The Official /r/Civ 60+ Civ Battle Royale! | Part 1: In the Beginning....
Hey there guys! My name is TPangolin, and it's an absolute honour have all of you on board to witness a battle of absolutely crazy proportions. What lies ahead is a battle that will last for millenia - over 60 Civilizations, both Firaxis and Fan-Made will battle it out on the largest Earth Map available. Some areas like Europe will be a hotspot of contention, where civs will have to brutally fight against each other in order to gain that vital early-game upper hand. Other areas on the globe are much more open, but are we sure these civs will make the most of what they're given? Join us on a journey bathed in blood, where one nation will hopefully become victorious over 60 of their lesser global neighbours.
Join us as we step into the madness that is the Official /r/civ 60+ A.I Battle Royale!
Joining me for annotations today are the people behind the official Power Rankings. Independent fans that rate Civilizations based on their potential! We'll see how accurate their predictions turn out to be. Also, join us over on /r/civbattleroyale for artwork, civilized discussion and not so civilized trash-talking!
First up, we have a map showing off all the starting locations of the 61 Civilizations involved in this Battle Royale. Now since this map projection is Equirectangular, certain ares on the globe may seem skewed - but it's a good enough reference to see the potential that some civs have (and conversely, which ones seem the most likely to falter).
We start our journey in the misty salt waters of Antarctica, where a weary Babylonian Submarine plays home to an already impatient Nebucadnezzar. From this bastion of frost and subsequent misery, the brave Babylonian crew members will, for generations keep a close eye on global happenings.
Let's first take a look at the Civilizations of the North Sea. Throughout this initial inception of the Battle Royale I'll be posting the Power Rankings of certain civs alongside annotations. Firstly, let's have a look at the potential of the Irish!
Some consider Malacy II to be an underdog, but its UU is perfectly designed for a Battle Royale such as this. Cheaper, faster and more resistant to ranged fire than regular long swordsman, look for these special units to spam the field and overwhelm any opposition. Also taking into account that they will receive a starting bonus to keep them competitive in the very early game, I for one, can see Ireland making a surprise late run in this brutal and unforgiving world. Sadly, being relegated to a small island in an already crowded location, the hive mind agrees that Ireland will most likely be a small bit player throughout the series, if they even survive.
A quick glance at our Western Mediterranean contenders! Let's focus first on the Portuguese and the Moroccans and their chances in this game.
Coming in at the 53rd spot we have Portugal, a civ that we feel could make some interesting moves in the beginning but will probably not be a serious contender in the long run. With a decent amount of open space to the North, and Morocco, our last place civ, to the South, Portugal does have room to expand. However, Portugal is destined to run into the European brick wall that is sure to be France, Germany, Poland, and Rome. Add to this the fact that Portugal's uniques are either City State or trade-based and we have a Civ that does not look to make for a serious contender.
Morocco is stuck between a rock of Gibraltar and a hot place. With the vast endless ocean on one side, and strong civs like Carthage, Portugal and all of Europe crowding them out on the other side, expect to see them hammered early and often. North Africa seems to be the go to place for European civs that run out of room as well, so invasions and many wars are a constant reality for this culture focused civ. With little to keep it alive, only dumb luck will see this civ last beyond the early game
To the west, we have five more Civilizations that may clash over this side of the Mediterranean. Let's shine a spotlight on the chances of Sparta and Israel!
Sure to be a fan favorite, this.. is.. SPARTA! Alright, now that we have that out of our system let's look seriously at Sparta. First, it should be noted that Sparta's unique are currently under construction so these will not be looked at in this synopsis. However, it's widely agreed upon that Sparta is sure to be an early game combat-oriented civ. With this assumption in mind, we see Sparta as having a decent amount of potential in this Battle Royale. This potential will only come to fruition though if Leonidas pushes out and conquers a number of civs in the early game, where he will be strongest. The big mystery is, will he be mad enough to do so? Or will he let the Persians and other civs stomp around his lands? Nobody, including even our expert rankers, has any idea.
The spy master fan favorites from the previous game return, ready to peer through windows and hide inside of bushes with as much vigor as ever before. Their rank may appear low, but they lead the region with plenty of room to expand north and east. Historically sleepy neighbors like the Ayyyyyyubids and Arabs certainly help their odds as they will seek to, as before, quickly establish supremacy over the Levant and more. Their UAs, and even their UUs, will help propel the chosen peoples to be a religious super power at the very least, influencing their neighbors whose residents will soon yearn for the comforts of the kibbutz and gefilte fish.
To the north lies one of the fan favorite of the last game - Poland. Let's see what our panel thinks of Casimir's chances and his notoriously racist neighbour - Hitler.
As much as we would like to put simply POLAND STRONK here we feel it's better to explain why we put this fan favorite up top in the ever-crowded European area. Number 1. Have you played as Poland? Granted this is the AI and things do no always go according to plan (see: Tpang twitch: AI test) but it is undeniable that somebody at Firaxis really likes Poland, a free social policy for every era without the cost increasing? Yes please. Number 2. Their UB is pretty gnarly if ANY pasturable (that’s a word) animal source is nearby, no MC, and extra gold to top it all off an improvement on an already pretty good building. And finally number 3. Keeping it short and simple are the OP as Winged Hussars of destruction the only downside is that Poland has to hold out for that long surrounded by the USSR and Sparta and Germany etc. In conclusion POLAND STRONK!
