From: Colorado Springs
I'm pretty proud of him tactically, strategically I'm depending on the scenario designer.
Since I am mostly interested in solitaire play, I think Elmer does very well. Playtesting by different players is a huge help. I can't think of anything that's come up that can't be overcome by changing some settings or jiggling the objectives. I didn't know that valued objectives made a difference to Elmer until recently. I have been biased against placing objectives all over the maps, I might have to change that once I get a grip on what difference it makes.
I just changed that behavior actually. Prior to 3.4 he didn't care very much about objective values. Now he will try to take any objective that has a value, and try to take the area for the rest of the objectives. There's more I can do there, obviously.
As far as him cheating, I swear he knows when he will get a 'double turn/initiative change'. No proof, just a paranoid suspicion.
Elmer shouldn't bombard or air attack the same hex each round when he is causing 0% casualties. I can't see what he is doing other than wasting his supply, and in the larger scenarios, its a waste of time. Seems like he should realise after the second round that he is having no effect.
That requires what's called an influence map. I need to track casualties in an area to help him avoid trying to take the same spot time after time. I can do it, it's just not a priority yet. I hadn't thought about tracking the bombarments separately, though.
He also tends to send units thru breaks in the line putting his units at terrible risk. In some scenarios this is desired, but I would like to think that the 'Advance' order would cover that. Most of the time he has no regard for where his neighboring friendly flank units are. This happens even under cautious bias.
I need to document how he works better, He does pay some attention to flanking in some circumstances, but it's hard to balance making an advance and not getting flanked. Right now, he's all out aggressive.
I have no knowledge or training in these matters, just making some freshman observations.
I don't either, I'm afraid. All the advice seems to be pretty fuzzy too. Eventually, I want him to recognize killing grounds and weak points, be able to do terrain analysis for chokepoints, and set goals to work for cooperatively. I'm working through the armchair general tactics articles now to see if they help. It's going to be the next game before I can start putting some of those ideas into place, but I am working on them in my mind.
I also know I need to add more flexibility to the AI routines, I think I can do part of that for the next patch to give the designers a little more control.
TOAW IV Programmer
My comments are my own, and do not represent the views of any other person or entity. Nothing that I say should be construed in any way as a promise of anything.