Singleplayer Practice - Is the AI any good?

  • I'm new to Axis & Allies and interested in practicing to get better. I'm going to practice against the AI for a while just to get a feel for the games mechanics and unit combinations.

    That got me wondering more generally - how does the AI behave compared to humans in TripleA?

    I do mean, How strong is Hard AI? But I also am asking, does it behave strangely? If you were reviewing moves by two anonymous players, could an experienced player tell if one of the players was an AI? If so, what behaviour is characteristic of the AI?

    I'm asking partly because I'm just curious, but also because I'm wondering how helpful it is to practice against the AI in order to improve. Will you get away with a lot of silly tactics that shouldn't work, for instance?

    How do people usually practice and improve?

  • Admin

    @jazan Depends on which map you are playing. The Hard AI is useful to learn maps against and most experienced players should beat it once they are comfortable with the mechanics. It tends to do the best on smaller maps like revised and anniversary. You can also give the AI a handicap on income to help make it a bit more competitive. Once you consistency beat the AI then your best bet is playing against other people in the lobby or PBEM/PBF.

  • @redrum Thanks very much! I'm starting on the A&A: Europe map.

    The AI doesn't need any handicap from me - it beats me pretty easily. I'll keep at it though and maybe try a lobby game eventually.

    Thanks again.

  • Admin

    @jazan Well ya gotta start somewhere! Here are a few tips on using TripleA's interface to the fullest:

    1. You can open the battle calculator to get approximate odds by hovering over any territory and clicking "CTRL+B". This is very useful especially for newer players that don't have a good feel for the battle odds.
    2. You can go to the top bar "Game" > "Show history" to see all of the purchases/moves that you and the AI have made through out the game. This can help to review what the AI did and even learn from it.
    3. Top bar "Help" > "Movement/Selection Help" has lots of good tips on how to make using the interface as easy as possible.

  • @jazan the AI used to be easy (when it was called Dynamic AI) but now they have improved the AI lots over the last 2 years and yes from what we've read the maps will factor in. I only pretty much play the WWIIClassic map because its the map that the board game uses when you buy the game and the one me and my friends play and so I know it backwards and forwards and if you really want a challenge then play as the Axis and try to take down the 3 AI Allied countries!

    I have 32 submitted defeats of the AI on the WWIIClassic map ... 64 if you count my defeats vs both the Axis AI and the Allies AI!

    Here's a save of a win against the Allies AI I did recently while I'm waiting for Redrum to do more tactical AI updates. On the WWIIClassic map, it's all about that first opening move against the Allies AI that sets the tone for the match ... and remember to sometimes "strafe attack" or attack and then retreat if retreating is the better option!;


    Good luck and there is an "AI Discussion" thread where you can submit your battles against the AI and give examples where you think the AI screwed up or can be improved

  • @jazan if you want, we can start a PBEM game since I am a newbie as well. I have played F2F but only twice in last two years.

    I am currently playing a few vets online and getting crushed.

    jonpfl01 at gmail

  • @jonpfl Not getting crushed by me... 😉

  • @Captain-Crunch Thanks for the information! I know the classic world map is more popular, so I will probably check it out at some point. I bought the board game years ago, but it is the Europe map; the TripleA version is "New World Order."

    I will definitely take your advice and give the AI a try on the WWIIClassic map. I notice there are multiple editions of the Classic Map, 2nd and 3rd. Is one more popular nowadays for competition?

    The size of provinces on the Classic map is not exactly to my taste, at first glance - essentially Risk sized world map with provinces larger than average countries. But I haven't given a shot yet so who knows, may end up loving it.

    Seems like the tactics are fairly straightforward and production planning is where much of the strategy comes in?

    Thanks for all the responses! I'm now confident that playing until I can beat the AI on classic maps is A) achievable, and B ) a smart first step to improvement.

  • @jazan hmmm maybe the Axis and Allies board game published a different map for Europe!

