World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

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Des
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Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Des »

No, it's not. But I noticed it more when playing World Conquest because combat is on a much bigger scale in the later scenarios.
Redrock Gulch (Winter 2009 Map Contest Submission)

To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of Virtues. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Rya
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Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Rya »

But you can't put all the "vs AI" scenarios together.

World Conquest is a pretty unique case, because even if you play it on nightmare and it starts with 900 gold each, it will just use up the money and end up with -20 gold per turn (upkeep costs). The gold will go down to around -200 gold before the income actually gets positive again and at this point the AI already has lost. Holding villages in World Conquest is really unimportant. The AI will always have less income than the players, even if you don't send out scouts and only take the villages in your area.

I don't really like this way to make the AI "harder" because it can always be defeated with a very defensive strategy.

That's why in my scenarios I design it a lot differently.
My main changes usually are:
- the AI starts with about the same gold as the players
- the AI has double the total income as the players (including upkeep), this I usually accomplish by increasing the "gold per village" for the AI a lot <-- this makes capturing villages a lot more important and makes a defensive strategy less useful
- the AI needs less exp to level its units <-- this makes the strategy "level your units until they overwhelm the AI" less useful

This way the players get forced to play more offensively and it creates scenarios / campaigns that aren't easily won by playing defensively anymore, even if the AI isn't any smarter.
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Des
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Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Des »

Rya,

I appreciate your well thought out post. I'm very interested in playing some of your scenarios. I'd like to see how that plays out.

Do you have any that are completed?
Redrock Gulch (Winter 2009 Map Contest Submission)

To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of Virtues. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Rya
Posts: 350
Joined: September 23rd, 2009, 9:01 am

Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Rya »

Try out my MP Campaign "The 7 Seasons", it demonstrates it quite well.

Edit: I also attached a single scenario which probably one of the best examples. It's 2 players which starts with 100 gold vs a CPU which starts with 200 gold, so the starting gold is exactly the same. However the CPU is closer to most villages. This forces the players to play offensive, because if they only keep the 4 villages near them the CPU will have 3 times as much income as them, so even if they play defensively it's pretty hard to win. The trick here is to steal some villages with little losses, but it's not quite so easy because the AI is so close to most villages that it will notice it really fast and send units there.
Attachments
RandomCoop2vs1.cfg
Example Scenario 2vs1 CPU
(8.04 KiB) Downloaded 176 times
Wesnoth
The developer says "no".

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Des
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Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Des »

Excellent! I will give those a try. Thanks for putting these up!
Redrock Gulch (Winter 2009 Map Contest Submission)

To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of Virtues. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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Des
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Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Des »

Rya,

I played through your scenario. It took me four times to beat it. I played both sides by myself (all sides random), winning against an Undead CPU with two Rebel races. It definitely provides a good challenge.

I'm not too, too crazy about the map. I would like to see a bigger map that allows for interesting deployment of troops for rushing those extra CPU villages. Do you plan to work on other scenarios that follow this same approach?

I haven't gotten to the campaign yet, save the first scenario. Once I complete it, I'll offer some feedback.
Redrock Gulch (Winter 2009 Map Contest Submission)

To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of Virtues. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Rya
Posts: 350
Joined: September 23rd, 2009, 9:01 am

Re: World Conquest: Limiting Strat versus AI

Post by Rya »

I would like to see a bigger map that allows for interesting deployment of troops for rushing those extra CPU villages.
I personally prefer smaller maps because of a faster game (more fun to watch when others play it), but I think some scenarios in my campaign will offer you exactly this. The campaign contains the biggest maps I've ever made.
Do you plan to work on other scenarios that follow this same approach?
I already made quite some single scenarios like this, but they all have their own specialities. I could upload more, but I think the campaign is probably closest to what you are looking for.

Lately I made a campaign where 2-4 players are against one AI that can recruit all chaotic units. I plan do make one with all lawful units and one with all neutral units as well.

The single scenario that is also probably interesting gameplay-wise is "AutumnCave" which is a 3vs1 scenario. At the center is a small cave with the possibility to recruit which can be well defended, but if you do this the AI will steal many villages. The players only get 1 gold per village, but the AI gets 3, so it's important to stop the AI from getting too many villages but on the other hand player can't re-buy many units so it's also important to protect them and not just wasting them to get more villages (but once the AI manages to get more than half the villages it's pretty much over for the players, even if they might survive inside the cave for several more turns). There are more unique mechanics on this map, mudcrawlers will start northwest and have to walk through a forest (which means only one step per turn), but they only need 4 exp to level, so you need to take good care when approaching them. There are two villages in that forest to make it worth not ignoring them. Then there are some defensive units there for the AI which only serve the purpose to protect the leader. Then every 10 turns the AI will get a gold boost which also creates an interesting gameplay, because the AI will recruit many units at once and force the players to retreat a little on certain turns. Finally after turn 11 the AI can recruit Runemasters and Elvish Lords (level 3 units, 2 of each at max) which offer the final tweak in the gameplay because players have to approach high levels units differently than in the general gameplay and tactics like "luring them into the water" become more important, because you have to either run from them or kill them fast, because otherwise they'll level before you drained their HP to 0 and if they manage to level and get completely recovered, the players will be at a huge disadvantage.

Also similar to the 2vs1 randomcoop scenario I posted earlier, players need 50% and ai needs 40% to level which gives an interesting focus on leveling. Usually at 70% the general leveling tactic would be "play defensively until you got enough units leveled up", but with the 50/40 setting it isn't quite like this. The leveling your units goes way faster, which already makes the "defensive phase" shorter, but because the AI only needs 40% many of its level 1 und all level 0 units can level just by killing a single level 2 unit of the players. So if the player level up their units and just rush with them into the battle will often result in some of the AI units to level, this somewhat reduces the advantage of the players when they play defensively to level their units.

I might attach the scenario later if you're interested in that one as well. I'm not at home right now.

Edit: Attached the scenario now.
Attachments
ScenarioAutumnCave.cfg
3 vs 1 Autumn Cave
(22.08 KiB) Downloaded 134 times
Wesnoth
The developer says "no".

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