Suggestion of Aztec changes for better presentation of Aztec society and warrior culture


Otontin Slinger - The Otontin were an elite warrior society within Aztec culture that was named after the Otomi people. Its use as a generic name for a slinger doesn’t fit at all. The Otontin were a warrior society akin to Jaguar and Eagle societies, and were actually considered of higher status than the latter two. Also, the unit’s design, at higher upgrates, even shows them with a butterfly back banner, a standard warrior rank within Aztec society, not the back banner of an Otontin. The Otontin wore a xopilli, a ''clawback" banner that looked like a tear drop with green feathers at the top.

This unit should be renamed to something else, perhaps even something as simple as “Papalotl Slinger” to match their back banner.

Coyote Runner - This is an entirely fictional unit, but their design is based on known suits that featured a coyote head helmet. Could probably be left as is. Their back banner is most similar to a banner wore by priests though.

Puma Spearman - Their back banner is the quaxolotl (dog head) banner of the Tlacateccatle (general) of the Aztec army, and not a generic banner that multiple soldiers wore. The Tlacateccatle was always a Shorn One (see below), and he was second in command to the Tlatoani (king), alongside the Tlacochcalcatl (see below)

Knights - All these units need to drop the word Knight from their name, this is a colonialism, and is not considered a correct term to use when referring to Aztec warrior societies.

Arrow Knight - This unit needs its everything changed, even their description, as they do not use an atlatl, they use a bow. Also, their suit, hat, and nose ring indicates that they are a low ranked warrior with only 2 captives (. They are by no means ‘nobles’ in their current design. They could feasibly be redesigned into actual Otomies, with the tear drop banner and distinct hair style.

Skull Knight - The unit’s design is that of the Tlacochcalcatl (high general), one of the Tlatoani’s seconds in command and often his successor. They need a redesign. My suggestion is to redesign them after the Shorn Ones, the most elite Aztec warrior society, bands of shock troopers known for their shaved heads, and which always fought in pairs.


Rename the War Hut to the War School. In the Aztec empire young men of the lower classes went to a school called the Tēlpochcalli (literally “youth school”) in order to learn warfare, and seeing as the “War Hut” trains warriors of the lower classes, referring to it as a school would be more appropriate.

Rename the Nobles Hut to the Calmecac. The Calmcac was the upper class equivalent to the Tēlpochcalli, and trained noble youths in warfare, politics, and religion. This would be more fitting than say “Noble School”, because Calmecac doesn’t actually mean “school”, it means “group of buildings”, or “campus” if you will.


Hi all, I totally agree with you. made different posts about it too a long time ago.

They could be renamed to Macehualtin (as were originally), being a soldier type like “insurgente”.

Being a cheap weak unit, that represent the people from lower classes that joined the military, also to fill the “militia” type unit.

Tlacochcatl: as I said in another post, would be nice if we could send him as a hero unit from the capital

Tlacateccatl: same as the other as shipment. This would also represent the power and expansion that it’s empire had

Also I have to make notice that the term “Aztec” was used in period after the fall of the empire.

Thus Mexica is the actual term they used in that times (prehispánica times).

The Nahuatl words (aztecatl Nahuatl pronunciation: [asˈtekat͡ɬ], singular)[10] and (aztecah Nahuatl pronunciation: [asˈtekaʔ], plural)[10] mean “people from Aztlan”,[11] a mythical place of origin for several ethnic groups in central Mexico. The term was not used as an endonym by Aztecs themselves, but it is found in the different migration accounts of the Mexica, where it describes the different tribes who left Aztlan together. In one account of the journey from Aztlan, Huitzilopochtli, the tutelary deity of the Mexica tribe, tells his followers on the journey that “now, no longer is your name Azteca, you are now Mexitin [Mexica]”. from the wiki eng.

That said there’s a lot of other changes that could be brought, like having a proper “church” and “saloon” buildings for Native Americans and Asians.

Also, Aztecs in AoE2 and AoE3 don’t actually speak Nahuatl. It could be the time to fix that.


Macehualtin means farmer, I disagree with the idea that it’s a good name. It’d be a better name for the villager.

The word ‘Mexica’ isn’t a good fit here for the Civ’s name since the Mexica were only one of the constituent parts of the Aztec Empire, using the term Mexica would erase the Acolhua and Tepanec people, who were the other two major ethnic groups that made up the empire, as well as more minor groups like the Chalca and the Xochimilca. Conversely, Aztec IS a term that does encompass all the peoples of the empire, rather than just the Mexica, since they were all Nahua speaking peoples that traced their origins to the myth of Aztlan.

Yeah, I know, but I decided not to cover that here, since it’s been complained about already many times.


I’m not an expert on nahuatl, but “Macehualtin” is used for the equivalent of “Peasant”. Many were farmers yes, not all.

And expert in Nahuatl or native speaker could give perhaps a better term.

