Random Battle Generator (Full Version)

All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Discontinued Games] >> Panzer Command: Kharkov



Message


Laryngoscope -> Random Battle Generator (8/14/2007 8:22:47 AM)

I wanted to show you the UI for the random battle generator (RBG). It is run as an application outside of the game proper. You have loads of control over the type battle which you wish to play.

Everything is point, click & drag, so it is very quick & easy.

You can change the map you wish to play on in the template drop down, a brief description of the area and an overview is then displayed for your edification. Novel to this RBG is the concept of a template. Essentially a template is a predefined map along with intelligent potential placement options for a multitudinous number of platoons of all unit types (armour, infantry, ATG, etc). These templates are then the source which is used to create the final random battle. Templates can be edited in the scenario editor so you can make them yourself. This allows the potential to create literally millions of unique battle configurations, but at the same type have them intelligently set up (eg ATG hiding in the tree line, infantry in foxholes, no tanks in the river, etc)
If you have PCOWS you will have the potential to play random battles on almost 30 different maps (summer and winter). However the game will probably only ship with a handful of random battle templates (maps), with the option to create your own or download them from the community.

Another nice feature of the RBG is the ability to generate reasonably intelligent battle orders de novo. Here is an example of the pre battle description which was auto generated on my last random battle ...

Date: 04/03/1943 (Spring)

Human: German vs AI: Russian.

German assault.

--- Situation ---

A mostly flat farming region somewhere near Kharkov, Ukraine. The map is criss-crossed by many small tree outcrops and fields, 
which lends itself well to concealment & consequently can be considered excellent defensive terrain.
A small river with an attendant bridge and crossings runs along the Northern border.

A snaking road bisects the map diagonally, along which lies a small clutch of burnt out farm houses.

Template Credit: Laryngoscope

Your low strength, veteran forces are set up along the South Eastern edge of the map and are facing North Westwards.

Foreword scouts have detected the enemy in the area.

--- Orders ---

You are ordered to rout the enemy forces from their defensive positions. Securing the Gun Pits is of paramount importance.
The South Bank should also be secured. 

It is important that you control the battlefield quickly. The enemy will be receiving a defensive bonus on or about turn 31.

--- Intelligence ---

Expect medium enemy resistance. Our recon assets have detected enemy artillery support & minefields.


Guter Glück Kommandant


The test battles generated so far have been very enjoyable to play, the team will keep working on developing new templates right up until the time of PCK release [:D]

[image]local://upfiles/12792/CEE391C19F0142F2BCFF1EE3BBCE922A.jpg[/image]




elmo3 -> RE: Random Battle Generator (8/14/2007 1:04:05 PM)

This looks like a great feature. Looking forward to giving it a try soon. [;)]




Reichenberg -> RE: Random Battle Generator (8/14/2007 2:11:48 PM)

Looks very promising! It seems that PCK will be a must on my HD.

Uwe




invernomuto -> RE: Random Battle Generator (8/14/2007 2:40:19 PM)

Great feature, thank you for the update.






Laryngoscope -> RE: Random Battle Generator (8/14/2007 3:13:57 PM)

For those of you that are interested to see what a RBG template looks like, I will show you a SS from the editor. If all you want to do is play random battles this will be of no concern to you at all [;)]

It looks busy and complicated because I have set everything to be displayed. There are filters which allow you to toggle display items to simplify as needed. It should be reasonably self explanatory. The computer will randomly choose and place forces, minefields and objectives depending on the underlying template.

The platoon positional deployments, sizes, experience, unit types, minefield #s and densities + objectives will be chosen at RBG build time depending on multiple factors which are controlled from the RBG UI (as shown above). The probability that any two games would be the same is 1 to 10 to the power of my overdraft [:D] Doing it this way means that although the position of forces will be random, they should also be intelligent. Many games in the past with RBGs have randomly placed forces in tactically negligent positions; I am hoping that this system will prevent that little problem, at the cost of a little human intervention (eg the template designer).

