Tarascans: (Purépecha Empire) In Concept and Practice


This is a refinement of my Tarascan civ design as introduced in my exploratory concepts/testing thread.

Note that in this ideation, the Xolotl warrior has the same HP, Attack, and Armor as a Cavalier, and moves slightly faster (1.4 base speed).

Defensive Ranged Unit Civilization:

-Fish and fish traps last 40% longer.
-Defensive buildings and dropsites are larger.
-Farms built around mills provide 12 gold once constructed.
-All ranged units have faster projectiles, and lower frame delay.
-Archery Range units +1 Melee Armor per Age.

Frame Delay and Projectile Speed

Frame delay is 8/8/12 for Archer line, 12/10 for Skirm line, 26/16 for Scorpions (already 0 for mangonels and ships), Projectile speed +15/25/35% for Archery Range units and ships, and +15/45% for Siege.).

Team Bonus: Repairers work 15% faster.

Unique Technologies:

-Yácatas (350 S 350 G): Defensive buildings fire scorpion bolts. Archers gain +2 vs. Rams and Trebuchets.

-Castilian Pact (600 G). Enables several gunpowder and cavalry technologies, and instantly researches cavalry armor technologies.

(Enables BBT and ECG Techs, Bloodlines and Husbandry. Enables Stables, Cannon Galleons, Bombard Cannons, and Xolotl Warriors).

Unique Units:


Tiamu Lancer : Armored Spearman that is trained from the Barracks or Castle. Immune to bonus damage.

Tiamu Lancer Stats

HP:60 Speed: 1.05 Attack: 10 Armor: 2/2 Bonus: +2 Vs Eagles, +4 Vs Buildings
40 F 35 G
Elite Tiamu Lancer: (Upgrade 600 F 400 G)
HP: 75 Speed: 1.05 Attack: 12 Armor: 3/3 Bonus: +2 Vs Eagles, +6 Vs Buildings

Quangariecha: Fast infantry with bonus against Eagles and Cavalry. Available at Castle in Imperial Age.

Quangariecha Stats

HP:75 Speed: 1.3 Attack: 9 Armor: 1/0 Bonus: +6 Vs Eagles, +12 vs Cavalry
50 F 40 G
Elite: Upgrade Cost 900 F 600 G
HP:85 Speed: 1.375 Attack: 11 Armor: 2/0 Bonus: +9 Vs Eagles, +18 vs Cavalry
50 F 40 G

Missing Techs: Gunpowder and Cavalry related units/techs, Squires, Supplies, Arson, Elite Eagle Warrior, Two-Handed Swordsman, Champion, Halberdier, Siege Ram, Onager, Siege Onager, Heavy Demo, Fast Fire Ship, Heated Shot, Sappers, Atonement, Sanctity, Heresy, Stone Shaft Mining, Guilds, Two Man Saw.

Leader Names:
-Tangáxuan I
-Tangáxuan II

Wonder: Yácatas of Tzintzuntzan

Campaign: The Eagles of Pátzcuaro: Fight with the young Tariácuri to avenge his father’s murder and forge the Tarascan Empire through conquest and diplomacy.

Tarascans Description

The Tarascans were known especially as fishermen and archers, and the most advanced metalworkers of Mesoamerica (thought by some to have been influenced by South American technology). While never formally allied with the Spanish, upon encountering them they chose not to fight, which allowed their king to maintain a large degree of power for several years, even when nominally under Spanish rulership. Their Castilian Pact technology is a reflection of this, and they are the only new world civ that can train gunpowder units.

The Tarascans are unusual for having no Elite Eagle Warrior upgrade, and generally bad infantry outside of their unique units. This makes their archer play predictable, but not easy to stop, since their archers are easier to micro, and it is harder to avoid shots from their archers and siege units. In Imperial Age, their limited selection of viable units is expanded by immediate access to the Quangariecha, and the availability of gunpowder and cavalry after researching Castilian Pact.


Isn’t that kind of a folwark variant? At least in terms of size.

This one feels like a lot of bonuses crammed into one. Personally, I’d rather give the melee armor to the Italians, and then split this kind of bonus up. I think just faster projectiles on siege is a strong thing, it’s ok for archers, and frame delay for both would have to be a separate thing. I also think it would be written differently to match the AoE2 bonus style, but not sure how.

This is quite an interesting idea, I like the concept of expanding the tech tree. I do feel like the stable won’t be used though, even if you can train Xolotls. I would also change the cost, probably just add in 200 food or something as well, just so it uses both resources, but it’s up to you.

What’s the main castle UU? If one is trained at the barracks, and the other not until imp, something is wrong here, presumably in my interpretation or how you wrote it. Also, the game has been moving away from needing a castle to train a UU elsewhere (such as the unique warships), so I’m not a fan of bringing this back.

