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Store:  Family Games
Format:  Board Games


List Price: $24.95
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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 150 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Pascal Bernard

Manufacturer(s): Tilsit, Clash of Arms

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Product Description

Four times now the world of your ancestors has been destroyed by the fury of the abominable Tezcatlipoca, God of Darkness. But each time the feather snake, Quetzalcoalt sacrificed himself, saving humankind from annihilation.

Today it is 1325, the year of the "two canes", and the Aztecs have newly founded their capital city: Mexico-Tenoticlan. Tezcatlipoca dreams of vengeance once more and demands heavy sacrifices from among the people of the Valley of Mexica so that they may escape his renewed fury.

The only hope that sustains the four peoples who inhabit The Valley of Mexica: The Aztecs, Toltecs, Chichimecs and Tepangues: in the face of this destruction resides in the return of the Feather Snake. But! Quetzalcoalt is sorely wekened from his last combat against Tezcatlipoca. Only numerous warrior sacrifices will build up his strength sufficiently to prevail once again. Time is short. Only the people who have offered up the greatest numbers of sacrifices can hope to be saved.

Therefore: Launch your armies unto the enemy cities. Defeat and capture their warriors and sacrifice them on the altar of the Gods!

You are the emperor of one of four great peoples that reside in the Valley of Mexico. You must deal with the ferocious appetite of the fearsome god Tezcatlipoca. He will claim sacrifices from you in every turn. Through the use of your armies and with the help of the merchant, diplomacy, and spy missions of your pochtecas, you will attempt to increase the size of your empire.

You will regularly organize mass sacrifices and gather your victims from conquered cities, the famous slave market of Tlateloco, and the prosecution of a flower was against the other peoples of the Valley.

At the time of the judgement of the Gods you know you must cooperate with the other emperors in the Valley, if you are to avoid the fury of Tezcatlipoca, which surely means the destruction of all living things. You must also secretly prepare the way for the arrival of Quetzalcoalt who will only save the people who offered up the largest numbers of sacrifices.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Pascal Bernard

  • Manufacturer(s): Tilsit, Clash of Arms

  • Artist(s): Greg Cervall, Sophie Noel, Jean-Marie Noel

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 3 - 4

  • Time: 150 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,600 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. Game components are printed in English.


  • 1 Game board depicting The Valley of Mexico and the great Pyramid of the Gods
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Deck of 55 cards
  • 4 Army organization tables
  • 5 Dice (4 are combat dice)
  • 4 Resincast Aztec Pyramid figurines
  • 5 Countersheets
  • 2 Figurines of Quetzalcoalt and Tezcatlipoca
  • 2 Sacrificial Pits

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 2.8 in 4 reviews

Toltecs, Chichimecs, Tepanecs and AZTECAs
September 12, 2002

Azteca is a french game from Pascal Bernard. The game deals with sacrifices to Quetzalcoatl or Tezcatlipoca, sacrifices can be made to either god secretly. The game comes with great components and its easy to learn.

Pascal Bernard games have the best of American (historical) and German games (playability).

You can be the emperor of the Aztecs, Toltecs, Chichimecs or Tepanecs. You will have to deal with armies in your control to conquer neutral and enemy territories, Pochtecas (traders which are very important in the game and also were very important historically)they can do lots of things (expeditions, spying missions, alliances, revolts assimilations), lake domination battles, slave markets, diplomacy etc...

The game has a GREAT ATMOSPHERE on Mesoamerica.This game got me more interested in precolombian America.

The game is Awesome, and highly replayable!

The gods are pleased!
November 26, 2000

If you like "kitchen sink" games (as in, everything but the kitchen sink), you will love Azteca. To give you an idea of what a typical turn entails, here goes:

  1. Action Cards - Draw special action cards whose effects are nicely delineated into groups of each of the eight phases of the turn.
  2. Tribute and Sacrifice Points Collection - Collect income.
  3. Purchases and Recruitment - Spend tribute.
  4. Slave Market - Gain sacrifice points by auction of available slaves.
  5. Pochteca Missions - Provides various important diplomatic abilities.
  6. Lake Domination - Enables troop entry through the prominent lakes and provides 1 tribute.
  7. Flower War - Move armies, intercept, and combat.
  8. Judgment of the Gods - Distribution of sacrifice points.

Each of these have many options, and digesting it all is a bit daunting, but the flow is logical, and after a few turns, the game goes smoothly. Overall, the goal is to accumulate the most sacrifice points which are distributed to the two heads of the pantheon, Quetzacoatl and Tezcatlipoca (I love pronouncing the Nahuatl terms!) in a balancing act of supporting good while appeasing evil. These points are mainly gained through "feeding" them your defeated enemies, with a few civilians and bought slaves thrown in for good measure (not pleasant, but accurate).

Along with the game's incredible and plentiful components and the creative combination of many different game mechanics, Azteca is an all around winner. The only detriment to it, is that it is long to play (3-4 hours), and if you are not into more "wargamey" type games, it may turn you off. But if you liked Anno 1452, or are looking for more depth on a smaller scale than History of the World, this is a must buy.

by Kos
Bad rules and makes no sense
November 20, 2002

Well you won't hear me complaining about the lack of about 20 plastic bags needed for all those little cartboard objects and the too little space to properly organize piles of slaves, coins etc. Neither the fact that there are 3 kinds of coins and the relative value of these is missing (we just assumed the rel. values 1/5/10) in the rules.

I played it once, a 3pl game. all of us were disenchanted by the game.

It cost us about 4 hours incl. reading the english rules.

It may be my too-western view of the game but we simply didn't get it. You must save Quetzalqatl from hell, ok, but why on earth would you sacrifice points to Tezcatlipoca. The game drags on for so long that everybody actually will be relieved that the game wins. In fact, if a player is so far beyond the other players they will face the dilemma of letting that player win (no!) or lose all together and order a pizza.

The afterglow was too dim. maybe i'd play it another time and place, but probably not.

Above that the rules are not clear. The ideas are nice, however: use the game box itself as a voting thing, but if you spend half an hour debating what exactly would be the meaning of the rules just spoils it.

A typical example of poor game testing and too early lauching it. And i think that people should discourage premature launches, so my advice is: spend your time on better things.

The other tilsit game i played, jeanne d'arc, or montjoie!, seemed more balanced.

Show all 4 reviews >

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