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Sean O'Connor's Games • View topic - Improving the AI

Improving the AI

Real time World War II combat simulation

Improving the AI

Postby Quitch » Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:52 pm

While all these new features ideas are nice, it seems that the AI is the biggest area for improvement since, no matter what features the game has, your only option is to play the AI and thus the AI is the one thing that needs to be excellent or the game has no draw.

The AI is enoyable to fight, but having played the Russian campaign I'm starting to suss it out and can turn back a Major Attack with an Excellent rating.

1. The AI lets its tanks get away from the main force too often. It seems to pause them during advance, I presume to let the infantry catch up, but they always arrive before the infantry and tend to be dealt with before the infantry arrive. This may be in part due to the behaviour that's making them charge off the screen, but the AI should be moving them away from, or keeping them out of sight of, anti-tank guns until the infantry have moved up and dealt with them.

2. The AI always attacks down the centre. On a widesh front, but still down the centre. You can always guess pretty much where to place your guys since you know what the AI is going to do. I'm guessing that when you're allocated a default setup you're getting a glimpse at the way in which the AI force would be distributed in the same situation. I think the AI needs something slightly more advanced, like understanding which side of the map offers better cover on route to the objective, etc.

3. The AI is always and I mean always beaten by flamethrowers on the objective. It fails to learn they are there and sends tank after tank, man after man to go die at their hands. So long as the objective is a wood this can go on until the end of time. I've seen the AI move troops redirect its troops once other troops start taking fire, but it needs to taking into account the kind of fire they're taking and it looks like it uses its whole force each time.

4. Infantry facing an on-coming tank need to get out the way! Hidden infantry can be run over, but don't make a sound, the tank doesn't know it got the kill and the infantry man makes no attempt to avoid!

5. Enemy artillery, once a target is chosen, falls in the same place until all three full barrages have been fired. It fails to account for troops movements. Now, if the AI knows its men are supressed and engaged in trading fire with an enemy force, THAT is the time to bring in the artillery.

6. The AI is too easily pinned. You can draw huge numbers of men into an area with a couple of squads. When an AT shot lands men for miles around duck down, so even if you're outnumbered it won't matter, you'll be surpressing them as much as they you. While there you can hit them with artillery and do horrendous damage. I've routed forces twice my size doing this. The AI needs to stop bunching so much and learn how to flank.

Hopefully pathfinding will allow you to resolve some of these issues since with pathfinding comes intelligences and an understanding of the map. The AI could do with a little more work. Once we've got networked play and a central server to host on, I'll be less concerned ;)
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Postby Sean OConnor » Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:26 am

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Re: Improving the AI

Postby Sean OConnor » Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:34 am

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Postby Quitch » Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:18 am

You definately need to test the flamethrower. I can't see how the AI will ever kill a team in the woods. Anything that they see dies in a second, they never miss, and because they kill instantly they go straight back to hiding.

You'd need to swarm them to stand any chance, and I don't even know how well that'd work.

1. Flamethrowes should be easier to kill. Those tanks were easy to burst.

2. Their morale should be low. Troops hated flamethrowers as using them meant you could well suffer a horrible death if the tank was hit.

3. Maybe they should be easier for infantry to spot? I can't imagine that tank on the back being easy to hide.

Anyway, weren't flamethrowers an offensive, not defensive weapon? You don't see that in FF.

I fear that tanks are already too powerful, and now hidden infantry get up and move when they come close. They should move, but tanks navigate too safely and too easily through the sort of areas infantry hide in (e.g. woodland). But that's another topic...

Really looking forward to seeing how the new attacking AI works. I'll mail you for the link now :)
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Postby Quitch » Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:45 pm

Tried 3.99i... much, MUCH better.

I setup in the usual way and lost. AI almost lost it at the end when it allow my flamethrower team (who ran away after being charged by an infantry squad) took out four tanks around the objective.

Still, the AI swept in past the left side of a central hill with a tank and infantry squad. The other tanks move more centrally and blew threw the centre and destroy my AT guns because the crew had been pinned by first infantry, then tank fire. Finally I was having trouble moving my infantry as the AI had more infantry attacking the central hill.

We'll see how it does in a few more games, but thus far, very good :)

Still, my HMG team must be blind. Men swarmed up their hill under their noses and they didn't notice until they were point blank ;)
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Postby henjed69 » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:11 am

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Postby Sean OConnor » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:21 am

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Postby Guest » Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:12 pm

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Postby Sean OConnor » Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:16 pm

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