The Mexica Empire Speculation

The Mexicas (better known as Aztecs) were a particularly warlike Nahua people, however they had more things to admire than just that.

Their society was very communitarian, people were grouped in Calpulli that resembled clans or noble houses, but could be formed by sharing the same profession as a guild or by having a common tribal god. After the reforms of Tlacaelel everyone could access the nobility for their merits (usually military) and being born the son of a nobleman did not necessarily make you a noble, also with this they began to consider themselves the chosen ones of the sun and war. Education was public and compulsory, the children of commoners were boarded in the Tepochcalli and those of the nobles in the Calmecac and although they studied with teachers and subjects at different levels, both were taught to fight, endure pain and precariousness.

In war they were specialists, they used their merchants as spies and they had a system of ranks in addition to military orders that could be accessed according to the prisoners captured in battle, these prisoners were later sacrificed and their skulls used to be put on the wall of skulls or a tower of skulls. Being in a military order was a symbol of great prestige and generals usually comes from these.
They used obsidian to make tools, weapons, and even medical implements with knives for surgery. They grew in Chinampas, farm plots that floated on Lake Texcoco, did not need to be irrigated and were extremely fertile.


  • Military buildings work 15% faster.
  • Melee and range infantry move 15% faster.
  • Relics and sacred sites produce 35% more gold.
  • Military units deals 100% more damage against buildings. (Don´t have siege units exept rams)
  • Houses can garrison villagers and shoot up to two arrows.
  • Traders have the same line of sight as explorers.

-House Of The Darts: Can recruit units of the warrior societies and acts as an outpost shooting arrows.
-Tzompantli Tower (Tower of skulls): religious structure that increases the speed of nearby units, they can also garrison a relic such as temples, only in this case, in addition to generating gold, it increases the damage of nearby units and buildings.

UNIQUE UNITS (House Of The Darts Units)
-Jaguar Warrior: Replaces the man-at-arms and deals more damage. Can enter in stealth mode.
-Eagle Warrior: Shoots a javelin every 8 seconds, in melee have a small anti cavalry bonus. Is a fast runner troop. Can enter in stealth mode.
-Cuahchic: Elite melee unit effective against armored units.

-War Priest (From the temple): Replaces the monk, is a melee infantry unit but have all priest abilities

This aren´t unique units, but only are shared with other civs like Incas and other possibilities like Mayans and Tarasco/Purepecha.
-Slinger: Fast shoot and move unit, but don´t deals much damage.
-Javelin Thrower: Replaces the crossbowmen and have bonus damage against ranged units.
-Canoe: Cheap, fast and weak archer ship.


To age II
Tlatelolco Market: Acts as a market with better exchange prices, in addition produces 15% more gold from the merchants.

Tepochcalli: Trains spearmen and slingers at twice speed, also research their upgrades with 50% discount.

To Age III
Calmecac: Is similar to the tepochcalli, but for nobles. Train jaguar warriors, eagle warriors and Cuachic free, but four times slower and only one of the options at time.

Temple Of Quetzalcoatl: Can garrison one relic as a temple and boost the production of the nearby buildings, the relic produces 20% more gold.

To Age IV
Huey Tlatoani Palace: Is a stronger version of a fortress, also produces gold.

Ball Game Court: Units of the hose of the darts gains 20% more hit points, the nearby house of the darts shoots an additional arrow.


  • Tlacaelel Reforms: Units of the house of the darts are 15% cheaper.
  • Floral Wars: Infantry melee units gains +3 of damage.
  • Atlatl: Javelins +2 of damage and +1 range.
  • Chimalli: Archers gains a shield; this provides +1 pierce armor.
  • Temazcal: Buildings gains a fast-healing speed for garrisoned units.
  • Umbrella Shield: Spearmen gains +1 pierce armor.
  • Chinampa: Farmers works 50% faster.
  • Obsidian Surgery: War Priest +20% of healing speed.
  • Universal Education: The rest of the technologies cost -15%.
  • Calpulli: Villagers can be trained in pairs.


