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Part 12: Bring Your Merchant To War Day

More merchants join the war effort as attacks on Rome and the Philippines continue.

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    Good evening, good evening, good evening and welcome to the twelfth instalment of the /r/civ Battle Royale Mark II, the world’s most entertaining screenshot-based AI-controlled hexagonal warfare simulation! In the realms of reddit, I go by /u/senshidenshi on places, and I do mods sometimes and stuff! Today, I’m proud to present this segment to you all with my thrilling, occasionally sesquipedalian narration! If you want more Battle Royale-related content and you haven’t already stumbled upon the reddit page, you can find all you’ll need at /r/civbattleroyale! The community there creates some excellent content to help you through to the next instalment! Also, I guarantee you, if I’ve missed anything like a city capture or something, they’ll be on it faster than an Inuit settler! See, that was a joke, because the Inuit have a lot of cities.

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    Before we traverse into the wide world, be sure to familiarise yourself with the political borders as of the latest instalment, courtesy of our resident cartographer /u/SylonL!

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    Japan was not messing around when they declared war on the Philippines last week! Already, their horde of triremes cascade over the city of Iloilo and bring the struggling isle down to critical damage! I guess Rizal’s strategy of “garrison an archer in every city” isn’t paying off. Come on, they’re not even bowmen! What are you playing at?! On the other hand, Hawaii doesn’t seem to care much about this front on the Great Filipino War. Judging by this screenshot alone, it looks like they only declared so that their composite bowman could rest its feet on dry land for a while. On the Vietnamese front, Vigan looks rather undefended. I guess Rizal has bigger fish to fry...

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    Bam! Australia has caravels now! Two of them, no less! Not only will this give them a military advantage over their Pacific adversaries, it also gives them the edge in exploration! Hawaii can’t send settlers to one-tile islands in the South Pacific at a leisurely pace any more, now there’s COMPETITION! Judging by the position of Kimberley’s navy, Pangasinan is not going to have a particularly pleasant day. By the way, there’s another Hawaiian composite bowman resting his feet on a one-tile island. One to the side desperately waits for his turn in Hawaii’s idea of paradise: not spending your whole life on a boat.

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    EASTER ISLAND WAS A CONSPIRACY CONFIRMED! There are just so many things wrong with this picture. Who built this? It couldn’t have been Hawaii because of the split. Is there a secret Rapa Nui civ nobody mentioned? Is that a one-tile island? Why doesn’t the bowman from the slide before stand there? Why hasn’t Hawaii settled this yet? Will Australia find it first? Probably more importantly, what was TPangolin doing looking around the only area where there AREN’T any civs? In other news, Yakutia, one of the least interesting civs so far, completes Angkor Wat, one of the least interesting wonders. The world yawns a collective yawn. I guess this will help with border expansion, but surely the Inuit strategy is faster?

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    Tulum and Chichen Itza are officially Buccaneer territory. Judging by the Mayan army, it’s a safe bet to say that that won’t be changing very soon. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mayans are the first to go. Unlike, say, Byzantium, it’s hard to sympathise with their plight. They weren’t the victims of powerful aggressive neighbours, but rather the victims of their own hubris. Pacal was all like “Pikemen? Nah, we’ll be fine. We got Archers first!” The Mayans do seem to be sending a few triremes down to Tulum, though, so we’ll have to see how that plays out. It’s interesting to me that the Bucs have two Great Generals in storage, and instead they send Steve Jobs to the front lines. Also, some things are consistent between reality and Battle Royale-ity: Cortez is primed to invade Central America. Now he just needs to come dancing across the water… These Hawaiian composite bowmen have found a new place to rest: the foothills of the Amazon Rainforest.

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    Just because Hawaii isn’t in the shot doesn’t mean there’s any escape from the composite bowmen, as a whole trench of them is appearing on the Incan front! Argentina’s got quite a strange army going on at the moment. It’s mostly pikemen, with a few Great Generals and… settlers for support, and a single trebuchet. Is this the first trebuchet in South America? I think it in the last edition. No matter, I wasn’t paying attention.

