Though the scenario is largely the same in the Historical Battles of the Definitive Edition, several small changes were made to streamline the gameplay and eliminate unintended features of the original.
Hidden in the dense jungle of the Yucatán, the Mayan civilization thrives. Massive stone pyramids carved with images of gods and kings tower above the sea of green vegetation.
The Yucatan is dominated by two city-states, Tikal and Calakmul. Competing for control of the rich trade routes throughout the peninsula, the two cities have warred with each other for as long as anyone can remember.
To secure the jade and cacao trade, Tikal founded the city of Dos Pilas. Now, the old king of Tikal sends his youngest son, B'alaj Chan K'awiil, to rule it while his oldest son will rule Tikal itself.
There's an old tale told by our village elders here on the Yucatan peninsula. Although almost faded, it has managed to survive for so long and lives on through us as it's passed from one generation to another. Our hunters often return from their hunts and they describe massive stone manmade mountains and carved images of gods and strange people. It tells us that the tale is true.
At night I join the others around the campfire and when our village elder starts telling the tale I can hear my own heartbeat racing. "A long, long time ago, during the time of kings and gods" he starts... From that moment I imagine myself as a character in the story. As if the story was my own...
A long, long time ago, during the time of kings and gods, two great cities, Tikal and Calakmul, reigned over Yucatan. Tikal had engaged itself in a war with Calakmul, also known as the "serpent kingdom" after the great serpent god. In order to secure the jade and cacao trade, Tikal founded the city of Dos Pilas in the Petexbatùn region and the old king, K'inich Muwaan Jol II, sent his younger son, B'alaj Chan K'awiil, to rule it. The older son, Nuun Ujol Chaak, was to rule over Tikal itself.
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources: None
- Population limit: 150
- Starting units:
- Head to Dos Pilas to warn its citizens.
- OPTIONAL: There are five small raider camps around Dos Pilas. Destroying them would help get rid of this nuisance, and there might be gold to gain as well.
- OPTIONAL: Liberate the village in the west of the map by killing all raiders in that area.
- OPTIONAL: Destroy the bandit camp to the south and find out why they are here.
If the player remains loyal to Tikal:
- Flee to Uaxactun in the east.
- You have sided with Tikal. Defeat Calakmul by destroying their Wonder.
- OPTIONAL: Recapture Dos Pilas by destroying its Town Center.
- OPTIONAL: Defend Naranjo for 15 minutes. If the city gets overwhelmed, Naranjo will be captured by Calakmul.
- OPTIONAL: Naranjo has defected to the side of Calakmul. Defeat them, we need to show what happens to the ones who join our enemies.
- Destroy the bandit fort on the plateau to the south of Uaxactun.
If the player sides with Calakmul:
- You have sided with Calakmul. Defeat Tikal by destroying their Wonder.
- OPTIONAL: Destroy the fort of Tikal on the plateau to the south of Uaxactun.
- The Mayans of Dos Pilos[sic] are restricted to a population of 150 and cannot construct additional Town Centers.
- Be on your guard while scouting. The area around Dos Pilas is crawling with bandits. They will pick off any unwanted traveler they see.
- There are not many gold mines available. However there are different ways to accumulate gold. For example by defeating raider camps, sacking enemy cities, collecting relics or trading.
Your scouts report:
- The forces of B'alaj Chan K'awiil (1, Cyan) are defending a ford against the forces of Calakmul but the Calakmul army outnumbers them.
- Dos Pilas (2, Yellow), is a small city aligned with its founding city, Tikal. Dos Pilas will train Eagle Warriors, Spearmen and Archers.
- Tikal (3, Orange) is a huge city located to the east. They will train a host of different units like Eagle Warriors, Monks, Skirmishers and Scorpions. Their unique unit, the Slinger, will tear apart any infantry which comes near it.
- Calakmul (4, Purple) is another colossal city, located in the north of Dos Pilas. Just as Tikal, their military will be diverse, training Eagle Warriors, Monks, Archers, Swordsmen and Mangonels. Their unique unit, the Jaguar Warrior, will be a pain to fight against in hand to hand combat. Taking them out from a distance with our archers is the best option.
