According to Mayan prophecy, the world will end in 2012. This is not true, unless Elite Eagles swarm your town.
- Start with +1 villager but with -50 food
- Resources last 20% longer
- Archers cost -10% Feudal, -20% Castle, -30 Imperial
- Unique Unit: Plumed Archer
- Unique Unit: Eagle Warrior
- Unique Technology: El Dorado
- Team Bonus: Walls cost -50%
Analysis of bonuses
Start with +1 villager but with -50 food
In standard RM, this extra villager doesn’t always mean a lot. You’re forced to loom right away because you’re housed at start (4 villagers + 1 eagle). But once your opponent researches loom too, you are 1 villager ahead. Sure Mayans save you from the tricky decision of looming early or not, but saving also means limiting.
On maps with some more extravaganza, such as (land) nomad style maps, this extra villager can mean a lot. If you use 3 villagers to build a TC, it takes exactly 1:30, while 4 villagers do it in 1:15. So once both TC can start producing villagers, the Mayan is already one and a half villager ahead.
Resources last 20% longer
For new players, this bonus is probably the hardest to understand. And even a lot of experienced players don’t really understand all the strengths this bonus gives you. Let’s take a look at a normal tree: a normal villager can cut 100 wood from a tree, while Mayans can cut 120 from this very same tree. This also means that trees last longer, so it will take longer before you must rebuild your lumbercamps in order to decrease the distance villagers must run. So that’s an additional wood saving practice. A minimal one, but it sure is present.
This also gives Mayans a good economical bonus early. Especially on “fast food” such as hunt and sheep. On a standard set of 8 sheep and 2 boar, Mayans actually have nearly a half boar extra and almost 2 sheep extra!
Last but not least this bonus also affects mines. With 960 per Mayan gold mine you can see how this bonus even carries its strength till the imperial age.
Archers cost -10% Feudal, -20% Castle, -30 Imperial
This bonus has different implications in each age:
- Feudal Age: Archers cost 22 wood, 40 gold. The saving is minimal, but you’ll need less villagers to sustain a continuous archer output compared to other civs. This may decrease your time to hit the castle age.
- Castle Age: Archers cost 20 wood, 36 gold. You almost save 10 gold per archer now, so here the pricing difference becomes really clear. With the wood and gold you save out, you can either boom or make siege. With archers and mangonels, you have one of the best castle age combos at your side. A micro heavy one, but a strong one.
- Imperial Age: Archers cost 17 wood, 31 gold. Arbalests are not the most popular choice for Mayans in the imperial age. With good reasons, because even though they’re great units, Mayans have two other behemoths to create. But because they’re so cheap, they’re good “to save your ass”. Assume you’re heavy on eagle warriors and your enemy has champs coming in. Cheap archers will make the change more bearable.
Time for a stroll down the archives now, with the Archery Adagio game, a gem of a game from the early days of AoC featuring archers and… more archers.
Team Bonus: Walls cost -50%
Stone walls only cost 3 stone and palisades are thrown up for only 1 wood. Very handy on maps that require heavy walling (LN) or for team mates with slower civs. Really nice if you can save on a rare resource such as stone.
- Cost: 37 wood, 37 gold
- Attack: 5 (Elite: 5)
- Armor: 0/1 (Elite: 0/2)
- HP: 50 (Elite: 65)
- Range: 4 (Elite: 5)
- Elite Upgrade: 500 food, 1000 wood
It’s a simple truth, but Plumed Archers are the kings of all archers. They beat all other foot archers 1v1 and in large groups, they totally decimate their adversaries. Now what are their strengths?
- Speed: They’re very fast, you can call them mini cavalry archers in a way. Besides that they’re one of the fastest non-horse unit in the game. Only two unmounted units are faster and one of them happens to be the Elite Eagle Warrior (the other is the notorious Woad Raider).
- Cost: With a castle age cost of 37 wood and 37 gold (which is even more reduced to 32 in imp) you can classify plumed archers as “cheap”.
- Armor: A very unusual feature for plumed archers is that they have pierce armor. Which makes them very resistant to other archers and most notably: skirmishers. While skirmishers tear apart most archers, plumed archers still “keep up” with them.
- HP: Plumed archers have the same HP as unupgraded cavalry archers!
- Elite Upgrade: Without doubt the biggest difference with other UU, the upgrade to elite plumed archers does not cost gold. Making it a “free” upgrade in a way.
The only “downside” of plumed archers is their attack, which is quite low, but with an attack bonus against infantery (most notably against eagles) and given all their advantages listed above, it’s clear who is the king of archers.
- Cost: 20 food, 50 gold
- Attack: 4+3 (Elite: 9)
- Armor: 0/2 (Elite: 0/4)
- HP: 50 (Elite: 60)
- Elite Upgrade: 800 food, 500 gold
So much can be told about these little birdies, so let’s look at them age per age.
- Dark Age: You can’t exactly make eagle warriors but at least you start off with one. A great scout but also slower than their horse back riding counterpart. 1v1 they win against scout cavalry in the dark age, so that makes up for their slower speed.
- Feudal Age: If you’d like to save your eagle for better times, you can better hide him in the feudal age. He loses badly to scout cavalry with their free +2 attack upgrade and above that the scout runs faster too to hunt him down.
- Castle Age: Not exactly time to shine but at least they get a +3 attack upgrade. They are supposed to be the mesoamerican answer to cavalry but they’re definitely no real match nor a counter. But they got their uses, they just must be handled with care. First of they’re very cheap and are very good against trash units, already in the castle age they make a good stance against skirms, pikes and scout cavalry. Another virtue is their low cost, which makes a faster castle possible. These two characteristics are also the basic of the KLEW! And most important: they counter the siege that may crumble your beautiful army of archers.
