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Zulu Problem (Not quite what you think)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Polish Redneck, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. bonafide11

    bonafide11 Worker

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    I don't think you can fairly compare medieval units to artillery and bombers.
     
  2. Spiral

    Spiral Chieftain

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    I like zulu a lot, probably my favorite civ now cause mass promotions and 3 speed ground troops are sweet.

    But I mean, look at china, their great generals rule and they get extra gold from the paper maker so you don't have to commit so early to warfare. And like others have said, early game warfare isn't what it was. Even with Shaka's reduced cost it's pretty costly to wield a large army in the early game.

    That's not even accounting for map type. What's Shaka gonna do if he has to cross an ocean to get to you?
     
  3. Iry

    Iry Chieftain

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    You don't think Impi should be compared to Crossbowmen, which were included in my list? Or you don't think it is easy to rush to Artillery or Bombers from the Medieval Era?
     
  4. Arachnofiend

    Arachnofiend Perturbed Pugilist

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    Impi are absolutely better than Crossbows. They have extended movement and defense against ranged, they're freaking designed with "**** your xbows" in mind.
     
  5. Iry

    Iry Chieftain

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    Sure, an Impi can defeat a Crossbowman 1v1. But a line of Crossbowmen are going to have a much easier and safer time taking out an enemy empire than a line of Impi. They don't have to overextend their lines deep into enemy territory, expose themselves to enemy flanking tactics to surround a city, and can stay somewhat mobile while avoiding zone of control.

    Can you succeed with Impi? Yes. Are you almost always going to do better with Crossbowmen? Yes.
     
  6. Magma_Dragoon

    Magma_Dragoon Reploid

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    Necroing because ikhanda promos are still op
     
  7. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    But xbows will get annihilated by horse units, on the other hand promoted Impi only weakness are either cities or maybe some UUs such as Keshiks.

    You need to keep in mind that impis get +1move, flanking bonuses & resist ranged attacks. Xbows will most probably perform poorly against them as they can't really finish some impis & run. Impis move really fast & can catch them easily.
     
  8. Magma_Dragoon

    Magma_Dragoon Reploid

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    Read op, issue isn't the impi, it is the promotions from the ikhanda. The combination of combat strength, speed, flanking bonus, and cover from a single promotion means that a handful of warriors can go up against a hilly capital defended by 5 comp bows and win.
     
  9. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    Yep spear throw is annoying (but melee units usually have a hard time sieging particular terrain setups (3 movepoints don't matter if you need to cross a river); it's not that bad...

    But late game where rough terrain is mostly gone and there are roads and railroads everywhere... when you get ikanda promotions on mobile infantry.... lolz
     
  10. MKDELTA3

    MKDELTA3 Warlord

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    I don't really see that happening. Maybe with a proper horde of them against a city in the open. We both know that 6 ranged attacks per turn without the Warriors having any chance to respond to fire is going to annihilate them and fast.

    Ikanda promotions mostly even the odds against the fundamentaly broken ranged combat system of this game.

    Impis are also the only pike unit with a remotely sensible upgrade path which I guess is another reason why people like them so much.
     
  11. Jampine

    Jampine Warlord

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    Impi's can be a a pain in the butt, especially since the AI CHEATS with them! But you can deal with them if you just tech enough to get guns before Shaka, or even better frigates!(if possible to attack them) Their buffalo hide doesn't do much to protect against a hail of arrows of lead :p
     
  12. IanZulick

    IanZulick Chieftain

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    This game is amazing, and until recently I couldn't find a single flaw with it. One thing fans of the series will note is that you can no longer stack military units on the same tile, so in terms of tactics, this game flips the whole series on its head. As always, the game is meticulously researched for the most part, and the Civs are almost all well-balanced, except, of course, for the glaring exception the Zulu.

