View Full Version : Playtest Scenarios and Reports

Nov 28, 2006, 07:28 PM
Rhye mentioned that he'd like someone to help figure out why the Aztecs are not being invaded by Spain, or indeed why the AI seems so dead set against overseas aggression. I know that the test spawned from that request resulted in, essentially, a shrug.

Therefore, without further ado, I will be posting saves of games as the Aztecs testing various methods of convincing Spain to invade me.

I do not have the computing power to run through this stuff at high speed, so if other people could also get in on this, I'd be much obliged.


Spanish will be set to peace with all others, war with me (Aztecs). If new wars are started by the Spanish, I will end them (hopefully keeping them focused).

I will grant the Spanish four fully loaded galleons, with the appropriate techs to allow them to build more. I will also grant them a caravel near my cities to ensure that they are aware of my location.

I will build/conquer no more than four cities, and will deploy between one and five defenders to them, varying based on the size of the city and its proximity to the coast.

Hypothesis: The AI will proceed to beat me to death in short order.

Head Serf
Nov 28, 2006, 08:03 PM
Good luck on getting the Spanish AI to work. One problem I've seen is that the Spanish have trouble building their conquistadors because of a lack of iron.

Nov 28, 2006, 08:25 PM
Hypothesis correct!

Spain killed me (the Aztecs) in four turns when provided with the necessary material. Unfortunately, they also burned all but one of my cities. I will zip and upload various appropriate saves.

I also made sure they had access to the iron deposit by bumping the culture of one of their cities to 1000.

I had placed spies in all their cities to keep an eye on their finances (among other things), and a sub to keep up with their ships so as to minimize time spent in the wb.

Test two will provide the Spanish with only ships, tech, and the iron deposit.

Test three will give them iron deposit, troops, and tech for ships.

Test four will give them iron deposit and techs.

Test five will be a normal game.

I will only run one or two tests a day, as I like my sanity. If someone else feels like doing one (or more) of these, be my guest. Saves will be up in a couple of hours as I will be at the gym for a good bit.

Starting Turn (
Later Turn ( (Cant remember if it is the last one, or just prior).

Nov 28, 2006, 10:17 PM
To help you see whats going on, instead of adding spies and subs and stuff or using the world builder. Go into the _Civ4Config file and change

; Move along
CheatCode = 0

; Move along
CheatCode = chipotle

Then just press Ctrl-Z when you start the game to go into debug mode. which will reveal the entire map to you (but not your civ) and let you 'go into' any city to see exactly what that city has.

Also it will make it so you can switch to the world builder and back very quickly.

Other than that, If you have a hypothesis on whether or not something might need fixing, I can check through the AI code to try and find the code governing sea invasions and start looking through that for flaws.

Currently from your first test it looks like the problem might not be in the invasion AI, but in the Troop Building AI. (which I had suspected, as every now and then a power I was at war with would send a small force over to attack me, but very rarely.)

Well, that's my two cents. good luck, and I really hope you find the problem.

Nov 29, 2006, 12:18 AM
Just a hunch, I don't think it is troop building. Usually the AI always has an obscene amount of troops, they just sit in their cities always. I think you just need to get them onto ships and do so in an organized fashion.

Nov 29, 2006, 04:22 AM
Good luck on getting the Spanish AI to work. One problem I've seen is that the Spanish have trouble building their conquistadors because of a lack of iron.

I already posted a solution ( a month ago. Maybe we should try that?

Nov 29, 2006, 10:50 AM
that is part of his test,

Test four will give them iron deposit and techs.

Test five will be a normal game.

presumably if test four they trump him and test five they dont he will try with just techs and just Iron (or if he doesnt I might for him) to see which has the biggest affect, if it stops working before then we will know the iron alone will not solve the problem...

Tom Veil
Nov 29, 2006, 11:11 AM
The Spanish burning your cities is not inaccurate. Cortes burned and levelled virtually every neighborhood that was significant in Tenochtitlan ( Similar things happened in other towns. Our Mexico City is more akin to Spanish troops razing Tenochtitlan and planting a settler there the next turn.

Tom Veil
Nov 29, 2006, 11:12 AM
I am also testing "control" by playing a game as the Aztecs. I might not post results until Monday, though; I'm rather busy.

Nov 30, 2006, 10:16 AM
Sowwy, I've been lazy about this because I'd rather play as the Brits and overrun the earth than play as a people getting my butt owned -.-

Anyway, test two will begin today.

