Game five looked to be the story of one details AI leader: Mansa Musa. In the ar predictions prior to this video game started, we had practically two thirds of the entries select Mansa as the expected winner of this game. Long back in the early on days the Civ4, I composed in one of my reports the Mansa Musa had actually the "winner" AI personality, just as Tokugawa had the "loser" AI personality. If Tokugawa refuses to sign Open boundaries with anyone and stagnates in isolation, Mansa trades v anyone and everyone, fueling a fast program of economic development. When tech trading is enabled, Mansa Musa is well known for his rampant tech trading abilities. I"ve watched him squeezed into a edge of the map with four cities and still somehow end up being the AI technology leader in defiance of every logic. Right here in AI Survivor through no technology Trading enabled, Mansa has been rather reigned in while still gift a teching powerhouse. His Financial/Spiritual mix seems come work really well in these games, v the AI saving lots of turns otherwise shed to Anarchy while choose up the great Financial business bonus. And although Mansa is one of the an ext peaceful leaders in the game, he additionally has the capability to plot war at "Pleased" relations, which renders him much much more dangerous than countless of the various other peacenik AIs. This video game would provide another chance to watch Mansa Musa in action.

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The Malinese people started the end this video game in the northwest edge of the continent. This was arguably a subpar location, with just a plains cow and also a bunch the floodplains tiles for food, and with tiny room to expand in the north combined with huge tracts of jungle to the south. Mansa would also have to contend with Alexander of Greece, among the game"s most aggressive leaders, surrounding to the east. The course, these 2 leaders had actually started in very similar positions last season in video game Six, and that challenge ended in a Mansa Musa romp. We"d need to see if Alexander might do better this time. Further to the east was Suleiman the the footrest Empire, an Imperialistic AI who was one of the dark steed picks in this game. A lot of of people liked him to come in second place, and Suleiman would have actually a great chance in this game if he can spread out choose the afflict along the eastern edge of the continent. Under in the southern were two really peaceful leaders who favor to sit ago and build things (Lincoln/Hammurabi) and also one very aggressive leader that favors war (Gilgamesh). It to be a certainty that the massive distinction in tranquility weight between these three civs would certainly spark conflict, and I doubted that all 3 of castle would survive until the finish.

None of the leaders in this game started with Mysticism tech, producing an open up competition because that the first two religions. Mansa Musa seemed most likely to insurance claim one that them as result of his heavy spiritual preferences, but he opened up with a growth-oriented Bronze working into pet Husbandry tech course instead. It was Hammurabi who went for the Meditation religion first and created Islam in his 2nd city. Then as soon as no one rather made any immediate relocate for a religion, Hammurabi would go ~ above to discovered the Polytheism religion (Buddhism) in his third city. I don"t think we"ve ever seen the exact same AI leader uncovered both that the an initial two religions prior to in AI Survivor. This produced a weird video game where there was effectively only one dominant Islamic religious beliefs that spread out throughout most of the world. As soon as the Monotheism religion was founded later on Turn 47, it was Gilgamesh that picked the up down in the far southwest edge of the map, which restricted its spread. This would cause serious diplomatic difficulties for Gilgamesh in a world where Islam to be dominant.

The AI leaders generally expanded in logical fashion as soon as again in this game. Lincoln sent out his an initial settler come the southeast when Suleiman walk due south, developing a large open room in the center of the map where barbarians flourished. Gilgamesh and also Hammurabi both increased to the north and also picked solid spots v their own settlers. And as because that Mansa and also Alexander:

They worked out right on peak of one one more with your first few cities. It"s hard to think of a situation much more likely to insurance future conflict than this. Mansa and Alex were both gyeongju to watch who could claim the center of the continent, and also whoever won had actually the potential to cut the other one out of the photo entirely. We initially thought the Djenne would lock Alex the end of the center, only to check out him push out an early settler because that his 3rd city and settle Corinth a mere 3 tiles far to the northeast. Since Mansa has really high tranquility weight score (9) and Alex has actually a really low peace weight (0), these close borders practically made battle an inevitability. Over the adhering to turns Alexander ongoing to carry out much far better than expected, planting his 4th city to the east of Djenne and also then another city even further south. The Greeks were the an initial civ come reach 3 cities, climate the first to four cities, then an initial to five. Meanwhile, Mansa planted his third city in the far northwest straight on peak of the stone resource. This offered him both stone and marble, sending out Mansa right into wonder-building mode. That cranked out an initial the great Wall complied with by the Pyramids. Mansa showed up to be wasting precious early on game production on wonders instead of advertise out much more settlers for expansion. This component of the map was not going the method that we meant at all.

