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Thread: AI generals too influential?

  1. #1
    fancy assault unit Member blank's Avatar
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    Default AI generals too influential?

    How often do you see this:
    The enemies' mighty army marches towards you, lead by their uber 10-star general. Then, the lines meet. Then, the general banzai-charges your line. Then, the general dies in 39 seconds, followed by their entire army routs
    I find it harder to fight captain's forces, since the captain usually doesn't throw itself at your troops, then suddenly discovering he's impaled by 50 spears.

    My guess is, the AI units are extremely reliant on their general, to the point of absurd. Maybe a bit higher morale all-round would help a bit? Not only is is weird fighting a battle like that, but it also seems unrealistic:
    *general cops it on one side of the battlefield; you can't even see him from 10 meters away with all the units around.
    *all enemy soldiers magically hear the sword penetrating their dear ol' general
    *they decide to run away even though they still have 90% of men alive

    Quote Originally Posted by Skullheadhq View Post
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  2. #2
    Βασιλευς και Αυτοκρατωρ Αρχης Member Centurio Nixalsverdrus's Avatar
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    Default AW: AI generals too influential?

    Sounds nice. I wish I could experience such enemies too. Normally, the enemy troops are very hard to rout. Generals take a unbelievable long time to die finally. Often, Generals stand around in the midst of my soldiers, hacking them with their sword, and don't die for minutes.

    As much as I appreciate that EB slowed down the battles in comparison to RTW, I must say that the enemy routed more realistically in RTW. Or would you keep fighting when you see that all your fellows are dropping their shields and run for their lives?

    I don't know how, but EB battles are easier than in RTW. For example, in RTW you had to take care of your general. In EB, you can let him perform half a dozen charges without having to fear to loose him.

  3. #3

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Really? I found my generals to be nigh-invincible in RTW. In fact, my favorite ploy was the general hammer: get 10+ generals together, get a couple chevrons going on them, andthen you can rout ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING. I would regularly use General Hammers to beat up two or three stacks of quality enemy troops at a time, conquer cities if I wanted them, or whatever needed doing. I've only been able to manage that in EB with the infantry generals, as cav will (and should) get wasted on a set line of spears (not to mention pikes).
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  4. #4

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Well, in EB generals are sometimes quite ridiculous.

    I've seen a general stand in the midst of my general's bodyguard, some prodomoi, and also some Galatian Wildmen for literally 1 and a half minutes on x2 speed, alone, before dying.

  5. #5
    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    I'm not sure, but I vaguely recall reading something here on the Guild forum that the AI is not coded to distinguish between generals and any other unit. Because of that it will use bodyguard cavalry as any other heavy cavalry unit.

  6. #6
    Captain of Team Awesome Member Ignopotens's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    I've noticed the nigh-invulnerability myself

    For some reason the Maks sent their faction leader alone into my territory, so I sent a unit of hoplites and a unit of Getai skirmishers to try to assassinate him. At one point in the battle, their leader was entirely isolated from his bodyguard, and completely surrounded by no less than 6 hoplites at any time, all stabbing him with their spears. I watched him recoil under blows for upwards of 2 minutes (he was being stabbed so often that he was only able to dish out 2-3 blows of his own in that entire time) before miraculously escaping through my own troops with the remaining 5 bodyguards (out of the original 62). It was really just absurd.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    I've seen them be swarmed by literally hundreds of Cavalry, and fight them alone for about a minute, and then single-handedly kill about ten of my cavalry.

    I mean...come on.

  8. #8
    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Always have a unit of light cavalry waiting nearby to hunt down the general once he breaks out or routs.

  9. #9

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordCurlyton
    Really? I found my generals to be nigh-invincible in RTW. In fact, my favorite ploy was the general hammer: get 10+ generals together, get a couple chevrons going on them, andthen you can rout ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING. I would regularly use General Hammers to beat up two or three stacks of quality enemy troops at a time, conquer cities if I wanted them, or whatever needed doing. I've only been able to manage that in EB with the infantry generals, as cav will (and should) get wasted on a set line of spears (not to mention pikes).
    My experience is that generals are nigh-invincible in RTW, but even more invincible in EB . One time, a lone general (on horse) that was left long after his entire unit was gone stood in the middle of my 1 silver star triarii and hacked down about 25 men before he died.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    In terms of unit stats, RTW Vanilla was completely ridiculous. In most battles the kill ratio was incredibly high and the morale pathetically weak (1, 2, 3... RUN!). Everything was even worse when the units with 9 chevrons and the generals with 10 stars kicked in - they were just superhumans. In EB we have a better situation in many aspects, but some problems still exist.

