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Help improve the AI

Discussion in 'Old World' started by alexman, May 19, 2020.

  1. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Taking out the enemy is so incredibly easy. Even at the highest level. Try this at turn one. After moving your worker, give your warrior the best attacking promotion available and attach yourself as leader. Use your scout to find an enemy location. Then move your warrior in to attack. It always works.

    After you have taken over this location, find another with your scout. Get another settler from your starting location and buy enough food from your second one to get a slinger. The warrior alone may be enough to take out a second spot but the slinger will assure it. And another.

    Keep sending settlers out from your first city.

    Attack. Attack. Attack. After about six cities it gets boring.
     
  2. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    Playing in the Old World map as Rome, I think the main issue is the AI not building a proper navy and making "bridges" to mount a proper oversea invasion.
     
  3. alexman

    alexman King

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    Thanks for the comments and the save files, everyone!
    Abegweit, I will try your method, but if you also have a save that demonstrates this AI weakness, please post it.
     
  4. Athmos

    Athmos Warlord

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    The only "silly" thing I saw was in some case the AI had a unit go back and forth with a unit rather pointlessly in the interturn. I'm not sure if it only happened with bars/tribes or with full fledged nations as well. Typically, a miliray unit adjacent to one of mine (e.g. fighting to clear a city site) went back a full move, then back in to attack my unit. It almost looked like trying to waste orders. I don't know if tribe follow the same order system (that would probably be strange), so I thought maybe if barb unit just have some orders to spend that they would lose otherwise, so spending it strangely to get a bit of scouting maybe ?

    I'm not sure if it should be considered a bug, but it does look a bit strange when you're following what's happening in the interturn.
    I'll try to produce a save that shows this behaviour if needed.

    Overall, I think the AI (unit/combat) is doing a very good job, certalinly the best I've seen in a 1UPT 4X. I've not played ALL of the 4Xs, but I'm quietly impressed. I'll be on the lookout for strange stuff.

    Thanks !
     
  5. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Well, I have to admit that I screwed up. I wasn't playing at the highest level but rather about three down. Now that I fixed that, it doesn't send out one unit but rather a whole swarm. Tough to deal with. Very tough. It also seems to be smarter. I'm not sure if that is because of the level change or because of improvements in the AI over the last month. If the latter, well done!
     
  6. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

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    I was also wondering how developed the AI settlements were at the start (like did you set them to be a little more developed). Also I play three levels down so Im still curious. :) And also, i assume the AI would be the same regardless of the level
     
  7. alexman

    alexman King

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    Abegweit, thanks for looking into it!
     
  8. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    It's still easy to take out the first AI settlement. Just throw your warrior at it. But the second is harder. It might require a second troop. But usually intelligent use of your warrior will suffice. As for the third... it's going to take at least two units and probably more. Because then they start to swarm you.

    Question to the developers: is this by design? To make the first city easy to take down. And then it gets quickly harder?
     
  9. alexman

    alexman King

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    The AI currently starts with more territory than it can defend with its starting units. It builds more units, eventually, but initially it's weak. This may change.
     
    Stringer1313 likes this.
  10. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Office Linebacker

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    When you say AI settlement, do you mean barbarians/tribes?
     
  11. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    I think I like it this way. The first city is easy to take and the second almost so. Then it gets rapidly harder. Seems like a good way to make a challenge.
     
  12. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Yes.
     
  13. alexman

    alexman King

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    Oh, the Barbarian AI is separate and not meant to be too sophisticated. Their units do not coordinate and they have no high-level goals. Barbarians are basically there just for you to satisfy your warmongering appetite until you run into other nations.
     
  14. Starwars

    Starwars Prince

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    Which is a very good thing in my opinion. One of the things that I really like about the game is the separation of civilizations/tribes/barbarians. It makes it feel rather flavourful and helps "break the game up" a bit since fighting absolutely will happen.

    I'm hoping for more stuff related to the tribes but I am unsure what that would be to be honest. Maybe just more events.
     
    Stringer1313 likes this.
  15. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

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    I don't know if this is just me, but I've recently noticed that the AI is very good at quickly conquering their neighbors. It has caused the AI to rapidly approach the 29 point goal (or the goal of having 2x the points of the second place person), and I have lost my 3 games because of this (twice b/c they got double points and once b/c they reached 29 really fast). This as caused me to try and preemptively wage war on neighbors to prevent the AI from swallowing their cities. FWIW I play on Glorious and Noble difficulty and this happened on both difficulties. I do not think this happened with such speed in previous games. The AI has also gotten better at defending though it might be that they always seem to have more units than me. In on recent game, I built my military with 10 cities to the point where I couldn't squeeze any more resources, and Persia had 6x the amount of military I had with a couple more cities.