ACHTUNG! These liberal swine so-called “experts” deem the Third Reich in the LOWER HALF!?! Outrageous! Ja, we got our asses handed to us in BRv1, but in the test run we got our revenge against “stronk” Poland, Sudetenland and all! With major bonuses in wartime post-plastics (a free infantry unit for every city captured) and a decidedly stronger Great General and Panzer unit, all we have to do is keep their capital until the industrial age and we will have a better chance than most, even despite the high civ-density of Europe. You may be jumping on the Poland bandwagon early, but you know what they say... "don't be stupid, be a smartie! Come and join the Nazi Party!"
In the last game, Afghanistan and Armenia had plenty of room to settle West and East respectively, but now two new contenders have arrived to complicate the region's political standing - Persia and the Timurids.
Afghanistan captured our hearts, and some Hunnic cities, last BR with their heroic and nearly-unbelievable defense of their homeland against Hun and Mongolian invasions. These unconquerable people were playing the scrappy-mountainous-defender game before it was cool (Tibet). Hipsterghanistan will look to build upon that legacy and improve from there with its combat bonus when near mountains and its excellent UU which replaces the Gatling gun but has five movement points. The addition of the Timurids and Persia, however, will force them to prove their worth sooner rather than later, this time around.
Persia is in one of the most hotly contested spots in the entire BR. They start right in the middle of IRL Iran. In the last BR, Israel was able to gain control of most of Iran just because the nearby Afghanistan, Armenia, and Arabia basically turtled the entire time. But now, with Persia in the picture, they now look to dominate the Middle East and keep their people happy so they use their UA to keep generating long Golden Ages with extra boosts. However, that is way easier said than done. Because they don't only have to worry about the Middle Eastern civs, including Byzantium, Israel, and the maybe-if-they-come-out-of-their-shell Arabian Empire. They also have to worry about Armenia and Afghanistan as well just in case they come out of their shells. And with more competition in India now, the Mughals might look west as well. Top it all off with the newcomer Timurids to the North and Persia has a lot to worry about. Chances are that at least one of those empires will eventually go into a full on war with Persia and cripple them. Persia has potential but there are is too hotly contested for us to rank them any higher.
To the north, the Huns and the Siberians lie in wait - eager for the inevitable upcoming battle. Can either of these civs hold it out for world domination?
The Hunnic Empire, and the "Scourge of God" Atilla, are certain to liven things up in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Completely geared for a Domination victory, the Huns are a fierce opponent for any civ to take on. Expect their 1-2 UU punch of Horse Archers and Battering Rams to have devastating effects on their neighbors. The potential for this civilization to win is very real, now they just have to make the right moves.
The new coming Sibir Khanate, a near cousin to Mongolia, have not earned much love from our rankers, landing just south of the halfway mark and last in the ever-expansive steppe region of Asia. Squeezed in between a host of hyper-aggressive civs, their situation is indeed daunting. However the civ does have the capacity to storm its foes very quickly and perhaps establish itself in the region. Their UU allows them to move all units after attacking, and their UA, a ranged Calvary unit, can strike quickly to thin out the ranks of attackers or defenders. If this civ builds a large army than, coupled with its unique speed, they could prove deadly
Tibetan and Burmese challengers appear in the east! It seems almost certain that these civs are likely to mess with the Mughal and Vietnamese veterans of the Battle Royale.
The Mughals are supposed to be a culturally based civ with a UA that provides extra culture and production during Golden Ages. Well in the last BR they actually ended up being very aggressive and they almost took over the entire Indian Subcontinent by the end of it and reduced Gandhi's India to just IRL Bengal, Bangladesh, and Burma. The Mughals look to be aggressive again in this new BR but this time they have a lot more competition. First off they now have Sri Lanka to the South that they will have to compete with. Also Burma now lies to the East instead of Gandhi and Burma is a great defensive civilization. If the Mughals want to try the same shit from the last BR against Burma, then Sri Lanka can easily pick apart their empire from the South while Burma holds off the Mughal offensive. The Mughals will have to play smart if they want a shot at winning. If they don't, then if you listen closely, you'll be able to hear Akbar yelling, "It's a Trap!" when his armies die and his cities burn.
Tibet's location high in the rugged Himalayas may appear dismal, but no civ is better suited to the task. Landing just above the halfway marker, Tibet is helped by their unique ability which provides a food and faith boost from mountain tiles, a trait that is increased if their cities follow a religion started in the mountain kingdom. Their unique unit moves better in the mountains and comes in mid-game. This civ will prove the world's most implacable turtle, at the least, and if they expand north quickly, perhaps much more.
To the south lies the Sri Lankans on their island home that hugs the outskirts of the Indian Ocean. With Sri Pada adjacent to their capital, let's see their potential potential:
By the skin of its teeth, TPang gave the last minute surprise announcement that Sri Lanka was the 61st civ (and final civ) to be added to the game. Being given access to the lands of South Asia, they have a very high quality start once they can embark settlers. Earlier wars won’t be a problem as their long swordsman replacement heals up to three times as fast. Also, look out for them being a major religious powerhouse with many faith bonuses due to their UA and UB shrine replacement. However, it is equally likely becoming a religious powerhouse would make them a target as well, and they are certainly susceptible to a naval attack. It is still unknown if M.I.A. will be leading them, but it’s likely “Paper Planes” will be stuck in your head whenever TPang screen caps them, regardless.