    1. The Infantry/Missile/Cavalry balance is perfect, everything is just great, until the experience bonuses arrive... While with 1-3 chevrons the situation is good, things are getting worse with 4-6 exp and completely ridiculous with 7-9 exp, especially with the cavalry and missile units. This needs to be changed somehow. I propose a "global stats increase" (so the effects are less noticeable and you can also balance the missile units properly) and the "campaign experience reduction" (by giving all units x chevrons from the start and changing stats accordingly you can really get good effects).

    2. The "lethality" stat is too low, so the generals and the elite units are taking ages to kill. The low "lethality" helps the AI, because units are generally harder to rout and less vulnerable from the flanks (it's very evident with the cavalry, sometimes you can get quite interesting results...), but this can be achieved by the other means, e.g. if you keep the cavalry primary weapon lethality low, often it will still take several charges to make the enemy unit rout and the routing units won't be destroyed in a matter of seconds (and the charge bonus will be even more important), while the units surrounded by the infantry (with the higher "lethality" stat) will die quicker (units surrounded by infantry can also turn around quickly without routing, so the flank attacks still won't be TOO powerful for the AI to handle and the isolated generals will die much quicker).
    Last edited by Cybvep; 05-26-2007 at 21:29.

  11. #11
    Member Member mAIOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    The problem with generals is the cumulative hit points. I usually have those problems (tough I always end up killing him) when you have generals with traits that scale them up to 6 hitpoints or so. Meaning, a unit of falcata troops (to make it simple) with .1 lethality would take 3.6 blows that were hits (meaning passed trough the enemy armor and all) to take the general down (considering 6 troops surround the general each time). that's 3.6 times more than a normal unit. And I'm not counting the blows that get absorbed by the defence of the general.


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  12. #12

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    I agree the kill ratio (and how fast things were killed) in RTW was ridiculous. However, in my opinion the morale was not nearly as bad. In EB you routinely see units that have to lose 80% or more of their strength before routing, which seems incorrect to me. And too many units seem to simply fight to the last man without routing - to my knowledge that was quite rare historically, limited to special units like the Sacred Band of Thebes?
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  13. #13
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    It's difficult. Historically routs were usually catastrophic and the cascade effect was much more pronounced. Once part of your phalanx routs there's a gaping hole in your defence and then everyone usually takes a holiday.

    It's very difficult to balance. Often the killing didn't begin in earnest until the rout. We can't model that in EB, panic doesn't start until men start dieing. In reality it usually starts when you realise the enemy isn't going to cave.

    The only time you do yet the right effect is when a general dies and the army's infantry gets hit in the back by heavy cav.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    The generals are almost always tough, but I've only experienced the lone super-man general a few times. Rarely enough that I suspect it's a glitch or something rather than the norm (my elephants pushed a lone general around the town square for a few minutes before he finally died). Every once in while, a general will still die with startling speed.

  15. #15

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Agreed. I am a big fan of the much greater balance in EB and only when you get a general with stacked hitpoint bonuses do you get totally crazy results. And since I've been on a Hellenic faction spree, whenever I encounter an ungodly I just whip his army and then surround him with 4-6 phalanxes. As long as you can trigger its "Fighting to the Death" bit you're golden, and a square of phalanx pikes never fails to do so.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Every once in while, a general will still die with startling speed.
    Only if they're Casse tho A strong fart takes those guys out.

  17. #17
    A pipe smoker Member MiniMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by blank
    How often do you see this:
    The enemies' mighty army marches towards you, lead by their uber 10-star general. Then, the lines meet. Then, the general banzai-charges your line. Then, the general dies in 39 seconds, followed by their entire army routs
    ...
    My guess is, the AI units are extremely reliant on their general, to the point of absurd.
    When we take a look at ancient warfare we see that commanders were acting quite differently from modern times. Hannibal, Alexander, Pyrrus almost always were leading Ze Awsome Cavalry Assault Strike, right? (please, correct me if I'm wrong).
    Peloponnese infantry commanders acted in similar way, well known Leonidas fine example.
    They were not sitting somewhere behind the lines and sipping pinacolada =)

    And most of ancient armies (Diadochoi included) were not fighting for some common cause, they were fighting for their king, who was obliged to present on the battlefield. This wasn't the era of generals. This was era of kings and death of a king or his relative is an important issue.


