I know that all the hype nowadays is on AI War II, but maybe a new player experience on AI War I could still be a valuable thing.
First a bit of background : I was a RTS player at the time of Starcraft I. Nowadays I am more of a casual player with a preference for slower pace games (turn by turn, eventually with a time limit like multiplayer games of Wesnoth). Oh and I played quite a lot of tower defense in the last few years.
I am pretty sure I first heard of AI War due to the blog on the AI design in it (I am a programmer). But I think that at that time there wasn't a Mac OS X version of the game, and I bought it only a few month ago when I found it on GOG.
Well, back to the present, this summer I began to play : first doing the tutorial (win), then a first against two easy AI on 5 and 6 (quickly lost), then a second one against more aggressive AI on 6 and 7 (lost after something like 40hours real time) and now I am on my third game against the same AI (2 hours game time, the double real time and a much better position).
Here are my impressions :
- the game feel too easy until you go too far without enough power, too easy like almost boring, and then crushing you without mercy, I don't mind being crushed, but I prefer when it comes after a fair quantity of fighting and struggling to stay on board => that's why I choose to go for aggressive AI despite all the advices to begin with defensive ones, I feel the aggressives ones give a bit more feedback about your "place" in the game which is usefull (and they are less boring) ;
- getting infos was quite difficult on the beginning, I like to read manuals and docs, but I didn't found one in my game folder and the wiki wasn't very well organised (much better now thanks to pumpkin) ;
- at least on my computer the game isn't stable enough : I have errors messages in the log about files missing quite often, it freezed a couple of time with full CPU on the setup game screen when using the untangle function and the one I am the most angry : a display bug when musing in the preferences screen make me unable to go back to my game losing 10 or 20 minutes of play, something I absolutely hate (and the reason why I am not playing since it happened a week ago) ;
- I like to plan my game from the galaxy map screen, but we don't get the notifications there, that's too bad :-(
I kinda like the game, but the stability issue is quite annoying for me. Yes I know : I need to go talk about that on the technical support forum...