    I play the WWIIClassic map because it's the exact one on the board game my friend owns but anyways I only play 1 map against the AI because I enjoy the challenge and look forward to the AI improvements and testing it but I'm just casual and I'm only on 2 game forums right now for my daily routine but this games development is interesting and I'll say again I totally love battling the fresh new improved AI ...

    I have asked a few times but I kinda wondered if this game will ever officially be "done" or maybe the AI will always be being worked on ... which is fine. I also suggested an "AI tweak challenge" thread where people tweak the AI settings and try to submit the toughest AI! Hmm, I wonder if you can tweak 2 AI's and have them battle each other hehehhe?

    Ok, good luck with your battles and remember to submit any of your saved matches to the "AI discussion" thread if the AI did anything you thought was questionable or is a bug.

  • Moderators

    @captain-crunch If the AI ever evolved that far an AI Tournament Challenge would be so enjoyable.


  • Moderators

    @jazan My answer is mostly a no. While the AI has been much improved and it is a very interesting tool, also fun to play, by giving it some good bonuses, and very valuable for current and future games having AI only players in the mix, as far as practicing for learning goes, the skill difference between the AI and a very good player on any games is still too big for the AI to help you improving in that direction, unless maybe in the very early phases, and only in case your starting point is very low. Actually, I believe that, by playing against the AI, also with bonuses high enough to make a difference (that adds the gameplay distortion of increasing placement limits for the AI, as getting more income to spend, without increasing placement limits), you would build a gameplay optimized against such an opponent, that is likely to be significantly divergent with what you would do against a very good human player; so the risk is that, then, when moving to person-to-person gaming, rather than have to learn, you will have to re-learn.

    In genenal, the AI is better on slow games, with a progressive build up and no critical round 1 "must-do" moves. For example, "Neuschwabenland" (in Experimental) is probably a good game to play with AI.

  • Moderators

    @hepps said in Singleplayer Practice - Is the AI any good?:

    @captain-crunch If the AI ever evolved that far an AI Tournament Challenge would be so enjoyable.


    Actually, @Zjelcop had a subforum for it in the old WarClub, and I think it was a pretty good idea, but, eventually, it faded out for lack of interest, sadly.

  • @cernel it's funny cuz my old trs80 color computer had a game called Robot War I think it was called and you basically programmed 2 robots with different attacks and then battled them against each other ... but an AI vs AI Tournament on an Axis and Allies map would be even more interesting ... for "game theory" enthusiasts ofcourse!

    [obligatory Terminator robot pic]

  • Is the AI any better if one hosts a game online and then selects all AI opponents? Does the AI improve if it has the AAA servers' computing power to draw on, vs. just my pc's processor?

  • Admin

    @Darren-Brock Nope. You are best off just playing a local game and choosing "Hard AI". You can give them a bid or bonus income to increase difficulty.

  • Thanks. I'd love to engage human competition, but my life on the road makes it difficult, plus the difficulties I've had playing online given that I connect through Samsung mobile hotspot. I've so far been unable to make my pc discoverable on the internet

  • Admin

    @Darren-Brock Well, you can always try out PBEM or PBF which as long as you have connectivity to email or post here on the forum should work fine.

  • One major issue I find with Hard AI is notably the US not being able to make its mind up about transporting units across the Atlantic. If as Germany I build any naval presence the US usually will shuffle back and forth around Panama not knowing to hit Algeria/Norway or western France. I usually play Pact of steel 1/2 and any classic/revised.

  • Admin

    @GötterdÀmmerung If you have any save games showing the US playing particularly poorly, please upload them here so I can take a look. The AI generally struggles some with ships/transports compared to land/air combat. Its just more complex and often difficult to determine the good purchases and moves.

  • AI doesn't take into account placement limits and sometimes spam factories. I've a map that some values of territories are 4 but no placement is allowed.

    AI still build factories in there they though they can place 4 units in here.

Log in to reply