These guides are designed to help players who are new to Civ but still interested in Vox Populi, familiar with Civ but new to Vox Populi, or even those well versed in Vox Populi who just want to see if there’s anything they didn’t know about a particular civilization. I am actually a big fan of forums.civfanatics.com – https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=171480391
Anyways, without further ado, onto the Mayans!
Before I go into depth with this guide, here’s an explanation of some terminology I’ll be using throughout for the sake of newer players.
Beelining – Focusing on obtaining a technology early by only researching technologies needed to research it and no others. For example, to beeline Bronze Working, you’d research Mining and Bronze Working and nothing else until Bronze Working was finished.
Finisher – The bonus for completing a Social Policy tree (e.g. +33% Great Scientist rate and +25% growth in all cities from rationalism.)
GWAM – Great Writers, Artists and Musicians. These are the three types of Great People who can make Great Works, a major source of tourism for cultural Civs.
Opener – The bonus for unlocking a Social Policy tree (e.g. +25% Great Person Rate and +100% construction of guilds in Artistry)
Tall Empire – A low number of cities with a high population each.
UA – Unique Ability – the unique thing a Civilization has which doesn’t need to be built.
UB – Unique Building – A replacement for a normal building that can only be built and used by one Civilization.
UI – Unique Improvement – A tile improvement that can be made by workers that doesn’t replace any other improvement that can only be made by a single civilization
UU – Unique Unit – A replacement for a normal unit that can only be built by one Civilization or provided by militaristic City-States when allied.
Uniques – Collective name for Unique Abilities, Units, Buildings, Tile Improvements and Great People
Wide Empire – A high number of cities with a low population each.
XP – Experience Points – Get enough and you’ll level up your unit, giving you the ability to heal your unit or get a promotion.
Brief Unique Summary
The Maya have a jungle start bias. This will make it easier to use their UI, and might give them a bit more science in the midgame.
Unique Ability:The Long Count
After researching mathematics, receive a free
great person at the end of every Mayan Long Count Calendar Cycle(every 394 years). You may only choose each great person once.
Unique Unit:Atlatlist(Replaces the Composite Bowman)
A ranged unit
|Technology||Obsoletion||Upgrades From||Upgrades To||Resource Needed|
|Strength||Ranged Strength||Moves||Range||Sight||Negative Attributes||Positive Attributes|
Positive One-Off Changes
- Obsoletes at Metallurgy rather than Machinery
Positive Stay on Upgrade Changes
- +50% ranged combat strength when attacking wounded units(Atlatl Strike)
|Technology||Enhancing Technologies||Terrain Requirement||Base Yields||Misc. Bonuses||Enhancement Effects||Final Yields|
|On a forest|
Strategies and Victory Routes
These scores are merely my personal opinions from playing and examining this Civ, you may find other uses for the Mayan uniques that make you disagree with a certain ranking
The Mayan UU is a very strong unit that can allow the Maya to go for domination if they so choose
The Maya’s ability to get free GWAMs early does give them some extra culture and tourism, but there are better great people to choose for the first several cycles
Science is what the Maya excel at, mostly due to their UI. While they can (and should) get an early free great engineer, they lack any other production/growth bonuses
They also lack any bonus to gold or diplomacy
Religion is as strong if not stronger then science for the Maya. While they aren’t the fastest civ to found, they can usually still reliably do so, and can then rapidly enhance with a free great prophet and will generate more faith then almost anyone else in the mid and late game
Unique Ability: The Long Count
The Mayan UA is one of the strangest abilities in the game because it relies on a mechanic that for every other civ is completely irrelevant. The turn date. Each turn actually represents an amount of years passing by. On standard speed, each turn represents 40 years until turn 75, which is 1000 BC. Then it is 25 years per turn until turn 135, where it is 20 years per turn each turn, etc. The actual numbers aren’t super important (although if you want to know the full breakdown, there is a chart https://www.reddit.com/r/civ5/comments/94yydb/civilization_5_turn_to_year_chart/) but what is important is that as the game goes on each turn takes less years. The Mayan UA gives you a free great person every 394 years, but only once you have researched mathematics. So for the first 75 turns, that’s a great person about every 10 turns, but after turn 75 it is only a great person about every 16 turns, etc. So speed is the name of the game to make the Mayan UA shine. You will want to beeline mathematics from turn 0
Once you research mathematics the date in the top right even changes to the Mayan system, which is a neat little detail. You get your free great person every b’ak’tun
There are two other catches to the free great person provided by the Maya. One is that each great person can only be taken once, the other is that you cannot select a great prophet until you have either founded a religion or the renaissance era has arrived
My first great person on turn 62, not bad
Considering that the longer the game goes on the less great people you get, the order you choose your great people are decently important. You’ll want to pick great prophet as soon as you found your religion, but besides that, I’d recommend going a great engineer first, then a great general if you plan on going on an offensive Atlatlist war, then a scientist. The order of the rest isn’t too important, I’d personally grab a diplomat next so you can get an extra vote in the world congress, but overall it’s not too important who you get when at that point.
