THE OFFICIAL CIVILIZATION BATTLE ROYALE X POWER RANKINGS: EPISODE 23

Published: 2019-11-25
Gragg: There is no one that could give Songhai the eulogy it deserves. So I’m not gonna try here. I intend to make a longer post soon(tm) that delves into the spectacular rise and collapse of Songhai. Not even a month ago I was saying that there’s a real chance no one will die more suddenly that Ndongo. Very clearly they’ve already been beat. In episode 4 Songhai was ranked 2nd. In that same episode Canton had their historic drop to 54th. Now Canton is ready to go on offense and Songhai doesn’t exist. This also marks the first civ that has eliminated a civ to be killed. In short, Songhai rose to dizzying heights and dropped harder than my wife’s standards before she finally married me.
LonelyRollingStar: Remember when the Murri were interesting? That second-to-last war against Australia was perhaps the most entertaining part of the CBRX. Watching a rump state left for dead by most people sweep across a major power’s unprotected core, taking cities left and right, and nearly crippling their rival before their greed, ambition, and trust in New Zealand led to a downfall just as dramatic as their rise made for the perfect tragic story, and would have been a great sendoff for the lesser Australian civ… had they had the decency to go and die at the end of it. Instead, the Murri stubbornly refused to allow us any sense of satisfaction at how a civ finished its game, and stayed alive, limping by on just one city, sandwiched between the two powers that had consigned them to this hell, living on for part after part and all but vanishing from the public consciousness. Where they once could have had a nice, glory-filled death, honored and revered by the loyal watchers in the sub, the Murri instead decided to choose the option that led to them getting swept in a single part by the army they had so dominated once before, nothing more than an afterthought in a part filled with some civs’ shining moments. Which, I suppose, is the absolute most Murri way they could have gone about being killed.
LonelyRollingStar: Anyone who avidly reads the CBR, and indeed any Civ AI Game at all, should be familiar with the state of limbo between life and death that some civs can take on from time to time. A civ has lost all of its cities, say, but a sizable army yet remains, ready and willing to snipe cities from their killers. This type of limbo is rather easy to understand and only proves a headache for people who now have to distinguish between Japan’s first and second death. Here, though, we see a slightly more unusual state of mortality. Papua are, according to the turn-by-turn video, still alive. Not for very long, mind you, given that they’re doomed to die to desperately charging New Zealand ships, but alive all the same. In the slides, however? The last slide shown is taken from a point which, apparently, is after their death. By one medium, they’re as alive and healthy as ever (given that this is Papua we’re talking about, that’s not saying much, but still). In another, they’re dead as a doornail. This might be cause for some concern, should Papua not have been so completely and utterly dead to rights that whether they’re dead now or dead later is only a matter of accounting.
Gragg: What a remarkable part for the Seljuqs. Their outstanding play has earned them a rise of three ranks, one of the best of this episode. With that they improve to last place. From here it looks like the strategy is to send units, including a settler, to the far corners(?) of the cylinder in an attempts to outlast many more civs.
Gragg: This writeup has 4 more words than Muscovy has tiles.
Aaron: Team double V are at it again, and this time their target is Prague. Czechia are still using crossbows and musketmen vs Venice's gatling guns, riflemen and field guns, and the Viking's diverse assortment of cuirassiers, cannons, skirmishers and line infantry. It seems quite likely the city will fall. Meanwhile Ostrava is in the red and getting attacked by Palmyra. The legendary invulnerability of that city will prevent Palmyra from ever moving a melee unit into range to capture it but even so that is not good. Sadly, we could be seeing the next elimination next part.
Technostar: Oh, I love the Turks' borders. Frankly, the current chunk of territory in the Balkans centered around the HRE resembles the HRE more than the HRE ever did, and of its components, the Turks' borders are most like that of any proper Holy Roman Empire principality, as oddly-shaped as they are. Unfortunately for the Turks, that sort of territory is little help defensively, but at least it looks funny.
