Beaten by the AI

AI in video games is often an oxymoron. Developers will boast about their superior AI and in the days when games came in boxes you might even seen it as a bulletpoint on the back- Most advanced AI ever! Yet with sad predictability chances are within ten minutes of playing you'll see a man with a gun take cover on the wrong side of a sand bag or take time out of the hell-on-earth battlefront to inspect a wall for ten minutes. One of our favourite moments of AI failure was when playing the original Red Faction on the PlayStation 2 (maybe?). The last remaining guard in a unit of 6 claimed to have us surrounded. Surely, you can program a guy to not come out with that particular sound bite when he is the only one in the room no?

However, FPS AI is the drooling propellor hatted idiot when compared to thinking men's games, particularly RTSs. Recently, I was bested on a map on "retro" game Advanced Wars: Dual Strike. The map was Point Stormy if you know it. Image from Wars Wiki.

I'd got the top cities and all the way around to the bottom right corner but for the life of me I couldn't press the advantage. I'd shored up the top left from attack from the port on the left hand side and occasionally I'd try to take the port but the AI would get aggressive as soon as it saw me prepare for an aerial or beach landing. On turn 161 (non Advance Wars Aficionados: stupidly high turn number) I somehow lost the edge in our super long stalemate and the enemy slowly steamrollered me out out existence from then on. The problem I have is I cut my RTS teeth on Command and Conquer Red Alert so when I don't win in the initial surge I wait for the AI to get bored and stop producing units. Advance Wars seems to be more advanced in this respect and didn't give up for a second. I should have just reloaded an old save but the computer had earned the victory so I saved my shambolic defeat.

UPSIDE: Not just my poor tech then.


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