- +0.10 Yearly inflation reduction
- +10% Goods produced modifier
- +5% Discipline
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- −10% Fort maintenance
- +1 Yearly devotion
- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- +10% National tax modifier
- +10% Trade efficiency
- +20% Domestic trade power
- −10% Development cost
Mutapa is a moderately-sized, land-locked tribal nation located in southern East Africa. It is notable for its high concentration of gold and ivory producing provinces. However, it is technologically behind its main rival Kilwa, and has not embraced feudalism. Mutapa is the overlord of Butua.
Mutapa starts in a southeastern African pocket confined by uncolonized provinces to the northwest and wasteland to southwest. To the northeast lie the other Fetishist nations: Maravi with its vassal Lundu and two weaker nations: Makua and Tumbuka. The whole eastern coast is owned by the Sunni regional power of Kilwa with Sofala as its vassal. Mutapa is the second strongest nation in the pocket, although the strongest one, Kilwa, not only has more development, but also has feudalism embraced, which gives them a strong tech advantage over the inland Fetishist countries.
Mutapa's main threat in the early game will be Kilwa, who will usually rival Mutapa. Moreover, another strong nation nearby, Maravi, will also usually rival the player, which often results in a dangerous alliance between them and Kilwa. The following part of this guide will assume Kilwa and Maravi are allied and both rival Mutapa, as this is the hardest possible start.
The geographic isolation of the region narrows down the player's possible allies to Makua and Tumbuka. One of the countries in the Kongo region (such as Kazembe) can be allied to deter a combined aggression by Kilwa and Maravi, but they are unlikely to accept a call to an offensive war because of the great distance separating the regions. The safest way to escape this dangerous situation is to wait for Kilwa to be engaged in a difficult war with a neighboring state, as they often do with Mombasa. The player can exploit the situation and attack Maravi when the weakened Kilwa won't accept a call to arms. Going slightly over the force limit, rushing military technology 3, getting a general from the nobility, as well as hiring a suitable advisor can give Mutapa an edge in this war. As a central African nation, Mutapa starts with the Mwari cult available which gives +2.5% Discipline when embraced (and which happens to have been the historical religion of the Mutapa kingdom).
With Maravi beaten the player will be in a stronger position and can wait for an opportunity to strike Kilwa. Makua and Tumbaka can either be kept as allies or conquered to further boost Mutapa's development. It should be noted that if either of these two is allied with Mutapa and gains some land from the initial war with Maravi, they are likely to break the alliance with Mutapa and rival it (as a result of having no other available rivals). If this happens they will have to be conquered anyway. Mombasa lies to the north of Kilwa and will be eager to help the pleyer if they desire Kilwan land.
Assuming Kilwa has been beaten and is no longer a threat, Mutapa has several ways to expand. When access to the sea is gained it is possible to conquer the Malagasy states. Battling them will unlock additional cults, which can be of use. If Exploration or Expansion ideas are chosen Mutapa can colonize its way across the Indian Ocean to Indonesia and Australia, or southwards along the African coast up to Cape. Uncolonized inland provinces are usually less valuable, but once colonized they will link the southeastern and central African pockets, which will open a way to wage war on the states in the Kongo region. Another possible route for conquest is northwards towards the Horn of Africa (which will likely speed up institution embracement because of greater proximity to Europe). Eventually one of the European colonial powers will set its greedy eyes on Mutapa's coasts. If Mutapa is still lagging behind on technology, war can be avoided by allying another strong, more friendly European country. Countries most likely to be hostile to Kilwa are the colonial powers of Portugal and Castile/ Spain. France is an ideal ally against both of them, if strong and friendly.
Mutapa starts the game as Fetishist, and as such has access to the cult mechanics. Three cults specific to Central African technology group are available by default. Unlocking new cults takes place by interacting with Fetishist countries of different tech groups or with countries of different religion. The most effective method of gaining a new cult is battling said nations, but owning a province with a different religion, or bordering a Fetishist nation with an unknown cult adopted will also work (though the latter method is quite slow). The most easily accessible cults at game start are Islam and the East African cults (Fetishist East African countries can be found on Madagascar). Later Christianity will also spread via events, unlocking its cult.
While Fetishist, Mutapa has access to generic pagan as well as Fetishist decisions. Most notably, they give increased prestige gain, as well as +2% Missionary strength, which makes for easier conversion of annexed Sunni provinces.
As the game progresses, it will be possible to convert to other religions. Two most obvious choices will be Islam and Christianity. The former relieves the player from having to convert conquered Muslim provinces, while the latter facilitates diplomacy with European powers, since Christians can only royal marry other Christians. It is up to the player to decide whether to stay true to the ways of the ancestors or adopt a new faith.
Mutapa has one serious advantage over its neighbors: it starts with two gold mines, and its vassal Butua starts with another one. Of all nearby countries, only Kilwa has one mine, and its vassal Sofala has another. Gold gives a considerable early game boost to the economy and developing the two provinces with diplo points should be enough to get out of financial trouble. Mutapa will have to embrace Economic ideas eventually, or face additional spending of administrative points to counter the ensuing inflation. The remaining six Mutapan provinces produce ivory, which is an excellent trade good due to its high cost and −20% State maintenance province bonus. Because of all this keeping a high income early-game shouldn’t be a problem and Mutapa will easily afford most wars if their provinces aren’t occupied. The player will also be able to start drilling much earlier.