THE OFFICIAL CIVILIZATION BATTLE ROYALE X POWER RANKINGS: EPISODE 24

Author: Gragg9
Published: 2019-12-02, edited: 2019-12-02
Cloudberg:
Today we press F for Vaclav Havel, a man who in real life was a legendary statesman, philosopher, writer, and advocate for freedom. Unfortunately, we never got to find out what ideology he might have chosen in the CBRX universe, because the Czech Republic finally bit the dust this part, with Prague falling into the hands of Enrico Dandolo. There were high hopes for Czechia going into this match, given their strong uniques and decent AI. In at least one test round, Czechia dominated Europe from one end to the other, and even picked up exclaves Finland-style all over the map. Sadly, this was not to be: in the actual game, Havel misplayed early, losing a newly settled city to Prussia and failing to create a compact core that would be easy to defend. Despite repeatedly fending off Ottoman attacks on Ostrava, he further nixed his chance to be a contender when he gave away Brno to the HRE in a peace treaty, which ironically is now their last city. From then on it was only a matter of time, until finally Venice and Palmyra split Czechia's remaining cities between them. We only wish they had made a bigger mark on the world before they had to leave it.
Aaron: What can you say about the Seljuqs apart from they're survivors? Despite being unrumpened very early on, they have tried every trick in the book in order to survive this long: mountainous fortresses, peacekeepers, island colonies... Though they have but 2 land tiles to their name, they survive another part and go up one more rank as Czechia bites the dust. Their latest survival scheme is a settler down in Arabia travelling with an inquisitor to who knows where. Antarctica? They are still in last place, as with only 2 land tiles to their name, a light breeze could eliminate them. However, we can wish them the best of luck in outliving as many civs as they can manage.
Shaggy: Congratulations, Muscovy! You’ve survived yet another part! Czechia’s death lets Muscovy climb up one rank this week, though there really isn’t much to go on for Muscovy at this point. Relegated to city-state status with a good portion of their military ousted to the polar seas north of the Vikings, Muscovy is probably just going to be nommed up by pretty much any of their neighbors. My bet is on Sami just because they won’t be as worried about the diplo penalty, but its basically anybody’s as long as they can get a few troops to the city gates and remember to bring a melee unit. Prime your F keys, Europe isn’t done being bloody.
Aaron: During his reign as holy roman emperor, Genghis Khan created "project Beryzovo" named after a certain city in M2 that Genghis Khan once failed to capture. He noticed that it was a pretty good strategy for survival and therefore decided to immitate it in the HRE. This is why Genghis Khan founded 3 arctic cities - 3 attempts at recreating Beryzovo, ending with his masterpiece: Ulm. The city is extremely defensable, extremely remote, yet still shit enough that no one would ever want to conquer it - the perfect fortress for living as long as possible. It is so amazing that it surpasses even the original Beryzovo in its defensibleness, remoteness and shittiness. Only the Vikings would be able to take it and why would the Vikings want such a terrible city? It is so bad that it would actually be a detriment to any major civ that captured it. With it, the HRE were assured that they could survive long into the lategame. Unfortunately, that has all gone out the window: Theodora has just sold that city to Venice in exchange for peace! The last stand of the HRE will be in the former Czech city of Brno, a far better city - which just means more people want to take it from them! Perhaps Theodora just didn't fancy the cold weather and wanted to live somewhere warm? At any rate, Theodora has gone down in my personal rankings of HRE leaders. Out of the 3 Beryzovos that Genghis built around the arctic during his time as emperor, Theodora inherited 2 of them. Now they have none.
Aaron: This part, the Turks gain 1 rank over nearby HRE. The big advantage that the Turks have over the other terrible civs is that, like the Czechs before them, they have 2 disconnected cities. This means that even if someone declares war on them and captures a city, then unless that civ is exactly Palmyra, the Turks would still have a spare to fall back on, and therefore wouldn't be eliminated. One good thing is that although the Turks never managed to capture Ostrava (and at this point probably never will), they did manage to outlive their longtime Czech rivals, so that's nice for them.
