The Classic Maya

The Last Conformist

Irresistibly Attractive
Aug 25, 2001
Not on your side
The Classic period, 250-909 AD, represents the high point of Maya civilization, with dozens of kingdoms scattered over the Southern Lowlands, competing to outdo one another both on the battlefield and in raising the greatest and most sophisticated temples and monuments. This scenario allows you to take command of one of seven of the most famous Maya kingdoms - Tikal, Calakmul, Caracol, Piedras Negras, Palenque, Copán, and Toniná - and try and lead it to a position of dominance over the Classic Maya world.

The Map, by MaisseArsouye and modified by me, covers the whole of the Yucatan, plus the Southern Highlands, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and much of Honduras. Since much of this area was outside the flowering of Classic Maya culture, I have made the entirety of the northern Yucatan as well as most of Honduras, the Highlands, and the Pacific Coast unsettlable; they function basically as reservoirs for barbarians, and in the case of Honduras and the Pacific coast also as locations for luxuries.

There are some changes to terrain, most notably that Jungle produces two shields, that Plains and Forests are unsettlable, and that forests (but not Jungle) is non-choppable. Note also the "Highlands"; these are LM Mountains looking like wooded hills. Like regular Mountains, they're unsettlable, but they have the production values of hills.

Resources: Since what you need to build a Classic centre and equip its army - limestone, maize, and wood, chiefly - is found all over the place in the Maya world, including strategic resources did not seem appropriate. Instead, there are ten luxuries, some of which are prereqs for a few things - most notably do you need Green Obsidian, only available thru trade with the Mexicans, to build the Mexican Ally unit -, and a bunch of bonus resources, the most important of which is game, providing +1f+1s0c.

The civilizations are the seven Maya factions (Tikal, Calakmul, Caracol, Palenque, Piedras Negras, Copán, and Toniná), plus "Mexico", a civ representing the various peoples of the central, western, and northern parts of Mesoamerica. The Mexicans are unplayable, and unable to build settlers; their chief function is as partners in trade and diplomacy, tho they can be dangerous enough on the warpath too (especially if you are Toniná!). The various Maya factions all have the same units (the Mexicans have partially different ones), and are chiefly distinguished by their locations and starting setups. The easiest to win as are Tikal and Calakmul (the "superpowers" of the Classic), the hardest probably Toniná.

Speaking of winning, the possible victory conditions are Cultural, Domination (10% of land, 50% of population), and Victory Points. Since many units can enslave to workers, and Sacrifice is enabled, any of these is going to challenge your martial skills, but since much of the lush Southern Lowlands start unsettled, any player who tries an exclusively military approach is going to be swamped by factions that build up their infrastructural basis.

(The reason you can't win by Conquest is that some Mexican cities have preplaced and practically indestructible immobile Defense units in them; this prevents you from most ahistorically removing the Mexican peoples from the equation; in reality they covered an area much larger than the present map, and could never have been brought to heel by even the most expansive Maya ruler.)

The tech tree includes plenty of Preclassic and some Postclassic stuff; the reason is simply that otherwise it's impossible to make a tree with much worthwhile to research. The improvement in unit abilities is pretty much fictional in any case; there was little or no technological improvements to war-making from very early on till the Spanish arrival.

The scenario ends in 850 AD, rather than 909, since there is no possibility of representing the total collapse of Classic civilization during the later half of the Terminal Classic (800-909 AD); indeed I should probably have set the end even earlier, since most of the featured factions were effectively gone by 850.

The units are fairly basic; a defense line, a Maya attack line, and a separate attack line for the Mexicans (inferior for most of the game, but superior in the end-game), plus a couple ships. Most attackers are amphibious, and the Maya attackers (except the Warrior) have a defensive bombard, cause collateral damage, and enslave defeated enemies into workers that can be put to, erm, work, or be sacrificed for culture points.

The barbarians are a bit more of a threat than normal in C3C, since you get no combat bonuses against them.

Armies have been rejigged to make the AI use them tolerably well; they only load one unit, has got a +4 HP bonus, and are spawned from the Palace. There's also a small wonder, the Yajaw Maan, that spawns them at a much higher rate, available in the late game. This also means they are less powerful than normal C3C Armies, since they have a max of nine HP, and they don't get much in the way of combat bonuses.

So, I hope you'll enjoy my first released scenario. Big thanks to all the unit makers, fellow modders, and general hangers on without which I had not been able to make this. :goodjob: Also big thanks, should they by any miracle read this, to Firaxis for making the game, and to the authors of the many great books on the Maya that have inspired this venture. :goodjob:

Download v1.0

I should mention that the scenario is developed on C3C 1.22. Maybe it can be got to work on earlier versions of Conquests; I don't know. You'd probably have to mess with the labels.txt file, at least.
I downloaded the beta-mod, but winzip tells me that 122 bytes are missing? What's up with this?

I downloaded it twice, emptied cache & temp in-between, and it still won't open. Help :)
Over 150 views and no replies beyond aaglo's DL issues? Is anyone playing this?

Anyway, here's an updated biq that fixes some minor map issues, adds a couple leader names, and renames the last two Eras to Termincal Classic and Postclassic.

A couple other things that should've been mentioned in the opening post:
i) To get some challenge out of the meek C3C barbarians, I've dropped all combat bonuses against barbarians.
ii) Armies are autospawned from the Palace and the Yajaw Maan small wonder, have their capacity reduced to one, and have a +4 HP bonus. This means that they're much weaker than regular C3C armies, but on the plus side the AI uses them competently (or as competently as it uses any other land combat unit, at least).

Edit: DL patch from post #14 instead.
What is technical difeences between PTW & Conquest scenarios. Is it possible to convert back to PTW?
The map looks very interesting.
AFAIK, it is not possible to convert back to PTW. The PTW Editor cannot open biqs, and the C3C Editor can't save as valid bixes.

It may be possible to convert the map to bix format by some utility - I do not know.

The scenario utilizes a number of things that were only introduced in C3C (enslavement and sacrifice, spawned units, unit costs that aren't multiples of ten, and probably more I can't think of right now), so it could not be converted to PTW even if the map can.

I found a bug in v0.2.

Selecting the Tonina in the game start screen results in a missing link error. The file path that is missing is "ART\FILES\MX2_Smoke_Jaguar_ancient_bwrd.flc"

That 'M' shouldn't be there in the link. I'll be uploading a fixed biq in some minutes, but if you want you can fix it yourself by removing it in the Reverse Filename field in the Animation box on Toniná's civilization tab.

Edit: Fixed.
Looks good. I had always wanted to make a Maya scenario, but never had the time or patience. I'll download it as soon as I get off of work.

Btw, as an added flavor bonus, you could try renaming the cities to their actual Maya names. (ex: Palenque = Lakam Ha)
Nanocyborgasm said:
Btw, as an added flavor bonus, you could try renaming the cities to their actual Maya names. (ex: Palenque = Lakam Ha)
I've considered that, but decided to go for recognizability.

I hope you will enjoy the scen. :)
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