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The Mayans

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Ision, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I have decided to do a review on each CIV. My intention is to encourage debate and hopefully to help others (and myself) in their game play.

    The Mayans

    There are 31 civs to choose from in C3C, and each and every one has its adherents to varying degrees. The pros and cons of each civ are debated on the forums to no end, with little consensus or unanimity of opinion among players. If there is one exception however, it is the Mayans. Its detractors are few, while those that sing its praises are legion. What follows is a review of the most feared and respected of all civs.

    Agricultural and Industrious gives the Mayans the single most synergistic and complimentary of trait combos. The production system of CIV 3 is designed around 2 concepts; shield output and population growth. Any slight increase (bonus) in either of these and you will have a built-in bonus that compliments (to varying degrees) every other aspect of the game – throughout nearly the entire game. The results of pairing these 2 traits is so dominant that many have argued it is an overpowered trait combo. The agricultural bonus of 1 extra food in every base city square (that borders a river) gives the Maya that slight edge in early growth that can be so pivotal in maintaining pace with the early expansion of the AIs. Add to this the ability to produce 2 foods from irrigated deserts and half priced aqueducts. That slight Agri advantage is then accentuated even further by the addition of the industrious trait. Industrious provides workers that work 50% faster than regular workers. The result is an advantage in the rate at which roads and terrain improvements are completed. The end result over time is an incremental advantage in overall commerce and shield production. Agri provides the higher pop to more quickly produce those industrious workers and settlers, industrious provides the higher shield output to more quickly complete whatever the agri city populations are building. Together the incremental advantages of these two traits merge perfectly into a single trait that can result in an unequaled production powerhouse!

    As a builder the Mayans can compete with the best of them. While the Maya posses no half-priced bonus in the creation of any culture buildings, the typically higher population of Mayan cities combined with their typically higher shield output mitigates against this greatly. Unlike other non-religious or non-scientific civs, the Mayans do not have to rely solely on having a significant total city advantage in order to compete as a peaceful builder. This more easily can cast them into the role of a true peaceful builder content with a mid-sized empire that can still compete well in a Space Race or Culture victory option. As a straight Republic to Democracy civ, once again the typically higher pop and larger road network can result in quite the commercial success, adding cash rushing to their already formidable advantages in building speed. On water maps the agri half-priced aqueducts and the ever-useful industrious workers make for a solid civ bested only by those specifically designed for this environment (Seafaring civs) and on par with the better runner-ups.

    As a warmonger civ the Mayans can be an absolute terror. In CIV nothing kills as efficiently as ‘speed’. The powerful Mayan REX allows for it to throw up a large and dangerous early military far more quickly than most other civs. Add to this an ultra-early UU that acts as a beefed up archer, and you have the makings of a wonderful ‘always at war’ civ. A few forced labor rushed barracks in early Despotism will find those high shield/high growth cities churning out veteran units as good as anyone. Those veteran units will travel along paths quickly roaded by both Industrious Mayan workers and slaves alike. A Mayan committed to world conquest will never cease to marvel at the speed in which he can crank out units and connect his empire. This is a process that has no end point for the Mayan – from the Ancient Age through the Middle Ages – all the way until his Communist Industrial age, the Industrious/Agri trait combo will pay the blood soaked dividends! The Mayan warmonger can quickly see a Domination victory without ever having built a single Cathedral, University or Great Wonder.

    The 30 shield archer class 2-2-1 UU (Javelin Thrower) available with Warrior Code, while pricey can often help pay for itself with its unique ability to enslave (turn into slave-workers) barbarians or defeated enemy units. Given a sufficient number of these free slave-workers the savings on using your own population for workers and the 10 shields per worker can quickly make the 30 shield JT seem far cheaper. In simple terms the JT has a 1 in 3 chance of ‘enslaving’ any barb or enemy unit it defeats in battle. The JT can be used well in a tactic called ‘barb-farming’ (slave-worker creation). Intelligent use of the map with an isolated landmass containing a barb town, can be quickly transformed into a worker gold mine by a few JTs. Essentially they cut off the area, avoid taking the barb town itself, and attack the barbs that emerge from it in the hopes of creating a worker – hence the term ‘farming’. That said, this does require quite a bit of micro-management, is not possible on all map types or given a high number of aggressive neighbors, and the fact that the standard Mayan industrious worker works 3 times faster can many times leave you wondering if all that effort was worth it! The JT plays uniquely among the UUs and adds an option and fun-factor that are hard to measure. It is difficult to rate this UU because its worth is so directly tied to the success or failure in providing slave-workers. As a pure combat unit however, it is no more than high priced Babylonian Bowman that has lost the advantage of the BBs low cost. The JT therefore is a ‘boon or bust’ UU, a super expensive archer or a ‘more than paid for itself’ Bab Bowman – only the unfolding of the game can answer which one.

