Part 29: Interlude - Part 2Madoka Part 2: Kill your friends!
Well, here there be spoilers.
So, let's just set it up so I can show off ALL the new civs that come with this mod pack--including two spoilery ones from the new Rebellion movie that came out last October. We'll cover those later, though.
That's a lot of girls, and they all have wildly different abilities that are nonetheless appropriate to their personalities and powers in the show. They all have one unique unit in common, though, that they can all build: Kyubey!
Kyubey's full name is "Incubator," and he's the cause of and solution to all the problems in the show. In more archetypical Magical Girl shows, like, say, Sailor Moon, the girls get their superpowers from a cute talking animal, and use them to blow up monsters that are usually sucking out energy from humans for some nefarious plot. Kyubey's slightly different in that the powers he grants are awesome, but also specifically a burden, because he gives them to you after he grants you a special wish from a contract. You wish for anything you want, he gives it to you, then you get superpowers and have to use them to fight weird, abstract entities made of hate and despair called "Witches." Using your powers drains your "soul gem" and darkens it, but blowing up Witches gets you a grief seed that you can use to recharge it, and then Kyubey eats the seed to dispose of it.
Mechanically, Kyubey's contracts are different for every civ, and he can't fight at all, but he can evade combat like the dickens. The power of the contract really only comes into play late-game, because whatever the effect is (getting extra science, culture, xp for your units) it's only strong if he does it next to a populous city with less happiness than your own. So we don't need to worry too much about that right now.
Mami, the first Magical Girl we get to see in action, is where the first couple of big subversions of the show come into play--she's totally cool and awesome, yet she dies shockingly when a witch kills her. When they say it's dangerous work, they're not kidding. The other subversion is that while it'd be great if they could work together, magical girls often fight each other because they're competing for limited resources to recharge themselves. Mami gets into a bit of a tiff with Homura over a misunderstanding because of this.
In Civ V, Mami is powered by friendship. SERIOUSLY powered by friendship--make enough city-state allies and her units will become almost a full tech level stronger than her rivals. However, this tapers off towards the late game when unit strength numbers get bigger and make her bonus proportionately smaller. So she tends to peak during the Renaissance. Her unique unit, Tiro Finale Infantry, is a portable, Renaissance-era nuke that slowly walks over land (summoning a magic cannon to blow away her enemies was one of her superpowers). You can only have one of 'em, they take forever to build, but once you do, all your neighbors start quaking with fear. You wanna be friends NOW!? HUH!?
Man, that backstory is dark. Kyouko's emblematic of yet another subversion--wishing for someone else's happiness often winds up in disaster if you don't know what you're doing. When we first see her she comes off as a total asshole, but she regains her humanity by the end.
Mechanically, Kyouko is an evangelical food nut. Her wish was for everyone to just shut up and listen to her dad's preachings, so her missionaries don't decay in foreign lands and her unique temple increases the religious pressure her cities output--nasty-powerful if you have a religion strategy. She has kind of an eating disorder (mostly in response to how her family was once starving) so more believers means more city growth, and her temple also increases the food yields of resources like citrus, bananas and sugar. City growth is really powerful when utilized properly, so she's great for a science victory.
Sayaka also made the mistake of wishing for someone else's happiness without realizing the consequences--she healed her would-be musician boy crush, but he winds up with another girl. She also shockingly finds out that magical girls are actually liches, their soul gem is literally their soul pulled out from their bodies to grant them magical superpowers. So both of these things make her spiral into depression, her soul gem blackens, and it turns into a grief seed--and she become a witch, the very thing that all the girls have been fighting so far. Kyubey's been playing both sides--he's the one behind the witches and draining the earth of emotional energy. Every one of the monsters used to be a girl that he made a contract with--and he eats grief seeds, so in a roundabout way he's just turning everyone into food. Yikes.
