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Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 4:58:50 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK starting to see a few folks asking about modding or crating AI files so I will try to cover a few of the basics in this thread - there will be spoilers in here so dont look if you dont want to know.

Andy
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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 5:06:53 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Lets start with the basics.

the AI instructions are all contained in the aei00x file.

You must have at lease one aei00x.dat file even if its blank for a game to operate

You can only access the headline variant via the editor

So if I have one AI file
for a scenario it will be called

aei00x.dat

I have the option of adding up to 99 additional AI files for a total of 100 each additional file is called

aei00x-01.dat
aei00x-02.dat up to
aei00x-99.dat

In order to access them the easiest way is to have each additional scenario AI file set up as a seperate scenario and then rename the resulting AI file at the end - this also helps with control

So I am currently maintaining 13 AI options for the master scenario

So I have 13 Scenarios set up from Scen 30 - 42 each one I then take the resulting AI file and rename it manually to the appropriate variant.

Each variant has an equal chance of being selected when the game launches and will then be used through out that game

So you can have up to 100 different scripts per scenario and the AI will randomly pick one of them at game launch

At present the official scenarios have 13 to choose from which is about the limit of what I am personally able to support.

With me so far ?

Andy

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 5:10:32 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS THERE WILL BE SPOILERS

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 5:18:28 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK the basics a simple defence script.

The purpose of these scripts is to move LCU's and Air Groups to bases to act as garrisons they are the most simple form of script and their job is to act as static defence






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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 5:22:44 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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The above script operates between 411210 and 420630 and it will try to move those units at all times within that date range

Of the other fields the most improtant is the stage base which is the default port the Ai will try to use if it needs to form TF's under this script so in this case Aukland

OK now lets look at the 5 tabs

Tab one is the list of base to attack as this is a defensive script its blank
Tab 2 is the list of units that will try to follow Tab 1
Tab 3 is the air group bases that air units will use - if a base is not on the list the AI WILL NOT USE IT
Tab 4 is the Air Units that will try to follow Tab 4
Tab 5 is the defensive units

For this explanation we will focus on Tabs 3 4 and 5

Andy

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 5:30:35 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Lets look at Tabs 3 and 4 as these are the important ones for this script Tab 3 says the Ai may only use 3 bases

Auckland
Noumou
Luganville

So any air units used under this script will try to go in sequence to those base in turn - it will not skip bases and it will not go there unless at least 1 Av Support is present and a minimum supply and AF level depending on the size and type of Sqn

Those limits are deliberately low to alow transiting sqns to use bases.

If the range is to far the AI will try to forma transport TF to move the air unit by sea.

This is not flexible the AI will follow the bases in sequence

Now if we look at Tab 4

OK that says that this script will try to deploy 6 Sqns

There are two settings in this tab

Setting one is the Sqn without a name of a base after it - if it is just listed in that way then the AI will send each sqn to each base as and when it can all the way to the end as long as its a live script

In this particular script each of the Sqns has an assigned base which means that the air units will stop moving when it reaches its assigned base so No.7 Sqn RNZAF will try to Nomou but will never go onto Luganville.

The blank 3038 is an ironman only sqn the AI will ignore that slot unless the Sqn is on map

So far so good ?

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 5:32:43 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Tab 5 is the defensive unit tab - this one MUST have a bvase defined so what its saying is New Zealand Command must garrison Auckland

And thats all there is to it - this defensive AI script is basically just shuffling the pack and moving units about nothing to it


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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 8:10:31 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK now lets turn to a very basic attack script.

The script below is telling the AI to attack Hong Kong.

When it activates the AI will attack Hong Kong and keep trying untilt he end date passes.

This is th esimplest type of attack script a single base with basically 2 reinforced Divs and some air support from Canton.

The script remains active until such time as either the date passes or HK falls.

Limitations to be carefull of.

1. You the scripter have no way to specify that you must have force X in place and ready to enter the base before crossing the river.
2. The AI will attack until the base is taken or the date passes or the attack force is destroyed.
3. While units are assigned to this script they may not be hijacked for other duties so subsequent attack scripts with these units need to be set to activate after this one ends

Any questions ?






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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 8:14:30 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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p.s. there is a trick you can use to organise your forces for an invasion of a specifi hex I call them delay scripts but thats for next time I get a few hours to write al this stuff down

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/22/2009 8:36:19 PM   
Shark7


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So if I want the RTA to move in and take the Shan states starting in May of 1942 (historical) I simply need to set up the simple attack script to do so, and if I want them to stay and garrison with a smaller force while sending the attack units home will I need two separate scripts for the defense? (1 for shan states, 1 for thailand)

_____________________________

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'When in doubt...attack!'

