Home  ✧   Albums  ✧   Part 9: Behold! The Rise of the Underdog!

Part 9: Behold! The Rise of the Underdog!

Narrated by KingEggbert

Starting Turn: 143

Seotember 13, 2015

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    This is u/KingEggbert, former “expert” power ranker and now a do-nothing college student, (pre-med at the College of William and Mary, go TRIBE!). As I haven’t been getting my 5+ hour a day civ BR fix ever since I retired from the panel, I’ve been jonesing to participate in the community a tad bit more, and my dealer (the one true god based TPang) bestowed upon me the absolute honor to narrate for y’all. If you are interested in participating in a near seven THOUSAND redditor community of polandballs, speculation, discussions, and hype bandwagons come on over and join us at /r/civbattleroyale (and FLAIR UP)!

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    As per usual, u/SylonL has updated a gorgeous colored map of the world as of the end of part eight. For those that don’t know, u/Pylgrim has been giving a high quality series of analyses concerning the unclaimed hot-spots of the world to-date, just one more feature highlighting the amazing community at /r/civbattleroyale (srsly join us).

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    We start out this chapter in the arctic winds of the North, where the Inuit contemplate sending another settler to reach a desolate copper mine currently staked out by exiled Mexican and American outlaws. What horrible crimes they committed to deserve such a fate is beyond anyone’s imagination. Meanwhile, several tiles south, a Mexican scout is stubbornly blocking the icy isthmus adjacent to Ukkusiksalik, providing a crafty lookout point if the Inuit ever decide to put units in that general area and neglect expansion (i.e., they are joining their outlaw brethren shortly).

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    In this slide, we can see the embarkation of two settlers: one Inuit, and one Blackfoot. Does this mean a race to colonize the taiga of Asia? Which American civ will be the first to announce their ambitions towards Kamchatkifest Destiny?

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    Greetings and Aloha to the sandy beaches of Hawaii! Despite starting off with ocean embarkation, Kamehameha still managed to let Australia forward settle their proverbial backyard. Meanwhile, what sort of joke of a name for a city is “Townsville”? It sounds like a default fake name for Cities: Skylines if you accidentally save your game untitled. Townsville! Cityopolis! Hamletsburg! Note from TPang: \"Have you never seen the Powerpuff Girls?\"

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    In Central America, we see the extremely solid Texan navy, which could absolutely wipe-out the Buccs if they are the first to caravels. Of course, that would require the AI to have a formidable navy tactical prowess, which is luls-inducing for any expert civ player. Meanwhile, the Mayan army looks to be extremely out-of-date, and Mexico seems to be building up an army of catapults and bowmen despite the fact that you need melee units to take out cities.

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    Korea’s clutch on Guangzhou remains solid, and as always there are Israeli spies watching, keeping notes. Also in this picture: confirmation of China’s acquisition of Shanghai, as predicted on /r/civbattleroyale when crafty detectives took to the mini-maps of the last update.

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    Oh boy! PHILIPINO GALLEASSES SPOTTED! Does this make up for the fact that they literally have an army of scouts, warriors and archers? Probably not, but not many civs have seemed to reach compass yet, so it is exciting nonetheless.

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    On the African front, The Boers have decided to ignore the Zulus led by Oblomov Shaka, and turn their sights Northerly the past few updates. Due to the geography of Africa, Ethiopia cannot seem to direct their full forces into the heart of Kruger. Meanwhile, Kruger attacks Lalibela, home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, home to many a dead leopard prowling to its summit at unfathomable altitudes. That was supposed to be a Hemingway reference. You can tell I’m much more fit to be a science major.

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    Mongolia graciously accepts Shaoshan as tribute from the Chinese, who honestly had no business settling there in the first place. While this may seem to be a non-troversy, it seems Sibir was eyeing that land as well, and declares war on their warmongering Khanate kin. An amazing development, let’s name it the “War of the Sarais” due to Old and New Sarai’s proximity to each other. The likely winner of this war: whoever gets Yakutia to align with them first.