“Aztec” term since it’s creation was an inaccurate term to group several groups of Mesoamérica that shared culture, some other times to refer to the empore.

While there are 3 “Major” groups within the Triple Alliance, Mexicas were the rulers.

Tenochtitlan (Mexica) was it’s capital and it’s Huey Tlatoani was the emperor.

The name Aztec was coined by Alexander von Humboldt, who combined Aztlan (“place of the heron”), their mythic homeland, and tec(atl) “people of”.[2] The term “Aztec” often today refers exclusively to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan, Mēxihcah Tenochcah, a tribal designation referring only to the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, excluding those of Tlatelolco or Cōlhuah.[3][4][nb 1][nb 2] The term Aztec is often used very broadly to refer not only to the Mexica, but also to the Nahuatl-speaking peoples of the Valley of Mexico and neighboring regions.[2][5]

That said while I don’t like the term, it’s wide known.

Its the same as Americans, sooo its not the 1st term like that

Well, is not like Sioux and Iroquois, words that probably had the origin on insults.

It’s correct to call them noble instead of knights? like Jaguar noble prowler or Arrow noble?

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Whilst joining their ranks was technically open to commoners, as the barrier for entry was the number of captives taken in battle, any commoner who managed to joined the Eagle-Jaguar warrior society (they were actually one group, not separate orders) became a member of the noble class, whilst the Otomi society was only open to nobles, so yes, noble would be more fitting.

However “Jaguar Noble” and “Eagle Noble” don’t have a good ring to them, so personally I’d just stick to the tried and true terms of “Jaguar Warrior” and “Eagle Warrior” instead, whilst the Arrow Knight replacer could be known as an “Otomi Warrior”.

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Don’t want to sound bad, but as far as I know they were different “societies” eagle and jaguar, they did have a special relation-simbolism. Would you mind sharing your info sauce?

I have read that Eagle only admitted noble born (people descendants from rulling class, that would eventually serve otontin/shorn and then eventually become rulers), while Jaguar was open for commoner that become “nobles” by capturing people.

It does sounds better “warrior” yes.

There is quite a lot of conflicting or inconsistent information when it comes to Aztec warrior ranks, so either of us could be correct on that front.

I don’t have any primary source (though I’d love to get my hands on translations of the codexes), but some sites that I read either refer to them as a single order [1][2], or as two groups of the same collective [3]. My understanding is that they were essentially two versions of the same rank, rather than separate ranks, equivalent to different fraternities of the same school, existing as two sides of the same coin.

I have seen this too, but the only source I could find was the Spanish wikipedia article for Jaguar Warriors, and the citation didn’t actually lead to a source that said this, while the Spanish wikipedia article for Eagle Warriors outright contradicted it by saying that joining the Eagle Warriors was open to commoners. The only other place I found that says this is the Age of Empires 2 wiki. xD

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Thanks, it’s a shame that after all times time still very few things are known. Yes I have read that they had some type of relationship: Eagle representing the sun and Jaguar the Moon.

If I remember correctly, found a site(s) with the codex, don’t remember which, will search for them again and if it’s possible share the link.

Returning to the main topic, I’d like to highlight that current in-game models for Eagle and Jaguar (as well their icons) are inconsistent.

Helmets were made of carved wood (painted and adorned, with jaw) not a "single piece over the head as in-game, they used a full suit representing their “order” and rank, not actual “furs” as Jaguar is depicted in game.

I think it’s good for early units to not have the full suit but Imperial/veteran should have full suit.


Note: Jaguar concept art shows this wood carved full helmet and full suit.

Pd: also villagers use “atlatl” (javelin thrower) same as eagles, when it was a weapon restricted to nobles, and not blow guns.

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Pretty sure all the Native villagers just throw spears. They aren’t using an atlatl, they’re literally just chucking spears at the enemy.

Which isn’t accurate for any of the Native civs, they should all be using bows or blow guns.


blowguns were so widespread?

The Aztec (and also Inca) community plaza should be replaced with a temple building, with the same functions.


I’ve heard some information saying that commoners which joined the order used real animal pelts, while noble born members had more expensive tlahuiztli suits.

Personally I didn’t find changing the unit graphics as important of a change as everything else, since changing unit graphics requires much more time and work than changing names, and my suggestion already required the complete change of 2 units.

The idea that early units should wear pelts and more upgraded units should wear cotton suits and wooden helmets does sound great though. If they can find the time for it, they should definitely do it.

I agree with Ana, I think they’re just throwing spears by hand, not using an atlatl. But I don’t agree that it’s not accurate for any of the civs, since as far as I know the Aztecs did use hand thrown darts to hunt.

I think she meant that none of them should use throwing spears, and that some should use bows and others use blow guns. But that’s my interpretation.

