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Shaka (c. 1787 – c. 22 September 1828) was the most influential leader of the Zulu kingdom. He leads the Zulus in Civilization IV: Warlords.

General Info[]

Unique Unit: Impi

Unique Building: Ikhanda

Starting Techs: Agriculture, Hunting

AI Traits[]

Shaka is one of the leaders who will plan wars when pleased.

  • Strategy: military (10).
  • Wonder Construct random: 10 (from 0 to 50).
  • Base Attitude: -1 (from -1 to 2).
  • Base Peace Weight: 2 (from 0 to 10).
  • Warmonger Respect: 2 (from 0 to 2).
  • Espionage Weight: 100 (from 50 to 150).
  • Refuse To Talk War Threshold: 10 (from 6 to 10).
  • No Tech Trade Threshold: 5 (from 5 to 20).
  • Tech Trade Known Percent: 50% (from 0 to 100).
  • Max Gold Trade Percent: 5% (from 5 to 20).
  • Max War Rand: 50 (from 50 to 400).
  • Raze City Prob: 50 (from 0 to 75).
  • Build Unit Prob: 40 (from 0 to 40).
  • Close Borders Attitude Change: -4 (from -4 to -2).
  • Same Religion Attitude Change Limit: 3 (from 2 to 7).
  • Different Religion Attitude Change: 0 (from -2 to 0).
  • Favorite Civic Attitude Change Limit: 2 (from 1 to 6).
  • Demand tribute will be refused when: cautious or worse.
  • Request help will be refused when: cautious or worse.
  • Request technology will be refused when: cautious or worse.
  • Request strategic bonus will be refused when: cautious or worse.
  • Request happiness bonus will be refused when: annoyed or worse.
  • Request health bonus will be refused when: furious.
  • Request map will be refused when: annoyed or worse.
  • Request declare war will be refused when: annoyed or worse.
  • Request declare war them will be refused when: pleased or worse.
  • Request stop trading will be refused when: annoyed or worse.
  • Request stop trading them will be refused when: cautious or worse.
  • Request adopt civic will be refused when: cautious or worse.
  • Request convert religion will be refused when: annoyed or worse.
  • Request open borders will be refused when: annoyed or worse.
  • Request defensive pact will be refused when: pleased or worse.
  • Request permanent alliance will be refused when: pleased or worse.
  • Request vassal will be refused when: pleased or worse.
  • Max War Nearby Power Ratio: 90 (from 80 to 130).
  • Max War Distant Power Ratio: 50 (from 30 to 100).
  • Max War Min Adjacent Land Percent: 0 (from 0 to 4).
  • Limited War Rand: 160 (from 40 to 200).
  • Limited War Power Ratio: 100 (from 80 to 130).
  • Dogpile War Rand: 50 (from 25 to 100).
  • Make Peace Rand: 80 (from 10 to 80).
  • Demand Rebuked Sneak Prob: 40 (from 0 to 100).
  • Demand Rebuked War Prob: 40 (from 0 to 50).
  • Base Attack Odds Change: 4 (from 0 to 6).
  • Worse Rank Difference Attitude Change: -2 (from -3 to 0).
  • Better Rank Difference Attitude Change: 0 (from 0 to 4).
  • Share War Attitude Change Limit: 4 (from 2 to 4).
  • Vassal Power Modifier: 20 (from -20 to 50).

Civilopedia entry[]

Shaka was a Zulu chieftain who is credited with transforming his tribe from one of many insignificant entities into the terror of southern Africa. Many historians consider him to be a military genius. During his tumultuous lifetime Shaka caused revolutionary changes to Zulu society and profoundly altered the history of his tribe forever.

Shaka was born sometime around 1787 to Chief Senzangakona of the Zulus and the woman Nandi, who was the daughter of a nearby chieftain. In his early days, Shaka served as a warrior for another local chieftain named Digiswayo. When Shaka's father died around 1816, Digiswayo helped Shaka claim the chiefdom of the Zulus for himself. Shaka then murdered his half brother to secure his new position.

Once Shaka had control over the Zulu, he began a series of reforms that would transform the Zulu military into the region's most powerful fighting force. First, Shaka replaced the traditional "assegai" (a javelin-like throwing spear) with the "lklwa," a short spear intended for stabbing. He also equipped his men with larger and heavier shields. This new weaponry allowed Shaka to dramatically alter his army's battle tactics, changing the very nature of warfare in the region.

Before Shaka, among the tribes of southern Africa, combat was in large ritualized. The two forces would stand apart from one-another, chanting loudly and clashing their shields while hurling their spears at each other. Eventually one side's resolve would falter and they'd retreat, leaving the other side in possession of the field. Few warriors on either side were killed, and the battles rarely provided decisive results.

With his military reforms, Shaka was to change all that. Shaka taught his army to close with the opponents' forces, fighting in hand-to-hand combat, where the new weaponry and shields provided Shaka's forces with a decisive advantage over their foes. Shaka invented a tactical formation called the "buffalo horns," under which his army had large wings (or horns) extending to the right and left of the main force. The main force would engage the enemy directly, while the horns outflanked the foe on left and right. Surrounded on three sides and facing a foe armed with better weaponry and shields, few armies could stand up to the Zulu attack.

With the most powerful army in the region, Shaka unleashed a reign of terror upon the unsuspecting neighboring tribes of southern Africa. Shaka began his conquests with limited forces. However, through skilled diplomacy and the judicious use of assassination, he rapidly set up a system of alliances and vassal rulers to extend his control over a wide range of territory, rapidly increasing the forces under his command. Those who opposed him were slaughtered without mercy. Within a decade tribes began migrating out of the area, fleeing the Zulus in all directions. This movement of peoples has become known as Mfecane, or "the scattering."

Although a great conqueror, Shaka was not an effective domestic ruler. His brutal regime was quite unpopular, and several assassinations and coups were attempted. Eventually, one of them succeeded, and in 1828 Shaka was mortally wounded by his two half-brothers. As he lay dying, Shaka is said to have told his half-brothers that they would not rule long, and that the white men would soon take the Zulu lands. Unfortunately for the Zulus, Shaka spoke truthfully, and within seventy years the Zulu would be conquered by the British.

It is interesting to speculate what would have been the result if Shaka has still been alive when the British invaded Zululand. Shaka was a great military innovator, and it's possible that he would have much earlier understood the power of the British rifles, and he might have quickly tried to adopt the weapons for his own troops. However, the fact remains that his people would still have had no industrial base and little ability to import such weapons. He might have chosen to avoid open-field battle and adopt guerilla tactics; while this would have caused the invaders much more grief, it is likely that in the end he too would have been defeated by the British military-industrial juggernaut.

See also[]

Civilization IV Leaders [edit]
AlexanderAsokaAugustus CaesarWBismarckBoudicaBBrennusWCatherineCharlemagneBChurchillWCyrusDarius IBDe GaulleBElizabethFrederickGandhiGenghis KhanGilgameshBHammurabiBHannibalWHatshepsutHuayna CapacIsabellaJoao IIBJulius CaesarJustinian IBKublai KhanLincolnBLouis XIVMansa MusaMao ZedongMehmed IIWMontezumaNapoleonPacal IIBPericlesBPeterQin Shi HuangRagnarWRamesses IIWRooseveltSaladinShakaWSitting BullBStalinWSuleimanBSuryavarman IIBTokugawaVictoriaWang KonWWashingtonWillem van OranjeBZara YaqobB
W Added in WarlordsB Added in Beyond the Sword