Alphabattle Part E: Extraordinary Eliminations!

Author: BobSmithIV
Published: 2018-05-07, edited: 2018-05-13

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Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

Alphabattle Part D: Death and Destruction!

Images: 85, author: BobSmithIV, published: 2018-05-03, edited: 2018-05-06

Welcome back to the Alphabattle, where 26 civs battle it out to decide which is truly the best letter of the alphabet! We ended the last part with Hejaz facing a strong threat from Akkad, while Qocho and Normandy were still grinding their troops into one another through the tough terrain.

In the strawpolls, Akkad and Lithuania were tied for most likely to win, with Khazaria, Qocho, and Wampanoag also picking up votes. Hejaz took the lead for next to be eliminated, beating Normandy and Eora, while Akkad won the fan favourite award for their new war against Hejaz. So without further ado, let's see how accurate your predictions were!
We start by seeing Akkad continuing to press forward against Hejaz, as Lungtang is safely theirs and now Mecca is in trouble! Medina looks safe for now, as Akkad has learned from Finland that it's better to focus on one target at a time...
Lithuania decides to put their #1 army to good use, as they declare war on their neighbours the Ghaznavids! While the Ghaznavids have plenty Ghulams kicking around, their UU is a Longswordsman replacement, so they're thoroughly out-teched by Lithuania's musketmen, crossbows and knights and so could be in real trouble. Off screen, the Ghaznavids make peace with Finland so they can fully concentrate on their defence against the Lithuanians.
Yukagir ends their wars against the Zapotecs, Hejaz, Wampanoag, and notably Khazaria, limiting their losses to just Corti, which after being at war with half the cylinder and all their neighbours is a remarkably good showing. Mecca starts to take damage...
...and the capital falls! The Akkadian canons are incredibly powerful at this stage of the game, with 60 strength against the 35 defence that Hejaz's capital had. But will Akkad be satisfied with gaining their fourth capital, or will they press on to Medina and exile Hejaz to Zealandia?
Normandy continues to send troops towards Hami without making any real progress, but Qocho has now started to send troops round the other side of the mountains, as well as a not insignificant navy which could threaten Caen. Qocho also mocks Normandy by building the Globe Theatre rather than extra troops.

Also of note here, we see that Romania won the battle to join their two cities together, with a one tile stretch of land splitting Yarkend from Korla and the rest of the Qochan empire!
Two new wars appear! First, Bulgaria declares on the Zapotecs, and while there's only a very small border between their civs, Bulgaria's managed to get open borders from Akkad and have a reasonable army at the gates of San Jose Mogote. The Zapotecs also have a decent defensive force though, so this could go either way.
Second, Khazaria joins Lithuania in their war against the Ghaznavids! Unlike Bulgaria, they don't have an army prepared, but if they actually send a force forwards their high tech army could do some serious damage.
Akkad isn't done yet! They turn on Medina, and those cannons can only spell doom for Hejaz...
The fourth Ottoman-Taiwan war starts up. You'd think they'd have learned to get along by now...
Medina falls to the black...
...but Akkad shows his cunning as he makes peace and takes Jeddah as payment, a city which would otherwise have been entirely out of his grasp. Hejaz breathes a sigh of relief, as he gets to remain relevant on the main island for now...
...but maybe not for much longer, as Jomon takes advantage of their weakened state and declares war! They bring Normandy along with them, and end their diplomatic war with Finland, just to show they mean business. Prepare your H keys.
Minoa declares war on their old enemies the Ghaznavids, joining Lithuania and Khazaria in their battle! The Lithuanian troops have cut through the Ghaznavid armies and arrived at the gates of Balkh, and now Minoa's also right there to help them out! Meanwhile the undefended Kabul could also be in danger, especially if that Khazarian force heads south. Minoa should be careful they don't leave their own capital too undefended though...