In the south, Lincoln showed up to be doing the ideal in the beforehand game. He was broadening quickly in every directions and faced small opposition from his two neighbors. Hammurabi was focusing too much on religion, researching both Polytheism and also Meditation techs and also delaying necessary growth-oriented research objectives (Bronze Working, Pottery, animal Husbandry) together a result. Then he additionally built Stonehenge, which wasn"t something that the Babylonians needed with two beforehand religions already in hand. In the much west, Gilgamesh chose to spend two of his first four inhabitants on areas down in the tundra the easily can have been declared later. Those settlers would have actually been much better used claiming land along the American border rather than grabbing iceballs the would never ever be worth really much. This should have actually left accessible the central part the the map for an aggressive landgrab indigenous Suleiman and also his Imperialistic trait. However, Suleiman had idiotically locked himself right into a trap of his very own AI programming. That was building a settler in his second city, a jungle-choked place stuck at dimension 1 with exactly zero manufacturing capability. So lengthy as the settler remained in production, the Suleiman AI believed it was "expanding" and refused to start another settler in the capital. As a result, Suleiman sat on 2 cities for number of dozens of turns on end, falling much behind the rest of the field. We"ve derisively described Suleiman together "Sillyman" once he"s excellent stupid things in the past, and also this was one more case that the AI smoking cigarettes some that the pungent weed.

By rotate 50, Lincoln and Alexander appeared to be top the field. Lincoln was leading in score with 6 cities and a settler because that a seventh under production. At this point, ns was starting to wonder if we had all targeted the wrong calm AI in this game; maybe it was Lincoln who was destined because that glory in this match. Alexander appeared to be replicating the path to success the Hannibal and Justinian had followed in the last two AI Survivor games, starting in the north and also then settling directly towards the main part of the map. V a substantial tundra backlines still come claim, Alex looked particular to finish up with around ten urban and much more land than anyone else. Gilgamesh to be lingering as a danger in the south, return his tundra city placements left a good deal to be desired. Hammurabi had actually been slowed through his religious stuff and Mansa had been slowed by his wonder building spree. The Malinese were virtually done with the Pyramids though, and due come some an excellent luck there to be still a many jungle to the south that remained to be claimed. Ns still thought Mansa had actually a decent opportunity although this had actually been a little of a rough opening because that him. Finally Suleiman to be desperately pumping out settlers now however he was exceptionally far behind, last ar on the scoreboard through a wide margin. The weak placement of his second city and Suleiman AI"s refusal to build another settler until that city had actually completed the first one had basically crippled his game. Coming back from this damaging opening was going to it is in a herculean task.

The map continued to fill up end the following turns. Mansa perfect the Pyramids and also immediately swapped to representation civic, wherein he would continue to be for many of the game. That probably made the Pyramids a worthwhile build, specifically with the stone resource available. The AI loves to run specialists in Civ4 and the extra pleasure from depiction helps lock a lot of in the early on game. (You would certainly think the the divine being AI would be able to manage happiness in their cities given the large bonuses the they get, yet they battle with delight constantly. Early on luxuries like ivory, furs, and also gold resources help out their performance a lot.) Mansa then proceeded come crank the end two inhabitants at once and also claim two cities in the southerly jungle. That lugged him earlier even v the remainder of the pack, if still rolling Lincoln by a great margin. Gilgamesh went ahead and built the Oracle, if Hammurabi slowly resolved the backlines region in his south-east corner. Suleiman was lastly making use of his Imperialistic trait and also managed to case most of the remaining territory in between him and also Alexander. Now why couldn"t he have actually done that 2 dozen turns earlier?

