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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Norm Koger's The Operational Art Of War III >> Interesting new way to play Page: [1]
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Interesting new way to play - 6/15/2013 2:28:45 PM   
kondor999


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I've been messing around with Elmer-assisted mode, and was actually having quite a good time by playing Red Thunder '88 and controlling only 3rd Shock Army myself, and letting Elmer handle everything else.

I actually get a decent approximation of just commanding a single formation and, while it's obviously difficult to coordinate my offensive with an AI, I've worked with people in the USAF who were decidedly more challenging! ;)

When I get time, I'll do an AAR of this interesting new mode of play. Thus far, I'm actually not doing a tremendous amount better than the "commanders" on my flanks, which probably says more about me than them. :)

< Message edited by kondor999 -- 6/15/2013 2:54:27 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/15/2013 3:12:35 PM   
Josh

 

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Huh, I've never done anything like that, or seen an AAR where part of the forces are commanded by an AI. Now I've read a few AAR's with multiple human players on the same side, but not combined with an AI.
Very interested to see how that works out.

(in reply to kondor999)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/15/2013 6:08:43 PM   
shunwick


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It's great fun, genuine role playing. All you need to do is make sure both side are PO Programmed.

It also gives access to very large scenarios where the huge number of units puts some players off of playing them. Europa 1947 is very good example. Basically, you choose to control only those formations that you want to control and let the ai handle the rest of the war around you.

I have been attempting to get people interested in trying this sort of thing out but I think there may be too many purists here. It has generally been ignored. PO Assist was one of the best things introduced by 3.4.

Best wishes,
Steve

< Message edited by shunwick -- 6/15/2013 6:13:14 PM >


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RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/15/2013 7:04:39 PM   
kondor999


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I totally agree with this sentiment, and I've also felt for a long time that "Friendly AI" (ie AI carrying out your strategic directives) is the Holy Grail of PC wargaming design. The first time I saw really good Friendly AI was in Combat Mission. But until now, all we had otherwise was the incredibly obtuse, buggy and frustrating Hearts of Iron III - which offers a similar ability to control a (relatively) small formation while the AI handles the rest of your side.

This ability to seemlessly allow the AI to handle things for a while, then going in as needed to "refocus" it, is very satisfying. The problem, as always, is the quality of the AI. From what I'm seeing in my experiment, it's good enough to make the process very enjoyable.

quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

It's great fun, genuine role playing. All you need to do is make sure both side are PO Programmed.

It also gives access to very large scenarios where the huge number of units puts some players off of playing them. Europa 1947 is very good example. Basically, you choose to control only those formations that you want to control and let the ai handle the rest of the war around you.

I have been attempting to get people interested in trying this sort of thing out but I think there may be too many purists here. It has generally been ignored. PO Assist was one of the best things introduced by 3.4.

Best wishes,
Steve



< Message edited by kondor999 -- 6/15/2013 7:05:06 PM >

(in reply to shunwick)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/15/2013 11:55:44 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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I'll just mention an old idea I proposed long ago: Each side programs the PO for their side, then the game is executed in PO vs. PO mode. Best programmers win!

The added bonus, if one of the unprogrammed monsters (FITE, for example) is used, is that after the game is over the scenario is now PO programmed for both sides. Repeated plays can then optimize the PO, as well.

(in reply to kondor999)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/16/2013 2:40:41 PM   
shunwick


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Bob,

The problem with FITE is not just its size and the huge amount of work needed to program the PO but the OOB is not particularly PO friendly. Any attempt to program the PO for FITE would need the OOB rationalized first.

Hopefully, 3.5 will bring PO Assist to PBEM mode. Since the PO tracks the player creates can be saved in an ai file, players can program the PO on the fly. As far as I know, I am the only one to have experimented with producing ai files apart from Ralph who produced an ai file for Red Thunder to correct a objective error.

I honestly believe that PO Assist is one of the most exciting developments in TOAW III. It has opened up a whole new way of playing the game and benefits players and scenario designers alike.

Best wishes,
Steve



_____________________________

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Post #: 6
RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/16/2013 8:01:44 PM   
kondor999


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That sounds very exciting. I am really enjoying my "role-play" as Cmdr of 3rd Shock Army. You have to work around a couple of quirks in terms of how and when you activate Elmer for your other formations. For some reason, activating Elmer gets rid of all your planned attacks even with my formation orders set to "Manual". So, I just plan my attacks after Elmer does his thing and all is well.

My basic turn sequence is:

Move my formation, make sure Orders are set to Manual.
Activate Elmer so he can move the rest of my units.
Plan my attacks.
Resolve all attacks.
Repeat until the turn is over for my side.


quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

Bob,

The problem with FITE is not just its size and the huge amount of work needed to program the PO but the OOB is not particularly PO friendly. Any attempt to program the PO for FITE would need the OOB rationalized first.

Hopefully, 3.5 will bring PO Assist to PBEM mode. Since the PO tracks the player creates can be saved in an ai file, players can program the PO on the fly. As far as I know, I am the only one to have experimented with producing ai files apart from Ralph who produced an ai file for Red Thunder to correct a objective error.

I honestly believe that PO Assist is one of the most exciting developments in TOAW III. It has opened up a whole new way of playing the game and benefits players and scenario designers alike.

Best wishes,
Steve




(in reply to shunwick)
Post #: 7
RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/17/2013 5:22:35 PM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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In iOS wargame Glory of Generals player has only small number of units at his disposal. Rest are moved by AI. Sometimes allies almost make me tear my hair for going up against more than they can take only to get blasted by concentrated enemy force... but it's still good fun. I might need to take a look at PO buttons.

