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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds?

 
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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 2:34:49 PM   
nikolas93TS


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I, as human player, personally tend to avoid covered routes and try to bypass such bottlenecks or strong-points when using mechanized forces.

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 2:40:28 PM   
blackcloud6


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CapnDarwin

@blackcloud6, how much time or effort would the Soviets invested in city fighting in the opening few weeks of WW3?



Well, I don't think the Soviets wanted the war to go a few weeks, especially from the late 70s on. I think they wanted to blitz the Rhine and then call for cease fire by threatening further action and nuclear war. Remember, the French openly stated that an existential threat to France results in a launch of the nukes from the Plain of Albion.

The Soviet strategy is similar to Egypt's in 1973. Modern war is too lethal for prolonged conflict at high intensity and risks nuclear destruction.

That said, in the opening days, with eyes on securing the Rhine, the Soviets would by-pass the large cities and leave them for follow up forces to mop up or starve out.

< Message edited by blackcloud6 -- 12/11/2018 2:43:03 PM >

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 2:48:22 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Kind of what I was thinking. Thanks for the information.

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 3:01:07 PM   
Veitikka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phoenix100

I realise these things are complicated. I will mess around more. I'm assuming that it's nothing to do with soviet doctrine, in fact, but that the US AI will behave the same. I will have to try that out.


There's no 'faction AI' in the game. Actually, when I was doing a lot of research for the AI I mostly used ideas that were based on American sources about the Soviet doctrine.

Indeed, it gets complicated very fast. What is instantly obvious to a human eye means nothing to the computer. I think what some players expect is that the AI should, iteratively and in real-time, to probe and 'see' its environment (elevation, terrain types, bottlenecks, enemies, objectives), make a data bank of all this input, make a list of possible actions based on the goals, threats, casualties and available resources everywhere on and off the map, and finally assign all its units, formations and artillery to their optimal roles based on all this available information.


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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 3:21:56 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Yes, Vietikka. That's hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I expect!! ;)

We can aim for something like that, at least....no?

Does it presently do ANY of that?

< Message edited by Phoenix100 -- 12/11/2018 3:23:33 PM >

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 3:47:20 PM   
Veitikka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phoenix100

Yes, Vietikka. That's hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I expect!! ;)

We can aim for something like that, at least....no?

Does it presently do ANY of that?


Basically it does, but rather crudely. Perhaps one day the latest AI technology out there will make it to this game, but I cannot promise having it in the near future patches. You might even have to wait for an 'AI DLC'. Well, that was a joke, but I believe that even big corporations are struggling to make an AI that's so human-like.


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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 6:05:05 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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As someone who's for years tried to tell machine learning and neural network AI enthusiasts to "hold their horses" and check with cognitive scientists, psychologists and humanitarians on whether their assumptions on whether their models of intelligence are actually representative of, well, intelligence... this is a familiar discussion indeed

Yeah, it's always a difficult problem - complicated additionally by players having a bit of a "superhuman" information and decision space in a game like Armored Brigade, which honestly by any measure is extremely user-friendly in a way that real war could never dream of being.

Personally, I don't really expect an AI that will work based on the various field manuals and other doctrine documents. What I'd rather see is an AI that can take units at its disposal and try to work out a reasonable use for them given the situation. Even that is really really difficult at the moment - it's a bit easier in "pure" games like Chess or Go, and even there it requires a massive amount of computing power to be human-like... but in "messy", context-rich games like AB, it is near-impossible to have an AI that genuinely "thinks" and plans in a manner that a human player would. Inevitably you have to resort to tricks and shortcuts that will work most (but not all) of the time. Players will still find ways to exploit those things that don't quite work, however.

I'm all in favour of a more "generic" AI though - which assumes that rather than there being a fundamental difference in ways of thinking between Western and Soviet forces, the main difference is in the resources (i.e. units) at its disposal. A Soviet AI will play differently from a NATO AI not because it has different priorities; rather, both want to win, but one has T-72s at its disposal while the other has M1s. And from that view, the best AI is the one that can successfully "understand" those differences and use them to gain an advantage, regardless of which side it happens to be on.