Mechanically Sayaka is a cultural/military hybrid, themed around her powers (regenerating health) and music. The more ass she kicks, the more tourism she generates and the more tourism she generates the more ass she kicks. Her unique building is an Opera House that grants regenerating health to every single one of her units everywhere in the world if it has a Work of Music in it--the more the better. You can have a huge army of soldiers who regenerate faster than Wolverine if you know what you're doing. She's kind of a late-bloomer, like all culture-based civs, but so worth it.
Homura is a weird magical girl. That's because she's a time traveler--from an alternate future where Madoka was a magical girl who saved her, but died. So her wish was to go back in time and save Madoka--first just by fighting alongside her, then later by trying to stop her from ever making a contract with Kyubey in the first place, always ending in failure. She comes off as a cold and inexplicably awesome badass because she's Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, she's seen everything over and over and seeing her best friend die multiple times has taken its toll. The other weird thing about her is she has no offensive powers at all, just time-stopping, so she steals tons of guns and bombs from the military and yakuza, making her the only magical girl I know of who uses a Glock and a submachine gun.
Since she uses conventional weapons in the show, Homura's mechanically based around boring but practical conventional warfare. Her ability in Civ V is "Time Bandit," she steals weapons from other civs when she conquers their cities. It is tricky to use this ability effectively, but if, say, you kicked the crap out of Attila the Hun early-game, you'd get one of his battering rams. Her Incubators make contracts that grant XP to everyone in her army, potentially powerful, and her unique building is a military academy that doubles as an airport, allowing you to teleport units between cities much sooner than you normally would be able to. All in all, you have to be smart to get the most out of her, but she's not bad.
Hey, it's the star of the show! NOT! Haha. Yes, yet another of the subversions of the show--the girl in the title never actually became a magical girl except in flashback, in Homura's original timeline. So we never got much of a taste for her powerset, but it's mostly based around archery.
Mechanically she's a defensive badass, but differently from other defensive badass civs like the Shoshone or Ethiopia. Her archers can shoot twice if garrisoned in a city, and her unique building grants her culture points every turn if there's an archer in the city. It also doubles as a Garden that doesn't need water, granting +25% Great Person generation to the city. You can shoot for any ending you like, generally, but a cultural one isn't a bad idea.
So, wait, who are we playing as then? Not this girl? Oh, no. Not this version of her.
The final subversion of the show is that it's not all grimdark at all. Oh, no. It's more about balance. If bad things can screw up good things, then something good can come along to make everything wrong right again. Since all those alternate timelines exist because of Madoka, the universe literally revolves around her--so she's able to make a wish that affects the whole universe. She wishes to destroy witches herself, everywhere, before they were even born, past present and future, even the witch that would be created from herself. So this resets reality into a much friendlier, Sailor Moon-like universe where magical girls team up to fight different monsters, and don't worry about turning into monsters themselves (though they can still die). Madoka is basically the intangible god of all magical girls now and takes them to MG Heaven when they expire. Mostly-happy endings for everyone!
So, this is who we're playing as. I covered most of the intricate mechanics regarding this civ in the first post. As the god of magical girls, we get an army of them. When someone makes a wish (that is, a great person gets expended to do a great thing) they become a magical girl under our control and get to fight evil! Or at least, barbarians. But they get superpowers! UltraMadoka's unique building is a Public School that increases Great Person generation--very handy, even if it comes a bit late in the game. Her Incubator contracts increase growth in the capital city--pretty handy. We can go for any victory condition we like but for the purpose of showing off all those cool powers I'm going to be starting fights.
Was that too much of an exposition dump for you? Well, no worries, that's the last of them you'll see in this LP. Probably.
So now let's see our REAL starting point now that I've set up all the civs.
Hmm, lots of jungle, but we're next to a river and on the coast, and there's fortunately some plains and hills nearby so we're not deep in a jungle with no production hammers, thank goodness. The river is important, we'll need it for a Garden to increase our Great Person production. So, let's send out our GMG--let's call the first one "Nancy," and see if we can't find some stuff.
Pow! Population boost in the second turn! Very handy. This'll be a timesaver.
