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RE: AI for MWiF - USA

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/8/2006 8:43:09 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Glen Felzien

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?


Here are some snippets from the design document for the AIO.
==========================================
Decision Makers
3.1 Overview and Purpose
There are 8 distinct Decision Makers (DMs) but conceptually they are the same. Each DM has a jurisdiction either by role and/or geography, a superior (except for the Grand Strategist) to whom they report, and subordinates (except for units) for whom they set missions. At the lowest level are the units. Each DM evaluates all possible goals in its rule sets and prioritizes them based on expected outcomes. He then defines missions for his subordinates. Each DM has a memory of recent inputs and outputs to prevent cycling amongst different plans. DMs are somewhat generic with the capacity to be given personality and national characteristics using a ‘profile of weights’.

DMs assess the current game position within their defined area of interest and report it to their superiors. In doing so, DMs orient their analysis by filtering observations based on their current objectives. When making decisions, DMs run through their list of rule sets and evaluate the associated CV risk and reward for each rule set in light of the current objectives. The chosen rule set determines the DM’s immediate goal(s). Goals are decomposed into a list of subordinate goals whenever possible. Goals which cannot be decomposed are processed until they are complete or have failed.

3.2 Responsibilities
3.2.1 Grand Strategist
The primary purpose of the Grand Strategist (GS) is to develop a long range strategic plan and keep the other decision makers focused on tasks that implement that plan. At the beginning of every turn, the GS reviews and updates his master plan. The GS authorizes all US entry choices and actions, though the subordinate DMs may decide some of the finer details. For example, the GS may decide to risk a US entry choice or action with a 50% chance of changing the US entry status. Subordinate DMs would decide which specific US entry choice or action to take. Because of its critical importance when looking many turns ahead, the GS decides on initiative choices: which side goes first and whether to reroll.

More mundane decisions that are the responsibility of the GS are placing markers: in the US entry pool, offensive and defensive markers on the borders of neutrality pact countries, and as USSR reserve build points. The GS also chooses a new home country when, as a major power, his home country is conquered (e.g., France), and makes all decisions relating to the optional rules on intelligence. One final task for the GS is to decide about factory destruction.

The GS has no superior and his direct subordinates are the Manufacturing Council, the Commander in Chief, and Foreign Liaison.
---------------------
3.4 Task List
Tasks are grouped by DM and by strategic versus operational versus tactical. They are also classified by level of difficulty using a scale from 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest). Lastly, tasks are placed in one of the 6 categories described below.

(1) Structural (St) tasks lay the foundation for performing other tasks.
(2) Calculation (Ca) tasks perform a calculation using the current or a hypothetical situation. This usually involves combat tables or other fine grain details of the game.
(3) Responsive (Re) tasks answer direct requests from MWIF for a specific decision.
(4) Initiative (In) tasks are proactive in making something happen in the game. They are totally voluntary and can be taken whenever the AIO deems appropriate (and the rules of the game permit).
(5) Preparation (Pr) tasks prepare for specific, future, initiative tasks.
(6) Coordination (Co) tasks coordinate with other major powers on the same side or within the group of direct reports to the JCS.

As an example of the differences in the categories, the Commander in Chief has three related tasks. #3.7, Make alignment decisions concerning the Balkans, is a structural task, for it defines how the AIO wants to align the various countries in the Balkans. #3.5, Make USSR border claims, is an initiative task, for the USSR player can choose it whenever he likes. #3.6, Respond to USSR border claims, is a responsive task, for the German player must answer the question immediately before the game can proceed.

3.4.1 Grand Strategist
Strategic
1.1 Develop and implement long-term strategic plan; (4 St)
1.2 Make all decisions regarding US entry actions and choices; s. 9.4, 13.3 (3 Re)
1.3 Make initiative choices (going first, rerolling); s.6 (2 Re)
1.4 Place US entry markers in pools (1 Re)
1.5 Place offensive and defensive markers (1 Re)
1.6 Choose between offense/defense markers and USSR reserve build points (2 Re)
1.7 Make all intelligence decisions (Re & In)
1.8 Decide whether to destroy factories (1 In)
1.9 Choose new home country (1 Re)
--------------------------
3.5 Process descriptions for individual tasks
3.5.1 Grand Strategist
Strategic
1.1 Develop and implement long-term strategic plan; (4)
The strategic plan provides answers to the following questions.
(1) Which victory cities, and other important hexes, should be taken and/or defended?
(2) On which major powers should the AIO declare war, when, and any associated conditions concerning same?
(3) On which minor countries should the AIO declare war, when, and any associated conditions concerning same?
(4) Which minor countries should the AIO align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same?
(5) Where are the expected areas of conflict, with whom, and what type of combat (land, naval, air, and/or convoys)?
(6) What is the master production plan by unit type and gearing limits? This needs to contain enough specifics that the Manufacturing Council can implement it.
(7) What are the strategic plan’s milestones and what is the time line for those milestones?