Sure, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. The larger size isn’t essential, but the standard mill vs farm size mismatch is kind of annoying, so I figured I’d change it here since I had a couple mill-centered bonuses. It also makes intuitive sense to me that a stronger building that could fit more units would be larger.

I’ve talked about this at length in the larger thread, but it’s the micro-bonus principle. None of these would be very good by themselves; combined, they have synergy and make for a decent bonus. Maybe I could organize this as 2 bonuses, but I find it efficient to include things that all affect the same units together.

Depending on the amount, sure. In castle age it’s fairly minor at 15%, and the higher imp value will only be used for Scorps since they don’t even get Onagers.

By all means give whatever you want to the Italians in your ideations. For purposes of my threads, I’m not considering hypothetical buffs to existing civs, since that just ties up bonuses needlessly that could be put to good use here.

Hard to say. I tried to give this civ lots of options in Imp, so all of them don’t have to be used in every game, but FU cavalier (plus speed) is a decent option for any civ, and Tarascans lack of Eagle Warrior leaves them without a good raiding unit. I think Xolotls would be a good go-to unit in teamgames, since aside from them and the UUs, Tarascans don’t have any kind of power unit. If need be, the stats could be improved slightly to make it a more attractive option. As for the cost of the tech, I like it all being gold, both for variety, limiting sunk costs in a tech that doesn’t have much immediate payoff, as well as a nod to the historical Tarascans being left alone for a little while as long as they paid a tribute in gold.

Maybe I wasn’t super clear about this, but it works like Huskarls after the Anarchy tech - you can train them either from the Castle or from the Barracks. Clarified it in the OP.

Short question: How do you make these expandable arrows?

I miss a documentation how to format in this forum. Or even better, an expandable toolbar where all the tools are included.

Settings button, and then hide details.

Click the settings button

And then hide details option


I dont think this is needed, would consider just putting all the garrison bonus togheter honestly

I dont think the built around mill part is necessary either

I dont really like how this goes with mangonels and also

I would just removebthe faster projectiles and lower frame delay and make the bonus just affect archers

Im fine with the scorpion bolts but I dont really like the extra range

Seems good

Seems strong but its quire expensive. Prob a bit underwhelming

This one seems a bit meh by imp

The tech tree’s missing unit lineup is terrifying.
Of note: no Squires, Supplies or Arson feels harsh without having Goth compensation, but no Eagle Warrior upgrade or Halb? A bonus for siege projectiles but no Onager just feels painful.

Make no mistake I’m all in favor of a civ or two with Eagles without elites but usually you need a lot of compensation.

Here’s the thing, this is the grand totality of your siege bonuses:

  • Increased Frame Delay
  • Extra melee armor.
  • Faster Projectiles
  • Ballistics
  • Thumb Ring attack speed bonus.

None of these on their own are small. Extra melee armor is enough to be Teutonic UT. Increased attack speed defines Celts well. So having slightly worse versions of those is all but okay. +1 armor may not seem like much, but for Rams, this is beyond useful.

Honestly Archers shredding Rams is a bonus worth a UT all on its own. That’s very scary to kill those units 3x as fast.

I get the idea of locking access to a real army beyond archers behind a tech, but by the time you get the Stables, you won’t use it. Honestly, if they could just use these techs anyway and you explained and justified it enough, especially since this civ before having this tech has next to no real power unit without Eagle Warrior, or Champ, or Halb. Arbs are nice, as is siege, but this civ looks like it would struggle vs Huskarl and Ghulam spam harder than Mayans but doesn’t have quite the eco to beat those civs to the punch.

Honestly, give them a few more Barracks units… wait I take it back. Taimu eems a bit awkward however and possibly a bit bustesd. 3/4 base armor? So it maxes at 6/8 armor and moves at 1.05 speed? Even without Squires, it moves quite fast and laughs at missiles a bit too well. If it didn’t have great mixed armor, this unit would be fairly average. Other than that and Arbs and Scorpion this civ has a very hard weakness to Onager harder than most civs who can train at the very least some sort of cavalry or very fast running unit.

The Quang’s stats don’t look worth the 45g cost. I’d rather have Halberds instead for their cost effective cav slaying powers instead, personally and just remove the unit altogether.

Solid feedback again,

It’s a constraint of the Editor. I agree it’s not essential in theory, but I can only change this if I make a datamod, which I am considering, but not yet committed to.

Just giving the archers armor would be fine but pretty boring IMO and wouldn’t really be enough of a reason to pick this as an archer civ. Vietnamese have a similar effect via their HP bonus (weaker vs melee stronger vs ranged), but they also have a strong archer UU and Imp Skirm, and a more open tech tree, which gives people reason to pick them in spite of a lackluster archer bonus.