LonelyRollingStar: Empress Theodora I’s reign will likely be remembered as the most profoundly stupid time in the Holy Roman Empire’s history. With the seizure of the twin cities of Aachen and Liberec by the dankest of doges, Her Most Supreme Empress of the Roman Empire finds herself choosing between a Czech city gifted to them by a suicidal leader and a shitty outpost in Greenland founded on a whim for the coveted position of the most important city in the now laughably misnamed empire. The good doge and best friend, seeking to simplify this choice a little, promptly declared war on Czechia for the sole reason of facilitating an assault on Brno. Several meaningless civs far away from Europe, upon hearing of this sad state of affairs, laughed so hard they accidentally declared war on the “Germans”. Now Theodora rests, idling away her time by reading through the war declarations sent to her from other civs hundreds of times, unable to do much more bit sit and watch as her seat at the European table is taken out back and burned to the ground in favor of granting Ragnar more space to slobber all over his food. Election season can’t come soon enough.
Technostar: With the Kazakhs and Evenks both fighting each other, it seems the Nenets have been safely forgotten about for now. That's frankly the best option for the Nenets, as they seem unlikely to ever pull off a Yup'ik-like first strike. And while that fortune may change later, for the time being, the snowbound ghosts can live another day.
Msurdej: Despite being at war with 5 civs, one of which is actually their neighbor the Goths, the Golden Horde are still holding on. This is most likely due to the Goth's failures rather than the Horde's prowess, but perhaps the Horde can continue to hold off the Goths until Alaric gets bored. Maybe.
Msurdej: With much of their previous holdings gobbled up by the Shikokoof, Korea is in dire straits. Now down to 4 cities and a ragtag bunch of troops, Seonjo is currently in the process of crashing and burning. The only good news is that its unlikely anyone besides Shikoku will touch them. I mean, who's going to attack them? The Evenks? The Khamugs?! No, Korea will remain alive and being a disappointment to Sejong until they are finished off by Japan.
Technostar: Despite being the target of a Venezuelan declaration of war this part, things have not gone as badly for the Aztecs as one would initially expect. Perhaps that's because they successfully brought in Uruguayan peacekeepers to stem the tides of battle, as although no signature "Cascos Azules" have arrived just yet to keep the peace, numerous Uruguayan units have nonetheless begun appearing outside Aztec cities. Unfortunately, Jaketown is not quite so well-defended, but while that far-flung outpost may fall, the Aztec core will likely prove too tough for Venezuela to force their way through.
Aaron: After many centuries of pleading by Uruguay officials to end the slaughter of countless number of Uruguay soldiers, the Kuikuro have finally relented, and agreed to show mercy towards them. The reason for this is because they have a new toy to torment: the foolish Venezuelans, who declared war on them this part, unaware of the horror such a war would bring to their nation. As such, the Kuikuro manage to avoid facing Uruguay nukes, artillery and [more than 2] planes , all of which might have killed them. And already, Venezuela are proving to be far easier to torment than Uruguay ever was. Kuikuro military strength has exploded from the consistent 3.4k while fighting Uruguay to 11k now. If it were any other nation, both these figures would be pathetically small (probably why Venezuela declared war in the first place) but this is the Kuikuro, where every soldier fights like thirty. If past behavior is any indication, then Venezuela is in for centuries of slow grinding warfare that they will be unable to end no matter how much they plead for mercy.
Gragg: It was suggested on the subreddit this week that Canton be used as the standard measurement for runt states. Anyone below them is a runt, above is not. A week or two I would’ve agreed with that, because surely no one equal to or below Canton will make any kind of comeback. Well now I’m not so sure. Canton has managed to not only defend, but also build and grow new cities while building a carpet of sorts. Their tech count is still runt level but their effective science (which takes into account science output and tech cost) is quite high for their rank. That outdated military will probably keep them from pushing for now but in the Qin/Qing war drags on or if the Khamugs get involved, Canton actually has a shot at taking Qin cities.
