From: Dallas, TX
any thoughts on including a setting to allow the AI to take a much longer amount of time to compute turns to satisify the grognards?
The basic algorithm that the AI is using creates an inverse expotential curve over time. In layman's terms, that means that as the algorithm is given more time, it makes giant leaps forward in progress initially with litte, if any, improvement once it hits a pretty good solution. So, adding in "longer" time beyond "hard" really means that the AI will just be wasting your time.
When we created the "Easy", "Normal" and "Hard" levels, we cut "Easy" off during the intial part of the curve, "Normal" around the top of the curve and "Hard" after it has had some time to find non-local optimums (using a technique called kicking.) So, "Easy" will provide a decent move for the AI, "Normal" will provide one of the AI's best guesses, and "Hard" will allow the AI to explore a few potential best guesses.
Additionally, we have put some things into the campaign to make hard a bit harder beyond that (e.g., limiting elite promotions further and restricting the amount of money you get on each level.)
I suspect that all players will find the game to be a challenge at the hard setting now that we have fixed the algorithm's parameters for hard games. Remember, Will Trotter wanted to throw Alexander the Great out the window because he thought it was too difficult to get major victories -- and Will Trotter is a grognard for sure.
As always, we want to be VERY responsive to issues as they are raised by the community. Hopefully you can see for yourself that we were quick to patch the intiial release once we saw problems with mouse cursor lag and reports that the AI seemed to be too easy. We tracked these issues down and fixed them as soon as we could. If hard-core gamers complain that the campaign is still too easy, we will address that as best we can. I would be happy to implement an "Impossible" mode as a next step -- but I can gaurantee that you will not win .