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AIs and the Art of War

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Caveman 2 Cosmos' started by Arkenor, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Arkenor

    Arkenor Warlord

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    Having played a couple of games to Medieval now with current SVN builds, I've noticed that the AI nations are not doing a good job of either attacking or defending.

    They'll declare war, then send such a small army it barely manages to get any pillaging done. When I send my army over to their lands to teach them a lesson, I find their cities fall easily.

    I have a couple of theories about this, which may or may not be correct.

    1. There are so many buildings that they're getting overwhelmed with choice, choosing poorly, and not building as many units as they should be.

    2. When they do build units, they're mostly building Town Watch, which cannot be used to attack, and aren't terribly good at defending either. Are they considering those Town Watch as part of their army strength when they declare wars? Or their hunters and stealthers? The stream of rogues they seem to send in every direction is a poor substitute for having a decent military.

    They do need the town watch to counteract all the crime they're getting from all the slave specialists they use (and their fondness for building all crime-raising buildings in every town), but it seems to be getting them in a bit of a muddle.

    They really shouldn't be declaring war on anyone unless they actually have a useful offensive army that has half a chance of doing some damage. Solving the reason they're not doing that, whatever it may be, would be quite useful
     
  2. Koshling

    Koshling Vorlon

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    If you turn on AI logging you can see a dump (each turn for each player) of what units they own, so assessing whether they have too much o not can be more concrete (it also shows their costs).

    I totally agree hat the AI declares war on an unsound basis that is not well coupled with its actual strategic behavior. This is an area that has not been changed from the code we inherited from ROM/AND, but at some point it needs to be looked at.
     
  3. strategyonly

    strategyonly C2C Supreme Commander

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    I must admit, i do agree here on what is happening :crazyeye::sad:

    At least now the AI do build better cities and alot of them, nice at least for that to be back in!!

    But the attacking:hmm: and such has gotten not much netter. I think we need a better UNIT that a slight better str than the TownWatchman at the same tech or before, so that they DO build them more. IMPO
     
  4. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Adding the Option Barb World helps somewhat in this area, as the barbs do a fine job early game of fielding good stacks.

    This forces the AI to do a better job of maintaining it's own units/army or otherwise it will get overrun by the barbs. And once the AI has better army then it starts to counterattack the barb cities and it builds better units. Of course the Leader of each Civ now plays a bigger role in this too. The Maori are very aggressive as an example.

    And maps do play a role also.

    JosEPh
     
  5. Arkenor

    Arkenor Warlord

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    Is their strength the reason the AI make them? Not their crime-fighting talents?

    Rather than creating a more powerful unit, perhaps the town watch strength could simply be knocked down to 4, making them less attractive than archers and spearmen from a strength perspective. Given that they have the powerful crime reducing powers, it's not unreasonable for them to have slightly lower strength than archers.
     
  6. Flinx

    Flinx Prince

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    You might consider the +50% city defending modifier of the watchmen.
    So beneath their crime fighting abilities they are also the strongest unit for defending.
     
  7. Raven Destroyer

    Raven Destroyer Prince

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    also due to the Fact they are Civilians so no unit can have a promotion Specific against them noticed that with the 19 strength one of the line
     
  8. Koshling

    Koshling Vorlon

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    It builds units with a set of 'this is what I require' values and flags, which are then evaluated to find the best units to build (or move from elsewhere). It tends to build the town watchmen line for two distinct purposes:

    1) When it explicitly asks for crime fighting

    2) When it wants city defenders

    In instance (1) its the crime fighting ability (obviously) that leads to it picking these units. In instance (2) it's the strength multiplied by the city defense modifier - depending on your path through the tech tree there can be quite long periods when the best city defender is from the town watchman line. Since the AI also takes account of free promotions it can get from particular cities, they will usually be overtaken by archery line units for pure city defense purposes, but when guards come along they may get the upper hand again for a while. Also, simply because of the number it needs to fight crime, it quite often finds that once it has enough for that purpose it doesn't feel it needs further defenders (even if there may be better ones for that purpose).
     