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    The Huns look a bit worrisome at the moment. Finland now borders their capital due to recent conquests, and most of their army seems to be between Verkhoturye and Chimgi-Tura. Again, we see the “Put Great Merchants on the front lines” strategy, this time being used by the Sibir. Maybe it’s a political movement! A worldwide occasion! Bring your Merchant to War Day! I do think the Huns may be able to snag Verkhoturye if they manage to keep their Battering Ram alive, but at what cost? Time will tell. I’m not very good at discerning the outcome of war. Also, we have a view of the Sibir unique unit, the Tartar! This is a ranged Knight, similar to the Keshik or Camel Archer, which ignores terrain cost and has a combat bonus in rough terrain, such as, say, the forests of Northern Chimgi-Tura? I take back what I said about the Huns’ chances in Sibir; they’re in for a rough time. This Hawaiian composite bowman has found a nice little spot to rest his feet just east of Novosibirsk, and I see he’s brought a spearman cohort. War never changes.

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    Ayyubids in Jerusalem! Ayyubids in Jerusalem! And I see they brought a Prophet with them! Heresy! That sounded like a song. I should make that a song. Anyway, the Mamluks knock on David’s front door. Maybe they won’t stuff it up this time. To the side, pikemen approach the undefended city of Bethlehem… Anyway, this picture is actually relevant because it gives me time to discuss the two unique units we’re faced with today! Saladin’s Mamluks do some Religious things, but combat-wise they’re knights with no terrain penalties in desert and no city penalties! Definitely a foe to be feared by Israe- wait a minute, the Ayyubid ability would convert Jerusalem to Islam as soon as it was conquered! And they brought Prophets anyway? Well, maybe this was just a badass conversion mission. Good job ruining the fun, Sally. I don’t recall the Maccabees being discussed, so if they have I apologise. Basically they’re swordsmen which receive an additional flanking bonus when attacking and Faith for kills. Also about one of them is actually flanking at the moment. The Armenian unique unit, a Great General replacement, is also in the top corner, but this is already a fairly uninteresting narrative so far. You know what’s funny? Jokes.

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    A revolution is beginning in Europe. They had heard tales of Pikemen in the mystic south, but never before did they believe such a thing was possible. Surely spears were the most advanced form of technology possible? But then the secret of the pike was discovered, and pikemen spread across the continent! This is their story… Suddenly Europe looks a bit advanced. Sweden has pikemen, Norway has pikemen, even France has a couple! I can’t see any in Poland though. I feel the Nazis suddenly stand a bit of a chance, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. As Hawaii wasn’t available for comment, some French archers have started resting their feet in strange places, namely the Eastern Front.

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    Mazar-i-Sharif is about to fall to Para… Pura… Para… Sri Lanka! A group of triremes and composite bowmen on boats seems to have brought the Afghan colony to its knees! In other news, the Sri Lankans have started producing the Balata, which I believe has already been discussed, but for those out of the loop the Balata is a longswordsman which is available earlier and heals faster on rivers! In other news, what is up with the Afghan city logo? Does it keep the shine for some reason? In other news, there’s a Persian Settler off the coast which is almost dead! In other news, the Mughals have a city called Guar which is making me think of Morrowind! In other news…

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    The Mexicans have moved on Wahpekute! With the city practically dead and only Blackfoot bowmen around, it’s practically theirs for the taking! The horseman is right there, Mexico! I believe in you! Also, I can’t be bothered to go back and check, but I do believe a well-placed citadel may have just secured Mexico the Grand Mesa. Has Mexico finally broken free of its Tequilla edition? Will we need to find a new name for Mexico-itis? Has General Alcazar finally gained control over General Tapioca and heralded a new era of victory? Is Alcazar actually better at warfare than Tapioca? Why have I turned this into a Tintin reference? Find out soon, hopefully!

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    Konongo is in the red, but it seems like the Ashanti have secured it well. Is this the start of a comeback for the Heroes of the Golden Stool? Let’s be honest, no. But the Ashanti can rest assured they’re pretty safe, for now…

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    What’s this? Under the directions of yours truly (and about 120 other people), our beloved Agent Em Weranoutofbabyloniannames has finally discovered the TRUTH about Yakutia. In reality, they are not friendly, sleeping bears, but rather malicious connivers plotting to destroy the innocent Mongol horde! To be honest, I’d like to see them at war. Yakutia could dominate the lines of archers Genghis is blocking the border with, and take at LEAST Tiflis and Turfan. I’m quite fond of Yakutia. It must be the colour scheme. There’s something about that brown and blue which really appeals to me. I guess brown and blue don’t often work together, but this one flows so well…

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    Japan seems to be holding Iloilo quite well. They’ve almost taken care of every naval unit in the immediate vicinity, and the embarked Pikemen pose no threat. I guess those who would follow Islam would rather follow Athiesm, as Al-Walid joins the Philippines to help win the day! I guess nobody told him it was a naval battle. Most importantly, however, the Hawaiian composite bowman is missing! Maybe he’s heard about the wonders of Random Maoi Isle and wishes to see it for himself! Or maybe he got killed by a passing galleass. It’s a mystery!