Gragg: I’m trying really hard to come up with a scenario where Haiti gets another chance at Caracas. It would have to be some crazy coalition. Or maybe it’s time we give up hope. Ya. Let’s give up on Haiti taking Caracas. Now we just have to hope that someone other than Uruguay takes Caribbean. Venezuela certainly has the most units in the area but Uruguay has carriers, planes, and subs. Iroquois could have a shot at taking at least Florida and Bermuda. So that's it. Haiti has been reduced to nothing but a roadblock to Uruguay. Can they become the Kuikuro of the waters?
Gragg: The bleeding has stopped for the Manx but there is still no way out for our three legged representatives of the British Isles. By now you’ve probably noticed the elephant in the room. Yes, those are Uruguayan forces in IRL Scotland. As frightening as that is I don’t think it will really matter much for the civs in this corner of the world. Not yet at least. The real threats continue to be the Moors and Vikings. Both are distracted but that has never stopped the Vikings before. At this point in the game we have to consider cross-continental invasions as well. The Iroquois have the forces capable to bring the fight to Europe and have fought with the Manx before. Luckily the Manx have rebuilt their army a bit so we won’t see a sudden collapse like those common in Africa.
Cloudberg: Funny, I got the write ups for both Qin and Qing. Well then. Anyway, Cixi is in for a bad time I think, as Qin invades from the south with a large contingent of riflemen and Gatling guns. Qing's carpet of crossbows is unlikely to be able to hold off such an attack. However, the power rankers don't seem yet convinced that this war will end in disaster for Qing, as they drop only two ranks to 35th—which isn't even their record low. If you think Qin is going to wipe the floor with Qing, then you might be able to win big in the prediction contest by assuming that, as usual, we are being slow to react to a civ that's obviously about to get fucked.
Gragg: Not a lot of change here except for even more Maratha units. Well everyone has more units. Kazakhs are still the only option for Nepal expansion and it’s so crowded that I don’t think that will happen. Between the number of different carpets and the terrain I don’t think much will move here at all for some time, even with relevant wars.
JMan: Now the smallest and most stagnant of the African powers, Nubia is now looking like a footnote compared to the civilization they once took cities off of, Benin. Though the Nubians do have openings to conquer bits of territory come a larger scale war, Nubia is practically doomed to irrelevance. It is highly unlikely that Nubia will continue to thrive in a scenario where the majority of their holdings are in the desert, have two coastal holdings in the Mediterranean (which could still be used to take Palmyrene cities, albeit temporarily), and are the smallest civilization amongst mostly war based civilizations.
Gragg: I’m not sure it’s possible to find a single image with Selk’nam that doesn’t have more Uruguayan power in it. They’ve stored up a good amount of military manpower but don’t have anything to do with it. If you ever want to remind someone that position is more important than stats, look no further than Selk’nam. In terms of strategy the Cthulian horror must continue to slumber. Their best bet is to use the terrain to survive until endgame, them consume the soul of Uruguay despite whatever advantages they have. Could happen.
Technostar: Oh, how fickle fortune is. Only a few parts ago, it seemed as though the Yup'ik would be forever confined to a small section of the arctic, but after this part, it seems their sliver of the arctic is ever-so-slightly bigger. In a shocking underdog move, the Yup'ik were able to capture several Metis cities this part, and while the Metis do have some units trying to retake them, that move is far from guaranteed to succeed. If the Yup'ik can make peace while still keeping their gains, it would send a message of hope to rump states everywhere.
