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RE: AI for MWiF - USA

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/11/2005 2:22:53 AM   
composer99


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PTO Sea Area/Group Breakdown

These represent what level of domination the US should strive to achieve in each area over time; whether they actually will will depend on how well the Japanese play, how lucky either side is, the extent to which the US has to commit its naval forces to battle against Germany and Italy, and probably some other factors as well.

The working assumption is that the US will be at war with Japan by early 1942 at the latest.

Eastern Pacific
Ideally, the US will have Dominance in this group through the entire war; however if the Japanese secure Pearl Harbour then it may well have a period of Conflict/Superiority/Supremacy in 1941-42.

Hawaiian Perimeter
1942 (early): Conflict
1942 (late): Superiority
1943 - 1945: Dominance

North Pacific
1942: Supremacy
1943 - 1945: Dominance

South Pacific
1942 (early): Allied Probing Attacks
1942 (late): Allied Conflict
1943 (early): Allied Superiority
1943 (late): Allied Supremacy
1944 - 1945: Allied Dominance

Central Pacific
1942 (early): Defence
1942 (late): Probing Attacks
1943 (early): Conflict
1943 (late): Superiority
1944 (early): Supremacy
1944 (late) - 1945: Dominance

Japanese Perimeter
1942: Probing Attacks
1943 (early): Probing Attacks
1943 (late): Conflict
1944 (early): Superiority
1944 (late): Supremacy
1945: Dominance

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 31
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/11/2005 2:38:07 AM   
composer99


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PTO Land Region Breakdown

Hawaii/Midway
1942 (early): Superiority
1942 (late): Supremacy
1943 - 1945: Dominance

Dutch Harbour/Pago Pago
1942 (early): Superiority
1942 (late): Supremacy
1943 - 1945: Dominance

Australia/New Zealand
1942 (early): Allied Conflict
1942 (late): Allied Superiority
1943 (early): Allied Supremacy
1943 (late) - 1945: Allied Dominance

Fiji/New Hebrides
1942 (early): Conflict
1942 (late): Superiority
1943 (early): Supremacy
1943 (late) - 1945: Dominance

Solomon Islands/Rabaul
1942 (early): Defence
1942 (mid): Probing Attacks
1942 (late): Conflict
1943 (early): Superiority
1943 (late): Supremacy
1944 - 1945: Dominance

New Guinea
1942 (early): Defence
1942 (mid): Probing Attacks
1942 (late): Conflict
1943 (early): Superiority
1943 (late): Supremacy
1944 - 1945: Dominance

NEI
1942: Allied Defence/Ignore
1943 (early): Allied Probing Attacks
1943 (late): Allied Conflict
1944 (early): Allied Superiority
1944 (mid): Allied Supremacy
1944 (late) - 1945: Allied Dominance

Philippines
1942 - 1943: Defence/Ignore
1944 (early): Superiority
1944 (mid): Supremacy
1944 (late) - 1945: Dominance

Marshall Islands
1942 (early): Conflict
1942 (mid): Superiority
1942 (late): Supremacy
1943 - 1945: Dominance

Caroline Islands
1942 (early): Probing Attacks
1942 (late): Conflict
1943 (early): Superiority
1943 (mid): Supremacy
1943 (late) - 1945: Dominance

Guam/Marianas/Palau Islands
1942: Probing Attacks
1943 (early): Conflict
1943 (mid): Superiority
1943 (late): Supremacy
1944 - 1945: Dominance

Bonin Islands
1942 - 1943: Probing Attacks/Ignore
1944 (early): Supremacy
1944 (mid) - 1945: Dominance

Taiwan
1944 (early): Conflict
1944 (mid): Superiority
1944 (late): Supremacy
1945 - Dominance

Japan
1944 (early): Ignore
1944 (mid): Conflict
1944 (late): Superiority
1945: Supremacy/Dominance

Mainland Asia South
1942: Allied Defence
1943 (early): Allied Probing Attacks
1943 (late): Allied Conflict
1944 (early): Allied Superiority
1944 (mid): Allied Supremacy
1944 (late) - 1945: Allied Dominance

