Game Settings for Greater Challenge
Edited, and mostly written, by Bob Heeter. Last Revised May 29, 1996.
This section is dedicated to accumulating wisdom on ways to make Warlords
as challenging as possible when playing against the computer. (The best
challenge is to play against a good human, but such games take time.)
The settings described below are arranged roughly in order of increasing
subtlety in determining difficulty.
- AI Settings
Obviously warlords are the hardest, nastiest AI players. Random characters tend
to be less predictable and a bit more aggressive.
- "I am the Greatest" - Diplomacy Off or Hidden Map on
Enabling this option converts the computer players to warlords and configures the
other game settings for nearly maximum difficulty. With diplomacy off or hidden
map on, however, the AI players will not gang up on you after 6 turns or so.
- "I am the Greatest" - Diplomacy On, Hidden Map Off
This is just like the I am the Greatest setting above, but with Diplomacy On
and Hidden Map off, all the AI players will gang up and attack you with everything
they can spare starting at around turn 6-8. You have to expand quickly, build
some powerful defensive stacks, and then trap the invaders in key strategic
bottlenecks and defeat them with very good kill ratios to win. Most of the
settings discussed below assume that this option is enabled.
- Enhance the Enemy
After starting the game, on your first turn, go into the "Game" Menu, choose
"Game Settings", and then click "Enhanced" for all the AI players, but not the
human players. Enhancement increases by +2 the permanent base strength of all
units produced while it is enabled, but not units produced before it is
enabled or units produced after it is turned off. Note that this is independent
of medals, temple blessings, or other permanent strength enhancements, and like
them it is independent of hero, stack, and terrain bonuses. Since a +2 strength
advantage generally gives a unit a 60-70% chance of victory instead of a 50% chance,
this makes the AI units much harder to kill, and tends to balance out the fact
that humans are better at putting together stacks with large bonuses.
- Leave Hidden Map Off
The AI is not very good at exploring, so humans gain an advantage in hidden-map games,
especially if you keep the AI's scouts from seeing your home cities.
- Turn off View Production, View Enemies, and Military Advisor
These features generally help you out, so turn them off.
- Turn Intense Combat On
Intense combat tends to equalize the strength of units, and reduces the advantage
gained by well-assembled stacks with high bonuses. In combination with I am the
Greatest, where you must stop wave after wave of attacks by the AI players, the
Intense Combat option increases the challenge by making it difficult to kill enough
AI units without losing all your own stacks.
- Turn Quick Start On
A good human player expands far more rapidly into unoccupied territory than the AI
does, and therefore humans can achive a quick advantage by taking more cities early
on. The Quick Start option makes this much more difficult by distributing all of
the cities evenly among players, and forcing humans to attack defended AI cities
rather than neutral cities in order to expand.
- Alternatively, consider making neutral cities Average
AI players tend to get their heroes and allies killed early on while trying to
capture defended neutral cities. Making the neutrals only average makes it easier
for you to take cities, but it also makes it easier for the AI to do so, which
allows them to expand much more rapidly and without losing heroes early on. I think
the net result is to give the AI a better shot at winning, especially if AI players
- Disable city razing
This is another feature which humans are more adept at using than AI players,
so turning it off hurts you more than it hurts them.
- Turn on Random Turns!
It's a lot more difficult to plan strategy when some AI players will get two moves
in between your moves! Of course, you also get two moves in a row sometimes, but
since the AI doesn't generally plan its defenses based on when your armies will
arrive, Random Turns confuses them less than it confuses you.
to the Advanced tactics page.