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  #1  
Old March 14th, 2010, 01:03 AM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Making SP harder

I've been playing with --comptrn on lately and it really is a lot of fun, but the problem is that the computer is really horrid at picking good troops, even with the BI mod on. So you get these horribly large chaffy armies, and they have a couple of big battles and lose a lot of guys fighting each other, and then the fun is over. Not to mention the carnage that happens when you-the-human start chucking thugs and SCs into the mix, destroying those stupidly large armies utterly.

I have a longer-standing policy to always play with a HouseRules.dm mod open, and it turns out that it increases entertainment value vastly if the computer is using decent troops and summons. The easiest way to do this is to find a large army that he already has, and change one of the worthless troop types into something better with #copystats. In my current game, all of Lanka's Atavi Infantry have become Rakshasa Warriors, the Bandars have become Danava's with extra regen thrown in on top, and the Bandar Commanders are now Mandehas (which come for free with PD 1), all of them with gcost 5. The computer is still relatively poor at building them, but battles are a lot more interesting. EA Ermor has a bunch of trolls and war trolls mixed in with their legionnaires, and MA Mictlan has mostly jaguar and eagle warriors plus devils. You can still keep it generally thematic--trolls fit in with the Ermorian motif of solid infantry sluggers--but it sure makes battles a lot more entertaining. Increasing magic paths for everyone might be a good idea too.

The thing is, you don't have to do this all at the beginning. If one nation is too weak you can give it boosts as time goes along. That's why Lanka got the Danavas this time...

-Max
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:49 AM

Maerlande Maerlande is offline
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Default Re: Making SP harder

You should try out SemiRandom by Ballbarian in any of his sigs. You can use it to set up the map by giving the AI's properly equipped SC's and thugs at the beginning. That way they won't be crappy built thugs and sc's. You can also give them starting armies. It's much like what you are doing but you can then use random starts so at least you won't know everything they might have.

There are some great threads on how to build pretenders for the AI as well. A bunch of things are critical so that the AI doesn't send it's pretender into the arena. Best is probably immobiles. I'll link the thread where I asked the same question as you but I approached the solution differently.

http://forum.shrapnelgames.com//showthread.php?t=44008
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Old March 15th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Making SP harder

Also if BI seems to only come part way, you can try playing with NI (no indies). If you run the map thru a No-Indy generator it will set all of the local poptype to something that doesnt exist. That way if you set Indept strength to 9 everyone will still have a rough fight to GET a province, but will find that once they have it they cannot recruit any units there. The entire map is forced to play with only what their castles give them without locals. It creates a VERY different game especially with all nations on a large map

I wouldnt want to play all my games with it, but its an interesting change.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Making SP harder

I usually setup one or two computers with SuperCombatants at the start of the game which are of moderate distance from the human player.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 04:07 PM

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Default Re: Making SP harder

I was working on a summonable AI thug mod, at one point, and had fair success with it. Basically I just made really cost effective spells (that the AI would like to cast) which summoned custom-built thugs. Of course, the AI doesnt understand how to then use those thugs effectively, but it still made for more interesting battles and you were always assured that the thug itself was good.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:07 PM

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Default Re: Making SP harder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker View Post
Also if BI seems to only come part way, you can try playing with NI (no indies). If you run the map thru a No-Indy generator it will set all of the local poptype to something that doesnt exist. That way if you set Indept strength to 9 everyone will still have a rough fight to GET a province, but will find that once they have it they cannot recruit any units there. The entire map is forced to play with only what their castles give them without locals. It creates a VERY different game especially with all nations on a large map

I wouldnt want to play all my games with it, but its an interesting change.
Hmmm where can we find this NI mod? Thanks!
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Making SP harder

Hmmm....
I dont know if there is a mod for it. I tend to do things by map commands. So I run a script to count from one to the number of provs in my map, and write out a #setland and #poptype command for each one. That gets added to the end of the .map file.

What OS are you? Windows? Mac? Linux? which version?
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Old March 16th, 2010, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Making SP harder

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceboy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker View Post
Also if BI seems to only come part way, you can try playing with NI (no indies). If you run the map thru a No-Indy generator it will set all of the local poptype to something that doesnt exist. That way if you set Indept strength to 9 everyone will still have a rough fight to GET a province, but will find that once they have it they cannot recruit any units there. The entire map is forced to play with only what their castles give them without locals. It creates a VERY different game especially with all nations on a large map

I wouldnt want to play all my games with it, but its an interesting change.
Hmmm where can we find this NI mod? Thanks!
If you are interested in a NI generator, Map Forge has a custom tool "Make NI Map" which will do this.

As a side note, it also has a tool called "Muddy Seas" which sets all sea provinces to NI and 0 population. Other custom tools can be tailored to your preference, but the scripting is still a work in progress (on hold actually) and is crude and undocumented for the most part.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Making SP harder

To comment on the earlier part of the thread:

The thing about the Better Independents mod is that the first version was a hacked together ten minute rush job and the latest version is essentially just finetuning that. I was not sure what it would accomplish, but it turned out to work surprisingly well within the limitations it suffers from.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:06 AM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Re: Making SP harder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maerlande View Post
You should try out SemiRandom by Ballbarian in any of his sigs. You can use it to set up the map by giving the AI's properly equipped SC's and thugs at the beginning.
I have tried it, but it's really orthogonal. SemiRandom will give AIs some good thugs and/or pretenders to start with, but they still don't build effective units, equip more thugs, summon anything worthwhile, or do effective research. You can both set up thugs at the beginning AND modify units in-play. If I were more interested in fighting thugs per se I would of course HAVE to use SemiRandom, but I personally really enjoy fighting armies (which the computer knows how to build more of) more than finite numbers of thugs (which lead to a "paper" defence because once you kill them, the AI is helpless) so I have stopped using SemiRandom very much when I do play Dominions.

-Max
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