The system should also give a pretty good historical match up based on the input date. You will never see units present in battles set prior to their historical deployment date, nor will you likely see them much past their use by date [:)] No PzIIs in Feb 1945 [;)]

If reinforcements are selected as an option, they are chosen to appear along map edges as appropriate. No Tigers beaming behind the enemy lines. The minefields are also placed so that you don't start the game already in the middle of a minefield (which would be totally frustrating), nor is it likely for the defenders which are falling back to retreat through their own minefields!


[image]local://upfiles/12792/56B70E79EECB4F81AE318AD2E0F5921C.jpg[/image]




Yankee1950 -> RE: Random Battle Generator (8/16/2007 1:04:55 AM)

Laryngoscope:

I have used your first battle editor (PCOWS) to develop custom battles - what a great job that was.  But this one for Kharkov is simply "outstanding".  Thanks so much for your hard work.

Yankee1950




Laryngoscope -> RE: Random Battle Generator (8/16/2007 2:39:30 AM)

Thanks Yankee1950.




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/7/2008 8:07:48 AM)

The one problem I see with this random battle generator is the directions of the attack and defensive area appears to be known. This takes away from the fog of war knowledge of where the general direction of the enemy is. Is there any way to randomize the setup directions without the player knowing? Like above it shows the Russians are defending South West, welp that takes all the fun out of discovering where they are setup and defending. Knowing their defensive postioning area is half the battle won. CM series never let you know where the AI was positioning or defending as the spead was from one side of the map to the other. I would rather encounter random spreads of defenses or offensives across the maps instead of ok your objective is DIRECTLY SW of you.

Also next question/issue, Will the AI buy the human players forces for him if the human does not buy them himself? As CM also does this and I find myself having to play with potluck units which I like vs stacking the deck against the AI everytime I buy my own units.

If it's going to be a random battle then ALL things should be random and UNKNOWN to the Player except the amount of points he can input for himself and the computer AI. I like the buy point system where I say ok both sides get 3000 points to buy units for this random quick battle, ok computer AI pick us some units....and go and play from there. THAT'S REAL TRUE RANDOM BATTLE GENERATION. But, I guess this ain't CM is it? [:D]




Stridor -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/7/2008 12:00:07 PM)

Ravinhood,

quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

The one problem I see with this random battle generator is the directions of the attack and defensive area appears to be known. This takes away from the fog of war knowledge of where the general direction of the enemy is. Is there any way to randomize the setup directions without the player knowing? Like above it shows the Russians are defending South West, welp that takes all the fun out of discovering where they are setup and defending. Knowing their defensive postioning area is half the battle won. CM series never let you know where the AI was positioning or defending as the spead was from one side of the map to the other. I would rather encounter random spreads of defenses or offensives across the maps instead of ok your objective is DIRECTLY SW of you.


The Random Battle Generator (RBG) has the option of randomizing all or just some of the variables and attack vector is of course just one of them. Depending on the situation you will almost certainly have multiple objectives which will not all lie in a straight line. The AI will be spread across the entire map, or not, depending on how the RBG is set up.

quote:


Also next question/issue, Will the AI buy the human players forces for him if the human does not buy them himself? As CM also does this and I find myself having to play with potluck units which I like vs stacking the deck against the AI every time I buy my own units.


I don't quite understand, but here goes ...

The historical time and rarity based distribution of all unit types (vehicles, men, guns, etc) is known to the RBG for both sides during the length of the war 1941-1945. If you use a generic preset the RBG will pick a force representative of the likely historical distribution. You can adjust your force mix as you see fit. However since my original introductory post about the RBG (above), much has changed. There is now the ability to customize the generated battle depending on a particular company structure. This includes unit naming conventions, particular units in use specific to that outfit and of course force mixes. This was the first step in allowing the RBG to generate all types of battles, all the way from entirely fictional and random to a specific fixed scenario (eg 14th Panzer vs 6th Army at Protopopovka May 1942) if that is what you wanted, see below for more details.

