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Showing developer posts only. Show all posts in this thread.

Doomdark

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It's Thursday and time to dole out another Dev Diary to the hungry masses. As promised, this one is about defensive AI behaviour. One of the main issues with the land military AI in HoI3 is its generally aggressive nature. It performs well enough when it has the initiative, but cannot handle dynamic retreats. In essence, it tries to defend everything, to the last man. This is especially visible during Barbarossa, where the Red Army will simply get wiped out and never stand a chance of turning the tables. We have taken several steps to fix this issue:

First, the AI is much better at detecting potential pockets along the front, and withdrawing from them if it does not have the overall front initiative. Take a look at the screenshot of Northern Finland/Kola for an example of this; the Red Army is withdrawing troops from a province that risks getting cut off.

Diary02_PocketWithdrawal.jpg

Secondly, we have added a new stance called "Withdraw". This stance analyzes the front and pulls back from provinces if it will shorten the line. However, there are exceptions to the rule; it will attempt to dig in at river lines and fortified provinces. The stance is also useful for players who want to conserve their forces while slowly pulling back.

Diary02_WithdrawStance.jpg

Thirdly, the AI will maintain a secondary line with reserve troops, about three provinces behind the front. Damaged forces will be rotated out when worn down enough, and fresh troops brought in if available. Additionally, the forces in the secondary line can quickly be thrown into breaches or key battles. The proportion of kept reserves depends on the AI stance. If blitzing, it will use fewer reserves than if it is defending.

Diary02_SovietSecondaryLine.jpg

Last but not least, the AI will now realize when a battle is lost before its troops actually shatter, and withdraw to the best neighbouring provinces.

The net effect is quite impressive. In fact, the beta testers are now clamouring for an initial organization penalty to Soviet forces, because Germany has a hard time pushing the Red Army back (much less cutting it to pieces) even with the full cooperation of the Axis minors.

Defensive AI is just one of the AI areas that has gotten new algorithms. I will talk more about the AI in later diaries, but next week's entry will be about the new and shiny OOB browser! Stay tuned.

Diary02_ReservePositions.jpg
 

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how does the AI determine which units to keep in reserve? is it just random or does it give thought to speed, softness, defensiveness or the type of units ?

It prefers fast units, especially motorized and mechanized infantry.
 

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If you make your units "withdraw" how far will they usually go back? Will they just make a line where the majority of troops are? Or will they make everyone go back to a certain point? How will the AI know where the line needs to be? example, if you are fighting in Russia as Germany and you are losing and you withdraw, could the AI decide the best line is just east of Berlin or will it know where to stop?

It will tend to stop at rivers and other natural defensive lines.
 

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EDIT2:
Is the choice of units hardcoded or fast units added by mods will be considered, too?

Added fast units should work too.
 

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How is reserve handled at very small scale. For example, if I order an attack to 1 corps consisting of 5 divisions, will they too have reserve troops? Do you have a minimum of divisions or a ratio front line to reserve divisions?

It works the same way, but no, it won't use reserves if it can't even cover the front.
 

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The troop type selection for reserves in various stances is still a work in progress, as is the exact decision mechanic for when to call them in.
 

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A small suggestion for Semper Fi:

One simple thing I'd like to see is where I've sunk convoys, on the map that is. As far as I remember the savegames keeps track on when the last convoy attack in a seazone was, so how about putting a small icon on the map in the places where convoys are sunk? They could fade away after a week or something. It would be very nice to get an indication of where your submarines are actually sucessful in sinking ships, without having to check every single sub for sunk ships.

Perhaps this could be a seperate map mode, or something? I feel it would really help out, showing where the convoy raiding is worth it, and where it's not (as in real life). This would make the battle of the atlantic much more enjoyable, and worthwhile. (and shouldn't be too hard to implement?)

I think you will be pleased then. ;)
 

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Oh God those HQ units are so oversized! ...

Didn't I state in a previous DD (one actually related to HQ sizes), that HQ-size is an option?
The same goes for the hierarchy lines.

Disagreed. Any smaller and you might as well throw this feature out the window. They need to be recognizable quickly.

Yes!