Published: 2020-01-27

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Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's


Images: 50, author: Admiral_Cloudberg, published: 2020-01-06

Shaggy: The lowest the Seljuqs ever got in the Power Rankings was 55 in part 11. That means that this feisty little rump improved its final ranking overall by 15 by basically just playing hide and seek and outliving other civs! Speaking of civs that the Seljuqs beat out, starting at the rank 55 basement they end up higher than Canada (the other hide and seek competitor), Poverty Point (rumps gonna rump), Ndongo (Ndamn!), Sulu (who needs science when you can hide?), Songhai (for context, they were rank 8 in part 11), Murri (rumps gonna rump again), Papua (I’m seeing a trend in Oceania here), Czechia (moar rump), Kuikuro (walls < sneak), Korea and Qing (Seljuqs just did the exile thing better), Haiti (F), and the HRE (see my OC on the sub!). That’s just nuts. Alp, you definitely surpassed my expectations. F
Aaron: Now that the Seljuqs are dead, the Aztecs take over the role of the lowest stated most screwed civ on the cylinder. Though I doubt they will keep their position for anywhere near as long as the Seljuqs did before them. They are in the black and only kept alive thanks to an Australian power armour peacekeeper camping out in the city. They will likely die next part.
Technostar: Somehow, the Turks still control two cities. Venice has been attacking them for over 130 turns now to no avail. Peacekeepers are simply too strong. But, all good things must come to an end. The Turks have no staying power without peacekeepers, so once they leave, it'll be time to say goodbye.
Bors: Well, my idea that Elbing could potentially overpower Tarko Sale has, rather predictably, not actually happened. And you know what that means: they’ve kept up the status quo! Nenet citizens can be heard in the streets celebrating the continuation of the status quo.
Cloudberg: Beta Israel, already rumpified by Zimbabwe, is getting further rumpified by Piye of all people. The Nubian invaders now have tech that renders Beta Israel's mountain stronghold obsolete, and they've already taken Enfraz with little hope of recapture. Beta Israel's temporary capital of Dabat is also taking damage, although peacekeepers may prevent Nubia from capturing it. Either way, when you've only got four cities, losing one is bad news—and it's especially bad news if you lose it to Nubia.
Cloudberg: Nepal takes a hit this episode as Maratha captures one city and nabs another in the peace treaty. That leaves Nepal with only three cities, one of which is not even connected to the other two. Nepal was already unofficially a rump, but I think this makes it official. As for the Nepalese city that's been bombed to black for ages—I'm pretty sure the Kazakhs are responsible for that. Just putting the word out there.
Cloudberg: Well, Yup'ik is fucked. With the declaration of war from Haida, any reprieve they might have gotten due to peacekeepers in the Metis war is rendered nil. Apaanugpak is starting the war off swinging, damaging several Haida cities, but it won't be long before his navy is put on the defensive due to the sheer number Haida ships waiting to come and fill the gaps. As this is a primarily naval war, there won't be any peacekeepers to protect him, and Haida's superior size and production should quickly overwhelm the icy boys.
Bors: Selk’nam is probably the lowest ranked civ that has a way to actually rise in the ranks. As of right now, New Zealand’s conquests in South America are unsecured, if Selk’nam took a chance to rebuild a navy and attack at the opportune moment, they could conceivably take at least a few cities. I would argue that no other civ in the thirties has as good of a chance to rise in the rankings, and yet their proximity to Uruguay and weak stats keep them anchored down to the bottom of our PR.
Lonely: The sneakiest effect of longer parts – decreased rump survivability. Seriously, think about it. How many actual, full-fledged civs have died since the parts ballooned in size? Not many, right? And how many rumps have bitten in since then? Exactly. This, as a result, makes our lives as power rankers a mite more difficult. It’s hard to rank the bottom quarter of the field when eight or nine civs are essentially in a tie at the bottom, and for nobody does this have a greater effect than Canton. On the face of it, they’d seem to be doing pretty well for what they are, thirty-second place with a good carpet, adequate tech, and enough military might to not die immediately to a squad of rabid peacekeepers. But thirty to forty turns is a long time, and a war against Qin or Taungoo has always been an existential threat. Are they stronger than, say, the Turks? Hell yeah. But the growing gap between the top flight and the bottom tiers means that, really, in terms of the game as a whole, any difference between them and a backwater city-state is miniscule at largest. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Canton in Endgame. But it shouldn’t come as a shock if you’re reading a eulogy for them this time next week.
