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Civilization VI: Rise and Fall - title

Civilization VI's first expansion, Rise & Fall released earlier this year, and it introduced a few leaders and civilizations that are making their first appearance in the franchise. I hope to be able to write strategies for every one of the expansion civs and leaders, but I'm going to start with the ones that are new to the franchise, and the ones that most utilize the expansion's new features (Era Score, governors, loyalty, and so on). This month, I will be tackling the Mapuche, lead by Lautaro.

The peoples known as the Mapuche are a collection of societies indigenous to southern Chile and Argentina who are linked by social, spiritual, economic, and linguistic heritage. Archaeological evidence shows their culture has existed since around 600 or 500 BC, and their textiles have been traded throughout South America for centuries. Though mostly independent, the various tribes would unite together during times of war (such as against the Inca and Spanish) and elect a "toqui" (meaning "axe-bearer") to act as a military and domestic leader.

One such toqui was Lautaro "Swift Hawk". He was elected toqui while still less than 20 years old, after escaping from the personal captivity of the Spanish general Pedro de Valdivia. He lead numerous successful raids (called "Malón") against the Spanish, eventually capturing Fort Tucapel in December and killing his former captor, de Valdivia, during the Spanish counterattack in December 1553. The Mapuche, under Lautaro's command, may have been able to further expel the Spanish if not for a typhus outbreak and famine that prevented further raids. He was killed four years later in a Spanish ambush, but the Mapuche would continue to resist the Spanish for over a century after Lautaro's death. Lautaro is revered by Chileans (Mapuche and non-Mapuche alike) for his courageous leadership against the Spanish who sought to enslave them, and is even depicted as an almost heroic figure in the Spanish epic poem La Araucana.

Civilization VI is still very early in its life-cycle (particularly the Rise & Fall expansion. Strategies for the game (and for specific leaders and civs) may change as Firaxis applies balance patches, introduces new features, or expands the game through further DLC or expansion packs, or as the Civ community discovers new strategies or exploits. As such, the following strategy guide may change from time to time. I will try to keep it up-to-date, and will make notations whenever changes are made. I'll also post links in the official 2K forums and CivFanatics, where I'll also report any changes made. If possible and practical, I will try to retain the original content of the strategy for posterity.

I welcome any feedback or suggestions that readers wish to offer. Feel free to post on the linked forums, or by posting a comment at the bottom of the page.

This guide is up to date as of the July 2018 "Red Shell" patch (ver.

Lautaro and the Mapuche can be a potent military force in Civilization VI: Rise & Fall, especially against rival civilizations that ascend to golden ages, or who fall into dark ages.

Civilization VI - Lautaro of Mapuche

Mapuche's uniques in Civilization VI: Rise & Fall

In Civilization VI: Rise & Fall, Mapuche is primarily a cultural civ with military advantages that allow it to keep Golden Age civs in check and to wreak havoc along border cities. The leader, Lautaro, is also able to further punish any enemy civs that fall into Dark Ages.

Mapuche capital start bias: mountains (except snow).

Civilization VI - Mapuche flag

Mapuche civilization unique: Toqui

"All units trained in cities with an established Governor gain 25% more experience in combat. +10 Combat Strength bonus against civilizations that are in a Golden Age."

The Mapuche benefit from placing Governors in all their unit-producing cities, as any units produced while a governor is established in the city will gain promotions (and insta-heals) much faster than normal. How many Governors you'll need will depend on both how many cities you have, and how many of those cities will be consistently producing units. It's probably not worthwhile to move a Governor into a city in order to build a single unit, since it takes time for that Governor to establish himself (during which time, he or she provides no benefits). Unless you have some other need for that Governor in the city, avoid shuffling them around. While a Governor is there, you might as well build any units that you may need, especially if you've adopted any unit-producing policies (such as Agoge, Maneuver, Maritime Industries, Their Finest Hour, or their later-era equivalents).

Civilization VI - naming unit
Re-name units to indicate which have XP buffs.

