Author: Gragg9
Published: 2019-12-09, edited: 2019-12-09
As you can see we still need a Papua ghostball! If you want to try your hand, post one to the subreddit and we may use it in future weeks! Also, if the quotes are a little odd this week it's because discord's search function went down this weekend, hampering our quote retrieval ability.
LRS: I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Seljuqs are never going to be at all relevant in anything again, ever. So instead, Alp Arslan should turn his attention away from all this silly war and violence and death that’s going on around him, and pursue his true destiny: his burgeoning music career. Why else would a one-city nation have more musicians than military units? Clearly, the leader of the Seljuqs has finally decided to follow his true passion, making lemonade out of the lemons that are the wreckage of his once absolutely dreadful civ. And, frankly, we power rankers applaud his decision. You go, Alp. Pursue your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you what you have to do, or who you should become. Sometimes you just do what you gotta do, you know? That’s how life is. Sometimes it be like that. Sometimes you’re a square peg in a round hole, and you don’t realize it until both you and the hole have been reduced to little more than incidental shrapnel in the slow-motion explosion that was your civ’s defeat. Go and drop some sick bars, Alp. We’ll be waiting.
Cloudberg: Wait, these guys are still alive? Shit, someone should have told me earlier.
Cloudberg: Yay, the cylinder once again has a new city-state! Joining the ranks of the Seljuqs, HRE, and Muscovy is the once-mediocre Golden Horde, now stripped down to a city they captured from the Seljuqs a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Out of all these city-states, we've ranked the Golden Horde the second highest, since the only civ that can kill them is Parthia. But they're still third to last overall. I wish Tokhtamysh the best of luck as he stares wistfully across the Caspian toward what used to be his homeland.
Techno: In what's probably quite a relief for the HRE, the Prussian army's been a little distracted as of late. In what's also a relief for the HRE, they have been perhaps the least-impacted by citadel spam among the 1-city rump states and also have by far the best stats among them. That being said, Venice could probably sneeze in their direction and take the HRE out, which would bring a merciful end to Voltaire's Nightmare.
Gragg: If there are any Aztec memelords out there still, your civ sorely needs you. Obviously the lack of memes is the only reason the glorious Montezuma is in this position. Without a very quick peace deal they’ll be down to 2 cities. Venezuelan troops are already advancing on the capital of Tenochtitlan. Their other city of Tlacopan is coastal and therefore more vulnerable than normal. But who knows, a good two or three memes posted might be enough magic for Venezuela to give away a city in the peace deal?
Shaggy: No mention of the Turks this part, but they move up a couple ranks due to the decimation of the Golden Horde and the precarious position the Aztecs are in. With their longstanding rivals Czechia and HRE either dead or neutered, it falls to the Turks to be the last remaining civ in Europe to survive with a split empire. For all the good that'll do for them... Yeah, they're gonna die soon, its really just a matter of how many other rumps they can outlast.
Aaron: This week, the Nenets discovered humanism. That's the most interesting event that happened to them this part. This grants them 2 ranks because now the Golden Horde and the Aztecs suck even more than they do.
Aaron: Pop goes the capital! Yes: this is news that Beijing is being renamed to Beijin as the letter g is now banned at the end of words in fascist China. This Chinese civil war will soon end with a resoundin defeat for communist China - only 2 cities remain on the mainland and they won't last. The Khamu Mongols have decided not to save their ideological ally and to sit out this war - yet again, as they always do. Communist China won't die as they still have their arctic colonies (which Haida is failin to invade), but this is probably the start of a lon and miserable existance as an arctic rump. It's a shame that one of the civs people were most excited about goin in to CBRX ends up in such a humiliatin state. But that is what happens when you go full religion, don't settle, and don't even make any kind of attempt try to take out weak korean neighbours when you had the chance.
