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How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ?

 
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How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/22/2005 3:47:46 PM   
karlxii


Posts: 174
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From: Stockholm
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I would like to know what you all hardcore gamers of this game think about the AI. Both the strategical AI and the tactical AI. Which one is the best and have you some examples of good AI behaviour ?

Unfortunately I know of some shortcomings of the AI (as always) that have been said here and there in this Forum but overall, is it up to the task for todays standard or not ? It would be nice to have a developer answering this as well since we as a user donīt know (in most cases) anything about development in AI technology for computer games.

After all, I would never buy a strategy game for playing solo if I didnīt believe the AI was supreme or I did trust the developer or their reputation in the field.

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/22/2005 4:05:50 PM   
karlxii


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My example of a good strategical AI bevaviour which I experienced in my current campaign as playing Sweden is that I am at war with Britain and have earlier aquired two spanish provinces (Galicia and Lear in the NW of Spain). I sent my entire - but small - fleet down there with new fresh garrison troops to secure them. It was right after that the war broke out with Britain that demanded my removal of sea troops when I crossed the English Channel. No way I said...I have to reinforce my provinces and donīt want to have any war with you (...just yet :-).

Anyway, Britain declared war and my fleet was trapped in Galicia harbour. A few turns after my economy dropped drastically and I didnīt know why. Sure Iīve built a few more troops but nothing that would crush my economy. I had to even take a loan to keep floating. Anyway I tried to get my fleet back to my Nordic waters without meeting the british fleet since two new, finely built ships waited in Stockholm and Copenhagen to reinforce it. But Britain had two strong fleets in both sea hexes outside Norway and Denmark keeping me out, but worst of all was 10 units of Privateers in the east of Jylland STEALING 70 % of my trade and over 140 gold per turn! Thatīs why my economy was in deep trouble. I couldnīt get through with my fleet since he blocked the access. I tried but lost half my fleet and fled to the west with it.

They didnīt accept cease fire either. To press them I moved my army along northwestern europe to siege his provinces in Brest and Normandy and rallied those to my ally Preussia who came there with 150.000 men to help me. Anyway to survive I decreased my draft levels and readiness, took a new loan and kicked my trade advisor! I disbanded every trade rout going from Denmark, Norway and Western Sweden and built upp new trade routes from Stockholm and Finland through Russia. That made my economy bolster again since the british privateers didnīt get very much now but smart as they were they sent half the fleet to the Baltic Sea to trouble my trade there as well. Anyway...I like this kind of AI because he did stand in Denmark for a year taking my trade and did react when I changed the trade lanes, he also blocked any sea access to Sweden with his fleet, holding out my fleet and my allies fleets as well. Now my economy is up and running again but Britian is still my main enemy.

A good example of Economic Warfare I think!

/Karl XII

< Message edited by karlxii -- 8/22/2005 4:33:50 PM >

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 3:20:17 AM   
Falconius

 

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It seems the strategic AI is much better than the detailed battle AI. I have yet to lose a detailed battle (playing at standard level), after playing about 30 of them.

I followed Ralegh's advice (on these threads), and use firepower from infantry and artillery to disorder the enemy, and then use cavalry to charge the disrupted units. Great advice, but unfortunately, the AI doesn't use it. It keeps 90% of its units in column formation, making them less effective and easy targets.

I love this game for the most part and think it has the potential to be the best war/strategy game ever, but this AI issue needs to be addressed.

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 6:37:50 AM   
Ralegh


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The strategic AI is easily good enough to give a human a good game, although there are a couple of exploits [mainly AI valuation of treaty clauses and occupation before declaring war]. It is superb for playing computer countries during a multiplayer game where you don't have 8 humans, and I hope that one day it can take a missing human's turn for them. I can't praise this enough - I have never before seen an AI that can interact in such a complex manner, with economic, diplomatic, and military strategies that almost feel as if playing another human.

The tactical AI (for detailed combat) is adequate for teaching you the combat system, and can be satisfying for a human to beat up. At higher levels of dificulty you will usually enter detailed battle with less troops of poorer quality, and that makes it very challenging indeed. I do agree that for lasting solo appeal, further enhancements to the detailed combat AI are needed (and I do know that WCS are considering the matter).

People who report they always beat the detailed battle AI are playing France or Britain (very high morale troops) - lower morale nations certainly don't win all their battles - and probably on lower difficulty levels, where you can outproduce the AI.

