The Incas focus on rushing and specialized counter-units. They are known for their Feudal Age tower-rush and effective counter units.
The Incas are a versatile civilization as they have several useful economic bonuses. Their houses provide extra population, which can be very useful for quickly increasing population and saving wood. Their buildings cost less stone and Villagers benefit from Blacksmith upgrades (starting from the Castle Age), making them more durable and resistant to a rush. These two bonuses allow the Incas to make good fortifications and forward bases near the opponents for a rush. Their extra Llama bonus can be used for exploring in the early game or just for taking some extra food. Their team bonus allows farms to be built more quickly. This is especially useful in the mid and late game when the economy of the team relies on farms for gathering food.
Incan Unique units are both powerful counter-units. The Kamayuk is one of the few melee units of the game that have range (+1), this means that if a player has two or more lines of Kamayuks the second line also attacks, giving them a significant advantage in pitched melee battles and allows them to attack from behind walls. The anti-cavalry bonus of the Kamayuks is very helpful in the late game, as they are much better than a regular Halberdier, and are powerful in large numbers. They are not as strong against infantry in one-to-one fights, but can easily overpower them in groups. With Kamayuks, incas can fight civilizations who heavily rely on cavalry, such as Franks, Saracens, Persians, and Magyars. The Slinger, on the other hand, is an anti-infantry unit, in some way similar to a Hand Cannoneer but weaker, cheaper, faster firing, more accurate, and available from the Castle Age without having to research Chemistry first. The Slinger's and the Skirmisher's minimum range can be removed using their unique technology called Andean Sling. With Slingers, Incas can fight infantry civilizations like Vikings, Malay, or Teutons. The Eagle Warrior's armor can be improved with the unique technology Fabric Shields that gives them +1/+2 extra armor, this unique technology (plus Blacksmith upgrades) increases the armor of Eagle Warriors considerably to an incredible 10 pierce armor, making Incan Eagle Warriors devastating on raids as they withstand both Town Center and Castle arrow fire. Inca early bonuses of stone, House and Llama are very helpful in the Dark and Feudal age, while their very cost-effective units i.e. Kamayuk (vs cavalry), Slinger (vs infantry), Eagle Warrior (vs buildings, Monks, gunpowder and archers) are very good in the Castle and Imperial Age.
Like the other Native American civilizations, the Incas lack cavalry and gunpowder units, which puts them at a disadvantage. While Eagle Warriors make decent cavalry substitutes in the Castle Age and early Imperial Age, they don't have a lot of HP so are easily outmatched by Paladins and they cost a lot of gold, unlike Hussars. So in late game they must rely almost entirely on their unique units which are both individually weak and must be used in large groups to be effective.
The Incas lack any offensive or defensive bonuses for their troops. This vulnerability is increased by the lack of durability of their unique units. This puts the Incas at a disadvantage in large battles as they lack staying power. They must rely on counter units. For example, Kamayuks counter cavalry, Slingers for infantry, and Eagle Warriors against archery and siege.
The Incas are probably weakest when going toe-to-toe against the Aztecs and Mayans, since the Incas' economy bonuses and Eagle Warriors are the weakest of the three Native-American civilizations. Additionally, the Inca's unique unit, the Kamayuk cannot utilize its attack bonus against cavalry.
Incas have a slightly different start from other civilizations. Only one house needs to be built (although two can be built optionally) and they can start gathering food immediately due to starting with a Llama. The Llama has a slightly better Line of Sight than a Sheep, so it can also be used to scout around if the player spots their Sheep early. The Llama also provides food. Incas have two main strategies. A Tower Rush (trush) which is made especially potent by their stone bonus and Villager bonus, and a standard Fast Castle. They are also able to perform Eagle Scout rushes, and Archer Feudal Age rushes. However, Incas are known mainly for their tower rush, just as Aztecs for their Militia rush and Mayans for their archer rush.