  9. AIAndy

    AIAndy Deity

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    The property change on specialists is still invisible to the AI (unless I overlooked someone adding that part) which means that it overrates them and also misjudges its crime.
     
  10. Koshling

    Koshling Vorlon

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    No, is that something you'd like me to do, or are you on it?
     
  11. Arkenor

    Arkenor Warlord

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    Oh! So it thinks "Look at all the production on those slaves. Yum, I'll have loads." and doesn't realise it adds crime. Then it goes "Oh noes, I've got lots of crime. I must make some Town Watch!", rather than reducing it's slave use?

    That would certainly explain much of what I've been seeing! And before it can build watch the AI must be crippling themselves financially with slave-induced crime. (Hmm. or not. The slaves probably give enough cash to cover that, and there's not many crimes unlocked in the game before Town Watch. The happiness penalties might be a serious problem for them though.)
     
  12. AIAndy

    AIAndy Deity

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    I am not on it yet so if you would add it that would be great.
     
  13. CIVPlayer8

    CIVPlayer8 Prince

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    This is a good point. You could always upgrade your troops to "Cover" to counter their archers, but there is nothing you can do to get bonuses vs. Town Watchmen.
     
  14. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

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    No. The watchmen should be the crime fighters who are also reasonably good at defending, but the best defenders in the pre-gun days should be archers.
     
  15. Flinx

    Flinx Prince

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    May i ask why the town watchman gets the city defending bonus?
    Especially if you keep in mind its a civilian unit.
    Civilians should not participate in battles, that's what military units for.

    Self defense excluded, of course.

    Since it can only defend and should take part in ilitary actions the natural environment is the city or town where the crime reducing ability lives up, coincidentaly you'll find the town also in the unit name. ;)

    Just remove the city defender bonus and voilà, archers are the first choice of defenders as they are intended. :)
     
  16. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

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    They are generally weaker than archers because they don't get the same promos and don't get nearly as much XP as archers from buildings.
     
  17. Flinx

    Flinx Prince

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    Well, as usual i'll do my own changes on the units.

    And i can already tell that removing the city defender bonus on the townwatch men line will turn out as i described above.

    Your statement cannot be true just because if the archer would be the top defender the AI would choose it.
    It still chooses townwatch men, do you care to explain why if archers are stronger?
     
  18. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

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    Probably it is poorly evaluating the no attack clause on TWs and the free XP that archers get if I had to guess.
     
  19. Koshling

    Koshling Vorlon

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    In my experience, provided crime is reasonably under control, it does choose archers once it has the archery promoting buildings. Recently however, the addition of crime to slave specialists has broken ai crime management, so it rarely is under good control and it winds up having to continuously build town watchmen.
     
  20. Hydromancerx

    Hydromancerx C2C Modder

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    Do you think that is the issue? That the Town Watchmen are the best for the era so they make them?

    I also do agree that I have seen the AI do better when it comes to attacking back in the early days of the project and even RoM/AND. However more recently the AI has been doing a bit better than it was doing say around v25 or v26.

    It would be nice to see at least the aggressive AI having a more traditional medieval siege force. Or a Defensive AI building up Castle related buildings.

    Medieval Era spans X35 to X41. Here is a timeline of the units with strength ...

    X35 - Guard (9), Warden (10), Flailman (10), Longbowman (8), Crosbowman (9), Trebuchet (8), Cog (6)

    X36 - None

    X37 - Shaolin Monk (12), Heavy Swordsman (13), Heavy Pikeman (9), Ancient Flamethrower (12), Ancient Hand Cannon (12), Galleass (8)

    X38 - Heavy Calvary (13), Carrack Merchant (6)

    X39 - Knight (11), War Elephant (12), Caravel (9)

    X40 - Mailed Knight (14)

    X41 - Adventuerer (13), Sloop of War (14)

    Note this list doesn't count Heroes or culture units.
     

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