Aaron: Big news! Tonga has researched flight and is now in modern. This also means they have finally got an ideology despite no coal (though I'm not sure what is it) Will they use their planes and new ideology productively? After its defeat at the hands of Taungoo, New Zealand is looking the weakest its been for a while, though would still beat Tonga unless they had Taungoo/Aussie help. The Nazca and Selk'nam are still good due to having bad navies. And finally they can just, you know, use their settlers to settle uninhabited islands... The lack of coal is a very big disappointment, as not only does it mean that Tonga miss out on those monstrous 82 combat strength ironclads, but they now are incapable of actually building any new ships - they're stuck with what they've got. As such, I would actually probably avoid war at the moment: you don't want to suffer the same fate as Songhai and get attacked while you are mechanically unable to build units to defend yourself.
Shaggy: In the Age of Industry, India was unformed, shrouded by fog, at least to its far flung opponents. A land of grey crags, purple units, and everlasting dragons (ok, maybe not the dragons). Sure, India might be slightly more interesting than Lordran pre-Flame, but not by much. No change in the rankings this week and only one mention in the part as an ancillary description to a Maratha slide. Nothing interesting even happening off-camera in the Director’s Cut (which didn't come out this week)… I’d tell them to do something, but I’m a bigger fan of Nepal and Maratha, so I guess just keep stagnating and having good enough stats to top the bottom 20.
Gragg: It’s been an eventful few turns for their neighbors but the Nazca have been quiet. For now that’s just what they need to do. They fall a rank anyway simply because they’re not keeping pace with civs ranked around them. Personally I’m a little worried about a Uruguay DoW in the near future. Venezuela is expanding and getting stronger as well. Selk'nam and Tonga will result in a stalemate and best which leave the Kuikuro as the next possible target. A longer border with Uruguay might be the worst thing for them right now. That won’t stop the Nazca from probably declaring on the jungle dwelling saviors of the cylinder.
Msurdej: Parthia's a civ that exists.
They gone through some turns and twists.
But if I'm being frank
Their chances are dank
Cuz Palmyra has them held by the wrists.
Cloudberg: Once again, Gudit finds herself at war with Ranavalona. This is like the third time these two leaders have gone to war, and so far there's no indication that this round will go any differently. That is, it looks like a stalemate: neither side has the naval supremacy needed to break through and start taking cities. Overall, it's just a shame that Madagascar and Beta Israel are fighting each other when they could do much better by teaming up against Zimbabwe or Benin.
Aaron: War against Beta Israel has been declared again! It's going meh. The navies are approximately equal. Madagascar used an extremely ingenious strategy of a backdoor squad in Benin, but unfortunately it is having difficulty maneuvering around Benin's units (the nerve of some civs putting their own troops in their own land!). If that strategy had worked out we would be lauding Ranavalona as the second coming of Kekkonen but alas it does not seem to be. But she still has a few tricks up her sleeve. Madagascar have recently unlocked cruisers - 3 are ready to go already - and this unit should be able to turn the tide in Madagascar's favor. Finally Madagascar are building factories which should give them both a powerful ideology and also the production needed to compete with Israel's chad powers.
Msurdej: The Evenks take a tumble down back into the mid 20s, with their only gains of the war being retaken. So far its still carpet t carpet, but the reindeer riders are behind the Kazahk carpet in tech and production. The longer this war goes on, the worse it looks for Bombogor. A third part could break this stalemate, but depending on what side its on, it could either make or break the Evenks.
Technostar: A loss of opportunity is not good for a civ's rankings, and Venezuela is a strong example of that, losing 4 ranks in one fell swoop. Some of you may be wondering how exactly Venezuela lost some opportunities this part, as they still have the plethora of weak states surrounding them. The reason is simple: Uruguay. This part saw Venezuela declare war on both the Aztecs and Kuikuro, but it also saw the really untimely peace treaty between Uruguay and Kuikuro. This peace treaty turned an opportunistic power play by Venezuela into what will likely amount to yet another stalemate. Worse yet, the excess Uruguayan units immediately began flooding Aztec lands, causing Venezuela's other power play to immediately stagnate. It's not all bad news, as Jaketown seems likely to fall, but losing these two crucial routes of expansion for the time being is no help to an already-weak Venezuela. In addition, despite having the tech for planes for a good chunk of this part, we have yet to see any Venezuelan aircraft, perhaps indicative of a very ironic lack of oil.