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 9:48:06 AM   
Gem35


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I am not griping too much here, but I think those privateers are a bit over the top. At times there are quite a few too many for my liking. It is bad enough that waste is problematic.( I do like the waste in the game as it stops the game from becoming Risk-ish) Perhaps I just don't like anyone's hand in my cookie jar.

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 2:53:10 PM   
ian77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gem35

I am not griping too much here, but I think those privateers are a bit over the top. At times there are quite a few too many for my liking. It is bad enough that waste is problematic.( I do like the waste in the game as it stops the game from becoming Risk-ish) Perhaps I just don't like anyone's hand in my cookie jar.


Perhaps the american fleets should also adopt an anti pirate role as well as blockade busting!

Ian

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Post #: 6
RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 4:30:15 PM   
Hard Sarge


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overall, I think the battle AI is decent, it just don't understand the timing needed to win, it knows how to charge and break up the battle line, but most times, when it does, there is nobody in range to take atvantage of it

it will, move and fire with it's arty, it will support it's arty with troops, so they can't be attacked

I think the real killer for the AI, is once it breaks, it tends to run back towards the bad guys

I tend to let the AI take over the battle once it is decided, and overall, I think the AI on AI does a very good job

a little more help with the leaders and some touch ups and the AI will be decent enough



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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 5:38:33 PM   
Barrold

 

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I am hopeful the next patch will address a few things needing tweaks, but I think teaching it a bit of patience would be beneficial all around. On the strategic level, it should wait to gather a larger army capable of actually winning a battle rather than continually rush in with forces half the strength of mine. If they can't win, they shouldn't go in!

On a tactical level, a little patience to set up it's battle line rather than just rushing forward in column would make the battles more of a challenge. I think de-emphasizing attacks on garrisons, towers, and forts at the expense of preparation for the battle with my armies might help as well.

BDH


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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 6:37:22 PM   
ian77

 

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I think if you try a harder difficulty level, where the AI seems to get loads of cash and resources, you will not find yourself outnumbering many AI armies (it is usually the other way round I find), you could also give Turkey or Prussia a try (if you do not all ready play one of the weaker powers) it should give you a tougher challange than playing high quality high morale France or Britain.

Ian

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 10:48:25 PM   
Barrold

 

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I will definitely be kicking up the difficulty up a few notches in the next game, but I have become so involved in my current Prussian game that I don't want to start over yet.



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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/23/2005 10:57:33 PM   
benpark


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Thanks, Ralegh for suggesting that the detailed battle will be worked on. It is a great concept, and is fun as is, but definately needs a good backbone. It drives me crazy when developers reply to requests like this with "no computer can beat a human. Play PBEM". I'm glad I never hear that at Matrix.

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/24/2005 2:46:28 AM   
Darksky

 

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Strategic AI: Good.

Tact AI: decent-almost good. AI is good in identifyng isolated units or very weak point. Don't risk a cav unit too far from your front or you will see a "pirahna attack" on it. Computer is able to read the the road net on the map. It uses it to make quick encirclement. Sometimes it seems it take advantage of night to start a cover encirclement manouver.
I admit that one of the best feature of this AI is that it tries to encircle you with good manoveuring so i have always pay attention to my frontline, looking for possible weak point. This force me to choose carefully the place where i form my frontline and where i want the battle will starts.
But sometimes it commits too much suicide unuseful actions. For example: cavalry charge in bad terrain against a unit in the wood, frontal attack against a unit in square formation ( rarely ). Also it seems that the AI is too much coded on the SINGLE unit and on what a single unit can do. It seems that the AI is not able to "see the big picture" and so it don't know how to move ALL its units accordingly with a wide attack plane. AI units tends to be not cooperating or act cooperating only in very very little group ( 2 units, rarely 3 units ). Also AI tends to understimate the power of fortress. Often i see them manouvering near my fortress just as they are making a "walk in the park".

< Message edited by Darksky -- 8/24/2005 2:47:22 AM >


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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/24/2005 1:22:12 PM   
Reg Pither


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I think the AI's sneakiest trick is making me play the game into the wee small hours (2 am and 4 am the last two nights) to try to make me tired enough to make mistakes!

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/24/2005 4:26:54 PM   
ian77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Barrold

I will definitely be kicking up the difficulty up a few notches in the next game, but I have become so involved in my current Prussian game that I don't want to start over yet.




Yes, I know just what you mean!

Ian

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/24/2005 4:37:59 PM   
ian77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Reg Pither

I think the AI's sneakiest trick is making me play the game into the wee small hours (2 am and 4 am the last two nights) to try to make me tired enough to make mistakes!


Yes, I know just what you mean!

Ian


There seems to be an echo around here.......

