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RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:52:24 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: c92nichj

quote:

An agressive Italian can only transport a couple of units in Africa in a turn. Compared to the CW sealift, Italy has virtually no way to take the CW backdoor. We tried last game, attacking from Egypt & Syria. We were puched back ad swept in less than 2 turns.

If you aim for a conquest of Suez as the axis you should try to do it from both east and west, which will make the defence much harder for the CW (till not very hard)
Personally I think an attack on Suez prior a conquest of Gibraltar is a waste of time and resources, unless CW has totally stripped it and you can pick it up using a minimum force (wavell in France '39 might be such a case).

I agree.
The attack on Egypt can also be done while the Gibraltar campaing is going on, the CW may well be too busy defending Gibraltar. But I'e not yet did or seen done this way.

(in reply to c92nichj)
Post #: 31
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/2/2005 11:58:33 PM   
Froonp


Posts: 7895
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quote:

ORIGINAL: c92nichj

quote:

I just want to say that, I prefer to try to threaten Italy and achieve a better offensive position in the Med, rather than do raid invasion in western Europe or Denmark or the Netherlands, because these places in 41-42 lead nowhere.

Totally agree here, a couple of CW units in Rotterdam/Amsterdam is very annoying though especially if the get in during the autumn they are likely to survive all winter keeping the annoyance level high. So as germany you should always keep garrision around the Benelux cities.

Hey, why do you say "totaly agree" then immediately give an example that is the contrary to what you said you completely agreed ?
Those CW units in Rotterdam / Amsterdam or anywhere else have no perspective of improving their position and be milestone for the reconquest of Europe. The units Germany will put around them to prevent them from moving will be the same Germany would have put there in garrison and sent in Italy to bolster the Italian defenses.
Those CW units in Rotterdam / Amsterdam are time & effort wasted, speaking of the long term.
Now, maybe the operationnal situation warrants this operation, but generaly it is a waste in my opinion (this said respectfully and in total gamer's friendship).

(in reply to c92nichj)
Post #: 32
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/2/2005 11:59:28 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
Joined: 6/6/2005
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quote:

(2) Which major powers to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.


For the CW, this is a set of decisions that (thankfully) does not often have to get made, since in most scenarios it's already at war with most or all of its opponents. To whit:

Germany: The CW begins every WiF scenario it appears in either declaring war upon or already at war with Germany from the get-go. Easy enough.

Italy: The CW has to make a decision about war with Italy in the following scenarios: Fascist Tide (1939 2-map) and Global War (1939). It is at war with Italy in all other scenarios.

Japan: The CW has to make a decision about war with Japan in the Global War, Missed the Bus, and Lebensraum campaigns. It may have to make a decision in the Waking Giant campaign and the Day of Infamy 2-map scenario if the Japanese player (mysteriously) doesn't declare war. It is at war with Japan in all other scenarios those two powers appear in.

There should be a reasonable way of formulating a general process by which CW, or any other power for that matter, chooses to declare war on another one.

Balance of Forces
What is CW's balance of forces vs. Italy or Japan? The overall picture would range along some kind of axis, from Extremely Unfavourable to Extremely Favourable to somewhere in between. The balance of forces would be defined by a number of sub-properties, some of which I will list here.

Absolute number of units: Quantity is its own quality. The more units of each type the CW has than Italy or Japan do in the potential theatre of conflict, the more favourable things are for the CW, and vice-versa.

Quality of units: Who has more white-print units? Who has more combat factors? Who has better air units? Who has better naval units?

Nature and positioning of units: Are the CW's units in theatre a bunch of ARM/MECH stuffed against the Libyan border or MAR/PARA sitting in Rabaul waiting to be deployed? Or are they GARR, MIL, positioned on key garrison cities.

Logistics: How easy is it for the CW to keep its forces in supply? How easy is it for Italy or Japan, in the event that the CW goes to war with them, to do the same?

Reinforcements: How much additional force can the CW bring in to the theatre once the war begins, & how much can Italy or Japan bring in?

Short-Term Consequences of CW DoW
What are the expected short-term military & political consequences of a CW DoW (that is, during the surprise impulse & the rest of the turn that the war begins in)? Once again, an axis along which Least Favourable to Most Favourable consequences appears, with discrete points in between at presumably regular intervals.

Destruction of Enemy Materiél: How much damage can the CW inflict during the surprise impulse, and what sort of units is it destroying anyway?

Territorial Gains: How much territory, especially resource & victory hexes, will the CW gain during the surprise impulse & the rest of the turn?

Expected Losses: What does the CW expect to lose in the surprise impulse & the rest of the turn?

US Entry: Can the US entry pool handle the worst-case chit loss?

Long-Term Consequences of CW DoW
What are the long-term military & political consequences of a CW declaration of war on Italy or Japan rather than vice-versa?

Commitment to Theatre: How much commitment will this theatre demand from the CW if it goes on the attack right away? Can it afford to meet that commitment over time?

Protracted Contests: Can the CW's forces in place handle fighting a long-fought contest over the sea areas & land regions in the theatre under consideration? If they can't, what additional forces are needed to allow them to do so?

Long-Term US Entry: By declaring war and taking away US entry chits, what delay will the CW inflict upon the selection of key US entry options, and more importantly how long will US entry into the war be delayed? For this section, the average values of chits in each year comes into play.

Consequences of Reverse Situation
While of course the CW may be declaring war upon Italy or Japan because it believes it has a better balance of forces, can inflict damage and take turf in the short run, and tough it out for the long run, sometimes the CW will consider declaring war on them just to keep them from getting a surprise impulse on it. So, the CW will want to analyse the situation as much as it can from the standpoint of Italy or Japan, using all the above considerations, and decide if it is in their favour to declare war soon on the CW.

The more critical the surprise impulse Japan or Italy will get if they declare war compared to the rest of the struggle, the more likely the CW will want to pre-empt them.

Likely Results
Taking all the latter into account, I think that the CW has a reasonable chance of declaring war on Italy anytime in 1939-1940, and it will depend on what can be made of the surprise impulse. By contrast, the CW will probably not be even close to declaring war on Japan until some time in 1942, by which point it is almost certainly moot since Japan will most likely have declared war on the CW.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 33
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/3/2005 12:11:55 AM   
c92nichj


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quote:

Hey, why do you say "totaly agree" then immediately give an example that is the contrary to what you said you completely agreed

I totally agree with you that Italy is a better place to invade for CW. But if you can get ina a unit or two in the lowlands it will be annoying for the german player. Not nearly as annoying as an invasion in Italy which have to be contained preferably kicked back into the sea which will require quite an effort.