Each strategic plan is unique to a major power. That is, there are 8 sets of strategic plans, one set for each major power. Within a strategic plan set there are usually many options available. Sometimes these are major alternatives and sometimes these are separate little side decisions. It is important that the GS make a firm commitment to one major alternative and only change when: (1) forced to do so by failure, or (2) overwhelmingly attractive opportunities appear. The detailed strategic plans for each major power are in a separate document: Strategic Plans.

Once all the CV values are determined for the units they can be compared across units types using weights set by either the Grand Strategist or the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For example, the relative value of air units to land units might be reduced in the USSR-Germany conflict in Europe but increased in the USA-Japan conflict in the Pacific. Similarly, Germany might down play the importance of naval units if it has no intention of invading England. In the grand scheme of things, all CVs are not equal across all unit types and across all theaters of operation. They just provide a starting point for assessing the worth of a unit in a specific situation.

Conquering a country has enormous benefits in terms of CVs. It is the CV value of all the enemy units multiplied by the number of turns left in the game.
=======================================

There are separate threads for strategic plans for each major power in this forum. Some have been idle for a while now, but they all contain excellent material concerning strategic plans for the AIO.

One AIO talking to another AIO can refer to items 5, 6, and 7 (from the list immedaitely above) in terms of internal variables that are immediately understood and can be directly used to make adjustments. For example, each AIO has an internal evalutation of the relative importance of fighters to bombers, to naval air, and battleships to carriers to transports to convoys, and armor to submarines to strategic bombers to garrison units. There are a lot of numbers involved.

Presenting them to a human for review and modification is a game interface design problem. Controlling all the interactions between theose same variables is too.

Horace Greeley's advice to "Go West, Young Man" didn't mention the snakes, indians, desert, mountains, or any of the other details that had to be considered to actually follow that plan. Now think about the additional instructions that would be needed to send a robot on that mission.

There are a lot of details to a strategic plan. Communicating them in language both parties understand is much easier than having to do a translation.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Glen Felzien)
Post #: 61
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 1/9/2006 12:52:39 AM   
fuzzy_bunnyy

 

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i dont know much about programming, and im in a hurry, but off the top of my head why not have a designated "leading country" for each side (UK/Germany) that gets to increase the CV value of hexes for its allies? That would let Germany tell both Japan and Italy where to go, and would let the UK, or US or USSR, direct the allied planing effort? the biggest immediate problem i see with this is lack of conflict, cause the countries will work together perfectly. hmm....well....just thinking out loud.

_____________________________

Member #3 of the EBEA
Comrade #4 of the e-Socialist Liberation Army

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 62
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 6/9/2006 11:15:55 AM   
Neilster


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Bump. I didn't want this to fall off the end of the thread list and it might be handy to make it more visible for newcomers to read.

Cheers, Neilster

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 63
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 6/9/2006 11:17:02 PM   
trees trees

 

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I wouldn't think very many people would want to play a side combining AI players and human players. ??? If not enough players were to be had in a group game, there are scenarios using less players. The only combinations I could see working very well at all would be: Human GE/IT + AI Japan or Human Western Allies + AI USSR, maybe vice-versa on those as well. (Maybe fore the Allies this nicely simulates how they thought about each other). Maybe comparisons to other multi-players-per-side games with AI's could be made. But I would think adding this to the list of things to make the AI do would be a lot of work for not so much reward. AI/Human CW/US and AI/Human GE/IT teams would be fairly ineffective I think.

These AI grand strategy threads are great. But perhaps an easy way to develop the AI would be to start with the way human beings generally learn the game: by playing the Barbarossa and Guadalcanal scenarios. Once an AI could play those well you could add more layers on top.

For U.S. grand strategy perhaps there could be three choices at start (or dynamically based on what the Axis is doing, at the top level): Europe or Pacific first, or equally weighted.

In the Pacific, history is an interesting guide. Again a triple branch to start: support Nimitz in the Central Pacific, McArthur in the SE Pacific or equal. Or add an option #4 for a Calcutta>NEI drive. And have some contingency plan for what happens if the Japanese take Pearl. (see #4).

I think in WiF a lot of people like giving Nimitz more horses. Why bother taking the Japanese Gibraltar (Rabaul), when you have Naval Supply Units? And WiF players aren't weighed down by famous proclamations by extremely high-ranking and publicly popular US generals.

In Europe you might as well combine whatever it is that you call the AI's Foreign Policy teams for the US and UK. (And just get it over with and basically make this combination run the Free French).

(in reply to Neilster)
Post #: 64
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 6/10/2006 3:28:52 AM   
trees trees

 

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I forgot some thoughts about US Entry choices. There are several approaches. You can ambush the Japanese with Oil Embargo or CW Reinforce Pacific (just in time for a CW white print unit to arrive) before you've otherwise tipped your hand that you've made it into the 30s levels.

Most people play Embargo Stat. Mat. and Freeze Japanese Assets on consecutive turns, as the first one is no net loss for the Japanese but is for the US.

I think Fleet to Pearl is important to play as soon as you can, it can help you manage the tension requirements for the gear-ups if having troubles there. And remember that it takes four impulses to get the fleet to Pearl, so you might not get it done the turn after you play it.