As a human player you will get the purchase points you requested and a list of units which will reflect the historical reality to the best extent of our knowledge. If you have better data on service entry, exit, prevalences, etc for a piece of equipment you are free to change the data as you see fit. However depending on the strength of your force as was set in the RBG (remember this can be totally random if desired), you may choose to use your points to bring several understrength units up to full strength rather than spend them all on many depleted sections.

quote:


If it's going to be a random battle then ALL things should be random and UNKNOWN to the Player except the amount of points he can input for himself and the computer AI.


If you want totally random you can have it. If you want totally specific you can have that too, and just about everything in between. One of the original criticisms of PCOWS was that the setup positions were fixed and that there was no replayability of a given scenario. Now you can essentially define meta-scenarios (battle plans) which are random battles but with enough core elements fixed to allow the human hand to guide the final output. So you still get your core troops which you know and love, but perhaps support units are different or setups are different or minefields are different or the enemy is different, this time.

quote:


I like the buy point system where I say ok both sides get 3000 points to buy units for this random quick battle, ok computer AI pick us some units....and go and play from there. THAT'S REAL TRUE RANDOM BATTLE GENERATION. But, I guess this ain't CM is it? [:D]


Yep, yep and yep it is not CM.

I hope if you decide to pursue PCK you will enjoy the RBG. In testing it seems to produce some nice well balanced and believable match-ups in which initial force placements are as you would expect (eg. men in foxholes and hiding in houses, ATG hidden in forests, Tanks moving down roads, snipers in church bell towers, etc). The setup system is such that it shouldn't produce a situation in which you have unsupported or unsupportable units. Nor have units placed in initial suicide positions in which they have no chance of survival. Nobody should (at least initially) be tripping over their own minefields, etc.

PCK now has a pretty fully featured scenario and campaign editor and I hope that after it is released the community will start to use these tools to make some great added content. The RBG battle plan, template and force preset concepts really take this one step further. They too are easily edited, and I hope interesting user creations will also be shared.




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/8/2008 2:28:36 PM)

I think this quote:

quote:

strength of your force as was set in the RBG (remember this can be totally random if desired),


and this:

quote:

If you want totally random you can have it.


and especially this:

quote:

In testing it seems to produce some nice well balanced and believable match-ups in which initial force placements are as you would expect (eg. men in foxholes and hiding in houses, ATG hidden in forests, Tanks moving down roads, snipers in church bell towers, etc). The setup system is such that it shouldn't produce a situation in which you have unsupported or unsupportable units. Nor have units placed in initial suicide positions in which they have no chance of survival.


resolves any fears I might have of the game not offering total randomness and at least decent AI placement abilities.

NOW! How is the AI overall? What type of difficulty settings is the game going to have to add more challenge and HOW MANY difficulty settings and different options to tweak the difficulty even more are there going to be?? The one major issue I have with a lot of todays wargames is they don't offer enough difficulty settings and some tend to believe one difficulty setting is enough and don't even add higher and lower ones...so, what's yours gonna be like?? :)

Oh and one more thing concerning the AI. CM had an AI that would not protect its flanks and/or would go kamakazi charging Objective areas near the end of the battle even when it was WINNING. Is this AI not going to be that braindead and at least KNOW WHEN IT IS WINNING and not do stupid stuff like that? CM is great up until that point of the game and it makes me furious to see it come out of entrenched positions just to try to take back ONE objective I took with like 10 turns left in the scenario and ends up giving up all its held objectives and I end up winning. I hope your AI doesn't do silliness like this and actually plays to WIN not just be some delaying action.




Erik Rutins -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/8/2008 3:35:30 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood
resolves any fears I might have of the game not offering total randomness and at least decent AI placement abilities.


