January 28, 2017 at 12:44 am #682
What are the differences between Corporal/Lieutenant/General? Does the AI behave differently? Are the rolls resolved differently? Are there more (or fewer) units, or does the quality of the units change at all?January 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm #732
On Corporal difficulty the player has an advantage in combat resolution, so the AI usually takes more casualties than normal. In some scenarios Corporal players get extra units, or the AI gets fewer units.
Lieutenant is just normal. No advantage to either side.
On General the AI gets an advantage in units. I'm looking into ways to make the AI more ruthless on this difficulty.January 29, 2017 at 12:42 am #733
One thing that the AI doesn't take full advantage of is the flanking bonus. The fact that the AI will always move AND attack with a unit at the same time costs it some efficiency when it comes to taking a desired target/position.
For example, if you want to take a position, the logical thing to do it surround it with units first and THEN start having those units attack sequentially so that they ALL benefit from the flanking bonus. This minimizes the casualties of the attacker and doesn't give the targeted unit anywhere to escape once they are finally disrupted.
If the AI were to learn how to move a unit without immediately attacking but then use that unit to attack later in the turn once other units have positioned themselves, that would help make the AI more ruthless.
Another thing the AI could improve on is how it decides to recover disrupted units. For example, after a unit has retreated, the AI will always have it retreat farther before it recovers. This is often unnecessary, and it can be a great tactical advantage to ADVANCE before recovering so that you're not two turns away from your previous position, as you would be if the unit retreated under fire and then retreated again before recovering.
The AI often loses sight of the objective too. It can be so determined to sweep away all the opposition in its path that you can often distract it with a skirmisher or two. When I'm playing, I often sprint past enemy units (especially entrenched units) on my way to the target. For example, last night I was playing Tannenberg on General as the Entente powers. I ran right past all the Central Powers' towns and trenches, surrounded the star, and knocked it out. Then the Central Powers units were forced to come out of their defenses to counter-attack, which meant I didn't have to batter my Poor Russians against trenches on hills, God forbid. Unless you implement zones of control (which I am not recommending), there will always be an opportunity to take advantage of the turn-based nature of the game by running past someone who would have been shooting at you the whole time in real life. If the AI could take advantage of this, that would give it an additional edge.January 29, 2017 at 10:41 pm #734
Thanks for your thoughts on AI. AI is a very difficult subject because it's not so much about making the AI smart, but making it fun. However, for higher difficulties I can certainly think about what you have said about more intelligent manoeuvres.
I will continue to improve the AI in some ways for all difficulties. You mentioned about AI charging out of trenches so the next update will stop the AI charging themselves into a bad position.
I know that the AI is a bit over protective of its units when recovering. It always tries to place its units as far away as possible from an enemy before recovering. I may be changing the morale/recovery system soon so I'm going to put this on hold for now.
Zones of control is an area I keep coming back to. Maybe it will improve the game? Maybe not? I do want to do something about how gaps in the lines can be developed so easily. I'm not sure if I want to give the AI the behaviour to find a gap in a player's lines. I think it will be pretty frustrating for a player if an AI ignores their defences.
Thanks for the ideas. You may want to hold off on playing Gallipoli and Verdun for a little while. There's going to be few changes soon.
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