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Thread: 10 things to make the ai more challenging

  1. #1


    I have played almost ever faction to victory in this game and yes, I do lose on occasion, but i always lose in the early period when scrambling to establish myself. This is great. I love the early period of this game(i love all periods of this game, its a great game&#33 however, there is a point beyond which the ai simply cannot progress and it occurs sometime in the 1200's. I just once would love to build a glorious empire(i play that trade routes are illegal except when uninentionally created while protecting your coast and since you can't trade with yourself this is fairly limited) and have the ai rampage through with a series of high tech units destroying me. This has happened once(i actually won) when england achieved dominance early on and built quite an empire to contend with my polish empire. It was great, we had epic battles.

    1. Ship management: Have the ai stack its ships. How many times have you seen 100 ships in the same zone all unstacked. Please, one well formed stack of player ships can come in and pick these ships off one by one.

    2. Trade mangement(first off all trade needs to be tweaked- as trade routes extend you should see dimminishing return the farther wawy you get from your home port- to offset this some trade revenue should be accrued from trading with ports within your kindgdom): The ai simply does not manage an protect trade routes. IF they did this and purposely tried to destroy player trade routes, it would be great. I personally pllay with a ruleset that only allows for ships in 5-6 zones and mostly for the purpose of protecting against navala invasion becuase trade is so imbalanced.

    3: Unit management(quality): The ai favors cheap low tech units over high tech units and fails to properly upgrade its armies.

    4. Unit management(stacks): The ai does not repair stacks of units. Howe many times have you encountered 15 feudal seargents or 27 italian infantry. These units are a double curse for the ai because they are often chosen in the first units on the battlefield which puts it a decided disadvantage. Sure they have 45 units in a province but how many are whole. We all know that the first clash ussually decides the fight and only rarely do you lose to reinforcments.

    5. unit management(battlefield selection): See above for the ai selecting half units.
    a) Siege weaponry when attacking: the ai relies too heavily on siege weaponry especially when attacking). Siege weaponry is almost always out of range when you are the attacking force. If the ai wants to bring siege weaponry when attacking at least have them retreat the weaponry when they are out of range.
    b) Siege weaponry when defending: How many times have you seen the ai bring siege weaponry into battle while defending(if they have it they use it). Then when the battle starts they shift their position leaving their siege weponry completely abandoned. Come on. This is ridiculous. The ai needs to determine its optimum defensive postion before battale and place its units there. If it determines that it is going to have to move once the battle begins, then it should leave its weaponry behind.
    c: Too Many Siege weapons: I fought a battle with the ai the other day where they decided to bring 4 ballistas an 2 catapults to battle. I was able to simply over run them with units. In this case the weaponry was useless becuase it made the army too weak.

    6. province managment: By the time you get to the late game the ai should at least have some citadels if not some fortresses. The ai simply doesn't tech up right(possibly due to money concerns) or it is simply invaded too often. It seems to try to tech up too many provinces rather than concentrating on a few high tech provinces. At the very least we should have the option of turning off building destruction to help the ai out(lets face it the player has the common sense to protect its teched uup countries).

    7. The AI does not cheat: I want a skill level where the ai cheats, plain and simple. Keep expert the way it is, but give us an impossible level where only ai buildings arent destroyed on conquest, the ai never runs out of money, rebellions don't happen in ai controlled provinces, ever ai unit has +1 to sdtarting valor and good heirs grow on trees for ai factions.

    8. chokepoints: Sure we players all now where these provinces are, constantinople, any province along the upper african coast, the entry point to the british isles, the two provinces around aragorn that guard the iberian penisula. But does the ai. It should scrap tooth an nail for these prvinces that reduce borders needed to defend and then it should add huge defensive forces to them.