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/23/2009 12:01:20 AM   
Andy Mac

 

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No thats a combined script you can use a combined attack/defence for the initial attack and then a seperate defend to send them home later.

You will also have to go through and remove all other calls on those units or other scripts may hijak them

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RE: Modding AI Files - 10/23/2009 6:07:36 PM   
pad152

 

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I've added more mines in my custom campaign to both sides, what do I need to do to get the AI to use them?

Is there a way to get the AI to setup defense with PT's boats at forward bases? PT/MTB's  don't have a specific entry date like other ships.

Andy, thanks for Editor/AI how too's

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Post #: 12
Basic Naval Scripts - 10/23/2009 7:13:21 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK this is basic naval Scripts 101

Pad adding more mines and the AI will just use them if you want it to specifically mine a location you can set up a script to do it I will explain shortly

OK below is a really basic AI Naval Script.

This script tells the japanese AI to form a TF at Takao (the advanced base is vital in naval scripts as thats the base the Ai wil use to form the TF)

So this script will only form TF if Takao is Japanese it wil try to form the TF if the base is japanese and the date has passed.

In this particular example the Ai is trying to form a LARGE TF now a large TF has a minimum requirement of 2 Cruisers and 2 Destroyers if those ships do not exist at Takao the TF will not form.

A LARGE SCTF has a max of 4 BB's, 4 CA's and 10 DD's.

I can specify via the editor the size of TF to form as a minimum - in this case the AI is under orders to form a LARGE MINIMUM TF

Accordingly it will form 2 Cruisers and 2 Destroyers as a minimum - had I set it to Normal it would have required more to form if LARGE it would not form without all the ships.






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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 10/23/2009 7:15:36 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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The TF is set to go to Vigan first as a destination and then patrol the three waypoints specified.

So this script will set that TF to patrol northern PI to keep off the pesky USN PT Boats

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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 10/23/2009 7:20:55 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Now Pad if you wanted to set up a TF to patrol a forward base you can set up a PT Boat TF 3 6 and 9 are the min, norm and max for PT Boats

You would set a wide date range and a destination base of that hex.

The AI will try to form TYF's at largeports of its own accord

You can specify a specific ML TF as well in this way if you want to mine a specific base

A small or normal ML TF will use 1 ML a large adds an escort.

I tend to tell the AI to set up MSW TF's in support of later war US integrated scripts.

The scripts so far are very very simple.

When we get into multi layered integrated scripts like USN attack Marianas then it gets complicated !!!!

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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 10/23/2009 8:32:10 PM   
Shark7


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Andy, if you want an ASW patrol fleet to 'continuous patrol', that is to repeat the patrol on refuel at home base, need you make any changes to the above example? (other than changing the end date)

Example: Setting up the Japanese AI to always have some ships ASW patrolling the Sea of Japan until war's end.

_____________________________

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'When in doubt...attack!'

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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 10/24/2009 2:53:57 AM   
Andy Mac

 

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Thats exactly how I do it for Grand Escort Command Scripts just be carefull when you start them if you set the up to early they suck all the escorts from Japanese opening

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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 2/10/2010 10:53:01 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Bump in case anyone needs it

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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 2/12/2010 3:23:18 AM   
PaxMondo


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Thanks.  REally appreciate some of the insight here and great appreciation for the amount of work to create the great AI.

_____________________________

Pax

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RE: Basic Naval Scripts - 2/12/2010 4:07:00 PM   
DrewBlack


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Andy, where can i get hold of the modded scripts you have developed?  Or was it a what if??

Thanks

Drew

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Post #: 20
Writing the Downfall AI - 5/3/2010 3:32:08 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK going to write up a few notes of what I did when I wrote the downfall AI v 1.

The first thing to note is doing the AI for a small map scenario is a lot easier than a full campaign one.

The AI depends on ships being in a given loaction to help it form TF's and while it has some teleporting ability its not great.

Key tools when writing AI scripts

1. you will need to run them tweak, run them tweak etc etc.
2. you need to know how to debud the Ai by knowing where the data comes from.
The AI debugger -a$$um3 extension provides the land debug file

