AI has 100% tax and forgets science

Can't beat the AI? Is it too tame? Discuss the best strategies!
Kernigh
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:24 pm

AI has 100% tax and forgets science

Postby Kernigh » Mon May 01, 2017 2:16 am

Freeciv's hard AI is dangerous in some games, but weak in some games. It was dangerous in my game of December 2015, classic rules. I was the Songhai. There were 4 hard AIs. I abandoned that game because I was losing cities to the AIs.

Now the AI is weak in my game of April 2017, civ2civ3 rules. I am the Americans. There are 23 hard AIs. I learned Gunpowder in 1440 CE (turn 194). I am still the only civ with Gunpowder in 2002 CE (turn 427). Most AI civs have 100% tax and no science. They seem to not want to learn new technologies. I use my Musketeers, Cannons, Ironclads, and newer units to conquer AI cities. My enemies are mostly Phalanx or Warriors. It is a mistake by the AI to forget science. I don't know why the AI makes this mistake in this game. Is it because of civ2civ3? Because 24 civs is too many? Something else?

Game settings

  • I am playing Freeciv 2.5.6+ (r35264 of svn://svn.gna.org/svn/freeciv/branches/S2_5)
  • This is my first game using the civ2civ3 rules.
  • There are 24 players: my Americans, and 23 hard AIs.
  • I have set barbarians to raging hordes.
Other than this, I am using the default server settings. In civ2civ3, the default has a map of 100 land tiles per player, with all players starting on the same continent. So when I changed the setting from 12 to 24 players, the map should have doubled in size. When I started the game, the continent had enough room for about 4 to 5 cities for each civ. My Americans built 4 cities. To my north, the Iroqouis built 4 cities. To my south, the Austrians built 4 cities. To my east, the Persians built 7 cities, but they probably a got a free city from a hut.

Early diplomacy and research

At the beginning, I did research Alphabet and target Republic. This was a stupid move by me, because I was on the same continent as 23 other civs, and they might destroy me in an early war! But I was lucky. Every civ started with 1 tech, and my tech was Bronze Working, so my defenders were Phalanx, not Warriors. I found Horseback Riding in a hut, so I can build Horsemen to attack. (That was my only hut.) In my brief alliance with the Khmers, I gave Writing and got Ceremonial Burial, Masonry, Pottery. I can use Masonry to build City Walls. So I can defend myself in the early war, with Phalanx behind City Walls, and Horsemen to attack the invaders.

As Explorers wandered the continent, most civs came in contact. I never met the Portuguese, but I contacted all 22 other civs. There was a mess of treaties. I accepted treaties with cease-fires and armistices. I got 2 allies, the Khmers and the Incas. The Khmers wanted me to declare war on the Zulus, so I did cancel my peace treaty with the Zulus. Other civs did cancel treaties and declare war on me. The Khmers and the Incas quit my alliance and declared war on me. I lost all my treaties and became at war against 22 civs.

In 775 BCE (turn 69), I learned Republic and completed the world's first wonder, the Mausoleum of Mausolos. I revolved to Republic, then aimed for Mathematics (Catapult), then Map Making (Trireme), then Magnetism (Caravel). I was lucky again, as my Trireme located a pair of islands just west of my mainland. The Japanese were there but left some open land, so I crossed the strait and settled 2 more cities.

Image
The screenshot shows my 6 cities in 180 CE (turn 109).

Rise and fall of the Persians

To my east, the Persians had a good start. They probably got a free city from a hut, perhaps as soon as turn 1, so they had 2 cities while other civs had 1 city each. They grew large and put many mines on hills. In 180 CE (turn 109), the Persians were 1st in settled area (59,000 sq mi) and 1st in production (60 M tons). The Persians had 12 allies, including the Austrians, Aztecs, Babylonians, Koreans, and Mayans. This was the only big alliance in the game.

The AI might lack skill at playing big alliances. This one went badly. Already in 180 CE, the Persians have 100% tax and no science. The Persians have just 10 techs: Alphabet, Bronze Working, Ceremonial Burial, Code of Laws, Horseback Riding, Literacy, Masonry, Mathematics, Pottery, Writing. Most other AI civs had the same 100% tax as the Persians, and their technology was about as bad. A few civs reached Monarchy; the rest were stuck under Despotism or Tribal government. Those governments have a penalty for good tiles.

The Persian alliance had mostly Archers, Chariots, Horsemen, Phalanx, and the rare Catapult. The hard AI can see through fog of war, so it can quickly send its units to attack enemy units with low defense. Whenever I deployed some Workers with no guard, the AI immediately sent units to kill my Workers. The Persian alliance produced the most units, and they had many units wandering across Persian territory, looking to attack someone. They found many targets in a war against other AIs along the Persian southeast border.

