Monthly Archives: March 2016

New Blog “From the Sub” for Civ Battle Royale Articles

Rather than swamp Unapologetic Nerd with reaction articles and alike to Civilization Battle Royale, I decided to make a side blog, “From the Sub.”  There, you can see my responses and more to updates for the CBR.  I’m still playing around for its overall appearance so the layout may change in the near future.  In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to write articles for Unapologetic Nerd as well.  Just spreading the word out.  Until next time!

Link to site https://fromthesub.wordpress.com/

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Reaction to Civ Battle Royale Part 40

Map created by /u/LacsiraxAriscal

Summary

-For once, relevant wars are fought on all six continents creating another exciting part in the latest CBR. Some notable highlights include the Blackfoot most impressive city capture of the game (Olongapo from Champa) and Finland sending paratroopers to Arabia (a civ that it doesn’t even share a land border with).

-The Great Pacific War continues as Vietnam resurges forward and annexes many coastal and island cities. Kimberly defenses begin to weaken but have still held up strong against Australia’s onslaught.

-In what is dubbed by the latest Power Rankings as the “War of South American Relevance” Chile and the Buccaneers declare war on Brazil and Inca creating one of the most exciting wars that South America has produced since the beginning of the game. Brazil invades Chile while the Buccaneers shell the Incan coastline.

-The Inuit’s advances stall under heavy Canada and Texas defense but continue to bring advance units to the frontline. By the end of Part 40, Texan defenses broke down and the White Walkers are advancing southward with gusto.

-Sparta has found its foothold again and is fighting back against Sweden in the Second Sweden-Sparta War.

-Mughals adopt Freedom in a world where only tyranny exists. Good for you Mughals!

-Argentina is eliminated by Brazil making it the 18th civ to be eliminated from the game.

Lower Half Civs: #23-44 based off of Power Rankings Part 39

This was a bad part for: Argentina, Inca, Ayyubids, Champa

Truth be told, I’m kind of surprised that Argentina got eliminated due to its last city nestled in the mountains but Brazil’s determination did not let that faze them. Argentina’s neighbor, the Incans, is now the new South American punching bag as the Buccaneers ravage their coastline cities.  Finally, Ayyubids continue to circle the drain as, despite regaining Cairo a couple of times, they ultimately lost their capital, along with Aswan, to their hated Carthagian rivals. Ayyubids’ fate may soon be like the extinct Argentina, or worse, irrelevant like Japan. Over in the Pacific, the Champa have been kicked off the mainland by Vietnam and now reside on island cities. I think Champa may retake Kauthara but I feel like Vietnam has a good grip on the situation and have shut out Champa from the rest of Asia. If the weakened Champa isn’t too careful, Burma might surprise us all and DOW. That would be neat.

This was a good part for: Sparta

Sparta managed to reverse the Sweden conquest and is now pushing back north. They have reclaimed Cumae and Ohrid and now have the units to go on the offense. Their next target would probably be Tegea but Sweden cannons and troops protect the city. Expect much blood to be shed by these two civs in the next part.

Upper Half Civs: #1-22 based off of Power Rankings Part 39

This was a bad part for: Texas, Sweden

Although Texas didn’t lose any cities by the end of Part 40, the situation certainly looks grim for them. Near the end of the part, we see Inuit forces bursting through the borders, causing wreckage and mass chaos throughout the territories. What’s more, Texas’ Sisseton is at zero health, and Corpus Christi is in yellow. Further tightening the noose is the big tech difference as Inuit has modern infantry, helicopters, bazookas, and airplanes, against Texas’ cannons and great war infantry. Canada and Inuit may stalemate hard, but Texas is about to fold.

Sweden had perhaps reached its peak at the end of Part 39 as now it is facing a resurgent Sparta. Although Sweden may be able to hold onto its other conquered cities, what’s most troubling is the lack of troops that defend its core cities in the north. As the narrator points out, Sweden’s paucity of soldiers looks quite delicious to Finland…

This was a good part for: Vietnam, Carthage, Buccaneers, Boers

Perhaps the biggest winner this part was Vietnam. Vietnam was definitely not looking good in the last part but all that has changed. Their horde of submarines has fought off Australia’s armada, and now, their troops and ships are capturing or recapturing many coast line cities. Granted, these cities could flip in the next part but nonetheless, Vietnam is looking better off and should continue to push forward and try to take other island cities that host Australian aircraft. Not only will this expand their homeland, but it will also provide relief to their core cities from Australian bombers.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers, fresh off their Portugal war, declare war on Brazil and the Inca and become allies with Chile which sandwiches their rivals neatly. Although Buccaneers are extremely light in their land defense in northern South America, at least Brazil is heavily distracted by Chile which was well played by the pirates. What’s more, their intense armada is shelving Incan cities and have even sniped them from Chile! If I was playing Chile I would be embarrassed right now. The Buccaneers need to be careful though as the Brazilian core cities could start producing armies that will stop their total conquests. Watch the entanglement between Brazil and Buccaneers to see how it all plays out in Part 41.