LRS:First rule of rump state fight club: don’t talk about rump state fight club. What isn’t publicized can’t be hated, and what isn’t hated generally doesn’t get brutally murdered, so Seonjo’s going to be just fine living under a rock for the next several thousand years, thank you very much. Admittedly, if he really wants to just fall off the radar and never be seen again, further sacrificing of his former colonies is probably in order, as Skedans is just barely able to cut the Qing and Evenks off from one another. Once he gets rid of that city, though? There’s no need for any foreign power to care about Korea. Haida and Shikoku can easily go around the poor pink civ, the Khamugs and Qin can just fight each other on land if it comes to that, and the Qing… well, the Qing are going to be wanting some space under that rock pretty soon, in all honesty. In this game, you get to the end by either staying in trouble or staying out of it, and with the first strategy a complete impossibility for Seonjo it just looks like he’ll have to settle for the latter. Shame that everyone else in the game seems to have had the same idea, then.
Cloudberg: Kuikuro claws its way up to rank 38 this episode as the Nazca make a terrible, terrible mistake. How could Cahuachi have watched Ururuguay fail to take on the Amazon dwellers for 200 turns, and then go right ahead and pick up where the Guay left off? If anything, I expect the Kuikuro to capture Paredones again. And maybe, for old times' sake, they'll give it back in the peace treaty, just like before.
Gragg: All it takes is one melee unit to take a city. Especially if all defending units are dead. In the case of Maratha they currently have ~3-4 melee units on the front line. Nepal’s one silver lining in this war was the lack of attacking melee units, and that’s quickly disappearing. What’s more is that their empire is cut in half between mountains, citadels, and that Scottish composite bowman. That’s right, the only road between North and South Nepal is blocked by an eliminated civ and one of the oldest units in the game. The Kazakhs 9 planes in the city so it’s probably staying blue for the foreseeable future. Now we just wait and see how many cities Nepal loses/gives away before they’re at peace again.
LRS: In an unusual twist of fate, Haiti are right in the middle of the maelstrom of war, and find themselves the most peaceful civ in the region by far. Yes, Haiti are the eye of the hurricane now rather than any of the other, more damaging parts, although perhaps the position is less than what it’s been chalked up to be. Being in the center of a maelstrom of war yet being on good terms with all those locked in it generally is a position of great power and opportunity, allowing the sleeping giant in the center to take their pick of targets and go after whichever one benefits them the most. The issue with Haiti is that they’re so laughably outclassed by all their neighbors that any attempt at a war would lead to a quick peace deal and backhanded annihilation by their chosen prey-turned-predator. Such is the life of the rump state, doomed to forever be put in situation after situation that they could just maybe capitalize on if they weren’t such complete rubbish at absolutely everything. At least they aren’t the Aztecs. Those guys are just plain screwed.
Techno: At least their enemies are distracted. Taungoo and Shikoku are in a major war against each other. Qin's busy up north with Qing and won't be looking south for a while. Quite frankly, CBRX Hong Kong seems more peaceful and prosperous than IRL Hong Kong, something that can't be said for many locations in the CBR.
LRS: Standing still, as a strategy, relies on the implicit assumption that your neighbors will not go out of their way to brutally murder a minor state that can grant them little in return for being ritually sacrificed. Unfortunately, judging by the Moors’ military composition, it would appear that the Manx’s use of that strategy might be terribly poorly-timed. Carracks and galleasses, as aesthetically pleasing as they may be in Mann’s waters, do not a privateer-beating navy make, and with a schizophrenic and depleted land corps alternately relying on advanced rifles and laughably outmoded pikes, once Illiam’s all-coast city settling strategy inevitably fails him, he’ll be hard pressed to take anything back. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since the Vikings swept down from the north and ended the Isle of Mann’s brief bid for relevancy, but when comparing the now horribly weak bootleg Brits to the superpowers around them they once had the gall to call peers, it’s become more clear than ever just how badly things have turned out for the former darlings of the CBRX. Where once all Europe was a reasonable goal for the memers from Mann, now all they can do is huddle in a corner, pick one of the cylinder’s many gods, and pray.