To the north lies our three Asian tigers - China, Korea and Japan respectively. All three civs this have found their alternate leaders - so it's anyone's guess to see how they'll fare this time around.
Well, Tojo’s Japan wasn’t exactly a “fan favorite” what with its game-crashing bugs requiring Godzilla’s presence (and eventually an overhaul) in the BRv1. Indeed, the middling Japan seems boxed in: they are one of nine (nine!) Oceania civs, the same number of civs as Africa; not to mention Yakutia to the north and more incentives for the Inuit to settle Westward. Meiji warfare depends entirely on how many golden ages they can stretch out: so starting slow, turtling, and wonder building (i.e., rushing Taj Majal, Chichen Itza) would likely do them a whole lot of good, and their culture bonuses seem to do well to help out with that sort of start. Their unique Great General helps out with that as well, causing a free golden age should they choose to expend it. They can then emerge from their turtle-shell after having researched replicable parts, when they could mass-produce their strong ironclad UU for an extremely powerful navy to wreak havoc on the seas.
Ah Korea, the science civ. Were this not a domination match, their position would be very strong. But Sejong is going to need to break out of the Korean peninsula, and he is surrounded by strong enemies. His two UU's are very strong on the defensive, but he may struggle to apply that strength to attack. His UA is excellent for a human, but in previous AI game the AI has struggled to make it work. Sejong's best bet is to expand north, and build spearmen to try and beat the horse lords of the steppes.
Upon the steppes of the Gobi lies our horse lords of the North! With new contenders in the region, how will Genghis fare this time?
Genghis will not enjoy the wide open spaces of the steppes he had last time, due to many rival hordes, but still has a decent amount of land to call his own. While his UA is completely useless, focusing on city states, both UU's will be important. Quickly suppressing those around him will be key to a Mongolian victory if he is not to be caught between the Red Giants of Stalin and Mao.
In South East Asia lies our seafaring tropical nations of Indonesia, Philippines and the Champa! Both Rizal and the Champa are newcomers in the Battle Royale - but what are their odds of survival?
Champa is probably the least famous civ in the Battle Royale, which may be a factor in their low ranking. And certainly this civ hasn't been done any favors by its placement: stuck in the jungles of SE Asia, boxed in on all fronts by Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Burma (clockwise). What makes them an intriguing underdog is their UA, which makes waging war much more profitable, and has no era limit. If this civ can get out of the hole dug by its geography, this could be a surprisingly fun civ breathing life into what was dominated by Vietnam in Mk I.
Rizal's Philippines are going to have a difficult ride. An island civ, in a neighborhood that Indonesia will be able to quickly exploit, with no military bonuses. However he will have growth advantages, a necessity in the tiny islands of the East Indies, and his unique replacement for the rifleman has a powerful bonus after choosing an ideology. If he can survive until the modern era, the Philippines will become a force to be reckoned with. It's worth noting that they will start with the ability to embark, boosting the early game for the Filipino adventurers.
Finally, we have some extremely decent competition for the Australian continent - introducing the Kimberley Aborigines! This is also our first look at the new "Outback" biome for the Australian Desert. We'll see how our newcomers rate in the Power Rankings in an upcoming slide.
To the east we have the ultimate friendly rivalry; The Maori and Australia. With added sea bridges in Australia, will this initial comradarie end in bloodshed?
Colonize Australia, colonize Australia, kiwi-nize Australia. This is all that Maori's leader, Te Rauparaha, should be focused on. Should the Maori let Australia become the monstrosity it was during the last Battle Royale though, we should see the Maori end up only as the turtling neighbor of the bigger, badder Australia. The Maori also have the option of setting sail to the East and attempting to get a foot in the door in the Americas. Seeing as all of their unique are combat-oriented, either option is completely within reason.
One of the winners of the last Battle, thanks in most part to a good location. As a civilization, Australia is almost entirely based around tourism, something of little importance this round. In previous AI games, Parkes has shown a penchant for turtling, with various levels of success. In the Battle Royale, he showed the true power of the turtle, by building up an immense military before striking against Indonesia. In the Colonialist Legacies game, he tried to turtle but never reached critical mass and was swiftly destroyed. But with Kimberley a stone's throw away, he can't afford to throw any shrimp on the barbie just yet. And he surely cannot hope for the easy success demonstrated last time. We shall all be waiting with bated breath for the return of the Tpangenning.
DescriptionParadise Found: In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies the Hawaiian Civilization!
Aloha, and welcome to Hawaii. A newcomer to Battle Royale, Hawaii's start will be unlike any other civ in the BR. Beginning with virtually no neighbors, on a patchwork of islands out in the middle of the Pacific, Kamehameha is going to need to do 1 of 2 things if he wants even a chance at winning this BR. He either needs to 1.) Get a Settler out to a continent landmass early or 2.) Build one of, if not the greatest, naval forces in the game. Should Kamehameha do neither of these things, we feel that his prospects of winning decrease to nearly zero. Hawaii does fortunately bring 2 combat-oriented unique to the game. Kahuna Mastery, Kame's UA, allows Hawaii to receive Great People points from combat. And the Koa, Kame's very capable UU, is a Long swordsmen replacement that costs more production, but does not require Iron AND starts with more exp, as well as "Amphibious".
Over in the frosted, tundra-bound north lies the fan favourite Inuit alongside their new neighbours - the Blackfoot! Let's see what our panel has to say about our Canadian Natives.
