Problem With Ai's?


So I made a 4 player TB game and force started it to do my own little testing of how AI’s work.

It was a twin rings map, and the first thing I noticed was that they’re programmed to have cool little different opening moves.

One took all the inner ring. One took both rings, and the other took all the inner ring and 4 of the outer ring, those 4 stars forming a +.

But then I discovered that the AI’s seem to know JUST what I had set my fleets to do.

So, 4 of yellow’s outer stars had about 20 ships each. I sent a fleet of 150 to one in the middle.
After I submit it, yellow has reinforced THAT star to 170, but left all others free.

And it happened multiple times.

The other thing is that AI’s are really reluctant to attack each other.
Even though I send some tech and got on green’s ‘good’ list, he chose to turtle up rather than attack yellow.

Soon, it was costing me too much to keep him happy, and he immediately attacked me.

So I am getting hit by both yellow and green next to me, while they haven’t captured a single star of each other’s in the entire game.

Cyan, who only borders yellow, took 2 or 3 stars of yellow’s at the start, lost them, and much later took those 2 or 3 again.

But if he had actually attacked yellow with intent, cyan should have easily taken yellow down while I was keeping him busy. And I also noticed that yellow didn’t seem to retaliate against cyan after he took his original stars back…

This makes it pretty unfair for players I think. Especially the first problem. Can you look into it Jay?

One Green Monster versus 7 AI Robots

The AI is not really designed for single player, it’s designed to fill the seat of an AFK player. They tend ally among themselves against the players. They also don’t necessarily try to win, they won’t decide to attack another player or AI just because they can.

Do you think the first problem might simply be because the AI was playing as if it was a real time game and you were playing turn based?

How tough was it to take out the AI? Was it an easy win for you an experienced player?


So I just played a similar game - twin-ring, mostly default settings, me against 3 AI’s.
It took 12 cycles to win (I dragged it out at the end to test some stuff) and while the AI is MUCH improved, some misc. stuff I observed:

  1. This was a 6-hour turn game and there is no doubt the AI reacts intra-turn. Interestingly enough, it seems to react mostly on defense - i.e. if I sent an attack against a star, it would reinforce … but if I basically pulled all my ships away from their captured core, they did not move to retake.
  2. The AI did not seem to trade tech with each other as much as I thought they would (?)
  3. The AI expanded well at the beginning, but then stopped, leaving a single star on the outer ring. Late in the game, I abandoned a star and it went after it.
  4. If I attack the AI (but lose) there doesn’t seem to be any change in the regard. I.e. perhaps regard only drops when the AI loses a star versus just has a battle engagement (?)
  5. The AI lets their buddies down. I was aggressively attacking AI#1 (which I had negative regard with) who got a Weapons upgrade … who then passed it to AI#2 (who I was neutral with) and I was able to get Weapons from AI#2 … thanks for screwing over your robot buddy! :wink:
  6. I left one AI with a single star, so it only took me $15 to “patch up our friendship” … so if I sent $15, I get +1 in regard … and if I sent $45 (in one fell swoop), I get +3. I then sent several (failing) attacks against him and even after he lost some ships, the regard didn’t change - see #4 above.
  7. The AI should go after the leader. After vanquishing AI #1, I was pig-piling on AI#2 (it was a win by 66% game). Meanwhile, I had NOT attacked AI#3 (although somehow I got -1 on regard) … and even after leaving my border with hardly any ships, he did not attack me.
  8. The AI built wayyyyy too many carriers early on and then seemed to focus too much on Economy to the detriment of Industry and especially Science.


And I also saw the “dreaded ZERO ship attack” as seen below!!! :wink:
I’m not sure if the “-1 ships lost” was due to the attack or an Industry created ship (?)
In hindsight, I should have either cleared off the star or abandoned it - who would win?

If Jay wants to look at anything behind the scenes, the game is here (password: test1)
I did accidentally win (meant to delete it when I was one star away) so Jay is welcome to pull back a victory point in my stats since it was just against Bots.


