Deep in the rainforests of the Yucatan, an intriguing civilization subsisted within the humid climate for centuries before mysteriously vanishing. Establish city-states and crown them with awe-inspiring pyramids, a testament to your rich mythology and the splendor of your rulers. Conquer the jungles with powerful infantry and swift Plumed Archers, deadly marksmen who can elude all but the most mobile enemy troops. Can you build a legacy worthy of your temperamental gods?
The Mayans specialize in foot archers and have a robust economy. Situated in Central America, they were best known for their mysterious disappearance around 900 and their ability to build a great civilization in a tropical rainforest climate. The Mayans were resourceful and were able to utilize a variety of natural resources. Examples include limestone for construction, the obsidian for tools and weapons, jade and quetzal feathers used in the elaborate costumes of Maya nobility as well as marine shells, which were used as trumpets. To reflect this achievement, their resources last longer while their unique technologies El Dorado and Hul'che Javelineers boost their Eagle Warriors and Skirmisher line. The main force of the Mayan army was archers, and they used them extensively. As a result, their unique unit is the Plumed Archer, a fast archer with a small attack bonus against infantry as well as featuring superior armor and hit points.
Due to the way this bonus works (lowered work rates are multiplied by higher resource gains), farming is ~2.5% / 5.5% / 2.5% slower with no upgrades / Wheelbarrow / Hand Cart, respectively (slightly lower difference with Heavy Plow researched).
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Mayan AI characters:
Bird Jaguar: (Yaxun Bʼalam) Nickname of several rulers of Yaxchilan, most notably Bird Jaguar IV (Yaxun B'alam IV ), the 17th ruler; lived 709–768. He ruled from 752 until 768 AD, continuing the period of prosperity started by his father Itzamnaaj Bʼalam II. He had to struggle to take and hold power, as he was not perceived to be the rightful heir to the throne.
Black Serpent: (Kan Ekʼ) Possibly refers to the Maya legend of Sac-Nicte and Canek. Canek means black serpent, a brave prince with a kind heart. Kan Ekʼ (sometimes spelt Canek) was the name or title used by the Itza Maya kings at their island capital Nojpetén upon Lake Petén Itzá in the Petén Department of Guatemala.
Curl Snout: (Yax Nuun Ahiin I) also known as Curl Snout and Curl Nose (died 17 June 404?), was a 4th-century ruler of the Maya city of Tikal. His name when transcribed is YAX-?-AH:N, translated "First ? Crocodile". He took the throne on 12 September 379, and reigned until his death. He is referred to by the Mayan title ajaw, meaning lord.
Eighteen Rabbit: (Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil) (also known by the appellation "Eighteen Rabbit"), was the 13th ajaw or ruler of the powerful Maya polity associated with the site of Copán in modern Honduras (its Classic Maya name was probably Oxwitik). He ruled from January 2, 695, to May 3, 738.
Flint Sky God: (Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil) (October 15, 625 – ??) was a Maya ruler of Dos Pilas. He is also known as Ruler 1, Flint Sky God K and Malah Chan Kʼawil. In 648 A.D., the "Civil War of Tikal" began when B'ajlaj Chan K'awiil, at the age of 21, defeated the armed forces of Tikal led by an important nobleman named Lam Naah K'awiil. The battle took place in eastern Petén, at a still unidentified site called Sakha'al , possibly near the modern Sacnab lake.
Great Jaguar Paw: (Chak Tok Ichʼaak I) also known as Great Paw, Great Jaguar Paw, and Toh Chak Ichʼak (died January 14, 378) was an ajaw of the Maya city of Tikal. He took the throne on August 7, 360? and reigned until his death in 378, apparently at the hands of invaders from central Mexico.
King Stormy Sky: (Sihyaj Chan Kʼawiil II) also known as Storm Sky and Manikin Cleft Sky (died February 3, 456), was an ajaw of the Maya city of Tikal. He took the throne on November 26, 411 and reigned until his death. He was a son of his predecessor Yax Nuun Ahiin I and Lady Kʼinich, and a grandson of Spearthrower Owl. Stela 31, erected during his reign, describes the death of his grandfather in 439; other monuments associated with Sihyaj Chan Kʼawiil II are Stelae 1 and possibly Stelae 28. Tikal Temple 33 was Sihyaj Chan Kʼawiil II's funerary pyramid and his tomb was located beneath it.
Lady Great Skull Zero: Wife of Bird Jaguar IV
Shield Jaguar II: Possibly refers to (Itzamnaaj B'alam II) (? - June 15, 742) who was a Mayan king of the city of Yaxchilan which is now located in Chiapas, Mexico. He rose to power in October 681 and continued to rule until his death in June 742. Itzamnaaj Bahlam II is best known for the many buildings and stelae he commissioned during his rule, many of which are still found at Yaxchilan today. A spouse to Lady Ik' Skull who herself ruled for a time.
Smoke Imix God: Possibly refers to (Chan Imix Kʼawiil) who was the twelfth ruler of the Maya city state Copán. His nickname was Smoke Jaguar. Smoke Imix was crowned 16 days after the death of Kʼakʼ Chan Yopaat. He is thought to have been the longest reigning king of Copán, ruling from 628 to 695. He is believed to have been born in AD 612 to have become king at the age of 15.
