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I've never played computer war games but recently installed NTW (Limited Edition) as a way to learn about 19th Century cavalry tactics.
I wasn't interested in playing the various NTW Campaigns, just wanted to manipulate the cavalry squadrons around the game's virtual battlefields to gain understanding of their various functions in warfare in real time (more or less). I started playing the Historical Battles (land battles) as a Single Player and quickly became hooked on that aspect of NTW.
I've been playing about a month now and have achieved Silver Level in six battles (Waterloo-British, Ligny, Dresden, Borodino, Friedland, Pyramids) and Gold Level in three (Lodi, Austerlitz, Arcole). Waterloo (French) is proving difficult and I am currently at normal level (Copper).
I have been watching Youtube videos to acquire insight into the strategies needed for victory. The most useful have been those posted by Shepherd492, who demonstrates the Hardest Level (Gold) for the various battles.
I have also experienced some of the technical problems mentioned online and worked through them. Installation on my PC was not easy or intuitive, the game still often refuses to load on command, etc., but I understand these types of glitches are typical of many online games.
As a complete beginner I was more concerned with the lack of any in-depth Manual or Guide for NTW. Remember, I've never played any war game. The pamphlet included with the CA discs seemed woefully insufficient. Online discussion boards (such as this) were unclear to me, and involved mostly issues within the Campaign aspect of the game.
Little by little, though, I've learned to control Napoleon's Grande Armee units and I've achieved a small measure of success in battle.
But now I'm stuck.
I don't really comprehend how the NTW Artificial Intelligence works. Because I only play as a Single Player I am, of course, always matching wits against the AI. This is where the Youtube instructional videos were essential to my learning curve.
But I've recently noticed -- especially with Borodino (Gold) and Waterloo-French (Silver) -- that the responses of enemy forces to my troop movements bear no relation to Shepherd492's videos. My enemies seem much more aggressive and robust, and the recommended strategies don't seem to work.
I have taken extensive notes on Shepherd's Youtube presentations, played these battles numerous, numerous times, and now, at these harder levels, I'm finding myself defeated within the first few minutes by attrition. That is, after the initial engagement I recognize I don't have enough forces remaining to push to a win.
My AI question is this:
Has the NTW AI been "patched" or modified so that Sheperd492's videos are no longer relevant, or am I missing something subtle?
I mean, in Borodino (Gold) I dodged all the deadly accurate Russian artillery, annihilated the Bagration Fleches, I killed the Russian General (Kutusov?) in the forest, I was running around on top of the Raevsky Redoubt with Napoleon and his cavalry, I destroyed all the artillery there, and in the end I had Napoleon and his full entourage, one fully functioning artillery unit, several loose fusiliers-- the Russians only had a dozen or so militiamen in Borodino village -- and, when time ran out, I still lost!!