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 6:30:09 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Fun topic and here is some food for thought. If you take the Red Force situation above and have 100 new players plan a strategy and execute it we will have 100 different plans with a bell curve distribution where a few do splendidly well and a few have Custer-like disaster and a whole bunch of folks in the middle with various levels of success and failure. Now let them plan again and run and again and run and over time the bulk of the bell will shift forward to success. If we take 100 PCs and let the AI go at it with its deterministic logic, we will see all 100 do pretty much the same thing within the confines of the fuzziness in the deterministic system. Run the AI group a million times and the results aren't going to improve. They will just fuzz about the deterministic centerline. Why? Simple answer is humans learn. We have memory. We generally remember with great clarity what worked well and what was a disaster and therefore we can adjust the planning the next time the same set of circumstances are seen. Even the best AIs with a lot of fancy if-then/neural constructs are still short on this learning and memory concept. While we have learned that it can be very bad in many situations to race tanks across open ground in face of an unseen enemy, the AI only has whatever fixed parameters or weighted outcomes that a programmer can give a certain situation. Where a human is almost effortless in looking over the map and its complex variables and can think and remember on the fly, the poor AI is running ones and zeros, if-thens, and rolling some dice for a weighted variable situation. Even by chance, if the AI does something well, we may perceive it as a dumb move based on our own way of resolving the situation. Call it an intellectual observation bias. AIs (and I hate calling them that by the way since they are just fancy decision engines today) in games is a very difficult thing to work for a number of the factors discussed. No doubt the team will make improvements over time, but as players we need to keep out intelectual observation bias in mind when looking at these situation.

Party on!

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues as we squish bugs and work on features.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/11/2018 6:57:48 PM   
22sec

 

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I think within the parameters of AB the AI deals with the same issues as we humans do when it comes to managing forces. It is a challenge to maneuver formations across a battlefield. I think some kind of system is needed to influence the AI in which formations to use as well as which paths (covered, shortest, quickest) to use. The other suggestion I would like to see considered is side specific no-go zones, which are not visible to the opponent. For example I design a scenario, and I create a series of no-go zones for the attacker, thus helping to influence the AI’s plan. The current no-go zones do that, but they apply to both sides and are visible to both sides.

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/12/2018 3:26:06 AM   
TarkError

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phoenix100

Which is what people are saying might be good. But what people are also saying is that is not soviet doctrine. What the AI may have done in that game is detected both forward recon that I had, eliminated one of them, flanked the other, ran into an ambush, retreated. Then came down the middle anyway. I had an HQ further back with eyes on that middle ground, and hence there were many AI losses to arty.


Well, a Soviet commander might as well use a difficult covered approach if the preservation of his force is more important than time for the success of his mission. I remember reading in Chris Donnelly's Red Banner where a NATO officer who thought that a Soviet division would be channeled along valleys while would be in for an unpleasant surprise if he considered that the wooded hills were an obstacle "on account of their lack of roads". There's more to Soviet tactics than the stereotypical mass attack.

The Syrian attack on the Golan Heights in 1973 was about as far from Soviet doctrine as possible...they pretty much ploughed straight ahead with no tactical maneuver at all, with ineffective fire preparation+support, and the Syrian high command failed to redirect their efforts from the failed attack at the Valley of Tears to the south (a reinforcement of failure).

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RE: Is this game not best played in 3 minute rounds? - 12/12/2018 1:55:39 PM   
kevinkins


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The internet is awash with articles on AlphaZero right now. Here is a recent one:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/12/move-over-alphago-alphazero-taught-itself-to-play-three-different-games/

I am pretty sure the team at Google is trying to apply their technology to all sorts of problems, including military ones. Interestingly, AlphaZero taught "itself" chess and found that the openings humans use are indeed the best. But AlphaZero's middle game tactics are often "non-human" or very unrecognizable to human players. This would mean the military techniques AlphaZero developes may not be recognizable as Soviet or NATO or "human". They may not match well established field manuals. So even the best AI might not be what is best for our enjoyment of wargames. If you play online chess, and run into a player using a computer against you, you get really ticked off. It's not fun at all since you wasted your gaming time with little chance of winning.

Kevin


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― Alfred Thayer Mahan


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