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RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime)

 
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RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 7:42:21 PM   
barerabbit

 

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Thanks alot and take your time. Right now I have a game going with the apr8 release and an xx map. I expect to be at it for quite some time.

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 31
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/12/2013 7:44:34 PM   
barerabbit

 

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Thanks a lot and take your time. Right now I have a game going with the Apr08 release and an XXL map. I expect to be at it for quite some time.

OOPS

< Message edited by barerabbit -- 4/12/2013 7:45:17 PM >

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 32
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/14/2013 1:56:32 AM   
Webizen


Posts: 1268
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: offline
Feedback:

1) I think the partisans ability to destroy completely a factory, airfield, port, etc. is a bit too much. Damage it yes, wipe it out completely no.

2) 100 rifles to protect your factory, airfield, port, etc from any chance of being destroyed also seems a bit much to me. Perhaps that should be set at 50 or 75 at most.

3) Just curious but on a standard random game on an X-Large map a save game file is 600KB. The same map size with your mod a save game file is 2.4MB. Why the large difference?

< Message edited by Webizen -- 4/14/2013 2:04:42 AM >


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Tac2i (Slitherine)

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Post #: 33
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/14/2013 6:38:39 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi Webizen,

quote:

1) I think the partisans ability to destroy completely a factory, airfield, port, etc. is a bit too much. Damage it yes, wipe it out completely no.


As this feature is a touch controversial it deserves a detailed answer. I'm sure others are interested in this as well so I'll put up a separate info post shortly.

quote:


2) 100 rifles to protect your factory, airfield, port, etc from any chance of being destroyed also seems a bit much to me. Perhaps that should be set at 50 or 75 at most.


As above

quote:


3) Just curious but on a standard random game on an X-Large map a save game file is 600KB. The same map size with your mod a save game file is 2.4MB. Why the large difference?


The mod keeps track of a lot of data. It keeps files on all manner of stuff in order that it can do things like create a transport network and change into it's Clark Kent AI multicoloured tights and cape.

Thanks for the feedback.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 7/5/2013 4:11:30 AM >

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 34
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/14/2013 10:14:42 AM   
Jafele


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From: Seville (Spain)
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In my opinion the number of rifles proctecting factories and partisans need a proportion depending on population size. A small country doesn´t need so many rifles and damage caused by partisans won´t be the same than in a big country with tons of trains.

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 35
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/14/2013 12:22:16 PM   
lancer

 

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Sabotage or how to love the The Big Bang!


At a certain point into the game you'll receive a message regarding Partisans and Saboteurs. Like thus.





It is as it says. From here on in there will be intermittent attempts to blow your facilities (ports, shipyards and airbases, not just factories) to kingdom come. (This has nothing to do with the occasional partisan attempt against your trains and rolling stock as that's a seperate part of the mod)

To avoid this you need to have a garrison in place (in the same hex) of, ideally, 100 riflemen. Anything less and you run a proportional risk of having your facility destroyed. Eg. if you had only 70 rifleman then you would have a 30% chance of destruction.

How often are these attempts made? Not often. In fact the base chance is deliberately set at a point where, by the time it arrives, you'll have probably forgotten about it and will have unguarded facilities. The frequency increases once you start capturing cities with Foreign People in them. Now while you may be a culturally aware warmonger of a sensitive disposition all those foreigners that are swarming around the streets of your recently conquered city don't much like you.

There is a random roll each turn to see if the event activates (eg. saboteurs and partisans sneak out of the woods). The threshold is set at a very low point adjusted upwards +1% for every foreign city you have captured and +4% for every foreign capital (they really don't like you). As you conquer more land you can expect a higher frequency (it's capped at a reasonable level to prevent silly behaviour).

If an event activates then each of your relevant facilities are checked in turn. A random 1d100 roll is made vs. the size of the garrison as mentioned above. With a 100 rifleman garrison you are bulletproof, anything less and you are running a risk. There's a report that tells you all the details.

So that's the game mechanic. Why is it there and why is it designed that way?


Designer Notes

Historically any military conflict that has involved one side invading another's homeland has resulted in significant numbers of the invaders troops being tied down protecting infrastructure. The Roman Empire, the Union invading the South during the ACW and the Germans in Russia are all good examples.

My aim was to provide some means of reflecting the difficulty of holding conquered ground. I played around with randomly generating actual partisan units or destroying sections of a player's rail network. Both of these approaches served to provide a good simulation but they weren't much fun game wise. 'Whack a Mole' comes to mind.

The advantage of the system as it is currently designed is that it involves minimal micromanagement while doing a reasonable job of representing the need for standing garrisons to protect your infrastructure.

Where it falls apart a little bit is where a player thinks that this is a lot of armed soldiers to protect a factory. Jeez, the tractor factory down the road is watched over by a night guard and a dog.





However the individual factory or shipyard, etc. that they are protecting isn't just that single facility. It is a whole range of related industrial, military facilities and associated transport links. The soldiers aren't down the road at the tractor factory standing shoulder to shoulder with guns pointing outwards. They are scattered over different parts of town and in the nearby countryside protecting bridges, rail interchanges and stuff like power grids.

Why the 100 soldiers? I needed an arbitary number of men and decided on this number of riflemen. They're the grunts that do the hard yards including standing in the rain at midnight down at Charlies Rubber Gasket Making plant, without which your Tank factory will grind to a halt.

One hundred turned out to be a good number because it translated to an equivalent random 1d100 roll. I originally scaled it with map sizes but found that this wasn't necessary as the system turned out to be 'self levelling'. For example on a small map you are going to build a lot fewer facilities than on a much larger one but the proportion of soldiers needed as garrisons is roughly the same as on the larger one.

Believe it or not I did some calculations on this. Works out close enough.

Then there is the question of whether, if the bad guys manage to sneak in and plant the bombs, what effect should there be? Orginally the facilities were only damaged. Didn't work. You hardly noticed it. Why bother?

It wasn't meaningful. It didn't hurt. Same with the garrison size. Under one hundred men and it was just a nuisance. With one hundred and, potentially destroyed facilities, it matters. It requires you to make trade-off decisions. Start building lots of facilities willy nilly and you'll soon run short of manpower. Ignore garrisons and you'll run out of facilities.

In the end all of the above turned out to be secondary to the most important consideration of all. The AI. The standard ATG AI builds heaps of factories. Don't tell anyone but they are mostly decoration. Nor has the AI got much of a clue about what to do with them.

Try turning off the Fog of war and watching what happens at an artillery factory. Endless streams of units (provided it's not an 'AI ghost factory') consisting of nothing but artillery units. Usually mixed artillery units. Heading off to the frontline to get slaughtered.

Compare this to a player building an artillery factory. He will produce whatever is required to carry out his goals and will ensure that artillery SFT's are well protected and provided with adequate transport when and if required. I'm being a bit harsh on the AI here as it's not quite that bad but in terms of factory utilisation it is where the little boat was. Behind.

Basically factories are a huge free kick to the player. In any game if you can manage to fend off the AI's initial swarm tactics you'll soon find yourself ramping up your industrial capacity in line with your resource base. The Enhanced Resource option aims to slow you down here but you'll still be able to enventually build so many factories that you'll one day be fielding an overwhelming force.

You're not beating the AI through superior tactics and strategy (you might but they aren't usually the key deciders), you are overwhelming them with your industrial might.

It's even worse than this because all those spawned AI factories that you capture only serve to accelerate the process.

The sabotage game mechanic covers all the bases mentioned above but it's overiding purpose is to put a limit on the number of factories and facilities that the player can build (or capture). Without this the AI, not matter how enhanced, hasn't got a hope.

Personally I also like the fact that facilities have become more important and more of a nuanced decision. Before I just built heaps of them whenever I could. Building facilities are now no longer a no-brainer decision.





I'm open to alternative views and suggestions but, 'cause I made the mod, I get to have a lot of votes on the matter and may take a fair bit of persuading.


