RE: AI Opponent - Geography (Full Version)

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Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (4/22/2011 8:14:58 AM)

2nd and last in a series of 2 posts.

The southern portion of the Pacific Ocean TO.


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (5/14/2011 8:37:11 PM)

Here is our current version for assigning Theaters of Operation and Sea Area Groups for the AI Opponent. Peter did most of this work (specifically the JPG shown here), with a lot of advice from me, and some from Patrice.

The colors indicate TOs. The connections indicate SAGs within each TO. Note that the map wraps around and some of the connections are only shown on the left side of the map. Sea areas without connections are a SAG in their own right.

The purpose of this geographic breakdown is so the AIO can make decisions on the strategic and operational deployment of naval units (and supporting air units) for each TO separately, and within each TO, for each SAG separately. Tactical decisions (e.g., concerning naval combat) are made within each sea area.

For instance, when US reinforcements arrive, the AIO strategic decision maker for the US decides which TO can best use the new units. The decision maker for the TO which receives reinforcements decides which SAG gets them, and the SAG decision maker sends them to a specific sea area. This structure avoids having one decision maker at the top trying to optimize the deployment of 6 new units to 81 individual sea areas.

There are a lot of sea areas in the south polar region that are not considered by the AIO: South Indian --> Cape Norvegia (14 sea areas in all). There are also a couple in the north.

We structured the TOs with a focus on coastal regions. The most obvious case is the Americas, where the eastern and western coasts are separate TOs. For SAGs within a TO, the focus was convoy routes in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and mostly
defensive 'lines' in the Pacific.

Whadda ya think?


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (5/16/2011 11:30:17 PM)

1st in a series of 4 posts.

These are the geographic breakdowns for the "Pacific Map" portion of the USSR. In WIF terms, this area is known as 'Siberia'. Note that the left/western edge shown in this screenshot abuts the European Map. As far the AI Opponent is concern this entire expanse is a single Theater of Operations (Asia North).

What we (Peter and I with advice from Patrice) have done is to create numerous Areas of Operation within this TO, and several Land Regions within each AO. The purpose of this hierarchy is to enable the AIO to make decisions within each AO & LR without having to take into consideration every hex simultaneously.

This screenshot is of the western-most AOs in Siberia. There are 3 AOs shown here:
Volga, with two LRs (denote by dashed lines),
Caspian Sea, with 2 LRs, and
Perm, with 2 LRs.

There is a lot of Siberia that the AIO will never taken into consideration. For instance, the area north of this screen shot contains a lot of uninteresting hexes. An even more stark example, is the area around the Aral Sea shown in here. It is bordered by the blue boundary on the east and south, the orange boundary at the top, and the red boundary on the west. There is no conceivable reason for units to be wandering around in that area. Units that are there are almost certainly out of supply with nothing to do.

The philosophy used to decide on AOs and LRs in Siberia was to have a layered series of defensive positions. This works for both sides,with the direction of attack going either from west to east or from east to west. An important consideration was to have supply for both sides. The USSR wants to use cities, thereby avoiding the need for HQs. Germany wants to have rail lines for its HQs to use to reach back to Germany for primary supply.


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (5/16/2011 11:40:12 PM)

2nd in a series of 4.

Here are 2 more AOs, both of which are quite large:
Urals East, with 5 LRs, and
Uzbekistan, with 3 LRs.

In general, the attacks east <-> west can be thought of as norhtern and southern pieces. So, there are 2 AOs shown here, one in the north and one in the south. Even within an AO, the LRs typically are split between north and south portions. The Urals East was an interesting AO to subdivide into LRs. We went with 3 front lines in the north, with Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, and Omsk providing supply for the USSR, and 2 LRs in the south, with Magnitogorsk and Akmolinsk rpoviding supply in the south. The rivers that runs north-south are natural defensive positions.

AThe Uzbekistan AO is all about rail lines and getting resources to factories. There is another large expanse of desert that the AIO will not worry about: any place named the Hunger Steppe should be avoided just on basic principles.


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (5/16/2011 11:47:46 PM)

3rd in a series of 4.

Here are 3 more AOs, two of which are gigantic:

Novosibirsk, with 5 LRs,
Lake Baikal, with 2 LRs, and
Mongolia, which is just a single LR.

Again, note that a large number of hexes have been excised from the AIO's consideration.

The Novosibirsk AO was interesting to subdivide into LRs. Here the USSR has to give some serious thought to being attacked from the east by the Japanese. That is even more true in the Lake Baikal AO - and dictated where the LR boundary within the AO was drawn.

We thought about making the Mongolia AO larger. Peter says he has seen cavalry units make long journeys across the desert to invade China. But I didn;t want to burden the AIO with worrying about such stuff. As it is drawn, the AIO main objective in Mongolia is to hold/take Ulan-Bator and/or southern flanking operations around the mountains to the north.


