My experience with the campaign AI is that it’s just completely broken.
The difficulty spikes are grotesque. Babylonian campaign with islands is a walk in the park, no challenge whatsoever on very hard. AI doesn’t send any transport ships.
Land maps are often times almost impossible at the beginning, when the AI swarms you with streams of units. Once that stops after a few minutes, challenge is also gone because the AI can’t play and kills all its villagers by walking into the player base.
At 30 minutes in The Birth Of Rome, some players have no vills, the most working are 1-3. No military units being trained any more.
Next mission, Pyrrhus, broken. Ships try to sail into the island, transports can’t land. They only attack after a while.
The whole Birth of Rome campaign is in fact broken by the AI. They send one attack force at the beginning, then all their villagers are dead by walking into the player base and they just don’t do anything anymore. They’re not gathering ressources, they’re not training military or attacking.
I made a one on one comparison with the original version and their the AI isn’t great either, but it works, it uses its own base for ressources and attacks regularly.
Please, if the developers are interested in fixing this, I have savegames with the broken AI states. This is unacceptable, I’m thinking about requesting a refund because campaigns are mostly unplayable. The original game was working so much better, which is ridiculous if you want to sell a new version 20 years later!
Exactly my experience. I started the campaigns for the nostalgia and gave up somewhere in The Birth of Rome because of the AI.
Any map or mission with a water crossing, which is quite a lot, just count out any form of challenge. They will build a storage pit or granary on their resources and then send all their villagers across the map, to the other side of the river, and start gathering there. This often explains why they suicide everything because they are trying to long-distance gather your berries and straggler trees… Holy Man is a good example, where red will gather from yellow’s base and yellow from red. Also red’s villagers eventually bug out somewhere along the river, making the mission a huge nostalgia killer and ridiculously easy.
Moreover, the only missions that have been challenging or fun have been those where the AI completely overwhelms you at the start (I am also certain that that isn’t supposed to happen). Yet after the first 5 minutes or so they stop attacking all together and suddenly I am left playing by myself. A good example, as mentioned in the first mission in the Birth of Rome. After defending from the first huge wave, there was nothing. I scouted the map and activated cheats and there wasn’t a single AI solider or villager on the map, just depressing AI ghost towns.
The original AI was very simple and basic but at least it functioned. It knew how to gather resources, build up a base/army and attack. The DE AI can’t do any of these, at least on a consistent basis.