Specific cringe-worthy behaviors of tactical AI.

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Nerdfish

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Jul 11, 2007
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After watching a number auto resolve replays, I have noticed that tactical AI are particularly bad with certain units and abilities. This thread isn’t about the AI being bad in general (which applies to any AI that isn't neural network). It’s rather about especially egregious things. This will be more productive than talking about how bad the AI is in general.
Without further delays:
  • AI will prioritize moving Magelocks and mark a target instead of firing when there are valid targets in range.
  • AI will not use consume chaos on chaos eater when it is at full health.
  • AI will teleport a hero armed with magelock into the enemy army to perform a melee strike if the hero has blink.
Since I play in a specific way, I am only able to observe behaviors that affect my play-style. Therefore I think it’d be good to have a thread to discuss this since everyone would encounter different issues. Please post the worst AI behaviors you have seen. It doesn’t have to be an entire page, just the critical ones that cause facepalm.
 
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The primal darter will walk into melee range, to use disengaging shot, rather than saving the ability to escape. But it works sometimes because it does so much damage and has only 1 turn cooldown. Don't know if stupid or genius.
 
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The AI loves to use all its movement points regardless if it makes it sense or not.

If 3/4ths the AI army are foot slogs, and a couple of mounted or phase'rs... it will happily charge one or two units straight into an enemy formation unsupported and the rest of yhe AI army has yet to get anywhere close to range... basically banzai kamikaze charging with no hope of surviving another round with its fast troops.
 
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Senseless teleports, especially of backline heroes and units, is I think the most egregious one. (The most frequent example here is how dedicated the AI is to blink-suiciding Banshees to get a turn 1 AoE)

In general the AI also feels kind of random in terms of how it prioritizes and targets healing, buff and utility abilities.
 
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I noticed the following behavior several times:

In a battle with the following participants:
- My army (one or multiple stacks of units)
- friendly hero (AI) (with possibly a few other units)
- enemy (AI) (one or multiple stacks of units)

The friendly hero will walk right towards the enemy units and gets slaughtered.

It is obviously much wiser to stay safely among my units for the AI friendly hero. Especially if I'm putting all my units in a defensive position.
 
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Off the top of my head, I'd say...
- Spending the first two rounds clustering up on their side of the map to use buffs that wear off by the time they come into engagement range
- Wasting spell points casting debuffs as early as possible, which will also often only last a single turn by the time our forces engage
- Sending heroes and even their ruler ahead without support to try and solo my entire army (they do this one almost every single time)
- Picking one unit to prioritize targeting, even if it means putting their own units in very bad positions
- Prioritizing getting ranged units into cover, even when it means massively limiting the units they can attack
 
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Wasting precious heals like using a 20 HP heal on a unit that's only missing 17 HP. Idk why, it just triggers my OCD and feels like those few HP are gone forever lol
 
I had several very easy fights where I lost all units. Seems AI is bad at using casters and support. When I take control I keep them behind and let enemies come and i usually lose 0-1 instead of 4 units when AI plays them.
 
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The AI loves to use all its movement points regardless if it makes it sense or not.

If 3/4ths the AI army are foot slogs, and a couple of mounted or phase'rs... it will happily charge one or two units straight into an enemy formation unsupported and the rest of yhe AI army has yet to get anywhere close to range... basically banzai kamikaze charging with no hope of surviving another round with its fast troops.
Yes I saw that a few times too with phasing heroes. sometimes a hero or ruler would teleport into my gun line while the rest of their army is 10 hex behind.
The outcome ... is the last first samurai.
 
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Just realized the magelock issue happens with any heroes with a one-AP ability.
If a hero has a one-AP ability ability that is off cooldown, the AI will always move the hero and use it instead of shooting.
I think this is because the same logic is applies to heroes and the musketeer unit.
 
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BTW, Observed the same issue with True death Magic and Magelocks.
True death magic (from Eternal Lord) is completely useless because it cost 3 AP.
I have never seen the AI use it a single time in about 10 battles.
 
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Realized something related to phase power.
This appear to cause AI teleporting healers forward AHEAD of frontline melee units to make single target attack on the enemy, with pretty predictable result.
If you research phase power and auto resolve, support unit tend to be the only ones dying.
 
AI will teleport a hero armed with magelock into the enemy army to perform a melee strike if the hero has blink.
I've seen this happen with melee heroes as well. Last night I had the ruler of the opposing faction teleport right into my (late game) army without any backup. As a result I killed her on turn 2/3 or whatever it was and immediately got a nice morale boost. It's pretty retarded.
 
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But I can give credit to AI for its flanking game.
It way better than me understands that moving a unit few tiles this or that direction turns normal attack into flanking one. Seems like it prioritises flanking always. Maybe UI should change somehow highlighting for human user from which tiles which unit would be flanked from.
 
In a recent game I was up against some Feudal opponents.
And it seems the AI for Bannermen is pretty bad, especially if there is more than one.
First, they buff at the start of AI turn before the rest of the units start moving forward, so the Bannermen stay back (like other Supports).
Then, on subsequent turns, the Bannermen still stay back and buff each other, alternating between Bulwark Standard and Soothing Standard (even if unhurt, just for Morale boost) while the rest of the AI army is up front fighting and dying, where the buffs and heals would be actually useful. Because apparently they just look for the closest target to throw the buff on, which is other supports who stayed back.
It doesn't help that, in big battles, the AI tends to form one stack of mostly supports (which then stay back buffing each other) and two stacks of actual fighting units (which lack support to keep them alive).

Also, the AI likes to waste combat casting points in early turns by throwing 1-turn Steadfast on units that are so far from my troops that cannot engage that turn anyway.
 
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