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The Zulu: How would you represent them?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by bcaiko, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. bcaiko

    bcaiko Chieftain

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    Hey foks,

    So I've made no bones about wanting the Zulu to be brought back into Civ5. I've loved the Zulu since reading Thomas Mufolo's Chaka as a teenager. And I think most of us are working on the assumption that they're either one of the remaining unannounced Civs or being prepped for an immediate DLC release.

    But, for the life of me, I can't imagine how they would be represented in the game (while still being unique). The Impi will almost certainly be a unique spearman unit for the Zulu (with a possible flanking bonus or additional bonus for units being next to each other, since Shaka's Impi were known for not throwing their spears and acting, uh, organized). Beyond that, I'm a little stumped. The Zulu never developed technologically to warrant a more advanced unique unit, IMHO (Shaka famously turned down an offer of British firearms, saying he could stab a Brit in the time it took to reload). I'm not sure what they'd do for a unique building/tile improvement.

    So, if you were tagged with the task to make the Zulu for Civ5, how would you go about it? What would be your choices for Unique Units/Buildings/Improvements? The Zulu's unique ability? Would you make them the "South Africa" Civ, a la Denmark and the Vikings?

    Looking forward to all your ideas and thoughts.
     
  2. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    Probably:

    Impi: spearmen with +1 strength and +1 movement
    UA: all units may ignore zone of control

    That will have very nice synergy, and give you a powerfull edge in battle. As for a UB, UI or another UU, it's a tough call. I'd probably go for a barracks, monument or granary replacement.

    Unique monument: Gives the normal amount of culture but also +15 xp to melee units.
    Unique granary: Gives the normal bonus but also 1 gold on every bonus resource (to resemble food trading)
    Unique barracks: Doesn't give the normal +15xp to all units but gives +45 xp to melee units only instead.

    Don't ask me names for those though :p
     
  3. Haig

    Haig Chieftain

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    In previous games Shaka has been leader, but Chechwayo(?) would be a cool left-field choice, and would make a good leader for the Victorian era scenario.

    I've had some ideas in my head, and it's a difficult to create some of them, your idea of Impi getting extra flank bonus would be good as the Zulus used a "bull head" tactic where the "horns" of the unit flanked enemy.

    UA: Warrior Kingdom: All military buildings produce culture. When Zulus are at war against another Civilization, all units on field produce culture.

    UU: Impi, replaces Pikeman. (so they would appear later on the game) Forest/Jungle movement bonus. Extra bonus when flanking enemy.

    UI: Ceremonial circle. (Some sort of Tile Improvement that grants Faith points when worked by a city. Not sure how spiritual the Zulus were though!)
     
  4. mitsho

    mitsho Chieftain

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    I like the UA that ignores zones of control and the Impi which gives flanking bonuses to adjacent units. Does has aa synergy. Additionally, I would add a Kraal as Unique Improvement replacing the Pasture, giving two hammers more and a 10% fighting bonus when fighting in adjacent tiles.
     
  5. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Yeah, these are pretty neat ideas
    Especially the ignore zone of control UA
     
  6. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    And like that, we have a Civ.

    Horns of the Bull: All Military buildings produce culture, during war zulu get bonus happiness.

    Impi: Bonus for Flanking, 1 extra move through Zone of Control areas.

    Kraal: 1 extra food and hammer, replaces pasture, 10 percent fighting bonus in adjacent tiles.
     
  7. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    So glad you asked!

    Here's a suggestion I made ages ago in another thread, interesting to see other people have made similar suggestions in this thread

    Leader: Shaka (duh)

    UA: Mobile warfare
    Zulu armies travelled very light, and were constantly drilled via forced marches in bare feet to travel long distances at great speeds. Additionally, young boys were inducted into the warrior culture very early, serving with the army as a light baggage train that could carry supplies very quickly. As a result, Zulu armies were able to traverse even rough terrain very quickly, and gain superior positioning to gain the element of surprise, and to perform their signature outflanking and encirclement maneuvres. In the game, this is represented by Zulu land units (except siege) may not have their movement reduced below 2 by terrain or zone of control.

    UU: Impi
    Replaces: Pikeman
    Strength: 10
    Cost: (the same)
    Move: 3
    50% bonus vs mounted (not 100%)
    Provides doubled flanking bonuses
    No movement cost to pillage
    +25% vs gunpowder units
    Zulu "impi" generally refers to the fighting formation that was perfected under the leadership of Shaka. They eschewed long throwing spears in favour of short stabbing spears and clubs, and were trained as warriors from youth. A favoured tactic was to use their speed and discipline to close in quickly and outflank an enemy with their highly-successful "buffalo horns" formation. With the advantage of surprise, clever positioning and numbers, these primitive but powerful troops were even able to defeat advanced British riflemen at the battles of Isandlwana, Intombe and Hlobane.

    A pikeman replacement that is very fast, and in combination with the Zulu UA, is able to use that speed to effectively outflank enemy units. If you are able to swarm an enemy unit, the flanking bonus may be large enough that you are able to take on even considerably more powerful units with ease (especially gunpowder units). However, their short spears are not as effective as pikes against cavalry. Impi/pikemen are also relatively cheap, allowing a Zulu player to more effectively make use of numbers to swarm an opponent.

