Naval Stupiditiy YKTTW Discussion

Naval Stupiditiy
Artificial intelligence that cannot handle anything involving water.
Tropeworthy? Needs Examples
(permanent link) added: 2012-06-22 11:20:10 sponsor: Blaster395 edited by: Ghilz (last reply: 2012-06-23 12:30:54)

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For most strategy games the AI for computer controlled opponents just cannot handle Naval warfare. They may be unable to maneuver ships properly, to construct ships, to move troops via sea or otherwise be severely limited in capability compared to the player.

There are many reasons why the AI is often so poor at using ships Firstly, the complexity of mounting a seaborne invasion is very high. The AI must plan ahead to have the troops board the boats at the right time, to have the boats then transport the troops, and for the troops to be unloaded at the destination. At other times, the AI may of simply suffered from Idiot Programming. Another cause may be the programmer underestimating the importance of naval warfare, setting the AI to mostly ignore it.

Even games that adhere to the teachings of the Great Stick Men can run into trouble when it comes to the specifics of their teachings.

Not to be confused with Hollywood Tactics, which is for tactics that are unrealistic.

See Artificial Stupidity for cases of poor AI that are not related specifically to navies


  • In Empire: Total War, the unpatched AI was incapible of transporting troops by sea. This made the UK immune to invasion.

  • The Naval AI in Civilization 5 is at best, incompetent, and at worst, useless. Embarked units are not defended and can be destroyed effortlessly. It is content to send a steady stream of units over the water to be killed 1 by 1.
    • Averted by the Expansion, Gods and Kings, which upgrades the Naval AI to be very. effective at. warfare on. the seas. With the new addition of ships being able to capture coastal cities on their own, this creates a great challenge for players on harder. difficulties.

  • The AI in Age of Empires, mostly the second installment but also in the third, had a horrible habit of constructing ships in tiny lakes, where they would sit for the rest of the game..
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