We intended Alexander or Gilgamesh to begin the very first war against their respective neighbors. Instead, it to be shockingly Mansa Musa who started the first conflict on rotate 78 by moving a stack next to Corinth. And also unlike so plenty of of those failed early wars in Civ4, this one was timed perfectly:

Corinth had no society inside and no city walls when Mansa declared war. Together a result, that was simple for Mansa Musa to take it over v his ridge of swords and also axes. This catch neatly bisected Greek territory right into two halves, separating Alex"s two southern cities indigenous his four northern cities. It ended up being clear instantly that Alex was in real hazard from this invasion. Corinth contained his only resource of horses, and if the Malinese boundaries were may be to increase to take it over the resource, the Greeks would be can not to develop chariots or horse archers. Also, an alert how there seemed to it is in a many Greek an installed units running around? the turned out that Alexander had no copper or iron resources connected to his profession network. The did have an iron resource sitting just external one that his northern cities in the second ring, yet get this: Alexander had actually never researched Mysticism tech.

Seriously. As late as revolve 100 the still didn"t have actually Mysticism tech. That intended no monuments to expand borders, naught on the religious part of the technology tree, and also libraries together the only method of generating culture. I"m not sure that I"ve ever seen an AI this incompetent at city breakthrough before. For this reason Alex to be crippled by having no cultural defenses exterior of his capital and no axes on hand to counter Mansa"s swords, which to be slicing through the Greek archers and also chariots on defense with an excellent abandon. This to be an pure disaster because that Alex, and also it turned out that Mansa had actually chosen the ideal moment to invade his neighbor.

Somewhat surprisingly, there to be no other wars in this game throughout the first 100 turns. Mansa Musa constructed Chichen Itza (founding Taoism together the password of regulations religion), and that proved to be a helpful wonder in his war against Alex. The city the Corinth was right on the Greek border and didn"t control fifty percent of its first ring tiles, but it had the ability to pick up the +25% defenses native Chichen Itza, adhered to by an additional +50% defenses from a cheap stone-discounted city walls, and that do it essentially invulnerable to repeated Greek counterattacks. Meanwhile, Mansa sniped off another one of the secluded Greek cities in the south and also used his marble to develop the Mausoleum 3 turns prior to Lincoln could constructed it. The was another vital wonder that was help Mansa to capture up to the Americans and close the void with their at an early stage lead. Soon Lincoln was affiliated in his own war:

Gilgamesh initiated the conflict that had been inevitable because this map to be rolled on turn 105. I failed to record the main Sumerian ridge in this screenshot, which was directed against the American city of mountain Francisco in the northwest edge of Lincoln"s empire. The city fell instantly to Gilgamesh, and this looked prefer it could be a effective invasion. However, this is where peace weight has to be preserved in mind, and also its function in shaping exactly how the AI vs AI diplomacy plays out. Gilgamesh has a an extremely low peace weight if Lincoln and also Hammurabi both have very high peace weight scores. Similar peace weights made Lincoln and also Hammurabi an excellent friends that would practically never attack one another. Together a result, once Hammurabi intervened in the battle it to be a certainty the he would concerned Lincoln"s aid, which came to pass on turn 116. Currently the Sumerians were required to fight against both of the AI civs in the south, and also Gilgamesh wasn"t strong enough to pull the off. San Francisco to be recaptured and also the Sumerians were compelled to fall earlier on the defensive. It"s also worth acquisition a look at the religious landscape in the corner of that screenshot. Over there were five Islamic nations... And then negative Gilgamesh with his own self-founded Confucianism. He to be on the wrong next of the religious divide and things were just going to acquire worse native here.

In the north, Mansa"s onslaught against Alexander continued. He recorded Sparta on turn 107, and also then the push was on for the Greek capital. Mansa had actually picked up building and construction tech through now and unlocked catapults, and the nearby presence of cream color was enough to placed elephants into the field as well. Alex was able to counter with his very own elephants, which to be a an excellent thing since he soon lost his only resource of steeds to Malinese culture. Happily for him, Greek boundaries finally broadened to pick up the iron resource and carry metal units into play because that the an initial time. Mansa was cottaging increase a storm earlier in his core, and that combined with the early on Representation civic from the Pyramids was causing his tech price to explode. Mansa"s early stage strike against the city of Athens came up short, for this reason he merely came earlier again v maces this time and sealed the deal:

