From the Publisher...
Azteca is a multiplayer game (2-4 players) that simulates the conquest of the Great Valley of Mexico at the height of the Aztec Empire. Each player represents one of the four great peoples of the Valley of Mexico: Aztec, Toltec, Chichimeques or Tepaneques. Each player disputes the lands that make up these rich city states. The situation is further complicated by the terrible rivalry that exists between the gods.
Quetzalcoatl, the god of corn and all those things that make life worth living, is in a life and death (your life/your death!) with Tezcatatlipoca, the terrible god of the volcano who wants to bring chaos and ruin to all. If one or the other becomes ascendant, life in this world either improves or becomes unbearable (literally). Your people can influence the outcome of this heavenly struggle, and if you offer the most sacrifices to Quetzalcoatl not only will this god become ascendant, but he will bestow his favor upon you, making you ruler of The One World. Of course, the offering he most values are the still beating hearts of your victims. To this end, you send your Pochtecas, ambassadors, or commercial agents around the great lake to purchase, either in the slave market or through alliances with minor tribes, the necessary sacrifices. If these "peaceful" means fail, you can always resort to war.
The components are simply superb. The counters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the map is mounted, resin pyramids and beautiful cards round out the components. The rules are only 12 pages, making it possible to begin play shortly after opening the box.
1 Mounted Map
more information at the Board Game Geek website
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|Azteca is a richly themed war game with a couple of innovative mechanisms that make it more interesting than e.g. Axis & Allies. I really liked that fact that you are limited to very few attacking armies in the game, since it completely removes the possibility of an endless arms race. Another thing that makes Azteca much more than a typical war game, is that you can (and must) also focus some of your efforts on non-war activities - and the real focus of the game is not on territories, but on being able to tribute the most to the ancient gods. Overall a very satisfying and deep game that I certainly recommend - and even more so if you are interested in ancient South American cultures.