Msurdej: Is it Tonga Time? I think its Tonga Time
And it seems Tonga Time just got an extension as the Nazca fail to maintain their grip on 'Uiha. But make no mistake, this is not the beginning of a Tongan comeback. Siaosi's military is falling into the low 100,00s, and their production is now lower than beta Israel. They may not die not outirght, but Tonga has been crippled for too long, and will fall. Maybe not next part, maybe not before Endgame, but soon Tonga, your time will come.
Lonely: Not being at war feels nice, doesn’t it? I know it looks like the Evenks were just blitzed out of relevancy, but that’s only thanks to the extended parts. For Bombogor, the Shikoku-Kazakh war was probably more like being pinned under a rock in the Arctic and slowly, surely succumbing to frostbite, then in an act of desperation cutting off your own arm for a chance to live another day. Of course, you’re still in the Arctic, you’re still cold as shit, nothing edible lives here, and any old polar bear (Khamugs, Kazakhs) could claw through your fur coat (Madagascar) at any moment and put you in a coffin, but at least now there’s a chance that you’ll, by some lucky twist of fate, blunder your way back to civilization and collapse in a nice, warm bed with half the body mass you started out with. Really, it’s a shame that this was how it turned out for the Evenks, but I suppose it made some amount of sense. The Evenks needed to get on to superpower tier to really have a fighting chance not to be part of someone else’s story, and, unlike Shikoku, they just couldn’t make the leap from mid-tier to power, and in the end it really cost them.
Cloudberg: Manx status: somehow still not dead! Illiam Dhone is playing the waiting game. Last long enough without pissing off the Vikings or the Moors, and he might just make it to endgame—and then his real plan will kick into action!
Cloudberg: Nubia captures a city for the first time in a while, but the power rankers won't reward this with a rank increase. After all, Nubia remains in a precarious position. They have the worst tech of any civ that isn't a rump, and most of their neighbours (with the exception of Beta Israel) are much more powerful than them. Their lands aren't choked with peacekeepers, but the units that they have in place of them don't inspire much confidence. I'd probably rank Nubia higher if they were full of peacekeepers, because it would make it easier for them to survive until Endgame.
Aaron: Absolutely nothing happened to Madagascar this part and so their ranking stays the same. At the moment there is really only 1 target for expansion: Beta Israel, who have 2 cities within reach, and that really isn't enough. An they can't do it right now because they have negative happiness for some reason, but I assume that is easily fixable at this stage of the game. The second most powerful neighbour, India, now has nukes and higher production than Madagascar so is no longer a good target. What about their peacekeepers covering the cylinder? Well they're starting to get really outdated and woul struggle with even taking down city defences even if their enemy had 0 troops. The only thing Madagascar can do is try to survive till endgame when they will get a second shot at colonising Africa.
Lonely: The watchers of the CBRX are a bloodthirsty lot – this should come as no surprise, given that you probably fit both descriptors what with your taking the time to read this. So it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that midtier civs like India have been near-completely ignored the entire game. Outside of a hilariously futile war with Nepal and the establishment of a retirement home in Oman, Indira’s done nothing in the past, oh, twenty or so parts, and while she’s loitered her chances of ever amounting to anything have gone from low to nil. Nepal was always a suspect expansion opportunity at best, and now she doesn’t have a prayer of even reaching their final outposts. Parthia could have, perhaps, been offed by her earlier, but the two civs are so evenly matched as to be identical, and progress would be slow at best. And finally, there’s Maratha, a good option if Indira wants a prolonged, torturous death due to the superior Indian civ’s crippling meleeitis. India’s lazed about through the early game, they’ve lazed about through the mid game, and now, as things reach a climax, they’ve maneuvered themselves to the point where lazing about is their only option. Either that, or they could go down with a bang, starting the age of nuclear warfare due to boredom and a psychotic break. It’s up to Indira whether she wants to be remembered as an agent of chaos or not remembered at all.