And the British need the Destroyers ASAP.

(in reply to trees trees)
Post #: 65
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 11/22/2006 7:43:33 AM   
Neilster


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Falling off the end of the list. Time to bump it for the new people.

Cheers, Neilster

(in reply to trees trees)
Post #: 66
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/9/2006 11:00:51 AM   
rtamesis

 

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Maybe this belongs to another thread, but given what is known about how intense US isolationist sentiment was before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, I question whether Congress would have even allowed Roosevelt to come to Britain's aid and declared war against Germany if Operation Sealion was launched and achieved some measure of success or whether the USA would have even allowed itself to get involved against Japan if Japan avoided attacking US forces. It seems to me that the more likely Sealion scenario if the Germans managed to capture London would have been the royal family fleeing to Canada, Churchill resigning in defeat and the British government surrendering while the US stays neutral in the whole affair. many Americans felt that the war in Europe was purely a messy European problem and that they should stay outn of it. FDR would have made lots of speeches about why the US must help its former colonial ruler, but in the end, Congress and the American people would have just shrugged and thanked themselves that they did not get involved. Similarly, I think that this inertia in Congress would have more likely prevented the USA from unilaterally declaring the war against Japan had Japan not launched any attacks against US possessions and its military assets in the Pacific. When Congress did declare war against Japan, it did not automatically give FDR permission to fight Germany until Hitler decided to declare war against the USA in a fit of solidarity with Japan.

The reason why I bring this subject up is that it seems to me that having the US automatically join the war at some arbitrary point in time during the 1940s is unrealistic and serves no other purpose than game balance. I therefore hope that there will be an option to allow the USA to remain neutral (but allowing it to provide material aid to the Commonwealth and Russia) unless attacked by Axis forces or unless an Axis power declares war against it.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 67
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/9/2006 12:19:38 PM   
wosung

 

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No no, WIF is about game rules, not about history.

Apart from isolationist's group in the USA in Summer 1940 parts of US administration also feared that any Lend Lease to CW might end in ze German's hands, so American forces eventually would have to fight against US weapons.

Churchill knew, he had to send out strong signals, that CW was willing to fight on: Like attacking the French fleet near Oran, 3rd of July 1940.

And there are two declarations of war, which are even more open to hypothetical thinking:

What, if Japan only attacked CW and Netherland India, but not the USA? (When) would America have entered the war against Japan?

What if Hitler had not DOWed the USA? (When) would America have entered the war against Germany?
This DOW is hard to understand. Probably it was motivated mainly by ideology. Hitler didn't take the US "plutocratic" military potential very serious.

In the end, as fascinating all this topics might be, I think everybody will be happy, when MWIF is running, even "only" with pure RAW.

Regards

(in reply to rtamesis)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/9/2006 1:50:35 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wosung

What if Hitler had not DOWed the USA? (When) would America have entered the war against Germany?
This DOW is hard to understand. Probably it was motivated mainly by ideology. Hitler didn't take the US "plutocratic" military potential very serious.


well technically Germany had a pact with Italy and Japan which obliged them to go to war if they were "attacked" by another power ...and the "another power" term mainly being aimed at the US ....so technically an argument could be made that GE just lived up to the "spirit" of the pact.

Besides this I think the Ge DoW was to a large extend aimed at keeping up Ge public morale ...ei. "it is us who choose this war to help our ally against the soft americans" ...and NOT "oh no now the US is cooming for us too" as would have been the case had the Ge waited 6 months to see the US declare war on them instead ...(ei. I have no daubt that once US was in a common war with the CW vs. JP ...US would sooner rather than later have joined to help CW vs. Ge too ...in exchange for CW help in the pacific in nothing else.)

(in reply to wosung)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/9/2006 9:18:55 PM   
rtamesis

 

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Hitler was not exactly a leader who would keep his promises. Witness what had happened to his pact with Stalin before he decided to launch Barbarossa. So while yes Germany had a pact of alliance with Japan, it was by no means a sure thing that Germany would have automatically fulfilled its commitments with Japan once war broke out between the Japanese Empire and the USA. Hitler could have easily decided that he had his hands full with conquering the Soviet Union and stayed neutral in the conflict between Japan and the USA.

There are really two kinds of people who play wargames: those who view it as something no different from other games such as card games, chess or other board games and those who view it as time machines that allow the gamer to try alternative strategies given exactly the same conditions and problems that the original combatants faced. I just hope that MWIF will be flexible enough to accommodate both types of gamers.

(in reply to CBoehm)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/10/2006 4:37:56 PM   
wosung

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: CBoehm


quote:

ORIGINAL: wosung

What if Hitler had not DOWed the USA? (When) would America have entered the war against Germany?
This DOW is hard to understand. Probably it was motivated mainly by ideology. Hitler didn't take the US "plutocratic" military potential very serious.



well technically Germany had a pact with Italy and Japan which obliged them to go to war if they were "attacked" by another power ...and the "another power" term mainly being aimed at the US ....so technically an argument could be made that GE just lived up to the "spirit" of the pact.