Carthage has done well thanks to their persistent conquest of Ayyubid territory. Not only do they have Cairo firmly in their control, they also occupy Aswan and still have a (relatively) strong army to boot that is now marching towards Baalbek. Carthage’s conquest may be impressive if it wasn’t for the fact that they occupy a border with the Boers. Ouch.

Speaking of which, the Boers continue to surprise us as they skip tanks and go straight to modern armor. Of course there is also the fact that they have AN ATOMIC BOMB at their disposal, so, you know, no biggie. Their development also highlights the new timeline TPang has introduced into the gameplay. I myself have yet to play with the new timeline so I am unsure how all of this will turn out but nevertheless, I am now more than ever convinced that Boers will be the winner of the CBR. At this point, only a few civs have even a chance of stopping them. We’ll just have to wait and find out.

If…

If Mexico declares war on Texas…

Although we haven’t seen Mexico much during this last part, what little we have seen has shown us a respectable army that is nothing to sneeze at. Both Blackfoot and the Mexicans have taken a very neutral position for the Inuit vs. Canada+Texas War, but it is Mexico that could have the bigger effect here. Blackfoot’s army is a joke next to the Inuit so Blackfoot would only make a small dent to the Inuit. However, if Mexico were to intervene on the side of the Inuit, it would spell disaster for Texas (and to an extent, Canada). Mexico has proven in the past that it could take Austin so no one would doubt Mexico’s competence. What’s more, Texas is weakened but still respectable; if Mexico were to intervene then Texas could falter majorly. This would only benefit the Inuit who could swing around and add another front to Canada.

Camel Up for Camel Cup!

I think if there was a board game that got the award for player versatility, it would likely be Camel (C)up.

Camel Cup is a board game where you bet on camel racing and that’s pretty much it! Five camels race each other on a racetrack board and the game ends when the first camel crosses the finish line. The race is divided up into “legs” where each leg is the time allotted for each camel to move (each colored camel has their own colored die that is rolled once per leg). You can bet on the overall winner and loser of the race and the winner of each leg. The game awards you with money if you bid correctly and takes away your money if you bid incorrectly.  Also, you can also add “desert” and “oasis” tiles on the board that can advance or retreat camels if they land on them.

Also, the camels stack on each other if they’re on the same space creating humorous results. Hence, why some people argue for “Camel Up.” Image from http://www.lautapelit.fi/Camel_Cup_FIN_SWE_DEN_NOR

I sincerely like this game which is bizarre considering there is a high chance, low skill ratio involved here. Many, traditional, board games, like Monopoly, rely on chance to progress the game which downplays its skill aspect. In such games, where is the fun in winning or losing when you can easily lose thanks to a bad dice roll? That is why many modern board games try to strike a healthy balance between chance and skill to make for an enjoyable experience. Camel Cup though is a crucial exception to this rule as chance is part of its theme! After all, you are betting on camels to win in a race.

But chance is the name of the game here and players have to take into account a high-risk/high reward payoff versus a low-risk/low reward scenario. Camel Cup harkens back to traditional gambling games and hones in at that crucial point of risk taking. In poker, do you dare call your opponent’s possibly bluffing hand? Or in blackjack, will you signal the dealer for a “hit” and hope you hit 21? These kinds of risks are what make those games, and Camel Cup, fun to play. This is epitomized when everyone waits apprehensively for the last die roll and when that number comes up, cheers or groans erupt the room as the winners cash in big and the losers pay up.

Camel Cup also benefits from its great game design. For instance, each player takes on the role of a betting character and their cartoon designs are a delight (I always choose the manic-looking blonde). Then you have the board itself which imposes well as a desert scenario. Players can also grow fondly of the camel tokens as they back their favorites and try to shut down camels that threaten their favorite’s winning chances. Most importantly though, the constructed pyramid at the center of the board is perhaps one of the most creative, if sometimes frustrating, hardware designs I have seen in a long time. The pyramid holds the five dice and is able to roll each dice one at a time. Although effective at rolling a random die, the pyramid itself can be awkward as sometimes a die won’t roll out while other times the structure-holding rubber band breaks on the third use. Nonetheless, it is an impressive piece as it adds a strong, three-dimensional structure to Camel Cup as other board games are usually very flat in design.

But most importantly, I think, one of the best reasons to own Camel Cup is its appeal to any group of people. I have exposed this game to many players and most of the time I have received positive feedback on it. Hard core or casual, family or adult, if you find people who are willing to learn the rules (which although dense, it is easy to pick up), you will have a fun and exciting game on your hands as players gamble their way to victory. The short length makes it a fun “breather” game that allows multiple playthroughs in one sitting. Also, the game goes up to eight players which is AMAZING as so few games of this caliper rarely go pass five (and the game doesn’t suffer from the added players either). So! In the end…

Buy it? Buy this game if you want a light, fun, and nail-biting game. This is also a fun casual game that plays well into larger-than-normal board game crowds.

Leave it? Skip this game if you want something a bit more skill heavy. Camel Cup is about chance and wooing Lady Luck.

My recommendation? Buy it! You won’t regret it!

