That was one of the most painful moments in CBRX (unless you’re one of the few Australia fans). Murri simply was not able to compete with the production and tech advantage of Australia and have been pushed back to where they were before. Had the Murri managed to duck out of the war much sooner they may have had an operable position. Instead they’ve used what is likely their only chance at mainland Australia. If you were just hoping for the ‘roo menace to get knocked down a peg though, this war was still successful. Australia lost a fair amount of population and time. Instead of going forth and conquering they spent two parts having to fight a bottom tier civ and almost losing their capital (they only needed one melee unit!!!). I can’t do this whole writeup without offering my condolences to the prediction contest folks though. But hey, everyone lost so no one really lost…
Msurdej: Memhed begins to start crawling out of the hole he is in this part, but make no mistake, he is still in the hole. In all honesty, Memhed's position has barely changed. Sure Knossos is recovering, but his stats are all around mediocre, and a fully functioning Knossos wont change that. His only saving grace is that everyone seems to be either more preoccupied in fighting other wars or recovering from wars. But make no mistake, Mehmed is one Venetian naval assault from losing 80% of his cities.
Gragg: I’m not gonna lie, I waited until the last possible moment to grab this writeup. I’ll do my best to offer some actual analysis to this civ though. So the Nenets have endured what may become the longest war on the cylinder. They’ve taken considerable losses at the hand of their Northern brethren the Evenks. I’d be pretty surprised if they lost Vorkuta as well but it’s possible. Past that though is incredibly unlikely. That leaves the military averse Kazakhs, the otherwise occupied Prussia/Sami, and the Goths (with a three tile border). So once this eternal Great Northern War finally ends the Nenets are going to be sticking around for quite some time. At this point though I think it’s fair to call them a runt. That concludes what may be the first analysis of the Nenets in 100 turns.
Adm. Cloudberg: Toussaint L'overtoure falls to his lowest point since part 5 as he continues to lag in technology and infrastructure. Five cities was not enough 7 parts ago, and it's still not enough now—he needs to conquer more if he wants to avoid being steamrolled in the future. Right now, however, Haiti seems content to sit on its horde like the world's tiniest dragon and just do nothing. At this rate, Haiti will still have 5 cities in part 30, and someone will just roll over in their sleep and kill them.
Reformer: Something happened in the 'Kuro war this part, and it wasn't a peace deal, to the dismay of many Uruguayan families. Instead, it was the city Secu getting relegated to pancake status that made the news in South America this time. Not that they even have Printing Press here- Oh. Nevermind, Uruguay has the Printing Press already. They're probably using it to spread news of the pancaking of Secu, though probably not in those words. Either way, it is quite admirable that the city ended up in Kuikuro hands at the end of the part, even if it'll probably flip a dozen more times next part. That is, if they don't make peace. But knowing the economic and military difference between the two civs, Kuikuro would probably bend and give a city in a peace deal...
Gragg: For what many considered a rump civ, the Yup’ik have done quite well in their little corner. They have a fairly modern fleet and a decent carpet. Unfortunately Haida is still no pushover. Perhaps with a concentrated effort Yup’ik could push back and take a city but Haida will undoubtedly win in the long run. If they strike against the Metis, especially as part of a coalition, they could make some serious gains. The problem there would be the difficult terrain. Their window of opportunity will likely last an episode or two as they are very behind on science and production.
Msurdej: Is it Tonga Time? I think its Tong Time.

And while I generally view Tonga Time as a point to post memes and laugh at Tonga's mediocre performance, Tonga's actually making some decent moves. They've begun a flurry of settler spamming, with two new cities, and four more settlers out searching for a home. If all of those settlers settle, that will bring Tonga's city count to a whopping... checks Info Sheet... 10. And while there are higher ranked civs with less cities than that, It shows just how far behind Tonga is. If this had happened earlier, it would have been great, but considering how far behind island civs like Sulu and Papua are in city count, this just might help Tonga in the long run.
Gragg: If we were ranking civs on defensive track record, I think Muscovy would come in second right behind Kuikuro. My theory is that it has something to do with their distinctive line shaped empire that we made fun of them for. AI’s can’t prioritize in the same way humans would find obvious. Most successful wars have a border that is one or two cities wide. Muscovy’s is much longer. Combine that with the fact that Sami, Prussia, and the Goths are all otherwise occupied and it’s unlikely the Muscovy will collapse in the next couple parts. They could, however, make an opportune entry into a coalition in any direction. They’ll have to carefully time it but it’s one of their only ways out of their rough position right now.