JMan: A civ with unrivaled potential, currently being squeezed in by civs that had realized their own potential a lot faster. Prussia takes a little tumble in the rankings again as they fail to find footing. As Muscovy is reduced to nothing more than a three tile city, Prussia's only piecemeal conquests come from the Czechs and the Holy Brno Empire. Whilst Prussia could get these four cities quite easily and could use that momentum to attack another civilization, like Venice, it seems unlikely. Still, perhaps the open west of the Goths could be a vital opening... if Freddy takes advantage
Cloudberg: Fucking finally.
After centuries of doing nothing in particular, Qin has at last awakened and attacked Qing, a neighbor that it should have dealt with ages ago. A wall of riflemen should be able to cut through Cixi's defenses with ease, but only time will ell if Qin has enough of a back line to sustain the war effort long enough to take Beijing. Regardless, this is a good move from Ying Zheng and one that's been long overdue, so for that we've started to reverse his long, slow slide down the rankings.
Cloudberg: This part capped a magnificent comeback for a civ that many of us had written off long ago. At last, the tables have turned: Benin captured Gao and eliminated Songhai, a former #2 civ, in 51st place. Benin now sits at the top of the most impressive elimination tree of anyone on the cylinder. But is it sustainable? Who will Benin target next? Madagascar units are filling their lands from the southwest, a potentially dangerous condition that could prevent Ewuare from building as many units as he might otherwise need to. On the other hand, it could be beneficial to team up with Madagascar against Zimbabwe and try to take down another larger neighbor with the help of a coalition. The again, Zimbabwe has planes. Maybe not a good idea.
Msurdej: Well there we go. With the capture of Aachen and Liberec, Venice has now completed the task set by Mace Windu in the last PR. He has also gone above and beyond, and now finds himself in a war with the weakened Chezcia. But will this be enough? Dandolo's stats leave a lot to be desired, and with the Moors to the west, and the Vikings to the North, Venice finds itself in a precarious position. Can they get their new conquests online before Venice is attacked by a stronger civ?
Cloudberg: Australia used this episode for some much-needed rest and recuperation. For the first time in what seems like forever, Bob Hawke has passed an entire part without being involved in any major wars. And yeah, Australia eliminating the Murri doesn't count, that was one fucking city okay? Anyway, as a reward for killing the Murri and taking some time to not die, the rankers have given Australia a modest increase in the rankings. Australia's problem has long been that it was spread too thin, with not enough military defend all its cities at once. Perhaps this break could be useful? Or is too late at this point to stop Taungoo, no matter how many irrelevant city-state neighbors Hawke decides to invade?
Shaggy: Haida looks to be rebuilding their strength after a few parts of relatively unsuccessful wars. They rise one rank as a result of relatively unattributable statistical noise. Dawkinzz made an interesting point regarding their military this part: Haida is still running with war canoes! We’ve seen what a robust navy can do recently (NZ, Taungoo, Uruguay to some extent), and even though the AI might not be terribly renowned for its use of naval units, it is definitely better to have a better navy to squander than an underpowered one. Not that Haida’s land war record is much better given their performance against Metis. Actually, speaking of their neighbors, Haida might need to start worrying about the Yup’ik if things keep trending towards the Yup’ik gobbling up arctic Metis cities while Haida watches from the coast in their wooden boats.