- Uaxactun (5, Blue) is another small city siding with Tikal. They will be training a small army of swordsmen, Spearmen, rams and Archers to fight their opponents.
- Naranjo (6, Red) is probably the smallest city in the area. Their military consists of Eagle Warriors, Plumed Archers, mangonels and Archers. The ruler of Naranjo is not aggressive and prefers to focus on defenses.
- The Mayan Raiders (7, Green) are a pain for everyone. They roam the countryside around Dos Pilas and harass unsuspecting victims. It is believed they are being paid by either Tikal or Calakmul, or both.
- The Player (Mayans) begins with a few warriors south of the ford where Calakmul defeats the army of Dos Pilas. They must flee south across the Raiders territory to take over Dos Pilas, receiving control of it as soon as they enter its walls. Later on, the player is given the option to ally with Calakmul or continue serving Tikal. If the former, the player retains control of Dos Pilas; if the latter, Dos Pilas and all buildings made by the player (and in later versions, all units and resources, as well) are transferred to the Dos Pilas player. The player is given a few units and told to take over Uaxactun as a new base to reconquer Dos Pilas and defeat Calakmul. When they enter Uaxactun, all its buildings and units are given to the player along with 400 of each resource.
- The Countryside/Local Villages (Mayans) are neutral in the conflict. They have an inactive village with a Market in the northwestern corner, which is occupied by the Raiders. In the HD Edition, they also control an "old scientist" (Monk) outside an University in the middle of the map, who asks the player to find three stone heads in return for gold; three Monks outside a Monastery in the south (east of the Raiders' camp), who offer 1,000 gold in return for a Relic; and a "turkey trader" (Villager) outside a Trade Workshop on the road between Dos Pilas and Uaxactun, who offers to buy Turkeys for 100 gold each. Nearly all of these characters and side quests are removed from the Definitive Edition, leaving only the Market village. Besides providing trade, the village will tribute resources after being liberated.
- The Raiders/Mayan Raiders (Aztecs, Mayans in the Definitive Edition) have scattered soldiers and five small camps made of three Yurts over the western half of the map, and a fenced camp defended by Watch Towers in a mining area of the southwestern corner. Destroying the small camps loots 200 gold each. If the player chooses Tikal, the Raiders also take over the small Tikal mountain fortress south of Uaxactun, as soon as any of the player's units walk near it. The Raiders also attack Dos Pilas after the player gathers 300 gold; they may do this with their starting Scorpions or, if they have been destroyed, with a Battering Ram. They have no economy.
Over the course of the game, the player's actions will change the diplomatic stance of the following players:
- Dos Pilas (Mayans) is a small, walled, Feudal Age town west, south of the player's starting place. In the HD Edition, they also have a Horse in Tikal as a placeholder unit to prevent their defeat after the player takes over the city, while in the Definitive Edition this is accomplished with a Trigger. If the player chooses Tikal, the Dos Pilas player regains control of the city, allies with Calakmul, and declares war on the player. The player may optionally recapture Dos Pilas by destroying its Town Center. Even if defeated or resigned, they will advance to the Imperial Age 233 seconds (3 minutes and 53 seconds) after Tikal.
- Calakmul (Mayans) in the northeast and Tikal (Mayans) in the southeast are the two competing hegemonies vying for control of the region. Both are similarly massive, fortified cities with several rings of walls and Castles leading to a Wonder where they produce a unique unit not usually available to Mayan players (Jaguar Warriors in Calakmul, Slingers in Tikal). Though they have Villagers, they don't have a real economy and receive resources automatically, which they use to advance age, research upgrades, and make large armies to attack the player. In the Definitive Edition, these sometimes include Trebuchets, being the only AI players to make them. In the HD Edition, Tikal and Calakmul are triggered to advance to the Imperial Age after the player does so, while in the Definitive Edition, they can beat the player to it.
