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Revision as of 06:07, 23 September 2019 by Eldred Stanton (talk | contribs) (Achieving Reforms (Early Game))
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Kingdom rankAztec
Primary culture
Aztec (Central American)

Capital province
Mexico (852)

Despotic Monarchy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
MesoamericanMesoamerican technology group
Aztec ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Infantry combat ability
−10% Idea cost

Cost of reducing war exhaustion.png Flower Wars

−10% Cost of reducing war exhaustion

Legitimacy.png Sustaining the Gods

+1 Yearly legitimacy

Manpower recovery speed.png Telpochcalli

+10% Manpower recovery speed

Morale of armies.png Eagles and Jaguars

+10% Morale of armies

National tax modifier.png Imperial Tribute

+10% National tax modifier

Production efficiency.png Floating Gardens

+10% Production efficiency

Spy network construction.png Pochtecayotl

+20% Spy network construction

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+25% National manpower modifier

The Aztec are a country located in Central Mexico. It is also the primary nation of the Aztec culture.


Main article: Aztec events

There is a group of events dealing with Altepetls revolts that fires cyclically and forces the player to deal with the danger of revolts. Other events concern some flavor aspects of Aztec nations, granting four permanent modifiers (first one is mandatory, others are optional).


Sunset Invasion relies heavily on the El Dorado expansion, which adds additional events and religious mechanics for Aztec. It is important to understand the Nahuatl Doom mechanics, as they can take some time to learn. In order to enact Nahuatl reforms, you must have five vassals, and each time a reform is passed, all vassals will be released. Additionally, Doom must be below 50, and while Doom constantly ticks up, the best way to reduce it is by defeating enemy armies. For these reasons, the player must learn to ignore aggressive expansion, vassal liberty desire, and manpower. To succeed as Aztec, the early game is a perpetual state of war.

Estates are useful for recruiting generals and generating gold or monarch points. Close attention should be paid to Estates, as Aztec has several events that modify loyalty and influence, allowing the player to receive frequent benefits.

Achieving Reforms (Early Game)

Managing Doom is the most difficult aspect to learn when playing as Aztec. The player should take every event that reduces Doom, as well as events that give permanent bonuses until the end of game, no matter the monarch point or gold cost.

Aztec is lucky to have a 3/4/4/0 ruler general, which is the only military advantage to start. Immediately build to the force limit and set rivals that have Aztec as a rival. At least one neighbor should be available to ally, preferably one that rivals and borders an Aztec rival. A merchant should be sent to collect trade in Mexico, while the other merchant should sit idle. Set monarch point focus to military and hire a military advisor, especially one that gives combat bonuses. Having an advantage in military tech will be key to defeating enemies after the first couple of wars.

Immediately declare war as soon as the initial timer runs out. For the first target, choose an enemy that your ally will join if promised land (as they will not yet owe any favors). For example, if allied to Totonac, chances are they will join in a war against Tlaxcala. Try to declare war on an enemy that has only a single ally, as fighting three enemies will be tough this early on. The goal of every war in the early game should be to vassalize all enemies, rather than expansion (as extra provinces will make Doom tick higher), and with the Flower Wars casus belli (permanent casus belli on neighbors), vassalization requires a low war score. However, the player can generally take one province per reform without Doom ticking much higher. The best provinces to take are:

  • Tlaxcala (To immediately destroy the fort and make future wars easier, and for high development)
  • Cutzamala (Again, to destroy the fort)
  • Tochtepec & Mixe (to gain casus belli on Itza and Xiu)

The player should also extract as much money in peace deals as possible, to support reinforcements, advisors, and mercenaries. The first war tends to be the most difficult, and may require a few starts to achieve success. After winning the first war, the player should immediately find another target, again by promising land to an ally, or finding an enemy with only a single ally. Vassals will typically not be of assistance in wars, except to distract enemies and defend their own lands.

In addition to managing Doom by events, Doom can be reduce by defeating enemy armies. A good way to do this is to stackwipe large armies with superior army quality, but Doom can also be gamed by leaving one or two enemy provinces unoccupied while sieging their capital. Enemies will continue to recruit mercenaries, which can easily be wiped out to reduce Doom in small increments.

Continue declaring war on enemies until five (and only five) neighbors are vassalized, and then take the first reform. Reforms may be taken in any order, but the recommended order is as follows:

  • Warrior Ranks (Discipline +5)
  • Open Up Sumptuary Restrictions (Monthly War Exhaustion -.05)
  • Legal Reform (Stability Cost Modifier -20%)
  • Extend Pochteca Obligations (Diplomatic Relations +1)
  • Tribal Expansion (Colonists +1)

This same strategy of blitzing enemies should also be used for the next few reforms, and each reform will be easier to achieve, as Doom will tick more slowly and Aztec's military tech will quickly outpace neighbors. After a few military tech levels, manpower will become irrelevant, as an Aztec army of 10k should be able to stackwipe an enemy army of 10k easily. With each reform, the player can annex more territory without worrying about Doom.

The player could also expand towards Xiu, Itza, and Kichu for additional war targets to cycle through. Truces may be gamed by declaring war on enemies allied to truce targets. Aggressive expansion and liberty desire can be ignored, as enemies will perpetually cycle through truces and never be in a position to fight back.

With an aggressive strategy, the player should be able to enact all five reforms around 1500, after which point Doom will be irrelevant and the player can consolidate Central America while waiting for the Europeans to arrive.

Final Reform and Expansion

In order to enact the final reform, Aztec must directly border a European nation's core province. This will take some time, so the player should consolidate power in Central America. Aztec's neighbors should be easy targets for conquering, but Cocomes makes for a good ally at this stage, as they will most likely not border Aztec, and will help with expansion into Mayan lands.

