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German AI - 11/21/2005 3:02:02 PM   
Drax Kramer

 

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Another aspect of German AI play-out that bothers me is the serious neglect of the Atlantic Wall which often results with Allied militia "invading" France in Spring 1943 allowing Allies to disembark several armies in France and turning WW2 game of grand strategy into WW1 game with Western front running along historical lines described in Remarque's novels.

Such "hole" in Western defenses could be forgiven if Germans were sitting in Moscow or Caucasus, but since German AI is incapable of defeating Soviet one (it shows no visible strategy in attempting to do so), at least fortifying France should be a task within cognitive capabilities of German AI.

When I played 1941 Germans with everyone else (including Japan) ran by AI, I was sending infantry, AA guns and artillery in methodical way, every turn. Instead of usual "milk runs" flown against German militia and artillery, Allied AI refrained from attacking until late 1943 when increasing number of Allied air armadas did not try to wipe out my fighter defenses in the West.

Aside from Atlantic Wall, I'll repeat the diificult to grasp mandatory withdrawal of Afrika Korps from Lybia. This movement (probably hard coded by designers) makes no difference in Russia, frees Allied resources for service elsewhere, exposes Central Mediterranean and Italy and so on. In addition, "Italian stuka" remains in the Mediterranean trying to interfere with Allied shipping.

There was a good historical reason why Afrika Korps was employed where it was. They weren't there to conquer Iraq (as many players and designers think), but to prevent Italy from collapsing and Rommel did a very good job. I strongly urge that German AI should be modified to maintain the North African front and for Italian port to be removed from Adriatic to its geographically proper place, Central Mediterranean.



Drax
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RE: German AI - 11/21/2005 3:11:36 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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I concur that the AI wont stand a chance against even a mediocre player. Still, the AI is doing a better job that what many other games present. If Gary can find the time to improve it is not something I know but it certainly would be nice to see it done.

I dont terribly agree about DAK though. In my opinion its far better to pull back from North Africa than remain there unless you can take at the very least Cairo. Infact, I pull back from North Africa atleast initially almost every game I play as the Axis.

(in reply to Drax Kramer)
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RE: German AI - 11/21/2005 7:04:22 PM   
mcaryf

 

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I am just briefly passing by my e-mail so can only make a quick comment which I will amplify when I am back on Friday.

I have significantly uprated the capability of an AI Axis to win in the latest version of my AI Vengeance Mod which I will be in a position to supply at the weekend. It will now obtain Decisive Victories in hands off games and make a serious mess of Russia, if not aided by the West, although never quite eliminating her from the map.

However, I have noted a very serious failing - the AI seems to have no priority to seize the Caucases even if it has infantry in the next region and the SU has no garrison in the Caucases. This is plainly a very major weakness in the AI coding as no human player would neglect such an opportunity.

I have solved this in my mod by making Turkey a frozen Axis Ally that is triggered to join the Axis if Germany gets close enough to the Caucases. Since the AI also rarely attacks neutrals apart from Yugoslavia it makes sense to switch some of them to be frozen Axis supporters.

I have also solved the Atlantic Wall problem by creating bunker units that cannot be moved (by modding the characteristics of German airborne which the AI never uses anyway - thanks to Jan for this idea). I should note my mod starts after the fall of France that greatly helps so I can pre-position some defensive units on the Atlantic Wall.

I am part way through my first full game against my most recently modded AI version and I think I will win but it is a hard and different struggle to normal so at least has the merit of variety.

One of the other major changes is to have the Vichy fleets in existence (as they were irl) and they can join the Axis if Germany (as usual) abandons Africa and the Allies try to take it all.

There are many other changes including Kamikaze's, 2 CAG CV's, Gibraltar as an island, motorised infantry, SS recruits, massive numbers of poor quality Soviet tanks and aircraft in the starting forces and a more realistic number of U-Boats (should be 50 units in the scale used by the game). All in all I hope it will be a real challenge for experienced players without giving the AI units unrealistically strong characteristics.

Regards

Mike

(in reply to JanSorensen)
Post #: 3
RE: German AI - 11/22/2005 10:41:19 PM   
Drax Kramer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JanSorensen

I dont terribly agree about DAK though. In my opinion its far better to pull back from North Africa than remain there unless you can take at the very least Cairo. Infact, I pull back from North Africa atleast initially almost every game I play as the Axis.


What players do in PBEM games are of no concern of me. If they want to pull Rommel out of Lybia in order to invade Turkey, it's fine by me.

But, when I played Germans I left DAK in Africa and with use of assets already in the Mediterranean, I managed to capture Middle East. Allies were so dumb founded that they never even invaded Morocco.