- Calakmul begins as an enemy in the Feudal Age and is separated from the rest by a river with three shallow areas or Bridges, which are variously fortified. Though the player is instructed to defend Dos Pilas from Calakmul, it is scripted that Calakmul will eventually send a larger army (indentified by a unique dialogue) and conquer Dos Pilas, at which point the player will have to choose between allying with Calakmul or Tikal. In the HD Edition, they advance to the Imperial Age 140 seconds (2 minutes and 20 seconds) after the player has done so.
- Tikal begins as an ally in the Castle Age and is somewhat further away from Dos Pilas, being separated by an area of cliffs and rough terrain. They also have a forward base on a plateau just south of Uaxactun, which is given to the Raiders if the player chooses Tikal. In the HD Edition, they advance to the Imperial Age 210 seconds (3 minutes and 30 seconds) after the player has done so.
- Despite being described as enemies, Calakmul and Tikal never declare war on each other and don't help the player in the war. At most, the player can trade with them and receive some reinforcements (Eagle and Jaguar Warriors from Calakmul, Eagle Warriors and Slingers from Tikal) by placing military units near the western side of their city, once the player has chosen either as a suzerain.
- Naranjo (Mayans) is a small town east, north of Tikal, and a Tikal ally. If the player chooses Tikal, the player will be asked to defend Naranjo from a Calakmul invasion for 15 minutes. Though Naranjo has a sizeable garrison and a Castle, their northeastern Gate collapses when this announcement is made, and Naranjo switches sides to Calakmul as soon as any Calakmul military unit crosses their walls. If at war with the player, they will usually attack from the northeast, while Tikal attacks from the southeast.
- Uaxactun (Mayans, Aztecs in the Definitive Edition) is another small walled town allied with Tikal in the middle of the map, east of Dos Pilas. They advance to the Imperial Age 233 seconds (3 minutes and 53 seconds) after Tikal. If an enemy of the player, they attack Dos Pilas from the southeast, along with Tikal. If the player chooses Tikal, the player is directed to Uaxactun, at which point all its units and buildings are switched to the player.
Retreat to Dos Pilas
The player begins with some warriors south of the battle between the armies of Dos Pilas and Calakmul. They must head south and take over Dos Pilas, avoiding the Calakmulians and Raiders on the way as much as possible (particularly, the larger Raider group of Eagle Warriors and two Scorpions that is closer to Dos Pilas's northern Gate). As the warriors are likely to arrive injured, the Eagle Warriors should be garrisoned and heal in the Town Center, and the Plumed Archers on the Watch Towers near the northern Gate so they can help bleed attackers. Establish these towers's gathering point in the Town Center so the Plumed Archers will retreat and survive if they ungarrison when the towers are damaged.
Though the player is tasked to defend Dos Pilas, it is best not to create many soldiers in this stage, nor to fight Calakmul outside the city walls, but rather scout and pick off the Raider camps around Dos Pilas. The player should remain on the defensive and concentrate predominantly on booming and researching technologies. After advancing to the Castle Age (in the HD Edition), or just after a while (in the Definitive Edition), a dialogue announces that Calakmul is sending an even larger army that is not meant to be defeated. When they reach the northern Gate (in the HD Edition), or they destroy it (likely along the two towers) and approach the Town Center (in the Definitive Edition), they will stop and demand the player choose between joining Calakmul or remaining loyal to Tikal. In the HD Edition this choice can be delayed indefinitely, but in the Definitive Edition, not choosing after a few minutes (indicated by a timer) will result in Tikal being chosen automatically. If the intention is to choose Calakmul, don't forget to garrison the Villagers when their warriors wander near the Town Center, so they won't be killed needlessly.
The only sources of stone near Dos Pilas are a quarry east of it and another inside Uaxactun. The player should mine as much and as soon as possible, or buy stone in a Market, in order to build a Castle or two early on.