Note the Alex"s just iron resource (directly listed below the "has been" message in the over screenshot) has actually been pillaged and also disconnected again. If that weren"t for an ivory source at the isolated Greek city in the south, Alexander would have been can not to construct anything but archers. His lack of crucial strategic resources - mostly as result of his own incompetent city monitoring - had been a large issue in this war. Currently the video game was start to turn into a race as to who might get an ext out the their respective wars. It seemed specific that Mansa would dominate the staying Greek cities eventually. Might Lincoln manage to perform the very same thing and absorb Gilgamesh"s territory? The complicating variable here to be the visibility of Hammurabi, that was "helping" Lincoln in the war but likewise threatened come take few of the Sumerian urban for himself. In fact, the very first Sumerian city come be caught went over to the Babylonians, not the Americans. I"m certain Lincoln was rolling his eyes at that sort of assistance.

Then points were further facility in the south by the entrance of the game"s forgotten AI leader, as Suleiman asserted war top top Hammurabi on rotate 139. He controlled to catch the Babylonian city ~ above their particular border in ~ the exact same time the Mansa to be wiping the end the southern Greek enclave:

The huge winner here appeared to be Lincoln, that would now have the chance to clean increase the continuing to be Sumerian cities when Hammurabi recalled his forces for house defense. Only - that didn"t happen, as Hammurabi continued to strike Sumerian cities despite the footrest invasion. In fact, 3 of the an initial four Sumerian cities to fall were recorded by the Babylonians, even as their core was acquiring pillaged ago at home. What the hell was Hammurabi doing?! This to be a troll job right up there with Wang Kon from critical year"s AI Survivor. Madness.


As if points weren"t going negative enough because that Gilgamesh, he soon learned why it"s a poor idea to be the just Confucian leader in a human being full that Muslims:

The Apostolic palace strike again! Hammurabi had actually used his regulate of the wonder to pressure a war declaration of anyone else against poor Gilgamesh. If the hadn"t been doomed already, he absolutely was perfect now. Nothing readjusted for the minute in handy terms, since Suleiman was too far away to invade and also Alex certainly wasn"t sending any type of soldiers. Mansa Musa would look to get associated here though, once his existing invasion the Greece to be over. We had actually a gyeongju on our hands because that the first to die category, whether the an unified forces could finish off Gilgamesh or if Mansa would arise victorious in his lonely struggle versus Alex. This was a how amazing close dispute as huge armies congregated on the staying cities of the outgoing leaders.

As that turned out, Mansa Musa won the race and eliminated Alexander first:

Solo kills are fairly rare in AI Survivor since of how difficult they space to pull off. It"s much more common because that leaders come be got rid of in a fashion comparable to Gilgamesh in this game, brought down by a combination of multiple wars over a long time or invasions from more than one party. The unusual solo kills tend to be the most an useful though, since every one of the spoils of battle go come a solitary leader. Mansa now regulated a vast empire the stretched across the optimal of the map, and with his awesome economic traits, a bevy of an effective wonders, and also the most territory in the game, he was about to leaving the other AI leaders in the dust.

Gilgamesh was thrown the end of the video game only 5 turns after ~ Alex, with Hammurabi narrowly claiming the kill. Over there were huge American and also Malinese forces right following door who had also been chomping in ~ the bit to take the last city. This had been a little bit of a challenging game because that Gilgamesh and also Alexander, as two low peace weight leader in a video game with three high tranquility weight opponents. Still, it wasn"t outside the kingdom of possibility that they can have come out on optimal in this game, especially if Suleiman had actually played a an ext competent game and joined them. Gilgamesh had been crippled in this video game by the forces of religion, with Hammurabi"s hoarding of the at an early stage faiths leading to a global Islamic block the hated the Sumerian exercise of Confucianism. Mansa Musa had founded two various other religions and also wisely avoided swapping to either of them. As for Alex, he had mostly been done in by his own incompetence. He was making 13 beakers/turn in ~ a time as soon as Mansa to be making 80 beakers/turn, and also when we confirm again later, it to be something favor 35 beakers/turn versus 200 beakers/turn. That was never ever going to finish well because that him, even without his baffling absence of culture and horrendous source management. Alex deservedly winner his Darwin Award because that this game.