Not only Tenochtitlan, but most of the Nahua cities shared a very similar architectural style, with pyramidal vaults on the roofs of many structures or conical points in the chapels of some pyramids.
The houses used to be painted with multiple colors and geometric motifs, the streets and bridges of Tenochtitlan were made of white lime and the lake capital could be traveled by canoe in many of its neighborhoods.

Well, try to balance the lack of gunpowder and siege units with elite soldiers and swarming capabilities to overwhelm the enemy. For the water i can´t do too much.
Another idea from the Calpulli tech, is change it for a civ bonus (or also tech) that makes the houses have an aura with which they improve the speed of collecting resources by 2% or 3% each one, it could accumulate up to a maximum of 30% in this way, but in any case the aura would not be very big.


If some one want to ask about the Skull Knight, well, that one are half acurrate. Their costume only was for generals and captains, who were from the order of the Cuahchic. So, they never was a military unit or order.

Next Civ: Byzantines

this is some good stuff.
I was looking for good architectural pictures, but I couldn’t find any for my Aztec concept.
These ones a pretty nice! I love the native american unique style of architecture and art.

Nice to see someone else take on this civ!
It’s interesting to see what differs and what keeps similar!

Only worry I have about Mesoamerican civ is that they might break the PG rating for AoE4 xD.
I mean, nomatter how you twist and look at it, you won’t be avoiding human sacrefice, blood and skulls lol.
I hope it dosn’t deter the Devs any further from adding them though!

If you need pictures search “Juan Monsiváis”, he make a digital reconstruction of Tenochtitlan for QUO Magazine.

And about the human sacrifices… yeah, a lot of the Mexica culture revolves around human sacrifice and blood, they themselves believed that they were the chosen ones to feed the sun with blood so that it would continue to shine.

(Pd: Your post inspire me to make my own, keep doing your thing :))

In the future I will do one about the Incas and another about the Tarascans/Purepechas

Thats great to hear! Always nice to see that my threads inspire others to make their own!

I had the Tarascans on my radar, but I didn’t have much knowledge of them, I did put them on my list of eventual civs I might add later. So I’ll be quite interested in what you come up with!

If only I knew about Juan Monsiváis earlier, it would have saved me hours of searching the net for usable pictures xD

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It would be interesting to see what they did with Aztecs in AoE4.

Aztecs sounds like something that would be a civ mod for AoE4.

Thanks to your post, I haven been learned a lot about the relationships between the Inca and Aztec culture, possibly due to evolutionary correlation, which I never thought they had. Here are some crazy comparisons and design appreciation.

1.- Technologies

  • Calpulli (Mexica).- similar to the Inca ayllu, which practically refer to monophyletic families.

  • Umbrella shield.- I knew that I was not the only one who noticed the curious giant helmets that hung from some Aztec warriors. Were they defensive or a banner? I guess if they covered their heads they were defensive, I think the +1 bonus is fine.

  • Atlatl.- the Mexica javelin-thrower is well known and I think is cool that it increases the attack of the javelin throwers. In the Inca empire, javelins were seen as a “useless weapons” only used by wild ethnias for hunting, until the Spanish arrived and they used it mainly as “anti-horses” weapons. I suppose that the idiosyncrasy of weapons changes a lot from one civ. to another.

  • Chinampa.- I have a suggestion: What if instead of a technology it’s a building? a marine farm for the fishing boats and farmers to recolect? Because that’s pretty much what it is, a “floating farm in a boat.” Since they haven’t created the mysterious fish farms from aoe2 yet, it would make a great “unique building”. It would be built like a port, along the coast. I see the synergy, it would be GREAT.

  • Temazcal.- Medicinal hot springs? Great, didn’t know that. The Incas had some thermal baths in Cajamarca, but they were dedicated to only the Sappa Inca (the king) and the nobility, they did not even invent them, they took it away from the people who used to live there (its original name was Kaxa Marca, and is believed to have been founded in 1320).

I think it’s cool that you considered shared units:

  • Slinger.- This unit was also used by the Incas and the Mapuche. It occurs to me that like archers it could do extra damage to light infantry, with a higher base damage (7,9,10 vs archer 5/7/8), but a shorter range (3.5 or 4 vs archer 5)

  • Jabalinero.- Although the Incas "had this unit of the peoples of the jungle, they did not incorporate it into the army until the Spanish arrived, but yes, they did use it, although they never “perfected it”, that Yes, the Mexica did it. Maybe the Incas will add an anti-cavalry bonus technology to it, although it depends.

