In single player, the other players are controlled by AI's.


There are 5 levels of difficulty for the AI. Knight is the baseline - lower AI's, just squire, get penalties to their strategy, while higher AI's, Lord, King and Emperor, gain a bonus.

Difficulty Squire Knight Lord King Emperor
Handicap Yes* No No No No
Starting army bonus** ? No ? About +270 Gold Text value About +310 Gold Text value
Happiness Text Base Happiness Boost No No 100 Happiness Text 200 Happiness Text 300 Happiness Text
Gold Text/Mana Text/Knowledge Text Income flat bonus No No +10 +20 +30
Gold Text/Production Text Income bonus for cities No No +33% +67% +100%
Mana Text/Knowledge Text Income bonus for cities No No No +25% +50%
Combat Boost vs Independents No No No +3 Defense Text / +2 Resistance Text +3 Defense Text / +2 Resistance Text
Machine Machine / Undead Undead Cheat Heal (In fog of war only) 0 0 2 Health Text / Turns Text 4 Health Text / Turns Text 8 Health Text / Turns Text

*: the handicap that the AI Squire gets revolves around a limit to the strategic points it may contest at one time. It can never attack more than one point simultaneously.

**: see Starting Army for more details on how Starting Armies are calculated. Lord, King and Emperor AI get a flat bonus whatever the Starting Army level (Weak, Normal, Strong, Battle) so it is relatively bigger on Weak Starting Army.

Learn more about how the AI deals with Concealment.

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