I played a couple of scenarios and campaigns on hard difficulty. I noticed in most cases, you can use the following strategy:
Survive the initial attacks.
Boom and create a huge army.
The AI becomes almost completely passive after a while. It doesn’t attack anymore, doesn’t mine the gold piles next to its base, etc.
You crush your enemies.
However, I now played the second Tariq ibn Ziyad scenario (Consolidation and Subjugation). I noticed two strange things:
The enemies didn’t have any villagers, so I suppose they start with huge amounts of resources.
The attacks only get more intense, so you are under pressure to defeat some of your enemies before you are overwhelmed (you are alone against four enemies).
This made me wonder: do all scenarios have the same AI? Or does, say, the Attila the Hun campaign use the CD AI, the Tariq ibn Ziyad campagin use the HD AI, etc.? Also, for example Kurikara was extremely easy, even though the enemy had a huge army; the AI just didn’t seem to send it to me. Why is that?
I also wonder: do the developers just use the standard scenario editor when they make the campaigns, or can they also do things we couldn’t do? (I almost never use the scenario editor so I don’t really have an idea.)
I played through Sforza and have almost played through Dracula on moderate. These campaigns seemed okay. Campaigns don’t use standard AI. Instead they have custom AI scripts fine-tuned for each specific scenario.
Yeah, turtle + deathball is standard way how to win scenarios, although enemies should not become passive.
@BassiAoC, @PhillySouljah Can you comment on it? Kurikara was pretty hard in HD on moderate where I had to withstand constant attacks from multiple enemies. I haven’t played it in DE, but are enemies in there really more passive now? On purpose or because of a bug?
Interesting, I only got attacked by galleys which suicided at my Keeps. After a while the enemies did occasionally attack me but by that time I already had castles around my base. Taira Army was very easy to defeat. Kyoto was, of course, very well defended, but by that time I had such a huge economy so I just kept sending soldiers and trebuchets. You also get an extra army once Taira Army is defeated, and the Hojo Clan also helps out a bit. And every once in a while you get 1000 gold from a trade cart.
I looked it up and apparently it is a lot easier in DE compared to HD. All Historical Battles are supposed to be “one sword” difficulty, so perhaps they did that on purpose. I did find Honfoglalás a bit difficult because I didn’t take out Great Morvaria in the beginning. The result was I was stuck in Castle Age, fighting two Imperial Age armies. Luckily the AI wasn’t very smart so I could sneak in with some battering rams, destroy yellow, go to imperial age, and after that destroying red was very easy.
I also read from comments of videos, that Kurikara is too easy in DE. Sad, hopefully difficulty of other Historical Battles is better balanced.
Yes. You can’t really predict how difficult will scenario be at each difficulty level, because details affecting it are specified separately for each scenario. You can play all scenarios at same difficulty level, but feel challenge offered by them to be very different.
The difficulty levels are different in each scenario as Yorok0 already said. There are triggers which make the enemy army more powerful on higher difficulty levels for example. Or you get less resources etc…
Thanks a lot for the great responses! It helps me better understand how the campagins work!
I played the Historical Battles on Hard difficulty, but I played it on Standard a while ago so I already knew the scenarios (which helps a lot of course). On the other hand, I am not a really good player. This is my opinion:
Way too easy:
Easy (due to a bug):
Bukhara (Hun Raiders resign after a few minutes on hard difficulty)
Easy if you know the scenario already:
Cyprus (so you don’t land your troops in the middle of the enemy’s army and you know where to find your shipwrecked men)
Bapheus (if you raid the enemy a bit in the beginning)
Tours (if you build a lot of towers and age up quickly enough)
Lake Poyang (once you get a huge navy it’s fine)
Kyoto (not so difficult, but you do have some time pressure due to the relics)
Dos Pilas. I chose Calakmul so I had to fight three enemies with my army, and I can’t build additional town centers. Quite hard, but if you know how to get gold and you manage to defeat blue, it becomes easy.
Honfoglalás, unless you already defeat yellow in te beginning.