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The Zulu

Discussion in 'Leader Balance' started by Stangle Khan, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Stangle Khan

    Stangle Khan Chieftain

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    I feel like the Zulu are really underwhelming compared to the other militaristic CBP civs. I rarely see them do anything but settle a handful of cities and stagnate.

    UA: Melee units cost 50% less maintenance, units require 25% less experience to earn their next promotion, and your great General Combat bonus is increased by 10%.

    The 50% maintenance reduction is okay. I've never personally had an issue with gold production a single time while playing CBP so unit maintenance is pretty basic. Additionally it's only Melee units which seem to compose less of armies outside the Impi rush stage. Less experience is good. The improved Great Generals is really nice, but coupled with the Ikanda is less so. All your Melee units end up faster than your GGs.

    UB: Nearby mines gain +1 production. Grants Unique promotion to all melee units, and reduces Crime Slightly.

    The unique promotions are nice. They are all useful and strong. The lack of the +15 XP compared to the barracks is a big turn off since that compounds making new units less useful later in the game. The +1 production from mines is nice but in the grand scheme of things is negligible. You can only afford so many mines being worked early game and by the time you can work a ton of mines the +1 production is barely anything compared to all the other things that benefit mines.

    UU: The Impi, replaces musketmen. CS is 30. Has a spear throw start and +50% bonus against mounted.

    Absolutely no complaints about the Impi. Meshes really well with the rest of the Zulu's abilities etc.

    Every time I see the Zulus go up against the other militaristic AI (Rome, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Greece, Songhai) they get absolutely destroyed unless they are in the Impi stage.
     
  2. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    I have to disagree here, the UA is extremely one-dimensional, but it is probably one of the strongest UAs in the game.

    Lower maintenance on melee-units opens the ability to just flood the enemy with pure numbers, an option that other civs doesn't really have in the early to mid game.
    The cheaper promotions pretty much translates into all your units having access to the Samurai Unique Quick study. It's really powerful.
    Outside of military, it also lets your scouts pick up a third promotion from their scouting exp cap (same with normal units fighting barbs I guess), I don't really know how powerful that is after the last patch, but it used to be great.
    The Great general thing is a 66% boost over the normal 15%CS great general, just let that sink in.

    Wait what? The Ikanda boosts mines? I must have completely missed that change, whenever it happened.
    I'm also fairly certain the Ikanda actually grants you the 15 exp a normal barracks does, unless that also was changed recently.

    The Unique promotion line granted by the Ikanda is awesome and synergizes greatly with the 50% lower maintenance. A bunch of extra flanking-bonuses along with extra movement allows your melee-unit clouds to surround and destroy.

    Actually my least favorite part of the Zulu, I'm really not a fan of how this unit completely loses all uniqueness once upgraded, makes the whole unit feel really one-dimensional.
     
  3. supracseduch

    supracseduch Chieftain

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    I don't find the Zulu underwhelming, just uninteresting. The fact that they can get lvl 3 promotions from hunting barbs is super strong, and their GG boost is very useful. I find their UA overall a bit stronger than Sweden's and Denmark's, but those two aren't as one-dimensional. The Zulu could use a slight rework (not a buff).

    Also, the boost to mines was moved from the Forge to the Barracks in the latest patch.
     
  4. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Oh, I guess that explains it.
     
  5. Stangle Khan

    Stangle Khan Chieftain

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    The one-dimensionality of the Zulu is probably what bothers me the most. Rome can build big, strong empires, Songhai can be a culture powerhouse, Sweden has Science, Japan can build massive coastal cities, Greece can ally with city states etc. Even the Huns have their UI which can create powerhouse cities. All the other military Civs have some other option. Conquest isn't an option every time. The Zulu need something else to fall back on.

    Flood the enemy with what? Warriors and Spearmen? A city with walls is near impossible for a group of melee units to take unless they all have the siege promotion (which you won't be taking since you'll want the buffalo promotions). And since Siege is now locked behind Drill II (maybe III) You'll need 6 promotions to unlock Siege. Additionally the zerg-rush tactic requires so much production that the unit loss counters anything gained from the war.