Cheers,

Lancer








< Message edited by lancer -- 4/14/2013 1:02:09 PM >

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 36
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/14/2013 12:46:48 PM   
Jafele


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Ok Lancer see your point, it is reasonable that big countries have many factories/ports so it will require more rifles to protect them.

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Post #: 37
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/14/2013 7:05:14 PM   
Webizen


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Thanks for the detailed explanation. I can live with it though I still think it a bit much that if the Partisans and Saboteurs are successful, your facility is completely raised to the ground. You will have to spend another 80PPs plus whatever raw it takes to rebuild it from scratch. Needless to say I immediately began to garrison my facilities with the required 100 rifles to ensure there was no chance of its destruction. Going forward I now make sure I have the garrison in place before I build a facility. Tip: I set these garrison units to 50% supply so as to save a little on my supply expenditure.

A side effect of this feature is, unless you are prepared to immediately garrison it, a captured enemy facility is almost guaranteed to be blown up the following turn: a scorched earth policy I suppose. Given the propensity of the AI to over build factories, that is probably a good thing.

Good mod! Looking forward to the land version of the Enhanced AI Mod.

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Tac2i (Slitherine)

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RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/16/2013 6:51:42 PM   
barerabbit

 

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I think that airbases play a fundamentally different role that factories shipyards and arguably, ports. Because of the limit on air stacking points, you need to constantly construct more as you advance and most of them (even the ones in the rear) are likely to contain high value assets. I think their base price reflects an acknowledgment of this. They do not represent sprawling complexes, and do not contribute to overwhelming the AI industrially and will require an enormous number of rifles frozen near the front lines to garrison. Perhaps they should be treated more like fortifications than the 3 classes of production complexes.

On another note, Do the rifles need to be named "Garrison" (like POOL)? Do they need they be in a single unit? Do we care about their state of readiness? Yes, I am thinking about cheating them on supply as any good warmonger would.

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 39
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/16/2013 8:52:30 PM   
Webizen


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@barerabbit: Good point re airfields.

The rifle "garrison" unit does not need to be a single unit nor does it have to be renamed to 'garrison.' Based on my experience, it can perform its function set at 50% supply.

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RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/16/2013 11:37:11 PM   
lancer

 

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G'day,

O.K, fair enough. I'll put a 'Saboteurs aren't welcome here!' sign up on airfields. Next update.

Webizen is correct with 'garrison'. It is only a suggestion to prevent you accidentally moving them off your facility.

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to Webizen)
Post #: 41
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/17/2013 10:46:38 PM   
all5n


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From: Republic of Texas
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I like "Mall Security" better.

You know what would be cool... Armies in WW2 and today have specialized security forces...

Perhaps we could create another Sub formation type of infantry called "Security" that counted as 2 rifle (or maybe 2.5) for guard duty...


quote:

ORIGINAL: lancer

G'day,

O.K, fair enough. I'll put a 'Saboteurs aren't welcome here!' sign up on airfields. Next update.

Webizen is correct with 'garrison'. It is only a suggestion to prevent you accidentally moving them off your facility.

Cheers,
Lancer


(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 42
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 4/28/2013 11:35:36 AM   
lancer

 

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G'day,

I've indicated previously that I'll put a patched version of the mod out by late April to fix a few small ommissions. This is all done and ready to go but I've almost finished the 'Enhanced Officers' so I'm going to hold off for a little longer and throw that in at the same time.

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to all5n)
Post #: 43
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/3/2013 6:33:59 AM   
lancer

 

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Commerce Raiders or what would happen if Al Qaeda could swim





Introduction

Commerce Raiders (CR) are modelled on the German battleships, the ‘Bismark’ and the ‘Tirpitz”. In real life they were more of a threat by virtue of their potential rather than their actual impact. Significant effort and resources were allocated by the British to cover the possibility that they could sortie out to sea and decimate convoys of freighters.

Figuring out where and what the Commerce Raiders were up to was a major preoccupation for the intelligence and naval services. This uncertainty and the potential for serious mayhem are the aspects that the mod focuses on.

How Commerce Raiders work in the Enhanced AI Mod

There can only be one CR on the map at any one time. Nobody wants to be inundated by demons. The first indication you’ll receive of a CR is an intel message indicating that one has arrived in a randomly determined enemy port.

Take note of the port and where it is on the map. The mod takes distance into account. A CR home-ported over the hills and far away is going to take a lot longer to reach you than one that is nearby.

Once a CR is in situ there exists the possibility that it may, at any time, put to sea. You have intelligence sources that will warn you of this but, while they are accurate with their indications of movement, their messages may take some time to reach you.

The fact that a CR has put to sea doesn’t necessarily mean it is heading in your direction. It may simply be going out on engine trails or rebasing. You won’t know until you receive a message indicating it has been seen returning to port or that it has been sighted near your shipping lanes.

Is this a big deal either way? Yep, it is. CR’s have the special ability of being able to sink your cargo ships. Not just those currently at sea but also all those freighters attached to your HQ’s that you use to strategically move troops and equipment across the oceans. These freighters (or cargo ships, same thing) are assumed to be transiting back and forth, doing their thing, and are vulnerable to attack by a CR.

A CR, left alone, has the potential to sink every cargo ship that you own. Like a giant, ravenous, Kraken it will surge up and down your shipping lanes devouring everything in it’s path (if you are playing with the Enhanced Resources Mod your transport pool will be safe - CR's become overwhelmingly powerful otherwise).

A CR will not necessarily stay out there, slurping down your merchants, until they are all gone. It may run low on fuel or develop engine problems that necessitate a return to port. You may get lucky but cowering under your desk in port, fingers crossed, isn’t generally a winning plan.





What do I do if the Big Fella leaves Port?

Whenever the CR is at its home port it is vulnerable to a brave submarine commander (Gunther, where are you?) sneaking in and sinking it at it’s moorings. You could also launch a carrier airstrike and hope to deep six it that way. Both would be risky ventures but wars aren’t won by wimps.

Once the CR sets sail (you’ve received an intel message) then it is assumed to follow an evasive path that has been optimised by enemy naval intercepts in order that it won’t be detected. It’s a sneaky son-of-a-b… so don’t even try.

As already mentioned the time it will take to transit to your shipping lanes is dependant on the distances involved but there is always the possibility that your notification was delayed.

O.K, so here it comes. What to do?

The best approach is to gather your naval units into taskforces and attempt to locate and sink it. How hard can that be?

The CR is the elite of the AI’s naval forces. It operates on it’s own in hostile waters and, as such, is crewed by the very best. Speed, surprise and a hard hitting punch are all that keep it alive. None of the AI crew have a death wish. They fully expect to return home safely to their AI wives and AI girlfriends (they’re the ones with the barcodes on their bottoms).

Once a CR has reached your shipping lanes, preferably before, you should sortie out your naval units. Each individual task force has a chance to locate the CR.

The way the mod works is that it calculates up the combined individual task force location probabilities and rolls to see if you’ve found the CR.

There is some interesting strategy here. Going with a thin, broad approach will give you many task forces and an increased chance of success. Alternatively going thick and narrow will give you only a few task forces with less chance of success but a greater chance of survival if you do find the CR.

Submarine only task forces have a low chance of spotting a CR but they help, particularly if they are closer to the enemy port than your capital.

The mod gives you a comprehensive report detailing all of the above so you can see exactly what’s happening. The ‘closer to the enemy port’ makes a signficant difference when you are searching.

Searching for an elusive, fast moving, CR requires you to cover a big chunk of ocean. To simulate this and to avoid players parking all their task forces just outside their own ports, under their protective air cover umbrellas, I’ve designed it that you’ll get a lot better search results if you are actually at sea and closer to the CR’s home port than your own capital.

If you are serious about finding the CR then you’ll have to venture out into the deep blue sea.

Now if you are lucky enough to track him down then combat will ensue. The task force that is assumed to have found the CR will then engage it in combat. Good luck. See what transpired in the F4, action playback. You also get a report with a breakdown.

