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[R&F] AI Programming re Religious Conversions: Major Strategic Flaw?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Trav'ling Canuck, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

    Feb 7, 2018
    In observing the AI's efforts to pursue victory, I believe I may have identified a major flaw in the way the AI has been programmed to pursue religious conversions. I'd appreciate your observations regarding whether what I have observed are anomalies or typical behaviour.

    What I have observed when an AI is trying to convert another civ to it's religion is:
    • An initial wave of Apostles, with no Missionaries (or Gurus)
    • A follow up wave of Missionaries, with no Apostles (or Gurus)
    The wave of Apostles typically has great success, depending on their relative numbers compared to the number of Apostles defending the civ's current religion.

    The wave of Missionaries, however, does more harm than good. With just a couple of defending Apostles, other religions are able to remove more religious pressure by killing the incoming Missionaries than the Missionaries are able to spread (plus those defending Apostles boost their own religion by the same amount).

    So there's a couple of things going on here, I think.

    First, I think the AI programmer may have bought into the idea that the way to promote your religion is through use of "spreads", when in fact using spreads is very inefficient once another religion has taken hold of a city. Even a human player would struggle to convert other civs if they're relying on spreads to do so, rather than focusing on winning religious combats.

    Second, the AI seems to be coded to build only Apostles and send them, then to build only Missionaries, and send them. If you're going to send Missionaries to promote your religion (a dangerous action unless you know you've cleared the ground of all opposition), the only safe way to send Missionaries is with Apostle escorts. Therefore, instead of sending two separate single-type waves, the AI would likely do better if it sent a mixed group of Apostles and Missionaries as part of each wave.

    Thoughts? Has anyone observed more efficient AI behaviour in its handling of religious conversions? Is what I'm describing above an exception, or the norm?

    Note that my observations have involved situations where I'm the civ being converted and I don't have a religion of my own. The "defending" religious units are therefore from neighbouring civs who have previously converted me to their religion.
    Morino1914 likes this.
  2. Chefofrats

    Chefofrats Prince

    Mar 8, 2018
    The Cardboard Country
    What I have noticed is the AI stupidly suiciding its apostles and missionaries on my +20 religious combat apostles, when they have no mathematical possibility of winning. Basicly they always seem to initiate religious combat, no matter the predicted outcome - they do it even when it is obvious they will be one-shotted, with negligible damage to my unit.

    It's one big, senseless mess.
    Zuizgond, ZubieMaster and Art Morte like this.
  3. Virdrago

    Virdrago Wandering

    Oct 14, 2007
    What you're describing is the norm. I have also observed that civs will create anywhere from three to six gurus, but they stay around their host civ's cities doing nothing. The occasional time they might be used is when there is the one lonely missionary or apostle that hasn't left to suicide itself somewhere else yet being attacked at home, but, again, this is rare. AI gurus are like AI catapults/seige weapons. They generally stand around doing nothing.
  4. BarbarianHunter

    BarbarianHunter King

    Dec 2, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    On a side note, I wonder if the AI has a suicidal strategy baked into its religious algorithms? I haven't seen the ubiquitous legion upon legion of Spanish Inquisitors wandering about their lands for a while. Post R&F they can't martyr themselves as efficiently. Rather than simply declaring war on them like in Vanilla Civ6, then dispatching as many inquisitors as a unit had movement, now you have to stop and use the "Condemn Heretic" action. This severely limits the ability to eliminate them as well as their ability to martyr themselves for their faith.

    They Spanish inquisitor hordes seemed to disappear about the same time it became more difficult to eliminate them en masse.

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