Those targets were almost never cities. A few civs had Pikemen; everyone else used large stacks of Phalanx or Warriors to defend their cities. Almost every city had City Walls. So the cities had high defense. Units attacked not cities. They attacked units outside cities. I suspect that civs built Archers and Horsemen to attack Workers, and then built Archers and Horsemen to attack other Archers and Horsemen. This turned into a stupid war where units died but only one city changed sides. This happened under fog of war, and I didn't know until I invaded Persian territory and saw the stupid war.

My war against Persians

The Persian alliance has one success in 1090 CE (turn 159), when I lost Denver. I had a small army. My 4 Phalanx from Denver were fortified outside the city. I only had a Catapult and a Diplomat behind City Walls. The all-seeing AI doesn't need a Diplomat or Spy to investigate a city; it knows when the defense is weak. So the Persians invaded. I moved to guard my Workers, but I neglected Denver. Mayans slew my Catapult. Babylonians slew my Diplomat and occupied Denver, creating a Babylonian exclave. This happened just one turn before I would have completed Leonardo's Workshop in Denver!

I defended my other 5 cities with more care. My Caravel searched for new lands to settle, but wasted much time crossing open water. In 1140 CE (turn 164), I settled Seattle on a distant island. In 1440 CE (turn 194), I learned Gunpowder. I checked my embassies. Persians had only 10 techs. Babylonians in Denver had only 6 techs. Austrians to my south had only 8 techs. Iroquois to my north had only 3 techs. These civs all stuck with 100% tax and no science. I revolved to Monarchy and attacked.

My Musketeers liberated Denver in 1646 CE (turn 229). I learned Metallurgy and built Cannons. I ended the Austrians in 1836 CE (turn 293). Then I attacked the Persian city of Raga. This battle was long and slow, because Persians moved many Phalanx into Raga. My Cannons attacked Persian Phalanx in Raga. My 8 elite Cannons fired, fortified, healed, then fired again. Aztec Diplomats bribed a few of my Musketeers. I slew the bribed units. I brought more Musketeers to surround Raga, in stacks to prevent more bribes. Raga fell in 1927 CE (turn 352). Meanwhile, in the war along the Persian southeast border, the Vikings took Pathraganda from the Persians. In that war, Pathraganda was the only city to change sides. After the fall of Raga, I conquered the rest of the Persian mainland, and took Pathraganda from the Vikings. Persians lost their mainland but survive elsewhere.

The situation in 2002 CE

I maintained 40% science, even as I took cities from the Austrians, Japanese, Iroquois, Mongols, Persians, Byzantines, Vikings, and Babylonians. I learned Railroad in 1966 CE (turn 391). I have 61 techs. I am the most advanced civ.

The Khmers are the only other civ with more than 0% science. They have 27 techs and are the 2nd most advanced civ.

The Aztecs have 100% tax, but they own Copernicus' Observatory and get a few bulbs from it. They have 26 techs and are the 3rd most advanced civ. Aztecs are 1st in Land Area and Settled Area. While I was conquering the mainland, Aztecs expanded to other islands. Aztecs also conquered some Russian cities. By 1941 CE (turn 366), Aztecs had stolen at least 3 techs from Russians. Then in 1942 CE (turn 367), Aztecs stole Leadership from Pirates, who had stolen it from me. Aztecs don't know Gunpowder and can't build Musketeers, but they use Leadership to build stacks of Dragoons. Russians have no allies. I might help Russians, but Russians don't want treaty with me. Russians don't take free techs from me.

The Persians are almost gone, so the Aztecs are my main rivals. Aztecs have Dragoons, but I have Cavalry, Alpine Troops, Marines, Artillery, Destroyers, while Aztecs have none of those. I recently passed Aztecs in both population and production. I'm too far ahead.

bard
Veteran
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: AI has 100% tax and forgets science

Postby bard » Wed May 03, 2017 3:47 pm

Kernigh wrote:Most AI civs have 100% tax and no science. They seem to not want to learn new technologies. I use my Musketeers, Cannons, Ironclads, and newer units to conquer AI cities. My enemies are mostly Phalanx or Warriors. It is a mistake by the AI to forget science. I don't know why the AI makes this mistake in this game. Is it because of civ2civ3?

Yes, the AI plays classic rules better than civ2civ3 rules. I think the main reason is the reduced sources of income in civ2civ3 (no trade routes, lower bonuses, more upkeep costs), and the AI tries to compensate by increasing the gold taxes.
Also, I think the code of AI that decides the tax level has some flaws, specially when they are at war, and they use to prefer gold over research.

