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RE: AI for MWiF - China

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 7:27:42 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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The middle of the Chinese line. The HQ has a infantry division stacked with it.




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Post #: 31
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 9:35:04 AM   
Froonp


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This setup is too much forward for my taste & experience.

The south can be reinforced rapidly and heavily by the Japs, and this setup gives them the opportunity to dash from Canton to Kunming & Chungking, who are IMO the only final objectives (on the south side) of the Japanese Campaign.

The center of the Chinese Setup risks of not having the time to fall back to protect them.

Also, the oil is too much vulnerable here. It should be in Kunming at worse.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 32
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 7:04:00 PM   
lomyrin


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I agree completely with Patrice's comments above.

I would move Chiang to just northwest of Changsha and only place a token delaying force in Chengchow. The Ftr also would go further south and the units East of Changsha would be placed just east and south of Changsha for an easy withdrawal into the mountains to the west and southwest. Changsha itself wold be garrisoned and the oil stored in Kunming.

Lars

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 33
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 7:47:03 PM   
trees

 

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put the oil in some far-off city near the -stan countries

put the FTR in Chungking, the only place where the Chinese can take a double strat bombing hit

I would concentrate on the mountain hex in front of Si-An and it's flank mountain hex; the Japanese will use up their perhaps limited good weather in the fall of 1939 just approaching this region, and their units that start in Manchuria won't be able to help until the spring of 1940.

the Pei/Hsi river junction hex adjacent to Canton is so defensible I wouldn't just give it away, allowing the Japanese to build-up and launch a drive in any direction they wish in the south, which naturally is to the north to open the rail to the resource south of Chang-Sha, so that river junction is the first place to resist this; without access to Indo-China until later in 1940 and a flank threat a drive west-northwest from Canton doesn't gain the Japanese much of anything.




the ChiComms are subject to Russian activity limits and option choice, so if Russia goes to Persia or Finland or is trying to stuff the border in East Poland the ChiComms can be rather inactive at times. this comes up again in 1944 when the Red Air Force needs an air impulse, or if the Russians attempt any activities in the Baltic or Black Seas. I would think it would be easier for the Russian AI to control them as a result rather than trying to make the Chinese AI get along with the Russian one, unless the Russian one simply tells the ChiComm AI exactly how many land moves it can have, but planning for the future could then be pretty tough. and who prioritizes whether it is more important to cover a flank of Si-An, or reinforce some Soviet adventure somewhere?

since I think the AI overall will be most do-able as a purely one Human vs Computer, one side each, it won't matter as much how the ChiComms get worked out, but if each Major Power gets its own 'independent' streak of logic, then surely the Russians should make the ChiComm decisions, to stay true to the game if not to history. Remember the debate in the Italy thread? Some people thought an AI Italy should play for itself, others that it should let the Germans make more decisions. I think this question will come up repeatedly in programming the AI. Should the AI play all countries on a side as a unified team? I say yes, that is how you do it in a two player game; any other way is a sentimental choice to see how a decision compares to history, natural and enjoyable for a human wargamer but stupid for an AI logic trying to be the best possible opponent.

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Post #: 34
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 8:19:12 PM   
trees

 

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looking at the map some more makes the importance of the Chang-Sha/Hengchow area even more clear. the Japanese will probably never be able to seriously threaten Chungking or Kweiyang without it due to logistic routes (the same is true for Lan-Chow which can't be approached without Si-An). They'll never cross the Vietnamese border along the rail to Kunming against any realistic opponent.

So I think the Nationalists have two main areas to defend - Chang-Sha, which has three different approach routes, and whatever flanks of Si-An the Communists can't adequately cover.

If the Japanese ever leave the swamp hex SE of Wuhan empty the Chinese should grab it immediately. They should also hold the Pei river hexes south of Chang-Sha as the Japanese must have these to transport the goodies out of China.

their tactics are simple...hold a line in the Tsinling mountains and the range between Chang-sha and Nanchang. the Japanese will have to take occasional combined impulses to reinforce China, and will be sensitive to casualties, so they will want to build-up a maximum possible attack before tackling a Chinese mountain hex. once this build-up is about to peak the Chinese retreat one mountain hex until they hold the hex adjacent to Changsha and the ones in front of Si-An. so I would set up two units in the hex two hexes NE of Chang-sha, a strong corps in the MTN hex east of that, and two units in the hex due east of Chang-Sha where the two rivers enter the lake, and two units adjacent to Canton. Once the Japanese HQ are commited adjustments could be made. Perhaps this would all hold until 1940.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 35
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 9:08:20 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Thank you to all. I am finding your advice very helpful.