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    Sparta inches ever so closer to Cumae, but while weakened, the Romans have both of their UUs at their disposal defending the hotly contested gates. Leonidas seems to be the first ruler to have a veritable army of pikeman rather than spearmen. For those that missed it last update: Arretium (Sicily) and Funchal (Corsica) were firmly established as Portuguese colonies as they were taken from the clutches of Augustus, in a dynamite wave of power from Maria’s strong navy. Who cannot wait for a Morocco- Portugal naval war? Should be epic, in the real, non-meme sense of the word.

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    Australia is still kinda just chillin. With only two civs on the entire subcontinent, it is no wonder how Kimberly and Australia are perennial favorites by the community at large and the power rankers. And what’s with Australian city names?! First Townsville, now “Sunshine Coast”!? Sounds like the name of a two-foot deep kiddie-pool in a water park.

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    For those who were paying attention to the announcements atop the screen the past few slides, you’d have noticed the Ashanti wars are where most of the action is taking place this update. First, Osei Tutu nabbed Atebubu from the Kongo, but now, in a most surprising update, Morocco has put it’s Great Lighthouse to use and proven the might of its navy taking out an enemy CAPITAL. Note how I did not say snipe, because that is NOT the correct usage of the word snipe. Sniping is when another city does the majority of the work for you, and you come in with basically one unit when the city is defenseless and take it all for yourself. Morocco did this singlehandedly. Know your civ lingo. Like Weird Al, I hate them word crimes.

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    The mighty Timurid army located above the dangerous forces of Afghanistan and below the might of the Hunnic carpet of battering rams, which in turn is sandwiched between the strength of the powerful USSR collective and the formidable Siberian death cloud. Persia is here too.

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    With the Cham trireme in the way, the Philippines only need one trireme around Vigan to hold off the entire Vietnamese navy. Japan and Korea seem to be on the verge of spamming incredible navies in their own right.

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    “Swiggity swooty, we’re coming for St. Louis” seems to be the battle cry of the Western front of the Icelandic navy. America could do well to get Canada aligned with them if they care at all for their North-eastern-most city, and Canada should be worried as many of their cities are vulnerable to an amphibious assault.

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    The tug-of-war between the Moroccan navy and Ashanti army continues, and the Kongo seem to be setting themselves up for a (veritable) snipe should they play their cards right. That being said, Osei Tutu is being hammered from all sides, as even Mali is able to nab Yeji, the fruit of the Ashanti assault on Carthage many years ago.

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    In a move no one will likely care about, the Tibetans and Huns are now at war! Something tells me this won’t mean a thing. Since there is not much of note in this slide, let us take in the beauty that is Lhasa’s defense stats. Twenty-eight shields, plus a near impossible to traverse labyrinth of mountains. THAT is how you turtle.

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    In a move that might actually surmount to something, Tibet has declared war on Burma. Take that, you Buddhist heathens! Anyone that believes there to be a clear winner to this battle is seeing something that I can’t, because both armies look pretty timid.

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    Now back to Spartan Pikemen versus Roman Ballistae. What on paper looks like an easy Spartan victory is proving troublesome, and no, there is no Polish scout this time: just really hard geography to maneuver around. Now The Spartans know what it is like to be on the other side of the Battle of Thermopylae. “Not so fun, is it?” roared Darius, even though it was Xerxes who Leonidas fought and he is thousands of miles away. Darius promptly fell back asleep.

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    Armenia is an underdog due to the fact that their UA nerfs them into keeping themselves from attacking anyone in their vicinity, as they only get bonuses against opposite religions. Even more worrisome-ly, Yervantashat is extremely vulnerable to a naval attack, and the Timurids seem to rule these seas.

