Oct 21, 2001
London, Britain
Why is the computer so afraid of upgrading its units?

I'm currenty playing huge map, 8 civs, regent difficulty. The Americans next to me are about my size (we both have appr. 130 infantry), but he has 25 spearmen, 5 pikemen, 10 musketeers, and 10 riflemen as well, IN 1865!!!

I realise that I have Sun Zu's, but surely he would have had ample time (like 2000 years!) to upgrade his spearmen? Why does he have 22 catapults, but only 5 pieces of artillery?

Any ideas? Does this happen less as difficulty increases?


"Obsolete weapons do not deter" (Margret Thatcher)
I think the main reason is that the computer is usually broke most of the time... I know that whenever I go into the diplomacy screen, more often than not I see that there is 0 gold in the AI treasury... Guess they never heard of a savings account...

Another possible explanation is that the comp just doesn't build too many barracks, and it doesn't have the wherewithal to shuttle units back and forth to upgrade. It may upgrade units if it has a barracks in that city, but not if it's halfway across the empire. Just a guess...

- Windwalker
It's actually kind of annoying. The computer is much easier to beat with obsolete units.
In my experience, the AI simply won't upgrade its units unless it has some reason to (e.g. the city they're defending may get attacked soon). So they'll have a bunch of spearmen left in the modern era, but if I declare war, those start disappearing without me killing them... my interpretation being that they're getting upgraded. As a matter of fact, I have started doing the same thing, because it's a smarter tactic than compulsively upgrading immediately - you spend less money on upgrades, and what you do spend you spend later, and if you are careful about paying attention to when you need to upgrade, you lose nothing by doing things this way. Imagine that - a situation where the humans can learn from the AI.
You're right on, Beamup. I learned this lesson too as soon as I reached the higher difficulty levels & just didn't have the $$ to go around to update everyone.

Funny to have Spearmen guarding the capital in the modern age though. Since your opponents judge your military based on your numbers, not your units, you can use this to your advantage. I only upgrade when war starts and then, only as necessary.

Windwaker's also right. I think the AI will upgrade its units if it has the money but often runs out after a few turns of war (like I do too).

Original Message Edited You're right slothman, I was wrong :crazyeyes . Upgrading units over multiple 'levels' costs the same as upgrading one level at a time.
Are you sure it's cheaper to upgrade a unit to a "farther away" unit than a closer one? I think it's twice the difference in cost in shields without Leo's.
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