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Naval Transport by the AI

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  • Naval Transport by the AI

    The AI seems to have a limit as to the number of naval transport units it builds. It does not seem to want to build past four units of a given naval transport type, which essentially makes the AI dumb because they do not invade with a large enough number of units to overtake a continent. In Civ2, the number of transport units was proportional to the number of other types of units it had. Is there any way to make the AI a little smarter by changing the number of naval transport units that it builds (I know the AI could be made even more intelligent by stacking all of its transport units together, but at least changing the number of naval transport units that it builds would help somewhat).

  • #2
    They do not have a limit on the number of transports they will make or send. What they have is a level and situational problem. IOW play at a higher level against a stronger nations and you will see more units coming.

    That said, they are still poor at invading, even at Sid. I have seen many stacks of ships coming for me on Sid maps. I posted a turn where the Montie sent 32 galleys at me.

    I still do not see many fleets with more than 4 galleons, but what I do see is a long line of boats coming one after another.

    Now, if you are playing a level like Monarch and are crushing them, do not expect much to be tossed your way.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info vmxa1, but I am still not convinced. In my current game, which is at the Monarch level of difficulty, I planted a spy in an enemy nation that is alone on its own continent to get a count of the number of each type of units. I have attached some screenshots and also provided the counts below:

      Warrior - 1
      Archer - 136
      Spearman - 195
      Swordsman - 83
      Horseman - 183
      Pikeman - 30
      Longbowman - 57
      Musketman - 92
      Rifleman - 13
      Cavalry - 50
      Galleon - 1
      Samurai - 2
      Medieval Infantry - 11

      They certainly have plenty of land units, but they only have one naval transport unit (1 galleon). When I investigate each city, none of them are building any naval transport units. They are still building either improvements or more land units.

      IOW play at a higher level against a stronger nations and you will see more units coming.
      I don't think that there is any question that this is a strong nation. So are you saying that at higher difficulty levels, not only does the AI gain a resource advantage and a whole bunch of starting units, but also acts smarter by among other things, building more naval transport units? If this is the case, then I should be able to play a game on Sid and mod it so that the AI is at an equal playing field as the human player, and then see if a strong AI indeed builds more naval transport units.

      One other note: I have been a programmer at a software company for 3 years and have been programming since high school and have also played Civ3 (and the other Civ games) many, many times. When I see trends like my naval transport limit theory, it typically is not just coincidence but rather somebody actually programming in hard-coded values, which would disappoint me because this takes away much of the enjoyment of playing on archipelago type maps. When you see screenshots like the one below, you realize as a human player that the AI can never realistically successfully conquer another continent, even if it is controlled by another AI opponent. If the AI could at least be smarter and build a lot more naval transport units, then it would make the game more enjoyable. I will certainly give your suggestion about playing on a higher difficulty level a try, and hopefully this will work.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I wrote my first program in 1964 on Frieden Flexowrite using machine language on paper tape. Not sure what that has to do with anything. I retired as a VM systems programmer.

        Monarch is a middle level, they have lower support levels for units. I would bet that they ran into the ceiling and now they cannot build more units, hence only one boat.

        I had attacked nations with 10 cities on an island and they had more than 2,000 units. They had no boats as they were at the max they could pay for and had to disband a unit each turn.

        This was a Sid game and it is not uncommon at all. They tend to have no workers late in the game for the same reason as no or few boats.


        • #5
          This brings up another interesting point. How does the AI decide what it wants to build next? If they are forced to disband units because they are maxed out, but are still building units, shouldn't they change the production in their cities to build units that they have less of? For instance, when I see counts such as the ones I provided in my previous post, when I investigate their cities, shouldn't I see them trying to build units that they have little or none of, such as galleons? Instead, they are still trying to build units that they already have enough of.


          • #6
            I guess they are just going down their selection tree and coming up with the best unit. That leads to more of their top unit. They just do not have enough intelligence to make a better choice.

            Like disband a cheap unit and make a worker, when they have half the cities tile covered in pollution. This is not an uncommon site very late in an island Sid map.

            check the infantry count on this guy:
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Okay, so we have established that the AI is not too smart. But the question I have is, is there any way to increase the number of naval transport units that the AI builds? I have tried to use the Civ3 Conquests Editor, but I have still not been able to accomplish this. Using the editor, even if I tell the AI to "build often" naval units, they still disproportionately build naval units to land units. I also used the editor to tell naval transport units to use "naval transport" AND "naval power" but this still does not tell the AI to increase the number of naval transport units used for transport. They just build extra naval units to protect their transports. So is there any way to tell the AI to build more naval transport units, even without using the editor? It would really make the game much more enjoyable on archipelago type of maps if this was possible.


              • #8
                If you add buildings that automatically produce ships, and either the AI builds them (which they probably will eventually), or you have them preplaced on custom maps, then the AI will have more transport units than it usually does. You would have to be a bit careful with this, as if you make it a standard building, especially with too high of a unit creation rate, the AI might have gazillions of transports. Either a Small Wonder (or two/three) that produced ships, or a well-limited rate of automatic production for a regular building, would likely work best.

                This does involve using the editor, but it's the best that's possible. It still allows for randomly generated maps, so an epic game is still possible. And while you could also build these buildings, so long as you don't actually do so, the only end result should be more AI transports, and a slight advantage for them as they're getting them at low cost (whatever the shield cost of the building is, which should be low). "Should" because if you make the transport production rate too high, the AI may suffocate on unit support costs. It'll take some experimenting to find an optimal setting, but you ought to be able to find a good balance of "free" AI transport production rates.

                For an example of what I'm referring to, look at tom2050's WWII Global Unofficial 2.7 update at StormOverCiv (another fansite). In one of the BIQ's for that scenario, he has transports auto-produced in two (I believe) American cities, causing the rate of American intervention in Europe and the Pacific to increase.

                For details on how to add a building to the editor, look at one of the tutorials for adding buildings in this thread on CivFanatics, yet another Civ fansite.


                • #9
                  That is a very good idea Quintillus. I will give this a try. Thanks for the info!