Potential rework for the Aztec units

Hi everyone, I want to propose some changes in order to make the Aztec units more historically accurate. I started talking about it in this post: Age of empires 3 is becoming Age of Europeans 3 - #167 by BaphometSLM

However, This subject clearly deserves its own thread so here it is. I’ll list here every aztec units and propose some changes if needed.

-warrior: The warrior unit trainable at the community plaza should get a new skin. A generic, low rank type skin would be fine. See number 1 on the pic below.

-Warrior priest: Just like the regular military of the Aztecs, the priesthood had his own rank hierarchy.
[POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT] ==> COYOTE PRIEST: To become a coyote priest, you had to capture 6 prisonners. Maybe we could have a card which changes regular warrior priests into coyote priests, with greater fighting abilities.
This page from the Codex Mendoza shows the ranks progression of the warrior priests (above) and the regular priests (below)

-Coyote runners: coyotes never were frontline soldiers nor were they harrasing units.
[POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT] ==> TLAMANI (which means “captor”): A warrior would become Tlamani upon taking his first prisonner. In Aztec society, it was common practice for the veterans to let the less experimented chase fleeing ennemies after a battle, so they could capture prisonners and progress in the hierarchy.

Otontin slinger: His name doesn’t match his appearance. He wears the papalotl banner (butterfly). This rank was achieved upon taking 3 prisonners. Simply renaming him to PAPALOTL SLINGER would do.

Puma spearman: This name is completely made up. I’m not sure what name would be appropriate for this unit. Although his pamitl (type of banner) usually meant a high rank, it could also be attributed to a prestigious warrior, but this is in contradiction with his top knot hair (elite/champion/legendary) which is a sign of low rank in the Aztec military. Any suggestion for this one would be welcome!

Arrow knight: He represents the Cuextecatl soldier. Renaming him to CUEXTECATL ARCHER would be perfect.

Eagle knight: Perfect as is!

Jaguar knight: Perfect as is!

Skull knight: The tlacochcalcatl was the supreme commander of the army in absence of the emperor himself, so this unit being massable is non-sence.
[POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT] ==> CUACHIC (Shorn one): The cuachicqueh were the most elite warrior of the Aztec army. Do I need to say more? A simple reskin of the skull knight to fit the cuachic would do. See the pic below.

Furthermore, the actual skull knight would make an excellent skin for the warchief!

Now if we were to go further, we could even rename the war hut and noble’s hut to " Telpochalli" and “Calmecac” respectively.

That will be all for now, feel free to comment, agree or not, give your own suggestions! :slight_smile:


You’re suggestions all seem really sensible and I particularly like the Warchief Skull Knight skin and Shorn One unit ideas.

I’m all for talk about re-working (pretty much all!) native American civs as hopefully the Devs might see that there’s a lot of discussion about them.

Another suggestion I’d like to add could be that Shorn Ones could have either a default of HC card activated boost (aura) to nearby units, representing how inspiring they were on the battlefield to other soldiers. In essence they could act as mini-warchiefs and their aura could actually address any late-game weakness. For example an Industrial Age shipment could be ‘Cuauhchicqueh Bravery’ which buffs (inspires!) nearby units to the Shorn Ones in having a bonus against artillery or to seiging.


How about Cuextecatl Warriors instead? Armed with Tepoztopilli spears.

Recently I made a mod to give Aztecs a variant of Warrior Priest, white robes.


-warrior: The warrior unit trainable at the community plaza should get a new skin. A generic, low rank type skin would be fine. See number 1 on the pic below.

The Otontin Slinger (Macehualtin) skin would be perfect for that, but lamentably, that model is not compatible with Warrior animations.

-Warrior priest:

But I don’t see them as Priests.

Skull Warriors are not exactly “massable”.
We need unique outlaws for Aztecs.

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This could do too! I gave the Cuextecatl name to arrow knight since he already has the skin, and these warriors along with higher ranks could fight with any weapon they wanted, therefore they weren’t restricted to the tepoztopilli. Any weapon could fit them :slight_smile:

Only the unupgraded one would actually fit. Sad that the model doesn’t work.

I understand. Everybody’s used to have them as shock infantry, so the transition is difficult. Maybe a color swap would do. Most coyote priests actually were a yellow/golden costume, just like in the Return Of The Gods mod for aom. Even changing their entire costume color depending on the player’s color wouldn’t be far fetched, since most of Aztec costumes actually had color variations.

It has been difficult for people to not be confused by light infantry/shock infantry and still there are people confused. Not needed to make it worse.

