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[GS] New patch: AI walled city attack experiment results

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Gort, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Gort

    Gort Emperor

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    As there's a new patch with exciting promises such as "AI now builds and uses aircraft more effectively" and "If an AI can take a city this turn, don't try to defend your units first in the process" I thought I'd re-do my traditional AI test to see if the AI can beat an opponent who doesn't fight back. As usual, we'll use the following settings to stack the deck as much in favour of the AI opponent as possible:

    * Domination victory only
    * Duel size map
    * Pangaea
    * Information era start
    * Deity difficulty
    * Online speed
    * Aztec opponent
    * No turn limit

    I'll be restricting myself in the following ways:

    * Delete all starting units except for rangers and one settler, found only one city
    * Declare war immediately upon meeting the opponent
    * Do not build a military or fire with city attacks

    Turn 208: Build city, disband all starting units except for rangers and one settler, rangers go out to find the Aztecs.
    Turn 227: Find Aztecs, declare war on them.
    Turn 239: First Aztec unit appears in my borders. It's an unescorted settler.
    Turn 240: Aztec helicopter appears, chasing the settler.
    Turn 241: Aztecs switch to democracy government.
    Turn 242: Aztec units leave.
    Turn 246: Aztec helicopter comes back.
    Turn 247: Aztec helicopter wanders into city attack range, leaves next turn.
    Turn 262: Aztec missile cruiser appears offshore, leaves next turn.
    Turn 264: Aztec missile cruiser returns and bombards city from outside range (not enough sea to get into range)
    Turn 265: Missile cruiser bombards city again.
    Turn 266: Missile cruiser leaves.
    Turn 268: Helicopter flies into city attack range again. Can see a settler escorted by a machinegun corps just outside my territory.
    Turn 269: Escorted settler moves into city attack range. Settler wanders through my territory for a few turns.
    Turn 273: Missile cruiser reappears and bombards city again. This continues every turn.
    Turn 275: Unescorted builder moves adjacent to my capital.
    Turn 276: Builder moves away, helicopter approaches city.
    Turn 282: Helicopter moves adjacent to city again, then leaves next turn.
    Turn 286: Helicopter comes back again.
    Turn 290: Having bombarded the city for 17 consecutive turns, stripping it of its walls and reducing it to red health, the missile cruiser leaves. A settler escorted by a machinegun corps wanders back past my territory in the opposite direction to the one from turn 268 - is it the same one?
    Turn 295: An Aztec rocket artillery unit moves into city strike range, but as I have no walls I wouldn't be able to strike it (although my rules forbid that anyway).
    Turn 296: Rocket artillery moves adjacent to the city.
    Turn 297: Rocket artillery moves past the city, still adjacent.
    Turn 298: Rocket artillery moves past the city, leaving now. Missile cruiser returns and bombards the city. This continues every turn.
    Turn 300: Rocket artillery returns, moving past the city in the opposite direction. A machinegun appears outside of my territory. The city now has a sliver of health remaining.
    Turn 301: A helicopter appears and takes the city. Aztecs win.

    Conclusions:

    * The AI can eventually take a city with walls by kinda bumbling into bombarding it with a fraction of its forces, then going aggressive once the city has no walls or health.
    * The AI is still extremely bad at using non-combat units, with settlers moving through dangerous territory unescorted, escorted settlers moving close to enemy cities while at war, and unescorted builders moving into enemy territory.
    * The AI is really bad at dealing with city attacks. Units get moved into city attack range for no good reason way too often - I could've shot the helicopter and the rocket artillery tons of times.

    I'll re-do the test, allowing myself to use city attacks.