If the task force has carrier based air cover (or there is a carrier based task force nearby) then there is a reasonable chance that the aircraft will either sink or damage the CR before it reaches your task force (unless your aircraft are 'clouded in' - Ooops). If not then you will have to go mano-o-mano with a fearsome opponent, one who has sufficient speed and power to hunt down every last scurvy ship in your poxy, outgunned task force.

If the CR survives combat it may continue to terrorise your merchant shipping. A CR can, if it stays on station long enough, completely shut down your ability to move anything across the oceans.





Recommended Strategies for Dealing with Seagoing Terrorists


If you can’t sink it at its moorings (where it is at its most vulnerable) then you’ll have no choice but to defeat it at sea. Air power is the key, both to locate it (much higher chance of doing so with carrier based aircraft) and to sink it.

Carriers are your friend. Safely protected in integrated task forces of supporting vessels. Like the old adage of ‘never-getting-fired-for-buying-an-IBM’ you’ll never go wrong with carriers. With the Enhanced AI mod you’ll be struggling to conquer an ocean heavy map without them.

An alternative, more macho, hairy chested, approach, is to build battleships. Go with the big iron. You’ll need more than a couple ‘cause, like the Hood, yours are going to blow up and sink. Which is the price you pay for a quantity vs. quality strategy.

Commerce Raiders.

Nasty.


Cheers,
Lancer


< Message edited by lancer -- 5/3/2013 8:52:17 AM >

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 44
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/13/2013 7:48:35 AM   
lancer

 

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Joined: 10/18/2005
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--------------------------------------
Note: This is all done, tested and ready to go (along with a number of tweaks to the Enhanced Resources and AI modules) but I haven't uploaded it to the file repositry yet as I'm waiting for Vic to sort out his patch. I'm posting this in the meantime so that anyone who is interested can read about it beforehand.

If you're not interested then feel free to glance at the pictures. They are all in colour. I've used my best pencils.
--------------------------------------





Introduction

This builds on the stirling work done by Vic with his 'NewDawn' officers expansion. What Vic has done is excellent. Unfortunately he didn't have the time to fully flesh it out as much as he'd like and he's open to somebody else having a go at doing so. I’ve taken a crack at it.

The aims of the mod are five fold

• To provide more interesting Officers, ones that matter.
• To integrate the Officers more deeply into the game mechanics.
• To create more nuanced decisions with regards to Officer placement and usage.
• To provide more feedback with what's happening with your Officers.
• To keep the 'colour' to a minimum and focus on the military and management
aspects of Officers

Features or what's in the box?

Leaders no longer have random stats.
Every officer starts with identical base stats (25 Combat, 25 Morale, 50 Staff) but can have individual ‘traits’ that create variations from the standard. There is now a reason for different stats. For example an officer can have the trait ‘Risen from the Ranks +12 (com)’ which raises his combat stat to a higher level. Traits can be positive or negative.

Officers now have a rank and derive from a service (Army, Air Force, Navy or Support).
Most of your officers will come from the Army service (Infantry, Armour, Artillery, Command) but a number will come from other services. I’ve standardised on the British system so your army officers will commence duty as ‘Acting Major’, your Air Force officers as ‘Acting Squadron Leader’, etc.

Offices are more focused
Officers can come with previous training in a specific area so you will know what they are best suited for right from the start. The first action card they receive will be directly related to their training. Eg. The officer from the Armour Academy will always receive ‘Blitz’ as his first card.

The Types of Officers available have been widened

There are now Air Force, Naval, Command, Logistical, Intelligence and Engineering officers. Each has their own dedicated action card that they are guaranteed to receive first up.

There is a defined hierarchy of command

The officer at your Supreme HQ is considered to be your Commander in Chief (‘CIC’). All other officers at other HQ’s are his subordinates. Your CIC answers to High Command.

There is a dynamic relationship system

Your subordinates have a relationship with your CIC which models how effective they are at working together. Bad relationships can result in 'command friction', good ones in bonuses. Your CIC’s overall relationship with all his subordinates reflects how he is viewed by High Command.

Your CIC gains experience from the act of command

You subordinate officers can also gain experience from their day to day interactions with your CIC.

Your CIC can only command a certain number of HQ's in proportion to his rank
An Acting Major can't be expected to effectively run half a dozen subordinate HQ's. You can no longer spam HQ’s everywhere, they are a limited, precious commodity.

There is a lot more information feedback
For example, officer cards now show the base risk of injury and death as a percentage rather than 'medium'.

There is plenty of immersive detail but minimal ‘colour’

There are no random officer events. Officers are treated as serious military individuals.

'Realistic Officers' option.
You can no longer recruit endless officers and cherry pick the very best. Like every other Commander in the world, you have to work with what you've got (there are reasonable limits placed on the number of Officers). This restriction is, as indicated, optional.

The mod is adapatable

The Enhanced Officers part of the mod can be used as a standalone option in single player or MP games. It is fully compatible with all other Enhanced Suite mod options and works on any map type and with any starting option.



Kaito Takahashi, man about town and frequenter of upmarket Tokyo brothels, would make a poor candidate for your CIC (Commander in Chief). He’s an Engineer for a start. None of your Army officers will take kindly to be told what to do by somebody from the Support service. Furthermore he has strongly defined traits which will polarise any subordinates that he commands. They’ll love him or hate him, mostly hate. Given his disregard for human life and his dim view of lesser mortals, a combat posting would be a better fit.

“Pack your bags, Kaito, you’re off to the front lines, son. See you in hell” (don’t worry, he’ll be there).

The Big Picture

The mod assumes a chain of command like thus…





The officer you place in your Supreme HQ (don’t change the default name as the mod is expecting it to be called this) is the key decision you’ll have to make. By virtue of the fact that he is in charge of the Supreme HQ he is given the lofty designation of Commander in Chief.

Your CIC is the most important officer on the map. He’s special. How well he does his job determines a number of things that can help you or hinder you. His job performance is measured by his ‘relationship’. Like the relationship you have with your real life partner, the mod assumes that if it’s a good one, things will go smoothly. Need I mention the flip side?

Your CIC is simply one of your officers that you’ve chosen to do the job. At any point you can replace him with somebody else although, as you’d probably guessed, it isn’t quite that easy.

A subordinate officer commanding an HQ that has other HQ’s reporting to it is still considered a subordinate. The mod’s Chain of Command doesn’t extend beyond a CIC and his subordinates.





You can see from Faisal, above, that each subordinate officer has a relationship level with his CIC. This varies with each subordinate as there are a number of factors that affect how well they will get along together.

In Faisal’s case the answer is ‘not very well’. Faisal himself is a lisping, wimpy individual of dubious ancestry so the problem is most likely to lie with Faisal rather than your CIC.

Each subordinate officer has their own relationship and your CIC has an overall relationship with his subordinates which is simply the sum total of all individual relationships. Here is Faisal’s boss.




Kalil comes from better stock and is quite a likeable, capable bloke. Unfortunately he is lumbered with Faisal and other assorted drop kicks and is struggling to keep everything on an even keel. But he’s a good man and deserving of your support.

So two key concepts here to take onboard. First is that you choose one officer to be your CIC and the relationship he has with his subordinates, both individually and as a whole, drives everything else.

Now to how the rest of it fits together.





HQ’s run by other officers we’ve already covered. What about officers in your pool? They don’t do anything or have any effect. Like sports players sitting on the reserve bench they only have an impact once they are on the field.

To help with your decision making their relationship with your current CIC is displayed so you can see, prior to giving them a command, how well they’ll fit into your team.

Last but not least a standard (5 HP), non-officer HQ’s. You can have as many of these as you like (keeping in mind your CIC’s Command Allowance) but, in the mod, they all suffer a penalty. Not a big penalty, just enough to make a difference and to reflect the lower staff efficiency of a non-officer HQ. All units attached to a straight non-officer HQ will start their turn with 90 AP instead of the normal 100 AP.