My point is that AI should at least try to play conventionally. With mandatory pullout from Lybia, Allied AI quickly overruns entire North African shore and by Spring 1943 it already sits in France. I am sorry, but if German AI is completely incapable of defeating Soviet AI, then it should at least try to stall in the Mediterranean and delay Allied AI.

This forum is not the proper place to discuss historical justification of holding Lybia (the original reason of sending DAK there), so my complaint against this hardcoded movement is based on game play. Germans voluntarily cede North Africa while gaining nothing in return. This is wrong.

(in reply to JanSorensen)
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RE: German AI - 11/22/2005 11:11:57 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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My point is definitely also strictly in game terms and I dont believe I have suggested otherwise.

You are correct that it would be better if the Axis AI took Suez to protect that flank rather than gain nothing. My point is that its better off getting those units back from NA rather than leaving them there if it does not use them to take Suez. Those two points dont really clash.

Unlike the real war where controlling North Africa actually mattered there is very little value in those sand dunes in WaW. Suez and Gibraltar are basically what matters. Anything in between is far too easily put out of supply and ignored. So, as I see it the Axis (AI or otherwise) should either withdraw or commit in force to take at the very least Suez. Thats also why repeating Torch with the WA is basically a worthless act in GGWaW unless you are fighting off an Axis AV.

(in reply to Drax Kramer)
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RE: German AI - 11/24/2005 9:49:21 PM   
Drax Kramer

 

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I didn't want to play the historical card, but the reason Hitler sent a "blocking detachment", i.e. DAK to Lybia was to prevent Italian collapse, not to conquer Suez. As long as Rommel kept British employed in North Africa, Italy was safe.

Unlike the popular opinion, it was British who were on strategic offensive in the theatre and Rommel's mission was purely defensive up until fall of Tobruk.

So, why should German AI behave opposite from its historical counterpart and yield British a bloodless victory? Why should German AI expose Italy as it usually does?

Rommel's weak panzer korps did Allies far more damage by fighting in North Africa as opposed to its hypothetical deployment in Ukraine where it would have been swallowed by Soviet space.

Now, why the game takes this rather unorthodox view of Axis straegy in the Mediterranean (not to mention virtual abandonment of Western France for no obvious gain in Russia) is beyond my comprehension.



Drax

(in reply to JanSorensen)
Post #: 6
RE: German AI - 11/24/2005 10:34:37 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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There was indeed a historical value in holding North Africa concerning the Italians.

However, there is virtually no value in holding that area in GGWaW. Thats just how it is - and why its wise for the AI to pull back. It would be an even worse AI if it kept DAK in North Africa without pushing hard for Suez.

So, I am not quite sure what your point is. You can certainly ask that DAK should push harder for Suez. You can also ask that game mechanics be put in that put value in North Africa. But, you most certainly cannot in good faith ask that the AI should keep DAK in a worthless North Africa - yet that seem to be exactly what you are asking for. Maybe I misunderstood you - in that case I do apologise.

(in reply to Drax Kramer)
Post #: 7
RE: German AI - 12/3/2005 12:54:27 AM   
Drax Kramer

 

Posts: 156
Joined: 9/13/2004
From: Zagreb, Croatia
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quote:


However, there is virtually no value in holding that area in GGWaW. Thats just how it is - and why its wise for the AI to pull back. It would be an even worse AI if it kept DAK in North Africa without pushing hard for Suez.


Then why don't German AI try to push hard for Suez once in a while?

quote:

But, you most certainly cannot in good faith ask that the AI should keep DAK in a worthless North Africa - yet that seem to be exactly what you are asking for.


From German AI standpoint, Western France is a worthless territory as well, it simply refuses to invest in its defense. Italian territories seem worthless to German AI as well. In this it is helped by Allied AI that refuses to invade North Italy even when it is without land units. Entire Italian fleet happily sinks Allied transports in the Mediterranean while Allied and German armies reenact WW1 in Fall 1945, because Allies do not try to invade Italy.

When I first asked this question, someone replied how withdrawal of DAK was hardcoded into German AI. Now, majority of players rarely plays anything but 1940 scenario where DAK isn't there. I, on the other hand, prefer to play 1941 scenario since it resembles WW2 better in my opinion. If DAK is placed there for historical reasons, then why shouldn't German AI be allowed to "think" for itself what to do with it? The Egypt territory is easily taken in 1941 scenario and then it should be up to German AI to decide whether to push for Cairo or not.

Instead, with mandatory withdrawal from Egypt, Allied AI is given victory for free, while German AI gains nothing in return since it usually squanders its panzerkorps sending them in pairs alone next to huge Soviet pile in Moscow.


Drax

(in reply to JanSorensen)
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