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    Any Philippines supporters in the audience might want to exit before this gets messy. Jandamarra has dominated Laguna, giving him a clear path into Rizal’s core, there are multiple Trebuchets approaching Butuan and Quezon, and the Filipino defenders consist of a few galleasses and scouts. Surely Didgeridoom has befallen South East Asia? You know, I was waiting for a Vietnam/Philippines team-up against the Kimberley, but it doesn’t seem very likely.

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    You know how I was talking before about blue and brown and how they usually don’t go well together? I think Indonesia supports my hypothesis. Still, I’m rather impressed with Indonesia. They’ve got a decent carpet going on, and quite a few Kris Swordsmen. Still, they’re between the now threatening Champa and the Kimberley, so they need all the luck they can get. Sure, they may be irrelevant, but that’s probably the best thing for them at the moment.

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    Ireland! Home of the free, and the brave, and the cork! And soon to be home of the English, if this picture is anything to go by. Yes, after decades in the doldrums, using some of the weakest units in the game, the Brits are back! They’ve now got Pikemen in the north, and their archer carpet has become composite! Ireland had better be rushing to Steel, or the English army may stand a chance! Francisco Pizarro may have taken a wrong turn, as I don’t see an Irish/Inca war coming any time soon. Also note the random French settler. Payback for York? Somehow I doubt it.

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    The Huns are moving forward! And by that I mean they’ve razed a tile. Yes, it seems all is bland along the eastern front at the moment, with neither side putting too much effort into mounting an offensive. I wonder if the Finnish have spotted the sneaky Horseman trying to take San Bartolo from behind… Also note the Sibir horseman on the right of the screen. A sign of the fate of the Hunnic horde to the east?

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    Tesla’s here, and he’s going to electrocute the ocean! I mean, there’s clear joke potential here, but I can’t think of anything good. So sue me. Or Tesla. Sri Lanka is encountering resistance on both fronts. While they’ve successfully captured Mazar-i-Sharif, Hotak has rallied an armada of composite bowmen to retrieve it. To the east, the previously navy-less Burma has raised a swarm of galleasses to protect Rangoon. While Sri Lanka has performed well in the war so far, I doubt they’ll keep their winnings for much longer. Unless a peace treaty happens, like, now.

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    Sichangu is Blackfoot-controlled, but the masses of Inuit bowmen do not bode well for the icy hamlet. I’ll be honest, if I lived up there I’d be hoping for Inuit rule. Just as long as they keep the WiFi intact.

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    The Buccaneers come ever closer to Palenque, easily battering down the feeble spearmen and throwing-spearmen, which is what Atlatlists are. Unless the Mayans produce a miracle, we may as well already start scripting the Pirates of Palenque musical. Steve Jobs is stationed in Chichen Itza now, so we at CivBR are proud to present the Sacrificial Pyramid 5S! 0.25% slimmer than the average Sacrificial Pyramid! All I’m saying is, if the sun doesn’t rise tomorrow, you’ll know why. Wait a minute, that’s bloody Aztecs! Dammit! Actually, you know what, screw it, Chichen Itza just got taken over by pirates, we’ll let it slide.