If the player chooses Calakmul, Dos Pilas remains under control of the player throughout the rest of the game. In both versions the Calakmul forces retreat from Dos Pilas; however, in the HD Edition their stance towards the player is still enemy and the Dos Pilas gates won't open for any Calakmul soldier inside the city, forcing the player to open them by placing an unit under the gate. For the same reason, Calakmul soldiers may still attack the player's buildings and units, though their Castles and towers won't.
The captured Watch Towers of Dos Pilas leave a gap without coverage near the Barracks, and the southern Gate is defended by only one Watch Tower instead of two; for this reason it is adviceable to build two more towers in these places. Beware that captured towers don't get upgrades, so this should be done preceding, or in addition to the building of two Castles in the same areas. Alternatively the player can also take a more offensive approach and build the Castles outside the city and closer to Uaxactun. New, more outer walls built outside the Barracks and southern Gate areas will also stop the enemies earlier and limit the damage they can do on the city buildings. Play defensively, garrisoning the Castles with archers or skirmishers for maximum damage until they are completely upgraded in the Imperial Age, and eliminate all Raider camps before going on the offensive against Tikal. The gold mines on the other side of the river west of Calakmul are safe from Tikal attacks, and the village Market will provide trade even after they run out. Keep also some Eagle Warriors and Two-Handed Swordsmen at hand for any enemy Trebuchets (in the Definitive Edition) or rams, and use them depending of the enemy army's composition.Getting past the enemy fortifications requires the building of some Trebuchets (only available in the Definitive Edition) or rams (preferably fully upgraded and garrisoned for maximum speed and attack). They should be paired with large numbers of Plumed Archers and Eagle Warriors to protect them from the enemy; the Mayan Unique technology El Dorado is highly recommended, as it gives Eagle Warriors more hit points. Uaxactun is easy to tear down compared to well-defended Tikal, though it can be avoided altogether by sniping the Tikal Castle on the mountain fortress south of it; this gives the player control of all other Tikal buildings there. Once either is controlled, the road to Tikal is open. Keep pushing into Tikal until there is a path to the Wonder and destroy it.
If the player chooses Tikal, the whole of Dos Pilas, including all buildings made by the player (and also units and resources in the Definitive Edition), are handed over to the player Dos Pilas. The player is given two newly spawned Eagle Warriors and one Plumed Archer (in the HD Edition) or one Eagle Warrior and four Villagers (in the Definitive Edition) on the road between Dos Pilas and Uaxactun, and is told to flee for the latter. Once the player's units enter Uaxactun, the player will takes control of the city and Dos Pilas declares war on the player. Uaxactun becomes the new base of the player.
Since all of the player's resources are taken away, the player must have mined all of the stone piles east of Dos Pilas and Uaxactun which is enough for two Castles. Before choosing a suzerain, the player should place the foundation of the first Castle in Uaxactun, and the second Castle foundation anywhere. The foundations will remain under player control after Dos Pilas and the stockpilled resources are taken away. Once in control of Uaxactun, the player can build the first Castle there, delete the second foundation to regain the stone cost without penalty, and send Villagers to build a Castle and Barracks in Naranjo.
The player may opt to destroy the Town Center of Dos Pilas in order to recapture the city, though it is not necessary to win. In the HD Edition, it is possible to build Battering Rams, leave them in Dos Pilas, and use them to destroy the Town Center immediately after Dos Pilas turns against the player. Another way to cheese Dos Pilas is to delete the Gates and build walls in the gaps before choosing Tikal. This limits the Dos Pilas player's ability to leave the city and attack Uaxactun, though it does not remove it completely as they automatically receive some Villagers and buildings outside walls. Likewise, all Watch Towers (and a couple more) reappear in Dos Pilas if they are destroyed before the player leaves it.