(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 34
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/3/2005 12:19:29 AM   
Froonp


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Thanks for the clarification.
I loved the discussion
I'm happy that some more people seem to have got interest in those forums.
What ? I'm off-topic ??? Oh, sure, oops, sorry, Cheers !!!

(in reply to c92nichj)
Post #: 35
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/3/2005 12:26:27 AM   
c92nichj


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Always happy to discuss, hopefully I contribute something aswell.

I'd love to play a PBEM game against you when this get's out. You can then prove that you have the superior strategy & tactic

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 36
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/3/2005 12:36:22 AM   
Froonp


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Yes, would be great !!!!
And if you're in the same time zone as I am, we could even do TCP/IP game !!!
Anyway, I find that we're not very far away in our thinkings.

(in reply to c92nichj)
Post #: 37
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/3/2005 1:56:04 AM   
pak19652002

 

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The reason more people are getting involved here is that they now believe this game is going to succeed. Steve's approach is working, to say the least.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 38
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 2:47:22 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99
quote:

(2) Which major powers to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.


For the CW, this is a set of decisions that (thankfully) does not often have to get made, since in most scenarios it's already at war with most or all of its opponents. To whit:

Germany: The CW begins every WiF scenario it appears in either declaring war upon or already at war with Germany from the get-go. Easy enough.

Italy: The CW has to make a decision about war with Italy in the following scenarios: Fascist Tide (1939 2-map) and Global War (1939). It is at war with Italy in all other scenarios.

Japan: The CW has to make a decision about war with Japan in the Global War, Missed the Bus, and Lebensraum campaigns. It may have to make a decision in the Waking Giant campaign and the Day of Infamy 2-map scenario if the Japanese player (mysteriously) doesn't declare war. It is at war with Japan in all other scenarios those two powers appear in.

There should be a reasonable way of formulating a general process by which CW, or any other power for that matter, chooses to declare war on another one.

Balance of Forces
What is CW's balance of forces vs. Italy or Japan? The overall picture would range along some kind of axis, from Extremely Unfavourable to Extremely Favourable to somewhere in between. The balance of forces would be defined by a number of sub-properties, some of which I will list here.

Absolute number of units: Quantity is its own quality. The more units of each type the CW has than Italy or Japan do in the potential theatre of conflict, the more favourable things are for the CW, and vice-versa.

Quality of units: Who has more white-print units? Who has more combat factors? Who has better air units? Who has better naval units?

Nature and positioning of units: Are the CW's units in theatre a bunch of ARM/MECH stuffed against the Libyan border or MAR/PARA sitting in Rabaul waiting to be deployed? Or are they GARR, MIL, positioned on key garrison cities.

Logistics: How easy is it for the CW to keep its forces in supply? How easy is it for Italy or Japan, in the event that the CW goes to war with them, to do the same?

Reinforcements: How much additional force can the CW bring in to the theatre once the war begins, & how much can Italy or Japan bring in?

Short-Term Consequences of CW DoW
What are the expected short-term military & political consequences of a CW DoW (that is, during the surprise impulse & the rest of the turn that the war begins in)? Once again, an axis along which Least Favourable to Most Favourable consequences appears, with discrete points in between at presumably regular intervals.

Destruction of Enemy Materiél: How much damage can the CW inflict during the surprise impulse, and what sort of units is it destroying anyway?

Territorial Gains: How much territory, especially resource & victory hexes, will the CW gain during the surprise impulse & the rest of the turn?

Expected Losses: What does the CW expect to lose in the surprise impulse & the rest of the turn?

US Entry: Can the US entry pool handle the worst-case chit loss?

Long-Term Consequences of CW DoW
What are the long-term military & political consequences of a CW declaration of war on Italy or Japan rather than vice-versa?

Commitment to Theatre: How much commitment will this theatre demand from the CW if it goes on the attack right away? Can it afford to meet that commitment over time?

Protracted Contests: Can the CW's forces in place handle fighting a long-fought contest over the sea areas & land regions in the theatre under consideration? If they can't, what additional forces are needed to allow them to do so?

Long-Term US Entry: By declaring war and taking away US entry chits, what delay will the CW inflict upon the selection of key US entry options, and more importantly how long will US entry into the war be delayed? For this section, the average values of chits in each year comes into play.

Consequences of Reverse Situation
While of course the CW may be declaring war upon Italy or Japan because it believes it has a better balance of forces, can inflict damage and take turf in the short run, and tough it out for the long run, sometimes the CW will consider declaring war on them just to keep them from getting a surprise impulse on it. So, the CW will want to analyse the situation as much as it can from the standpoint of Italy or Japan, using all the above considerations, and decide if it is in their favour to declare war soon on the CW.

The more critical the surprise impulse Japan or Italy will get if they declare war compared to the rest of the struggle, the more likely the CW will want to pre-empt them.

Likely Results
Taking all the latter into account, I think that the CW has a reasonable chance of declaring war on Italy anytime in 1939-1940, and it will depend on what can be made of the surprise impulse. By contrast, the CW will probably not be even close to declaring war on Japan until some time in 1942, by which point it is almost certainly moot since Japan will most likely have declared war on the CW.


Very nice. My kind of analysis.

I have developed a metric for measuring the absolute and relative strength of forces, so we can assume that your scale of unfavorable to favorable strength of forces is already in place. This applies to combat losses and the value of territorial gains too.

The effect of a surprise impulse can be measured using this metric, regardless of which country is declaring war. So, the AIO has a quanitfied measure of the benefit of declaring war and of the pain of being on the other end of the war declaration.

The use of an offensive chit concurrent with the DOW can also be measured, for all the possible uses of the O Chit.

The quality of the units is taken into consideration in the metric for balance of forces.

The points you raise that I haven't figured out yet are: the value of positioning, the impact of supply/logistics, and long term commitment of forces (i.e., reinforcements). The tricky bit about supply is not the effect it has, but measuring the likelihood of it being cut off 2 or 3 turns in the future.

The immediate effect on the US entry pool is easy for the AIO to calculate. It is somewhat harder to measure the long term effects of not being able to take some other US entry choice or action. I'm working on that and believe I can figured it out/calculate it.

In summary, it looks like what the AIO will do is analyze of the current board position and measure the benefit of the CW declaring war on Italy (for example). Using the result of this calculation, the AIO will compare it to a threshold level that separates do from don't declare war. There might be a probability somewhere in there to keep the AIO from being too predictable. I also like to try to see if things are going to be better next impulse or next turn and maybe delay until then if the additional benefit is juicy enough. These subtle differences are where I see adding different personalities for how the AIO plays each country during different games.