For challenging games in civ2civ3 I suggest to use "Cheating" ai level, or to place several AIs with "Normal" level in the same team. "Hard" level does not work well because it allows them to ignore the max tax levels, and as you say they end up with 0% research.

Kernigh
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: AI has 100% tax and forgets science

Postby Kernigh » Thu May 04, 2017 3:27 am

Thanks for the suggestion, I might try Cheating AI in my next civ2civ3 game. I might not be ready to play against Cheating AIs, but I might try it.

In my current game, I found the last Persian city and ended the Persians. I ended a few more civs. I passed the Aztecs in Land Area and Settled Area, so I now rank 1st in most of the Demographics Report. I expect to win, but I'm using the game to practice running a large empire.

Image

This screenshot shows my trap near Yax Mutal. AI sees through fog of war and targets my Diplomat north of Lakam Ja'. AI sends many units along the north coast to kill my Diplomat. AI can't use roads in my territory, so AI units stop near Yax Mutal. Then my Ironclads in Yak Mutal slay the stacks of AI units. This trap began by accident, when Pirates landed a stack of Legions north of Lakam Ja'. AI sent many units to kill the Pirate Legions. I had recently conquered Yax Mutal using Ironclads. The trap ended when I slew the pirates, but the trap began again when I tried to get my Diplomat to make an embassy in Baghdad. My Diplomat stopped on the hill north of Lakam Ja'.

AI players like Despotism too much. The Koreans had a Republic (with 100% tax) but switched to Despotism (also with 100% tax). That's bad because Despotism has the tile penalty, so Koreans get less production from hills with coal or mines. Railroad would cancel the penalty, but I'm the only civ with Railroad.

A few other civs know Monarchy but Republic but are using Despotism. I guess that civs switch to Despotism to prevent the unhappiness from military units outside borders. In classic rules, the civs would switch to Monarchy, but in civ2civ3 rules, Monarchy has unhappiness for more than 3 units. I use Monarchy, but I set 20% luxury to reduce unhappiness. In my game, every AI civ has 0% luxury.

bard
Veteran
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: AI has 100% tax and forgets science

Postby bard » Fri May 05, 2017 3:55 pm

A few other civs know Monarchy but Republic but are using Despotism. I guess that civs switch to Despotism to prevent the unhappiness from military units outside borders. In classic rules, the civs would switch to Monarchy, but in civ2civ3 rules, Monarchy has unhappiness for more than 3 units. I use Monarchy, but I set 20% luxury to reduce unhappiness. In my game, every AI civ has 0% luxury.

Good point, I also noticed that AI uses to prefer Despotism over Monarchy, but do not worry, the tile penalty dissapears for every player when Railroad is researched by any player.

I appreciate the feedback while you play this ruleset. Please, let us know if you find some annoying rule, or something important that is not well explained in the helptexts. I work to improve this ruleset, and I'd like it to be friendly for new players.

Kernigh
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: AI has 100% tax and forgets science

Postby Kernigh » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:52 am

I was playing Freeciv 2.5.6+, and don't know about changes coming in 2.6 or 3.0.

I had some trouble with the rules in civ2civ3 for moving Big Land units, like Catapults and Cannons. These may not enter jungles, mountains, or swamps, unless there is a road. In 1971 CE (turn 396), I tried to attack the Persian city of Susa with my American Cannons. I pressed the button to attack, but nothing happened. I middle-clicked Susa. The city was on swamp/river, but there was no road, because the Persians didn't know Bridge Building. I know that land units can't attack "non-native tiles"; this is why enemy Horsemen and Archers don't sink my Triremes or Caravels while I'm exploring distant shores. It seems that Big Land units also can't attack jungles, mountains, or swamps without a road. Cities on rivers don't have roads until the civ learns Bridge Building. This is odd: if the Persians would learn Bridge Building, then my Cannons would be able to attack Susa!

American expansion to 101 cities

My Americans built some Marines to attack Susa. I got lucky, as the Persians put many Phalanx in Baktra, but no Phalanx in Susa. My unit of Marines slew the Diplomat and conquered Susa in 1975 CE. I then had 25 cities. My empire had spread from New York, my capital on the west coast, to Susa, my first city on the east coast. My armies advanced north and south. I had ended the Austrians in 1836 CE. I ended the Iroquois in 1996 CE, the Mongols in 2007, the Babylonians in 2009, the Byzantines in 2016, the Persians in 2021, the Incas in 2022, the Italians in 2023, the Mayas in 2032, the Spanish in 2041, the Vikings in 2061, the Zulus in 2067, the Malis in 2072, the Arabs in 2074, the Poles in 2079. I also conquered Japanese and Khmer cities. In 2079, I held 101 cities.

