Depending on the starting position and luck with huts (if they are enabled), they can be somewhat dangerous in the beginning with their archers and horsemen. But they don't stand a chance mid to late game. As soon as I manage to hold my borders and start rapturing my cities the ai falls behind.
I often have cities in the 20 - 30ies, while the ai has cities with ~5 Pop. I think they only try to maximise current profit, e.g. max production they can get in the current term to spit out max military units right now. But they totally ignore that e.g. improving tiles, building city improvements will yield much more trade/production later.
I hardly see any tile improvements for ai cities, and they seem to prefer mines over irrigation (--> maximizing current production). If at all they hardly ever build workers, I think they use only the starting ones and if they die, the ai doesn't replace them, if they do, maybe they don't protect them and they get killed by other civs / barbs. Even on maps where they build irrigation, somehow the ai cities stay small, do they now about growing cities with celebrations at all??? (at least the harder difficulties should use it)
Also the ai doesn't seem to understand maps at all. E.g. I started the iberian map with 8 cheating Ais, I was hoping for an intense end battle to see how the ais handle adv. units. 1 got wiped out by barbarians, like it happens so often, all the others have cities in a terrible state. Some of them don't even have neighbors, so they have all the space and time to expand like crazy, instead they keep sending hordes of units on suicide missions. Cannon after cannon walking on its own over the entire huge map, no escort anywhere in sight, somewhere else some alpine troops, a few horsemen elsewhere. Would those come coordinated they could easily(!) take my cities, but the way they are coming, I hardly need to build any def. myself and get free training for them as a bonus. Would the come in a boat it would be much faster, or would the ai build a road towards the target. (ok the last I don't even expect from an ai )
On islands based maps, the ai keeps building tons of settlers, even if it can't currently settle anywhere or the world is allready completly occupied. (some might be left over form times where other civs settlers are still moving from production to founding place, but the ai usually has TONS of useless settlers)
Like this its no fun at all to play a game to the end. Its fun for a few turns, then either I die due to barbarians and several civs attacking me or I get so far ahead that its not worth the time to do the sweeping up / building a spaceship while the rest of the world assumes earth is a pancake carried by some elephants. Its so sad that the Ai sucks so bad, the interface and graphics are near perfect (yes I prefer 2d over 3d any time!), so much better then civ2 that I recently started playing again.
One weird thing I noticed in freeciv not sure if its bug or feature: Barbarians land / other civ comes walking next to my undefended city, no unit of mine anywhere arround. In civ2 the city is lost for good, I can buy a unit, but the city will be taken before its finished, in freeciv it will get finished before and can defend. Logicwise that makes some sense, but gameplaywise, esp. against an Ai coming in groups of 1 its somewhat lame. Is there an option to change that?
Or generally if anyone can suggest any options to use to get a fun game against the ai, please let me know.
I attached some random savegames that show the problems. I'm using version 2.4.2 as that seems to be the latest one packed for ubuntu. If later versions have a much improved ai, I might try to get a later version build from source.
by djconklin » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:49 pm
>as soon as an AI starts lagging behind its neighbors technologically,
I'd like to see that! I'm playing 2 dozen at novice level and they are two steps ahead of me AND building the wonders for that tech!
Pay some attention to where you build your cities. You get research and taxes from trade, trade is produced on sea tiles, tiles with rivers, roads, some tiles with special ressources (whine, gold. gems.....). --> if you can, settle on/next to a river, special ressources or the coast. Build workers early to build roads and irrigation --> more trade, faster growth of the cities -> more trade -> faster research. Also switching to republic early helps a lot. It brings more trade and cities that celebrate and have food grow every turn.