A while back we covered the beginning of the Second Civilization V Battle Royale, an effort put on by user TPangolin of reddit to pit 61 AI civilizations against each other in an epic round of Civilization V to see who would come out on top. Now, as the Battle Royale nears its 30th update, it’s time to see how history has treated the AI nations.
In 29 updates spanning over 300 turns, the world of Battle Royale is a topsy turvy one. Sparta emerged as the great power of Eastern Europe, Ireland conquered the British Isles, the Inuit founded so many cities that they ran out of names and are now borrowing from random civs (hello Inuit city of Viana Do Costelo!), and Australia looks like the future site of World Wars I, II, and III. Despite all the moving and shoving of civilizations on this crowded Earth, surprisingly few have gone into the history books as ancient relics.
Rome was the first to go, the victim of Sparta’s cruel and efficient war machine. Mali ground the weakened remains of the Ashanti to dust in turn 233 (just 32 after the fall of Rome). After given a surprising reprieve by the Australians shortly before the death of the Ashanti, the Philippines found itself in a two-front war against both Vietnam and Champa, and eventually lost their last city – Manila – to the latter in turn 256. 40 turns later, a surprisingly ambitious looking Sweden took out the last vestiges of Nazism in Europe. And then there was a firefight! In a single update, three civilizations that had been teetering on the edge were pushed right over: Poland, the Sioux, and Kongo.
The bloodshed is nowhere near over, however, as those five civs account for just 8% of all the civilizations in the game – and the game isn’t ending until only one remains. Next on the chopping block are likely to be England (reduced to a single city by the ferocious Celts of Eire, though Portugal is having difficulty conquering that last city), The Huns (Attila may have been a bit too aggressive and was recently smacked around by the Sibir), China (long story), and the Mayans (who are clinging on to their little perch in Central America not through tenacity, but rather the absentmindedness of their neighbors).
But what of potential victors, you might ask – to which I would answer “Patience, young one.” There remains a lot of Civ to get through, but right now the Boers currently control a substantial amount of Africa, Australia looks primed and ready to destroy the world at a moment’s notice, the Sibir have demonstrated they’re no slouch militarily in the steppes of Asia, the Inuit are looking to basically outgrow everyone else, and Finland is currently the most populous country in Europe.
Now, the death of the Ashanti isn’t particularly surprising (as you’ll recall from our previous piece, they opened the Battle Royale by sending a worker on an extended tour of Africa rather than, you know, working), but I’m genuinely shocked that Rome bit the dust first out of anyone, and the expansion of Sweden is another eyebrow raiser. So far, the Battle Royale appears to be without many bugs or hitches, and the updates remain plentiful and high quality as various members of the subreddit take turns providing narration.
As for what comes next – my money is on England finally succumbing to its fate on the Iberian peninsula before anyone else goes, and there has to be a titanic struggle for the Australian continent at some point. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next major conflict erupted in Europe, where warlike Sparta now shares a border with Sweden and the whole area is rather overcrowded. Whatever comes, though, one thing is for sure: there will be plenty more bloodshed.