Unlike many descrying the AO concept as too restrictive on the player I really like the concept and look forward to it.
One thing I hope for is that the AI will be AO limited as well as the player. Not because I want the AI to be any more handicapped against me than it already is, but because I see a definite benefit for the AI in being restricted by it.
One of the AI's weaknesses in this game system is it's inability to resist sending every last "in range" unit to pounce on a juicy target. The AI can easily be channelled and duped into going all out after a juicy target (read unit with only two steps) and leaving itself completely out of position to stop the player's next moves. If the AI has to operate under the restrictions of AOs than at least only the units of a given AO can fall prey to this tendency.
I also have an OT question: Was anything ever done to fix the CTD that occurs in the Kharkov scenario for DB when attempting to play as the Russians?
The sceanrio is wonderful, but no fun to play as German as the AI is far too easy to stop cold in attack. I really only play the attacking side in this game engine as that is where the fun is. With the scenario only working when the players takes the defensive side the scenario really isn't worth playing.
Sorry about the delay, I check the forums for new posts (almost) every day, don't know how this slipped through.
Anyway, yes if AOs are in use the AI will definitely obey the restrictions. I haven't seen a crashing bug in the Kharkov game for some time now, it has had some thorough testing.
I'm not sure of any way to proof the AI against deliberate sacrifice tactics except to say, perhaps, maybe you shouldn't do it. Naturally, how you actually play the game is up to you, but I would like to point out that such tactics won't work against a human player, who will smell a rat where the AI can't. I like to use my AI games to refine my tactics for PBEM games, so I always play them as if I were facing a human player. This both increases the fun and helps me in the harder PBEM games to come.
I can also say that in the Kharkov game both sides can find themselves mounting powerful attacks and defending grimly at the same time, so it should always be enjoyable for both sides.