I needed many hours of gameplay, across many days, to reach 101 cities. The turns became slow as I had to manage production for an increasing number of cities, and give orders to an increasing number of Engineers. The war was simple, as my enemies continued to defend their cities with Warriors or Phalanx, even as I attacked with Marines, Artillery, and Cruisers. Most civs had long been stuck at 100% tax and 0% science. The Khmers continued to research techs until about 2020 or 2030, when I began to invade their territory. Khmers switched to 100% tax, and my Americans were the last civ to continue science. I completed the tech tree in 2065.

The main continent had the shape of a giant Greek uppercase gamma Γ. The world had two polar glaciers to the south and east of the main continent. The bottom of the gamma was just north of the south pole. The continent went north for a great distance, turned and went east for a shorter distance, then ended north of the east pole. All 24 civs began on the gamma, and most never left the mainland. The world had a second and smaller continent, or large island. I built Seattle there, and called it the island of Seattle. The map had several smaller islands. Aztecs settled the east pole. Aztecs, Koreans, and Russians went around the east pole and settled the island of Seattle. Japanese settled one other island, where I built Washington. In 1901, I conquered that island, then the Japanese existed only on the mainland. The other 19 civs never left the mainland. AI civs never settled any other islands, but I settled more islands from 1981 to 2079.

Diplomacy became static. I continued to be at war against everyone. AI civs continued their alliances or wars in perpetuity. In 2079, I ruled 2/3 of the mainland. The Aztec-Khmer-Korean alliance continued its war against the Russians, who had no allies. The English-Japanese alliance continued its war against the Portuguese-Thai alliance. No other civs survived.

Switch from Americans to Danes

In 2094 and 2095, my Americans conquered 2 Aztec cities and caused a civil war. The Danes rebelled and took 18 cities. In 2096 CE (turn 521), I switched sides from the Americans to the Danes. I gave the Americans to the hard AI, and took control of the Danes. The Americans still won the game, but I got some practice as a weaker civ. The Danes were a new civ and had cease-fires with other civs, so they were not yet in war.

First, I fixed the Danish economy. We were paying too much gold to upkeep a large army of mostly Pikemen. Some cities were building Coinage. Some cities were starving because all the citizens were taxmen. I wanted to build other things, and not to starve, so I stopped all Coinage and moved all taxmen onto land. I needed to reduce upkeep, so I disbanded many units, leaving only 3 defenders in each city. I also sold some Aqueducts or Amphitheaters in my smaller cities. I had 40% tax 60% science. This left me with 964 (-50) gold in 2096 CE. I learned the Republic in 2101 and Seafaring in 2102. I used the Republic trade bonus and the Harbors from Seafaring to increase our trade. My net gold went near zero. I moved my Palace in 2126 to reduce corruption. My net gold went positive.

The Americans conquered most of the map, but they did not declare war on my Danes until 2193 CE. By then, I knew Tactics and Espionage, so I had Alpine Troops and Spies in some cities. My government was Communism, so the Spies were veterans.

Image

The screenshot shows the area around Ryazan in 2193. Ryazan is my capital. I have wounded Alpine Troops because I slew American Paratroopers after they slew my Engineers. The map also shows the last 2 Aztec cities (Tver and Voronezh) and the last Russian city (Tver). The only other surviving civs are my Danes and the Americans. My spies steal 9 random techs from the Americans in 2193.

In this war, the Americans conquer some of my cities. They also take Tver (ending the Russians) and Voronezh, but the Aztecs survive in Tver. The Americans are mostly using AEGIS Cruisers, and they can only conquer coastal cities. Americans lose 6 AEGIS Cruisers as they conquer Bryansk in 2202, defeating my 3 veteran Alpine Troops behind a Coastal Defense. Americans should replace the lost units; their empire is more than 10 times as large as my Danish empire.

But there's a surprise: the American offensive stalled, and I never lost any cities after 2219. I had no SAM Batteries, and feared planes; but American planes didn't attack my cities. They did attack my units outside cities. I had no SDI Defense, and feared nukes; but Americans didn't nuke me. I feared Howitzers, but my Alpine Troops slew the only American Howitzer. I was too weak to conquer any American cities. I made one offensive against Tollocan and Dalgubol, but it failed as the Americans brought in too many units. I used my Spies to buy 4 American cities, starting with Wonsanjin. Most cities were too expensive, but a few cities were small enough. Tzompanco had 2 irrigated spice and 2 fish, but was stuck at size 4 before I bought it. I had 17 cities at end of game.

Americans entered the space race, and I had no way to stop them. They finally won in 2301 CE (turn 726) as their spaceship reached Alpha Centauri. My Danes also entered the space race, and built part of a spaceship just before the Americans won.


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