Besides this I think the Ge DoW was to a large extend aimed at keeping up Ge public morale ...ei. "it is us who choose this war to help our ally against the soft americans" ...and NOT "oh no now the US is cooming for us too" as would have been the case had the Ge waited 6 months to see the US declare war on them instead ...(ei. I have no daubt that once US was in a common war with the CW vs. JP ...US would sooner rather than later have joined to help CW vs. Ge too ...in exchange for CW help in the pacific in nothing else.)


Yeah you said it yourself: The Tripartite Pact between GER, JAP, IT ( Sept. 27th 1940), technically was a DEFENSIVE alliance against the USA. Only with an American attack on Japan, it would have to be activated.

Curiously, it was mostly Japan, which wanted the "Defensive" passus, because in autumn 1940 it wanted to be free to negotiate a diplomatic agreement with the USA. And it still hoped to get this agreement.

So for Japan the Tripartite Pact was some sort of worst case reassurance and a tool to put pressure on the USA to negotiate inspite of the "China incident".

For Germany, the Tripartite Pact was a tool to check the USA in the next phase of the war without war. It's rationale were different forms of Eurasian "continental concepts" of Hitler, Foreign minister Ribbentrop and the Kriegsmarine: Anti-British and anti-American alliances of GER, JAP, IT and other powers.

Ribbentrop even wanted the Sovietunion and National China to be included in the Tripartite Pact! But the Führer prevailed. The continental link wouldn't have to be SU but the German reigned and exploited Eastern territories. Then and only then in Hitler's eyes there should be a final fight between Germany and the Wallies, if there wouldn't have been a chance to negotiate a division of the world.

Why Hitler changed his mind and himself DOWed the USA?
1. Because of the failed attack on Moscow he felt an American intervention would come before a German victory in the East.
2. He felt the German American naval encouters in the Atlantic short of war to be just one more little step towards a real war anyway.
3. Before Pearl Harbor he feared a US-JAP agreement. If German had to fight a war on multiple fronts, then better with Japan.
4. Better to DOW then to be DOWed.

A "formal" GER, JAP, IT alliance only came in Jan 18th 1942. But basically they just DIVIDED their zones of operations (somewhere in Western India), instead of mounting some sort of coalition warfare.

Bottom line:
1. The final war alliances weren't really per-determined in 1939.
2. With the USA being a democracy and parts of it's population being isolationistic, for Roosevelt foreign policy details like DOW or being DOWed were eminent. So the question remains: How would the USA have reacted, if they wouldn't have been DOwed by GER and by JAP? For neither GER or JAP, the USA was the main target, but Russia and NI.
3. In the chaotic polycratic regimes were different rivalizing foreign policy conceptions, with more friction in Japan (Army and Navy being peers) than in Germany (in foreign policy Hitler leaded)
4. Precisely because of their racist social-darwinist nature GER and Japan simply were not fit for coalition warfare. This sort of warfare required consensus and compromise, which structurally weren't held high in both regimes. To put this chyrstal clear: They didn't even had the potential to do so.
AFIR there's a WIF option for Japanese command conflict, simulating this sort of totalitarian friction. But apparantly there's no such rule in WIF nor for the AIO in MWIF for the far more important German-Japanese friction in grand strategy. To simulate this eminent friction in MWIF, one probably would have to stop all communication between the GER and the JAP player.

Regards

< Message edited by wosung -- 12/10/2006 9:16:07 PM >

(in reply to CBoehm)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/11/2006 5:32:26 PM   
CBoehm

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wosung

AFIR there's a WIF option for Japanese command conflict, simulating this sort of totalitarian friction. But apparantly there's no such rule in WIF nor for the AIO in MWIF for the far more important German-Japanese friction in grand strategy. To simulate this eminent friction in MWIF, one probably would have to stop all communication between the GER and the JAP player.

Regards


Would help if the old rule regarding entering each others minors where implemented for atleast Jp-Ge/It so that they could not enter each others minors unless they were at war with the same MPs ....ei. Jp could then not conduct operations out of Italian East Africa before there was TOTAL WAR .....or worse invade portugal through Gibraltar from the harbor in Tripoli ...

(in reply to wosung)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/12/2006 4:43:09 AM   
trees

 

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"one probably would have to stop all communication between the GER and the JAP player."

this can and does happen quite naturally in a game of WiF sometimes. but other times not.

WiF is a game, not a re-enactment. The Empire of the Rising Sun might want to go about anywhere the sun shines, no?

I think WiF nicely simulates what might have happened without Hitler declaring war on the USA. The US puts their chits in the Japan pool for a while; Japan gets nervous and eventually declares on the US, perhaps early. [Did the USA in history ever actually pass "War Appropriations" before December 7th, 1941?] Anyway perhaps tension or entry problems keep the US from successfully DOWing Germany for a few turns, but eventually the UK's friends in Congress sway the other members ... I think this was a real possibility from my rather limited 1940's US politicial history knowledge.

