Colombia VS Argentina
In a past, both of these AI loved using artillery, and they did that quite efficiently. Colombia, about the only truly good AI that existed during Guest’s days, had the tendency of making a lot of infantry combined with artillery. Argentina on the other hand trained a lot of cavalry with some artillery. Both of these combos were not easy to deal with (unless you had good dragoons in the case of Argentina, but artillery still bypasses their armor, so it’s not ideal). I expect Colombia to win this game quite easily, because their AI has simply always been better, and Argentina suffers from a weak age II. But surprises can happen, we’ve had them before (*hint*Korea), and AI bugs can sometimes cause for major turnarounds (RIP Zulu).
So much for the overview. Sometimes I want to write them. Both civs went II at about the same moment (3:54). At minute 8:40, something catches my eye: the Argentinean army is mainly composed of Voluntarios. No, that’s not their UU, yes, it’s the Brazilian one. Apparently they think Brazilians can make them win instead of real Argentineans. There is a flaw though: Brazil is already eliminated because they’re so terrible. 9:38, Colombia advances to age III. They don’t have a large army, but they do have quite some Macheteros. A fine choice for against a cavalry civ. You can even use them to massacre the villagers, as you have a bonus versus them. I fail to see the advantage of having the cavalry tag on the gauchos. It’s a disadvantage if you ask me, you’re much more prone to dragoon or pikeman raids. The only advantage, being affected by Riding School, got removed. Wait, is there some fighting I see. Looks like I’ve distracted by my own interpretations of the Gaucho. Lots of lance-armed troops+Voluntarios are fighting some Colombians at minute 11. Argentina is III too. It seems that the Argentinean troops are is the scouting party for the fort wagon. But a larger Colombian army is approaching them from a weird angle. They had travelled almost into the Argentinean base, they probably raided a few vils, but then returned. I suspect it’s to stop that threatening army and fort. Indeed, the Colombians overwhelmed the Argentineans and the fort never saw a first stone. The Colombian army advanced further to the Argentinean town, but was ultimately too small to be of a threat. At minute 20:30, a large Colombian army with llaneros and some infantry are marching to the enemy town. They are very successful, and manage to bring down many buildings and manage to kill many villagers. Four minutes later, another large army enters the Argentinean base, just when the other army got defeated. This is clearly too much for Argentina to handle. While that army is continuing to siege down the base (focusing on the villagers that pass by, then focusing on the towers, then the other buildings, and the TC as last one, since the TC is obviously not the most important buildings at all), a small army makes a detour to kill many Gaucho wood choppers. The macheteros will come in handy for that task (remember my words about the gaucho?). At minute 30, no more Colombians are in the Argentinean base, but very few vils and buildings remain. Two minutes later, a decent force enters the ruined town again, and they hunted almost all the gauchos down to extinction. At minute 36, another large Colombian army attacks. Simon Bolivar, the great tactician, decided that it’s best to send troops to the side of the base, walk through the base and then attack the base from the back, while hiding in between all the buildings. Obviously a not so tactical idea, as Argentina gets free kills that way. More armies arrived, but the Colombians decide that maybe their plans weren’t the greatest, so some rethinking is needed. To limit the losses, they retreat almost everyone at minute 39:40. Colombia is (finally) age V at minute 41. Argentina is still III. Minute 42, the Colombians send another large army (with lots of cavalry). They did their best to destroy almost all buildings except the initial TC. After a few minutes of sieging, they go back to their home. Now I notice something strange: Argentinean buildings have a lot more HP, for example the Town Hall has 6000 HP. No idea why. At minute 46, the Colombians come back with a gigantic army and finally bring down the TC. Nah, I’m joking, of course they didn’t. Argentina gave up before that happened.
Some of the end-game graphs glitched after being screenshotted, so I may lack info. Argentina lost this game due to lower eco, probably worse KD and more importantly, they lost many vils at around minute 26, and lost lots of them at a small amount of time and never recovered. You see, the AI tends to run around with its vils a lot when they get sieged, instead of sending them to safe places like the TC.