Adm. Cloudberg: Nubia didn't do anything this part, so they aren't moving much in the rankings, climbing one place in what is probably just statistical noise. However, they do have a potential opportunity at the moment. With Songhai's already thinly-stretched army off fighting the Moors, Nubia should consider joining the war and trying to blitz some of Askia's northeastern desert cities. Getting Benin to join would make it even easier. Really, for Piye the time is now—delay, and this opportunity to prevent Songhai from slowly absorbing all of North Africa may quickly pass.
Gragg: Sulu move up one spot this week as they are so far unscathed in their war with Papua. This doesn't really change their long term odds though. A quick look around them will tell you why. Australia is quickly recovering to the South, Maratha to the West, Taungoo’s newly updated navy to the North, and their current rival Papua to the East. Those 4 neighbors field some of the best navies and science on the cylinder. At one point it seemed like Sulu’s path to victory was to be more advanced than everyone else. Now they are behind in tech to each of the neighbors. Still, they aren’t so behind that they couldn’t benefit from a coalition, and that’s what Oceania is known for.
Reformer: It was a quiet part in the heart of Africa once more, and thus the part was quiet for Ndongo as well. Indeed, the only African action right now is in the north-western corner of the continent, as a massive war waged between Songhai and the Moors further distracts the West African power. With Songhai having just eliminated Libya, there is speculation that more of Songhai's neighbors could soon join the war in an effort to slow down the vanilla civ. Whether such an effort is necessary or not, is not up to me to decide, but such a coalition war could form relevant to Ndongo as well: Should Benin become distracted by Songhai again, Ndongo would greatly benefit from attacking the soft(ish) underbelly of Benin while they in turn are distracted. As for stats, the info sheet tells a sad story, as Ndongo has fallen to 43rd in stats, but if it's any consolation, their production is still nearly equal to Benin's, so the hope is there.
LonelyRS: Comparing Sejong to Seonjo is like comparing the eldest child of a family to her bastard half-sibling. Where Sejong excelled in intellectual fields, occupying a place as a technological standard-bearer and regularly topping the list in technological progress, Seonjo is, to put it simply, dumb as a brick, perennially lagging behind in science compared to everyone around him. While Sejong was quiet, only fighting the fights he had to and always acting with great wisdom, Seonjo has thus far gifted away a core city to the Khamugs and made over half his empire Japanese. When Sejong played, he was successful, a major player in the final days of the mark. Seonjo, again, gifted away a core city to the Khamugs. Seonjo has a chance to maybe, slightly, almost redeem himself in terminally gridlocked East Asia, with non-tech internal figures easily rivaling the neighboring Qing and a veritable cornucopia of undefended arctic outposts to his north. Still, it’s hard to see him being able to do much to outshine his predecessor at this stage in the royale, and he seems almost certainly doomed to a life of irrelevance unless he does something truly incredible. Maybe gifting Busan to the Khamugs would fit the bill?
Msurdej: Well, I had written up my write-up for Nepal, basically going over how the PRs had high hopes for them at first, but they're falling behind India and Maratha more and more as each part passes. But then my internet crapped out, and I lost the write-up. But... considering that I pretty much said everything I wanted to do in that first sentence. I guess all I have to add is that Nepal has a cool color scheme, a neat flag, and will probably end up like Tibet in Mk 1.
Techno: The HRE stumbles slightly as they make peace with the Manx and Scotland sans any proper gains. While the HRE is still able to hold their own in a defensive war, this offensive failure is not good news for their capacity to expand, and their mid-30s rank is reflective of that. For a cramped position like central Europe, these wars of conquest are necessary, and if the HRE cannot deliver, then they cannot thrive.
Gragg: There’s excitement in all corners of Africa. Then there’s Benin. Honestly if they just had a military they could make some major moves in any direction right now. They’ve even had a decent enough production to do it. For whatever reason though, Benin is as empty as Songhai’s core. With no imminent threat though they may still have a chance to change that. Their best target would be Songhai to the west while they are still struggling with Songhai.