(in reply to CBoehm)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/12/2006 11:25:35 AM   
wosung

 

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I know WIF is a game. But I would love it to contain the possibility of re-enactment. And I do think "authenitcy" and "plausability" are important parts of wargaming and historical gaming.

You just have to follow the other forums on the Matrix page. Apart from user- friendliness, bugs, editors and AARs, history just remains an important topic. In the Forge of Freedom they discuss about South's chances to win and game balance issues, General Ratings and historical OOB's. In the War in the Pacific Forum it's about "realistic" land-, air-, sea-combat models, aircraft data or production numbers.

In MWIF there won't be "real" oob's nor aircraft data, because originally being a board game, all these infos are quite abstracted. So perhaps people will focus on the diplomatic model of the game. I don't know.

Anyway, sure, MWIFs great potential is:
1. having the board game community as potential customers.
2. being one of three WW2 global strategy games (besides Hearts of Iron and World at War).

But with it's heritage there comes a burden.
With all the board games abstraction it won't be very intuitve to play. That's good for rule lawyers and bad for history buffs.

As for US entry: I really meant it as a question, because I don't know much about pre-war US congressial or press policy either. But being a democracy with a partly isolationistic population, legal issues were important.

So for Roosevelt being DOWed was the easy way out. He just depended on GER and JAP to get into the war at all. And he got them both. NOT because JAP or GER feared a US DOW or surprise attack. The USA were DOWed, simply because the majority of their leadership didn't take the US military potential very serious.

And I don't think UK could have easily pushed a US DOW. Nor that Axis "might want to go about anywhere the sun shines".

Regards

P.S.: I know all this talking won't change MWIF Rules. But it's fun.
And perhaps sometimes in the game menu there will be option No 1001: historical AIO behavior.

< Message edited by wosung -- 12/12/2006 7:06:22 PM >

(in reply to trees)
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RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/12/2006 1:08:45 PM   
trees

 

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I agree with you Wosung, I was making a joke about the sun shining. It is very easy to play WiF 'historically'...just simply play it that way via your decision making.


(in reply to wosung)
Post #: 75
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 12/12/2006 2:57:33 PM   
wosung

 

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You're right with desicion making, providing German AIO won't invade Peru on its first impulse.

Making jokes eh? Sorry, then first I didn't get it.

Regards

(in reply to trees)
Post #: 76
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 4/20/2007 8:25:23 PM   
npilgaard

 

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Just a small comment on US allocation of units (Pacific vs. Western European theatre):

Usually when a unit is allocated in one of those theatres, it will remain there, and since these two theatres are so far away from each other, usually the only 'communication' needed between them for the AI seems to be allocation of production, and allocation of activity limits/selecting impulse type.

However, regarding the CV fleets, which are of course usually located in the Pacific, it might, depending on overall strategies and current objectives, be worth considering bringing them (or some of them) to Europe briefly, in order to support the CW fleet in gaining the upper hand or supporting important invasion, especially if invading Italy early, and no yet fully on the offensive in the Pacific (or being in a situation where the lack of CVs for a couple of turns won't allow the Japanese to do to much damage).

_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to wosung)
Post #: 77
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 4/20/2007 9:22:22 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: npilgaard
Just a small comment on US allocation of units (Pacific vs. Western European theatre):

Usually when a unit is allocated in one of those theatres, it will remain there, and since these two theatres are so far away from each other, usually the only 'communication' needed between them for the AI seems to be allocation of production, and allocation of activity limits/selecting impulse type.

However, regarding the CV fleets, which are of course usually located in the Pacific, it might, depending on overall strategies and current objectives, be worth considering bringing them (or some of them) to Europe briefly, in order to support the CW fleet in gaining the upper hand or supporting important invasion, especially if invading Italy early, and no yet fully on the offensive in the Pacific (or being in a situation where the lack of CVs for a couple of turns won't allow the Japanese to do to much damage).

Yes.

However, this is done on an individual ship/unit basis rather than as a group/fleet of ships. The AIO logic used for this is for redeployment of units: land, air, or naval. One of the major considerations in that logic is the amount of time needed/lost to perform the redeployment. Obviously moving naval units between the Atlantic and Pacific is very time consuming. The CW is more likely to do this and it may be accomplished faster by shifting units along a line/series of sea areas.

_____________________________

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Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 78
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 4/21/2007 12:35:59 AM   
composer99


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You might be surprised at how far and how fast ships can transfer between theaters. A 4-range ship can move from UK, go through the Bay of Biscay, Cape St. Vincent, W. Med and stop in the E. Med, then during the return to base phase move through the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and stop in Singapore, ready for use the next turn.

Whether or not it survives the journey is another matter, of course.

Likewise, your average US cruiser or CV (range 5) could go from UK through Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic, East Coast, Caribbean, and through the Panama Canal to the Gulf of Panama, and from there return-to-base to any number of desireable ports - New Zealand, Honolulu, Truk, maybe even Australia & Rabaul (I'd have to check the sea areas).

Of course, that's why the English & French built the Suez Canal and the Americans the Panama Canal.

