According to Aztec tradition, the founders of its great empire, after years of wandering, settled in south-central Mexico around the year 1168. Thus began a reign of blood and terror the likes of which had never before been visited upon this peaceful land. In 1325, the Aztec capital city of Tenochitlan, meaning "Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus" arose from the swamps of Lake Texcoco. Priding themselves on their martial skill, the Aztecs believed their strength was derived from the ritual feeding of their god Huitzilopochtli, god of not only the sun but of war and warriors as well. The Aztecs raised human sacrifice to a high art, but their fascination with death produced a grim society convinced of its eventual and inescapable doom. When the Spanish appeared in the 1500s, many took their arrival as a sign that the day of judgment was at hand. Although its warriors were fierce and nearly unstoppable in combat, because of its fatalistic outlook, Aztec society resigned itself to the notion that the Spaniards were destined to deliver it to its fate - and they did. Within a few short years, the Aztec empire lay in ruins.
Start with eagle warrior instead of scout cavalry unit.
Villagers carry +5 additional resource points.
Military units are created 15 percent faster.
Monks receive +5 hit points for each monastery technology researched.
In version 1.0c, they also have free loom.
- Unique Technology
Garland wars: Adds +4 to infantry attack strength.
- Unique Units
Jaguar warrior (elite jaguar warrior)
- Team Bonus
Relics generate 33 percent more gold.
Unlike most civilizations, the Aztecs (and Mayans) begin each game with an eagle warrior instead of a scout cavalry unit. Eagle warriors are comparable to militia units in attack strength (4) but possess more hit points (50), a greater LOS radius, and a slightly better pierce armor modifier. The main benefit of eagle warriors, besides their increased resistance to conversion, is their speed. Eagle warriors are fast - very fast. Use them as you would scout cavalry. They are invaluable for revealing terrain features early in the game. Later on, use them to scout ahead of, and to the side of, your main army, especially when moving through unfamiliar terrain.
Aztec villagers have the ability to carry five additional resource points. This may not seem like a big deal, considering that they harvest resources at the same rate as everyone else, but in fact, carrying extra resources gives the Aztecs a tremendous advantage. It lets villagers spend less time in transit per resource point, thus getting more resource points into stockpile sooner. Faster accumulation of resources lets the Aztecs advance to the Feudal and Castle ages sooner than their opponents and opens a wide range of other strategic possibilities.
At first glance, the fact that Aztec military units are produced 15 percent faster than other civilizations seems to be a significant advantage. It's not. When you look closely at the way real people actually play the game, you discover that the rate at which units are produced is not as important as the actual number that are produced. Essentially, every unit you build requires three things: a place of production, a certain number of resources, and a certain amount of time spent in production. Decreasing the amount of time a unit spends in the oven (so to speak) is meaningless without a corresponding increase in the resources set aside for production.
In other words, having a production rate that's 15 percent faster than everyone else just means that the Aztecs can burn through their resources more quickly. It doesn't guarantee that the resources will be there in the first place. All things being equal, the effect of this advantage is offset by the fact that most civilizations can research conscription, a technology that leads to a 33 percent increase in the rate of unit production. One final thought: Is it better to have one barracks producing units 15 percent faster or two barracks each producing at the standard rate?
Potentially the biggest innate advantage the Aztecs possess is the five additional hit points their monks receive for every monastery technology they research. Initially, Aztec monks start with a modest 30 hit points. By the time all castle and imperial age monastery research is conducted, however, these same monks possess a whopping 95 hit points. (By comparison, champion swordsman units only have a base of 70 hit points.) Sustaining this kind of damage means that monks will survive longer on the front lines and in turn convert more enemy units.
As strong as the Aztecs are, they possess some very serious weaknesses - weaknesses that if properly exploited can spell early defeat. The most glaring deficiency is the lack of mounted units. Because the Aztecs are prevented from building stables, they have no way of producing cavalry or cavalry archer units. The best you can hope for when playing the Aztecs is that your monks can convert enemy cavalry units. Fortunately, having eagle warriors mitigates the lack of cavalry, but only to a certain extent. The first time you play the Aztecs and get hit with an attack from Mongolian mounted archers, you'll understand what a liability the lack of cavalry is.