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    One would think the USSR have a snow bonus the same as the Inuit with their preference for taiga and tundra, but nope. Which really makes you wonder how Stalin thought Gorky was a good idea. Like, there is only one fish tile, and the rest is snow. Meanwhile, the Finnish are happy to be somewhat relevant for at least one slide.

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    Vigan is still contested, and in a ballsy move the Philippines send only triremes to defend, sending their galleasses out elsewhere. Meanwhile, Armenia and the Huns have declared a stalemate. Clearly this is so Atilla can set his full concentration on the real prize: Tibet.

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    Ahhh, there is where the galleasses are going: Pangasinan. Nice one, Philippinbros, but do you really think that the EXPERT POWER RANKERS’ NUMBER ONE PICK AUSTRALIA will give in so easily to you? Pfft. Half the world away, Hitler has given up on Sparta and Norway, as if he ever had any chance against them anyway.

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    Speaking of the Nazis, here they are. Hitler has NO discernable Navy, making a Scandinavian invasion a mere pipe dream, and clearly seem to be the bottom-dwellers of Europe, on the same level as the Romans. It is only a matter of time until Poland, France, or Sparta becomes serious about Germannihilation. Additionally, the French caravan bypasses Germany completely on its way to either Lodz, Cumae or Tegea, which is major luls and pretty much shows the respect France holds for Germany.

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    Speaking of major luls, the Kimberly have bypassed INDONESIA for CHAMPA. One would think with Indonesia’s spices, trade would be majorly profitable for Indonesia. But nope! CHAMPA is preferable. Trust me, I love the Champa-ions, them and the Texans were my two regular civs when I did the power-rankings. But I love the Champa because of how lolfail they were. From the gold UA (deity AI don’t need gold) to the horrible start placement to the crazy city placement and the horrible war performances. They are like the Don Quixote of the Civ BR, charging at windmills. And here they are being more relevant than Indonesia. How beautiful.

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    At this point it isn’t “will Kumasi stay in Ashanti control?” so much as “will Morocco or the Kongo net the second capital of the game?” Not that it matters much, as Kumasi has a population down to one, but it does have access to several resources making it a promising investment.

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    The Mongolian invasion of Shenzen has been halted by the Sibirian forces, as was likely Kuchum Khan’s strategy all along. The Mongolian army is clearly outmatched on this front. Meanwhile, the Chinese army consists of solely a Great Merchant. So fierce.

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    And Kumasi goes to… drumroll please… MOROCCO! Congrats Ahmed, you really made my power rankings look embarrassing (I put you at number 61 initially, and really lead the PR group into thinking you deserved it). As I have said earlier, the Moroccan navy is top-tier due to the Great Lighthouse, and the Portuguese army is of the same caliber by taking Mediterranean cities from the Romans. That will be a match-up to watch out for, and their proximity should make it looming on the horizon...

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    Maria heard what I had to say, and to test her mettle, declared war on… Saladin? Wrong Arabian leader, Maria. In fact, that’s pretty racist of you for mixing them up like that. For shame, Maria. In her defense, it is slightly more likely to surmount to some importance than Attila’s war on Tibet.

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    Kamchatkifest Destiny goes to: THE INUIT! Congrats, and their city looks like a true keeper with furs, horses, and is that amber? Anyway, better luck next time, Blackfeet, maybe you can net Easter Island with that settler instead. To the west, one can see Yakutia expand into the proximity. Uhh, why have you waited this long? It was basically guaranteed yours and now you’ll have to fight for it… if you ever wake up. Plenty of camp-sites make it an absolute goldmine for Yakutia, who has a pantheon and a UA enhancing their deer to mini-Natural Wonders.

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    Watch out, Phillippinbros. There seems to be no more monopoly on galleasses in this war, anymore. That being said, Geelong looks like a lost cause with the Philippine army marching their way over. If Indonesia wishes to become relevant, they could throw their triremes into the mix as well, but lol @ the idea of them being relevant.

