Just went a dozen rounds vs Hard AI Allies at 125% and it felt pretty good. In every game I've played vs the AI there invariably comes a point when you break away, and then it doesn't really matter how much of a bonus the AI has received, because they can't recover, but up until that point the extra PUs and Resources make a pretty big difference in the feel of the difficulty level.
I also like the idea of default difficulty settings of the sort redrum just mentioned, mainly because I think the average player is more likely to click a simple difficulty setting, than they are to pop the hood and start tweaking a bunch of complex values at launch. I think they are more likely to say, "ok, last time NORMAL was too easy, so I will click VERY HARD this time and see how that feels" as opposed to going in and assigning bonuses nation by nation. It would also give us a chance to really cater the bonuses to the AI's current ability. So for example, I've just been picking a universal number like 110% or 125% etc and giving each AI nation that same bonus, mainly because it felt clean and easy to replicate. But maybe some nations need more? Perhaps some need less? With a default setting you could get more nuanced with it.
That said, I still think its important that the player be able to adjust this stuff on the fly, via a CUSTOM difficulty or whatever. And its definitely important that they be able to see it all charted out somewhere (so that the difficulty tweaks for the standard levels aren't invisible.) Until then though, I'll just keep trying to tease out a number that I feel works alright for the AI Allies until I hit one that kicks my ass consistently hehe. Next I'll try like 130% or thereabouts.
Oh also this last time I did try buying a couple Kamikazes at the end there, but I only used them in one attack so far. I haven't made much use of those or the V rockets or nukes, somehow I felt like it was probably a cheapshot on the AI. But as the difficulty of the AI bonus levels increases, then I feel less sporting and less likely to cut the computer as much slack. Probably at the 130% bonus level, stuff like strat bombing will be necessary to maintain parity with the machine? Will have to see
Anyhow, here is the last one...
0_1523315918556_Elk vs Hard AI Allies 125 Germany round 13.tsvg