Managing inflation is a constant struggle with Aztec, so the player should hire a Master of Mint whenever possible. Also, Aztec can protect itself from inflation by pawning gold provinces off on a vassal. The player should consider vassalizing Tlapanec and feeding it Coloyopan, another gold producing province. As Aztec does not have any easily accessible neighbors outside of Central America, vassals will also help provide manpower and armies once war with Europeans occurs.

After sufficiently expanding North and South (be sure to take Iximche or Chacujal for Southward expansion), the player should remove focus from military technology and work to admin level 5 to gain an idea group. Exploration ideas is a good first group to take, as it will let the player recruit Conquistadors (Explorers and boats will not be available until the final reform is passed). The conquistador should be used to explore as much of South and North America as possible, to find European settlements. Europeans will most likely settle in Colombia first, but may occasionally head to Mexico immediately.

While waiting on European contact, and with no more enemies, Aztec's one (or two) colonists should be put to work expanding southward. Without boats, Aztec can only colonize directly adjacent land, so it is unlikely that Colombia can be reached before European contact. To bypass this slow growth, a no casus belli war against Muisca or Carib can quickly launch the player to South America and serve as another location for colonization (assuming they have colonized the coastline).

Once European contact is made, the final reform will allow Aztec to quickly catch up in technology. An Explorer should be recruited to discover the Caribbean, and colonists should target the development-rich provinces there, especially the Windward Islands. With a large development pool from colonization, it is highly likely that Aztec will quickly be a Great Power, allowing for victory against European Powers. It is also recommended to colonize the Panamanian Isthmus for its trade power, but also as a choke point with rough terrain for enemy colonies in South America.

Once a sizable development base has been built, it will be time for Aztec to set its sights on Europe.

During this time, the following idea groups are recommended:

  • Quality (Aztec will remain a few tech levels behind Europeans for some time)
  • Economic (Aztec struggles with income and inflation)
  • Humanist (To deal with inevitable religious strife)
  • Quantity (Aztec provinces have a low manpower reserve)

It may also be prudent to remove the Exploration idea group once enough provinces have been discovered (including Europe) and the Caribbean colonized, which will allow for more useful ideas to be selected.

Reaching Europe

Work in Progress

Late Game

Work in Progress

Converting Religions

Once Aztec owns cores with European religions (Islamic and Christian sects) the player will have the option to convert. The benefits of converting must be weighed against the cost, but generally conversion is not necessary. Once Aztec is strong enough and has a core in Europe, the European powers will be open to alliances even with religious differences. Either way, Humanist Ideas will be essential to maintaining religious unity as more and more Christian provinces are taken.

Imported CKII Saves

Kingdom rankAztec
Primary culture
Aztec (Central American)

Capital province
Mexico (852)

Despotic Monarchy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
High AmericanHigh American technology group
Aztec (CKII) ideas

Available only in saves imported with Sunset Invasion active.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−10% Advisor cost
+10% Land fire damage

Technology cost.png Build the Telpochcalli and the Calmecac

−5% Technology cost

National unrest.png Enact the Flower Wars

−2 National unrest

May explore.png Invade the Whiteskins

Can recruit Explorers and Conquistadors
−10% Naval attrition

National tax modifier.png State Administration Reform

+5% National tax modifier

Production efficiency.png Found the Imperial Cities

+5% Production efficiency

Discipline.png Form the Imperial Jaguars and Eagles

+10% Discipline

Global tariffs.png The Imperial Road Network

+10% Global tariffs

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+20% Morale of armies

The Aztec can also exist in games imported from Crusader Kings II, provided that Sunset Invasion was active. If so, Aztec starts off in control of the entirety of Mesoamerica, possesses different national ideas, and will have the High American technology group.


Sunset Invasion icon
Own and have cores on Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Rome as the Aztecs.

On the Edge of Madness icon
As Aztecs, reach 95 Doom, then go 20 years without Doom hitting 100.
Country guides

Western technology group Western.png United States.png United States
Mesoamerican technology group Mesoamerican.png Maya.png Maya
North American technology group North American.png Caddo.png Caddo Cherokee.png Cherokee Iroquois.png Iroquois

Central African technology group Central African.png Kuba.png KubaMutapa.png Mutapa
East African technology group East African.png Ethiopia.png EthiopiaMogadishu.png Mogadishu
Muslim technology group Muslim.png The Mamluks.png MamluksMorocco.png MoroccoTlemcen.png TlemcenTunis.png Tunis
West African technology group West African.png Air.png AirMali.png Mali

Eastern technology group Eastern.png Jerusalem.png Jerusalem
Muslim technology group Muslim.png Arabia.png Arabia Ardabil.png Ardabil Hisn Kayfa.png Hisn Kayfa Oman.png Oman
Indian technology group Indian.png Assam.png Assam Bahmanis.png Bahmanis Bengal.png Bengal Orissa.png Orissa
Chinese technology group Chinese.png Bali.png Bali Brunei.png Brunei Dai Viet.png Dai Viet Japan.png Japan Khmer.png Khmer Korea.png Korea Majapahit.png Majapahit Malaya.png Malaya Pagarruyung.png Pagarruyung Pasai.png Pasai Sunda.png Sunda
Nomadic technology group Nomadic.png Jianzhou.png Jianzhou Timurids.png Timurids Uzbek.png Uzbek

Andean technology group Andean.png Chachapoya.png Chachapoya Cusco.png Cusco Muisca.png Muisca
South American technology group South American.png Mapuche.png Mapuche