1003. - 10th Army - II US Corps, ACTIVE, target Chichi-jima, ds 451202, de 460201, prev 00, bt 611, wait 59, taav 0, tdav 4, side Allied ***************
<<<<< Assault Units >>>>>
5925. - mod 1003, hq 5922, tf 0000, delay 000 <II US> ship 5258, dest none, target Chichi-jima
5927. - mod 1003, hq 5925, tf 0000, delay 000 <II Corps Combat> ship 5260, dest none, target Chichi-jima
5931. - mod 1003, hq 5925, tf 0000, delay 000 <24th (Sep) Infantry> ship 5263, dest none, target Chichi-jima
5932. - mod 1003, hq 5925, tf 0000, delay 000 <37th (Sep) Infantry> ship 5264, dest none, target Chichi-jima
5933. - mod 1003, hq 5925, tf 0000, delay 000 <102nd(Sep) Infantry> ship 5265, dest none, target Chichi-jima
5937. - mod 1003, hq 5922, tf 0000, delay 000 <193rd Tank> ship 5266, dest none, target Chichi-jima
5943. - mod 1003, hq 5925, tf 0000, delay 000 <93rd Infantry> ship 5150, dest none, target Chichi-jima
<<<<< Air Group Units >>>>>
<<<<< Defense Units >>>>>
5958. - mod 1003, hq 104, tf 0000, delay 000 <1st Tac Air Force> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
5964. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <1st RAAF M/W Sqn> loc Amami Oshima, dest none, sb Amami Oshima, target Amami Oshima
5965. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <10th RAAF M/W Sqn> loc Daito Shoto, dest none, sb Daito Shoto, target Daito Shoto
5966. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <11th RAAF M/W Sqn> loc Tanegashima, dest none, sb Tanegashima, target Tanegashima
5958. - mod 1003, hq 104, tf 0000, delay 000 <1st Tac Air Force> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
5959. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <1st TAF> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
5960. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <72nd RAAF Wing> loc Amami Oshima, dest none, sb Amami Oshima, target Amami Oshima
5961. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <73rd RAAF Wing> loc Daito Shoto, dest none, sb Daito Shoto, target Daito Shoto
5962. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <1st Fgtr RAAF Wing> loc Tanegashima, dest none, sb Tanegashima, target Tanegashima
5971. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <32nd Australian Lt> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
5972. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <2nd Australian Hvy> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
5973. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <20th RAAF> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
5974. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <10 RAAF> loc Vigan, dest none, sb Oita, target Oita
5968. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <6th RAAF> loc Daito Shoto, dest none, sb Daito Shoto, target Daito Shoto
5969. - mod 1003, hq 5958, tf 0000, delay 000 <9th RAN> loc Kanoya, dest none, sb Kanoya, target Kanoya
End of Module 1003____________________________________

The output of that looks like the text above.

The second area is to know that when an AI TF is under command of a script the name of the script tells you which AI script has it under command.

Air units in the bottom left on the group screen tells you which AI script a given air group is operating under.


So 1stly work out HOW to find out stuff.

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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - 5/3/2010 3:35:00 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK when looking at Downfall I had to decide what I wanted the AI to do.

My objectives were.

Allied AI

1. Invade Kyushu with 1 Army of 4 Corps
2. Redeploy air power to allow air assault on the HI
3. Invade Honshu with 2 Armies of 10 Corps
4. Put in place appropriate support scripts including naval and CAS scripts.

Japanese AI

1. React to Allied Invasions
2. Concentrate forces from China and Korea back into the HI
3. Retain some qualified pilots for the final confrontation

Andy

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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 3:36:03 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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As I wanted to start on getting the allied attack ok I decided to start building up Allied Air Scripts

Ok I decided to do an easy one I set up the Tiger Force Script

The RAF provides two Bomber Groups to the Attack on the HI - I decided to set them up to operate from Manila

5 RAF at Appari and 6 RCAF at Laong.

So what do I do is I set up a chain of bases starting at Pearl Harbour all the way to those bases via Midway, Guam as an air bridge and then allocated those air sqns to the appropriate bases.

lastly I went through the LCU's allocated to those air groups making sure that each base has HQ, Cnstruction unit, base force and aviation regts to allow the Groups to operate

Because I dont care that the script ends it has no end date




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< Message edited by Andy Mac -- 5/3/2010 3:41:54 PM >

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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 3:48:22 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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I then thought ok the AI is a moron it will need some bases near to the HI and some fighters there to help the carriers with fighter cover because the AI will be slow to bring in LBA to support its landing

(The AI will not bring in fighters until the base has an operational airport and some Av Support - a player would either bring some av support along on iots invasion but not at the expense of assault units or fly in fighters anyway and air tran in av support to follow - the AI will do NEITHER of these things av support in invasion scruipts is a very bad idea as the AI has a habit of assault loading the base Force and leaving the Div behind - this means the AI WILL be slower to bring up LBA than a human would be it is thereofre more important for a player to have nearby AF'as operational before the main event)

Because the Ai is slow take precautions

In this case I set up a script to take a few AF's of the coast of Kyushu on behalf of 1st TAF so that Australian and NZ F$U's and P51's can support the invasion beaches.

I use these forces as they are not critical tot he main event - if it works it works if it fails the AI is not depending on those air units

i.e. build in redundancy to major operations.


