Tips for The Aztecs

AJ22PIZZA

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Jun 3, 2014
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I was playing as them around an hour ago, and I'm pretty sure I failed at them. 3 Civs declared war on me, including Siam. Freaking Siam. Also I only had one city. It had Petra though.
 

anandus

Errorist
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Two things you should know about the Aztecs.
First is when you're not killing units with the Azzies (be it barb hunting or a war), you're missing out.
Second is that the Aztec cities are about growth. Massive growth.

But the first thing is most important. Kill, kill, kill.
 

budweiser

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I love the Aztecs. Here is how I play them. I build a second Jag and start searching for two more city sites. I steal workers on the way. I build enough forces to secure those sites and then just turtle the rest of the game with a full tradition opening. I like to get the UB fast, but I find that it 'feels' better if you wait to build it until after you are done expanding.
 

Ryika

Lazy Wannabe Artista
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So you had a single city and civs declared war on you... not exactly problems that are related to the Aztecs. You should probably read some guides to get a solid foundation instead.
 

GoStu

King
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My typical Aztec start opens by building another Jaguar for scouting, and killing the first Barbarian I meet. That gets me to my first social policy, which is the Honor opener for more barbarian hunting. After that, all social policies are Tradition and are written in the blood of Barbarians & anyone who pisses me off. I often round out Honor too because war is important to me, and getting gold + culture from kills is good fun.

First tech is Pottery, typically to Calendar, and then to the Wheel for the Floating Gardens. I generally go with Calendar to improve luxuries nearby so I can sustain the growth the Floating Gardens provides. (I might have to go off-track for Mining if I have those luxuries, or Bronze Working to clear for them).

If possible, I'll nab Stonehenge or the Hanging Gardens, but don't shed too many tears over either.

I'll generally go for a 4-city build to start, and expand as I see fit later. This can either be by going to war with the neighbors to make some puppets, or by settling a bit wider. Tenochtitlan isn't usually coastal so I don't sweat getting a second coastal city early to ship food around.

You don't always have to be at war; the UA has done its job if it catapults you faster up Tradition. That said, being at war IS often good for you provided the enemy can keep feeding you tasty packs of culture on legs. I often find myself fighting like the historical Aztecs; more for the glory & fun than really conquering much. If you're careful you can keep decent diplomatic relationships simply by accepting cities as tribute instead of capturing. I'm also unafraid to burn swaths of land out & let it fill in with tasty Barbarians who are worth more gold & double Culture.

My army tends to run a little infantry heavy. Super-promoted Jaguars can be hilarious, with March, full Cover, and full Medic they're pretty much unstoppable 1-A across the map units.
 

tetley

Head tea leaf
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It has been awhile since I played Aztecs, but here's what I remember:

1) Aztecs have happiness problems. They war, and they have food bonus, so you need to plan your happiness right from game start.

2) don't go overboard barb hunting. Stick to your plan.

3) there's a fun factor in playing Caribbean map.
 

bhavv

Glorious World Dictator
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Why wouldn't you go overboard barb hunting? So much culture. You don't actually have to attack the AI at all, you can just kill barbs.

Open with a second jaguar and honor for the first policy (open honor only, then fill tradition). Try to get the ToA. Put all your main cities where they can build floating gardens. Grow grow grow, hunt barbs all over the map. Build a good number of jaguars for upgrading, and archer support for them.

If you want to attack an AI, wait until your jags are upgraded to super muskets onwards.
 

tetley

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It's the law of diminishing returns. If you are embarking units halfway across the map to snow & ice to get 25 culture and 25 gold, then you are probably lacking a strategy--which is easy to do on a huge map at 4am.
 

bhavv

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You can keep some units scattered, as for distant camps, you can usually send frigates in the midgame to bombard the units for culture.
 
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I wouldnt say it's better to open honor first and tradition then. Opening tradition first gives your next social policy quite fast. It can be honor opener or legalism. Priority of my two first jaguars is to explore.
If it's raging barbarians then story is different
 

bhavv

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Honor first will give you plenty of culture to rival opening tradition, plus allow you to begin farming camps for gold sooner to speed up rush buying a settler.

Tradition is 3 culture per turn. For aztecs honor is 16 culture per brute killed.

And there's no reason not to enable raging barbs when playing the Aztecs.
 
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Honor first will give you plenty of culture to rival opening tradition, plus allow you to begin farming camps for gold sooner to speed up rush buying a settler.

Tradition is 3 culture per turn. For aztecs honor is 16 culture per brute killed.

