Author: Gragg9
Published: 2019-11-04, edited: 2019-11-04
Aaron: Poverty Point is finally put out of its misery. Its tale is a cautionary one about the dangers of not settling. Poverty Point started out the game OKish. They made sure to have military but did not build any settlers. On any continent other than North America, a lack of settlers would have been a big problem, but since no one else in North America was building lots of settlers (apart from Canada and Metis) it was still fine. They used their military to capture Canada's second city which put them even with their neighbours the Apache (who had built 1 settler at this point). This is the point where everything started going wrong. The Apache and Iroquois finally started settling (far later than other continents but yet still they started). Poverty Point joined in with 1 single settler but, despite vast quantities of land, their settler wandered around indecively. As a last ditch effort for relevance, they did the only thing they knew how to do - they went to war with the Iroquois. But this achieved nothing except losing Montreal. As the Apache and Iroquois borders closed in around small PP, they citadeled the poor nation making it trully tiny and the laughing stock of the cylinder. And so they remained (apart from one hilarious peace deal with the Aztecs of all people) until finally the Apache came to put them out of their misery. And so they die, the only civ on the entire cylinder to have not built their third city.

The moral of the story is: make sure to settle! Early-game military conquest might look flashy but it is a lot harder and more expensive than simply building your own city.
Gragg: Geez that was brutal. If you’ve seen my longer writeup on Ndongo already ( you already know between turns 274 and 292 Ndongo lost 9 cities. That averages out to one city every 2 turns. They’ve also lost the second most civilians of any civ on the cylinder, just slightly behind Murri. Ndongos death marks the loss of the first top 10 civ. That’s right, Ndongo was at one time (part 0) rank 9. They even ended the part with the greatest city in the world. Nzinga wasn’t some Minoa or Scotland that was doomed at the gates. Hopes were high and the fall was the greatest we’ve seen so far. But hey, the beat Mk2 Kongo by 2 ranks.
Aaron: Oh no! Alp Arsan's retirement plan has gone out the window! Shivaji decided that a tropical island paradise was far better suited as a naval base in Marathan hands. He has already bulldozed the archeological site on the second island to leave room for more houses. Have you no restraint Shivaji? Those historical artefacts belonged in a museum, not smashed down into pieces for concrete! Without their retirement plan, the Seljuqs are forced to accept their life in the far uglier and very citadeled Nishapur, a fate which has dropped them down to the bottom of the rankings (technically it was the bottom rising to their level but whatever). The Seljuqs do have a full carpet of crossbows (not that that is very many crossbows) but really all that's left for the Seljuqs is for either Palmyra or India to finish them off.
Cloudberg: This was a bad part for civs with only one city, as Ndongo and Poverty Point can attest. But the Murri got out unscathed, at least for now, holding their spot in 51st place as the civs below them rapidly die off. Gambu Ganuurru's time is most definitely coming, but can he make his death more memorable than the other city-states that recently gave up the ghost? If there's one thing going for him, it's that he has a bigger army than anyone else currently playing the one city challenge. (Which is, of course, only the Seljuqs.)
Gragg: The Nenets are close to living up to their reputation of being nonexistent. At first their war with the Kazakhs looked to be a real David and Goliath story. Expect in this on Goliath chops David in half. For those that didn’t notice the Nenet’s gave away Vakutia in the peace deal with the Kazakhs, leaving the purple ghosts with 2 cities. The silver lining is that their flank is well protected by mountains leaving Kazakhs as the only real threat. If the Nenets are lucky the Kazakhs will repeat the mistake of leaving the border undefended, giving the Nenets’ another chance at being plucky.
Thy: Welp, here comes the grim reaper. The much-feared Palmyrene war machine has woken up - perhaps as a result of the communist rise to power in the Middle Eastern Empire - and unfortunately for our lads the Turks, the beast's wrath is now directed at said Turks. Already, Knossos has fallen to the Palmyrene navy, while the Palmyrene army slowly chips away at the Turkish capital. Certainly, the terrain is very much in favor of the Turks, whatwith the Aegean Sea and Black Sea pushing the Palmyrene troops to embark, and thus make themselves easy targets. The difficulty of approaching by land combined with the relative weakness of the Palmyrene navy means that the Turks have more than a fair chance of surviving, or even keeping their capital, despite it being a horrible version of Constantinopolis.