(Before anyone jumps up and down about balance there are other changes that serve to maintain the relative officer cost/benefits at the same level as exists in the NewDawn masterfile.)

The idea is that an HQ with an officer, even a bad one, is going to be a better deal than one without.

Overall, that’s the case but it’s possible, due to the relationship level, for units attached to an officer led HQ to either gain a bonus +20 AP or suffer -20 AP penalty. This generally won’t happen unless there is a particularly good or bad relationship as the mechanic that determines this is a simple 1d100 roll versus the current relationship level. If your relationship is +ve then the units get the +20 AP bonus and vice versa if negative.

Before I cover this in any more detail it is worth looking at the effects of a positive relationship and those of a negative one.





As can be seen above, having a positive relationship can bring some enticing benefits. Your officers can accumulate XP’s (‘Experience Points’) faster and their units can gain a +20 AP performance boost. Even High Command will come to the party and dole out some useful PP’s in recognition of a job well done.

Your CIC can, with good relations, almost double the rate he accumulates XP’s. Which is fair enough as he’s doing an excellent job. Nothing quite like a well balanced, coordinated team of individuals all pulling in the same direction.

Does it all turn pear shaped when there’s not a roomful of happy chappies?





Not really. The mod is geared to provide bonuses for a balanced, contented, command structure but when the opposite occurs the main effect is the absence of bonuses, rather than outright penalties.

There will be no High Command gifts from above, less XP gain for your CIC and only non-Army service officers will get their +1 XP that turn (this is done to reflect the fact that non-Army service officers aren’t likely to be in a combat role. It’s compensation for their limited opportunities to earn XP. There are limits to this, however. If your Logistical officer, for example, has an especially bad relationship with your CIC then they’ll be out of luck, XP wise).

The only bad thing that may occur is a -20 AP penalty to units attached to HQ’s with a particularly adversarial relationship with your CIC. That’s called ‘Command Friction’ and it’s equivalent to your wife casting aspersions on your fine character. It’s a little difficult to reach agreement in these circumstances. Things tend to get a little bumpy.

Having bad relationships isn’t the end of the world. I’m sure you’ve worked for people who you didn’t think much of, or vice versa. The job still got done. In an ideal world everybody would be happy and work harmoniously together. I’m not sure where that world is but it isn’t called ‘Earth’. The mod comes down on the side of reality rather than nirvana.

However, being the amiable person that I am, I’ve provided two ways of using the mod. The first is for players who would prefer a world more perfect than it probably is. Use the mod as is and just keep generating officers until you find the perfect individuals that’ll all work happily together.

Then there is an option called ‘Realistic Officers’ for those who like their reality gritty side up. This restricts the number of officers that you can recruit and forces you to work with what you’ve got. You’ll have a few extra officers in your pool to play around with but that’s all.

J.P.Gumby, Acting Major, second cousin of the Minister of Defence, command challenged and an obnoxious little sh*t – you’ll have to find somewhere to put him and figure out how to make best use of his talents.







< Message edited by lancer -- 5/13/2013 9:33:07 AM >

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 45
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/13/2013 8:03:49 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 626
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
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Staff Officer Briefing - Command

You don’t need to remember any of the details ‘cause the mod will provide you with a one-stop report at the beginning of each turn that summaries all there is to know, officer wise. It’s called the ‘Staff Officer Briefing – Command’.

It is, I’m afraid, dense. In my defence I’m working with a limited palette of formatting options. Once you get your head around it, though, it’s easy to deal with and very useful. It’s also, like a lot of other mod reports, dynamic. Only the bits that are relevant will pop-up, all the non important stuff will remain hidden.

We’ll ease into it with our mate, Kalil, whom we met previously.




The ‘Summary’ section gives all the really important stuff. You can skip the rest but take a moment to read the summary.

The first line tells us who our CIC is (Kalil), his level (‘0’), his rank (‘Acting Major’) and how long he has been on the job (2 turns).

The second tells you all about his Command Allowance. Take a note and we’ll get to that shortly.

The third line tells you his overall relationship with his subordinates which, in this case, are zero because he is the only officer currently on the map. I think I must have given Faisal and his partner in crime a kick up the bum as they went out the door the previous turn.

Line four is all about the XP that Kalil has gained from his arduous job at the top. He will earn 1 XP for every HQ he commands, including his own, up to his command allowance. As there is only the Supreme HQ currently on the map he gets a grand total of 1 XP.

There are a few other factors influencing this within the brackets. ‘Officers bonus’ gives another + 1 XP for every subordinate he has but only if they have a good relationship (>0) and also if the overall net relationship he has with all his subordinates is positive. Kalil, as a lowly Acting Major, could potentially earn 3 XP’s from HQ’s and another 2 XP’s from happy subordinates. That’s 5 XP a turn and the fast track to promotion.

There’s something called ‘overworked’. We’ll cover that when I talk about Command Allowances but basically if your CIC takes on too big a workload he’ll suffer penalties.

‘Cards’ are the XP’s you gain from playing action cards. These can range from 10 XP up to 30 XP with the amount being in proportion to the risk of an accident. ‘Feats’ refer to a few special feats that a CIC can gain which can affect their XP’s.

The last line refers to the bonus PP’s available from High Command. As this is only possible if there is a overall positive relationship with all of the CIC’s subordinates it isn’t applicable here for Kalil.

Alrighty, lets have a look at another report, this one with more things going on.





This is Kalil but on the following turn from the report above. Looking at the summary you can see that there are now three HQ’s on the map and Kalil has pulled in 3 XP’s as a result.

His net relationship with his subordinates has sunk to a low of -38 and the reason can be seen in the section of the report called ‘--- Subordinates with whom he has a POOR relationship ---‘. This gives you a very useful summary of who isn’t getting along, where they are and why. There is a similar section that shows GOOD relationships.

Using these two sections you can figure out what’s going on, relationship wise, without having to individually check each and every officer (if you want to drill down into specific details such as which are their conflicting traits, you’ll have to check the officer pop-ups).

Why isn’t Kalil not getting along with his subordinates? Because Failsal, the wimpy lisper, has returned to haunt him and has brought along his best mate ,Yusuf. Both of them resent Kalil (because he’s an Artillery officer from the Army service and they are both are Engineers from the Support service). Additionally they both have personal issues with Kalil, who happens to be a nice bloke and would indicate that they are both deadbeats.

There’s a lesson here. Don’t drink wine and cook dinner while fighting a war. I fired both these dills on turn two and somehow gave them their commands back on turn three. Duh!

The other section of the report (‘--- Subordinate Officers who gained +1 XP ---‘) shows who amongst your subordinates gained a point of experience this turn. Both the dills did. Normally this wouldn’t happen as only subordinates with a good relationship score here but ‘cause they are both from non-Army services they get to sneak over the line (the mod adds a temporary +40 points to their relationship and if it gets them over the zero line they qualify).

Here’s another, yet more involved report.





This time we are dealing with Nicolas, who hails from Paris, chomps croissants and likes mouldy cheeses served by buxom wenches.

Nick’s doing O.K, although he is a little stressed. Notice that he is responsible for 4 HQ’s which is one more than he can confidently handle as an Acting Major. There is, on the line detailing his XP gain, a -2 XP penalty for being ‘overworked’. You’ll also notice that for each of his subordinates there is a -5 relationship penalty for the same reason.

Nick’s, with all the daily hassles he has to deal with, is a tad testy and it’s starting to show. If he hadn’t taken on that one extra HQ he would have had much better relations all around.

The sharp of eye might also notice a new line in the ‘Summary’ section. ‘Command Quota’. This only appears if you are playing with the ‘Realistic Officers’ option. You can see that Nick can recruit four officers and he has already hired 3. This ‘quota’ will increase in line with his promotions.

Down near the bottom is a new section , ‘--- Command Friction PENALTY ---‘. Each and every subordinate officer is tested against a random roll each turn and if the roll is less than their relationship level they receive a BONUS (+20 AP) in the case of a +ve relationship and a PENALTY (-20 AP) in the case of a –ve one.