Nevertheless, it may be of interest to recapture Dos Pilas and retreat back there again. In this stage, Calakmul's constant attacks are directed against Uaxactun over Dos Pilas, and they are joined by Naranjo if they fall. Furthermore, the Tikal fortress just south of Uaxactun is surrendered to the Raiders, complicating the use of Uaxactun as main base.Destroy the remaining Raider camps and build defensive structures around resource areas and strategic chokepoints away from the cities, since they will help divert enemy attention. Boom, advance to the Imperial Age, and build a fully upgraded army of Plumed Archers, Eagle Warriors, Siege Rams, or Trebuchets before going on the offensive against Calakmul. The shortest path to the Wonder is through the east, though it and the center are heavily guarded. The player should invade from the west, center, and east, to distract and disperse the enemy forces.
Defeating the Raiders
There are Raiders guarding the path from the river to Dos Pilas. The player may deal with their Spearmen, Archers, Slingers, Eagle Scouts, and Scorpions by hit-and-running them with the starting forces or coming for them later with Eagle Warriors and Skirmishers. The small camps are guarded by varying numbers of the same type of forces, except the one south of Dos Pilas which includes three Jaguar Warriors who are best dealt with using Crossbowmen from afar. The northwestern Market village is occupied by more numerous patrols of Spearmen, Skirmishers, Longswordsmen, and Slingers, who can be dealt with better by luring, isolating them from other patrols and fighting with the appropriate counters.
The Raiders's largest camp in the southwestern corner is fully walled by Palisade Walls and Gates and defended by Watch Towers. It doesn't need to be destroyed, but doing so will free several gold and stone mines inside. This is easily accomplised with rams or Trebuchets and a mix of infantry and archers. However, the Raiders are allied with the enemy players, who will come to their defence, forcing the player to erect new defensive structures in order to exploit the mines.
If the player remains loyal to Tikal, the Raiders take over the Tikal military base south of Uaxactun. This adds a new source of attack from their Eagle Warriors and Plumed Archers there, but they can be dealt with a combination of swordsmen and archers or Skirmishers. Sniping the Castle with Trebuchets (or less practically, levelling it with rams) will give control of the remaining buildings to the player.
In the HD Edition, the player may choose to do three sidequests by clicking on the following Countryside units:
- The turkey trader on the road between Dos Pilas and Uaxactun will buy turkeys from the player for 100 gold each. Turkeys can be found all over the map. They will arrive safely if any unit escorts them to prevent them from being captured by other players.
- The old scientist in the middle of the map, near Uaxactun, requests the player to find three stone heads in the area. This is accomplished by placing any unit near the heads and then another near the scientist. One head is northwest of Dos Pilas, another across the river south, near the Raiders' large camp; and the third is in the mountains between Uaxactun and Tikal. The scientist rewards the player with 1000 gold.
- The three Monks are behind the Raiders' large camp southeast, only accessible after defeating them. They ask for a Relic, which is found south of the map and only accessible after cutting down a stretch of forest or destroying it with an Onager. The Monks will reward the player with 1000 gold, but it might be more profitable to just keep the Relic in a Monastery and let it generate gold. The most profitable way is to place them to get the 1,000 gold, then either switch the diplomacy or use an Onager to destroy the Monastery to collect the Relic.
If the gameplay exceeds 3800 seconds (63 minutes and 20 seconds), Naranjo is visited, and the player owns at least 70 military units, the player is asked to defend Naranjo from Calakmul for 15 minutes. Naranjo will build up a force of their own, but will switch to Calakmul's side if 8 units of Calakmul enter the city and Naranjo has 5 or less military units. In this event, the player is asked to defeat Naranjo. To protect Naranjo, build a Castle and Barracks in it, near the western gate where Calakmul attacks, and wall off any gap in their walls.
The fastest way to win the scenario is to destroy Tikal's Wonder with the player's starting units after they arrive in Dos Pilas. In this stage of the game, Tikal's Gates are open and they don't fight back. When the player is asked to choose between Tikal and Calakmul, choose Calakmul and the scenario is won because Tikal's Wonder is already destroyed.
After years of conflict the war god's thirst for blood was satisfied. B'alaj, having betrayed his father and brother and sacked the city he held dear, was plagued by guilt.
Despite his victory, he relinquished his claim on Tikal and instead returned to Dos Pilas, where he spent the remainder of his days.