Gragg: Legends speaks of a 61st civ that lies in Northern Asia. Beyond the wall of purple fog that none dare enter. Some say it is the homeland of the purple ghosts spotted throughout the cylinder. Maybe we’ll get a glimpse of this land someday.
LRS: I don’t normally do drafts of write-ups. Generally, I can nail how I feel about a civ pretty quickly, and work off that initial concept, spinning two hundred word stories of how much I detest one civ, or how much I expect of another. Occasionally, though, when I find myself with a particularly difficult slate for the week, I’ll outline the key points I want to hit in my write-ups beforehand. Rarely do I follow them, but it gives me ease of mind ahead of the many, many interesting civs I have to cover.
Gragg: It’s been a long and somewhat adventurous death for Korea. Don’t let anyone tell you they’ve been boring. Sure they may not have made any plays for regional supremacy but dieing civs can be fun too. Now they’ve migrated to the North next to a loaded Haida and Khamugs. They still have an army so they’ll survive for a little while longer.
LRS: I don’t know what Montezuma did to deserve being bailed out by Uruguay of all civs, but goddamn, whatever it was, it must have qualified him for sainthood. The sole reason the Aztecs are not now merely a bloody smear on the ground of a Venezuelan back alley is Uruguay’s absolutely ridiculous peacekeeping force, which has fanned out all over the tiny orange nation with the aim of keeping Venezuela from so much as thinking about putting a military unit on land. While the Aztecs will probably never be able to build another unit again, the short-term benefits of not being dead more than outweigh the long-term costs of becoming a colony of the big blue blob in all but name. Hell, given how many civs have been dying miserable deaths of late, it may even be tactically prudent. Stagnation’s brought Canton knocking on the door of the middle of the pack all-time, after all. Removing as many potential influencers to one’s status as possible is a pretty good way to ensure that you won’t be dropping any time soon, and it might just get the Aztecs to Endgame. Maybe. If they’re stupidly lucky.
Shaggy: As my girlfriend calls them, “Kukuriki” are lucky to be alive as their David vs Goliath struggle for survival has cooled off a bit. Yes, they are the Hodor of the cylinder, keeping the hordes of Uruguayan units at bay for a little while. If I wanted to extend the analogy, I’d say Venezuela is the Wall as they are more or less the last defense of North America (even though the Guay could just go around with a navy, fine), which makes North America the North and the rest of the cylinder is anything south of the Neck. The leaders of far flung nations like “Evenkivenkians” and “Neents” (two more renamings of her creation) may sit in their castles sipping wine without a care for the blue terror slowly amassing power, perhaps they may even be a myth, but the Kuikuro will continue holding the door until the bitter end.
Techno: Oh, how expectations often fail us. Qing was initially considered one of the top dogs in the East Asia region owing to their strong AI and impressive performance in the test games. But alas, that was not the case this time around. With Qin right at their doorstep and advancing quickly thanks to superior numbers, it's looking possible that Qing may be exiled to its lonely arctic colonies, but given the slow pace of the conflict so far, such a fate is not guaranteed. Nonetheless, it's hard to see Qing coming out of this war without facing a serious setback to survivability.
Shaggy: There once was a civ named Haiti
Who were much smaller than Metis
They stayed in the sea
But Buccs they shan’t be
They’ll be looted soon enough, aye matey.
Gragg: Canton has been doing more of the same and continues to rise for it. They’re approaching the point where they won’t rise any further without conquests though. That’ll be especially difficult if Qin ends this war with a decent amount of army left. Call me a pessimist but I don’t see Canton taking cities off Taungoo or Shikoku. LOOK AT ALL THOSE SUBS. There are more in this image than there are on my youtube channel. If Taungoo and/or Shikoku declare we may see a repeat of the infamous episode 4 when they were runted the first time.