    -----

    * Domination victory only
    * Duel size map
    * Pangaea
    * Information era start
    * Deity difficulty
    * Online speed
    * Aztec opponent
    * No turn limit

    I'll be restricting myself in the following ways:

    * Delete all starting units except for rangers and one settler, found only one city
    * Declare war immediately upon meeting the opponent
    * Do not build a military

    Turn 208: Build city, disband all starting units except for rangers and one settler, rangers go out to find the Aztecs.
    Turn 213: Find Aztecs, declare war.
    Turn 253: Aztecs build city adjacent to mine.
    Turn 261: Aztec ranger appears to the north, settler escorted by a helicopter to the west. Ranger stays in place, settler moves away.
    Turn 270: Aztec ranger corps appears to the south.
    Turn 271: Aztec ranger corps approaches city, shoots it for 5 damage, gets shot in return. Helicopter appears to the east.
    Turn 272: Aztec ranger corps shoots the city again, is shot and killed in return. Helicopter moves past the city to the north.
    Turn 273: Montezuma offers me a peace deal. He offers me 12 gold, pearls, mercury and chocolate for 30 turns in exchange for peace. I turn him down.
    Turn 276: Montezuma offers me 5 gold and chocolate for peace. I turn him down.
    Turn 277: Damaged helicopter moves into city strike range and is struck.
    Turn 278: Helicopter stays put, ranger moves into city strike range. I shoot the ranger as I'll do more damage to that.
    Turn 279: Another peace deal. Montezuma offers 1 gold per turn for 30 turns, as well as chocolate for peace. I shoot his ranger dead.
    Turn 280: Helicopter is still sitting inside city strike range, but a mechanised infantry shows up to the south, so I shoot that.
    Turn 281: Helicopter is healing at 5 HP per turn inside city strike range. I shoot the mechanised infantry again.
    Turn 282: Montezuma offers oil, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, 5 gold and 9 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I shoot his helicopter.
    Turn 283: Montezuma now has an infantry corps, a helicopter and four mechanised infantry around the borders of my territory.
    Turn 285: Montezuma offers oil, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, 5 gold and 9 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I shoot his helicopter.
    Turn 286: Finally the helicopter dies after like seven turns of attempting to heal up within city strike range.
    Turn 288: Montezuma offers oil, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 42 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I can no longer shoot his helicopter, so I shoot one of his mechanised infantry instead.
    Turn 289: A helicopter army appears and bum-rushes the city, doing minor damage. I shoot it.
    Turn 290: Helicopter army runs away, so I shoot the mechanised again.
    Turn 291: Montezuma offers me oil, horses, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 37 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. All his units have retreated so I just turn him down.
    Turn 292: A helicopter army appears and I shoot it.
    Turn 293: Helicopter army runs away.
    Turn 294: Montezuma offers me oil, horses, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 37 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I shoot one of his mechanised infantry.
    Turn 297: A missile cruiser appears offshore and bombards the city from outside of its range (not enough water to get in city strike range, luckily for them) It continues to bombard from here on.
    Turn 300: Despite having me on the ropes since he'll eventually knock my walls down with his missile cruiser, Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 37 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I refuse.
    Turn 301: The missile cruiser leaves.
    Turn 302: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 16 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace.
    Turn 304: A helicopter appears and gets shot.
    Turn 306: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 16 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I shoot a mechanised corps.
    Turn 307: The missile cruiser reappears and bombards the city.
    Turn 308: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 16 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I refuse.
    Turn 312: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, 255 gold and 2 gold per turn for 30 turns for peace. I refuse.
    Turn 315: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 146 gold for peace. I refuse.
    Turn 318: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 146 gold for peace. I refuse.
    Turn 321: The missile cruiser reappears and bombards the city from this turn on, although sometimes it takes a break to sit there and do nothing. I shoot a helicopter.
    Turn 322: The original helicopter leaves and I shoot its replacement.
    Turn 323: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, 218 gold and 4 gold per turn for peace. I refuse.
    Turn 326: An unescorted builder wanders through my territory.
    Turn 327: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 146 gold for peace.
    Turn 330: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 292 gold for peace. I shoot a mechanised infantry.
    Turn 333: Montezuma offers me me oil, horses, aluminium, silver, pearls, mercury, chocolate, and 292 gold for peace.
    Turn 336: OK, just assume Montezuma offers me this same dumb peace deal every three turns okay
    Turn 337: City now has no walls left from missile cruiser bombardment. I look for the build option that restores walls but I can't see it in the list. Maybe it's only for cities with ancient, medieval or renaissance walls built or something.
    Turn 338: City now on red health. Montezuma offers me a peace deal that now also includes perfume, while wandering an unescorted builder through my territory. Just outside of my territory an infantry army sits, oblivious to the fact they could end the game at any moment by attacking the city.
    Turn 340: A mechanised infantry disembarks into my territory.
    Turn 341: The mechanised infantry could end the game by attacking the city, but wanders up the coast instead.
    Turn 342: Montezuma is offering me money and resources for peace when the game is in this state:



    Turn 343: The mechanised infantry finally attacks and takes the city.
     