All those highly-trained units can then be used to hold any rival civs in check during their Golden Ages. If a rival civ tries to use a Golden Age War casus beli against you, their units will not receive a favorable welcome unless they are an era or more ahead of the Mapuche's units. Since combat results are dependent on the difference between the two units' strengths (rather than their raw strength), this bonus is just as significant in the late-game as it is in the early game.

Unfortunately, one of my biggest U.I. compaints with Civ VI is that unit abilities are not indicated anywhere on the unit panel. After a unit is built, you have no way of knowing which units have the experience boosts and which ones don't. You also can't rename units until they've taken their second promotion, which means you can't simply rename them to indicate that they have the experience buff. You're going to have to keep track of which units are which. If you do have a good enough memory to remember which is which, consider using some special designation (such as including an asterisk) when you rename the unit. This way, you'll know which units are worth protecting, and which ones you can use as cannon fodder (such as when you're sieging a walled city). Or just get a mod to do it for you.

Lautaro's leader unique: Swift Hawk

"If a Mapuche unit defeats an enemy unit within the borders of the enemy city, that city loses 20 Loyalty. Pillaging a tile within the borders of an enemy city causes that city to lose 5 Loyalty."

Civilization VI - Lautaro portrait

Lautaro can have a devastating effect on enemy cities' loyalty by killing off any units within territory owned by the city. Killing five enemy units near a single city can lead to the city going from full Loyalty to zero. This means that hypothetically, Lautaro can force enemy cities to flip, and then annex them without having to attack the city itself. If you are able to generate large enough Loyalty pressure against border cities, you can hypothetically flip the border cities that you are at war with, without necessarily having to invest in expensive siege weapons.

Cities won't instantly flip to you when they're loyalty reaches zero. They flip to "Independent" first. Independent cities are hostile to everyone, so any units spawned by that city may attack your units. Hypothetically, you could also reduce an independent city's Loyalty to zero by killing its units; however, Independent cities only seem to spawn two or three units -- usually not enough to reduce its loyalty to zero.

There is a significant caveat of this ability: when making a ranged attack (including by sea or air), the attacking unit must also be within the enemy city's borders in order for the loyalty loss to trigger. Keep this in mind when invading enemy territory. If you park your artillery or cannons outside of the enemy's borders and shoot at the units within, you won't trigger the loyalty loss. Instead, weaken the enemy units with your ranged units and then finish them off by attacking into enemy territory with your melee units. For air units, the attacker must either be deployed in the city's territory, or must be launched from an airbase or carrier within the enemy city's territory.

Unique improvement: Chemamull

Civilization VI - Chemamull

Game Info:

"Unlocks the Builder ability to construct a Chemamull, unique to Mapuche.
Provides Culture equal to 75% of the tile's Appeal. Additional Tourism after researching Flight. Minimum Appeal of Breathtaking.

Requirements: Craftsmanship technology,
tile has Breathtaking Appeal.

Effects: Provides culture equal to 75% of the tile's Appeal.
+1 Tourism for each Culture generated, after researching Flight.

Chemamull generate culture based on a tile's appeal. It must be built on a Breathtaking tile, which can have Appeal values of 4, 5, or 6. The culture seems to round down (as far as I can tell), so tiles with 4 or 5 Appeal will generate 3 Culture, and tiles with 6 Appeal will generate 4 culture. This improvement can provide a lot of early-game culture if the Mapuche have access to multiple Breathtaking tiles (usually from being adjacent to natural wonders, mountains, or oceanside cliffs). This will unlock new governments faster, and can give Mapuche early access to powerful wonders from the Civics tree, like the Colosseum, Chichen Itza, or Taj Mahal.