Gragg: There’s been a lot of talk about who’s going to be the spiritual successor to Hawaii, the lovable peacekeeping civ of Mk2. Some say it will be Madagascar, who’s units are already blocking cities and clogging front-lines through the cylinder. Other’s say it will be Shikoku who has just settled the fabled homeland of the Hawaiin’s. I think Hawaii is a thing of the past and we’re in for a glorious amount of bloodshed as Madagascar exerts its will upon the world. NONE SHALL ESCAPE THEIR GRASP. ahem So anyway, Madagascar’s stats look good enough that they have plenty of expansion options, even including Zimbabwe.
Reformer: Almost there! We're almost in the top half! Just a little bit more! I believe in you! Alright, putting aside the Motivational Speeches intended for Unfeeling AIs, there isn't much to say about the Evenks this part: their Siberian Battle Royale with Nenets proceeds as before, especially now that neither civ can really be distracted by other wars. But Bombogor, not content with just waging war half-heartedly, has managed to further improve his stats, now reaching the 31st spot on the sheet, with their production deserving a special note, as it is on par with the likes of Nazca, Taungoo and Australia. Obviously, their war record leaves one hoping for better, but if Bombogor can turtle a bit, or participate in a good coalition war, he'll be set for the near-future! Now that's efficiency!
Gragg: For the amount of land and cities they have the Qing pack quite a punch right now. Unfortunately for them they are surrounded by similarly carpeted civs. The obvious exception is the Qin who, though they far outpace the Qing in cities and production, doesn’t seem interested in military. The Qin and Qing have been jointly declaring wars for sometime though, most recently vs. Canton. A backstab wouldn’t be unheard of though, and it may actually work. Or it may turn out about as well as Murri/Australia. If the Qing don’t try thought the only other option is to wait for a coalition.
Lacsirax: Sound the alarms, Prussia are finally at war again! Oh yes, they're finally using their huge military to invade one of their feeble neighbours, thereby shooting up the rankings to... uh... 30? Oh right, that's not what happened at all. Neighbourhood mob boss Eadni has come looking for trouble, and the odds are firmly stacked in her favour. That said, despite the plummet in ranking, it's easy to see Frederick's Baltic fleet providing quite the roadblock. They're already attacking Romsa, though the odds of capturing it are equal only to the odds of it being flipped and reflipped into oblivion. And while Stettin is certainly falling to the balmy Sámi army, Bergen should be safe behind the decent stack of composite bowmen sitting in Sweden. Eadni failed to prepare properly for this war, and while a miracle counterattack is probably not on the cards, Prussia fans needn't start panicking just yet.
Lacsirax: Allahabad? More like all bad news as India continue to sit quiet without any inclination to better their situation. Madras? More like Indira should have taken Madrastic action on Nepal years ago, and now they're evenly balanced enough that neither could ever overtake the other. Kanpur? More like we can purely hope that India seize the initiative and declare war on a weakened distracted Parthia if they want any chance of staging a comeback. But Madurai? Yes, it's mad, you're right, to expect any kind of action from a civ whose current war record is losing a far flung desert city to Nepal years ago. Delhi? More like can someone please dehlete these civ as soon as possible... preferably Maratha!
Techno: While the eternal Kiwi rivals of the Aztecs had a far worse part, New Zealand's experience has not been trouble-free. Australia has assembled a counteroffensive out of seemingly nowhere and is poised to take back some of New Zealand's gains this war, most notably the port city of Adelaide. As the Kiwis are still likely to come out on top in this war, their rank did not drop, but the dream of an Australia-free Oceania is seeming less likely every turn.
Gragg: A steep drop this part for a civ that didn’t really do much. If you’ve read many of these write ups though you’ll know that you can only get away with inaction if you’re stats are great. Selk’nam’s are...not great. At one point it looked like they had some kind of shot at challenging Uruguay. Now they’ve stagnated and are only trapped by them. Nazca and Venezuela are both stronger than them as well. Leaving only the Kuikuro lower, and Uruguay can’t even expand through them. That leaves Selk’nam’s only real options as join a coalition or consider overseas expansion, perhaps against the Tonga.