Mainland Asia North
1942: Allied Probing Attacks
1943: Allied Conflict
1944 (early): Allied Superiority
1944 (late): Allied Supremacy
1945: Allied Supremacy/Dominance

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 32
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/11/2005 2:41:59 AM   
composer99


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PTO Special Areas Breakdown

Japanese Supply Lines
1942: Probing Attacks
1943 (early): Conflict
1943 (late): Superiority
1944: Supremacy
1945: Dominance

Japanese Convoy Lines
1942: Allied Probing Attacks
1943 (early): Allied Conflict
1943 (late): Allied Superiority
1944 (early): Allied Supremacy
1944 (late) - 1945: Allied Dominance

Japanese Airspace
1943 (late): Probing Attacks
1944 (early): Conflict
1944 (mid): Superiority
1944 (late): Supremacy
1945: Dominance

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 33
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/11/2005 3:17:21 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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These are excellent and reflect your usual thoughtfulness.

They are a schedule for what the USA would like to acheive. However, what seems to be missing is how to prioritize between which areas to keep on schedule.

For example, assume that everything is perfectly on schedule at the start of 1943. The USA now has a list of things to get done during the year. Where should it start? What if it is behind schedule in one area? Should that area take precedence over the others until they are all equally behind schedule, or should that one lapse be ignored and the rest of the master schedule maintained?

As I said, it is a question of priorities, especially when things aren't going well, or are going so well that maybe an early victory is possible.

As a player, I would probably give priority to the drive through the center of the Pacific, taking out major ports as stepping stones - but that is without giving it any serious thought. Since you have done so much on this, I expect you have a ready answer of your own.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 34
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/11/2005 4:55:00 AM   
composer99


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quote:

These are excellent and reflect your usual thoughtfulness.

They are a schedule for what the USA would like to acheive. However, what seems to be missing is how to prioritize between which areas to keep on schedule.

For example, assume that everything is perfectly on schedule at the start of 1943. The USA now has a list of things to get done during the year. Where should it start? What if it is behind schedule in one area? Should that area take precedence over the others until they are all equally behind schedule, or should that one lapse be ignored and the rest of the master schedule maintained?

As I said, it is a question of priorities, especially when things aren't going well, or are going so well that maybe an early victory is possible.

As a player, I would probably give priority to the drive through the center of the Pacific, taking out major ports as stepping stones - but that is without giving it any serious thought. Since you have done so much on this, I expect you have a ready answer of your own.

_____________________________

Steve


Agreed. The prioritizing is really the key function of the US (or any) AIO, and probably the true test of its competence: determining where to focus its efforts given (a) plentitude or scarcity of its own forces, (b) plentitude or scarcity of allied forces, (c) plentitude or scarcity of enemy forces, (d) amount of time left in the game, and some other things that do not occur to me at the present.

I would guess that the highest priority for the US in the PTO is to secure mastery over the China Sea sea area. So, in that respect your instincts as a player are dead-on: first priority in the earlier stages of the conflict must be to drive along the Central Pacific and secure the Marshalls, the Carolines, the Marianas/Guam, the Bonin Islands, and Manila; all the while submarines and later surface/carrier forces prowl the China Sea for convoys or attempt to draw out the IJN to crush it.

This way, if things are going very well for the allies as a whole, the stage is set for invasions of Taiwan and Tokyo in so that they are in hand if an automatic victory can be assured.

If things are going more or less on schedule, then a little extra effort on the US' part to drive across the Central Pacific will draw Japanese forces there, and that way the US and its allies can later catch up on their timetables in other sectors.

And if things are not going very well, if the US focuses its energies on pushing towards the China Sea then the diversion of Japanese attention and forces to counter it may well save Australia or India from dire threats.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 35
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/31/2005 10:29:33 AM   
dhatchen

 

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Something that has not been mentioned about the US Entry Pools but is likely included in these ideas is the situation where the US has a load of '0's in the pool and needs to dump some.

In many WiF games there is some kind of understanding between the Allies that a certain option means 'Go for broke - I have Zeros' or a caution to back off means a good chit draw.

