Author: Gragg9
Published: 2020-02-03

Well here we are, another civ goes to rest, bringing us down closer to the end of the game. This the one leaving us is Montezuma, leader of the pro- OH I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!


Gragg: The non-existent civ is about to not exist even more. The Nenets have been vulnerable for a while. Most thought they would evaporate when the Kazakhs realized they were there. Instead, even the Prussian colony of Elbing is enough to cut them down to one city. The terrain is favorable enough that I don’t think Prussia will finish them off though. At least not without paratroopers. Maybe Metis could do the job?

Note: The indication of a current war with Metis may or may not be accurate. We'll find out soon enough.
Lacs: Do you think the Ottomans in Bursa even remember that Edirne exists? At this point they probably assume Prussia captured it years ago.

And that's all the material I have on the Ottomans this week. Next!
Aaron: At first glance, you might say Beta Israel had a boring part where nothing happened. However, Beta Israel has actually been part of a global ideological conflict! That's right, Beta Israel is part of a communist alliance I have decided to name "The Order of Order". And this write-up will be dedicated to this interesting faction. It started as the Grand South American alliance headed by Uruguay. Now with the advent of globalization (which most civs have by now researched) the alliance has gone cylinder-wide and every order civ in the entire cylinder is now part of it!

The Order of Order had two important things happen to it this part. You might remember a few parts ago Venezuela going Autocracy then leaving the South American alliance to team up with the Iroquois, the arch-enemy of Uruguay ? Well now Nazca has gone and done the same thing! They have abandoned Uruguay and instead taken the Iroquois as their leader! They even switched from order to autocracy! This reflects really badly on Uruguay's leadership for losing so much influence that even its direct neighbours are bailing and joining the enemy. However, I actually think this increases Uruguay's chances since they are now more likely to declare war on the Nazca who they could crush. This newly formed rival alliance of Iroquois, Venezuela and Nazca immediately set to work undermining the Order of the Order by declaring war on its weakest member - Beta Israel. Luckily for our rump, they can't actually reach them so the Order remains safe.

The second interesting thing that happened to the Order is that Qin declared war on one of its members, Palmyra. Now one thing you must understand about the Order is that its members are solidary of each other. Their bonds of friendship are strong. And Qin made the mistake of attacking the Order while being a neighbour to the 2nd biggest one... And thus the alliance has sprung into action. Every member, Uruguay, Khamugs, Venice, India, even little Selk'nam and Beta Israel, all declared war on the evil Qin. This is one of the largest conflicts on the cylinder right now; who would have thought that Beta Israel would be involved in its historical context?

Gragg's note [if you read all of this, I admire your dedication]
Aaron: This week, Nepal made peace with the Sami, Vikings, Benin and the Moors, decreasing the coalition against them substantially. Not that the coalition has any hope of getting passed the vast number of mountains and peacekeepers that protect Nepal. Another strength of Nepal is the fact they are in 3 pieces - even if a neighbour were to declare war on them, they at most border 2 of the 3 pieces of Nepal, meaning that the one remaining would almost certainly stay safe.
Cloudberg: Selk'nam suffers a major blow this week, giving away two large core cities to New Zealand in a peace treaty. Now all that Xo'on Uhan-te has left is a collection of Antarctica islands and the tip of Tierra del Fuego—not exactly a collection of land that makes for a powerful empire. That said, while Selk'nam does fall one place this part, there really isn't much farther that they can go. They now sit in 34th while last place is 38th, by far the closest to the bottom they've ever been.
Aaron: Great success! The Yup'ik are not dead! They managed to peace out with both the Metis and Haida and only had to sacrifice a few cities to do so, though unfortunately one of those cities was their capital. This does make Yup'ik officially a rump but at least they're a big Canton-sized rump instead of just a city state as some people had feared. But the big news... (airhorns sound) YES! Yup'ik have a second kill! A random landship that was peacekeeping around Tlacopani suddenly stopped peacekeeping, and just rolled into the bombed-out city to eliminate the Aztecs! That makes them the second civ of the entire cylinder to have two kills! (the Moors were first) And both kills were sneaky city snipes! It just goes to show how being a rump isn't always hiding around waiting to be killed; rumps can have fun too! They can go to war with other rumps! And they can even have success if they bring along a melee unit and a bigger friend with too many ranged units! Also check out the new civball to reflect their two highly successful snipe kills.