- Imperial Age: Time to shine, period. With all defensive upgrades they’re as arrow resistant as an elite huskarl, which actually makes Mayans the top archer civ but also a top anti-archer civ. And if you can spare a bit of food and gold, you can even upgrade your eagles with El Dorado.
In my very humble opinion, the single best unique technology in the game, with 750 food, 450 gold a rather expensive one too, but worth every single penny. It gives eagles +40 HP, which makes them speedy, 100 HP, arrow resistant monsters. Consider it one of the top raiding units if you wish. And of course, since the unit is so good, its strength can and must be abused. What to do when you’re facing Legion Clan in a clan battle? Think out of the box and give them a good beating! TsC, under the command of TsC_B1ade_ was most likely going to get beaten by Legion, under the command of L_Clan_Chris. This didn’t happen thanks to some very good macro skills of TsC_B1ade_ and just some overall nice teamwork. Or to quote Matt: “TsC_B1ade_: and SLINGGG”.
Dominance through the Ages
An oversight about dominance through the ages can be found in this article.
The most common false start goes to the Mayans. Most people will create villagers at the start of the game and then stare at the “housed” message. Mayans must start with loom and that already highlights their first bonus: an extra villager. Other bonuses: a super scout and their resource saving bonus. As said earlier, on a standard set, they have half a boar and 2 sheep extra. Imagine this on a hunt heavy map!
And the next bonus enters the stage, a round of applause for cheap archers! If something would still go wrong, the resource bonus still lasts on your last fast food resources and you can always wall up with some insanely cheap walls.
Castle age comes as a twist for the Mayans, they can be total heroes with their even cheaper archers. They have a great booming bonus with longer lasting farms and if they can manage to build a castle, they’re most likely settled. But, the biggest turn is if their archer force is defeated. Even though knights are beaten by big numbers of archers, it’s possible that their force gets beaten. A miss in micro or simply bad luck when stone rains upon you from an onager. Even though eagles are available right now, they’re usually a support unit, a force of only eagles is beaten by an equal force of knights or archers. So even if you got a great civ in the castle age, handle them with care, an archer army is slammed in seconds.
Early Imperial Age
Mayans have always been into the second tier so far, but now it’s time to take the big step to first tier. Mayans simply rule early imperial, they even have multiple options. Either they upgrade their cheap arbalests and blend in some siege to quickly steam roll the enemy. Or they could go for a raw force of elite eagle warriors and raid their enemy to oblivion.
If, for whatever reason, you didn’t manage to kill your enemy in these few crucial minutes of the imperial age, then hope isn’t lost yet. Mayans can now set up a lethal mix of 100HP eagles, elite plumed archers and halberdiers. Some civs don’t even have a decent counter to that, for example Huns, who will perish under the lethal mix.
Post Imperial Age (no trade)
Once more Mayans are a bit double sided. They lack hussars, so their trash capabilities are limited to fully upgraded skirmishers and halberdiers. But, if they managed to collect some relics or trade some excess wood/food for gold, they can fire off some eagles into enemy lines. And these feathered warriors are highly resistant to trash.
You may scent a recorded game coming! And right you are, a nice Mayans war between a gold starved L_Clan_Chris and a smart relic gathering Tsu_ShiNe_.
Post Imperial age (with trade)
Mayans are once more great when their gold supplies are constantly refreshed. However, their power isn’t as raw anymore. Population effectiveness becomes more important than cost effectiveness, so light and cheap units no longer make the cut. Then again, Mayans are still good, and can compensate their light army with more units since they don’t need a sizy economy to keep all barracks pumping.
Mayans have the only everlasting bonus of the game, it starts right when the first villager starts to work and only ends if literally everything on the map is plundered. But since everything they got, lasts 20% longer, they won’t run out of resources as fast as others.
The only key upgrade they miss is gold shaft mining. A big miss for Mayans who favour gold units but it would only make them stronger. And they’re already more than powerful enough.
Fully upgraded eagles and halberdiers, combined with access to two handed swordsmen. Even though the latter is rarely used, they’re still decent units. Might be good for a surprise combination even though Mayans have so much more and better things to offer.
They successfully took over the “king of archers” title from the British and are simply unmatched. Cheap archery with all upgrades, they miss cavalry archers and hand cannoneers though.
No cavalry for Mayans, easy chapter for me to write!
Don’t mess with the Mayans! Even though technically you can mess with their siege. They have an okay siege line, without siege engineers but, more than okay to mess around with.
Only 2 upgrades are missing, but sadly, redemption is one of them. Which happens to be the key upgrade to a successful monkrush. Great for back up and probably the only Mayan answer to early huskarls.
Mayans are actually quite good on water maps. Mainly because they have a good early economy and the full naval techtree (except gunpowder related units ofcourse). Above that a landing with eagle warriors is simply awesome. And ofcourse their 20% bonus on resources, so their island doesn’t run out of wood too soon.
Tikal stood the test of time, so that’s some historical evidence for what also holds true in the game: Mayans have outstanding structures. They miss the gunpowder variant once more, but have excellent castles, walls and towers. Keep their super cheap walls in mind!
Mayans are simply one of the strongest overall civs in the game. They perform well in almost every game mode on every map and in every age. They don’t have a lot of units so it’s important to upgrade the ones they can make.
It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.