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Topic: No longer winning :( Autocrat broke or I really don't know how to play

maddog
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Joined: 2015-11-15, 02:28
Posts: 6
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 02:36

My economy is strong, yet I cannot win in autocrat anymore. I don't know why I'm not generating enough soldiers, or enough trained soldiers, but I'm getting my ass handed to me by the AI in every single game.

I'm only playing with barbarians, I never took the time to learn the buildings and economy of other tribes.

I used to be able to win without touching the ware production settings at all. Now even if I try to readjust iron mining and refining, I still don't get enough soldiers and get sorely beaten every time.

Why? What am I doing wrong? In my first months with the game I sucked because my economy sucked, never had enough of that blackwood face-smile.png But I learned to build a good economy over time, yet I still cannot win.

Help.


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1227
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Posted at: 2015-11-15, 05:37

it is difficult to say what you are doing wrong without seeing more of your gameplay.

That said, while the ai has improved a lot with the trunks, it's still weak enough that a good human player can win 1v7 with relative ease. So you are certainly doing something really wrong. Not knowing what it is from your description, I can make two hypothesis.

  • you don't promote your soldiers. you don't make a training camp, or you make it but you lack bread, or something. regardless of the reason, all you get from your mining effort is a horde of level 0 soldiers. which are fine to rush in early game, but will be slaughtered with little to no losses by a small number of better trained soldiers.

  • you think your economy is fine, but it actually has a bottleneck somewhere that's stopping you. yyou said you play barbarians, so the most likely bottleneck in their economy is bread. it is needed to upgrade the soldiers or run advanced mines, but it is really expensive; among humans, if barbarians fail to rush in early game, they generally lose specifically for that reason. But it could be something else too. To find if your economy has a bottleneck, look in stock, wares (total). you'll see all the wares you have in your economy, and you can easily see if one of them is missing. for example, you may see that you have plenty of iron and gold, but you lack coal, then you know you'll need coal mines. you can also look at productivity (from statistics - buildings) and see which buildings have low productivity; then you need to produce more of their required wares. example: you see than your bakeries have low productivity, so you look in bakeries. they need water and grain, you see they are full of water, but have little or no grain, then you know lack of grain is slowing you. If you find that nothing is missing, then maybe the bottlneck is lack of a particular building. For example, you may find that you have plenty of metals and coal in stock, so you probably need to build more smelting works.

An economy is like a well-oiled engine in that it runs at the speed of the slower of its components. look carefully at your economy to see which one is that, and remedy it.

plaing with economy settting instead won't help in your specific case; setting a different target for the amount of resources won't produce more resources.

Edited: 2015-11-15, 05:38
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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1669
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Location: Germany
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 10:47

Yes it's more difficult to win a game with the new ai. For a player who plays widelands from time to time, not every day, the gameplay has lost his cozy atmosphere: You could just sit down and play, watching the animations ... and won most of the games. Now it is more like: You will have to quickly(!) bring up a good economy with strong soldiers, otherwise you lost the game. For beginners, who don't have enough knowledge of the economy and possible micromanagement, the game could be frustrating when most games are lost.

And the tip "You find our ai is boring? Visit our server and play against human players" (or the like) which is shown on every start of the game is useless, if a normal player does not win against the ai.

I would really like to see a button for different strength of ai in a normal game, or different autocrat modes like "autocrat easy", "autocrat normal", "autocrat strong" or something similar.

This statement is not against the new ai. It's importand to have a strong ai, but we should consider new players, or those players who will play widelands cozy.


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Tibor
Joined: 2009-03-23, 23:24
Posts: 1231
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Location: Slovakia
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 17:24

Maybe we should drop Offensive/normal/defensive option and replace it with weak/normal/strong options.


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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1669
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Location: Germany
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 18:35

Oh, i am so sorry. I never noticed the options for ai-modes in the UI if i start a new game face-upset.png


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maddog
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Joined: 2015-11-15, 02:28
Posts: 6
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 19:57

I'm not a gaming noob, if something's in the red, I notice it. I read new messages and move around the map constantly to track my progress.

How can an AI have a dozen of upgraded soldiers by the time I get to it, while I'm struggling to fill my fortresses with level 0 soldiers?

Things that I'm doing that are maybe wrong:

1) I'm evacuating every single military structure after it's built and moving all forces out, I keep the soldiers in the building only near enemies, maybe I'm not supposed to be doing that? Should I be leaving 8 soldiers in every fortress to encourage soldier growth?

2) I'm also destroying military structures deep in my side of the map, to get back materials, while I'm still discovering the map. Maybe that somehow affects soldier production?

Things that I tend to do that I think are good:

1) As soon as I have farms, bakery and strong beer - build a battle arena.

2) As soon as I'm mining iron and gold - build training camp

3) As soon as workers are ready - I upgrade the metal workshop to have all 3 - metal workshop, axe workshop and the war mill.

4) Before I have the metal workshop, I usually build enough farms to run out of farm workers

My last game was especially annoying, had like 30 bars or iron, a bunch of iron ore, 3 smelters and I still couldn't get soldiers. I had maybe 4 full fortresses in the edges of my map, the rest of the buildings held 1 weak soldier, just to hold the building.

It feels to me that the soldier generation formula changed somehow to mess up specifically with my style of playing face-smile.png

Edited: 2015-11-15, 19:58
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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1227
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Posted at: 2015-11-15, 21:23

no, evacuating/dismantling buildings in the middle of the empire is standard strategy and it does not affect soldier production. yes, it's good that you can recycle those soldiers elsewhere.

for the rest I see nothing wrong.

You say that you have 30 iron bars and a bunch of iron ores, maybe you lack coal? Just grasping at straws. the workings of economy were not touched in the last few months, so that cannot be a problem. There are plans to implement a new building to recruit new soldiers from axes, instead of generating them automatically in headquarters, but as far as I know they have not been implemented yet. If they were, you'd see a new building available anyway.

Could you play a game and post a replay? that way I could see what is the problem.

As for making difficulty levels, both easier and harder than normal, I suggested to do that long ago, at least a couple of times. But they would require changing code, so I can see people are reluctant. The "defensive, normal, offensive" settings only deal with how much power the ai must have before attacking, so they're not really related to difficulty. An aggresive ai may be harder because it will try more to rush, but it will also suicide all its troops attacking a stronger position.


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maddog
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Joined: 2015-11-15, 02:28
Posts: 6
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 21:54

I took a screenshot of my latest autosave (actually a save from when I met the enemy) from this map, which I tried playing twice. it looks like I did have a coal problem but I solved it way before the attack (I knew those graphs existed, but I rarely open them). But otherwise how problematic does it really look? - http://i.imgur.com/0cPM4fC.jpg

At this point I had 107 soldiers, all deployed, .

Edited: 2015-11-15, 22:02
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Tibor
Joined: 2009-03-23, 23:24
Posts: 1231
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One Elder of Players
Location: Slovakia
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 22:02

Well ofensive/defensive/normal setting affects AI only - AFAIK. So from my standpoint I would welcome renaming them....

@maddog: Personally in graphs I look at first (teritorry) and last icon (military strength), especially the last one would be more useful I think...


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maddog
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Joined: 2015-11-15, 02:28
Posts: 6
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 22:13

Military strength - http://i.imgur.com/35Ih6Wa.png Land size - http://i.imgur.com/ppQbRmV.png


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