Spain VS Korea
I had never thought that this would happen, but we have it. A duel we’ve seen before. In the previous one, Spain surprised everyone by failing to win against Korea, who doesn’t know how to build barracks or castles, and who only trains military units from III onwards. Will this happen again? Let’s find out!
Korea start out brilliantly by building the one wonder that is OP: the one with the whirlpool ability. The Red Beach map does contain water, right? And AI spams abilities like crazy, right? Well: both are false statements. The water is just flooded terrain, one can build buildings in it, and not ships. And the AI has no idea how to use abilities. But hey, at least the Korean AI advanced 30 seconds earlier than the Spanish AI? Surprisingly early, a large Spanish army enters the Korean town at minute 7:35. I know lots of players who would ragequit now. Korea doesn’t do that, they think that the 7 Gundos (that is the cavalry archer’s name?) are enough. With much difficulty, Korea killed those troops after two minutes. At minute 10, more Spanish storm into the almost undefended town. Many villagers are getting killed. Minute 13:20, Spain advances to age 3, while they are still attacking. Few seconds later, Korea also goes age 3. Now they will start producing cavalry, will they bounce back like previous time? Well, probably not, as their only stable got destroyed a minute later, and they lack any economy. The previous game also didn’t start in Koreas favor, but they did lose very few villagers back then. At minute 17:30, Spain sieged down the TC. A surprisingly competent game from Spain I must say. Korea is now eliminated.
Sioux VS Iroquois
Both are very aggressive civs. If I had to guess the winner, I would say Sioux has the advantage, as their AI has been quite competent so far. At minute 4:15, both civs are II. The Sioux are the first civ to perform a small attack, as they try to raid the Iroquois base. They had however enough troops, and thus the raid became a failure. At minute 9:30, something catches my eye: Sohei. Right, this map features the Zen temple natives, and they provide an awesome pikeman. It seems like the Iroquois AI has decided to train these instead of their own infantry (I don’t even know if they train their own infantry TBH). Will this be a deciding factor? Probably depends on if they build another TP, since that will double the limit, because I don’t think 12 or 15 Sohei will threaten the Sioux waves that much. Minute 11, two large armies armies, both with Cree Trackers, clash in the middle of the map. The Iroquois seemingly had the stronger army, but they did lose. It was a close fight though, and the remaining Sioux units were too few to advance to the Iroquois town. Minute 15, the Iroquois are III. I am unsure if that was a good idea, because the Sioux are just sending a large army towards them. To my surprise, the Iroquois did have a giant army too. Where are they even getting the resources for making such large armies? Few moments later, the Sioux go III too. Their base is very undefended. Few buildings, few war huts, few units. To make things worse for them, the Iroquois decided to send their doomstack to them. And they have lots of Sohei! The Sioux struggled for a long time to defeat them, but the game is nearly over. While almost all buildings are still standing, most vils and military units got killed. The next wave demolished the Sioux TC after 26:07 minutes. The endgame statistics don’t lie: both civs made lots of military, but the Iroquois KD was much better.
Russia VS Austria
The first noteworthy event is Austria being III in 7 minutes. Yikes, talked about a fast fortress strategy. They have, however, absolutely no military units, only a large amount of villagers, which shows that they must’ve chosen the English Princess. The first military units of Austria are spotted at minute 11. A few Sohei, and two Magyar Hussars. At almost that time, a decent Russian army approached and crushed them. Russia promptly advances to the third age. The remaining Russian troops however walked a bit too long next to the base, so they got shot by Black Riders for too long, and the few troops that eventually started attacking did little damage. Austria does have no army for the moment. At minute 13, it seems that a tiny force tried to counter-attack the Russians, but that plan was a total joke. Meanwhile, the Russians are setting up a fort next to a mine where some Trosses are. Austria’s answer to this forward base doesn’t wait too long. They have a secret unit with siege armor, which they will use against the fort. You have an idea which unit this is? How well do you know Austria?
