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Beginner / Intermediate / Expert Settings

Edwin P.

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In SC the AI level settings only adjust the amount of plunder that one gets from a conquered country.

In a future game I would like to see these settings make the AI more aggresive. Thus players wishing to face a strategically tougher opponent would select the higher settings.

Example 1: Allies Attack Ireland

Novice - 0% Allied AI will DOW Ireland

Beginner - 20% Allied AI will DOW Ireland after US enters war.

Intermediate - 50% Allied AI DOW Ireland on turn 1 or 2. 50% Allied AI DOW Ireland after US enters the war (if it did not DOW earlier).

Expert - 95% Allied AI DOW Ireland on turn 1 or 2 and 100% Allied AI DOW Ireland after the US enters the war (if it did not DOW earlier)

Example 2: German Conquest Strategy

Str1: Limited Offensive (Poland, LC, FR)

Str2: Historical (POL,LC,FR,DM,NW)

Str3: Greater Historical (POL,LC,FR,DM,NW,SW,GR)

Str4: Greatest Historical (+ Vichy,Spain,Portugal)

Str5: All of Europe (+ Egypy + Iraq)

Novice: 90% Str1, 10% Str2

Beginner: 50% Str1, 40% Str2, 10% Str3

Intermediate: 25% Str1, 25% Str2, 30% Str3, 10% Str4, 10% Str5

Expert: 40% Str3, 30% Str4, 30% Str5

[ June 02, 2003, 11:27 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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I agree that AI games could be improved by increasing the strategic variety as Edwin described above. I would suggest, however, that the "alternative" strategies could involve the Mediterranean in addition to Edwin's suggestions.

Perhaps there can be an increasing percent chance of invasion of North Africa/Vichy or Portugal/Spain leading to an invasion of Italy while Barbarossa is in full swing.

I think Britain should invade/liberate Norway and proceed through Sweden if it can.


AI doesn't seem to be as sensitive to the experience level of units as human players are. This awareness could increase at higher levels.


AI seems to have varying levels of aggressiveness. In some games, he attacks anything he sees; in others there is an eerie silence along the French coast until Russia's goose is cooked. This variation seems to be unrelated to the level of the game. I suggest:

Beginner: most passive

Intermediate: most aggressive

Expert: medium (since really good players will take advantage of over-aggressivness)


AI tends to be inflexible. He tries one strategy too long before adopting an alternative. Any alternative adopted is usually not well planned. With some of Edwin's "pre-set" strategies, AI could shift strategies if "Plan A" isn't working.

This flexibility could increase at intermediate and expert levels.


It is too easy to figure out what AI is trying to do and to stop him, either by amassing superior force, by feinting him out of position, or by attacking a flank while he is focused on kicking down the front door.

Whatever fuzzy logic he's using does a poor job of evaluating the enemy's actions and evaluating his plans on an ongoing basis. He only responds to force; inflict some casualties and he retreats--usually too far. If he attacks and forces a retreat, he advances--sometimes unwisely. If the human leaves a one or two hex 'no man's land' and sits in place, he attacks--often into a waiting ambush.

As these problems are mastered, perhaps there can be a way for AI to stay 'dumb' at the beginner level and to smarten up at intermediate and advanced levels.

[ June 03, 2003, 12:55 AM: Message edited by: santabear ]

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In SC the AI level settings only adjust the amount of plunder that one gets from a conquered country.
No, there's more. From the User Manual:

Difficulty - This setting is used to affect internal percentages such as US and USSR interest into the war, number of Soviet troops that are transferred from Siberia, Free French creation percentages, Allied tracking of Axis surface raiders in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean during FoW, plundering amounts and initial Soviet income upon it's entry into the war. Note: This setting does not influence combat formulas.
Some folks overlook this and then wonder why things happen differently in AI games. As for making the AI "smarter" at higher settings, I'd also like to see this but wonder if Hubert can really make effective changes to the AI code so it acts "correctly" at all settings. This could be a programming nightmare. There may be some other options. ;)
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Many thanks for the clarification of the Expert settings.



Excellent summary of the weaknesses in the AI and how to address them.


Also, in another game the intelligence settings of the AI determine the chance of the AI using the best solution, then the second best solution, etc.


In terms of SC most players consider the best strategy for the Allies would be to attack Ireland on turn 1 or 2. The second best is to attack Ireland after the US enters the war.

At greenhorn level the AI would have a 0% of attacking Ireland on turn 1 or 2. At novice level 20%, at beginner level 50%, intermediate level 70%, and at Expert level 90%.

When the US enters the war, if the AI did not attack Ireland earlier, the AI would have a chance to attack it now. Greenhorn 0%, Novice 20%, Beginner 50%, Intermediate 70%, and Expert 90%.

Note how the percentages remain constant.

Progammatically, this might be a simpler way to implement what I suggested in my first posting.

[ June 03, 2003, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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