Gragg: The story has been pretty similar for the Vikings for several episodes now. They needed to finish up taking a city or two off of Scotland then move on to the rest of Europe. Instead they’ve burned several to the ground and now it looks like their progress on the isles will halt. Their longboat UU is becoming outdated as it will lose in a fight against the galleass which it replaces. There are still some vulnerable colonies to the North the Vikings could take though so all is not lost for them yet. They need to pay close attention to what happens in the war to the East though, is it could determine who they need to defend against on land. Currently the Sami have to fight around mountains to harm the Vikings. If they take a few Prussian cities though, they’ll have a clear shot.
Msurdej: Dhone drops down a few ranks, mostly as the Vikings continue to kick Scotland around. But make no mistake, the Manx are still doing far better than expected. With most of the British Isles under their control, the Isle of Man continues to spread out, across Greenland an even into mainland Europe. But still Dhone must be cautious: If the Vikings he is at war with decide to start focusing on him, his holdings may burn at the hands of Ragnar, much like Iceland took out Ireland in Mk 2.
Aaron: Just when we were worried that Sulu's renaissance-era navy was going to be too much for Papua to handle, Papua goes and uses a Great Scientist to go directly to Navigation, the enlightenment era tech that unlocks frigates (and possibly privateers?). The war between the two science nerds appears, rather fittingly, to be more of a tech race between their scientists than anything else. Though Sulu had a large science lead earlier on, they wasted it on fairly useless techs gold or horse related techs such as imperialism. Papua more smartly used their science on naval and siege-weapon upgrades. They have the edge in (relevant) military tech and now that they are generating more science than Sulu, they look to keep it, at least until they are forced to go back to research the useless horse/gold related techs. But winning the tech race is not the same thing as winning the war. Though Papua now an edge in production, better boats and an army twice the size of Sulu's, it remains to be seen whether all these advantages can break through the chokepoint protecting Sandakan.
Gragg: Hold the press, Hawaii has been settled! Shikoku has long been the favorite to be the first to the legendary island of peace. This episode they closed the deal and are already sending more settlers. It just so happens that they are on of the very few civs that aren't at war with anyone at the moment. This isn’t mk2 though, so don’t be surprised if these aren’t the peaceful islands they have become famous for. Haida has been spotted sending a settler toward the island and the pacific warlords might not let them go so easy. On the mainland the standoff continues between most Asian civs. Don’t expect Shikoku to make many gains (or losses) if that changes though.
Lacsirax: The blue Mediterranean has been stained red with the blood of Algerians and Libyans, and now the two civs responsible for the massacre, Songhai and the Moors, have turned against each other. Notably missing in this brief history of the Great Mediterranean Wars of the 15th Century is the region's alleged naval superpower, Venice. Coming into CBRX, our two biggest fears for Venice were it not settling well and not demonstrating enough bloodlust. While it's gladly exceeded the former expectation, the proclivity for peace has been in full force, with Venice's only major conflicts being a solid defence against the Moors at Murano, and the far-too-short invasion of Libya. Make no mistake though: there is no better time to break the habit. Side with Songhai or the Moors, pick some cities off t'other, and then in true Italian fashion, switch sides when most opportune.
Gragg: Another dip for Parthia this episode as the Golden Horde swoops in and shows them how to siege a city. Their stats continue to be lackluster and their expansion opportunities are start to look worse. Now that they’ve started producing melee units there is hope that they can still make some gains out of this war with the Seljuqs. Alternatively they have a new option if they jump into the hottest new coalition against the Golden Horde.
Gragg: We expected Nazca to overtake Selk’nam in stats sooner or later. This part took at least me by surprise though as Nazcar speeds past the eldritch horror. Their production rate is over 100 higher than Selk’nam’s. Their science is also on the upper end of the cylinder and their military is on par with Zimbabwe’s. While this warrants a boost in the rankings, don’t get too excited. It’d still take a heck of a lot more to delete Uruguay. We’re all curiously watching to see what they do with these newfound stats though. North to Venezuela? West into the Pacific? Or perhaps Southeast towards the soul-devourer Uruguay itself?
Gragg: Alpha Israel’s production gain may have slowed down a bit but it’s still enough to secure them a good rank. Besides, their military is recovering well from the many wars they have been involved in. The same can’t be said about their most obvious threat in Zimbabwe. Beta Israel still has good expansion opportunities to the North and it’s not out of the question that they could punch above their weight class again and go on the offensive against Zimbabwe or Palmyra. The big concern right now is science. They haven’t fallen hopelessly behind yet but it’s not pretty. Personally I still have faith they can turn that around.
