HPS Simulations wargames--how's the AI?

Was looking at the HPS Simulations website today, considering one or two of their Civil War games…was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of how the AI in these is.

It is good enough while you are learning the mechanics of the game. Once you get the hang of it, you will need human opponents to have any fun.

The AI is very very poor. Their new series, The First Blitzkrieg(?), was created in part in order to develop an entirely new AI system. Tiller and crew usually retrofit earlier products with new features as they’re introduced, but I don’t know if they have plans to do that with the new AI. I have the first installment of their new system and the AI does seem much improved, but I haven’t played it enough to know if it’s actually any good.

The Civil War games from HPS I think have the worst AI problems (shared with the Napoleonic games). There are several reasons for this. One is that some of the game designers (all Tiller games are developed and researched by different teams) hate solo play, or at least totally disregard it, and make very lilttle effort to create scenarios that work with the AI. Another is the rules set, which lacks much in the way of command and control and leadership rules, and thus the game even with human players can devolve into very gamey situations with regiments and battalions all clumped up and intertwined, and acting far more independently than was possible in the Civil War.

And of course there is the AI itself, which almost never is able to replicate a Civil War or Napoleonic “feel” in the game. That doesn’t mean the games are no fun to play against the AI, because you can get a lot of mileage tooling around that way. But essentially, if you are not going to play PBEM, the best use for the games is to solitaire them, playing both sides, which can be pretty fun if you’re an old board gamer.

I think the Panzer Campaign games do a bit better with the AI, especially if you play the attacker, but I’ve found the earlier period games to be pretty lacking in that respect.