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AI inquiry - 10/13/2014 5:31:05 PM   
tinfig


Posts: 17
Joined: 10/27/2013
From: New England
Status: offline
Hello gents (and ladies?),

I'm looking for some feedback on the quality of the AI for this game. I've had my eye on this title for a while, and may spring for it if it goes on sale again.

I game almost exclusively single player. So I'm not interested in any games where the AI gives minimal challenge or where it's stupid to the point of distraction.

I've combed the forums and the internet looking for a consensus of opinion on the AI for this game, and have found conflicting reports. So here I am, hat in hand to see what you folks think.

I realize that no gaming AI can equal the performance of a human player. But I have played games where the AI is smart enough and/or the game environment sophisticated enough to keep a satisfying level of challenge and interest, so I know they're out there (the AGEOD games and several of the Paradox titles come to mind). My question is, is this one of those games? Are any of you finding prolonged single player satisfaction from this title?

On the other hand, I've seen many, many games in which players and reviewers describe the AI as "good enough to learn the mechanics in preparation for PBEM, but ultimately lacking solo challenge for a determined player". Perhaps GGWBTS falls in this category? If so, I will steer clear.....

So let me know what you think. I appreciate any and all input!
Post #: 1
RE: AI inquiry - 10/14/2014 2:38:45 PM   
DerTroof

 

Posts: 87
Joined: 2/19/2012
Status: offline
I played this game a lot last summer when I bought it on sale, and recently cranked it up again for a few games. I've only played as the Union versus rebel AI, as it is more fun to play on the offensive when playing solo. I find the Confederate AI competent and a tough nut to crack, but by the same token unrealistically conservative - I have gone several games where the CSA did not launch a single attack!

Part of the problem is the game design. It's area movement, and the "hexes" are too large to enable maneuver offensives like Lee's invasions of Maryland and Pennsylvania, or Rosencrans' Tullahoma campaign that ended at Chickamauga. Amphibious or riverine ops are the best way to outflank an opponent - the amphibious rules are well done. But for the most part both sides end up entrenching and the game devolves into a western front-styled attritional slugfest.

Also, units can't really attack (or move much during winter) unless leaders gain "initiative" which is difficult for poorly-rated leaders (and there's no shortage of those, particularly in the US Army). And the spotting rules encourage unrealistic shuffling of troops and leaders - the AI is pretty good at this, but I think it's a borderline "cheat."

I may sound like I don't like the game, but I do. With some tweaks to the map, and modifying the way spotting and initiative are handled (i.e. leaders without initiative may still attack, but at reduced effectiveness), the game would be better. I'm disappointed a WBTS II hasn't come out and doesn't appear to be in the works. There's a great game in here, but the current iteration just misses the mark for me.

(in reply to tinfig)
Post #: 2
RE: AI inquiry - 10/14/2014 4:38:45 PM   
tinfig


Posts: 17
Joined: 10/27/2013
From: New England
Status: offline
DerTroof, thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed reply!

I find your report of the overly conservative CSA AI especially alarming. In Grigsby's World at War the AI is constantly checking to test the feasibility of potential attacks, and by giving the AI a combat bonus it more often finds attacks of acceptable odds, thereby making it more aggressive. Perhaps a comparable thing can be done in this game to result in a more aggressive AI?

(in reply to DerTroof)
Post #: 3
RE: AI inquiry - 10/14/2014 5:02:42 PM   
DerTroof

 

Posts: 87
Joined: 2/19/2012
Status: offline
tinfig, you're welcome.

I agree with your suggestion about the CSA AI, but my impression is that not much is going on in terms of further developing the game.

Regarding WaW, the systems are very similar. IIRC the WaW system was adapted to WBTS, although WBTS is a more complex game. So this may reduce the learning curve for you if you decide to bite on WTBS.

There's some really good discussion about the game on this thread you should check out:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2467451

(in reply to tinfig)
Post #: 4
RE: AI inquiry - 10/14/2014 5:39:57 PM   
tinfig


Posts: 17
Joined: 10/27/2013
From: New England
Status: offline
Yes, very good discussion in that thread. Thanks for the pointer.

I'm still vacillating about getting this one. But you do make a good point; at least my experience with WaW would grease the learning skids for GGWBTS.

(in reply to DerTroof)
Post #: 5
RE: AI inquiry - 11/28/2014 12:49:42 AM   
ryan1488

 

Posts: 160
Joined: 6/28/2008
Status: offline
I find the AI as the north not much of a challenge.
AI as the south is a hard battle! True they don't attack very often, but they don't need to. If you don't plan your attacks carefully you will get slaughtered and next thing you know your moral is in the dumps and Lincoln loses the election and its over

(in reply to tinfig)
Post #: 6
RE: AI inquiry - 11/28/2014 7:42:44 PM   
tinfig


Posts: 17
Joined: 10/27/2013
From: New England
Status: offline
Thanks for your input, rs99z28. Fortunately I'm more interested in playing as the North, so at least I would get a greater challenge that way. But I'm disappointed that I wouldn't have to worry so much about Southern attacks.

(in reply to ryan1488)
Post #: 7
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