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    Mexico has done it! They’ve learned how to capture a city! And what a city it is! If I’m not mistaken, Wahpekute houses Petra, which should greatly increase its power, despite starting at one pop after the vicious fighting. Now the invaders are chiselling out the Sioux empire’s very core. In Hunkpapa, Sitting Bull trembles. A Blackfoot arrow has missed his face by mere inches. Unfortunately for the Blackfoot, he was standing at the apex of the city, and the arrow sails over the populace, instead cutting off a random nearby Great Artist’s ear. The Artist is furious, as he knows he will now be compared to Vincent Van Gogh, even though Van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist and he’s a Cubist! I think that was a joke. I’m jealous of the civ realm. I wish MY government could spend millions of dollars building some crap and then I would get rewarded for it…

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    Look who’s being a plotting Percy in the Arctic wastes! Agent Em reveals the Yakuts are not only against the Mongols, but the Inuits as well! I knew the settling of Igloolik would cause trouble, but I expected Tygyn Darkhan to be less passive-aggressive and more aggressive-aggressive. Speaking of which, what a name! Igloo Lick! It’s flawless! Puts Medicine Hat to shame! Still doesn’t hold a candle to the Boer cities though.

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    Vietnam has six trebuchets and is mere minutes away from Beijing. This will be a fight to remember – that is, if it ever happens. Korea is right there. Speaking of which Busan looks very undefended at the moment. Hopefully that trireme won’t anger the Watermelon Warriors by breathing on them too hard. I have to admit, I’m very impressed with Japan. Sure, Iloilo isn’t Seoul, but it’s something, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to switch back any time soon.

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    At ScoutCon 1720, Germany poses for the traditional “Scouts on a Boat” picture alongside Tibet. Truly, this is a momentous occasion. To the right, we can see Torah the Explorer himself, who organises the event every few decades. Amga was chosen this year due to the large number of Israeli scouts already visiting the location. To the left, Mongolian and Siberian settlers prowl the icy wastes, hoping to set up shop nearby in order to hawk their goods. Overall, a momentous occasion. Be sure to note that Yakutia also has galleasses and knights and is not falling behind in the slightest.

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    The Icelandic north in all its glory. Again, note the galleasses. I guess they’re becoming rather rudimentary at this point. I’m yet to see any other caravels, though. Then again, I’m yet to see any other civs enter the Renaissance. Anyway, we have a rare glance at the Reydarfjall/Sherbrooke trade line. Also note its close proximity to Inuit and Canadian triremes. If war is declared, someone’s getting a little extra gold.

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    I knew people were deserting China, but this is a bit harsh. Zheng He has allied himself with Sparta and hopes to conquer the Mediterranean! Also, Leonidas has started sending his Pikemen after Cumae, protected by nothing but a ballista. We’d best keep an eye on here.

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    After the Ayyubids had the city surrounded, Jerusalem is somehow fine. All the Mamluks seem to have buggered off, and the ones who are still around are weak and weary. I don’t think Israel is going to bounce back, but one can dream. Also, Israel has a city called Hebron which reminds me of Battle For Zendikar.

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    Andrea Doria… the Exploria! It’s a nice, rhyming name. I have no idea who the person is, but the name is nice. However, that’s not important! The Champa take a risky target in Olongapo! While it is the weakest city around, it remains very close to other cities able to bombard Champa’s triremes, and galleasses are approaching from the north. The Champa do have a lot of triremes in storage, however, so this looks like it’ll turn into a battle of attrition.

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    Yamamoto joins the fray under Burmese control! I could point out the irony, but it’s rather obvious. Anyway, Sri Lanka is yet to do a single point of damage to a Burmese city. If they want to capture any, that’ll have to change. Come to think of it, that was pretty obvious as well. I should only be saying the things people might miss, like how the Champa have built a caravan! That’s relevant, right?

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    Ah, Africa. The forgotten continent- damn, look at all those leaves! Yes, the Kongo has its unique unit, the Pombo, and it’s basically just a cheaper Pikeman with ranged defense. They can also have increased movement, but only some of the time. It’s interesting, and I probably shouldn’t be the one explaining it. But now Kavanga has a pikeman carpet, the Kongo could be a threat! I wouldn’t want to declare war on them now, and neither would Africa, apparently, because the Kongo DOW this turn is from Arabia. Talk about an anticlimax.

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    Next in the list of Stupid Pointless DOWs That Don’t Change Anything is Finland and the Ayyubids. Good job. To the south, the Huns are getting tired of playing with ponies and bring in some swordsmen to meet the Finnish troops! Something tell me this won’t end well. Around San Bartolo, we can see that the U.S.S.R. is also participating in Bring a Merchant to War Day. I didn’t really see them as one to follow trends.