Shaggy: A solitary nod to Canton this week, and wouldn’t you know, it’s about a peacekeeper contingent. They’re gumming up the Haida-Yup’ik front to the point of a stalemate. I’d honestly say the either the Haida or Yup’ik could reasonably declare war on Canton just to kill off the peacekeepers and come out on top. It’s not like Canton can really retaliate right now. Also, my hot take is that Canton stays in until Endgame by employing a Seljuq strategy of just not being important enough to nom up. But until then, I can’t(on, hah) see them having much of an impact outside of these peacekeeper groups roaming around.
Gragg: Tonga is well out of the running for winner now but they’ve well overperformed initial expectations. More importantly, they’ve outlived another meme civ. Only Yup’ik, Kazakhs, Beta Israel, and Nenets until they’re the last memer standing. As far as real analysis goes, they lost 12% of their production this part but ended with a net 0 cities lost. The war with Nazca rages on and NZ and Shikoku are still massive threats. I suspect they’ll die the same episode one of those two declares.
Cloudberg: The Evenks didn't appear on screen this part, which for Bombogor is a good thing. His chances of making it to endgame depend on him sitting tight and not making any more enemies. He would have been in a much better position had he kept peacekeepers in his territory during the Shikoku invasion, but now he has to make do with what he's got, or he'll find himself slipping below Canton (which would make him officially a rump).
Cloudberg: Manx still be Manxing. Confirmed not dead. Odds on them making endgame solely by virtue of being completely ignored by the Moors and Vikings?
Gragg: For how eventful Northern Africa was in the mid-game, it sure is quiet now. Nubia wasn’t mentioned this episode and their stat gains are remarkably average. I don’t see much changing anytime soon either. No on nearby quite has the position to attack them with much success. I predict we’ll see them again in endgame, where they’ll be one of the first eliminated.
Gragg: The interesting news from Madagascar is the war with Palmyra, and assumed loss of Nizwa on the Arabian Peninsula. However, the minimap at the end of the part shows that the city somehow stays in Madagascan control. This war has lasted some time now so it’s possible it stays in Madagascar’s control. In other news is the relative lack of peacekeepers in their homeland and the coalition against Beta Israel to the North. That could turn into an opportunity to take some cities or a new threatening neighbors like Maratha.
Gragg: Welcome to this week's episode of India Nuke Watch!....No nukes fired yet. 6 nukes built. Join us at the same time, same place for India Nuke Watch!
Lonely: Question: did you even remember Parthia before clicking on this write-up in an attack of absent-mindedness? Be honest. No, right? Honestly, can’t blame you – Parthia had a brief moment in the middle of the game when they occasionally did things and were a dark horse in the Middle East, and then promptly threw those hopes onto the Hindu Kush, where they died a slow, sad death as they bled out on the mountains which inhibited the Golden Horde and Seljuqs for so long. Now, Parthia’s found themselves doomed to a profoundly mid-tier existence, doing just enough to get by and maybe skid into Endgame by the seat of their pants, but not enough to where any of the wolves around them take notice. Take, for instance, their policy regarding India – conventional wisdom would hold that they salt their fields, pillage their houses, and generally make life as miserable for them as possible before annexing them into their empire. However, even a wildly successful attack on Indira wouldn’t keep them from being snapped over Gothic or Palmyrene knees when the Grim Reapers around them inevitably take notice of what’s going on; not to mention Maratha, who’d find themselves with a newly appetizing target on their front doorstep. The most fun option for Parthia, without a doubt, is a charge at one of their neighbors, suicide run or otherwise. The most viable option for them is to sit out the rest of the game and see if they can continue hovering just under the radar. Given that it’s an AI we’re talking about, they’ll probably manage to combine the worst of both options.