@Kairob: Yeah, thats essentially what I'ma do. The goal is to isolate the bottleneck, then figure out how to get around it.

@Tom Veil: If you are running the control, that would be excellent. I'm not really interested in playing a full game as the Aztecs, so thanks a bundle!

Nov 30, 2006, 10:24 AM
Here's an idea for while I run this test. Rather than figuring out how to get the Spanish to invade, why not have barbarian Conquistadors invade the Aztecs and Incas for a few hundred years.

According to what I remember from reading Rivers of Gold, the Spanish did not establish control over the Conquistadors until well after their conquests. I'd quote the relevant passages, but my books are in boxes and I can't find the bloody thing.

So, I'd suggest having the Conquistadors invade as barbarians, and then giving the Spanish some way to ensure the flip should the cities come under barbarian control. A Spanish only wonder project called Viceroy of the Ocean Sea?

I'm sure that this will be called overly deterministic, which, in a sense it may be. However, I'm asking that the same dynamics be relied upon as are currently used in causing the fall of the ancient empires (eg: large scale barbarian invasions).

Anyway, this is just a suggestion and will not change the fact that I will continue the testing. Thanks for the debug mode cheats.

Nov 30, 2006, 10:38 AM
Early results from Test Two:

The AI shoots for settlement first. It immediately begins settler spamming. I _believe_ that the real problem with invasion is that the AI goes into expansion mode as soon as it gets galleons because it rates creating new settlements higher than engaging in conflict to gain the settlements of others.

Unless, of course, it has troops loaded onto the boats waiting to go.

I'm going to deviate from my scheduled operations in order to introduce some troops to the Spanish to see if that will affect their priorities.

EDIT: Even odder, rather than using the galleons I gave them for settlement, the AI seems to be using newly built ones. I am attributing this to the script given to the ships, all of which have UNITAI_ASSAULT_SEA loaded, rather than the UNITAI_SETTLEMENT_SEA script. I'm going to change some scripts on the ships I placed to see if this affects build orders.

EDIT2: Rather than using the four conquistadors I placed in Madrid for attacking my fairly defenseless cities, the AI is using them to escort settlers. One of the two galleons I whose scripts I switched from Assault to Settle is presumably going to be used, as the fifth one has yet to return, and a new one has yet to be built (although it is in the works).

Nov 30, 2006, 11:09 AM
Test two ended* in failure. Despite having many boats, the Spanish continued to build yet more boats. Furthermore, when gifted four conquistadors the Spanish loaded the troops but refused to invade.

A lack of shipping is not the issue.

Settlement received a far higher priority than invasion, despite being at constant war with as negative a relationship as the WB allows.

Hypothesis: The AI Spanish focus on settlement before invasion because they rate empty land higher than they rate settled enemy land unless they have a significant number of excess troops on hand.

I will be testing this hypothesis in number three.

*ended because I felt that further play would show nothing of real interest.

Dec 01, 2006, 10:20 AM
thank you for what you're doing. I'm very interested in hearing yor results

Dec 03, 2006, 09:26 AM
This is absolutely fascinating and priceless. :wow:

Dec 03, 2006, 11:39 AM
I've continued testing in regular games as I could not continue playing the Aztecs (sooo boring!). I've been writing down stuff on a pad of paper near my computer so that I could just update all at once, rather than spamming.

Plus, I wanted a few more responses ;p

(newbie) I also read up on what the unit scripts do. Apparently they only flag a unit for that type of mission, they do not control the unit. This is different from civ3, hence my confusion. (/newbie)

Results as follows.

Game as the English using parameters for test three:

Spanish built boats, settled, used troopers as garrisons and wanders. They refused to invade, although the Aztecs did attack Havana at one point.

Game as the Russians using parameters for test four:

Same as the other tests, the Spanish did not invade, instead concentrating on settlement. In this game, I noticed that the Spanish AI rarely, if ever, engages in European conflicts. As I have not been watching for this, I'm not sure if this is always true, or just incidental. It supports my hypothesis if it is indeed true. I'll try pissing them off as France in a game or two.

Game as the Americans to test European willingness to invade in late game:

I gave myself a buttload of techs and bribed the Europeans (Spain, Germany, France) to invade. They did a damned good job, burninating their way to Tenochtitlan. Reloaded and tried again with just Spain, who did indeed drop a few troops, but obviously to less effect. At this point, the European AIs had cavalry, while the Aztecs had jags and archers. They would have pikes by the time I got around to hitting them from the north.

