Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Well, I think almost every WIF player has 'holes' in their playing ability. They forget to do things that they know they should do, or planned on doing things but didn't when the time came, or failed to set up all the prerequisites for, and therefore couldn't do. Many other events arise during a game that cause players to fail to live up to their own opinion of their playing ability/skill. Even the best professional ball player screws up from time to time. And into those gaps in the human player's execution the AI Opponent can shove long sharp objects.
I do hope to someday watch the AI play itself though.
It is imperative that Steve develop AI-AI capability to run through many many games to assess and adjust AI behaviors; it is a laborious iterative process. I must have run hundreds of partial and full games over the past several years fine-tuning my A3R mod, and that's just for European theater operations. Global operations in WiF are more complex but the basic principles that human players apply when playing are the exact same principles that can be programmed/scripted into the AI. Throw in some variability parameters and random events, and every game becomes different. I've been genuinely surprised on numerous occassions by a computer opponent that I personally scripted; I consider that "challenging" enough.
Speaking of surprises, I often find the game mechanics permitting/prohibiting actions that I thought were impossible/legal.
For instance, the beta testers have had trouble setting up situations where the die roll for the number of partisan units that can be placed on the board is three but there is only room for two. The program reduces the number to two in those situations. But the program finds hexes you hadn't considered for the 3rd partisan (stacking is 2 per hex). Karelia and German controlled hexes now on the Russian side of the frontline are two cases. Or a hex next to a German divisional unit, and hence not in a German ZOC.
Bombers in England being able to bomb factories in Italy is another case, where the bombers fly around eastern Switzerland instead of western Switzerland.
Assuming carrier air units are flying as fighters, not bombers, because there are no more air activities remaining comes up often. Likewise, if a carrier air unit doesn't have the requisite bombing capability (air-to-sea, or tactical) for a mission, the program doesn't ask if you want it to fly as a bomber.
Even land moves can be surprising at times. The one I miss all the time is the reduced cost for moving along rail lines in the advance after combat phase when playing with the optional rule Rail Movement Bonus.
If, as a human, you can't even 'see' all the possibilities for what your (and more importantly, your enemy's) units can do, do you really expect to be invincible?
Perfection is an elusive goal.