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (5/16/2011 11:54:42 PM)

4th and last in the series.

Here is the best known area of Siberia as far as WIF players are concerned.

There are 2 AOs show here, though the northern one is unlikely to see much, if any, action. It is conceivable that resource can be shipped into the USSR ( say, from the US) through Magadan, even after Vladivostok has fallen or been cut off.

The 3 LRs in the Vladivostok AO subdivide the responsibility of defending the Tran-Siberian rail line, the resources, and the cities (primary suply sources and where reinforcements can arrive.


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (1/3/2019 11:14:51 PM)

I was looking back on this today and compared it to the current game Gerry and I am playing. It holds up really well.

Germany just took Leningrad (Mar/Apr 1942) and we are in the Stay At Sea phase of the end of that turn. There is a USSR cavalry unit running around in northern Finland, so some of the Finnish units that fought for Leningrad are heading off northwards to deal with that. The Axis still hold Petsamo.

In Jan/Feb the USSR was holding a very nice line just north of Rostov, but 4 of those hexes were clear terrain in what the AIO considers the Land Region (LR) Kharkov.
Germany made an Blitz attack on the western most of those hexes and by rolling a 20 (Gerry was aghast - it was a +6 on the 2D10) punched a hole in the USSR line.
They then ended the turn and went first the next turn. [Insert Gerry's response here: ] But bad luck for Germany - the weather to start the Mar/Apr turn was Blizzard in both the Arctic and the North Temperate.
So Germany moved into a couple of empty hexes, the USSR pulled back from the hexes on which they were surrounded on 4 and 5 hexsides respectively.
More bad weather, more slogging forward by the Germans, more pulling back by the Russians to form a semblance of a contiguous line and Germany ended the turn after the 3rd Axis impulse.

If you compare the positions of the two sides here with the AIO that Peter and I developed you will be surprised. See the next post.


Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (1/3/2019 11:17:22 PM)

Here is the earlier post I was referring to.


ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

3rd and last in the series.

This was the most difficult portion of the Eastern Europe TO to figure out.

The Turkey AO has two LRs: Northwestern Turkey and Eastern Turkey. The rest of Turkey is part of the Mediterranean TO.

The Central Western USSR AO has 3 LRs: Leningrad, Vitebsk, and Smolensk.

The Southwestern USSR AO has 3 LRs: Kiev, Kharkov, and Crimea.

The Central European USSR AO has 3 LRs: Vologda, Moscow, and Voronezh.

The Southeastern European USSR AO has 3 LRs: Rostov, Stalingrad, and Caucasus.
Again the river lines strongly influenced our decisions here. I also wanted to keep the hex count roughly comparable for each LR. If you don't count the relatively unimportant hexes, you'll see that most of the LRs in the USSR are in the 30-50 hex range.

We went back and forth defining these through several iterations and ended up favoring straight lines in a lot of cases. Peter handled all the graphics (mucho thanks[&o][&o][&o]).

The purpose of the geographic breakdown for the AIO is made manifest here. The AIO will coordinate its defense/attack within each AO and LR. You may see a shifting of forces northward or southward across boundaries depending on where the enemy positions his units, but you won't see the complete evacuation of part of the frontline. If opportunities present themselves for controlling the rest of an AO or LR, or expanding control into an adjacent AO/LR, then the AIO will try to make that happen. If defending an AO or LR becomes hopeless, then the AIO will retreat to an adjacent AO/LR.

Of course the boundaries are not sacrosanct for tactical, or even operational, decision making (e.g., historically the Germans sent panzer units south from Gomel to surround Kiev). On the other hand, the AIO will be working with a structured 'knowledge' of the geography of each TO, and not be required to examine each hex on the map as an isolated point.


gw15 -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (1/5/2019 1:14:06 AM)

So I'm playing like an AI? Hummmm...
and yes, Axis rolling a 20, then ending the turn, then going first caused me to say a few nasty Russian words.


peskpesk -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (1/5/2019 6:49:03 PM)

Greate that it works in real Life too! But based on this game maybe the border in the North should be adjusted to NE to Vologda instead.
Anyway we got chance to adjust it when we test more.

Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (1/7/2019 6:46:48 PM)


ORIGINAL: peskpesk

Great that it works in real Life too! But based on this game maybe the border in the North should be adjusted to NE to Vologda instead.
Anyway we got chance to adjust it when we test more.

I still like our earlier decision about Vologda. The rail lines determine supply, so the border running evenly between the two rail lines (north from Yaroslavl and west from Kalinin) looks correct to my eye.

Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI Opponent - Geography (4/5/2020 2:37:29 AM)


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