Civilization VI: Rise and Fall - Lautaro Leads The Mapuche

Imagine leading a rebellion against an invading force – as a teenager, no less – then remaining a rallying symbol for your people hundreds of years after the fact. Lautaro, revered among the people of Chile as the Toqui (a war chief or literally translated, “axe-bearer”), defied Spanish Conquistadors, escaped enslavement and cemented his legacy while facing overwhelming odds.

Long before his first encounters with the Spanish (who had trouble pronouncing the native tongue) Lautaro was actually known as Leftraru, or "Swift Hawk" in the Mapuche language. Lautaro lead a relatively quiet early life until the Spanish aggressively colonized Chile at the expense of the indigenous people. With every Spanish fort built, Mapuche territory got pushed further. Eventually, the local populace started pushing back. Lautaro, the son of a Mapuche chief, was captured by the Spanish.

Managing to escape roughly three years later, Lautaro finally did return to the Mapuche.  A council of war declared that Lautaro would serve as vice-Toqui to a powerful warrior known as Caupolican and together, they led an assault on the Spanish forts scattered across their territory.

Today, Lautaro is among the most famous military leaders in Chilean history, considered by many to be the nation's first true General in light of his battlefield tactics. The overwhelming forces of the Spanish did little to slow Lautaro's determination, and his efforts spurred a period of resistance that lasted for nearly three centuries after his passing.


The 16th Century brought a Spanish invasion to what is now southern Chile. It also brought horses, which the Mapuche were unfamiliar with before encountering the conquistadors. Their presence on the battlefield forced the Mapuche to adjust their tactics. Partly due to Lautaro’s time enslaved to the Spanish, the Mapuche quickly learned how to use horses, turning one of the greatest Spanish advantages against them. The mounted malón raiders—so named for their retributive attacks on invaders—would launch quick raids to harass an enemy, before leading a responding enemy into an ambush. As a result, this unique Renaissance Era unit gets combat bonuses when fighting near friendly territory and pillaging costs less movement.


The Mapuche erected great wooden tombstones to remember their dead. These chemamull are carved from a single log and placed beside a person’s tomb. These “people of wood” stand as tall as a person, crafted as recognizably male or female figures with arms crossed over their bodies.


The Mapuche built these wooden statues to protect the spirits of their loved ones. They believed each statue guarded its tomb and helped to reunite a spirit with its ancestors. Not only do these structures provide culture equal to 75% of a tile’s appeal, later in the game, the Mapuche benefit from a tourism boon thanks to chemamull.


True to his name, Lautaro (originally “Leftraru” in Mapuche which translates to “Swift Hawk”) found ways to probe and exploit weaknesses in the Spanish Conquistadors’ cavalry. As such, defeating an enemy unit in their own territory decreases the Loyalty of the owning city.


As a war chief, Lautaro successfully took the fight to a superior force by rallying the Mapuche people. You’ll get a bonus while combatting civilizations already in a Golden Age. All units trained in cities with an established Governor gain more experience in combat.

Lautaro is one of the nine new leaders coming with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall when the expansion releases on February 8, 2018.

Follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #OneMoreTurn, and be sure to follow the Civilization franchise on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and information on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.