The king of Calakmul, Yuknoom Che'en II, invaded Dos Pilas and managed to take B'alaj Chan K'awiil captive. He gave the young prince a choice - either to be sacrificed to the gods, or to betray his brother and become a vassal of Calakmul. B'alaj Chan K'awiil, jealous of his brother, recognized Yuknoom Che'en II as his overlord and agreed to fight against Tikal. However, he also started fighting for his own power and the glory of Dos Pilas instead of just that of Calakmul.
At the end, the outcome of the war was inconclusive. B'alaj Chan K'awiil betrayed his father and brother by sacking Tikal, but he never became the true king of the city. Instead, struck by guilt, he went back to Dos Pilas and spent the remainder of his days there. The war was won by Tikal after several years. Nonetheless, it never really recovered from the betrayal of one of its dearest sons... "Ichik!", I hear a strange but familiar voice saying. "Ichik! Wake up!"
- In the HD Edition, destroying each Raider camp creates a yellow flag northwest of Dos Pilas. This is intended to ease the count of the camps destroyed. In the Definitive Edition, this is done by a counter on the side of the UI.
- Similarly, When a stone head is discovered in the HD Edition, a new shrub appears near the Countryside Monastery.
- Though the Calakmul player is Mayan, the Wonder in their city is Aztec. This is because the Wonder belongs in the beginning to the Raiders in the HD Edition and to Uaxactun in the Definitive Edition.
- Though the player can choose between backing Calakmul or Tikal, the outro will always mention that B'alaj Chan K'awiil sided with Calakmul, as it happened in history. Achieving victory with Calakmul is also easier than with Tikal.
- B'alaj Chan K'awiil is the native name of the Mayan AI player name Flint Sky God, who ruled Dos Pilas from 629 to his death around 692-698.
- In 648 (the date given to the battle in the game), B'alaj Chan K'awiil rebelled against Tikal, ruled by his brother Nuun Ujol Chaahk. In 650, Dos Pilas was attacked by Calakmul and B'alaj Chan K'awiil fled to nearby Aguateca (rather than Uaxactun, which is actually further from Dos Pilas than Tikal is). Calakmul conquered Tikal in 657, and around 657-662 both Nuun Ujol Chaahk and B'alaj Chan K'awiil swore fealty to the royal heir of Calakmul. In 672 Nuun Ujol Chaahk attacked B'alaj Chan K'awiil and chased him out of Dos Pilas again; he was restored with Calakmul's help in 677, and they conquered and sacked Tikal together in 679, possibly killing Nuun Ujol Chaahk. Nevertheless, the war continued until 695, when Tikal prevailed and conquered Calakmul.
- Naranjo, depicted as an ally of Tikal threatened by Calakmul, was actually conquered by Calakmul a century before. In 682 Calakmul appointed B'alaj Chan K'awiil's daughter Lady Six Sky as Naranjo's ruler.
- All players have modern names. Dos Pilas and Naranjo are Spanish words while Calakmul, Tikal, and Uaxactun are Mayan.
- Dos Pilas means "Two Fountains". In this time it used the glyph Mutal (possibly meaning "Bundle" or "Hair Knot"), also used by Tikal. For this reason, Tikal is sometimes called Yax Mutal or Old Mutal.
- Naranjo means "Orange Tree" (Wak Kab'nal in Mayan). It used the glyph Sa'aal ("Place rich in gruel").
- Uaxactun used the glyph Siaan K'aan ("Born in Heaven").
- Calakmul used the glyph Kaan ("Snake Head"), thus its nickname "Serpent Kingdom".
- The Raiders are the only Aztec player in the HD Edition and vaguely implied to be foreign. They may be meant to be from Teotihuacan, which invaded the southern Maya from central Mexico in the 4th and 5th centuries. The Nahuatl-speaking Toltecs also invaded the Yucatan later in the 10th century. However, in the Definitive Edition, they are changed to Mayan and seemingly meant to be local bandits.