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Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it?

 
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Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/19/2012 4:24:49 PM   
Emir Agic


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I am considering to buy CC PitF, but I would like first to hear opinions of players who tried it about strategic and tactical AI. Is it any better than before? Just to avoid any confusion, regarding tac-AI, I'm not asking about vehicle pathfinding but primarly about how AI is behaving on attack and defense.

For example, when on defense, is AI prone to put squads in the middle of open terrain when there are buildings nearby? When on attack, does he just rush his units towards objectives via shortest (and possibly deadleist) route or it is paying more attention to cover, flanks etc.?

< Message edited by Emir Agic -- 11/19/2012 5:05:48 PM >
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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/19/2012 4:47:03 PM   
Korsun


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Emir Agic

I am considering to buy CC PitG, but I would like first to hear opinions of players who tried it about strategic and tactical AI. Is it any better than before? Just to avoid any confusion, regarding tac-AI, I'm not asking about vehicle pathfinding but primarly about how AI is behaving on attack and defense.

For example, when on defense, is AI prone to put squads in the middle of open terrain when there are buildings nearby? When on attack, does he just rush his units towards objectives via shortest (and possibly deadleist) route or it is paying more attention to cover, flanks etc.?


+1

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/19/2012 6:58:23 PM   
redmarkus4


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I would also like to hear about path finding and the crawl of death before I commit.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/19/2012 7:52:40 PM   
Scott Parrino

 

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Here's a quote from the preview on Wargamer.fr (translated from French, thank you Bertrand!)

"Based on the preview version we tried we won't gave a final assessment of the Tactical AI but it seems there are notable improvements, especially for deployment and firing positions. Pathfinding has also been improved, particularly in towns and for small paths"

http://www.wargamer.fr/preview-de-close-combat-panthers-in-the-fog/



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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 3:23:07 AM   
bairdlander

 

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Says pathfinding "improved" not fixed.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 3:31:22 AM   
Steve McClaire

 

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I am not sure exactly how to answer the pathfinding question -- what CC are you thinking of when you talk about problems with it? Many of the 'old' CC path-finding (CC 2-5) issues have been gone for a long time. Are there specific issues that you're wondering about?

As for the 'crawl of death' I don't think that's existed in the original form that spawned the term (infantry crawling in the attack in Atomic's original CC4) in any of the re-releases.


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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 4:35:17 AM   
Bison36

 

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So far I've found the AI to be pretty decent certainly as good as most wargame AI tends to be. The AI is using hedges and buildings for cover and moving armor in teams. If anything, it seems hesistant to take objectives. Not a bad thing but I've been playing an Operation game Central Slugfest and so far in three battles on the first area, the US has yet to take an objective. Some of this might be due to the units it's selecting I'm not sure. I've seen a lot of armor and a single infantry squad. Now that being said I've destroyed 4 vehicles to my 1 lost panther, but it took out several of my infantry squads when I foolishly broke my ambush setups and attacked what I thought was an unsupported infantry unit. The AI's artillery placement has been devastating.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 8:58:26 AM   
Bison36

 

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I switched sides and restarted the Central Slugfest campaign as the Americans after playing 4 or so battles as the Germans. Currently I've fought 4 or 5 battles. The first couple of battles I was easily able to take ground and objectives but I also wasn't getting any real German resistance. The last 2 battle have lived up to the Slugfest part of the Operations name. No territory has been gained by me over the course of two battles. The German Panthers are owning the open spaces of the battle field and preventing me from advancing to gain the last 4 objectives. I need to retool my plan.

On the flip side my mortar sections have pretty much destroyed his advancing infantry and anti-tank guns. I will note that the German infantry is attempting to reposition into buildings they already own or pushing toward buildings/hedges near the objectives. Would a human advance differently? Maybe. However for the most part the tactical decisions the AI has made so far have seem fairly rational. The one exception perhaps is they did start two squad in the middle of an open field, which turned out to be bad positioning because I'd placed two infantry to cover the field with hedge cover and concealment. I'd say a little of luck on my part and bad placement on the part of the AI. However there was a panther well placed near some trees to limit sightlines to it from all directions except the hedge where my squads were located in front of the objective the German infantry were advancing toward. Needless to say the panther equally shot up my infantry in return.

I am finding the AI to be a good opponent and presenting a real fun tactical challenge so far. It's been well worth the investiment for me so far.

I cannot really comment on the strategic AI. There are only 3 areas in the operational game I'm playing so not a lot of strategic movement to consider.

< Message edited by Bison36 -- 11/20/2012 9:04:08 AM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 9:12:30 AM   
Manu

 

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In my german campaigns I have found that Allied BG were very agressive. They tend to try to cut my BG from their supply bases.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 9:25:26 AM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Steve McClaire
...Many of the 'old' CC path-finding (CC 2-5) issues have been gone for a long time....

