AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Can't beat the AI? Is it too tame? Discuss the best strategies!
thedarkestcolors
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby thedarkestcolors » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:27 pm

The ai def. needs to be improved, I couldn't agree more. Its not worth playing like this.

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 :D)

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.
Attachments
tinyCities_1225_cheatingAi.sav.bz2
(50.71 KiB) Downloaded 135 times
settlersButNothingToSettle_normal.sav.bz2
(45.3 KiB) Downloaded 120 times
iberia_1430.sav.bz2
(118.76 KiB) Downloaded 125 times

djconklin
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby djconklin » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:25 am

> if you can, settle on/next to a river,

I do. No more than two away from a river which I irrigate.

>Also switching to republic early helps a lot.

I do that.

>It brings more trade

Haven't worked on that yet.

>and cities that celebrate

I've tried that and they still don't. Not sure what I'm doing worng there.

>and have food grow every turn.

That's been the biggest bugaboo I've been having. A city produces food, my pop goes up and presto! I starve! I haven't figured out how to ship food from one city to the next. It looks like we can't do that. The Egyptians shipped wheat to Rome in 1,000 ton ships, but we can't.

cazfi
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby cazfi » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:40 am

In every screenshot you have shown about your food problem, there has been several entertainers in your city. So you need to work on your Happiness.

When your city grows, the new population point automatically goes to fields if possible. But if the now bigger city would go to disorder due to unhappiness, it's made an entertainer instead. End result is that your food consumption increases (more people eating) but the production (of any kind, but most obviously food) does not.
The lesser extend you need to think about what your Worker units (yeah, 'worker' has a meaning both as city citizen on fields, and as a certain unit type) do the tiles around cities. I usually end cutting down most of the forests to have more farmland to produce more food.

djconklin
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby djconklin » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:21 pm

>In every screenshot you have shown about your food problem, there has been several entertainers in your city. So you need to work on your Happiness.

Shouldn't there be entertainers in every city? Which figure is the entertainer?

I've maxed out celebration and luxury and astill hve a problem with unhappiness, which means less food.

I lowered the grain level to 20 and still run short on food.

cazfi
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby cazfi » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:04 pm

See Help -> Cities -> Happiness (took me a while to find as I remembered it to be in main-level and not under Cities)

Those citizens with blue background are specialists (exact sprites showing if it's an entertainer, taxman, or scientist)

Here is an example screenshot of happiness display (Happiness-tab in citydialog) of one size 11 city of mine. One reads this from top row to the bottom, each row adding something to the situation and the bottom row being the total.
happiness.png
1. Cities: My empire is so big that I have penalty of 1 additional unhappy citizen in each city, so having 4 - 1 = 3 content citizens (of which 2 are turned to entertainers, so just one content worker)
2. Luxuries: Entertainers produced luxuries turning two citizens (1 content and 1 unhappy) to happy
3. Buildings: The city has Temple and I know Mysticism that increases its effect, so 2 unhappy citizens turned to content (This city could use Cathedral, but I've had no chance to build one)
4. Nationality: No effects here
5. Units: I'm running Monarchy so three of my military units in the city force one one unhappy citizen content each, using Martial Law
6. Wonders: I have no Wonders increasing happiness here

djconklin
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby djconklin » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:24 am

So, only the yellow citizens are unhappy?

I've seen the display; I'll double-check to see if I can enlarge the icons so I can see who is what.

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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby dunnoob » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:15 pm

djconklin wrote:the yellow citizens are unhappy?
Yes, it's what you get as H-C-U-A on the overview page with all cities, if you enable that column: Happy (green), Content (white), Unhappy (yellow), or Angry (red). If you also enable the E-S-T column (Entertainers - Scientists - Taxmen) with the specialists, these citizens are always content (dark blue). An entertainer can make one content worker happy (green), and one happy worker can balance one unhappy worker (yellow).

When I see any E, H, or U I check what's going on, apart from an obvious "need H to balance U" info. Any E or H without a good reason to exist is wasted.

fomalhaut
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby fomalhaut » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:10 pm

I tested ver 2.5.2 AI and I think they were improved a bit.
It's very nice that they no longer defend their city with an excessive number of units.
But they seem to misunderstand as if Cruiser or Battleship are the best defenders of the city.
Cities where any infantry isn't stationed are found very frequently.


to cazfi
Did you check the save file that I have attached?

cazfi
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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby cazfi » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:05 pm

fomalhaut wrote:But they seem to misunderstand as if Cruiser or Battleship are the best defenders of the city.
Cities where any infantry isn't stationed are found very frequently.

I have a theory about why this happens, but getting it properly fixed takes time. (So far I've been working on mechanisms to collect more data about the situation...)

fomalhaut wrote:to cazfi
Did you check the save file that I have attached?

Yes, it helped to see how that there clearly is a problem and not just need for matter-of-taste adjustment.

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Re: AI has many problems and needs to be improved

Postby cazfi » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:38 pm

fomalhaut wrote:It's very nice that they no longer defend their city with an excessive number of units.

I got this particular change included to the development version of freeciv-web too last night.