To the west, Poland ends their skirmish with Iberia and Akkad, after only a few minor unit clashes.
Jomon seem to be learning why you shouldn't be using warriors as your frontline units in 920 AD, as Medina is actually on slightly more health than the last time we saw it...
Bulgaria realises they're not going to make any more progress against the Zapotecs and makes white peace. If they'd only targeted the undefended Urumqi instead, they could have made some actual gains.
In the most confusing declaration of war of all time, Wampanoag, Vietnam, Iberia, and Hejaz all join the war against the Ghaznavids, putting them at war with almost all their neighbours. But will they crumble like the Xiongnu and the Uyghurs, or put up a strong defence like Yukagir? If those Wampanoag cannons and Pniese (Pikemen with healing bonuses) are anything to go by, it'll be the former...
In Ottomans vs Taiwan IV, the Ottomans have a clear advantage on land, but on sea the Taiwanese War Junks are threatening Marsin. We also see the new Taiwanese city of New Taipei in the top left, which the Ottomans don't seem to have noticed yet, or maybe they're focusing on the juicier targets.
Jomon continues to bungle their attack on Medina, as the city recovers to half health. In less good news for Hejaz, they find themselves embargoed by the World Congress. Scholars in Residence also passes, which should help level the scientific playing field.
In an experience which doesn't feel at all familiar (/s), the Ottomans and Taiwan make white peace.
In the centre of the island, it's a mixed bag for the Ghaznavids. Malia is surely doomed as a large Wampanoag force descends and takes it to the red, but none of their other cities have started taking damage yet. It may just be a matter of time though, as Vietnam and Lithuania attack from the north, Minoa from the south, and even Khazaria have brought a large army to the western front.
Just to the west, Eora restarts their war against Yukagir! They failed to make progress last time even with the help of half the cylinder; will this time be any different?
Malia falls to Wampanoag, denying the Minoan pikeman the chance to snipe his old city back.
Hey, remember this grind? They're still at it, but Qocho does seem to be making small progress through the east side of the mountains, while Normandy's remaining forces seem worryingly small. Maybe a war of attrition is the right tactic for production leaders Qocho?
Taiwan makes peace with Hejaz as their lone caravel realises all their coastal cities are gone so there's no chance left for a snipe. Jomon continues using warriors on the front line, meaning Medina's health has recovered all the way to the green.
The Ghaznavids' troubles continue as Kabul falls to the black, with both Minoan and Khazarian melee units ready to capture it, while Balkh falls to the yellow thanks to Lithuania and Wampanoag.
In the end, it's Khazaria who claims Kabul and Wampanoag who claims Balkh, and the Ghaznavid partitioning isn't done yet. Minoa declares war on Hejaz because why not.
With Balkh claimed by Wampanoag, Lithuania makes peace with the Ghaznavids, leaving the war with nothing to show for it despite being the initial aggressor. Wampanoag meanwhile is having a great time with this war stuff, and declares war on Akkad! The wandering Scottish settler is peacekeeping the one free tile between the two empires right now, but Akkad at least has open borders with Bulgaria so can send forces through that way.
Medina's health has finally started going back down again, and fans of the letter H should be worried again. Vietnam joins Eora in the war against Yukagir, but are unlikely to commit anything to that front until they're finished with the Ghaznavids.
Mad that they stole Balkh, Lithuania declares war on Wampanoag! That puts Wampanoag at war with three of their neighbours: are they going to become the next Ghaznavids?
In more peaceful news, Qocho are the first civ to settle on the island of Atlantis, north east of the main island...
...and Bulgaria joins Akkad on Zealandia, with two more settlers looking to expand their empire further. In diplomatic news, Vietnam and Finland end their long distance war, while Poland joins in the war against Yukagir, though they've some way to travel to properly join in.
The Normandy-Qocho war has finally progressed beyond the mountain grinder, with Caen taking damage from a naval assault, Rouen surrounded on land, and very few Norman troops left anywhere. Will this be the end of the desert empire of Normandy?

We also see the Romanian Vinator UU, a gatling gun replacement which Civ can't seem to find the icon for, so we just get a red square, sorry about that.
Talking of the end of empires, Jomon channels Amy Winehouse and takes Medina back to black. Will they manage to actually strike the final blow this time?
Talking of the end of empires (still), Herat has fallen to the yellow thanks to Khazaria's cannons and Minoa's bowmen, while almost all the forces around Ghazni have been cleaned up, as Vietnam use this war grind to dispose of all their outdated warriors. But Khazaria has a massive force also headed towards the Ghaznavid capital, so if Vietnam falters, it could well still be curtains for the Ghaznavids...
So Eora is at war with Yukagir. You'd barely realise from the current state of their border. Yukgair seems to have the advantage at any rate. We also see a genius citadel from Iberia, claiming a massive swathe of Eoran territory. Will this act of aggression lead to war?
After a siege that lasted 14 more turns than it had any right to, Medina finally falls to Jomon, eliminating Hejaz in 22nd place! Hejaz made early gains against the Xiongnu alongside their allies Akkad, and were notably the first civ to settle a city off the main island, but when their old ally turned on them, they lost everything besides Medina. When Jomon stepped in to finish the job, they put up a strong defence, but ultimately all they did was extend their life by a few more turns. Press H to pay respects.
Herat has fallen to the black, but despite the truly terrifying approaching Khazarian army, it's Minoa who has surrounded the city and look likely to take it. Lithuania's attack on Wampanoag has yet to make much progress, as they channel their inner Finland by sending their army in all possible directions rather than focusing on one target.