The could be handled by some kind of diplomatic message to human players or may be a press headline like "USSR actions in Eastern Europe Deplorable" pops up. Computer AIs would receive some kind of slow down or free rein signal.

< Message edited by dhatchen -- 1/2/2006 10:34:51 AM >

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 36
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 6:27:58 AM   
scout1


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One question about the AI for American and the Commonwealth. In real life, these two "tried" to coordinate to a common goal. In reality, the Brit's wanted to push the Med where the US wanted the direct method. The US compromised a bit here. But to one extent or another (and this would be a good/fun overall variable as to the degree for any given game) is to tie these two countries as a loose/close grouping in terms of stategic goals.

Again, my lack of background in the game may make this a silly request, just one that would be interesting ....

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 37
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 6:45:06 AM   
Glen Felzien

 

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Not so silly. I loved being able to play US/UK as my powers to control. I could coordinate to my hearts content. However, this leads to a level of cooperation that is simply too coordinated. Normally the two powers are played by two different people. This can lead to a degree of independance that needs to be there. Sometimes the US/UK players simply could not even talk to each other their disagreements so strong leaving the Axis side to enjoy the fireworks!

That said, there ought to be a sliding scale for the level of cooperation from game to game as well as based on the US election outcome.

_____________________________

Glen

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Post #: 38
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 9:13:04 AM   
composer99


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quote:

Not so silly. I loved being able to play US/UK as my powers to control. I could coordinate to my hearts content. However, this leads to a level of cooperation that is simply too coordinated. Normally the two powers are played by two different people. This can lead to a degree of independance that needs to be there. Sometimes the US/UK players simply could not even talk to each other their disagreements so strong leaving the Axis side to enjoy the fireworks!

That said, there ought to be a sliding scale for the level of cooperation from game to game as well as based on the US election outcome.

_____________________________

Glen


I played at WiFCon last summer, and it was extremely entertaining to watch the Western Allied players in action (I was Italy/Japan). They bickered alternately like an old married couple or like... well, like the British and Americans in the war.

In a game where either the CW or the US (or both) are played by AIs, the amount of Allied coordination would depend at least partly (or maybe mostly?) on the game's skill setting (more skill = more coordination). This could of course be generalized to both alliances in general: good Axis players team up to stretch either the CW or the USSR (or both) at the global level in order to beat the stuffing out of them before the US' mighty war economy turns things around. Not-so-good Axis players do what the Axis did in the war: pursue their own localized wars while trying to fight global-thinking and global-fighting opponents.

Another important factor is the relevance of individual victory in the game. The more importance attached to each power trying to get the most objectives for itself, the less coordination there will be between allies on each side.

Alas, US election results will not factor into the equation until a Days of Decision add-on is made, but hopefully that will be only a matter of time.

_____________________________

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Post #: 39
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 9:49:04 AM   
Froonp


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Coordination between allies is one of the keys to victory in WiF.
I talk about operational coordination, not only strategical.
A few examples of operational coordination are (speaking of WiF, not the true war) :
1) Transporting CW troops with US TRS / AMPH so that the US has a naval action and the CW a land action (or the reverse).
2) Transporting CW PARA with US ATR, thus savng the precious CW air missions of a CW land action.
3) Carpet bombing & Ground Striking with the CW bombers on the German European 44 line under an Air Offensive Chit while the US under a land offensive chit is positionned to assault & blitze the positions struck bu the CW. This is crucial. Without this, the Western allies are like a man with only one leg.
4) Sailing German ships and / or SUBs (and leaving them at sea eventually too) with a few Italian SUBS so that the Italians can initiate the searches while chooisng combined actions, and the German can focus on land actions.

Those 4 are only from the top of my head, but tactical cooperation is a must in playing some countries in WiF.

I think this can be achieved by the loaning feature of CWiF.
In 1) the US TRS / AMPH are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 2) the US ATR are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 4), the German ships are loaned to the Italian for this impulse & more.

Only for 3) I do not have a ready solution in WiF with a human and AI countries played as a team.

