Just some ideas that I came up with and I wrote for entertainment because I am a very fan of these cultures, I would like some of this to reach the final game but also to see what the developers could surprise us with.
As a Mexican the idea of a Mesoamerican DLC is exiting but ¿What is the possible content? I have some ideas and include the Incas in that. I’m not going to call the Incas meso, it seems a bit reductionist to me and I know that in AoE 2 it made sense because it was based on meso civilizations, but in AoE 4 it’s not necessary. Incas are their own thing.
THE SHARED ELEMENTS (For Meso)
Temples With Altars Of Sacrifice: In replace of monastery, This building allows the recruitment of the normal priests and war priests, a melee unit that fights best near temples, priests, and relics but worse in the absence of these elements. The war priest also can be the replace of the common monk and the change could be the combat skills.
The altar can be used to sacrifice the enemy units. The units of this civilization can have a “capture instance”, which makes them have less damage to melee but the units that capture take them to the nearest altar to sacrifice and thus provide a global buff for a short period of time (seconds) or a longer one but in a small area.
Posible Buffs: Buildings work faster, villagers work faster, units and technologies cost less, the villagers build faster, units gain attack, etc.
Bad Navy: The Mesoamerican cultures never build big ships so… yeah, is their biggest weakness.
Shared Units: The common weapons in prehispanic America demands some roster changes for this civs even if it is only aesthetic.
Spearman: The Nahua peoples used a spear or halberd called a tepoztopilli which had several obsidian edges on the tip and were used with two hands.
Slinger: The sling was a common and cheap weapon and allows the possibility of use a shield.
Man-At-Arms: Another common and emblematic weapon was the macahuitl, a wooden sword with obsidian edges but I prefer the axe for this unit, Why? For variety, the macahuitl was so popular and too many units use that.
Javelin Thrower: Like the macuahuitl, the Atlatl or propellant was a universal weapon but to improve the javelin throw, it was widely used for its effectiveness.
Archer: Not too much to say, is a common unit.
The Runner Or Shock Infantry: Like AoE 3, this tag is for units that fulfill the role of the cavalry without being it, they are fast but not as fast as the units with which they compete. I don’t put any common unit because every variant can be unique.
THE MEXICA EMPIRE
A militarist and semi-theocratic culture, the Aztec warriors must be the They must be the most feared in melee of all Mesoamericans.
Chinampa: A farm but can be build over the water surface and obtains a production bonus for this. The chinampa was a pillar of Aztec economy so at least have to be a technology for production upgrade.
Umbrella Shield: A shield to protect warriors whose can´t handle a shield because they use two handed weapons. Gives a bonus armor against projectiles in some units.
Flowery Wars: The Mexica thought that the heart was the flower of life and it was what they offered in sacrifices. They waged wars to “harvest flowers” and this always kept them with veteran soldiers. Maybe a plus attack upgrade for melee units.
Chimalli: Aztec archers was trained to use the chimalli shield so is a defensive buff.
Temazcal: Units in buildings heal faster.
Tlatelolco Market: One of the biggest markets of their time merchants from all the nearby civilizations. It can serve to improve the production of nearby resources, generate gold over time and / or have a better exchange rate than the normal market.
Tzompantli: A big altar of skulls in the honor of the gods and it was made with the skulls of many sacrificed. The nearby enemy units have less attack.
Telpochcalli: A school for macehual (not noble) children. This building trains common military units 100% faster.
Calmécac: A school for noble children. This building trains unique military units 100% faster.
Cuicacalco: School dedicated to singing and musical development. The nearby buildings research faster, can train priests and / or heal nearby units.
Combat Stone: A circular altar for high ranking prisoners to fight to the death with a feathered macahuitl instead of obsidian. Inspire nearby units.
Coyote Runner (Coyotl): Light infantry that dresses in a coyote suit and belongs to its own military order. Based on the version of AoE 3 it is shock infantry, perhaps with a stealth ability.
Jaguar Warrior (Ocelopilli): Heavy infantry that dress a Jaguar armor and belongs to its own military order. This is the best melee unit of the Aztec roster, equipped with the macahuitl and shield.
Cuachic: The Shorn Ones was a military order and the most feared warriors of the Aztecs for their oath to fight to death, trained in the use of all weapons. To vary a little, I would put one of the variants of the two-handed macahuitl so that they have better attack and worse defense.
Eagle Warrior: Trained in the use of all weapons, the eagle warriors were an elite order of the Aztec empire. Based on the version of AoE 3 it is ranged shock infantry with atatl and javelins.
I leave out units like the Papalotl, but there is a reason and it is that many are only ranks that were awarded according to the number of prisoners captured in a floral war, so their role would be redundant unless they included an experience mechanic with which unit improves upon another simply by fighting.
Wonder: The Major Temple. The twin temples crown the pyramidal base reflect the ancient and persistent cosmological vision of a series of coinciding oppositions, including: sky / earth, drought / rain, summer solstice / winter solstice, and the gods cults of Tláloc / Coatlicue.
THE MAYAN KINGDOMS
The Mayans, the intellectual cusp of Mesoamerica, those who possessed the most advanced writing and multiple knowledge that they bequeathed to their successors.
Advanced Mathematics: All building, research and training times are reduced.
Mayan Astronomy: More line of sight in buildings and this can watch stealth units.
Sacred Cenotes: The villagers in farms work faster if a temple is nearby.