Thanks for your list. I expect every element to be part of the AIO's consideration for whether to declare war or not.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 39
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 8:50:22 AM   
composer99


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quote:

(3) Which minor countries to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.


In many ways this is much easier than deciding when to declare war on major powers, but in many ways it is also much harder. It is much easier because arranging for the balance of forces to be in the CW's favour is quite simple. It is much harder because the decision-making process is a bit more involved.

The considerations for declaring war on a major power will probably be brought into play here as well, but I suspect the additional considerations will be:

Availability of Enemy Support: To what extent can enemy major powers support this minor if the CW attacks it? Attacking Spain in 1942 with the intent of driving to the Pyrennes is not likely to be so workable when big, nasty Wehrmacht units come out to play. Attacking Portugal in 1940 because you want the Azores is very sensible precisely because Germany is rarely in a position to intervene, and as a result is a common event.

Who Gets the Victory Hex(es)? More often than not for the CW, this consideration will lead you to not attack a minor, as more often than not, given the spread of CW major power home country capitals (primarily London and Dehli), the CW will be getting the victory hexes anyway for many minors. Out of common courtesy the CW shouldn't go out of its way to attack minors that would, in the absence of Axis competitors, go to other Allied powers. This should probably be quite low on the priority list of things to consider.

Does it Improve the Strategic Position vs. the Axis? Probably the most important consideration. Declaring war on Portugal to take control of the Azores can lead to drastic improvements in the Battle of the Atlantic - you airbases in the North Atlantic sea area, more airbases than just Gibraltar in Cape St. Vincent, and additional airbases in Bay of Biscay, and Portugal makes a handy go-between spot for shorter-range aircraft re-basing to Gibraltar & the Med. If you're desperate to project naval power into the Baltic and more airpower over Germany, you may find that attacking Norway will do the trick and will improve your position vis-à-vis the Axis. Declaring war on Ecuador or Liberia does almost nothing in this regard. If the Yugoslav situation has not been resolved by the Axis in one way or another, then an attack on Greece might prove useful to stuff it with units and align Yugoslavia on the Allied side, especially if German forces are too occupied elsewhere to smash the Yugoslavs that turn.

How Much of a Distraction is it from Fighting the Axis? The CW's enemies are Germany, Italy, and Japan. Side campaigns to attack minors when such efforts would only divert precious troops, planes, and ships from fighting those enemies will probably rate low on the AI's list of things to do.

Is the Minor Likely to Align to CW or another Allied Power? Chances are, the Netherlands and Belgium will end up being CW-aligned minor countries on account of Germany declaring war on them. Why should the CW deny itself the units, take away from US entry instead of having Germany add to it, and give Germany or someone else free territory and/or resources? If CW declares war on the Netherlands, what's to stop Japan from aligning them (they will be eligible to do so as an active power), getting to keep all the NEI oil for themselves without it getting embargoed, and plonk in garrisons (even if they can't attack CW units, they can still defend against them) in Batavia & the oil hexes? In any event, Germany is highly likely to declare war upon the Netherlands and Belgium because doing so will give it a nice wide front against the French army & no Maginot Line to face while they're at it.

That's everything I can think of at the moment.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 40
RE: General thoughts on strategy for CW - Knock Out Italy - 11/3/2005 8:52:54 AM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:


I just want to say that, I prefer to try to threaten Italy and achieve a better offensive position in the Med, rather than do raid invasion in western Europe or Denmark or the Netherlands, because these places in 41-42 lead nowhere.


Oh I agree completely...especially about threating Italy...if the axis then garison it you hit somewhere else...personally I LOVE invading Greece esp. if you can get ashore just next to the Turkey border to put ZOC on the rail line from Turkey (and its resource) and have a chance at grabbing the resource in Bulgaria....sure its crap terrority and leads nowhere, but the allies have more crap units than the axis and its all about tying down more and more axis units until you are strong enough to go in for REAL. - and Denmark is not completely useless...Even Copenhagen aside, just possesing Frederikshavn will enable the allies to project power into the Baltic to fight the GE steel convoys from Sweeden (only if Leningrad is still in the hands of the USSR) and will also make it a lot easier to grab Norway in a quick and efficient manner...and if you have both of the minor ports in Norway/DK with access to the Baltic you DO have a real threat of invasion (although you then have to burn a supplypoint once per turn to be in supply!)

Basically I think that if USSR is in trouble CW has to invade somewhere GE simply cant ignore it like IT or France/Netherlands...but if USSR is doing somewhat OK its much better to attack the perimeter and go for small offensives from where you can finish them of and move on (generally speaking cleaning out N. Afrika, Sicily, Sardinia etc.) with the troops so you continously roll forward gaining more bases so at to improve your future offensive capability, instead of locking yourself down in a stalemate with the axis in France....(since GE has to garrison those places anyway!)

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 41
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 5:31:08 PM   
mlees


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

Personally, I would rather lose Malta than the Suez. Malta can be cut off from supply by the Italian fleet, while Egypt cannot.

Egypt can be put out of supply, it is just as easy as Malta.
Remember that CW units in Egypt use Le Caire as a Secondary supply source. Only the Egyptian units (i.e. the territorials) take supply from the Egyptian cities who are primarty supply sources for them.
The secondary supply sources need to trace back to a primary supply source.
So, to cut supply to Malta, you need to empty 2 Sea Areas of any Allied CP or TRS / AMPH.
To cut supply to Egypt you need to do the same. Empty 2 Sea Areas of any Allied CP or TRS / AMPH.
The only difference is that for Malta the Italian can do it by themselves, and for Egypt they need the help of Japan.
With the same player controlling both, I say it is not a problem.
I for one even already conquered Egypt with Japan, not only to help Italy, but for the objectives too. It was the bigger victory I ever achieved in WiF FE... ah.... memories of the good old days....

Hmmm. I usually play without option 11: Limited oversea supply. Allied units then can draw supply out the port of Suez, directly into the Red Sea.

Since the Italian fleet cant use the canal until the own it, they can't block sea supply to Egypt. (Once they capture Suez, and control the canal, the supply to Egypt becomes moot.)

I suppose Japan, sailing from Singapore, could sail into the Red Sea to help out...

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 42
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 5:39:52 PM   
c92nichj


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quote:

I suppose Japan, sailing from Singapore, could sail into the Red Sea to help out...


Or Euroaxis longrange bombers with a Nav value.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 43
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 5:45:46 PM   
mlees


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These strategy debates bring up a question:

If there are several Major Powers on computer control (for example Italy and Japan), will they be operated by the "same" AI, in that, sharing the same goals?