I am thinking now in terms of 4 line segments for the Chinese frontline:
1 - South/SW to prevent Japanese advances from from Bruma and Indo-China
2 - South/SE to prevent Japanese advances from Canton and Hainan
3 - East to prevent Japanese advances from Hangchow, Wuhan, and Kaifeng
4 - NE to prevent advances from Kaifeng and Taiyuan.

Each of these front line segments would have victory cities/vital hexes that they need to defend.

My thought here is that the front line is long and the Japanese few (well, so are the Chinese). Therefore, the Chinese should try to respond to the placement/movement of Japanese units. Hopefully, units could be shifted from one segment to another to counter the Japanese offensive thrusts. If Japan has so few units along a front line segment, or supply problems, that attacks are virtually impossible there, then the Chinese can set up a stripped down defense.

This reasoning can also be applied to when the Chinese go on the offensive themselves. Each front line segment would have victory cities/vital hexes in front of it (on the Japanese side) that the Chinese would like to advance towards and capture. If Japan leaves a hole in the line, the Chinese should know how to exploit it, advancing through to a city that can be liberated and serve as a supply source.

The Communists would be almost exclusively concerned with the NE segment, with perhaops some help from the Nationalists.

I haven't fleshed this out by identifying actual city and vital hexes yet.

Comments?

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Post #: 36
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/29/2007 9:59:15 PM   
lomyrin


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I did not see the warlords on the map, that option would cause some changes in the setup.\

Lars


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Post #: 37
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/30/2007 12:55:39 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin
I did not see the warlords on the map, that option would cause some changes in the setup.
Lars

Yes, quite right. Though I will have to write the AIO to play both with and without the Warlords.

There are 6 warlord counters from Politics in Flames that have yet to be added to the CSV file for MWIF (these are the only missing units other than the new ones from the 2007 countersheet modifications). I believe we talked about maybe adding additional warlords for some other cities - a very fuzzy memory.

The 6 units are:
Kunming 4-2 (Nationalist)
Chungking 5-2 (Nationalist)
Chengtu 2-3 (Nationalist)
Lanchow 3-3 (Communist)
Peking 3-2 (Japanese)
Shanghai 4-3 (Japanese)

These units would have to set up and remain within 6 hexes of their home cities.

_____________________________

Steve

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Post #: 38
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/30/2007 12:54:36 PM   
hakon

 

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Has anyone actually printed the map, and tried to playtest china by hand? To me, it seem like a japan that focuses on infantry units until 1940 should be able to steamroll China ever more easily than in the boardgame. In wif, single stacking units do not defend well. And even doubled for mountain, a 3-3 inf is pretty weak.


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Post #: 39
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 4/30/2007 6:48:40 PM   
lomyrin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon

Has anyone actually printed the map, and tried to playtest china by hand? To me, it seem like a japan that focuses on infantry units until 1940 should be able to steamroll China ever more easily than in the boardgame. In wif, single stacking units do not defend well. And even doubled for mountain, a 3-3 inf is pretty weak.




CWiF uses the same scale map for China as the MWiF program but without all the extra cities. In CWiF Japan can indeed be very succesful in China and actually conquer it perhaps half the time. Because of time constraints on the Japanese so they will be ready for the main Pacific war in 41, China often does end up in a stalemate with the Japanese just containing the Chinese remnants and having the benefit of Chinese resources shipped home to Japan.

In MWiF with many more cities giving supply for the Chinese troops and allowing for reinforcements in critical areas, I would expect Japan to have a more difficult time to really overrun China. It is also likely to cost the Japanese additional unit losses and give them fewer resource benefits.

In many WiFFE games Japan emerges as a very strong power in the Pacific and perhaps this China situation may mitigate that situation some.