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    The scuffle over Vigan is getting heavy, are you sure diverting your galleasses wasn’t a mistake now, Philippines? Vigan should have succumbed by now due to their military incompetence, but Vietnam decided to be EXTRA incompetent by not sending in any melee units to, y’know, actually TAKE the city. On the other half of the world, Mali and Morocco are bonding over the slaughtering of Ashanti women and children. Total besties.

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    The Ashanti make peace with Kongo, ultimately securing Atebubu. Without an Eastern front to worry about, maybe the entirety of the Ashanti forces will be enough to retake their capital. But as long as they have to deal with Mansa Musa as well, it seems unlikely they can recover from Ahmed’s devastating blow.

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    The invasion of Lalibela by The Boers was ultimately a failure, and Kruger decides to retreat and regroup for the time being. Their assault on the Kongo is relentless, however, and seems to be cracking at Kakongo’s defenses. While a straight shot into Nzinga’s capital presents itself, Kruger’s swordsmen seem uninterested. Additionally, Bloemfontein has been taken from the Boers at some point this update. This seems to be negligible, the Kongo may have won that battle, but harder times await if they wish to secure the war.

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    Thankfully I get a break from typing as TPang decides to net a second screencap of Hawaii. Phew. Thanks for the breather, TPang! I owe you one.

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    The Cham empire is more formidable than you likely thought. Perhaps moreso than Burma? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But they have plenty going for themselves, including a 29 shield defense in their capital, which as noted earlier is receiving healthy trade from the Kimberly. Vietnam won’t snatch Panduranga with the same ease as the first Viet-Cham war, but are still the heavy favorites. Of note: Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. What a name! Take note, Australia: THAT is a suitable city name for a major empire. Sunshine Coast and Townsville really just makes me sick. Note from TPang: \"TPang does not approve of the narration of this slide.\"

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    Wow, maybe the Cham DO have a chance against Burma, they have the technological advantage! The Cham could also ake Vijaya back while the Trung sisters are distracted to the East. But instead the “Pirates of the East” decide to, once again, not live up to their namesake. It would be so cute if they won. Also, The Tibet-Burma war seems to have fizzled out into nothingness.

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    Here we get a view of the Mughals, a former powerhouse who now seem to be flirting with obscurity. The Afghanistan generals seem to have taken a page from the “How to Fight Wars Good” book, perfecting the Mexican strategy of Phagocytosis. [S/O to Ben Coccio

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    In an unprecedented move, America is competent at some facet of the game! St Louis seemed to be dead in the water, but so far nary a scratch has occurred, and instead it is at a healthy population of four!

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    Sensing the imminent Icelandic threat, Canada is forging a bond with America, proving the adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”Although the fans want bad blood between the irl best bros, Canada knows real threat is Iceland. Additionally, Texas seems to be the only civ on Eastern North America with swordsmen.

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    On the other half of the World, The Armenians declare war on Timurlane. A startling move: the Caspian Sea is dominated by Timurid ships, Armenia shares the Timurid’s majority faith, and Yervantashat is vulnerable by an amphibious invasion.

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    And as quickly as Morocco took Kumasi, The Ashanti took it back. This game of back and forth may never end. Morocco would probably do better to concentrate on one city rather than spread out his naval fleet, but I only go for science victories so what do I know…

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    Cumae is being held steady by the Romans, holding the theatre to a stalemate. An army of Ballistae are being embarked as well, is a counterattack on the horizon? Messene is well defended, it looks like, so perhaps it is merely to hold back Antium from total devastation.

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    Phagocytosis, more like phago-SIKE-tosis. Ok I’ll stop. Anyway, Afghanistan seems to be capitalizing on the Armenian-Timurid war, which likely is the reason why Lahor is defenseless. A counter-attack from Samarqand into Kandahar or Kabul seems unlikely due to the mountainous terrain, so this was a pretty safe war for Mirwais Hotak. Time to earn your nickname, “the graveyard of empires!”

