Old World: How does X work? Post your gameplay questions here!

What am I missing with the Go To order? I wanna send a guy way across the map, so I click there, the guy moves, the rest of the path in red. But next turn he appears as a guy I can move in the list? I thought he would just be ‘busy’ until he got there? Or is there a setting? Thanks.

Also I am getting a thing where right clicking is not moving a guy despite the fact he is ‘selected’ as there is a window about him middle left. Clicking the guy again seems to fix it.

The player often faces a tradeoff between legitimacy and family happiness/polotical relations etc.
it sounds like the AI doesnt and instead steadily gains orders, so it would be interesting to know at what rate.

Does the AI know the difference between hot and cold war? I am watching the Egyptian slowly mobilize force at the nearest town. The haven’t attacked me yet, so I’m still off fighting barbarian raids.
I’m really praying my Assyrian allies, with a huge army, will save my butt.

Question: Can you explain what the play to win option in the advanced options does? Does the AI look strictly at VP or is it aware of Ambition victories?
Also in the AI Agressiveness what does +25% or +50% war chance mean.

I started my first game at Magnificent (2nd hardest) as Rome. Since, I got a bit tired playing builders.

One game balance thing, I hope you guys look at is money. As both Egypt and Babylon I was make hundreds per turn, by turn 50 at Glorious . The amount of gold I accumulated made the game not very challenging. I was also a no brainer spend money. The turn I got legendary status I bought all the resources I needed to build 4 legendary wonders and still have 5,000 left.

The player has that tradeoff through events, I was referring to ambitions - each ambition grants you legitimacy, and this is what the AI pretends to have.

As long as the AI has “completed” fewer than 10 Ambitions, there’s a 1/15 chance per turn that the AI will “complete” one. In that case the ambition will be a normal one with a 2/3 chance or legacy with 1/3 chance. The ambitions that the AI “completes” this way grant the legitimacy/cognomen benefits but don’t count towards a victory.

Even if the AI doesn’t actually get events, there’s a system in place to pretend they do, occasionally granting them a bonus from an event. There’s a 1/3 chance per turn for an AI player to randomly get a bonus associated with an event. These bonuses are a small subset of the bonuses you can get from events, so specific bonuses that have been “approved” for the AI. They are: one for an “average” gain of each resource (our system has gains/losses like “average”, “tiny”, “large”), +1 bonuses to the leader’s rating, joining courtiers, a free unit. These bonuses are in turn weighed so that courtiers and +1 to ratings are more common.

The two major things that these pretend events accomplish is to give the AI courtiers (events are the only way to get them aside from a bonus card), and to provide them with at least part of the bonuses you’re getting from events.

I actually think we may need to take another look at all that because the AI tends to fall behind on legitimacy quite a bit, it never gets event legitimacy. To illustrate, from a game I’m playing now, my legitimacy. I have 268, of which 68 came from events.


Here’s the legitimacy of Assyria, the top scoring AI:


Considerably lower as you can see, and Assyria has 39 orders per turn to my 56 orders per turn. The +19 from Events showing up for Assyria there is the family seat bonuses (+15 always), a few Wonders, and a few -1 losses from missions.

Oh, indeed – we’ve already established that the AI doesn’t play by the same rules. The extent to which it does, however (according to Solver, though Soren seems to be a little quiet on the issue), is still impressive (though, as Solver mentions that he/she, a developer of the game, keeps learning new rules, I have a feeling the AI will magically seem less good as people learn the game – that’s the Chick Parabola!).

Just happy my flowchart remains universally true. ;)

I’m very interested in the look under the hood that Solver and Soren are providing, this is fascinating! Thank you both for providing so much info!

Sorry, I don’t know enough to give a really good answer, but the AI can do troop buildups in preparation for war, it can do a buildup if it thinks you will attack. It will also sometimes be caught by surprise, that’s one disadvantage of event-driven diplomacy. Maybe you get an event that makes Babylon declare war, except the Babylonian AI wasn’t prepared for that.

The AI will be ruthless and try to prevent you from winning. The AI will get increasingly more likely as you get close to a victory (VPs or Ambitions count), it will refuse trades, and it will not accept a truce.

Here’s how the AI war calculation goes, roughly.

Base chance is from the opinion level - Furious/Angry/Upset/Cautious/Pleased is 50/30/20/10/5. Then proximity and strength modifiers apply. For example, proximity of Distant is -40, and relative strength of Stronger is 25. Then Peace diplomatic status applies another -20.