Aaron: The Metis end the war with the Iroquois having lost 4 cities. That's bad but not awful. I was of the opinion that the Metis could very easily have gotten away with only losing their isolated colony if they had decided to take this war seriously and not declare war on all their neighbors at the same time for no goddamn reason. Now they still need to fight the Apache and Yup'ik, two wars who I will remind you a second time they declared because they're goddamn morons. Their strategy appears to be to concentrate all their troops on the Apache border while ignoring the Yup'ik. The Apache are chipping away at a few Metis cities health but the Metis cities are so tough they will have a lot of difficulty and will likely do nothing but lose a bunch of troops failing to take any. The tactics there are fine I guess (though not declaring war would have been even better - there is nothing to be gained by killing hundreds of Apache soldiers). However, ignoring the glass cannon that is the Yup'ik is proving to be a grave mistake, as they grab 4 undefended cities. While normally I would be happy at the Metis declaring war on the Yup'ik as the Yup'ik are terrible, declaring war while already at war with 3 other neighbors and then choosing to completely ignore that front is abysmal strategy. The Metis can still win this war if they make peace with the Apache so as to redirect their troops back north and then crush the Yup'ik with superior everything, but they are just as likely to peace out with the Yup'ik first. Either way, goddamn has this whole ordeal been a calamity. And it's entirely the Metis's fault for being morons. A moderately dumb AI could have managed to leverage the Metis's strength and size to win north america but the Metis are taking AI stupidity to a whole new level.
Gragg: Another rough part for the kiwis as the ‘goo moves into town. It turns out island cities are hard for AIs to defend. Most civs can defend by carpeting their units within their borders. The defense forces for naval civs tend to spread out across the entire ocean. This was the case for the very spread out New Zealand. They still have good stats including an enormous capital city. Just how enormous? It’s 77 pop in game which translates to 198.5 MILLION people. If we assume each hex, and the city, is 10,000km^2 that’s a population density of 19,850 per square km. 10,000km^2 is about the size of Hawaii’s big island for you Americans like me. There are still two IRL regions with more population density than the NZ capital. Monaco at 26k and Macao, China at 21k.
LonelyRollingStar: Sometimes in this game, all you need to do to receive a rise in rank is ditch being completely terrible in favor of being merely mildly terrible. The Goths see a two-slot rise this part in spite of, or perhaps because of, their complete lack of relevance to anything interesting going on in the cylinder. They’re almost proving their own undoing in that regard, grinding vast swarms of units against the Golden Horde’s mountains and hoping to wear them down beneath a sea of human bodies, not at all mindful of how empty it’s made their core. They’ve yet to fully recover from the wars of parts past in terms of military, and that will continue to be the case so long as Alaric sends legions of men to their deaths against the Horde. The Goths have plenty of opportunities, with the Kazakhs newly at war, and could stand to make a decent mint should they decide to play smart, peace out, and core up. From what we know of the AI, it’s probably safe to assume that they will do none of those things and collapse like a house made of cardboard once any of their good neighbors pay them a visit. Still, though. There’s potential, if you look hard enough.
Msurdej: Ragnar falls a bit this week as he and the rest of the Vikings take a break from pillaging everything (though they are still fighting the Apache for control of Greenland.) This hopefully will give them some time to build up their tattered army. But more pressing is their lagging infrastructure. If Ragnar can;t get his production scores up fast, it will make fighting the Moors and Sami all the more harder.
Shaggy: The Kazakh/Evenks war looks to be just short of a stalemate. They took back Vorkuta for all that’s worth, but the main front is carpet vs carpet. I give the edge to the Kazakhs given their more advanced units and superior production potential, but anything could happen still. To be honest, I’m hoping that the Khamugs jump into the fray and make Asia interesting again, but even the clang of war at their doorstep doesn’t seem to be waking them up. Either way, the Kazakhs drop this week because there are just more civs doing better than them right now.
JMan: Shikoku are soaring in the rankings, tickling but barely missing out on the top 10 this part. Though they are still too small to call for a top 10 ranking, their technology advantage over most of the East Asian civilizations, along with the taking of the Korean capital, most of Korea's cities, and the near conquest of all of Japan puts Shikoku as a very obvious frontrunner in the East Asian theatre. Time will tell if Shikoku will manage to make it matter in the grand scheme of the royale.
