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AI question regarding map exploration and FOW

Jones With a J

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Does the AI "know" what the entire map looks like when the game starts or does it have to explore it like a human player?

And depending upon what the answer is, can the AI "see" through the fog of war or does only make decisions based upon what is in its units' visual range?

I hate to say it, but the AI does know the geography and sees through the fog of war. As the AI gets more competent, I'd like to remove those advantages.

I originally started out creating an AI that has to explore the map, but I started getting bogged down in a lot of exploring code, when I needed to be working on other things like the AI's tactical planning. Plus there's all kinds of assumptions that humans can make about the map (like "what's the odds that there's land in that section of unexplored map?") based on past experience and also the map settings. And, of course, if you're playing a known map (like europe or the world map) then the human player knows pretty well what the layout of the map is without being able to see it, which would put the AI player at a disadvantage relative to the human player.

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