The Chemamull eventually generates tourism after Flight is researched, but they are generally inferior to National Parks and Seaside Resorts. National Parks provide additional tourism for each tile within the National Park, and they provide amenities to nearby cities. A National Park is superior to a Chemamull if you meet the (very strict) conditions for creating one. A Seaside Resort is also generally better than a Chemamull, as they provide more tourism, and the gold generated by a Chemamull is probably going to be more useful at this point in the game than the culture generated by a Chemamull. The advantage of the Chamamull is that they are available early, and can be placed in some places where National Parks and Seaside Resorts are not allowed.

Civilization VI - Malon Raider icon

Unique unit: Malon Raider

Game Info: "Mapuche unique Renaissance Era unit. +5 Combat Strength bonus if within 4 hexes of friendly territory. Pillaging costs 1 Movement."

Civilization VI - Malon Raider unit portrait

Requirements: Gunpowder technology (Renaissance Era).
Replaces: N/A.
Obsoleted: Synthetic Materials technology,
Upgrades to: Helicopter.

Cost: 250 Production / 1000 Gold [Standard speed].
Maintenance Cost: 4 Gold per turn.

Attack Type: Melee, Promotion Class: Light Cavalry,
Melee Strength: 55,
Movement Speed: 4.

Bonuses: +5 Combat Strength within 4 tiles of friendly territory,
Pillaging costs 1 Movement.

The Malon Raider is specialized for hit-and-run attacks and pillaging raids along the enemy's border. It isn't any faster than other light cavalry units, but its ability to pillage with a single movement point means that it can get into enemy territory, pillage, and then get out much quicker than other comparable units. Of course, normal light cavalry have a second-level promotion that reduces the movement cost to pillage, so the Malon Raider's ability is not a game-changer.

As long as you don't wander too deep into enemy territory, you'll also receive a combat bonus if enemy units attempt to attack you during your raids. If your opponent also happens to be in a Golden Age, then you'll receive an additional combat bonus from Mapuche's Toqui ability. Use this unit to knock out enemy strategic resources and luxuries in order to weaken their armies and cause unrest in their cities.

Civilization VI - Malon raid
Pillage enemy territory and attack the units defending their borders.

This bonus applies to friendly and allied territory as well as your own, and it also applies inside yours or friendly territory. In addition to making raids into enemy territory or sabotaging enemy Loyalty, you can also use the Malon Raider defensively to defend your own borders, or to protect your friends and allies.

The Malon Raider does not upgrade from any other unit, so it will have to be built from scratch when unlocked (similar to Georgia's Khevsur). They are a renaissance age unit, so the Chivalry policy will help get them trained faster. They have the same base strength as Musketmen and Pike and Shot, which means they will not be particularly powerful unless they take advantage of the various combat bonus available to them, or are well-promoted.

Culture War: a General Strategy for Lautaro's Mapuche

Mapuche have an early unique improvement, which can make them a candidate for an early (classical or medieval) Golden Age. They also have a strong start bias towards spawning near mountains, which means it's very likely that they will have high-appeal tiles necessary for creating Chemamull. Be careful that you don't inadvertently force yourself into a Dark Age by generating a very high era score and then not having any Era-Score-worthy achievements available for the next era.

Civilization VI - Chemamull Golden Age
Building your first Chemamull early can help usher in a classical or medieval Golden Age.

... That is, unless you want an early Dark Age. If you deliberately hold back on exploration and barbarian-hunting in the ancient era, then you can trigger a classical Dark Age, and then follow that up with a medieval Heroic Age. This can be a very risky strategy, but can be rewarding if it works. Be careful with this strategy on the highest difficulties, since A.I.s start with free Settlers and Builders and can easily produce new settlers to forward-settle you and start applying loyalty pressure to your Dark Age cities, or produce units to swarm and conquer you.

Civilization VI - Pyramids wonder

Having a unique early-game improvement means that having extra Builders and Builder charges will likely be important. Use the Ilkum and Serfdom policies when training Builders, and Liang the Surveyor Governor in order to speed up Builder training and provide them with additional charges. The Pyramids world wonder can also help, as it will provide a free Builder and boost the number of charges for all new Builders by 1.