  2. Takfloyd

    Takfloyd Prince

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    This should be printed in a thousand copies and mailed to Firaxis's doorstep.

    I cannot fathom how it's possible to be this incompetent at AI programming. How do these "professionals" keep their jobs? It's been several years of patches and expansions now and the AI makes the one in Advance Wars, a gameboy game, look like Deep Blue.
     
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  3. ChocolateShake

    ChocolateShake Prince

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    Thanks for the tests, it's interesting to see the results for future modding. As I suspected the model of cities being able to defend themselves in Civ 5 and 6 heavily favors the player, in addition of course to 1 UPT.

    I think we can conclude that the AI doesn't take the specific victory conditions enabled in its play, and is more designed to do its own thing, and that lines up with my expectations. There's already a lot of stuff it has to do. I'll try a similar test while making units cheaper.

    I'm curious, did you run similar tests for previous civ games?
     
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  4. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Because AI is hard, and Advance Wars is an infinitely simpler game.
     
  5. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    Thanks for the test. It‘s very disappointing however.

    Can you show the end game stats? I would be interested to see how many cities the Aztec founded while the war was going on.
     
  6. Rambo919

    Rambo919 Warlord

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    The AI is also bad with religious victories..... even when my entire continent is strongly enough converted the opposing continent (having won at home) keeps sending.... a trickle of missionaries. I send a small army of apostles that I keep reinforcing due to having had a faith buildup and there is nothing resembling a defense other than "standard lets keep converting one or two cities when we have the time".... The devs have basically castrated and declawed the AI of civs but CS's and barbs are utterly ruthless. A game where everyone is terrified of "offending" anyone beyond superficial insults..... I could say the obvious but at this point it's redundant.

    They probably think the current AI is perfect as it is.... or maybe the devs themselves don't actually play the game against AI? IF mod tools ever come out there will very likely be a spate of "radical" or "extreme" mods just out of pent up frustration.....
     
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  7. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    If I understand correctly, you are the one that starts the war.
    I am not sure if you are aware of that but this innocent fact changes drastically how AI behaves.
    This is the war that AI doesn’t want. Why should it be interested in fighting you if that doesn’t serve its purposes? the behavior trees that AI follow have actually built in multiple diplomacy attempts - AI will try to peace out by design.
     
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  8. Mambo668

    Mambo668 Chieftain

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    So it is super good AI. We can start a game with 8 opponents, declare war on all of them and swimming in cash, resources all the time by acctepting peace deals and repeating it endlessly. Really enjoyabble stuff. Is it included in the list of new features?
     
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  9. DemonMaster

    DemonMaster A.K.A. Fenhorn

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    Tests like this doesn't say anything. Like Infixo above mention, the AI doesn't know that this is a test, it thinks that this is a normal game. Even though you only allow domination victory, there are multiple strategies to get there. The AI is designed to play the game, even if you only allow domination victory, the AI deals with all aspects of the game, not just conquest ASAP.

    The best way to test the AI is to actually play the game. In my game last night the AI actually did very well when they attack me. I was saved only thanks to my Caroleans that I got a couple of turns into the war and by my ally (Dido) that actually came through and helped me (with the largest navy I have ever seen since Civ 4).
     
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  10. Chefofrats

    Chefofrats Prince

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    My wife's capital got captured by the AI who declared war on her in one of her first GS games. That is much more telling than an artificial test.
     
  11. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    I guess the capital didn‘t have walls. AI is good at capturing unwalled cities since one of the first patches.
     
  12. DemonMaster

    DemonMaster A.K.A. Fenhorn

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    And in my game last night, Dido captured the Mongolian capital and that was walled. It was one of the few walled cities in the Mongolian empire (although they build more walls during the war). Mali took several walled (inland) cities from Dido in the same war. This was medieval/renessanse war with most of the units upgraded. So apparently the AI in my game knows how (perhaps I have a special edition. Lucky me then).
     