LRS: For want of a melee unit, the empire was lost. Things started out so well for the Sulu this part, as they briefly forestalled their fate by making peace with Australia and bolstering their empire’s city count in the process, but now with just three – count ‘em, three – melee units left in their empire, it’s become more and more apparent that a lucky peace deal is the only way Sulu will even stand a chance of getting out of this alive. With his army almost entirely reduced to those cannons that he loved oh so much, Jamalul Kiram, simply put, is out of options. With forces by both land and sea pouring in like water through a dikeless Netherlands, Patikul and Dungun look certain to fall, and with another force coming in from the west, it’ll only be a matter of time before Whyalla and Newcastle are waving brown and black instead of purple and white.
Gragg: I stole this writeup so I could give an update on the ‘C’ civ survival contest. Canada lost. Hopefully you already realized that. Czechia’s position hasn’t changed a whole lot but they definitely aren’t invisible anymore. They just aren’t worth the time and effort for any of their neighbors at the moment. Canton however is doing quite well considering their circumstances. They’ve managed to grow their little empire and get their UU out. So for now Czech’s still aren’t the top C civ. The more important rivalry though is that with the Ottomans, which the Czechs are winning. Suck it Turks.
Gragg: Hmmm… What to say about Golden Horde. Honestly the most interesting thing that happened in relation to the Horde this part was that they seem to no longer have open border with Maratha. No, that’s not particularly important. The Goths aren’t looking hollow like they are known to be so don’t expect a crazy snipe from GH either. Now let me go see if I can find a screenshot of them…
Gragg: Can we take a moment to talk about how long this war has been? It’s the longest lasting war on the cylinder and still going. It has been raging since turn 130 and we’ve spent every episode saying ‘Kuikuro will crack any time now’. Yes, I’m going to say it again this writeup too. That’s because Uruguay is starting to reach techs that will help negate Kuikuro’s jungle fortress. Chief among those is flight. Yes, Uruguay can build flying machines of terror. They don’t have dynamite yet though but it is likely to be close behind. We’ve been wrong plenty of times before about Kuikuros demise though so we’ll see. Maybe the jungle dwellers will figure out a peace deal before these weapons are brought to bear. (Still don’t think Uruguay will win btw)
Thy: Papua, Papua, Papua. What a veritable rollercoaster it has been! Who even remembers when Papua started off so poorly, with some of the worst stats and least settlers? Indeed, their sudden attack on Australia and the rise that followed, were much more memorable. But now their downfall seems to be equally meteoric, with New Zealand brutally ravaging through the Papuan islands, leaving behind mostly charred remains, on which the New Zealander settlers happily settle their own cities. Make no mistake: This is no ordinary war of conquest. This is a war of devastation. This is genocide. A good 4 Papuan cities were razed this part, one of which was 20 pop. That's over 4 million people, gone. If New Zealand wasn't a villain before, they are now - and if Papua hadn't lost the game before, they have now. It's a shame, too, they were so plucky...
LRS: In a game where being good at not dying is generally rewarded, Montezuma might be one of the best at it. Despite wars with Venezuela, the Apache, and the Haida, and another one with the dying empires of the once slightly-okay Poverty Point, the Aztecs still remain free and independent to this day, albeit to the citizens’ detriment. At least under the Apache, the reasoning goes, they wouldn’t be citadeled by Venezuela, or be put at risk for goddamn Jaketown. Still, Montezuma’s recovery from being genuinely dreadful to only being genuinely dreadful for North America has been noted, as they undergo a mild rise in the rankings due to the spent fuselages of other civs plunging past them as they rebuild. That they’ve pulled so close to Haiti and the Yup’ik after a devastating war like their Apache one is a testament to their ability. Unfortunately, they are still the Aztecs, and are thus profoundly ill-equipped to do much more than lick their wounds and hide behind the jungles and mountains of their frustratingly impassable homeland. The Haida, in a stroke of tactical genius, have elected to relocate a large portion of their navy to the empire presumably because it sounded real funny, and in doing so have managed to lock down about a third of the coast available to the flailing Mesoamericans, who have no recourse due to their stupidly settling Texcoco one tile from the coast all those years ago. Getting toyed with by other, better civs, having no way to fight back, and being left alive anyways in the same sort of state as a puppet without strings? That’s the Aztecs for you.
