The player is playing as B'alaj Chan K'awiil, a son of K'inich Muwaan Jol II, the king of Tikal. The player takes over Dos Pilas (as a vassal state of Tikal) and defends it against Calakmul. However, at a certain point, Calakmul invades Dos Pilas with a massive force, and the player must decide whether to remain loyal to Tikal or defect to Calakmul. If the player chooses the former, the player has to flee to Uaxactun and build up a force to defeat Calakmul. If the player chooses the latter, the player remains in Dos Pilas and build up a force to defeat Tikal.
Throughout the gameplay, the player may fulfill quests given by neutral Countryside and earn rewards, while defeating the Raiders to loot some treasures.
Based on the player's decision, the diplomatic stance varies for most players. However, the Raiders is always an enemy, while the Countryside is always an ally.
- Dos Pilas (Mayans) is located in the southwest, which the player is to take over after witnessing their forces being defeated by Calakmul in the northwest. They also have a Horse in Tikal as a placeholder unit. The player must defend it without losing the Town Center. However if the player chooses to remain loyal to Tikal, the player has to abandon Dos Pilas and move to Uaxactun, and Dos Pilas will turn against 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.
The Two Hegemonies Edit
These are the two competing hegemony powers in the region, which the player must choose to side one at some point, by clicking the Wonder of the respective player, and aim to destroy the other's wonder to win the game. After the player made the decision, having any unit reaching the western side of the suzerain city will receive reinforcements from the suzerain. Once the player advanced to the Imperial Age, these two powers will follow suit.
- Calakmul (Mayans) is in the north, and their forces mainly consist of Eagle Warriors, Jaguar Warriors, Long Swordsmen, Pikemen, Crossbowmen, Skirmishers and Plumed Archers, sometimes attack with siege weapons. They will advance to the Imperial Age 140 seconds (2 minutes and 20 seconds) after the player has done so. The reinforcements they provide consist of Eagle Warriors and Jaguar Warriors. However, even if the player chooses to side them, their stance towards the player remains as 'enemy' and might still attack the player later, though their towers and castles do not attack the player. If the player remains loyal to Tikal and takes over Uaxactun, Calakmul keeps invading Uaxactun non-stop and sometimes invades Dos Pilas if recaptured by the player.
- Tikal (Mayans) is in the east, and their forces mainly consist of Eagle Warriors, Skirmishers, slingers, Crossbowmen/Arbalesters, Two-Handed Swordsmen etc. They keep producing slingers (which is actually a unique unit of the Incas) at their wonder. They will advance to the Imperial Age 210 seconds (3 minutes and 30 seconds) after the player has done so. The reinforcements they provide consist of Eagle Warriors and slingers. They also have a military base in the south of Uaxactun, which is taken over by the Raiders if the player remains loyal to Tikal (upon the Calakmul invasion of Dos Pilas), and the player gets near this small base.
If the player is on Tikal's side, the following players are allies with the player (unless Naranjo gets captured by Calakmul). Otherwise they are enemies with the player.
- Naranjo (Mayans) is located in the northeast. They focus on their own defense and do not actively attack unless provoked. They consist mainly of Eagle Warriors, Plumed Archers, etc. If the player chooses to stay on Tikal's side, under a certain condition (refer to section below) the player will be asked to defend Naranjo from Calakmul invasion for 15 minutes, or else Naranjo will join Calakmul's side and turn against the player. They will start building an army either during the defense against Calakmul, or if the player joins Calakmul's side.
- Uaxactun (Mayans/Aztecs in the Definitive Edition) is located in the middle of the map, east of Dos Pilas. They will advance to the Imperial Age 233 seconds (3 minutes and 53 seconds) after Tikal. If being an enemy of the player, they actively attack with Long Swordsmen, Pikemen, and Crossbowmen. If the player remains loyal to Tikal, the player is to flee Dos Pilas and takeover Uaxactun.
Always ally Edit
- Countryside (Mayans) is neutral in the conflict. They have a village in the west, being occupied by the Raiders, and the player may safety trade with the Market by defeating the Raiders. There is an old scientist (a Monk) outside a University in the middle of the map, who asks the player to help him examine three stone heads and he will reward with gold. There are three Monks outside a Monastery in the south (east of the Raiders' camp), who ask the player to bring them a Relic and they will reward with 1,000 gold. There is a turkey trader (a Villager) outside a Trade Workshop along the route between Dos Pilas and Uaxactun, who offers to buy Turkeys with 100 gold each.
Always enemy Edit
- Raiders/Mayan Raiders in the Definitive Edition (Aztecs/Mayans in the Definitive Edition) are scattered from the west to the south. They have troops along the route from the river to Dos Pilas, have 5 small camps (each with Yurts) surrounding Dos Pilas, have a camp in the south guarding Gold Mines and Stone Mines, and occupying the Countryside village in the west. Destroying the five small camps mentioned above loots 200 gold each. If the player chooses to remain loyal to Tikal, at a certain point the Raiders take over the small Tikal camp in the south of Uaxactun, or if discovered by the player.