The fate of the Blackfoot will rise and fall with the bison. This resource will be a powerful boon to Crowfoot's people that will give greater production to cities that work it and XP to any Blackfoot units standing on it. Enemy units standing on bison will take attrition damage. Clearly very, very powerful, in the right situation. The Inuit will be praying that Crowfoot chooses to go south, which would leave them virtually all of Canada. If the Blackfoot head north, a mortal struggle with Eheuknik awaits them. If they head south, the Sioux warriors await. A bad position for expansion to be sure, but the dense forests of Canada offer lots of production.
Inuit-still-ready-to-win-you-it. The beloved boreal bros of the deep north are back again and ranking second in these inaugural rankings. The Inuit look to be able to repeat their strong performance from last time, still protected from invasion by some of the most daunting landscapes on the map and still receiving hefty bonuses for living in those very same frozen shit-holes. Part of the White Walker's favorable ranking comes from the relative lack of new competition for them. The Blackfoot have been added to the south, yes, but the high Yukon Mountains protect the Inuit prospects for expansion and defense and the civ still looks likely to grab some of eastern Siberia before the new Yakuts gobble it all up. Nothing is guaranteed in the bigger, better Battle Royale Mk II, but believe me, brother, cold winds are rising.
North America has plenty of open plains ripe for the taking, but who will establish their regional dominance first? With newcomers Blackfoot and Texas being thrown into the mix, what are the chances of the Manifest Destiny (or subsequently Canifest Destiny) happening this time around?
Canada, throughout Civ AI battles, has been in something of a conundrum. It appears to show both equal parts overwhelming success against its enemies, (Fan Favorites AI match, mini BR, CL AI battle, Battle Royale Mk1), holding out or winning wars where the enemy have advantages both large and small, yet in the same breath seems utterly incompetent (CL AI battle, Battle Royale Mk1). Their UA will give them massive diplomatic leverage, which will prove to be quite helpful, and their UGP will only add to this. As for their UU, it will make an excellent unit in the cramped quarters of the BR Mk2, in which Canada can easily fire at enemies (with their UU) from their own forts (in which they gain double strength).
There are two halves of this civ, kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Their UA gives them a wartime boost, as well as instant construction of gold buildings during war. However, the AI’s personality under Lincoln is to not declare war, make as many friends as possible, not go for religion, and be on the defense. Basically: the exact opposite of Washington last time around. This is not the kind of personality you’d expect from a Battle Royale winner, and directly clashes with their UA. The unique units are industrial era, so the timing of their wars is crucial. Can Lincoln overcome the deep divides in America's very fabric to become a superpower? Worked IRL.
From her misty oceans, her looming shadow grows - the fan favourite Buccaneers are back, but this time they have company in the region - The Mayans. Will Pacal make a man out of Morgan, or is he simply settling cities ripe for pirate plunder?
A small science boost from their UB, an underwhelming UA and a fairly inconsequential UU would seem to stand Pacal's Mayans in bad stead. But a key position in Central America could lead to control of naval passage, if they are clever with settling. And the narrow passages and isthmuses will make expansion difficult, but should substantially reduce the Mexican threat. However Buccaneer landings in the Costa Rica area could lock down Mayan chances of expansion. Conversely, Mayan domination of the Caribbean is just one war with Henry Morgan away...
Finally, we get to have a look at our South American gladiators. With a more open expanse, how much chance does Eva Peron of Argentina have?
Eva unfortunately is not having some good air coming her way. She’s got strong Chile looking for Andes-less lands to settle and big-bodied Brazil up north claiming those sweet, sweet rainforests. Argentina is mostly focused on food and culture, which is not very useful for conquering other civs. Any way they expand is a sure-fire way to get invaded. If Eva expands up north, Brazil will invade for more brazilwood plantations. If she expands south, Chile will invade using its naval units. If Eva tries to settle the Falklands, England will just come kick her butt and claim it’s theirs. It'll be hard, but if Eva is able to shut down Chile early or build tall and defensive, she may be able to come out on top in South America.
Let the games begin! Three turns in, and no Civilization has yet founded their second city. Both Ireland and England send their brave colonialists across their channels in the search for greener pastures and strategic city-placements.
You might be asking, "Why is England so low? They weren't that terrible in the first BR they only lost like one city and still kept a pretty good navy, right?" Yeah, well that might not be the case anymore. England's power was very reliant on the fact that they could basically take over the entire British Isles and then turtle because there was no competition. Well, now there is competition. They won't be able to just take Ireland because there is a civ there now. And they won't be able to just take the Northern Islands and Iceland because there is a civ in Iceland now as well. So likely, Iceland and Ireland will force England to actually get involved in the European clusterfuck. And chances are that somebody will eventually get pissed off at Elizabeth and send a large navy her way to kill them. Combine that with a possible Ireland-Iceland coalition force and England, despite living on an island, look to have a tall order ahead of them.
Meanwhile in Australia, the Kimberley send their Settler off to the south, as one of their starting warriors tries to make sense of their odd, red surroundings.
If the Kimberly can withstand the expansionist and aggressive tendencies of our current front runner, Australia, they will be in a very strong position to go far in this game. With their UA to promote trade between themselves and all the Indonesian islands, they will have no trouble generating revenue and happiness. The tracker UU that they get is also very good, and we will all be waiting to see if they can use them effectively in MK II. All in all, the winner of the Rumble Down Under can be considered one of the leading contenders for the crown!