Lars


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Post #: 40
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/1/2007 2:37:46 AM   
trees

 

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The Chinese won't have to worry about an advance from Burma ever, and Hanoi usually isn't available to the Rising Sun until mid-summer 1940. The rail line from Hanoi to Kunming has some of the best defensive terrain on the entire map. Japanese advances will be forced to stay on the axes of the rail lines, unless they commit two of their three starting HQ to the same axis of advance, or advance build Yamashita. [Although Pakhoi is quite a gift that the Japanese could exploit]. If two Japanese HQ are within the same area of the map this should trigger some changes to the Chinese AI's decisions.

China's vital hexes, like all countries, are the resource hexes and the links from them to the factories.

Against good Chinese play - retreating at times, staying double stacked in the excellent defensive terrain, focusing only on truly important areas (prior sentence), continually building Infantry and only Infantry until there are none left to build - I don't think the Japanese will get very far. I look forward to finding out, perhaps I'm wrong on that. They will have obscure flanks to garrison; they can't afford to let China get back in to Taiyuan for example. They should struggle with Partisans a lot more, as they have many more woods behind rivers to lurk in, and watch out especially if China ever gets a hold of some C-47s.

< Message edited by trees -- 5/1/2007 2:38:56 AM >

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Post #: 41
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/1/2007 5:42:35 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: trees
The Chinese won't have to worry about an advance from Burma ever, and Hanoi usually isn't available to the Rising Sun until mid-summer 1940. The rail line from Hanoi to Kunming has some of the best defensive terrain on the entire map. Japanese advances will be forced to stay on the axes of the rail lines, unless they commit two of their three starting HQ to the same axis of advance, or advance build Yamashita. [Although Pakhoi is quite a gift that the Japanese could exploit]. If two Japanese HQ are within the same area of the map this should trigger some changes to the Chinese AI's decisions.

China's vital hexes, like all countries, are the resource hexes and the links from them to the factories.

Against good Chinese play - retreating at times, staying double stacked in the excellent defensive terrain, focusing only on truly important areas (prior sentence), continually building Infantry and only Infantry until there are none left to build - I don't think the Japanese will get very far. I look forward to finding out, perhaps I'm wrong on that. They will have obscure flanks to garrison; they can't afford to let China get back in to Taiyuan for example. They should struggle with Partisans a lot more, as they have many more woods behind rivers to lurk in, and watch out especially if China ever gets a hold of some C-47s.

Sorry, I disagree about Burma. The rail line from Burma runs up to 4 hexes from Kunming so given an HQ, the Japanese can advance roughly along the Burma Road. I expect the Japanese to want to cut the Burma Road militarily so they will positioned around mandalay and able to advance up the rail line to Kunming - unless the British interfere (as they did historically).

Yes, it is unlikely to occur, but when designing the AIO, if I do not think about the possibility and put in logic that deals with its occurrence, ... well, then once a player sees that the AIO has a blind spot, they will exploit it every time. Though since that line of advance crosses 2 rivers and has to go around several the alpine hexsides, a single unit should discourage the Japanese. Kunming just can't be left empty with the Chinese front line down in Indo-China.




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Post #: 42
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/1/2007 9:54:02 PM   
composer99


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If the Japanese can tie down enough Chinese units elsewhere they can easily arrange for the occupation of IndoChina to open up the road to Kunming - and if the Chinese pare away too many units to defend that route, the Japanese can switch their focus and exploit their weaknesses elsewhere.

Ultimately, the Chinese have to rely upon the Japanese to fail a few key attacks, just as in WiF:FE.

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RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/3/2007 5:32:47 PM   
c92nichj


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

If the Japanese can tie down enough Chinese units elsewhere they can easily arrange for the occupation of IndoChina to open up the road to Kunming - and if the Chinese pare away too many units to defend that route, the Japanese can switch their focus and exploit their weaknesses elsewhere.

Ultimately, the Chinese have to rely upon the Japanese to fail a few key attacks, just as in WiF:FE.


Playing in CWIF the Chineese theatre have been mostly about moving your units around the other guy trying to cut his supply or outflanking him, actual battles without overwhelming odds was few. SO I donöt think that the Chinese or Japan can rely on a few good/bad rolls.