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    Remember when we all thought Elizabeth had no chance? Wow, that was a long time ago. Now she is turtling just fine and has a population to be envious of. If only Ireland actually capitalized early as we all had hoped. But it isn’t too late for them, as Elizabeth’s army is practically just ARCHERS. Not even Bowmen. Move fast, Malachy! Of note: many Irish swordsmen, which is notable as their UU, the Kern, is a faster longswordsmen replacement with extra defense against… you guessed it, ranged units. Lol.

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    Here at the Cape of Good Hope, we can see Oblomov Shaka spamming spearmen, for, ultimately, an army of Impis to wreak havoc on the land. Kruger isn’t the slightest bit worried, but players of the game know better than to leave a border with the Zulus undefended. But Kruger will likely get away with it, for now.

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    The last few islands in the Pacific are being snatched up by whoever can get there first. Here we see one-tile islands hosting cities for the Kimberley, Maori, and Australians. And yes, Mackay is just slightly less embarrassing a name than Sunshine Coast or Townsville. Note from TPang: \"Like you can talk, your home country of America has places called 'Hookersville' and ' Whiskey Dick Mountain'. I'm not even joking\"

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    The sleeping giant is still sleepy and still giant. I don’t think I am the first person to call them Snorlax, but the name fits them PERFECTLY. Do something! You are bound to win any war you fight! To the Northeast, the multinational coalition of spies and scouts huddles together for warmth.

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    The war of the Sarais was just a ruse: it was all along just a race to Shenzen. Sibir graciously accepts China’s offering as tribute. If Sibiria ever wants to expand, they only need to look Southward as Lhasa seems rather defenseless, perhaps investing too much energy in the Burmese?

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    Casimir and Elizabeth declare war on Sparta, despite the fact that Hitler is easy pickings. Oh well. Seems like Leonidas has bigger problems now than Cumae, and will have to divert his attention elsewhere.

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    Here you can see the Armenian Great General/Great Prophet hybrid UGP: the Mamikonian. From the Cv V customization wikia: “Mounted units within two tiles gain the Nakharar promotion, granting them a 33% bonus when attacking cities and allowing them to earn additional Gold from plundering cities following a different Religion than the first religion founded.”

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    I know this slide is probably more so I can concentrate on the Buccs, and this may be my Texan fanboy inside of me talking, but WHOOO DOGGIE look’at up there yonder navy! YEEEEE-HAW! It’s just about bursting with Texan triremes up there. Also: lol @ Argentina not defending a city half a continent away. Or should I say, Arrrrrrgentina? Ok I swear I’ll stop.

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    So, now Vigan is again at zero hitpoints. And once again, there are ZERO Vietnamese melee units or triremes. Congrats, Cham archer, you have been THE deciding factor in the Western front of the Philippinbro wars. Like the Polish Scout, only at sea. Bonus: I spy with my little eye a Hawaiian composite bowman, seven lighthouses, a Sibir scout, five suns, four great generals, and a citrus tile.

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    And the Eastern front? Pangasinan is falling to the six ships (two of which are galleasses) the Philippines sent out. Can the underdog be plucky on BOTH fronts of the war?

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    Once again thanks for the breather screencap, TPang. I needed it. Mackay is still a dumb name. On to more pressing slides.

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    Now onwards to the Middle East. The Menorah sigil represents the Israeli UU the Maccabee, a swordsman replacement with a flanking bonus and yields faith when it successfully kills a unit. Mecca and Cairo seem to be the only two cities following Islam.

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    Mirwais Hotak is finding the siege of Lahor more frustrating than anticipated. It was never going to be a cakewalk since it was surrounded on four tiles by mountains, but several turns later there has been no advancement.

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    Back to the Australian mainland, where we can see… oh no. You’ve got to be kidding me. Ok calm down, just ignore it, think happier thoughts… Ugh I can’t help it. HOBART!? GOLD COAST!? I cannot believe these are actual city names. Anyway, Australia’s carpet of triremes is pretty OP. If it were anywhere near the Philippine front then the tides would clearly shift in their favor. But instead it will just sit here, wasting away.

