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Enhanced AI and Officers

 
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Enhanced AI and Officers - 4/4/2013 7:02:01 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 629
Joined: 10/18/2005
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Download HERE

Reading List
How to think like an Admiral - Part 1
Sabotage or how to live with the Big Bang!
Commerce Raiders or what if Al Qaeda learnt to swim?

Current Limitations 9th June, '13
(ERM) 'Higher Production Cost' option doesn't work (unable to fix until next ATG patch)


Introduction

Due to some lateral thinking and a clever programming approach (thank Vic, not me) I've been able to add significant capability and functionality to the AI's ability to wage naval and air warfare. At present the player owns the oceans and air space. Any attempt by the AI to contest either is quickly and easily overcome. Not so now. To do this I've switched off certain aspects of the inbuilt AI and replaced it with my own, Enhanced AI.

Importantly, the Enhanced AI uses actual units that utilise the ATG combat engine with results showing up in the in-game history replays (F4). There is, by necessity, a little bit of abstract behaviour but not much.

The Enhanced AI doesn't cheat. It plays by the same rules as yourself. There are a few areas where this isn't possible due to programming limitations but the practical effect is no different. The AI's production capacity (or the equivalent) will be focused, laser like, on the things that matter. It will continue to spawn endless factories and produce all manner of units it can't properly utilise - this won't change. However it's assumed level of industrial capacity will be harnessed, by my 'EAI' to give it vastly improved capabilities. Production improvements, though, are only a small part of the story. Most of the enhancements come from expanding the AI's range of potential activities.

The AI's abilities commence at a low, barely noticeable, level (assuming a 'one town' start) but increase over time. The longer you leave the AI, the more formidable it becomes. Rest assured that it doesn't morph into a cyber-superman as it's capabilities are capped at reasonable levels.

As the prime focus of the mod is to improve the middle game experience (I made a post about this which you can read, if interested, here ATG Single Player Experience) a lot of the enhancements aren't designed to kick in until the early game phase starts to wind up. This is the case if you have chosen a 'one town start' option but if you commence with the full monty you can expect to be in the thick of it earlier. The enhancements give the AI a significantly greater ability to prosecute the naval and air war by ways and means currently not available to it in the standard ATG game.

There are eight or so, specific areas that the AI has access to. Submarine warfare, for example, is one of them. The AI will utilise all available avenues but it will place a stronger emphasis on certain, related, strategies that will vary from game to game. For example in one game it might go big on submarines, in another it will take a very different approach.

The EAI isn't in anyway scripted. It's probability based. You can, as a result, expect a wide range of behavior. Wimpyness isn't one of them. Nor is it a gentleman. This is an AI that will, given the opportunity, take you around the back and break both your legs before stomping on your head.

It won't, however, try and hunt you down until you are cowering helplessly in your capital. It has zero ability to wage an offensive, strategic campaign. It is a rabid, junkyard dog ferociously defending it's own turf. Which is why you should choose the 'IRON MAN' option.

What, exactly, does that do? Well you may ask.

It's going to take me a week or so to knock out some documentation which I'll post in the appropriate section of the forum but you don't really need to know any of that. The mod does a good job of explaining things. I'd recommend, if you're interested, downloading the mod now and taking it for a run. Probably best to do so before reading about the nuts and bolts. Like the Teddy Bear's picnic, you may find yourself in for a big surprise.

One thing worth mentioning is that naval warfare now requires the AI to find your units before they can attack them. Previously, with the standard ATG game, the AI had perfect knowledge of your naval positioning. Not now. Weather and a range of other factors can restrict their ability to locate you and vice versa. I own a copy of 'War in the Pacific' and I've borrowed a lot of ideas while keeping with the fun, streamlined approach. Pay attention to the weather as it's effects are woven into just about every aspect of the mod. It matters.

The mod has it's own inbuilt weather system that will happily work alongside the ATG snow/mud/clear system if required.

In an effort to raise the interest and tension levels of the middle game I've implemented a couple of new features that aren't directly AI related. You'll know them when you see them.

The mod can handle any combination of starting options ('Higher Production Costs' being the sole exception - can't fix this until I get some help, probably when the game is next patched) and happily scales with differing map sizes. As the land side isn't yet implemented (the standard ATG land AI still works fine), aim for a map with water, the more the better.

If there is less than 50% ocean on the map you'll get a stern finger waved under your nose and it won't let you play with all the new features. Choose 'Big Oceans', 'Oceania' or 'Water World'. Everything is keyed off enemy ports so if you have a map with no port cities (cities bordering the ocean) then nothing exciting will happen. Similarly, if you want to give the AI a bloody nose, capture it's ports.