Very unhistorical all in all.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 44
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/3/2007 7:19:54 PM   
michaelbaldur


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next time i´m playing allied I will try to make china fall early (55 +1 ekstra chit a turn)..... to speed up us entry ..... when you have given up china you have enought chit to remove the oil.... then jap. has to go for nei .....  (55 +1 ekstra chit a turn) .... I don´t know how must earlyere us cn be in the war ..... but the early gear up will give alot of bp..... over the war..... but I will only do this if china gets alot off losses early ........ can it work ??????

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Post #: 45
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/3/2007 9:31:35 PM   
composer99


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The USE benefits for China's surrender and the attack on the NEI are not quite that favourable, though they are still great. They are 35 (+extra chit/turn) for China's conquest/surrender and 28 (+extra chit/turn) for Japan declaring war on CW, Netherlands or France.

The only trouble is that an over-early capitulation of China can lead to all those Japanese Army units that get freed up being used to attack India, Australia, or help hold defensive positions throughout the Pacific.

So, yes it can work. Just be careful in your timing.

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RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/3/2007 10:14:03 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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I moved the flags underneath the map icons, including the rail lines and labels. They are still on top of the terrain features (e.g., rivers). Of course the flags can be toggled on/off whenever desired. Note the city icon for Wuhan and the factory in Sian




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Post #: 47
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/3/2007 10:17:47 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Here is another screen shot with more confusion. China is experiencing blizzard (except for the snow in the desert hexes - upper left). Again, displaying the weather can be toggled on/off.

Flags are on top of weather, and so are icons. So, the icons in Chungking in the lower left are still quite legible.




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Post #: 48
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/3/2007 10:43:13 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

I moved the flags underneath the map icons, including the rail lines and labels. They are still on top of the terrain features (e.g., rivers). Of course the flags can be toggled on/off whenever desired. Note the city icon for Wuhan and the factory in Sian

I love that !

quote:

Here is another screen shot with more confusion. China is experiencing blizzard (except for the snow in the desert hexes - upper left). Again, displaying the weather can be toggled on/off.

Flags are on top of weather, and so are icons. So, the icons in Chungking in the lower left are still quite legible.

And that too !!!

< Message edited by Froonp -- 5/3/2007 10:44:55 PM >

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Post #: 49
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/4/2007 4:46:58 AM   
paulderynck


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I'll second that emotion.

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RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/4/2007 7:03:45 AM   
composer99


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Looks pretty nice to me, too.

And if I were playing the Chinese, I'd love to see blizzards as often as possible during the winters until 43-44.

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Post #: 51
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/5/2007 1:36:04 PM   
npilgaard

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: michaelbaldur

next time i´m playing allied I will try to make china fall early (55 +1 ekstra chit a turn)..... to speed up us entry ..... when you have given up china you have enought chit to remove the oil.... then jap. has to go for nei .....  (55 +1 ekstra chit a turn) .... I don´t know how must earlyere us cn be in the war ..... but the early gear up will give alot of bp..... over the war..... but I will only do this if china gets alot off losses early ........ can it work ??????


As mentioned, it will allow US a significantly quicker DoW, but it will also free up a lot of Japanese forces.
These extra corps can of course be used for offense in '41/'42 (maybe '43), but I would be more worried about the trouble they cause when US is to retake the Pacific.
While a few extra corps don't play a large role in Europe, where the lines are long and plenty of units can be brought to attack when trying to break the enemy line, things are different in the Pacific, especially when doing invasions.
Here there is a large difference between invading a hex only occupied by (especially 0, or) 1 unit compared to 2 units. Of course Japan will always defend key hexes (Truk, Manila, etc.) heavily anyway, but the freed up units can be used for defending slightly less important hexes (but hexes which are nice to take for the allies anyway - (2 corps in Rabaul instead of 1, a corps in some key minor ports, corps next to Manila, etc.)), which may cause the US player a very inconvenient delay. Usually the Japanese player need to 'chose hard' where to place his (somewhat few) corps when the US starts to attack for real, and the chinese front demands quite a lot of them.
Letting China fall will make it much harder to bring down Japan, imho - even if US is in the war earlier, it cannot really go on the offensive in the Pacific until the CV fleet is ready, and a major invasion in Europe is also hard to do before '43, so I don't think the overall 'timeline' will be affected that much.

