From: El Paso, TX
Hi Andy - As good as the AI may be (and you are working wonders with it), there is a fundamental problem specific to the Japanese AI. Specifically, while it is possible to open an AI-opponent game in "head-to-head" mode, thereby giving the human player the ability to make adjustments to the AI's force dispositions for a turn or more, it soon becomes impossible to do this for the Japanese AI, because of the Manchukuo Garrison requirements:
Be warned that the Japanese AI can allow the garrison requirements to fall without risk of the Soviets becoming active. Once that loads up as human, they activate. Thus in my current game vs the AI I can't do anything as the AI to help it out. I can only stop, look, and then reload the old save with the Soviets inactive and continue.
That's true. Since I almost always play as IJ, I never run into this issue. But if you are playing as the allies, it is a real issue that will develop by mid-'42 and then continue on … meaning the IJ AI in most games can't be helped and so the game doesn't tend to be as challenging as you can't help the AI past some bottlenecks. In these cases you will find that you have to cede the base in question (let the AI win), or choose to continue beating the AI until it no longer has capability to attack and then the game goes quite easily and monotonously to its end.
For those who may be unsure how the AI determines which units count against the Garrison, here's a helpful description from Alfred:
A. Manchukuo Garrison
1. The threshold is 8,000 available Japanese Assault Value ("AV"). Since Patch #6 (Change #116), the relevant area is the Manchukuo hex ownership (= the nationality code). It includes both bases and non base hexes within the relevant area. Previously it was the old North West Zone left over from classical WITP.
2. Be above the threshold, even by only 1 AV, and there is no die roll check.
3. Be below the threshold, even by only 1 AV, and a die roll check is made to see if the Soviets are activated. This check is made every turn the garrison is below the threshold.
4. The die roll is weighed against the size of the garrison. The smaller the delta between what is the currently present AV and the 8,000 AV threshold, the less likely an adverse die roll will result.
5. An adverse die roll for Japan always results in activating the Soviets. There is no other penalty applied nor is there any variability.
This would seem to be a real problem, because one of your primary "Japanese AI assist" methods is to harvest Kwantung Army units and send them off on various missions. It's a good idea and it works well, but as you see there is a downside. However. What if we could ensure that the Garrison requirements are always met, right up until Soviet Activation occurs on August 1 1945?
It turns out, that's pretty easy to do. All you need is a single new unit, the "Manchukuo Fort". See item #1 in the attachment for the unit stats as it appears in the editor and then look at Item #2 for the unit's appearance in-game. A few features and issues:
1) You'll note that it's set to withdraw on the date of the Soviet Activation and it also can't be disbanded (red arrows).
2) You have a very active AI that's busy harvesting units from this region, yet it never touches any of the existing Manchurian Forts, so I'm assuming this new one will remain unaffected by any of your existing scripts.
3) The new fort is located in an unoccupied Manchurian city, far from the Soviet border, but you could place it anywhere you like. The only caveat is the new unit has a heavy supply requirement, so you may want to add some sort of automatic supply mechanism for the city, just to make sure we're not adversely affecting the Japanese supply flow in this region.
4) Lastly, this could be problematic for any scenario which is designed for "both" players, as it would allow the Japan-human player to effectively ignore the Manchukuo Garrison requirements. Accordingly is it possible to script the unit to arrive only on January 7th 1941, and only if the Japanese player is human?