Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

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dwarftough
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Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 20th, 2019, 2:34 pm

Hi everyone! Need your help with how to play.

Recently I've started trying Intermediate-level campaigns (after finishing novice ones). I've completed Liberty without big problems, but then something went wrong. AI breaks my defences easily, outnumbers me, I just can't stand. I'm trying to form the line as the guidelines teach us but enemies are sneaking here and there, attacks from all sides and just kill everyone. Here I attach the most recent example (not from mainline campaign actually but doesn't matter). I'm Drake vs 2 Elves, I try Clashers and Saurians but all of them fall quickly form Elvish bows and faerie fires. And they attack from both sides, my speed is low to crash one leader before another.

I can actually read walk-throughs and see replays but I want to understand myself what I'm doing wrong now and what and how I should consider to play better instead of reading and copycating strats all the time.

Hope for advice to improve my game and noticing my flaws.
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octalot
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by octalot » August 20th, 2019, 3:29 pm

Turn 3: enticing the scout is good, but you offer a target that isn't next to a healer, with better formation you could have healed 8 hp on the next turn, no matter which unit the scout attacked. Same applies on turn 6.

Turn 7: the main thing on this turn is that you've pushed forward to attack the elves who can do normal damage to you, but left yourself in range of the sorceress. Putting a healer on 14,12 could heal 3 additional units (assuming they survive the enemy's turn). You've also left a unit next to a village, so an enemy can heal while attacking.

Attached: how I'd play turn 3 onwards. I definitely got a bit lucky with one of the saurians' survival, and I'd be very interested if another player gives feedback on this one too. One of the sorceresses decided to go for a swim, which was also helpful.
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Poison
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by Poison » August 20th, 2019, 4:19 pm

Imho this map screams for fighters who not only are cheaper than clashers but can reach two fronts easily. Also my advise is to never get the gold penalty unless absolutely necessary, what you should do in this map is get some villages from the enemy and hold them and also let them come to you, you have plenty of time to go for the leaders, so don't forget the financial aspect! This will help you in all the scenarios as being richer obviously helps building a stronger army. My approach in this scenario is staying in the keep, letting some fighters catch a few villages while being hunted by Elvish horses while the rest of the army was using forest or sand protection (which you also should use, why are those augurs outside of forest, the high defense of elves there doesn't bother them with their magical attacks so that is the most favorable terrain for them). Then at the day trying to kill them (the Elvish horsemen). Slowly I changed the financial tide and then with some extra units I advanced for the leader kills. It is not an easy scenario, that's for sure.

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EarthCake
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by EarthCake » August 20th, 2019, 4:40 pm

First of all, you recruited too many Clashers. You should have recruited on first turn max 4 units, just to pick up villages. Clashers are good units, but on this map Fighters were better, because there was too much forest terrain, over which Fighters can fly, while Clashers have 2 MP cost.

Second, you let enemies come behind your back and take villages. (turn 4)

Turn 4: you killed enemy Sorcerer by attacking her with a Saurian on a tile next to forest, while you had one tile that isn't next to forest to attack. That way, you provide unnecessary cover to enemy units, which makes them harder for you to kill. (Also, it was better to attack her with Saurian from sand, since you get +10 total defense bonus, and you put saurian with low health on worse defense than Clasher, who has more HP.)

Turn 5: you again attack from a tile next to forest.

Turn 6: instead of attacking with clasher from flat, you chose to attack with Ambusher from flat, losing important HP.

Also, that position wasn't lost.

@octalot: Your biggest mistake was fighting at the forest against first wave. You should have retreated at sand next to the keep, where elves have 30% defense, while you have 40/60%. Also, that saurian wasn't so important :) You were actually pretty lucky with leader.

I have also fought at the forest, but I aimed targets with max 50% defense. If there were no such targets, I would have retreated. (P.S. I killed all sorceresses on flat.)

(NOTE: I had to start this scenario over because of wrong recruitment)
AFB-Creatures of Fae replay.gz
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dwarftough
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm

What enticed me in Drake Clashers is that they have no such pierce vulnerability as Fighters have. About villages: I've tried to pick them in previous games, but what sense it has if enemies overtook me on fronts? I can't recruit additionally anyway, income is too low. In the replay I've attached I decided to just rush on the left elf, paying no attention to the right side, crush her and them to deal with the remaining one. But it hardly worked.

I've tried to stay at the castle also but if I place Clashers on sand, they are easily killed by archers, if I place Saurians, they are also dead due to low HP.

dwarftough
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 20th, 2019, 8:23 pm

I watched your replay, EarthCake, and I have a question. It seems that you kind of forgot your Drake Fighter in the right-upper village. Do you really forgot him or did he stay there for some reason. Also I wonder why you send him instead of Glider to grab this village. Did you want to grab south village with a Glider?

Also interested, why didn't you recall another Saurian Soothsayer?