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/24/2005 10:49:12 PM   
Grand_Armee

 

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I find the strategic AI good until a country is so beaten down that it keeps taking war to you even though it has no chance, or until in a game where I made a naval invasion of Britain and discovered hundreds of ships lying at anchor and a huge army doing nothing.

I was playing Prussia. Sweden and Britain were my most obdurate foes. EVentually I reduced Sweden to only the province of Uppland. Britain held all of it's home colonies but nothing on the mainland. I made my naval invasion on the last turn of a 23-year campaign. I have no idea where the British fleets were...but ships sat everywhere.

I only lost 1 detailed battle. 50K of my Prussians vs. 250K Turks. They had tons of cav while I only had one division, so I wasn't able to keep much in line formation. It's the only detailed battle where I approved of the AI's scheme. The AI just continued to use his cav superiority to make up for far inferior troops. My guys started with a morale of about 4.0.

Otherwise, the AI is far too weak for detailed battle. Something akin to a battle line would be a pleasure to see. At this point, all one has to do is wait out the disordering of all the enemy cav and then go on the offensive.

I never built one piece of artillery in that game. I finished the game with 5 Armies, each with 3 or 4 arty divs.

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/25/2005 10:44:25 AM   
Latour_Maubourg


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grand_Armee

I find the strategic AI good until a country is so beaten down that it keeps taking war to you even though it has no chance, or until in a game where I made a naval invasion of Britain and discovered hundreds of ships lying at anchor and a huge army doing nothing.

I was playing Prussia. Sweden and Britain were my most obdurate foes. EVentually I reduced Sweden to only the province of Uppland. Britain held all of it's home colonies but nothing on the mainland. I made my naval invasion on the last turn of a 23-year campaign. I have no idea where the British fleets were...but ships sat everywhere.

I only lost 1 detailed battle. 50K of my Prussians vs. 250K Turks. They had tons of cav while I only had one division, so I wasn't able to keep much in line formation. It's the only detailed battle where I approved of the AI's scheme. The AI just continued to use his cav superiority to make up for far inferior troops. My guys started with a morale of about 4.0.

Otherwise, the AI is far too weak for detailed battle. Something akin to a battle line would be a pleasure to see. At this point, all one has to do is wait out the disordering of all the enemy cav and then go on the offensive.

I never built one piece of artillery in that game. I finished the game with 5 Armies, each with 3 or 4 arty divs.


Good observations G_A. Same here.


L-M


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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/27/2005 4:22:33 AM   
itkotw

 

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One thing about the strategic AI that I would like to see improved is the way it picks which provices to attack and capture. After starting in the 1792 campaign and playing for 23 years , the map eventually became a checkerboard of provinces. Countries were starting wars and taking provinces far from their homelands.

In my game, Russia owned 2 or 3 provinces bordering France and a couple in Austria, while losing provinces in southern Russia to Turkey and provinces in the north to Sweden (me). Spain held all of southern France, and provinces in Austria, and even provinces in north western Russia. Turkey was one of the greatest odd balls. They managed to keep almost all of their home provinces, and they eventually owned Ireland, a province in north-western Germany, and one or two provinces in Austria, Prussia, and Poland. France and England were also fun to watch because over the years France took (and held) a province in southern England , while England invaded northern France and held provinces there. England also owned a landlocked province in southern Russia. By the end it was mayhem, every country owned a province or two all over the map but rarely did any more than 2 provinces ever touch.

I think the AI should make it their number 1 priority to restore their national borders, with a few surprise attacks programed in. I also do not think provinces that are cut-off from their country's homeland should be able to contribute to the economy as much as one that is connected, especially if they are surrounded by people who you are at war with.

Ideally, I would like to see the game make it more beneficial for players and the AI to expand the borders of their homeland, instead of grabing random provinces that are landlocked and deep in enemy territory.

just some thoughts.

(in reply to Latour_Maubourg)
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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/27/2005 4:26:03 AM   
Ralegh


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Hmmm - maybe follow the EIA pattern, and only allow you to take a province if you either have adjacent territory, or have a division in that province at the time of the surrender?

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RE: How good is the AI ? Examples ? User stories ? - 8/27/2005 12:50:36 PM   
ravinhood


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If only the battle ai could be like Mad Minutes Civil War: Bull Run with 3D animations an all, this would be the rockingest game ever. And if only Mad Minutes Civil War:Bull Run had the strategic game of this game it would be the rockingest game ever. lol You guys need to marry up with Mad Minute and make the ultimate game ever. ;)

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