Possibly zulu growth bug?
Just played my first tourney game against Japyaknees. Zulu vs India.
We had a good game going, but when i tried to push some settlers out something weird happened.
I took athens early, and rushed a settler at 3 pop+8 apples, and it said 4 turns to grow back to 2 pop. This sucked but i just left it, i thought i maybe did not look well at the apples.
Next turn from my own cap i do the same, but now it said 7!! turns to grow back to 2.
So we called the game and went for a rematch, because i just gained 2 useless cities for 4-7 turns. I heard some people call the bonus for zulu bad. Is this always happening to zulu, or did i just encounter a really strange bug?
It's due to their growth bonus. Pedal2Metal explained this in depth at some point but the basic idea is that they have a 'floor function' as he called it. Basically you always pay 20 food for any kind of population growth until you get to 4 pop (or 3, I forget) at which point the bonus starts actually helping you instead of hindering you. It's not really a bug because it's thought the developers put it in for balance.
I guess i should play zulu some more. Ive never seen it before though, even if i did have my fair share of zulu games. I reckon it happens only when you try to rush at 8 apples and 3pop. Anyway ty for the explanation Hydro
The Zulu "bonus" doesn't kick in until you grow from 3 pop to 4 pop. Below that, it's slower than normal. If you want to expand with the Zulu, you really have two options. Both involve getting into Republic really fast.
The settler pump method - Put a city on at least two trees and two grass/cattle/fish/whatever you have that is good for growth. Grow to 4 pop, hammer and/or buy the settler. You will regrow to 4 very quickly. Keep pushing out settlers.
The no growth method - If you are in medieval with the Republic government, you spend 1 population to gain 3 population. Great. Just keep it at that ratio. Plant a city, rush (or build) a settler, don't try to replace the population. Stay at 2 pop working sea tiles or trees. You can grow with a Humanitarian or Irrigation or something. Keep off the grass.
Remember also that the "bonus" comes at 5 techs so if your cities are small, you might want to grow them before hitting medieval.
The bonus itself, BTW, is that you take 10 apples from the amount needed to grow the city.
As mentioned, at floors at 20.
For example, assuming the 10 apple per pop to grow:
to grow from 10 pop to 11 pop: 100 apples for everyone, 90 apples for Zulu
To grow from 5 pop to 6: 50 apple for everyone, 40 apples for Zulu
to grow from 2 pop to 3: 20 apples for all
to grow from 1 pop to 2: 10 apples for everyone, 20 apples for Zulu