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EarthCake
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by EarthCake » August 20th, 2019, 8:36 pm

dwarftough wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm
About villages: I've tried to pick them in previous games, but what sense it has if enemies overtook me on fronts?
That is why you shouldn't have let them pass :)
dwarftough wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm
I've tried to stay at the castle also but if I place Clashers on sand, they are easily killed by archers, if I place Saurians, they are also dead due to low HP.
The map is actually very good balanced, and enemies should come one by one on the start, and group for the final wave. You should just have waited for them to come, and place your units accordingly, so they can only be killed with a strike of bad luck.
dwarftough wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm
I can't recruit additionally anyway, income is too low.
It doesn't matter, you have gold carryover to next scenario, so every coin means a thing.
dwarftough wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm
I watched your replay, EarthCake, and I have a question. It seems that you kind of forgot your Drake Fighter in the right-upper village. Do you really forgot him or did he stay there for some reason.
Yeah, I kinda forgot him there. He wasn't needed, so I didn't pay much attention to him, since I had another mobile fighter.
dwarftough wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Also I wonder why you send him instead of Glider to grab this village. Did you want to grab south village with a Glider?
That was a tactical thing. I didn't know what will enemy recruit. If he recruited a lot of fast units, I had to cover my Saurian that I sent (I needed that gold :)) to pickup the village. So Fighter couldn't make it, and even if he did he would be really vulnerable.
dwarftough wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Also interested, why didn't you recall another Saurian Soothsayer?
Because I already had one I had to have so every XP I throw at that recalled Soothsayer would be wasted, instead I recruited 2 Augurs, who also provide healing.

dwarftough
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 20th, 2019, 9:24 pm

Well, I tried to play somewhat like you. and now I got lost on time, step behind victory. And it seems to me that when I've played this, enemies were more aggresive, for example your Glider survived well and became Sky Drake while mine was surrounded by Scouts and killed. And I guess it's a lot tactical errors such as bad terrain or something but I just get nervous and urging to kill them as quickly as possible to suffer less damage. I've finished with few units but all 2 lvls.

Sidenote: on turn 5 I probably shouldn't attack the Elvish Sorceress with 2 Fighters but she was on not the best terrain and I was urging to hit her ASAP cause he can kill any my Drake from 1 attack. I was afraid she'll come to my sand position.
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octalot
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by octalot » August 20th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Watching EarthCake and your replays side-by-side, EarthCake recruited the load of Saurians one turn earlier. So if scouts had gone for the drake on turn 3 then he'd be able to attack with the Saurians; that might be why one of the scouts runs away to grab a village instead.

On turn 5, I think you should have kept the Clasher behind the Saurians, so the Sorceress couldn't get to any of your drakes.

Turn 6, retreat your wounded unit behind a healer so that the enemy can't get them.

Turn 9 you could probably have run south-west, with the Sorceress chasing you but not catching up; kill her at night when the Saurians hit harder. From then on until turn 20 there are a lot of turns where I think you should have moved south - particularly turn 13 where you could have used one of your northeast-most units to kill the elf, and then have most of your forces move south and attack the rider.

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EarthCake
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by EarthCake » August 20th, 2019, 10:32 pm

Attacking with Fighters was a pretty bad move. Even if Sorcerer could kill your Clasher, she would come on 30% defense, which means that she would be an easy target next turn. Instead of that, you send 2 Fighters into oblivion.

Turn 7: you attacked that Druid with an Augur, but you didn't cover your Saurian in the village, and you didn't cover that Augur.

@octalot I think attacking that Sorcerer on turn 9 was a good move. That provides a valuable free XP and that Sorcerer was able to reach the Clasher next turn.

dwarftough
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 21st, 2019, 12:20 am

Yeah, guys, thank you very much! This time I accomplished it! I think it was pretty solid now. The only pity is that Drake Fighter near advancement who fell on the last move :(

UPD: Btw, this time not only he was less aggressive with scouts but recruited less of them
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dwarftough
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 21st, 2019, 10:23 pm

Btw which difficulty is better to play in terms of learning: easy, medium or hard?

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EarthCake
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by EarthCake » August 21st, 2019, 10:27 pm

I started from easy, when Easy was too easy for me, I started to play Normal, when Normal was too easy I started to play Hard. Depends on skill and you. If you think you are ready to play harder difficulties, go on, try. You can only learn from trial and error.

dwarftough
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by dwarftough » August 22nd, 2019, 3:49 pm

Eh, troubles again, in the last scenario :( Seems easy but somehow enemies are crashing me. My Drakes have so many hp and attack but somehow they just die.

I tried to defeat Naga with all my forces and use two Drakes and Sootsayer to hold Outlaws. But even with Naga being defeated Orcs are just attacking and attacking, even with swords instead of bows.

Initially I wanted to hold the swamp with Saurians but it turns out that Nagas are much more stronger than Elves and easily break Saur lines.

I saw Konrad2's replay on Nightmare, but he just stole Naga's keep and the very beginning with a quick Inferno. So he doesn't spend his forces to fight Nagas. But it's kind of a trick on AI glitch and I have no quick Infernos.
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octalot
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Re: Why do I always get defeated by AI so easily?

Post by octalot » August 22nd, 2019, 7:55 pm

There's 33 turns, so you have a lot of time available.

The scenario doesn't tell the player, but whenever an enemy leader dies the other leaders get an extra 90 gold.

(This might be wrong, there's some L2s and it was harder than I thought) : The bandits are coming single-file across a bridge, they're mainly L1, and there's a village next to the bridge; having 2 L3 defenders and an L2 healer seems too much when you need more troops elsewhere.

Early on you're pushing towards the Nagas, but mainly with lawful troops for a fight that will be decided at night. Nagas have 60% def on swamps. There's a lot of healing near your base, so I'd try forming a defensive line there; that would also be close enough for troops to move between the bandit and naga fronts.

Turn 5, you've formed a defensive line, but it's a line on 40% def. Your leader with L3 leadership is next to L3 units.

Turn 7, the Nagas have 0 gold, 8 income and seem to only be recruiting units that cost 27 gold. However, you've got an orc running round your back - I think you'd have won the scenario if the drakes that went for the Naga leader instead secured the west end of your troops.

The attached replay plays on from turn 7, but it's harder than I thought; I finished with a couple of turns left having taken risks getting there. Having said that I wasted moves grabbing villages because I thought it wasn't the last scenario (I was remembering the 1.12 campaign Brave Wings instead).
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