Yucatec Maya (Mayans Split): In Concept and Practice


Here is my design for a civilization that covers the Toltec-influenced Yucatec or Lowland Maya of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Why Split the Mayas?

A split of the Mayas makes some sense, at least as much as proposed concepts such as Italian splits into individual city states, or existing splits like the Burgundians from Franks. “Mayas” is a fairly broad ethnic designation that covers a variety of distinct kingdoms, city-states, and languages, but can be reasonably split into two groups. The existing Maya civilization wouldn’t need any changes, except to be renamed as “K’iche” (the language they already speak in-game), or Highland Maya, and would represent the K’iche and neighboring kingdoms, or the Mayas of Guatemala. I further like the idea of a Mayan split, because the original civ design left a lot references to actual Mesoamerican culture and history on the table (Ball Courts, Early Literacy, Mathematical/Astronomical proficiency, Cotton Armor, Cash Crops) opting instead for inspiration from other cultures, such as El Dorado.

Yucatec Maya:
Infantry and Skirmisher Civilization

-Infantry can gather meat, fish, and berries.
-Infantry +2 Attack vs. Cavalry and Eagles per Age.
-Economic units move and work 0.5% faster for every economic upgrade.

Unique Units:
Moyayaotlani: (Nahuatl Placeholder word until I find a Yucatec equivalent)
Unique Skirmisher with powerful attack and fast projectile, trained at the Archery Range in Castle Age.

Moyayaotlani Stats

Hit Points: 35 Speed 1.00 Range: 5 Attack: 8, +1 vs Archers, Armor: 1/3 Reload Time 3.0
Frame Delay: 5, Spear Speed 8.5
35 W 35 G
Elite: Upgrade 450 W 300 G
Hit Points: 40 Speed 1.00 Range: 5 Attack: 9, +2 vs Archers, +1 vs Cav Archers, Armor: 2/4 Reload Time 3.0 Frame Delay: 2, Spear Speed 10
35 W 35 G

Ah Kin: Maya priest that is trained at the Castle and can convert siege. Can toggle between standard conversion mode, and sacrifice mode, which kills the targeted unit, (Heresy effect) but converts faster, and generates gold for every sacrificed unit (not buildings).

Ah Kin Stats

HP 35, Range 9 120 G, Sacrifice mode converts 66% faster and gives gold in the amount of 10% of the total cost of the enemy unit. All other stats same as a monk.
Elite: Upgrade 750 F 400 G
HP 40, Range 10 120 G, Sacrifice mode converts 100% faster, auto-acquires enemies in range, and provides 12% gold.

Unique Technologies:

Glyphic Script: All technologies (including Imperial Age) -25% Cost and Research Time. (400 W 400 G)

Pitz: Unique Units, Eagles, and Skirmishers train and Move 20% Faster.
(650 W 350 S)

Yucatec Maya Description

The Maya of the Yucatan peninsula shared similarities with the Highland Maya, but were also distinct in many ways. Their location gave them easy access to goods from both the jungle and the sea, and their sea trade could access many ports in Mexico and Central America. Cities such as Chichen Itza and Mayapan show a strong Toltec influence, and may have infused that region with a more militaristic and conquest-oriented culture, as well as Mexican-inspired architecture. Many of the most impressive Maya cities are located in the Yucatan, including Chichen Itza, which has numerous ballcourts, temples, and Tulum, which was a major coastal trading center.

The Yucatec Maya early game is somewhat weak; the starting eagle and any other early-game infantry can boost the economy by gathering food in their down time, but this bonus is situational and becomes obsolete quickly. Their second eco bonus builds slowly with each upgrade, but does not become significant until mid-lategame, when most of the technologies are researched. Their Castle Age unique technology requires a significant investment, but helps in the long term to save time and resources on expensive technologies. In lategame the Yucatecos have an excellent economy, with villagers, fishing ships, and trade units moving and working about 7% faster. While they lack the Elite Eagle Warrior upgrade, their eagles are strong against enemy cavalry and eagles, and are extremely fast. In Imperial Age they have access to strong counter units and monks, and very fast Eagle Warriors.

