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Old Jul 27, 2013, 10:40 AM   #1
glory7
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Zulu Domination Guide (Deity, standard, Pangea)

This strategy is based on Deity, standard speed (other speeds are also possible), standard size, Pangea map.

If you faced Zulu as your neighbor in your game before, you probably have seen millions of zerglings, oh sorry Impis, are coming to your territory. Even for deity players, it's difficult to defend that rush while catching up the tech of other AIs.

After recent Deity challenges (where Zulu is your neighbor), I decided to play Zulu to see why this is so powerful. I found that Zulu is even more powerful if player uses it. All of UA, UB, UU are great:

UA: melee unit maintenance cost is 50% less, 25% less XP needed for promotion.
UB: barracks that offers special promotion (buffalo something) to melee units.
UU: IMPI. Does range attack (spear attack) before it does melee attack.

Strategy outline:

Cap BO: scout - monument - scout - granary if you have wheat/dear - shrine if you think you can get a nice pantheon/religion - 3 archers (can get a worker too, but I recommend "stealing" worker(s) )- pyramid - archer - settler(s) - UB - spear - CB(s) - etc. If you find early culture ruin, you can get a free settler 5-6 turns earlier. After getting the policy, you can build settlers first if you have done enough worker stealing and enough happiness.

Expo BO: monument - granary - UB - units

Tech: pottery - archery/mining/animal husbandry - masonry - lux techs - finish sailing right before you want to start the 2nd caravan - CB tech - bronze working - horseback riding - writing - currency - machinary - civil service - your choice

SP: liberty free settler - citizenship - liberty finish - commerce or patro

Details, with a sample game screenshots :

1. Start with liberty fast settler build and pyramid. Getting pyramid was easy at GnK and it's even more easier at BNW since most AIs don't go for liberty. This strategy can be done without pyramid, but I recommend you to play with it and restart if you are not used to domination yet. UPDATE: if you think you need to claim the land asap and have done enough worker stealing, ignore pyramid. Hard building settlers after the +50% policy would not take too long.

My starting location attached for this post is far from great, as you can see it at screenshot #1. I hope it enhances general applicability of this tactic. If you have a nice starting position like a map in recent deity challenge, you can do much better.

Get 3 (or even 4) archers before pyramid. You need them to protect yourself from barbs and do some barb quest anyway. Stack XP. Your 2nd promo comes at 23XP and You can get up to 30XP. With lots of archers you can do at least one barb quest.

2. Settle 3-4 cities, depending on terrain and unique lux. Steal worker(s) from CS (does not mean that you can DoW multiple times - DoW and steal, and about 10 turns later wait 2 tiles from the border to get another one(s)). This is not essential but certainly helps.

Find your victim. For example, if your neighbor is Morocco or Portugal, you found an easy prey. Get a worker from him if possible when you DoW. DoW early (before t60). See screenshot #1. I think I DoWed around t50 and killed his incoming units with 4 archers/CBs. I piled up lots of gold as I got 2 DoF - I did not use them to suggest that you can do this without it.

Don't even try to get a city and just stack XP & kill his units. If you take a city too early, it's likely that you suffer happiness problem and warmonger penalty hit. Usually you can get 1-2 DoF if you have not taken any city yet. Moreover, when you attack city you get 3 XP - this is a huge difference. This city is your "bootcamp", or training ground. Units that got damaged heal and other units keep attack the city/units. At ss #1, I intentionally did not take that city for this reason.

3. You will get at least 2-3 range promo CBs by t90-95 and you can take your first cap without losing more than 1 melee unit. Thanks to OP UA, you only need 75 XP for your 4th promo! you can choose either range or logistics, but I recommend range for first 3 veterans. With them, you can avoid loss of units.

See screenshot #2 - I took Persia cap at t92. I gave Susa ("bootcamp") to my friend Portugal (we DoFed and she tends to be weak - focus on wonders and not units). You should sell/give the city, for the following reasons:

A. It does not have new lux - so that city is simply happiness eater.
B. From the minimap, you see that other civs are far from me - you need caravans to catch up science, as you get library pretty late in this build and you don't even get philosophy till you get civil service. One trade route usually gives 4-5 science. Connect caravans to that city. You want the new city owner to be science focused guy so that you won't worry about being backstabbed until you get impi+Xbows combo and you can get more spt out of the trade routes. You can use 2 caravans (animal and sailing) and usually you can get 1 incoming one - and you can get 12 spt.

