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Who can you call your Brother?

Here's the current wars going on:

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I've got quite some choices available for Blood Brother here. I could sign Spain as Blood Brother against Babylon, and then declare war on Rome and/or Arabia and ride Spain's coattails against them. Arabia is still in the middle ages (lacking Magnetism!) so Spain can probably take them apart pretty quickly. Complicating this is that Rome and Arabia are MPPed, but I can handle both of them if I need to.

OR, I could sign Rome or Arabia as Blood Brother now, and declare against Spain, having free rein against any of their units without invasion, easily preventing Spain from capturing anything else from Babylon. Rome is strong and would take some Babylon cities themselves before I could, but Arabia wouldn't. Arabia is far behind in tech, lacking Magnetism - I don't know why he hasn't kept up - but of course I could gift him up to Replaceable Parts.

The best bet as far as capturing Babylonian territory is to select Arabia as Blood Brother and ally against Spain. The problem with that, though, is that I'd either have to somehow make Spain declare war before signing the alliance, or break our RoP. Also, Isabella is Gracious right now, so I'd be damaging a solid friendship with a civ who's unlikely to attack me in the long run.

Lastly, I could let Spain capture Babylonian cities now (deferring Blood Brother decision), and go for a full-scale, penalty, invasion of Spain later on. I could also tack on one more invasion to that, likely Russia for geographical reasons. All this would approximately double my base score for a 35% penalty.

In true traditional T-hawk fashion, I decided to push off the choice as long as I could, of course.

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Anyway, I got control of the site I planned for my new capital. The saved Leader rushed the Iron Works there first, then my next GL a turn or two later rushed the Palace.

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The rest of Babylon crumpled pretty quickly after that. Nobody else got any of the Babylonian cities. Still, though, I think picking Babylon as Blood Enemy was a mistake. I should have let it be Rome; I could've taken more land from them than I got from Babylon, especially including the northwestern island. Then I could have let Spain take over all of Babylon's lands now and then later paid an invasion penalty to take all over Spain's original and captured land for score. I didn't need to pick a civ that was already losing badly as my Blood Enemy. I guess I just got a bit too tempted by the fact that I could eliminate Babylon 15 turns earlier (Rome got infantry) and the Sistine Chapel in Babylon and that great Iron Works site. Rome was a lot stronger than Babylon, but I could've signed a Blood Brother (probably Spain) to gas the Italians before I got there.

Well, the deed is done. On the verge of eliminating Babylon, I can still pick a Blood Brother, but I have to do it now. Let's look at the candidates. (Sounds like I'm on one of those reality dating shows.)

Iroquois - Strongest rival on my home continent, by a wide margin. They aren't going to get eliminated, and if they go to war they'll blow away the opposition here. On the other hand, if they do take territory like that, I will want to invade them later for score instead, and it'll be easy to do with them sharing a wide border with me. So they're out as Blood Brother: I'd much rather invade them than ride their coattails.

Spain - Strongest civ on the far continent, and control a lot of territory now (they were ahead of me in land area until the late stages of my Babylon war. However, their only neighboring civ (besides me) is Russia, who is strong enough that they won't get blown away if the two civs ever go to war.

Russia - Very similar to Spain, in that they have only one neighboring civ besides me to attack and aren't likely to gain much against them.

Rome - Surprisingly strong in this game, much more than usual for this civ, but that still might not last for militaristic Caesar. Similar to the Iroquois in that they'll blow away their neighbor if they ever attack them, and in that case I'd want to invade them for my own score. I think they're actually my best bet, in that they should be strong enough to avoid elimination, but militaristic Caesar might provide some decent coattails to ride on in future wars.

Arabia - A bit of a wild card; weak in tech but strong in land area. Since they share the ex-Babylon border with me, I could protect them if they ever became endangered. It's very unlikely that I'll want to invade them for score, but it's also unlikely that they'll ever damage anyone enough for me to ride and poach.

Lastly, I could go with no Blood Brother, and maintain my freedom to invade any civ on the map that gets too big, and also not have to worry about any particular civ getting eliminated, giving up the ability to declare future alliances and poach.

I actually debated over this for a couple days. Ultimately, I decided this: there's only one way to land the biggest combination of points. Have an AI conquer one or more of its rivals, and then invade and claim multiple civs' worth of land for only one invasion penalty. Riding coattails and poaching in the cracks might gain bits and pieces of land here and there, but it will not put me over the top in score. And I'm not too fond of the potential to have to join wars that I don't want to prevent a particular civ from getting eliminated. And the overriding factor is that I must retain my freedom to take over any AI that gets large.

With a long, heartfelt sigh of impassioned tristesse, I reluctantly decide that my glorious Canada will now and ever stand alone.

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I eliminated my Blood Enemy, Babylon, in the Industrial Age.

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