The first thing devs should rework for the Aztecs is replacing the unit voicelines from make-up language to Nahuatl


There are people who speak nahuatl today. But they don’t have troubles with the game’s language. It is not primordial for Aztecs. It would be welcome, of course, but I wouldn’t consider it a priority

Now that we are talking about this. It might be cool if the units had their names in nahuatl as well.
Something like these:

imo it adds personality to the civ.

Macehualtin is the old name. It means some like “commoneer”, “villager”. The Otontin, or Otomí , were a tribe dominated for Aztecs and called to war for them. A Nahua name for these warriors may be Papalotl Slingers, but Otomí/Otontin Slinger is enough.
Papalotl Slingers could be the Otontin Combat Card, and enable ROF Promotions.

The Otontin were a tribe AND a rank among the Aztec military, In fact, they were so impressed by their combat skilles that they copied their costume and made it into a class. And as I said earlier, the correct name for the unit would be papalotl slinger, because of his banner.

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To be consistent with other units it should be Butterfly slinger, as other animals are translated, just saying

Either case, otontin slinger isn’t accurate.

Why not just “Slinger”? If it’s generic enough it could be shared with other civs.

I think a really cool idea to reform Warrior units into Ceremonial/Elite units would be to follow the system Ottomans have where the Nizam reforms turns Janissaries card into Nizam fusilier card.
Also with the upcoming update Horse archers turn into Dragoons and Oprichniks turn into Counter Jaegers.

Would be cool to see infinite 12 Jaguar Prowler knights card into infinite 12 Shorn Ones

But why would we want it to become a generic unit when we already have a beautiful skin for it? Just renaming him would solve the issue. Moreover, aztec, haudenosaunee and lakota people had very different outfits.

This could be cool as some kind of “chichimeca rebellion” but I wouldn’t completely lock these units behind a card.

This is literally the Arrow Knight


If we’re talking about a proper rework…

  • We should have a captive system
    Basically unless you were a commoner, the whole military system whether noble, warrior priest or novice warrior was completely tied to enemy captured in battle. How many captives you aquired determined what rank you could aspire to.
    With that in mind I propose a system where you gain a Captive resource whilst your units are fighing. Any enemy units killed add 1 Captive to the counter (abstractly suggesting that your soldiers are capturing as well as killing the enemy). This ‘currency’ is used in an ability in the Noble Hut (Calmecacs) that allows you to convert commoner (War Camp - though rather ‘Telpochcalli’) units into one of the noble warriors (let’s do away with the Knight term as well!). The amount of captives could also bring down the resource cost of the noble units once you hit certain milestones (50 total captives, 80, etc). This all abstractly represents the increase in noble warriors after battles/wars due to the lowest ranks capturing the enemy and progressing up the tiers. It also adds to their flow of gameplay - in the late game, as long as they have been agressive, their unit costs become lower.

  • Pochteca House
    Combination of Native Embassy and Tavern. Brings in a Tavern trickle of coin and allows new Mercenaries such as Chichimec Archers exclusive to Aztec as well as the odd (‘Renegade’ prefix) Euro merc.
    Pochtecas were the merchant class and had the wealth to buy private armies and enlist allied tribes as essentially mercenaries.

  • Siege! - Aztecs didn’t siege much however they were noted to undermine walls, scale with ladders or use flaming missles (arrows/ ahtlatl. With this in mind I suggest:
    Porters - Commoner units who carry arms and supplies in battle. They would carry materials which could include the supplies to create large siege ladders.
    In game they could provide a rate of fire bonus to ranged units (i.e. supplying ammo) and able to build Siege Ladders. Siege Ladder units consist of two Commoners carrying a long ladder (‘limbered’). When you deploy it (‘unlimber’) they lean and steady the ladder. They can also use Digging Sticks (uictli) to undermine structures as a melee siege.

  • As mentioned by other posters - Temples! In place of community plazas, Temples were vital to Aztec settlements. So much so, that in times of war if you burn a rival state’s temple down you essentially won. In game this should be a hub for existing Community Plaza items, plus the production building for training Priests (as in non warrior sorts) and Warrior Priests including Coyote Warrior Priests (currenty Coyote units are a nonsense). Warrior Priests would function like the Noble Warriors though more expensive and gain more Captives at once compared to others (abstractly aquiring more captives for sacrifice).
    Though I guess we probably shouldn’t show sacrifice, it should be referenced - it’s not a stereotype after all. They literally sacrificed captives and criminals all the time, had no peace-loving Gods and instilled fear in neighboring tribes and nations (this is why the Spanish had so many Meso-American allies).


Even though I like the idea, I wouldn’t go this far, as this would drastically alter their gameplay and the whole civ would need to be rebalanced. Moreover, let’s not forget that every army had his rank system. If it was added for the aztecs, it should be added for every civ, which imo isn’t a good idea.

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