The Enhanced AI option is standalone. You can use it as is or in combination with the Enhanced Resource option (you have to connect up your resources to your Capital before they can be used). If you choose both options then you can expect the AI to come a'gunning for your resource convoys and you'll have a tougher game (build and transfer Destroyers into your POOL to escort your cargo ships). I've posted about this part of the design here ERM - Plans for Stage 2

The Iron Man option works in conjunction with the Enhanced AI. You can play with it or without. Iron and fortitude are what you gobbled down for breakfast this morning. Tick that box, fella.

The difficulty of the mod ramps up in direct proportion to the number of port cities on the map. If you opt for a large 'water world' map and tick all the option boxes, then you'd better be prepared to hunker down and fasten your seat belt. Options such as 'Costly Research', 'No roads' and 'Stone Age' do their usual job of ratcheting it up even more.

Choose bog standard AI for your opponents (as many or as few as you'd like). You can also play MP, cooperatively against the AI. If you're silly enough to load yourself up with AI+, then consider yourself a dead Commander walking. I jest not.

But hey, it's only a programmed robot after all. What the heck does it know about fighting a war? Saddle up your horse, buddy, and ride out there and teach it a lesson. Uppity bloody robots, strutting around like they're the brand new sheriff in town. They need to learn their place in this world and you, sir, are just the man to do it!

Tips? Group your naval SFT's into single unit Task Forces and think like a WW2 Admiral. If you wouldn't have done it floating around the Pacific then don't do it now.

House Rules

There are a few things that I've been unable to program around . No big deal as the application of a few house rules solves the problem. You are under no obligation to adhere to the house rules but, by not doing so, you will be playing a diminished AI. Kind of like climbing into the boxing ring and facing off against a one armed man. OK if you like to win but not much fun if you prefer a challenge.

The house rules apply only to naval units in the following situations;

1. If you bombard with a naval unit you must stop moving that unit once you have bombarded.
2. If you launch an airstrike you must stop moving that unit once you have conducted the airstrike.
3. If you attempt an amphibious invasion you must move your cargo ships into position and then launch the invasion the following turn. Eg. you can't move into position and invade in one turn, it has to be a two turn process.

Consider the invasion restriction as necessary pre-invasion preparation. The airstrike and bombard restrictions are no great hindrance as you can still move your naval units their full allowance and conduct your business at the end of their turn. What you can't do is launch your airstrike, or bombard, at the start of your turn and then get out of dodge before anybody wakes up. A bit more thought and planning is required.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 7/5/2013 12:00:33 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/4/2013 11:19:43 AM   
Josh

 

Posts: 2255
Joined: 5/9/2000
From: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
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Awesomeness!
Anything that can improve the naval AI has my full attention. Matter of fact I stopped playing large ocean maps all together as there was no AI force to be seen, sometimes a few cruisers yes but that was it.
Will the AI.. almost don't dare to ask this... use CV's as well?

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 2
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/4/2013 4:46:23 PM   
jday305


Posts: 116
Joined: 3/31/2013
From: Northeast Indiana
Status: offline
One thing worth mentioning is that naval warfare now requires the AI to find your units before they can attack them. Previously, with the standard ATG game, the AI had perfect knowledge of your naval positioning. Not now. Weather and a range of other factors can restrict their ability to locate you and vice versa.

-Have to say that I love this part of the mod as I have had many games where the AI just seemed to know all to well where my subs were even before the subs were in position to do any mischief. Thanks for the mod.


(in reply to Josh)
Post #: 3
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/4/2013 6:14:37 PM   
Jafele


Posts: 425
Joined: 4/20/2011
From: Seville (Spain)
Status: offline
Interesting mod! Basically it´s a secret fight betwen human and AI. Still the AI don´t use ships phisically, instead focus its energy on destroy your cargoships and convoys in an invisible war. I love the weather and partisans events. For the first time I¨m enjoying a SP sea game.

Thanks

(in reply to jday305)
Post #: 4
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/5/2013 7:39:37 PM   
Jeffrey H.


Posts: 2860
Joined: 4/13/2007
From: San Diego, Ca.
Status: offline
Definitely worth a try, looking forward to this.

_____________________________

"Games lubricate the body and the mind" Ben Franklin.

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 5
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/5/2013 11:01:12 PM   
lancer

 

Posts: 629
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
G'day Jafele,

quote:


Basically it´s a secret fight betwen human and AI. Still the AI don´t use ships phisically, instead focus its energy on destroy your cargoships and convoys in an invisible war


Nope, physical ships and planes are used. Bit of black magic involved with the programming so it doesn't appear that way but rest assured you are up against real units. You can see combat results in the F4 history replay.