Aaron: The Apache continue to attack the Metis, though the most important coalition member, the Iroquois, have now left, which certainly makes things more difficult. The Apache are starting to chip away at some cities health by suiciding cuirassiers directly into them, but the cities have a lot of defense and the Metis army is concentrating its efforts here. I find it unlikely they will actually manage to capture any time soon. They will probably have to wait till artillery or planes or something or for the Iroquois to join back in to be successful. Meanwhile, the Apache's only weak neighbor, the Aztecs, are being invaded by Venezuela. That might be a problem in future; although Venezuela are weaker than the Apache, they aren't critically behind, and with the extra land from the Aztecs, they could theoretically end up being a threat, especially if paired with the Iroquois. Though Venezuela are having a lot of trouble navigating the terrain so the Apache might just decide to jump in and take the Aztec lands for themselves, which I believe is the best option for the Apache right now.
Shaggy: The meme of civs making winning moves in European wars yet dropping in rank continues. Palmyra eviscerated Havel’s army defending Ostrava this part. And look! MELEE UNITS ARE ABOUT! Perhaps Palmyra could succeed where the Turks failed and Ostrava may fall next part. If I had to guess, I’d say that Palmyra is dropped a rank this week off of stats alone. They have the fewest cities, the least production, and one of the smallest militaries of the top 10 civs. If they can make inroads into Europe and start swinging their military around effectively, expect a rise in the ranks. But with no significant rivals bordering them, a stagnating Palmyra would probably dwindle slowly down rather than any major drop bar any sort of coalition against them.
Gragg: It’s customary to use this writeup to complain about Khamug inactivity. Allow me to present a different opinion. We’ve seen time and time again that sleeping giants wake up in CBRX. Tuangoo is the most recent example. They are now my personal favorites to win all of Oceania. The Khamugs have the production, army, and weak neighbors to pull off a similar run of mainland Asia. They have been declaring wars, albeit barely relevant ones. It’s only a matter of time though before they declare on the Kazakhs, Qin, Qing, or Evenks and pick several cities. Their crop yield and science hold them back a little though. Easily solved by killing neighbors and taking theirs.
Cloudberg: Wait, the Sami still exist? I'd nearly forgotten. It's been a while now since Eadni has done anything noteworthy. Maybe we should send someone to check if she's still alive?

On a more serious note, Eadni's tech is good, her army is decent, her infrastructure is excellent. She's in a good position and her neighbors are not as strong as her. A well-timed invasion of Prussia or the Goths could allow her to capitalize on those advantages and put the Sami back into the top 5, a position that they haven't seen since part 15. But for now, they continue to slide.
Aaron: Maratha take back the spot that the Sami temporarily took from them last part and are back in 6th. They have had the second largest army of the cylinder for a while now, yet it is almost exclusively made up of ranged land units and they have not declared any wars where they can use a gigantic land army. They have exclusively declared sea invasions using horribly out of date medieval galleases, which have naturally been completely unsuccesful. That might soon change, as these last two parts they have researched all the naval techs from the enlightenment era all the way through to modern. They now have the techs for battleships, carriers and planes to put on them, a much needed improvement for their navy (though they still have to actually upgrade/build the new ships). Still, in the time Maratha has wasted trying to invade nations using galleases instead of its far superior land army, Taungoo - once Maratha's equal - has growth by a very large amount. Maratha should think about making a move, preferably against India or Nepal, soonish as otherwise Maratha risks ending up as the Afghanistan to Taungoo's Vietnam.
JMan: Zimbabwe hold onto their fifth place position, but the civilization's grasp on this spot is becoming unstable as Benin grows larger following its conquest of Gao and eastern Songhai. The Moors are also becoming a greater threat in the African theatre, and have proved already that they are capable of overwhelming the Zimbabwe front in a small skirmish.