    It's a real blemish on the legendary stature of this series in the world of strategy games to see one civilization that is so horrendously and obscenely overpowered that it's nearly impossible to contend with it until you at least get riflemen and Gatling guns. Apparently, Sid Meier either did not do any research about Zulu military history, or he simply wanted to arbitrarily make the Zulu the terror of the entire world for over half of the game. The Zulu Impi (a hybrid spear thrower, spearman unit that can cover large distances, throw spears AND attack all in the same turn) is granted outrageous bonuses by the Ikanda (a Zulu version of the barracks) that no other units in the game can get, and if you combine that with the Zulu civilization's special ability of only essentially paying half on maintenance for its army, you'll soon find yourself going up against an unending horde of Impis that is virtually impossible to defeat until much later in the game.

    Now, I get why Sid Meier may have done this, since during the Zulu Wars, Cethswayo (the Zulu king at the time) managed to defeat a British force of 1,500 men at the battle of Isandhlwana who were armed with breach-loading rifles and the best artillery of the day. Incredible, right? Men armed with nothing but iron spears, ox hide shields, and absolutely no armor were able to defeat a modern army of the time through sheer gumption and ferocity. WRONG.

    What the game neglects to take into account is that the British column was ambushed at Isandhlwana by 20,000 Zulu warriors (in other words, the British were outnumbered almost 20 to 1 with no armor to protect them from Zulu melee weapons, and the Zulu were able to charge at them over open ground before they could react, which is still a smart tactic, but the same would not have happened had they not had such an overwhelming advantage in numbers).

    The Zulu were masters of asymmetrical warfare (using certain tactics to fight a foe with vastly superior resources and/or technology), but the only reason it worked was because they outnumbered the ever loving hell out of the British during every single engagement they fought, and in the one case where the British held a fortified position instead of fighting in the open at the Battle of Rourke's Drift, 150 Brits managed to fend off between 3,000 and 4,000 Impis while only taking light casualties and killing hundreds of enemy troops.

    The point of this history lesson is not to suggest that the Zulu weren't a refined, respectable, fearsome and cultured civilization, but the Impi simply was not the cheap, cartoonishly powerful superhuman unit that the game makes it out to be when taken out of this context. Unless the player has the same such advantage in numbers, their warriors would (to quote Shaka from Civ 3), "fall before us like cattle" against any run of the mill iron age army. The British lost at Isandhlwana for the same reason George Custer did at Little Bighorn; because he was arrogant and thought numbers didn't matter, but if the numbers had been even at Isandhlwana and they had been fighting, say, the Samurai, or the Han Chinese, or a Roman legion or maybe even a Greek phalanx, they would have been annihilated because they wore no armor, had no or few archers, had little or nor cavalry, and their animal skin shields would have been about as useful as umbrellas against other iron or bronze weapons.

    Civ 3 had it right when the Impi took the place of the spear man, not the swordsman/medieval infantry. I know the whole civilization series is about taking history out of context, but the advantages granted to this one civilization are just unrealistic and unfair to boot. I really wish they would nerf the Impis.
     
  13. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    Let's analyze this a little bit further.

    The flanking bonuses are not that incredible of a deal. A regular flanking bonus is +10%, correct? With all of the 3 buffalo promotions, you get +75% flanking bonus.

    HOWEVER, this does not mean you get 10 + 75 = 85% flanking bonus. What this means is that your flanking bonus increases from +10% to +17.5%. Now I do believe that flanking bonuses add together when you have multiple units surrounding an enemy, but I think that some people might be overestimating the benefits of this.

    The ranged defensive bonuses from buffalo promotions combined add up to 30%? The cover promotion alone gives +33% ranged defense.

    The open terrain bonus is good, but it is less than the Shock promotion, and ideally you will want melee units to spend more time in rough terrain if they're going to be absorbing ranged fire and serving their role as blockers.



    The Impi are a great unit and the Buffalo promotions are awesome. I think the best thing about the Buffalo promotions are the extra movement and all-around combat strength bonus.

    However I feel there is a potential to overestimate them simply because, "hey look, so much stuff!"
     