Really? The last one I bought (and I believe it was the last one released) had pathing issues - quite serious pathing issues. I made a post I'm sure about how I simply couldn't get a vehicle over a bridge - I had to baby sit it over at a ridiculous level - and there was a time I couldn't send something down a path...a Stuart I think...and I'm pretty sure that was the last one out. Having said that - I have to be honest in that I haven't played it in a while - and certainly not since the last patch or 2 were released - but it did have pathing issues. So it depends on what you mean by "gone for a long time"

I'm holding out at the moment. The fog issue may not be an issue as you get into it - but it played havoc with my eyes the first time I saw it - so I'm not even considering it until there's an option because I'd be gutted if it still buggered around with my vision.

Still - I guess it's only fair to read the forums here (I guess most answers would be given here than anywhere else) and I'll get some opinions further down the line.

Besides - I have my Hornet Leader AAR to get done for Wodin!

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 2:07:21 PM   
The Hunter


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I haven't found any pathing issues intruding on the game yet. The AI seems OK, but it is a very hard game to play. It will not be as good as a person in a long time.

I've played some ripper games against people over the years (from CC1 onwards), and they can really surprise you with their tactics.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 2:22:02 PM   
PKH

 

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Based on a couple of battles, I haven't noticed any improvements in pathing compared to the last patches for the other games. There still seems to be a big difference in what the pathing works with compared to what the player sees. Tanks will still pivot left and right when given what looks like an easy short forwards movement, especially when done in streets near buildings.

Tanks will still turn around 180 degrees after completing a 'drive backwards' command, so you need to babysit it to avoid that.

Waypoints can only be given for movement still, and only the same movement type for the entire path. I'like to be able to do f.ex. 'rush here -> crawl here -> defend in this direction", instead of having to do it as three separate commands.





< Message edited by PKH -- 11/20/2012 5:04:00 PM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 3:51:59 PM   
MikeAP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Scott Parrino

Here's a quote from the preview on Wargamer.fr (translated from French, thank you Bertrand!)

"Based on the preview version we tried we won't gave a final assessment of the Tactical AI but it seems there are notable improvements, especially for deployment and firing positions. Pathfinding has also been improved, particularly in towns and for small paths"

http://www.wargamer.fr/preview-de-close-combat-panthers-in-the-fog/




Hmm. Here's what Armchair General said:

quote:

The AI is the second most frustrating element of the game. When on the offensive it is weak. It seems unable to co-ordinate attacks or even pursue any logically aggressive action. This means the human player on defense is almost certain to prevail unless horribly outnumbered or out-gunned. In those cases the AI merely swamps the defending player with superior combat power. On the defense, these problems with the AI are much less apparent.



quote:

ORIGINAL: PKH

Based on a couple of battles, I haven't noticed any improvements in pathing compared to the last patches for the other games. There still seems to be a big difference in what the pathing works with compared to what the player sees. Tanks will still pivot left and right when given what looks like an easy short forwards movement, especially when done in streets near buildings.

Tanks will still turn around 180 degrees after begin completing a 'drive backwards' command, so you need to babysit it to avoid that.

Waypoints can only be given for movement still, and only the same movement type for the entire path. I'like to be able to do f.ex. 'rush here -> crawl here -> defend in this direction", instead of having to do it as three separate commands.


Ahhhh. So sad. I was really hoping it would've been fixed for this release. After all these years we still haven't seen a fix for such a big oddity in gameplay. With a $40 pricetag, I think I'm going to bypass this one until the new 3d release.

< Message edited by MikeAP -- 11/20/2012 3:54:48 PM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 5:38:23 PM   
xe5

 

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The most effective play balance option vs the AI (Grog's Rule #1) is to accept the default deployment, just as the AI must do, and not re-deploy units prior to battle.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 6:12:53 PM   
Steve McClaire

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd
Really? The last one I bought (and I believe it was the last one released) had pathing issues - quite serious pathing issues. ... I have to be honest in that I haven't played it in a while - and certainly not since the last patch or 2 were released ...


There was a mega-update to the Cross of Iron, Wacht am Rhein, The Longest Day, and Last Stand Arnhem that included a re-write of the pathfinder. It's been available for well over a year now. Give it a try. :)



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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 6:13:36 PM   
Bison36

 

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I must be a horrible player because the AI has my advance stymied in my current game. I've spent an inordinate amount of time shaking my fist at the panthers on my screen.

I've found that my vehicles reverse movement actually works very well at short movements say 50-100 yards or so. The biggest factor is me attempting to force it to back to a location that forces it to change facing direction.


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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 6:16:58 PM   
Steve McClaire

 

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When you want a vehicle to back up, SNEAK is usually the best choice.  You can use MOVE and it will use reverse if the destination is very close and there's no known threat behind the vehicle that it thinks it should turn and face.  Using MOVE FAST will almost always cause the vehicle to turn around.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 6:20:46 PM   
Bison36

 

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My Shermans move backwards because they fear the panthers. Seriously. I fear them.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 7:39:48 PM   
PKH

 

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The problem I have with reverse, is that after it is done and the tank has come to a stop, it will usually turn around 180 degrees unless given a defend/ambush order.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/20/2012 9:45:23 PM   
Steve McClaire

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PKH

The problem I have with reverse, is that after it is done and the tank has come to a stop, it will usually turn around 180 degrees unless given a defend/ambush order.