Historically, there was little chance that the Japanese Imperial Staff was going to devote serious recources to something that would only benefit the Italians...

In a game where each Major Power is controlled by a seperate player (and they have individual victory condition levels), the Japanese player may tell his Italian "ally" to go jump in a lake when it comes to sending the Kuido Butai into the Indian Ocean.

I suggest, if possible, that there be a couple of layers of AI opponents. (I tend to play solo...)

A toggle option where there is a:
A) "Combined Commander-in-Chief" for a faction controlling all allied units and using the land/air/sea/combined move rules to the greatest impact, within the cooperation rules;

The best example is where the Americans and Commonwealth units in a theatre share sea lift capability, have common invasion strategies, and so on...

or

B) Where each discreet nation operates according to it's "own" goals, with less likely cooperation and synchronisation of operations.

Or am I making it too dissimilar with the face to face games?

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 44
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 5:50:04 PM   
mlees


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quote:

ORIGINAL: c92nichj

quote:

I suppose Japan, sailing from Singapore, could sail into the Red Sea to help out...


Or Euroaxis longrange bombers with a Nav value.


Sigh. Forgive me, my master. I have so much to try to remember...

(in reply to c92nichj)
Post #: 45
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 5:51:01 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:


A toggle option where there is a:
A) "Combined Commander-in-Chief" for a faction controlling all allied units and using the land/air/sea/combined move rules to the greatest impact, within the cooperation rules;


I certainly hope this is included ...not only on a tactical lvl but also on a strategic level because otherwise any experienced WIFer will have a care free cakewalk through the AI if playing SP...

Which reminds me, how will various difficulty levels be differentiated? PM, extra resources, combat bonuses?!? ( or alternatively you just loose 4 HQs from your forcepool if you play on VH....damn, sad to be French, Italian or Jap then...having to do with no HQs )

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 46
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 6:04:33 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

With Japan & Italy not cooperating, who did you garrison Singapore ? with Italian Units ???
Taking itno consideration the poor range of the Italian Navy, I think it is of little use out of the Med. Morover, the supply to Italy is too easily broken by the Allies to risk a fleet that far.
That said, if the allies were in the ropes, why not do this kind of wild things


a couple of GAR units....one GE one IT...and No the IT fleet is definately NOT useless outside of the MED...Singapore and Aden are quite nice Italian fleet bases, from Aden the whole Indian Ocean & Gulf can be covered and from Singapore pretty much all the seaareas in which a defensive JAP player expects to fight in can be reached even with "2" range. - yes the tricky bit is supply...Most important is a strong garrison of Egypt so you dont risk loosing the canal and thereby all AC and Naval units on the "wrong" side....if need be you can send a IT HQ with a supply unit to Singapore.....;)

Basically Im a strong believer in applying strategic weight against ONE opponent (or front) at a time...so you can kill it with overwhelming strength...and if this is important then it becomes equally important to avoid the opponent doing the same to you....this is where it becomes valuable to be able to shift support back and forth between the MED and Asia! If JP is hard pressed, just 10cp's, a few GAR/MIL units and a AC or two can make a world of difference for JPs ability to survive an early aggressive US player, while at the same time those 20bp wont make that big a difference in the MED anyway if the US is going all out vs. JP.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 47
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 6:49:34 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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quote:

ORIGINAL: mlees
These strategy debates bring up a question:

If there are several Major Powers on computer control (for example Italy and Japan), will they be operated by the "same" AI, in that, sharing the same goals?

Historically, there was little chance that the Japanese Imperial Staff was going to devote serious recources to something that would only benefit the Italians...

In a game where each Major Power is controlled by a seperate player (and they have individual victory condition levels), the Japanese player may tell his Italian "ally" to go jump in a lake when it comes to sending the Kuido Butai into the Indian Ocean.

I suggest, if possible, that there be a couple of layers of AI opponents. (I tend to play solo...)

A toggle option where there is a:
A) "Combined Commander-in-Chief" for a faction controlling all allied units and using the land/air/sea/combined move rules to the greatest impact, within the cooperation rules;

The best example is where the Americans and Commonwealth units in a theatre share sea lift capability, have common invasion strategies, and so on...

or

B) Where each discreet nation operates according to it's "own" goals, with less likely cooperation and synchronisation of operations.

Or am I making it too dissimilar with the face to face games?


This was a decision I made early in the design for the AIO and I think it is still valid. I really dislike revisiting design decisions because then you waste a lot of time going around in circles. Each major power has its own set of Decision Makers: Grand Strategist, Manufacturing Council, Commander in Chief, Foreign Liaison, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiralty, Air Marshal, and Field Marshal(s). The AIO for each major power operates independently and coordinates activities with the AIO for the other major powers through the Foreign Liaisons.

The argument for a single AIO is that it will play a better game (in some of the ways you mentioned). I decided against that for two reasons: (1) your stated concerns, and (2) I want to the AIO to be capable of operating as an ally (say, playing the USA for the first year of the global campaign).

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to mlees)
Post #: 48
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 7:25:50 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
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quote:

(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.


This must assuredly be the easiest thing the CW AI would have to deal with: the only minor country it can align proactively is Yugoslavia, by having 4 corps in an adjacent country (Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary).

Since the Axis usually resolves the Yugoslav situation either by conquest or alignment during the 1941-1942 period, there's not much the CW can do about aligning Yugoslavia itself. I would, however, say that the CW should consider mounting a campaign to align Yugoslavia anytime from 1941 on if the following conditions are met:

1. The Axis have not dealt with Yugoslavia by conquest or alignment and/or are not putting any effort into doing so (for example, there are no Axis forces set up in Albania, or along the Yugo border, or what have you).

2. The Axis is deeply committed to other theatres and could not spare troops of sufficient quality to simply conquer Yugoslavia during the turn the CW aligns it.

3. The CW has the ability to stuff at least 4 corps into one of the countries adjacent to Yugoslavia.

4. The CW has the ability to send reinforcements to Yugoslavia (air & land units) that will help preserve that country once it has joined the war on the Allied side.

The CW only picks up other minor powers reactively when Axis powers declare war on them, so it doesn't really need to think about how and when to align them.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 49
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/3/2005 8:39:27 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99
quote:

(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.


This must assuredly be the easiest thing the CW AI would have to deal with: the only minor country it can align proactively is Yugoslavia, by having 4 corps in an adjacent country (Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary).