Well, that makes sense, I guess, so, no problems with that.

Well, that’s how they were playing, I just can’t put it to sheer chance.

It was actually really hard, because I was getting hit by two AIs at once, it was costing too much to keep even one of them in good regard, and they were trading with each other AND the 3rd AI, who was basically sitting around under AI#2 and doing nothing.

I could fend off the AI’s attacks, but when it seemed that it was about all I could do, and that there was nothing else to observe, I deleted it…

And like I said, I though it was a little too expensive to keep the AIs happy. They seem to slowly lose friendship even if you don’t attack them, as long as you’re bordering them.
Sharing tech was too dangerous, as he would have just passed it over to the other AIs, and sending money was about 2/3 of my entire pay.


Hmm, they traded pretty much evenly in my game…

Didn’t see them leaving any stars, and I didn’t think to abandon any.

I noticed that they focused too much on economy too…
And also that they don’t seem to research much other than weapons and manu after some time.


The AI’s DID trade in my game … they just didn’t do it right away. For instance, when one AI had weapons, he didn’t pass it around right away … which I was pretty thankful for.

I only saw the “leftover” star in the first game … and it may have been because I didn’t hesitate to snarf it up.

The AI is a LOT LOT tougher (thanks Dysp & Jay) but when attacking, it could be a bit more all-in to take me out. Having said that, I think on defense, it needed to be a bit more protective of the core.

I ended up playing an 8-user game against the Bots as mention in this thread.


OK , for balancing I will try and get them to make less carriers and reduce the economy budget. I will try a balance pass on Monday morning.

One Green Monster versus 7 AI Robots


Graphic display shows the 0 ship attack at Weapons 1 actually gifted you a single ship.

Just curious.
Were there other 0 ship attacks at higher weapon tech level that gifted you more ships ?


Hi Jay,

Human players would purchase more carriers if the map view shows it is needed for the next 1-2 pay cycles. Human players also set carriers paths where survival is expected. As a human, I want to minimize carrier purchases, since they add no productive capacity as EIS would. The AI should behave the same way… I would not know how to code that in.

I mainly buy carriers from the starting funds. The map review will show me how many. My main priority is to reserve EIS budgeting, especially E for the 23rd hour purchases.

Since carriers are not a normal part of my budget, I think I reduce the I(Industry) portion of EIS budget when I buy a carrier. I reduce the E portion of EIS budget to account for tech trades and Formal Alliances. E portion is the biggest part of my budget, usually about 45-60%.

I suspect current AI’s may have a general “single game phase” budget. It could be adjusted to recognize the
1.) Early game,
2.) Mid-game Cruise, and
3.) End game
phases, each with a specific budget allocation.


I recently played a 1v7 and 1v15 game against the bots - two more suggestions to my list above.

9. If a Robot owns a WG star but it’s obvious they are about to lose, destroy the WG.

10. If a Robot is being attacked, it should NOT trade with me no matter how much tech/credit I send 'em!

On #7 above - The AI should go after the leader. After vanquishing AI #1, I was pig-piling on AI#2 (it was a win by 66% game). Meanwhile, I had NOT attacked AI#3 (although somehow I got -1 on regard) … and even after leaving my border with hardly any ships, he did not attack me.

Code wise, I’d suggest something as simple if a player has more than twice the number of stars as the next closest, there is no way you are going to trade with them … and will almost certainly attack them.


In my game 6120226065219584 two AI empires are at hyperspace range level 1, but are moving fleets distances in excess of that range.


Thanks for the heads up @Gwimweeper I will try and look into this one right away.

Are they jumping to attack, defend or to capture unclaimed stars?


In both cases the AI fleets exceed their HR to attack.

Darkaths(AFK) 's fleet currently en route from Markab to Sheratan is one example. As you can see I am also at HR1 and am unable to reach Markab from Sheratan.

The other example is the yellow AI moving a fleet from Sadira to Naos. Whereas Sadira is out of range of my fleet at Naos.

( Kudos to you for investigating so quickly . )