The answer is: the fort Schloss wagon. Yes, the brilliant AI is sending that hard-earned unit right towards the Russian fort. And there is no CPU-friendly way to solve this issue, it will always persist. Austria, having discovered that a fort wagon does not have an attack, decides to send the grenades. But four of the six Grenadiers decide to ignore the fort, walk right past it and attack a few Opolchenets that are coming. I didn’t even know the Russian AI knew how to train them. For people who don’t know the unit: it is literally a pikeman, but affected by the Russian trait, making them even worse. Seems like the four grenadiers were so terrified by the fort that they chose to attack an easier adversary. More Austrian reinforcements came, and the fort is turned into rumble at minute 17. Three minutes later, the Russians are sending troops towards the Austrians, while they harass their base with a few Hussars and Doppels. The army seems tiny, but don’t forget how powerful those few doppels are! The Russians didn’t manage to harm the Austrians. Minute 21, Austria goes IV, while a doppel is still doing random stuff in the Russian base. The Russians aren’t really spamming a lot of units if you ask me, they should’ve dealt with that attack since long. For 6 minutes, little happened, both civs just build up their armies and economies. At minute 28, the Russians (still age 3) are advancing with a large army. However, it’s largeness is deceiving: most of the troops are Opolchenets. They detoured to attack a Schloss under construction. This is the second time that Austria loses its fort due to being careless. Meanwhile, the Austrians had send a large army to the Russians. But a large Austrian army is very terrifying, as their troops quality is very high! The Russians decide to use their army (the one that destroyed the fort) to perform a counter-offensive. A very risky strategy, as unlike the Austrians, they haven’t upgraded their barracks. In the one minute that passed, both civs aged up without me noticing. So after 30 minutes, Austria is V while Russia is IV. It becomes very clear that the Austrian attack is way more devastating than the Russian one. The Russians are having lots of trouble with the few towers and Landsknechten the Austrians have. Two minutes later, Austria is completely invader-free and starts the construction of a new Schloss. At minute 34, Russia finally killed all the invaders, but now their situation is hopeless: most buildings and villagers are gone. A few minutes later, the Austrians invade again and send the Russians to the Gulag. They are eliminated from the AI game. Russia lost quite hard because they failed to gather resources well. After 10 minutes, a large gap started to appear, and that gap only increased as the game progressed, even if the Russians have been on the ones on the offensive for a long time. Reminds me of how I rush: I tend to play so aggressively then that I end up with resource shortages and get defeated. One of the explanations of this big economic gap is probably the number of villagers. At about minute 5, Russia had 15 while Austria had 30.
England VS Romania
Will we get two Balkan civs who advance to the next round? That would be very interesting! Unlike its previous performances, Romania seems to start well with treasure gathering. Remember, the AI thinks that the Raven can attack so the AI believes it has a large army to attack treasures. But Red Beach doesn’t contain many stronger treasures, so they’re safe. Romania is the first to go II, but England soon followed. Minute 8, England goes III. It seems like manors favor fast fortress strategies. At minute 10, a fort is getting constructed near the Romanians. The Romanians, who were about to attack the English, turned back and started attacking the fort a second after it got constructed. Very unfortunate! The English on the other hand use this moment of distraction to raid the hunting enemy villagers. Minute 12, Romania is age3. They had failed to destroy the fort though. Their villagers are still getting raided. The AI is very slow to react against raids, if they react to them at all. And the AI usually starts sending vils a few second later back to the place where you are raiding. Pro-tip: raid with two units or so if you play against the AI. The AI doesn’t seem to consider that threatening, and usually just continues gathering. The raiding army entered the Romanian base, and started attacking there. At minute 17, it finally got defeated, thanks to the upgraded caserns and the Mameluk shipment. However, how many vils do they still have? Right, about none. At minute 22, the English destroyed the Romanians due to abusing the AI weaknesses. And that explains the surprisingly bad performance of the Romanians this game, as versus the Aztecs they did really well.
