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Part 89: Eye of the Beholder

The bell tolls for the great rump masterminds . The world looks on as the conflict escalates in Eurasia and spills over to North America.

October 24, 2017

  1. Intro

    Welcome back to the real, the one and only, Civ Battle Royale! Narrating this week’s episode is none other than Admiral_Cloudberg—r/civAIgames fixture, CBR power ranker, and author of the Plane Crash Series on r/CatastrophicFailure. To kick off today’s part, we have one of /u/TheGreatFanBR’s notorious shitposts: the defeat of Jing Lang from Assassin’s Creed, only with Songtsan Gampo’s face photoshopped onto the assassin. I can only assume that Jing Lang is standing in for one of the Trung Sisters.

  2. Map

    As always, we have the fantastic Tile Accurate-ish Map by /u/Spherical_Melon, where the biggest change since the beginning of last part is all that extra orange in Arabia.

  3. PR Slide

    The Boers continue to hold the top spot in the power rankings two parts after briefly losing it to the Inuit. As long as Kruger continues to gobble up Vietnamese cities, he should stay there for quite some time.

  4. 1

    We start off with—you guessed it—more declarations of war against Tibet. Among the aggressors this time around are the Boers, which should make Songtsan Gampo slightly concerned. After all, it’s now clear that Kruger’s declaration of war against Vietnam was the first step in a vast effort to finally eliminate Tibet. But even the most hardcore Boer fans should have a hard time believing that Kruger can conquer that far.

  5. 2

    Our first look at the embattled Middle East reveals that there’s a lot going on. The Boers appear to have flipped Gyumri, but for the moment Vietnam has reasserted control over the city. Additionally, Sweden has begun to bombard Tigranocerta, but it’s not clear they’ll be able to reach it due to all the Vietnamese and Icelandic units in the way. But the espionage notification reveals that Gustavus has come up with a potential way around this obstacle: an attack on Armenia. Armenia would fall quickly and possibly open up the way to more Finnish cities.

  6. 3

    And now it’s time to move the spies! I’m not exactly sure where they all were before, but they are now headed to Yerevan, Kaneohe, Laredo, Siksikawa, and Port Royal. It seems Coiot is a fan of observing the capitals of rump states and minor powers. Coiot's Note: I don't run the game, Reon does, D=

  7. 4

    A quick view of the Boer coast reveals a huge army of Robot Infantry and Biotroopers has poured into the horn of Africa. Nevertheless, Vietnamese planes continue to bombard Khurasan, Kufah, and Basra into the black, and the Trung Sisters have sent a cybersub armed with two nuclear missiles to back them up. Some eagle-eyed Babylonians noticed last part that the Boers had nuked Pasargadae—could these nukes be on their way to launch a retaliatory strike?

  8. 5

    The Boers have also rolled into Baghdad, surprising no one. It’s also possible to see the damage inflicted on Pasargadae by the nuclear strike: the city has lost a lot of population and has taken a nontrivial amount of damage as well.

  9. 6

    Farther north, the situation is only slightly less dire. As mentioned earlier, Gyumri has flipped, and Artashat, although well-defended, has been bombarded into the red. More bombing runs, possibly from Sibir, are damaging Ecbatana and Ghazni.

  10. 7

    On the perpetually bloody Sibir-Vietnam front, the Trung Sisters are using planes to bombard Herat, Samarqand, and Jarlmadangah Burru, while Sibir has Kabul in the black and is poised to capture Nishapur.

  11. 8

    And further along the front, despite Siberian bombing raids against Urgench, Vietnam has recaptured Bamda. Although I can’t confirm this fact beyond a reasonable doubt, Sibir appears to have lost its open borders with Finland, severely hampering their efforts to bring reinforcements into the area.

  12. 9

    And for the final shot of turn 31, we get a bird’s-eye view of the former Canadian core. It’s chock-full of advanced Robot Infantry and Biotroopers, forming a fearsome carpet that could tear apart the Blackfoot without too much trouble. The power rankers even joked that the Inuit could probably take over the Buccaneers with air power and embarked units alone, and after seeing this, I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.

  13. 10

    Moving onto turn 32, we get another view of the Middle East battlefields. While the situation on the Boer-Vietnam front hasn’t changed appreciably, Sweden has bombarded Tigranocerta down to the red and is damaging Hebron as well.