For a Tower Rush, the player must go up to the Feudal Age around 22 population (21 Villagers) and task at least two to mine stone (preferably 5 or 6). In the Feudal Age, they must build a Blacksmith as soon as possible and research Scale Mail Armor in first place, then they must get Forging afterwards if they can afford it without disrupting Villager production and then Fletching (for the tower attack) if the player can afford it. While doing this, the player need to send up to five Villagers (preferably ten or twelve divided in 2 groups) over to the opponent's base in order to build a tower at a short distance away from their first disruptive tower. This first Tower is meant to not be spotted as it goes up, and to protect the Villagers while they make the second one, which should go over the main Gold Mine or main Forest or some such critical supply area. From here, the player must keep pressing in and building Towers within range of each other to cover all of the critical resources and surrounding the opponent's Town center, if able the player should then steal the stone mines of his opponent. If the Villagers are attacked by other Villagers, they do have Blacksmith upgrades and can take down the enemy villagers, but even so is better to only engage under a Tower, since losses should be kept to a minimum. If they are attacked by enemy Men-at-Arms or Eagle Warriors (if the opponent is in the Feudal Age) or Castle Age units, the player must take their Villagers and garrison them in a tower since they are weak against those units, but Incan Villagers with Blacksmith upgrades and Loom in the Feudal Age can still handle archers, Skirmishers, Scout Cavalry and Spearmen. If the opponent survives then the Inca player should age up to Castle Age as soon as possible and use their stone to create castles turning the Inca Trush into a Castle drop.
For a Fast Castle, there is no real difference besides needing fewer Houses. Upon reaching the Castle Age, army composition is dependent on what the enemy is doing. Kamayuks counter Cavalry, especially when massed, Slingers counter Infantry, especially when massed, Skirmishers and Eagle Warriors counter Archers.
The player must try to not use too many Eagle Warriors unless they need to raid an enemy location, since Incas arguably have the worst Eagles in the game. Aztec and Mayan Eagles get huge attack and health boosts, respectively. Incan Eagle Warriors get an armor boost, which can help absorb arrow fire (which they already resist heavily) can reduce damage when retreating from Cavalry (Mayan Eagles can take nearly two hits for every one hit others can, so they're still inferior), and can catch slower units easier, which is still overshadowed by Aztecs dealing extra damage. Notably, post-Imperial Incan Elite Eagle Warriors can survive 60 arrows from post-Imperial Arbalests (due to Fabric Shields). This durability outshines Mayan Eagles, who can survive 50 (despite their El Dorado Unique Technology), while Aztec Eagles can endure 30 arrows.
In the Imperial Age, Incas begin to struggle. All of their troops have fairly low health, and cannot last long. They have two choices: End it in one quick strike, or prepare for a drawn out siege. Fortunately, Incas seem to be practically built for lengthy sieges. Their Villagers can take a lot of abuse before dying, allowing them to easily set up cheaper Castles on the front lines along with other offensive buildings and military buildings such as Archery ranges, Siege Workshops, Monasteries and Barracks. Also set up Monasteries, in the Imperial Age as this required for a good Inca army composition which consists of several siege units, skirmishers and archers, and some Monks for support the frontlines of Slingers, Eagle warriors and Kamayuks.
On the sea, the lack of Cannon Galleons puts Incas at a distinct disadvantage. They should either use boats more defensively, or try to keep the foe from getting any Towers or Castles up. In team games, they can simply have a teammate that take care of opposing Castles, and support them by keeping enemy Boats away.
Defensively, Incas fare reasonably well. Their Stone Walls cost 1 less stone (4 instead of 5), which helps make Stone Walling more affordable. Their dedicated counter units are good for destroying poorly composed enemy armies, and can easily retreat for healing, which is their main problem in pitched battles outside the opponent's base.
Strategy changes in The African Kingdoms
Incas are greatly improved in this expansion, as all Native American Civilizations they can now create their Eagle scouts since Feudal Age making an Eagle scout rush a viable option. They also receive Thumb Ring and the Slinger no longer require a Castle making possible for the Incas to perform a Slinger rush once they reach Castle Age. Also they receive Guilds and Block Printing making their economy and their Monks more viable.
Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition
Watch Towers' HP is reduced to 700 in the Dark Age (in the Castle Age, they still have 1,020 HP). Despite this, their Tower rush is still a viable tactic, just a bit harder to perform successfully. Incas are also granted the new technology Supplies, which improves their Militia line.
They are also able to train Xolotl Warriors if they convert a Stable, so they gain access to a cavalry unit. The effect of Tracking now is applied directly when advancing to the Feudal Age, improving the scouting ability of their Eagle Scouts, as they now do not have to research it.
Strategy changes in Lords of the West
The Tower Rush was drastically affected in update 47820, as the infantry Blacksmith upgrades now only affect Villagers starting in the Castle Age. This was to adress the huge supremacy that Incan Villagers could get in the Feudal Age when tower rushing, as their Villagers were too strong. However the effect still retains the defensive purpose in the Castle Age.
Strategy changes in Dawn of the Dukes
The non-elite Kamayuks were improved in update 56005 with +10 hit points and +1 melee armor, essentially making them better in the Castle Age.
Strategy changes in Dynasties of India
Their team bonus was replaced with Spearmen and Skrimishers having increased Line of Sight. While not as strong when compared to other team bonuses, it is better than their previous bonus of Farms being built faster, as well as solidifying Incas' identity of emphasis on "counter-units".
Incas are valuable allies not only for their team bonus but also for their stone discount bonus on their buildings as they can create defensive structures to support all their team cheaper than other civilizations.
Incas benefits greatly from civilizations that can cover their natural lack of cavalry while also they benefit from many team bonuses that helps them in a tactical way or boosts archers and infantry. Allied with Slavs will help them to make housing even more affordable as the Slav bonus makes military buildings to support 5 population so the Incas can increase their population capacity even faster. The Italian team bonus is also especially useful as Condottieri from them can synergize with the Slinger and the Kamayuk in the battlefield. As the Incan towers are cheaper, the Ethiopian team bonus is also helpful, as it improves the Line of Sight of the towers. Their Villagers benefit from the Blacksmith upgrades for infantry, so a Bulgarian ally also makes a good synergy enabling a faster "Villager rush", since they will get faster Blacksmith upgrades.
Team bonuses that boost Archery Range units are especially useful for the Incas (like Britons team bonus, Saracen team bonus, and Magyar Team bonus) as the Slinger is considered an archer and is produced at the Archery Range. Alternatively, Berber teammates grant the Incas Genitours with full Blacksmith upgrades as the cavalry contingent they direly need, plus Kasbah upgrade to help them amass Kamayuks and Trebuchets quickly. It is important to notice that Genitours also benefits from the Andean Sling Technology, similarly Vietnamese also grant the Imperial Skirmisher upgrade to the Incas (which will also benefits from Andean Sling), thus enriching their counter-unit roster against most units, the Vietnamese ally can also address to their Incan ally, the locations of the opponents since the start of the game enabling to perform better a rush.
Mayans and Incas have a very strong defensive synergy due to the Mayan team bonus and the Mayan bonus of generating extra resources from nature gathering, when allied with Mayans, Incas stone walls only costs 2 stone (1 less stone than the Mayans which stone walls costs 3), and Mayans in this case can specialize in economy and tributing stone to the Incas, while their Inca ally builds most of their defensive structures for both players.Also the Incas can offer to their Mayan ally their starting llama so Mayans can get more food for it. Similarly Incas can also offer that llama to a Briton ally that can take the food of that llama faster. The same thing can be done for the Tatars (since they get 50% more food from herdables), but in their case, the Tatar team bonus offers nothing to the Incas (though the Tatars can still cover the lack of cavalry of the Incas).
The Inca team bonus provides +2 LOS to Skirmishers and Halberdiers; while it does not seem much, this bonus can be very helpful for civilizations that have other bonuses for their trash units (such as Vietnamese, Byzantines, Goths, Dravidians etc.) as this bonus allows them to avoid unfavorable matches, as these units can spot the enemy army earlier.
Compared advantages and disadvantages
Advantages vs other civilizations
Disadvantages vs other civilizations
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