Since the Axis usually resolves the Yugoslav situation either by conquest or alignment during the 1941-1942 period, there's not much the CW can do about aligning Yugoslavia itself. I would, however, say that the CW should consider mounting a campaign to align Yugoslavia anytime from 1941 on if the following conditions are met:

1. The Axis have not dealt with Yugoslavia by conquest or alignment and/or are not putting any effort into doing so (for example, there are no Axis forces set up in Albania, or along the Yugo border, or what have you).

2. The Axis is deeply committed to other theatres and could not spare troops of sufficient quality to simply conquer Yugoslavia during the turn the CW aligns it.

3. The CW has the ability to stuff at least 4 corps into one of the countries adjacent to Yugoslavia.

4. The CW has the ability to send reinforcements to Yugoslavia (air & land units) that will help preserve that country once it has joined the war on the Allied side.

The CW only picks up other minor powers reactively when Axis powers declare war on them, so it doesn't really need to think about how and when to align them.


Tidy and complete. Thanks.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 50
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/4/2005 6:53:25 AM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
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quote:

(5) Expected areas of conflict: with whom, where, type of combat (land, naval, air, convoys).


At the largest scale, the CW has 2 main areas of conflict: the European Theatre (includes Atlantic, African & Middle Eastern sectors) and the Asia-Pacific Theatre. However, I think it is probably a good idea to parse these into a number of areas of conflict that are much more manageable. I've come up with a list of about 20 such areas; whether or not it is exhaustive I could not say. For each area I will attempt to describe the territorial boundaries of the area, with whom the CW is in conflict with, the types of combat involved in the area, and finally the nature of the conflict over time (is the CW firmly on the defence or is it engaged in an all-out attack, or something in between?).

Note on Combat Types: Land/Air is the mix of land and air forces battling each other over territory in the area of conflict; Strategic Air has two components - launching strategic attacks on factories/oil in the area or attempting to gain air superiority in the area; Naval Superiority is about controlling the sea areas in question such that enemy surface forces are incapable or unwilling to venture into them; and Convoy is the battle of one side's submarine forces vs. the other's convoys & ASW forces.

1. England & the North Sea
Territory: The British Isles (including the Republic of Ireland) and the North Sea.
Opponents: Mostly Germany alone, but occasionally Italy.
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air in England in the event of an Axis invasion; (2)Strategic Air over England; (3)Naval Superiority in the North Sea
Nature of Conflict: (1) Initially the CW will try to contain the beachheads & destroy them, and failing that it will try to stall the Axis advance as much as is possible; if England is not conquered then sooner or later the Americans will arrive and the Allies will be able to drive the Axis invaders off. Once the Axis are gone for good, or if they never invaded in the first place, then this conflict type will not occur in England. (2) CW will occasionally experience Axis strategic air raids on its factories, and the Axis will aggressively do so if they are trying to break the RAF before an invasion. (3) Normally this consists of the CW trying to damage or intimidate the German surface fleet so it does not sortie in an attempt to help the convoy war in the Atlantic, but if the Axis are actively trying to invade England then this will become a pretty full-fledged naval battleground.

2. Faeroes' Gap & Bay of Biscay
Territory: Those two sea areas and adjacent land hexes in England & France.
Opponents: Mostly Germany alone, but occasionally Italy.
Types of Combat: (1)Convoys in both sea areas; (2)Rarely, Naval Superiority in both sea areas
Nature of Conflict: (1) CW has to keep one or both of these two sea areas as secure as possible to keep its vital convoy lines coming in, and the Axis will do their best to sever them; the Bay of Biscay is a bad place for CW convoys while France's Atlantic seaboard is under Axis control. (2) If the Axis are attempting an invasion of England, or the Italian fleet has been liberated from the Med by the conquest of Gibraltar, then there is a chance that full-fledged naval battles will take place here, otherwise it will be a rare occasion.

3. The Atlantic
Territory: Most of the sea areas in the American & African maps & Cape St. Vincent, plus land areas astride them.
Opponents: Mainly Germany and somewhat Italy.
Types of Combat: (1)Convoys (2)Rarely, Naval Superiority
Nature of Conflict: (1) This is the Battle of the Atlantic playground. (2) The Italian fleet or Kriegsmarine might sortie in force, and the Royal Navy will have to do something about them if they do.

4. Western Europe
Territory: France and the Low Countries
Opponents: Mainly Germany and somewhat Italy.
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air; (2)Strategic Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) Early in the game, the BEF will be helping France try to hold off the German onslaught. Later, when the Allies return to France, the CW's armies & air forces will, with American aid, be looking to destroy German power in Western Europe for good and march on into Germany. (2) To some extent, but not as much as in Germany, the CW will be launching strategic raids to hurt German production and to tie down or destroy German air power.

5. Iberia
Territory: Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco (Spanish & French)
Opponents: Germany and Italy
Types of Combat: Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: This entire area revolves around control of Gibraltar, and the CW may or may not have to defend against an Axis attack on Gibraltar or re-take Gibraltar from the Axis. Spain may also serve as a gateway into southern France.

6. Germany
Territory: Germany, Denmark, the Baltic Sea
Opponents: Mainly Germany and a little of Italy.
Types of Combat: (1)Strategic Air over Germany; (2)Land/Air in Germany & Denmark; (3)Convoys in Baltic Sea
Nature of Conflict: (1) The CW will be trying to hurt German war production through strategic bombing raids, but it also wants to establish unchallengeable air supremacy over German & European skies. (2) By the end-game the CW will be taking the fight to German soil, and this may involve invading into Denmark to get at the territory there. (3) Throughout the war the CW will probably launch air, and if possible naval raids into the Baltic Sea to sink German convoy lines there in order to force Germany to take combined actions and/or build convoys, neither of which it wants to do when deep in Russia.

7. Western Med
Territory: The Western Med sea area, Malta & Sardinia and French North Africa
Opponents: Italy and somewhat Germany
Types of Combat: (1)Naval Superiority; (2)Land/Air; (3)Convoys
Nature of Conflict: (1) The CW will be engaged in battle through much of the war to gain total control over this sea area (that is, break Italy's will to contest it) both to safeguard Gibraltar and to pave the way for future offensives into the Med and Italy herself. (2) CW may well be defending Malta from Axis attack or invading Sardinia or securing French West Africa to get air & naval bases for the Italian campaign. (3) Although infrequent, Italy may occasionally put convoys out, and the CW will certainly want to sink them; the CW may also be trying to defend convoy pipelines through this area, but it will probably not do so until it has attained naval superiority.