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    Kakongo is ka-crumbling down, basically at a rate that seems as if Nzinga doesn’t even want it anymore, but is willing to let millions die in the siege anyway. Oh, AI. Never change. On a more exciting note, Kruger is starting to take siege towards Nzinga’s capital. Nzinga responds by… declaring war on Portugal. Like I said, AI. Never change.

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    The Adriatic wars continue, but with Poland in the mix it is hard for Sparta to gain ground, and Rome is clearly content with maintaining the status quo. Despite the proximity to several wars, French caravans plow through the area, either bravely or obliviously.

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    St. Louis is looking much worse than it had the last time we saw it, and seems ready to capitulate itself. This would be the first major invasion of a civ successfully taking a city from another continent. This only happened once in the Mk. I, with Chile taking a Malian city much, much later in the timeline.

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    And… Pangasinan falls to the Philippines! Did you see that coming? The navy around Greater Newcastle seems, er… greater, and the city defense is stronger almost as if it were a new castle… I can’t take it anymore, Australia. Pls stop with the horrible names. Kthx. Anyway, here’s for hoping Townsville gets raised and is replaced by a city with a different name. Any name really. I’ll even accept Lesser Newcastle. Just nothing with the word “coast,” you’ve done that enough already.

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    In case you were wondering, yes, Texas is still not to be messed with. Over half of their cities are capital-quality, and they have the strongest navy in the hemisphere, even if their melee units aren’t quite up to snuff. The Sioux, similarly, are a powerhouse. One can see eight pikemen in this screencap alone, and in addition too many bowmen to count. As for Lincoln, he is truly lucky he buddied up with Canada.

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    Here, the Blackfoot civ has shown to power out a navy, at the expense of possibly too little melee units. Will that come back to haunt them? As of right now, they are wide open for a Sioux invasion, with only an army of workers guarding Ahahpitape, and similarly little around Mdewakantonwan.

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    Arabia seems to be doing well in their little theatre, where Baghdad is under a lot of pressure from Arabian swordsmen. Their army is winning their share of the battles, but the Arabian navy is getting annihilated. Darius decides to defend Baghdad by embarking his entire army into the Persian Gulf. Report back to us on how that works out, Darius. Seems like a surefire winner.

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    And our final slide shows the Icelandic navy victorious against Lincoln. Or should I say, Reykjaviktorious? Or maybe #Rektjavik? This is clearly been the update of the underdog: Rome, Iceland, The Philippines, Arabia and Morocco all making significant militaristic advances against powerhouses such as Vietnam, Australia, and Sparta!

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    And as always, we end with the data slides. Texas is comfortably number one, with Hawaii being the surprise of the bunch at number 8.

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    Mexico and Mongolia don’t seem to be doing bad enough to be in the bottom ten, but I don’t make up the stats. The others seem to be perfectly at home at the bottom. Surprise, where are the Nazis? Not in the bottom, somehow.

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    Did you think the USSR was top five in military? Me neither. Sparta being left off the list is surprising as well, they might have lost many more pikeman attacking Cumae than I thought.

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    Yakutia at the top of another list. Go figure.

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    The Zulus at the bottom of another list. Go figure.

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    The Inuit, Australians, and Boers are at another level with city settlement, although some of the Australian cities are on one tile islands in the Pacific, whereas the Boers and Inuit have much higher quality clay. That being said, the Boer cities are much more tightly packed around their capital region.

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    Judaism rocks. Islam struggles for relevancy.

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    The religion overview: two obvious things of note. Catholicism is about to explode once contact is made regularly with South America. Additionally: Buddhism, Akatt-u, and Shintoism should be on an all out race to Australia. With Australia’s number of cities, combined with the Kimberley faith wonders, there is a LOT to gain.