v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (Full Version)

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pzgndr -> v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:10:45 PM)

Here are some comments I made recently on the other thread:

Here the challenge I've been working on. A new function to assign unassigned units at the end of the move phase to redeploy towards the selected enemy nation. In the case of Russia to advance toward ally Austria or Prussia at war with France (think Austerlitz), or on to France if everyone is at war. How many forces? I created a function to check for factors on the map minus factors already deployed into an enemy nation and then assume some fraction of that remainder as a max to move, since you don't want everyone to move. Which units should move? I created another function to find the nearest eligible unit. That had a path-finding check that proved problematic, so I replaced that with a simpler distance check. Another function cycles through the eligible units and assigns them up to the max factors and that one requires path-finding. Complicated? You betcha. But after tracking down issues to individual lines of code and figuring out how to resolve things, it's working OK now. But again, still some issue at the end that isn't exiting the function correctly.


I have also made some improvements to auto-foraging and rolled them into the AI. Good news is that the AI is auto-foraging better now prior to paying for supply or risking losses during regular forage. Same as for human players. Bad news is that I'm noticing the game appears to hang while the AI goes through all those foraging checks, but it's just slow; players will have to have some patience with this. I need to verify if this is more because of the debug version I'm playtesting or if the optimized release version may be faster.

I am chugging along. Last weekend's playtests did not meet my satisfaction. I got to a point in the 1812 scenario where French forces were essentially bypassing Russians and not making attacks while the Russians were making some reckless attacks. One AI parameter I messed with was the requirement for units to be in supply to make attacks. Well, there could be some foraging risk so I loosened that requirement, and lo and behold the AI started being a bit more aggressive. So I needed to make some more adjustments. What follows below are some playtests from today 11/14 for the 1812 scenario. I'm basically playing neutral Austria and watching what the AI does.

pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:14:15 PM)

June 1812. Russia retreats Bagration's army to Minsk. France moves to attack 59:26. Battle is inconclusive, Bagration retreats to Vilna.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:16:50 PM)

July 1812. France moves first and attacks Bagration at Vilna 51:29. France wins the battle


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:20:29 PM)

July 1812, Russia moves Barclay's army from Kovno to attack Grodnoo 90:25. France holds and the battle is inconclusive. Tormasov's army from the south moves toward Brest-Litovsk.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:23:43 PM)

August 1812, Russia moves first this time. Moves to attack Grodno 84:10, and wins that battle. Moves also to Area231 between Brest-Litovsk and Minsk to attack 40:32, and wins that battle.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:26:00 PM)

August 1812, Frances turns back to attack at Grodno 82:83. Another bloody battle, and France wins.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:30:57 PM)

September 1812, Russia moves first and moves back into Grodno again to attack 92:56. France holds and wins the battle.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:34:31 PM)

September 1812, France moves. This is where it starts to get weird. France could attack the Russians at Kovno but don't have the advantage. They should hold rather than advance at this point. This is an issue that I'm looking at.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:41:42 PM)

October 1812, France moves first. For some reason, Napoleon and the Guard moved back to Grodno, alone. The rest of the French army under Ney stays forward around Vitebsk. Russia then attacks again at Grodno 83:17, winning the battle. Napoleon is captured and the Guard is eliminated. The killing fields at Grodno chewed up dozens of factors on both sides during the playtest.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/14/2020 11:53:22 PM)

Needless to say, there are still some adjustments I need to make. But the good news is that the game is playing fairly well and the AI computer opponents are moving and fighting. Pretty well, for the most part; human players should expect a more challenging computer opponent and that was the goal. Another playtest of 1805 had France DOWing Prussia and Russia DOWing Turkey, and also proceeded fairly well.

Bottom line here is that v1.23.07 is in decent shape now and meeting my satisfaction for release. So my plan for tomorrow is to make a few adjustments and playtest a bit more. Then wrap up the files next week and send to Matrix for a public beta.

I intend to keep making adjustments and improvements for the official release patch later, and that will be v1.23.08. I already mentioned a couple of issues: advancing too far beyond enemy concentrations and special units (guard and artillery) still not stacked with friendly corps. Retreats could also be more conservative; Russians did not need to hold for so long at Kovno. I am also not seeing the AI placing new depots to support the advance. Anyways, that's where we are and where we're headed.

pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/15/2020 5:03:00 PM)

Made some adjustments to the strategic retreat criteria. Russians pulled out of Kovno and retreated back towards Moscow. But French also continued advancing after a major battle at Minsk. Here it is September 1812 and French are at the gates of Moscow. But note that foraging losses have taken their toll; 5 corps are down to 10 factors.

At some point the Russian factors will exceed the French factors in Russia, and France will shift from strategic advance to strategic retreat. At least that's the idea. For whatever is left.


pzgndr -> RE: v1.23.07 Beta Final Playtesting (11/16/2020 12:49:03 AM)

One last screenshot for tonight's final test. One thing that was bugging me was the new strategic redeployments. I was seeing them work, once, but was not seeing the same units continuing to redeploy forward to the enemy nation. I suspected the units' previous settings were not being cleared so I resolved that. Here we see the I Hesse Corps has advanced to Konigsberg over the past 3-4 turns. The Baden and Holland corps are following.

France is continuing to advance towards Moscow, but Russian armies are now standing by at Kovno and near Kiev, rather than making reckless attacks. French are beating themselves up quite well with foraging losses, and will be vulnerable to the counter-attacks to come. There is still room for some AI improvements and adjustments, but for now this is fine.


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