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    Aah, Australia. This is a place I’m used to. See that Composite Bowman in Brisbane? That’s actually me. Don’t expect much. Here we see Australia’s Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, which is providing the land with some more tourism – truly the most beneficial resource in a domination-only game. Note a second Prime Minister near Canberra. I’m guessing that’s the shadow cabinet? Australia’s really capitalising on its caravels, as well. There are four between the Gold Coast and Pukekura alone. I’d be worried if I was Maori. On an entirely unrelated note, I’m a bit disappointed the Maori aren’t brown and green, that is, kiwifruit colours. It’s a missed opportunity. I should make a patch for that.

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    North Africa. A mystic land of sand, sand, and elephants. As the Punic troops approach the mostly undefended Morroccan city of Tangier, I am strangely peckish. I wonder what an elephant tagine would taste like. Still, this is not all about me. Morocco is under attack, I think, and only time will tell us what will happen.

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    Is that a Mayan pikeman? Where were these a second ago?! See, Pacal, this is my beef with you. You had all these chances, you’re decently far into the Medieval era, and yet you still wait until pirates are at your doorstep before you use any of them. Yes, the Bucs have been temporarily driven away from Palenque, but at what cost? Fifty bucks and Pacal’s pride, probably.

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    We get another picture of the South American stalemate as Brazil completes the Alhambra. As well as increasing the city it was built in’s culture and defense, it provides new units with a combat bonus in rough terrain such as, say, the hills of the Andes? This may just tip the battle in Pedro’s favour, if he can get a single unit over there before peace comes.

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    And Ethiopia leads an offensive against the Ayyubids from the relatively undefended south, but relatively undefended isn’t saying much when looking at the north. Haile, you do realise you’re leading with WARRIORS, right? Unless Haile starts charging forward with his sole pikeman, I doubt much will come of this.

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    Bloody hell, Ahmad, really? Morocco DOWs on the Kongo, leaving his exclave to be swept away by the leaves of the Kongo. Why, though? Seriously, why? Does Ahmad think he can take Kavanga with two Pikemen and a catapult? Morocco? More like Moron-cco! See, that was a joke because-

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    Bloody hell, who ISN’T Tygyn Darkhan plotting against?! That must be why Yakutia hasn’t DOWed yet, they change their target every five seconds! Personally, I’m waiting for Agent Em to announce they’re plotting against the Zulu. They probably want to be last on the list of names. I’ll be honest, a Yakutia VS Korea match could be really cool. Considering how long it takes Yakutia to do anything noteworth, Sejong will probably have Hwachas at his disposal by then, and then it’ll be a challenge to find out whether a turtle is formed by code, or by AI… Also, Korea gets extra points for having their northernmost city be Pyongyang.

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    Take back what I said about the Huns… again… Chimgi-Tura is getting annihilated! With a swordsman on the front lines and some backup battering rams, this could be a genuine capture! Yeah, go on Atilla, show those croissant knights who’s boss! And, uh, maybe consider learning how to make regular knights…

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    The Sioux/Canada border is truly a sight to see. Multiple trebuchets and an army of pikemen and composite bowmen suggests that Oyuhpe and Sihasapa should start worrying. Then, the only thing standing between them and the Sioux will be Yankton. Wait… If Yankton AI was conquered by the Inuit, is this Yankton player-controlled? You’ve been holding out on us, haven’t you, TPangs? Oh, and the Great Artist from that joke from before is called Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He’s not a cubist, he’s a vegetarian.

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    Jerusalem has been hit, but with no obvious source! Did the Mamluk die when ransacking the city, or is that suspicious trireme a galleass in disguise? Or was it the Sibir scouts? Yet another mystery! Off-screen, actual war erupts in Africa, and another pointless war occurs between Saladin and Afghanistan. How did the Ayyubids even meet all these people?

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    Cebu is under attack! The Japanese are doing surprisingly well against one of the earliest Filipino cities! They have also sent a singular trireme towards Vigan, but this might work against them. Since Vietnam and Japan are now at war for some reason, if Vigan is captured then the sizable Vietnamese navy have all the rights to take it right off them.

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    James Cook arrives in Dvin, just a bit too late to discover Australia. What’s even the point of the Ayyubids discovering Australia? The only thing that would result from that is Australia eventually declaring war on them and then not doing anything about it! Meanwhile, in an actually relevant DOW against Saladin, it looks like Armenia plan to take advantage of the lack of troops in Trebizond and Constantinople.