Gragg: Hot take incoming. I’ve prepared my inbox for the hate mail…. Australia deserves to win the region now. They’ve earned it. In a remarkable ‘comeback’ They’ve forced the Murri back to the corner of Australia where they belong. They’ve survived a coalition of all the major players in Oceania (Sorry Tonga), and they still have a definitive lead in the region. They still have a fair few loose ends to clean up before they have complete control or irl Australia, but at this point they’ve fought well for it. Past that they need to have several successful naval invasion before they can even think about mainland Asia though. They may have fought well in their watery arena of Oceania but the big boys of Asia are another story.
LonelyRS: Venezuela might just be the most baffling inclusion in the top twenty. Great AI, certainly, with the killer instinct to drive a continent away for the chance of taking some cities in Newfoundland. Everywhere else, though? Horribly, horribly mediocre. Their stats are atrocious for a civ of their esteem, on par with civs a full ten slots lower. Their footprint on the game has been terribly small, with a city count rivaling that of Korea of all nations, and a list of declared wars two civs long, and only one if you count declarations with immediate relevance. The huge navy they had engulfing Haiti has shattered, thousands of men bleeding out miles away from home in an arctic conflict. Really, there’s only one thing Venezuela can count as a feather in its cap, and it’s positioning. Haiti and the Aztecs are both easy targets, and the Kuikuro have devoted all their might to stopping Uruguay. One war against any of the three civs could silence any doubts about their placement. Until then, however, we’ll have to wonder.
Gragg: A fairly eventful part for Purple China. Along with Yellow China they’ve decided it’s time to finish what they started with Canton. If only they had decided to build a military first. Perhaps being at war will make them realize that units are pretty nice to have around. Even without building any though they could knock Canton off of the mainland if they use their units effectively. They even have positive happiness so maybe they’ll even not burn Hong Kong to the ground. Their good production, science, and declaration of war aren’t enough to keep them from tumbling in the ranks though. They’ve had plenty of time to fix their military situation and haven’t. Until they do they are still living on a prayer that none of their neighbors pick a fight with them.
Techno: The Apache have had perhaps their most successful part yet, snagging 3 cities from the Aztecs and threatening several more. So why have they fallen a rank? It's simple: the Apache are facing a massive invasion courtesy of the Iroquois, which threatens to upset their position in eastern North America. Their last Canadian colony is a mere melee unit away from falling, while their eastern frontier is threatened as well. Thankfully, the Apache-Iroquois border is a chokepoint due to Poverty Point, but it's not the most solid line of defense either.
Msurdej: Well that certainly happened.

This last part was a whirlwind for the Moors. First, they were able to secure their hold in Northern Africa, and eliminate Algeria. Then, after the elimination of Libya, Abd-ar decided to bring the fight to the Songhai. The Moors have the tech advantage and the larger army, most likely off the back of their powerful UU Crossbowmen, which could make quick work of Songhai's scattered squads. Songhai however, has the homefield advantage, more cities, and a better production score, which it can use to bolster its army. The fight could go either way, but if Abd-ar Rahman plays his cards right, he'll be the regional power in North Africa.
Aaron: With a bit of border growth, the Khamugs have finally filled in the central piece of their empire, completing the plan they set in motion about 10 parts ago. And boy is it a big empire, with 23 cities putting them in second place behind only settler-spamming Metis. Unfortunately, as wide as their empire is, it is quite short, with an average population per city of only 8.5. This is caused by the desert terrain which is causing food shortages, and it is in turn having dire consequences for Khamug science, being only 36th of the entire cylinder. Given this low science, sitting put is clearly a terrible plan as they will rapidly become outteched. Still, the Khamugs have a big army, good production and enough happiness to eat a bunch of cities. The best thing to do with these is to invade a neighbour. But who to choose? The Evenks are large but weak, still fielding massed reindeer. The Khamugs could quite easily pick up a few cities for free, though picking up more bad cities to add to the pile of bad cities might not be that interesting. Perhaps an invasion of little Qing is in order? Their cities are large and powerful and would make excellent additions to the Khamug empire. The downside is that the Qing actually have a large army to defend themselves with, which would make invading them a right slog. What about Qin? They are the eminent powerhouse of East Asia, with the largest production and largest science by a mile (they are actually second in science of the entire cylinder). If nothing is done, then Qin will likely snowball the entire region. And what's better is that in min-maxing their science, the Qin have neglected to build an army. This option seems by far the best out of those available: not only does it eliminate a future threat, but their large cities would be great for the Khamugs to hold. Perhaps Qing, Shikoku and Taungoo might be convinced to join? Particularly if Qin get the penalty for eliminating Canton. One can hope.