    9. reinforcements: The ai simply charges its reinforcements in piecemeil. The ai needs to set up a staging area for reinforcments and attack with them on mass. There perhaps needs to be some coding changes here, allowing for reinforcments to come in on a non camped edge of the map or to time the entrance of reinforcments so you can have 16 units enter at the same time(lets face it the whole reinforcement process needs to be re-thought)

    10. Fix autocalc of battles: Since I assume this is how all ai vs. ai battles are fought, it really needs some work. We all know auto calc of sieges is a joke, but there are other problems. Too much weight is placed on generals and royalty. Jus tthe other day i auto calced my one 4 star heir(who i was trying to kill off) against 300 troops. He won. This causes factions that would otherwise die off the ability to hold on. This in turn might create a situation where the ai keeps many smaller factions around and doesn't allow for a few dominant ai factions to emerge to challenge the player(yes this is a reach here, but auto calc needs to be re worked).

    That's it for now but i really think these improvements would make the game much more challenging for experienced players and most of all more fun. I just want a few battles were me and the ai slug it out using all high tech units and may the best man.machine win. As it stands now I out tech tech the ai in the 1200s and never look back(and yes I play roleplayed games where i leave the ai basically alone until late late in the campaign, geuss what, they dont have high tech units even then)

  2. #2
    The Lordz Modding Collective Senior Member Lord Of Storms's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    You make some interesting points , the AI's main goal is conquest as is ours but the way we achieve these goals vary greatly ,is the AI simply spending its florins on cheap troops to attack or overwhelm its neighbors? will it ever spend money teching up ? so far my experience is no. No matter what period I play in the ai rarely improves its provinces ,you say make it easier on the ai by letting it never run out of money, I doubt it would tech up at all if it had unlimited resources ,in an experiment I am doing with a current Mod I am limitimg mine and the ai's funds to 2000 florins to see if the limited resource will force the ai to upgrade in order to build up its invasion force or simply spend wiser, I will play it out and post the result.
    Taking life one day at a time!

  3. #3
    Member Member Exile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    I always hope that during one of my SP campaigns, an AI faction will emerge as a contending power and once the world is plit between us we two could have a massive war...a few times it almost happended, but another failing of the AI is that it seems to not take measures to reduce the likelihood of civil war (or rebellions for that matter). The strong AI empires in my games usually crumble because of civil war.

    A mod that gave the AI an income of florins (to make up for trade) and less chance for rebellion/revolt (to make up for mismanagement) might make the AI more competitive.
    - All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

  4. #4
    Lord of the Kanto Senior Member ToranagaSama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    Try the Medieval Mod by WesW, it attempts to make adjustments to correct and/or compensate for some of the deficiencies you mention.

    Its a very good mod, while still not perfect, it makes for a better game.

    See the Dungeon and look for the thread to download and install.
    In Victory and Defeat there is much honor
    For valor is a gift And those who posses it
    Never know for certain They will have it
    When the next test comes....

    The next test is the MedMod 3.14; strive with honor.
    Graphics files and Text files
    Load Graphics 1st, Texts 2nd.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member Ser Clegane's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Running in circles in the white tower


    This summary is really to the point portent88[B]

    Especially the lacking AI in the late game (plus the micromanagement later on) makes the end-game rather chore.

    I currently tend to start new campaigns with varying factions and difficulty levels to see if I can survive the first 150-200 years only - and if I get past this period I call it quits (although I might miss some interesting twists during the campaign that way)

    Hopefully CA is able to improve on some of the points you made (maybe already in Viking Invasion?)

  6. #6
    Member Member Pablo Sanchez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    The point on heirs being too tough in auto-calc:

    This may not be the auto-calculator's fault. In one Almohad game, I was trying to kill my Monarch so his rather more effective son could take over. In the first battle, he took on 700 Italians. He broke their lines and killed the commander, and routed the rest from the field, minus 300 killed or captured.
    "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."
    --Leon Trotsky

  7. #7
    Member Member R3dD0g's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    I tried killing off an old king who's only heir was also starting to get long in the tooth. Sent him into an autocalced battle with 20 guards against 700 enemy - he won.

    But, he only had 3 guards afterward. Sent them against the 250 remaing in the castle, he won the autocalc. Now he's alone, I send him against 300 neighbors and manually fight him. We're down to like 50 enemy before he's dead.

    I think there's way too much power given to the generals and royalty (unless of course I'm not wanting to kill off one of them )
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    H. L. Mencken


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