    Summary: Name any number of categories and you will find that the Mayans can compete at the highest level in all of them. One can argue that they may or may not be, THE best in any particular category – but what is inarguable is their ability to do nearly everything – well. The Mayans are an across the board top tier CIV as a builder or warmonger. On any map size and at every level of difficulty, the Mayans are easily an overall 1st tier civ – arguably the best all-around civ in the entire game.

    below is the link to all the other civ reviews:

    link to all the civ reviews
     
  2. WeaponX

    WeaponX Hound-Dog

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    Wow. I just scratched up the mulah for Conquests and I will be sure to give the Mayans a run.
     
  3. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    One could argue that the only thing the Mayans have a disadvantage in the the GA timing. Otherwise, they are perfect. :)

    BTW, another great review!
     
  4. general_kill

    general_kill Deity

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    excellent review :goodjob: , personally, maya has become my favorite expansion pack civ. The industrial and agri traits are indeed the greatest combo.
     
  5. fret

    fret Prince

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    Here Here!

    The civ league table of Advantage -

    1st - More Food!
    2nd - Fast Terrain Improvement!
    3rd - Who cares! Its nowhere near as good as the first two whatever it is!

    Ive only just moved to Conquests and have been playing about with the Mayans in anticipation of challenging some of Darkness' and the other guys lower level milk scores. Food is power, terrain improvement is power, the Mayans ARE power!

    Use them wisely Soldier :)

    With careful planning, early GA's can be avoided and well timed. Its just a case of expanding peacefully quick enough to lay down a bit of serious territory and then sitting back, a stack of catapult/cannon and a big enough stack of Javs can trigger a golden age against a musketman pretty easy.
     
  6. Longasc

    Longasc Deity

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    They are a civ of slavers, downright commie. They sacrifice prisoners in godless rituals to their so-called blood-gods. The normal Mayan does not wash his fingernails and toes and does not help elder women to cross the road.

    They also have the irritating fashion of appearing in nearly every game due to the problems with the random civs with cultural links enabled.

    *Spits on the Mayans* (probably insulting thousands of players!)

    Face the wrath of the highly honest Hittites!!!
    (spelling and grammer left intentionally wrong, Civ Style, hehe)

    :crazyeye:

    EDIT: Plus the might and glory of Rome, of course, too!!! :king:

    Sidenote: Very good review again, but not much stuff for discussion. I just had to say something negative, hehe... :cool:
     
  7. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Imagine the Maya with a better UU...... As it is even if their UU completly sucked people would still play them. I sometimes use enslaved workers to add to my population accelerating the Mayas growth even more. Definatly a top tier civ.
     
  8. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    I think its fair that their UU needs some planning to be useful.Having this traits and a killer UU would be to much.BTW, the Javelin thrower can be useful even in the industrial age...just fill an entire (!-no other units, they will "kill" the enslavement ability) army with them and pick up enemies, which were redlined by artillery.
     
  9. Gwadaman

    Gwadaman Chieftain

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    Howdy there.
    I never tried an agricultural civ and I think after read this great review I'll give a chance to Maya. But is this trait usefull if you don't have any river nearby? Or is it just a waste?

    I guess you'll need to restart your game until you spawn with rivers around.
     
  10. Longasc

    Longasc Deity

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    Just tested it - you will need a fresh water lake or a river to get immediate benefit of the Agricultural trait.

    Starting in the desert is also more doable with Agri, but I recommend trying to get a spawn position near rivers - in general the best start you can get.

    Even if you do not spawn besides a river, later cities will have this advantage probably, as rivers are good spots for cities.
     
  11. Baalzebul

    Baalzebul Warlord

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    I mostly play as the Mayan they' re great, especially if the map has many rivers and barbarians (workers :) ) .
     
  12. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Great review :goodjob: , again. I hope you are not tiring of all the
    compliments, it is your own fault for the good work :rolleyes: . Though
    I usually play as Celts, Vikings, Germans, French or Iroquois your review
    makes me want to give them a go asap :eek: , they sound like a power-
    house !!! The enslave chance seems like much fun :cool: :D .
     
  13. Mr Furious

    Mr Furious Chieftain

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    They were the first Civilization I tried in Civilization 3 Conquests. I'm only new to the game, so I'm going through playing them (they're my favorite civilization so far; next to the Chinese and Persians). I've done a lot of reading (about tactics, strategy and general backstabbing here on the forums and FAQ), and I'm wondering...

    How effective is a Mayan ICS? (Infinite City Sprawl) I'm testing it at the moment against the Americans without all that much luck. Although I did end up capturing Washington after swamping them with Horsemen (got the Pyramids which THEY STOLE! >:D), I'm not sure whether they're ideally suited to that kind of empire building.

