Maya UHV without Greenland cheese?


Nov 10, 2019
I'm just curious if anyone has beaten the Mayan UHV by actually getting to Cartography first, rather than just sticking a unit in Greenland and waiting for the Vikings to show up. I started playing and am feeling a little stumped - even though there's plenty of good land for cities, the time it takes to get your stuff going basically means that you have to research 2 eras of technologies in the time the European civs have to research 1, with worse modifiers and no tech trading.
It's perfectly possible: I did it on Regent and Monarch with three/four cities (Calakmul 1N of starting position, Danibaan that spawns on the Stone, Olximché 1S of the Silver, then possibly one south in Panama 2N of the Gold) by maximizing science (building/whipping a Library in each city then switching to Republic) and settling Great Scientists. Later you can get Markets for more GPP, and if you pop a Great Merchant it's better to bulb. This can be made easier if there are some useful pagan wonders like the Great Library or the Parthenon left, but those aren't strictly necessary.

It's important though to prepare for the Aztec spawn as they can net you a nasty recession and stability hit from Danibaan losing most of its useful tiles. I recommend switching between uncompleted techs and lowering the science sliders to avoid stability hits from completing techs while their "rise of civilization" phase isn't over, then to immediately crush them with Catapults + the Holkans you'll have built to defend Danibaan.

Sometimes you'll get unlucky with the Europeans' timing, which is why it's important to have a naval unit ready to be upgraded to a Caravel ASAP.
Yeah it is definitely possible. I also did it with 4 cities, normal speed and difficulty. My capital was settled on the spot and I gave it every tile it could work. I prioritized Philosophy and got a great scientist to build an Academy asap. Then I prioritized Guilds for Regulated Trade. I also had enough production in the capital to build the Temple of Kukulkan there for even more food. I used the second and third great person to bulb and I had my Caravel ready in 1390AD I believe.

I was worried about the Aztecs so I went for Fortification after Guilds to build a castle in Danibaan. And then I stacked about 18 double city garrison promoted archers in there for good measure. The Aztecs were a joke, I did not lose a single unit and even the castle was overkill.

And so much of my science came from the capital that I do not recall any issues with recession when Danibaan lost a few tiles.
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