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PostPosted: Jan 30 2010 
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I know this may not be popular with the more micromanaging RTS crowd, but right now I feel like the AI simply isn't able to wield its forces all that well. It does a passable job but often times it seems to forget about individual fronts altogether, or forget that nearly 40% of its total avaliable force is sitting idle while a neighbor gobbles it up.

With the Airborne Assault games, in addition to HOI3, I think we've seen the emergence of true hierarchy based unit control and AI. The ability to give a command or objective to a specific headquarters and the HQ will move all its units and work in an organized coordinated manner to capture the objective. Battlegroups in SR don't really achieve the same function. First, I am curious if Battlegoat plans to continue down the more standard RTS unit system, or if it plans to create a more realistic military simulation for the game. IF you could assign specific battlegroups to specific hotspots it would start to approach the sort of flexability present in HOI3 and AA.

One of the major issues I see presently is game speed. The game bogs down, we all know it and we all know why. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of units all with their individual calculations firing causing massive processor bottlenecks.

The first thing I would like to see, are units having more staying power. Right now a unit can be blown apart in a matter of hours, the complete and total eradication of a unit. If I am not mistaken these individual units are meant to simulate battalions it should take days to destroy the fighting strength of a battalion in most cases not an hour or two. The first thing I can think of that would cut the number of units and calculations down by several factors would be to create a divisional system somewhat like HOI3. All your LOS/Range/Pathing checks can be done by the division rather than its individual parts. If you give units more staying power, I believe the garrison system can be done away with. The AI should quickly be able to identify likely avenues of attack and using a perhaps a Corps or Army level collection of units can be assigned to defend a collection of villages or other strong points along that axis of advance. The only really viable way to destroy formations should be either encirclement in which forces are actually present to maintain the cauldron, or vastly superior technology. Even then I think that the complete loss of a unit through sustained conventional combat should be a rarity, the unit should, to steal an HOI3 term, shatter and begin to be rebuilt at the capital without placing a burden on your current production facilities.

Having played the game with garrisons, with weakened garrisons and without garrisons I understand the reasoning and choice behind putting them in place. With no garrisons, once one side has the upper hand complete destruction is days or weeks away in most cases. The Garrisons slow that progress down allowing the losing AI nation to build more forces. Unfortunately instead of using the garrisons to buy it time while it masses a force capable of doing something, it trickles units to the front as they are built. Resulting in ineffective counter attacks. Usually through attrition on garrison strong points both sides of a war bog down to this trickle of forces to the front phenomenon. With weaker garrisons, the winning AI will usually win after a slightly slower grind. Without it is over as mentioned in days or weeks.

By creating a hierarchy system similar to AA or HOI3 I believe you will make it easier for the AI to wage war. It will maximize its force better in a combined arms attack or defense. I can't tell you how often I have seen an AI country getting battered on the ground by an enemy nation, while it has 30 or 40 or more attack helicopters or strike aircraft that could obliterate the invading force, only to sit at the capital, resulting in an unassailable fortress of death for any unit that comes within 10 to 20 kilometers from it. By creating a divisional system, you can cut down on the number of calculations each individual unit has to make. By improving the survivability of individual battalions, and incorporating them into divisions, you can cut down on the number of units active in the game, creating a more realistic flow to combat.

Like HOI3, you should have the option to turn the AI off or on for a hierarchy. This allows the more micro inclined RTS players to give orders to Corps and Armies and it will streamline that entire process. As it is most players attempt this level of management through the use and applications of battle groups.

These suggestions are probably not realistic for your next title, unless you independently came to the same conclusions before you began it's development. If the majority of this post is redundant because in fact you are using these sorts of ideas for your next title, excellent, and if you replied with a wink I would totally understand. If on the other hand you haven't I hope you strongly consider all or at least some of these suggestions for a future title.

I feel like this game, the scope of it is unrivaled, and if the combat system/AI could be improved on it would be undoubtedly the best strategy game of its sort on the market.


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PostPosted: Jun 01 2010 
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Posts: 194
InvaderCanuck wrote:
I know this may not be popular with the more micromanaging RTS crowd, but right now I feel like the AI simply isn't able to wield its forces all that well. It does a passable job but often times it seems to forget about individual fronts altogether, or forget that nearly 40% of its total avaliable force is sitting idle while a neighbor gobbles it up.

With the Airborne Assault games, in addition to HOI3, I think we've seen the emergence of true hierarchy based unit control and AI. The ability to give a command or objective to a specific headquarters and the HQ will move all its units and work in an organized coordinated manner to capture the objective. Battlegroups in SR don't really achieve the same function. First, I am curious if Battlegoat plans to continue down the more standard RTS unit system, or if it plans to create a more realistic military simulation for the game. IF you could assign specific battlegroups to specific hotspots it would start to approach the sort of flexability present in HOI3 and AA.