Cheers.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 40
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 9:53:50 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp
Coordination between allies is one of the keys to victory in WiF.
I talk about operational coordination, not only strategical.
A few examples of operational coordination are (speaking of WiF, not the true war) :
1) Transporting CW troops with US TRS / AMPH so that the US has a naval action and the CW a land action (or the reverse).
2) Transporting CW PARA with US ATR, thus savng the precious CW air missions of a CW land action.
3) Carpet bombing & Ground Striking with the CW bombers on the German European 44 line under an Air Offensive Chit while the US under a land offensive chit is positionned to assault & blitze the positions struck bu the CW. This is crucial. Without this, the Western allies are like a man with only one leg.
4) Sailing German ships and / or SUBs (and leaving them at sea eventually too) with a few Italian SUBS so that the Italians can initiate the searches while chooisng combined actions, and the German can focus on land actions.

Those 4 are only from the top of my head, but tactical cooperation is a must in playing some countries in WiF.

I think this can be achieved by the loaning feature of CWiF.
In 1) the US TRS / AMPH are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 2) the US ATR are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 4), the German ships are loaned to the Italian for this impulse & more.

Only for 3) I do not have a ready solution in WiF with a human and AI countries played as a team.

Cheers.


This is all excellent. Thanks.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 41
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 11:08:24 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

3) Carpet bombing & Ground Striking with the CW bombers on the German European 44 line under an Air Offensive Chit while the US under a land offensive chit is positionned to assault & blitze the positions struck bu the CW. This is crucial. Without this, the Western allies are like a man with only one leg.

(...)

Only for 3) I do not have a ready solution in WiF with a human and AI countries played as a team.

Maybe there could be some sort of "Demands to the AI" dialog for those special US/CW and Italian/German close tactical cooperation (there's also the mighty Italian Air / German Land in Russia).

Imagine the following :
USA : Human (could be German).
CW : AI (could be Italian).

(Could be the reverse too)

The USA could have a special dialog in which they would say : "Listen my old friend Winnie, I would like your air force to wreak havoc into this zone, killing units and disrupting units".
- The "zone" could be definited as an hex with a range around which the zone is. For instance it could be Paris & 3 hexes around.
- The "wreak havoc" could be scaled up or down from a full scale air attack (the least powerful) to a ground zero air attack (the most powerful), even if there are only 2 steps in this scale, so that the AI know is the player would like an Air Offensive Chit (OC) to be used or not.
Ideas for the scale :
Step 1 (weakest) : Air attack on the most likely targets (for the following land attack by the human ally) & assets (assets are HQ, ART adjacents to the hexes likely to be attacked). The AI could fulfill this even with a simple combined action depending on its own air mission needs.
Step 2 : Air attack most of the enemy units, targets, assets, and replacements (replacements are units that could move to block the way to an exploit after a successful breakthrough). This would need an air action, and could lead to 7-10 ground strikes and 2-3 25-strengh carpet bombings (more with OC).
Step 3 : Same as 1, but with an OC.
Step 4 : Same as 2 but with an OC.
- The "killing units and disrupting units" would ba a choice by the requesting player. If only "disrupting", the AI should understand that only ground strikes are needed. If "killing" is demanded, the AI should understand that it should mount some 25 strengh Carpet Bomb missions on especially juicy enemy targets.

The AI would then decide if it can use an OC for that, decide the most likely targets considering the enemy fighter force and its own, decide how many Carpets mission it runs considering its own carpet bombing power and the availability of juicy targets (HQ not in forest, Armor concentrations, powerful hex to be breached, etc...).

This AI request dialog should also have an estimation of the number of turns in the future when this offensive will be carried, so that it can prepare itself by advancing the necessary offensive chitters HQ and the bombers.

I renew what I said before, this is crucial to break the Germans in 44 & 45 to be able to use this cooperative tactic, wreaking total & devastative havoc with CW planes and blitzing through the remnants with an US land OC on Eisenhower (or Bradley or Hodges).


(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 42
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 11:40:11 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

I think this can be achieved by the loaning feature of CWiF.
In 1) the US TRS / AMPH are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 2) the US ATR are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 4), the German ships are loaned to the Italian for this impulse & more.

