In Medieval II: Total War, the Aztecs are a faction inhabiting America that exist in modern Mexico. They are unplayable in Medieval II: Total War, but they are one of the main protagonists of the Kingdoms Americas campaign. Similarly with the Mayans, Tlaxcalans and Tarascans, they have vast numbers of brave and zealous units, but they lack in armour and weapon technology. They worship the Sun God as their religion in the expansion pack, but they are Pagan in classic.
The Aztec Empire of the Triple Alliance dominates the heart of the New World. Formed by the three great cities of Tlacopan, Texoco, and the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, it is ruled by Moctezuma II, the 'Hueyi Tlatoani', or great speaker. Made up of three separate tribes, the Aztec alliance acquires its name from the dominant Mexica tribe, known amongst the others as the 'Aztecs'. The Alliance rules over many nearby city-states, enforcing tribute on pain of invasion and sacrifice.
The Aztecs primarily worship Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun, who struggles constantly to hold back the darkness and requires nourishment in the form of human sacrifice. The Aztecs believe that the world may end at the end of a 52 year cycle, which is swiftly approaching, unless they can keep Huitzilopochtli strong. It is this need for sacrifices that drives the Aztecs to conquest. New teritories mean new populations that can be used as slaves and, more importantly, sacrifices to stave off the end of the world.There have been many troubling portents for Aztecs lately. A comet has been seen streaking through the heavens, the temple of Huitzilopochtli was destroyed by a great fire and another temple was destroyed by a bolt of lightning! For the Aztecs, these are sure signs of defeat and conquest. If these omens were not worrying enough, a mysterious ghost woman has been seen wailing through the night and strange visions of men riding deer have been seen. The Aztecs are surrounded by enemies - the Tlaxcalans to the east, Tarascans to the west and Chichimecs to the north. However, it seems unlikely that any of them could be able to overcome the mighty Aztec Empire, and many Aztecs think the omens are merely a test of their faith.
Aztec units differ greatly from their counterparts in Europe, of course without armor and most especially, cavalry. The majority of their units are cheap, but have excellent morale, and will fight to the death against even a highly armored foe.