To recap: a 1-turn transfer time is, at WiF scale, an acceptably short transfer time.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

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Post #: 79
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 4/21/2007 1:47:26 AM   
Froonp


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I agree with Composer.
I once did this, planned the whole TF58 (well, the TF58 in 1942) to go fron Pearl to the Med, next turn support the invasion of Italy, and the next turn returned back to Pearl. 3 turns away from the Pacific, you only need to be sure that the Japanese is not up for something. Problem is that, when he sees you go away, even if he is not up for something, he becomes up for something quickly.

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Post #: 80
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 7/28/2007 10:15:46 AM   
Froonp


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Time to bump this up a little, for people to read through and add comments and new ideas.

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Post #: 81
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 8/10/2007 11:19:02 PM   
npilgaard

 

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A few (rather unremarkable ) thoughts on US overall strategy:

Since US becomes the leading power of the Western Allies, the overall Western Allies strategy (US+CW+FF) depends a lot on US.

Some pretty standard Western Allied main strategies (Axis may be able to force Allies to change strategy - especially if things are going to well for Axis in either Europe or Pacific):

- Europe first, Italy '43
. 1941 If possible: CW fights for control of W Med
. 1942 - 1943 CW/US gains control of W Med and starts reconquest of N Africa. Tripoli conquered
. 1943 Malta conquered. CW/US invasion and conquest of Italy. US lay low in Pacific
. 1944 US against Japan. CW/US invasion in France or Netherlands (or Italy, if unsuccessful in '43)
. 1945 Japan left with only Home Island (and maybe a few other) victory cities. Germany reduced to 'reasonable' size

- Europe first, no '43 Italy, (can e.g. be used to take pressure off USSR)
. 1941 - 1942 Maybe strategic bombing campaign
. 1943 CW/US invasion in W Europe (W or N France, or other suitable area). US lay low in Pacific
. 1944 US against Japan. CW/US thrust forward. Maybe CW/US invasion of Italy
. 1945 Japan left with only Home Island (and maybe a few other) victory cities. Germany reduced to 'reasonable' size. Conquest of Italy

- Japan first
. 1942 US starts poking at Japan perimeter. No preparing for invasion i Europe, but maybe strategic bombing campaign
. 1943 US goes against Japan. CW make minor invasion(s) in Europe
. 1944 US/CW invasion in Italy or France
. 1945 etc.


A somewhat different (and unusual) and rather specific version on 'Japan first':

Requires oil-rules, and a Japan without loads of oil stored. Focus on putting pressure on Japan early using only ac (superior against naval units/ships, as the ac can just 'return to box' if unlucky with surprise points, and are much faster to rebuild than ships)
US pre-war production: building all NAV and med-long range FTR
One variant: pressure on Japanese oil right from the start
CW / US ready to sail a unit (maybe a DIV on SCS, and then do a return-to-base into port with TRS/corps at end of turn) into Makassar (and/or Monado, and/or other ports) in the turn that Japan DoW NEI, to secure it against being conquered.
Right away (even in '41/early '42): Expand a little and place lots of ac in the surrounding area, keep supply via Timor Sea / Australia. FTR+NAV can now go to South China Sea and fight Japanese convoys/navy. Strat bombing may even be attempted against NEI oil fields. If enough ac landing spots can be secured in the area (later on, NAV/FTR may even fly from southern China), and with some initial luck, Japans access to the oil may be hampered (Japan air force is not overwhelming in 1941 if US have built mostly ac until then). More importantly, it forces Japan to fight fleet vs. ac, and Japans focus in its precious time in 1942 until US can match it at sea is at South China Sea rather than at further expansion.
US can then later (when the CVs are ready) move forward through South China Sea/Philippines rather than the Truk-route.
Drawbacks: most early US production goes to ac, in order to have a large enough force to actually attack Japan right after DoW. US attention is in the Pacific at first, so no Europe first strategy - a problem if things are going to well for Germany against USSR.
Key-harbors must be seized quickly (at least one before NEI is conquered), and supply must be maintained, in order to be able to strike into the Japanese oil soft spot South China Sea.
Also, since Japan expands less there are only 3 vital sea areas for him to hold, meaning lots and lots of Japanese ac in those sea areas in the later stages of the war.

I have tried this once, with some success - the Japanese player got quite surprised and I got the upper hand in the air, but unfortunately things were looking bad in Europe, so focus had to be switched before really got the grip on Japan.

_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 82
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 8/17/2007 8:12:17 PM   
npilgaard

 

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More old notes from the list - this time on an early invasion in Italy (66245):


"Early on, the Western Allies should think of themselves as fencers, not swashbuckling pirates armed with cutlasses. Think the point, not the blade. Precision, not strength. You can make one man do the work of 10 (German ones).

You will use your small (albeit chrome) units to launch attacks in areas the Axis have problems marshalling forces in, while your sealift allows you to quickly focus on a new area (or abandon one the Germans mass against). Forex, Norway and Finland are good areas to mess with right as a Barb41 begins (or even before). The German is hogtied into doing lands and cannot react to your advances, but letting your bombers into the Baltic is equally unsavory.