Attacking your cargoships and convoys is just one small part of it. Any naval ships you send to sea are vulnerable. Keep in mind that if you had a 'one town' start the AI won't be hitting it's straps for a bit so the effects will be fairly subtle initially. It gives you breathing space at the start of the game to allow you get up on your feet.

Then it kicks you in the nuts.

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 6
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/6/2013 1:01:02 PM   
Jafele


Posts: 425
Joined: 4/20/2011
From: Seville (Spain)
Status: offline
Hi Lancer!

I get it, but I cannot attack their ships pshisically cos I cannot see them, also the enemy AI is not able to disimbark troops.

< Message edited by Jafele -- 4/6/2013 1:04:12 PM >

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 7
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/7/2013 12:05:59 AM   
Jeffrey H.


Posts: 2860
Joined: 4/13/2007
From: San Diego, Ca.
Status: offline
Not sure how I screwed up but I got stuck with the officers, blech. Is it possible to play this without the officers ?


_____________________________

"Games lubricate the body and the mind" Ben Franklin.

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 8
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/7/2013 1:26:24 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 629
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
Hi Jafele,

The AI has physical ships floating around the map, destroyers, cruisers etc, however it is a lot more cautious in how it uses them than the standard ATG 'sail out to sea and wait to be sunk' approach.

Things like Commerce Raiders and submarines have deliberately been made elusive. Commerce Raiders are physically present in their home port when they aren't out raiding. If you can sneak a submarine or airstrike in you can take them out there and then. Of course they are physically present when they find you or vice versa as are submarines.

Commerce Raiders have been modelled on a 'Hunt the Bismark' type of scenario. Elusive, hard hitting battleships. There is a fair amount of logic behind the search process and by sending the appropriate task forces to sea and searching in the right areas (closer to their home port than yours) you are in with a chance. The mod gives you a detailed breakdown of what's going on there. Think of Commerce Raiders as unpredicatible seagoing terrorists. In the right circumstances they will cause chaos.

The naval air side has been signficantly boosted and the AI will take a strong interest in defending it's ports with rotating fighter wings and permanent flak batteries, more so than before. These are all 'on-map' units.

The AI sends regular long range search aircraft out from it's ports (abstracted but with an awful lot of on-map logic behind it) looking for your task forces. If you're spotted there is a chance it may launch a strike package which is conducted by physical, on-map units.

As far as amphibious assaults by the AI I'm not sure what's going on there as the numerous test games I've run have all featured the AI doing this quite happily. What's different now is that the invasion fleets will be properly escorted (depending on the particular strategy the AI is following).

The standard ATG game will occasionally load units into cargo ships and position them for an invasion but fail to follow through. The ships will sit there for a number of turns, on the coast, with the units in them. The behaviour you're seeing might be this or it might be mod related. I'll keep an eye on it.

Either way don't expect the AI to be launching dynamic 'D-Day' style invasions. I can't control where or what it does in this department.

The AI submarine force attacking your resource convoys is abstracted but with some map related logic driving it.

The AI submarines attacking your on-map task forces are a different matter. Physical units although you won't find them by accident moving around the map. I've designed it so that submarines find you, given the right circumstances.

What you want to do here is build up land based air cover in your own ports. These are assumed to patrol the nearby ocean areas and will act to suppress enemy submarine activity. They will also come to the aid of your task forces in the event of an airstrike if they are within range and have enough AP's.

Friendly ports with air wings act as an umbrella to shelter your naval units under. Enemy ports project hostile intent into the surrounding ocean with their ability to do this gradually increasing (with a 'one town' start). Think of them as spiders in the centres of an expanding web. Ocean hexes that are within overlapping enemy port air envelopes (eg. the circle formed, with the port in the center, projecting air power out into the nearby ocean) are where you don't want to be.

Keep an eye on your intel reports to get an idea of the size of the 'air envelope' circles. A port's air search capability is seperate to it's air strike one. Long range search aircraft, eg. Condors, Catalinas etc., can venture out as far as 13 hexes from memory but only if the port has a high level in this area. Air strikes are restricted to the normal 10 hex radius and factors such as distance and port air strike level have a lot to do with whether you receive unwelcome visitors or not. Air strikes, particularly at extreme ranges, can get lost enroute and fail to find you.

Your intel reports have a bit of 'fuzziness' built in so you may want to cross reference reports from different sources, eg. coast watchers etc, in order to get an accurate picture.

Try and avoid enemy air envelopes or transit through them in bad weather when they can't find you 'cause your are 'clouded in'. If you have to enter their envelope, skirt through them at long range (from the enemy port). Going in close, eg. to invade, isn't wise unless you have brought your own air cover with you. Bombing, or bombarding, enemy ports will degrade their air capabilities depending on how much damage you have done.

