Conquest AI Rules

Can we please make the AI obey the game rules?

Maybe there are some rules that I am not aware of, and if so then please let me know, but by constantly closing the game (without letting the game save anything) and restarting the same turn of a conquest, I have been able to determine that atleast from what I can see, the AI in the conquest does not appear to obey ANY of the rules of the game. The AI should always obey the same rules that the users have to obey, or atleast something reasonable close.

Currently the AI produces ships on planets where ships are not allowed to be produced, and where you cannot produce ships if you own it. There is no ship production facility there. If the user is not allowed to produce ships there, then the AI should not be allowed to produce ships there. If the AI can, then the user should be able to.

It automatically adjusts the number of ships that it has according to how many you attack it with. Example I scout a planet with a single fighter, and it has a single cruiser, 2 frigates, and 32 fighters. I immediately attack it with 2 cruisers and 32 fighters, and it has 2 cruisers, 5 frigates, and 48 fighters. I close the program before it can save anything, and attack it again with just 32 fighters, and it only has 1 cruiser and 32 fighters.

It has no income limits and no production limits. Example I scout a planet and it has 6 cruisers and 10 frigates. The following turn it attacks me with a fleet basically equal to everything it has. I win the attack. Logic state that it should be pretty much out of ships. The following turn I attack it, and it has the same 6 cruisers and 10 frigates that it had before it attacked me. So it appears to have created the ships that it attacked me with out of thin air. This characteristic requires the user to have to defend their borders with next to nothing, wait until the AI attacks them, and then take that planet back with their real fleet, and the next planet too, and then withdraw everything but a single frigate and repeat the process, in order to get around the AI constantly eliminating the user’s fleet trying to defend against these ships out of nowhere. This is exactly contrary to what is, and should normally be, done in this type of environment, namely defending your borders and not expanding until you can properly defend your new borders. In fact this characteristic will guarantee that anyone that tries to properly defend their borders will never be able to build a large enough attack force to conquer much of the world, because they will forever lose their attack force defending against these attackers that are created out of nowhere, because even if they win the attack, they will have lost some ships that will have to be rebuilt, just in time to have to defend again against more of these ships out of nowhere.

It has infinite knowledge of what I have for ships and always attacks with more power than I have. If I defend a planet with a single frigate, then it will attack with a single cruiser or something similar. If I close the program without letting it save and instead defend that planet with 6 cruisers, 4 frigates, and 160 fighters, then it attacks the same planet that turn but with a force that again has anywhere from 1.5-3 times my hit points. If I can’t know what it has for ships, then it shouldn’t know what I have for ships. Or if it does know, then I should also be able to know what it has.

It can change race instantly. I have scouted planets that are isolated from everything else, and are all alone, so I know that they are not being conquered, yet when I scouted it, it had a big fleet of federation ships, but the following turn when it attacked me, it attacked me with a big fleet of swarm ships. I can’t change race at will like that, so it shouldn’t be able to either. It should be required to attack me with the ships that it had present, including the exact ship designs. And whatever ships it attacks with should no longer be on the planet for use as defense.

These characteristics do not always exhibit themselves (I have actually seen the AI obey the rules a time or two), but they do most of the time. This game would be MUCH more fun if the AI obeyed the rules. Give it an income advantage if you need to, or start it with more planets than the user starts out with, but force it to obey the same rules everyone else has to. If the AI has no rules, then there really isn’t much difference between the conquest expansion and just fighting various scenarios from the online part of the game, except that you can guarantee that the AI will have a huge advantage in the conquest expansion.

Alright, firstly, there is a few things you should know.

one: The game takes your fleet’s health, then matches it (plus or minus) to some other REAL persons fleet. This means that the game isn’t bound by some AI making predictable fleets that you can easily provide the counter to and win every match with ease. Next time when the game tells you others success or failures against said fleet, take a look at the top right hand corner, it will tell you what player designed the fleet. Sometimes you will face new player fleets that are easy. Sometimes a veterans fleet that is quite hard. Sometimes huge fighter spam, sometimes frigate spam. You never know.

two: Your not fighting one singular “empire” that rules the galaxy. Your fighting THE galaxy. For all I know, the galaxy was at peace until you and your planet started attacking everyone without provocation, so a lot of races are pissed at you, and that’s why a lot of races are attacking you from the same planets. Okay, that may be just a stretch of my imagination, but if you want “rules” let me put it to you this way. when the AI attacks you, and you win, then attack the planet they just came from, just pretend the AI sent in another force to defend it. That’s within the rules.

As for fleets being built were there are no shipyards or lower class shipyards, the answer is simple. They came from somewhere else. You have fleets on planets that can’t build ships, did you build them on that planet?

Remember: If your not winning, you may need a new strategy, or new updated fleet designs. My fleets are often outclassed in battles, but I don’t mind as that just means there will be more loot left when I knock him below ten percent. when I first tried the conquest mode, I had my ass handed to me on a silver platter on several occasions. I probably started 30-40 new accounts, and all failed. Finally, I ditched my old strategy, ditched my old race, tried something new, and voila, I have a quarter of the planets under a firm control that can repel attacks. Do note this IS a strategy game. Method A won’t win you the game.

PS. Don’t be afraid of the retreat button. There is no dishonor in a tactical advance in the opposite direction.

I believe the proper term is a retrograde tactical advance.

Why would the AI have to follow the same rules as the players? Almost every AI in every game out there cheats. That’s because if the AI was to follow the same rule as the player, it would be no match for any human player. The goal isn’t to make a fair game, but a fun game. The best example being AI war: fleet command, where the AI definitely cheats and openly spawns units, still makes a fun game.
That way, GSB’s galactic conquest is quite challenging, as long as you don’t rely on lame spams or obvious exploits.

I remember in Tiberian Sun, one of the differences between the difficulty levels was that the chance of the AI cheating got increased. I was quite amused when I first spotted that variable in the data files.