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Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/20/2007 5:38:23 AM   
Ubercat

 

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Greetings all. I solo played WIF about 16 years ago but didn't get very far as all the powers. Hard to find opponents, especially in the preinternet age. I believe it was 5th edition back then.

I've been lurking around here for about two years now and must say that after Dominions 3 came out, this is definitely my most cravingly awaited game. Kudos to Shannon for his incredible attention to detail and commitment to keeping us informed.

One thing that concerns me though, and I don't recall seeing it addressed anywhere, is cooperation between AIO's and their allies, especially human allies. I'm rusty on the rules, but I'm sure that human US and CW players can perform a joint D-Day. What if one of the players is AI? This issue has almost ruined other games (notably HoI and HoI2). Games can be playable with allies that you can't coordinate with, but the immersion and "realism" factors get shot.

I apologise if this has been covered somewhere. I'm just checking that I can choose to play one power solo, rather than one entire alliance solo.

-Ubercat

< Message edited by Ubercat -- 12/20/2007 5:40:41 AM >


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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/20/2007 5:57:53 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ubercat

Greetings all. I solo played WIF about 16 years ago but didn't get very far as all the powers. Hard to find opponents, especially in the preinternet age. I believe it was 5th edition back then.

I've been lurking around here for about two years now and must say that after Dominions 3 came out, this is definitely my most cravingly awaited game. Kudos to Shannon for his incredible attention to detail and commitment to keeping us informed.

One thing that concerns me though, and I don't recall seeing it addressed anywhere, is cooperation between AIO's and their allies, especially human allies. I'm rusty on the rules, but I'm sure that human US and CW players can perform a joint D-Day. What if one of the players is AI? This issue has almost ruined other games (notably HoI and HoI2). Games can be playable with allies that you can't coordinate with, but the immersion and "realism" factors get shot.

I apologise if this has been covered somewhere. I'm just checking that I can choose to play one power solo, rather than one entire alliance solo.

-Ubercat

Welcome.

I think of this as the AI Assistant (AIA) as opposed to the AI Opponent (AIO). For MWIF product 1, I am working on the AIO, but not the AIA. Sorry, but there are a lot of details that would have to be worked out to make the AIA function well - as you imply in your post.

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Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Ubercat)
Post #: 2
RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/20/2007 6:03:12 AM   
Ubercat

 

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Ahh, ok. So for solo play I'd need to control all of the axis or all of the allies? That still beats trying to take all of both sides.

-Ubercat

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"I’m not convinced that faith can move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers." -William H. Gascoyne

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/21/2007 10:10:24 PM   
Anendrue


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Perhaps AIA could be released with the MWiF product 2? That would be a major factor in sales. While I do not mind playing an alliance it would be nice to see some real distrust between the Allies and a limited cooperation between Japan and Germany etc... The political and cooperative issues are somewhat addressed and work well in a multi player environment. I just believe they miss the mark in a solo environment. It is too easy to adhere to the rules and not the intent.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/21/2007 11:20:07 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: abj9562

Perhaps AIA could be released with the MWiF product 2? That would be a major factor in sales. While I do not mind playing an alliance it would be nice to see some real distrust between the Allies and a limited cooperation between Japan and Germany etc... The political and cooperative issues are somewhat addressed and work well in a multi player environment. I just believe they miss the mark in a solo environment. It is too easy to adhere to the rules and not the intent.

There are two half-world scenarios: Europe and Pacific. So you do not have to control all the Allies or Axis if you want the other half of the world to do whatever it did historically.

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Steve

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(in reply to Anendrue)
Post #: 5
RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/22/2007 9:02:51 PM   
Anendrue


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It has very little to do with wanting to recreate a historical situation. I like the unexpected much better. For example, if I play the Allied Powers there is a maximum of cooperation between my aligned powers within the context of the rules of course. However AIA can make the unexpected happen. The USSR may go on its own expedition to Turkey against allied powers better wishes. What a headache a beliugerent Stalin could be. Japan could invade the USSR even when an axis player might not want it. The idea is to have an extensive range of results for your alliance that force you to deal with the political machinations behind the war and the strategic objectives being fought for when you are playing just one major country. This simulates a multiplayer game without having to get enough players present to represent each power. Playing solo would then have the same feel as a multiplayer game. You trust your allies but how far...

