Strengths EditTheir free Loom frees up gold in the Dark Age, allowing them to train five militia without having to task any villagers to mine gold. This, combined with their faster military buildings, allows them to perform a Dark Age rush more effectively than other civilizations.
Their unique technology, Garland Wars, increases the attack of all infantry by four. This gives all of their infantry massive attack compared to those of other civilizations. Their unique unit, the Jaguar Warrior, benefits greatly from this. The Jaguar Warrior already has a large attack and a bonus against other infantry. When coupled with their unique technology they can defeat any other infantry unit in the game. Their Monks are also the best in the game. The Aztecs can research every single Monastery technology, and their monks receive extra hitpoints every time one is researched. In some situations, this bonus is of somewhat questionable value, but with all monk technologies resarched an Aztec monk has ninety-five HP.
Any relics captured by the Aztecs or their teammates generates gold 33% faster, which is very helpful if the player's team has a lot of relics. In the late game, they have access to Siege Rams and Siege Onagers.
The Aztecs' total lack of cavalry or gunpowder puts them at a huge disadvantage in the late game. 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. While Aztec Pikemen have greater basic attack than other civilizations' Halberdiers, they are nowhere near generally as effective against cavalry. This further compounds the problem of the Aztecs' lack of cavalry.
The Aztecs have the weakest navy in the game as they are the only civilization which cannot make Galleons and cannot create Demolition Ships either which causes them to be extremely weak on water maps in the Imperial Age.
Aztecs have a very effective five Militia Dark Age rush (drush) as they get Loom for free, and military units create faster. A standard drush consists of three Militia, so Aztecs get a large advantage here, especially when the opponent is also drushing. In a 1v1, Aztec players should almost always drush, as it is one of their key advantages and makes up for potential struggling later on. If possible, use the confusion of the opponent to reach the Castle age before them.
Aztecs have a powerful economic advantage because of their Villager carrying bonus, and if you choose not to drush, this combined with the extra gold can make a large economic difference. This helps make up for the fact that Aztecs lack Scouts in the Feudal age. In the Castle and Imperial Age, use Monks, Eagle Warriors, Jaguar Warriors and Champions as needed. Monks can deter Cavalry charges with proper support, Eagle Warriors are great against Archers and for raiding, and Jaguar Warriors can easily defeat other Infantry, especially Champions who have a bonus against Eagle Warriors. Mix Siege Onagers and Siege Rams in with your army for best results.
In team games, Aztec players should generally try to play in the pocket position (between two allies), focus on economic booming, and try to get to the Imperial age as fast as reasonably possible. Once in the Imperial age, focus on gold production (relics are good because of the Aztec team bonus) and mass-produce large numbers of Garland Wars boosted Elite Eagle Warriors for raiding. If the opponent is using lots of heavy Cavalry, makes Monks to convert them, as Cavalry can quickly overrun Eagle Warriors. The main strength of Eagles is their speed and resistance to arrow fire, allowing them to run under Castles and Town Centers with impunity. It is important to not let the game drag on too long, as there is very little Aztecs can do in the Post-Imperial Age.
Aztecs should try to keep their feet dry where possible, as they have indisputably the worst Navy in the game. Lacking Galleons, Cannon Galleons, and Demolition Ships, their only hope is to take over the water before the foe can get the Galleons upgrade. On primarily sea-based maps, it is vitally important to control the water from early game, since War Galleys stand no chance going up against an army of Galleons. Fire Ships are good for taking the water and holding it, since Aztecs fortunately get Fast Fire Ships and all the relevant technologies.
If you are ever forced to go defensive as Aztecs, use Monks and building walls. Lacking Masonry, Architecture and Hoardings their Castles go down extremely fast, and should never be relied on for defense.
Strategy changes in The ForgottenEdit
Despite their free loom bonus has been removed and replaced with +50 gold at start, the Aztecs are still a good rushing civilization. Their new unique tech Atlatl Improves the range and damage of their Skirmishers, making them one of the best Skirmishers in the game.