Msurdej: Another part, another boring Parthia. Evrythnig Gragg said last week still applies here; India is the best option to attack, but its still probably a bad idea (though not as bad as attacking Palmyra or The Kazahks). The only thing that's changed is the lack of Seljuqs, which may be the harbinger of Palmyra awakening for more blood. And to Zenobia, Mithridates is just one large, bloody, steak.
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 said than done. Much of BI has already been pulled apart by Zimbabwe and Nubia, leaving very little, if anything, for Benin. Statwise though, Benin still struggles with low troop count, due in large part to the peacekeepers running around in their maze like people lost in a corn maze.
Technostar: Inviting an obscene amount of peacekeepers into their was a brilliant move on the part of the Apache. After all, it saved them from a near-fatal Iroquois invasion. But the best strategies often inspire copycats, and the Aztecs happen to be one such copycat. The Apache have been trying to capture Tlacopan for the whole part to no avail thanks to some well-placed peacekeeping forces, although their air and artillery strikes have kept the city at the point where a single unit could take it out.
Aaron: Venice drop below fellow Europeans Prussia. Prussia and Venice are statistically approximately equal, with Venice having a slight lead in production and land but Prussia having better science, tech and military. Both are also in approximately the same situation with scary neighbours to worry about: Prussia have the Vikings and Sami (and possibly the Goths though they are less scary) while Venice has the Moors (and possibly Palmyra). And of these neighbours, the Moors are by far the scariest, and they are getting scarier every part as they continue to bulk up their stats. They currently have 6 times Venice's production! That is insane! That is about the same as the difference between Palmyra and Beta Israel! Or the difference between Tonga and New Zealand! Or the difference between Shikoku and the Evenks! What is more, despite about half the land (both Moorish and Venecian) being covered by peacekeepers, the sea is not: the sea contains a full carpet of old outdated Moorish destroyers, standing off against a Venecian carpet of... frigates... Yeah, I did call the Moorish navy outdated but the Venecian one is positively ancient by comparison! Palmyra are less scary, more on the level of the Goths, so Venice could probably hold them off, maybe losing a city, in the same way that Prussia held off the Goths (though they would still need better ships than frigates). Fortunately for Venice, one neighbour who isn't scary is Nubia. That is one (non-rump) neighbour that Venice can defeat, something Prussia does not have, and personally this expansion opportunity is the only reason that I rate Venice above Prussia, though others disagree. It is true that that Venice is acting completely uninterested in this good expansion opportunity so it's not that relevant, but at least the Moors also appear completely uninterested in their good expansion opportunity.
Shaggy: Lots of mentions but not much action this part for Nazca. Their war with Tonga is more or less a stalemate, with neither civ really seeming to be trying. I think CB was very correct in their characterization that Nazca is the new containing wall for Uruguay. They’ll get rolled if Uruguay ever actually commits to conquest, but they don’t have the best track record on that. Nazca feels safe for now, and possibly through til Endgame…
Cloudberg: The Goths rise back into the teens after two parts sitting in 20th. I would largely put this down to a shot we got of the northern part of their empire that showed a carpet of solidly Gothic units, in contrast to previous episodes that had given us the impression that their lands were mostly filled with peacekeepers. This puts Alaric in a good position as Endgame approaches, but we'll have to see what moves he makes—if any—over the next few episodes.
