Buddy3101

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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. ;)

Great idea, also it would be cool if you could click the cross (or whatever) on the map an get a list with the names of the sunken ships... :)
 

Danevang

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I still don't like the icon size...the theater and AG HQ icons are HUGE. Why not just go with color coded icons??

Colour coded hq icons have already been done (in case you dont know this). Check my signature for the link. But I agree, the various sizes of HQs are not really helping in quickly identifying the HQ level.
 

Munin

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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.

Interesting, but this new AI might prove to make the game too hard (at least for some players), no? I know it s hard to create game balance because you re making the algorithms in general for all nations to behave like this. But next thing you know, the players who have been complaining about rolling over the Soviets before will now complain about an unbreakable Soviet elastic wall :p.

Also: Isn't that smart kind of AI behavior the thing that in real history were taken care of by doctrines? And if so would a doctrine "elastic defence" (instead of AI in general) not be the thing that would prevent a Soviet player from being pocketed?


What I mean by this is: Wouldn't it be better to improve Land-AI-behavior by the land-doctrine techs that each nation has? (same with sea & air doctrines + AI) This way a German player can still create big pockets out of an outdated Soviet army in Poland by having good techs. (As historically the german army pocketed large chunks of the Soviet army)

Why not make a doctrine improve AI? Or is that an incredibly hard thing to do? (I m not a programmer so I really have little insight in how difficult it can be to implement these things)
 
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unmerged(187441)

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I'd not say that the attacking AI was good enough.

I was playing as the SU, and set up a monster fort line behind the first line of rivers, in preparation for the German attack. I finished the line by setting up a bunch of armor near Memel, to take it and make my line shorter and stronger. In a couple of months, I had lost a dozen provinces, which I had expected to lose anyway, and the Germans couldn't move an inch.

Then, I decided to see what the AI could do on the offensive. Stavka had over 700 brigades to its name, and was set to blitzing, with targets behind the German lines. In a year, it recovered 8 provinces, with undermanned attacks that had no chance of breakthrough.

I loaded the savegame, and took command myself: In 6 months, the German army was a shell of its former self, and in 8 I had taken Berlin and Paris.

The problem is twofold:

The AI wll not make an exploitation attack quickly enough. It always moves days after I'd have hit the retreating troops. It also allows the enemy to strenghten the line.

When fighting a war with very large stacks, the AI wasn't really cycling units. Due to the problem described above, this means that every province it takes ends up with 0 infrastructure which leads to no significant ORG improvements, so not cycling the units means that the other side can take back the province easily enough.

It also fails to use tanks effectively: They are used in overwhelming odds that will just slow them down due to the consecutive attack delays, instead of using economy of force, using the tanks that did not engage in the first combat to engage further combats.

Finally, it doesn't mock with leaders at all, so you end up with Manteuffel leading an infantry division, and Paulsen leading a charge. I've never seen a US enemy that had Patton leading an armor division/corps!

Yes, it's worse in defense that in offense, but the offense is still weak in ways that don't appear to be impossible to tweak.
 

Pugmak

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Two issues I hope the work on AI for SF fixes.

1. Too often, the AI will not crush a pocket. It'll form em up, surround the enemy but then just sit. That can go on for years. Just sitting there with the enemy units surrounded, if you let it.

This same thing can be seen if you use AI when there's coastal provinces along the way. The AI will, too often, assign units to contain an enemy unit or two that landed at a port or units that were in a port or coastal area that was by-passed, and then just sit there.

Players can over come this with their own AI by turning the AI off and dealing with the pocket or by-passed units, but the AI controlled countries cant do that.

2. The AI seems to take too much of an area into consideration dealing with unit dispersal, and AI units really do seem to not recognize there are other units in another AI controlled branch assigned to specific goals.

Example:
IF you make the mistake of leaving your naval forces attached to a command structure and put that command structure on AI control, you are liable to see your navy take off and bee line for the nearest ocean map edge. It seems to go as far as it can go and then "defend" that spot.

Or, this example:

Army HQ level AI.
One Armored Army.
One MoT Army.
2 Infantry Armies.

All the armies arrayed along the French Belgium border after the low countries have been swept clean.

The Armored Army is on position at Brugge, Kortrijk, Tournai. MoT Army on station one province behind that. Infantry Armies are on station in line to the German border.

Armored Army is given the blitz order to Caan.
MoT is given the Blitz order to Rennes.

Infantry Army 1 given attack orders to Paris. One corps detached (this sucks btw. Having to detach units to clear them from orders on higher) to cover Brugge and Dunkerque. You have Garrison Corps coming to take over guard duty there too.