The increased US production may make a difference though. However, to gain a large extra production, China needs to fall early to benefit from the extra chits to gear up and DoW. Otoh that will free the Japanese forces early, putting pressure on the CW (especially if the US is gaining lots of chits anyway).

However, partisans will probably becoma a much bigger problem for Japan in MWiF than in standard WiF, due to the large area to be covered, especially if China has been conquered. That will require quite a lot of Japanese units - unless Japan simply chooses to garrison only key hexes (resources, red factories, rail lines etc.) and then let the partisans get the remote areas.

All in all, I don't think I would do it, but the considerations probably need to be included in the AI - unless it is considered to 'gamey' (?).

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RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/5/2007 1:49:06 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

However, partisans will probably becoma a much bigger problem for Japan in MWiF than in standard WiF, due to the large area to be covered, especially if China has been conquered. That will require quite a lot of Japanese units - unless Japan simply chooses to garrison only key hexes (resources, red factories, rail lines etc.) and then let the partisans get the remote areas.

I agree and it was what I witnessed in a couple of completed CWiF games.
When, or if, the Japanese enter (too ?) deeply into China, the railway that keep the Japanese Army in supply is both lengthty and unique, so it is VERY easy for Partisans to cut, repeatidly, and in more than one place at the same time.
Only Emergency HQ supply, or reinforcing troops could allow the Japanese to go & kill those PART, to free up their army trapped without supplies, often for as long as 3 turns.

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 53
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/5/2007 3:06:48 PM   
npilgaard

 

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Disclaimer: I have no experience at all using the MWiF map, so the below comments are based on 'standard WiF' experience and 'speculation' only

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
My thought here is that the front line is long and the Japanese few (well, so are the Chinese). Therefore, the Chinese should try to respond to the placement/movement of Japanese units. Hopefully, units could be shifted from one segment to another to counter the Japanese offensive thrusts. If Japan has so few units along a front line segment, or supply problems, that attacks are virtually impossible there, then the Chinese can set up a stripped down defense.


I think that you are right in identifying the key problem for the Chinese here: the lack of units (especially early on).

The idea of deploying single units along the front seems quite risky to me - 3 to 8 factors are often easily destroyed, and losing just a few corps will open a significant gap in the front for the Japanese to exploit. Just as important: when attacking few factors the chance to become turned face down are lower, allowing to actually exploit the gaps. I think I would use 2-corps stacks instead, placing them 2 hexes apart if necessary - that will require moving back a hex quite often, though, to avoid being encircled and cut off. However, when reaching suitable terrain for a stronger line, and it is necessary to close any gap in that line, then maybe spread out to form a solid line to prevent Japanese 'oozing' through (Fx: if forming a mtn line and Japanese can only get to attack a hex from 2 adjacent hexes - then they can get maybe a +10 assault attack or so (if using 2D10), meaning a fair chance that they will become face down).

Especially in the mountains a 2-unit stack (even if low factors) will provide a good chance that the Japanese will be face down after the attack, even if attacking from 3 hexes. Problem is of course, that a good Japanese roll will mean two units lost instead of one...
Early on (and to some extend also later on) the Japanese ground strike capabilities are quite limited, meaning that the risk of turned fd due to ground strike is not high, which also benfits 2 units stacked together.

As for the shifting of forces from one segment to another, the chinese units move only slowly (often only mv 1 or 2, some mv 3), and railing is difficult (and dangerous, since the unit will then be fd). Thus although I of course agree that the Chinese need to defend according to how the Japanese choose to attack, I think it may turn out to be somewhat difficult to do in practice.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
This reasoning can also be applied to when the Chinese go on the offensive themselves. Each front line segment would have victory cities/vital hexes in front of it (on the Japanese side) that the Chinese would like to advance towards and capture. If Japan leaves a hole in the line, the Chinese should know how to exploit it, advancing through to a city that can be liberated and serve as a supply source.


Sounds good. The chinese should be cautious (sp?), though as a single failed attack can leave fd units or a gap in the front. In most games the chinese don't attack unless either the odds are very high, or the Japanese are soundly on the defense (often not until '44).

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
The Communists would be almost exclusively concerned with the NE segment, with perhaops some help from the Nationalists.