LRS:It’s hard to really blame Nubia for their complete and utter mediocrity to this point. They’ve done well where they can, seizing land from the dying and generally being much more competent than the likes of India or other civs that lucked into relatively strong positions, but nothing has really broken their way the entire game. A war against the decaying Beta Israel, at first glance, would look to be just the sort of thing to lock them out of the paint-drying contest that is their life, but the geography is positively dreadful (Nubia can enter the nation from all of three tiles), and Nubia’s start position has left them so woefully outclassed by the Slayers from Siemen that the only sure way to make any headway whatsoever would be an initial charge. Then again, it’s not like there’s many better options for Piye, what with the Moors and Palmyrenes sandwiching him from the east and west, a Benin clogged with peacekeepers near impossible to take, and a Venice to the north laughably more advanced in terms of navy ensuring that Nubia may already have fully filled out its max extent map. All that’s left to do now is wait for someone to bring their house of cards of a civ down.
Aaron: So far the war with Zimbabwe has been going badly but not catastrophically. Thanks to their navy, Beta Israel has been able to keep flipping Balankab every time Zimbabwe has taken it. A big problem is that Zimbabwe is fighting smarter and is not triggering Beta Israel's Chad powers (which gives them monstruouly high production when their tiles are pillaged - but Zimbabwe isn't pillaging their tiles...) However, Beta Israel's army continues to drop as the war drags on - not a good sign and it will mean collapse when they finally run out of troops completely. Zimbabwe also has paratroopers and nukes though they haven't used them yet so that is worrying... though funnily enough the nukes might actually make Beta Israel stronger as they would trigger Chad powers from pillaging so many tiles. Beta Israel have also chosen order for their ideology as a spit in the face to the cultural leader of the autocratic movement. Or maybe it is a call for help to the cultural leader of the communist movement, Uruguay, who could significantly distract Zimbabwe if they wanted to?
Techno: Tonga passed this part doing what Tonga does best: doing nothing. Quite frankly, Tonga missed its chance to take action, as New Zealand is no longer looking vulnerable enough for the Tongan navy to snipe a few cities from. At the very least, no Tongan neighbor currently has the means to threaten this tropical paradise, so Tonga can be content with just watching the world burn.
Cloudberg: What does Yup'ik even do from here? Try to start another coalition against Metis? I don't see them being able to expand any other way, considering that Haida's rough terrain and strong navy prevent Yup'ik from attacking them, and the passage to Qing's arctic cities is too narrow. I think we would all love it if Apaanugpak went absolutely berserk and just conquered the entire Metis arctic, don't you agree?
Gragg: The Selk’nam have been a real roller coaster this season. By roller coaster I don’t mean high-speed, sudden twists and turns, heart racing roller coasters. I mean they’ve been slowly climbing the first hill, waiting in anticipation for the first steep drop. Their production and science just isn’t enough to take on the Oceania neighbors to the West and of are laughable to the Guay to the East. All we can hope for is that they’ll stall the Guay. Or best case scenario; be conquered by someone else.
LRS: You know, the whole reason anyone even floated the idea of India being above Nepal in the first place was due to their having more options. Besides their red-robed rivals next to them, the presence of a potentially weak Middle East to plow through, as well as the paper tiger Parthians, should have given Indira plenty of options when it came to conquest. Instead, though, she’s sat on her hands and done damn near nothing, and now it’s finally come to bite her. With Nepal slowly and inefficiently getting assimilated by the all-ranged Marathans, Parthia finally fully recovered from their grinding wars of days past, and the Middle East comprised sole of the dead, dying, and Palmyrans, India’s fresh out of opportunities. The expansion phase of the game, for them, is over. This is peak India. This is all that Indira’s going to have to work with. There is no way to call in reinforcements, to improve her situation, because she waited too long in a game that lets even the Qin become halfway successful if they launch a quick and fast strike, and now she’s almost undisputedly the worst nation in Asia with something resembling a chance from far away. Except then you get closer, focus in on the shape, and you realize that what you thought said “Success” actually meant “Crushing, crushing mediocrity”.