Aaron: Disaster! Maratha have finally awoken from their slumber and decided to attack Nepal! The good news is that Maratha have forgotten a melee unit, so Nepal might survive with their cities intact; however, their entire army is sure to be annihilated. This is almost never a good thing as it means India, Khamugs or Taungoo will be able to just walz in and take any city they want. Kazakhstan have also joined in, although they only have 1 exclave to fight from - Patan - which was incidently given to them by Nepal in an earlier dumb peace deal. This would normally allow Nepal to recapture their own city back, except that Kazakhstan is using the city to shelter a large backdoor squad for their ally. Kazakh tech is also pretty advanced which is allowing them to bomb Nepalese forces approaching the city. If the Nepalese army gets slaughtered fast enough, Kazakhstan might even be the one capturing cities, as they, unlike Maratha, have actually brought melee units to the fight.
Techno:
The Manx saw little action this part aside from a minor rebellion across the border in Viking territory. Like many low-ranked civs, no action is generally good action, as with the collapse of the HRE, the Manx have no legitimate shot at expansion any longer. The Moors and Vikings lay just across their borders, while the Iroquois lie on the other side of the ocean. Surrounded by this sheer number of potent civs, the Manx basically have to rely on the defensible British geography to save themselves for the time being should their diplomatic situation deteriorate.
LRS: Africa might just have the highest bar to entry on the entire cylinder. All seven civs who’ve dared to even think of owning land there are far from rump states, having either made impressive conquests of their own or, in Beta Israel’s case, performed even more impressive defensive feats. So where does this leave Nubia, the only mouse in this den of lions? In a bad place, surely. Palmyra lurks to the east, surely sparing a glance or two over the Red Sea at one of the few survivors of their early game bloodlust, geographical barriers making Nubia perhaps their most appealing target. Venice, that great Mediterranean naval power, eyes the last of the Saharans from Europe, and new neighbor the Moors are on the warpath and are knocking from the west. In the south, the impregnable Beta Israelis are perhaps more likely to fall than ever, Benin and Madagascar eager vultures more than willing to pick at Zimbabwe’s food or perhaps take a crack at securing a kill on their own. Africa is a scary, scary place, filled with opportunistic civs ready and willing to declare war at the first sign of weakness. For Nubia, naturally weak, a worse situation would be hard to find.
Cloudberg: That's right, give the Tonga write-up to the person with the controversial Tonga rank. That's right, even though Tonga is falling 2 places to 32nd this episode, I ranked them 23rd. And I was given a platform to explain why, muahahaha! Basically, if you look at a picture of Tonga, they're fucking scary. They could wipe the floor with New Zealand right now, not joking. And yet we're still putting New Zealand in the top 20. How can this be? How can we not recognize that Tonga is primed to take all of Polynesia? Even a Tongan DOW against Shikoku or Taungoo would probably gain them cities. They have the best tech in the area, including artillery and airplanes. What are we waiting for? Tonga Time is already here!
Shaggy: So they don’t really lose much to Madagascar, which is nice, but now almighty Zim has come a-knocking. I expect Beta Israel to put up a fight, but all the production in the world won’t save poor unit usage. Also, I’m seeing standard Infantry on Zimbabwe’s side… Damn, that's a huge power differential on a unit by unit basis. OK, maybe they won’t put up as big a fight as I thought. Hopefully the Chad Israel can somehow win by taking more Zimbabwhey.
Shaggy: Yup’ik? You mean the Green Goblin of the North that took some cities Metis wasn’t using AND GOT AWAY WITH IT LIKE A FUCKING CHAMPION! Lunar was right, this is Newer Sexier Alaska. “But why, Shaggy?”, you might ask, “why is taking a frozen wasteland away from a sleeping bear a good thing?” Glad you asked. Yup’ik’s UA gives them bonuses on snow tiles, so the cities will end up being more useful to the Yup’ik than they were to Metis. Also, this trek east gives them a way around the Haida blockade that has prevented them from effectively entering the Kolorful Kamchatkan Shitshow. I’m not worried about to large of a retaliation from Metis as they have bigger fish to fry down south.