Of course, currently that the two aggressive AI leaders to be gone from the game, we finished up through the natural an outcome of having actually a the majority of peaceful building contractors in the game: a long period of serene building.

That"s a picture of the diplomatic relationships screen, an indication of exactly how all the leader felt about one another. This is color-coded with eco-friendly marking "Friendly" relations, the highest they will go, and also then on under to "Pleased" in blue, "Cautious" in white, "Annoyed" in purple, and also "Furious" in red. Of course, whatever here to be either "Pleased" or "Friendly" and that was type of the point. Shared Islamic faith and also shared armed forces struggle against Gilgamesh had made this one large happy lovefest. Also Hammurabi and Suleiman to be on an excellent terms despite their previously war, which had finished after a brief time through no urban permanently changing hands. Because that the next 100 transforms there was basically no military activity of any kind of kind. Suleiman briefly asserted war on Hammurabi on turn 209, just to see the war ended in two transforms via a likely Apostolic palace peace initiative. The civilization remained in ~ peace.

Mansa Musa had been only marginally ahead in score at the moment that the warring ended. That began to change though, and also he soon opened up up a vast lead sustained by technological advances. Mansa released a series of Mausoleum-enhanced gold Ages and torched his method through the tech tree, choose up every one of the game"s most expensive techs in one or two transforms apiece. By revolve 250 the was much more than a full era ahead, entering the modern era while everyone else was still midway with the Renaissance. Us were city hall the diplomacy screen to check out where new conflicts could break out, and since Mansa will certainly declare war at "Pleased", he could theoretically attack any type of of the other civs. He had actually gone to free Religion civic and that dropped relations out of the "Friendly" range where no AIs will strike one another. None of the three other AI leaders in this details game will strike at "Pleased", yet Suleiman had dropped to "Cautious" v Hammurabi and also could possibly launch a new war together well. Nothing lot seemed to it is in happening though, as everyone stayed peaceful and also built facilities in your cities. As soon as Mansa introduced his spaceship on a fantastically early Turn 271, that looked like we were going to reach the end of the game without further conflict.

But then for no reason at all, Mansa declared war top top Lincoln on revolve 280:


possibly he just acquired bored after launching the spaceship and also wanted a new challenge. Suleiman also declared battle on the exact same turn, happen our full war declaration counter up to ten because that the game. This assault had one really real consequence, together it dropped Lincoln"s score below Hammurabi"s in the exceptionally close gyeongju for 2nd place. The two of them had been neck and neck for a while, only to check out Lincoln at some point pull away and also reach a comfortable lead of about 250 points. However, v Mansa"s massive militaries of tanks and mechs smashing their method through the border, Hammurabi to be catapulted into 2nd place and reached the playoffs through dumb luck. This was among the the next score gyeongju for second place the we"ve ever before seen, through a last 2nd change in the scoring.

If Mansa had declared war a dozen transforms earlier, this game can well have finished via Domination. Instead, the Spaceship come in Alpha Centauri two transforms after the battle began and also the game finished that way:

We thus ended up v an exiciting early stage 150 transforms of the game, complied with by a long peaceful lull, and also then a last 2nd bang right before the finish. Mansa emerged from a rocky opening to dominate this game in convincing fashion, his 4th win currently in six total games played. We seem to be compiling an ext and an ext evidence the he"s one of the game"s best AI leaders. As far as the picking contest goes, this last second shenanigans ended up moving me a victory in the scoring because that this video game (tied through Old bother who had the exact same score). I had picked Hammurabi to end up in second place, and the Livestream viewers teasingly accused me of rigging the outcome v that finishing war. Well, i wish that ns could setup things that well, heh. There"s constantly a the majority of luck in these games and also it taken place to rest my way here. Mansa could have invaded Hammurabi just as conveniently at the end, or simply assaulted 20 transforms earlier and won via supremacy instead that Spaceship. I"ve to be pretty an excellent at the picking challenge over the last 2 seasons yet I"m no THAT good to foresee a rotate 280 invasion right before the spaceship arrives.

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Coming increase in the playoffs, we"ll now acquire to watch Mansa in the same video game as Gandhi in the can be fried build-a-thon. That should be a the majority of fun in a few weeks. Many thanks again for reading.