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Thread: Strategic AI

  1. #1
    Member Member Obadiah's Avatar
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    Default Strategic AI

    I've seen frequent battle AI discussion , but not on this. I haven't had chance to play much, but have seen two interesting things:

    1- AI does offer to trade regions frequently.
    2- Playing as Sweden, Courland (protectorate of Poland) attacked me with a single unit against about 10 units in my city. Then again next turn. And every single turn thereafter, all the while having a 100% full army in its city. I THINK what was happening was AI was creating new army units for the province each turn, and since it couldn't fit them inside, simply sent them at me. But it is an example of incredibly stupid strategy- if it wanted war, it should've thrown at least 80% of its army at me. I finally conquered the prov just to make it stop.

    What have you guys seen in terms of when it declares war, how it moves armies around the map, etc.?

  2. #2
    EB player Member Wausser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Obadiah View Post
    I've seen frequent battle AI discussion , but not on this. I haven't had chance to play much, but have seen two interesting things:

    2- Playing as Sweden, Courland (protectorate of Poland) attacked me with a single unit against about 10 units in my city. Then again next turn. And every single turn thereafter, all the while having a 100% full army in its city. I THINK what was happening was AI was creating new army units for the province each turn, and since it couldn't fit them inside, simply sent them at me. But it is an example of incredibly stupid strategy- if it wanted war, it should've thrown at least 80% of its army at me. I finally conquered the prov just to make it stop.
    I have such problems too with Mysore, I have Corn...(the southern provence in India) as the UP. Mysore keeps attacking with 3 units, then in the same turn with 2 or 1 units. Mysore is only left with the Capital (Mysore) with a 100% full army.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    The campaign AI in ETW is a big letdown. I stopped playing because I find it pointless to play a strategy game I can't loose. No challenge, no tension. I keep my fingers crossed that a patch will fix the issues with bad recruiting (all artillery armies...), insane attacking behavior and nonexistent naval invasions. While the new economic mechanics are quite good and the battle AI is definitly improved, the campaign AI is worse then RTW or still has the same issues (recruiting, naval invasions). I thought, they had a full time AI programmer working on that...

  4. #4
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by zarkis View Post
    The campaign AI in ETW is a big letdown. I stopped playing because I find it pointless to play a strategy game I can't loose. No challenge, no tension. I keep my fingers crossed that a patch will fix the issues with bad recruiting (all artillery armies...), insane attacking behavior and nonexistent naval invasions. While the new economic mechanics are quite good and the battle AI is definitly improved, the campaign AI is worse then RTW or still has the same issues (recruiting, naval invasions). I thought, they had a full time AI programmer working on that...
    what difficulty level were you at?
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    Heir to the Scottish Throne Member Relic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    When playing M/M as the Ottoman Empire; Venice tried to take Athens with a unit of pikemen.
    I intercepted them wiped them out entirely.
    They then sent two units and some cavalry.
    They too got complete wiped out.

    The units I used without being retrained (this was in one turn) playing on medium unit size.
    I had two irregular units of musketeers and a unit of sabre weilding men (names have gone out the window).
    The funiest thing though; as the pike approached my musketeers in both battles; they decided to stand there with their swords out about 3m away while I gunned them down.
    At one point they just stood in a very long 1 rank through my town. Needless to say. they failed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy View Post
    what difficulty level were you at?
    VH/VH

    But I don't think the problems I pointed out are a matter of difficulty. I mean, some of the issues (recruiting, no naval invasions) can be traced back to RTW, so sometimes I think they just used parts of the old code and the new AI for the campaign level was never done, unfinished or for unknown reasons not implemented. For example all this talk about the campaign AI communicating with the battle AI: Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle (or even on the campaign map)?
    Last edited by zarkis; 03-09-2009 at 18:53.