Gameplay and strategy/tactics Edit
The player begins with Eagle Warriors, Plumed Archers, and an Elite Eagle Warrior. The player first watches the Dos Pilas army being slaughtered by Calakmul's forces, and the player is to head south and take over Dos Pilas, while trying to avoid the Raiders as much as he/she can.
The player must defend Dos Pilas at the moment without losing the Town Center, facing frequent Calakmul invasions. The player is also asked to advance to the Castle Age. If the player stocks up to 300 gold, the Raiders will come and invade Dos Pilas as well. Once the player advanced to the Castle Age, Calakmul will prepare a massive troops to invade Dos Pilas. When there is a large force from Calakmul coming, the player is alarmed on the fact that the enemy invasion force is too huge to be defeated, and once they approached the gate of Dos Pilas, the player must decide whether to remain loyal to Tikal, or to defect to Calakmul.
Defect to Calakmul Edit
If the player chooses to join Calakmul's side, Dos Pilas remains as the player's base throughout the whole gameplay. Calakmul's invasion forces retreat from Dos Pilas, but since their stance towards the player is still 'enemy', the player's gates of Dos Pilas cannot be automatically opened for any of Calakmul's soldiers inside the city, so the player must send any unit to manually open the gate(s). Despite the diplomatic stance, Calakmul's towers and Castles do not attack any of the player's units passing by. However, at some point, Calakmul's soldiers might still attack some buildings and even Villagers of the player.
The player must deal with Uaxactun's invasion which often come with Long Swordsmen, pikemen, and crossbowmen. The player should consider building two more towers - one at the Barracks (north of Dos Pilas), another at the east gate of Dos Pilas (there is initially only one Watch Tower there, which unlike the other two gates having two towers each). Note that buildings being taken over from another player do not enjoy upgrades, therefore the initial watch towers taken from Dos Pilas cannot be upgraded, even with the Guard Tower and the Keep researches.
As Trebuchets cannot be built in this scenario (Note: In the Definitive Edition, Trebuchets are available to all players), the player has to rely on rams - preferably upgraded to Siege Rams, and fully loading a ram with infantry increases its speed. Uaxactun is relatively easier to be torn down, as compared with the well-defended Tikal. Eagle Warriors and Plumed Archers are also quite useful to be deployed alongside the rams, as the player can make good use of their speed, and may attempt to use a hit-and-run strategy to lure the enemies back to the player's base(s) and get hit by the player's towers and/or castles. Researching the El Dorado is highly recommended, giving the Eagle Warriors more hit points. Note that there are enemy units being stuck in barracks and Archery Ranges yet being visible, so the player should use ranged units or siege weapons to kill them one-by-one before destroying the respective building.
Remain loyal to Tikal Edit
If the player chooses to remain loyal to Tikal, the whole Dos Pilas, as well as all buildings built by the player (Note: In the Definitive Edition, after certain updates, all the resources the player obtained will also be taken away), are returned or handed over to the player "Dos Pilas", and the player has two Eagle Warriors and one Plumed Archer spawned at the east gate of Dos Pilas and flee to Uaxactun. The player should quickly bring all units to Uaxactun before being killed by the Calakmul troops. Once the player's units reach Uaxactun, the player will take over the whole city, and Dos Pilas will turn against the player. Uaxactun becomes the new base of the player.
The player may opt to destroy the town center of Dos Pilas in order to recapture the city, though not necessary to win. The player may choose to build Battering Rams before hand and leave them in the city during Calakmul's invasion, and use these rams to destroy the town center immediately after Dos Pilas turn against the player. However, such instant siege of Dos Pilas prevent them from upgrading the buildings, which may benefit the player later.
Calakmul keeps invading Uaxactun non-stop, and if Dos Pilas is still in the game, they occasionally attack as well. Even if the player recaptures Dos Pilas, Calakmul still attacks Uaxactun much more often. The player should consider replacing the Watch Towers with Guard Towers or Keeps whenever possible, as buildings being inherited from other players do not enjoy upgrades done by the player later. Replacing at least some of the Stone Walls with Fortified Walls helps too. While searching for gold mines and stone mines in the wilderness, the player's villagers must be careful not to be slaughtered by enemies, and it is advisable to build defensive structures around the mines. Having some defensive structures outside the player's cities helps divert enemy's attention and enable the player to concentrate more in building up a force.
The player has to rely on rams in order to lay siege on Calakmul, preferably upgraded to Siege Rams and being fully loaded with infantry. The nearest path to attack the wonder is the east route, though both the east route and the centre route are quite heavily guarded. The player shall consider invading Calakmul from three different routes - west, centre, and east, to disperse or distract the enemy forces.