Mines. Kaboom! The closer you are to an enemy port, the higher your chances of running across a defensive minefield. On a good day the AI might even send a submarine over to mine the entrance to your own port. Blue flags, as you've probably already figured out, indicate areas that have been confirmed 'mine free'. Red mine symbols on the map indicate a known minefield. Mines are only found in coastal hexes.

A lot of the smoke and mirrors with the programming side has been done to get around the twin issues of me being unable to directly control an AI on-map unit and the AI's unfortunate tendency to give on-map units orders that might be more appropriate to a suicide bomber. Hence with the mod it appears you're fighting an AI that isn't as visible as you'd expect. It's still there, lurking. The difference is that it's now acting in a smarter, more logical manner and responding to a lot more factors, e.g weather, air cover envelopes, task force sizes, speeds and composition, etc., than before.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 4/7/2013 10:59:10 PM >

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 9
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/7/2013 1:31:22 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 629
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
Hi Jeffrey,

quote:

Not sure how I screwed up but I got stuck with the officers, blech. Is it possible to play this without the officers ?


Nope, you didn't screw up. The mod is based on the 'newdawn' officers masterfile. Huge hassle to do it for multiple masterfiles so I chose that one as I like the Officers.

Easy way to deal with it is to simply use normal HQ's and fire the starting guy you get. If you don't buy HQ's with officers in them then none of those features will apply and you'll have a normal, Officer free, game.

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 10
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/7/2013 1:34:31 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 629
Joined: 10/18/2005
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G'day,

I might have stuffed up by putting this topic in the general forum. I didn't intend it to be anything other than a quick heads up.

Does anyone know how I can move it to the Mod forum?

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 11
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/7/2013 8:17:45 PM   
Jeffrey H.


Posts: 2860
Joined: 4/13/2007
From: San Diego, Ca.
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: lancer

Hi Jeffrey,

quote:

Not sure how I screwed up but I got stuck with the officers, blech. Is it possible to play this without the officers ?


Nope, you didn't screw up. The mod is based on the 'newdawn' officers masterfile. Huge hassle to do it for multiple masterfiles so I chose that one as I like the Officers.

Easy way to deal with it is to simply use normal HQ's and fire the starting guy you get. If you don't buy HQ's with officers in them then none of those features will apply and you'll have a normal, Officer free, game.

Cheers,
Lancer


Good call, that worked. I'm still getting my arms around my home splotch of land and haven't met up with any AI as of yet.


_____________________________

"Games lubricate the body and the mind" Ben Franklin.

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Post #: 12
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/8/2013 12:10:42 AM   
Webizen


Posts: 1339
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: offline
In my game the AI has landed troops on the beach at least twice so far.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jafele

Hi Lancer!

I get it, but I cannot attack their ships physically cos I cannot see them, also the enemy AI is not able to disimbark troops.



_____________________________

Tac2i

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Post #: 13
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/8/2013 12:11:48 AM   
Jeffrey H.


Posts: 2860
Joined: 4/13/2007
From: San Diego, Ca.
Status: offline
edit: nevermind.

< Message edited by Jeffrey H. -- 4/8/2013 12:19:21 AM >


_____________________________

"Games lubricate the body and the mind" Ben Franklin.

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Post #: 14
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/8/2013 7:42:51 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 629
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
How to think like an Admiral - Part 1

For those of you using the EAI mod you'll undoubtedly find yourself, sooner or later, running into problems. Not because of any lack of nous or knowledge but simply because the mod requires a different mindset to the standard ATG game.

For the early part of the game (assuming a 'one town' start) none of this will be an issue as the AI will be weak and feeble but later on you'll find yourself in trouble. I can say this with confidence because of an extra feature I built into the mod which isn't AI related but serves to put a bomb under anyone who plans to turtle down and wait until they are invincibly strong before sailing out and crushing the poor old AI. This feature won't appear until, on average (it varies), around turn 40 or so.

Turn 40 sounds like a long way into the game but you need to have plans and preparations well in hand by the time it arrives otherwise you'll be in a serious pickle.

I won't say anymore about it other than it is in place because the AI, despite all the enhancements, doesn't have the ability to best you. Essentially you are, in a single player game, waging an offensive war. The onus is on you to bring the fight to the AI, hence the inclusion of a feature that encourages you to do just that in order to maintain a goodly measure of tension and challenge throughout the middle game.

If you haven't chosen the "Iron Man" option then you can safely ignore all of the above but what would be the fun in that? Ya wimp.

In short, you're going to, at some point, have to launch amphibious invasions and conquer the AI's cities. To do this successfully you need to understand a few concepts which are presented below in full technicolour. I was planning on doing all this in the Mod forum but because I've already buggered it up by putting the topic here, this will have to do.