Infantry Army 2 given attack orders to Toul.

Almost without exception, and I've done this many times, you will end up with MoT and Armored divisions at every port along the way, regardless of whatever other units are stationed there to do that duty.

Armor will nearly always try to take Paris. There will be, most usually, one or more MoT divs all sent all the way back into the low countries. The low countries, btw, are very well covered by garritroopers and horse cav divs already.

Each AI tends to act like the units under its control are the only units on the map and tries to do everything itself.

Oh, and almost without exception, any enemy units by passed along the coast will be guarded by mobile units but not engaged.

The infantry, during all this, will be milling around doing pretty much what the mobile units are doing but just lots slower. Each command trying to do everything itself.
 

Phelan

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Why not make a doctrine improve AI? Or is that an incredibly hard thing to do? (I m not a programmer so I really have little insight in how difficult it can be to implement these things)

Whoa, that is a bold idea. Technically it should be possible to switch offensive AI-File for a nation if a new doctrine is researched. But I think it would be impossible to balance, because you have to balance the different AIs in all combinations.
 

Pugmak

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Whoa, that is a bold idea. Technically it should be possible to switch offensive AI-File for a nation if a new doctrine is researched. But I think it would be impossible to balance, because you have to balance the different AIs in all combinations.

In a game like this, with soooo many variables and possible needs/use combinations for a military force and soooo many unpredictables, it's gonna be a real chore for them to get one unified set of AI to work to expectations. Especially when expectations are so high in a community like ours.

I bitch about the AI but I'm sure as hell glad someone else has to tinker with it.
 

Guibod

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I see all of that improves the AI a bit, but I'm not convinced it's the best possible...

AI interface should include, for a more elastic game play, an option that excludes a lower HQ and its units from AI control without the need of detaching that HQ. It misses the antipartisan stance. It misses the option of giving (e.g.) a defensive stance to a lower HQ while upper level is on attacking stance.

I strongly support Gladiator's point of view. I hope that Doomdark will answer to this in a future Dev Diary dedicated to advanced IA features. :)
 

Munin

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Whoa, that is a bold idea. Technically it should be possible to switch offensive AI-File for a nation if a new doctrine is researched. But I think it would be impossible to balance, because you have to balance the different AIs in all combinations.

Yeah I know, I ve been thinking of it since the release of this game. You know, this is where this game could stand out. Create the ULTIMATE WWII simulation, by making different AIs improve/deteriorate according to their doctrine tech levels. This would simulate the AI being the general following a doctrine strategy, maybe even improving the AI even more if you have an offensive Blitz commander (Guderian / Manstein / Rommel) or a Defensive expert (Georgy Zhukov famous for his in depth defence at the battle of Kursk / Bernard Montgomery that stopped Rommel in Africa) in charge of your HQs.

This would bring me to the next thing that could improve AI in this hypothetical scenario: the leaders in charge of the HQs
 
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Chromos

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Yeah, "looks" nice.

As we are talking about the Ddefensife AI here:

What about Germany being rolled up from a unrepelled D-day?
Will german Ai take back/slow down the advance in russia if attacked hard in France? Does the "theater interaction" work?

What about Britain? Does it defend its Homeland after France falls?
Does Russian defend against a "sneaky" Japan attack?

Or are these questions all scriptable with the lua-Ai?

Regards,
Chromos
 

Alex_brunius

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Will this make it harder for the AI to perform fast breakouts, say German armor and motorized in the Low Countries? You said that on 'blitzing' the number of reserves is reduced, but it seems to me that now the AI would preferentially not use the best units for attack.

Makes perfect sense on the defense though.
I hope that the strategic reserve makeup is dependent on Stance aswell, so that the more offensive you get the more mobile units are shifted to the front (and vice versa).
 

Pier

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The problem of the Soviet using elastic defensive from the start of Barbarossa is that AI Germany will have a small chance of winning, and won't be able to destroy/capture large parts of the Soviet army in the opening stages.
 

X_MasterDave_X

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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.

Is this, and the %-tage of units kept in reserve moddable?

Some variables for this in defines.lua would be awesome.

Any plans to do that?
 

Drewoid13

First Lieutenant
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Apr 1, 2010
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Colour coded hq icons have already been done (in case you dont know this). Check my signature for the link. But I agree, the various sizes of HQs are not really helping in quickly identifying the HQ level.
yea! and I love it! but I'm suggesting it as official and like. but either way, get rid of the huge icons. even just add a number after the x's so i can see what level it is. I work at a computer all day and by the time it get home, i've gone crosseyed from staring at the crappy UI my work program has that counting x's to find which level hq is which gives me a headache.