    And more to the point, if I am continuing to ICS, is there a specific radius to stop building so close to each city?

    Edit: Ah, forgot to mention. Jumped up from bloomin' Cheiftain to Regent; bypassed Warlord. It's not a cake walk, but judging by some of the wonders the Iriquois are building, I'd say I'm in for a long haul. :p
     
  14. yankees

    yankees Chieftain

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    no argument here!

    great review!

    Y
     
  15. Ision

    Ision Master

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    I would like to thank everyone for their comments.

    Longasc - Rome and the Hittites eh..... lol........ oh well, ugly girls need some loving too.

    NOoooooo! I don't want to imagine it! The game would have to be re-named 'Maya-CIV III' !. Just imagine a plain simple 2-2-1, 20-shield (no enslavement) JT - MY GOD! it would replace the word overpowered with 'ridiculous'.

    Ision
     
  16. rcoutme

    rcoutme Emperor

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    With the Mayans, doing ICS can work to your advantage, especially if you are placing cities along rivers. However, remember that any industrious civ will pretty much lose its extra 'shield bonus' in the city square in ICS. With Industrious civs, if you place the city on a square that already would get a shield (i.e. hills, plains, desert or bonus grass, amongst others) then at size 7 that city will get two shields in the city square; at size 13 it will get 3 shields. ICS uses the technique of pretty much ignoring how many shields you get per city and creating stuff by having lots of cities instead. The best trait (probably) for ICS is commercial due to the lower corruption value.

    The other technique often used in ICS is the mass production of workers. Again, with the Mayans, their UU will actually 'give' you more workers anyways. The loss of the powerhouse production cities and the extra worker capacity are not the best ways to use ICS. ICS, IMHO, is really designed for those who wish to maximise the use of workers (those close cities give you 'freebie' roads in effect) and terrain that does not lend itself to high productivity (for instance flood plains or bare grasslands). The Mayan traits tend to mitigate both problems anyways, so ICS is probably not the most ideal way to use this civ. Couple all of this with a much more expensive Warrior Code unit and I would think that you probably started off on the wrong foot when using the Mayans.

    Having said all this, as Ision explained, the civ is so flexible that you are certainly not in dire straights having started out in ICS. It sounds (I don't have the game in front of me so I can't tell for certain) like it may be time to start abandoning some of your close cities. Make sure that you have two regular workers in the city (that can still move) before you abandon them and then immediately build the road. You will be amazed at how quickly a couple of well-placed mines and a little micromanagement will take your ICS empire into one of the greatest production powerhouses you have ever seen! You may get some of those cities (remember you can't disband them by settler creation if they are near a river, so just bite the bullet and lose one or two pop. pts) to be building JT's every 3 turns!

    Also, remember what one of the above writers said, you can add some of your extra workers to cities (especially those on fresh water) and build them up beyond size 6. If the square that those cities is on is plains or hills (or if you get lucky and it's bonus grass) then you will start to see that extra production work for you very quickly.

    Finally, watch out for the Iroquois. They have the mounted warrior and tend to want to use it early and often. Your JT's are vulnerable to them, but in a size 7 city, the odds are turned (the JT, when fortified in a walled city will have a defense of at least 3.7 vs the 3 attack of MW's). With luck, you can get the MW's to batter themselves against your freebie-walled (due to size 7 status) cities, redlining themselves and then counter-attack with the JT's and get yourself lots of new, unpaid-for workers!
     
  17. crystal

    crystal Scrooge

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    I think the Mayan Javelin Thrower is not worth it. A regural worker costs only 10 shields compared to JT's cost of 30 shields. If we consider only the shield cost, a JT would have to have to enslave 3 units for it become cost-effective. Still regural workers are 3 times faster than the enslaved ones. The chance of enslaving a unit is only 1/3, so most likely your JT dies before it can enslave enough units. On the other hand, you don't have to pay the maintenance for slave workers, but this bonus becomes meaningless if you switch ASAP from Republic to Communism.

    I would say build only a couple of JT's to trigger golden age and to fight red-lined enemies. :)
     
  18. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    Another great review!

    Remember Crystal, slave workers don't require maitnance.
     
  19. crystal

    crystal Scrooge

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    Umm... I wrote "On the other hand, you don't have to pay the maintenance for slave workers, but this bonus becomes meaningless if you switch ASAP from Republic to Communism." :rolleyes:

    And btw, that was Conquests specific tip only. ;)
     
  20. Mr Furious

    Mr Furious Chieftain

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    Thanks rcoutme, that was very informative. Shame I had no resources other than horses to fight with though, so they creamed me with a knight rush before I was even able to mount a decent defence. D:

    Ah well, trying a different civilization this time... :p
     

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