A side effect of the combat round limit (currently 7) that you introduced is that strong units cannot loose against weaker units. If the number of combat rounds would exceed 7 rounds, the stronger unit would not risk getting killed during combat.
This effect has exacerbated the strength discrepancy between natives and Europeans in my opinion. You did nothing to teach this to the AI so here we have a case of AI specific technical debt that you introduced.
I have to respectfully disagree.
of all, the highlighted part of the quote might need some rephrasing to make sense in the overall context, as I think.
, the limitation of internal combat rounds had one main goal (and frankly, I think it mostly achieved that):
to limit the number of outcomes where a much stronger unit would lose the fight due to "bad" RNG results as that was something many players complained about at that time (and I think they rightfully did so). This was especially a problem as that often went hand in hand with the unexpected weaker winner of the battle not having been hit at all. In the Civ4 section we even have a special emoticon for this: the spearman vs tank one.
While this at first glance might seem to support your case, there is another aspect to be considered: the stronger unit isn't as likely to win either. In many cases the combat now will result in a draw, thus preventing the stronger unit to simply annihilate the opponent. Which in turn leaves that opponent at least some options for the next game turn.
The real problem
is that those options are not correctly considered by the AI.
Saying that this effect was introduced by me however seems to be a bit strange, but of course you are entitled to think so.
, fully admitting that unfortunately I have never finished the complete combat system as I planned (and I am the one who is most sorry about that) , I did (small) things to make the AI more competitive in combat. It was just a first, preparatory step to make the AI consider survival
chances instead of winning
(= killing the other unit) chances when deciding whether she will attack or not. In fact it should be a bit
more likely now that an AI controlled unit attacks then it was before.
In addition to that I introduced the healing process being based on available food, something which never made it into RaR.
In short: a unit would heal only if there was enough food stored in the colony's warehouses. 10% heal rate would equal 20 food, as a new unit needs 200 food to be created.
For the AI that was cut into half and for the natives it didn't apply at all.
The problem is that the AI in all RaR-based mods seems to be less inclined to attack (especially settlements) then it ever was before. I remember brutal fights in TAC
, where the natives would throw unit after unit after unit at me until they consumed my defending forces. I remember two wars in particular. In one I lost four border settlements in the first turn of the war while having killed more than 200 (!) native units. It was an epic massacre, where the screen flipped back and forth switching from one fight to the other. This was going on for like two minutes and quite an experience.
However, it didn't change the outcome of the war as such. By killing that many attackers, I had broken the Sitting Bull's strength and was able to regain control over that territory again as luckily those settlements hadn't been in my mainland. And I did have the advantage of all of it taking place on plains where the mounted units are strongest and quickest.
The second incident was when I lost a fortress protected city on a small land connection, guarded by almost 10 defensive units against a native attack. I was completely baffled since I didn't expect them to attack said fortress in the first place. Let alone expecting them to succeed.
This pattern of behaviour had completely changed in RaR, and I admit that I have never found out why. My assumption is that the higher number of native tribes leads to the effect of the individual tribe being less powerful measured by total numbers of villages and therefore, braves. And that might have some influence somewhere in the AI logic, but as I said, I was never able to identify the exact reason nor the area in the code where the problem might reside.
This is even more interesting as for the local fight that should not make that much of a difference, assuming that the AI might have a local superiority in terms of number of units present at a given battle area.
All that being said, has the limitation of internal combat rounds really harmed the AI?
I think there isn't a clear answer to that.
Yes, it has given the human player the advantage of not losing that many "safe battles" than before.
No, as very often the human player may find that his attack results in a "draw" as he did run out of internal combat rounds before he could kill the enemy unit.
In general, an attacker now needs more units to achieve taking a given position in a given number of turns.
The main problem however seems to be the AI not sending reinforcements to an endangered area nor to make preventive strikes and that most certainly is not caused by my changes.
And finally, if you think that completely randomized combat results as before lessen the burden of the AI, you are free to return to the previous combat system.
Hail to the spearman