Great to hear - I think the random options are excellent in the RBG from my experience with it.

quote:

NOW! How is the AI overall? What type of difficulty settings is the game going to have to add more challenge and HOW MANY difficulty settings and different options to tweak the difficulty even more are there going to be?? The one major issue I have with a lot of todays wargames is they don't offer enough difficulty settings and some tend to believe one difficulty setting is enough and don't even add higher and lower ones...so, what's yours gonna be like?? :)


The AI is pretty good - it's better than the Winter Storm AI, especially on the attack. I would say it's quite a bit better than the CM AI, but I also think it has a way to go before it can really replace a human opponent. The only handicap/bonus we have is points-wise, the AI plays with the same intelligence at every difficulty level, but at Easy it has 25% fewer points and at Hard you have 25% fewer points. In the random battles you can of course choose to give it however many points you want. I realize this becomes somewhat of a cliche to hear, but there really is no AI that can replace a good human opponent, which is why we offer the PBEM system (with two phases per exchange to speed things up) and my experience has been that Panzer Command is very fun vs. a human given the WEGO structure and the fog of war.

quote:

Oh and one more thing concerning the AI. CM had an AI that would not protect its flanks and/or would go kamakazi charging Objective areas near the end of the battle even when it was WINNING. Is this AI not going to be that braindead and at least KNOW WHEN IT IS WINNING and not do stupid stuff like that?


The AI does know when it is winning. If it is losing however I have seen it make some kamikaze charges and sometimes they work too, but it does take terrain, LOS and enemy forces into account in deciding its approach. I've had it give me some very challenging games recently while testing the random battles and I'm a very experienced player at this point. I think most good players will end up playing on Hard and also trying out some random battles with AI point bonuses after they've gotten through a campaign or two. Panzer Command is not easy, but if you use good tactics you will generally beat the AI.

Regards,

- Erik




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/8/2008 9:22:25 PM)

Sounds good, the kamakazi attacks when it's winning was the biggest major issue with BF's CM series. Glad to hear this one KNOWS when it's winning. And Yes I'll probably jack up the settings the very first day. I usually give the AI a 20% bonus in Combat Mission anyways, but, because of the kamakazi attacking the extra units don't really help it be more challenging. Thanks Erik. ;) This ones on my radar no matter what cause I really enjoy random battles and rarely ever play scenarios anymore. Just beef up the AI as much as you can and have it at least cover the flank edges of the map for people like me who like to run ALL my units up one edge or the other of the maps and catch the AI and even some HUMANS not protecting their flanks. ;) I think it would be wise to give the AI advantages like occupying objective areas upon start of generated battle. Even if attacking or defending. This gives a big plus to the AI advantage and since you say it knows when it's winning shouldn't go wandering off very far from these objectives.

I can still enjoy meeting engagements and probes and all the other attack/assault setups while the AI starts off with all the objectives. I always wondered why BF never did this. It just makes sense since AI's aren't usually very bright to give them the objectives to start with no matter what. Just my 2 cents. I know the game is finished or practically finished so just something for the future. ;)




Grell -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/8/2008 10:08:16 PM)

Well, this just sealed the deal, I am definitely going to buy this game upon release, depending on my finances of course.

Regards,

Grell




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/9/2008 5:43:37 PM)

Glad I could be of help to you Grell. [:D]<snicker>




Grell -> RE: Random Battle Generator (2/9/2008 6:06:00 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

Glad I could be of help to you Grell. [:D]<snicker>


Why thank you! [:)]

Regards,

Grell




Stridor -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/11/2008 11:18:15 AM)

Here is a quick overview of updates to the RBG/RCG since my first post.

The RBG first. Although it looks similar to the first development shot, a lot had changed under the hood and much new functionality has been added.

Notice now that specific variables can now be individually randomized (the little dice in bottom right corner). This allows you to tailor your RB to your exact specifications.

The presets which were once just a saved method of adjusting the force mix now loads into the RBG a particular Division/Company profile for the RBG to work with.

