ARFFI_De'gel is a very strong random map AI, optimized to play the Aztecs on land maps, such as Arabia. The AI also has the ability to play Wonder Race games, a novelty ability among AI's. The AI is limited to a dark age start and a maximum population of 200, though these game settings are by far the standard settings among most players. However, I have found that this AI will play other civilizations just as well as the Aztecs, though it will use the same soldiers it uses for the Aztecs (no cavalry).
This is probably one of De'gel's strengths. Her economy blossoms rapidly thanks to the Aztec villager carry bonus, and she is able to sustain the massive training of the armies it makes. She will occasionally hunt during the dark age, also unusual for AI's, but she pulls it off nicely, just like a human player. The AI will also build a market early to trade for resources. During my tests, the De'gel often collected all five relics on the map, which greatly contributed to its gold production. When I watched the AI play, I never noticed the AI lacking in any resource, the proof of a well-balanced economy.
Instead of executing a flush, which a good number of AI's fail at, De'gel will train soldiers for defense to withstand his enemy's flush. Then, he will attack after he researches the Castle Age, punishing the opponent for wasting its resources on a flush.
The AI puts a heavy emphasis on its skirmishers and archers, which together often make up about 2/3 of its army in the Feudal Age. The AI starts training eagle warriors later. Her is strong enough that its first attack will withstand its opponent's defense, and when she sends in more and more reinforcements the AI slowly but surely sends her opponent to defeat.
Sometimes De'gel will execute an eagle warrior rush, adding to the variety of the AI.
This AI successfully defends itself from many flushes. One of the purposes that ARFFI had for writing this AI was to teach players how to flush well, and this AI performs admirably well in this regard. However, it defense starts to fall when its enemies are able to start attacking it with large armies. The AI does not build towers and builds few castles. The AI also will not effectively counter its opponents armies, an important skill to have when defending. However, this AI is not usually on the defensive once it researches the Castle Age.
I find De'gel impossible to defeat at my ability level, though I am not an expert player. I restarted my game many times and I could not defend myself against its strong armies.
I also tested her against four other AI's:
ARFFI_De'gel vs. Kosmos (1 game):
De'gel had little difficulty once Kosmos's skirmisher flush was over. It was a slow victory to the end for De'gel.
ARFFI_De'gel vs. IS_Machine (2 games):
First game - De'gel won. IS_Machine's play was sub-par and De'gel won another slow victory.
Second game - De'gel won. IS_Machine flushed around 22:00 which De'gel effectively repulsed. De'gel advanced to the Castle Age around 28:00 and attacked soon after. IS_Machine was never able to stop De'gel's attacks and the game was over around 56:00.
ARFFI_De'gel vs. VNS_Halen:
First game - De'gel won. VNS_Halen send in its troops one at a time before doing its traditional feudal age flush. It was basically a repeat of IS_Machine's games.
Second game - VNS_Halen won. VNS_Halen sent its soldiers one at a time again and attacked, which De'gel defeated. However, De'gel didn't attack after she advanced to the Castle Age. VNS_Halen took advantage of it and attacked with knights and skirmishers around 24:00 and 32:00. The attack went back and forth, but at around 54:00 VNS_Halen sent in a huge army and defeated De'gel around 1:02:00.
ARFFI_De'gel vs. AllianceThundaEmpire:
First game - AllianceThunda won. This time, De'gel's Castle Age attack failed and AllianceThunda claimed victory after a long fight.
Second game - AllianceThunda won. AllianceThunda send in a knight rush at 24:00, but De'gel didn't have enough soldiers to fend off the rush and she lost around 41:00.
ARFFI_De'gel is a very strong AI and it stands up against the strongest AI's. It is especially good at training and maintaining a large army and using its skirmishers and archers to its advantage. A very worthy download.
One thing this AI lacks is the use of siege weapons. Often the AI will not start using siege weapons until the Imperial Age, when the enemy is already starting to fall. If the AI used siege weapons earlier, the AI would defeat its opponents much sooner.
Also, the AI will not effectively counter enemy units. When attacked by many knights, the AI will not usually respond by train pikemen. This will often hurt an AI, especially when it is under attack.
Lastly, the AI does not upgrade its soldiers very quickly. Often it will still use spearmen into the late Castle Age. Upgrading its soldiers may lower its army size but it is worth it, especially when the AI is under attack and it is using all its resources to pump out soldiers. Often having more upgraded soldiers will help the AI when it is defending.
All in all, a great AI. A lot of time was spend making this. Thank you.
[Edited on 01/23/10 @ 02:06 AM]