Shaggy: Big part for Prussia with one of the most mentions and slides about them that I can remember in the CBRX. War with Palmyra, war with the Goths, war with New Zealand (I think), war with Zimbabwe, and war with the imaginary ice monsters of the north. I won’t do a full recap because that would basically just be the part, but here’s some one-by-one analysis: War with Palmyra ended in a peace deal with not much in the way of city flips other than the juggling of Ostrava, but overall a minor victory for Prussia as far as the city differential goes. War with the Goths is ongoing with some potential for both sides, I think Prussia has a good shot at taking a few more cities off of the Goths, but for some reason it doesn’t seem like they are using their production to really pump out relevant units. War with New Zealand is something I would have missed if there wasn’t a shot of Prussian units getting bombed by them this part, ho hum. War with Zimbabwe will ideally open up some naval territory for civs to move units through, both of these civs are notorious unit polluters of the sea, but other than that I really don’t think any gains will be made by either side. Also apparently Prussia was afraid of the cylinder’s version of the arctic, maybe use those units against the Goths? Please? They definitely are a better target than the Nenets, even if you are capping cities...
Lacs: Wowsers, bad week to be called Geronimo. Losing out on a simple kill and an easy city, to a rump state that most Aztec citizens couldn't even point to on a map? Just another episode for the perilous plains-walkers. It hasn't been a good game for them, has it? In fact, you could say it's been... a patchy one. Ha ha ha. Hee hee hee. Hoo hoo hoo. He he he. Ho ho ho. Haa haa haa. Haheehehohoohahehoohee.
Cloudberg: As much as I'd like to exhort Venice to do something already, I have to take a moment to admit that Enrico Dandolo has gotten farther than most of us thought he would. Venice's AI is so stereo-typically bad that I don't know how many people would have predicted that Venice would still be a mid-sized civ by the future era, let alone that they would control three capitals and have a perfect record (never lost a city). So I will thank Venice for its contribution, and here's to another few hundred turns of slow and steady expansion.
Msurdej: Ewuare goes to war! Benin goes on the war path, hoping to blaze a trail eastward and crush Beta Israel. However, that's easier sa- wait whats this? That all happened last PR? And Benin did absolutely nothing this part? Then why did they go up 3 ranks?! Sure their production and tech is doing better than others in the low 20's, but that shouldn't equal a sizeable rank jump at this part in the game. What else could be hidden under all those defensive mazes that make Benin so strong?
Gragg: Good news: By percent, Nazca had the 3rd biggest increase in production last episode. Bad news: Venezuela had the 2nd biggest increase in production. (Zimbabwe had the biggest). Venezuela has gotten very aggressive with it’s citadels, but only holds a slight lead if the two were to come to blows soon. I don’t see either coming out of a war in good shape though. Best to tolerate eachother for now.
Aaron: As predicted, the war against Yup'ik went well, and Haida have picked up their first foreign capital! But despite this victory, it was less impressive than we were expecting. We were expecting the annihilation of the Yup'ik! Instead Haida only picked up 3 cities, which is not really sufficient to fight off other North American powers like the Metis or other Pacific powers like Shikoku. Thus they lose a rank despite winning a war and conquering territory.
Lonely: The Goths and the Prussians are at war. In related news, the sky is blue, two plus two equals four, and cars have wheels. But on this particular episode of hostilities, things have gotten a little bit more exciting, as cities flip left and right as the two armies alternate between deftly avoiding peacekeepers and slamming right into them. The good news for the Goths: for the most part, it isn’t their cities that are being flipped, and they have both the stats and the position to slowly overwhelm their neighbors and drive them back to the Viking lands which they oh-so-recently pushed into. The bad news: It’s taking everything they have to just do that. The Goths have never had good positioning, wedged between the powers of Europe and the mighty Kazakhs, and with a tantalizing assortment of cities ripe for the picking and a bad recent track record when it comes to maintaining relations with the nations around them, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if the Sami or Kazakhs decide to take a bite out of their monochromatic neighbors. Best to end this war quickly, then, before the sleeping giants can have so much as a chance to wake up.
Shaggy: The kiwis have almost completed their extermination of the eldritch horrors of the Fuego. And most of it was just gifted to them! They also declared war and subsequently peace with Prussia, mostly for diplomatic points with the rest of the cylinder probably, you know, to offset the penalties for bitch-slapping the Selk’nam back into their Tierra. I’m anticipating some more fireworks in South America when the Guay turns their sights towards New Zealand. Keep a watch on them…
Gragg: Stats time! Qin ended the part down 188k troops, 15% of their military. Khamugs ended lost 20k, 2% of their military. While there have been no net city losses yet I’d give round one to this war to the Khamugs. Especially when you consider the fact that the Qin have other neighbors to worry about, a much lower production, and an incredibly vulnerable capital. Qin needs out of this war asap before the nukes start flying.