    Cheaper promotions are good, I'll never argue with that. The scout things is pretty useless now. You need Trailblazer II just to unlock Scouting I. I think the scouts need a much higher XP threshold but that's a different thread entirely.

    GG bonus is nice, but between how many units the Zulu need for their strategy and how melee units become faster than GGs it gets kind of pointless. I've always found that a single extra unit is far more useful than any GG. And the ability to grab some extra strategics (which you'll need even more for the Zulu strategy) without founding another city is usually more useful than their combat bonus.

    Yeah that's what it said in the Civolopedia. No XP apparently either.

    I'll never argue that the buffalo line of promotions is anything but great. But the AI can't flank to save it's life. The ikanda is just kind of meh compared to the other CBP UBs. Even adding back the XP might be enough to fix it though.

    Most of the UUs seem to lose anything that made them special when they get upgraded. And while I like the Impi they seem symptomatic of the general issue with the Zulu. That there is only one strategy that works and only for a certain time frame.
     
  6. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 Chieftain

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    When you go to War you don't always have to take Cities, you could just raid and keep attacking them down until you find a convenient time to conquer you neighbors. Cities aren't very good w/o their Tile Improvements. Your Army can be used to bully nearby CS inbetween wars.

    No, you need Drill II for Siege. That's 3 Promotions, not 6. Don't insist on taking Promotions you don't need.
     
  7. supracseduch

    supracseduch Chieftain

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    So I did a bit of brainstorming to try to make the Zulu a bit more flexible and interesting. Maybe we could remove the bonus from GG. Replace it with something like "Conquering or liberating a City-State counts as a Historical Event." Shaka is known for ruthlessly conquering nearby tribes, absorbing them into the Zulu kingdom. But then again, conquest of nearby lands is a characteristic of any expanding empire. Maybe conquering a CS should be a Historical Event in general? It falls under "winning a war", against the conquered CS. Should add more incentive to attacking City-States, and maybe Arabia might sometimes decide to take Authority rather than Tradition every single time.

    Anyway, how about replacing the GG boost with "A free melee unit of the previous era spawns in every city every time you enter a war"? This might sound like they're becoming even more one-dimensional, but this actually makes the Zulu a very strong candidate for Diplomatic Victory. One thing I realized just now is that if they have lots of units at their disposal, they have lots of units to gift to City-States. And lore-wise, we can justify this trait by Shaka's incredible ability to field a large army as the need arises. Maybe add this ability to the Ikanda itself rather than the UA as it feels very powerful.
     
  8. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Sweden do not get a science-boost, do they?

    Yes Zulu is no where near as versatile as those civs, but they are a whole lot better at warfare.

    You don't need to attack a city with spearmen (even though you really can, spears are pretty strong) all you need to do is surround his army, kill it off and they encircle his city so he starves and can't build reinforcements, you can then proceed and bombard the city into submission with ranged units and capture it.
    Warfare in CPP is a whole lot less about taking cities as it is about destroying the enemy army, destroying their army and just sieging their cities and pillaging their tiles is going to give you a pretty heavy peace-treaty even if you don't have the siege-weapons necessary to take their cities.

    I guess the scout promotion whine ruined everything. Is Survivalism 3 just gone now?

    This is land warfare, not naval warfare, you're not going across half the map to fight, are you? You can definitely wait a turn or two for your general to catch up.

    Sounds like a bug in that case.


    Doesn't the promotion give you partial 'cover' and like 10% CS as well, I mean even without the flanking the promotion is great.


    Absolutely not most. more than half of the existing UUs keep their uniqueness when upgraded, I'm really sad about not all of them getting this treatment, but I keep bringing it up and no one keeps caring.
     
  9. tompliss

    tompliss Chieftain

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    But is it really ?
    I mean, the extra XP is supposed to give you a promotion, but unis spawning from there have the Zulu promotion tree, with the first promotion being better than Drill/Shock.

    It is a way of telling : you're the Zulus, you don't fight like the others, you fight like the Zulus !



    Missa likey :D
     
  10. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Fairly certain, I mean the Dojo still grants experience, and the Siege workshop also provides a free promotion.


    EDIT: I even checked in game in the civpedia and it clearly states that it grants +15 exp to units produced. Not even sure where you got the idea that it wouldn't give exp from.
     