One of the major issues I see presently is game speed. The game bogs down, we all know it and we all know why. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of units all with their individual calculations firing causing massive processor bottlenecks.

The first thing I would like to see, are units having more staying power. Right now a unit can be blown apart in a matter of hours, the complete and total eradication of a unit. If I am not mistaken these individual units are meant to simulate battalions it should take days to destroy the fighting strength of a battalion in most cases not an hour or two. The first thing I can think of that would cut the number of units and calculations down by several factors would be to create a divisional system somewhat like HOI3. All your LOS/Range/Pathing checks can be done by the division rather than its individual parts. If you give units more staying power, I believe the garrison system can be done away with. The AI should quickly be able to identify likely avenues of attack and using a perhaps a Corps or Army level collection of units can be assigned to defend a collection of villages or other strong points along that axis of advance. The only really viable way to destroy formations should be either encirclement in which forces are actually present to maintain the cauldron, or vastly superior technology. Even then I think that the complete loss of a unit through sustained conventional combat should be a rarity, the unit should, to steal an HOI3 term, shatter and begin to be rebuilt at the capital without placing a burden on your current production facilities.

Having played the game with garrisons, with weakened garrisons and without garrisons I understand the reasoning and choice behind putting them in place. With no garrisons, once one side has the upper hand complete destruction is days or weeks away in most cases. The Garrisons slow that progress down allowing the losing AI nation to build more forces. Unfortunately instead of using the garrisons to buy it time while it masses a force capable of doing something, it trickles units to the front as they are built. Resulting in ineffective counter attacks. Usually through attrition on garrison strong points both sides of a war bog down to this trickle of forces to the front phenomenon. With weaker garrisons, the winning AI will usually win after a slightly slower grind. Without it is over as mentioned in days or weeks.

By creating a hierarchy system similar to AA or HOI3 I believe you will make it easier for the AI to wage war. It will maximize its force better in a combined arms attack or defense. I can't tell you how often I have seen an AI country getting battered on the ground by an enemy nation, while it has 30 or 40 or more attack helicopters or strike aircraft that could obliterate the invading force, only to sit at the capital, resulting in an unassailable fortress of death for any unit that comes within 10 to 20 kilometers from it. By creating a divisional system, you can cut down on the number of calculations each individual unit has to make. By improving the survivability of individual battalions, and incorporating them into divisions, you can cut down on the number of units active in the game, creating a more realistic flow to combat.

Like HOI3, you should have the option to turn the AI off or on for a hierarchy. This allows the more micro inclined RTS players to give orders to Corps and Armies and it will streamline that entire process. As it is most players attempt this level of management through the use and applications of battle groups.

These suggestions are probably not realistic for your next title, unless you independently came to the same conclusions before you began it's development. If the majority of this post is redundant because in fact you are using these sorts of ideas for your next title, excellent, and if you replied with a wink I would totally understand. If on the other hand you haven't I hope you strongly consider all or at least some of these suggestions for a future title.

I feel like this game, the scope of it is unrivaled, and if the combat system/AI could be improved on it would be undoubtedly the best strategy game of its sort on the market.


I think this is already the best strat game out there, but I understand what you mean. And yes, I do use control groups to achieve a similar effect. There's nothing quite like looking at this control group you've been building up and noticing that the personnel reads over a quarter million. :-) And you're thinking 'Well, hello, there.' :D However, moving these massive forces does tend to slow the game down. I sympathize with the massive, non-mobile death forces. I have a similar annoyance with AI submarines. Subs are VITAL to my naval strategy, yet the AI never moves them from their home ports. s

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PostPosted: Jun 01 2010 
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Colonel

Joined: Feb 19 2010
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Location: Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
The AI does move subs now with the new update and they are quite deadly at times


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PostPosted: Jun 02 2010 
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Rhyus wrote:
The AI does move subs now with the new update and they are quite deadly at times



Which update and is this GC?

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The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.


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PostPosted: Jun 02 2010 
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viewtopic.php?f=43&t=16682

GC/Gold only.

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PostPosted: Jun 03 2010 
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Balthagor wrote:
http://www.bgforums.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=16682

GC/Gold only.


Ah. I have GOT to get around to downloading GC...

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The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.


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PostPosted: Jun 05 2010 
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General

Joined: Jun 03 2009
Posts: 1113
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Rhyus wrote:
The AI does move subs now with the new update and they are quite deadly at times


They move in defense when someone attacks their region.

But they do not patrol, so unless they have been previously disturbed, or are currently defending, you know right where to find them - in port.

