Conquest of the New World Mayan Strategy (Deity)

Conquest of the New World – Maya Strategy (Deity)

The Mayan Civilization lasted from prehistoric times all until 1697 when the last Mayan city fell to the Spanish invaders. Mayans left behind wonders like Chichen Itza and were generally quite advanced among the American civilizations with regards to writing, calendar and astronomy. In the conquest of the new world Maya struggled to withstand the test of time against the superior armed Europeans.

Civilization 5 Wonder - Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

Regarding the scenario: In the Conquest of the New World Maya is definitely not one of the most advantageous civilizations to start with. As one of the Native American civilizations Deity difficulty is among the hardest things I’ve tried in this game since going for the Praise the Victories Steam Achievement in the Scramble for Africa, but Mayans top this again.

Already all stars need to be aligned for this one to succeed:

  1. Your starting position needs to be in South America
  2. You need 2 Cultured City States near you (spoiler alert: in this play through 1 Culture CS was not enough)
  3. You need to be on a river to build Texcotzingo

This wonder is essential though: Without it your capital can’t support maintaining one or more specialists and occupying all resource tiles and all special Faith tiles. Furthermore with it your Native American enemies will grow stronger themselves. Improve resources and chop some forests and get Texcotzingo!

Over the course of the game I came to overthink my advice regarding coastal cities: Maybe a capital by the coast is good. Gave me some early trade routes with the Europeans in which boosted my science income by 100%…

Even as my Comanche Riders (turn 41!) started heading towards the Shoshone, I had already denounced them, putting me on better relationships with the Europeans. (Brown nosing really doesn’t hurt here, as long as they then focus on warring other nations…)

Native American Social Policies

The Social Policy Order is equally important when playing the Shoshone (or any Native American civ) on Deity difficulty: You’ll need Republic very early on for the additional production. Every hammer counts! Getting Collective Rule second for the settler is alright — as long as your workers haven’t improved the luxuries near the capital a 4th city would cause too much unhappiness 🙁

Landed Elite beats Double Pyramid at first: Growing your capital is more important than getting more Faith from temples you haven’t even built in any city! Once basic infrastructure is built, you can go for Temple of the Gods (build temples faster) to then only 10 turns later have them yield more Faith with Double Pyramid.

Horsemen of the Plains is more important than Sacred Land, because survival is more important to winning than early Victory Points. However: Head for Sacred Land ASAP after securing your realm with the Comanche.

Tier 1 Social PoliciesTier 2 Social PoliciesTier 3 Social Policies
Republic   1st SP: Turn 3 +1 Production in every City and +15% when constructing buildings. Landed Elite   3rd SP: ~ Turn 13 +10% growth and +2 Food in the Capital. Horsemen of the Plains   6th SP: Turn 41 6 units are maintenance free and receive 6 Comanche Riders immediately.
+8 Faith in the Capital.
Collective Rule   2nd SP: Turn 7 1 Free Settler +50% faster production of Settlers in the Capital. Double Pyramid   5th SP: ~ Turn 30 +1 Faith from Shrines and Temples. Sacred Land   Turn 102 Gain a bonus belief.
Temple of the Gods   4th SP: ~ Turn 20 Builds Temples in half the time, Temples grant +25% Gold output per city. Citizenship   Turn 80 -33% costs when purchasing buildings, +1 Faith from every special resource building. Pyramids of the Gods   +6 Faith from each World Wonder.
Pukara   Turn 57 +1 🙂 +1 Gold, +1 Faith from Walls. Mandate of Heaven   +20% discount on purchases with Faith.
Warrior Code   +15% production of melee units, 1 free Great General, +50% generating Great Generals. Oligarchy   Garrisoned units are free of maintenance costs and cities with garrison gain +50% ranged combat strength.
Patriotic War   Turn 125 +15% attack bonus when fighting in friendly territory. Unified Nation   +1 🙂 and +1 Faith from National Wonders
 Aristocracy   +15% when constructing Wonders, +1 Faith per Workshop

Conquest of the New World – Research

The primary goal of Research is to build units able to defend against the Europeans. I usually aim for Crossbowmen first, so it’s

  1. Engineering
  2. Machinery (turn 54)

Once you are there, defense gets so much easier. Also with 6 Comanche Riders and some veteran Crossbowmen you can start some conquests of the new world of your own:

Conquest of the New World – Mayas Prevailing

So how do you win the Conquest of the New World scenario? By never being at war with the Europeans! Several aspects make this more likely:

War against my native neighbors

I’ve been at war with the Shoshone from very early on, using Comanche Riders. But even conquering enemy Native cities was never the goal. The primary goals are:

  • Having a constant Faith income by killing units (from the Pantheon Belief you chose in turn 2)
  • Training the Comanche Riders
  • Spawning Great Generals (for Citadels and Combat bonuses)

Watch out to not lose even one of the Comanche Riders. Especially at the start this happens easily. Once they’re veterans it’ll be much easier. Here’s the promotions I chose:

1 Medic   Shock I (bonus in open terrain) Medic (Adjacent units heal +5 HP per turn) Medic II (Adjacent units heal another +5 HP per turn) 3 Open Terrain Specialists   Shock I Shock II Shock III March (heal each turn) Blitz (attack 2x for faster XP) Charge (+33% vs Wounded) Formation (+33% vs Mounted) Mobility (+1 Movement) 2 Rough Terrain Specialists   Drill I Drill II Drill III March Blitz Charge Formation Mobility

With these Comanche veterans I was able to stop overwhelming Shoshone forces from conquering me. Some occasional Crossbowmen supported, but mostly to shoot once at fresh units for the cavalry to gain the “Charge” bonus.

Blocking all the land

Cities can be founded only leaving 3 tiles distance towards the next city. So make sure to build within 6 tiles to cover the land with as few cities as possible. When an unfortunate European settlement appears — reload and make sure to cover the ground with a city of your own.

Diplomatic Strategy – Sowing the seeds of war

Always bribe as many Europeans against one another as possible. I set France against everyone. Later even England and Spain could be bribe against all others. Unfortunately convincing William of Orange of the Netherlands to wage war was not always possible. Thus unfortunately he kept his scoring momentum and stayed ahead of me. See: It’s vital to keep Europeans warring each other!

Strengthening the economy and scoring VP through Faith

Depending on the resources in your realm choose the Sacred Land Social Policy bonus belief wisely. On my map I again went for Earths Bounty (+2 Faith from gems and ores).

Winning the game playing Maya on Deity

All the above measures made me first catch up in score massively. And even after the Europeans get their “gain double Gold from trade routes” Social Policy, I still could catch up. As you can see in the score graph, every single war the Europeans wage with one another stalls their GPT income for some turns, whilst they pillage each others trade routes. Unfortunately in the end I lost the game to the Netherlands with a devastating 6703 to 6758. 🙁

After having played (without loading save games) for 5 hours 20 minutes, and countless attempts at finding good starting positions, I did not go for another attempt.

Conquest of the New World Maya Deity Conclusion

Civilization 5 Conquest of the New World Maya Deity Expansion

Playing Conquest of the New World as the Maya on Deity difficulty is even more tricky than other Native civilizations. That is due to the weak unique traits, particularly on the military side.

Nonetheless I’m relatively happy to have (almost) made it with the Mayans. Dozens of attempts for good prerequisites are enough for me and I’ll continue with other scenarios (or maybe even Civ 6 in 2020 or so).

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