But seriously, I have no idea if it’s Camel Up or Camel Cup.

Reaction to Civ Battle Royale Part 39

So for the past eight months or so, I’ve been following Civilization Battle Royale Mk. II on the civbattleroyale subreddit and it has been amazing.  For the unfamiliar, this subreddit follows a huge game of civilization where 61 A.I. civs fight for global domination in a winner-take-all story.  I’ve been following this closely and now, I wanted to release my reaction to the latest part (39) as it has been a doozy.  This article is for all the fans of CBR!

Map created by /u/LacsiraxAriscal

Summary

-The War of Oceania Supremacy explodes across the Pacific Ocean as Vietnam, Australia, Kimberly, and Champa fight tooth and nail. Kimberly and Australia flip many island cities and the infamous Wobbegong Navy is neutered thanks to Kimberly’s smaller, but more modern, navy. Kimberly has lost its Red Fort though and this likely signals a turning point in the war. Now, Australian troops head west towards Kimberly’s core, costal cities.

-War of North American Supremacy continues to be a bloodbath draw with the Inuit having a slight upper hand over Canada and Texas. The Inuit have several times come close to occupying Ottawa’s territory.

-Brazil solidifies itself as the ruler of South America thanks to its amazing invasion into Argentina.

-Israel is eliminated by Armenia making it the 17th civ to be eliminated.

Lower Half Civs #23-45 (as of Part 38)

This was a bad part for: Sparta, Israel, Argentina, Portugal, Ayyubids

The writing was on the wall by the end of Part 37 that Israel and Argentina were going to have a bad time in Part 38. Sparta was the civ though that had a chance to recover against Sweden and reclaim core cities. This didn’t happen and instead, Sparta lost additional cities in this brutal war. But hey, at least they got Rome? This would be an achievement if it was from any other civ except Portugal. Speaking of which, Portugal lost its final core city to the Buccaneers which really sealed the deal that Portugal would in no way recover. Ayyubids also lost its capital to long-time rival Carthage, which divided the country up into four city states. Woof. Good luck trying to come back from that.

This was a good part for: Armenia, Carthage

Armenia, surprisingly, joins the small list of civs that dealt the killing blow to a civ. Thanks to a free city from the USSR awhile back and now Jerusalem, Armenia looks good but now needs to tech up fast and continue to pick off lesser civs (Ayyubid looks delicious right now). Carthage is also the surprise winner here as it finally became serious of its half-assed war against the Ayyubids and captured its capital, Cairo, effectively splitting the rival nation up into four parts. Although Cairo may flip, Carthage should hold sway over it by the end of the war. Carthage’s tech lead may also spell the end to the Ayyubids in the near future.

Upper Half Civs #1-22 (as of Part 38)

This was a bad part for: Vietnam, Kimberly, Canada+Texas

Really, the suckers in this part are the losers in the Inuit and Australia wars. Poor Vietnam, although your Unique Unit may be a fantastic defensive bonus, it sucks for Battle Royale in that it can’t capture cities and it seems Vietnam hasn’t figured that out yet. Kimberly’s strong fight against Australia finally falters at the end of Part 39 as Australian soldiers head towards important, western coast, core cities. Expect Kimberly to tumble in the rankings—and as a regional power—by the end of the next part. Over in North America, Canada and Texas are having a rough time against the Inuit despite their consistent troop supplies. Although their hardy defenses are something to praise, I have to point out that they aren’t making a strong offense into Inuit territory. Sure, by the end of the war, all three civs may be worse for wear, but the Inuit will still have its core cities unharmed while Canada and Texas’ will probably lose a few. If Canada and Texas want to turn the tide of the war, they better beg to neutral Blackfoot for help.

This was a good part for: Brazil, Boers, Buccaneers, Inuit, Australia, Sweden

Australia and the Inuit may be winning their respective wars but city flips and loss of units is hurting their cause significantly. Out of the two civs, the Inuit is the one that’s probably better off as they still retains their core, and so far unflipped, cities, and they are making decent strides into Canada (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Inuit managed to capture Ottawa by Part 40). But the civ that has the best progress so far is Brazil as they are waging one of the most efficient wars we have seen since the Boer-Zulu war. Argentina is now reduced to one city that is nestled in the Andes Mountains with barely an army to defend it. At this point, Brazil doesn’t need to take them out but it looks like they’re going for it so good luck there! In Europe, Sweden’s progress has been stellar against Sparta but I worry this may be the end to their expansion. Sparta still has a strong Mediterranean navy fleet that can easily recapture coastal cities. Sweden should peace out soon instead of fighting for pointless coastal cities (hopefully, other civs like Carthage will jump on Sparta, further fueling Sweden’s successes). Finally, Buccaneers wisely peace out in their successful Portugal War and now rebuild towards their next fight, good job Buccaneers!

Although Boers didn’t fight anyone and largely stayed out of the limelight, they still get a shout out for being the first civ to reach the Information Age! This is in relation when other civs are still reaching the Modern Age such as Mexico. The Boers are doing fantastic and we are eager to see them fight their next foe.