Aaron: The most important news this part for Canton is the discovery of their UU: the Red Fleet Junk (a privateer replacement). This is thanks to their 4 large healthy cities which are providing surprisingly high science - in particular higher than HRE, India and Korea (who they now outtech). Of all the rumps, Canton is clearly doing the best, as on top of their high science, their closest neighbour (Qin) is too lazy to kill them, a privilege that not many rumps have had. But don't expect this comparatively high tech level to go anywhere. Outteching Korea is one thing. Producing enough military is another. And in this regard, being a 4 city rump really isn't ideal. Sure, they do have more production and military than the rest of the rumps with fewer cities, but they are still far inferior to any normal civ and not enough to be relevant. What are their options moving forwards? Well with 1 settler, they can gain a second city on Taiwan so that's nice. They can also try joining in the Sulu or Papua gangbang in an attempt to land a cheeky snipe. Fun though such a move would be, it would also be risky as it might provoke the ire of Taungoo or Shikoku.
Gragg: While Muscovy are technically at war with the Sami they are getting a bit of a much needed break. To push further Sami needs fight through a narrow gap guarded by crossbows and cannons. That war with the Nenets won’t go anywhere either as their cities are separated by a mountain range on that front. It’s not as if they can use that time to build a bigger carpet though, because they’re just about filled up already. What they need is a good weak neighbor to DOW. Goths have been prone to leaving their core empty but that is certainly not the case right now. Attacking Prussia would be a similarly bad idea. They have just enough production and military to make something eventually happen with the right coalition or distracted neighbor though.

Not much to say about Haiti this week. They used all of their excitement on the first few parts and weren’t able to secure a foothold on any mainland. Now they’re stuck in the consequences of being surrounded by superior opponents. It would take a couple episodes to eliminate them though which keeps them this high in the rankings. If they ever want to make forward progress they’ll need to be very opportunistic with their wars.
Aaron: I am very surprised to find a civ as terrible as Yup'ik in the 30s. Surely such a terrible performance deserves a lower rank? But no actually; while the Yup'ik stagnated, other civs were dropping and the recent drop of Papua finally puts Yup'ik all the way up into the 30s. And this is their best hope for success: just continue doing absolutely nothing while everyone else dies. At least they have a nice carpet which should hopefully dissuade any Pacific navies from trying anything finny. It might even dissuade Haida if they're lucky and Haida continues to concentrate on trans-pacific ordeals.
Msurdej: Oh Isle of Man! The Viking assault of The Manx continues, with more of the captured cities being put to the torch. Luckily though, it seems that the Manx will get an ally in the form of the HRE, who are now joining the war after a peculiar settle. This splitting of forces should help Dhone get back on his feet, or at the very least allow him to catch his breath from the massive beating he's been receiving.
Gragg: Episode 20 - Everyone hates HRE. There are some scary relevant wars int there too. WIth the far flung colonies on Greenland, British Isles, Arctic, etc, HRE is almost guaranteed to lose 3 cities this war. I don’t see any way for them to make positive progress in any of these wars without a bit of ai magic. Frankfurt is the city I would be most worried about. It’s not huge but it is a mainland city that acts as a buffer to HRE’s most important cities. If it falls this war the Vikings will be a huge problem for the coastal cities of Vienna and Speyer.
Gragg: Remember when we had the three emperors of Asia stuck in eternal stalemate? Qing, Qin, and Khamugs. Well things are a little different now. There’s still a stalemate but I wouldn’t call them emperors anymore. The Khamugs are still doing good but I don’t think they’re the type of people to have emperors anyway. Qing has been waiting for their chance to pounce for so long that they might have missed it forever. At least they still have a good defensive military that could maybe take advantage of a good colation.
Gragg: Well they didn’t give any more cities away this part. But Taungoo has shown that they should be feared. Maratha is of course stronk as always and is currently friendly with India. The good news is that the city given to Kazakhs last episode is completely undefended and cut off from the rest of the Kazakhs realm, making it easy to retake. Which means, as odd as it sounds, Kazakhs are the best target right now. Otherwise Nepal continues to wait for a favorable coalition.