LRS: Say what you will about Parthia, but at least they’re consistent in their tumultuousness. Sure, they’ve moved up and down quite a lot, but they’ve been hovering around the late twenties since their attack on the Golden Horde fully fizzled out, and they’ve shown no signs of stopping, what with a carpet of ranged units and a cabal of neighbors whose positions are shaky at best and outright unstable at worst. Their situation’s remained the same for the past six parts: the Kazakhs completely blow them out of the water but are too busy doing other things to grind themselves to death on Mithridates, India is juuust powerful enough to where Parthia would find winning a war there difficult, and the Middle East is hellishly difficult to cut through and something not worth bothering with. At least Parthia’s been adept at maintaining this situation, if nothing else. With two almost-eliminations on their resume, it’s become clear that Parthia’s main goal in this game is not to show up their northern neighbors, but to keep the fragile balance of power that’s kept them alive going, neutering civs when they have to but never going all the way and soaking up those dreadful, dreadful warmonger penalties. Still, it’s an empire built on pillars of salt and sand. One has to wonder how long Parthia’s luck will hold.
Gragg: Imagine seeing the monstrous Guay spend 100’s of units and turns trying to crack Kuikuro only to go home with coastal cities. Then, as a much weaker civ, thinking, “I can do better”. As ridiculous as that sounds the Nazca do have the city of Paredones to prove they’ve done better before. It seems like it’ll take another good peace deal to make gainz though. This past part the Nazca dropped more military score than any civ on the cylinder. They lost nearly 9,000 military score, amounting to a loss of 20% of their army when they should be trying to catch up with surrounding civs. (yes I have a spreadsheet to keep track. Don’t judge.) I suppose it is good that the Nazca are hopefully getting on the good side of Uruguay though. Considering Uruguay has 13 nukes...
Gragg: Madagascar’s rise of 2 is actually one of the biggest this week. That’s how quiet of a week it has been on the rankings front. In fact, the total delta score (rank movement) of this part is only 46. That’s a record low with the previous being 78. Don’t get used to it though as we’re entering the wild times of paratroopers. Civs like Shikoku and Uruguay are already fielding them. What does this have to do with Madagascar? Well looking at this ‘scary’ army of pikeman replacement UU made me think of it. Not only that, but they’re cheaper and weaker pikeman. While it may look dangerous to Benin and neighbors it only serves to take up space. Madagascar might find a power spike when they can get carriers to help them make a landing but won’t be able to do much with this particular carpet.
Gragg: The Evenks, like many other civs this part, spent their time recovering. The war with the Kazakhs left them drained and missing several cities. Luckily it also got rid of the reindeer archers so they can now build better units. It’s going to take a lot of military to protect themselves from their other major neighbor though. The Khamugs are instant death to the next neighbor they declare war on, Evenks included. The Kazakhs did their Kazakhs thing and abandoned the border as soon as the war was over. They more than double their overall military this part though. Unfortunately the Kazakhs and Khamugs are the only real neighbors for our reindeer riding friends. Instead of conquering the world on Christmas Eve like initially hoped, the Evenks could even be eliminated over the holidays.
Gragg: The one enemy that Prussia really had to fear declared war. Even the Sami are pretty weak on the Prussian front. As it is this will be a fairly close war at first. If it drags on I'm fairly certain the Vikings will come out on top. I also think other civs are more likely to join in against Prussia than the Vikings. Venice is the one to keep an eye on given their friendly relations with the Orange Menace. The large number of bombers and appearance of carriers will keep every frontline city on low health for the duration of the conflict. Expect lots of city flipping and death.
Aaron: Nothing much happened to Benin this part. They continue to rely on Madagascar for their carpet instead of building one themselves. The only avenue of expansion of via Nubia, but for that they would have to build up a military of their own instead of using Madagascar's. The rest of this write-up will be a comparison between Benin and the Evenks. Indeed, though the two civs have taken very different paths (Benin started out small but jumped on Songhai, Evenks started out large but had awful science), they have ended up in nearly identical situations. Both now have lots of cities, are very far behind in science, have small armies and larger neighbours who could destroy them fairly easily (Khamugs/Kazakhstan or Zimbabwe/Moors).