Over in Ayyubid territory, Saladin orders his people to colonize the first (second) city in the BR right on the Suez Canal! Three turns in and the Ayyubids are already looking to be in a better strategic position than they were for the entirety of the last game.
Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyubids are pretty low on the rankings for a number of reasons. First of all, they have no room to expand and are pretty much boxed into their tiny corner in Northern Africa. They are surrounded by Ethiopia, Carthage, Mali, Sparta, Byzantium, Israel, and Arabia. Any attempt to escape from being boxed in by warring their neighbors will leave them more vulnerable. Also, their unique are faith focused, but don’t give any advantage to creating a religion fast, making them have to ride on another civ’s camel. If the Ayyyyyyyubids somehow are able to not let themselves be boxed in, create a religion fast enough, or enslave the Israelites again, they may have a chance of staying in the game for an extended period of time. However, it is most likely that they will become boxed in and turtle.
To the south, the Boers aim to castrate even the notion of Zulu expansion by pulling off a classic forward settle. Will this manage to box in the Zulu and foster a reboot of the previous Battle Royale events? Only time will tell.
The Boers civilization has had great success in AI matches. While their UA may encourage more peaceful forms of victory ( +1 movement for workers, settlers and GP) Kruger's personality and expansive tendencies may just help him dominate all of South Africa. That is course if you don't factor in the clear danger the neighboring Zulu's present who, as we all know, are a dangerous neighbor. One cannot forget the original BR in which Mr. Kruger was readying the world for Draka Domination after humiliating the Zulus in a spat of wars, however that does not guarantee them the same result again. So in short The Boers are heavily favored in Africa to take the world's largest continent not named Asia because of their few nearby enemies and complete demolition of the Zulus in BR Mk I that led to Kruger controlling the largest land area of any civ.
The Zulu are perhaps the civ most designed for a domination match with high powered impi's, cheap unit maintenance and powerful promotions. And if they can defeat the agrarian Boers they are in a position to dominate southern Africa. With such a base to stand on, the world would surely fall. Of course, the same was true last time, and nothing has changed since then. And last time, Shaka was hounded from this mortal plane by the wrath of the Boers. If Shaka wants to do well, he has to crush Kruger quickly, before the latter's food and production bonuses can truly come into effect.
In West Africa, the Ashanti send their second worker off as a psuedo-scout for what seems to be no apparent reason. Perhaps Osei Tutu has faith that no inherently spooky barbarians are going to burst from the jungle. For the Ashanti's sake, we can only hope that this odd AI behaviour doesn't foreshadow stranger decisions in the future (and just becomes fodder for the Kongo and Mali).
The Ashanti are placed interestingly here and a closer look here suggests the civ may have some upside as the game progresses. Their UA is very interesting to say the least giving special points for experience their UU gets which they can use for more military. Their UU spearman also make TWO at once but they are weaker than spearman. Their other UU replaces the rifleman and is also pretty good, the problem lies in their location. Between Mali and Kongo, the Ashanti need to defend themselves early if they want to make it out of the ancient era. If you are looking for an underdog this is the civ to cheer for.
To the north, and Israeli plot to forward settle the Armenians is foiled by the Armenians themselves! David has no choice but to settle on spot or find a more fertile location.
Oh Armenia, sometimes I wonder why they’re even in the Battle Royale. They have no UU, and the rest of their uniques just let them piggy-back off of another civ’s religion. Last BR, they were able to get away with not being conquered, but only because the Soviets were too drunk on vodka and the Huns were incompetent. And now instead of a weakened Hittites, they have to go against Byzantium, which will have no problem taking them over with the assistance of Russia, the Huns, Israel, Persia, and the Timurids, who are boxing them in. No expansion + No UU + Strong Neighbors = Screwed.
Over in the Isles, both the Irish and the English colonists have arrived on a foreign landmass. Ultimately, despite their differences and inherent hate of each other, they do have have one thing in common - passive-aggressive forward settling. How well will Napoleon react? Let's see what our panel has to say -
France is in a precarious position. What between spending all day eating wine and drinking fancy cheeses, they also have to NOT surrender instantly anytime war is declared! A crowded European front can make things tricky if it does not get out good expansions. In the past it has benefited from everyone attacking Germany and was able to comfortably exploit the dying Hitler, as well as pushing into North Africa. They are a solid Civ and with a little luck and good decisions will make it into the mid game with a strong position and influence in the overall Battle Royale.
Holding back on a potentially castrating forward settle, the Champa choose to go walkabout with their second Settler. Meanwhile, the Trung Sisters expand northward, possibly using Saigon as a launchpad to settle more cities in Chinese territory. How well with Vietnam go this time around?
Oh Vietnam you have so much potential. With two close neighbors early expansion might be hard, however with a pretty great food bonus for honor policies (5% Food and Culture boost for every Honor policy adopted) you are sure to be a great Indochinese power if you place your cities right and don't piss off china. Back to their UA though it is sort of perfect for a domination game such as this building up cities while conquering others and hopefully the AI will know this and attack the much weaker civs early. The Vietcong are very balanced but skewed, they are either really OP (like when they are in jungle) or they suck (can't capture cities and have trouble in open land) and when you replace infantry you better make sure that it is a good replacement. The UB complements the first part of 'Nam's UA well by further encouraging defense in cities so if they get too big then they can still have their cities protected. Though it would take a lot for Vietnam too really break out as a contender it really wouldn't come as too much of a shock if they could challenge China for eastern Asia.