Lonely: To arms! The Haida, evidently deciding that the Yup’ik were not already fucked enough with just the Métis to contend with, have declared war on their sorry cyan neighbors, and look set to reap the rewards of surrounding a civ and slowly choking the life out of them for years. Of course, they have to survive the Yup’ik’s initial salvo first, which shouldn’t be too difficult considering that it’s, well, the Yup’ik. Beginning to think they wouldn’t be able to war their way out of a paper bag, at this point. Still, for Haida, what really matters is what the other bun in their impromptu burger does. If the Métis loiter around a little, the Haida could stand to make massive gains of the conquering of the good Boreal Bros. If the Métis charge through the Yup’ik like the top tier they so desperately want to be? Suddenly the Haida will find themselves without any expansion opportunities, and just biding the time until either Endgame or the grim reaper hits.
Aaron: New Zealand is still only 60% as powerful as Australia and their rank doesn't change. Their best option at the moment is to finish off Tonga so that they can maybe have a chance at taking on Australia. The expedition against Selk'nam has been fun, but with the rest of Selk'nam's cities safe on the wrong coast, they should make peace now. Besides, those South American cities are at severe risk of Uruguay so best not invest too much in them. New Zealand's other scary neighbour, the Great Power of Taungoo, is continuing to bulk up and is looking scarier and scarier every turn as they turn their many crappy cities into production centers. In other Pacific news, Shikoku has just been promoted to the 6th Great Power of the Cylinder. Is this bad news because it's another civ that New Zealand has to worry about? Or is it good news because Taungoo finally has a rival capable of distracting it away from profitable southern conquests?
Lonely: In a just world, we’d be hailing Venezuela as an ascendant power. They’ve got the stats to match, border the continually collapsing Apache, and have taken advantage of almost every chance they’ve gotten since waking up. Place them in Europe, or Asia, or even the Middle East, and they’d probably have already blossomed into a full-fledged force by now. But then, they aren’t in Asia, aren’t they? No, they’re in South America, and being in South America means that the grim reaper isn’t just some abstract notion of death. No, for the few South American civs left, Uruguay is their roommate, and at any moment Venezuela could find themselves turned into a minor key reprise of Songhai. It’s the same problem Ethiopia faced last Royale – to have a chance at survival, they need to grow bigger… but to grow bigger, they’ll have to incur warmonger penalties which put them out of their scary southern neighbor’s good graces. Ethiopia got around this by declaring joint wars with their nemesis before eventually forming a coalition to stop them… then immediately got squished like a bug under their superior’s heel. Time will tell if Venezuela can do any better.
Lonely: To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Palmyra’s seeming indifference to war continues to cost them, as they slide down another spot as they continue to just lay back and watch their neighbors eclipse them. (Well, they did go after the Seljuqs, but, like, the Seljuqs. They’re hardly even a city-state.) Really, if Palmyra were anywhere other than the Middle East, they’d probably have swan dived out of the top twenty by now. The only advantage Palmyra has over literally anybody else is that they have zero existential threats, unlike similarly powerful civs like the Goths or Haida who’ve long since exhausted their supply of easy kills. Should Palmyra ever decide to declare war, they’d almost certainly win. That’s probably the only reason why they haven’t Qinned themselves to rankings oblivion, though. Their stats, once on par with the superpowers of the world, are now firmly lackluster, and against anybody who isn’t a futureless rump it’s an open question whether they’d immediately crumble or not. Zenobia’s days as an all-conquering force in the Middle East are long gone. Palmyra’s new strategy, by the looks of it, appears to just be to scrape along until Endgame hits and they can make the seas run red with blood. A sound strategy, but they could be doing so much more.
Shaggy: I think I’m going to blame the Khamugs, at least partially, for the peacekeeper plague after reading this part. They’ve got sleepy bois just fucking everywhere in Asia. At least they helped facilitate the overdue death of the Seljuqs by getting Palmyra off their asses, but the Khamugs still, STILL, haven’t been able to to anything significant other than getting big. Is it too early to call them the Metis of Asia?