Pitz Field: The ball game of the Mesoamericans is a ritualistic sport; the ball represents the sun and this must be in movement or die. The nearby units move faster and the nearby buildings work faster.
Tulum Lighthouse Temple: This pyramid in Tulum was a lighthouse that uses the evening light and torches at night in specific windows to highlight. It is a dock that is defended with several arrows and creates faster boats.
Observatory Of Palenque: Most of the Mayan temples also was astronomical observatories, Palenque had an important tower for this purpose. Research technologies faster and cheaper.
Palace Of Copan: Palace in which the members of an old dynasty lived and have their sarcophagi. A better town center.
Temple Of The Warriors: Consecrated to Chac Mool, “The Great Red Jaguar” have many pillars inspired in warriors. This is a stronger version of a castle.
Temple Of Calakmul: Calakmul was an important empire that fought a lot for control of the region. A fortification with ranged attack and an aura of defense for nearby walls and buildings.
Hul’che Javelin: Mayans have their own version of Atlatl called Hul’chen this javelin throwers were feared for their precision. This can be a simple upgrade for the Javelin Thrower or include poison, the poisoned weapons were common in Mesoamerica and the Mayans had poison dart frogs on hand in many regions.
Holcan Spearmen: The warriors were a separated social class called Holcan, respected and feared, they had rites of their own for their rank. Not much to say except that they commonly wore a shield and not the tepoztopilli.
Holcattes: They distinguished themselves from the rest of the troop because they painted their faces and bodies in black and they considered themselves especially brave. Maybe a good melee shock infantry better than others.
I did not find much information about Mayan archers that will be shown as something remarkable, at least not more than those of other civilizations in the area, but they were popular in AoE 2 so we still see them.
TARASCAN / PUREPECHA EMPIRE
The Purépecha empire was the other most important power in Mesoamerica in the post-classic period, the power of this nation grew when the Mexica displaced other peoples in their campaigns because they allied with them.
Yácatas: The Yácatas were circular or conical bases to place other structures on top and could be placed next to walls in a row. Jacatas can be attached to walls or towers to give them more hit points.
Purepecha Coper: The Tarascans had begun developing metal tools and weapons when most still used obsidian and bone. More attack for all units.
Fishing Power: One of the principal economic activities for this empire was the fishing. Iincrease the fishing rate.
Quangariecha: The brave man, the elite of Tarascan’s and masters in all weapons, captains and knigths of Tzintzuntzan. Much of the Purepecha troop is represented with equipment for distance and melee, so it is not unreasonable that these warriors fight with bow and mace with shield.
Mace Man Runner: The mace in multiple variants was an emblematic weapon for the Tarascans. Melee shock infantry, I guess.
Archer – Spearman: Many representations of the Tarascan soldiers show soldiers with a mixed equipment, the constant is the use of the bow. In fact, it is possible that most of the Tarascan soldiers carried a bow in addition to other weapons so that even another troop could carry a projectile weapon.
Whel… I don’t know to much about their emblematic buildings. They have some well-known archaeological sites in Mexico, but I don’t know of a particularly remarkable building.
Maybe the biggest empire in America before the arrive of Europeans. This nation was consolidated after a series of conquests in which it was crowned as the hegemonic civilization of the Andes. AoE 3 introduced some ideas that I think can be easily translated and some cannot.
Kancha House: Residential spaces where families can do more than just live in them. In year 3 they supported more population, generated food, occupied more space, were more expensive and more resistant
Inca Chasquis Messengers: The empire had an efficient road system for trained emissaries and traders. Speed upgrade for the merchants.
Stronghold: If this civilization is known for something, it is for its expertise in building stone structures even in areas where it was difficult to build. This building would be a strong defensive structure and capable of training units.
Pukaras: Fortifications over buildings. An upgrade for towers or missile infantry over walls and inside buildings.
Terrace Crops: Upgrade for normal crops or a landmark (see that section).
Well, apparently there are documents and some evidence that Wiracocha made expeditions to several islands, even reaching Easter Island. Therefore, they built better ships than those of other Americans, so at least they must have a better navy than them.
Well, here I will take a lot of material from AoE 3, but it is a good representation of the Inca armies. But I’ll still give a bit of historical context.
Kamayuk: This name corresponds to the army officers, who used long spears as a sign of power. Well, apparently some Inca units were fighting in phalanx so a spearman with extended range or a single formation is a good option.
Jungle Archers: The army was made up of soldiers of many ethnic groups and they fought according to the specialties of their people, in the case of the natives of the high jungle and the Antisuyo, they were known for being good archers and having access to poison.
Bolas Thrower: Boleadoras were a common weapon in the Andes and also a very effective one against the cavalry.
Chimu Runner: The Chimú were once an empire which was conquered by the Incas, their irfebres and metallurgists brought to Cuzco and their soldiers reassigned to new units. Based on AoE 3, a shock infantry powerful for its use of metal weapons.
The Incas had many types of troops, including halberdiers, soldiers with maces, axes, stools, etc. He wanted to put only the most representative (I guess).
Unfortunately I still know very little about the history of South America, but I can make some contribution.
Terrace Crops: The Andes, being a mountainous site, forced its inhabitants to improvise, these crops were divided into several terraces that took great advantage of the rain. They would be a better growing area than the normal ones and maybe they would create lamas.
Coricancha: The golden temple, was the most important temple in Cuzco and have statues for many gods. This structure heals nearby units and train priests.