8/19/14: I will occasionally update with a new Civ page. There are 10 to go, but the guide is otherwise completed.
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Austria & Polynesia Civ Guides Published. Population and City Growth
Civ 5 Mayan Civilization
Civ Bonuses, AI Info, Strategies, Unique Units and Buildings
Updated for Gods and Kings and Brave New World DLCs
Civilization's Leader: Pacal
Civ Bonus: Long Count
After Theology is researched, you'll receive a free Great Person of your choice after each Mayan Long Count cycle (394 years). You may only choose each Great Person once per game.
Unique Unit: Atlatlist
The Maya begin with the Atlatlist, an Archer replacement - which means they do not need to research Archery to get their first Ranged unit. The Atlatlist costs 36 Production vs the Archer's 40, making it 10% cheaper to produce.
Unique Building: Pyramid
The Pyramid replaces Shrines and provides +1 Faith over the basic building (+2 total), along with +2 Science. Building this early in all your Cities will help you have a technological lead in the early-game.
|Other Info||Pacal has a strong tendency toward Science, Religion, and Wonder production. Their bonus can lead the Maya to be competitive in many victory conditions.|
Strategies/Ideas for playing the Mayans:
The Atlatlist is not particularly impressive, but removes the need for your Civilization to research Archery in order to get an early ranged unit, which is important.
The Mayan Pyramid giving +1 extra Faith and +2 Science over a regular Shrine makes it a building you'll want to squeeze in early. For this, I recommend you go with the Liberty Social Policy Tree for some rapid land grabbing. You can throw up Pyramids in your 4-5+ Cities to help with Science output and Faith. The Maya will naturally get a Religion this way, and it will probably give you an early pick, particularly if you can somehow build Stonehenge. The Great Library works wonderfully on earlier Difficulties, as it will let you take Philosophy or Drama and Poetry as a free tech.
The Mayan Long Count bonus is not huge. You will get about 5 Great People, even if you rush it. The Long Count begins when the game does, and triggers at predictable turns, every 394 years in-game:
Turn 62, 72, 86, 101, 117, 133, 152, 183, and 234. That means you can get a maximum of nine Great People, and all must be a different variety. You should push to at least get it before turn 101, so that you can have a Great Scientist, Engineer, and Merchant before turn 134. Couple this with the free Great Person you'll get for maxing Liberty, and you'll find the synergy here. You can have two Academies fairly early, or rush two World Wonders with Great Engineers. Later, use the Great Merchant for a Trade Mission to help you secure a City-State Ally. The Long Count is OK, but you will play the Maya like most Civs. I suggest either a Scientific or Diplomatic Victory with them, as spreading Religion is not difficult if you can get set up and use a free Great Engineer to get Religious Wonders.
Use the Turn counts above to help you decide if you can push out Theology before the next Long Count Bonus pops up. Get it fairly early, but don't rush too much or you will cripple your Civ in the mid-game, for you will need those Luxury techs to keep a wide Civ happy. Get Construction as soon as possible to build Colosseums, and Trapping to build Circuses if you have access to Horses in some of your Cities.
For Religion, I loved Feed the World, Tithe, and Pagodas to help the Wide Civ grow. If you want to guarantee a Religion, then go for a Pantheon that generates Faith, assuming your nearby terrain allows it. Playing Maya is all about the start and taking advantage of those bonus great people intelligently.
|Sid Meier's Civ 5 is a deep strategy game. I created these individual Civilization Guides to highlight the strengths of their specials and unique units. If you have an opener or tip for playing this Civ that you would like to share with other readers, please use the comments form below. Some Guides are in need of update and will be improved to a new standard of quality or altered to reflect gameplay changes in G&K and Brave New World.|
1. The Piety tree seems to be designed for them. The extra faith and especially quicker building time for shrines works great with the Pyramid. Plus you can do awesome things with the right Reformation belief (see below).
2. Using the science boost from the pyramids to rush Theology is totally awesome.
In my game, I researched only the technologies necessary to get to Theology to make the most of the Mayans screwy research priorities. Then I started building the Hagia Sophia immediately so I could get a great Prophet. Although it took many turns, it turned out to be worth it because my pantheon belief was Desert Folklore and I was in an area full of flood plains, so I ended up with two great prophets coming out at about the same time. This allowed me to found and enhance a religion long before the AIs. When the Long Count kicked in, the first Great Person I chose was the Engineer, which I used to rush production of the Mosque of Djenne so that my missionaries would be able to spread religion three times. After this, I started building Borobudur, although this ended up running into issues.
My second Long Count Great Person was another prophet which I used for the improvement and I think I spent more faith on another prophet, giving me two improvements in addition to the faith from desert tiles and the pyramids. I also had my first follower belief, Divine Inspiration, which gave me +4 faith for my two Wonders. For my enhancer belief, I chose Holy Order (missionaries cost 30% less), so I was able to spam out missionaries quickly. Luckily, the desert I occupied was surrounded by land on all sides, so I just sent my missionaries out in all directions. Because I couldn't negotiate Open Borders treaties yet, I chose primarily to use my missionaries on city-states in order to avoid the penalty. Since no other civs had come close to founding a religion yet, my religion started spreading accross the whole Pangaea map pretty quickly. But that was just Part One of the awesome. Because I chose the Piety Tree, I got a reformation belief. I chose Heathen Conversion so that as my missionaries went abroad they were #1 safe from harm and #2 recruiting a massive army. It was still early enough in the game that many barbarian encampments were still operational.
For my founder belief I chose Initiation rights, giving me lump sums of 100 gold every time a city converted, which added up to a fortune this early in the game. I used the gold to buy catapults (which I had made my next research priority after completing theology). My second follower belief was holy warriors, so I was able to buy some catapults with faith. For the most part, however, I just kept spamming missionaries. That's when my plan hit a snag. I had converted so many barbarians from all across the map that bringing them together with my catapults to launch a coordinated assault proved difficult. As I was trying to gather my army from near and far, my missionaries kept spreading the religion and converting barbarians. The problem was that my army was too huge for my population, which was still pretty small. I had never encountered this problem before in civilization where the population cannot support the military. My capital city stopped being able to produce right when I had almost completed Borobudur. I needed to finish that wonder so that I could start building more catapults to take down cities. At this point everything began to fall apart and my game became a disaster all because my plan had been too successful.Is there any way to make this approach more sustainable? Or is it perhaps just too ambitious? My experience taught me that despite appearances the Maya are a force to be reckoned with. It was also a lot of fun. :)