8. Eastern Med
Territory: The Easten Mediterranean sea area, neigbouring islands, Libya, Alexandria and western Egypt, Greece & Turkey, the Balkans
Opponents: Italy and Germany.
Types of Combat: (1)Naval Superiority; (2)Land/Air; (3)Convoys; (4)Strategic Air over the Balkans
Nature of Conflict: (1) The CW will be trying to break Italy's will to contest this sea area as well, both to defend the Suez Canal and to pave the way for the eventual invasion of Italy. (2) Defending and attacking in western Egypt & Libya; ditto for Greece; attacking Turkey if it becomes an Axis ally; supporting Yugoslavia if it becomes a CW-aligned minor. (3) Both Italy and the CW may put convoy pipelines through here which will have to be defended against their enemies. (4) The CW may launch strategic air raids at Axis-operated factories in the Balkans or against the Ploesti oilfields.

9. Italy
Territory: Italy and the Italian Coast sea area
Opponents: Italy and Germany
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air (2)Naval Superiority; (3)Convoys; (4)Strategic Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) Once the time comes the CW will invade Italy with the intent of knocking that country out of the war. (2) The Axis' last gasp at defending Italy and preventing invasion will be to contest this sea area, so the CW will have to grind along until they can no longer do so effectively. (3) Italy will almost always have convoys in here, so naturally the CW will raid them. (4) Crippling the already vulnerable Italian production and stripping down Axis fighters in the area will be a priority in the lead-up to Operation Husky.

10. The Suez Canal Zone
Territory: Cairo, the hexes around the Canal, Palestine, Syria, the Red Sea
Opponents: Italy and somewhat Germany and maybe Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air; (2)Convoys; (3)Naval Superiority
Nature of Conflict: (1) The CW will be fighting hard to maintain control of the Suez Canal, and if it can go over to the offensive it will first be pushing the Axis away from the Canal Zone. (2) CW convoys from India or South Africa will be maintaining supply to Egypt or ferrying resources through the Med; either the Italians (via naval bombers) or the Japanese (fleet) will be trying to disrupt that flow. (3) If the Axis takes the canal then the CW may have to challenge them for supremacy in the Red Sea before it can mount a counter-offensive. It may also have to fend of Japanese fleet elements as part of its defence of the Canal.

11. The Middle East
Territory: Aden, Iraq, Persia, Kuwait, Arabia, the Arabian Sea & Persian Gulf
Opponents: All three Axis powers in about equal measure
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air; (2)Convoys; (3)Naval Superiority
Nature of Conflict: (1)If the Axis take the canal or land a large force in Syria to head for Iraq, then the CW will probably want to shuffle troops into Kuwait & Basra to keep a foothold in the region; they will also want to garrison the oil in the south of Persia if the Soviets haven't; later they will want to expel the Axis forcees. (2) Japanese units, and Italians or Germans if the Canal falls, will want to disrupt CW supply and resource convoys going along here. The CW may want to do the same to them if they have convoy pipelines around here after they take Suez. (3) The CW will mostly be fighting Japanese naval forces out here if they bother venturing out this far, and the Italians or Germans may also come into the region if they secure the Canal.

12. East Africa
Territory: Italian East Africa, British & French Somaliland
Opponents: Italy and somewhat Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) Italy and possibly Japan will use this region as a staging ground for their naval and land forces; CW will want to deny them this by seizing the region, and as discussed in the earlier dissertation on objectives, it will want to do this as soon as is feasible.

13. South Africa
Territory: South Africa and Madagascar
Opponents: Japan and maybe Italy
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air; (2)Convoys; (3)Naval Superiority
Nature of Conflict: (1) The Japanese, or the Italians if they are strong enough, may attempt to conquer South Africa; the CW will want to prevent this. (2) The convoy line looping around South Africa may be imperilled by Axis forces, so if it is the CW will have to devote resources to defend it; conversely it may want to cut Axis supply lines into South Africa. (3) If the Japanese or Italians are running rampant throughout the Indian Ocean the Royal Navy will have to challenge them here if it wants to get back in.

14. Indian Ocean
Territory: The sea areas comprising the Indian Ocean and adjacent islands & land areas.
Opponents: Japan and maybe Italy
Types of Combat: (1)Convoys; (2)Naval Superiority
Nature of Conflict: (1) The Japanese will try to cut CW convoy lines in this area, as will the Italians if they can break out into the region. The CW will want to cut Axis supply lines that go through the Indian Ocean. (2) The Japanese fleet and possibly Italian surface forces will challenge the Royal Navy for control of the Indian Ocean in order to influence the outcomes of the active campaigns in areas bordering it.

15. India
Territory: India and Ceylon
Opponents: Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) The Japanese may want to grab Ceylon to get the objective or to use it as a base against India; they may also attempt to conquer India, of course. The CW naturally will want to prevent these from occuring, and India will be a key staging ground for a campaign into the IndoChina area of conflict.

16. IndoChina
Territory: Burma, Malaya & Singapore, Siam, French Indochina
Opponents: Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) The CW will initially be trying to fend off Japanese attacks in this region; later on in the war it will be trying to reclaim lost territory and conquer the rest of it as part of its drive to defeat Japan.

17. Australia & New Zealand
Territory: Australia and New Zealand
Opponents: Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) Japan may attempt to attack these two countries; the CW will want to deter such an attack, or failing that, prevent its success.

18. South Pacific
Territory: Rabaul, New Guinea, Fiji, the Solomons, neighbouring sea areas.
Opponents: Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Naval Superiority, (2)Land/Air; (3)Convoys
Nature of Conflict: (1) First and foremost this area is about contesting the sea areas contained with the Japanese navy and its naval air arm. (2) Related to the first conflict is the need to control the airbases and ports in the area. (3) The Japanese will have supply lines going through this area once it has established a presence, which the CW will try to sever; when the CW is on the counter-offensive and has its own supply lines going, the Japanese will in turn try to cut them.

19. South China Sea
Territory: Singapore, NEI, Hong Kong, the South China Sea sea area
Opponents: Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Convoys; (2)Naval Superiority; (3)Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) The CW will be doing its part in trying to cripple the Japanese economy by turning the South China Sea into a death trap for Japanese merchant shipping. (2) Following that, in order to put the boots to the Japanese fleet and press the attack on land in neighbouring areas, the CW will have to contest the sea zone. (3) Since Japan will control most of the land regions of this area, the CW will need, once it has naval superiority, to take them back to use as bases for further attacks on Japan in the final area of conflict to be discussed here.

