Page 1 of 1

Is the AI game worth trying?

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:29 pm
by phoenix
I've never played past ten moves in the game. I love the map and the look of it. I would really like to play a good Napoleonic game, but have seen various issues hinted at, in these forums and elsewhere, a propos of the enemy AI performance in the longer campaigns. Can those who have been there, seen it, done it, tell me - if they would be kind enough - if it's really worth setting off into one of the huge campaign games (as France, against the AI), or are there so many issues with how the AI handles, for example, long-term planning and/or playing various factions/countries that it's really not worth putting the time into it because it will just be disappointing down the line? I'm playing the two-side games (TYW, WoS, ECW, for example) and finding the AI to be a perfectly playable opponent. I don't really want to play PBEM. Any comments very welcome. Thanks.

Re: Is the AI game worth trying?

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:32 pm
by Colonel Marbot

I think that your question has not gotten responses because others may not want to put their neck on the line by recommending the campaign game because some have had problems with it. Let me summarize my experiences which has been to complete two full games.

* the game stretches your computer system resources. My first full game was on a Windows 7 desktop system and I had fewer challenges than when I played it on a Windows 10 laptop.. As the game grows in size there is more potential for problems such as system crashes. There have been posts on how to alleviate this and to summarize; if you shut down all unneeded processes, disconnect from the internet and shut down your virus scans, these problems are reduced. Always check the option for saving at the last 6 turns and if you have the available storage, choose the 9 turn option. In my last game, I had a problem late in the game when I was marching Davout down the east coast of England and every time I tried it, the system crashed. I had to go back 3 turns and change his direction of march and was able to proceed past that one problem and finished the game.

* If you select options for higher AI setting (more time for planning its moves, turn on realistic supply, historical supply and historical force pools, the AI will give you a challenging game. It is not perfect in its decisions and may throw forces at you piecemeal later in the game when its forces are depleted, but this will balance against the settings to give you a challenging game.

* the game will naturally migrate away from a historical turn of events. Preconditions for scripted historical treaties etc. have very specific conditions and you can run into catch 22s which make playing a historical game difficult. For instance, to dissolve the Holy Roman empire and form the Rhine Confederation, you must own Ulm. But if you are too fast to sign a peach with Austria, you may end up giving back Ulm to the Austrians in your treaties and then be unable to select this option to dissolve the Holy Roman Empire. If you want to keep the game on a historical pathway, read preconditions carefully.

The challenge in the long run are in the victory conditions. As the French player you will need to capture Moscow, Madrid and London. This can make the game very challenging strategically. Other challenges in this game include:

1. Supply when invading Russia, as Russian units will try and cut you off.
2. Diplomatic advances to secure use of the Spanish, Dutch and Danish navies.
3. Overcoming the British fleet as a prerequisite for invading England.
4. The maintenance of a quality Grand Armee which is potentially diluted by battle losses, spreading it across Europe, and by taking on troops from minor allies.

The brilliance of this game is that it will allow you to employ Napoleonic Grand Tactics, will have to manage the personality and skill sets of the generals in your command, and will have to choose the correct battle plans, given the force composition at that battle.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy the game.

Re: Is the AI game worth trying?

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:50 pm
by phoenix
Many thanks for the full and thoughtful response and tips, Col Marbot. Much appreciated. It's reassuring to hear from someone more or less happy with it, as - you're right - I've mostly heard complaints.

Re: Is the AI game worth trying?

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:36 am
by alphington
Further to phoenix's question, I am trying to choose buying either WON or N's Campaigns. As I understand it, the earlier game is stable and looks and plays very much the same as WON but lacks a grand campaign. I would prefer to play a large campaign but not if it means having problems with CTDs and having to turn off all extraneous computer activity just to play the game as mentioned by Colonel Marbot.

So I'm interested in whether folks would say that as of 2018, WON plays well enough to be classed as a definite improvement on it's predecessor? Sorry, phoenix I hope you don't feel I'm sidetracking your thread by introducing the earlier title into the discussion!

Re: Is the AI game worth trying?

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:02 am
by phoenix
Not at all. I can say that the graphics in WoN are really lovely, much better than NC (I have both). Plus, there are various things missing from NC besides a grand campaign, I think. I've barely played it, but I believe, for example, there's no recruiting in NC. It's very much more a military only thing. I can do without the diplomacy, perhaps, but not the recruiting and replacements control - they seem a key part of the whole thing to me.

I haven't got round to trying WoN properly yet, but will do in the future. Have ended up playing mainly WoS at the moment. I can really recommend that. Seems very stable and has nearly all the elements of WoN, plus also a really beautiful map. The full scenarios (grand campaigns) are a nice manageable size too.

Re: Is the AI game worth trying?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:52 am
by alphington
Thanks phoenix, the look of the map is an important consideration for me so your assessment sways me towards WON. And yes, I'd also want recruitment/replacement control to be there. I need to think about how much I really want to play the Napoleonic era or whether something like WOS or TYW could be a better move - I can't deny that time spent researching the next purchase is all part of the fun!