We just held the competition day for Empire. It was a lot of fun! And a lot of people died in storms at sea!

The version of Empire that we made our AIs for include a fun mechanic where, at the end of every player’s turn, there’s a chance that storms can happen at sea, which destroy all army units in the water. Everyone’s units died in the water. All of them. It was supposed to be a five percent chance.

Seriously, though, the competition days are always fun, but this one was the best by far. We had a huge bracket, with the top two AIs from each match of four moving on to the next round, and a losers’ bracket for a chance back into the game. The very first match I was in, I lost. Just like Gin. But, at least I know why – for that case.

In that first match, another (and better made) AI spawned just next to me. Very quickly, I found a neutral city that I could take and a player city. Because of the way my code works, the units prioritized the player city. That was a mistake. At the time, I only had two units, because the game had just started. Both of them ran to the player city, and they both died on the city while trying to take it. One by one, my units were spawned and headed for the other player’s city. Every once and a while, one of my units would take the city… but whenever one did, ALL of the other player’s units swarmed the city to take it back. This continued for the whole game, my units getting nowhere and ignoring the perfectly good, much easier to hold on to neutral city. If I had realized it would be such a problem to accidentally prioritize neutral cities, I would have changed it.

In the losers’ bracket, I moved forward a few times, but ultimately lost. It’s okay, though. I’m still happy with the way my AI turned out, even if it didn’t go as well as I expected. When it did work in the losers’ bracket, it worked very well, swarming the board. The problem is that it was not consistent about getting to that state. If I were to keep working on this, my main goal would be consistency.

But, I’m not. I’m going to go home and have a holiday. I’m exhausted.

I said this in my Capstone postmortem, but I’ll say it again: I’ll see you next semester!