Gragg: The rank moves up by 3 but Selk’nams position hasn’t changed at all. They remain in the shadow of Uruguay, awaiting their conquest. Still though, only having one imminent threat somehow puts them this high in the rankings. Who knows, maybe the mountains in the area will be nearly as effective as the Kuikuran jungles. If it weren’t for terrain though the conquest might put Songhai to shame. The golden lining for all the Selk’nam fans... the few Selk’nam fans.... Dawkinz is that they can conquer along antarctica all day if they so choose.
Aaron: India goes up a spot as a result of Beta Israel falling. They currently have a pretty big opportunity in Nepal. Maratha has declared war on them and is currently murdering every Nepalese unit within range, but crucially, they forgot a melee unit. If India can jump in on that war and provide the missing melee units, they can make big gains at the expense of their longtime rival. This does come with the downside of angering Maratha but at this point they're so far behind that they have to take any opportunity given to them. Plus, even if Maratha gets angry, what are they going to do about it? Declare war on India but forget a melee unit again? The other news this part is that the Khamugs have started another war with India. However, I wouldn't be too worried about that. There is only a single Khamug city bordering India: the ex-Indian city of Madras. Reinforcements to Madras have to travel along a narrow 1-tile road, and once they get that far, they have to capture either Jaiput or Madurai, both of which are extremely well defended in the mountains. The biggest risk here is that Indira decides to foolishly give away another city to the Khamugs.
Gragg: Madagascar continues to solidify as this season’s ‘peace’keepers. This army in Benin may look threatening but they won’t be able to do any damage to their host nation. As you may know open-borders ends when war is declared. So the question becomes where will this army end up when the open-border treaty with Benin ends? It can be difficult to predict, even for us nerds. We may very well see a large Madagascan force in the Atlantic. As for the war with Beta Israel, that went about as well as expected. If Madagascar can get aircraft carriers they may have better luck with these naval invasions.
Aaron: As Zimbabwe starts their invasion of Beta Israel, Nazca's rank goes up by 2: one for each of Beta Israel and Madagascar. Though that's really all the good news there is for the Nazca. Uruguay have increased their huge lead and now have over 12 times Nazca's military; it is fortunate it is currently being used against the Iroquois... Venezuela are currently doing what has been predicted of them for many many parts: they are taking out the Aztecs and in doing so, finally overtaking the Nazca in the stats. Neither of these two thing are good for Nazca's chances. Currently the Nazcan strategy appears to revolve around tech, as they were the 4th civ of the entire cylinder to reach modern and have top-tier science. I'm not sure how good that strategy is when neighbouring almost-information-era Uruguay but then again it's not as though any other strategy is particularly effective when your neighbour is Uruguay (apart from having your jungles not be deforested - a strategy that is no longer available to the Nazca)
Aaron: This week, Parthia overtakes Madagascar and Beta Israel thanks to Zimbabwe making moves. Parthia are still struggling with low science and production, though they have managed to carpet back up and have finally managed to grow their military larger than the Goths. An even bigger disappointment is that it turns out none of the new ideologies are Parthia's, despite them having researched industrialisation 46 turns ago. This indicates they don't have enough coal for factories and this means the 3 cruisers in the Caspian Sea are even stupider than previously thought - they are using up the 3 coal that could have been used to power the 3 factories needed to get an ideology! I would advise a war with the Golden Horde immediately, not just because the Golden Horde are weak and could be an easy conquest, but because they might be able to kill off these awful coal-guzzling ships.
Aaron: Good news: Kazakhstan finally got bored of massacring wave upon wave of reindeer and made peace. They did make off with 3 new cities but such is the price to pay. One upside of the war is that it killed off most of the reindeer carpet, giving the Evenks the space to build better units like musketmen and cuirassiers. Yes: renaissance and enlightenment era units are still hopelessly out of date, but they're a lot better than ancient era units. And the Evenk military score has nearly doubled to reflect their more modern military. Next time someone declares war, you can be sure that the Evenks will put up more of a fight (not that that's saying much considering the utterly pathetic attempts to fight the Kazakhs). Evenk science and production are both solidly midtier alongside civs such as Prussia, the Goths or Venezuela. And they still have plenty of cities to throw away before they're in trouble. Unless the peaceful Khamugs stop being peaceful, you can expect many more parts of the Evenks simply existing not doing much, occasionally losing one of their many cities but it doesn't matter because they have plenty more where that from.