    UU: Assegai spearman
    Replaces: Archer
    Cost: the same
    Strength: 5
    Ranged strength: 10
    Range: 1
    Move:2
    May not melee attack
    May move after attacking
    Prior to the military advances that occurred around the time of Shaka's rule, southern African warfare consisted primarily of light skirmishing troops carrying throwing spears known as assegai. The Zulu were known for their effective use of this weapon, until they superseded it with the far more effective stabbing spear.

    A very different archer replacement; it has a devastatingly high ranged strength, but its range of 1 leaves it very vulnerable to counterattack (especially since it isn't eligible for terrain defense promotions). The key to using this unit effectively will be the use of the Zulu mobility to strike hard and fast then withdraw before a counterattack.
     
  8. Horizons

    Horizons King of the Ring

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    I don't really care about the particulars but I WANT the Zulus in, they will be optimized for warfare. :D
     
  9. Haig

    Haig Chieftain

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    From this (humorous) article of Sieges, check out #4 to see how the battles between Zulu and British really went.. ;)

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-craziest-sieges-in-history/

    Hah actually this was in the article, never saw it before:
    "The British opening to the Zululand campaign had the same military tactics as my girlfriend playing Civilization."
     
  10. AriochIV

    AriochIV Analyst

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    Civ IV had the Impi (a fast spearman) and the Ikhanda (a Barracks replacement that reduced unit maintenance costs 20%). Those choices seem as good as any.
     
  11. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Chieftain

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    I like this idea. The Ikhanda in Civ IV was fine (and very effective), but I like the idea of something more interesting than just a buffed barracks, and your UA more than covers the militarism of the Zulus.

    The idea of a Kraal or Homestead is intriguing as a sort of defensive pasture. Given how common cows and sheep, etc are, they could make useful positions for defending your own lands.


    I'm not entirely convinced by a bonus vs. gunpowder units for the Impi. By all accounts, their victories over the British were more down to their mobility, positioning and numbers rather than an intrinsic skill in countering firearms. In fact, Rorke's Drift and Blood River show just how poorly the Zulus were able to deal with entrenched rifle/musketmen.
     
  12. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Yeah, against prepared, disciplined riflemen, the Zulu were highly ineffective. Essentially, they were the Sioux of South Africa. Great against the local competition, great in a few surprise attacks/raids, but not able to sustain themselves against organized colonial pressure.
     
  13. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    Love the zone of control idea. The +1 movement might be too powerful in conjunction with that, then again, spearman + 1 isn't all that strong so perhaps it would work.
     
  14. Olleus

    Olleus Chieftain

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    Avoiding ZoC as a UA almost seems too powerful. It would be very very difficult to protect ranged units against Zulu cavalry.

    Perhaps make it apply only to infantry units?

    Love the assegai concept.
     
  15. Gedemo

    Gedemo Cacique

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    My guess is that 2k keep the Zulus and the Portuguese for a second expansion pack: they need to keep "star civs" worth to be bought.
     
  16. omnishakira

    omnishakira Chieftain

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    i loved zulu... I hope to see them back
     
  17. chazzycat

    chazzycat Chieftain

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    "no ZOC" can't apply to cavalry. No way. Maybe only Impis? The can keep it upon upgrades, still pretty powerful. That would leave a UA available...

    I like the idea of a second ranged UU so you can have both in the field at the same time.
     
  18. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    I agree on both points, which is why I suggest that a unit's movement cannot be reduced below 2 squares by zoc/terrain (rather than zoc being ignored entirely). That way, cavalry doesn't become ridiculously dominant in a civ that probably should be infantry-based, and infantry are going to get the lion's share of the benefit.
    Likewise, I wouldn't have it apply to siege units since they really don't fit in with the light-logistics MO.


    Well, for what it's worth I'd argue that the British troops they were fighting were actually somewhere between riflemen and infantry in tech level, and so I'd imagine that you'd need a bit of a bonus vs gunpowder for them to have a chance in the inevitable scenario. Gameplay-wise, it also gives a "star" UU a little bit more longevity, and the potential ability to take down a higher-tech unit if they manage to swarm it, which I think could be a fun concept. Remember that pikemen aren't exactly a particularly strong unit, even against their contemporaries.

    Anyway you're right, but then guys with spears vs guys with rifles is always going to end in tears in the long run for the guys with spears (and in the game too). That they ever won a battle at all is pretty extraordinary. But the Zulu had the advantage of very fast tactical movement, and so the ability to close to melee range very quickly (plus the positioning advantage given by their ability to ambush). I dunno, given that the Zulu are really known for beating riflemen at Isandlwana (and elsewhere), and given that Isandlwana is always given as the definitive argument in the "omg my rifleman lost to a spearman" threads on this board, I reckon that's enough to give them a fairly insignificant flavour bonus.
     
  19. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    ''All melee units (spearmen, swordsmen etc) may ignore ZoC''

    Make impie a 3 move spearmen, the bonus applies to them obviously.

    And then something else.
     
  20. CivilizedPlayer

    CivilizedPlayer Chieftain

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    Yeah a UA where you ignore ZoC is way too powerful. Late game, ZoC is the only way to stop mech infantry, gunships, etc. It's also the only way to protect embarked units. A couple Zulu caravels could destroy an entire land army, regardless of how well defended it was. To the same effect, a single Mech Infantry backed up by some Stealth Bombers could capture city after city, regardless of surrounding defence.
    That said, the Impi ignoring ZoC could be a kind of cool advantange, but it couldn't be coupled with extra movement. Moving 3 tiles is enough to get completely around a melee unit and attack a siege unit behind it in one turn.
    I do hope they add them though, those guys are cool.
     

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