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For the temple, they could only retexturize the Aztec temple present in the campaigns, so that it did not look like a ruin, as was done in the Improvement Mod, of the original version of AOE 3. A double temple by Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc could also be added. There are illustrations in codices that show that these double temples existed in other cities in the empire, and not only in Tenochtitlan. This would make the Aztecs more competitive and give the game much more beauty, make the Aztec cities more like Aztec cities.Another thing. Instead of producing priests and Skull Knights, it could produce priests and Cuachics (which we could hardly call an Aztec berserker). A Cuachic could be a single unit that would inspire the surrounding units, increasing the attack, for example (adding to the campfire dance). It could increase the attack of some units only, like those of the Nobles’ Hut, or only of the units of the war hut. Temples were used as platforms to launch projectiles when surrounded and cities were conquered when the temple was burned, so it would be interesting for him to have an attack. Give domesticated turkeys to the Aztecs! They had no cows or llamas! There are already wild turkeys in the game! Anybody, make a flock of wild turkeys appear, instead of cows. For the Aztecs, I think a tall temple is really missing. We have the nobles ‘hut, with that horrible name, which is a tiny temple, the nobles’ hut, which represents a Quetzacoatl-Ehecatl temple, but the great Aztec pyramidal temples are not represented. I even understand that there is no palace. Towncenter fulfills this role of perhaps home to the ruler of a small Aztec colony, but every city had a main temple, a unique building, dedicated to a tutelary deity. Could it be an ordinary Quetzacoalt temple? From Tlaloc? Tonantzin? I found it interesting that it produces Skull knights and priests, but I could have a new unit, like a Cuachic (something like Aztec berserker), that would inspire a group of units in battle. The Aztecs had beautiful and gigantic palaces, at least they could be added in the campaign scenario editor, as well as Inca palaces or temples.

I think instead of community plaza aztecs should build a temple and you just garrison the villagers and priests there. Native civs don’t have their religious building like other civs.

At least the aztec units resemble actual aztec warriors… the incas in the other hand lol

I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that the Aztecs need to be able to build temples in this game. There is no reason to add Aztec temples to this game other than to satisfy a pop culture trope. The pyramids should stay in the Home City, not be on the battlefield.

Also, having both Cuachicqueh and Skull Knights would be redundant, as the Skull Knight is already the game’s “Aztec berserker”, which is why I suggested replacing one with the other.

I do agree that they should have domestic turkeys, but if we want to be realistic I would actually suggest that they have their sheep replaced with meat dogs, while the cows should be replaced with turkeys. Though that might be too ‘gruesome’ for the audience.


There is, SPECIALLY the aztecs and their spirituality around warfare and how important was for them. At least a smaller shrine where they performed offerings to the Gods for fortune in the battle. Not all aztec shrines were like the Templo Mayor, that’s why it’s called like that, most of them were small shrines with images with floral offerings and incense, kinda like the indian sacred fields.

If italians can build literal basilicas in the middle of the battlefield instead of small chapels which would make more sense, why not the aztecs?

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The communal squares represent well the spaces for discussion that existed in the Inca and Mexica cities. Even today, in Peru, you can see these squares, in Cusco it’s huge, it was called Aucaypata, but today it’s called Plaza de Armas. There women are weaving, and the citizens discussing or working, in the same way as in the animation of the communal square, even, sometimes groups of llamas still pass in these places, carrying objects, being guided to the countryside. In the Aztec empire, the discussion of politics was so important in the common areas, that the “Aztec emperor” was called Tlatoani, something like “the one who speaks beautifully”. If they are going to replace the common square of the Incas, it shouldn’t be with a temple, but with an Acllahuasi, a place where the Acllas (represented in the game as priestesses) weave and make corn beer and religious services for the empire. Then it could replace the communal square, although I think that the interesting thing would be to have such a structure sent from the metropolis, as if it were a factory, and that functioned as a factory that produced much less resources than a European one, or as a bank, which generate gold by itself. Now, Inca and Aztec palaces and temples could be added, even if any of these constructions went to the scenario editor, but it would be interesting to see one of them inside the game, having specific functions. The Aztecs could have the Aztec schools, the Calmecacs, and Telpuchcallis, in addition to an Aztec palace and temple. The Incas could have Acllahuasis, maybe the schools that were only for the nobles, the Yachayhuasis, a temple of the sun and an Inca palace, but maybe a lot should be worked on to add so many changes and it’s not worth it for the developers. The Inca and Aztec farms also needed other models, perhaps those of the Aztecs could, in the new model, be built by boats in the water, like chinampas, replacing the side construction to store corn with a small Aztec wattle-and-daub house with a roof. of straw or agave, and a cylindrical Aztec corn silo covered with agave or straw. The Inca plantation could have a warehouse in the form of a rounded construction, like that of the market, and be arranged in two andenes, using stone partitions, not wood. Inca villagers needed to be unique too, like the Aztecs. But there are many changes. A temple for the Aztecs would help a lot.

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