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AI Question - 4/6/2012 3:47:26 AM   
CRations


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Is there something wrong with the AI? Is it more of a challenge to play against an allied AI or a Japanese AI? I just keep reading about everyone saying that player vs player is so much better and I was wondering if the AI is borked or something.

CR
Post #: 1
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 3:50:52 AM   
USS America


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The AI in AE can give a relatively good challenge to someone learning the game. Relatively is the key word there. It's way better than many other games out there, but this game is soooo complicated that any AI struggles just to try to play it. I've almost never played against it, but from everything I have read, the AI is better at playing Japan than the Allies. It's better at playing on the defensive than trying to assemble intricate and large scale invasions.

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Post #: 2
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 4:03:19 AM   
wdolson

 

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A survey done by Matrix found that something like 80% of players of the game primarily play the AI. The forum's most active members heavily represent the 20% who primarily play PBEM. So there is a forum bias against the AI.

I only play the AI because I don't have the ability to commit to possibly many years of playing every day in a PBEM and the majority of players out there feel similarly.

The AI is not perfect, but it's better than the AI in WitP. If you are just starting out with AE, it will probably push you to the wall for a few months while you learn the details of the game, even if you are a seasoned war gamer. This game isn't too terribly hard to learn the basics, but it takes a long time to learn how to be a good player. Some people describe the learning curve as more of a learning cliff.

I recommend playing the AI for at least a while, especially if you want to be able to play multiple turns in one sitting and can't commit to playing every day for a long period.

Bill

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Post #: 3
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 4:21:39 AM   
JeffK


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Bill is correct, the AI gives you an acceptable game.

If you want to trash the AI you can, cant be much fun.

If you want to play in a reasonably historical fashion, it gives you a good game.

For those old cardboard wargamers out there, you can also play both sides if you want. I did this for about a month of game time and its very interesting but too slow for me.

I love how those, who have never played against the AI, can forward any opinion on it.

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Post #: 4
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 6:03:27 AM   
Commander Cody


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For a decent challenge, you can load up Ironman Scen 10 and then set it to computer vs. computer and let it play in continuous mode for a few months of game time. Then take over as the Allies some time in '42 (stop it when it feels right). That way you will miss most of the purely retreat phase in the beginning (note that a strong defense in the beginning can throw off the AI as well). That's about as much as you can get out of the AI.

And yes, I can't see committing the huge time required to do a proper PBEM game. Maybe when I retire...

Cheers,
CC

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Post #: 5
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 8:24:02 AM   
JocMeister

 

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The AI is a good training tool to learn the mechanics of the game. It does have its shortcomings though but will give you a good fight until you get a better grasp of the game. Play reasonable historical. My first play the AI lasted into 43 before it ran out of steam. It can very entertaining the first times!

I played the AI for 6 years before I started my first PBEM. Can´t say that for many games!

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Post #: 6
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 11:19:26 AM   
Alfred

 

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Japanese AI is stronger than the Allied AI because the asymetrical force structure at the beginning allows for logical offensive scripts to be written. Defending the early gains subsequently is easier than trying to second guess what a human Japanese player might have accomplished in the first 6 months.

Totally agree with wdolson's and jeffk's comments about AI quality and inherent anti-AI bias found on the forum. The simple fact is that the AI plays a much better game than many human players. Because the AI will not quit when behind its deficiencies are demonstrated, whereas the poor human players merely abandon a PBEM early before their weak playing strength becomes too obvious.

Alfred

(in reply to JocMeister)
Post #: 7
RE: AI Question - 4/6/2012 11:52:47 AM   
mike scholl 1

 

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Everybody above is basically right. The AI is a usefull "tool" for learning the intracacies of playing the game and it will provide you with some competition when you can't or don't want to find a real opponant. But you must remember that it is "script driven" (meaning Andy had to try and imagine all the likely positions both sides could get themselves into and try to write a script to deal with it.). Now if you remember how long it took IBM to create an AI that could play "master level" chess (a comparitively "simple" game where only one piece moves at a time on a uniform "map")..., then you will realize just how impossible Andy's task was. Thousands of units moving at the same time in three different envirionments (air, land, sea), some able to carry others, and all with a logistical tail chess never dreamed of.

The amazing part is that Andy was able to script an AI that can play the first 200-odd turns adequately as the Japanese---provided you don't "push it" too hard. But if you want 1500 turns of actual competition, then a human opponant is the only way to get it (and not always then). Then the problem is to find one you can "live with" for an extended length of time..., which basically boils down to someone who shares your "vision" of how the game should be played.