From the minimap we can also see that those two Bulgarian settlers have now founded their cities on Zealandia.
Sure enough, Herat falls to Minoa, but for some reason this angers Vietnam and the Zapotecs, who declare war on Minoa, though neither seem particularly threatening right now, so Minoa's conquest should be safe.

Qocho builds Red Fort, a useful wonder in a domination game, boosting their cities' defensive strengths.
Holy cow, I take that all back! Akkad, Bulgaria, Eora, Khazaria, Lithuania, Poland, Taiwan, and Yukagir all join in the war against Minoa, with Khazaria instantly swooping in and taking Herat for themselves, and it's not going to flip back anytime soon either. Yukagir could also repeat history and take the undefended city of Gournia if Minoa doesn't manage to muster up an army from somewhere...
Qocho also joins in the war against Minoa. For those counting, this puts Minoa at war with over half the cylinder: they're at war with ABEGHKLPQTVYZ. It's not looking good for M...

Of even more note in this slide, Qocho have taken the Norman capital to the red...
...and the very next turn it flips! Qocho have finally proved that the meatgrinder around the mountains was worth it!
In the Wampanoag empire, Shawmut has started to take damage from the invading Lithuanians, but Balkh looks safe for now, as does the Akkadian front. They've also taken responsibility for sheltering the wandering Scottish settler after Akkad's borders expanded and kicked them out of their peacekeeping role.
Deja vu strikes again, as Yukagir starts to damage Gournia (II). Their Eoran front is starting to look a little sparse though, but the same could be said for Eora's troops there too.
The Ghaznavids' last remaining city starts to take damage. Prepare your G keys everyone, it'll take a miracle for them to get out of this.
Goethe interrupts to let us know that Iberia now has the largest military on the cylinder, with Akkad, Khazaria and Qocho unsurprisingly taking second, third and fourth.
Qocho meanwhile are happy with the Norman capital and make peace, leaving Normandy with one pretty awful desert city. It'd have almost been kinder to just finish the job.
Yukagir capture Gournia II, and this time they choose not to raze it, while they still maintain a solid defence against Eora. Khazaria haven't started seriously attacking Minoa since capturing Herat, but that army could easily destroy Minoa if they really wanted to.
The Bulgaria-Zapotec war starts up once more, and this time the Zapotecs are the aggressors, taking Qocho along for moral support. This turns this area of the island into an incredibly messy crossroads of war, as Akkad and Wampanoag also try and send troops towards each other's empires.

Also in this slide, we see the Lithuanian attack on Wampanoag has crumbled as they now seem to be on the defensive, and Taiwan declares war on Eora, though are too far away to worry fans of the letter E.
Then again, maybe they're gonna give it a go, as the Taiwanese army marches south west. We also see Poland settle a new exclave, Gorzow Wielkopolski.

In the World Congress, furs are surprisingly not banned, while the World Fair begins.
Vietnam admits they never really wanted to march all the way to attack Yukagir and makes peace, but they've got the Ghaznavids' capital down to the yellow, and they're even managing to surround it to prevent Khazaria from getting any melee units too close for a snipe. Lithuania seem to have turned their attention towards Balkh, but if they're not careful, they'll lose Kaunas to the large Wampanoag force to its east.
The Ottomans decide to pick on someone other than Taiwan for a change and declares war on the Dervishes! The landscape is going to be tough to get through though. We can also see from the minimap that Qocho have settled a second city on Atlantis, as they try and claim the whole island for themselves.
Khazaria start sending a few troops towards the Minoan capital, but not enough to pose any serious threat yet. Yukagir seem content with Gournia II though, as they don't send any troops of their own towards Knossos. Then again, this may also be because Eora have actually started making progress against Yukagir, having killed almost all the troops around Ziryanka and even started to damage the city itself.

