Civilization 6 First Look: The Zulu


Well apparently I incorrectly counted the amount of Civ’s that would be featured in the Rise and Fall expansion, as tomorrow people will be able to play with Shaka of the Zulu as well as the other new Civ’s. To recap, Rise and Fall adds Korea, The Netherlands, Mongolia, a new leader for India, The Cree, Georgia, Scotland, and the Mapuche.

You can watch the full teaser here.

The Zulu’s unique ability is Isibongo. Units upgrade to Armies and Corps when they capture cities. Additionally cities with garrisoned units provide extra loyalty. Their unique infrastructure is the Ikanda. Which is a replaces the Encampment District. It provides +1 housing and once you unlock the ability to make Army’s and Corpse, you can build them outright. They can also be built much cheaper than normal. The Zulu once again wield their Impi warriors. This time around the Impi replace the Pikeman. The Civ 6 version of the Impi have several unique benefits. They have an increased Flanking bonus, are less expensive than similar era units, earn experience faster, and cost less maintenance. As expected, the Zulu are focused on doing one thing. Fighting. Shaka’s unique ability only aides this further. His Amabutho ability unlocks the building of Army and Corps units earlier than normal and have extra combat strength.

The Zulu are easily one of the most aggressive Civ’s in the game. He should be instantly feared when you see him, and should not be trifled with in the renaissance or Industrial era. Once he has his Impi, things will be very, very difficult for you. Fortunately their bonuses are all geared towards these mid game benefits. If you encounter him early, swift and decisive military action in the Classic or Medieval should bring you success. They will be unaffected by most normal maps, save Island plates (all non naval Civ’s have a hard time with that). However, TSL maps are where things get really interesting for them. They will spawn in South Africa and should have little problem laying waste to the Kongo just north of them. Nubia lies ahead of that, with Cleopatra and Saladin at the peninsula. All the African Civs have early to mid game benefits. Given the passive nature of the Kongo, I expect the more aggressive Zulu AI to steam roll them. Once they reach Nubia and Egypt, both of their unique units will be obsolete. Leaving the Impi armies free to lay waste to them. However, despite how well poised they are to take Africa, they will realistically need to put some time into building a navy to escort their Impi to wherever other Civilizations lie.

The Zulu, like all the other Civs, release tomorrow when Rise and Fall goes live. I will have to wait until the weekend before I can dive into it, but I can’t wait to do so!


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