Smoke Monkey: Possibly refers to (Kʼakʼ Joplaj Chan Kʼawiil) who was installed as the 14th dynastic ruler of Copán on 7 June 738, 39 days after the execution of Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil. Little is known of his reign due to the lack of monuments raised after Quiriguá's surprise victory. Copán's defeat had wider implications due to the fracturing of the city's domain and the loss of the key Motagua River trade route to Quiriguá. The fall in Copán's income and corresponding increase at Quiriguá is evident from the massive commissioning of new monuments and architecture at the latter city and Copán may even have been subject to its former vassal. Kʼakʼ Joplaj Chan Kʼawiil died in January 749.
Smoke Shell: Possibly refers to (Kʼakʼ Yipyaj Chan Kʼawiil) (died 763) who was the 15th ruler of the Mayan city of Copán. He was the son of Kʼakʼ Joplaj Chan Kʼawiil. The early period of his rulership fell within Copán's hiatus but later on he began a programme of renewal in an effort to recover from the earlier disaster of the city. He built a new version of Temple 26, with the Hieroglyphic Stairway being reinstalled on the new stairway and doubled in length. Five life-size statues of seated rulers were installed seated upon the stairway. Kʼakʼ Yipyaj Chan Kʼawiil died in the early 760s and is likely to have been interred in Temple 11, although the tomb has not yet been excavated.
Smoking Frog: (Siyaj Kʼakʼ) (alternative spelling: Siyah Kʼakʼ), was a prominent political figure mentioned in the glyphs of Classic Period (250-800 C.E.) Maya civilization monuments, principally Tikal (which he conquered on January 16, 378), as well as Uaxactun and the city of Copan. Epigraphers originally identified him by the nickname "Smoking Frog", a description of his name glyph, but later deciphered it as Siyaj Kʼakʼ, meaning "Fire is born". He is believed to have been the general of the Teotihuacano ruler Spearthrower Owl.
Smoking Squirrel: (Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Chaak) (born January 4, 688 CE), alternatively known by the nickname Smoking Squirrel bestowed before his name glyph was deciphered, was a Maya ruler of Naranjo. He led the city during an extensive military campaign against Yaxha; however, because of his young age at the time, it is presumed that his mother organized much of the campaign.
Waterlily Jaguar: Not the nickname of a Mayan ruler, but rather a Mayan protector deity. Known today as the Water Lily Jaguar, this underworld (or Xibalbá) god was one of the more major ones the ancient Maya worshiped. It was associated with royalty and libation (pouring liquid as a sacrifice.) The Water Lily Jaguar (so called because of the water lily on its head) is still a puzzle for archaeologists, and there are different theories about what the ancient Maya believed about it. The Water Lily Jaguar is both a giant jaguar protector, looming large above the king (e.g., Tikal wooden lintel 3, temple I), and a transformer often shown amidst flames.
The Mayans occupied the Yucatan peninsula, modern Honduras, and modern Guatemala. They date back perhaps to the second millennium BC, but peaked between 600 and 900 AD. Though they lived on lands of marginal agricultural value, they created monuments and ceremonial centers nearly as impressive as those in Egypt. The extent of the ceremonial building is surprising because their religion was relatively simple. Their architecture was also less developed, though undeniably impressive, compared to contemporary advances made elsewhere in the world. They invented a unique written language that is only being deciphered today. Three Mayan books survive to the present, the remnants of a much larger number destroyed by Europeans who feared they contained heresy.
The Mayans were very proficient in mathematics and astronomy. The understanding and predictability of star and planet movements was critical to the calculation of their calendar and the dating of important ceremonies. They lived in small hamlets that have not survived but congregated at their centers for important events. Noble warriors and priests controlled their society.
The Mayans went into decline in the tenth century, perhaps due to earthquake or volcanic eruption. Many of their important ceremonial sites were thereafter abandoned. Warriors from central Mexico then invaded their territory and they broke into small town groupings in the rain forest. The last Mayan center was captured by the Spanish in the 17th century, but as many as two million people of Mayan descent reside in the Yucatan today.
Kukulkan, also spelled K’uk’ulkan, ("Plumed Serpent", "Feathered Serpent") is the name of a Mesoamerican serpent deity. Kukulkan was worshipped by the Yucatec Maya people of the Yucatán Peninsula, in what is now Mexico. Kukulkan is closely related to the deity Qʼuqʼumatz of the Kʼicheʼ people and to Quetzalcoatl of Aztec mythology.
The civilization bonus of the Mayans starting with more Villagers is completely negated in maps or gamemodes that only allow a specific number of villagers to exist at the start of a map, though the Mayans still retain the trade-off of starting off with less resources, presenting a disadvantage.
The Mayans are one of the strongest civilizations for open maps in both 1 vs 1 and team games as the flank, due to their solid economic bonus and their military units, which are durable for long battles (their Plumed Archers and Eagle Warriors with the El Dorado technology), but their archer line had the reputation of "New Siege Onagers" because once Obsidian Arrows was researched, their archers became extremely powerful at taking down buildings and defensive structures, which also led to the removal of the double damage against defensive structures in update 42848. Obsidian Arrows ended up being replaced by Hul'che Javelineers with update 44725.
In addition, the Mayans are one of the easiest archer civilizations for beginners. Their good economy and cheaper archers are a great tool. The Plumed Archer is also an easy archer to micromanage thanks to their speed, which also gives them an option to use against archery units.
The Mayans have the least chance to have mounted units. Since their Monks cannot convert Stables, they can't train Xoltol Warriors commonly like the Aztecs and Incas. In most cases,the only mounted units for Mayans are Genitours via a Berber ally or Elite Kipchaks via a Cuman ally when they have Cuman Mercenaries researched.