In this instance the subordinate, Mathieu has a -19% relationship level and rolled a -11 giving all attached units a -20 AP penalty. Tough break for Mathieu and his men but he’s getting a bit fed up with Nicolas being tetchy with him (‘overworked’ penalty) and they are chalk and cheese (opposite traits) so you’d have to expect that there will be some misunderstandings occasionally.


Command Allowance


Your CIC aren’t supermen. You can’t expect them to step into the hot seat and effectively command vast numbers of HQ’s from the get go. Doesn’t work like that. There is a limit. They have to gradually grow into the job.

A CIC can command a number of HQ’s equal to his level + 3. Starting out at level 0, this gives an allowance of 3 HQ’s, inclusive of the CIC’s own HQ.

The type of HQ doesn’t matter – one with an officer or one without – it’s all the same. Take on too many HQ’s and your CIC will suffer steep penalties in terms of XP and relationships. Your CIC is considered to have too much on his plate and is becoming increasingly stressed.

The allowance is the same regardless of whether you are playing with a one town start or a pre-generated empire. Game wise you can no longer spam HQ’s around the map. Where you place an HQ becomes important as they are now rarer commodities. There is also a significant benefit to nurturing your CIC into the higher ranks.

One trap that’s easy to fall into is where you find that your CIC is suffering from the ‘overworked’ penalty. You take decisive action to resolve the situation and fire a couple of officers in order to get your CIC back within his Command Allowance. Next turn you find that nothing has changed, he is still overworked!

What’s happened here is that he is still commanding the same number of HQ’s, only a couple of them don’t have officers anymore. It’s the number of HQ’s that count, not the officers.

Realistic Officers Option


A CIC can only recruit so many officers. In real life you don't get to have an endless stream of potential candidates to pick from. You have to work with what you've got, within reason.

The amount (‘quota’) of officers your CIC can recruit is shown in the report and increases every time your CIC is promoted. Any time you recruit an officer, regardless of whether you give him a command on the map or place him in your officer pool, he uses up one of your available quota.

There is nothing to stop you recruiting more officers beyond your quota. Nothing but the fact that the PP cost for each subsequent officer will double. And keep doubling. This is permanent and can’t be undone by firing officers.

Note: The internal workings of the engine make it difficult for me to provide a warning message when you reach your limit but you get an update with your Staff Officer Briefing each turn and you can easily see the PP cost of any new officer you are about to recruit. Like Harry Callahan, you have to keep count of your bullets.

Also note that any officers already on the map at game start are considered to be ‘free’ and don’t count against your quota.

This option is all about officers as a scarce and valuable commodity. The challenge is managing your officers to get the best out of what’s available. You’ll never have what you want and you’ll be forced into making comprises. Good officers become even more valuable by virtue of their rarity and you need to think long and hard before putting them in harms way.

Firing an officer, even a really bad one, is a tough decision as you will likely need them in the future as they may be all you’ve got left after losing a couple to the hospital and a few more to the graveyard. Once again, if you can manage to promote your CIC to a reasonably high rank you’ll have a much wider choice of officers as your quota will have increased.

Tick this option and your are effectively stepping into the shoes of any famous WW2 commander that you care to name. They didn’t get to change out all the key officers in a new command. They were given some latitude but were expected to make the most of the human resources on hand. Man management was just as important as military aptitude.




Our CIC obtains his first promotion along with much needed increased capabilities. More HQ’s and more Officers.



Relationships – the Nuts and Bolts

Relationships work on a -100 to a +100 scale with ‘0’ being considered normal, or ‘neutral’. They are dynamic and can change from turn to turn. The core relationship drivers will remain constant but factors such as promotions, overwork etc. can create a sudden shift. The officers pop-up descriptions are dynamically updated prior to each turn to reflect any changes.


The following factors can influence relationships
• Opposite or Similar traits (between your CIC and the Subordinate)
• Special relationship specific traits (from your CIC, your Subordinate or both)
• Differences in Rank (between your CIC and Subordinate)
• Services (same or different between your CIC and Subordinate)
• Overwork penalties (derived from your CIC exceeding his Command Allowance)


Opposite or Similar Traits

Each officer has three key stats, their Combat and Morale modifiers and their Staff rating. They can have traits that affect each of these three areas. The way the mod works an officer has a percentage chance of having a trait in a particular area (it varies depending on the area but the three key stats are 60% odds for a trait in each).

Provided this roll hits they are given a random trait from the relevant table, eg. there is a table of available ‘Staff’ traits, ‘Morale’ traits, etc. There are over 100 different traits and each has either a positive or negative effect on the officers relevant stat.

Traits also have a ‘rating’ which determines how many dice to roll to obtain a strength for that trait. You may have two officers with an identical trait but one might be ‘Energetic +6’ and the other ‘Energetic +18’. What’s happened is that the Energetic trait rating says roll ‘x’ amount of 1d10 and add them up to get the strength.

This will vary each time but traits with hefty ratings are more likely to result in higher strength ratings than those with lower ratings.

Any traits that refer to the three key officer stats can result in relationship modifiers as those of your CIC interact with your subordinates.

How?

I've modelled human relations to a high degree of depth and sophistication in the mod. I'll try to not embarrass anyone by using too many big words explaining it all. Who can spell Psychology?

I'm joking. It's a very simple model. The good guys (those with positive traits) are drawn to the other good guys. The *ssholes and incompetents (those with negative traits) prefer to be with the other *ssholes. Mix a good guy with an *sshole and sparks start to fly.

Anyone who is neutral (traits in that area set to '0') doesn't have sufficiently strong feelings one way or another to make a difference. It's only where you have obvious conflicts (opposite signed traits) or similarities (like signed traits) that there is a relational impact.

An even simpler way to describe it is that ‘opposites repel and like attract’.

The mathy part is that the relationship effect is equal to the average of the two trait strengths. Let’s take a couple of combat traits for an example.

Say your CIC has the ‘Decisive +8 (com)’ trait and your Subordinate has the ‘Armchair General -6 (com)’ trait. Adding the two (ignoring the signs) gives you 14. Divide by 2 to average them out and you end up with a -7 hit to their relationship (they are opposite traits so the effect will be negative).

Pretty simple but there are interesting implications. Any officer with strongly defined traits, eg. ‘Coward -30 (mor)’, is going to create strong reactions by virtue of the strength of the trait. Mix them with somebody with a ‘Brave +20 (mor)’ trait and they’ll have a -25 relationship hit before any other factors are taken into account. They are unlikely to be friends.

The ideal CIC is one with no traits at all. He is neutral in all the three key areas and as such doesn’t endear much in the way of loyalty but conversely doesn’t generate any ill will. He just is. People will work with him. They might mutter behind his back that he is Mr Dull but that won’t stop them working effectively and efficiently with him.

You’ll find that most officers are a mixture of qualities. There are very few true saints and equally few outright sinners but you can be surprised. The random generation routines can throw out some truly unique and memorable individuals.

Special Relationship Traits


There exists a ‘Special’ table. When officers are being germinated they need to roll a pretty low number in order to be assigned a trait from this table. They are ‘special’ for a reason. You’ll recognise them by the ‘(rel)’ indicator in the officer pop-up.

This tells you that this particular trait acts as a global relationship modifier all on its own. It can’t be offset by opposing or similar traits. It’s a constant drag. There’s a reason people don’t like working with someone who is, for example, ‘Schizophrenic -9 (rel)’.

For those of you who doubt that such qualities would exist in ranking WW2 officers I can only recommend a book that I’ve just finished reading, ‘Crete’ by Anthony Beevor. Great read and the reason I’ve included the ‘special’ traits. I managed to populate my special trait table with descriptors from actual real life military figures in the book. Mind boggling.

Differences in Rank

Your CIC doesn’t care what rank his subordinates are. He’s the man in charge so it’s irrelevant to him as everybody will do as he asks regardless of petty ranks.

