Okay guys, christmas is over and today I start my testing! I hope others will make good their promise too. Here is my first feedback report on beta 1.
I decided to start off a new campaign on VH/VH playing as the welsh. Things started off okay, England did not attack me right away. But they built a fort near my border in the region of Gloucester. Meanwhile I saw Lancaster only had a small garrison so decided to attack there. Within two turns I took the castle without to much trouble. However an english army commanded by two generals was soon on its way to take back the castle. Although out numbered, my meirionnydd spearmen and gwent raiders were able to hold off the assault at the gates. However I did lose the right wall and had to send reinforcements across to win it back.
After the first few turns I also observed Scotland attack England. France also went to war and the english were soon at war with 4 factions! The english managed to defend themselves though and even managed to take the fight to their enemies!
In other parts of the map it seemed like everyone was declaring war. Denmark for instance went to war with both the HRE and Poland by turn 5.
I was able to get an alliance with Scotland but after the irish agreed a ceasefire with England they refused to ally with me, made sense, and glad alliances are not to easy to get!
From my early impressions of playing this version of XCAI there is certainly no problem with the AI being passive. Which is a good thing because I have gave up on AI mods in the past that bored me. Infact I was quite astonished by how aggressive this CAI was. Is being over aggressive a bad thing? Well no because this would naturally make the game harder. I do think that maybe something needs to be altered though as the expansion of the AI was quite frightening And there were a little to many wars kicking off. Here are but a few examples of the quick gains made by some factions in the campaign.
While fighting Lithuania the Teutonic Order launched a surprise attack against Poland! taking Danzig and Poznan in a few turns. Poland is down to 3 settlements already!
The Byzantine empire were rampant taking Preslav and Bucharest from the Hungarians. Meanwhile they were also sending huge armies against the Turks.
War is everywhere by turn 10! the italian states are all at war with each other. Meanwhile HRE and France attack Milan! The garrison script though should at least help keep Milan alive.
Anyway I would like to also mention the excellent use of forts in XCAI. Here is a screenshot below that demonstrates well the AI's tactical ability in using them. Note the TO placed a garrison in the fort protecting Konigsberg and kept the garrison their for a number of turns. While a second army attacked Hrodna and took it from the Lithuanians. I saw similar evidences of forts being used tactically in other areas of the map as well!
So far so good and no CTD's or bugs to report after 10 turns. I do feel though that some improvements can be made. I'm not sure why the AI is so over aggressive? Tommorow I am going to start a new campaign with everyone only starting at war with rebels. It will be interesting to see if this has any effect at the start? Anyway keep up the good work xeryx and I will keep up the testing in the holidays.
all the best,