If the EuroAxis does gang up on you in a theater, you've usually saved some poor damn Russian, which is important. Simply repeat to yourself "I am Eduardo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" over and over, AND USE YOUR RAPIER TO MAKE SURE EACH KILLING SWIPE OF THE AXIS CUTLASS IS DEFLECTED SOMEWHERE LESS VITAL!!!

If you continue to do this by 42 (possibly) or 43 (definitely) you will have opened several "annoying fronts" along with a huge reserve force (and huge air force) in the UK or Morocco.

Then BOOM! Land on the Axis with both feet in a strategic front like Italy or France. I've seen every Axis unit in France flipped on the impulse the invasion occured (this is harder to do in 42 but still possible). Overwhelming air power, huge BB cruising offshore and enough Arm and HQ to blitz key hexes, many of which might be OOS.

If you hammer Italy this way, she'll keel over after a bit and die; just remember, here it is FAR BETTER to get ashore early. Often you can wait in France, after all, God's air force is on your side and HQ can stay in the UK and play OC on invasions.

But in Italy, if you wait ONE TURN, the Axis can often forestall your attacks. As the US doing a Italy First, I've been able to paradrop and invade max stacks into Sicily on the 2nd impulse of entering the war, along with an OC. If you do this properly, it can be devastating, but your CW buddy has to really pull his weight, because you bought chrome and ships for the most part.

Last game as Italy, I put all my naval air power in the WMED and based Paras in Algeria for a threat to Gib. It was a bit lame but it worked. I gained a 2 turn respite to stock Sicily and the key hexes of Italy to the gunwales. Then my aircraft went back to guarding the coast and before you knew it, bad weather set in. I kept building grunts and AC, and by invasion weather in 43 I could shrug off all but the most determined Allied assault, and it was going to be very bloody for them (in particular Allied air power in the Italian Coast was limited).

Italy lived throughout the war, it was an armed camp with mech, HQ, AA guns, artillery and all sorts of toys scattered over it. I could not prevent the Allies from invading but I made it so risky that they elected not to and instead funneled their forces elsewhere (France & Turkey). 2 turns is all I needed to live for 15 turns more, and that was 15 turns with Italian AC flying all over the Axis world doing the bidding of their Germanic masters.

As the Axis, if you see a US with several Amph, all Para, Mar and invaders ready by SO41, and CW TRS hanging around the closest Canadian port, be wary. A dead giveaway is an overabundance of Atr, late war you can never have too many, but if you see 3-4 hanging around the MAT area or in the UK, expect an imminent attack when the balloon goes up.

Same thing with an early OC build, but this is more rare.

The only thing I would caution you with is, don't forget your main objective. I've seen Allied player lose focus and get bogged down in a minor theater, continuing to commit too many forces to it (usually this is land units, because AC can just rebase out). Then they find themselves out of position during ideal campaign weather.

On invasion turns, your strat bombers should help out with ground strikes or carpet bombs. I've covered elsewhere your magical ability to include paratroops with each attack [* see below]. If you keep your threat dynamic, the Axis will slowly crack and you'll gain superiority in a major theater. Usually this means your air power begins to dominate obscenely. Once that happens you press remorselessly on the Axis strongholds. Forex, you have the ability to carpet bomb a triple stack AND ground strike it AND slam it from 2 hexsides with a decent attack. This is something the Germans never had at any point, and stopping something like this require 3 good fighters (one for carpet bombing, 1 for paradrops and 1 for ground strikes). Add in night missions and it complicates it for them even further.

But then, at this stage your intent is to overwhelm the defenders anyway.

(...)

> I've become an absolute take out Italy fanatic at this point. It
> has taken plenty of games for me to be so sold on this idea
> however. At WIFCON 2003 Germany did a 41 attack on Russia and as CW
> I built for 41 CW offensive operations.

I would agree with this strategy, I think a 41 assault on Italy is a great idea...IF its in the cards. Depending upon what the Axis builds and how they play, you may find yourself still on the defensive. That's why I prefer a joint US-CW attack on Italy a couple turns later. More options for the allies and harder to stop.

However, to do the bang-up job on Italy I described earlier, the CW must be aggressively defensive in the Med before the operation begins.
You must:
+ hold Malta
+ grab Tunisia
+ occupy Oran, as much of Algeria as possible.
+ garrison Morocco
+ wage incessant war in the Western Med
+ gobble up as many of the Italian surrender objectives as you can, or at least prepare for it.

Depending upon a number of factors (luck, Axis builds, etc.) you may not be able to do all these things. If they are doing a Med build you may be able to do little or none of these things.

If you can do most of them, then a US-CW Italian invasion can proceed immediately, with devastating consequences for the Axis. If you can grab Tunisia, then consider the US OC, because a fast TRS can drop Clark or whoever off there or in Malta for the double invasion attack(s).