  7. #7
    ex Lord Member Melvish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by zarkis View Post
    Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle (or even on the campaign map)?
    In ETW not so far.
    But I've seen it in MTW1
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  8. #8
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by zarkis View Post
    VH/VH

    But I don't think the problems I pointed out are a matter of difficulty. I mean, some of the issues (recruiting, no naval invasions) can be traced back to RTW, so sometimes I think they just used parts of the old code and the new AI for the campaign level was never done, unfinished or for unknown reasons not implemented. For example all this talk about the campaign AI communicating with the battle AI: Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle (or even on the campaign map)?
    are you sure were playing the same game? im on H/H and im almost sweating with tension. im surrounded, and outnumbered most of the time.
    i only beat the enemy by tactics on the battlefield.
    and im no TW n00b either, after playing many M2TW and RTW (and EB) campaigns, all on VH.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy View Post
    are you sure were playing the same game? im on H/H and im almost sweating with tension. im surrounded, and outnumbered most of the time.
    i only beat the enemy by tactics on the battlefield.
    and im no TW n00b either, after playing many M2TW and RTW (and EB) campaigns, all on VH.
    Well, it's probably harder playing a faction surrounded by other factions like Prussia compared to England (safe island) or Maratha (only one major and one minor faction as real opponents). And as always the beginning is more of a struggle then the middle part or the end. Now, my game if Maratha was basicaly over after 1715 and won (fullfilled the victory conditions for the long campaign) at 1738. I had one tense time when Mysore stabbed me in the back, but since the Moghuls only sent harrassing armies, there was no real danger.
    At the end I was at war with England, Russia, the Netherlands, Denmark and some smaller countries, but none of the superpowers ever showed up in India (because naval invasions don't work) and Russia didn't manage to launch a counterattack to get the provinces back I took from them. Why? Because they were - as most other AI factions - locked in an endless struggle against other AI factions without any progress and basicaly broke because they send endless waves of 1-3 unit armies against their neighbors, which of course are to weak to take on a province capital. Now, the Ottomans in my campaign had nearly no land units in africa/arabia/persia but 4 naval stacks sitting idle in the Persian Gulf, while a lone Russian unit was constantly devastating their towns in Mesopotamia. I watched this for more then ten years, and in all that time the Ottoman AI did not raise a single land unit to fight this lone intruder. At least they had a stack in Constantinopel, that was constantly killing small Russian armies off their land. Because of FOW, I couldn't see all their countries, however.

  10. #10
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by zarkis View Post
    VH/VH

    But I don't think the problems I pointed out are a matter of difficulty. I mean, some of the issues (recruiting, no naval invasions) can be traced back to RTW, so sometimes I think they just used parts of the old code and the new AI for the campaign level was never done, unfinished or for unknown reasons not implemented. For example all this talk about the campaign AI communicating with the battle AI: Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle (or even on the campaign map)?

    I agree and I think that it is sloppy work which we experiance in a crappy game. I dont mind if code was used from previous games, but CA should have at least playtested this game before it shipped.

    Honestly, if you are going to pay programers to patch a game 3-6 months after release, cant that same money be spent instead to have programmers beta-test and complete a game 3-6 months before you release it. I really dont understand the knowledge behind rushing a game to stores and releasing a crappy or unfinished product. It upsets the customers!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by zarkis View Post
    VH/VH

    But I don't think the problems I pointed out are a matter of difficulty. I mean, some of the issues (recruiting, no naval invasions) can be traced back to RTW, so sometimes I think they just used parts of the old code and the new AI for the campaign level was never done, unfinished or for unknown reasons not implemented. For example all this talk about the campaign AI communicating with the battle AI: Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle (or even on the campaign map)?
    They say that last part is in the game. "Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle "

    But as to some of the rest of it. I posted elsewhere that I thing it is the AI’s Resource Management that is sub par or missing.

    It needs to judge its forces just as the battle AI does and put them in the most needed location for the time. In all theaters…though this could be problematic because of movement times.

    It need to treat the sea as an avenue of approach and not just a place for its fleets.

    AI resource management and some sort of threat analyses should be put in place, so the AI doesn’t spam units in isolated areas and redistributes its forces based on thread or intentions, by the most expedient means. This will be by sea in most cases, of course.

    It should examine resources (units & fleets) to see if any may be used to aid in its allies’ wars.