The communists are few early on, but as time goes by, and especially if China survives reasonably intact (and depending on whether playing with Chinese attack weakness or not), they tend to become significantly stronger (more units but also better factors than the nationalists). I have seen them take over the defence of part of the central area of the front a number of times, especially if Japan is pushing for Kunming/Burma and nationalist forces are needed in the S/SW.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
This reasoning can also be applied to when the Chinese go on the offensive themselves. Each front line segment would have victory cities/vital hexes in front of it (on the Japanese side) that the Chinese would like to advance towards and capture. If Japan leaves a hole in the line, the Chinese should know how to exploit it, advancing through to a city that can be liberated and serve as a supply source.
I haven't fleshed this out by identifying actual city and vital hexes yet.

Comments?


Sounds good.

Regarding hexes:

Victory hexes:
Communists:
Lan Chow
(Shanghai)
Port Arthur

Nationalists:
Chungking
Shanghai

I think there should be a difference between identifying important hexes regarding offense and defense.
When on defence China should at all cost fight for the rear factory cities to avoid conquest. However, when on the offense, it is not necessarily worth it to commit a lot to retake fx Kunming - instead the objective should be to conquer the red cities and put pressure on the Japanese to tie up (/destroy) as many units as possible.

City hexes - defending (priority 'value' 0-5):
In general: all cities can be held as 'hero-cities' (not common (except if good terrain, eg mtn), but 2 corps stay behind in the city when the other chinese forces fall back, delaying the Japanese - but only if sufficient units are available for the Chinese, and losing those 2 units are ok)

Nationalists:
Chungking 5
Kunming 5
Chengtu 4
Ankang 4
Kweiyang 3 (as it is in poor terrain the city itself should not be heavily defended (unless weak Japanese attack, or 'hero-city'), but the path to it should be defended (it the mountains) to prevent the Japanese fron entering the open terrain)
Nanning 3
Kweilin 3
Chikiang 3
Ichang 2 (only if trying to hold the Han line)
Changsa / Hengyang (2) (only if having units in the E-mountains (Kiangsi)

Communists (some cities may be 'shifted' from comm. to nat. or reverse, depending on which part of the front each faction is responsible for holding):
Lan Chow 5
Tiangshui 4
Ningsia 3
Yennan 3
Sian 3
Tungkwan 2 (only if the two mtn hexes NE and SE are held, unless playing 'hero-city')

'Vital' hexes:
Resources (incl. hexes with ZoC on resource travel path)
Resource hex NW of LanChow: 4
If receiving Hanoi resource: path to Kunming 3
If receiving oil/LL via Burma road: Burma road :-) 3
If it can reach a factoryKwangsi resource: 1

Defensive positions (only if nearby city has not fallen yet - often: fall back if about to be encircled):
Mtn hexes around Kunming - 2 hex radius (if HQ/supply ok: 3 hex radius): 4
Mtn hexes part of a line, in general: 2-3
River line in general: 2-3

Defensive positions depends on which line are being hold (and number of units available).

Eg.:
Communist Sian defence line:
Mtn SE (or maybe SW of Tungkwan) and E of Sian, NE of Sian, Yennan, SE of Yennan (maybe also NW of Yeannan)
Nanning defence line (assuming Japan cannot move through Vietnam): Yanning, SW and NE hexes, maybe E hex.
Combined with Kweilin line:
Kweilin, W hex, W2 (forest), maybe mtn hexes E or N/NE of city.
Combining with Chihkiang line, etc.

The chinese 2-unit stacks (ZoC preventing Japanese moving through gaps) can fall back 1 hex at a time (unless fd - that is a significant problem) through SE/E China, hopefully with few casualties, and buying time for China to produce much needed cheap infantry units.
When reaching the chosen defence lines, no gaps in the lines are required, meaning a significant number of units are needed, and the 'not-so-exposed' hexes get only 1 defending corps. Also, ZoC can prevent the Japanese from moving to/ attacking certain hexes each impulse, thus freeing up Chinese corps for the exposed hexes. However, this will require constant maneuvering, meaning that fd units will be a major drawback.

Again, this are just ideas - I haven't tried them in practice.