LRS: The good: Miracle of miracles, Geronimo actually managed to push back the unstoppable Iroquois hordes. The war is now being fought over Shis-Inday, a city that was Hiawatha’s when this war started, and push after counter-push has made this war far, far bloodier for the Iroquois than anyone could have foreseen when they brutally backstabbed their western neighbors while they were locked in mortal combat with the maddening Metis. The bad: The Iroquois have both artillery and planes on their side, and the tech advantage they enjoy over the Apache has never been more painfully obvious, with both Shis-Inday and Ch’uuk’anen merely one melee unit away from flipping right back to the autocratic civ’s dull greyish-blue color. The ugly: West of the Rockies, the Apache are clinically dead. It’s not a matter of when reinforcements will arrive and save the day, there are none. They’re all gone. The entirety of the Apache’s once proud empire is a ghost town. The Iroquois, meanwhile, still have a stupidly large carpet, the tech advantage, and a massive wall of artillery prepared to roll in and make a fun little game out of how many Apache cities they can bring down to zero in a single turn. They can’t hold on any longer. Geronimo has to peace out, now, if he wants any hope of reclaiming his place among North America’s elite.
Gragg: Venice is back to playing the diplo game, and doing it quite well. With the Vikings and Prussia fighting and Czechs eliminated the battleground around Venice is changing quickly. So far Venice has allied themselves with the Vikings through open-border. This comes right after having a common enemy in the HRE. It’s yet to be seen whether Venice will take advantage of this opportunity to strike Prussia. If not, they’ll eventually have to deal with the Vikings on less friendly terms.
Techno: With Uruguay pulling out of Aztec lands, Venezuela was able to quickly occupy several Aztec cities, although holding them has proven fairly challenging thanks to the Aztec home-field advantage in montane terrain and their war with the Kuikuro siphoning a few units away from the front. Nonetheless, Venezuela's been awarded with a small boost in ranking, as it seems only inevitable that the Aztecs will fall.
Gragg: I’m going to say something unpopular here. Haida should do nothing. Sure they could make some small gains here and there from a good war but they would be better off if they bided their time and upgraded their navy. Imagine if this gigantic naval carpet were submarines and destroyers. At this rate Haida isn’t too far off. Their science isn’t top of the class but it is still quite good.
LRS: He’s Seddone it again. With peace with the Goo, a thoroughly distracted Shikoku, and their only other combatant a Maratha attacking through a one-tile corridor at the literal bottom of the map, New Zealand has once again managed to find a way to survive and thrive despite overwhelming odds to the contrary. Helps that they have cities to burn after the conquest of Papua, really, and in a region where everyone seems to be reeling being able to roll with the punches is very much a good thing. The real issue for New Zealand, really, is the one beefy neighbor they aren’t currently feeling frosty towards. The Aussies have fully recovered from the wounds the kiwis inflicted upon them earlier, and with the Statue of Liberty now an Aussie icon and the rest of the nation slowly filling out with units, there’s more cause for concern on New Zealand’s front door than there has been since the dual islanders had a paltry four cities to their name. Skin-of-the-teeth escapes and thrilling battles to break even are good television, sure, but they couldn’t be worse for actually winning the game. Australia’s slow and steady path to stardom, the ideological opposite of New Zealand’s freewheeling approach, could prove Seddon’s undoing.
