As to something that shifts between various preprogrammed responses and something that invents them on the fly or learns new strategies entirely on its own. Iâ(TM)d argue that the former already exists and those are the ones that are so easy to beat.
A big difference between chess and an RTS is that there are so many more moves to make. In chess you get ONE move per turn and the amount you can move and in which directions is highly finite. In an RTS game imagine a chess board a billion times larger, with people able to move as many pieces as they want every turn. That is, in an RTS game EVERY piece can move every turn. And whether you even move anything in a turn or not is entirely up to you. In chess you MUST move something every turn. In an RTS game you donâ(TM)t have to do anything. You can just sit there and space out until you lose. And of course in RTS games
Defeating RTS AIs in games is largely a matter of understanding what theyâ(TM)re going to do at given times and just being rock to their scissorsâ¦ over and over again. In starcraft, I know when the AI is going to expand to a new resource location. I know what types of armies it likes to build. I know it is probably just going to attack me head on.
So there are different ways to deal with that. I personally like to fortify so that my base is really hard to attack with anything short of overwhelming numbers. And rather than having a lethal âoedeathballâ which is what they call a big mass of units that you just march through everything to win. I prefer to have very mobile forces that are only good at killing something specific that I want to kill. So Iâ(TM)ll probably distract their forces in the middle with something stupid, and then sneak behind their lines to destroy resource acquisition or unit production facilities. Then the attrition of their death ball in the middle has meaning because they cannot replace lost units in a timely manner. They lack either the resources or the production facilities to do it.
Then I start dominating the map once they start having supply issues. And because I like itâ¦ I tend to hold off on killing them until I have top tier units that I can just humiliate the remaining forces withâ¦ and then I get bored and stop playing the AI.
A truer AI that makes up its own strategies on the fly, learns from mistakes, or adapts to my strategies in anything but a formulaic fashion has never been seen in consumer RTS games. Or if it has, Iâ(TM)ve never even heard of it.
As to RTS games where they build a second baseâ¦ you see that in starcraft and in the newer CnC games. If you bomb out their primary but leave their expansion aloneâ¦ theyâ(TM)ll usually rebuild their forces there if they can. Though even for a good human player, losing your primary base is generally game over.
As to winning after youâ(TM)ve survived the Rush, you should play that AI a bit more then. You just need to know what it will do after it does that initial rush. I like to set up a kill zone that the AI will mindlessly suicide all its units into. You can put a strong defensive structure RIGHT next to an enemy base and theyâ(TM)ll often just suicide their units into in penny packets. That bleeds their forces on an ongoing basis and keeps them weak and preoccupied. Then you can do whatever you want on the map. As to an AI surviving map starvationâ¦ the hardest AIs tend to cheat. So they have their own revenue streams. Starcraft is the best example of thisâ¦ you set the AI to hardest and they get a trickle of resources from nowhere that they can use to buy stuff even if theyâ(TM)ve had no access to other resources for a long time. Again, those are the only AIs that are actually hard and theyâ(TM)re not any more clever than the stupid onesâ¦ theyâ(TM)re just cheating.
As to them never being unconventional, that is because theyâ(TM)re not really AIsâ¦ theyâ(TM)re just complex flow charts. It is all âoeIF THENâ statements. If this happened, then do this. If that happened, then do that. Etc. And so theyâ(TM)re pretty dumb. All you have to do is come at them north by north west and they get confused and die.