However I realize this is all just so much wishing. I just hope to see it in the future before my time is passed.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/22/2007 10:24:15 PM   
brian brian

 

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so wouldn't that be easily achievable with multi-player online play?

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/24/2007 6:28:16 AM   
Anendrue


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Of course multiplayer online achieves that. However I still enjoy a solo game that is independent of ensuring others have completed their turns, drop outs, slow replies etc... While MWiF solves most PBEM type of issues it does not satisfy the instant game of choice with multiple personalities for major powers. So I hope that product 2 or 3 will contain that type of play.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/24/2007 10:56:12 PM   
composer99


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I'm not certain I'd want to play WiF with an AIA or with real people who went off and did their own thing without at least consulting me. I'm fine with them going ahead even if I said 'no', unless it was costing me US chits for no good purpose, but I would at least want them to have taken my concerns into account.

WiF is fundamentally a coalition game, and the more unified the action of the coalitions, the better their war effort goes. The overall strategy of each coalition should be the result of compromise negotiations (aka fruitless bickering) between the member powers. That is hard to model with an AIA, of course.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 12/26/2007 6:12:28 PM   
Anendrue


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

I'm not certain I'd want to play WiF with an AIA or with real people who went off and did their own thing without at least consulting me. I'm fine with them going ahead even if I said 'no', unless it was costing me US chits for no good purpose, but I would at least want them to have taken my concerns into account.

WiF is fundamentally a coalition game, and the more unified the action of the coalitions, the better their war effort goes. The overall strategy of each coalition should be the result of compromise negotiations (aka fruitless bickering) between the member powers. That is hard to model with an AIA, of course.


I agree it is a coalition games. However, each member in a coalition typically has their own agenda and objectives they wish to accomplish. It takes a good commander who can reign in the Soviets while trying to regain as much of Western Europe as possible and vis -a-a vis. Germany has distinct reasons to want Italian lent units while Italy would like to control the med. If only one person makes the decisions why have a coalition? So multiplayer is really good and second best is AIA. Of course if you want the unrealistic perspective of Democracy and Communisim walking hand in hand more power to you. The game should be open to all styles and tastes.

My second reason is typically the vast majority of wargamers are solo players and even more so with computer wargames. By creating AiA as an option to turn on or off' I believe it will increase the multiplayer community by allowing solo players to get the feel of a true coalition type of game. Otherwise you get the typical new player game where new players tend to get beat no matter how helpful the other side is. This allows for expiermenting with coalitions and the immense varieties of play styles and strategies available.

My third reason is econmics. By increasing potential sales to a wider audience the game is more successful. More success equals a continued and greater probability of addons and updates over time as technology changes. I want MWiF and all its hopefully future incarnations to be a resounding success. So if AiA is not available now then hopefully it will be in an addon. One true blockbuster hit may stop the slide of strategic wargames into a footnote of history. Having seen the rise of wargames with Avalon Hill to the pits of despair today. I for one want MWiF to become a massive international success!

Therefore if AIA can't make it in MWiF then why not in product #2 as an option to turn on or off. This would allow solo players to learn a multiplayer style and increase our community.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/10/2008 8:23:03 AM   
Darken

 

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Greetings,

I also like the AiA idea as it is a good feature for single players.

If one player controlls all major powers of his faction he tries to use all units in the best way.

In real life f.e. Mussolini attacked Greece (and failed), so Germany had to send troops. This slowed the German attack to Russia for 6 weeks so General Winter could help Russia.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/10/2008 5:58:18 PM   
composer99


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I don't see much wrong in encouraging all players to use their units in the best way; playing optimally is always a desireable goal, and the circumstances of each game will dictate what exactly playing optimally is, as will the conflicting pressures of tactically dominating a specific air/naval mission or land combat vs. maintaining an overall advantage in uncommitted forces. Optimal play is not really about micromanaging your forces; it's about balancing your immediate needs against your long-term needs.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/10/2008 11:29:20 PM   
Anendrue


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

I don't see much wrong in encouraging all players to use their units in the best way; playing optimally is always a desireable goal, and the circumstances of each game will dictate what exactly playing optimally is, as will the conflicting pressures of tactically dominating a specific air/naval mission or land combat vs. maintaining an overall advantage in uncommitted forces. Optimal play is not really about micromanaging your forces; it's about balancing your immediate needs against your long-term needs.