Unlike France, an Allied incursion here is hard to kill, you are constrained by the cuttable rail link to Sicily. Plus the Allies can base in good terrain with BB backing them up. If the Italians garrison Sicily, then each one killed hurts their garrison ratio. But the Germans won't want to be there because the bastard Allies might cut them off so they can't rail out when Italy goes down.

Worst of all, unlike France, its a BAD thing to let them grab most of Sicily. If they get enough troops ashore, Italy is kaput. In France you just rail more troops and stabilize the line.

Oh, and don't forget the effect it has on Axis production when half the Italian factories stop working...its as good as 4 good strat bombing hits a turn.

An Allied invasion of Italy can be a disaster for the Axis in 42, and will do more to save Russia than any other option the Western Allies can come up with this early, assuming the EuroAxis are competent."


* Re PARAs (68773):

"One last little item: the Allies have a second ability the Germans can never equal: paradrops. If you've built well, you can have 4 FF ATR on map, enough to ensure that EVERY attack you make will have 2-3 Para in them, ideally. A French ATR is worth 2 Brit or US ATR for mission purposes (not for reorg), yet they (and FF TRS/AMPH) are the most overlooked units in the Western arsenal.

What I am saying here is, 3 FF ATR and George behind your lines can fly 6 paradrops (3 impulses worth if each one has 2 missions). This continual bonus addition to your battles is easy to achieve, and requires the German to have even higher FTR density in his hexes to protect them. Somehow I don't think that's the case. Use them lavishly."

_____________________________

Regards
Nikolaj

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 83
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 8/17/2007 9:00:53 PM   
composer99


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All that discussion, of course, presumes that it is the USSR that the Axis is going after. CW can hardly be expected to be launching offensives in the Med in 40-41 when Germany's ramping up for a Sealion (or carrying one out).

But then, this is why so much of the Allied early to mid game strategy is just reacting to the Axis strategic direction.

_____________________________

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Post #: 84
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 8/19/2007 7:51:30 PM   
brian brian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

All that discussion, of course, presumes that it is the USSR that the Axis is going after. CW can hardly be expected to be launching offensives in the Med in 40-41 when Germany's ramping up for a Sealion (or carrying one out).

But then, this is why so much of the Allied early to mid game strategy is just reacting to the Axis strategic direction.


exactly. If the Russians are defending the Ural river line while the US builds 10 Essex class carriers and 6 Missouri class battleships, the Allies will lose the game.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 85
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 8/21/2007 10:36:05 PM   
composer99


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I touched on that in the USSR AIO, but really it is the US and CW AIO who have to, together, come up with a Lend-Lease plan for the USSR (dependent, as always, on what Germany is up to) and make sure they have the pieces in place to execute it.

It'll be at the bottom of: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=983900&mpage=5

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Post #: 86
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 10/24/2007 9:09:12 AM   
composer99


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Have we had much discussion on the CW-US strategic bombing offensive?

If not, we should.

The Millennium WiF Annual suggests that bombing should be early & often. My friend Pablo told me of a game he played against Andrew Rader where Andrew's CW/US combo would pound him for 18+ raids per turn in 43-44 (so figure between 9-15 pp lost per turn).

Any one else's thoughts on this?

_____________________________

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Post #: 87
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 10/24/2007 10:17:21 AM   
Neilster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

Have we had much discussion on the CW-US strategic bombing offensive?

If not, we should.

The Millennium WiF Annual suggests that bombing should be early & often. My friend Pablo told me of a game he played against Andrew Rader where Andrew's CW/US combo would pound him for 18+ raids per turn in 43-44 (so figure between 9-15 pp lost per turn).

Any one else's thoughts on this?

As the Axis, I've found that even the very early strategic bombing that the Commonwealth can mount is quite annoying. I'm not surprised about the above recommendation.

It also ties in nicely with the historical Allied policy of maximizing the use of their industrial and resource potential and their desire to hit back at Germany as early as possible.

Cheers, Neilster

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Post #: 88
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 10/24/2007 5:23:58 PM   
Graf Zeppelin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

Have we had much discussion on the CW-US strategic bombing offensive?

If not, we should.

The Millennium WiF Annual suggests that bombing should be early & often. My friend Pablo told me of a game he played against Andrew Rader where Andrew's CW/US combo would pound him for 18+ raids per turn in 43-44 (so figure between 9-15 pp lost per turn).

Any one else's thoughts on this?


IMO its not so much the lost bb, its the bb germany spends the protect al those factory. Fighters are expensive, and you need 10+ of them to protect germany and france. Lose one and you will have to build to cover its loss. I ALWAYS start building bombers in 40 with the english, and as soon as i can, i choose the entry for US, and start building with them aswell.

Andi.

_____________________________

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Post #: 89
RE: AI for MWiF - USA - 10/25/2007 3:44:16 AM   
brian brian

 

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the CW has all those tactically crappy LND-3s in the reserve pool, ready to become annoying as soon as the Polish and Belgian pilots straggle in to the UK. But their most annoying bomber by far is the Sunderland. Conversely doing this will get the early Me-109s out on the board too.

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Post #: 90
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