In this game, I noticed that the AI frequently leaves the galleons it used to transport the settler/soldier pairs in the colony which was founded. I thought it was odd, since I usually choose a single location as my primary departure city, but I suppose the AI is just lazy.

I'm going to do test five today, playing as France. I will test both the AI willingness to invade the Aztecs and me. I'll refrain from aggressively conquering Europe (Rome is still going down, but I'll leave the rest intact, with the possible exception of some burnination in Germany), and I will not initiate conflict with Spain. I will ensure that our relations are poor by frequently demanding things and using a different religion. I will do the same with the Aztecs.

Since this is the final test, I'll provide all the save games, whatever the cost to myself in time. =/

Hypothesis: The Spanish AI will continue its focus on settlement, and, despite severe provocation, will invade neither the Aztecs nor the French.

Dec 03, 2006, 05:16 PM
Okies, here's the final report. Despite fairly bad relations, the Spanish never got around to invading me. At several points, they outgunned me pretty bad, but the pressures of expansion into SA and around the world seem to have them very very preoccupied. I'm going to load my current save onto here right now.

I've been fairly peaceful, other than my attempts to provoke a reaction from the Spanish. The Germans went for me after I told them to bugger off during a WC. Funnily enough, its the first time I've ever only had one civ attack me after one of those. I got Milan off a congress, and the Aztecs managed to grab Havana in the same way.

I consider the hypothesis, if not proven, at least fairly strong. It explains why some nations (England, Spain, France) rarely bother with wars (unless pressed into them by the WC), and others (Arabia, Germany, Rome) spam the things. England and Spain especially are required to expand into large areas, most of which are empty, meaning that they focus on these areas and ignore other, potentially more difficult to capture, areas where their foes have already established strongholds. As such, unless someone buggers around with the AI code, I doubt we will ever see the Spanish take down the Incas and the Aztecs (although I have definitely seen them vassilized).

I recommend my suggestion above (using barbarian conquistadors to simulate the invasion, with a high likelihood of captured cities flipping to the Spanish) as the best way to create a realistic worldwide Spanish Empire. A human player would most likely be able to fend these foes off, while an AI one would be more likely to succumb. Since the Aztecs are actually in a better situation than, say, the Egyptians, facing foes of similar strength, I see this as the simplest possible realistic solution to the issue.

Head Serf
Dec 03, 2006, 05:37 PM
Have you tried anything regarding the Inca? It seems even more rare that the Spanish get involved with the Inca, militarily or otherwise. I really like your idea of using barbarians to represent the conquistadors, maybe they should spawn a certain number of turns after the Spanish come into contact with the Aztecs?

Dec 03, 2006, 05:44 PM
I still think desimating the aztec and inca with plague would weaken them sufficiently for invasion and be rather historical, combined with the others aswell

Tom Veil
Dec 03, 2006, 07:53 PM
In the first half of my first game as Aztec, not only did the Spanish not invade, but none of the several fleets that found me (Spanish, English, French, Japanese) dared land any units at all. I think they might not have advanced past caravels yet, which is funny, b/c I just reached optics. I think the problem might be that I'm playing on Viceroy so that I focus more on observation than game play.

Tom Veil
Dec 03, 2006, 07:55 PM
I still think desimating the aztec and inca with plague would weaken them sufficiently for invasion and be rather historical, combined with the others aswell

Spain could have the "power of plague" as their special ability, although that might be culturally insensitive since in reality every major colonial nation spread one disease or another to the Native Americans.

Dec 04, 2006, 03:14 AM
I think Rhye is planning to code the plague a bit like in CIV III.

Dec 04, 2006, 08:06 AM
Kairob, if you read the test stuff, the problem is not the strength of the Aztecs. The real problem is the huge amount of territory the Spanish AI is required to control.

I'll restate:

Rhye has given each AI land that it is required to do its best to obtain. In this area, the civ rates unsettled land higher than settled land. So long as there is unsettled stuff, the AI will continue spawning settlers and avoiding war, as it generally does in the expansionary period of any game of Civ.

I found exactly two examples of Spanish invasion during testing: 1) When provided with a huge, already loaded force, and 2) during the 1800s, when most/all of the Spanish target area had been filled previously, after being paid to do so by myself.

This is why I suggest barbarian conquistadors: Spain will never choose to invade the Aztecs over settling South America.

@Head Serf: No, I didn't bother with the Inca as I wanted to concentrate on one test subject. Fortunately, the results were exactly the same for the Incas, as is the solution.

