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How does the AI afford so many units?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Veteranewbie, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. Veteranewbie

    Veteranewbie Prince

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    And I am just playing on Prince
    In a standard size map when I have the same amount of cities as the AI, I for most of the time will be DoW by an AI at early-mid medieval time when it rushes me with stacks of 15+ units. At that stage of the game, I will only have 3-4 units per city and research at 60% when I can barely keep up with the others in research. Needless to say I am in no position to defend myself. When I enter the World Builder and check my opponent, it tends to have 4 units per city defending plus the 2 stacks of 15+ units. This raises the question for me - how on earth does it afford these many units? Admittedly I have been building buildings here and there and slacking off in units building, but with that many units how does the AI keep up with the tech race?
     
  2. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    The AI gets various discounts on hammer costs and upkeep costs, but on prince they shouldn't be that big. Usually the AI has so many units because they don't know how to wiser use their hammers. Those 15+ unit stacks are mostly easily eradicated anyway because of poor composition and the AIs incompetence to use/deal with siege weapons.

    You shouldn't be having 3-4 units/city, though. The AI will always attack the cities closest to their border, further inland units are not needed for defense. Preferably you should be the one who decides where the battles take place (=be the aggressor, don't wait to be attacked). One unit/city as military police is enough in most cities, sometimes that one unit isn't needed either. The rest of your army should take out the enemy's 15 unit SoD then march into their territory and start taking cities. After taking a few cities, he won't be able to produce that large stacks any more. ;)

    Researh at 60% means nothing btw, what matters is how many :science:/turn you are making.
     
  3. elmurcis

    elmurcis Emperor

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    AI just "likes" to get some unit stack done early on.. and AI workers work faster too...
    And for defense (actually for happiness not real defense) all you need is one warrior/archer/chariot or axeman in city (whatever situtation is). Every unit you actually don't use cost maintence (until some point its free but usually 1 defense + 1.5 workers/city + something else for barbarians + start of attack stack = very near free unit limit).
     
  4. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    The link between number of units and research rate that you cite exists, but is not the only consideration. Is your main problem that you can't build units fast enough or that you can't tech fast enough? Then there is the diplomacy question, are you doing all you can to avoid being the target of those stacks?
     
  5. Nicol.Bolas

    Nicol.Bolas Prince

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    I think your games have more problems... instead of worldbuilder you could try posting a save here.
    at prince you should be the one with stacks

    AI declares you when your power is much weaker then theirs. IE you dont build enough offensive units. (you need to do this even as a precaution even if you don´t plan to war)

    why I think this is happening to you:
    - not building enough offensive units, because you build too many wonders or buildings
    - not having enough cottages and commerce cities - the you feel like you have not got enough gold for both units and research
    - in general not specializing your cities (very general rule is 1 great ppl city, 4 commerce cities and 1 production city making units nonstop


    my bet is this:
    - not enough cottages


    try nobles club or gotm to improve your game
     
  6. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    AI doesn't declare on you because of having too few units.

    AI declares war, when specific conditions are met, like i. e. AI being annoyed towards you comes with a higher risk for war, or you denying one of AIs demands, comes with a chance to be attacked a.s.o.
     
  7. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    The AI cheats with unit numbers, and what's worse is they get free upgrades.

    This isn't really bad design though as it makes up for the fact that the human should be much better at using their armies than the AI. As you said the AI has 4 units per city. This is inefficient because usually wars only happen on one or two fronts, and all the units defending core cities are wasted. This isn't bad gaming design really, because the AI isn't smart enough to defend against trick attacks that the human could easily abuse if the AI didn't at least minimally defend all of its cities.

    Similarly the upgrades make sense, because the AI needs to have a decent standing army at all times, otherwise it would be too easy for the human to conquer them. As a human you don't need a huge standing army at all times, in fact it's generally a bad idea. Run a very low military to basically take care of happiness, build up a tech advantage and then build units all at once.

    AIs having 30 free units sounds a bit high on Prince, but maybe you're playing on larger maps. ( I recommend standard sized maps ). Regardless the main thing is the AI isn't as smart with collateral damage as you can be. The larger its stacks are, the smaller unit ratio you need to beat it. On high levels it's relatively common for a good player to attack an AI with only 60-80% of the AI's military strength, and yet win decisively.
     
  8. Nicol.Bolas

    Nicol.Bolas Prince

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    the bigger differences between power, the more silly demands they make
     
  9. Tatran

    Tatran Deity

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    (Border and coastal) cities with only 1 or 2 defenders is asking for trouble and one can expect a sneak attack.
     
  10. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    Is that true? Do the AI attack just because they see one poorly defended city?
     
  11. nfw

    nfw King

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    They could be running vassalage too.
     
  12. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    My knowledge may be old, but afaik, AI doesn't even take something like a city being defended poorly into concideration. One can stand with a parked stack of 100 units at AIs borders, AI doesn't even pay attention to such things.

    Things like AI being able to build the UU in the Capital, things like AI having more than 8 tiles of shared Borders and one's own empire having high population on little space are the things that matter the most.
    Relations with AI are a another major factor though, i. e. Shaka on pleased going to war (while disregarding all other factors) is 1:90 while it's 1:20 when only being at cautious.
     
  13. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera King

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    That matches my idea about it, though I didn't know about the UU in the capital factor.

    Does the AI look for a poorly defended city to attack first once it has decided to go to war? It obviously looks for a close target, but after that I don't know what it focuses on.
     
  14. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

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    Afaik, AI has 1 "planned target" (like move to city A and conquer that city) but has a routine that can override any plans, forcing AI to make a new plan.

    That is, why i. e. Methods like "Warrior-runners" made it as a tactic, so if AI i. e. threatens 1 of your cities, move 1 Warrior beside AIs stack, then AI will use a unit to destroy that unit, but as a stack gets handled as a stack, the whole stack moves onto that tile, giving you maybe 2, 3 or how many times turns as you can bring Warriors to "kite" AIs stack ^^

    Maybe search Tachywaxon's thread for info on AI war plans, info like that is either in that thread, or it's burried so deep in the forum, that it'll be very hard to find.
     
  15. NihilZero

    NihilZero WHEOOHRNY

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    From personal observation, the AI stack usually targets the "nearest" city, but there are exceptions. See for example some of the old always war threads where players discovered that after building up a strongly defended blocker city, the AI stacks would often judge it to be unassailable and instead circumvent it and attack a weaker spot somewhere else. This is pretty unusual, but it can happen.

    AI invasion stacks seem to get their orders to attack a specific city, and they can get messed up it this plan can't be executed. The obvious example of this is where an AI is coming to invade you with, say, a naval stack. If you then get a peace treaty with that Ai their stack will still land in your territory if you have open borders, but since it can't execute its orders it will wander around looking quite confused for a while and occasionally get completely stuck somewhere for the rest of the game. :lol:

    Again, this is from personal experience rather than code, so take with a pinch of salt, but I strongly suspect that AIs can decide to Dagger attack based on seeing a vulnerable or undefended city (for those who don't know, a dagger is a rare, special kind of attack that can only be executed by certain AIs under certain conditions, which bypasses the normal war planning procedure).
     

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