Civilization VI - Eiffel Tower wonder

Later in the game, the Eiffel Tower world wonder can increase the appeal of every tile in your territory, which will allow you to place Chemamull on a lot of tiles that may be unimproved. However, this comes so late in the game, that Chemamull are likely not going to benefit you much, so don't plan a strategy around building this wonder.

You can generate large amounts of culture by placing Chemamull near mountains, cliffs, and lakes. Since you're likely to work these high-appeal tiles, the Earth Goddess pantheon can add a little bit of faith as well. Chemamull are particularly good when adjacent to natural wonders (especially wonders that improve adjacent tile yields). Best of all, since they are improvements (rather than districts), they can be removed later in the game if you decide to replace them with National Park(s) or Seaside Resorts (which are a good source of tourism and late-game era score).

There are still going to be some places where you have high appeal, but where you cannot create National Parks (because not all the tiles are within the same city, or there aren't four eligible tiles in the diamond formation) or cannot create Seaside Resorts (because of a hill or not being next to the ocean). You can still build Chemamull in such locations, and definitely should do so if you are going for a Cultural Victory.

Chemamull next to natural wonders can later be removed and replaced with National Parks.

Loyal raiders

Once you have Governors established in your unit-producing cities, and are pumping out units with experience buffs, you should try to keep track of which units have the buffs and which units don't. Avoid using your armies to capture cities. Instead, you can defeat their units defending the city to deplete its loyalty, and then either capture them as Free Cities or use loyalty pressure to flip the Free Cities to your side. This will spare you from the vast majority of warmonger penalty that you might otherwise sustain. If you founded a religion, and aggressively spread it to your opponent's border cities, then you may also generate some additional loyalty pressure from your religion.

This will pretty much only work on border cities in which a lot of foreign pressure is being applied to the defending city. If you push deeper into enemy territory, pressure from their own cities will likely outweigh the damage you can do, unless you can kill more than five or six units near that city in a single turn (which should be enough to bring the city from full loyalty to zero). If you hit your opponent while they are in a dark age, they'll be much less likely to recover from losing loyalty.

Check whether your opponent is in a Golden Age or a Dark Age,
then take advantage of your combat bonus attack their loyalty.

You'll be less likely to flip a rival's cities if they are in a golden age. However, Mapuche's Toqui ability grants a combat bonus against civs in golden ages, so you can take advantage of another's success to conquer them. You'll take warmonger penalties from this, but if you're going for a domination victory, then you're probably not too worried about warmonger penalties. This bonus is a flat +10 strength, and it applies to cities as well as units. The fact that the bonus does not scale with the eras means that this bonus is much more potent the earlier you can use it. Combined with the Oligarchy government and legacy policy, Mapuche melee units can cap out with a +18 combat strength bonus against rivals in a golden age. That's half the strength of a Swordsman in combat bonuses alone! Throw in a General and some promotions, and your units can be nearly invincible early in the game.

Civilization VI - Toqui combat bonus
Mapuche's Toqui ability grants a major combat bonus against civs that are in golden ages.

After you unlock corps and armies, start combining your boosted, highly-promoted units from your governor-assigned cities with stock units of the same type. The corp or army will retain the promotion and bonuses of the most-promoted unit when combined. If a unit with an XP boost is combined with a stock unit (no promotions), then the corp will retain the XP boost; however, if you combine a unit with any promotions with an un-promoted unit that has an XP boost, then the corp will retain the promotion(s) and not the XP boost. Without mods, this can be very difficult to keep track of.

Combining a stock unit with a boosted or promoted unit will retain the promotion or boost.

Even if you're not planning on capturing enemy cities, you can still use your military to weaken a threatening foe. If you get to Gunpowder tech early, you can start training Malon Raiders for use in hit-and-run attacks. Adopt the Raid or Total War policy and use your Malon Raiders into enemy territory to pillage their luxuries, strategic resources, and districts, and to plunder enemy trade routes. They only spend 1 movement point to pillage, and so can pillage two or three tiles in a single turn (depending on movement modifiers from roads or policies). They are especially potent if you completed the Nationalism civic (which your Chemamull should give you early access to) and can combine them into corps.