  14. 11

    As you may have seen in the previous slide, the Buccs have joined the war against Tibet. At this rate, it won’t be long before the only civ not at war with Tibet is Vietnam.

  15. 12

    Apparently, we’re getting stat slides for the Buccs and Tibet. The Buccaneers are between 9th and 12th in all relevant categories, which is skewed slightly higher than their usual position of 12th in the power rankings. It is somewhat promising for the Buccs that they are punching above their weight in science output.

  16. 13

    Tibet, on the other hand, ranks between 18th and 20th in every category except treasury. This is completely in line with their treatment by the power rankers—not to mention that they’re at war with just about everyone.

  17. 14

    Our favourite spy, Agent Em, reports that Sejong is plotting to finish off Tygyn Darkhan. As a Yakut fan, all I can say is: please kill them already.

  18. 15

    Another spy reveals that Genghis Khan is plotting to help finish off Urho Kekkonen. However, without open borders with Sibir or Vietnam, a declaration of war between these two civs would accomplish little. I would also like to point out that the strength discrepancy of Mongolia’s cities and units compared with Sibir’s means that a war between them would almost certainly end in a Siberian victory, even if Genghis manages to take a city or two initially.

  19. 16

    Our turn 32 overview of the Vietnam-Sibir front reveals that the Trung Sisters have completely secured Bamda but have lost Nishapur. It’s like playing whack-a-mole, only with cities.

  20. 17

    Farther west along the front, not much has changed, although Sibir does have a good opening to captured Ghazni.

  21. 18

    And for some reason we get to see the Middle East a second time, only with the Afghan machine gun in Hebron highlighted. Hawaii also has a unit chilling between the Tigris and Euphrates.

  22. 19

    The Arabian Peninsula seems to be entirely under Boer control with no sign of a Vietnamese counterattack. In just a few turns, Kruger has overrun these five cities and secured their defense with incredible speed. Could Vietnam be in much deeper trouble than we initially suspected?

  23. 20

    Little has changed off the Boer coast, but Vietnam has sent its nuclear-armed cybersub right up next to Kufah. I really can’t say that this is a good idea.

  24. 21

    The Vietnamese navy is mostly concentrated on the eastern edge of the Bay of Bengal, but it’s almost all carriers and cybersubs anyway. Even if they moved it to the Boer front, it would mostly serve to get in the way.

  25. 22

    Meanwhile, a stray Australian fleet is coming up the north coast of Brazil, presumably to launch a counterattack against the Buccaneers. I would say that this fleet is much too small to capture even a single city, but it is important to note how rare it is for an AI to send a fleet this far at all.

  26. 23

    OH MY WORD In what is possibly the greatest betrayal of the Civ Battle Royale, Vietnam has declared war on Tibet! Lhasa is immediately bombarded down to red, and within 2 or 3 turns, Vietnamese units should be knocking at the city gates. Sweden has joined in for shits and giggles.

  27. 24

    Anyway, back to our usual programming. A few Boer ships and planes are attacking Kalumnai, but there’s no sign of any melee units that could capture the city.

  28. 25

    There’s nothing much to report over here, but it is worth noting that Vietnam’s air force is able to keep Kufah, Khurasan, Basra, Baghdad, Najran, and Vung Tau consistently in low red or black HP.

  29. 26

    Farther north, the Boers have begun a major push into the Fertile Crescent! A Biotrooper stands at the gates of Pasargadae, a city many of us were sure Vietnam would be able to defend. The Vietnamese army around Artashat has also disintegrated. If this keeps up, the Boers could be sweeping through Persia by this time next part.

  30. 27

    On the various Anatolian fronts, however, little appears to have changed, although Sweden does have a few units approaching Tigranocerta. Among them is a pair of Railgun Armours, which have a lot of movement points and could potentially be what lets Sweden take the city.

  31. 28

    On the Vietnam-Sibir front, the Trung Sisters have rushed to defend Ghazni, and it appears safe for now. However, they still haven’t been able to take back Nishapur.

  32. 29

    Here’s a closer look at Nishapur, which only confirms what I just said.

  33. 30

    And apparently we get another look at Bamda too. Can I just take this opportunity to say: can we please get fewer screenshots of this war? Maybe one per turn? Thanks.

  34. 31

    Meanwhile, the Australian fleet has disintegrated before even reaching Buccaneer waters. A carrier is taking heavy damage and several ships appear to be missing entirely.

