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I gave FreeCiv a try, playing entirely against the PC. I uninstalled it after a day or so. I actually didn't mind the graphics and I liked the ability to run it in a window. But my observation was that the AI bends the rules much moreso than in traditional civ. My games would tend to turn into stalemates where dozens and dozens of units would inexplicably vanish before smaller numbers of primitive enemy units. Now, any civ player is used to this, to a degree. But after a certain point it makes the game boring and repetitive. AI cheating is probably necessary to make the game challenging, but if it's taken too far it simply makes playing pointless. It seemed to me that this is the case here, so I moved on.


AI cheats, but not so much! As the FAQ explains, AI seems to cheat in only three ways: AI can see the entire map, AI can skip anarchy when changing government, AI can ignore the maximum tax rates.
My AI opponent might be a Despotism with 100% science rate, and become a Monarchy next turn. AI is good at sending boats to settle islands, because the AI knows the location of every island, while I must use turns to explore the ocean and find the islands. AI seems aware of my units, attacks my weak cities, and plays defense if I build a large military.
The AI is not cheating during combat. An invasion of AI cities works exactly like an invasion of human-player cities that have the same improvements, defenders and terrain. AI Musketeers use the same stats as human-player Musketeers. Your large military might fail because the "primitive enemy units" had good defense bonuses. AI likes to use Barracks to build veteran units and to use City Walls for defense. If your green army attacks veteran defenders in walled cities, then you have disadvantage.
You might misunderstand the probabilities of combat. Suppose that your Legion (Attack 4) attacks enemy Archers (Defense 2), neither units has damage, and no other bonus or penalty has application. (The Legion has at least 1 move, neither unit is veteran, the Archers are on flat terrain, the Archers are not fortified or in a city or fortress.) Attack 4 is better than Defense 2. The chance for your Legion to win is much greater than 2/3. With average luck, Archers hit 5 times, Legion hits 10 times, Legion wins. If Archers are very lucky, then Archers hit 9 times, Legion hits 10 times, Legion wins.
Suppose instead that these enemy Archers are veteran (×1.5 to defense), in a city (×1.5 to defense) with City Walls (×3 to defense) on a hill (×2 to defense). Your Legion has Attack 4, but Archers effectively have Defense 27. With average luck, Archers hit 10 times, Legion hits 1 or 2 times, Archers win. If you use around 5 to 10 units of Legions to attack this one unit of Archers, then the chance of success is around 1/2. My arithmetic can be wrong, but I hope that the magnitude is near correct.
Suppose instead that you attack with Riflemen (Attack 5, HP 20). Archers effectively have Defense 27. With average luck, Archers hit 20 times, Riflemen hit 3 or 4 times, Archers win. If you use around 3 units of Riflemen to attack this one unit of Archers, then the chance of success is around 1/2. If Barracks can heal Archers, and you attack with one unit of Riflemen per turn, then over "dozens and dozens" of turns, you can lose "dozens and dozens" of Riflemen against one unit of Archers. --Kernigh 05:09, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
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