Here's a typical ocean map. You're the little blue men down in the bottom left. The red dots highlight the AI enemy ports. Let's say that you research and build yourself a fancy new Carrier. Because you are the cautious type you've probably also built a few destroyers and a cruiser. History is your thing so you've lumped them altogther in a naval taskforce that you've optimistically named the 'Lexington CAG'.

Good oh. Rear Admiral Wally, recently appointed by your good self, insists on taking his shiny new flagship and her associated hanger's on for a tour of the neighbourhood. Something like thus.





Now a fully equiped Carrier (say ten planes), with a reasonable escort, following RA Wally's intended intinerary, would have no troubles returning home in ship shape fashion given a normal ATG game. RA Wally steps off his flagship in the Capital and proceeds to have cocktails served by nice looking girls in uniform as he recounts tales of sinking a handful of cargoships and submarine that he just happened to stumble upon. Woo Hoo.

But what would happen if RA Wally attempted the same thing with the EAI mod in force?

For a start the tourist map would have all kinds of red ink on it.





The circles represent air envelopes. For those that are scratching their head this is a highly technical naval term that refers to correspondence sent with coloured lipstick marks all over it. Guaranteed to get your recipients full attention.

Actually it is the distance that airplanes based in a particular port can cover while still having enough fuel to return safely home. The blue envelope down the bottom left is your own, friendly, one because you've been smart enough to build fighters and put them in your port. Provided you have enough planes to do the job this will serve to provide a friendly umbrella under which your naval units can shelter. You'd be surprised to learn what kind of things can fall out of the sky - enemy submarines and airstrikes come to mind.

In WW2 Admirals kept within a friendly air envelope whenever they could.





So RA Wally, proceeding to sea, at the point marked "A" on the chart, would be safe enough to partake in a gin and tonic followed by a relaxing hot bath. It's stressful being a Rear Admiral.

Wisely, he has chosen by luck or good measure, to skirt the first enemy envelope at point "B". The size of the air envelopes vary during the game. They start of very small and grow over time as the AI increases it's capabilities in it's individual ports. The AI's air search ability will generally be operating in a larger envelope (out to 13 hexes at it's fullest extent) than it's air strike capability.

Remember if it can't find you it can't attack you. Even it does find you it may still not be able to attack because of the distances involved.

Theoretically it can launch an airstrike out to ten hexes from the port. In practice it can only do this when it has a fully developed air strike capability in that port. Even then it may struggle because of the distances.

Check the chart. At point "B" the Lexington CAG is at maximum distance (assuming it is, for example, just inside the air envelope). For every hex distant from the originating port, there is a penalty which decreases the chance of an airstrike being launched. Same with air searches. Simple geometry ensures that a plane has ever increasing amounts of ocean to cover the further it flys from the originating port.

So RA Wally, unwittingly, is following rule number one - "Don't enter the enemies air envelope". He's also taking full notice of rule number two - "If you have to enter the envelope, do so at the maximum possible range from the enemy port". Go Wally!

Unfortunately for RA Wally the AI has very efficient interservice communications so if he is spotted by a long range Condor or Catalina (air search), even if he is outside of the air strike range, he will have a higher chance of having an encounter with a submarine as the Air Search Arm promptly passes on all sighting reports to Submarine HQ.

This higher probability will be offset to an extent because he is floating around the briny seas on an aircraft carrier which is assumed to be flying patrols in the vicinity of his task force in order to, among other things, put down any submarines that happen to be in the area.

Assuming RA Wally hasn't had to deal with torpedoes he'll then proceed to point "C" on the chart which is where the wheels start to wobble. RA Wally is sailing the Lexington CAG directly into harms way. By trying to bull his way through the air envelope of the AI's bottom right port he has a reasonable chance of being spotted and attacked. Reasonable 'cause he is a lot closer to the port at point "C" than back at point "B".

Gosh, the weather was bad and the Lexington CAG was 'clouded in' as it transited through the air envelope. Lucky Wally. Bet he didn't even realise how lucky he was. Ignorance is bliss. Especially when you have nothing but marine ply between the ears.

Which is exactly what RA Wally has 'cause, lo and behold, there he is sailing his little task force straight into the jaws of death. Point "D".

Overlapping air envelopes. Rule number three "Never, ever, EVER, venture into hexes with overlapping air envelopes".

RA Wally must have been dozing when they told him that one at Admiral school. Look how close he is going to pass by the nearest port to "D". Any closer and he'll be able to reach out from the bridgewing of the Lexington and polish the harbour lighthouse as they sail past.