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Post #: 8
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/7/2012 3:31:13 AM   
CRations


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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the insight. I think I'll try the AI for a while and try to hone my skills. Some of the ARs are fun to read - I just don't think I'll have the time to get daily turns out.

Other than the Tracker product that does a very nice job of helping me navigate through all of the units and bases, what other tools do you use for playing the game? Do most of you use paper/pencil, or maybe spreadsheets? I'd like to see what others have come up with so I'm not re-inventing the wheel.

CR

(in reply to mike scholl 1)
Post #: 9
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/7/2012 6:26:00 AM   
jmalter

 

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well i do keep a paper record of my game (GC vs. IJ AI). i use a gridded-paper notebook, 5 squares per inch.

there's 3 or 4 or 5 things i keep written track of:
1) date/hex of contacts w/ IJN subs, to aid my ASW efforts around Pearl, WC & Alaska.
2) date/ship of carrier-capable air-groups to a CV. the USN carriers have room for add'l (small) USMC air-groups, they must spend ~90 days aboard a CV to become carrier-trained.
3) date/location 'history' of current land-battles, culled from the land-combat reports. these lists include date, location, enemy disposition (bombardment, deliberate or shock attack), each side's reported Assault Value, and my side's supply level. i don't write down the ones where i'm obviously gonna get creamed in short order, but only for those where i'm putting up a fight! but i keep a list of the battles that i feel are important. for example, i cross-index the date & location - 8 June 42 @ Port Moresby, i list "B1231:640(55)". that's my shorthand for "IJ Bombardment w/ 1231 AV against my 640 AV defenders, who have 55,000 supply". i add this info to my written list, then look at my written history to see that the IJ has been making only Bombardment attacks against Port Moresby for ~50 days, that each side's AV is relatively stable, but my supply has declined from 73k to 55k. so i conclude that i've been successful in ruining IJ attempts to bring in more supply & combat power to the hex, that my defenders still have adequate supply, but i'll need to bring in some serious LCU (& add'l supply) to kick the attackers out.
4) date/location of assault planning, and shipping use. i've got any number of irons in the fire, they all need some record-keeping. there's a bunch of Restricted units i've got planning for a Phib assault on Guadalcanal, but i won't be able to load them to an AmphTF if i haven't spent PP to change their HQ. at the same time, i need PP in other theaters. so, a written display of time-critical PP use is essential to future operations. say, i gain 50PP each day, i know i'll need X PP in mid-July for my Guadalcanal troops, that leaves me Y PP to use somewhere else.

(in reply to CRations)
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RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/7/2012 2:53:18 PM   
CRations


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Hi jmalter,

Yes - I'm writing down a lot more but the game is still new to me. I'm constantly referencing the manual for movement rates of my troops, and the battles that take place. Tracker does a pretty good job of helping me track supplies at bases and such. But tracking where I'm sending my different units and tasks forces to plus the combat info you mentioned like Allied/Japanese AV - that I'm doing with paper & pencil. I seem to be going through a lot of paper.

Right now I'm trying to piece out why I win/lose a battle. It seems ground combat is more difficult for me than the naval battles. Right now the things that seem to affect ground combat are:
- supplies
- terrain
- leadership
- experience
- moral
- suppression - (I think air ground attack and naval bombardment do much better than artillery.

For air combat it looks like altitude is the most important thing for a sweep. Which seems strange when the best allied fighter I have is a P-40 (which was not considered a high-altitude fighter).

One report I'm spending a lot of time on is the CombatEvents report. Trying to cipher out that report and figure out what is/is not fog of war can get my head spinning.

I am learning a lot from reading AARs that people are writing. But there's a lot of conflicting advice on this forum . I like reading what Alfred posts. Is he one of the developers?

CR

(in reply to jmalter)
Post #: 11
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/7/2012 3:01:41 PM   
Dan Nichols


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I suggest you get combat reporter and use it also. I really can help you.

http://code.google.com/p/wiptaecombatreporter/downloads/list

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Post #: 12
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/7/2012 3:14:58 PM   
CRations


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Thanks for the link Dan. I just downloaded it and will have a look at it. Thanks!

CR

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Post #: 13
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:24:31 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Yeah, thanks Dan. I downloaded it just now and will have a look too. Thanks for the link.