LRS:Kill confirmed. The Qin, after a heroic effort to remain a complete nonfactor even when in a war with a vastly inferior coalition, have finally gotten around to capturing Beijing, and are one step closer to the dream of total unification. Right now they are Blue China, but soon they will be… All China. What with Qing’s last four cities either being safely away from the Qin’s navy or being frozen hellholes, though, there’s no better time like the present to think about what’s next. And for everyone’s favorite former top civ in Asia, their next step is obvious: six more weeks of winter. What, you thought they’d actually bother with pulling a Taungoo? At this hour? It’s not that they won’t do it, it’s more that they can’t: Canton’s utterly humiliated the Qin before, Shikoku is a minefield of battleships away, and the Taungoo and Khamugs would probably kill Ying Zheng before he could even begin to mount an offensive, what with his revolutionary strategy of only having twenty units on the map, at all times, forever. Seriously, Canton could humiliate the Qin right now. Canton. It’s time to go back to bed. Slumber restfully, continue teching up, and maybe, just maybe, get an actual carpet, and the Qin might, for once, be going somewhere.
Techno: The Goths had an undeniably successful part for the first time in a long while. Thanks to sheer airpower, they convinced the Golden Horde to give up all but their capital in a peace deal. The wisdom of this is questionable, as if Gothic tactics in the past have indicated anything, it's that they can't easily capture cities even when they easily have the means to do so. That being said, the Goths are still stuck in a tricky location, as while they have the ability to expand, most of their neighbors would put up a far stronger fight than the likes of the Golden Horde.
Techno:Nothing exciting happened to Australia this part. Man, it feels really odd to say that. It's not common for Hawke to not constantly have his democracy under threat from outside forces, and this rare moment of peace has allowed Australia to use its production to bolster its military strength at least somewhat. While the extra Statue of Liberty production is nice, it has not been the game-changer it would be for a larger or more population-dense civ, as the period of peace has been far more impactful for military size. That being said, Australia's land army is still rather destitute, but thanks to Uruguayan peacekeepers, that doesn't seem as relevant as it used to.
Aaron: The Metis spent this part at peace and wisely used it to bulk out their stats and built military. The Apache are just managing to hold off the Iroquois thanks to a lack of Iroquois melee units but the balance is still delicate. My recommendation to the Metis would be to attack the Iroquois now while both the Apache and Uruguay are on their side. This is a great opportunity to take back those cities the Iroquois stole from them during the big (self-inflicted) Metis gangbang they've just got out of. Together, other North American civs are stronger than the Iroquois, but that does rely on working together instead of fighting each other. Failure to act now will just mean the Iroquois will be the ones to decide later down the line when the inevitable Iroquois/Metis rematch will happen.
LRS: From one point of view, Shikoku’s handling of the situation in Oceania has been remarkable. If they were going to get into a clusterfuck of a war, the idea goes, they may as well end up in one far enough away from their core to make it a non-factor. Of course, this is ignoring the fact that they’re totally disregarding both of the Chinas next to them to do it, but expecting the AI to seize every situation available to it is like expecting a pig to sprout wings and recreate the legend of Icarus. That being said, though, they could stand to do a lot better. Hawaii should have been an easy conquest, but, via divine providence, complete incompetence, and an intervention by the Nazca of all people, Monywa still stands and Shikoku don’t look to be in any position to take it. The position of the other fronts of the grand campaign to make the Pacific red with blood can be easily summed up by simply saying that somehow Hawaii is probably their best area right now. Still, though. Only so much gross incompetence can cost you when your empire is centered on a different hemisphere. Shikoku will weather this storm. They’ll just, you know, make us all regret ever thinking of them as a top tier civ in Asia while doing so.
Gragg: Couldn’t have peace for too long now could we? Prussia wasn’t the easiest next target for the Vikings but it might be good enough. The Vikings need to continue to gain mainland cities at a fast rate if they want to hold on to their rank. Sooner the civs in Europe will be too strong to attack with a naval based military. If the Vikings can secure their HRE gains and make some more against Prussia they’ll have a much better chance of ‘winning’ Europe. The easier conquests of Green/Iceland and the Isles can come later. In the long run those cities will be of less use. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the timing of this attack is a little off. Prussia isn’t being weakened by any enemies and is fielding unique units.
