Nobles' Club 320: Montezuma of the Aztecs


May 21, 2018
The Nobles' Club series started out as a way for Noble-level (and below) players to improve their game. Most of the original participants now play at much higher levels, so this has become a way for advanced players to help others learn to play better. You can play your own game at any level and with any mod, but it would be nice to comment on the games of other players and give them advice.

Our next leader is Montezuma of the Aztecs, whom we last played in NC 239. The Aztecs start with Hunting and Mysticism.
  • Traits: Montezuma is Aggressive and Spiritual. Aggressive gives all Melee and Gunpowder units a free Combat I promotion, and gives a +100% :hammers: bonus to Barracks and Drydocks. Spiritual allows you to swap state religion/civics without suffering Anarchy, and gives a +100%:hammers: bonus to all Temples.
  • The UB: The Sacrificial Altar, a Courthouse which cuts Whip :mad: duration in half and costs 25% less :hammers: to build. Not as great as you'd think, since Slavery has some competition by the time that Code of Laws rolls around, but still a very useful building for any city that's expecting to do some whipping. And with Spiritual you can always do a quick swap back into Slavery whenever the need to whip something arises, so expect to get some good use out of these buildings.
  • The UU: The Jaguar, a Swordsman that doesn't require Iron to build, and gets -1:strength:, -5:hammers: cost and a free Woodsman I promotion under a regular swordsman. As far as attacking units go these guys are a straight downgrade from regular swords in all but cost, but some good tricks can be pulled with these units. Given 6xp and an attached Great General a Jaguar can take the full lines of Medic and Woodsman promotions, creating a super medic who's healing prowess borders on the supernatural. Note: Medic III and Woodsman III must be on the same unit in order for their effects to stack. If the promotions are on separate units only the higher of the two bonuses will take effect.
And the start:

Spoiler map details :
Pangaea, Tropical climate, Medium sealevel.
Spoiler edits :
A strategic resource swap, and a few Fish were moved such that they wouldn't be rendered unworkable.
The WB-saves are attached (zipped; they are bigger than standard saves). To play, simply download and unzip it into your BTS/Saves/WorldBuilder folder. Start the game, and load your favorite MOD (if you use one, if not, check out the BUG MOD), select "Play Scenario", and look for "NC 320 Montezuma Noble" (or Monarch, etc., for higher levels). You can play with your favorite MOD at the Level and Speed of your choice. From Quick-Warlord to Marathon-Deity, all are welcome! We stuck with the name "Nobles Club" because it has a cool ring to it.
Spoiler what's up with specific difficulties :
In each scenario file you can select your level of difficulty, but that doesn't give the AI the right bonus techs by itself. Use the Noble save for all levels at and below Prince. The Monarch save gives all the AI Archery. Emperor adds Hunting; Immortal adds Agriculture; Deity adds The Wheel.
Spoiler what is demigod :
The difference between Immortal and Deity difficulty is akin to the difference between Noble and Immortal. Players eventually reached a point where Immortal was too easy, but Deity was still out of reach, and so neither difficulty provided a fun experience. "Demigod" is an otherwise standard Deity game where the AIs are only given their Immortal level starting units, in an attempt to bridge the gap.
Spoiler for players on Monarch or above :
You should add archery as a tech for the barbarians (if you don't, the AI will capture their cities very early). This cannot be done in the WB save file and must be done in Worldbuilder as follows:
Spoiler how to add techs to the barbarians :

  1. Zoom in all the way so you can't see the rest of the map.
  2. Use the CTRL-W key (or the menu) to enter the worldbuilder. Avoid looking at the mini-map in the lower right corner.
  3. By default you're in "player" mode (look in the box in the upper right; the icon that looks like a person should be selected). You'll get a drop down menu labeled with your leader's name. Barbarians are at the bottom, so cover the rest of the list with your hand if you don't want to see who else is on the map. Select "Barbarians".
  4. Select the "Technologies" tab in the box on the left.
  5. Find Archery (the arrow head icon; 8th row, 3rd column from the right) and click it.
  6. Exit the worldbuilder.
  7. Zoom out again after the map fades, and start playing.
If you're playing at higher level than Monarch, consider also giving them Hunting at Emperor, Agriculture at Immortal, and The Wheel at Deity.
Spoiler huts and events :
Note: The standard saves have no huts and have events turned off. If you want tribal villages and random events, choose the saves with "Huts" in their names. If you want huts but no events, select the Huts saves and use Custom Scenario to turn on the option that suppresses events.