Missing Techs: Gunpowder and Cavalry related units/techs, Elite Eagle Warrior, Arbalester, Siege Onager

Will add a scenario or mod for this eventually. I’m not entirely sure whether all aspects of the design are possible via modding, but I’ll look into it…

the civ concept balance seems to be on a level with dravidians, just that their cav is not existent and their archers are even worse. Seems hard to balance them outside of scenarios.

Eh, American civ. Their Eagles are the best of any civ until early Imp anyway. I’ll probably give them Xbow so that they can still go archers in Feudal without missing the upgrade, but their Archery range UU functions similarly to a less gold-intensive xbow line (but with more PA + minimum range). I may as well give them champ also, but beyond that their tech seems fine, it’s mainly just a question of whether their main eco bonus kicks in soon enough, or whether they need a stronger early boost.

The weakest point of Dravidians, by far, is inability to deal with siege and lack of a raiding unit. This civ misses EEW, but with Imp UT their eagles are faster and still decent in a raiding/anti-siege role.

-Added Crossbowman and Champion.

I’m not against the split, but I do think El Dorado should at least be renamed to something that actually fits Mayans


I think the concept sounds pretty interesting, having a Castle UU that is a monk unit has always been sort of a wish to see from me. Does the civ get Redemption, or will they have to make the castle UU to get to convert Siege?

I think the UTs are probably the least interesting. Not a fan of the Castle UT (research a thing for other researches to be better is not very interesting), and Imp UT costs Stone to improve their army units?

Missing Elite Eagles will be an even bigger Meso late game problem, while I’m not sure how to feel about the Unique Skirmisher. It’s basically a Rattan archer with bonus against Archers? Does it suffer from minimum range too?

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Why not just a Toltec civ tho. Although I agree the Mayans are so widespread they could perfectly make multiple civs.
I’d say the UU could be the legendary Hornet Thrower from the Popol Vuh… but that’s K’iche. Myabe just call it K’atun?

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I agree, Cotton Armor or something alike would be good.

Yeah, they get all monastery techs. I think siege conversion is needed for the UU since it would be kind of niche without it (also can convert rams that attack Castles).

I figured some people wouldn’t like this but I don’t personally have a problem with techs that don’t improve unit stats, in moderation. It gives a decent late Castle/Imp powerup though, and synergizes with their eco tech bonus. If I were to modify it I might make it slightly cheaper, and perhaps have it also give +1 monk range, so that it has some permanent effect (and remove the +1 range of the Elite Monk UU upgrade).

Yeah, Imp UT refers to their building ballcourts for their ballgame (Pitz), so it makes some sense to have it cost stone, even if it’s a token amount. If anything I would make it cost less stone and more wood.

Overall I think it’s okay, since their civ bonus makes them nearly as strong as Garland Wars Elite Eagles vs Cavalry and Eagles in Imp (but they’re faster than EEWs with the UT), and their Siege bonus + speed makes them still viable as anti-siege. The archer weakness of the eagles is somewhat made up by the UU, fast skirmishers, and Siege Ram.

It is similar to a Rattan, but lower PA +faster after the Imp tech. Also currently has similar dps to archer line, but with skirmisher rate of fire and minimum range. It probably needs some tweaks but I’m waiting for the Editor to be fixed before I can really test it out.

Why not both? I have a Toltec thread as well, and while I think a Maya split is viable, I would prioritize civs like Tarascans, Chimu, Zapotecs and Muisca over either of them. Also, I like the current Maya design as a civ (minus the arguably OP aspects). It’s just not very inspired by the actual Maya civilization, so it made sense to make one that was.

Cool reference, but too niche to be a main UU of the civ IMO.

If it doesn’t match historical Mayans at all why even keep it as a Maya civ lol