4. If possible, place at least one city next to mountain so that you can rush Machu Pichu with your liberty GE. I usually rush NC with liberty GE when I play normal liberty gaems, but for Zulu donimation you don't need NC. If you can bulb liberty GS to get Xbows or impis 8 turns earlier (say, machinery is 9 turns to go and you bulb and it's next turn) then do it.

For usual games, you hit machinary around t100. Upgrade your veterans. Go for the next victim. Just keep shooting until he ran out of his units. When civil service is done (usually before t115), upgrade your spears to impis. Now time to steamroll.

See screenshot #3. I marched to Paris at t114 (and took it at t117). #1 army Aztec attacked me around t95, but all he did was providing more XP farming opportunity to my units. You can kill them all without any loss. Eventually he offered a good peace deal and I moved on to France with England. I just took CS between (France took it during the war). Usually it is not recommended to take CS as you get heavy warmonger penalty, but at this point it's okay - everyone will hate you soon anyway for getting many cities.

Place roads everywhere so that you can save turns/units by doing moving-shots. For example, after machinary, you move 2 road tiles and shoot twice with your veteran Xbows. For standard speed, it takes 2 turns with citizenship and pyramid to place a road. For quick speed, only 1 turn!

You should have lots of workers at this point (tile developments are almost done already). Use them to

1. place roads
2. get rid of roads after you pass through and don't need them
3. Pilliage-repair. It takes only 1 turn to repair, so bring lots of workers to the front line. Even for the tiles you don't need to heal, make sure you pillage (get gold!), repair, and shoot.
4. Block/lure enemy units with them.

5. Build roads everywhere you march and kill everything with range & logistics Xbows. There is no unit that can beat impi front line (impi is pikeman after all so knights cannot do anything, for example).

See screenshot #4. I got backstabbed by Portugal - and Maya and Spain joined the war against me. However, impi + Xbows just kill all of them. I took 2 more caps at t146.

Impi (assuming that you make it at the city where you built UB) starts with like 2-3 promotions already (buffalo series). It gives you 10% combat bonus, big flank attack bonus, 3 movement (!!!), open terrain bonus, 30% cover, and spear attack before range attack, etc. They just don't die easily and with 3 movement you can manuever it as if they were horse units.

You will hit the next promotion very soon (it requires only 23XP, so you are only 8 XP from it). Usually you finish buffalo promo. In case you attack a city and need a meat shield, just push one impi in and use insta heal.

6. After this? I doubt that you really need any more tactic after getting 4 caps.... Get armory at your main production cities and pump out impis + Xbows and kill everyone.

Possible Q & A :

Q1. How do you deal with gpt issue?

A. Pilliage/repair continuously. Try to get machi pichu with your liberty GE. I intentionally piled up lots of gold and did not use them to show that even things go wrong you won't suffer gpt problem seriously. You can also get some nice gpt from selling cities, but not required. Lastly, commerce right 1 helps a lot as you build lots of road. Oh, and thanks to UA, maintenance cost for impis is half price!

Q2. Your science is slow... what happens if there is a runaway?

A. Yes, it is true that I did not have philosophy (no education of course...) before like t115. However, you can speed up your spt in early game using caravans (explained above) and after you start your conquest you can just annex other caps. They usually have university in it

Moreover, you just don't need any other tech for a while - nothing can stop impi + Xbows till rifle, and before that you probably killed most civs. and when it is needed, you can upgrade impi to rifleman!

Lastly, if possible, just go for sci runaway first. That's why I killed Portugal and Maya first in the sample game.

Q3. How to deal with happiness?

A. Good point. As you have large army, you should be able to do lots of barb quests. Get some CS. Also, raze/sell/give non-important cities.

If you can get a nice religion, it certainly helps, but it's hard to get own religion at deity domination. Just use other civs' ones. They will send lots of missionaries, and when they spread religion, check whether you can buy pagoda/mosque or use some other perks like +1 happy if you got shrine.

Q4. Okay, but deity AIs have so many units... can you really steamroll?

A. They do, so if you can bribe AIs to fight against each other it certainly helps, but it is not necessary. You get range at 75Xp and logistics at 112XP. In some cases, getting logistics early is better, as you can stack XPs quicker and your fire power doubles. However, if you need range units to attack cities from 3 tiles away to minimize loss, choose range first.