Secondary objectives Edit
Dealing with the Raiders Edit
There are Raiders ambushing along the path from the river to Dos Pilas, consisting of Spearmen, Plumed Archers, and slingers. The player may deal with these with a force consisting of Long Swordsmen/Two-Handed Swordsmen and crossbowmen/arbalests to kill them. The Raiders have a Scorpion in the northwest of Dos Pilas, which once destroyed have a Battering Ram as replacement.
The Raiders at the five camps outside Dos Pilas consist of mostly Eagle Scouts, as well as a few Spearmen, skirmishers, crossbowmen, etc. and there are three Jaguar Warriors among those in the south of Dos Pilas. Each 'camp' consists of 3 or 4 yurts. Destroying each camp earns 200 gold. The player may use the same strategy as above.
A hit-and-run strategy is quite ineffective towards the marching Raiders (those occupying the Countryside village in the west, as well as those marching in the middle of the route between the river with Dos Pilas) as once they give up chasing after the player's troops, they retreat and return marching there. In the western village, the marching Two-Handed Swordsmen and slingers are a pain to deal with, but the marching skirmishers and Spearmen can be dealt with easily. Once these Raiders are killed, the player may peacefully trade with the market there.
The Raiders have a military camp in the south, being walled with Palisade Walls and Palisade Gates. The player should consider having a band of rams, scorpions, infantry and archers to invade. Once the camp is destroyed, the player has access to lots of gold mines and stone mines there. However, the player should destroy the gates and replace with the player's own gate, as the Raiders is 'allied' with the player's enemies, and the Raiders' gates will freely open for the player's enemies.
If the player remains loyal to Tikal, and the Raiders take over the Tikal military base in the south of Uaxactun, the player must beware of the marching guards consisting of Eagle Warriors and Plumed Archers, as they attack the player's units that pass by them. Simply sending a combination of Long Swordsmen/Two-Handed Swordsmen and Crossbowmen/Arbalesters is enough to deal with these marching Raiders.
Fulfilling quests by Countryside Edit
The player needs to click on the units to get the respective quests.
There is a turkey trader outside a trade workshop, in the east of Dos Pilas, along the route to Uaxactun. He offers to buy turkeys with 100 gold each. The player can find turkeys all over the map, using any unit to bring the turkey to the trader, while carefully preventing it from being stolen by other players.
There is an old scientist outside the university in the middle of the map, near Uaxactun, and he requests to help him examine three stone heads around the area, as he does not want to risk himself in the dangerous battlefield. Send any unit to seek for all the three stone heads and go back to him. One stone head is nearby in the northwest of Dos Pilas; another across the river south of Dos Pilas, near a watch tower of the Countryside and the Raiders' southern military camp; one more is at the mountains in the east of Uaxactun. Once done, the scientist will reward the player with 1000 gold.
There are three Monks at a monastery behind the Raiders' southern military camp, therefore it is advisable to defeat the Raiders over there before proceeding to this. They ask for a relic. It is located in the southeast of the map, behind the jungle. If the player does not want to chop the trees, the player may opt to use an Onager to destroy the trees. Once the task is done, the Monks will reward the player with 1000 gold. However this may not be worth if the gameplay is to be dragged for long, so the player should garrison the relic into his/her own monastery to generate gold for himself/herself.
Naranjo (if remain loyal to Tikal) Edit
If the gameplay has exceeded 3800 seconds (63 minutes and 20 seconds), the player discovers Naranjo, and the player owns at least 70 military units, the player is asked to defend Naranjo from Calakmul's invasion for 15 minutes, or else Naranjo will be captured by Calakmul. Naranjo will build up a force of their own.
Within this 15 minutes, if Calakmul has at least 8 units entered Naranjo, while Naranjo has only 5 or less military units, Naranjo is deemed to be 'captured' by Calakmul and defects to Calakmul's side. Then the player will be asked to defeat Naranjo. Or else, once successfully defended, Naranjo will eventually build up a large force which can help the player defend against Calakmul in the east.
- According to history, B'alaj Chan K'awiil, as the ruler of Dos Pilas, defected to Calakmul while claiming to be the legitimate heir of the Tikal throne. This probably explains why in the game, Dos Pilas turns against the player if the player chooses to remain loyal to Tikal - ensure that Dos Pilas joins Calakmul's side.
- All geographical names are modern. Dos Pilas and Naranjo are Spanish words while Calakmul, Tikal and Uaxactun are Mayan. The sites were possibly known at the time as Mutal, Sa'aal, Kaan, Yax Mutal, and Siaan K'aan (in the same order).
- The Calakmul's wonder is actually the Aztec Great Temple of Tenochtitlan, which is initially possessed by the Raiders and changes hand later.
- Destroying each of the five Raiders' camps places a yellow flag (Dos Pilas) in the northwest. This is to facilitate the system for the countdown of the number of camps destroyed.
- Discovering each stone head for the old scientist plants a small shrub inside the jungle near the Countryside monastery. This is to facilitate the system for the countdown of the number of stone heads discovered.