    They should manage their territories and decide on a military posture toward their neighbors in each theater.

    If that posture changes due to war or peace, then the AI should redistribute its forces to match its perceived threats.

    How territory is acquired is not important. By diplomacy or invasion, by land or sea.

    Does that fit, or does someone see something different?


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  12. #12
    Auspicious Interceptor Member YellowMelon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    The only thing that is mildly good about the ai is that they attack all your cottages and farms. The in game AI is...yet again...heads on fighting. People come online and say they are veterans, yet don't have any idea how to skirmish, which is a reflection of the lack of tactical depth in sp.

    I beat the victory conditions on hard by turn 15...maybe if we could play as some of the smaller factions it might be tougher.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    But as to some of the rest of it. I posted elsewhere that I thing it is the AI’s Resource Management that is sub par or missing.

    It needs to judge its forces just as the battle AI does and put them in the most needed location for the time. In all theaters…though this could be problematic because of movement times.

    It need to treat the sea as an avenue of approach and not just a place for its fleets.

    AI resource management and some sort of threat analyses should be put in place, so the AI doesn’t spam units in isolated areas and redistributes its forces based on thread or intentions, by the most expedient means. This will be by sea in most cases, of course.
    Ever since Rome and the departure from a Risk-style strategic map I get the feeling that the AI has been unable to take distance into account. In M2 and Rome what mattered was whether your province was a neighbour, not how long it it took to get from settlement to settlement, Egypt would for instance attack whoever held Libya even though that lead to a long trek through the desert. An AI that prioritised locations that it could reach within a certain number of turns (either by land or sea) would have behaved very differently. I got the feeling of a sloppy copy and paste job where a RISK AI never was updated to handle the map changes.

  14. #14

    Post Re: Strategic AI

    I've had a great deal of difficulty getting started as Austria on Hard Campaign Difficulty. Some of that has been me getting used to the new game and what not, but some of it is due to the AI really being aggressive in terms of -starting- Wars and conflicts, and not accepting peace of any kind. The AI doesn't project or utilize its power well, but if by 1705 I'm under attack by the United Provinces, Prussia, Poland, Venice and the Papacy all at once there's really not much point in continuing, even if only Prussia sends a big stack to take Silesia, I can't peace out with anyone and all those tiny stacks looting the country side make things annoying rather than fun. I had an earlier experience in which Poland attacked me for no reason, would accept no peace offers even when 3/5ths of its territory was lost, would not take captured provinces back for peace and what have you. The AI strikes me, at times, as just as suicidal and "player unfriendly" as ever before. I peaced out with Poland three times, and the next turn in every case the Poles declared war again. It's like RTW all over again. I do find the AI will engage in diplomacy, but ONLY If you are offering the ONE (and only one) thing the AI wants, anything and everything else is rejected. I'm not getting much enjoyment out of ETW yet, but at least there is potential.
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  15. #15
    Member Member PBI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    I must say, my experiences with the strategic AI have been pretty good so far. As Austria on VH/H, I have seen the AI:
    *Send multiple raiding parties to raid my economic buildings, playing havoc with my economy.
    *When making frontal attacks against my cities, attacking decisively and in strength.
    *Best of all, sending a small but capable expeditionary force to bypass my large army in Warsaw and drive straight into my homelands, taking Pressburg and besieging Vienna before I could respond, forcing me into a nail-biting battle to save the city.

    If I had lost Vienna, I suspect I might actually have lost the campaign, something I can't remember ever being in danger of in Rome or M2. Perhaps I have just been lucky, but in my experience the AI has seemed to act with a clear sense of purpose (either economic raiding or going all-out to take a province) and always acting decisively and with enough troops to do the job.

    Of course, as Austria the lack of naval invasions isn't exactly a major factor; but I'm certainly not seeing anything resembling the confused, dithering AI of Rome or M2. The only problems I have with it are the irritating diplomacy spam (which is making me consider war against Spain and Prussia just to shut them up), and the fact that when I do bring the enemy to battle, they seem to always fight to the death even when they ought to withdraw (e.g. lone cavalry units deep in my territory, having already succeeded in raiding my farms, will then attempt to take on a full stack of my troops.)