It will be important to document the "Loan" feature of MWiF (which is completely stranger to WiF) in the MWiF documentation, and to illustrate it with those kinds of examples.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 43
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 2:27:02 PM   
scout1


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This raises another thought. I'm assuming there is strategic bombing (of one sort or another). In RL, there was much debate within the services as to the use of strategic air power. In fact, there was a big argument about Ike "borrowing" the 8th Air Force to prep for D-Day. A not so pretty discussion with the flyboys.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 44
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 6:01:43 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Patrice,

The mechanism I will use for communicating importance between the AIO's is the value in terms of Combat-Strength-Value (CVs) of a land unit. This is what each AIO will use internally to evaluate between land, air, and naval units/activities/actions. So the CW AIO could pass along the inofrmation to the USA AIO that a ground strike is worth so many CVs. Actually what it passes on is a distribution that provides what the 1st , 2nd, 3rd, ... ground strikes are worth. Likewise for ground support and strategic bombing missions. What the allied AIO has to decide is whether to treat doing things for his ally just as if he were doing it for himself (CW CV = USA CV) or to impose some sort of penalty (say, 0.5 CV or 2.4. CV - whatever).

How to apply this to an AIA and human player is unclear, but a simple translation of English words (helpful, important, crucial) into CVs is one possibilitiy.

Your point about longer range planning is something I hadn't thought about, but in retrospect is obvious. I'll have to think about that.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 45
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/4/2006 6:04:36 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

I think this can be achieved by the loaning feature of CWiF.
In 1) the US TRS / AMPH are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 2) the US ATR are loaned to the CW for this impulse, in 4), the German ships are loaned to the Italian for this impulse & more.

It will be important to document the "Loan" feature of MWiF (which is completely stranger to WiF) in the MWiF documentation, and to illustrate it with those kinds of examples.


Ah, something for the Help system and Tutorials. Thanks. When I asked for advice and suggestions for these two items back in September, there was only a splattering of responses. I have left off finishing their final design document because I believe it needs more than what I have gathered so far.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 46
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 12:22:27 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

How to apply this to an AIA and human player is unclear, but a simple translation of English words (helpful, important, crucial) into CVs is one possibilitiy.

I think that the player should be able to request things from the AIO mainly.
The reverse is somehow less true, because I'm talking about those situations where a close teamwork is needed (US & CW in western Europe & Italy, Germany & Italy in Italy and to a lesser extend Germany & Italy in Russia). In those situations, there is usually (in the real game) a sort of team leader that decides of the long term thrusts & offensives who are carried, and the other team member provides the assets to help the strategy being carried. He also carries his own needs & wishes, but it is best if the team work is as close as possible. Both can't try to do opposite things without destroying their hopes of achieveing something. Both must be close allies, and one of them has to decide, and I think that between the AIO and the player, the Player should decide.
Hence, that's why I think the player should ba able to request things from the AIO, and the reverse is less true because the AIO should be somehow "following".

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 47
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 1:01:40 PM   
Froonp


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Another thing comes to my mind related to what I wrote in the previous post.
It is about close cooperation between allies, when one of these allies is the AIO. When it is a human it is irrelevant completely because players communicate using human means.

There is a need, at least in my conception of WiF play, for the close cooperating allies (close cooperating allies are countries which not only cooperate in the sense of the WiF rules, but also need to work as a close team -- nearly as one country -- on a given theater) to be able to have a plan (a deal) for sharing the possible objectives cities that could be conquered by the team between them.

For example, in a normal WiF real game, it is common to have the CW army mainly positionned on one wing of the Allies frontline, and the US army mainly positionned on the other wing. I write "mainly", because their armies are often deeply intermixed, with assets of one in the middle of the army of the other (i.e. for using the Air OC / Land OC ploy this is crucial to have an HQ amongst your ally army).

When this situation arise the players will often have deals to "share" the objective cities between them, and if one unit of your ally could conquer one city that would belong to your deal, it normaly avoid to conquer it and it leave it to you (provided the said objective city is not at risk of being retaken, and that you can take it immediately too).

