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Does Aztec UA Match France's?


Jan 24, 2008
Austin, Texas
I have been dinking around, soaking in the newness of Civ 5 and am playing a blithely-belligerent game as Monty. While his ability (Sacrificial Captives: you gain culture for each enemy killed) is all kinds of fun and thematic, I really have to wonder whether it keeps pace with France's (Ancien Regime: +2 culture per turn from Cities before discovering Steam Power).

I'm playing on difficulty level 4 (whatever that is... prince? warlord?) and attacking EVERYONE I meet, individually or in groups. Barbarians, city states, rival civs... all their blood must be spilled upon the altars to ensure the sun continues to rise. We Aztecs are adherents to an alternative view of astronomy; our star-gazers are cross-trained as butchers and all arguments concerning heliocentricism are settled in the arena.

Every unit I kill nets me three culture towards my next social policy (although I recently killed a Legionnaire and got six culture so maybe the culture gain scales with the unit's cost). Now, I'm being a sociopath and invading EVERYONE so I am averaging something like one kill every 3-4 turns. That alllllmost equals what Napoleon gets... with one city... without first having to produce and pay upkeep on a large army (though Napoleon might do that anyway). Furthermore, Napoleon's free culture counts towards expanding his cities' boundaries IN ADDITION to getting him more social policies sooner.

How can Sacrificial Captives balance against Ancien Regime? Even if I (again, as an unrelenting, unrepentant warmonger) am somehow maintaining parity, culture-wise, with France, they're getting tiles outta the deal as well.

I will say that Jaguar warriors are fun (even if their Jungle bonus has only come up in one battle out of... hmmm, three great generals-worth) and Floating Gardens are really nifty. Unique Ability notwithstanding, I'd go with Monty every time. I could see this being holistically balanced but I'd have to see the argument well laid out before I believe it.



Jun 13, 2005
Göteborg, Sweden
well the aztecs ability works the whole game while the french one only works to steam power... but that is not really the point, you have to look at the whole civ to say anything about balance or not. The aztecs has a UB which is quite powerful. With that said, I think that france is one of the better civs, good UU and a fun and greait trait.


May 7, 2009
I've heard the Aztec ability does scale in to late game, some units netting 20-30+ culture in industrial and later eras. It seems almost certain that as a war monger, if you make it to late game, you will definitely get more culture from your ability than france will. How much of a benefit that is versus gaining the free tiles and not having to war monger to get your culture, is up in the air.


Jul 21, 2010
Up until Steam Power, no it doesn't. Not even close. France is probably the most powerful civ (after Babylon slingshots).

The problem is with how France plays. All my cities are as compact as possible, 3 spaces away from each other. I am receiving about 30-40 culture per turn in the Renaissance era just from the bonus.

The biggest problem is the early game: France puts up 4 cities in VERY quick order using Liberty. If Montezuma tries to match them in empire size, their bonus is too small to matter. Moreover, France unlocks +1 culture and +1 happiness per city as well, mitigating the disadvantage to growing even more. Finally, Montezuma needs to go honour instead of liberty to use his bonus well.

Try playing as France, go rapid expansion, and see how crazy it is. They are one of the only civs who can have a very large empire, and still remain top on the policies.
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