To the north, China expands westward leaving an opening for Sejong to forward settle. With Mao this time at the helm of China, will he build a civilization to stand the test of time?
All praise his holiness, the savior of China, Chairman Mao Zedong. Mao looks prove to everybody why Communism is the best and Imperial China is the worst by improving on the Qin Empire's weak performance in the last BR. And with a plenty of room to expand south, he looks like he will. His uniques are very, well, unique. They combine culture and war into one so Mao can generate tons of culture just by maintaining a large army and constantly invading other empires. Can China under Mao take the Great Leap Forward from the Qin Empire and come to dominate East Asia? We certainly think so.
Like China, Timur also leads his people west - founding the city of Herat not too far from the Caspian. Historically, the Timurids were mighty and fierce - what are their chances this time around?
The Timurids find themselves in the middle of Central Asia and fill a void that otherwise would be divided up between The Huns, Persia, and The mighty Turtle Afghanistan thus it may be a Germany in Europe situation all over again. This is not to say that Timur is doomed, his UA calls for VERY early expansion buffing his palace after the capture of his first city and building any buildings not built in the capital but built in the captured city in the capital (just look up the workshop page). Anyways he also suffers from a mediocre UB and an okay UU which won't help him when things start to heat up in the end of medieval- beginning of renaissance era when they appear. Timur deserves this spot in the rankings until he proves he can hang with the big boys in BR.
Casimir, in his quest for a Coastal City inadvertantly stumps Hitler in his attempt to forward settle Poland. Elsewhere, Finland strives to poke the great Russian bear - how well will this play out?
Poor, poor Finland. It’s not easy when you’re cornered up in the frozen north by the Red Soviet Bear, Stronk Poland, Nazi Doucheland, and the rest of the Screwdinavian civs. Almost all of Finland’s uniques are focused on culture and defense. However, it’s unlikely that they will survive long enough to reach the technology for their only useful unique, the Sissi. Finland would have to take over Sweden and Norway to gain any foothold before Stalin, or anybody else for that matter, inevitably conquers them.
The sleeping bear is back and should be just as strong as ever. After conferring with our hidden agents deep in Moscow, it has been confirmed that most of the vodka has been stashed away, and should help keep everything from becoming a repeat of the blackout bender that was Mark I. Bonuses to fighting within itself leads to aggressive expansion, and in a continent with little room to grow, the aggressors will have the advantage. Stalin will have to survive a long time to make use of its UU but overall the USSR is looking to be a contender throughout the series. Our rankings reflect that optimism
The Ashanti Workers continue their wonderous pilgramage across West Africa. To the north, Mali settles the salty, and subsequently fertile city of Ka-Ba. With a penchant for gold, and a lust for conquest - how well will Mansa Musa fare in this game?
Mali's last ranking in the previous royale headlined that they were 'surrounded by people who wanted to kill them'. Well the good news for Mali is that little adjustment is needed, they are still surrounded by people who want to kill them, only now there are more of them. The addition of the Ashanti in lower West Africa and Morocco due north squeezes the perennial world football (seriously, Chile took some of their cities last time) even more than in the previous play through. There is hope for Mali, though. Neither the Ashanti nor Morocco (who ranks lower than them) are military based civs, perhaps giving them a window to expand by conquest.
England and Ireland firmly establish their colonies across their respective channels - with England sending both of her workers in the long voyage to York. Napoleon in retaliation for York's existence settles Orleans and nabs a large quantity of London's portion channel for himself.
Meanwhile in Greenland, a withered Icelandic scout searches for new potential locations for bustling Icelandic Cities. With many decent potential locations, how will Iceland fare in this game?
Fan favorite Iceland has an unfortunate starting location. TPang has promised “bonuses” in the form of boosting Greenland’s geography and a galley in place of a warrior at the beginning. They have an extreme bias to forward settle other continents though, and even get a unique great person (the Skald, replacing the great writer) to help them in their quest. However, The British Isles and Scandinavia are well overpopulated, keeping them from any expansion outside of Westward. No Unique Unit, no army or naval advantage, and no wartime advantage will make them hard pressed to succeed.
Israel starts their tradition of encompassing Desert Folklore into their beliefs - a pantheon that would've been perfect for the Kimberley, Mali, The Ayyubids, Timur, Afghanistan or Texas. As these nations weep for what can never be theirs - one can only hope that David will make the most out of his new Pantheon.
Perhaps they'll be friends, or foe - but like England and Ireland, Mexico and Texas seem to have parallels when it comes to planning certain locations for their cities. In this game however, will we see a repeat of the storming of the Alamo, or will Texas hold the Mexicans off completely?
Texas is geographically forced into a hoedown between the Sioux, USA, and Mexican civilizations, already creating a huge disadvantage (despite their close proximity to Napa Valley). Their UA and UI give them an interesting culture boost to forts and horses, as well as their UU ranger giving a culture and golden age boost. But their main boost is defense to the capital city, which wouldn’t correspond too much strategy outside of turtling. Don’t mess with Texas? Meh, you can probably get away with it.
Adiós, Mexico City is for squares! After a middling performance in the last BR and a hilariously bungled invasion of the US, Mexico has taken on an edgier approach, basing itself out of the cartel capital, Juarez! In all seriousness the more western approach of Mexico will make for an interesting play, as they'll likely settle California and up the west coast. Last time this went poorly for them, as the Inuit blasted their California colonies with a cold southerly. Mexico may well contend with this new set up-though, picking on what this list sees as a weak Texas and then expanding south into its old stomping grounds.
