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Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck?

 
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Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 5:47:16 PM   
sIg3b


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Just to provide a topic for some lively discussion.

TRUE grognards will have noted the obscure reference in my question. In a decades old issue of the GENERAL, there was a Third Reich article that, iirc, started with the words: "France is fated to fall." The Fall of France is no one´s fault in particular, it´s simply a 3rd Reich feature. Perhaps a horrible AI opponent is simply a computer wargame feature?
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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 5:54:21 PM   
wodin


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Thankfully I must be useless at wargames and on the whole the AI suits me fine.



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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 5:59:33 PM   
zakblood


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neither am i the greatest gamer either so AI for me is fine in most game, not had many that i won hands down unless i selected easy that is, so agree with Wodin, AI is fine for me

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 6:07:22 PM   
sIg3b


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Seriously? I´d say Wargames where the AI is remotely competitive without being given obscene material advantage can be counted on one hand.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 6:39:56 PM   
Twotribes


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The problem is that an AI can only do what it is PROGRAMED for and no programmer can anticipate everything a live person would do in a free form game. Most AI are good enough for me since I am no genius though with ATG I know I will eventually win no matter what.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 7:11:31 PM   
wings7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tesuji

Seriously? I´d say Wargames where the AI is remotely competitive without being given obscene material advantage can be counted on one hand.



I would be in the same boat as wodin & zak ...what are the ones that you can count on one hand?

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 7:29:42 PM   
lecrop


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I hope wargame's AI never surpass human capabilities. The day Kasparov lost vs Deep Blue chess was over for me...

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 7:46:27 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tesuji

Seriously? I´d say Wargames where the AI is remotely competitive without being given obscene material advantage can be counted on one hand.



the issue is not the AI - which is inevitably going to be limited - but how you set up the game ... and your goals. If I am playing a civ style game I don't really care about the AI, I play them for a bit of relatively mindless fun. Other games, I find if I hamper the human side (using set up options) to something close to realistic constraints then the AI will give me a real challenge. If I understand a particular game, and play on even settings - of course I am going to beat most AIs.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 7:58:16 PM   
sullafelix

 

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The biggest question is how are you playing?

Are you playing historically or are you just trying to game the rules and system?

Are you also playing the game constantly for hours and even days at a time?

These are all important questions. If you play historically and do not do something that would be not done at the time I see that as helping the AI.

If you are wearing your mouse out playing the same game, then switch it out.

I read about 10-15 books a week, not the whole book but whatever interests me at the time. I do the same with games. I go from age to age and battle to battle every week. This means that I do not become used to the AI and any of it's quirks.

I remember in chess club that most players also used exactly the same games over and over and they were humans. I have seen human players in board wargames make horrendously foolish moves. So to me at least the AIs at time mimic those.

I don't usually get killed by AIs,of course there are some that can, but I can expect to get a run for my money in most games. The again I just play them. I am not trying to make a wargame into an IQ test.

So to me, it all comes down to your playing style.



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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 8:07:04 PM   
wings7


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Food for thought...especially liked
quote:


I read about 10-15 books a week, not the whole book but whatever interests me at the time. I do the same with games. I go from age to age and battle to battle every week. This means that I do not become used to the AI and any of it's quirks.



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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 9:07:26 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wings7

Food for thought...especially liked
quote:


I read about 10-15 books a week, not the whole book but whatever interests me at the time. I do the same with games. I go from age to age and battle to battle every week. This means that I do not become used to the AI and any of it's quirks.




The original subject line sounds so, well, Steam-ish.

I read books through to the end, but with games I follow the same procedure. I don't stay stuck on one game for a long period. Nothing wrong with that. Just my preference. I rotate back and forth between favorite games, and I typically don't play on a deep level, trying to get every advantage I can out of the system. That makes the AI more challenging to me. Again, that is just my preference. There are so many different ways that people play these games that it would seem very hard to create an AI that satisfies everyone. Right now I'm playing Barbarossa, coming back to it after playing other games for quite a while. I never seem to do well at Barbarossa. But I still enjoy it.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 9:42:21 PM   
GaryChildress

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

The problem is that an AI can only do what it is PROGRAMED for and no programmer can anticipate everything a live person would do in a free form game. Most AI are good enough for me since I am no genius though with ATG I know I will eventually win no matter what.


This pretty much sums it up. Although I have a devil of a time playing against the AI in ATG. Probably more to do with my own ineptitude at strategy games though.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 10:12:44 PM   
Rosseau

 

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I don't think I've ever won any game on "normal" the first time. No surprise there

But yes, one solution is to jump from game to game, never really learning it. That's my style. In fact, after two days, I am ready to move on from HOI IV

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/11/2016 10:35:22 PM   
wings7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JW


quote:

ORIGINAL: wings7

Food for thought...especially liked
quote:


I read about 10-15 books a week, not the whole book but whatever interests me at the time. I do the same with games. I go from age to age and battle to battle every week. This means that I do not become used to the AI and any of it's quirks.