Keeping loyal: Playing against Lautaro's Mapuche

Lautaro's A.I. agenda: Spirit of Tucapel

"Tries to maintain a high degree of cultural loyalty, and respects civilizations who do the same. Dislikes civilizations that fail to maintain the loyalty of their people."

The Mapuche are designed to take advantage of opponents who are in either golden ages or dark ages. In a golden age, Mapuche units will get a large combat bonus against you. In a dark age, your weakened loyalty will leave your border cities susceptible to loyalty-flipping by the Mapuche. Don't turn your back on the Mapuche in either of these cases, especially against a human player.

Don't bother using a golden age or heroic age casus beli against the Mapuche, as the combat bonus that they receive will make them very difficult to defeat unless you have either an overwhelming numbers advantage, or have more technologically-advanced units.

Also, make sure you defend your vulnerable units after capturing a Mapuche city. Lautaro does not need to attack your city directly, if he kills several of your units in a counter attack, he may reduce the your loyalty within the captured city to zero and force the city to flip independent. He may even be able to accomplish this by simply pillaging tiles and districts if the captured city's loyalty is very low. This will spawn barbarian units and will force you to recapture the city. This will become even more of a problem if you push deeper into Mapuche territory. Plan your conquests wisely, and take advantage of Victor the Castellan governor in your captured cities to try to hold off Mapuche counter attacks.

Civilization VI - Lautaro agenda
Lautaro will like you so long as you maintain high loyalty in your cities.

If you have a more peaceful strategy in mind, then the Mapuche can make a decent trade partner or ally. Maintaining high loyalty isn't very difficult as long as you aren't forward-settling near other players or repeatedly enduring dark ages. Lautaro's agenda (maintaining high loyalty) is one of the easiest in the game to earn favor with, especially if you aren't aggressively conquering other civs and thereby having low-loyalty cities. This should make Lautaro a reliable friend and trade partner, pending any annoying joint war bribery nonsense or religious disputes.

He's also a potent threat for a Cultural victory due to his Chemamull. If he has lots of high-appeal tiles from mountains, coastal cliffs, or natural wonders, then he will likely build a lot of Chemamull and will progress through the civic tree very quickly. It may be difficult to compete with him for civic tree wonders like the Coliseaum, Chichen Itza, and Taj Mahal. He can also start generating large amounts of tourism relatively early by teching to Flight early and getting tourism from any Chemamull that he built earlier in the game; whereas, other civs will have to invest in creating National Parks and Seaside Resorts.

Discussions & Change Log

Thanks for reading. I hope this guide helps you to build a Mapuche civilization that will stand the test of time!


These strategy guides for Civilization VI have been taking longer to research and write than I would like. Part of this is due to the fact that I'm not as familiar and experienced with Civ VI as I was with Civ V when I started writing strategy guides for that game, so I have to spend more time trying to learn the different mechanics and rules associated with each new civ that I play. I also have a lot more things competing for my time.

If you enjoy this strategy guide, and would like to see more like it, please consider making a contribution and become a Patron on Patreon. With some additional funding, I could dedicate more time to writing guides like this one, and can maybe even branch out into video content on Youtube.

In any case, feel free to comment and share, or discuss this strategy in the CivFanatics forums at:

or on the official 2K forums:

[Show Change Log] [Hide Change Log]

9 August, 2018

Added start bias.

10 August, 2018

Added links to Civfanatics and 2K discussion threads.

10 August, 2018

Turns out that Mapuche naval and air units do receive the exp boost from governors. The linked mod's creator informed me that the mod was bugged and was not displaying the bonus. The mod has been fixed now.

22 August, 2018

Corrected erroneous information about the +10 combat strength being weaker in later eras.

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