_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 54
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/5/2007 9:46:01 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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Nikolaj,

Thank you for your posts. They are of tremendous help to me here. Even at those times when I do not agree with everything, you bring up alternatives that need to be considered thoroughly (by me) and often identify problem areas that the AIO needs to be capable of dealing with.

---

About the early conquest of China, ...

I do not really see any downside to this. Besides the freed units, the Japanese will also be freed from having to take Land Actions because of Chinese pressure - for the rest of the game. Fighting on one front against the USA/CW is so much easier for a whole host of reasons. There should also be increased resources and production for the Japanese. And lastly, the extra land troops could be shifted to attack the USSR. If nothing else, the USSR has to worry about that possibility - which will help Germany somewhat (though a DOW on the USSR by Japan would help more).

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 55
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/5/2007 11:06:53 PM   
lomyrin


Posts: 3231
Joined: 12/21/2005
From: San Diego
Status: offline
Japan still needs to maintain a sizable garrison in China or they will soon will lose the resources to partisans. One way to keep the garrison numbers up is to rebase old planes that are no longer good for frontline usage to China and that way release ground troops from China duties.

Lars

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 56
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/6/2007 1:02:54 PM   
npilgaard

 

Posts: 165
Joined: 5/3/2006
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
Nikolaj,

Thank you for your posts.


You are very welcome - actually, I think that most of the people viewing these forums will say the same to you - I have never seen any game being developed, where there is such an open dialog as it is the case here - very 'inspiring' - so thank you for your (many, many...) posts

A few more things regarding China:

Thoughts regarding Chinese builds (at least while on the defensive):

Build cheap INF units (Warlords, MIL, GAR, INF) until all built out, or the lines are pretty secure (eg Japan is turning against Russia)
With the incresed need for movement, CAV units will probably be nice also.
Maybe a FTR (especially if US 4-8 FTR is available) if not in emergency need of land units atm. and if Japan is not having overwhelming (sp?) air superiority anyway.
If the BP are available - the MTN is not bad. Iirc it is white print (not 100% sure though) - allows for defending key mtn hex, and can even be left behind if no other way, and will cause some delay.
HQ: Mao: when playing non-MWiF, Mao is very important in order to secure supply to Communist forces. I think that this will still be the case with the MWiF map (in rain, supply is only 2 hexes...), and thus Mao should be built quickly if he is lost (if possible, stack him with a corps+div, so he only goes to the circle, even if attacker gets maximum CRT-result - that is generally a good idea for all HQ in the front line).

Somewhat lower priority:
AA-unit (best along stationary front line - either in the front line (if badly needed) or just behind the line - allows for reducing the Japanese ground strike factors (since the Japanese ac have such few factors, removing 1-2 factors often halve the chance of turning units fd)
ART can be nice - either to ground support or as a preempive (sp?) ground strike to try to turn Japanese units fd so they can't attack. Again, most useful if the front is stationary.
HQ-INF: expensive, but if the BP are available, they are not bad - they count as both another land unit, can reorganise (although limited), and (especially if using 2d10 CRT) can be used as defensive HQ-support,

AT, MOT, MECH are not that useful, and rarely built (especially if playing with oil).

When US enters the war, the pressure on China is usually reduced (unless near collapse/conquest, in which case the Japanese will probably push on). When the front has been stabilised, it can be worthwhile to build an ac or two (FTR, and LND) to start putting pressure on the Japanese air force. This works especially well if playing without PiF, since Japan will then need most of its FTRs / NAVs against the US.


Casualties:
usually MIL (especially if from cities near the front) are nice for this (unless a div is available), but avoid taking MIL from Japanese conquered cities as losses, as they cannot be rebuilt.


Chinese FTR:
Two options here:
- if Japan is going for strategic bombing of chinese factories (and then probably not going to be so aggressive against the Chinese front), the FTR can protect those and at least remove the +1 unintercepted modifier - best to place FTR in a somewhat distant city (which is still a nice target for the Japanese), as it makes it harder to escort the bombers.
- if Japan is going for ground strikes (with likely follow-up land attacks) then the FTR can either 'go for it', despite probably being outgunned by the Japanese FTRs, or the FTR can be 'saved' for later, forcing the Japanese to keep FTR in range for protection at every bombing mission.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

About the early conquest of China, ...

