George Geczy wrote:
we will be looking closely at how to make sure the AI understands the "generational" differences for WWI.
Chemical warfare is an interesting question and I don't have a clear answer for it right now. On one hand, most historians don't see it as being a significant tactical element - except for a very, very limited number of battles, it was used ineffectively or else easily countered (gas masks, etc). On the other hand, there are those occasional (though rare) battles where it had an effect.
So still pondering that one.
Point 2 first: the same can be said of nuclear weapons to an extent (only used in anger twice, and the idea of a MAD deterrent is mostly lost on AI at the present). Finding a way to use chemical weapons is important if you are going to create a WWI game. One possibility is to treat it much like a hybrid between the "missile" units and the way "military goods work to supply vehicles. If you want a unit to be able to launch a chemical attack, you must first build the weapons, but you must have enough of them to be effective--somehow there needs to be a way for the game to understand that unless a minimum threshold of # of weapons (and delivery platform spaces) exists, an attack cannot be launched. The other two important things to note on chemical weapons:
Weather affects them ALOT (and not just because they can "blow back" on you)
A significant way to deploy them was through FIXED equipment (pipes in the ground) so it is theoretically possible to create a "Maginot line" of sorts with fortifications ,gun emplacements, and "chlorine gas pipes" filled with the weapon.
(ok, i lied, three things) Also, don't forget that gas masks were useless against mustard gas & that gas was more dangerous and effective when used against entrenched units (it goes low)
Part 1: An interesting way to trigger the AI's switch between WWI, WWII, and Modern (missile/nukes/stealth/UAV) combat styles could have to do with tech level checks or a specific untraceable "military sciences" type tech tree for doctrine development. I know that doesn't solve the "what do we actually code the AI to do in each phase?" question, but its a thought.
Also, please consider what i posted in the SRU dev thread recently about multinational treaties/organizations. These & the ability to quickly 'draw' a special administrative district to carve out a buffer zone colony or partially decolonize a region or offer/demand war concessions would be great tools for setting up the pre and post war alliance systems and decolonization without forcing the sandbox game modes to use scripts.