Gragg: The only line about Palmyra this week was on slide 21. It read “Meanwhile, Palmyra just sits there. Doing nothing. Menacingly.” Which about sums it up. Now I’ll expand upon that point a little. When you’re as large as Palmyra you don’t have to do anything for your circumstances to change. The rivals to the South in Madagascar and Beta Israel have been significantly weakened over the past couple episodes. The Goths have opened up a longer border to the Northeast. Prussia is currently being weakened by the Goths, though HRE is still in the way. Zimbabwe is one step closer to bordering Palmyra. To the direct West and East not much has changed. In summation: Palmyra just sat there. Doing nothing. Menacingly.
Aaron: Kazakhstan is the third civ of the entire cylinder to research paratroopers, which puts them in the exclusive club of atomic era civs, alongside Zimbabwe, Shikoku and Taungoo (Uruguay has already left the club). What's more, they have finally decided that now is the time to build military, and boy have they built military... they went from one of the smallest militaries (rumps excluded) all the way up to the 8th largest! And they show no signs of stopping. What are these new troops and what are they aimed at? Well, they appear to be mostly cavalry and artillery so nothing too exciting (no paratroopers yet unfortunately). And for the moment they're not aimed at anyone; they are in defensive positions surrounding their cities. Now that they know paratroopers exist is Kazakhstan paranoid their neighbours will use them against them? If so that would be a large overestimation of their neighbours techs... At any rate, a large army means they can defend against the Khamugs, something people have been worried about for a while but now doesn't seem such a problem anymore. Even if no invasions seem planned for now, Kazakhstan is now 4th overall in tech, with a large army, lots of land, and a few weak neighbours to prey on. Things are definitely looking good.
Aaron: Success! Maratha found 1 cuirassier somewhere and managed to capture Pokhara with it. Next stop: Bhaktapur. The conquest is very slow but at least it's happening. This does mean that their army, once in second place of the cylinder, has dropped down to 7th, but this is less Nepal killing them and more from other civs building up more thanks to having done their conquests sooner. The most important example of this is Taungoo, who are now dominating Maratha in the stats thanks to their new indonesian lands. But this isn't a huge problem yet; there is still plenty of time to catch up to Taungoo before the inevitable showdown between them. And Maratha is in a pretty good position for catching up via conquest, having a string of weak neighbours it can prey on: not just Nepal, but India, and then Parthia too.
Gragg: Another part where the Khamugs continue to lie in wait. It would be a lot worse if their neighbors were getting weaker. Instead the Qin and Qing continue to kick each other around. Evenks have been severely weakened as well. The Kazakhs did get a good bit stronger as they add more military and former Evenki cities to their empire. They’re still not strong enough to wage a 1v1 war with the Khamugs though. Their unit comp is looking pretty good if a little range heave. There are enough melee units to capture cities though.
Aaron: This part, the Sami declared war on Shikoku and immediately set to work preparing their invasion force by upgrading their navy. They unlocked submarines, carriers and battleships... wait what do you mean Shikoku is the other side of the world? Oh well, never mind. If only there was a good target closer to use it against, such as 2 neighbours who are weakening each other by fighting in the Baltic sea... fighting with boats... At any rate, the Sami are back to building gigantic numbers of troops and having insanely high stats - they actually have more science, production and military than the Moors despite having fewer cities and a smaller population! The downside of the Sami, and why they are still rated below the Moors, is that instead of bordering weak civs like Nubia, the Manx, Benin or Venice, the Sami border Prussia, the Goths and the Vikings. While the Moors can sleep for a long time without any major threats showing up or losing too many expansion opportunities, the Sami need to be a little more proactive if they don't want to be isolated. The Vikings have already overtaken them in science by some miracle that happened last part (ie: 5 of the most expensive techs in 5 turns - no I still don't understand how it happened) and with their invasion of Prussia, they are definitely trying to overtake them production too.