LonelyRS: Alaric is winning an actual war. Oh my god, Alaric is winning an actual, honest-to-god war. Do I need to pinch myself, see if I’m still dreaming and haven’t woken up? No, Alaric has actually been showing the Golden Horde how it’s done so far, trading a newly-founded city for a core piece of their empire, and showing just how scary his civ can be in full gear while at it with an eye-boggling production figure. 496! That’s exactly 31 Canadas, and that’s just terrible. As such, Alaric’s terrible case of meleeitis on the front and his lack of carpeting is only cause for minor concern, with the promise that dozens of fresh recruits will be filling the space with ease as soon as old troops are lost. Should everything continue going smoothly, there might be a legitimate case to slot the Goths in among the top tier of nations in this game. Really, if this wasn’t Alaric we were talking about here, we might just jump them four spots already out of pure elation. Oh wait, we already did.
Lacsirax: Comparing CBRX civs to Mk. 2 civs may be a tired trope by now, but Taungoo are perhaps doing the most admirable job of them all. As the only true Southeast Asian representative in this world, they had three pairs of boots to fill, and they're managing to wear all three simultaneously. They've nailed down the huge military strength of Vietnam, and their economy is as bolstering as the Champa's, with a treasury much larger than powerhouses like the Métis or the Sámi. But they made sure to take the most important aspect of any civ from their true predecessors Burma: their personality. Yes, their commitment to inertia and wasted opportunities is no mere folly, but a marvellous commitment to character. Truly Bayinnaung is one of the greatest method actors of a generation.
Gragg: Well damn. Haida peaced out with the Aztecs without control of any of their cities. Now they’ll have to fight the Apache, Metis, or Yup’ik to make gains in North America. Their border with Metis remains relatively demilitarized so the Haida are safe for the moment. That is particularly fortunate because the Haida are at something of a weak point with a lot of their outdated UU. Their ‘weak-point’ is still one of the strongest navies on the cylinder though. Once they research privateers (3 techs away) they will be able to upgrade their navy to a truly terrifying force. I for one can’t wait for Haida to take Hawaii by force and become the true kings of the Pacific. Totally unbiased ranker here
Msurdej: The lands of Ablai Khan falls slightly, but they still remain in the top 10 for now. Their fall comes predominately from the Goths rise, as the Kazahks have failed in conquering anything significant. The Goths are also beginning to eclipse the Kazahks in stats, which leaves Ablai Khan in a precarious position. He's going to have to start picking up some major wins against the Nenets or Evenks if he wants to keep up with the other frontrunners. But knowing him, Ablai Khan will let greatness pass him by.
Gragg: Eliminating a civ is only the second most exciting thing to happen to Songhai this part. Askia has been on a rampage through Northern Africa so far this season and now has a capital to show for it by eliminating Libya on slide 69 Nice. The Moors wasted and Songhai wasted no time by starting the next round in the battle for the region. Initially most PRs favor the Moors here due to Songhai’s exhausted military and the Moor’s humanlike timing as they get their crossbow replacement UU. Even still it looks like Songhai will come out mostly intact and still a clear regional power.
Lacsirax: Always one step ahead of their vanilla brethren the Songhai, Hiawatha also keeps his steady upward trajectory with another new peak. But where Songhai's position is now ever-so-fragile, it's hard to see Hiawatha going anywhere but up up up! This episode saw them declare the exact right war at the exact right time, against the high-production but distracted Apache, immediately bearing a huge army down on both the nearby sitting duck Ch'ilwozh and Apache core city Tchihende. They also razed Tsézhiné on Baffin Island, but that was almost a formality. In any case it's a pretty incredible feat against a fellow top 20 civ, and the Iroquois would be destined for the top 5... if only they'd brought a couple of melee units to both fronts. As it is, they're doing a great job at besieging but not assaulting. Still, there's time yet - if by the end of next episode we're confident that that core city will fall and stay Iroquois, expect the steady rise to keep.
