Strange AI Behavior
Mon, 16 April 2012 04:10
I've seen the AI do some strange things before, but this one takes the cake.
The game began with a race column that had Were-White Ladies followed by Cursed Skeletons. I started with Were-White Ladies, originally placed them on the western mountain, and then redeployed so that all six tiles were on the one region (safety in numbers to ride out an attack before I went Were). The AI settled for the Cursed Skeletons, started on the southern mountain and, with a reinforcement, spread out to two adjacent regions.
On Round 2, my White Ladies went Were, so I marched them east above the lake, across the north central mountain, and to the eastern border, covering six regions (I would have covered the eastern mountain, but I didn't want to dip too close to the Skeletons). The Skeletons then grabbed one or two more regions along the south (despite the curse, the AI had great luck with the reinforcement die).
On Round 3, my White Ladies went into decline. The Skeletons did the same.
On Round 4, it was time to pick new active races. Looking at the race column, it seemed likely that the AI would pick Merchant Giants. I chose Dragon Master Humans (with six immune White Ladies on the board, I would have liked a Spirit race, but none were available). White Ladies blocked two of the four mountains, and would have blocked three had I not avoided the Skeletons. The eastern mountain was open, and the southern mountain was taken by the in-decline Skeletons, so I used the dragon to block the eastern mountain, and grabbed as much of the area below my line-o-Ladies as I could.
When it was the AI's turn to play its Merchant Giants, three of the mountains were immune and the fourth contained its own Skeletons. So it started in the northwest corner, where there was only one region surrounded by immune White Ladies. The smart thing would have been to start in the south, whether cannibalizing its own Skeletons around the mountain (Merchant would have more than offset the loss), or starting away from the mountain and taking out some of my Humans until it could grab one of the mountains. Even starting in the northeast, there at least would have been two open regions, so why the AI placed in that one blocked corner is beyond me.
Over the next several rounds, I wiped out the Skeletons and spread my Humans as far as they could go across ten regions (this took a few turns longer than expected, as the reinforcement die always came up empty for me).
Eventually I was scoring 18 points per round between my six White Ladies and my ten Humans (with two farmlands). The AI never abandoned that one region in the corner, and simply redeployed all eight Giants to the same place every turn.
After all the Skeletons were wiped out, the Merchant Giants were only scoring 3 points per round. And so the game ended 129-39, a 90-point spread.
And on a final note:
Seriously, guys, time for an update to this game! We need Retina graphics, Be Not Afraid, Tales and Legends, 3- and 4-player games, and online multiplayer. I play this game almost every day, and there hasn't been an update in ages.