Empires in Arms Computer Opponent - AI Development

Empires in Arms is the computer version of Australian Design Group classic board game. Empires in Arms is a seven player game of grand strategy set during the Napoleonic period of 1805-1815. The unit scale is corps level with full diplomatic options

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pzgndr
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Empires in Arms Computer Opponent - AI Development

Post by pzgndr »

Something I still see on other sites whenever EIA gets mentioned is how bad the AI is. Or more correctly, how bad the AI *was* before I started making improvements and enhancements several years ago. The list is actually quite long:
Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.24.00
=============================================
- AI building too many militia - resolved.

Version 1.23.08 (09/17/2021)

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.23.08
=============================================
- AI enhancements for placing and removing depots - resolved.
- AI-AI naval combat not working correctly - resolved.
- Multiple AI enhancements and adjustments needed - resolved.
- Naval AI not verifying if forces can be loaded on fleet when making check for possible DOW, causing potential lapse of war - resolved.
- AI bonuses on manpower and money adjusted to: Easy AI 5%, Medium AI 15%, Hard AI 25% - resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.23.07
=============================================
- AI enhancements for strategic redeployments - resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.23.06
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- 0000823: [AI Enhancement] AI Great Britain Economics – resolved, for AI Great Britain blocking American trade with MPs it is at war with and for negotiating peace if at war with United States.
- 0000825: [AI Enhancement] AI Austria Insurrection Corps – resolved.
- AI enhancements for strategic advances and retreats - resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.23.05
=============================================
- Restrict AI unit losses unless necessary if leader assigned - resolved.
- AI attacker-human defender trivial combat not working correctly - resolved.
- AI naval improvements - resolved.
- AI land improvements, strategic retreats and advancements - resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.23.04
=============================================
- AI-AI land combat not always working and locking up game - resolved.
- AI Victory Points in 1812 scenario not showing correct - resolved.
- AI-AI trivial combat not working correctly - resolved.

Version 1.22.02 (4/10/2018)

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.22.02
=============================================
- 0000152: [AI Enhancement] AI vs. AI combat now trivial / change to chits assigned – resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.22.01
=============================================
- 0000166: [AI Enhancement] AI doesn't defend its navy in port - resolved.
- 0000829: [AI Enhancement] AI never attempts to reinforce - resolved?
- 0000830: [AI Enhancement] AI never commits guard – resolved.
- 0000850: [AI Bug] Battle crash when selecting units to lose - closed, could not reproduce.

Version 1.21.04 (03/18/2017)

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.21.04
=============================================
- AI Enhancement to restrict risky British and Russian amphib invasions into France and Holland prior to 1813 - resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.21.02
=============================================
- 0000819: [AI Enhancement] AI Garrisons - resolved.
- 0000827: [AI Enhancement] AI Builds for Free States - resolved.
- 0000828: [AI Enhancement] AI never fights a second day of combat - resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.21.01
=============================================
- 0000781: [AI Bug] French corps at Paris chose withdraw (which should not have happened) – resolved.
- 0000818: [AI Enhancement] AI Bonuses - resolved.
- 0000820: [AI Enhancement] AI DOWs on Minor Countries – resolved.
- 0000821: [AI Enhancement] AI Builds and Money for Supply – resolved.
- 0000824: [AI Enhancement] AI Ship Building – resolved.

Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.21.00 (03/01/14)
=============================================
- Fixed issue with AI surrender calculations. It was improperly evaluating forces on map versus enemy forces when trying to decide to sue for peace. Bottom line is that the AI will probably surrender a little earlier to save their forces. – resolved.

As I usually do, I will claim that the AI is more challenging now, but certainly not perfect or as brilliant as a human player may be. Now that v1.23.08 has been out as an official update for a few months, and the installer has been remastered, I hope players (new and old) have had a chance to play against the computer opponent(s) enough to have formed some opinions of it. As I move into code development for v1.24.01, I want to make some further improvements and enhancements to the AI. One item on my list is to improve AI operations with allies, to get the AI to behave more like a human player in requesting help and providing help as an ally.

I am looking for other feedback from players:
1. Are the recent AI bonus changes helpful, or are they too much or too little? My intent would be for Easy to be something for beginners, Medium should be for standard play, and Hard should be challenging for experienced players. Based on feedback, we can easily adjust these bonuses up or down.
2. Are the new AI advances and retreats working well, or are there situations where the AI is being too reckless or not being aggressive enough? I've playtested a couple years into 1805 and 1812 to get to what I think is "just right" and it's tricky to make adjustments without screwing up something else. Players always seem to get into interesting situations that can challenge the programming assumptions. Again, based on feedback, we can make some adjustments to the parameters in the code.
3. Some players like to leave the Lille Crossing option on, but the French and British AI are currently not programmed to defend their sides adequately to prevent an invasion, nor to avoid making reckless invasions. I recommend leaving it off if playing the AI, but this is something I will look at 'fixing'.
4. What else? Within reason, what else would help the AI be more challenging and fun to play against? (He asked him knowingly... )
Bill Macon
Strategic Command Developer
Empires in Arms Developer
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pzgndr
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RE: Empires in Arms Computer Opponent - AI Development

Post by pzgndr »

I have been busy working on v1.24.01 and nearing completion. I'm hoping to have a Beta ready for posting later this week. Here's the list of AI changes:
Empires in Arms the Napoleonic Wars - 1.24.01
=============================================
- 0000649: [AI Enhancement] AI leader choice is sometimes quite suboptimal – resolved (best leader now assessed with all four ratings).
- 0000650: [AI Enhancement] Turkish AI arguably places/keeps feudals too much – resolved.
- 0000815: [Game Enhancement] Unable to create new cavalry corps or heavy fleet in game editor – resolved.
- 0000822: [AI Enhancement] AI Operations with Allies – resolved.
- 0000822: [AI Enhancement] AI Cossacks and Guerrillas – resolved (exempted from regular AI battle assignments).
- AI sometimes DOWs minors with insufficient factors in range (e.g., Turkey DOWing Egypt) - resolved.

The AI operations with allies is basically the AI talk code players use to request things from a computer player applied to the computer players requesting help from other computer players. I figure there's limited use for the AI to be requesting help from a human player, it's mostly the other way. We'll see if requesting money, loaned units, and some attacks/defenses work and make a difference.

The Turkey AI will now stand down feudals and return them to play as needed. We'll see how the logic works out.

I looked hard at that Lille Crossing option but struggled to determine decent logic for either France or Great Britain to provide adequate defense without being too much or too little, or for when to attempt crossings without being too much or too little. There's also the consideration for how to react to any simultaneous amphibious landings. I'm putting this in the "Too Hard" box and will strongly recommend leaving the option off unless you've got human players for both Great Britain and France.

Lastly, I welcome any responses to the first two questions I posed above. How are the AI bonuses working out, and how are the AI advances and retreats working out? Please, if you have comments or suggestions, let me know. Once I get the v1.24.01 Beta posted, I'll let it go for a while to get feedback while I aim to wrap up another (final?) official update later in March or April.
Bill Macon
Strategic Command Developer
Empires in Arms Developer
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Magpius
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

RE: Empires in Arms Computer Opponent - AI Development

Post by Magpius »

Hi Bill,
I only just purchased the game, ostensibly due to your (and team's), ongoing efforts.
So although I am in no position to comment in depth on A.I, I want to thank you for doing the work, and look forward to whatever future changes can be made.
Regards
A.
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