Given that lots of your attacks are to cities, you get 3XP per that attack so stacking XP is really easy. Non-Zulu civs need 100 and 150 XP respectively, and this is a considerable difference. You can get range & logistics Xbows like 30-40 turns earlier than other civs, and once you got them, they are "rocket artillery of medieval era".

Let me know if you have any questions/comments.

Update:
I haven't played civ5 for a while - sorry for the very late update. I recently played a map from deity challenge lineup, and posted detailed walk-through up to impis+xbows rush to kill 3 civs. link: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showth...6#post13287166
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Last edited by glory7; Jun 21, 2014 at 04:36 PM.
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Old Jul 27, 2013, 10:59 AM   #2
Tabarnak
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Well done

I'm sure you can do this without writing as well

I like how you explained in details the full use and synergy behind UB, UA and such. Shaka is the King of deities.

Do you think that Honor can be better in some occasions(after Liberty)?
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Old Jul 27, 2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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EDIT - never mind, I was wrong.

Last edited by Blicero; Jul 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:10 AM   #4
Moriarte
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Hey glory! Read your instructions and decided to give it a try. Guess what, rolled next to Zulu , which didn't turn out that bad, since there was a couple salts in the area. Long story short, killed Zulu, Maya, Korea, and hammered pyramids. GE'd NC to get to Xbows earlier.

Btw, now I understand why you suggest using engineer for Machu, as I was in the red most of the time, and only made it to positive after t.100.

So dilemma is:

tech education --> artilleries (gonna take a while), while trimming Incans and Russians with xmen and trebuchets, OR

try to cleanse the map with what I have and wait for cannons (at least another 30 turns) and muskets, while skipping education.

I am third in army (66k), Assyrians are first (97k). Germans are world tech leaders: 9% lead.

My army is: 8 Xbows, 2 Cats, 2 swords, 2 horses.

Here are the screens:

Spoiler:



What would you recommend?

Last edited by Moriarte; Jul 28, 2013 at 04:16 AM.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:04 AM   #5
tommynt
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building gold? really?

I have never been a situation where nothing more useful been there to build and doubt it is in this situation espacially as barbs pillage you ...

edit as you tech towards canons get at least few more treboks and swords to upgarde
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:09 AM   #6
spellsteal
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It seems I'm doing something wrong, everytime I pillage the road I built, I don't receive gold or healing
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:20 AM   #7
tommynt
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Quote:
You can also get some nice gpt from selling cities
is this still as broken as in G+K where civs offered you like 2k gold for some former core citiy from them?

capturing 2 ai cities selling 1 to them for all their gold/gpt and then dow 10-15 turns later and capture 2 more cities was most succesful (econocomy wise) way to do war - but seems just brokken to me..
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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An interesting guide, thank you. I have been doing something largely similar, but not quite with the same result, albeit on immortal, not diety. My biggest problem was the same, ie staying happy. But finding and acquiring the FP is usually the turning point.

My personal opinion is we should have fun with Shaka while we can. The impis with 3x buffalo promos all the while on the fast track for all the others, is a line that is almost impossible to break.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:27 AM   #9
glory7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
building gold? really?

I have never been a situation where nothing more useful been there to build and doubt it is in this situation espacially as barbs pillage you ...

edit as you tech towards canons get at least few more treboks and swords to upgarde
not sure what you mean by this - I never choose "wealth" option and I did not say anything like that here too.

edit: it seems that you talked about Moriarte's screenshot - nvm

Last edited by glory7; Jul 28, 2013 at 09:41 AM.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Moriarte View Post
Hey glory! Read your instructions and decided to give it a try. Guess what, rolled next to Zulu , which didn't turn out that bad, since there was a couple salts in the area. Long story short, killed Zulu, Maya, Korea, and hammered pyramids. GE'd NC to get to Xbows earlier.

Btw, now I understand why you suggest using engineer for Machu, as I was in the red most of the time, and only made it to positive after t.100.

So dilemma is:

tech education --> artilleries (gonna take a while), while trimming Incans and Russians with xmen and trebuchets, OR

try to cleanse the map with what I have and wait for cannons (at least another 30 turns) and muskets, while skipping education.

I am third in army (66k), Assyrians are first (97k). Germans are world tech leaders: 9% lead.

My army is: 8 Xbows, 2 Cats, 2 swords, 2 horses.