Vietnam have also taken Ghazni to the red, but Khazaria aren't out of the picture yet, as they send their Tarkhans into the water in a snipe attempt!
In the crossroads of war, Bulgaria seems to be the only one making progress, as their armies approach San Jose Mogote. Akkad builds the Sistine Chapel, while the remains of Hejaz and the Ghaznavids make peace.
Ghanzi falls, and it's a Vietnamese warrior that deals the final blow, denying Khazaria the snipe! And thus, the Ghaznavids are eliminated in 21st place. The Ghaznavids started reasonably well, making gains against Minoa in early wars, but they couldn't keep up in technology with the rest of the cylinder, and soon became a juicy target for all their neighbours, with their fatal partitioning giving two cities to Wampanoag, two to Khazaria, and the capital to Vietnam. This also means Vietnam is the first civ to hold two holy cities: will they continue to spread both, or attempt to eliminate Islam in order to spread their own Buddhism?
And as one good war ends, another begins, as Finland declares war on Bulgaria once more! Will the Bulgarians be distracted enough by the Zapotecs for Finland to make gains this time?
Eora have actually now made excellent progress against Yukagir! They've taken Ziryanka down to the red, and have two melee units ready to take it. Will Yukagir be pushed back to lands of only tundra and snow?
Vietnam decides to rebuild after their Ghaznavid conquests and make peace with Minoa. Bulgaria seems to wisely be giving up on the Zapotecs in order to focus on Finland. Akkad and Wampaonag make no real progress across the crossroads of war.
Eora captures Ziryanka! Turns out slow and steady really does win the race. Or at least it does when your opponent gets distracted by Minoa.

Talking of Minoa, they make peace with Yukagir, having lost Gournia to them (again), but Khazaria are the real danger to them right now, with a large army knocking on the doors of Knossos.
The Ottomans and the Dervishes admit that the terrain was a bit too much for them and make white peace. In other diplomatic news, the last few Ghaznavid soldiers make peace with Wampanoag and Vietnam, while Iberia builds the Taj Mahal.
Lithuania still seems to be struggling to make any progress against Wampanoag, but at least they're not conceding ground either. The crossroads of war remain as messy as ever. Minoa and Qocho make peace, not that it's likely to make much difference.
Eora is content with their capture of Ziryanka and makes peace with Yukagir; it's been a good war for them. Lithuania makes peace with Wampanoag; it's not been such a good war for them. Khazaria have surrounded Knossos, though haven't managed to deal any damage yet; it's likely to end up being a good war for them.
In a move that surprises everyone, Qocho's declaration of war against Bulgaria turns out not to have just been for show, as they send a decent navy to attack the Bulgarian colonies on Zealandia! Will it be enough to give Qocho a foothold on both the other large islands? To celebrate their naval competence, they start following a new set of ideals known as 'Autocracy'.
Sadly, Bulgaria and Finland make peace without any side making progress. Maybe Qocho scared Bulgaria into it, who knows. Akkad becomes the second civ to adopt an ideology, joining Qocho in Autocracy.
And that brings us to the Info Addicts stats! Akkad, Qocho, and Khazaria's gains from their recent wars have put them at the top of the population charts...
...while Normandy has been relegated to rump state levels. The three tundra states are also unsurprisingly struggling here.
Qocho have a large lead in production over second place Akkad, who themselves have a large lead over third place Khazaria. Are we starting to see a couple of snowballs, or will they crumble in parts to come?
It's the usual suspects here at the bottom, though the Ottomans and Taiwan should maybe focus less on fighting each other and more on their infrastructure.
Qocho also take the lead in military, but here things are much more evenly spread...
...until you get to the bottom that is. Minoa are in serious trouble it seems.
Qocho and Khazaria top the science charts, while Iberia and Lithuania also make their first appearance in the top 5 technological civs.
Buglaria and Eora are the more surprising sights at the bottom of the list. Will their lack of tech cause them to crumble soon as it did the Ghaznavids this part?
The religion map is a fairly familiar picture, with both Islam and Hellenism struggling in the centre with their founders either distracted or dead. Atlantis is currently exclusively Manichaeistic, while Zealandia is currently the site of a battle between Manichaeism and Protestantism.
And that's it for this instalment! Two more civs have been eliminated today, but who will be next? Will Minoa be able to fend off Khazaria? Will Qocho succeed in their naval attack? Will the crossroads of war see any gains made? How long will it be until the inevitable Ottoman-Taiwan War V? Watch this space!

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

Next chapter:

Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

Alphabattle Part F: Further Fatalities!

Images: 90, author: BobSmithIV, published: 2018-05-11, edited: 2018-05-22

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