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    A swarm of Spartan citadels rest mere inches from the gates of Cumae. The city will fall, the question is mainly when. And no, the Spartans aren’t going to construct a giant wooden horse. Judging by how far behind in tech the Romans are they’d probably think it was new-fangled weaponry and attack it anyway. Offscreen, Mazar-i-Sharif falls back into the hands of Hotak (good name for a film).

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    Korea versus Vietnam! I guess the two carvers of China eventually had to decide who got the gilded drumstick, and opted to settle it through pulling the wishbone. In this badly worded analogy, Vietnam has stronger fingers, but Korea has more of them. Personally, I think it was a bit dumb of Korea to DOW when Nam has a trebuchet right outside Busan, but the Trungs will need to back it up with some melee units.

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    Olangapo is now Cham! While the victory was a testament to Champa’s newfound skill, they’ll have to deal with the oncoming barrage of galleasses to secure the city and give themselves some rather humorous borders.

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    Now, a glimpse at the Maori. Nice carpeting, sure, but a simple glance to the left pretty much drowns all hope the Maori could have. If New Zealand was off the coast of Portugal they’d be a regional power, but Oceania is a dangerous place. Still, the Maori have their unique unit, a stronger Pikeman which upgrades more quickly and buffs nearby units! Then again, to use them in combat against anyone close they’d need to get through the Great Barrier Caravel Carpet, so the Maori are doomed to irrelevance. Unless, you know, Australia DOWs.

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    Tibet vs Vietnam Mark II! This time around, the war was not caused by the Trungs’ hubris, but rather Tibetan opportunism, striking at the nearly undefended Vietnamese cities! I’m describing cities as undefended a lot, I know, but that wasn’t exactly my idea, was it? Anyway, Tibet clearly has the upper hand and Nam must act quickly. While Hoa Lu could probably be shrugged off after a while, losing Can Tho would have a major impact on Vietnamese morale.

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    Timur has made peace with Armenia, ensuring no more Eastern European pins will be knocked down by the titular bowling ball. Meanwhile, despite reinforcements flooding in, Chimgi-Tura looks like it will flip at least once. At the very top of the screen we can see two Timur settlers. I wonder what exactly they’re plotting… By the way, isn’t it interesting how when Timur doesn’t go to war they’re timid, but when Yakutia doesn’t they’re asleep? Methinks all that free Yakult is going to the narrators’ heads.

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    Bloody hell, really? I’m beginning to distrust Agent Em, to be honest. Is she just saying Tygyn is plotting against everyone in the area to mask the fact that nothing ever happens in Yakutia? I wouldn’t be surprised.

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    Despite the rallying of the Moroccan forces, Tangier is in the red. A pikeman looms forward for the kill… Meanwhile, Africa is riddled with incompetence. Where is that elephant going? Aren’t Carthage and Morocco supposed to be fighting? A barren Kongolese city to the east may explain Morocco’s DOW, but did he just forget Carthage existed or something?

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    The recapturing hour is upon us, as Olongapo is recaptured by the Philippines, and Mazar-i-Sharif is re-captured by Sri Lanka! Despite the number of Cham triremes, I think the Filipino galleasses may have the upper hand. Vijaya seems unprepared for a fight. Yo, Champa, have you ever thought about a land battle?

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    The Mayans decide to send a representative to ScoutCon this year, however in their pitiable incompetence they accidentally send a trireme. You know, that could have been useful when your cities were under attack, Pacal! If you’re wondering, the Inuits aren’t stupid. That unique unit IS a scout. Torah the Explorer personally hates the Inuits for trying to make ScoutCon all ‘hip’ and ‘cool’.

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    Things seem to have settled somewhat in Central America. There are still pirate pikemen in Palenque, but not much is going on. At the bottom of the shot, a Hawaiian composite bowman is resting his feet. Typical Hawaii. If they’re not making sweet tropical love, they’re sleeping in some forest somewhere. This trade route perfectly sums up the Maya. Nobody cares if their cities are tradable, they’re worthless. Nobody cares about their borders because they can’t police them. Basically the Maya exist to make it hard for Mexico to interact with people.