Turn 117 enhancement ain’t bad, especially considering I didn’t waste any resources to get the second prophet
Unique Improvement: The Kuna
Most likely the yields you are going to see on your first Kuna
The Kuna is the big reason that the Maya excel at both science and religion. No other unique tile improvement gives faith. Only one other UI gives science, and it’s a small amount that doesn’t come in till the late game. This gives the Maya a unique ability to get faith and science from a source no other civ can, and for the faith especially gives them greater faith generation then just about anyone in the late game. The Kuna does have pretty strict placement requirements though, requiring a forest or jungle that isn’t adjacent to another Kuna. You do have a jungle start bias, but you should still aim to settle as many other jungles and forests that you can. The Kuna is your main source of science, so the more you can get the better chance you have at actually winning a science victory. But what if someone gets to your Kuna spots first? Well…
Unique Unit: Atlatlist
Free great general to lead the spear throwers into war!
Composite bowmen are already the obvious choice to go as Maya in the early game, as a simple side effect of beelining mathematics, the tech they arrive on. But the Maya take it one step further, with a unique variant. It only gains one unique promotion, however it is a great one. 50% bonus damage on wounded units. This takes their measly 11 ranged combat strength to 16.5, nearly the strength of a swordsman
I believe without the promotion they’d only be dealing about 29 damage
Almost no unit from the ancient and classical era, unique or no, can stand up to that sort of damage. Even swordsman, while still having the upper hand, aren’t nearly as dominant as they are against normal comp. bowman. In fact, I would say that Atlatlists still win against swordsman. One on one they will most likely lose yes, but swordsman are much harder to produce on mass, whereas Atlatlists can be easily spammed, and make up almost your entire military. Even for the entire game because…
Promotions Kept on Upgrade
+50% ranged combat strength when attacking wounded units(Atlatl Strike)
Atlatl strike carries over on upgrade, meaning you can have incredibly strong ranged units for pretty much the whole game
The Maya should start with Progress as it both allows them to build Kunas faster, and will get them to mathematics the quickest. They should then go Fealty to build on their religious strengths. After that it depends on what route you want to go. Imperialism is best if you want to continue with Atlatlist wars, but Rationalism will serve a normal science game better
Opener: If at all possible, try to avoid growing your capital much before you get this, you’ll get more science that way. The culture you immediately get from this will likely almost be enough for the next policy
Liberty: Makes sure you can get your Kunas up ASAP
Organization: Faster workers, settlers, and even great people all help infrastructure get built just a little bit faster
Expertise: Faster building construction is great, especially in the early game where production might be sparse.
Equality: This will be nice to reduce unhappiness both as your cities grow and as you conquer with Atlatlists
Fraternity: Food and science, can’t complain
Finisher: This should be a good bit of gold, which is important to upgrade your Atlatlists as the Maya lack a gold bonus
Opener: Monasteries are a solid building, and the cheaper building purchases are nice
Nobility: Castles are already a good building, now they (and armories on top) are cheaper and better
Divine Right: More happiness, more culture for having happiness
Serfdom: A little bit of culture and production, both welcome
Burghers: More production and a bit less unhappiness.
Organized Religion: Cause you need more faith yeah?
Finisher: Keep on top of converting your own cities and you will enjoy some decent yield boosts
Opener: If you need to get somewhere overseas now you can do it just a little bit faster
Colonialism: You’ll have lots of monopolies by now, get some more use out of them.