Morgan sends his loyal crew to work in the new Buccaneer colony of Tortuga, which just so happens to be rife with Sugar Cane. With much more open space to their south, will the Buccaneers happily sit on their supply on Rum, or will it fuel their lust for plunder and booty?
ARRRRRRR! These infamous words were spoken often and with passion in Battle Royale Mk1, and with the same room to grow (and more with Gran Columbia out) Henry Morgan looks to take his particular brand of justice back out on the high seas. The big question remains of how they can make inroads into the mainland, and only time will tell, but at least this salty dog has high hopes for a fan favorite from last season.
To the north, the Blackfoot seems to have accepted their role as the sandwich filling between the Sioux and the Inuit, who have both expanded towards a fairly disgruntled Crowfoot. In contrast, Sitting Bull must be high fiving his officials due to the close proximity of his new city to the Blackfoot capital.
Sitting Bull and his tribe of Sioux did well for themselves in the previous Battle Royale, and a big reason behind this was due to lack of nearby competition. While the Canadians and Americans were busy deciding whether Maple Syrup or Miller Genuine Draft Beer was going to flow through the Eastern part of North America, the Sioux were uprising, building a formidable nation. Everything has changed this time around though, with the introduction of the Cree to the North. This new opponent means the Sioux are now boxed in on all sides, and there will be no time to sit around and turtle. Expect them to settle Plains areas, in order to maximize their UA and UI.
Canada and America have the ability great strides in the open expanses that surround them - the last thing that Pearson and Lincoln want is to be enemies. So as a sign of good faith - they keep a fair distance from each other..... for now.
In the forested wastes of the tundra emerges the mighty Yakutian peoples. Although some may find these land harsh, the Yakuts feel right at home here.
The Yakutia have a UA that is geared quite well toward war, with their recent performance in the (YA) Russia Battle Royale showing that they can indeed use it - and use it efficiently. Not only will special great generals coupled with increased great general production will be helpful, but their General replacement, the Toyon, can create estates, which yield high amounts of gold on camp resources - necessary for supporting a massive army. This links well with the other part of their UA, the one that gives them gold from said resources. What's more, Estates claim TWO tiles of land around them, and can be built outside of friendly lands. On a crowded, 61 civ map, land will be essential. To ensure that the Yakutia can embark upon their plunder-rich conquests, they will also receive a free Toyon (GG) at chivalry. Finally, to top off the cake, they receive (as their UU) lancers that start off with blitz, adding more functionality to an otherwise problematic unit.
Hitler follows by Polish example and settles the city of Hamburg on the coast. To the north lies our two Scandinavian gladiators - Norway and Sweden. Will Sweden become just another civ to be squashed, or will he take advantage of JFD's new Unique Ability to conquer his neighbours? Personally, I can't wait to find out.
Norway, our highest ranking Scandinavian civ, comes in at #46. Unlike Sweden and Finland, who will face competition on all sides, Norway has the benefit of having only one battlefront to focus on, Sweden to the East. With Sweden sure to be rocked by the civs around it, Norway looks poised to take Sweden early on. Should however Norway fail to secure this eastern portion of Scandinavia, we're afraid we will see a Norway similar to the one in the previous BR. One that turtles early on and eventually falls to mightier, more expansive empires.
Second to last, Sweden has been given no love from our rankers. Starting squished between Norway, Finland, Germany, and Poland though, this ranking is not without merit. Sweden is really going to have to have an expansionist mindset and more than a bit of luck if it wants a shot at winning this thing. It does not help that arguably their strongest unique, Nobel Prize, is completely based on City States and Friendships... Godspeed Gustavus Adolphus, Godspeed.
Caesar expands southward, fostering the potential meeting of Hannibal at Antium's city gates. With new contenders in the region, how will our Punic War/Battle Royale veterans fare this time around.
Hannibal is going to have to work hard to stay in the game. Before, in MKI, they had more room to expand. But now they have three more civs that are boxing them in: Morocco, Sparta, and Ashanti. They’re still a military based civ, but since they’re being surrounded by so many civs, it’ll be even harder for Carthage to conquer its neighbors without being attacked from behind. They still have potential to be a powerhouse in North Africa, but to get there would be like crossing the Alps: it’s gonna be fucking hard.
Caesar’s got some problems on his hands. Rome starts off situated in the middle of the Italian peninsula, surrounded on all sides by water and mountains to the north. Although these mountains give Rome a defensive advantage against Germany and Poland, it leaves the land-focused civ little land to settle. Caesar will have to quickly settle south of France and in Iberia in order to have any land advantage over his neighbors. With Germany to the north, France to the west, Sparta to the east, and Carthage to the south, Rome is completely surrounded by warmongering civs. Fortunately Rome has strong Legions and Ballistas to help them expand and conquer in the Classical era. Caesar should easily be able to dominate his more late-game-focused neighbors like France and Germany early on. However, if he fails to exploit his early game advantages, Caesar might become irrelevant later on.
The Ashanti Workers continue their vacation, visiting the wild horses upon the western coast. Without any insight to Osei Tutu's motives, one can only he's ordering such extended leave to boost Ashanti morale.
Meanwhile, in the heart of Africa lies a civilization unseen by us so far. The Kongolese last time around became something of a Rump state, but with the right motivations, we could potentially see a Kongo Civilization that stretches from coast to coast to coast.