I do not really see any downside to this. Besides the freed units, the Japanese will also be freed from having to take Land Actions because of Chinese pressure - for the rest of the game. Fighting on one front against the USA/CW is so much easier for a whole host of reasons. There should also be increased resources and production for the Japanese. And lastly, the extra land troops could be shifted to attack the USSR. If nothing else, the USSR has to worry about that possibility - which will help Germany somewhat (though a DOW on the USSR by Japan would help more).


Also, Japan gets the two inland Chinese victory cities. If Japan leave just a few units (preferrably wp) there they can be quite hard for the US to retake in the end-game. The US has a hard enough time schedule as it is already, and having to launch an invasion in China (Shanghai (and maybe Port Arthur) can now no longer be taken by the Chinese) and mounting an inland expedition will put even more pressure on their time table.
The increased partisan activity may be enough to do the job on retaing the two inland victory cities, and the Russians may reach Port Arthur in time, but all in all it will put additional pressure on the allies, imho.

< Message edited by npilgaard -- 5/6/2007 1:12:34 PM >


_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 57
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/6/2007 8:17:38 PM   
trees

 

Posts: 175
Joined: 5/28/2006
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I agree that the Chinese can't merely forget about threats to Kunming. But I don't think Japan will very often commit an HQ to the Burma front. The approach to Kunming from Burma is every bit as difficult as from Hanoi. The Kunming Warlord and MIL should be able to deter the idea of any Japanese advance...just send the MIL out front into one of the great mountain hexes behind a river, if the Japanese manage to kill it it reappears right in Kunming the next turn. Once the Japanese control the Bay of Bengal they don't have to go very far in Burma to shut down the Road (can probably get this done using Rangoon as a supply base without an HQ). Historically the Chinese were talked in to helping on this front but in WiF it isn't very common as Japan just can't usually afford to operate extensively in Burma. The Chinese AIO just needs to remember that the Indo-China front doesn't open until France falls and Burma until Japan DoWs the CW.

I hope you can focus on making the AI play good with the Nationalist Attack Weakness option in effect. I haven't played a game without that option since it came out. Even with that option in effect the Nationalists are too strong based on history. I realize you will have to write their code to handle either alternative but it is far more common to see it used than not.

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 58
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/6/2007 9:22:13 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18410
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: trees

I agree that the Chinese can't merely forget about threats to Kunming. But I don't think Japan will very often commit an HQ to the Burma front. The approach to Kunming from Burma is every bit as difficult as from Hanoi. The Kunming Warlord and MIL should be able to deter the idea of any Japanese advance...just send the MIL out front into one of the great mountain hexes behind a river, if the Japanese manage to kill it it reappears right in Kunming the next turn. Once the Japanese control the Bay of Bengal they don't have to go very far in Burma to shut down the Road (can probably get this done using Rangoon as a supply base without an HQ). Historically the Chinese were talked in to helping on this front but in WiF it isn't very common as Japan just can't usually afford to operate extensively in Burma. The Chinese AIO just needs to remember that the Indo-China front doesn't open until France falls and Burma until Japan DoWs the CW.

I hope you can focus on making the AI play good with the Nationalist Attack Weakness option in effect. I haven't played a game without that option since it came out. Even with that option in effect the Nationalists are too strong based on history. I realize you will have to write their code to handle either alternative but it is far more common to see it used than not.

Actually the code for that optional rule (and many others) is trivial. When calculating the attack odds, the numbers are lower, so the attack isn't as good.

About the only way it might influence how I write the AIO, is that the Chinese AIO might take more risks in attacking late in the game - that is, be more willing to take casualties since really good attack odds will be rare. Even here, I expect to use a more general rule that says to do more risky attacks when on the offensive + risk of counter attacks is low + taking casualties isn't too painful, + the chance of getting better attacks later is unlikely + you are in a hurry.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to trees)
Post #: 59
RE: AI for MWiF - China - 5/6/2007 9:42:21 PM   
trees

 

Posts: 175
Joined: 5/28/2006
Status: offline
I just meant to suggest that during testing, when analyzing how well the Chinese AI is doing, keep more of an eye on how it plays with Attack Weakness turned on.

And yeah, throw risk calculations out the window in 1945.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 60
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