LRS: Do you like boats? The Moops sure do – they’ve practically turned the entirety of their armed forces into nothing but a few field guns and cavalrymen keeping watch over Africa and a patently absurd amount of privateers. Like, god damn. Those are “single-handedly keeping the age of piracy alive on the cylinder” levels of boats. Other than what may be the most ridiculous post-war reconstruction job in the history of the cylinder, though, it was a pretty slow part for the Moors. They seemed to make overtures towards the Manx, but with that amount of boats it was either encroaching upon Mann’s lands or Venice’s, and the Manx are about as threatening as a teddy bear right now, so surrounding Illiam it was. Even with the boat situation, though, the Moors have definitely earned their place at the top of Europe. Lands that never really benefitted Songhai in life sure have been a boon in their death, with the Moors rising to the top of the charts in just about every metric that matters even with a full half of the old Songhai empire still puppeted. Boat spam or no, the Moors are a top tier civ. All they have to do now is not fuck it up.
Cloudberg: Zimbabwe really hasn't made as much headway against Beta Israel as we expected. Despite the massive tech differential, Nyatsimba Mutota just hasn't sent enough troops to overcome Gudit's tenacious defense, and at the end of the part he walked away with only Balankab—or at least what was lift of it, after it flipped repeatedly. The question now is, has the momentum shifted? Will Zimbabwe now roll straight through to victory? It's hard to say for sure, but the stats do hint at a rise for Zimbabwe. Their army has greatly increased in size, and their production has gone up as well. Maybe the war machine will finally spring into action.
Techno: The Goo, quite frankly, underperformed this part. The war against Shikoku has gone far more slowly than expected, especially after their blitz of New Zealand, their other main Oceania rival. With only one city captured and minor skirmishes elsewhere, it seems like their naval AI has reached the limits of its capability to expand quickly. To be fair, Shikoku is far from the most direct neighbor for Taungoo to strike, and in the area in which the Goo was more established, they fared quite well. But when compared to the blitzlike expansionism of the Iroquois and the obscene Uruguayan stats, this sort of slow but steady progress is what holds Taungoo in 3rd place for the time being.
Gragg: That’s right. You didn’t accidentally skip the second place civ and scroll straight to 1st. Uruguay has been at least temporarily unseated by a group of disloyal PRs that forgot the blood contract we signed with the Guay. Impatience has a lot to do with their drop in rank. They’ve had a staggering lead in the stats but that has barely translated into the game. I will point out though that they did in fact makes gains against Kuikuro, the best defensive civ in the game as well as gainz in Africa. That may not be as much as we would expect but it’s certainly enough to keep them in 2nd if not 1st. It’s also worth mentioning that they’ve fallen to 4th in production. Their military lead still dwarfs everyone else however. Their science lead as well. The biggest metric that will be difficult to overcome are wonders. Uruguay has near-guaranteed themselves a massive lead in wonders. Luckily for the rest of the cylinder that’s not the win-condition.
Cloudberg: CAN I GET A DRUMROLL PLEASE?? After 17 straight episodes of Uruguay in first place, legendary city-spammer Hiawatha has Iroquoised™️ himself into the coveted top spot in the power rankings! If you had told me a year ago that we'd be rooting for the Iroquois to rise into first place, I wouldn't have believed you, but here we are. Now, the hard part: justifying this decision. To be perfectly honest, Uruguay is probably still the best civ by most possible metrics. But a few factors all came together this part to sway a sufficient number of power rankers into putting the Iroquois up here instead. First off, Hiawatha now has the most production of any civ on the cylinder, soaring past Uruguay this part (in fact, Uruguay fell all the way to third as the Sami are now in second place). Second, the Iroquois pretty decisively recaptured the island city they lost last part, showing that Uruguayan attacks can be repelled by someone other than Kuikuro (or at least, they can if you have like 47 cities and advanced technology). And that's not even considering the fact that Hiawatha is at war with the Apache at the same time. Anyway, perhaps this is all some naïve wishful thinking, but consider this: what if the only reason Uruguay was good was because we kept putting them first?

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Images: 10, author: Kravock, published: 2018-05-06, edited: 1970-01-01