Kongo’s got more enemies this time. They now have the Ashanti to worry about up north. However, that only takes away a small portion of the land they have to settle. Their position in the Congo, which their UA adapts them to, also gives them a defensive position against encroaching armies. Their UB will also help them become an economic powerhouse in Africa. However, with the Boers to the south and a longer conga line of enemies to worry about, it’s still a mystery how well Nzinga will do.
Colombo expands their borders, incorporating ancient whale migration grounds into their empire. Whether or not they'll use such a resource for scientific research or delicious whale meat (or both) is up to their glorious king.
The Buccaneers pump out yet another scout to find the riches of the surrounding continents. From his throne in Port Royal, Morgan begins his initial plans for world domination - despite how unfeasible his officials says such a prospect is.
Houston proves that one should not mess with Texas as he claims a Wheat resource vital to the growth of Mexico City. Benito looks unfavourably at the Texan decision to do so and calmly mutters under his breath "...such is life" as he orders another load of agave to be planted around his presidential home.
Jandamarra asks his warriors to gaze over the open expanse of the Outback, for it is what shall mould them, and is what will make their empire great. To the north, the Gajah Mada makes vital improvements to Surabaya, but finds himself unable to find any land suitable for farming. Gajah will have to rely on the sea to keep his beautful rotund figure.
God damnit Gajah Mada. Arguably the worst Vanilla civ in the game is at least given some leeway in BR Mk II. Close to extinction before the collapse of the first game, Indonesia may have better odds with an Australia now preoccupied with the Kimberley, buying it crucial time to expand throughout, well, Indonesia. Still, a weak UU and dismal history of performance leave this island civ very low on our rankings and rightfully so, to climb higher they'll have some proving to do.
To the north, the mildly chilled and perpetually hard-nippled Icelandic peoples sponsor another Settler to increase the feasibility of a vast Icelandic Empire. Only time will tell if they decide to make the trek to Greenlander pastures.
As Cork grows, Malachy II decides to capitalize on his hold of the isles by pumping out another settler. Perhaps we'll see a string of great decisions by the Irish leader before the technology that allows for the aquisition of Guinness is inevitably discovered.
Paul Kruger sends off the first of what can only be many settlers with a remarkable speech which blesses the rains down in Africa for producing such lovely crops that allowed for the creation of another Settler.
In the North, the Blackfoot decide that the Tundra isn't completely useless, but has the potential to host some great dance moves. Elsewhere, the Inuit decides that they're not too complacent with their current surroundings and search for a place to plonk down a snowy comode.
Leonidas decides that two Spartan cities are not enough, as he unveils his plans to expand his empire further than just the reaches of the Balkans. To the east, Alexios I Komenos of Byzantium decides it's best not to agitate the shirtless man with a massive spear and decides to head northward instead.
Alexios Komnenos will get a Golden Age every time a war starts. Given his position on the edge of the Great European Clusterfuck, he may be in a Golden Age for as long as he lives. His naval UU, a replacement for the Galleass, which heals 15 points per turn in a Golden Age is going to be healing quite a lot, I suspect. Sparta, likely to be a warmonger, on his western front, may induce him to expand east into Anatolia, and away from the bloodbath that shall emerge. Any significant expansion west would be a death sentence.
Somehow, on turn 23 David founds the new religion of Judaism in Jerusalem. Rather shocked at these events, Tiridates III decides he couldn't really give an Artashat and decides to convert Yerevan to Judaism too.
Meanwhile, the Yakutians look to the sky and start worshipping the Goddess of the Hunt to further the fruitfulness of their camps. With their already increased gold bonus from camps, this could be the start of the skyward rise of the Yakutian empire.
Alberti spreads the word that Akbar has the most delicious meals on the planet. The rest of the world cringes at this obviously biased lover of Vindaloo, as their diplomats inform them that Akbar gives out free curries in excess to any foreign dignitary.
In the south, the Maori discover the mysterious island of Tasmania. Reports sweep across the land of the long white cloud of a new island filled with Citrus. A Maori council convenes in order to settle the question - "Is settling such a place worth it if Australians will just call us inbred for settling their first?". Meanwhile, Parkes decides to spend the majority of his time settling cities in accurate locations.
The Inuit decides that there's snow time like the present and sends an additional Settler southward to sunnier pastures. Across the bay, the Blackfoot founds another city with plenty of prospects for growth.
And thus we come to the end of the first part of our Battle Royale! At this point it doesn't hurt to look at statistics. Upon first glance, it seems that Alberti might actually have some validity to his claims of a Mughal Empire full of delicious curry.
The lead of the Mughals is evidently slim, having researched only two techs ahead of those who've researched 6. The question is - with the high potential for Mughal growth, will their science output likewise grow?
The Religious Overview Map is not only handy for figuring out the spread of religion, but it's also super handy for seeing the growth and spread of cities around the globe!
And thus we come to an end - feel free to visit /r/civbattleroyale for the awesome community it provides! Good luck, godspeed and see you in the next edition of the Battle Royale Mk.II!
The /r/civ Battle Royale is an event hosted by surprisingly... /r/civ. The concept is simple! On a massive world map 42 (or most recently 61) AI Civilizations duke it out for absolute world domination. All Civilizations were chosen by the denizens of /r/civ and include both Modded Historical and Vanilla civilizations alike.
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