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Thread: Why does the AI retreat so much?

  1. #1

    Default Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Some of my most exciting battles in Total War have been fighting defensive battles. The thing with defensive battles is that you can more easily succeed against the odds, because you get to occupy the best terrain, and the attacker has to go to you, because they lose when the time limit runs out.

    Bearing this in mind, why is it that the AI abandons defensive positions by retreating from battles?

    It would seem to me that the AI never has a chance of gaining the skilled defender or skilled last stand virtues because the AI never chooses to fight such battles.


    I imagine this isn't something that can be easily modded...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Actually, I don't believe that it can be modded, which is the problem. The way the AI calculates battle odds seems to be rather wonky, especially when defending. It seems to factor in enemy numbers (and to a lesser extent, troop quality), but not the terrain on which it would be fighting.
    "Evil is easy, and has infinite forms." - Pascal

  3. #3
    Oglethorpe1983's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    I totally agree... I have won battles that I really shouldnt have becuase the AI jas just up and left. One battle recently I was facing three enemy armies (I forget which faction...but it doesnt really matter) The enemy was defending by the time I fought off the first 2 armies...I was in bad shape. I had maybe 40% of my original force. the third army which had originally entered the field from the far end of the map...just turned around and walked away. had they confronted me...it would have been a very hard fight...and I might not have won....

    but hey...if the AI wants to run away...meh...Im not gonna argue... I'll just kill them later

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    I've never experienced a full-blown retreat myself, but it's excruciatingly common for the AI to move to a new position, forcing me to reorganise my forces and try to force them to actually fight me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    The AI does tend to retreat often in battle. They can (and will) retreat during any stage. Sometimes you win an attacking battle when you organize your army for attack and then they just pick up and bugger off.


    Doing it yourself is a great way of avoiding those nasty "retreating" vices, though.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Did u try Expert campaign ? I've lost many battles just because I let their cavalry drill at my "very tiny" blank. Actually I did not notice that blank until it was too late. And they know how to use terrain against me ... place archers in hills , place cavalry in woods and suddenly attack when my army go though... but I agree w/ you that they are pro at retreat . Just a few battles that AI makes me scare like above .

  7. #7
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    The AI is a coward, pure and simple.

    I donít know how many battles Iíve had when that rascal-enemy-general have turned his tail and run away like a chicken, leaving his troops to fight without him (what manner is that?). That white blip running steadily of the mini-map as soon as the battle begins. I got the feeling that this is especially valid for Islamic generals or maybe perhaps itís just me that ends up fighting them a lot. Actuaully I have probably a higher killratio on these cowards with assassins than successful kills in battle. I would love to kill them in the good ol' traditional way if they just could stay put!

    Regardless, the AI retreats much because it is programmed to act that way, and it allegedly has to do with some tactical calculations based on numerical might and the quality of the troops in question. That is the legend or that much I remember of it at least (it probably holds some sort of truth in it).

    Personally I suspect that it is more than that. The command stars of the generals facing each other and the differences there for instance (if there is a big difference letís say 3-4 stars, the AI usually runs away to safer areas, even if it got an obvious numerical advantage). If you got a real killer-general (about 6-7 stars) he can attack clearly greater forces and the AI still retreats (and no itís not just peasants in that army). It has happened to me plenty of times. I also get the feeling that all upgrades have a heavy impact on that AI-calculation as well. The higher upgrade the heavier impact. If you got plenty of upgraded troops the AI is more likely to retreat

    Since the AI is so spineless I almost never have any offensive fights on numerical equality, unless the enemy is cornered and can't retreat. As soon as it can it usually takes at a minimum 2-1 or higher disadvantage just to get the little bastard to fight me. Hehe!


    Oh, I fight on expert level in case anyone wonders.

  8. #8
    Daminios's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Hello Axalon ......
    Firstly I must say , "job well done" re Redux & I always enjoy reading your informative posts .
    I have just finished downloading it & I look forward to campaigning on it .
    I presume you have tightened things up re: Generals Stars & AI retreating ?
    cheers
    Last edited by Flinn; May 06, 2016 at 03:33 AM. Reason: removed bold from the whole text

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Actually i think there is a much more game breaking factor to take into consideration... which is autoresolve. If you noticed, autoresolve doesn't take much into account archers and light cavalry. High numbers of heavy infantry have a good chance of winning a battle. Autoresolve can make you win battles otherwise impossible to win. For example, i wasted a huge army of mongolian archers and horse archers ( very dangerous on the battlefield ) with a relatively small number of halbardiers. Autoresolve takes into account heavy melee units much more than the rest, expecially infantry.

    I didnt notice the ai was a coward... in MTW Gold 2.01 it fights pretty well.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironlich View Post
    ...in MTW Gold 2.01 it fights pretty well.
    Yeah in final version there is no problems as i remember.

  11. #11
    Fransisca's Avatar Laetus
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    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    The way the AI calculates battle odds seems to be rather wonky here, especially when defending. It seems to factor in enemy numbers

  12. #12
    Leonardo's Avatar Reborn Old Timer
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    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    @Axalon: I agree the Islamic factions does that, run away in large numbers when facing a crusade with probably the best crusaders one can muster in a desert battle. However, that's not the case for the Turks as they have access to the Armenian Heavy Cavalry along with average good units, a lot of religious units, in the high era.
    Under patronage of General Brewster of the Imperial House of Hader.

  13. #13
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
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    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    Actually, I have had this problem regardless of faction... So I doubt that this "retreat-fest" is faction-related somehow. As I said, I usually end up fighting a lot of Islamic armies - but I get all the usual problems with basically any faction in raw MTW. So I don't think it is something like that... Still, I have less of this problem in Redux, and the overall AI-units there are usually better (in comparison)...

    Obviously, the AI will retreat (and should) if it got blatantly inferior units. However, I have had plenty of engagements where I have had blatantly smaller armies set to attack just to have then a walkover in what appeared to be seriously guarded provinces because the AI decided it was a "good idea" to retreat (it was not. It would have been better if the AI had stayed put - even if it had lost the battle. Strategically speaking that is...).

    I do think that the AI-retreat-fest does have a relation/connection too how many good troops the AI have available (for that battle) but there are clearly more factors at play then just that. Whatever calculation it does - it is not confined to just that one factor. Basically, I think old legends on this thing is wrong - it strikes me as incomplete. Things I already mentioned seems also to be factors...

    - A

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why does the AI retreat so much?

    This reminds me of a STW battle from long ago -- My Daimyo was alone defending a castle from two stacks. His bodyguard all went down, but by that time his honor was 9 or 10, at which point 1 1/2 stacks of enemy retreated. This made more sense in STW than MTW, but that code is in there and I never figured out a way to cleanly mod around it. In fact, having a greater chance of the enemy abandoning the field is why I will send a good general into a lost cause in MTW and auto-resolve so he can be ransomed back with loss of a command star but greater valor bonus for his troops. Embrace what can't be changed, maybe? Anyway, a general's personal valor (I think) weighs more heavily than his command stars in whatever calculation the game does.

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