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Amerindian I think to challenge the Zapotec's we need the Amerindians in the Terra Maga mod. The major external threat from the north are hunter gatherer tribes, that farmed when they could, from northern Mexico's deserts. The Mesoamericans called them Chichimeca which may mean dog people. It’s hard to see how the Chichimeca could be a threat if there is not an influx of peoples from further north replacing losses. One major Amerindian tribe in Arizona is the Chiricahua a similar sounding word. Could and Aztec simply messed up the tribal name creating a new hybrid word? Phil Barker and Richard Brodly Scott in DBM army lists [De Bellis Miltitudinis] raises the possibility that they may have been from the Pueblo cultures. They cite linguistic connections as I do above. They don't give useful references or argument on page 41 of book 3. Another author, Aurelio Locsin III in the Gurps Aztec RPG argues that they may have been southern coastal plains Indians. Known as Atakapans [Texas/ Rio Grande]. Essentially the same thing. These are not primary sources. We are just about the only games project that does that. This is all also outside the time frame, post 500 AD. However, there are north facing defences in the Zapotec valleys. The technology it not different from 300 BC to 1600 AD. Trade with Amerindians north of the Rio Grande did occur. Amerindians also fit the game in another way, they had metals. Most do not know this. While they did not smelt any metal, there were native copper rocks in the glacial till across North America. Native copper does not need to be refined or smelted. These were cold hammered into jewellery, sacred items and tools. Copper weapons were found; often axes, tomahawk, knives and scrapers. Copper does not make good swords, so swords are rare. Corn does not need sickles to harvest so sickle swords are not found. Metal weapons may have been limited because it was too valuable to waste or risk and lose on the battlefield. Not all tribes had metal but not all European towns, villages and tribes had metals either. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America#Northern_America North America did not have a written script. However, wampum was a proto-script. Wampum were beads forming a 2-dimensional mat. The colour patterns conveyed names, a few patterns were either ideograms or places. All tribes and family had a wampum name. It was mainly for treaties and deals. There are papers on it being an idiographic memory aid and proto script I'll see if I can find them. It was not money, but it was mistaken for money and used as money by the white people [that could not read it.] The most famous wampum were treaty documents not payments, but some were gibberish that the Indians politely accepted. It was never a full language like others, but it was heading there. Several written languages were produced by Christian missionaries on contact. Some draw on the wampum patterns. So not a written language but then we have no translatable Xiongnu or Scythian scripts or works either. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wampum Another reason to do the Amerindians that we get a nomad civilisation without the horse. That is something no other game has tried. Note: I do want them to have horses in the game but not at the start and not easily, obtained with a Hero unit. The main draft animal in North America was the dog. These pulled sleds in winter, north of Kansas & Kentucky where winter snow was reliable. In summer and south of those states where snow was rarer, they used Travios. Travios is two poles harnessed to a dog (or horse later) with the other ends dragging on the ground. It had a deck of sticks, slats, netting, leather or a basket. The load was only 20 to 30 kg, but the tribes often had several dogs per family. Indian tribes going cross country travelled light. Their use of dogs may be the reason for why the Chichimeca were called dog people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travois They also used canoes on the rivers and most central American Indians were riverine tribes (or lake shores) before the horse. The southern tribes had adobe, mud brick, with earthen monuments. The northern woodland and river tribes had wood and matting structures. Log and pole structures. Palisades were common. Nomad structures were Wigwams. Small domed huts of bent branch and matting. Tipi's of leathers. The Tipi poles doubled as tarvois poles on the move. Wigwams. I'm thinking either two civilisations in an appropriate mod or one civilisation with two architecture styles triggered by a toggle on the town centre. Units do not significantly differ from north to south which is why the one civ with two styles is an option. This would allow an exploration of an interesting peoples. It would allow innovation and allow the Zapotec's to face a historically accurate foe. P.S. If this is in the wrong place someone fix it and teach me a archain art of navigating the site. lol.