The chances of RA Wally not being surrounded by screaming klaxoons and exploding AAA are just about nil. As he is in two air envelopes at almost point blank range he'll be spotted by search aircraft from both ports which will launch twin air strikes in short order. RIP Wally.

Even if, by a miracle, the Lexington CAG survives a dual hammering they'll probably run smack bang into a defensive minefield laid by the nearest port, given that they will be transiting through coastal waters right in front of the aforementioned port. Guess where you are most likely to find a minefield? The closer you are to an enemy port, the higher your chance of encountering a minefield in a coastal hex. Other, nearby enemy ports, proportionally increase the chances of a minefield. How much effort a particular port devotes to mine warfare (which, by the way, sunk more ships in the Pacific than submarines) depends on the overall strategic arc the AI happens to be following (varies from game to game).

Rule number four "If you have to enter coastal waters, do it as far from an enemy port as possible". In the standard ATG game you normally sailed your invasion fleet right up next to the enemy port before sounding the bugle. Not a winning plan now. The AI is expecting you.

Point "E" on the map will only ever be reached by RA Wally if time and tide combine to float his rubber ducky in that direction before thirst and the beating sun turn his wooden brain into mushy porridge.

Naturally a rescue fleet will be assembled and told to make all haste in the opposite direction to save RA Wally as the future of your empire depends on him. There is a chance that the rescue fleet will be sunk at it's moorings by an airstrike launched from the port on the other side of the little island down in the bottom left of the chart. Once it's air envelope expands to cover your homeport it starts thinking about attacking any shipping that happens to be tied up at the docks.

The AI saw the movie "Pearl Harbour" and, while it didn't think much of it as a movie, it did take notes. Rule number five, "If your port is within the air envelope of an enemy port, expect visitors".

Oh, and how was Rear Admiral Wally expected to have known the size of the enemy air envelopes and mine warfare capabilities? All those Intel reports that he filed in his waste paper bin.


Cheers,

Lancer



< Message edited by lancer -- 4/8/2013 12:30:01 PM >

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 15
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/8/2013 8:41:51 PM   
Jeffrey H.


Posts: 2860
Joined: 4/13/2007
From: San Diego, Ca.
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Webizen

In my game the AI has landed troops on the beach at least twice so far.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jafele

Hi Lancer!

I get it, but I cannot attack their ships physically cos I cannot see them, also the enemy AI is not able to disimbark troops.




In my game I spotted the AI developing a new splotch in my vicinity and set up a destroyer picket on the port city, snagged a few heavily laden x-port flotillas...YUM !

Not much else has happened.



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(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 16
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/10/2013 11:18:30 AM   
lancer

 

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NEW VERSION AVAILABLE (follow the link at the start of the topic)

This corrects a small ommission and includes a new feature.

What's Corrected?

When I upgraded the masterfile (the trickiest, most error prone part of the whole process) I inadvertently omitted Vic's latest update to Officers. The new version includes all the latest improvements in this area such as the three extra action cards and the ability to rename your Officers.

What's New?

The new feature gives the AI more of an 'on-map' presence.

Currently the AI's submarine fleet is split between attacking your resource convoys and attacking your task forces floating around the ocean. Occasionally they'll hive off subs to go on minelaying op's.

What I've done is to have a number of the AI's submarine fleet transit to and from operational areas on the surface (on map) and, at times, pop up to recharge their batteries. So you now run the additional risk of accidentally 'bumping' into a surfaced submarine (but you're flying recon from your carriers and friendly ports so that won't happen).

This can happen even in rough weather. Not likely, but possible. Normally bad weather shuts down all sub operations but you could still be unlucky enough to run into one on the surface.

Additionally there are now small AI convoys transiting from one port to another. You can expect most of them to be escorted.

The amount of subs and convoys that appear are scaled to map size and ocean area. The submarine algorithim is weighted to give the submarines a higher probability of appearing in the approaches to chokepoints. That's where they can expect to find the juiciest targets. Best not to be one of them.

I've also tweaked the AI invasion fleet routine. Pretty sure it's working as designed but I've given it a gentle nudge in the right direction.

How do I get it Working?

If you've already got a previous version of the mod just download and install as normal (via the ATG menu) and it should overwrite the existing files automatically. The download file has a slightly different name to reflect the version but the masterfile ('ERM_EAI_Officers_v214.at2') is the same as before to ensure it overwrites any older copies.

If you need more detailed instructions, follow this link.

A Guide for the Perplexed

Cheers,
Lancer



< Message edited by lancer -- 4/10/2013 11:30:53 AM >

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 17
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/10/2013 8:05:08 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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I had my first losing brush with the AI, as you've pointed out I was flirting around at the edge of a known radius, sort of testing it. Got popped by an airstrike, fighter II's sunk my destroyer II and destroyer I group but oddly I couldn't see more than a single strike which only accounted for a single loss and there were at least 3 ships in that group. So, still not sure what happened there.