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    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    to answer the first part of you question yes the AI has offerd to rade provices with me 2 twice in 17 years of game time. once is offeres about 4 a province and money <1000 this was spain offering for Mysore and France offeres IIRC 2 techs gibralta and some money for huron provinces
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  17. #17
    Member Member batemonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    My biggest problem is that no one will make peace with me. I suupose it's not much of a problem as none of them can hurt me (i'm playing GB) but i'd like to trade with em.

    For example the dutch, they attacked me, i've sunk their navies, taken their lands in the americas(i offered it back for peace to no avial), and am pirating their trade routes for muchos muchos cash but they still won't sign a peace treaty. I've decided to invade and see if that changes their mind.

    I suppose i don't mind too much, but i'd like some allies other than Portugal
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  18. #18
    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    The Ai has it's moments both good and bad.

    The best moments i've had really do make me smile. Such as being raided, pirated, and having armies sneak around to attack weak cities.

    One time when I took rome though, Naples and Sicily kept sending one unit of militia every turn, rather then building a up a army and just taking rome (Who only had 5 units). The result was my general went up very fast in stars. I took them out do mostly to annoyance.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    How well do the State Gifts work on the AI factions?

    What is the best way to decrease the hate factor?
    Last edited by Fisherking; 03-11-2009 at 14:56.


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  20. #20

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    As Great Britain, I declared war on Spain when she attacked Portugal. Though I was too late to save Portugal, I managed to take Belgium, Portugal (from the Spanish), and all of Spain's Caribbean colonies, and then marched into Spain itself, destroyed its field armies, and sieged Madrid. At this point, I offered them peace and Cuba back, in exchanged for lots and lots of cash. They accepted, then two turns later, after rebuilding their army, declared war on me again. Rinse, repeat. ABout a half dozen times, I completely obliterated the Spanish Army, captured Madrid, etc. Every time, I offered them peace just short of destroying the whole empire, they accept, but always declare war on me again 1-3 turns later. . . . Seriously, the AI does not know when to stay down.
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  21. #21
    Ricardus Insanusaum Member Bob the Insane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    How well do the State Gifts work on the AI factions?

    What is the best way to decrease the hate factor?
    I find the State gifts to be very effective...

    In my first (almost complete) campaign as the British I ended up with most everyone Hostile to me. Made trading impossible, but with liberal use of The 5000 level of the State Gift to could go from Hostile straight to Indifferent (and then a trade agreement with a large cash payment)...

    It does not work on everyone, for example after fight with the French and Spainish for a while it has not real impact on relations with them once a peace is reached.

    Once you can get trading with a faction I think the relationship naturally trends toward Friendly...

    Then you get Austria, my ally and Friendly who steadfastly refuses to trade?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Have you ever seen the AI doing a strategic retreat against impossible odds in battle (or even on the campaign map)?
    On M/M, they do this sometimes rather often. I am about 50% of the time wondering how I'm going to survive, and 50% of the time at peace, ready to declare war and building up my armies. The strategic AI does a better job than me, in a way. They blockade ports, have better ships, hog trade routes, etc. while I'm still trying to piece together my initial army. I am disappointed that almost nobody ever feels like trading tech, even if you're trading several high-end things in return for just one plain, bottom thing. It's kind of stupid actually. The AI is most definetely flawed in some ways, but keep in mind this is much better than moving one siege to the next in M2. I have a challenge, and it satisfies me and my strategies

  23. #23

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    I played as Britain on very hard and have it all locked up about 35 turns in right now.
    The AI essentially did nothing and never mounted one amphibious assault anywhere.
    France allowed me to occupy Holland and Brussels indefinitely with no response.
    None of the other powers expanded colonially.

    The Cherokee were the only faction that fought hard and continued to send large stacks at my American colonies until they were defeated.

    The AI can be manipulated into agreeing too easily to peace after a defeat. This allows
    you to absorb a territory, replenish your troops and then attack your weaker opponent.
    Not to mention that the large amount of factions makes diplomacy tedious and other nations
    won't enter into alliances with you.