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  13. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I saw Monty wiped out by gilga... it is in fact wonderfully going back to the runaway AI. At least with this approach you can lose!
    I know many did not like it and I strongly suspect they hobbled the AI in R&F, but I believe it is better... and @Infixo is right... however full credit to @Gort because this same test has been performed before so we have some best willed comparative result.
     
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  14. CultureManiac

    CultureManiac Prince

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    Probably the walls. Civs have trouble taking walled cities. That's why I use mod to give CS walls at start because it keeps them around faster.
     
  15. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    „Lucky“ you indeed. All I can say is that it doesn‘t seem to happen in my games, or at least it is rare that I lose a walled city. CS seem to know how to attack them. Other civs sometimes attack with Catapults and get down the walls and health, but forget to bring warriors. Or they bring in one warrior at a time that I can easily get rid off. They have enough units and it looks dangerous. But it rarely is when I have walls up. That doesn‘t mean the test is representative of a normal game with 100 turns to take a city. But it highlights a big weakness.
     
  16. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    You know, a lot people complain about the AI, but all they do is complain, the OP at the very least tried to explore the AI's methods, so we know it's efficient at conquering cities (which I myself have seen) but seems to faulter at garrisoned cities with walls. This means that there's now something Firaxis can do about it. All thanks to you.

    So props to you my good man. Props to you.
     
  17. Fluphen Azine

    Fluphen Azine What is Fluphen Azine?

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    I tried that Mod for a few games on Deity.
    Didn't like it.
    I watched the AI run into those walls constantly losing swords, horses and chariots.
    It seems the AI would sit there and take shot after shot waiting to suicide into the walls.
    Sometimes the AI would roll a walled CS but normally the AI crippled itself trying to break those walls.
    I liked to abuse that and attack the AI after I watched them lose many soldiers.
     
  18. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    AI in civ is generally made to roleplay not win quickly and at all cost, in the simplest straightforward way, like in Starcraft where its instant doom countdown before AI runs at your base at full speed after 5 minutes to exterminate you efficiently.

    Even disabling all victories and having lone weak opponent in practice just shifts some weights for AI. It's not like it's an opportunist smartass on meta scale who drops everything, shifts all focuses and runs at full speed when sees the opening to victory. I'm not sure if such AI can be done in a sophisticated game like that, but even if it can be - it wouldn't be done.
    AI in this game for example has agendas, some of which are really 'irrational' as in: counterproductive, but introduced anyway to represent some human flaws and passions. Entire AI is made this way, to have personalities and preferences and flavors and allow the human player to 'make his story of civilization'.

    I mean, let's imagine AI performing perfectly in this test: drops everything but military units and immediately runs to kill the city and win at all costs. In "duel" context its cool, but the same AI in general doesn't duel like this, but interacts with the 'world' of many civs and city states. AI perfect in this duel would then be expected, in normal games, to very agressively kill whatever weak closer neighbor it has at the moment, regardless of its other plans, agendas, diplomacy, needs etc. Solely because the neighbor exists nearby, is weak and harmless but unpleasant.

    Of course, in more advanced world, perhaps AI could be so dynamic to drastically change its behaviour depending on the map size, amount of players, victory types, game mode etc etc but it isn't possible yet, and if it was it would be potentially undesirable.
     
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  19. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    ...with all that being said, however, this test still shows that AI:
    1) Ofers peace on unfavorable terms despite being one turn from total victory - it should either offer status quo or demand tribute from human (if it really doesn't want this city) or just take the city earlier!
    2) Casually and pointlessly sends units who shouldn't be here into city range where they die from city attacks - it should either decisively attack the city with major force of several units or don't attack at all, not send lonely suicidal units pointlessly.

    And those aspects should be reported as bugs @Gort, could you?

    I think we can all agree that regardless of whether AI wants to take this city or not, it shouldn't offer unfavorable peace deals or waste units in its range of fire, just invade it en masse or not.
     
  20. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Good summary. @Infixo is right to point out the context of the test, but as @Victoria commented, @Gort has been running this same test throughout Civ 6's history, and he's very upfront about the parameters used and does a good job of recording the observations. Now it's a matter of drawing the right conclusions and not extrapolating inappropriately. I think you've done a good job, @Krajzen, of identifying two take aways for either the dev team or modders to consider.
     
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