  • Axeman.- Both the Mexicas and Incas used axes, in fact the similarity of the T-shape is curious. The only difference I see is that the Aztecs tied it to pressure through a hole in the stick, in the Inca empire was the ax that was attached to a ring that fit the stick.

  • Light Rams.- It’s the only siege unit I can think of for both civ too. And not the cutlery, but the one from the Norse Age of Mythology, those 2 guys with a trunk.

3.- Unique units:

  • About the Skull Knight.- I swear I thought the Skull Knight from AoE3 was a representation of the Cuahchic, the bald one, but it turns out not. Thanks for the clarification. Even in the aoe fandom wiki, they also mention that the Skull Knight is based on the Tlacochcalcatl… so where is the bald one?
    AoE3: I don’t know what bald man you’re talking about, sir, that doesn’t exist nor did it exist nor will it exist.

  • Cuachicqueh.- As I long for this unit to enter, the fact of knowing that it was made up of ex-jaguar and eagle soldiers who instead of choosing to retire or position as an officer, wanted to continue fighting to the death, not I imagine how powerful it would be. I would give it 200 HP, area attack (20), zero defense (bare = I don’t hunt = 0/0), although not to say that it copies the Lankesnete, it could also have 250 HP and 24 individual attack and its anti bonus -heavy as you say.

  • Proposal - “Charge Attack”.- Jaguar and Eagle warriors are also known to wait (stealth) for a long time, and then do a near-death attack, how about turning that into a charge attack? like cavalry charges. It would be phenomenal, and would increase the lethality of the single unit. Anyway, the Aztecs did not have horses, so it would be a great replacement for cavalry charges.

4.- Civilization bonuses

  • Pochtecatl.- I suppose you are referring to it when merchants have an explorer’s vision. I did not know that the Mexica used merchants as spies, and on top of that use their death as an excuse to wage war. I had heard of ############# but not of the merchant, hahaha.

  • Deaths counter.- It would also be interesting to have an enemy death counter, which increases the morale of your troops (their attack) depending on the amount of enemy casualties, that will force the Mexica to be very aggro.

5.- Unique Building

  • Sacrifice altar.- Did you consider any buildings for human sacrifices? As for sacrificing enemies, or at least sacrificing defeated units. Such a mechanic would be interesting.

Thanks for your comment, I will be happy to answer some of the questions you have and coment your new ideas.


  • Calpulli: Maybe is a comon betwen Native American peoples, maybe the diference here is the fact of the bloodlines aren´t the onle one unification factor here.

  • Umbrela Shield: Yes, is a shield for soldiers with two handed weapons like the Tepostopilli Spear or the Cuauhololli, is a protection for proyectile weapons. But isn´t exclusie for these equipment and more soldiers use it.

  • Atlatl: Interesting, maybe the American civs javelins ca be Anti-Cavalry unis.

  • Chinampa: Curiously that was my first idea, but I thought it would make their economy very dependent on water.

The axeman can replace the Man-At-Arms, and I like the idea of ligthe rams more. As I say before, the javelins can be Anti-Cavalry, so the slinger Anti-Ranged units.


  • Skull Knight: Yap, the Tlacochcalcatl is a military range below the general. AoE3: Hehe,

  • Cuachicqueh: really the Cuachic are not very famous despite the dreafull they was, perhaps because their equipment is not very showy compared to the orders of the eagle and the jaguar, I am from Mexico and I am surprised that almost everything about them is in English, like the Osprey Publishing books.

  • Charge Attack: I like how that sounds for the Jaguar Warrior to make they diferent.


  • Pochtecatl: I hear about that in some national museums and every time i hear they was also merchants. I even think they were the ones who delivered the declaration of war sometimes.

  • Death Counter: Maybe a mechanic for the floral wars.


  • Sacrifice Altar: I thought about it, but it also seemed like a bit of a complicated mechanic to micromanage, unless you could choose to have some soldiers “capture” instead of kill (reducing their damage a bit and going into melee) and then go sacrifice them at the base and give a bost to nearby villagers.