LRS: Taungoo’s destruction of the Sulu, surprisingly, did not grant them the privilege of being the top gainer this part. New Zealand’s Papuan purge, Palmyra’s awakening against the Turks, and even Selk’nam’s signs of life against Nazca couldn’t gain them the most ranks of the field, either. Instead, this week’s biggest success story is… Tonga? Somehow, through some mathematical miracle, Tonga has emerged from one missed opportunity in a war with Papua and a role as the third wheel in the anti-Nazca coalition to gain five spots in a field that’s more static than ever. Maybe it’s madness, maybe it’s the fall of so many former B-listers, but whatever the reason, Tonga’s future is rosier than ever, with the plucky Pacific islanders out of the cellar for the first time. There’s certainly enough opportunities available to Tonga to warrant the rank, with the war against the Nazca going surprisingly well even with the Apache’s emulation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch keeping them largely out of action.

But their most tantalizing prospect lies not among the ranks of their enemies, but instead among those of their allies. New Zealand’s been somehow keeping up with the demands near-constant war ever since they joined the Murri in seizing some Aussie cities, fielding an impressive army in stark defiance of any previous AI behavior. Tonga remains among the few civs to win a war with the suddenly feisty civ down under and a little to the left. While admittedly a long shot, and incredibly risky to boot, if Tonga wants to avoid falling prey to the same fate as Sulu and Papua, there may be few better options than an assault on Seddon.
Cloudberg: Selk'nam rises a bit as other civs fall. Our eldritch friends may actually be benefiting from the fact that only one civ can threaten them, while other mid-tier civs have to contend with multiple powerful neighbours. Xo'on Uhan-te's current war with the Nazca also goes to show that he's willing to take the extremely limited opportunities he still has, always a welcome sign from a civ whose only hope is to at least be entertaining before they die.
Shaggy: Having aided in the death of Ndongo, Benin looks to consolidate its newfound holdings and replenish its army. The upside of this is that Benin has proven to the world that it can hold its own with regard to offensive warfare. The downside is that Benin itself is now looking to be one of the tastier morsels of Africa for a larger power to gobble up. If I were a betting ranker (which I may still be), I’d say that Benin survives for a longer time than expected given its defensive nature and apparently good relationship with Zimbabwe, but nevertheless they drop one rank this week.
Gragg: Nubia spent the part sitting back after an exciting few episodes for them. Now they’re faced with a disturbing reality. They’re out of good targets. Beta is as turtely as they come, Palmyra would not end well, Benin has bulked up amazingly fast, and Songhai is a big risk. That last one might be their only real chance though. Unless something comes along and shakes up the reason this may be Nubia’s peak.
Gragg: While they did have an entertaining snipe and burn in oceania, it was a quiet part for Korea. They peaced out from the Khamugs which is something but that war seemed to be small meatgrinder anyway. Hopefully it encourages Korea to find a new target though. They have one of the largest militaries in comparison to their production so a good war is long overdue. They have small navies throughout the pacific so don’t rule out more weird snipes either.
Msurdej: India continues to bounce around the low 20s high 30s, not doing bad but not doing well. While they've secured their front with Maratha, there are still many places for Indira to go. Nishapur is a easy target, but could have repercussions for killing the Seljuqs. Parthia and Nepal both have lower militaries than Indira, which could be good if India goes to war with them. Heck, the Kazahk enclave of Patan could be India's, perhaps even the other southern cities in a blitz attack could fall. But India will need to start moving soon; their stats are average, and will need to start getting more land if they want to break into real relevance.
Thy: Well, the war with Zimbabwe ended, and a simple exchange was made: some pop in their mainland city, for the two tiles that had earlier been lost to a citadel. And, of course, both sides lost units and thus hammers, but that's a given. Whether the aforementioned exchange was worth it for the Madagascans or not, is another thing, though. But at least they kept Fihaonana, their city on the mainland, to fight war good™ when the inevitable rematch comes along. And trust me: it will be sooner rather than later, now that the first war has occurred. Inevitable ideological rifts will also only serve to divide the region, and soon it too will be engulfed by death and devastation...