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(in reply to kondor999)
Post #: 8
RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/17/2013 11:48:20 PM   
kondor999


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Of course, the following observation is scenario-specific, but in the case of Red Thunder 88, it's probably better to take command of both 3rd Shock and 3rd PPR armies, as both are "assigned" the axis of Magdeburg->Hannover->Arnhem or thereabouts.

Otherwise, you end up stepping on the toes of the AI fairly consistently and it seems farcical that units stacked in the same hex wouldn't be able to cooperate and coordinate in some way. I just went ahead and used the 3rd PPR forces by setting the Formation to "Manual". Then, when the attack axes of 3rd Shock and 3rd PPR started to diverge, I handed 3rd PPR back over to Elmer. Pretty cool!

Of course, you could also just edit the 3rd PPR's objects and assign them, say, a slightly more southerly route or something. I find the AI does a surprisingly excellent job on the offensive and actually managed to take Berlin faster than I was able to do. The offensive in the North is likewise being handled well. Notably, Elmer doesn't make the mistake of over-extending his forces (leaving them ripe for local counterattacks and then going into Reorg) nearly as often as I seem to. Elmer must not be as ambitious ;). He also taught me to launch artillery and airstrikes *before* going in on the assault. Maybe that's why he gets better results?

Anyway, 3.4 is really great. Can't wait to see if they expand on this "part-AI" way of playing in 3.5. It really is a lot of fun and feels more authentic somehow. I could easily see a version of TOAW that used this method of setting objectives for formations exclusively, but the UI would need a bit more polish, I think, to make it seem like less of an "add-on".

Call it "The Operational Art of Elmer" ;)

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 9
RE: Interesting new way to play - 6/18/2013 2:08:26 PM   
shunwick


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kondor999
Call it "The Operational Art of Elmer" ;)


I like that. Unlikely to happen though.

PO Assist is not yet the full deal. There is much more that can be done (access to Strategic Bias and such) and also a few quirks to shake out. It was introduced in 3.4 but I think Ralph always had the idea of developing it further. He has been moving down that road for some time. We will see what 3.5 will bring.

Best wishes,
Steve

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(in reply to kondor999)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 7/2/2013 9:00:44 PM   
Alpha77

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kondor999
I find the AI does a surprisingly excellent job on the offensive and actually managed to take Berlin faster than I was able to do. The offensive in the North is likewise being handled well. Notably, Elmer doesn't make the mistake of over-extending his forces (leaving them ripe for local counterattacks and then going into Reorg) nearly as often as I seem to. Elmer must not be as ambitious ;). He also taught me to launch artillery and airstrikes *before* going in on the assault. Maybe that's why he gets better results?




Yup noted that too, I played Red Thunder from Nato side, I find that the Reds arent that bad on the offensive...

I saw only some minor flaws like:

- One czech army seemed to be confused wether too attack over the danube in direction of Munic or attack Austria, cause their forces were juggling back and forth between the Danube/German border and Austrian border. But it also may be realistic as we had seen simmilar cases of conflicting orders in the history of wars...

- The marine attack at Denmark wasnt pushed very hard, only one marine unit marched on Copenhagen, while the other just sat there. So they posed no threat, I could defeat one after the other even with the weaker Danish troops.

- The initial airborne assault was directed to the west of the Ruhrgebiet - however I wasnt sure what it should accomplish. Of course it delayed major parts of my reeinforcements (mostly Belgians and some French later). But it posed no major threat I could defeat the attack even without sending major frontline units back west.

- WP air became "lazy" later in the campaign, they dont even flew air supperiority anymore. I thought they might be weakened enough, but wasnt the case. When I checked the red side in turn 50 or so they still had major air units left (even good ones with Mig292 and SU27s)

(in reply to kondor999)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 7/29/2013 4:12:51 PM   
governato

 

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Is it just me or the PO never moves the air units forward? Anyone knows how to fix that?

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RE: Interesting new way to play - 7/29/2013 5:03:59 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: governato

Is it just me or the PO never moves the air units forward? Anyone knows how to fix that?


Funny that you mention it... in my Kharkov '43 Elemer sometimes cheats, e.g. he re-occupies the overrun Kursk airfield with some air units that are threatened in the Stalino and Kharkov sector. You can also place objectives for your air-command, you know that?!

Klink, Oberst

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(in reply to governato)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 7/29/2013 5:11:12 PM   
governato

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Oberst_Klink


quote:

ORIGINAL: governato

Is it just me or the PO never moves the air units forward? Anyone knows how to fix that?


Funny that you mention it... in my Kharkov '43 Elemer sometimes cheats, e.g. he re-occupies the overrun Kursk airfield with some air units that are threatened in the Stalino and Kharkov sector. You can also place objectives for your air-command, you know that?!

Klink, Oberst



Yeah the air formations have objectives and aggressive settings but I do not see a coherent advance as for say the ground forces...
On the other hand it is really fun to play as the thread suggests, giving turn by turn orders to formations and watch the PO do the rest. No sure this can be done PBEM.

(in reply to Oberst_Klink)
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RE: Interesting new way to play - 7/29/2013 6:19:47 PM   
Vaevictis_386

 

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I'm a big fan of this concept and used to mess around with it in Tiller's panzer campaigns series.

One of its great virtues is that play balanced vs. the AI gets a good boost.

(in reply to governato)
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