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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 3:53:35 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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So the next script was the 1 TAF script that does three things.

1. Attack and take minor japanese islands.
2. Garrison those bases
3. Forward deploy Fighters and Light Bombers in support of further operations.

So at this stage I hgad two scripts neither touching the HI both all about prep moves with support formations.

I then looked at US 10th Army what is its role in the scenario

Basically it doesnt have one its their to garrison rear area bases does it need all its OOB for than - no ok what can I use those forces for.

Well a human player is likely to be sneaky and Wake and marcus are on my LOC as is the rest of the Bonins - its a complication I cannot adjust for in the scripts so the easiest way to deal with it is to neutralise the threat - therefore I pulled about 4 Divs out of tenth army for clearing operations - these forces will run round taking out of the way dangerous bawses with a few CVE's for cover.

And thats the end of the prelude scripts

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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 4:10:36 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK I then turn to Olympic

The first thing to work out is where is the best place for the AI to land

Actually this is normally the best place for a player to land on Kyushu the best locations are Kanoya, Oita, Kagoshima, Kumamoto and Kurume

They all have advantages and disadvantages but I chose for script variant 1 to land at Kanoya

OK so whats next

The lead assault echelon has to be the Marine Corps as assault echelon of Sixth Army - this is both the correct historical and in game choice for the AI.

Now the AI tricks

I want the lead supporting TF to be a bombardment TF set as Amphib lead (which means all TF's in this script will congregate to this lead TF) and it will use the current target from the base list

Set to follow this TF are two max size large CVE TF's to provide local air support.

The LCU's I set at the top of the list the best LCU's DONT put an HQ at the top of the list put your biggest nastiest LCU the AI works down the list so get your asault echelon at the top (Often its best to put arty base forces etc in a follow up TF to avoid any grief)

Now this assault force has two base in its list and when the second base is taken I want this script to end to rfree up the supporting ships. Until the script ends the ships are tied to it I could have said end the script when Kanoya falls but because of the delay to local air support I gave it a little more time to allow more chance for the Ai to bring in fighters.






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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 4:35:45 PM   
traskott

 

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Very interesting....suscribed !!!

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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 5:56:56 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Because I want the Amphib Corps to go in whole its the only Corps in the first echelon.

IX Corps script is set to follow on into kanoya 6 days later with the same size escort. Samer rules Divs first int he list.
then 6 days after that I Corps and then lastl XI Corps

I Corps and XI Corps are ordered to land at another base in case a player manages to stop the initial assault.

Int total this phase has 13 Divs assault loaded and landing over 18 days supported by 4 heavy surface TF's and 8 Big CVE's

This will be the biggest and best organsised amphib assault int he scenario so its also the one mostlikely to succeed.

Each of these scripts has a reasonable end date as backstop, heavy naval support and a trigger base when captured that will end the script.

Now CVE's are all well and good but you need 3rd Fleet to really cover the assault.

The TF below has the covering scripts - the first two are 6 Max Strength CV TF's, set to patrol off the shore of Kyushu, a 3rd set of TF's including 2 CV and 1 CVE TF from the BPF at Peliau and lastly a fleet train set of TF's (2 CVE and 1 Replenishment TF)

So total 12 supporting TF's each one with 2 - 5 CV or CVE's so thats the majority of the allied CV's committed to this operation.

I also wanted to specify a Sub patrol and not leave it to the auto sub system for the AI so I set up about 24 Sub TF's via the USN Sub scripts to form picket lines covering likely approaches






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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 5/3/2010 7:08:36 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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OK the next phase is the exploitation scripts fior 6th Army

They all chain off the preceeding script for that Corps and have a series of axis of advance - now the terrain in Kyushu is nasty and the whole objective is only to get fighter airfields so I dont want the AI committing to a fight to the finish in the mountains not when other battles await.

So 1 Corps is sent towards Fukuoka via the west route and 3 via the eastern route.

Because I want to ensure more weight is given to achiving at lease some of these objectives a further 10 Divs from 14th Army are set to come in as support if halfway objectives are not achieved

Add in I Aus Corps of 10th Army and in total the allies will commit up to 25 Divisions to the Kyushu fight.

The follow on scripts have some integral air so the Marine Corps will move to support I amphib corps.

After 4 months I expect I Amphib to be a shadow so I have recycled it back to manila for 2 months rest and retraining where it will be used to support follow on echelons of Coronet.

Its replaced in the line on Kyushu by 10th Army forces.

This is a weak spot a player could exploit when the Ai is pulling back out of Kyushu a full corps

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RE: Writing the Downfall AI - p.s. there will spoilers - 7/27/2010 4:55:08 PM   
janh

 

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Maybe this thread should be stickied?

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Post #: 30
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