Oddly, the island that I've been picketing for many turns now has been silent. I'm getting good anti-supply losses there so I'm a bit suprised the AI hasn't picked up on this yet. Hrrmmm...



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Post #: 18
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/10/2013 10:43:03 PM   
lancer

 

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Hi Jeffrey,

The AI flies composite airstrike groups consisting of torpedo bombers and fighter escorts. It does deploy fighter wings in it's ports at times but these are defensive only. The TBD's would have sunk your destroyers, not the fighters.

To figure out what happened check your reports such as the Staff Officer briefing - Maritime (gives the summary) and flick through the battle reports in the F4 turn summary.

Occasionally the AI will sortie out naval units from port and attack weaker targets such as your damaged task force. These won't show up on the reports but will be there in the F4 turn replay.

You mentioned that you're picketing an island. If there is an AI port present then they won't have left the building. Not unless you've bombed it to bits.

All AI activities (mod based ones anyway) are probability based and the AI has to pass a roll to first find you and another to launch an airstrike. The rolls and the factors affecting them are all in the reports.

If you are sitting right out on the edge of that port's air envelope you can expect intermittent AI activity as the activity thresholds it needs to pass are likely to be low (eg. low % random roll required). Overtime it's air envelope will increase and you could always tip toe in closer to see if the lights are still on.

If you've still got any concerns you can send me a copy of your game and I can have a look at it. I built in a lot of debugging tools that I can switch on if required.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 4/10/2013 11:07:53 PM >

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 19
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/11/2013 12:07:22 AM   
Webizen


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I've updated Lancer's Enhanced Resource/Enhanced AI (maritime) Mod today (10 April 2013) to add a NATO counters version. See the NATO Counters Mod for the download link. My mod provides a menu item or button to launch Lancer's mod (standard version or NATO version).

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Post #: 20
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/11/2013 1:40:22 AM   
barerabbit

 

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Hi Lancer
I started a random game using the 8 apr version of ERM_EAI_NATO_v214 (Webizen's nato version of your mod). He has upgraded now it to your apr 10 release. I spent a long time generating a map that I think is about perfect for your maritime work, and I saved it as a scenario before I started playing. Can I now edit that scenario to link in your (well, Webizen's) newer (apr 10) of the masterfile so I can use the same map and starting positions, or is there more to it?

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 21
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/11/2013 4:07:34 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi Barerabbit,

Mmmm. Don't think that this is doable. It's a one and a half hour job for me to upgrade a masterfile and, even knowing what I do now, I still find ways to mess it up.

You could stick with your map along with the april 8 version of the masterfile if you aren't fussed about the latest tweaks to the Officers (they work fine without them) and the new feature above. As the additional feature serves to ramp up the difficulty even further I'd give yourself a 'training' game with the original masterfile and your favourite map (has it got both Oil and Raw on your home island?) before stepping up.

The difficulty is on a slow burner in that it ratchets up as the game progresses. Assuming you've selected the 'Iron Man' option if you can make it to turn 150 with the standard AI you've done well. If you're still standing by turn 200 then give yourself a medal.

This will vary depending on your specific start options and the map your are playing on (number of AI ports) but, in general, you're mentioned in dispatches at t100, given a promotion at t150 and will have strange women throwing themselves at you in a frenzy of hero worship at t200.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to barerabbit)
Post #: 22
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/11/2013 7:19:00 PM   
barerabbit

 

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Hi Webizen
With nERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (dated 10 APR) as masterfile, which I assume to be your "NATOized" version of Lancers masterfile ERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (dated 10 APR), I am getting a consistent Error in Check Command, Event 272, Lines 188 and 191. I am not getting this error with Lancers non "NATOized" masterfile, but It doesn't look to ne like it really has anything to do with the nato stuff. Your masterfile nERM_EAI_Officers_v214.at2 (dated 8 APR) worked like a charm. I have made the permanent change to nato graphics on my system (so I get nato with either masterfile) and that may be the basis of the problem if you can't duplicate it.

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 23
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/11/2013 8:22:15 PM   
Webizen


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I'll give it a look this evening. When does this happen? Loading? While playing?