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"War is merely the continuation of politics [diplomacy] by other means"
General Carl von Clausewitz - 1832

"Defense: De ting dat keeps de cows off de road."
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PostPosted: Jun 05 2010 
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Posts: 403
Actually, I've seen AI use subs often and quite often it's the offensive type of usage. For example, AI will sometimes park sub near enemy naval fabrication and torpedo anything that comes out of there. I've seen AI send subs against my ships positioned near my shore even though my ships NEVER approached their sea territory. I've seen my ally deploy subs in enemy sea territory and just park it there, waiting. Actually, I have yet to see a sub near a dock unless it just came out of repairs. Sure, AI doesn't use them for patrolling, but sub is much easier to detect while it moves then when it's stationary so it's better to have them positioned in nasty locations then move around all the time. I've been playing update 7 with no Ruges mod ATM (will do it later) and with fog of war turned on (I always have it ON).


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PostPosted: Jun 05 2010 
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Uriens wrote:
Actually, I've seen AI use subs often and quite often it's the offensive type of usage. For example, AI will sometimes park sub near enemy naval fabrication and torpedo anything that comes out of there.

...I've seen my ally deploy subs in enemy sea territory and just park it there, waiting.


This implies a type of AI intellgence that I have never observed. Has anyone else?

I believe that any subs that are parked away from piers got there because they were previously responding to hostile action.

Quote:
I've seen AI send subs against my ships positioned near my shore even though my ships NEVER approached their sea territory.


If a unit with initiative spots a hostile unit, it will pursue and attack it.

Quote:
Actually, I have yet to see a sub near a dock unless it just came out of repairs.


Are we playing the same game? My current Ruges mod game is well into its third year and with just a quick scan of the Atlantic coast and the English channel I can count dozens of French, German and English subs stacked up at their original sea piers. And they have been at war for years.

Quote:
Sure, AI doesn't use them for patrolling, but sub is much easier to detect while it moves then when it's stationary so it's better to have them positioned in nasty locations then move around all the time.


All ships initially start out in reserve at a sea pier, from which they are deployed. This is where I see them stay, unless they are responding to something. We both agree that they don't patrol.

I belive that ships move for one of three reasons:

1) the AI or DM orders them to service a "Response" - like an intrusion or attack

2) They patrol on their own initiative. We both agree that subs don't do this.

3) The ship spots a target and goes after it.

Quote:
I've been playing update 7 with no Ruges mod ATM (will do it later) and with fog of war turned on (I always have it ON).


I have been playing the Ruges mod with U7 exclusively. Perhaps there is a difference in sub behavior.

_________________
"War is merely the continuation of politics [diplomacy] by other means"
General Carl von Clausewitz - 1832

"Defense: De ting dat keeps de cows off de road."
Catatonic - 2012


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PostPosted: Jun 06 2010 
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OK, here is my example.

Image

You can see on the map where I've been under frequent sub attacks from Norway. Thing is, Norway is at war with only me and my ally West Germany. My ships are parked inside my borders and have made no aggressive moves toward either Norway or Sweden with them so they could NOT be responding to hostile actions. Also, near that position is where enemy subs were parked when I made my first 2 frigates (much earlier in game), one by one of course since there was only one Naval fabrication I could use. Both of my frigates got torpedoed as soon as they left docks. Fortunately, the second one managed to damage enemy sub enough to make it go home for repairs.

It's interesting you mentioned England and France. Playing a South Germany here I made alliances with East Germany, West Germany, Paris and Marseille right at the start of the game. So I had a good view of what happened when Paris and England dow-ed each other. Well, at least I saw it from the Paris side. Anyway, England usually has subs parked near Portsmouth docks and then those subs shoot cruise missiles and Paris ships destroying them from long range. Paris would usually not move it's own subs and they would also sit outside their own docks. Well, in update 7, Paris moved in subs and torpedoed everything that was near Portsmouth, be it ship or sub. In the aftermath, Portsmouth had no English ships or subs sitting outside while Paris had 2 subs parked few hexes away from Portsmouth's docks. It's the first time I saw Paris AI defeat England AI in that sea battle and those English subs outside Portsmouth sunk.

West Germany also used it's subs against Denmark. It simply moved them in Denmark's waters and let it stay there. It used frigates to bomb shore cities too, sub was not far from those frigates but it was in Denmark's waters. I don't think Denmark had any ships in the area that sub could respond to since I used my planes to sink all their ships.