I may lower the gold cost but other than that I think its fine.

On the one hand, I don’t really need it to (mangos already have 0 Frame Delay), on the other hand, it seems weird to make mangos an exception (to the bonus affecting Siege units and/or ranged units) given the small effect size and lack of Onager.

Yeah, I overnerfed it in refinement. Will add back some of its base and bonus damage.

Its true; on the other hand, barracks techs (besides Eagle and Halb) are arguably fairly niche. Most archer civs don’t worry about making longswords or researching Supplies, even if they get them, or Arson if they didn’t get it as part of M@A Feudal aggression.

What I mean is that none of these by themselves would be a good reason to pick this civ for archers or siege (melee armor perhaps comes closest, but even that doesn’t directly help them perform their role). Something like lower frame delay is nice to help with micro, but it’s incredibly weak as a standalone bonus (especially if you don’t go from 30-something to 0, which I haven’t). Consider that Britons or Ethiopians’ archer bonuses also make them easier to micro, but provide a lot of utility beyond that. The same can be said of faster projectiles. That said, I don’t need these to be siege bonuses, so much as ranged unit bonuses, so I think I will change it to that.

It’s strong of course, but I think its justified given their weaknesses, and as you pointed out, the missing units that would make the civ far too weak without significant compensatory bonuses. Other civs have Cav or Eagles vs siege. All Tarascans can make that isn’t terrible against rams before this tech is their UU and mangos.

I like the principle of the tech, but it may need to be tweaked to be more viable beyond TGs. I also don’t want to fully give the effects for free because then I’d have to give them another Imp UT that I don’t think they’d need. Possible buffs would be to make the tech even cheaper 500G, or 400 is the lowest I would go, and researched very quickly. Actually, what I think would be best is to maintain the current price, but have the tech also research all of the cavalry armor upgrades, rather than just making them available. That way the tech would have value beyond “pay to access,” and they wouldn’t have to play catch up with upgrades and make a large time/res investment before Xolotls would be viable.

I’m not quite sure what I think about this unit’s stats without further testing. I like the idea of them having a non-eagle infantry with decent pierce, and this unit’s flexibility can help them survive the awkward midgame. I’m leaning towards removing 1 pierce armor.

By the time most civs can get massed Onagers, they should have Quangariechas and/or Xolotls, especially since I’m now giving the cav armor with the Imp UT.

Yeah, I overnerfed it from my initial idea of it. I designed this unit as sort of a Meso camel equivalent: unimpressive base stats, but (nearly) able to chase down and defeat cavalry and Eagles. Even so it needs some restorative justice.

Here are some changes I’m making:
-Ballistics no longer has any special application to other units.
-Projectile speed buff, lowered frame delay, and thumb ring bonus applies to all ranged units (adds ships).
-Added melee armor is only for Archers and Skirmishers.
-Castilian Pact now researches all the cavalry armor upgrades instantly.
-Quangariecha speed and attack buffed.
-Lowered gold cost and pierce armor of Tiamu Lancer

Updated in the OP

weaker version of Mayans.

Copied from the Ethiopians.

3 different bonuses for archers is too much.

Stronger version of the burgundians.

xolotl warrior isnt affected by cavalry upgrades and it’s quite weak.

Cool, now do Ethiopians gold bonus.

No. Thumb ring already affects archers. This bonus is only about applying it to ranged units that it doesn’t normally apply to.

The first one isn’t a bonus for archers. I’ve stated enough times that I care about the result, not strictly the number of bonuses, and I’m nowhere near convinced that this is too strong.

No. Tarascans get it frontloaded and before the tech, but the Burgundian tech provides more gold over the life of the farm. (Burgundians with the tech get 15 gold/farm after Heavy Plow, 22 after Crop Rotation). Burgundians also aren’t limited with placement around a mill to get the bonus.

I’m not sure why people assert things that can be proven wrong in 2 minutes. Try it yourself in the Editor, and then come back and tell me blacksmith upgrades don’t apply.

Not at all. Fishing boats are not effected by the longer lasting resources.

Here’s the problem: time and resources to get started. Most civs can get a respectable force of Cavaliers in Imp because they had their Stables for 3 ages, have 2 ages worth of smithing to back it up as well as Blood Lines and Husbandry. If you want to even get started you need to first spend 650s, then spend 600g worth of research, and then get your cavalry armor techs going and get your stables built and researching and training like mad. In Imperial you are literally denied the ability to preplan armor, HO and move-speed research. This actually hurts the viability of going Cavalry.

On the other hand even with the more balanced stats the Lancers are like a better Champion but not because they are stronger (they are) but because they require next to no tech to get going. To make Champions for most civs you need to get all the militia line upgrades which aren’t cheap or fast to research.