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Very nice amount of grassland and river tiles to go around, but the lack of visible food is worrying. Honestly I've no idea how to play this, just like I've got no idea of how to play Monty in general :). I'd like to settle T0 to maximize early commerce, and that can easily work out if there's a pig on those there grassland hills, but if the only food resource east is a plains cow that would be...bad. In the latter case I'd definitely like to move to find more food, but where to? 1S on the plains hill? The Scout can check out 1NE -> 1E to check potential 1N/1NW settling spots, off the hill but if there's Corn up there I think I'd take it, or send the scout 2SE onto the hill and scout that instead? No idea, Monty always finds a way to annoy me whether I'm playing as him or against him.

What do the experts think :)?
My sense is that the desert coloured tile to the south is likely to be a floodplain because plain desert is more likely to be next to plains that green grass (?) Therefore, I’d be tempted to send the scout NE to scout the grassland hill you’d lose if you settled 1S. If it’s a pigless hill, I’d settle 1S because you may well get a floodplain or two as well as whatever food must surely be to the east. If there are piggies, SIP. Depending on what’s in the fog, it risks being mighty slow though. Not what you need for a decent candidate for worst leader.
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Spoiler Played Immortal first 50 turns :

Ended up settling 1S of original starting position.

Met AI's real quick in this one:



Turn 24: Issi settles city right next to my border. There was a pig down there too, which would definitely justified going for AH.

Started teching BW after AGRI. Issi and Kublai are worst enemies from being different religions:

Turn 50: By this point, I've met all the AI's in this game. After BW I found copper. I mined PH and grew to size 4 and 2-pop whipped first settler. Settled 1W of copper tile to share FP and cow with capital (plus it's on a river and grassland copper tile is a 6-yield tile).
There is some really good land to the west (pigs and rice covered in jungle) and that wet corn SW is definitely a good spot. Was planning on settling 1NW of elephant to share FP with capital and later steal wet corn. (Issi culture took elephant, of course).

I teched TW>Pottery since I'm not getting those piggies anyways till later. At least I can cottage in the meantime. Now I'm teching AH and will only take 5 turns to get it. Since I'm playing as aggressive Monty, I might as well stay in character and be the warmonger I was born to be and do a nice little AXE RUSH to for some "pest control." Why build 2-3 settlers (with poor food here anyways) when Isabella just so happened to build some nice cities so close to mine? How convenient! :)

Now personally...I would've built that 2nd city on that desert hill 1S FP farm...but that was before I realized I have copper! So far I got two Axes, I think with AGG, maybe 6-8 should suffice for this :)



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Spoiler answer to your spoilery question
Spoiler :

Generally two but in this case clearly one.

Played some turns. Won't continue.
Spoiler :

Moved scout NE > E. Moved settler S.

Next turn SIP, found only plains-cow. Since we start with hunting, go animal husbandry.

Have horses in capital, research The Wheel next, then Bronze Working to chop out chariots.

Picture after "some turns".
Spoiler :


I stopped. Not the kind of game I enjoy. If you want to continue: horse archers, sacrificial altar, elephants, catapults... zzz... boring.


Spoiler :

Thanks! Thought as much although was tempted by the wet corn even if Bella’s most recent city looks likely to swamp it with culture and, other than with Quechua, I’ve never done a one city rush before. I’ll give it a go and hope it goes better than my immortal rush in the Cyrus NC game a while back which everyone else seemed to abuse while I died.
Deity T64 NHNE

Spoiler :

Same start as @sylvanllewelyn except I went agriculature first for cheaper AH, to farm floodplains because the capital lacks food and for a route in pottery down the line even if we didn't find any grains. I stand by this logic but definitely the wrong decision on this map. Not really sure how you can play this other than chariot rushing Izzy and agriculture is a bad move for that play. My attack seems to have been about turn tens later (ie the time it takes to tech agriculture). I'm six turns further along and I've captured one fewer city. I've also mindlessly started teching writing and, after having looked at sylvanllewelyn's game, I wonder if I wouldn't have been better going straight to HBR. I don't see myself building any libraries any time soon. I also went archery after BW and before pottery because I wanted to be able to leave archers rather than chariots behind to protect captures. Not sure about that decision either given - as of yet - no signs of a counterattack.

Spoiler Curious question :
Why do you find it boring? Which kind of games you like? After all, aren't all games get to a resource/rech* -> rush of X unit -> destroy the world?
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