Not so with his subordinates. A higher ranked subordinate officer, than your CIC will harbour a strong streak of resentment at having to answer to a lower ranked officer. This will result in relationship penalties commensurate with their difference in their ranks.

Normally your CIC, because of the design of the XP system within the mod, will be at a higher rank than his subordinates. But what happens if you have to replace him with a newly minted junior? All those subordinates with a higher rank will not take kindly to being overlooked for the big job. Depending on the relative differences in rank they could be very unhappy indeed.

So where does that leave you? Have you got an understudy officer in your ranks who you have been carefully mentoring up through the ranks in expectation of this very moment? Bet you don't.




Kenny has been doing the hard yards holding down our western front. Tough job.. As a result he’s gained a lot of combat experience and is now an Acting Colonel, a higher rank than our CIC, Mark Arlington from above. Their previously excellent relationship is now lukewarm as Kenny starts to get ideas above his station. Kenny is on the verge of needing a cold shower.


Differences in Services

Rivalry between the different services is alive and well in the mod. The different types of officers and their respective services are as follows;

Army Service
• Infantry officer
• Armour officer
• Artillery officer
• Command officer

Air Force Service
• Air Force officer

Naval Service
• Naval officer

Support Service
• Engineer officer
• Logistical officer
• Intelligence officer

The rivalry is all one way. Once again it is the subordinates that will resent having a CIC from a different service. Like services generate warm fuzzy feelings but not to the same degree.

Action Cards and Feats


These aren’t fully fleshed out yet. They take a lot of time to test and I’ll add them in later but what’s here already is more than adequate.

As mentioned, an officer with specialised training will receive a card in his area of training. I’ll mention a few of the newer cards that I’ve added to accommodate the expanded range of officer types.




The base risks are now shown numerically for all action cards


Command Officers

Will get the ‘Command Focus’ card. This is a card that can only be used by your officer if he is currently your CIC. It can be played on any subordinate officer and raises their relationship level by +20. You CIC is, in effect, making an impromptu field visit to the relevant HQ in order to pin a medal to their chest or reprimand them, depending on their current relationship level.

Either way their relationship improves significantly and the effect will only gradually wear off. You can use this card to pull into line a recalcitrant officer (Failsal, I’m looking at you…) or improve an already good relationship so that the subordinate has a greater chance of gaining the +20 AP bonus for his attached units. It can be played multiple times on the same subordinate and is a powerful management tool available to your CIC.




CIC, Major Mark, taking of business. The relationship boost with Acting Major Andrew (currently in charge of our Air Force) will gradually wind down once Major Mark has gone back home but the effect will still be lingering four or five turns later. Look at that steely eyed stare and the superior tilt of the chin. Takes years of careful breeding to get a face like that. Don’t mess with Major Mark.


Air Force Officers

Gain the ‘Tune Up’ card which gives a combat bonus to air units, prior to them taking off. It works with both fighters and bombers.

Naval Officers


Gain the ‘Work Up’ card which allows them to improve the experience of a naval unit currently in port. While this doesn’t sound like a big deal it actually is as newly built naval units arrive with 10 XP and, if sent to sea in this state, will be chewed up by the AI in short order.

Another aspect of Naval officers is if they gain the +20 XP bonus, from having a good relationship with their CIC, the bonus applies to ALL attached units, regardless of their distance from the HQ.

In every other cases (any other non-Navy officer) the +20 AP bonus only applies to attached units that have an HQPWR (HQ power rating) of more than zero, eg. if the unit is too far from it’s HQ it misses out on the bonus.

Logistical Officers

Have the ‘Supply Dump’ card. This is really useful and enables them to establish a supply dump (variable number of supplies depending on rank and a random roll but a worthwhile amount) at any HQ within a certain range from themselves (20 hexes? It says on the card). They can do this to HQ’s even if they are isolated or across the other side of an ocean.

Intelligence Officers

My favourite. They have the ‘ULTRA’ card. Remember Ultra intelligence intercepts in WW2? An intelligence officer playing this card can pick any enemy hex and see what’s there. Want to know what enemy forces are in that city you’re about to invade?

Engineering Officers


They get the standard ‘Fortify’ card.

General Advice for Action Cards


There is another trait that I haven’t yet mention, ‘risk’. Action cards display the base risk of injury or death that the officer is exposed to when carrying out whatever task is required by the card. This base risk is modified by rank (the higher your rank the less the risk) and by any ‘risk’ trait that you officer may have, eg. ‘Myopic + 6 (risk)’.

The risks are further modified by any relevant feats. All these details are shown in the event of an ‘incident’.

The general rule of thumb that holds good for just about every action card is that the higher the officer’s rank (or level), the less the risk and the more effective they will be in carrying out the task.

Playing action cards is also an excellent way to gain big dollops of experience although this needs to be tempered by the chance of injury or death.




CIC Mark, now Lieutenant Colonel is still having trouble with Andrew Watson. Another visit might be in order. Clarence could do with a kick up the bum at the same time although Andrew is the real fly in the ointment. Note that CIC Mark, by exercising his Command muscle, has pulled in +14 XP this turn.




< Message edited by lancer -- 5/13/2013 9:47:54 AM >

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 46
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/13/2013 8:08:01 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 626
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
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Advice on Who to Put Where?

More than half of your officers will arrive with prior training in a specific area. Officers that are 'line trained' (Infantry, Armour, Artillery) should be your combat commanders. Hopefully their skills match their training but even if they don't you can still benefit greatly from their presence, particularly once they get their first action card (which will be specific to their training). All come from the Army service and they are the officers you are most likely to receive.

Naval and Air Force officers are self-explanatory and you should aim to optimise their OOB's to get the most out of them. Both really only come into their own once they gain their first action card (which is most likely when they receive their first promotion). Their day to day interactions with your CIC will ensure that they slowly accumulate experience. Consider putting them in a combat role long enough for them to level up and gain their action card before moving them out of harms way. This applies to all Support Service officers as well.

Support Service officers are rear area specialists. An Engineering officer you could use up front, especially if he has strong stats, but once he has his first action card ('Fortify') he can be very useful shoring up defenses just behind the danger zone.

Intelligence and Logistical officers are gold. Both have extremely useful first action cards. Intelligence officers receive the 'Ultra' card which enables them to view enemy dispositions at any hex on the map. Logistical officers have can establish 'Supply Dumps' in areas where you most need it - up front or even in the HQ's of isolated commands.

Any officer with 'Command' training is a prime candidate for your CIC. Their first action card, 'Command Focus', is strong enough to overcome most relationship hiccups with subordinates and this consideration generally outweighs all others.

Officers from a general training background are like Forest Gump and his proverbial box of chocolates. I'd be guided by their stats and whatever action card they first receive.

For quiet, backwater commands that need an HQ (eg. an isolated island) consider using a standard, 5 PP, HQ. Sure, the attached units will suffer an ongoing -10 AP hit but if they aren't going to be in action it won't matter.

There are, as you'd expect, a few complicating factors that may have you diverging from the broad brush advice above. An officer with a strong 'Risk' trait (eg. 'Energetic') is very useful as you can rely on him to keep banging out the action cards without having an accident. Conversely one with a particularly bad risk trait ('Weak Heart') might not be as useful as he first appears as the ambulance has already got him shortlisted.

Then there are the 'special' relationship traits. These don't occur very often (low probability) but can, if they are strong enough, adversely affect relationships in a big way. Not such an issue if it's a subordinate officer but you'd be careful promoting a full blown Psychopath to the position of CIC as the trait will affect their relationship with each and every subordinate (as mentioned above - 'Relationships').

Importantly, consider an officers relationship with your current CIC. This is important as positive relationships can greatly benefit both your CIC and subordinates. A bad officer who gets along with the big guy might just be a better bet than a good one who doesn't see eye to eye. A recommended approach is to never create a new HQ with a random officer. Instead put potential new officers into your pool. Check them next turn and see what relationship they have with your CIC. This way you can make an informed decision. In reality you'd probably want to eyeball potential commanders before deciding what to do with them.