20. China Sea
Territory: The China Sea sea area, Taiwan, Japan
Opponents: Japan
Types of Combat: (1)Land/Air
Nature of Conflict: (1) By the time the CW can participate in any important way in this theatre, the US will have probably already taken care of convoy battles and finishing the Japanese Navy, so the CW's main concern is to assist in taking Taiwan and participating in Operation Olympic against the desperate Japanese defenders. Nevertheless it may provide some assistance in Naval Superiority or Convoy operations in the area.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 51
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/4/2005 10:32:16 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Wow. Everyone stood around and gaped in awe. I know this is what I asked for and it is desperately needed for the AIO, but I stopped believing in Santa Claus a few years back.

Just to prove that I read and understood all this, I assume you are throwing Norway in with Denmark and Germany.

Do you see any convoys for the British coming around Cape Horn? I am thinking about the Food in Flames option.

I usually build a factory for the Commonwealth in India to reduce the need for convoys. Do you think that would change the convoy contests in the Indian ocean?

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 52
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/4/2005 11:03:37 AM   
CBoehm

 

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From: Aarhus, Denmark
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quote:


I usually build a factory for the Commonwealth in India to reduce the need for convoys. Do you think that would change the convoy contests in the Indian ocean?


perhaps Im wrong...but Im quite sure this is not allowed within the standard boardgame RAW7 rules? or are the rules different in CWIF or am I just mistaken.

edit just looked it up:
quote:

WIF RAW7-aug.4:
"22.2 Factory destruction & construction (option 30)
You can build a maximum of 1 new factory a turn for each major power. They cost 8 build points each and take 4 turns to arrive.
When a new factory arrives, you must put a marker onto a city hex in your home country to reflect its construction (only in Britain for the Commonwealth until conquered). You can never have more than 2 blue factories in a hex. New factories are always blue factories."

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 53
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/4/2005 11:20:54 AM   
Froonp


Posts: 7895
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quote:

Do you see any convoys for the British coming around Cape Horn? I am thinking about the Food in Flames option.

A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Cape Horn (south tip of South America) would use 13 Sea Area.
A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Panama Cana would use 10 Sea Area.
A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Cape of Good Hope (south tip of South Africa) would use 9 Sea Area.
A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Mediterranean & the Suez Canal would use 9 Sea Area.
I never had a convoy line runninr around the Cape Horn.
cf : CWiF world maps attached to this post.

quote:

I usually build a factory for the Commonwealth in India to reduce the need for convoys. Do you think that would change the convoy contests in the Indian ocean?

As CBoehm said, this is forbidden.




Attachment (1)

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 54
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/4/2005 4:09:53 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18176
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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quote:

ORIGINAL: CBoehm
quote:


I usually build a factory for the Commonwealth in India to reduce the need for convoys. Do you think that would change the convoy contests in the Indian ocean?


perhaps Im wrong...but Im quite sure this is not allowed within the standard boardgame RAW7 rules? or are the rules different in CWIF or am I just mistaken.

edit just looked it up:
quote:

WIF RAW7-aug.4:
"22.2 Factory destruction & construction (option 30)
You can build a maximum of 1 new factory a turn for each major power. They cost 8 build points each and take 4 turns to arrive.
When a new factory arrives, you must put a marker onto a city hex in your home country to reflect its construction (only in Britain for the Commonwealth until conquered). You can never have more than 2 blue factories in a hex. New factories are always blue factories."


Once again I am living in a world of Edition 5 rules. Sorry.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to CBoehm)
Post #: 55
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/4/2005 4:25:57 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18176
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp
quote:

Do you see any convoys for the British coming around Cape Horn? I am thinking about the Food in Flames option.

A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Cape Horn (south tip of South America) would use 13 Sea Area.
A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Panama Cana would use 10 Sea Area.
A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Cape of Good Hope (south tip of South Africa) would use 9 Sea Area.
A convoy line going from Australia to England through the Mediterranean & the Suez Canal would use 9 Sea Area.
I never had a convoy line runninr around the Cape Horn.
cf : CWiF world maps attached to this post.

quote:

I usually build a factory for the Commonwealth in India to reduce the need for convoys. Do you think that would change the convoy contests in the Indian ocean?

As CBoehm said, this is forbidden.




The route through the Panama Canal lets you pick up the New Hebrides resource and go into Britain through Scotland, avoiding the Bay of Biscay.

The route around the Horn is farther away from Japanese interference, picks up the New Hebrides resource, and also lets you go in to Britain through Scotland.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 56
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/5/2005 6:03:32 AM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
Joined: 6/6/2005
From: Ottawa, Canada
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quote:

Wow. Everyone stood around and gaped in awe. I know this is what I asked for and it is desperately needed for the AIO, but I stopped believing in Santa Claus a few years back.


What, didn't you know he played WiF? C'mon, he's gotta do something during the rest of the year.

quote:

Just to prove that I read and understood all this, I assume you are throwing Norway in with Denmark and Germany.


Er, sure. Norway fulfills most of the same functions as Denmark without the risk (or benefit, depending on how late in the game it is) of being in direct overland contact with Germany.

quote:

Do you see any convoys for the British coming around Cape Horn? I am thinking about the Food in Flames option.


There's no reason why not, although it's a long convoy route. I suppose the AI could choose to route convoys from South Africa that way if it kept them safe from Japanese attack. I suppose the fact that very few Axis ships (probably only the CXs if Convoys in Flames is included) can make it out there could make it attractive, although the immense length of the route makes it very unappealing. The AI should have the ability to route convoys down there, but it should only do so as a (very) last resort, I would guess..

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 57
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/6/2005 8:36:12 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
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From: Ottawa, Canada
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quote:

(6) A master production plan by unit type and/or gearing limits. This does not have to be detailed, just a broad outline.


This is probably the hardest part of the AI; I almost shied away from it since it's the weakest part of my own WiF gameplay. But there are certain things we can keep in mind to form a general production plan throughout the game.

The CW has 22 factories; assuming it can fill them all it will have 11 bps/turn in 1939, 17/turn in 1940, 22/turn in 1941, 28/turn in 1942, and 33/turn in 1943, '44 and '45. If you are playing with Food in Flames those numbers become, assuming the CW can bring in resources from South Africa, India & Australia every turn, 25 production points (22 for factores + 3 bonus), 13 bps/turn in '39, 19/turn in '40, 25/turn in '41, 31/turn in '42, and 38/turn in '43 on. It will have more or less build points each turn depending on Axis submarine warfare and US build point lending.

So, I would suggest that the CW has a basic production framework for each turn at each production multiple, and that the real work comes in knowing (a) specifically what to build (which is decided by the expected areas of conflict & objectives for each year) and (b) what to cut down on when production is not maxed out (as it so often unhappily will be).