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    Alright, it seems that Canada is targeting Itazipcho now, and all the Blackfoot troops have evacuated the area. Generally that’s not good news for an invading party, but I have faith in the Canadian army. They only really have to face a bowman, two pikemen and an undead catapult, anyway. Oyuhpe is currently defended by two workers and a composite bowman. Canada could probably sail a tugboat across the lake and take it. Instead, they target the one which managed to repel the Buffalo Men. Why am I not surprised?

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    Tangier is Punic! And surrounded by Moroccan units! Unless Hannibal has absolute faith in his pikeman, spearman and elephant, it seems like a losing battle. Then again, Morocco is still using archers, so I guess Carthage can afford to be a little cocky.

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    The oft-forgotten Zulus of south South Africa have laid down the Impi carpet! Run for the hills – or, better yet, run away from Boer territory! Kruger has not been very focused on the Zulus so far, so they may have the ability to swarm out of control, like a pest, or a plague, or a plague of pests. I’d be scared if I lived in Boksburg. Or Ficksburg. Or Vryburg. Original names, guys.

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    Bull and Juarez (excellent band name) have made peace, allowing the Sioux to focus on the North for the time being. Honestly, Mexico did pretty well for themselves in this one, nabbing a wonder and actually capturing the city this time. Marching on Oglala would not have gone well and Benito came out of the battle largely unscathed. Good on him, I say! Cease the stick throwing, or at least aim them towards someone who deserves it! Pacal seems like a good target. What a twat. And to think I usually play as the Maya as well. For shame.

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    Trebizond may have been undefended originally, but in the time it took Armenia to mobilise Spartan soldiers have begun to appear like spiders in a wardrobe. Spiders that slowly become visible until they’re right on top of you, and then they stab into your eyeballs… In other words, the conquest of Trebizond will no longer be a cake walk, unless the cake in question is filled with spiders. TPang's note: As senshi and I both hail from the land down under, we can safely say that this has happened to us far too many times. Senshi's note: I'll drink to that. TPang's note: We're Australians, we'll drink to anything. Senshi's note: Fair point. Go get the beer out of the ute, will ya? Nicomedia has been taken down to yellow, but it appears that the Ayyubids are standing up for themselves, sending triremes to knock on – or rather, knock down – the doors of Varna. Armenia may have made a decent decision at the time, but the time is no longer now. Because, you know, time usually progresses.

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    Cebu is in the yellow, and Korean troops, likely invading Vietnam, are massed around the area, making it difficult to defend. This may be a legitimate capture of what was previously one of the largest Filipino cities. And we all though Japan didn’t have it in them. At this point Iloilo is securely Japanese and the Filipino army is distracted and blocked off. To the right of the picture, check out those one-tile islands. Yes, the Hawaiian composite bowmen are back, baby! Again, one is patiently waiting his turn, blissfully ignorant of the beautiful, illustrious, mysterious one-tile island from about 55 slides ago.

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    Remember when the Mali and Ashanti were at each other’s throats, fighting? Yeah? Well, do you remember when the Mali and Ashanti were at each other’s throats fighting in this part? I didn’t think so. As a declaration of peace, this one was rather belated. It does interest me that as soon as peace was declared, the Ashanti set up a blockade. Seems a bit late for that, don’t you think? We’ve had pointless DOWs in Africa before, why not the opposite? And I’m not referring to DOWs that had a point, such as Morocco’s against the Kongo. If you’re wondering, the point of that one was to prove to the world that Morocco was actually incompetent the whole time!

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    Chimgi-Tura is hanging in there for now, but if Atilla snipes the swordsman that may well change. One battering ram could easily turn the tides, as the Sibir haven’t been the greatest defenders so far. Unfortunately for the Hunnic hordes, Atilla seems to want to make pretty patterns with his troops instead. In the top-right corner, yet another Hawaiian composite bowman has found a place to rest. Best of all, he’s a mere glance away from the two suspicious-looking Timur settlers and we’ve had one of our field agents provide him with a camera so he can catch all the juicy info! What do you mean, we’re here to observe and not interfere? How more observe-y can you get?!