The original subject line sounds so, well, Steam-ish.

I read books through to the end, but with games I follow the same procedure. I don't stay stuck on one game for a long period. Nothing wrong with that. Just my preference. I rotate back and forth between favorite games, and I typically don't play on a deep level, trying to get every advantage I can out of the system. That makes the AI more challenging to me. Again, that is just my preference. There are so many different ways that people play these games that it would seem very hard to create an AI that satisfies everyone. Right now I'm playing Barbarossa, coming back to it after playing other games for quite a while. I never seem to do well at Barbarossa. But I still enjoy it.


I like your game procedure, you can experience & enjoy many more games that way, especially when you have alot of games to play.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 5:29:29 AM   
wworld7


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This is the state of software at present. Maybe way down the road excellent AI's will be the norm, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it to happen in my lifetime.


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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 9:43:04 AM   
Orm


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I suspect that the cost to create a good AI is to high compared to the profit they will get from making the AI.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 11:27:47 AM   
Mobeer


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Not "fated to suck", but not as good as they could be:
- focussing on selling multi-player makes spending on AI less valuable
- AI doesn't seem to be a feature that can be used in marketing
- AI seems to be tacked on at the end of development

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 11:33:45 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wings7


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tesuji

Seriously? I´d say Wargames where the AI is remotely competitive without being given obscene material advantage can be counted on one hand.



I would be in the same boat as wodin & zak ...
warspite1

Me too I don't have a problem with most AI because I'm crap at wargames.


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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 11:43:33 AM   
demyansk


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Very good thread. For me, the AI is fine. I never get good enough at the games to always win.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 12:31:40 PM   
MrsWargamer


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Hard to say.

Some aspects of common military operations are so hard to design for the AI that they leave gaping holes in a credible AI opponent. And once the human realizes the shortfall on the part of the AI, it tend to break the game. Because the AI will continue to fail in this area to the detriment of the challenge. I've seen games where the human makes known the shortfall and there after everyone just abuses the heck out of the weakness.

I find playing most battles in Battle Academy are fairly even as the human will not have encountered the variables. Once you have played the battle a couple of times, there's no surprises. Thus the longevity of the game played solo is fairly finite. If you play the game frequently solo in a short time you exhaust it's potential for newness fairly quickly. The game thus really shines more against a human adversary. Games with a random generator feature can usually extend this for a time.

I'm usually surprised when a game defeats me. Be it Civ or a fantasy setting like Heroes of Might and Magic, or conventional war games like Steel Panthers or grand strategy designs. Although in recent times my competitive edge has eroded with age. I'm not the adversary I used to be 10 years ago.

My closing comment is I don't think much of war game AIs.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:29:31 PM   
Ostwindflak


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I've solved it, we should all sell our computers and virtual games and go back to board gaming. Especially the big board war games. You're welcome.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:31:24 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ostwindflak

I've solved it, we should all sell our computers and virtual games and go back to board gaming. Especially the big board war games. You're welcome.


But then you can't use those Vassal modules :)

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:38:11 PM   
MrsWargamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ostwindflak

I've solved it, we should all sell our computers and virtual games and go back to board gaming. Especially the big board war games. You're welcome.


I wish they would actually.

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Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:48:36 PM   
Ostwindflak


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Vassal is a good tool, but not all games can be found on it which is a shame.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:49:21 PM   
wings7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ostwindflak

I've solved it, we should all sell our computers and virtual games and go back to board gaming. Especially the big board war games. You're welcome.


We definitely need to play more board war games! I'd still keep my computer...

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:51:49 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wings7


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ostwindflak

I've solved it, we should all sell our computers and virtual games and go back to board gaming. Especially the big board war games. You're welcome.


We definitely need to play more board war games! I'd still keep my computer...
warspite1

If I had the room in the house, if I had the time to devote, and if I had access to other human players, I would play the board version of World In Flames. However I don't. That is why computer versions of this type of game is such a godsend.


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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 1:57:03 PM   
Ostwindflak


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You could always rent out a climate controlled storage unit Warspite1 and set up there.

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 2:00:14 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ostwindflak

You could always rent out a climate controlled storage unit Warspite1 and set up there.
warspite1

Well yes, but all you have done is provided me with an answer for one problem (a lack of space) with the addition of another one (lack of spondoolicks). Furthermore, the other two problems - time and opponents - remains firmly in the obstacle dept.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/12/2016 2:02:31 PM >


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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 2:01:24 PM   
lecrop


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There are some excellente solitaire board wargames, like Silent War or RAF...

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RE: Are Wargame AIs Fated to Suck? - 6/12/2016 2:04:36 PM   
Ostwindflak


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I concede your point Warspite1, I can't provide time to you. However if we were able to get some dedicated people, I could be persuaded to make a week long trip to England for a WiF or other game session. Providing of course we dedicate at least one night at the Highland Inn & Hotel Whiskey Bar. I have always wanted to visit that place!


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