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Charon (AOK AI)

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2022 8:27 pm
by MrElephant
Hello All,

Please welcome my final AOE 2 AI that I will be working on, Charon. The AI's name comes from Greek mythology - the ferryman of the dead.

First, this AI is made for AOK- as mentioned in the title. This means the AI is made for the original base game. The plans are to make this AI support all civilizations in Age of Kings. Currently the preferred civilization is China, but I have tested it with Teutons- and it seems to play fine with them as well. No unique units are created at this point. What you will notice with this AI is that it will only produce 50 villagers, and that is because the original game only supports 50 working villagers. There are also some other key differences which I will not go into here.

Game Types:

Versions: This AI is meant to run on AOK, but has been tested on future iterations of the game- and is compatible.
Map Types: Charon can play on land and water maps. Specifically Black Forest, Arabia, Islands, and Team Islands. Other land maps are supported, but the AI will consider the map to be a land map.
Civilizations: Charon prefers to play Chinese right now. Future updates will include other civilizations.
Population: The AI is meant for 125 population- the competitive population of that era. However, it does not resign if another population limit is selected.

Future Updates:
Additional support for other civilizations to be added.
Unique units to be added.
Additional strategies to be added
Better usage of strategic number percentages will be added

Side Note:

I am also including in this post a previous AI that I worked on, Thanatos. A few of you may of heard of me working on this creation. Originally I spent four months working on this AI only to find out 50 villagers were supported in the base game. This led to me having to completely restart my AI from scratch with a brand new strategy. Thanatos is a decent AI- but it needs the 100 villagers support for its economy. In case you are interested, its name comes from the Greek word, meaning Death. It can play any AOK civ, but I found it prefers to play Persians. It prefers to play land maps, but water maps can be played as well.

Edit: 12Jul2022- Included an old collection of files for Thanatos. Nothing significant should have changed vs 25Jun2022 files, but should have included the 10Jul2022 zip.

Update 15Aug2022- Additional strategies are included. Furthermore, Charon responds to 150 and 151 taunts for tournaments, or removing debug messages.
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Re: Charon (AOK AI)

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:19 am
by Bandit1990
Hi! I wanted to get back to you after playing a few games with Charon. I like that it goes M@A with Chinese and its slow swarm reminds me of the tutorial AI made by BearTheGreat (which terrified me when I first started using different AI!). I’m also quite surprised at just how many resources it can still gather with a cap of 50 vils! I did see a couple of patterns which I think if addressed would give it a good boost. The main one is that it likes to stockpile food and not just when looking to age up. It was quite often for me to look at the top screen and see 1000 food or something close stocked up. I’m not the best person to advise on this but my guess would be if you put less people on food and a little more on gold you would get more wood to build your buildings quicker (because less farms to reseed) and you’d have more gold to age up quicker and make more militia-line. It may make the difference between producing 2-4 m@a constantly on average to something more like 5-7 🙂 that’s the thing I think will have most impact. The other thing I saw was on water maps Charon would have 1 villager bug out being idle. I think it’s because of you setting number of forward builders to 1. I say this because I had the same issue and still to this day don’t really know how forward builders work, or even if they work. I hope that helps! Most importantly it’s been fun to watch (I’ll play against it myself once back from holiday!)

Re: Charon (AOK AI)

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:41 am
by MrElephant
Bandit- thank you for the feedback. I am very much trying to improve Charon at the moment.

Releasing an update to the AI today- and included is an updated water strategy. It also can play camels, archers, and knights (not very well). Charon can reply to taunts 150 if you want to play its tournament (strongest) version, which is its militiaman strategy.

Charon can also keep track of civilian superiority, score superiority, and population superiority with the help thanks to Goose AI.

Re: Charon (AOK AI)

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2022 4:28 pm
by Bandit1990

Just wanted to write some feedback after running a few test games. Tests included current Charon vs your previous version and current Charon vs some older iterations of my AI from when I started using HD.

On land current Charon either went archers or militia, not had the camels come up yet but I’m sure it will. Archer strat lost to old Charon’s militia mainly because the archers stood still and fired. Adjusting the set-difficulty-parameters will allow them to run back and shoot whilst steering clear of UP commands. New Charon was also low on wood to sustain all its archery ranges, gold was okay though so a couple less villagers on food and a couple more on wood will match archer production with the rate old Charon does militia-line :)

My old AI doesn’t do water so I played it vs Charon on land, it was a good fight that lasted through to imperial. Charon’s militia-line chewed through the trash units well but we’re held back by watch tower fire and the siege was a little late. Overall though I think had my AI also been limited to 50 vils then it would have been overwhelmed by the stream of longswordsmen. I don’t know if this has already been tweaked but a couple less villagers on farms and placed on gold instead should improve gold and lower wood spent maintaining farms, allowing Charon to produce even more militia-line or siege when required.

On water new Charon lost to old Charon but this may have been down to factors like map placement. There was a large skirmish at castle age of equal numbers that old Charon won and the remaining numbers advantage allowed it to just about keep control of the water. I found food was in surplus again for new Charon but it was wood that it was lacking preventing regular navy production and the building of extra docks. Another observation was that new Charon had enough stone to build a castle for most of the late game but never tried to made one. It had the space so wondered if it had code to try or whether it deliberately doesn’t build them. Building a castle on any edge would have probably brought new Charon back in the game, though if it is not meant to build a castle then I would say take the villagers off stone entirely and place them on wood. The resources from that would boost Charon’s navy. Another thought for the water map is related to monks. In the game I saw a few times when a monk stood on the edge and converted ships but would then get picked off by fire ships. If you researched block printing then monks should be able to convert fire ships while staying out of range :)

It’s cool to see Charon try new strategies and I think those archers will get scarier if they learn to run and shoot. I’m going to keep testing to see the camel strat and I’ll also give it a try on team games as I expect that any trade it does will balance its eco better than in 1v1, allowing more militia-line production or camels if that strat is picked.

I hope the feedback helps and I’m excited to see what’s next. Again, amazed at how hardy it is with a max of 50 vils!