The Aztecs are a Mesoamerican civilization available in the Age of Empires II: The Conquerors expansion as an infantry civilization. Their unique unit is the Jaguar Warrior, the highest rank of warrior in the Aztec army, wielding a wooden club studded with obsidian sharp shards. The Jaguar Warrior is thus a heavy infantry unit who is strong against other infantry units. Their Castle Age unique technology, Atlatl, represents a tool employed by hunters and Warriors that was used for throwing spears or javelins. Their Imperial Age unique technology, Garland Wars, references the "flower wars" which the Aztecs organized among their allies in order to provide more sacrifices. The Aztecs were also known as a hard working and innovative civilization, and their Villagers carry more resources and get the Loom technology free (free Loom was removed in The Forgotten). Being a highly military civilization, the Aztecs also have a general creation bonus across the board for all their unit. They were famous for their bloody and ardent faith, with their relics generating extra gold and their Monks receiving extra HP per each Monastery technology researched, allowing their Monks to join other soldiers on the battlefield. The Aztecs did not have horses or gunpowder. They completely lack Stables and cannons. They start with an Eagle Warrior in The Conquerors and an Eagle Scout since The Forgotten, a fast light infantry that they share with the Mayans and Incas, instead of a Scout Cavalry.
The Aztecs are a Native American Civilization. As such, they lack any access to Cavalry technology, including all Stable units and Cavalry Archers. They possess some of the strongest infantry, despite lacking Halberdiers, and coupled by the best Monks in the game. They have also great archers such as Arbalests. Every Monastery technology is available to them and each one grants an additional 5 HP, allowing the normally fragile monk to be more durable. They are one of only three civilizations that starts a standard game with an Eagle Scout or Eagle Warrior (depending the version of the game), not a Scout Cavalry. The Aztecs economy is very good, only lacking Two-Man Saw and Guilds. However, their navy is not really good, as they are the only civilization that cannot upgrade the War Galley to Galleon. They also lack Cannon Galleons and the Heavy Demolition Ship upgrade. Thus, they have to depend on the War Galleys, Demolition Ships, and Fast Fire Ships as their best naval vessels.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Aztec AI characters:
Acamapichtli (1356-1395): First ruler (tlatoani) of the city state Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1376-1395. Astute politician who favored diplomacy above war.
Ahuitzotol (?-1502): Eighth ruler of Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1486-1502. Greatly expanded Aztec territory and further developed Tenochtitlan.
Axayactl (1449-1481): Sixth ruler of Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1469-1481. Led some successful military campaigns, but was also responsible for the first major Aztec defeat at the hands of the Tarascans.
Chimalpopoca (1397-1427): Third ruler of the city state Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1417-1427. Presumably killed by Itzcoatl in a coup d'etat, while the Tepanecs were blamed.
Cuauhtemoc (1497-1525): Eleventh and last Aztec ruler (1520-1521). Taken prisoner after the Siege of Tenochtitlan, eventually tortured and hanged by Cortes.
Cuitlauac (1476-1520): Tenth ruler of Tenochtitlan, ruled in 1520 for 80 days after which he died in a smallpox epidemic. Led the Aztec rebellion against the Spanish occupation of Tenochtitlan.
Huitzilihuitl (1379-1417): Second ruler of the city state Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1396-1417. While young and inexperienced, he sought alliances with neighboring city states and made war on Texcoco.
Itzcoatl (?-1440): Fourth ruler of Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1428-1440. Threw off the domination of the Tepanecs and forged the Triple Alliance, forming the basis of the Aztec empire.
Maxixca (?-1520): Chief of the Tlascalans and ally of Cortes, helped him recover and reassemble a host after La Noche Triste and the Battle of Otumba. Died of smallpox.
Montezuma: Montezuma II (1466-1520), ninth ruler of Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1502-1520. The Aztec empire reached its greatest extent. Made prisoner during the Spanish conquest, and killed during the Aztec rebellion.
Tizoc (?-1486): Seventh ruler of Tenochtitlan, ruled from 1481-1486. Suggested to have died from illness or poison.