  14. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    Agreed. Impis with Ikanda promotions rank somewhere in the top 5 unique units in the game but they aren't nearly as good as Camel Archers or Ships of the Line or Longbows or Chu Ko Nus because of their fundamental basic function; they are melee units. Melee units are fodder, and the Impi are still just fodder, even if they're slightly more resilient fodder.
    Now again that's not to disparage the Impi, I love them and using them because they are great fun to erase units with, but like every other melee unit in the game they're useless without ranged support. The Ikanda is great to make melee units stronger but again melee units aren't useful. I guess the Impi can become a workhorse in some conditions but typically they aren't strong enough to overpower anything past muskets. Unlike camels or longbows, which are good enough to keep around well past their contemporary units' usage. Impis are good enough to bring Zulus to third tier, with the UA and the UB maybe to second tier, but Camels and Longbows bring their civs to tier one.
     
  15. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan King

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    See what you're saying, but can't quite agree that they're simply "melee units." "melee units" have 2 moves whereas impi have 3 (for all practical purposes) The extra move means they're a hybrid melee and mounted, which means they should suffer a city attack bonus like mounted units do, but they don't. Also, they get a free ranged shot before melee attacking. Since ranged shots are free shots, you lower the combat strength of the opponent before the strength calculations are made for melee combat calculations, it's almost like cheating the calculator a bit. When they attack cities, they get their free ranged shot, which is with impunity, and since melee units lose the majority of their health attacking a city, this attack with impunity is quite important.

    As far as stopping Impi, particularly on deity level... yeah, they're pretty tough and with the Ikanda promos, they "counter most of their counters." The counter to Impi are citadels.

    But regarding the Zulu being OP, they have one major, MAJOR flaw that the OP is overlooking (Yzman kinda beat me to it, but only hinted at it... I'll spell it out.) Nearly ALL of the Zulu bonuses are obsolete in the late Renaissance to early Industrial Era, partially with Gunpowder tech, completely with Rifling. One bonus is the Ikhanda, which gives unique promotions to "melee" units, and do to a game design flaw, "gunpowder" units are not "melee" units. So Ikanda are the exact same as barracks after they can no longer make units classified as melee. Their second bonus is the Impi, a unit that obsoletes with Rifling. Their third bonus is their 2-part UA, 1/2 the maintenance on melee units, which again, does not apply to "gunpowder units. Watch your GPT go down as you upgrade your impi to rifleman or Longswordsman to Musketman. The only part of their bonus that they retain is their experience bonus, which applies to all units, which is great, but considering it's the ONLY bonus you have from rifling to the end of the game, it isn't THAT great.

    Yes, Impi upgrade to rifles and keep their promotions (except the ranged attack), but this leads to a similar situation that the Aztecs and Polynesians with their Jag-Infantry and Maori-Infantry. They become such butt-kicking units that are irreplaceable and, as such, many players withdraw them earlier or keep them out of harm's way.

    Finally, as mentioned earlier, the Zulu have a BIG temptation to redirect their hammers and gold to making melee units and hurt their research and infrastructure, not be ignoring but by delaying it. This is particularly the case when coming up on rifling and about to lose the ability to make Impi or any units with bonuses, and trying to squeeze out the last few of those will often delay things that are critical of the era, like public schools, factories, stock exchanges, and selectively hydroplants.
     
  16. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I appreciate that this thread emphasizes the UB and UA over the UU. If you ever have CS gifting impi -- they are underwhelming! Zulu would do almost as well without a UU! Which is crazy, but true. Ikanda buffed warrior line is great! So this to me indicates that Zulu were poorly implemented with this rev of Civ. It would have been better design to have the UU carry more of the buffs.
     
  17. Sclb

    Sclb Emperor

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    I don't think their free ranged attack works on cities.
     
  18. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    that's because UA, UB and UU all work together rather nicely. Impis are silly because you can spam them, they get free promos from UB including the godsend of a +1 movement and they're cheaper to hold around thanks to UA.

    On the other hand, Keshiks/Camels/Longbows are broken on their own
     
  19. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    So the bonus is multiplicative? I always assumed it was additive :lol:
     
  20. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan King

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    Maybe that's changed. It's been a LONG time since I played without quick combat on, but back when I did, I saw the spear-throw animation when my city was attacked.
     

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