Finally keep in mind that you aren't going to be able to give everybody a position without overloading your CIC ('overwork' penalties are steep in both XP and relationships). Until your CIC gets promoted several times you are going to have to be selective in who takes the field and who sits it out on the reserve bench. It's worth considering a 'rotation' program so that your officer pool is inhabited by at least one experienced officer who can step into the breach at short notice.

There’s another reason for this. Say you have a One Star General as your CIC. He's chugging along nicely and everybody is happy. Then he falls under the proverbial bus (plays an Action Card and rolls snake eyes) and is carted off to the hospital. Frank I'm-Really-Keen, Acting Major, who has been hanging around Supreme HQ for ages, twiddling his fingers, puts up his hand and is given the job 'cause he is the only officer available with Command training.

Frank moves in behind the big fella's desk and starts his first day on the job. By day's end he is tearing is hair out. He finds himself commanding HQ's well in excess of his capabilities ( 'overworked' ) and all his subordinates hate him ( 'difference in rank' ). Frank isn't going to earn any experience and will never gain that coveted 'Command Focus' action card. Frank's on a hiding to nowhere.




Colonel Kenny, front line combat commander -still rocketing up the ranks, has picked up a feat, ‘Nine-lives’. This has been toned down from the original version (which made officers immortal). The effect of feats is now shown in the info pop-up. In this case Kenny’s risk of death when playing a card is halved. As Colonel Kenny now has a couple of useful cards this will come in very handy. Ken has the same carefully chiselled Cambridge chin as CIC Mark (whom he still, by the way, outranks). Mark and Kenny are both bigger men than piddly little matters such as rank and they are managing to get along.. Barely. With gritted teeth.


Further Development

Currently it is only the first card that your pre-trained officers receive in their speciality. Couldn’t make it anymore than that as there aren’t enough cards of the right type to go around but I’ve got a long list of new card ideas to implement and once that’s done each officer type will have a career path of cards solely dedicated to their area.

General staff officers, with no training, will continue to receive random cards. Currently they can’t receive a ‘Command Focus’ card and I’ll continue this with the more specialised cards to come.

Feats are due for some more love. I’ve taken a first pass at them (officers can now receive minor negative feats) but training specific feats need an overhaul.

I’d also like to work in some regime specific cards and find the time to fire up Photoshop and try and match the existing artwork. At present it’s only placeholders.

Lastly there is one final feature that I’d like to implement, not related to cards or feats. This relies on a small extra piece of functionality in the Editor that may, or may not, be forthcoming.

Officers in your pool will, at present, hang around with nothing to do, ad infinitum. That’s a bit cheesy as no ranking officer worth his salt would put up with this.

The way it might work is that every officer currently in your pool gains +1 point of ‘dissatisfaction’ per turn. The mod would then test the officer tallies against a random 1d100 roll and if it came up trumps you’d receive a message that such and such an officer ‘demands a field command’.

You could ignore this and their dissatisfaction rating will continue to tick upwards until they hit their random roll once more, in which case they up stakes and leave in disgust. Get themselves transferred to another theatre.

That officer is then gone. If they were a dud then that’s probably nothing you’d be concerned about. The kicker is that every officer you lose this way will drop your Command Quota or Allowance, by one, permanently. High Command will have taken notice.

The alternative is to find them a job on the map. Give them a command. To avoid a token gesture you’d have their ‘dissatisfaction’ rating dissipate at, say -2 points per turn. Thus their time in command would need to be more than a couple of turns before you could safely return them to your pool.

The overall effect of this would be a disincentive to go ‘window shopping’ for officers. Fill your pool up with potential candidates and sooner or later they’ll all be clamouring for a job. The officer pool would become more of a ‘staging post’ (or ‘staff assignment’) than an ‘all-you-can-eat-buffet’.

As a bonus you’d also get to make some interesting decisions as you rotate your officers between field commands and staff positions.


Final Thoughts


The common thread that runs through the Enhanced Officers and Enhanced Resources options, within the overall mod, is scarcity.

Decisions only have meaning if they are made in the context of scarcity. If you had all the OIL you needed then OIL, from a decision making point of view, becomes meaningless. The same with officers and HQ’s. With few practical limits on their numbers they don’t generate much else other than ‘process’.

But turn them into a relatively scarce commodity and you find that, just like resources, your decisions start to have an impact. Personally, I find that interesting decisions, ones that matter, are the essence of the game.

Cheers,

Lancer


(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 47
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/13/2013 5:45:49 PM   
Jafele


Posts: 376
Joined: 4/20/2011
From: Seville (Spain)
Status: offline
Impressive!! Those officers add soul and a new dimension to ATG. Every game will be totally different.

Thank you so much

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 48
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/17/2013 2:50:45 PM   
82ndtrooper


Posts: 1083
Joined: 12/19/2008
From: tennessee
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wow


_____________________________

HHC 302nd Engineer Battalion
82nd Airborne Division
Honorably Discharged Jul/80

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 49
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 5/17/2013 10:29:29 PM   
Josh

 

Posts: 2190
Joined: 5/9/2000
From: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jafele

Impressive!! Those officers add soul and a new dimension to ATG. Every game will be totally different.

Thank you so much


Woot .. impressive indeed. I think you just massively upgraded ATG to an even higher level.

Peculiar though, the CIC sure looks like Spock from Star Trek... must be a coincidence.

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 50
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 6/12/2013 3:53:45 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 626
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
Hi,

New version up, as already mentioned elsewhere.

Enhanced Mod Suite

Cheers,
Lancer

(in reply to Josh)
Post #: 51
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 7/5/2013 11:59:18 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 626
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
.
Officer Dissatisfaction

Introduction

Major Tom, lately of Space Command, currently languishing in your Officer Pool, isn’t happy. No sir. He’s been there for the last thirty turns, waiting patiently for a ‘real job’ commanding ‘real men’. Who knows, he might even be able to round up some of those special protein pills that NASA were feeding him once you put him in a charge of an Headquarters unit.

Sadly Major Tom has little chance of ever receiving a field command. He’s being sitting in the POOL for all that time ‘cause he’s a military accident waiting to happen. All those pills have fried his brain. You have enough troubles trying to win the war without having the likes of him calling up ‘Ground Control’ and asking where he should be sending his tanks?

Nope, Major Tom can stay where he is. You can always press the ‘Recruit’ button and line up more candidates, all of whom are liable to be better qualified than a certain delusional officer.

In short, you can afford to ignore the duds. With the ‘Realistic Officers’ option you have a smaller pool to choose from but you can still manage to keep the train wrecks away from the levers of power.

Not now. Any officer consigned to your POOL will, over time become increasingly dissatisfied. Eventually they’ll take matters into their own hands. There will be consequences.

Key points

• Applies only when you select the ‘Realistic Officers’ option (along with the Enhanced Officers part of the mod suite).
• Only affects officers in your POOL.
• These officers are considered to be part of your General Staff and probably don’t have much to keep them occupied (in sporting terms they are sitting on the ‘Reserve Bench’).
• They are waiting for the chance of a field command (being put in charge of an HQ on the map).
• The longer they are forced to wait, the more dissatisfied they will become.
• If they become too dissatisfied they will resign.
• For each officer that resigns you will suffer a, permanent, -1 reduction in your Command Allowance (how many officers your CIC can command without suffering from ‘overwork’ penalties) due to the build up of ill-will in your officer corps.
• Officers given a field command will, relatively quickly, forget their grievances.

Mechanics

Next to an Officers name and rank you’ll see something like ‘Content (0)’. The text descriptor directly correlates to their view of the world with regards to their career prospects. The number in the brackets is a numerical measure of their underlying dissatisfaction. It starts at ‘0’ and goes up to ‘100’ (maximum dissatisfaction). Officers all start at ‘Content (0)’. Happy chappies.


Daiki Shiga isn’t a man likely to take kindly to mindless paper shuffling. He needs something, or somebody, to kick.


