I just want to say how amazing this game has become, compared to the original. When I was younger, I would spend hours tweaking ai values, trying to get opponents that were heavily invested in the battle rather than hanging out in the base or just bugging out. Now, the game does so much of that by itself.
Earlier I did a few 3v3 cpu battles on random map just to see how the ai does, and they were so fun to watch. Some ai’s attacked early, while some played defense until bursting out with an enormous army. Typically 2-3 ai’s would attack one player, which is smart as it sometimes would knock that player out early on. Most times that player’s allies would come to defend and epic battles would take place in the town.
The recent patch 10 made the ai better at economy and defending, and I can see that. Villagers stick close to storage pits and granaries, building towers to defend gold spots. Towns can still unfortunately be quickly overrun as there isnt any way to create strong points within a base that can protect villagers, but defending army do a much better job than they used to. I remember gutting a base long ago, and then finding a number of soldiers hanging outside their town, just watching it get wrecked.
Also, with higher pop limits, the ai can grow larger. I would like to ai economies grow even larger so they can build to much larger pops, but I’ve seen them close to 100 pop. I saw a 55 and 50 soldier attack force made of swordsmen in the last two games. The larger one was Choson, so it steamrolled through everything. The smaller one was Palmyran and it got destroyed because they only have Broad Swords. It was still amazing. Then there was this lategame invasion force:
I have a few thoughts though after that:
I’ve seen several ai’s pick strats that don’t go along with their strengths. Watching Palmyrans making a bronze age sword unit in the iron was painful. I believe they had 190 kills in that game but 370 losses, so in the lategame, their army witherer under archer fire.
Archers are so powerful. Especially fast archers and there isnt really anything that counters them well. If you can go horse archer late, you do…Yamato and Hittites are crazy strong because of this.
Cavalry are also insane. In three games, I’ve seen three Yamato players carrying their team. Either attacking early and gutting a base before the enemy can build a resistance force or late, cavalry are very powerful, again without much to stop them other that academy units and priest perhaps. The Yamato players have not lost yet.
I have seen ai’s training some nongold units lategame, which is sweet, but not many. I wonder if it is possible for ai’s to go away from their strat to train counter units like slingers/camels or “Trash” units when they run out of gold. Again, the only problem with this is that outside of chariots, the only other nongold units are tool age. I think this has been suggested elsewhere, but some bronze age trash unit upgrades would be nice. The ai being able to spam slingers the counter a bow rush for example, would also make ai’s stronger.
So yeah, the game gets better with every patch. Hopefully as more updates come out, more will be interested in buying in.