I think that there is a need for the AIO to be able to take such deals with the player, and to stick or betray it as they see fit. The need is indeed for the player to be able to have such deals.

i.e. CW player "talking" to the US AIO : "OK, Italy & France is already completely yours (Paris, Marseille, Milan, Rome), my army is on the left wing in France, close to the sea, I would like Amsterdam, Antwerp & Kiel to be mine, and I leave to you Munich. Berlin will be for the first comer."

Do you think such communication will be possible ?

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 48
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 1:34:47 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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To be honest I dont think the AI should bother with the intricacies of individual victory. In all likelihood doing so will only weaken its ability to play a good team game by making it take actions that are tactically or even strategically unsound (just like it does for not so few humans).

For that reason I think it would be an error to let the AI go down that road. Forget about the diplomatic aspect and concentrate on the military one instead as those are at odds with the latter being several orders of magnitudes more important.

WiF is not Diplomacy afterall.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 49
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 6:46:04 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

How to apply this to an AIA and human player is unclear, but a simple translation of English words (helpful, important, crucial) into CVs is one possibilitiy.

I think that the player should be able to request things from the AIO mainly.
The reverse is somehow less true, because I'm talking about those situations where a close teamwork is needed (US & CW in western Europe & Italy, Germany & Italy in Italy and to a lesser extend Germany & Italy in Russia). In those situations, there is usually (in the real game) a sort of team leader that decides of the long term thrusts & offensives who are carried, and the other team member provides the assets to help the strategy being carried. He also carries his own needs & wishes, but it is best if the team work is as close as possible. Both can't try to do opposite things without destroying their hopes of achieveing something. Both must be close allies, and one of them has to decide, and I think that between the AIO and the player, the Player should decide.
Hence, that's why I think the player should ba able to request things from the AIO, and the reverse is less true because the AIO should be somehow "following".



Yes, to all of the above. A good point.

Please try to keep the distinction between the AI Opponent (AIO) and the AI Assistant (AIA). In the preceeding post you are talking about the AIA, because it is playing on your side.

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Post #: 50
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 6:49:37 PM   
SurrenderMonkey

 

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I tend to agree with Jan. One of the simplest ways to fail at software development is to attempt too much. Have the AI's focus on the military situation, and force a human player in an AI-human alliance to deal with the AI's focus as a kind of diplomatic problem in itself.

Otherwise, I can hear the endless complaints coming already ...

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Post #: 51
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 6:49:58 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

Another thing comes to my mind related to what I wrote in the previous post.
It is about close cooperation between allies, when one of these allies is the AIO. When it is a human it is irrelevant completely because players communicate using human means.

There is a need, at least in my conception of WiF play, for the close cooperating allies (close cooperating allies are countries which not only cooperate in the sense of the WiF rules, but also need to work as a close team -- nearly as one country -- on a given theater) to be able to have a plan (a deal) for sharing the possible objectives cities that could be conquered by the team between them.

For example, in a normal WiF real game, it is common to have the CW army mainly positionned on one wing of the Allies frontline, and the US army mainly positionned on the other wing. I write "mainly", because their armies are often deeply intermixed, with assets of one in the middle of the army of the other (i.e. for using the Air OC / Land OC ploy this is crucial to have an HQ amongst your ally army).

When this situation arise the players will often have deals to "share" the objective cities between them, and if one unit of your ally could conquer one city that would belong to your deal, it normaly avoid to conquer it and it leave it to you (provided the said objective city is not at risk of being retaken, and that you can take it immediately too).

I think that there is a need for the AIO to be able to take such deals with the player, and to stick or betray it as they see fit. The need is indeed for the player to be able to have such deals.

i.e. CW player "talking" to the US AIO : "OK, Italy & France is already completely yours (Paris, Marseille, Milan, Rome), my army is on the left wing in France, close to the sea, I would like Amsterdam, Antwerp & Kiel to be mine, and I leave to you Munich. Berlin will be for the first comer."

Do you think such communication will be possible ?


Here I think that you, as the human player, essentailly can take credit for all the victory cities held by both you abd the AIA at the end of the game.

The stuff that happens over the board between allies in WIF as to who takes which city always stuck me as artificial. Sort of like whether I pay for a dinner out or my wife does. We have an common checking account, so what does it matter.