So, if an AI is Angry with you, is Stronger but Distant, so far we have 30 * 0.6 * 1.25 = 22.5% chance of war.

Then the AI’s leader personality factors in, military archetypes (Hero, Commander, Tactician, Zealot) apply +50%, while the peaceful Judge, Builder or Scholar apply -25%. So if the abovementioned AI with 22.5% chance has a Hero leader, we’re up to 33.75%.

This is where the AI aggression from difficulty factors in, adding more.

All of that interacts with Play to Win, for instance if you’re on 9/10 Ambitions then a whopping 40% applies.

The AI will always seem less good as people learn to play better, but I think the AI gets more impressive as you learn more of what’s under the hood. Just about every under the hood difference between the human and the AI is actually to the human’s advantage, events being the big one - yes there are bad events, but on the whole events tend heavily to the positive, and the vast majority of those bonuses are unavailable to the AI.

On the other hand all the difficult stuff, the AI has to do. It has to prioritize its orders just like you do, and it has to manage its families by getting luxuries, running influence missions and doing other politics. That’s the sort of thing that is mainly invisible when it works, but obvious when it doesn’t. We had some builds where AI bugs made it horrible at family management - so by turn 60 most AIs would be fighting off rebel armies and have their production in the gutter.

This is always going to be true to an extent, but you realize some people have been playing this for a year already, right?

Yeah, like I thought the AI was relying on crutches in terms of map omniscience and that sort of thing. It’s not uncommon games (although always a frustration) as I have to deal with that in Age of Wonders games and many others. With the AI being so deft at sniping various things (city sites in particular) I assumed they had map vision and were relying on that, but turns out the AI is just good at this sort of thing. Bastards. :)

I’m not positive, but I seem to recall near the start of my current campaign I went in and manually set it so every turn I saw the moves of the AI, so it probably defaults to not being on.

If you turn this on, while of course you do have to watch a bit of faffing mid and late campaign because there are a lot of units running around, it does additionally show you scouts out all over the map.

I turned it on because I wanted to see what the hell Egypt was up to now that my diplomat King was assassinated and alliance is temporarily off the table I need eyes on their 30 or so units that are ominously moving around my western cities en masse.

Agreed! Very much appreciated.

Cool, I hadn’t thought to look if we can see the AI legitimacy!

Would you please tell me how to get to that screen with the AI legitimacy? My clicking around hasn’t turned it up.

That doesn’t work on the main build. On the test build, you can use Alt+2, Alt+3 etc to switch to other players.

Thanks! Being able to do that will provide answers to many of these questions about how the AI plays.

This is of course a good time to mention that the entire source code ships with the game. So those with programming skills can find every detail about the mechanics or the AI there.

I get all tingly inside imagining Old World modded into stuff like Dune Wars and Fall from Heaven.


Oh indeed.

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

Ruthless, what a perfect description. I just tried Magnificent with Play to win on as Rome. That was a humbling experience. I really thought I’d had a shot to do ok when Assyria, said hey Romulus you big strong warrior, I warrior too. Let’s be allies. Ok I wasn’t thrilled when that meant war with Egypt a turn or two latter, but I don’t have a choice. I manage to grab 5 cities, and gold was going positive. Even had enough wood to build the hanging garden, thanks to my lumber mills

I saw Egypt gathering spearman and a chariot around their outpost city, but I had my hands full beating back two seperate barbarian raids. I foolish didn’t shift all production to military units…In further proof, this isn’t Civ V/VI AI. The ferocity of the Egyptian was very impressive. I initially thought it was strange that didn’t continue to press the attack on my cities. But than I realized that what Egypt was doing was ruthless eliminating every military unit it could see. Figuring that cities could wait, not necessarily how I would wage a war, but not necessarily a bad strategy. The aw shit moment came when Assyria signed truce with Egypt. No cavalry to the rescue from my big friend. I sued for a truce, two turns latter, with Rome and my 3rd city under siege. I got the answer for a mere 15 orders for 40 turns we can have truce. The bastards, I would have paid damn near any other resources. But when you are only getting 16 orders/turn giving up 15 well that just sucks. I rejected the terms I spent other 10 turns watching Egypt kill my military a lot faster than I could produce, a 3rd barbarian invasion and thru in the towel.

I will turn on play to win but it is back to Glorious level for me.

Ooh! I am going to try to work this into my home games with my kids.

Q: It seems like the AI nations abdicate the throne a lot. Which seems like a waste of a good ruler’s final years. Is there some benefit to abdication that I’m not seeing?