Tom Veil
Dec 04, 2006, 10:52 AM
3/4 through my Aztec game -- America just spawned.

I avoided settling east of the Mississippi so that none of my cities would flip (and so maybe we'd get a New France or New Spain). After a recent rush of settlers, I now control all NA west of the Mississippi and south of Canada. (I had been leaving lots of space open on the West Coast in a bid to tempt the Japanese to settle, but I can't afford to let the Americans get coast-to-coast.) I also have 2 Caribbean cities and one roughly in Colombia.

So who declared war on me? The Incans! This war has now been "raging" for about 50 turns, and only a couple units have changed hands. The problem is that now that I've advanced past Jaguars, neither of us have units capable of traversing jungle or swamp, and therefore we can't launch land-based attacks on each other.

It occurs to me that while Aeon is correct that the main problem is that the AI prefers settling to war a little too much, these impassable swamps and jungles aren't helping much. They severely cut down on the number of landing points in the Carribbean for invading European troops.

This particular game also seems to be going poorly for everyone except the British. The Brits were up to 5 NA cities (all in the USA Northeast, Quebec, or Maritimes) when America spawned. All other civs? Zero, despite me giving them open borders agreements. The Incan cold war has effectively stopped me from colonizing the rest of the SA coast, but the only foreign city there is, again, the British, who have colonized the Falklands.

Things are going so poorly for the Euro Civs, I'm getting kind of worried that the Americans will be a little too successful in their revolutionary war and I won't be able to enslave 5 Europeans and get UHV!

Dec 04, 2006, 12:21 PM
The landing isn't really difficult (EDIT: even the AI managed it, with suitable encouragement). I made a test invasion as France and found numerous excellent safe LZs. You can come south from Texas/New Orleans, north from Panama, or simply drop in on a city from the sea with your superior troopers. There are also at least a few nice hill spots for a hot drop, but I rarely like doing that.

You are definitely right about the jungles being a PITA. At one point, playing as the Brits, I had my workers (who were chopping up all those fecking jungles in Central America) blocked by an Incan worker standing on a jungle. There was literally no way to dislodge the bastard.

I feel like the jungle thing, and the impassable Andean range, is a vestige from Civ3, when that stuff was essential to controlling the AI's expansion. It would seem that they are better behaved with regards to that, so Rhye should consider liberalizing it a bit. At least let my ground pounders march through that crap, so I don't get ridiculous workers blocking the formation of an essential route's construction =/

Tom Veil
Dec 05, 2006, 10:09 AM
... and POOF, the Europeans colonized South America! I guess my being tied up by the Incan war (plus some helpful roads I built for them) gave them just enough courage, because all of a sudden France has built 2 cities (Martinique and Fr. Guinea, both of which are soooo culturally doomed) and Spain has built 5(!).

Tom Veil
Dec 05, 2006, 02:40 PM
I believe I've discovered a bug. The Aztec UHV listed as "Reach Industrial Era by 1820 AD" has not checked yet, and I just played up through 1860.

Incidentally, this one is HARD -- I'm playing on Viceroy, I'm first in tech, and I still would have fallen several techs short. Consider that even the USA in real life didn't reach the Industrial Era until 1840 or 1880 (depending on your definition), and this one might be a candidate for being relaxed.

Tom Veil
Dec 06, 2006, 09:11 AM
Finally, I have goaded the AI into war -- by refusing their demands at Congress. It only took 2 Congressional wars for me to destroy, capture, or sell to the Americans every last European city in the Western Hemisphere.

Clearly, the AI has missed their chance.

Well, I'll probably play this through to a Spaceship win (Conquest is too slow on a map this big). Thus endeth Attempt #1 to play a "Control." I think I'll play again on the hardest level, report on that, and then install Warlords (a little Holiday present from me to me ;))

Dec 06, 2006, 11:52 AM
Indeed, when watching from the other end I'm also often surprised by how fast they drop those things. I'm fairly sure that they stockpile settlers to achieve this effect, but I have trouble pinpointing the storage locations. I assume that this is because I cannot see any units that are loaded into ships -.-

Tom Veil
Dec 10, 2006, 06:56 PM
I'm doing a "control" game again at Monarch, to see how much I changed things by setting it too easy. And wow, the changes are obvious from the beginning -- I had just finished settling my initial 3 settlers when the first Spanish caravel found me. This game will be much more of a challenge.