  35. 32

    But wait, there’s more! A much larger fleet of carriers, submarines, and embarked units is making its way around Brazil as we speak.

  36. 33

    And yet more units are just now leaving the Pacific. One would think that all these units would be a lot more effective if they were sent at the same time.

  37. 34

    Oh my, this is unexpected. Brazil has been at war with Texas for some time, but this is the first time Brazil has sent any units to attack Laredo. The city has been bombarded into the red, and a Brazilian Power Armour Infantry lurks just three tiles away. But can it navigate the maze of enemy units, mountains, ocean, and hostile borders to eliminate Texas once and for all?

  38. 35

    I’m not exactly sure what this slide is for, considering that there isn’t a war going on here and we saw this same area last part. But I guess it’s worth pointing out that the Boers have annexed much of the Sahara and now have rings of powerful units around many of the cities there.

  39. 36

    Here we get a rare view of the western Mediterranean. I would strongly advise Ingolfur to fortify these cities, because right now, a DOW by the Boers would be devastating. Also of note: Sweden has a cargo ship here, although its origin and destination are unknown.

  40. 37

    Iceland’s holdings in Italy and the Balkans are much better protected, but there’s one key problem: Ingolfur hasn’t reached the most advanced tier of units yet, and a Boer attack could probably rip through these areas too.

  41. 38

    The Blackfoot sign a research agreement with a civ whose capital they control. Although you’d think Kamehameha would be a bit salty, they’re apparently on good terms.

  42. 39

    The world congress met this turn and unanimously decided to reject our proposal of Natural Heritage Sites. This is, of course, why we always propose it: because the AI won’t pass it, and therefore Babylon’s influence on the game is kept to a minimum.

  43. 40

    The other world congress resolution was not embargo nation-states (in other words, dead civs) and it was passed. This is ironic considering that none of the nation-states have any cities to which trade routes can be sent anyway.

  44. 41

    All Vietnamese units appear to have been cleared from the area around the Horn of Africa. It’s not clear if the Trung Sisters ever got to launcg those nuclear missiles.

  45. 42

    Boer ships continue to attack Kalumnai, but no progress can be made without a melee unit, which they still don’t have.

  46. 43

    On the Middle Eastern front, Vietnam has suffered a major blow with the loss of Pasargadae. The city is poised to flip back again, but it probably won’t take long for the Boers to assume complete control.

  47. 44

    Gyumri is also in dire straits as several Boer Biotroopers approach from the south. How long can it hold out? And nearby, two heavily-damaged Swedish Railgun Armours are approaching Tigranocerta, but Finland should be able to kill both of them—unless Sweden moves first, which might well be the case.

  48. 45

    Oh boy, here comes our series of shots of the Vietnam-Sibir war. On this section at least, not much appears to have changed.

  49. 46

    Farther north, Sibir still holds Nishapur and is making a push for Urgench, but the latter city may be too well-defended for them to capture.

  50. 47

    And finally, Sibir has either re-negotiated open borders with Finland or never lost them in the first place, and Siberian Biotroopers are once again pouring toward Bamda, which is very lightly defended.

  51. 48

    Brazil has now completely eliminated the Texan navy, but their one melee unit hasn’t moved. If I were Pedro, I would move one of the arsenal ships to the coast next to it, embark the power armour infantry, and take the city from the sea. But the AI is not smart enough to do that, except by accident.

  52. 49

    Brace yourselves, folks: this is almost certainly the last picture of Tibet alive. Almost all their units are dead and an organic Infantry sits at the gates of Lhasa. And Vietnam moves before Tibet, so there’s nothing stopping them from taking Lhasa on the very next turn.

  53. 50

    Meanwhile, here’s western Sibir. Kuchum Khan has given up on building anything besides Biotroopers, and he’s sending all of them to fight Vietnam. If Sweden plays its cards right, it could take much of this area.

  54. 51

    Here we see an overview of GPT agreements between civs. Lots of civs are trading gold with each other. What’s highlighted, however, is the fact that the Buccs have just signed a peace deal with Australia and are giving Parkes over 800 gold per turn. That’s on top of 246 gold per turn they’re giving to the Blackfoot from an earlier peace treaty.