Sure they are. Archers with extra armor and siege shred (I’d just make it +2 vs all siege really) is better than most civs that go Xbow. It helps vs both cav AND siege, 2 of the best archer counters. Most archer civs cant laugh at their counters as directly! Better than Aztec, Japanese, Vikings, Chinese.

Teutons have Siege armor as a tech and its useful. So +3 siege armor without needing castle is good… if only they had better siege workshop.

I might be the only person who hates UTs that lock common techs and units. I get the history, but it feels like a waste of a UT, and just gatekeeps, and worse, slows your ability to tech into said new unit.

In the post you quoted I said I’m giving them the cavalry armor upgrades (instantly) when the Imp UT is researched. If that isn’t enough I could throw in bloodlines or husbandry, but I’m not sure it’s necessary without further testing. It’s even possible that the tech is underpriced.

Your earlier point about why Xolotls may not be viable includes the cost of the Castle and the UT, but you’re not factoring it in here when more res are needed to give the Archers anti-ram bonus (Costs a Castle + 800 res). Before the UT, Archers are easier to micro and die somewhat less to knights/eagles, which is decent, but my point was that just bonus melee armor, or just lower frame delay + faster arrows as the only archer bonuses wouldn’t be a great reason to pick this civ over Britons, Ethiopians, Mayans, even Vietnamese (The other civs you mentioned, while it’s true they often play into archers, are more known for their flexibility or eco than as Archer civs. Tarascans don’t have nearly that same flexibility early on, so they’d better have damn good archers.) I also don’t think I should expand the UT to bonus against all siege: their weakness to mangonel-line is important, and increased microability already helps them vs. mangos when in competent hands.

The added siege armor was removed a few posts ago.

This is why I changed it to instantly grant all the cavalry armor upgrades:

So yes, the UT does gatekeep some units (kind of like how Chemistry gatekeeps gunpowder access for most civs), but it also provides 1700 res worth of cavalry armor + the Cavalier upgrade for only 600 gold. So the value is actually extremely good, to say nothing of the unlocks. I also think in general, giving a Meso civ access to BBC and Cannon Galleon, Cavaliers (and eventually BBTs and ECGs) is dramatic enough to be worth paying for, rather than granted freely upon reaching Imp (or researching chemistry or whatever). It takes a good amount of time/res to get there, but in mid-late Imp, this is probably the strongest American civ by a healthy margin, especially in TGs or where gold access is high.

A few changes:

-Removed the 2nd mill bonus (Mills larger (3x3), 2X HP, can garrison 10 villagers.)
and replaced it with a civ bonus of defensive buildings & dropsites having larger foundations.

-Also removed the bonus of all ranged units being affected by thumb ring, as I don’t think its necessary for them.
-Changed farm bonus to 12 gold.
-Gave Eagle Warrior upgrade.
-Removed +1 Range from Yácatas tech.

-Added leader names, Campaign, and Wonder.

-Edited out the part about including the map, since there’s really no point until they fix the editor.
Once they do, this will be the first Campaign I work on.

Fortunately the thread isn’t too old to edit, so I’ve updated the original post. Working on a visual tech tree currently.

-Created a Castle Age (non-Elite) version of the Quangariecha, reduced food cost by 5
-Removed Heated Shot
-Added Visual Tech Tree


Responding to @TommoChocolate’s critique here:

Thanks for the feedback :+1:
Regarding the larger buildings, it is a bit of a tradeoff as it allows all defensive buildings to cover more area with their arrows without explicitly giving them more range (basically +0.5 range). There’s the downside that you pointed out about the potential for more units to surround the buildings, but the pass-through damage provided by the Yácatas tech also allows them to damage more attackers at a time.

Regarding Castillian Pact, as it currently stands it provides an enormous amount of value (3 Cav armor techs + Equivalent of Cavalier upgrade + unlocks gunpowder units/techs without Chemistry) at the cost of not being able to build Stables/train cav prior to its research. So I’m a little wary of buffing it further, but at most I would consider throwing in Husbandry for free along with the armor techs, or making Stables available to the civ in Imp (but unable to train anything before the UT). I also intend for it to have a fast research time ~30s, so there’s potential to get the tech very early in Imp, and have access to a cavalier type unit as soon as you can get a few stables down. So it’s definitely subject to tweaks based on testing, but that’s the idea for now.

Also, stay tuned, as I’ve started to work on the first Scenario of a Tariácuri Campaign that will be playable with this civ. Hopefully the devs fix scenarios in the next week or two so that it works upon release. :crossed_fingers:

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Was the visual tech tree made ingame, or using outside stuff?

Screenshots and this little thing called MS Paint.

Ah, I was hoping you had an easy way to alter the ingame tech tree for modding purposes, which is what I need.