Aaron: Great success! Maratha has captured 1 city and gained another in a peace deal! That's a net gain of 2 and they gain 1 rank for each! Progress is extremely slow for Maratha, but at least it does eventually happen. Throughout the CBRX, many other civs have made progress faster and thus overtaken Maratha, but not this part, this part it's Maratha making gains as everyone else sleeps. Maratha's newest strategy is to invest heavily in science (perhaps copying Shikoku?). They are already technologically dominant over neighbour Taungoo (who were too obese to research anything properly) but more excitingly they will soon overtake Zimbabwe! Now whilst a high tech level can allow you to dominate lesser civs (see Uruguay vs Iroquois or Shikoku vs anyone), Maratha still doesn't have enough really to be relevant before the end of the tech tree. At that point production will be the most important stat and Maratha are lacking in it, due to centuries of failing to make gains. The solution: conquer some stuff! The two best options are Madagascar and India. Both have nukes but not many so it would be wise to strike now before they build too many of them.
Technostar: The Qin are not a bad civilization. They've got good stats, a potent military, and a history of competence in warfare. Unfortunately, all their neighbors, save for the miniscule Canton presence on the coast and an impassable border with Nepal, are at minimum an even matchup. While the Qin have a strong carpet of their own, a lack of peacekeepers is actually a disadvantage here. Thanks to their inferior production, I doubt the Qin could actually sustain an offensive into any neighbor of theirs, whereas their own territories would become vulnerable once some of their units are killed off. As a consequence, while other nations are protected from the fires of war by the efforts of others, a Qin conflict, especially against Shikoku or Taungoo, would be far bloodier.
Technostar: It's easy to forget that the Sami exist these days. Back in the day, Eadni would frequently raid her neighbors for valuable fuel, lighting cities on fire left and right. But now that electric ovens have proven more effective, aside from killing off the last Muscovite holdout, the Sami have proven incredibly inactive. That being said, they are still buoyed by sheer statistical might, as while only a small portion of their land is from conquest, they have plenty that they settled.
Msurdej: If last part was the second best time to attack New Zealand, then this would have been the third best time. But still Hawke continues to delay, letting Seddon continue to build up his forces and get the former Tongan cities online. And the Taungoo continue to bolster their forces, and even the Maratha are improving. And while the stats still are good for Aussie, Parkes will tell you that good stats won't matter if you can't break out into the mainland.
Msurdej: So folks I'm puzzled. The Metis made gains on the floundering Yup'ik, albeit a single city. That war will only get better for Riel as the Haida get in on the war. They also manage to keep the cylinder's largest army. But here we are, the Metis down a rank. Ranker deviation for the Metis was high (just outside the top 5), so we might see Riel bounce back up in the ranknigs next week, especially if they take more cities from teh Yup'ik.
Shaggy: I’m calling it here, the Vikings are going to go ham on Prussia next part. You don’t citadel spam a top 10 civ and get away with it! In all seriousness, the Vikings can definitely do some damage to the coastal Prussian cities with their massive navy. I only really see air units stationed in Stettin, so if Ragnar can get his units through the bottleneck past Speyer then he can get some nice swings in on Prussia (that it definitely deserves).
Shaggy: Only one mention of the Moops this week, and guess what its about. You’re right, peacekeepers. Qin have started filling Moopish lands, effectively filling their European holdings. Any hopes of the Moops taking over the Manx are also more or less dashed when it becomes apparent that most of their units in and around Europe are ranged… Oh well, at least they’re still competitive in Africa. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Moops will have another major breakout moment like they did in the conquest of Songhai, they definitely have the production for it. Interestingly, they have taken the top spot for ranker deviation with ranks as low as 15 and as high as 3! We can agree that they’re doing relatively well, but how well is up in the air. I think they deserve being in the bottom of the top 10 (I actually did rank them 7th) as they definitely can take a few cities off just about any of their neighbors and, if they wanted, could probably control the Mediterranean in a few parts. The Venetians have enough of a naval carpet that the only peacekeepers in the Mediterranean are land-based. That being said, the peacekeeper issue is enough that I don’t see the Moops eliminating anybody before Endgame.
Technostar: The Kazakhs continue to maintain a high degree of sheer statistical might, but as their lands are mostly filled with peacekeepers, their actual relevance suffers. Consequently, their war with the Evenks was barely much of a war at all, leaving Shikoku with the lion's share. The Kazakhs certainly have the stats and land to exert a lot of might, but a peacekeeper-laden carpet is of no help if they actually wish to expand.