    Did CA even bother to script a set series of moves to guide the AI? Or prioritize certain areas to attack and defend? It seems like the AI just sits there and gets its ass kicked.

    If you recall in MTWII when playing as Venice, Sicily would always attack the balkans by amphibious assault after 3 or 4 turns. Predictable, but at least the AI had some kind of gameplan and was capable
    of loading troops onto a transport.

    It appears that the campaign AI in this game is actually worse than MTWII, which was basically unplayable out of the box.

  24. #24
    Member Member Polemists's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    The AI essentially did nothing and never mounted one amphibious assault anywhere.
    This has been discussed before, you call it a bug or a gameplay feature or whatever you like but the AI cannot put troops on ships. Whether this will be changed in a future patch is unknown.


    Much like the Danes of MTW2 the AI has a set number of goals and provinces to Conquer, Several AI factions will become quite aggressive unless you (The player) prevent them from doing so.

    I've seen sweden and Russia grow in vast power in my game, sweden's navy bordering upon unstoppable. Again all depends, but since as England you can't be invaded, your only loses can occur in colonies and later do to rebellion.

    The major challenge of this game is keeping a Empire, not minor wars with minor factions. Play past turn 35 and you'll see more challenges as you go.

  25. #25
    Member Member Liberator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by PBI View Post
    I must say, my experiences with the strategic AI have been pretty good so far. As Austria on VH/H, I have seen the AI:
    *Send multiple raiding parties to raid my economic buildings, playing havoc with my economy.
    How can you like this?! I like the new feature of towns, but all these raids are nothing but annoying in my eyes
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  26. #26
    Member Member PBI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Annoying, yes, but it's supposed to be, its supposed to harrass you and disrupt your economy. It's a good deal more effective than simply either making a frontal attack that is too weak to do any damage or else simply sitting back and waiting for you to build up a massive force to crush them.

    Do we want the AI to fight well, or fight fair? Is the game more fun if the AI factions are hard to beat because they use effective but annoying tactics, or if they always seek an honest, frontal confrontation but are a pushover as a result?

  27. #27
    Member Member Darth Venom's Avatar
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    Default AW: Strategic AI

    It's not only supposed to be, it's historical as well. In M2TW people complained about siege battles when at that time almost all battles were sieges. In Empires timeframe 10+ year wars without much land gains bur raids and peace for cash afterwards are just the right thing. France simply didn't go out and conquer small German states and Savoy for example. I like the modelling of warfare at the time CA has done.

    No naval invasons still sucks, though. Espacially overseas.
    Last edited by Darth Venom; 03-12-2009 at 15:33.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    Quote Originally Posted by PBI View Post
    Annoying, yes, but it's supposed to be, its supposed to harrass you and disrupt your economy. It's a good deal more effective than simply either making a frontal attack that is too weak to do any damage or else simply sitting back and waiting for you to build up a massive force to crush them.

    Do we want the AI to fight well, or fight fair? Is the game more fun if the AI factions are hard to beat because they use effective but annoying tactics, or if they always seek an honest, frontal confrontation but are a pushover as a result?
    Sorry, but currently this tactic is not effective for the AI. Repairing buildings is rather cheap and taking those min-stacks out is not a problem at all. They never retreat if you attack them with a bigger force (I use a small cavalry army for that) and therefore get destroyed completly most of the time. The AI loses a lot of units this way and can never build up a proper invasion force.

    A harrassment strategy could work if better coded and not mindlessly repeated like it is now. My goals for a better harrassment script would be this:
    - don't use up all your military budget by building harrassment forces
    - prefer to use cavalry
    - only use up half your movement points
    - keep distance to bigger enemy armies
    - retreat when attacked by a stronger force
    - if the harrassment force gets repeatedly destroyed in this area, temporarily stop attacking there

  29. #29

    Default Re: Strategic AI

    It would be nice if the colonies would get properly defended.. I atleast haven't seen anything much getting built up by France, England, Spain etc in their colonies..

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