    Please don't take the above as a complaint. It's just my observations. It has forced me to dial down the difficulty which is good, and has made the game more challenging. Before I used to just turtle and occasionally conquer and win pretty easily by completing all ambitions. Now, turtling and focusing on ambitions definitely doesn't work.

    So if my observations are true, then I think this is generally good. The only slight downside is that I feel compelled to preemptively take over other civs and barb cities ASAP and affirmatively wage war just to prevent a point loss. This feels a LITTLE artificial b/c i can't role play as much, but then again, the classical period was all about endless wars. But I think overall this is good for now.
     
  16. alexman

    alexman King

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    Thanks for the feedback. The AI has definitely evolved since the initial release. We should probably disable double victory for the AI, since they start out with a bunch of cities.
     
  17. Soren Johnson

    Soren Johnson Game Designer

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    We did actually disable Double Victory for the AI because it was only meant to end the game quicker for the human to avoid an end-game slog.
     
  18. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

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    Oh - I think when AI "wins" double victory it says "LOSS!!!" on the upper left and b/c i'm an over-purist i just quit at that point. :)
     
  19. paz_paz

    paz_paz Chieftain

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    AI behaviour:

    Just finished GOTW 30.
    Greece has way more cities and troops than the player:
    Things the AI does "wrong":

    At one point he parked 8 onagers around ONE city. All the fighting was done at a 2nd city north of that. Those 8 onagers didn't fire more than 3 shots. I parked 2 of my own onagers behind my own city, so we had a nice standoff for 10+ turns. When I moved in, the onagers tried to run, so this whole impressive army of onagers was kept in check (and defeated) by 2 of my onagers, 1 milita, 1 spearman, and 2 archers.

    AI is very good at killing exposed units. When no units are exposed, it sometimes outflanks, but most of the time he sits and waits. AI should follow a plan like "collect two waves of troops" and actually go on the offensive.

    On multiple occasions I noticed that the AI is very willing to evacuate one of his cities if forces seem overwhelming. AI should take into account how MANY troops he can move to a certain area within the next 2-3 turns. Sometimes there was a huge AI army 1 or 2 turns away, but the AI still evacuated one of his cities right after it was taken or even before that, when it had come close to falling.

    Also the AI should not use the garrison of a city with nearly no hitpoints left, just to kill a stray archer somewhere. Sieging cities is only a pain, if there is a troop inside.

    Also the AI should probably ignore workers during the war. I mean his own workers and the player's workers. Command points are so precious, there is just no time to move workers around.

    Overall the AI is quite decent, a lot better than Civ's AI at least. It killed a lot of my troops when he had his own troops assembled. But assembling his troops seems to be the main problem. Maybe the AI should try to calculate the likely outcome of the next two or three turns, instead of simply playing the "optimal" way in his current turn. But that's a lot to ask for. But then again, the game's wars are won by getting the right troops to the right place and maximizing their firepower over the course of 3-5 turns.

    From that Greece game, it looked like the AI was spreading his troops too much. Sometimes, it looked like he had nothing left, but whenever I left units exposed he moved troops in from across the sea to kill or attack any stragglers or wounded troops. So the AI had the troops but they were waiting somewhere.

    On one occasion the AI used all of his command points to rescue one single onager that was doomed and surrounded. Onagers are slow, so the cannot retreat very well. Marching one onager 20 tiles across hills isn't going to win a war.

    The AI also built way too many onagers.

    Overall the AI is really decent when it THINKS it can win a fight. Let's say 9 AI troops vs 6 player troops. But it is terrible when fighting 35 vs 18. It's afraid to lose 15 troops to annihilate 8. And that's about the only real problem with it, I think.
     
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  20. V. Soma

    V. Soma long time civ fan

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    I enjoy the game a lot - but at ttimes an AI nation declares war on me and then no invasion comes...

    Like I had a game where Rome declared on me, Carthage (old world map)
    - AI Rome had 1-2 biremes, and a lot of units - so COULD invede me, yet, did not...
    So I had the time, like 10-20 turns (!), to build 3-4 triremes and kill the AI ships...
     

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