Aaron: Last week I said that the Metis were too tough to take on without Iroquois assistance. Well this week, the Iroquois assistance did arrive... on the opposite side... The tides turned immediately as both Metis and Iroquois started capturing Apache cities. The Metis have since peaced out but the Iroquois are continuing to advance. The Apache army has been severely weakened by their fruitless assault on the Metis and is now incapable of holding back the Iroquois tide. Though they have both their UUs (the renegade, a rifleman with survivalism who pillages more cheaply and can enter enemy territory ; and the warband: a cavalry that can kill civilian units and ignores ZOC) they don't have enough of them and they are going up against great war infantry and gatling guns. They do also have a large airforce but, in typical AI fashion, they are using it against enemy cities instead of against the units that are walking in to capture their cities. There is some good news in that the big scary Guay have come to the Apache's aid and are demolishing the Iroquois navy while also distracting a large portion of the Iroquois airforce. Unfortunately, the Guay are too far away to prevent the large Iroquois land army from marching through Apache lands, but it will slow them down and make Hiawatha more likely to consider peace.
LRS: Well, now that all the murder’s out of our system, we can rationally examine this situation, can we? Namely, that Benin appears to have accidentally carpeted using another civ’s units. Oh dear. That would be a bit of an issue, now wouldn’t it? Make no mistake, Benin’s still easily second dog in Africa, but being utterly submerged in Madagascar’s units as they are makes it easy to doubt, and but for a lack of viable options, they’d probably find themselves bereft of that accolade. They’re still well-positioned, easily able to take advantage of both a sinking Beta Israel and an already sunk Nubia, but there are civs who have better opportunities than they do, and those civs, generally, don’t have to worry about the Moors and Zimbabwe at the same time. There might not be a single civ on the cylinder with a scarier pair of neighbors. Benin’s certainly done well thus far, and they’ve made a case for themselves in Africa, but the elimination has left them in a very delicate geopolitical situation. Just a few crossed wires, and they could find their game ended right as it was about to begin.
Gragg: Venezuela has finally made gains against the Aztecs and are rewarded for it. As you have likely read in the Aztec’s writeup the Uruguayan peacekeepers have left Central America. If the war doesn’t end suddenly we may see more cities change hands. On the other hand the Iroquois are now at war with Venezuela. This was part of a coalition in which Iroquois were the only relevant civ. That’d be a lot scarier if Iroquois wasn’t more focused on the Guay. Oh yeah, Venezuela is at war with Kuikuro too. Nothing is happening there.
Aaron: Prussia continue their strategy of going all in on land military, being joint second of the entire cylinder to unlock machine guns (after only Uruguay and joint with the Sami). This seems like a reasonably good strategy to me. It does mean they are missing out on naval techs but given how small the Baltic sea is how useful are naval techs anyway? Who will rule eastern europe and central asia will almost certainly be decided by who gets coalitioned so Prussia should be working on making allies at the moment. The Sami are bulking up their military again (and they do equal Prussia in tech) so they are the biggest worry. Option number 1 would therefore be to ally up with the Sami so that Prussia doesn't get backstabbed as they try to conquer somewhere. The two suboptions available to the Sami are the Vikings and the Goths. The Vikings somehow managed to research 5 high-tier techs in 5 turns which has boosted them up to first place in tech in europe (I don't know what happened?) and also requires a navy to fight them properly. Meanwhile the Goths are throwing away waves of troops at the Golden Horde and their tech is lacking - they don't even have flight yet! Therefore I would very much recommend teaming up with the Sami to go attack the Goths. Big gains can be made. What's more, Kazakstan has just finished up their war with the Evenks so are now available to join in as well.