Gragg: Palmyra finally got into some relevant wars! And they did not go as planned…. They ended the part with a net loss of 1 city. I do expect Palmyra to eventually take Nizwa from Madagascar though. Despite the rough part the ranking doesn't change, mostly due to the large rank loss from QIn overshadowing any potential rank change for Palmyra.
Lonely: Another day, another part of flying beneath Uruguay’s notice and taking only what the superpower to the south lets them have. Venezuela will exist in their present state only so long as Uruguay doesn’t decide that they’d look better ripped to shreds than they do as one piece, but so long as they continue to act as mindful of their ultimate fate as they currently are, then they’ll find themselves as well-positioned for Endgame as anyone. Hell, they might not even need to wait for Endgame – every part Uruguay spends doing nothing is a part Venezuela can use to bulk up for the war to come, and with the Blue Blob right at the end of the tech tree, it’ll only get easier to hold off the southerners from here. Especially if the Venezuelans take their aggression against the Nazca to the next level: there’s a lot of space there that isn’t being used by either side, and, quite frankly, if Cahuachi didn’t want to be glorified cannon fodder, then he should have done more than just mill about early in the game.
Msurdej: The kahmugs move against the Qin, and while their been no decisive territory change so far, things are looking good for Jamuhka. He lost less troops than Ying Zheng, and still has a larger production base. Sure, the Qin still have the larger force, but if Jamukha can make a beeline for Xianyang or Yongcheng, they'll do serious damage to the Qin infrastructure. And of course, they still have the nukes advantage, if only slightly, which could be useful for clearing out the extra Qin troops.
Lacs: Shivaji has been one of the few world leaders to have braved the tide of peacekeepers and engaged in conflict in this new era of stalemates, and for that I have to give kudos, especially given their track record for most of the game was as the perennial sleeping bear to India and Nepal's lucky sardines. Their newest target is Beta Israel, and while it may seem a strange target, the two Arabian Sea cities that Gudit still controls are within reach of the Marathi navy, and they could prove to be useful airbases in a potential all-out war with India. So how are they doing? Er... well, Shire, a one tile island that Maratha had a number of high level ships blockading at the start of this war, is still at full HP. Back to the drawing board, Shivaji.
Msurdej: Man, the Australians have been dropping the ball. While their army is now the second largest in the cylinder, their not doing anything with it! New Zealand has been weakened, Maratha has been occupied, and the Taungoo are equally sleepy. Hawke has been slacking off, letting any chance of getting to the mainland slip away. And it seems doubtful that Australia will do anything to change their ways.
Cloudberg: The Sami are back into the top 10 after three parts in 11th place. At the moment, Eadni could probably coast into Endgame on what she already has and still be in a decent position, but that would be boring. I'd love it if the Sami made some big play and absorbed a chunk of one of their neighbours, but I wouldn't count on everyone's favorite grandma getting up from her couch and making it happen.
Aaron: This week, the Metis make peace with the Yup'ik with no additional cities captured. The war went well and they managed to recapture all the cities they stupidly lost all those centuries ago, but I think they could have got more out of it, especially with Haida joining in. But no matter, a victory is a victory. Despite the peace, the Metis continue to pump out vast amounts of military and increase their lead over other civs. This is despite having far lower production and tech than other civs - it seems other civs aren't really trying all that hard, though maybe that's for the best as there are already far too many peacekeepers on the cylinder. The question remains as to why the Metis are building up so many troops? Who are they planning on attacking? The Iroquois have finally built defences on their border with the Metis and with the additional wonders now have 5 times the Metis production - that route is definitely out. They just stopped a war with Yup'ik. They are allied with Haida including open borders. So that leaves the Apache? It's either that or they're planning an irrelevant war with someone they can't reach like Zimbabwe.
Lonely: You want to become as big as the Sami? You have to accept all the side-effects that come with it, which, evidently, include sleepiness that could put a narcoleptic to shame. One of the most exciting things to come out of Europe as late has taken a more supporting role in recent history, preferring to let major conflicts like the Prussian wars sort themselves out without outside influence. Why, outside of pure apathy, is unclear, but it’s certainly not doing the Vikings any favors. The whole reason they rose to prominence in the first place was because they were uncommonly opportunistic, taking advantages where they could find them and rising from midtier also-ran to the preeminent power in Europe in a few short wars. Swap out Europe for Asia, and you’ll end up with the story of their long-lost Pacific twins, the Shikoku. Shikoku are a superpower now, a bona fide contender for pole position entering Endgame. The Vikings are fast seeing their chances at making a similar dent fall by the wayside. The difference between them? Shikoku kept on the throttle once they pulled level with their neighbors. The Vikings haven’t, and that’s made all the difference.