Regimental Tradition: Faster Great General and Admiral generation, as well as making them stronger, good to have on the land or on the sea
Martial Law: You’ll definitely have plenty of puppet cities, and conquered ones too. Both of them will be less of a burden now.
Exploitation: Makes stuff other then Kunas a good bit better
Civilizing Mission: Gold from conquering cities, and production in said conquered cities, everything you need to push the front line.
Finisher: Solidify your naval power, and have a new way to use air units to help manage unhappiness.
Opener: Little bit of science and a small bit of production too. Happiness should become an issue of the past for you as well. Grow to your heart’s content
Scientific Revolution: Observatories are either going to be a small benefit or a large one, all depends on terrain, but nonetheless they are worth building
Empiricism: Helps make sure other civs won’t leech off your science lead.
Rights of Man: A bit of extra yields across the empire, this should actually be a good bit of food as you are probably working a lot of tiles instead of specialists
Enlightenment: Postponing this as long as possible means you’re getting a more expensive tech for free.
Free Thought: Extra science from Great Scientists is always good
Finisher: More Great Scientists, More Growth, All is good for the Maya
The Maya are a bit of a wide science civ, so Order will serve them well for science. Of course for domination Autocracy can never let you down
Level 1 Policies(Order)
Worker’s Faculties: Free Factories is a nice boost, plus they’ll now give some extra science
Communism: You lack strong production bonuses, and there are some crucial late game science wonders, this will help you bridge the gap.
Peace, Land, Bread: If you’ve been doing lots of conquering, both poverty and building maintenance are probably a big drain, so this helps both problems and gives some growth
Level 2 Policies(Order)
Academy of Sciences: Free Research Labs possibly before you have them researched will help push your science up like crazy
Five Year Plan: Kunas are the driving force of your science, but it can be a bit hard for a city to work a lot of them and also be productive. This solves this issue
Level 3 Policies(Order)
Spaceflight Pioneers: Save every engineer you get for when you can build spaceships and win the game almost instantly.
Level 1 Policies(Autocracy)
Military-Industrial Complex: The Bulk of the Mayan army is likely to be upgraded Atlatlists that you want to keep upgrading, so cheaper ones are nice. Oh and don’t forget your Kunas are giving even more science now, which is nice
Elite Forces: New units start better, old units get better quicker, all you could want for a world-conquering force
New World Order: Lots of cities means lots of unhappiness, this should help with that
Level 2 Policies(Autocracy)
Third Alternative: The Maya lack a gold bonus, so this will make sure you can actually maintain your army.
Martial Spirit: An amazing bonus to clean up your last conquest or two, but it is a temporary boost. If you still have more then two civs to conquer, it might be better to postpone this, but it is always worth getting when the moment is right.
Level 3 Policies(Autocracy)
Air Supremacy: Free Airports in every city means that you almost don’t need a navy as long as you have a city on every continent. Also makes air units quicker to build if you need to.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus: It’s on the way to mathematics, and it will give whatever city you build it in a great boost to get itself built up
Temple of Artemis: The growth is nice but more importantly this lets you build ranged units faster, meaning your Atlatlist force will be ready all the earlier
Hanging Gardens: Put this in a city with lots of Kuna spots so it has the food to work them.
Oracle: A great wonder for just about any civ, always worth building
Terracotta Army: Faster Kunas AND culture from your Atlatlist kills? Why wouldn’t you want this
Borobudur: Better Missionaries to get your religion going across the world
Cathedral of St. Basil: Get your Reformation Belief sooner, and deny someone else the same opportunity
Forbidden Palace(Progress Only): Cheaper purchases so your money can go farther
Machu Picchu: It can be hard to build due to terrain requirements, but it’s quite useful as you will likely be quite wide, so this will net a lot of yields
Chichen Itza: A solid wonder, if you don’t build this in the city of Chichen Itza why are you even playing this game?