Lacsirax: Louis Riel drops out of the top 5 for the first time since Part 6, and the reason is clear. Even the most wide-eyed, optimistic Métis fan can only put faith in a massive carpet suddenly materialising for so long. At some point, you have to make peace with the knowledge that that huge production is going into other things. Some may be useful - they boast the fourth highest science output, even if their habit of settling pointless and draining snow cities somewhat undermines that. Others are almost completely useless, like their top 3 culture output rivaled only by the Khamugs and Palmyra. Whatever they're building, it isn't military.

This episode should have been a hopeful one for the Métis - their two biggest rivals are at war, which should have been an opportunity to pounce on one or the other and consolidate their position at the top of the continent. But they simply don't have the numbers to benefit from war with either the Apache or the Iroquois; an Apache front would be a stalemate and I'd imagine that Hiawatha would actually take Winnipeg (yet another Canadian city for the collection he's building). And in the event they did somehow sneak a city, they'd only raze it, as they did with the two far flung Venezuelan colonies they snapped up this episode. Unless the Métis mentality changes fast, expect them to keep sliding over the next few episodes, possibly even outside the top 10.
LonelyRS: Zenobia, so far, has made her name off chaos. Taking the Middle East largely because nobody else wanted to cause a fuss, she’s done all she can to prove that she’s earned it, taking cities off civ after civ and stalling out the Beta war machine. And with almost every one of her peers rising or falling tempestuously, that proven knack for war has proved a virtue like none other. Still, she’d probably be slipping anyways were it not for one vital key to her long-term success: she’s finally caught up to the rest of the top tier when it comes to her core. Tied for sixth in production, sporting respectable population numbers, and with a swiftly-recovering military, it’s all finally coming together for the queen of the Middle East. All she has to do now? Find, via some ridiculous stroke of fortune, a way to escape the natural bounds of the region. In other words, she’s doomed.
Gragg: Maratha has reached a critical point in it’s existence. They’ve done extremely well to get themselves to the situation they’re in. Great stats and colonies across the Indian Ocean despite what could easily have been a terrible start location. They’ve proven they can be good settlers and grow their empire. Now Maratha needs to show us that they can conquer. The only real options are too the North. Their navy is simply not good enough right now. They couldn’t get much done against Oman and Taungoo is many magnitudes stronger, even posing a serious threat. The crossbow carpet of Maratha could make short work of India and/or Nepal if they create some melee units to capture cities. Or they could go the way of many top 10 civs and simply sit on their good position until it passes. We’ll see.
Adm. Cloudberg: Is this real? Did grandma learn how to war? It sure looks like she did, because Stettin is in the red and should fall within a couple turns. The Prussian navy is damaging Romsa but it's unlikely to fall, as Eadni's endless sheet of units slowly descends upon the attackers. The only problem is that the Sami are suffering from unhappiness, potentially leading them to burn anything they capture, as we saw them do with the cities they received in peace treaties from the Goths and the Vikings in previous parts.
Gragg: Zimbabwe stays in 2nd for another episode despite a stagnating military count. The deviation grows ever higher as more rankers start to wonder if they deserve the position after failing to expand and Songhai, Beta Israel, and Madagascar grow stronger. Their stats are still well-rounded though and past performance isn’t a great indicator of how they’ll do in the next few episodes in my personal opinion. There’s no one neighbor that can punish their current lackluster military but a coalition could indeed be damaging. With their top 3 production they can change that in a matter of turns so long as they don’t pull a Métis.
Reformer: Even if I could feel disappointed about Uruguay's lack of progress, I would've felt it a long, long time ago. Lavalleja has recently researched Printing Press, and it seems that all that can be printed about the war so far is the incessant flipping of Secu. Or maybe Lavalleja is already harnessing the press for propaganda, like the evil stereotype that he is at this point. Indeed, I would except nothing else. If you're like me and can't just ignore stats, you'll probably already know that Uruguay has risen from third-best production to second-best production, but otherwise, their stats haven't moved around. I can't help but think this isn't going to change for a while, but at least their lead isn't unchallenged, meaning the beast can be defeated.

Check out another AAR:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

The Golden Empire. Part 1 The Disaster Years

Images: 40, author: lokigtvarre, published: 2019-03-13