Anyone else seeing this? It ran ok on my test.

quote:

ORIGINAL: barerabbit

Hi Webizen
With nERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (dated 10 APR) as masterfile, which I assume to be your "NATOized" version of Lancers masterfile ERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (dated 10 APR), I am getting a consistent Error in Check Command, Event 272, Lines 188 and 191. I am not getting this error with Lancers non "NATOized" masterfile, but It doesn't look to ne like it really has anything to do with the nato stuff. Your masterfile nERM_EAI_Officers_v214.at2 (dated 8 APR) worked like a charm. I have made the permanent change to nato graphics on my system (so I get nato with either masterfile) and that may be the basis of the problem if you can't duplicate it.



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Post #: 24
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/11/2013 10:49:38 PM   
barerabbit

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Webizen

I'll give it a look this evening. When does this happen? Loading? While playing?

Anyone else seeing this? It ran ok on my test.

quote:

ORIGINAL: barerabbit

Hi Webizen
With nERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (dated 10 APR) as masterfile, which I assume to be your "NATOized" version of Lancers masterfile ERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (dated 10 APR), I am getting a consistent Error in Check Command, Event 272, Lines 188 and 191. I am not getting this error with Lancers non "NATOized" masterfile, but It doesn't look to ne like it really has anything to do with the nato stuff. Your masterfile nERM_EAI_Officers_v214.at2 (dated 8 APR) worked like a charm. I have made the permanent change to nato graphics on my system (so I get nato with either masterfile) and that may be the basis of the problem if you can't duplicate it.



I had a SCENARIO (not a save) that I created from a random that used the apr 8 nERM_EAI_Officers_v214.at as master. Today I downloaded the apr 10 bundle and disconnected the apr 8 master and connected the apr 10 master to the scenario, saving it under a new name. When I ran the lobotomized scenario, I got these errors for the first time(1 set for each AI player, I think) during the AI turn. It didn't appear to do any harm, and the new apr 10 changes were working, as far as I could tell. Now here is the funny thing. I started a new random game using nERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (nato,dated 10 APR), the one I had connected to the older scenario, and got the same errors. A new random created with ERM_EAI_Officer_214.at2 (non nato,dated 10 APR) worked fine, until I tried to connect that masterfile to the older scenario also without luck. After that the issue appeared with new randoms created with apr 10 non nato as well as the nato version. Reinstalling from the atzip to overwrite the files did not resolve the issue with randoms for either masterfile. So what it means is that trying to connect a master to a scenario it was not origanally created with it corrupts something associated with the masterfile that isn't corrected by reinstalling fron the atzip (Lancer warned my not to try it, but I couldn't help myself). It also means I did it, and you shouldn't waste your evening on it. If I have to reload everything, it is no big deal, but I am really curious about what got corrupted. Thanks to both of you for the mod.

If you want to look at this, I just ran about 20 scenarios and got this problem with xx-large and oceania or better. With more land or less water I didn't see the symptom. Try xx-large,6player, oceania,map loop, 1town, use resourses, full range climate, in extra- small, norm, norm, limit roads, and natural coastlines. at start use no fog, hide realtime, ERM, EAI. look for Error in Check command in event #272, line 188 in round events before player #1 (human) comes up. I now think this has nothing to do with connecting these masterfiles, but rather something with large amounts of water and the apr 10 relese changes.

< Message edited by barerabbit -- 4/11/2013 11:36:53 PM >

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 25
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 12:08:58 AM   
Webizen


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Ok, thanks barerabbit for that info. I did publish a minor refresh today unrelated to your issue. Basically just some text changes within the officers module. I think I'm done until Matrix or Lancer releases another update to ATG.

< Message edited by Webizen -- 4/12/2013 12:09:56 AM >


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Post #: 26
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 12:35:26 AM   
barerabbit

 

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Thanks for your help. I was able to duplicate the error on a second computer, so it has nothing to do with either the NATO stuff, or disconnecting masterfiles. I think Lancer will be able to duplicate it as well, so I imagine it will get fixed next time around.

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 27
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 1:03:31 AM   
Webizen


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Re event #272: I'm not a coder but after looking at that event in the editor, it seems to deal with map size and amount of ocean.

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Post #: 28
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 1:54:30 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi Barerabbit,

I went back and read the rest of your post and I can indeed duplicate the error using the settings you mention.

Leave it with me and I'll investigate.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 4/12/2013 2:34:26 AM >

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 29
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 9:40:56 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi Barerabbit,

Found the problem. I've made a logic error with my calculations for XXL and XXXL maps that generate coordinates outside of the map range.

I didn't bother to do any tests with maps that size as I didn't think anybody used them. Which is probably why I'm not running Microsoft.

Anyway, thanks for finding the bug. Easily fixed but I won't put out a new version of the masterfile (it's a big job) until I've got something new to throw into the pot. Give it a week or two.

In the meantime avoid playing those big *ssed maps. XL and smaller are fine.

Cheers,
Lancer


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Post #: 30
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