An alternative coalition would be to think long term and to take down the strongest civ - the Sami. For this they will need the help of the Vikings and probably the Goths too. The Viking navy is one of highest tier of the cylinder - equal to Uruguay's, Shikoku's and Taungoo's. They should be able to put the pain on the Sami's west coast. This coalition does come with the big disadvantage that the Baltic sea will be an area of conflict - an area Prussia is not strong in - so perhaps open borders with the Vikings is necessary for Prussia's artillery to properly advance and make gains.

I have not mentioned Prussia's new neighbour: Venice. This does not seem like a good option as they are best buds with the Vikings. Even though they are the weakest non-pathetic neighbour of Prussia, attacking them would make it far more likely for Prussia to be on the receiving end of a big coalition. And whatever option gets picked, Prussia really needs to not be on the receiving end.
Scissor: Hello Comrades, our most Serene Republic has now been transformed into the Most Serene People's Republic of Venezia. Please remember to pick up your little purple book and report your counter-revolutionary family members. Our great Chairman Dandolo has crushed the Czech pigs and we have freed their people, pending their eventual return from our reeducation facilities. Our great fascist Viking friends to the North have proved our steadfast allies and although they ignore the great plight of the workers, this Venetian commissar is sure of a great friendship between the far left heroes and the far right villains! This alliance of non-aggression shall stand the test of time!
Gragg: Haida is in an interesting spot. They’ve been losing cities for a while and are now entirely coastal. Their neighbors in the Iroquois are getting thwomped and Yup’ik and Korea do not pose much of a threat. Honestly they could border Uruguay and be fine because they can flip their coastal cities back all day. Will they ever expand beyond the coast though? Or even expand throughout the Atlantic? They certainly have the manpower to do it. Their other stats are nice as well. For now that is enough to keep them afloat get it?
Techno: The Qin/g war, started last part, has proven to be one of Qin's best moves in quite a while. That's not saying all that much given Qin's stagnation for most of the CBRX, but the few hard-fought cities gained from Qing are more than most other Qin profits since the early game. But perhaps more importantly, the war has finally spurred Qin to begin building units, which should hopefully allow them to continue their push against Qing.
Cloudberg:
New Zealand only dropped one rank this part, and that might not be enough. Seddon hasn't had time to rebuild in a very long time, and just as soon as he peaced out with Taungoo, he faced a new foe in the form of Shikoku. It's not clear who's winning this fight, but it's unlikely that New Zealand will gain more than it loses. Still, New Zealand's stats are relatively decent, and the possibility that they could still beat some of their neighbours prevents them from falling below some of the lower ranked civs.
Aaron: The Goths stagnate another week, allowing Australia to overtake them. They are still throwing wave upon wave of troops at the Golden Horde without any results. And the Golden Horde is one of their weakest neighbours; only a heavily citadeled Muscovy is weaker, and possibly the Nenets if you count a 1-tile mountain pass as a border. If they can't manage to take a city off the Golden Horde, then what chance will they have against their stronger neighbours? The Sami have gone back to their old ways of building a gigantic army. Prussia have invested heavily into military techs and are now fielding both their UUs as well as artillery and some of the world's first machine guns. Kazakhstan is also very technologically advanced with a large airforce and are currently getting more powerful by smashing the Evenks. Who rules central asia will surely be decided by which coalitions happen, but can the Goths take advantage of a coalition even if they end up on the right side of it?
Cloudberg: Australia did nothing this part. Yay? It seems that every part Australia isn't at war with 6 of its neighbours, we bump them up a rank or two. Or four, in this case. Propelled by a sense of justice, a free press, and a big statue of Lady Liberty, Bob Hawke is trying to shed his reputation and position himself as the savior of the cylinder. After Taungoo wiped the floor with New Zealand, I actually find myself starting to root for the big green blob I used to hate.
Techno: Our confidence in the Metis has shot up dramatically over the last part, as while they did fail to reclaim their territory from the Yup'ik, they made peace to instead focus on a far more lucrative goal: the Apache. With the assistance of the Iroquois, the Apache were weakened to the point that they were willing to surrender a far more valuable city than the arctic wasteland lost to the Yup'ik. While it certainly does not balance out the numerous losses suffered from previous wars, the Metis still have more than enough land to maintain a position as the second-best civ in North America. If they can industrialize their cities further and rebuild a military, then the Metis could even hold their own against the Iroquois, perhaps even without losing a city or two this time.