Porcelain Tower Throw this in a city with lots of Kunas and see your science go crazy
Red Fort(Fealty Only): Build this in a city near an enemy border and laugh if they ever try to conquer it
Bradenburg Gate(Domination): You want it for the increased supply as much as you want it for the xp, but you do want it
Neuschwanstein: Can be hard to build due to terrain requirements, but it is worth making your already strong castles stronger
Prora(Autocracy Only): Lots of happiness, and a free policy, both very useful
The Motherland Calls(Order Only): You’re mostly here for the free policy, but that alone is worth it
Bletchley Park(Rationalism Only): More spies, better spies, worse enemy spies, all you need for a science game
Pentagon(Imperialism Only): More planes, better planes, and cheaper planes. The skies are yours to conquer
CERN: Two free techs are great no matter who you are
Great Firewall(Science): Pretty much makes it impossible to leech off of your tech lead
Hubble Space Telescope(Science): Get this and blaze through making spaceship parts
Pitfalls to Avoid
The Mayan abilities aren’t exactly synergistic, but they are all worth using, and each ability has it’s own problems that can arise
Not Rushing Mathematics Immediately
While the Mayan UA is not the core of their strategy, it is still quite useful, and the longer it takes to get into effect, the less useful it will be
Keeping Forests/Jungles You Can’t Build Kunas On
Forests and Jungles are only uniquely useful to the Maya because of their ability to host Kunas. If you can’t build a Kuna on it, don’t treat it any differently then a normal civ would
Randomly Placing Kunas
Kunas can’t be built next to eachother, so some planning needs to go into how to place them to fit the most amount possible in a stretch of forest/jungle.
Only Relying on Kunas to Found Your Religion
Kunas are a good source of faith and will collectively give you tons of faith in the mid and late game though. Early game though, they may not be enough to found your religion if they are your only source of faith. Build some shrines
Only Building Atlatlists
This is more of a relevant point on offense then defense, but nonetheless, Atlatlists are a fantastic unit, and they should be all you need to fight units. However, they can’t take cities. Make sure you have a few melee units who you can use to swoop in and take cities if you are taking Atlatlists on the offensive.
2012 Has Arrived: Counter Strategies
The Maya are a somewhat unorthodox civ, with strong science and faith, with a powerful unique unit to back them up. However Maya’s reliance on terrain and building wide is an easily exploitable weakness.
Stop the (Long) Count!
Their isn’t much you can do to stop the Maya from beelining mathematics, and there is even less you can do to stop them getting their free great people once they do. However it has an effect on their early game that you might be able to exploit. The Maya will have almost no good defensive options until they get mathematics, no spearmen or horsemen. Once they get Mathematics of course they will have the terrifying Atlatlist but until then they are quite vulnerable. If you spot the Maya early and are inclined to go to war this early, they should prove an easy target
Kunas are a strong unique improvement but they are pretty easy to fight as they have strict placement requirements. Settle as much forest and Jungle as you can and the Maya will struggle to use their Kunas as much. Of course this is painting a target on yourself, and the Maya will almost certainly try to attack you.
The Atlatlist is a powerful unit that will decimate almost anything on the classical battlefield. Worse still, it is just as powerful when upgraded. Not all hope is lost though, there is counterplay. Swordsman are your best bet against Atlatlists, but if those aren’t an option horsemen can do ok. Later on, Knights will be your option, even once they upgrade into crossbows. Further in the game mounted/armor units will continue to be your best option
Strategy by Style
Early-Game Warmongers: If you can get to the Maya before Atlatlists are out you are set, but if not, swordsmen, horsemen, and fast focused attacks will be your friend
Mid-Game Warmongers: Knights and other mounted units will be your best friend.
Late-Game Warmongers: Find upgraded Atlatlists, kill upgraded Atlatlists, and then the Maya will be an easy target, while they might have a science lead they lack the production or gold to use it very effectively for their military.
Science Players: The Maya may have strong science but they have weak production. Do your best to steal important wonders from them and you should keep ahead of them
Cultural Players: The Maya are going to have strong faith, but aren’t really that interested in spreading it, so if you’re inclined to religion yourself they shouldn’t prove much direct competition. In fact, if you can convert the Maya yourself before they really get going, you can stump a good bit of their potential
Diplomatic Players: Global Peace Accords will hurt a warmongering Maya hard, as they rely on a large amount of cheap to produce units and yet have no economy bonuses. For a more peaceful Maya standard anti-science plays like Arts Funding work well
I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Sid Meier’s Civilization V – ( The Maya ) Vox Populi Guide – Playthrough Idea ; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!
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