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Post #: 52
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/5/2006 7:21:51 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JanSorensen

To be honest I dont think the AI should bother with the intricacies of individual victory. In all likelihood doing so will only weaken its ability to play a good team game by making it take actions that are tactically or even strategically unsound (just like it does for not so few humans).

For that reason I think it would be an error to let the AI go down that road. Forget about the diplomatic aspect and concentrate on the military one instead as those are at odds with the latter being several orders of magnitudes more important.

WiF is not Diplomacy afterall.


There 3 topics being mixed up here.

One topic is the question of who wins. My previous post answers that question with: "it doesn't matter when there is a human- AIA alliance".

Another topic is the communication between the AIO's for different major powers on the same side and whether one of them tries to score more victory points even if that means the overall score for their side suffers. This I intend to control as an internal parameter which is set to NO. As a game option it can be varied by the human opponent to make the AIO play weaker because of divisiveness within the AIO's side.

The third topic is the question of whether the AIO is designed as one monolithic opponent or as a set of individual opponents that work together. On this design question I decided (in July) for the latter instead of the former. There were several reasons for that decision, but the primary one is that as a human player controlling all the countries on one side, I think of them individually. I plan what to do each turn, each impulse, for each major power separately. The game design more or less forces this process upon the player because of the requirement to choose a Action type each impulse for each major power. Within my head, I make the trade off decisions between Germany wanting a land action and therefore Italy has to do a naval (or combined). It is easier to write the AIO mimicing the logic I use than to try and create a monolithic world view.

From my perspective these decisions have been made. I see no reason to revisit them, even in idle curiousity.

I have stated this back when I first started on MWIF, but not repeated it recently. So here is my position on design decisions:
quote:

For any design decision, I explore as many alternatives as possible given the time constraints. The alternatives do not need to be reasonable, and wild ideas are encouraged, to help us to think beyond any preconceived notions we might be unaware we have. I select those alternatives that seem best and develop the implications of using those designs in a little bit of detail. Then I let the forum members critique the reduced number of alternatives, arguing amongst themselves more than with me (hopefully). If it is something that has minor impact on coding time, I let the forum members decide. If it impacts the amount of effort required to implement it as code, then I'll decide after listening to all your voices. It circumstances where coding is very easy, I make all alternatives available and the player can choose which to use when he sits down to play (e.g., the flags). Once I have decided on a design and started to code it, further discussion is moot and of no interest to me. Only in exceptional circumstances will I trash code that has already been written simply to 'improve' an aspect of the game. The design flaw has to be fatal or a major annoyance, where I get to decide the level of annoyance.


The motivations for the above should be obvious, but just in case they aren't: Revisiting design decisions can make development of software (MWIF in particular) drag on for years. Design it right, code it once and development can get done before we all die of old age.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 6:42:40 AM   
fuzzy_bunnyy

 

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how, if at all, will a human player communicate long term strategic goals to the AI? I find that especially when playing the Axis all 3 countries should decide on what to do. If Japan decides to invade Siberia and Germany goes Sea Lion....yada yada, you get it. just wondering.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 6:55:18 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fuzzy_bunnyy

how, if at all, will a human player communicate long term strategic goals to the AI? I find that especially when playing the Axis all 3 countries should decide on what to do. If Japan decides to invade Siberia and Germany goes Sea Lion....yada yada, you get it. just wondering.


A good question. I actually have the communication between human and AI Assistant as a lower priority than that between AI Opponents on the same side. Which means I will solve the latter problem first, and then modify that solution for the human - AIA interaction. Someone earlier stated what in hind sight is obvious: the human is in charge and the AIA will take strategic direction from the human. That still doesn't answer your question of how. But it does simplify matters somewhat from the programming side.