Instead of the old directional setups, there is now an entire setup zone library from which to choose from. This can also be randomized if you prefer. However if you wanted to close the noose or fight a breakout battle, now there are setups which support that.

The Battle field now controls the "Battle Plan" which is the overarching control mechanism. These are pre-made random battle configurations which essentially set all the other variables, templates, presets and setup zones.

Final note, this is still a development shot, it is not necessarily representative of the final product.

[image]local://upfiles/26427/B4C9A5F0A28741C19B315D25D3C0239F.jpg[/image]




Stridor -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/11/2008 11:23:58 AM)

And here is the UI for the RCG. This screenshot is shown using a place holder random campaign script for demonstration purposes only, it is not like this in the game.

Essentially you select which random campaign script you wish to play from the drop down list. You can then choose which dates to play and how many battles you want to fight. You must fight the key battles. Press the build campaign button and the campaign will await you. I have attempted to make the RCG user interface have the same look and feel as the in-game interface, something I wasn't able to do for the RBG alas (simply because of the huge number of controls it had).



[image]local://upfiles/26427/0E396579968E474589F43E618875F0BF.jpg[/image]




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/11/2008 2:42:05 PM)

I like it Stridor looks good. One question what is that numerical box over at the top right with 30 40 60 80 100 110 in it for the RCG you showed us? I also like the change in the RBG with the dice rolls for random variables within the battle as well. I take it this will give the battles as much fow as the player wants?




Stridor -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/11/2008 3:13:22 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood
I like it Stridor looks good. One question what is that numerical box over at the top right with 30 40 60 80 100 110 in it for the RCG you showed us?


Bling only I am afraid. Graphical eye candy so as to keep a unified graphical style with the game.

quote:


I also like the change in the RBG with the dice rolls for random variables within the battle as well. I take it this will give the battles as much fow as the player wants?


Exactly!




Mraah -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/11/2008 11:48:25 PM)

Stridor,

This all looks awesome!!! I'm sold.

If not already asked ...

1. Can the A/I forces be hidden from the player in the battle generator to add another fog of war? For instance, you know the composition of the enemy, ie armored, infantry, etc but you don't know the exact percentage.

2. Are there plans for a Western European theater version ? If not, I might build a mod but it's much better if you save us the heart ache!! [:)]

thanks,
Rob




Stridor -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/12/2008 12:27:07 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mraah

1. Can the A/I forces be hidden from the player in the battle generator to add another fog of war? For instance, you know the composition of the enemy, ie armored, infantry, etc but you don't know the exact percentage.



Yes all variables can be randomized or not as you like.

quote:



2. Are there plans for a Western European theater version ? If not, I might build a mod but it's much better if you save us the heart ache!! [:)]

thanks,
Rob


Depends on how well PCK does. If it does well enough to support further development of the franchise, I think western europe is high on the list of future possibilities.




Mobius -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/12/2008 12:41:55 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mraah
2. Are there plans for a Western European theater version ? If not, I might build a mod but it's much better if you save us the heart ache!! [:)]
I've made a few tests of battles for the Western front as well as what-ifs involving Mauses and even some T-55/T-62 vs M60 mockups. The core system works fine in these cases though 1kmx1km is a little small for late and post WWII.




Phenix -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/12/2008 3:30:18 PM)

Please stay on the east front [:)]




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/12/2008 5:04:16 PM)

Erik thinks it might be time to move to the WESTERN FRONT after this one and then keep adding elements of the Eastern Front into those series. YAY!

quote:

Honestly, I think by the third release it will be time to give the Western Front its due and I think a lot of folks are waiting to see that. With that said though, I expect every future release will continue to add a bit to the Eastern Front as well.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development and Business Relations




Mobius -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/12/2008 5:52:59 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood
Erik thinks it might be time to move to the WESTERN FRONT after this one and then keep adding elements of the Eastern Front into those series. YAY!
The good thing about that is that any new German vehicles can be used in either front. And a few Allied tanks can used as Lend Lease.