Shaggy: Our sole shot of the Moops this part is yet another echo in the chorus of “GET YOUR DAMN PEACEKEEPERS OUT OF MY BORDERS” that I had been worried about in my last Moops writeup. It’s gotten worse since then, with more Qin units being flung into western Europe along with a couple Gothic paratroopers and a Taungoo unit or two. To be fair, the Moops’ main driving force in Europe will always be their navy, so it isn’t a death sentence to obscurity, and they still have some presence in Africa. But still, they have the smallest military of the top 10 and are only bigger than Palmyra’s military in the top 15. They definitely have the production to catch up, but those units would probably get flung into the Atlantic, relegated to sailing around picking fights with other exiled militaries.
Gragg: Kazakhs continue to slowly bulk up this part. This particular screenshot doesn’t support that, but the stats show gradual improvements in production and military. They are currently sitting at 7th in both of those stats. They are particularly harmed by peacekeepers though due to their hollow core. But then again, with endgame around the corner, perhaps the game has become more about bulking up than conquering cities?
Gragg: Another bulking part as Taungoo rises to 4th in both production and military while remaining 1st in cities. All the while Maratha, Qin, and Khamugs get drawn into conflicts. This would be a really great time to strike to the North and a bad time to strike South. So I think we all know what’s going to happen here.
Gragg: When I first joined the PR's I made some waves by ranking Shikoku in the 40's. That will forever be my coldest take. They have made great conquests and continue to have more opportunities near them. They are relatively unaffected by peacekeepers and stand to gain a strong starting position in endgame. They might
Lacs: Zimbabwe keep third place, as Australia's military overtakes them in size, robbing them of their role as the largest contributor to the United Peacekeeping Forces outside of the Americas. That's a little bit of a red herring though, as Mutota did actually considerably swell his ranks (ooer) this week, widening the gap between the barmy khakis and closer competitors like Uruguay and Taungoo. They're also the first civ to crack 2 billion population, and preserve their exceptional production as a result. To a s c e n d through the ranks might only take one war; wipe out Benin, and Zimbabwe's closest mainland competitor in Endgame will be Nubia. Combine that with their stats, and they've a clear shot at finishing the first stage of this game as favourites.
Aaron: Despite completing the tech tree last week, Uruguay, for whatever reason, did not build any of the 6 hyper-structure wonders at the end of the tech tree. Instead, they did nothing and now this part, the Iroquois have joined Uruguay in completing the tech tree. And the Iroquois, unlike Uruguay, DID build the hyper-structure wonders at the end of the tech tree. The consequence of this is that Iroquois stats have been massively boosted ahead of Uruguay and have thus overtaken them in the power rankings. This is a huge surprise to me because last week I was expecting Uruguay to build those wonders (they did, after all, have the techs for about 40 turns longer than the Iroquois) and therefore for Uruguay stats to get massively boosted above the Iroquois. That didn't happen. What is more, by completing the tech tree, the Iroquois have cancelled out the big tech advantage Uruguay had over them. Now the only advantage Uruguay has over the Iroquois is Skynet (which is still good). So why did Uruguay not build any hyper-structures? Well my only hypothesis is that hyper-structures require 6 nanomaterials, and so it is possible that Uruguay does not have enough nanomaterials to spare to build them? All the advanced future units (except biotroopers) require nanomaterials and Uruguay does have a lot of them, so perhaps the reason Uruguay missed out on hyper-structures is that they over-invested in their army and has nothing left to spare for wonders? Considering the Iroquois' lack of investment in their own army, this is a plausible hypothesis.
Gragg: As expected the Iroquois spend the part bulking up and recovering from the war with Uruguay and Apache from a couple episodes ago. Unexpectedly, most of the bulking is in production instead of military. Despite already being 1st in production, the ‘Quois increased their production a further 50%, but hardly added any new military. This leaves them at 13th in military and 1st in production. But they don’t exactly need an army right now with their great wall of peacekeepers.

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