The solution to how to communicate is to define strategic plans in terms of variables and establish the various values each can take on. I have a good start on a list of variables but the second piece - the values they can take on - is less complete. I have a lot to work on right now getting things done for play test. The human-to-AIA interface is nowhere near the top. Sorry.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 7:18:08 AM   
Glen Felzien

 

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Could the human to AIA be as easy as selecting strategy from a list? Maybe select your top three picks for the AIA for each allied nation/power and then leave the AIA to do what it can with a percentage chance that it would do one of the other picks? For example a possible list for Japan could be Garrison Gains, Fortress Japan, China Total War, China Withdraw, China Limited War, Operation Vlad, Kill the Bear, The Jewel in the Crown (India), African Riches (Madagascar), Free the Colonies (Aus &NZ), Secure the Greater Prosperity Sphere (Pacific Island Grab) etc. The human player would select three and the AIA would best attempt the first if its internal die roll succeeded (80% chance it would pursue the strategy(?)) else it would pursure the second etc

Anyway, just an idea for a later time.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 7:30:28 AM   
scout1


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I like the idea of some variability. In WitP, there are players who pout about not being able to control EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. Nimitz to the supply sargent. They complain when the AIA performs a task that is not exactly what they want, where they want and when they want.

Variability is a good thing. Keeps things hopping.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 7:33:53 AM   
dhatchen

 

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I had some ideas on this and put them in post #83 in the Artificial Intelligence in World in Flames thread.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 7:56:54 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Glen Felzien

Could the human to AIA be as easy as selecting strategy from a list? Maybe select your top three picks for the AIA for each allied nation/power and then leave the AIA to do what it can with a percentage chance that it would do one of the other picks? For example a possible list for Japan could be Garrison Gains, Fortress Japan, China Total War, China Withdraw, China Limited War, Operation Vlad, Kill the Bear, The Jewel in the Crown (India), African Riches (Madagascar), Free the Colonies (Aus &NZ), Secure the Greater Prosperity Sphere (Pacific Island Grab) etc. The human player would select three and the AIA would best attempt the first if its internal die roll succeeded (80% chance it would pursue the strategy(?)) else it would pursure the second etc

Anyway, just an idea for a later time.


My difficulty with agreeing to any of this is that is needs a lot of study.

I have gone into excruciating detail for creating the AIO and have an extremely long list of decisions that the AIO has to make to play this game at all competently. While you, as a human, are comfortable with a short title to convey a lot of information, I as a programmer, have to understand what that title means in terms of all those decisions the AIA would have to make.

I also would want any system to apply to any combination of countries that the human would want to assign to the the AIA and to himself. That means having the AIA play both the USA and China or Italy and Japan, or any of the other dozens of combinations. When you add the combinatorics of the different strategic plans for each major power with their different emphases to the north, south, east, or west, you get to a big number.

For a design to accommodate all that well is non-trivial. It isn't something that can be decided in 10 minutes while typing over the keyboard. I have been worrying at the problem for the last 7 months for the AIO. The AIA is standing in line behind his big brother.

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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 6:48:03 PM   
Glen Felzien

 

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As is obviously appearent, I am not a programing guru.

quote:


ORIGINAL: fuzzy_bunnyy

how, if at all, will a human player communicate long term strategic goals to the AI? I find that especially when playing the Axis all 3 countries should decide on what to do. If Japan decides to invade Siberia and Germany goes Sea Lion....yada yada, you get it. just wondering.


This was the original question I was trying to answer. Please allow me to better articulate my suggestion for a possible solution.

Regarless of what side Japan is on, Japan has to make a decision as to what overall strategy it wishes to pursue from the beginning of the game and during various points during the game. As an AIO, the player will not actively intereact in the decision making. There would be indirect interaction as the player and AIO use the game pieces to influence the others strategy. However, as an AIA (Japaen as an ally) there would need to be a direct method of interaction between player and AI thus those fancy tiltes representing possible strategic approaches. The titles simply represent the code behind that particular strategy.

I now referance my opening sentence when I ask the following: Why does the AIO and the AIA have to be different from a strategic point of view. Regardless of the side, a major power will have a host of possible strategic possiblities. These will not be any different if the power is an enemy or a friend. The only difference, as I imagine it, is the level of player AI interaction. I imagine a basic interection for strategic "diplomacy" as referred to in my previous post and a more detailed interaction when my units and the AIA's units share the same theatre.

So unless I have missed something brutally obvious, and goodness knows it has happened before, why cant the AIO and the AIA be fundamentally the same?

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