Each turn an Officer spends in the POOL his dissatisfaction score (number in the brackets) increments by +1.

Once a turn the mod goes through your POOL and tests each Officers dissatisfaction score against a random number (1d100). If the number is less than their score then their level of unhappiness goes up by one.

So Major Tom who has wasting away in your POOL for the last thirty turns might be ‘Content (30)’. If the random number, this turn, comes in at any value under 30 then he’ll become ‘Annoyed ! (15)’.



Moria Amori (sing me a love song?) is happy to be wearing a shiny uniform. Any uniform, anywhere.


The levels are pretty simple and go like thus: ‘Content – Annoyed ! – Upset !! – Incensed !!! ’

A quick way to see Officer unhappiness is to check how many exclamation marks he has next to his text descriptor. There is one exclamation mark per level of unhappiness so ‘Content’ has none, ‘Annoyed !’ has one, Upset !! has two, etc.

To go from ‘Content’ to ‘Incensed !!!’ the Officer would have to fail three checks. If they fail another, they’ll toss the teddy out of the cot and resign. It’s worth remembering that an ‘Incensed’ officer is right on the edge. Twitching.

The longer they spend in the POOL, the more their dissatisfaction score will tick upwards and the greater the chance they will fail their checks and become progressively displeased until they are ‘Incensed !!!’.

If an Officer resigns, bad things happen. You’ll get a message from High Command explaining it all but I’d recommend avoiding having your subordinates resign in disgust as it’s not a good look and the consequences are all bad.

To prevent a compounding situation, whenever they fail a check and go up a level in unhappiness, their score drops by half. Hence, in the example given above, Major Tom went from ‘Content (30)’ to ‘Annoyed ! (15)’. It’s there to give you some breathing space.

There is a report each turn that keeps you up to date on your POOL officers, like thus;



There are no ‘Annoyed’ Officers in the report as there aren’t any in the POOL at present


Pretty straight forward. So what are your options for dealing with unhappy Officers demanding a field command?

You could dismiss them (‘Remove’ button). Boot them out the door. Sayonara buddy. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. There is no penalty for doing so. However you have a set quota of officers that you can hire (depending on your CIC’s rank) and by dismissing somebody you’ve effectively wasted part of that quota (you don’t get a free replacement).

Of course you have the option of hiring more Officers than your quota but this quickly becomes prohibitive in Political Points (PP’s) as the cost doubles with each instance. Something to consider.

The better option is to give them a job. Put them in charge of an HQ on the map. Each turn they are on the map their dissatisfaction score will drop by -3. When it reaches ‘0’ they’ll return to being ‘Content (0)’, once more.

Gameplay Considerations


It’s likely that you won’t have the ability to create new HQ’s just to find a job for an unhappy POOL Officer. What you’ll have to do instead is to swap Officers. Rotate them through periods of field command and general staff duties.



You’d expect Daiki Shiga, chief head kicker, to be the one who starts getting red around the gills but it turns out that Moria Amori, the Romeo of the Officer Corps, has the shorter fuse. Time to give the man a command.


The micromanagement involved in this is minimal. If you’re playing on a huge map with heaps of Officers this won’t be the case but as you’re already knee deep in fiddliness a little extra is unlikely to cause you any concern.

What changes is that you end up paying more attention to your Officers and this aspect of the game becomes a lot more immersive.

Your Officer Corps becomes something that you manage as a whole. Decisions of who to give commands to, who to put where, who to send back to the POOL for a spell of ‘general staff’ experience, all become more nuanced. Your Officers, by virtue of their displeasure, become more alive and personalised.

That’s the intention. Give it a go and if you don’t like it then simply avoid the ‘Realistic Officers’ option.

Cheers,

Lancer



(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 52
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 8/5/2013 11:56:23 AM   
cbardswell


Posts: 21
Joined: 10/24/2012
From: Berkshire, UK
Status: offline
Hey Lancer - playing through a game with enhanced and realistic officers at the moment.

First of all - love it, it adds loads of depth to the gameplay and creates a whole new dimension of management and strategic thought.

But clearly there's a gripe coming, and here it is. Essentially the overworked penalties (which made sense when I read them through) I think create some odd effects.

So, at the beginning of a game let's say the SHQ/CiC has 40 units reporting directly to him (acting major). Then 4 subsidiaries HQs are created looking after 10 units each. Intuitively this should make his life easier (as his number of direct reports has dropped by a factor of 8), not harder, but the way the mod works means this actually gives him an overwork penalty.

This results in their being a lot of units reporting directly to the CiC rather than in sub formations, which feels sort of odd and not really how you should play the game.

I'm not sure if there could be a parallel command structure (logistics only so no CiC bonuses), or whether some kind overall direct report=> overwork mechanism.

I may have missed something obvious here so feel free to shoot me down. Also, again, I love this mod, although I have pointed out what I think is an issue,I think it's ace and I wouldn't play another game without it switched on.

Massive thanks for your work on this.

Cheers

Charlie

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 53
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 8/6/2013 3:08:46 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 626
Joined: 10/18/2005
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Hi Charlie,

The overwork penalty is there to model an officers need to grow into the job. A junior, acting Major, commander such as your CIC can't be expected to step into the position and effectively manage much beyond a certain point (subordinate HQ's, not units). He'll need some time before he has enough experience to take on a bigger challenge.

Because your CIC gains experience from the act of command, he'll accumulate that experience at a steady pace and will soon be promoted up the ranks. If your CIC has a positive relationship with his subordinates then he'll gain experience at a much faster rate.

Another reason for the overwork penalty is to avoid the situation of the player flipping officer's through the CIC role whenever they feel like it. Being Commander in Chief is a demanding job where experience counts. You generally want the most experienced officer on your staff having the job of CIC solely because of his ability to command a larger number of HQ's. This narrows your choice down to officers with extensive combat experience or those who have had a decent stint as CIC.

In real life Major Cyril, who spent time commanding a rear-area HQ, doesn't get a look in for the big job. 3-star General Ironballs whose spent the last six months bringing the fight to the enemy, does.

I assume your example is at, or near, the start of the game. Forty odd units with four HQ's which is probably one (or two, depends on your map size) more than your CIC can currently handle without an overwork penalty.

Assigning all unit to your Supreme HQ isn't going to do much for for war effort unless you're re-enacting Custer's Last Stand. Spread them out among your two or three subordinate HQ's and remove the fourth (or take the hit). The subordinate HQ's can be in any configuration (eg. one reports to the another which reports to your Supreme HQ, etc.). Doesn't matter.

Your CIC is dealing with the big picture. He isn't concerned about managing units - he's got a general staff and a number of subordinate HQ's that take care of that for him. Your CIC's job is to coordinate and issue orders to your subordinate HQ's and the more of them there are the bigger his task and the greater his potential headaches.

As you've just started off your best strategy is to nuture your CIC and try and give him subordinates officers with whom he can get along with. Won't take long and he'll get the hang of the job and go up a rank or two, enabling you to create a few more subordinate HQ's.

In the meantime you probably haven't got quite as many HQ's (or Officers as you're using the 'Realistic Officers' option) as you'd like. That's part of the design. Having to make the tough decisions where and how to best use your available command resources (officers and HQ's). Running a war isn't easy.

Thanks for the positive feedback. Appreciated.

Cheers,
Cameron



< Message edited by lancer -- 8/6/2013 8:03:01 AM >

(in reply to cbardswell)
Post #: 54
RE: Enhanced AI (Maritime) - 8/6/2013 8:55:04 AM   
cbardswell


Posts: 21
Joined: 10/24/2012
From: Berkshire, UK
Status: offline
Cheers Lancer,

Yes, I am definitely talking early game, it very rapidly balances itself out as once the shooting starts. Preferable candidates for the big man's seat emerged pretty quick.

It does feel a bit harsh in the first few turns but hey - as you point out, running a war's not supposed to be easy. and i think I may need to become less compulsive-obsessive abut having a perfect OOB by turn 4...

Charlie

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 55
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