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The Impi is a unique anti-cavalry unit of the Zulu civilization in Civilization VI: Rise and Fall. It replaces the Pikeman.

  • Common traits:
    • +10 Strength Combat Strength vs. light, heavy, and ranged cavalry units.
  • Special abilities:
    • Gains 25% more experience.
  • Special traits:
    • Lower Production Production cost (125 vs. 200).
    • Lower Gold Gold maintenance cost (1 vs. 3).
    • Increased flanking bonus (4 vs. 2).


There's not much to dislike about the Impi: it's faster to train, cheaper to maintain, and gets better flanking and XP bonuses than the Pikeman it replaces. Its low Production Production and Gold Gold maintenance costs allow the Zulu player to field an army of Impi very quickly and without risking a bankruptcy.

But there's more: the Impi becomes available around the same time as Mercenaries (if civic and tech development have been keeping a similar pace, of course), which allows Shaka to form Corps! Large groups of Impi are very difficult for opponents to repel unless they have a comparable force of melee units (which have a +5 Strength Combat Strength bonus against Impi), and if you've been keeping up with your civic development and manage to capture a few cities, you'll have Impi Corps and Armies at your disposal long before anyone else. Start training Impi en masse as soon as you unlock them, then send them forth to show the world the Zulus' might!

While other civilizations may be inclined to train their unique unit's earlier form, this does not apply to the Zulus. The only drawback of the Impi are their class: anti-cavalry. Anti-cavalry units are generally weaker than other military units and often do not hold their own in offensive combat. So while Alexander may be training Warriors in the Ancient Era to rack up XP and Promotion Promotions for his upcoming Hypaspists, the Zulus should not train the underwhelming Spearman or try to use them in early combat before they have any of their combat bonuses unlocked. Part of the reason that the Impi are so strong is because they are unlocked around the same time that the Zulus gain an influx of military strength through their brand new Corps. Without those Corps or their strong unique unit, the Zulus have no bonuses besides toward conquest besides their Ikanda, meaning you have no reason to put yourself at a disadvantage by forming an army of subpar units. Because the Zulus will have to hard-build their Impi to make the most of them, a Zulu player should spend their time in the first two eras heavily emphasizing infrastructure and finetuning your cities to prioritize Science Science (for researching Military Tactics and unlocking the Impi), Culture Culture (for completing the development of Mercenaries), and Production Production to ensure you can produce enough Impi fast enough to conquer your neighbors and begin snowballing.

In addition to building Production Production-increasing improvements and District Districts, the Zulus should also pay attention to the various boosts to training anti-cavalry units. These include:

In a high Production Production city with an Ikanda and all of these bonuses, the Zulus will be able to quickly train a highly-capable army to trample their opponents.

The Impi's increased flanking bonus means they benefit more from flanking, but they are not better at providing such bonuses for other units. For example, an Impi and a friendly Swordsman both flank an enemy unit; the Impi will receive a +4 Strength Combat Strength flanking bonus from the Swordsman but the Swordsman will still receive only a +2 Strength Combat Strength flanking bonus from the Impi.

Civilopedia entry[]

The powerful warrior regiments of the Zulu were already a formidable force when the ambitious Shaka taught them new techniques: combining the iklwa (a short, stabbing spear with a broader blade than a throwing spear) and the ishlangu (a large, oval shield with cowhide layered on top). They trained to form shield walls, both to blunt projectiles and to hide their true numbers, and attack with a “buffalo horns” formation—greener troops would sweep out and around to pin the enemy’s flanks (the horns), while a more experienced center would slam into the pinned enemy (the rest of the buffalo).

The impi training regimes under Shaka were nothing less than brutal, but harsh conditioning led to tightly bonded, well-disciplined soldiers able to carry out complex formations with ease. The impi became a highly mobile force, nigh-unstoppable against anything short of repeating rifles and high explosives.


Related achievements[]

As Shaka, train a Corps of Impi using the Ikanda district.
A reference to the actual Zulu term for an impi regiment.

See also[]

Civilization VI Units [edit]
Civilian SettlerBuilderTraderArchaeologistSpyNaturalistRock Band GS-Only
Land military AT CrewArcher (Hul'che1Pítati Archer1) • ArtilleryBarbarian Horse ArcherBarbarian HorsemanBombardCatapultCavalry (CossackHuszár GS-OnlyLlanero1) • Courser GS-Only (Black Army GS-OnlyOromo Cavalry1) • Crossbowman (Voi Chiến1) • Crouching TigerCuirassier GS-Only (Rough RiderWinged Hussar1) • Field Cannon (Hwacha R&F-Only) • Giant Death Robot GS-OnlyHeavy ChariotHelicopterHorseman (Hetairoi1) • Infantry (Digger1) • Keshig R&F-OnlyKnight (Mandekalu Cavalry GS-OnlyMamlukTagma1) • Line Infantry (Garde ImpérialeRedcoat) • Machine GunMalón Raider R&F-OnlyMan-At-Arms (Khevsur R&F-OnlyBerserkerSamurai) • Maryannu Chariot ArcherMechanized InfantryModern ATModern ArmorMountie GS-OnlyMusketman (ConquistadorJanissary GS-Only) • Nihang1Pike and Shot (Carolean GS-Only) • Pikeman (Impi R&F-Only) • Questing Knight4Ranger (Highlander R&F-Only) • Rocket ArtillerySabum Kibittum1Saka Horse ArcherScout (Okihtcitaw R&F-Only) • Skirmisher GS-Only (Warak'aq GS-Only) • SlingerSpearman (Hoplite) • Spec Ops R&F-OnlySwordsman (Hypaspist1Immortal1LegionNgao MbebaToa GS-Only) • TankTrebuchet (Domrey1) • Vampire3VaruWar-CartWarrior MonkWarrior (Eagle WarriorGaesatae1) • Zombie5
Naval military Aircraft CarrierBattleship (Minas Geraes) • Caravel (Nau1) • DestroyerFrigate (De Zeven Provinciën R&F-OnlyJong1) • Galley (Bireme GS-OnlyViking Longship) • IroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer (Barbary Corsair GS-OnlySea Dog) • Quadrireme (Dromon1) • Submarine (U-Boat)
Aircraft BiplaneBomberFighter (P-51 Mustang) • Jet BomberJet Fighter
Support Anti-Air GunBattering RamCultist3Drone R&F-OnlyMedicMilitary EngineerMobile SAMObservation BalloonSiege TowerSoothsayer2Supply Convoy R&F-Only
Religious ApostleGuruInquisitorMissionary
See also Great PeopleHeroes
1 Requires DLC2 Apocalypse mode only • 3 Secret Societies mode only • 4 Heroes & Legends mode only • 5 Zombie Defense mode only

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.