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Post #: 14
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:01:31 PM   
Hanzberger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CRations


I am learning a lot from reading AARs that people are writing. But there's a lot of conflicting advice on this forum . I like reading what Alfred posts. Is he one of the developers?

CR


Just sit up straight and make sure you read what he writes.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dan Nichols

I suggest you get combat reporter and use it also. I really can help you.

http://code.google.com/p/wiptaecombatreporter/downloads/list

I really wish I could get this to work. I had it working on my old computer. Had it working briefly on this one without a map. I don't know what the heck I am dong wrong. I am gonna go now and try it. Any tips for running it under win 7? (on the back of a mac)-shouldn't matter....

_____________________________


Japan AC wire chart here
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2769286&mpage=1&key=?

(in reply to CRations)
Post #: 15
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:10:56 PM   
JocMeister

 

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Hanzberger,

Are you on a 64 bit OS? I had some problems running it on java 64 bit. I got confirmation from bretg80 that there are some issues getting it to run on 64 bit Java. He said he might do a version for 64 bit.

(in reply to Hanzberger)
Post #: 16
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:15:03 PM   
Dan Nichols


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I run it on a 64 bit windows 7 machine. I use exactly the same command for Java as I use for Tracker.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe"

This comes directly from the WitPTracker support site.

(in reply to JocMeister)
Post #: 17
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:25:47 PM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: CRations
I am learning a lot from reading AARs that people are writing. But there's a lot of conflicting advice on this forum . I like reading what Alfred posts. Is he one of the developers?


No he isn't. I think he's just an enthusiastic player who has figured out a lot of things.

I was one of the programmers, though all maintenance has been done by Michael McFarland for a couple of years now. My knowledge of how the code actually worked is getting rusty (and in some cases out of date). I gave some out of date information in another thread recently.

Bill

_____________________________

WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer

(in reply to CRations)
Post #: 18
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:31:38 PM   
Hanzberger


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I really enjoyed reading this thread on this Easter morning. I can't agree more with almost everyone. I, too, have never played a PBEM mostly because I cannot commit to a 'turn a day'. Also not really sure, even after all these years, I would be any good. I am currently hooked on the Axis side and trying to understand it. I will know if I have the economy under control in my current game very shortly. I have been very aggressive in some areas just to see how far I can push things. I spend too many hours in between turns, probably too much micro managing. Finding the right person for a PBEM is critically. Hopefully soon I will be seeking someone who is looking for a game that may move slowly but surely.

_____________________________


Japan AC wire chart here
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2769286&mpage=1&key=?

(in reply to Hanzberger)
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RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:34:23 PM   
vinnie1912

 

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The biggest problem I see with the AI is that it will keep throwing forces at a scripted objective despite a lack of strength to take and defend said objective.

I have the allied AI throwing fleet after fleet of surface ships at the Solomons in early 43 despite it being down to 1 CV. I must have sunk 8 BBs and numerous CAs and CLs usually arriving in 1s or 2s because I just have 4 CVs parked there permanently. Not to mention the divisional sized shark food it sends.

Another great move was it sailing all but 1 of the PH BB fleet for San Fran 2 days after my attack.


I've got my monies worth but I cant really see me playing for years to come as the commitment to pvp is just not feasible.


If a witp 2 was ever made a focus on AI as well as options to simplify certain aspects to speed up play would be most welcome (i know sacrilege on the second part).

(in reply to Hanzberger)
Post #: 20
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:40:12 PM   
Hanzberger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dan Nichols

I run it on a 64 bit windows 7 machine. I use exactly the same command for Java as I use for Tracker.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe"

This comes directly from the WitPTracker support site.

Gonna go try it now Dan thanks. Questions, you have a Program files, Program files (86X). I have the game stored in the main directory, not either one of these, does that matter? I run tracker from my desktop, can you do this with CR? I have to go switch to windows and check it out right now.

_____________________________


Japan AC wire chart here
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2769286&mpage=1&key=?

(in reply to Dan Nichols)
Post #: 21
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:50:09 PM   
Dan Nichols


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hanzberger


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dan Nichols

I run it on a 64 bit windows 7 machine. I use exactly the same command for Java as I use for Tracker.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe"

This comes directly from the WitPTracker support site.

Gonna go try it now Dan thanks. Questions, you have a Program files, Program files (86X). I have the game stored in the main directory, not either one of these, does that matter? I run tracker from my desktop, can you do this with CR? I have to go switch to windows and check it out right now.