  11. Stangle Khan

    Stangle Khan Chieftain

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    I guess I'm just not getting the point of the Zulu then. It seems they are working as intended, the AI just cant handle them well.

    Sweden gets a science and culture boost from the Skola +1 science per 3 rather than 4. I think the Zulu could use something along those lines. Just something to give their empire a little more strength. Maybe give the ikanda a buff to melee unit production?

    I think we have different tactics then. I tend to bum rush a couple of cities and then use them as bait to slaughter the enemies army on friendly territory as they try to retake the cities. Having some units with March fighting on friendly land is obscene. I killed Atilla's entire army with 8 units compared to his 30+. I suppose that tactic would work better as Sweden than the Zulu.

    Survivalism 3 is still in the game, compared to Scouting 3 it's trash though. I honestly don't get the point of reconnaissance units having the barbarian cap for scouting XP. It's not like they'll ever be good combat units.

    Hehe, I suppose this may be more of a personal problem. I tend to play on 180 x 94 maps.

    I reread the entry, I missed the "In addition to the abilities of the Barracks."

    It's an excellent promotion. The buffalo promotions are the strongest in the game. I was just saying how the AI can't flank to save it's life (although waaaay better than in standard Civ 5). This whole post was brought upon by how every time I see the Zulu AI they do terrible.

    Yeah it's always a sad day when I have to upgrade my Cataphracts or Mandekalu. I usually wait until I absolutely have to.
     
  12. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Manducav keep their +100% flanking and ability to use enemy roads, don't they?
     
  13. Sendaf

    Sendaf Chieftain

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    I don't think I have ever seen the AI do well with the Zulus, usually they sit in last or 2nd to last for the majority of the game.

    If we want them to be less 1 dimensional then we need to decide what their preferred alternate win strategy is.

    Tourism- We could modify the UA so that winning a war creates a temporary tourism boost
    Diplomatic- When you win a war against a civ you steal all of that civ's city state allies
     
  14. JungleBucks

    JungleBucks Chieftain

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    Tourism doesn't really feel right for the Zulu.
    Some things that come to mind when I think of them though are their pastoral economy and strong diamond economy discovered during the settlements of the English and Boers, so maybe bonus culture on pastors or mining resources would be appropriate.

    Shaka also unionized many tribes in South Africa through a mixture of diplomacy and warfare, so a bonus for City-States would also be pretty good. I'm thinking a bonus of influence for gifted units, or a bonus to the yield of rewards for completing City-State Quest. Simply taking allies from winning wars though. I dunno, that sounds pretty abusable if you strike a weak civ that snowballed some allies.
     
  15. supracseduch

    supracseduch Chieftain

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    Indeed, redesigning their UA, if needed at all, should have actual historical lore in mind. Tourism or technology is in no way a strong point for them. Perhaps a bonus against more advanced enemies would make sense, but that kinda forces them to play behind. Diplomacy would have to be their second strongest point next to military.
     
  16. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Haven't actually played that much lately, but I don't remember seeing Zulus actually doing badly. Assyria, Sweden and Denmark always seems to be the warmonger civs that keeps getting stomped in my games.
     
  17. pandasnail

    pandasnail Chieftain

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    Considering the Zulu people were instrumental in the freeing of their nation from racist overlords, the Zulu absolutely could be a Diplomatic or even Cultural civ. If USA isn't a warmonger civ, then nobody else has to be either, thematically.
     
  18. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    It's about theme, not exactly about historical relevance. The military theme fits well with the Zulu and I really don't see a reason to change it.


    Meanwhile the theme of being fat, annoying, passive aggressive, ugly, trashy, annoying and fat fits the Americans pretty well. Seriously, I hope Washington understands how much I hate him.
     
  19. pandasnail

    pandasnail Chieftain

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    I don't see a reason either, just pushing back a little against the idea that because they fought wars at one point of their history, that locks them into being warmongers, ignoring completely everything that's happened since. We don't say that because USA committed mass genocide against natives, they have to be a warmonger.


    I still think a nation that to this day uses its military might to oppress should be a war civ, and I always will.
     
  20. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    I'm pretty sure that if there is a hell, it's playing civ against a full washington AI lineup over and over again.
     

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