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    And Cumae falls! I doubt the Roman troops are going to reclaim it either, considering they’re busy being dominated by a single French archer. Ravenna may be slightly harder to conquer, but Spartan Pikemen are already marching on Rome! The Romans don’t have much they can do at the moment, except pray… Pray, not for military might, considering the Spartans follow the same religious system, but rather pray that Leonidas gets bored and goes off to kill someone else. While we’re here, let’s take a look at northern Europe. For once, Germany seems decently defended, with pikemen on both the Eastern and Western fronts, and, yes, Berlin is Jewish now. Honestly it makes the whole Nazi deal more depressing, but if reddit finds it funny, who am I to disagree? Oh, yeah, I’m the narrator. France is a focal point here. Note how the French are attempting to participate in Bring your Merchant to War Day long after the war has died down. You may think this symbolises a clinging on to past battles, but it may represent plans to attack Germany in the near future. Look at France’s army for a second. Plenty of pikemen, and some warriors. Now, that may be the sign of a lack of technology, or it could be the sign of a lack of iron. Perhaps the age of the French was not the age of steel, but rather the age of… a different resource. The only way to discover the truth is to move forward. The lack of composite bowmen is shameful, though. Even ROME has composite bowmen. Remember Portugal, the boat guy? Well, I hope you like this picture of Funchal because 'Be Close to Rome' is the most they've achieved in this part. They're probably still waiting for the 'Fucks I Give' wheel to stop.

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    Carthage has earned itself a Shopet, a Great General replacement which heals units upon a kill and damages nearby cities! More notably, his troops can now cross mountains if they couldn’t before! Watch out, Tibet. Ethiopia, in what could be the ballsiest move in the game so far, sends a settler undefended through territory he’s at war with. Also note that the city being attacked is called “Dire Dawa”. Being a defeatist won’t help you, Selassie! Bring your Merchant to War Day is apparently being honoured by the Ayyubids as well, as an undefended one approaches both the Carthaginian and Ethiopian borders. Finally, England is friends with Hitler. This is an optimal time for political satire (“Bavid Bameron, the Queen’s new advisor, is an avid supporter of…”), but such a thing may be uncouth.

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    And now, as always, the ranking charts. A huge outcry today as Canada takes the lead in Population, reducing Texas’s only bout of relevance today into a swift number two. Today was not the day for blue-and-white civs to shine, apparently. Surprisingly, Sweden takes a top ten place! The Inuit, Vietnam and, most surprisingly considering all the jokes, Hawaii are knocked down a peg.

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    Let’s be honest, we all expected something like this. Some things to note is Mexico’s tiny one despite their recent victory, and that the Inca and Zulus are on the rise.

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    Australia is king of the battle once more, followed by the Boers and the Inuit. Yakutia drops to fourth, and the Ayyubids drop off the chart. Surprisingly, despite the plethora of poorly defended Vietnamese cities, Vietnam remains fairly high on the leaderboard.

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    Seeing the Philippines so low is testament to the powers in East Asia. As well as our usual suspects, I was surprised to see the Huns so low. I guess the fighting in Sibir is taking its toll. To add insult to injury, if you look to the right you’ll find Tibet has denounced them, as well.

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    Despite their numerous defeats, the Philippines stay in the top 12, city-wise. Nothing too dramatic has changed though.

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    All the usual suspects, I see. Really the only somewhat surprising one is Persia, but even that isn’t too big of a deal. There’s not much to say in the power rankings.

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    Texas can into sudden relevancy? No, not the technology charts, the right hand side! A war has erupted in North America! A war which will not be covered here! Tune in to Part 13 this Sunday! Australia is sharing the number one spot today with Yakutia. Combine that with their large army and decency on the battlefield and you have a top contender. Australia is also the only one to date to enter the Renaissance Era, which unfortunately does mean there are some earlier technologies the gilded roo needs to catch up on. To be honest, the Gilded Roo sounds like it could be a great pub.

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    Remember when people thought Morocco was on the rise? Yeah, about that… Morocco is tied with Rome and Byzantium for the least amount of technologies, a disgrace in itself, but he’s also signed himself up for a suicidal war against the Kongo. Good luck there, matey. The Zulus may be low, but they have the Impi now, so they’re not too worried. If they ever do cripple the Boers, it’ll be now or never. Finally, this is Portugal’s second appearance in the episode. Good job staying relevant, Maria. With that said, that is the end of Part 12! I hope you've enjoyed yourself! I\u2019m /u/senshidenshi, and I'd just like to say, to all of you who read through my narration, I\u2019m so, so sorry. Join us for part 13 and good night!