Stridor -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/13/2008 2:29:56 AM)

Latest SS of the RBG. I have added a few extra features since I lasted posted [;)]. Unit histories and potential OOB (prior to generation) are now in and are toggleable.

[image]local://upfiles/26427/2B85016776FA4E31A1E7BD10B72C7BFC.jpg[/image]




Rick -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/13/2008 4:38:02 AM)


In one of the threads, you wrote that those that have PC:OWS will have 27 maps to choose from for generating random (or design your own) scenarios. I don't have PC:OWS. How many maps will come with PC:K?

Also, in RBG screenshots couple of questions:

1) in the area to the rigth of the narrative terrain description box, the top button used to be labled season, it looks different in the latest screen shot, is it still a season button?

2) in the controls at top of screen couple of buttong used to indicate direction of attack, then I saw them with info like Kessel cutoff, and envelop, and in latest screen the again look like attack direction, is it still attack direction then?

This look random battle and random campaign generator looks pretty good to me, but I'm still a little concerned that the maps might get old after a while.

Thanks!
Rick




Erik Rutins -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/13/2008 5:15:53 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rick
In one of the threads, you wrote that those that have PC:OWS will have 27 maps to choose from for generating random (or design your own) scenarios. I don't have PC:OWS. How many maps will come with PC:K?


He meant Kharkov - Winterstorm did not come with a random battle generator and it only had 11 maps, if I recall correctly.

quote:

1) in the area to the rigth of the narrative terrain description box, the top button used to be labled season, it looks different in the latest screen shot, is it still a season button?


Yes, that's still the season button. The green leaf you see there represents Spring.

quote:

2) in the controls at top of screen couple of buttong used to indicate direction of attack, then I saw them with info like Kessel cutoff, and envelop, and in latest screen the again look like attack direction, is it still attack direction then?


Yes indeed, but it's more appropriately the "setup" which can include both attack direction and special situations like a kessel.

quote:

This look random battle and random campaign generator looks pretty good to me, but I'm still a little concerned that the maps might get old after a while.


Because of the different "rotations" to the map depending on which side you're fighting to/from (and the kessel possibility) there's actually a lot of play value in the maps. I've fought over the same map several times from different directions and it felt pretty new each time. I think the included maps will do a pretty good job of providing variety and on the plus side, since they are design maps they are more interesting than the average randomly generated map.

With that said, our ultimate goal in a future release is indeed a random map generator and full map editor, but that will take quite a bit more time for this kind of map quality.

Regards,

- Erik




Rick -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/13/2008 6:45:00 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rick
In one of the threads, you wrote that those that have PC:OWS will have 27 maps to choose from for generating random (or design your own) scenarios. I don't have PC:OWS. How many maps will come with PC:K?


He meant Kharkov - Winterstorm did not come with a random battle generator and it only had 11 maps, if I recall correctly.

/quote]

Thanks for fast response Eric. His 27 map comment i thought referred to having maps from both PCOWS and PCK. So it sounds like PC:K comes with 16 maps?

I thought I read the maps could rotate, but after reading through a few times I wasn't sure. But from your response, sounds like this is the case. That should work. I guess I played the original Squad Leader with only 3 map panels to work from if I recall.

Sounds like I'll have to give this one a shot.

Thanks again,
Rick




ravinhood -> RE: Random Battle Generator (3/13/2008 8:03:14 AM)

quote:

With that said, our ultimate goal in a future release is indeed a random map generator and full map editor, but that will take quite a bit more time for this kind of map quality.


I hope it is by the time the YANKS enter the picture. ;) And please oh please please please don't let the Yanks game be "Battle for yet another OMAHA BEACH invasion lol Let's start with the Omaha beach invasion already done with past and somewhere nice and comfy on mainland France like Caen. ;) Or a BULGE game I still like Bulge games, but, I am sick to death of "The Longest Day". lol




Page: [1] 2   next >   >>

Valid CSS!




Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI
0.0234375