Age of Wonders: Planetfall by Triumph Studios

I don’t doubt you at all, but so far I haven’t noticed this. I haven’t felt like the AI has done an end run around things it should know about. I’m playing a medium map. I wonder if my empire hasn’t been large enough to require the AI to avoid stuff to get to its target.

I have no idea how I made big bold text there. But the question remans: If you can build a colonizer and just link the main settlement with everything around it --why that is a good strat.

Could you rephrase? I’m not following…?

Are you talking about annexing sectors to a colony? If so, you don’t need a Colonizer for that, you just need enough population in the colony and any unit to stand on the “pin” for the sector you want to annex.

Kir’ko forward settled my Dvar so it was go time. My three stacks versus theirs at the second city I reached, and I think those battles are where the game really shines. Just a massive tidal wave of bugs breaking against my trenchers- but at enormous cost! Meanwhile, my own attack force of Paragon dead enders just fall short of taking their flank. The exhausted remnants of both sides meet in the center and I barely, barely come out on top. But where once I had three stacks, now there is one.

yeap I will rephrase. So mostly as I do the campaign I am told “you can annex a sector”

And I get that you can make a colony van to go grab a sector that has no intersecting sectors to your main base (or any other “colony”)

What I am not sure of is if I have a colony mobile … can I take advantage of that and make a dedicated sector? In other words can colony mobiles help with uniting sectors as opposed to just creating colonies? Seems like some infill would be nice.

Bottom line is I am wondering if “colonizers” can help with building out infrastructure in colonies.
(I am asking here but I will be experimenting in game-- it just seems like colonizers can (and I mean those vans ) do more than “colonize”)

Like Kevin said, any unit can go to the sector ‘pin’ and stand on it. This brings up the option to annex the sector to an existing colony - provided that colony has enough population as the number of sectors a colony can have is limited by that.

Rob but can a colony van let you annex without a pop ? if so yo could create colony vans and annex (as opposed to forward base) all around?

Though a colony van may require a pop.

No. You can’t use them in place of the growth necessary to grab a new sector.

MarkL ty. I may try anyways just to be sure but … if you could that would mean you could annex by spamming colony vans (assuming you had the resources)

I want to make sure we are on the same page with terminology…

A colony can be made up of a ‘main’ sector - the one you use a colonizer to create a colony, plus up to 4 other sectors. These other sectors you add to the colony by annexing them. To annex a sector, move any unit (doesn’t have to be a colonizer) onto is ‘pin’ and select the option to annex. This doesn’t spend a pop from the colony. But to annex a sector to a colony, that colony must have enough population in it.

So when you settle a colony it has one pop. Eventually it accumulates enough food and it gets another pop. When it gets to 4, it can support adding a sector to it by annexing. This doesn’t spend any pops. The colony just needs to have enough to support having the annexed sector. A colony can support having 4 sectors annexed to it at population 4,8,12, and 16.

Building a colonizer (the van) costs one pop and then that van can go create a new colony - which can then support annexing sectors to it when it hits the population thresholds.

Does that make sense and answer you question?

It does except for one thing: Can a Van (colonizer) annex a sector? Without a pop requirement? I am now thinking it will not – but in the campaign it seemed like it could.

If so, building colonizers would enable you to annex a bunch of sectors.

Yes, any unit can

No the colony has to contain the population required to support having the annexed sectors.

Colonizers annex sectors the exact same way as any other unit and all rules still apply regarding the population of the colony.

Ty Rob. I knew I asked the question awkwardly and you cleared it up.

Maybe the AI being able to see the entire map is based on the difficulty.

There’s a stealth equipment mod, I wonder if AI is affected by it. It seems like it doesn’t, I didn’t see AI rushing my city defended by stealth troops.

It’s not like total Warhammer where you just ambush everywhere and win.

I can understand why they took this approach. I spent months coming up with a system where the AI’s kept an Intel Object that was basically a copy of the map and what they knew about it. It updated dynamically each turn to account for the “recon” checks that the game made for every unit on the board. The Intel Object for each AI could only get information based on what its units saw. This allowed me to “hide” stuff from it but it also made the AI act dumb a lot of times. A human can look at the map and figure out easily what it needs to scout, where the threat vectors are and and where it’s blind spots are. A human can even infer from its own movement options if there is any enemy army blocking its supply somewhere out there that it can’t see. It’s a lot harder to get an AI to do that.
Sure you can use influence maps and come up with routines to analyze the data but it’s not easy.

The net result is that if you know the AI can see everything, psychologically its tough for me and I would suspect other humans to forget this and just play on. Humans can even use that knowledge to toy with the AI a bit. Leave a base undefended. Bait an AI with an easy target army. I think the psychology of this is worse than the actual effects that it has on the game play and the AI choices. It just feels wrong in a way that giving an AI more resources doesn’t. It’s tampering with the logic and heuristics and not just the starting conditions. But I completely understand why they took this approach. It’s not like the other options will create a drastically better AI. It’s also why a lot of people myself included think asymmetrical rule sets have real advantages. I especially think this is the case from a human psychology point of view.

Fun little story. SMAC used to really make me mad because I was convinced that at sea, the AI knew exactly where my ships were and would bee line for me even though I could not see them. I vaguely recall an admission that this was the case. But it might not be. Later, after I had written my own AI’s I was really embarrassed at how angry those routines and behaviors made me. I felt like I was being cheated and it’s that feeling part that is the toughest thing about writing AI that plays by the same game mechanics that the human player has to use.

IIRC the AI is programmed to ignore concealed units unless it actually gets to see them with one of it’s own units.

That’s how AOW3 works, so I bet it’s the same here. It has full map vision but can’t see invisible units.