The 1.6 update, now available as an automatic download through digital distribution platform Steam (which the game requires to run), brings a "large number of revisions to the Artificial Intelligence in real time battles," according to the company.
What effect will this have on the historical strategy game? As Creative Assembly puts it:
The AI has been improved to allow it to handle formations better, form and maintain lines and reduce the occurrence of unnecessary melee behavior. It also reduces non reactive fort assault behavior.
Whilst this is not the improved AI system from Napoleon Total War, it does make a significant advancement on Empire's current Battle AI.
But wait, there's more, as publisher SEGA likewise provided its own rundown:
Amongst many other improvements, the Battle A.I. now maintains its lines more rigorously, has better army movement and engages in melee more tactically. It is also better at protecting its own advance and engaging opponents with flanking attacks.
I'm happy about this, but in the short term I hope it doesn't make my VH-VH campaign too much harder... I want the strategic genius achievement :p