Also, it is important if you play with Fog of War or without it. No fog of war turn it off for AI as well. It behaves differently. Years ago, when I just started playing SR2010, things that AI would do with Fog of War were very different then what would it do with it turned off. Simply put, with no fog of war, all artillery would shoot at max range, AI would see all movements and would not need scouts or radars to spot enemy movement (you notice that when it responds to stealth plane incursions, not just subs). It would also know exact composition of other regions deployed forces which would lead to AI declaring wars it would not declare normally or it would not declare wars it would normally do. Basically, when I was playing SR2010 scenarios AI would behave differently with FOW on or off. It would be like playing different scenario. Now, since AI that uses subs is new, it may take sub stealth into account and, since subs are spotted always with FOW off, it may just not use them as a result. Like I said in my previous post, I always play games with FOW on (well, at least in 2020) so it may be one reason why AI behaves differently. Of course, since Ruges did make some changes to AI files, it may also be a reason for it. Or combination of both.


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PostPosted: Jun 06 2010 
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And here is a nice pic of Norway sub parked outside my ally's naval fabrication. It just torpedoed another West German ship as it came out.

Image


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PostPosted: Jun 08 2010 
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And here is another pic:

Image

This time I just happened to see Paris move in those 5 subs in (with 1 ship as well). Btw, I've never seen AI use subs on long distances, mostly on short ones.


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PostPosted: Jun 09 2010 
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Uriens wrote:
Btw, I've never seen AI use subs on long distances, mostly on short ones.

This is becouse subs still follow the rules that all other units follow. They react to AI Requests. These requests only call on units that are a certian distance away. Also the AI only calls on attack orders. And these attack requests are usualy for lost sea hexes, but somtimes bordering sea hexes. Althoug rarley they can be on nearby enemy ships, but that is not very comon.

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PostPosted: Jun 09 2010 
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Ruges wrote:
Uriens wrote:
Btw, I've never seen AI use subs on long distances, mostly on short ones.


This is becouse subs still follow the rules that all other units follow. They react to AI Requests. These requests only call on units that are a certian distance away. Also the AI only calls on attack orders. And these attack requests are usualy for lost sea hexes, but somtimes bordering sea hexes. Althoug rarley they can be on nearby enemy ships, but that is not very comon.
Uriens wrote:
Btw, I've never seen AI use subs on long distances, mostly on short ones.


This is becouse subs still follow the rules that all other units follow. They react to AI Requests. These requests only call on units that are a certian distance away. Also the AI only calls on attack orders. And these attack requests are usualy for lost sea hexes, but somtimes bordering sea hexes. Althoug rarley they can be on nearby enemy ships, but that is not very comon.


It is easy to attribute too much intelligence to the AI. As Ruges said, the AI/DM only reacts to 16 different requests sent it by the game. Only one of these requests involves ships. Both the AI/DM and your own DM will defend its territory by sending land units to guard important assests like its bases. The AI's will order many classes of units to patrol - that is to make random, jerky movements from hex to hex. Occasionally an AI/DM will launch an amphib invasion. And they build units. That is about all that they do.

The rest of the time units are like little ants - many of them roam around independently, looking for trouble to get into. Subs don't roam/patrol at all. And the AI won't use ships to protect its sea piers unless they are attacked. All of the subs parked at the pier are are there because they have nothing better to do.

So when you see a sub that looks like it has been cleverly placed in ambush near an enemy sea pier by an AI, most likely what happened is that the sub was either sent there by an AI request for an attack in the vacinity, or the sub was attracted there when it spotted an enemy unit. Even a blind squrill finds the occasional nut.

Watch the sea battle that breaks out when China DOWs Taiwan in the Taiwan strait, on about January 8th, 2020 of each game. Watch the AIs send out response task forces of two destroyer/cruisers, two frigates an patrol boat and two submarines. Watch single subs spot enemy targets and attack them. But also watch the Chinese subs to the North and South that never move, since they have not spotted any enemy ants to attack.

The AI sea attack response is also suppose to send out one aircraft carrier, but I have never seen this. Maybe it's because AI carriers never have any planes on them? Not very smart of them, is it?

Watch a region "invade" another region. The little ants may attack the border defenders that they find - or they might not do anything. If the defenders kill one of their guys, or re-take a hex, the AI will rush ants to that location. But neither the AI nor the ants recognize an enemy capital or any other enemy objective, any more than picnic ants recognize your car keys. I have seen it time after time - invading units will blow right past an enemy's capital, rushing to join a battle over a disputed base. Watch South Korea take NK, or the U.S. take Canada and you'll see what I mean.

Yesterday I watched China DOW South Korea. This was immediately after SK had taken NK. The Northern SK units could not move because they were supply-frozen. On the section of the border that I was watching, Chinese units were lined up one hex away across the border, well within spotting distance of the SKs. But they just continued to patrol on their side of the border. Chinese artillery did not fire. Why? Because there was no stimulus to provoke the ants into action.

_________________
"War is merely the continuation of politics [diplomacy] by other means"
General Carl von Clausewitz - 1832

"Defense: De ting dat keeps de cows off de road."
Catatonic - 2012


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