Besides cavalry, the Aztecs lack the ability to field an effective navy. War galleys and fast fire ships are the most powerful naval vessels they have available, which is to say, the Aztecs should concentrate on keeping their feet dry. War galleys, especially late in the game, will be hard-pressed to protect your fishing fleets much less dominate the oceans. For this reason, you are wise to avoid a naval campaign altogether. Creating a navy will only cause you to waste a lot of wood. In most cases, the payoff will not be worth the price.
Lack of key technologies does more than just limit the Aztec naval game. The inability to upgrade guard towers or build bombard towers has a significant impact on the late stages of the game. Guard towers, with their base range of eight tiles, are no match for trebuchets with a base range of 16 tiles. Generally, the Aztecs find themselves in the position of making frequent forays with their jaguar warriors to knock out enemy trebuchets that are battering down their walls. Once again, the lack of cavalry and gunpowder, especially in these instances, is a glaring deficiency.
Making matters worse, coupled with this lack of a practical response to enemy trebuchets is the inability to research masonry and architecture. In real terms, Aztec structures are extremely vulnerable to exactly the type of attack that the Aztecs can least prevent and the enemy is most likely to make, particularly as the game reaches its final stages.
General Dark Age Strategies
The Aztecs are at their strongest, vis a vis the other civilizations, during the Dark Age. The additional resources their villagers can carry help speed them through the early stages of the game. Build a workforce of about 10 to 15 villagers and have them concentrate on gathering food (in the form of deer, turkeys, sheep, and fish) and wood. Hunt any boar you find as well. Use your eagle warrior to scout out the surrounding countryside. You'll want to have an accurate picture of the enemy situation with an eye toward going on the attack as soon as possible.
General Feudal Age Strategies
Upon moving into the Feudal Age, begin to shift the focus of your resource gathering to wood and gold. Stone only becomes important if you locate an enemy village and see an opportunity to build a few towers in its midst. Since it's likely you'll be driven away from large bodies of water later on, build a dock now and harvest fish while you still can. Like all Feudal Age armies, your principle unit will be the man-at-arms backed up by either skirmishers or archers depending on what you have more of, wood or gold.
Due to the Aztec's early economic strength, they can get to the Feudal Age extremely quickly. From that point there are essentially two strategies. The first is to flush (feudal rush) at least one opponent, especially any that have had military misadventures or are straggling on advancement due to villager losses. The second is to go all-out for a fast Castle Age (and immediate castle) where you can blitz with Jaguar Warriors against enemies that are still predominantly infantry.
General Castle Age Strategies
With the dawning of the Castle Age, you gain the ability to produce jaguar warriors and monks. For the Aztecs, these units represent the meat of their offensive strike force. Unfortunately, the longer the game progresses, the less likely the Aztecs are to come out on top. The optimum time to hit the enemy may already have passed by the time you reach the castle age. Nonetheless, a combined-arms force made up of jaguars and monks has the potential of stealing the initiative away from unprepared opponents. It's critical, however, that you arm your monks with all the castle age technologies - particularly redemption.
This age is where cavalry starts to become a major problem. While your Jaguar Warriors tear infantry apart, they get no such bonus against knights. Worse (in team or multi-way brawls) is falling behind and finding out one of your enemies hit Imperial when Cavaliers sweep into you. The Cavalier upgrade is disturbingly cheap when you don't have it.
General Imperial Age Strategies
Count yourself lucky if you've reached the imperial age and still have a shot at winning the game. Researching garland wars should be first on your list on things to do. By this time, your army should comprise primarily monks and elite jaguar warriors, but you should also build elite eagle warriors as a means of countering enemy siege equipment and archers. Monks form the cornerstone of your offense, so build as many as your gold resources permit. Don't think you can win the game simply by building a wonder and assume some bunker-like defense. As the Aztecs, you must be aggressive early on and remain so throughout the whole game. However though you can still win a game in the Imperial Age easily by constructing a gigantic army. Do not attack castles first, as they can easily decimate your number making it impossible to win. My strategy is always attacking late with fully upgraded infantry. Take 40 (this is the maximum amount of selectable units by dragging a box or by double click selecting) Elite Eagle Warriors, 40 Elite Jaguar Warriors. Take some monks and trebuchets too. Now you can attack your enemy with such force he won't(or it wont) even know what hit his(or it's)empire. However attack the castle with trebuchets at the near end and guard them. BTW I suggested this army since Elite Eagle Warriors defeat archers,cavalry(they have a slight bonus against them) and siege weapons and Elite Jaguar Warriors defeat other infantry.