I am not against using your units in an optimal way. That should be a goal of any commander. However, there was no single commander of the Allies or the Axis in WWII. I just like the "simulated realism" of countries having their own agenda. So if you want to play optimal among all your allied nations then turn off AiA. If your like me and do not mind the "challenge" of your allies cooperating only to the extent that it helps them, turn it on. This way everybody can be happy and make their own choice.

On a historical note the flavor of WWII is the bare cooperation of allies. At the start of WWII the spector of a cooperating Germany and USSR certainly frightened the world. Towards the end Patton would gladly have kept going east. Market Garden occurred out of a desire to please allies. Most of Eastern Europe was overrun by the USSR in an attempt to appease the Stalin. Last point I would make is how long would WWII have lasted if Japan and Italy did everything Germany wanted. If the allies had cooperated "fully" without reservation and hesitation then what might have changed.

On a technology note I realize coding a good AI is hard enough without adding in the challenge of each nation attempting to achieve greater victory by controlling more objectives than their allied nations with respect to victory levels. I know this could really screw up a functioning AI and require some real AI expertise from an expert in that fiel. It might also possibly need more computing power than the average PC. So maybe in a later product.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/11/2008 3:56:17 AM   
Xenocide

 

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If there ever is a DoD product I think that would be the best time to implement it.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/11/2008 5:17:36 PM   
composer99


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abj9562, the fact of individual victory conditions should be enough to encourage powers who are otherwise allies to consider and even undertake activities that are in their own self-interest (and therefore are the optimal plays for them) but harm one another.

For example, the USSR, in particular, is often known to invade Persia and sometimes even Iraq. This takes 2 objective hexes away from the CW and oil away from both the CW and France. It is generally in the USSR's best interest to do so even though it harms the Allied coalition as a whole (since it also usually takes away 2 US entry chits, delaying American gear-ups & entry into the war by a turn or two), since if done early enough can substantially strengthen the USSR vs. a German invasion. In many games, it is optimal play, from the USSR's perspective if not from its Allies' perspective, to attack Persia & Iraq.

Also, recall that if you liberate an objective hex that originally belonged to your ally, even though you revert control of that hex to your ally you still get credit for the objective. The US, then, has an incentive to beat the CW to the punch in liberating Rabaul, Batavia & Singapore; and in the case of Rabaul & Batavia the US has an incentive to allow the Japanese to capture those objectives instead of passing options that might prevent those occurences.

Also consider the matter of liberating France. From the perspective of the Allied cause as a whole, the best power to do that is the CW, because otherwise France and the CW will not cooperate after France's liberation. However, this would give the French objectives to the CW; and the USSR/French player would not find that optimal. Neither would the US player (who would much rather get the extra objectives himself).

On the Axis side, Italy generally needs German help to do anything substantial, and in general it needs German lending of resources, oil & build points just to last through the game. But the Italians cannot afford to just blindly follow the German lead - if they are to be of any use to the Axis they have to look at expanding their security perimeter and surviving as long as they can. It is always in Italy's best interests to have Gibraltar secured, and the Italians should argue that the Germans make some effort at attacking it, no matter how slight, every game. That is good individual play on Italy's part, but it might be harmful to the Axis cause as a whole if it expends too much of Germany's strength.

I don't know how well the AiA will be able to model that. My own multiplayer experience suggests that human players have no problem simulating the real-war shakiness of the opposing coalitions.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/11/2008 5:54:55 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

Also, recall that if you liberate an objective hex that originally belonged to your ally, even though you revert control of that hex to your ally you still get credit for the objective. The US, then, has an incentive to beat the CW to the punch in liberating Rabaul, Batavia & Singapore; and in the case of Rabaul & Batavia the US has an incentive to allow the Japanese to capture those objectives instead of passing options that might prevent those occurences.