Oh. Huh. Our next-door neighbor is REGULAR Madoka. I'm not too worried, but she does start off with a tech boost--free archery. Probably going to need to take her out sooner or later. Let's just hope she doesn't steal our ancient ruins.
Oooohh, this will be perfect for our purposes. I love Uluru! We want to go religion-hard for reasons I mentioned earlier, we may want to expand early to get this thing.
Our Kyubey has been built and I'm sending him south through all that rough terrain. We've discovered one militaristic city-state so far, and one barbarian camp--soon as I think I've cleared out all the ancient ruins in the area we'll send Nancy over there for some training.
We already have Tradition, so it's time to open up Honor, to let us detect and destroy those barbs. Giving our GMGs as many combat bonuses they can get is important.
Time for our first promotion. Nancy here can learn offensive or defensive promotions. Regular units typically get promotions based off of terrain. A unit with Drill will defend better and attack better in rough terrain. GMGs don't get that--they're either all offense or all defense. I think I'm going to give her a defensive training promotion for starters because she doesn't have any benefits to destroying her enemies and because she's being ganged up on right now.
This is the girliest game I have ever played. Oh, well, I don't need to fight you just yet, Regular Madoka, so we can do this. I'll kill you after the friendship expires!
There's a couple of really good choices to go for with your pantheon, but right now I'm going to shoot for Monument to the Gods because it lets us build early Wonders faster and there's two I specifically want to shoot for--Stonehenge and Temple of Artemis. Can I manage them both in time? Here's hoping.
Barbarians are ganging up on Nancy--good thing I chose defensive promotions for her. Time to pull her back into friendly territory. You can be brave with regular units, even sacrifice them, but every single GMG we get is a precious resource. Every time I screw up I'm going to record it, so I'm hoping to not lose many GMGs.
YES! Hahahahahaha. Stage 1 of My Super Plan is complete, we have Stonehenge! We need to build Temple of Artemis as soon as we can too because it also provides a Great Engineer point per turn, those two together will allow us to have a Great Engineer quite soon. But we should also think about expanding soon too.
Going to try to get our Settler over to Uluru and that wine--we really, really want both if we can swing it. If we don't snag Uluru soon it'll be within the borders of that city-state and I HATE it when they take natural wonders from me.
PERFECT! With this our faith is going straight through the roof compared to most civs at this early stage. I'll put another city in the center to grab that salt too.
Time for a Great General! This will give us an instant new GMG once we turn him into a citadel.
HAHA! YES! Phase 2 of my plan is complete! We don't need to worry too much about wonder-spamming in the next part of the game not TOO much, anyway. Within about 40 turns we'll have our first Great Engineer.
The Aztec Emperor Auitzotl made a wish and has become a Magical Girl! Yeah. They retain the names of the Great People they used to be. Either pretend every great person in history was a teenage girl, or that by making a contract they transform into a girl. Or are still a guy but have to wear a frilly outfit. Whichever option you find most amusing. Hee hee hee.
In any case, Great Magical Girls that used to be Great Generals are the awesomest because they level up faster and also help us create future Great Generals faster when we're at war. Very, very handy. I'm going to send Auitzotl over to the barb camp to the northwest to train.
And we also have a prophet. Time to form a religion and get yet another GMG!
There's actually a "church of Madoka" icon you can enable in another mod but I forgot it. Anyway. THIS religion is customized to max our faith output. We're not going to be spending one iota of faith points on anything but Great People, so no faith-bought buildings this time. It's about time to start opening up Piety so we can build those temples faster, soon as I can. We're not going to bother building missionaries to spread our faith either--it's aaaaalll great prophets.
Religious GMGs don't get a name because prophets don't get a name in this game, so we'll just call her Terry. They earn faith from kills--not much, but every little bit helps. I'll send Terry southwest to train on another barbarian camp.
Our armies are getting awesomer by the moment. Muahahahahaha.
Next update, I'll be researching iron working and all our GMGs will instantly become MORE POWERFUL! Wahahahahahahaha! See you soon! THE PINK WILL ENVELOP EVERYTHING!