Gragg: A short and much needed breather for Prussia. Sure it’s disappointing they didn’t make gains from the Vikings but they still have a good modern army and weak neighbors all around. We always talk about how dangerous stagnating can be. Prussia is coming to a point where that is especially true. If they don’t hurry and conquer Muscovy, Czechia, Turks, HRE, etc, then someone else will. Then they’ll have powerful enemies like Goths, Palmyra, Sami, Vikings to contend with who would be that much more powerful.
Gragg: Well that could’ve been a lot worse. No heavy losses were taken in the massive coalition but it was enough to knock Parthia down in the stats significantly. Picking expansion targets is infinitely more difficult with bad stats. I’m still optimistic that can do it though. Kazakhs are known to leave wide open borders so that could be an option soon. India is pretty turtley right now but so long as they’re next to Maratha they are in huge danger. Golden Horde is runty but have some good defensive terrain. In other words, Parthia is in a rough spot right now, but can still claw their way back into a decent position.
Msurdej: Holy Left turns folks! Many people seem to be turning on little ol' Nazca. Most notable of these is Selk'nam, who have finally awoken from their slumber to try and burn the Nazca down. While many of these DoW's shouldn't worry Cahuachi, he will need to deal with a good amount of naval invasions from his rivals. While Nazca's tech and army isn't bad, they must still be cautious of Uruguay as much as this current coalition.
Thy: Well, this could be going better right now. Peace with the Sulu has been made - but without any gains. Meanwhile, New Zealand continues to be hyper-aggressive, with Australia's southern coast subjected to non-stop raids. Surprise surprise, Australia needs to stop bleeding and to peace out with New Zealand. Sure, NZ won't exactly be threatening the Aussie core, but let's be real, centuries of warfare will bring devastation to any nation, eventually. A war of attrition, where nobody wins, is not exactly in Hawke's interests, no matter how much his advisers might recommend it as the way to weaken to Kiwis. A better option would be to convince the neighborhood to gank up on the Kiwis- Oh wait, NZ is already at war with most of its neighbors. Tonga probably wouldn't make much of an impact, and a Tonga declaration of war on NZ seems unlikely anyway, what with the two declaring wars together, and generally just being buddies. Yuck. It then seems, that Hawke's destiny is to just slow down NZ, until the inevitable occurs.
Shaggy: As one war ends, another begins. Venice peaced out of their war with the Turks this part for some reason. I know I was disappointed. But then they brought it back by shifting their attention to the HRE. Who needs some backwater lands that border big scary Palmyra when you can have more of the European core. OK, fine, neither position is horribly enviable, but its the situation that Venice has found itself in. Let’s just hope that they don’t let Murano shatter like so much glass.
Gragg: AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnddddd gotem.
Gragg: The two rank drop for Venezuela is due mostly to movement of civs around it. You could certainly blame inactivity as well. A bit of a rough episode for their neighbors though so their position may have actually improved a bit. Venezuela fans should be nervous about Uruguay and Iroqouis growing posturing in the Carribiean though. It’s not much right now one of the two conques Haiti, Venezuela will be in a bit of trouble.
Jman: The Qin Empire has maintained its rank of 20, but this is moreso due to dramatic power shifts than anything else. Had it been my own decision alone, the Qin would be skirting closer to 30. The Qin have failed to make any gains in any particular theatre since their early conquests against the Canton Pirates. Hong Kong has held strong and despite a massive military capable of wiping out the Cantonese entirely, the Qin have just failed to utilize it.
Gragg: The Evenks are a good example of both a great and awful civ at the same time. They’re production is top tier. They have plenty of cities and weak neighbors. But their religion and science may forever hold them down. In case you’ve forgotten their religion keeps them from having good science. To make matters worse those reindeer don’t have any practical upgrade, so the Evenks are stuck with them till they die. Luckily that’s about all they need vs some targets. Personally I’m really hoping for the reindeers hordes to swarm the Kazakhs northern holding and spread terror across the land.