Shaggy: MY MOOPS! MY MOOPS! MY MOOPS ARE ON FIRE! In a spectacular rendition of the reverse of the original historical Moorish conquest, the Moors’ joint dismantling of Songhai is complete. They are looking very strong; the only thing slowing them down is figuring out who to conquer next. But what did we learn from this war? Where might the Mighty Morphin' Mooper Rangers attack next? Well, we definitely saw a bit of a bias towards the sea. The Moorish navy was viciously methodical in taking out every single island and coastal city, and was efficient enough to make serious gains before the land invasion even started. We also learned that the Moors DEFINITELY love their cannons, but will bring enough unit diversity to be able to deal with opposing armies and actually capture cities. Additionally, we learned that the Moors can manage their happiness. In my opinion (and also I haven’t checked if this is the case), this is one of the biggest gains a civ has made through warfare since the early elimination of the Xia by the rest of China. Instead of burning their conquests like many other major powers (cough cough Sami), these new cities are puppeted! And the Moors still have more (ha ha) in the tank with 26 happiness and almost 86k military strength to spare. Lastly, for those of you playing the prediction contest (shoutouts to Gragg), I expect the rest of Europe to drop a bit in the coming parts, especially if we see the Moors positioning for an eastward invasion.
Gragg: The 7-episode streak of being in second place comes to an end. This has less to do with Iroquois misplays and more to do with the ‘goo dominating Oceania (spoiler alert in case you haven’t figured out who’s slide is next). I suppose you could argue that the lack of expansion by the Iroquois against Metis or Apache is pretty bad (and I do) but they are still in a great position. They even have one of the largest air forces on the cylinder. Perhaps that will be the key to pushing against their two large neighbors. Alternatively they could use the large navy they’ve been quiet with so far. Perhaps Europe will be the next target for the Iroquois?
JMan: By God the Peacock Warriors have done it. The Almighty Goo, a triple capital powerhouse, is growing well beyond its means. Once seen as the sideshow to eventual Marathi expansion, Taungoo are by every metric the second biggest dog on the cylinder. What was once a shaky position in Malaysia where the Marathi could blitz north into the Taungoo heartland has become a shaky position for Maratha, as at any moment the Taungoo could surround Malaysia and Indonesia entirely and catch it in an extremely valuable encirclement.
Aaron: At long last, Uruguay have been freed from their Amazon prison. At last the Kuikuro have agreed to peace. No longer shall wave after wave of soldiers go away to die in the jungle. Instead of all going off to die, peacekeeping Uruguay forces are spreading Brazil-style at an alarming rate across the cylinder, having already been spotted in Aztecs, Viking, and New Zealand territory. Now most people looking at this might be worried at another Brazil scenario where they build so many troops filling up so much land that no other civ can effectively go to war, and then later just blitzing through everything. To that I say that though blocking other civs from effectively warring is certainly a big possibility, blitzing through everything is really unlikely. Brazil was a big exception - usually what happens when a civ has hundreds of troops in foreign territory is they all smash themselves into different cities and all end up getting cleared up without any gains. Uruguay's incredibly large army (triple second place!) is better spent crushing a neighbor such as the Selk'nam or Nazca. Alternatively, Uruguay are loading up a lot of planes onto ships, so perhaps they are planning on expanding their African holdings? That would also be a good option. On the tech front Uruguay continue to be ridiculously ahead of everyone else, having already unlocked paratroopers and artillery while most other civs are still in the industrial era. Even scarier: they are at this very moment researching nukes. Everyone else on the cylinder had best appease the monster as best they can or try to become invisible like the Nenets. Otherwise they risk ending up at the receiving of Uruguay's new nuclear toys.

Check out another AAR:

Game: Victoria 2

Rise of the Sun of May - Part 1: Mr. Rosas Goes to Buenos Aires (1836-1846)

Images: 92, author: deadpoetic31, published: 2017-01-30