  55. 52

    This is it, folks: a legend has died. With the fall of Lhasa, Songtsan Gampo of Tibet is eliminated in 20th place. Tibet started off with a decent smattering of cities, only to lose them all to the Mughals, Mongolia, and Vietnam. For a very long time, their final city was surrounded by a protective Vietnamese carpet, and the two nations forged a beautiful symbiotic relationship. At one point, Tibet even managed to found a city in an area left empty after Kiev was destroyed by a nuclear missile. Unfortunately, that city was captured by Sibir. And now, Vietnam has betrayed the erstwhile ally it protected for so long. Rest in peace, Tibet. At least you tried. F

  56. 53

    Anyway, life must go on. The Boer naval attack on Kalumnai appears to have been repelled—for now.

  57. 54

    Vietnam seems to have lost its air superiority in this area, and many of the cities are beginning to regain their HP.

  58. 55

    Vietnam is launching a counterattack to retake Baghdad and Pasargadae, but Kruger is not concerned, because even if the Trung Sisters take those cities, the Boers will take them back in not time at all.

  59. 56

    In Anatolia, the biggest news is that Sweden has captured Tigranocerta! That means Finland is down to four cities. Even worse for Urho Kekkonen is that Gustavus has negotiated open borders with the Boers and is sending a pair of melee units down to capture Hebron. How far will Sweden go?

  60. 57

    Guess what’s changed over here? That’s right, nothing at all!

  61. 58

    Farther along, Sibir has captured Bamda again after a brief period where it seemed Vietnam had secured the city. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

  62. 59

    Here’s a view of northern Korea, where it appears Sejong has begun pumping out Biotroopers. That should be a good sign for our many Korea fans.

  63. 60

    And here’s the Korea-Inuit border, where the Inuit has a strong land army and no navy, and Korea has a useless navy (it’s all submarines) and no land army. A war here would probably go in Ekeuhnick’s favour pretty quickly.

  64. 61

    Australian Japan is heavily fortified, but that’s not surprising, given that Australia has a full unit carpet and is sending units as peacekeepers to far-flung lands.

  65. 62

    Brazil continues to falter in its attack on Texas. I was beginning to think we might have a double elimination this part, but Brazil still isn’t moving its lone melee unit.

  66. 63

    And finally, here’s the Sweden-Iceland border. Iceland clearly has a lot more troops, but some of Sweden’s army is beginning to return from the Finland campaign. The next part may well be Iceland’s last chance to pounce on Sweden while it’s stretched thin, and if Ingolfur doesn’t take that opportunity, it could be the nail in the coffin for Iceland’s already slim chances of victory.

  67. 64

    Here’s a map of all the ongoing wars and hostile relations (a double line means hostile and at war, a single line means hostile and not at war). Almost all of the current wars are against Tibet, which evidently still has a unit or two wandering around somewhere.

  68. 65

    Our first statistic is total number of policies adopted. The Boers lead with 75, which by my calculations is 7 more than the total number policies that can possibly be adopted, so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Since 68 is the max number of policies, that means Vietnam and the Inuit also have all of them.

  69. 66

    The civs with the fewest policies are Texas, Hawaii, the Kimberley, and Sri Lanka, with 49 each. That’s still a lot more than a human would ever adopt in a typical playthrough: a complete ideology tree and almost six additional full policy trees.

  70. 67

    Everyone has a frankly absurd amount of happiness, and the Boers lead the pack with almost 3,000.

  71. 68

    At the bottom of the pack is of course Tibet, which somehow still has 27 happiness despite being dead.

  72. 69

    Korea, Australia, the Inuit, and the Boers have all finished the tech tree. (It says the Boers have one less but I know for a fact they’ve all finished it.) Everyone else still has a ways to go still.

  73. 70

    Of the living civs, Texas is the least advanced, and is still a whopping 49 techs behind the Boers, who reached the end of the tech tree well before the hiatus.

  74. 71

    The religion overview shows that the Boers are the most successful at spreading their religion, having converted 14 cities. Unfortunately Leg-Day-ism is stuck at one and will probably only go down from there.

  75. 72

    And to conclude this episode, we have the religion map! It’s clear that Boer Lutheranism is spread quite rapidly. Anyway, it’s been a pleasure narrating this part—a part with an elimination, no less! As always, you can find me on r/civAIgames, which I strongly encourage everyone to check out. And last but not least, don’t forget to press F for Tibet!