Aaron: The most interesting news for Songhai this part is the Moor/Zimbabwe war, which has given the Moors a naval base further down the African coast. This is not good for Songhai. Yes, Zimbabwe is scary and Zimbabwe having a base just outside their lands isn't good either, but the Moors are closer and hence more threatening. Since the last Songhai/Moor war, where Songhai managed to just about defend their lands, losing only 2 cities, the Moors have been settling cities, building infrastructure and training the 3rd largest military in the world. Meanwhile Songhai hasn't really done much of anything. They have teched into advanced naval techs yet they do not have coal for cruisers, and even more surprisingly, evidence suggests they don't even have iron for ships of the line. Their navy is still in the enlightenment era of privateers and frigates despite these advanced techs. And because of the way units go obsolete, they can't even build any new ships - they're stuck with what they've got! A second Songhai/Moor war is certainly a scary prospect to be avoided. Hell, if Songhai really do lack iron and are therefore physically incapable of building ships then even Haiti becomes a threat to the Songhai coast. On their east border, Nubia and Benin fought it out, and either might be a viable target for expansion if Songhai can be bothered to build up some military as both nations are lacking in tech and production.
Aaron: Shikoku don't move in the rankings, but this part was pretty bad for them. First of all, they ended the war with Qing with absolutely nothing to show for it. This wasn't entirely unexpected as Qing were very well defended but it is still a waste of good soldiers. On the home front, Shikoku is the 4th civ of the cylinder to unlock industrialisation. Wait, that's a good thing isn't it? That means factories and ideology! But the problem is that in the 15 turns since discovering industrialisation, Shikoku has not built factories and therefore has not got their ideology. Apparently they just don't have coal. Not having coal is a pretty major setback - not only are factories an incredibly powerful building, but Shikoku now have to wait for modern to get the shiny ideology policies going (either that or do like New Zealand did and just buy coal off someone else). It also means they cannot get an industrial era navy, which, as a island civ, is pretty devastating to any war plans they might have. It's pretty hard to tell on the map where the nearest coal is, but Sakamoto's aim in the short term should be to find and capture it.
LRS: In an eerily peaceful Americas, it can be hard to figure out which civs you should be worried about and which civs you shouldn’t. The Haida, regrettably, belong to the former group. Their glory days, at first glance, wouldn’t appear to be behind them: statistically, they’re at the top of their game, and the big gainer on the continent since they last woke up, the Iroquois, are a power away no matter which direction you take. But, as their fellows in North America race ahead, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that they’re overmatched on the continent. Despite a punishing Apache/Metis war, Haida land forces in the region would still struggle to take even one cite from either nation, and if a peace deal is brokered they would be immediately annihilated once focused on. Asia is a better theater for them, but not by much: Korea’s beaten them in a war before, and still hold an edge over the cut-off Haida outpost of Fuzhou that marks the islanders’ only remaining foray into the region. That, paired with the monstrous production of the nearby Evenks, makes any attempt to gain land past the Qing’s northern half difficult. Faced with stalemates on either side of their empire, and ascendant empires in Shikoku and New Zealand jeopardizing their Pacific Rim strategy, the Haida are running out of time to join the ranks of the superpowers. And for once, any gambit made out of opportunism won’t save them; with neighbors like these, all Haida can really do is consume some rumps, bide their time, and hope one of them finds itself collapsing sooner rather than later.
Gragg: The razing and pillaging can’t stop won’t stop. To be fair HRE was really asking for it. I say this every week for the Vikings writeup but I’m still floored by how much success the Vikings have had with their naval/amphibious assaults. This is typically a weak area for ai’s but the Vikings have a knack for it. Who’da thunk. As it stanks our beloved berserkers stand to make gains on the isles, greenland, and are making another go at Frankfurt. They may get pushed off Ireland, at least temporarily, but the damage is done to the Manx.
Msurdej: The Goths hold at 14 this week, with a slightly smaller deviation than last week. The big things that happened was the ending of the Goth Parthian war, which ends with no borders changing. This shines a light on possible troubles for what has been a good contender. Their military is starting to weaken, and their tech is falling behind as well. Gothic Production is still in the top 16 though, and could be their saving grace if they decide to start making more units and going on the warpath.