Some General Notes

Convoys: In the early war the CW should probably be building 1 or 2 cp per turn every turn; and in fact would be wise to do so until the worst of the Battle of the Atlantic is over. The goal is that the CW always has enough to maximize resource shipment into England while still having some spare convoys in case the Axis score some hits against its convoy lines. If things start getting bad 3-4 cp per turn is a good idea. If an invasion of Britain is imminent (4 turns away) and nothing can be done to stop the convoy hemmoraghing, then the CW's absolute priority is land units & fighters to throw back the invasion or at least bottle it up successfully.

Sealift: The CW begins the game with four TRS, one of which is likely to be the liner unit; a good guideline for increased TRS lift is 2 per year through to 1944; that is, 6 in 1940, 8 in 1941, 10 in 1942, 12 in 1943, and 14 in 1944. This ensures the CW will probably have adequate sea lift for all its needs. As for AMPHS, the CW doesn't begin with any, but I would think a good guideline is to have 2 in 1941, 3 in 1942, 4 in 1943, and 6 in 1944.

HQs: HQs should take highest priority in production. End of story. Unless there's some kind of convoy crisis going on.

Late War Naval Builds: These should be just about repairing ships and replacing sealift losses. In particular, in 1945, especially by the last three turns, there is almost no reason for the CW to spend bps on naval units; but I have included budgeting for naval builds nevertheless as a general guideline for if it does need to spend any money; the AI will probably want lots of short-term stuff anyway.

Carrier Planes: Carrier planes should be budgeted under naval builds since they are specifically attached to other naval units. Pilots should always be considered air builds because they are needed for all types of aircraft.

Normal Production Numbers

PM 0.5 (11 bps/turn): 3 bps to naval builds, 4 to air builds, 4 to land builds.
This translates to 1-3 naval units (depending on what is constructed), 1 aircraft & 1 pilot (or 2 aircraft or 2 pilots), and 1 land unit. If the CW wants to put more into land it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into air or naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from air and then land.

PM 0.75 (17 bps/turn): 5 bps to naval builds, 6 to air builds, 6 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into air or naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1 (22 bps/turn): 6 bps to naval builds, 8 to air builds, 8 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.25 (28 bps/turn): 8 bps to naval builds, 10 to air builds, 10 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.5 (33 bps/turn) - 1943: 9 bps to naval builds, 12 to air builds, 12 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.5 (33 bps/turn) - 1944: 5 bps to naval builds, 14 to air builds, 14 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.5 (33 bps/turn) - 1945: 3 bps to naval builds, 15 to air builds, 15 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

Food in Flames Production Numbers

PM 0.5 (13 bps/turn): 4 bps to naval builds, 4 to air builds, 5 to land builds.
This translates to 1-4 naval units (depending on what is constructed), 1 aircraft & 1 pilot (or 2 aircraft or 2 pilots), and 1-2 land units. If the CW wants to put more into land it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into air or naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from air and then land.

PM 0.75 (19 bps/turn): 6 bps to naval builds, 6 to air builds, 7 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into air or naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1 (25 bps/turn): 8 bps to naval builds, 8 to air builds, 9 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.25 (31 bps/turn): 9 bps to naval builds, 11 to air builds, 11 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.5 (38 bps/turn) - 1943: 10 bps to naval builds, 14 to air builds, 14 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.5 (38 bps/turn) - 1944: 6 bps to naval builds, 16 to air builds, 16 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

PM 1.5 (38 bps/turn) - 1945: 4 bps to naval builds, 17 to air builds, 17 to land builds.
If the CW wants to put more into land or air it should take away from naval; if it wants to put more into naval it should take away from land. If the CW doesn't have max production it should take away from naval and then land.

< Message edited by composer99 -- 11/6/2005 8:44:32 PM >

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 58
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/7/2005 3:24:36 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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A good start on production for the Commonwealth. Not as dazzling as your previous posts.

I just went through all the major powers laying out their resources, factories, and produciton multiples for each year (roughly). My purpose was to figure out all the convoy shipping lanes for each major power and the consequences for failure to maintain them. I haven't gotten to doing that for the Commonwealth - I am saving the hardest for last. However, I agree with your assessment of what the likely PP and therefore BP are likely to be for the CW.

By the way, does WIF FE simply drop BP fractions? For example, do the Chinese, with 7 PP and a 0.25 multiple, only get 1 BP per turn? The rules are unclear to me on this point.

Allocating the build points by branch of service seems right to me. Indeed, I usually balance builds between 4 branches of service, with the merchant marine separate from other naval builds. This makes it easier to align the production schedule with the requirements for units in the field. For example, (as you suggested) the convoys would be maintained at a certain level while the combat naval unit builds waxed or waned.

An additional concern is the type of units selected within each branch of service. For land offensives, HQ's and armor are needed. For land defense, HQ's, militia, territorials, and garrisons are very good, with infantry and AT a close second. Paratroops and marines are excellent for attacking, if their special capabilities are needed. What I am postulating here is that the strategic objectives (defend Great Britain versus invade continental Europe) dictate which types of land units are selected for construction with the build points allocated to land units.

Similar prioritizations within naval and air unit builds are obvious and depend on the player's current situation and the strategic balance of power.

I also have a sense that radical changes in what is produced could occur depending on different world events. If Germany attacks the USSR, then the threat of a German invasion of Great Britain virtually disappears, and any build points allotted for that purpose should be discontinued. When the US enters the war, their convoys and ASW support can greatly reduce the Commonwealth's need for same. Once Italy's fleet is destroyed, the CW has an abundance of surface naval units. Even after sending hordes of them to the Pacific, there should be little need for building additional combat naval units. There are also lesser events (e.g., certain US entry options) that can change the priorities for the CW's production. Identifying and responding to these moments of transition can greatly increase the effectiveness of a country's production.

What I found especially useful in your post was the breakdown by year. That lets me apply your suggestions to every scenario where the CW has production decisions to make.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 59
RE: AI for MWiF - Commonwealth - 11/7/2005 9:06:00 AM   
fuzzy_bunnyy

 

Posts: 27
Joined: 8/26/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

By the way, does WIF FE simply drop BP fractions? For example, do the Chinese, with 7 PP and a 0.25 multiple, only get 1 BP per turn? The rules are unclear to me on this point.



Rule 2.6 Fractions

basically, round to the nearest whole number, and round halves up. on negative numbers rounding "up" moves you closer to zero.

that answer your question? this leads to all sorts of interesting gamey ways to manipulate your production so as to get the most BP from the least amount of PP and to maximize oil, if playing with it.

_____________________________

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(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 60
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