LRS: Shikokoof rides again! Fresh off their near-total annihilation of Korea, Shikoku has, in their infinite reason, elected to set their sights on… New Zealand? Nope, not the Qing, currently being absolutely blasted by the Qin. New Zealand. Right. Yeah. Okay. The war of the Pacific Rim has, unsurprisingly, been going about how you’d expect a war between two empires whose cores are about three or four nations away from each other to go – uneventfully. A few blows have been traded in Indonesia, but little of consequence has actually happened, and what with both naval powers fresh off a war it likely won’t heat up any time soon. The Shikoku’s one spot drop, then, has less to do with this war than it does with outside events: namely, the Qin’s invasion of their similarly-named neighbor. The Qing, one of Shikoku’s weakest neighbors, are being quickly assimilated into the former superpower’s territory, and should things continue to go well for Blue China the Shikoku may soon find themselves with a sword pointed right at their necks. Really, this meaningless war with New Zealand is about the worst thing Shikoku could be doing right now. It’s giving their enemies time to catch up, and if there’s one advantage our tech darlings have always had, it’s being ahead of the game.
Cloudberg: The Vikings are taking a much needed break from constant wars, and their infrastructure is definitely benefiting. Just a couple parts ago, Ragnar managed to worm his way into the top tier in several key stats, and he seems to be staying there, as the power rankers bump him up to 11th for the second time in three episodes. What would it take for the Vikings to break into the top 10 for the first time ever? Perhaps a conquest of the Manx would do the job...
Gragg: Kazakh’s situation improves a bit as they secure their Evenki gains and add a few more units to their core. Not just any units either but modern ones. The Khamugs are the only neighbor I’d be really worried right now, as opposed to previous parts where even the Nenets could take cities. Not to say the Goths and/or Parthia couldn’t do any damage. Hopefully the Kazakhs will continue to add units along less active fronts.
LRS: Huh. So, as it turns out, having melee units is somewhat important after all. Who knew? Despite facing off against a crippled Nepal far past its prime and seeming primed to take Fokhara at the very least when the war started, Maratha’s marvelous anti-melee military has managed to make exactly zero tiles of progress, their sole contribution to the war being the gradual depletion of anything approaching a Nepalese military presence. Many times in the past we’ve bemoaned Taungoo’s seeming stagnation compared to their neighbor, but now it’s Maratha that we’re imploring to take after their more responsible cousin, watching with judgmental eyes as their stats begin to slip. For instance, they could, say, bring units that aren’t gatling guns to fights. There is a grand total of one melee unit on the entirety of the frontlines in the region, and it’s almost certainly been imported from the relatively melee rich colonies. Should Maratha not fix their crippling army composition, they could soon find themselves peaced out with their weakest non-Seljuqs neighbor and with nothing to show for it. And that, for a civ that should by every right be gracing the top tier, is just terrible.
Cloudberg: Zenobia at last succeeds where the Ottomans could not and manages to capture Ostrava. The world's most defensible city has fallen, but does this boost Palmyra at all? The rankers say: maybe? Palmyra climbs one place, reversing its fall from the previous part. That said, Zenobia's army is dangerously outdated, her stats are not as great (relatively speaking) as they once were, and geography hinders her expansion. And yet, it's so hard to push Palmyra out of the top 10, because... who the hell would we replace them with?
Gragg: For such a large civ Sami was curiously absent from the part and unedited video this week. We can safely assume then that not much is going on, at least as much as warfare and army movement go. Their stats are gradually on the rise though so they hold onto their rank this week. Their expansion prospect is decent. They could, in theory, win wars against Prussia, Goths, or Vikings. None of those are easy though, and could even end up going the other way.
Techno: PRs: "PLEASE. JAMUKHA. DO SOMETHING. PLEASE!"
Khamug Khanate: Declares war on India
PRs: "No."

