ORIGINAL: Capt Cliff
The AI is scripted, look at some of the scenarios. So if you play it a couple of times you can easily destroy the AI. This is a very complex game with hundreds of units so if you are looking for a challenge try a human opponent. But beware ... sharks live in that sea ... ... they are masters of this game and will hand you your beating heart before you know it's gone.
That's not entirely correct I believe. At the strategic level, i.e. which bases to invade, defend and when, and with what specific land- or air units, or types of TFs, it is scripted. Beyond that there are obviously also a lot of routines hardcoded that for example determine reactions.
One of them is a reaction of a naval TF to air threats, which you may also notice sometime reroutes or retreats your own ships (notably convoys or such). I think this routine also ought to prevent phenomena like Allied or IJ AI sacrifices of ships against (known but not common-sense expectable) LBA, such as often suicidal Japanese CV raids or piecemeal Allied CV supports of invasions. It would be great if this routine could be tuned to further safe AI assets, even if it meant additional "cheating" capabilities of AI through FoW. I think this could enhance the AI games substantially.
Regarding the distributed use of CVs in smaller TFs versus keeping for e.g. KB together for the entirity of the war (such as many players do): One can edit all the AI scripts that Andy Mac wrote and adjust TF needs. You can also remove many of the raids that can cause either much irritation and trouble to the player, or senseless loss of AI assets. It is a lot of work going through the AI scripts, though, and I never finished this. My respects for Andy Mac at this point -- I don't want to image the work and pain he must have put into them.
Historically both the IJ and the Allied at times sent off smaller detachments of carriers, which some other players also do (mostly during the IJ expansion phase of 42, and while the risk is low). So AI does actually act along historical doctrines. However, against a conservative player concentrating his CV, this just gets ugly. In an ideal world, AI could adjust the force thresholds in the scripts, i.e. dynamical scripting. Then it could also adapt to the manner in which the player uses his CV.
If there ever will be an AE2, I hope the AI scripting capabilities will get a do-over. For now, AI is good at least into late 42, and if you play along historical doctrines and not too aggressively, i.e. also split your CV occasionally, it can give you a good game for even longer.
< Message edited by janh -- 6/27/2012 4:04:16 PM >