  18. #18

    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Well, "Ze Awesome Cavalry Assault Strike" also was likely not "Ze Awesome 'Dude, Where's My Army?' Cavalry Assault Strike" as well. It would be "Well-Timed Awesome Cavalry Charge That Decides The Battle", no? There's having balls, and then there's just being plain dumb.
    Thankfully, the only time I usually see a general waste their life THAT utterly is when the computer has decided that the rest of its army will be entirely impotent and the bodyguard units would be the only ones capable of doing any sort of damage to me. At which point, I usually have a serving of Dead General.
    The most usual thing I see is the general wading in with his troops, which greatly enhances his survivability and my consternation, if there is 4 or 5 FM's pulling that little stunt. Though it hasn't hurt me greatly by them doing so, I usually do take far more casualties than I would have otherwise. If I don't get at least 2 of the buggers I am usually disappointed.
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  19. #19
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    I'm not positive Hannibal fits into that list, but in any case both the Classical Greek and the later Hellenic Successor traditions did put the commander in the frontlines. In the latter it was really also a question of battlefield C-and-C in an era when communications were largely down to shouting - with the head guy at the tip of the elite shock force, he had a hands-on direct control of the (hopefully) decisive mobile strike element. The pike line, after all, could usually be assumed to do its lineholding part without senior supervision.

    And most "barbarian" leaders were AFAIK expected to set an example and demonstrate that their bravery and mettle were at least the equal to any of their followers. This was probably also a major reason why Classical Greek generals normally fought as a part of the hoplite phalanx - sort of showing their men they weren't asking anything they were not willing to do themselves, and of course the norms of courageous and glorious combet (ie. as a hoplite) of the time.

    Both the Romans and Achaemenids at least had a more "restrained" approach, where the senior commander primarily directed his troops from the rear. That both made a lot of use of tactical reserves, making the timing of their committement important, probably had something to do with that. Although as the commanders of both tended to be accompanied by a force of picked heavy cavalry it wasn't all that unusual for them to get stuck in at one point or another (leading reinforcements into a trouble spot for example), and didn't for example Cyrus the Younger get himself killed in hand-to-hand combat at Cunaxa ?
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  20. #20
    A pipe smoker Member MiniMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordCurlyton
    Well, "Ze Awesome Cavalry Assault Strike" also was likely not "Ze Awesome 'Dude, Where's My Army?' Cavalry Assault Strike" as well. It would be "Well-Timed Awesome Cavalry Charge That Decides The Battle", no? There's having balls, and then there's just being plain dumb.
    Fotunately, just as you've stated, we don't see "Ze Awesome 'Dude, Where's My Army?' Cavalry Assault Strike" too often. I believe, stupid AI v. 1.2 was slightely improved in v. 1.5-1.6.
    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    I'm not positive Hannibal fits into that list...
    Neither am I, but we know for sure his brother (right?) Maharbal certainly does.


  21. #21
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Yeah, well, but then he's largely known for specifically serving as his brother's tactical cavalry commander...
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  22. #22
    fancy assault unit Member blank's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniMe
    Fotunately, just as you've stated, we don't see "Ze Awesome 'Dude, Where's My Army?' Cavalry Assault Strike" too often. I believe, stupid AI v. 1.2 was slightely improved in v. 1.5-1.6.
    I guess there's something wrong with my game then, because the AI general is almost always among the first to reach my line. They don't flank or anything, just charge headlong into my line. The exception being bridge battles, where there isn't enough room
    Is this possibly because i play with bi.exe?

    Anyway, even if the generals did have a habit of suicide-charging directly into enemy lines, would all his soldiers instantly rout because of it? Firstly, most of them wouldn't even know about it for a while (unless the enemies got their hands on the body and displayed it, as sometimes happened), secondly, there are other senior commanders on the field, who'd at least keep most of the units fighting, right? I could understand the units routing if they're losing anyway, and then the general dies, but they do it like 1 minute after the lines have met and nothing's been decided, they could even have had an upper hand.
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  23. #23
    A pipe smoker Member MiniMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by blank
    I guess there's something wrong with my game then, because the AI general is almost always among the first to reach my line. They don't flank or anything, just charge headlong into my line.
    ...
    Is this possibly because i play with bi.exe?
    very strange ..
    It ain't because of bi.exe, I'm using bi.exe myself. Sounds more like you're playing with AI v.1.2 which can't be, since EB is for v.1.5-1.6.

    Is he storming the frontline of your phalanx or he is after your annoying/provoking archers/slingers?


  24. #24
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    The tactical AI is ultimately dependent on the formations_ai.txt file. Keeping AI generals from pointlessly kamikazing is one of the major reasons people mod that one, I understand.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  25. #25
    fancy assault unit Member blank's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    The tactical AI is ultimately dependent on the formations_ai.txt file. Keeping AI generals from pointlessly kamikazing is one of the major reasons people mod that one, I understand.
    how should i edit it then? Is there a topic about it?
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  26. #26
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI generals too influential?

    Somewhere in the appropriate RTW modding forums, yes. But it's complicated, a pain and a half, and you could just use for example Thorlof's instead.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  27. #27
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: AI generals too influential?

    Quote Originally Posted by blank
    how should i edit it then? Is there a topic about it?
    AFAIK the main source of information regarding formation files is this thread by Darth Vader. But like Watchman says, it's easier just to install Thorloff's adaptation of Darth's or Sinuhet's files.
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