Jokes aside, if the Khamugs finally quit abiding by the Yakut playbook, they could be in a spectacularly good position. The Evenks, the Qing, the Qin, and even the Kazakhs are all very viable targets. The Khamugs certainly have the sheer military strength to overwhelm any one of them. But they simply don't do anything. Alas, so be how it is.
Shaggy: It’s hard staying in the top 5, but the Moops hold on this week. It currently looks like you either need massive momentum (which they are slowing down on in the short-term) or a sizable statistical advantage (which they have in their region). If I were a betting man, I’d say that Eurmoop is definitely on the table. A rebuild part for them as they get their happiness under control from the dismantling of Songhai, so not much excitement if you don’t like watching potential energy grow. My random pick for the next tangible Moopish target? Nubia
Aaron: The time has come! The invasion of Beta Israel begins. What makes us think this will be any different than last time? Well for one thing, Zimbabwe's tech lead has grown substantially. In particular, this includes the invention of planes which are trully the perfect unit for taking out Beta Israel. You see, on top of Beta Israel having no anti-air, planes don't pillage tiles, which means they don't trigger Israel's Chad powers. They're stuck in their weaker Beta form for which makes them easy to conquer. 2 cities have fallen already! Now there is the issue that Zimbabwe cannot get their fleet into position to fight the Beta Israel fleet because Madagascar is in the way. This means that Beta Israel can continue to flip any coastal city Zimbabwe takes for a long time, and this has the further side effect of giving them enough time to trigger Chad powers. The other good news is that Zimbabwe has taken a page out of Uruguay's book with regards to science. Before, Uruguay was generating twice the effective science of everyone else. Now they are still generating twice the science of third place, but 2nd place Zimbabwe has caught up significantly and is now only 20% lower! In other words, Zimbabwe has 60% more science than anyone else on the cylinder! (Uruguay excepted of course) They have used this science to research the Manhattan project so that should be scary to anyone whose name doesn't start with U.
Shaggy: I am a goo man. I’ll save you the backstory and half-baked references of my last ‘Goo writeup, but I do think that Bayinnaung will be shoveling goo down the throats of more and more of Oceania and the coastal areas of south and east Asia in the coming parts. The one Achilles’ Heel I can see for the Taungoo is that as they expand onto more and more islands, they will potentially be starved for the strategic resources needed to field certain critical naval units (as we saw with the dismantling of Songhai). Now, they definitely have a better foothold than most other civs that will rely heavily on naval conquest over the next half dozen parts and as a result they are my pick for being the rulers of the high seas, at least in Asia for now.
Shaggy:
HOOOOOO DAAAYYYUUUMM, what a part for the Iroquois! Making waves in North America is definitely a good thing. The Iroquois war with the Apache looks to be continuing to go well as they are radically outpacing their opponents in tech and production. If they can keep churning out units to throw at the Great American Meatgrinder, they might manifest the absolute fuck out of their destiny. Moving our attention south, Iroquois have done a bang up job going toe to toe with the Guay on their turf. You go Quois! Also looking north, Metis are beset on all sides, almost literally. If I were Iroquois, I’d get on taking what I can from them to consolidate the north.
Techno: Let's not kid ourselves. With a commanding lead in both tech and military, Uruguay's still easily the strongest civ on the cylinder despite their diplomatic blunder with the Kuikuro. And like other top contenders in a battle royale long ago, Uruguay's also started to flood the map with excess units that no longer fit within the confines of their territory. The Aztec-Venezuela war largely stagnated this part thanks to that. Meanwhile, a division up in Greenland seems to have great strategic importance thanks to Uruguay's other main action this part: their war with the Iroquois. Unlike their military prowess, this war doesn't show Uruguay as quite as dominant as one would expect, as the war has mostly been a naval stalemate so far, but given the sheer distance between their empires, that's to be expected. What's more concerning is that the Iroquois are likely to catch up in production soon as the Apache fall, which could threaten Uruguay's once-indomitable lead.

Check out another AAR:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West... or so we\'ll try - a Persia AAR

Images: 28, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06