Also, the Kazakhs actually have a few ships now. All those centuries of naval research weren't for naught!
Bors: From parts 20-24, Taungoo had us fooled that they were an active and competent nation on the rise. Since then, they’ve essentially sat idly by and watched as their neighbors have made gains. The Qin and Maratha, previously the butt of many jokes due to their inactivity, have sprung into activity over the last few parts, With numerous city gains and an impressive military growth. Now, Taungoo is running out of weaker neighbors that could be blown over with ease. Their saving grace is a strong navy, especially in an era where peacekeepers draw out wars on land. Both the canton pirates and New Zealand (provided they don’t get a chance to rebuild) would make for easy targets, all Bayinnaung needs to do is to stop sitting on his ass and put his carpets to work!
Technostar: Innovation is exciting. Any Shikoku resident should be well-familiar with this principle, given the nation's ever-present technological prowess. And what's more exciting than pure innovation? Innovation that leads to conquest. In this case, it's an important tactical innovation: If you funnel troops into an area fast enough, you can conquer cities before the peacekeepers show up. That principle guided Shikoku's conquest of the Evenks, which helped them gain 4 cities and was perhaps the best display of tactical competence of any civ since the rise of peacekeepers. Throw in an advantageous position with many weaker neighbors not overrun by peacekeepers as well as overall strong stats, and Shikoku easily deserves the +2 boost to rank they got this week.
Cloudberg: Zimbabwe falls back to third as the power rankers grow disillusioned with their lack of action. We're over here poking them with a stick and yelling, "Do something!" And Zimbabwe is content to let its peacekeepers keep keeping the peace. There are quite a few civs that could be totally wrecked if Zimbabwe attacked them, but we're starting to lose hope that Nyatsimba Mutota will actually wake up and do it. Not to mention the fact that Zimbabwe is losing its edge in the stats, falling behind Shikoku in a number of key areas.
Lonely: Ah, so this is how it feels to be an Uruguay. Rather nice, actually. Lavalleja may have a stranglehold on the tech lead, but it’s looking more and more like Hiawatha’s going to come out of the bloody battlefield behind him in second, what with the, oh, eight thousand effective science and all. Couple that with his frankly rather insane production (five figures!), and a skimming of the InfoAddicts might convince one that the Iroquois were the unstoppable force primed to tear through the cylinder, not the Guay. But there’s more to the CBRX than just the facts and figures, and while the Iroquois might be a juggernaut on paper, they still have a lot of ground to make up in practice, with a weak military, a bad case of peacekeeperitis, and surprisingly resilient neighbors all potentially thwarting any future attempts to get North America under their control for good. Still, they’re hardly past their prime: if they do eventually break through the gridlock and leave one of their neighbors even more crippled than the poor Apache were, then the top spot will be a foregone (and entirely deserved) conclusion.
Lonely: Hey, Uruguay. Hey, hey. Want some advice? Build more XCOMs. I mean, just think about it, at least. South America, right now, could bend to your will pretty easily, but evidently, you don’t want to risk the lives of your precious Kuikuro-killers-in-crime, so if you want the victory and clean hands, you gotta think more creatively. Enter the humble Extraterrestrial Combat Force. Mountains keeping your melee units out of Selk’nam or New Zealand? Bam, XCOMs. Naval forces unable to cut through another fleet to annex some islands? Bam, XCOMs. Can’t establish a beachhead in Moorish territory? Bam, XCOMs. See a rump state halfway across the goddamn map that could use some Communism? Bam, XCOMs. As of right now, your naval focus gives you the largest sphere of influence on the map, sure. But if you want to make an impact in the Pacific or in Asia? If you want to fully utilize your tech and peacekeepers to curb-stomp half the map and give Blue Cassette nightmares when making Endgame? You’ll need a veritable legion of XCOMs. Trust me on this, Gigaguay. You won’t regret it, I promise.

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Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's


Images: 48, author: shaggysnorlax, published: 2020-01-13