Here are the screens:

Spoiler:



What would you recommend?
I haven't done lots of domination lately so I am not sure about whether this strategy would work with other civs. Since you got 3 civs very quick (good job), I guess it could be applicable.

If you rushed NC already, I believe that a safe way is to tech education while maintaining your well-upgraded units (newly produced units can be used to meat-sheild) and slowly progress to the next civs. Spy can help a lot as you won't expect good relationship with other civs anyway.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:36 AM   #11
glory7
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Originally Posted by spellsteal View Post
It seems I'm doing something wrong, everytime I pillage the road I built, I don't receive gold or healing
You cannot get any gold from pilliaging road tiles. You need to pilliage improved tiles like farms, mines, etc.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:38 AM   #12
Moriarte
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Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
building gold? really?

I have never been a situation where nothing more useful been there to build and doubt it is in this situation espacially as barbs pillage you ...

edit as you tech towards canons get at least few more treboks and swords to upgarde
Hehe, yeah, building gold. At one point that was the only thing that kept me solvent.

Well, I played this through till t.150 and quit. After suiciding 10 cannons and myriads of muskets and horses, I still couldn't take Cusco. It was on a hilly choke point by the sea, filled with galleases, and I didn't want to retreat..

Could finish it in 200-220 range, I guess.

What's interesting though, I was only 10% behind in tech in the very end. So, basically, even after the slog I could get Uni's, tech up and kill what's left with artilleries, bombers and everything else.

Going for Xbows first with GE for NC is a very strong opening for any civ, not only Zulu.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by glory7 View Post
If you rushed NC already, I believe that a safe way is to tech education while maintaining your well-upgraded units (newly produced units can be used to meat-sheild) and slowly progress to the next civs. Spy can help a lot as you won't expect good relationship with other civs anyway.
Yep, that' where I made a bad call. But your thread inspired me to do all out domination with random civ.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:40 AM   #14
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An interesting guide, thank you. I have been doing something largely similar, but not quite with the same result, albeit on immortal, not diety. My biggest problem was the same, ie staying happy. But finding and acquiring the FP is usually the turning point.

My personal opinion is we should have fun with Shaka while we can. The impis with 3x buffalo promos all the while on the fast track for all the others, is a line that is almost impossible to break.
I agree that happiness and gpt are two main difficulties in domination (not enemy units, sadly). Especially with 5% sci penalty with any 1 more city, I found that I usually burn/gift/sell not really good cities.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:47 AM   #15
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A good writeup, and i will def. give it a shot.

My only problem with your buildorder is your pyramid timing. If you build 3 archers in your cap before the pyramids they wont finish before the late turn 50's, and i've seen the pyramids go as early as turn 50 plenty of times on diety, so it seems like a risk to take.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 10:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
is this still as broken as in G+K where civs offered you like 2k gold for some former core citiy from them?

capturing 2 ai cities selling 1 to them for all their gold/gpt and then dow 10-15 turns later and capture 2 more cities was most succesful (econocomy wise) way to do war - but seems just brokken to me..
I haven't done many city selling deals, but it seems to be still broken, at least to a certain degree. I usually sell cities to other civs (not the original owner) with intention of not capturing it (if I do, after many turns), but after reading this it seems that selling one to the original owner and get them again quick seems to be working well.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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Edit: Derp. Never mind. Late to the party.

Last edited by Browd; Jul 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 11:02 AM   #18
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I haven't done many city selling deals, but it seems to be still broken, at least to a certain degree. I usually sell cities to other civs (not the original owner) with intention of not capturing it (if I do, after many turns), but after reading this it seems that selling one to the original owner and get them again quick seems to be working well.
I dont really understand why devs dont fix such things. Gold price for cities was OK in vanilla civ5 - then they broke it - shouldnt bee too hard to fix it back.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 11:26 AM   #19
Moriarte
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Originally Posted by tommynt View Post
I dont really understand why devs dont fix such things. Gold price for cities was OK in vanilla civ5 - then they broke it - shouldnt bee too hard to fix it back.
They fixed a lot of stuff, and game didn't become harder as a result. One thing to fix would be: teach AI to fight like tommy does. The rest I can live with.
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 02:15 PM   #20
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One thing to fix would be: teach AI to fight like tommy does.
So basically, make the game on anything higher than Prince utterly impossible? No thanks
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