Can you give me an example of the sort of order you're giving that's causing the vehicles to turn around at the end?

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 12:37:40 AM   
PKH

 

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quote:

Can you give me an example of the sort of order you're giving that's causing the vehicles to turn around at the end?


I always use slow speed for reverse, and the last time I saw this I gave a reverse ~50m straight back, linked with a another 50m reverse maybe 30 degrees off. I did this for 2 tanks which were standing near each other, and when I checked them again, they were both pointing 180 degrees off. I've seen the same behaviour when just reversing straight back in the earlier games after the last pathfinding patch. I can test it a bit tomorrow, but I don't think it's hard to reproduce it.

Edit: Just did a quick test on the 1st battle (Avranches). Starting the mission with default positions, give a reverse order of 30+ meters to any of the pz IV's, and it will likely rotate 180 degrees after reaching the objective. My guess is that it moves beyond the objective and has to turn around to reverse back to it. It doesn't happen every time, but fairly often.

Another example regarding tanks not moving straight: I had a tank sitting on an east-west road. The tank was pointing west, and I gave an order for it to drive 100 west on the road. The first thing it does is rotate 45 degrees, drive off the road, then drive beside the road a bit, before driving back onto the road and continuing to the objective. Not sure if this has to do with the AI trying to use cover, but it's really annoying.





< Message edited by PKH -- 11/21/2012 8:07:58 AM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 9:38:06 AM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Based on a couple of battles, I haven't noticed any improvements in pathing compared to the last patches for the other games. There still seems to be a big difference in what the pathing works with compared to what the player sees. Tanks will still pivot left and right when given what looks like an easy short forwards movement, especially when done in streets near buildings.


If tanks still zig-zag instead of moving in a line, I won't be buying the game. No idea why it's difficult to fix, but it was annoying as hell in CoI as it made getting across fords or (sometimes) bridges in a short amount of time virtually impossible, whilst the zig-zagging exposed the sides to enemy fire.

That's the killer: the way zig-zagging exposes the sides and thus makes tanks that would otherwise be safe, because their frontal armour can't be penetrated aside from at short range, just as vulnerable as tanks with weaker armour.

I'm not interested in seeing my Panthers zig-zag towards Shermans or bazooka teams.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 11/21/2012 9:39:44 AM >


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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 2:05:13 PM   
MikeGER

 

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i just witnessed an interesting 'situational awareness'-reaction of a tank

if that was programmed into the AI ? and not just 'coincidental', that would be really cool !

i ordered a Sherman down a dirt road on the La Roche map (from North to South) with a chain of several Move waypoints (on the road)
while the Sherman was on the move he got shot at by a German tank from the right, the tank round missed short behind him.
now the Sherman left the road, drove behind a row of trees flanking the road, drove parallel to the road but behind the concealment of the trees, and when he came parallel to the next waypoint on the road he turned back to the road, drove over the waypoint, and moved on to the next...
there was no visible object blocking the road.



I rebuild the situation for the ilustration: green path = the path driven , red arrow = impact of German shell (after the tank had passed that)



< Message edited by MikeGER -- 11/21/2012 2:09:14 PM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 5:33:59 PM   
Steve McClaire

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PKH
I always use slow speed for reverse, and the last time I saw this I gave a reverse ~50m straight back, linked with a another 50m reverse maybe 30 degrees off...


Thanks. By 'linked with' do you mean you're using multiple waypoints in the move order?


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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 5:56:16 PM   
PKH

 

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quote:

Thanks. By 'linked with' do you mean you're using multiple waypoints in the move order?


Yes, but as I said in the edited part, it's easy to reproduce with just one 30+ meter reverse order in slow speed on f.ex. the 1st battle.

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 9:49:01 PM   
WoT

 

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Tanks won't drive down roads bordered by Large hedgerpws.

They will head for a wide open field instead.

this requires them to climb the hedgrow and often lose a track.

it may be the maps coding in PitF but pathfinding seemed better in LSA



< Message edited by WoT -- 11/22/2012 9:38:32 AM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/21/2012 10:09:22 PM   
WoT

 

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quote:

if that was programmed into the AI ? and not just 'coincidental', that would be really cool !


I think that is a pathfinding problem.

the tank wont travel down the avenue of trees instead heading for an open field.

Same problem with hedgerows

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/22/2012 2:40:53 AM   
WoT

 

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re: mikeGer's picture.

Why are all the trees exctly the same?

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/22/2012 7:50:24 AM   
MikeGER

 

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becaus they are from the same breed, planted at the same time
(picture from a French rural alley ...well, southern wine region in this example)


Steve,
is there a 'situational awareness' of close by hits or blasts in the units AI routines?

< Message edited by MikeGER -- 11/22/2012 8:00:05 AM >

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RE: Strategic and Tactical AI - How good is it? - 11/22/2012 7:57:48 AM   
WoT

 

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hmmm... they are similar... not identical.

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