Gragg: There were so many undefended borders for the Kazakhs it was difficult to pick just one. You might think I’ve just picked the one that makes them look bad, but if you have a chance to look through the director's cut you’ll see that It’s like that everywhere. The Kazakhs have a high military count but it’s focused where they’re currently at war. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kazakhs are the most vulnerable civ to a surprise attack. If they were to do a 180 and carpet up they have the land, production, and science to field a top tier army.
Thy: The north calms down, as Métis successfully negotiates peace with the Apache menace. Indeed, North America as a whole is peaceful, with wars mostly declared on distant European or South American civs to assert dominance. But I digress. Métis' stats have been slowly but steadily slipping, where even their former lead in city count has been surpassed, and by none other than Iroquois, their bloody rivals. Make no mistake: the Métis are still strong. But on a continent with two other strong land powers, letting your stats slip is a rather fatal mistake. The blue giant of North America ought to take steps to properly take advantage of the vast swathes of land available to it, lest being spread thin be its downfall.
Shaggy: That right there is New Zealand. Can we talk about New Zealand, please, CBR community? I’ve been dying to talk about New Zealand with you all week, OK? “Richard Seddon”, this name keeps coming up over and over again. Every part Seddon’s military is getting sent around Oceania. Richard Seddon! Richard Seddon! I look at eastern Oceania and the whole coast is New Zealand. So I say to myself “I’ve got to write about this guy! I’ve got to tell everybody about Seddon and get them all in his corner in Oceania! Otherwise he’s never going to break out of the Pacific and we’re going to keep swinging him around the rankings.” So I go down to the south Pacific and what do I find out, CBR community? What do I find out??

Well I find out that I can’t figure out how to keep the reference going. I love New Zealand right now and you should too.
Gragg: Now that the bloodshed has ended in North America everyone seems to be best buds. All they needed to do apparently was murder two civs first. Metis, Apache, and Iroquois all have open borders with each other. Aztecs and Apache even have open borders. Which is quite good for Apache. Take a look at that southern border. Sure the Aztecs likely wouldn’t conquer several Apache cities but that’s just asking for some city clips. Those are some undefended coastal cities too. Also asking for trouble given how many pacific powers there are right now. They have good stats though and with some intelligent diplomacy could still make a play at Norther American dominance.
Gragg: Sami continues to slip as they continue to have trouble breaking out of the frozen North. Despite plenty of weak neighbors, strong stats, and relevant dows, they have few conquests to their name. The terrain is to blame in my opinion. It looks likely that they will end up with the colony of Wittenburg though so that’s nice. Take every city you can conquer with terrain as difficult to traverse as that.
Gragg: This week I learned that the Palmyra vs Czechs war is the second longest active war on the cylinder. So this war with the Turks is just Palmyra cutting through to the real enemy, the Czechs. It’s going pretty well for them though as they take the former Minoan capital of Knossos. Traffic and terrain will slow down the rest of the push but Palmyra could still make gains or even eliminate the Turks if they’re stubborn enough. As a bonus they are the second happiest civ on the cylinder, so they’ll be able to keep all the conquests they want.
LRS: Remember when the Khamug core was almost comically empty? Jamukha sure doesn’t, what with a military second only to Uruguay’s despite being vastly further back science-wise and what might be perhaps the most complete carpet on the cylinder that isn’t entirely ranged units. It’d be nice if he were to actually use it, though. The Khamugs take a three rank tumble in an increasingly cutthroat top of the leaderboard, as rankers’ frustration with their seeming unwillingness to actually fight anyone reaches a boiling point. It’s not hard to fault them, what with neighbors like the Qin, Kazakhs, or Evenks that the current top khan could easily cut to ribbons if he felt any real urge to. Instead, Orcus has done nothing but sit on his throne, looking very intimidating and all but acting as terrifying and all-powerful as a three-week old kitten. It’s a real shame, too; the Khamugs finally have melee tech worth slightly more than horse turds, and cannons to boot. If they actually were to declare war on anybody, they’d probably be in third place from the word go.
Msurdej: Maratha takes a bit of a tumble this week, despite a successful attack on the Seljuq Maldives. The main reason for this is their tech/army composition. Shivaji has decided to ignore much of the melee units in favor of ranged units, while going straight down the middle of the tech three for Industrialization. While this will help them net an early ideology, other civs have already gotten there, making Shivaji less a trendsetter and more a trend follower. War wise, it seems unlikely that Maratha will go for the kill on Alp Arslan, but we've seen some crazy stuff already in this game, so who knows what can happen.