India VS Mapuche
Both civs aged up before minute 4. Nothing special. Four minutes later, the Mapuche have a small raiding army near some hunters. But, like many times, the other party has also an army that is attacking. It will come to who hurts the other the most. The Indians have a much larger force, but that might also mean that the Mapuche have more defenders. The Mapuche also have the advantage that they will attack villagers who are not close to the base, while the Indians just storm towards Mapuche buildings. As you can expect, the Mapuche managed to kill a few villagers, while the Indians only killed some defenders and a building. The Mapuche are the first to III, at minute 10. Shortly afterwards, they start attacking the trade post just outside the Indian base. I wouldn’t focus to much on that if I were them, but hey, the Mapuche like spamming the white horse dude, who are weak against Sohei, so maybe it’s part of their late-game strategy? After burning the TP to the ground, they went towards the Indian base, but India quickly dealt with them. At minute 17, India goes on the offensive. They have lots of Rajputs, and they have no trouble with the few defenders the Mapuche have. It took some time (and villager casualties) to repel those troops. At minute 18, Mapuche is IV while India goes III shortly afterwards. The Mapuche send a small army to the rebuild TP, but get caught by a large Indian army full of Rajputs and some Urimi. Fortunately for the Mapuche, that army didn’t go for the attack, and instead retreated back to their base. This gave the Mapuche the opportunity to get their Puacara safely to the spot they wanted: close to that cursed TP. But wait, why doesn’t the lama go away? Oh god, there is repentant lanceiro negro on the foundations. Mapuche cannot get those, so that must be an Indian unit! That one unit killed the lama that was transporting the whole fort. Minute 26, India goes IV, and is not on par with the Mapuche regarding age. At the same moment, a large Indian army sneaked to the side of the Mapuche base, and is now massacring all the Mapuche working on the plantations. The Mapuche had quickly noticed that, and their defending force acted very fast to them. However, few moments later, another large Indian force arrived, this time at the front of the base. The Mapuche just don’t get a break now. The Mapuche, exhausted, are unable to deal with them. After several minutes, some Indians are still sieging in their base, and a line of units is coming across the map. This will be it.
Or not. The AI instead decides to retreat all of them before they even did anything of notice to the Mapuche town. Will they go to hibernate like the Zulu did. Will the Mapuche just bounce back like previous time? Probably not, as two minutes later, the Indians come back with a more organized army. India goes V, and nearly destroys all of the Mapuche, but just when they were about to start sieging the TC, they retreat. Three minutes later, they come back, kill a few buildings and units, and retreat again. Three minutes later, the Indians send their army for the millionth time to the Mapuche, and take them away almost the moment they arrived. It seemed that one villager was about to make a TP somewhere far away, so the Indians decided to send their whole army to greet that one villager. I’m sure they should’ve send even more. At minute 51, after the greeting ceremony, the army comes back, and decides that there is no one to greet, so they go back to their home town. The Mapuche are in no position to win the game with points, but it would be a shame for the Indians if they win that way. Anyway, at minute 54, the Mapuche decide to build a new TP on that far-away site. Like if the foundations are magnet, the Indian army joyfully marches to this place, as they get a new greeting ceremony. An less lucky army is sent towards the empty Mapuche territory. Very dissatisfied, they start sieging, while only 5 minutes are on the clock. The Mapuche, who are annoyed by these greeting ceremonies, decide to just give up.
That concludes the second round of the second chance.
Eliminated: Belgium, Egypt, Tupi, Chile, Argentina, Korea, Sioux, Russia, Romania and Mapuche.
Advances to the third round of the second chance, where they will be joined by the losers of the third round: France, Ottomans, Netherlands, Serbia, Colombia, Spain, Iroquois, Austria, England and India.
I had guessed 4 of the 6 games right, so I get +8 points. David tried to differtiate his guesses from mine, some with success (Iroquois and Spain), but usually it didn’t end like he expected. He gains only +4 points.