I have a second hard drive with all of my games and have a tracker folder in the tools sub folder. You can run tracker or reporter from any location, they both have a mechanism to set the directory path. I use a folder of shortcuts to run my game. I would not install any game in either of the program folders. Make a separate folder for your games and install there.

(in reply to Hanzberger)
Post #: 22
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 2:56:31 PM   
Hanzberger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dan Nichols

I run it on a 64 bit windows 7 machine. I use exactly the same command for Java as I use for Tracker.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe"

This comes directly from the WitPTracker support site.


Sorry to turn this into a CR help forum.
How do you change the path in CR? I just started up Tracker and it runs under Program files.
.....\Deskstop\Tracker 1.8>C:\"Program Files"\Java\jre6......(cmd prmp startup)

_____________________________


Japan AC wire chart here
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2769286&mpage=1&key=?

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Post #: 23
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 3:01:59 PM   
Hanzberger


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Looks like I put the Java folder right into the tracker folder to get it to work but this does not work for CR.

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Japan AC wire chart here
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2769286&mpage=1&key=?

(in reply to Hanzberger)
Post #: 24
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/8/2012 3:46:40 PM   
Hanzberger


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Ok disregard my post I got Cr working again, but no map. Going back to see if I can get the map to load thanks.

Map is working, thanks for the link Alfred that's what did it for me~!


< Message edited by Hanzberger -- 4/8/2012 4:06:21 PM >


_____________________________


Japan AC wire chart here
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2769286&mpage=1&key=?

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Post #: 25
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/9/2012 11:44:56 PM   
CRations


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson


quote:

ORIGINAL: CRations
I am learning a lot from reading AARs that people are writing. But there's a lot of conflicting advice on this forum . I like reading what Alfred posts. Is he one of the developers?


No he isn't. I think he's just an enthusiastic player who has figured out a lot of things.

I was one of the programmers, though all maintenance has been done by Michael McFarland for a couple of years now. My knowledge of how the code actually worked is getting rusty (and in some cases out of date). I gave some out of date information in another thread recently.

Bill


Hi Bill - thanks for the clarification. If you have the time, maybe you could thank Michael McFarland and any other developers for the work and effort they put into this game. There seems to be so many adjustments I can make with the different units, leaders, bases, and the economics of the game. Right now I'm kind of a rookie so I play the game, find a new option to manipulate, read the manual and make a change. Then I find the next thing I can tweak, read the manual some more, and make a change. And then I find something else that I can tweak...

A Chinese puzzle box has nothing on this game. So far I've invested many hours against the AI playing with many of the thing-a-ma-jiggies. I'm pretty sure I haven't found all of the thing-a-ma-jiggies yet. Thanks very-very much.

And Mr. Alfred - thanks for the many posts you've submitted. I've read many of them now and have really found an appreciation for your insight.

CR


(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 26
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/10/2012 10:06:49 PM   
CaptDave

 

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To CRations, Hanzberger, and anyone else reluctant to start a PBEM due to being unable to commit to daily turns: do note that some of us are willing to play on those conditions (despite the joking that goes on in the forums, almost everyone here does have a real life, too).  You'll probably need to post your own Opponents Wanted ad, and be clear about your play schedule, but someone will say "hallelujah!" and jump on it.

(in reply to CRations)
Post #: 27
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/10/2012 11:17:17 PM   
Thayne

 

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Another suggestion I would like to make . . . for people who prefer to play the AI.

All one really needs are two people with compatible interests.

So . . . an option (particularly for AI players) might be to ask for somebody to take over for the AI for some fixed period of time. For a week. Or two weeks. Or a month. Or a quarter.

This way, one is not signing one's life away to play a game that one might actually hate to continue after a few months.

At the end of the assigned time, the players might decide to renew and extend their contract. Or they may decide that it is time to go their own ways.

This will not cause any problems such as triggering Soviet activation or anything like that, will it?

(in reply to CaptDave)
Post #: 28
RE: AI + a Tools question - 4/12/2012 1:49:25 AM   
CRations


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CaptDave & Thayne - thanks for the thoughts/ideas. For myself I really need to just spend time learning the game. After I tighten down my game I'd probably try to do one or two of those short-games.

It's fun to read what others are doing and learn from their experiences. And right now the AI to me is a challenge.

CR

(in reply to CaptDave)
Post #: 29
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