Humm, if as the USA you revert Rabaul to the CW, then Rabaul counts for the CW. Why would it count for the USA ? But the USA are not obliged to revert Rabaul to the CW, this is a negociation between both powers.

quote:

Also consider the matter of liberating France. From the perspective of the Allied cause as a whole, the best power to do that is the CW, because otherwise France and the CW will not cooperate after France's liberation. However, this would give the French objectives to the CW; and the USSR/French player would not find that optimal. Neither would the US player (who would much rather get the extra objectives himself).

I believe this is wrong.
France and the CW cooperate after France has been conquered, even if it is not the CW who liberated France.

(in reply to composer99)
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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/11/2008 7:28:58 PM   
composer99


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Checked RAW, you're right about Rabaul. No idea how that notion entered my head...

US still has incentive not to revert Rabaul if it takes it from Japan (keep the red hex) as it doesn't get partisans. Not much CW can do about it.

As for CW/French cooperation, CW only cooperates with Free French units as per RAW. So if France is incompletely conquered rather than forced to establish a Vichy government CW and France do not cooperate since there is no Free France.

The kicker is what happens to Free France when the Allies liberate France? It seems to me from my reading of RAW that since Free France only springs into existence with the establishment of Occupied France during the setup of Vichy, it ceases to exist once Occupied France does. Hence, unless CW is the liberating major power it no longer cooperates with France. Which I agree does not make sense from a historical perspective.

I'm sure I'm probably missing something somewhere.

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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/11/2008 8:08:56 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99
The kicker is what happens to Free France when the Allies liberate France? It seems to me from my reading of RAW that since Free France only springs into existence with the establishment of Occupied France during the setup of Vichy, it ceases to exist once Occupied France does. Hence, unless CW is the liberating major power it no longer cooperates with France. Which I agree does not make sense from a historical perspective.

It is asumed that France after liberation is a continuity of Free France.
I admit it is written nowhere in RAW (this is so plain, from an historical point of view), but I'm sure Harry have said that somewhere. I'll look.

(in reply to composer99)
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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/11/2008 8:24:18 PM   
Mziln


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99
The kicker is what happens to Free France when the Allies liberate France? It seems to me from my reading of RAW that since Free France only springs into existence with the establishment of Occupied France during the setup of Vichy, it ceases to exist once Occupied France does. Hence, unless CW is the liberating major power it no longer cooperates with France. Which I agree does not make sense from a historical perspective.

It is asumed that France after liberation is a continuity of Free France.
I admit it is written nowhere in RAW (this is so plain, from an historical point of view), but I'm sure Harry have said that somewhere. I'll look.




quote:

ORIGINAL: WiFFE-RAW-7.9.pdf

13.7.5 Liberation

Conquered minor countries, major powers and Commonwealth home countries (and France after a Vichy government is installed) may not be conquered. Instead, the major power controlling its capital can liberate it during the peace step if that major power is from the other side to the major power that conquered it. You can’t be liberated in the same turn you were conquered (only possible in Italy’s case).

You can choose not to liberate a country that could be liberated. If you do that, the country suffers the effects of partisans as if it were marked in red on the Partisan table, until it is liberated (see 13.1, Option 46).

When France is liberated, Free France ceases to exist and all Free French units, and Territories become French. France is controlled by the liberating major power and is at war with all countries Free France was at war with. The France entry on the partisan table reverts to France (from occupied France).


quote:

ORIGINAL: WiFFE-RAW-7.9.pdf

18.1 Who can co-operate

7. Commonwealth and Free French units co-operate.
8. US and (non-Vichy) French units co-operate once the USA is at war with Germany and Italy.


Have the CW liberate France.

< Message edited by Mziln -- 1/11/2008 8:30:10 PM >


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RE: Newbies first post: AIO cooperation - 1/12/2008 3:21:53 AM   
Anendrue


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I agree the best model is human interaction and is a much better simulaton of the wartime coalition attitudes than anything AiA can or could do. As I said in my technology note I am not sure the AiA could be worked out competently without a lot of computing power. Still AiA would be a good method to introduce players to the idea of multiplayer MWiF and WiF. I just hope to see one one really good wargame AI before I head out to a Veterans cemetary on a permanent basis.

_____________________________

Integrity is what you do when nobody is watching.

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Post #: 20
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