Capital of Mayan Empire
The Mayan people (or Maya) represent a civilization in .
- Musical Theme: Traditional Mayan Melody Fragments* (composed by Michael Curran, orchestrated by Knorr)
- Music Set: Native American
- Architecture: Native American
- Camazotz, Coyopa, Gukumatz, Hunahpu, Huracan, Ixchel, Ixtab, Kukulkán, Xbalanque, Zipacna
- Christianity or Catholicism
* Curran admits that some of the musical influences for this theme came from movie soundtracks.
The Mayan civilization is one of the most underestimated civilizations in all of . While the Maya don't strongly lean towards any victory path, they do have an increased incentive to go down the religious path. From there, coupled with the advantages of their unique ability, players can choose whichever path to victory they desire.
The unique ability of the Maya, The Long Count, can be surprisingly useful if used correctly. The key for this lies in the scaling of game years, which pass more quickly in the early game (at a rate of 50-100 years per turn, with decreasing intervals as you pass from BC to AD), as opposed to the later game. Since The Long Count is activated every 394 nominal years, and not a set amount of turns, this means that if you start the count early enough you will get your first three or four Great People at short intervals, potentially at 15-20 turns apart (depending on game speed). To fully use this advantage, you should rush the necessary tech, Theology, so as to start the count as early as possible. This will allow you to get your first Great Person around turn 100, with two or three more before turn 160, while other civilizations are quite possibly still struggling to get their first Great People.
Although you can only get one of each Great Person from this bonus, this is actually more beneficial than it looks, as you still have access to every single Great Person that exists. For example, you could get a Great Prophet and develop your religion early on, or you could pick a Great Admiral and start exploring the oceans (using the fact that this Great Person can always traverse ocean tiles, even before you research Astronomy). You probably won't need all the Great People that exist in the game, so pick carefully and choose the ones that best suit your style of play or the victory condition on which you are focusing. Regardless, you shouldn't choose arts-related Great People among your first, because you'll have less use for them due to the lack of Great Work slots.
One downside of The Long Count is that each Great Person achieved from this unique ability will increase the amount of GPP required to generate the respective Great Person again normally. If, once all of the Great People have been chosen, another 394 years pass, then you will get access to the list again, and can choose more Great People. (You may also notice that once The Long Count activates, the year counter in the upper right corner of the user interface changes its form to the traditional Mayan Long Count. Try to convert them to normal years!)
The Maya is one of the civs for which religion is a must. The Mayan unique building, the Pyramid, replaces the Shrine and not only provides +2 Science, but also double the amount of Faith! This unique combination makes religion, which can and should be ignored by some civs without consequence, quite beneficial for the Maya. Mayan players should consider adopting beliefs like Messenger of the Gods and Interfaith Dialog, which will allow them to make additional scientific progress by spreading their religion.
The Atlatlist is a decent replacement for the Archer, and has two important advantages over it: you don't need to research Archery to build it (which allows you to produce them from the first turn and devote extra research time to more important techs early on), and it's slightly cheaper to build/buy.
Primarily inhabiting regions of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize from the 3rd to 10th centuries AD, the Mayan people lived in a network of independent kingdoms sharing a common culture and religion. While their true origin is shrouded in mystery, numerous theories exist as to the early development of Mayan civilization. According to archaeological records, the first distinctly Maya settlements were established around 2000 BC. Growing from pre-agricultural communities into vast urban centers, the Mayan city-states came to rely on sophisticated farming techniques for both sustenance and trade. Although many of their settlements suffered from an unexplained collapse late in the 1st millennium AD, numerous cities still thrived until the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century.