And there's no reason not to enable raging barbs when playing the Aztecs.

Only if there are barbs in good locations nad necessarily even then. You have be certain you can kill those 2 brutes during that time it takes for next policy if you select tradition opener vs honor. Usually its very hard to kill 2 brutes without sacrificing your exploration too much. Of course you get more culture early but you sacrifice gold from finding CS first and all benefits from ancient ruins. Especially if your first jaguar founds culture ruin early you will only have 1 jaguar doing killings.
 

slowcar

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Tradition is 3 culture per turn. For aztecs honor is 16 culture per brute killed.
First, you have to calculate with 8, as they get 8 without opening honor.
Then you have to calculate with the exponential costs of social policies. You have to kill an enormous amount of barbarians to finish tradition quicker with the honor opener than without it.
 
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First, you have to calculate with 8, as they get 8 without opening honor.
Then you have to calculate with the exponential costs of social policies. You have to kill an enormous amount of barbarians to finish tradition quicker with the honor opener than without it.

That's true but sometimes you dont even finish tradition. Just opener, legalism and monarchy. Then finish honor. Not sure if it's better to skip tradition and go full honor in that case. This is for semi-early domination. However monarchy is very strong policy but 3 remaining in tradition arent necessary when going domination. Honor itself gives too little happiness.

Edit: Liberty is in my experience better for early domination than honor/trad mix. However trad/honor mix is more fun
 

budweiser

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You give up tons of growth if you don't finish tradition asap. I'm not sure opening Honor during the first 6 policies is worth it.
 

Sorinth

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First, you have to calculate with 8, as they get 8 without opening honor.
Then you have to calculate with the exponential costs of social policies. You have to kill an enormous amount of barbarians to finish tradition quicker with the honor opener than without it.

But there's also the combat bonus when fighting Barbs to take into account. That lets you kill Barbs faster which means more total killed. If you can block off a camp with your borders and just have an archer sit outside the camp farming the spawned units you have a decent chance at finishing tradition faster. Your also more likely to complete camp clearing quests which can give culture.

I find it pretty hit or miss on finishing Tradition faster so if I don't plan on going domination then it's not worth opening honor just for the culture. Generally I want Landed Elite, Monarchy as fast as possible which happens without the Honor opener.

Personally I tend to build 3-4 Jags and a Shrine and a couple of archers to start. I then run around to each CS demanding tribute. I'll usually get get 2 workers from tribute and gold from the rest.

I also like to forward settle and get into a early war where I sit back and just destroy units to power through the policy tree.
 
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You give up tons of growth if you don't finish tradition asap. I'm not sure opening Honor during the first 6 policies is worth it.

With Aztecs growth it's no such an issue as with other civs. You might even have too much growth because of UB and run into unhappiness easier than other civs. In my experience puppets love to build floating gardens. Ofcourse you can raze or annex those cities. But I dont open honor even with Aztecs if im going to play peaceful.
 
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Tips:
Build cities lake / river adjacent for the UB.
Lake tiles are king for the aztecs. Get a lake tile or three whithin the 3-tile city boundary if you can.
These turn into great food tiles that need no worker time, and cannot be pillaged.

Build Jaguars. I like have 6 in a standard game. They keep their special promotions as they upgrade.

Culture Kills:
Whether or not you turn on raging barbs, whether or not you take honor, you want to get a lot of unit kills. This includes naval units, but not air units.

You will want to consider early wars, but not for conquest. Just killing units for bulk culture. By not capping enemy cities, your war monger penalty will stay minimal. Play the diplomacy game: try having allies at war. Let yourself be bribed into it.

Its best to pick on your neighbors (CS or AI), because they will have the most nearby units for you to milk culture from. DoW the nearest CS early (worker steal) and just stay at war for a long time. Each unit they send out gets mowed down until all your Jaguars / archers are promoted x4.
 

tetley

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I'm a believer in the tradition opener, but there is PLENTY of growth to be had by continuing down the honor tree.
 

bhavv

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You DONT continue down the honor tree, you just take the one opener policy and that's it. Then you fill tradition.

You will actually fill tradition faster this way from the extra culture from barb kills, plus you get so much crazy gold from all the camps, and it even shoes you when the camps spawn in revealed territory.

Its foolish not to take the honor opener for the Aztecs, even more so for Songhai as they both benefit so much from it.

And yes, once you have the honor opener policy, you can easily kill all the barbs that spawn, its not difficult at all and you end up swimming in constant culture and gold income for the rest of the game.
 
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