Cloudberg: The Moors' inexorable advance up the rankings continues with a new career high of 5th place. This rise comes on the heels of Abd ar-Rahman's ever increasing stats, in which he consistently rivals the other top 5 civilizations (and even surpasses some of them). His army and navy are both enormous and could easily demolish any of his neighbors. At this point we're just waiting for the Moors to wake up—maybe the wars involving their neighbors Venice, the Manx, and the HRE could provide an opening?
Gragg: I’m really glad I got this writeup. Not because I can offer insightful analysis. Not because they were exciting this part. Not because they’re easy and I can write a few sentences and call it good. It’s because y’all doubted the ‘Goo and I can say TOLD YOU SO! Taungoo has had the stats and uniques to pull this off the whole time and now they’ve happened to pick a good target. Now the ‘Goo is one of the frontrunners in Oceania in my opinion, just behind NZ. Actually above NZ but that’s a hot take for another time. Taungoo’s uniques will keep them strong for as long as they keep conquering cities. Now that they’ve broken out of their turtley starting location they could easily continue to rampage for some time.
Gragg: The lack of rank movement doesn’t reflect the rough part that Zimbabwe had. They Lost colonies to the Moors and allowed Madagascar to escape with a mainland city. Fortunately Zimbabwe’s commanding position means these are likely to be temporary or at least minor setbacks. Uruguay holding a city in the neighborhood isn’t great either now that they have flight. It’s likely to be an episode or two before we see any effects from that though. Zimbabwe still has good expansion potential in just about every direction if they spend some time bulking up. Their new cities on the west coast will allow them to build a navy to defend themselves from the Moors and Uruguay.
LRS: Another quiet part for everyone’s favorite autocrats as they lick their wounds, although given that for the Iroquois an unusually quiet part consists of settling like there’s no tomorrow, such declarations should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Really, these calmer parts are only making our current second-placers even stronger – they’re now a clear third in production, their military puts all others in North America to shame despite being a long ways away from a full carpet, and, thanks to some settling on Canada’s corpse, they now have the most cities on the cylinder, finally eclipsing their northern neighbors. With a powerful navy, an edge over all their neighbors, and a chance to finally experience the wonders of land units that can take cities, Hiawatha may be better situated than ever, especially if he keeps up his opportunistic streak. Keeping that in mind, we may have here the only civ with an actual chance at unseating Uruguay in the top spot some time before endgame. Sure, it seems ridiculous now, what with the realization of flight being an almost guaranteed coup de grace for Kuikuro, but at this point, it’s got to be about even odds between Iroquois and Uruguay for first civ to unite their continent, right?
Shaggy: Shaggy’s Top 10 Reasons He Thinks And Hopes Uruguay Won’t Win CBRX S1 aka Head Canon Potpourri
10. The Yakutia effect will curse them to bloat to massive sizes but have no motivation to go kill anybody.
9. Order shmorder, we don’t need no stinking order on the cylinder!
8. They say the sun will never set on an empire stretching the globe. I’ve got news for Uruguay, the sun never sets ANYWHERE on the cylinder and it’s a bit pretentious to put it on your flag before you’ve even conquered your continent.
7. I have a head canon where Haiti plays some significant part in a coalition against Uruguay. Almost a Hobbit-esque trek to steal a city from nowhere to put a large dent in Uruguay’s apparent plot armor. But alas, I dream.
6. Similarly, Tonga may inadvertently betray Uruguay. Oceanic civs wishing to expand east may motivate Lavalleja to send troops to defend one of his only two friends, which could open up the Uruguayan core to naval invasions. Again, dreams.
5. Uruguay winning would confirm South America is OP. Nerf South America
4. It could also force more civs into the Amazon next season. Save the Amazon!
3. We’ve been amazing at predicting winners in the past. Why should this time be any different? /s
2. Look, Uruguay has fantastic stats and a fearsome military. They’ve pulled of one of the longest distance city captures of the game, but they’ve got one thing going against them
They are too good of a bad guy to let win

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Images: 48, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01