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logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/20/2020 2:12:51 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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Can someone refresh my memory on the difference between hard and very hard AI?

manual is not specific on the topic, it just says
historical -- balanced, no advantages
hard -- some logistical advantages
very hard -- some logistical and combat advantages

if my memory doesn't fail me, I believe you can't starve the AI under "very hard", am I right?
my question goes more for "hard"; does the AI still needs supply under "hard"; e.g. would the Allies AI starve at Bataan, if left unattended, or would it remain in supply forever?

thanks
Post #: 1
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/20/2020 7:24:36 PM   
GetAssista

 

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Hard AI does not die from hunger (or does it very slowly), but does not get supply from thin air (so you can get him into eventual penalties). VHard always has supply, generated from thin air.
Support/airsupport effects are also shifted to a better side. E.g Hard/Vhard AI planes can operate w/o air support, not sure if VHard is more pronounced.

I don't know what exact combat bonuses VHard gets

< Message edited by GetAssista -- 1/20/2020 7:25:12 PM >

(in reply to Jorge_Stanbury)
Post #: 2
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/20/2020 7:36:49 PM   
inqistor


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Very Hard does get some supply in units, but it seems to arrive rarely. You can definitely get malus for supply. I'm pretty sure there is no hunger penalty. Australian units stranded in New Guinea jungle for months have some supply, and 0 disruption, and single digit fatigue.

Also, there are extra planes for replacements. Like at least 150% of defined production.


This air support trick is actually defined in LCUs. If you check them, some have 0xAviation Support in TOE. Andy said, it will help AI to move Air Units.

(in reply to GetAssista)
Post #: 3
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/21/2020 12:14:34 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: inqistor

Very Hard does get some supply in units, but it seems to arrive rarely. You can definitely get malus for supply. I'm pretty sure there is no hunger penalty. Australian units stranded in New Guinea jungle for months have some supply, and 0 disruption, and single digit fatigue.

Also, there are extra planes for replacements. Like at least 150% of defined production.


This air support trick is actually defined in LCUs. If you check them, some have 0xAviation Support in TOE. Andy said, it will help AI to move Air Units.


That's good to know. I have avoided Very Hard believing that it would prevent me from isolating large stacks and succeeding in reducing huge siege battles. I have stuck with Hard.

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RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/22/2020 2:14:10 PM   
Alfred

 

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Post #221 (from PaxMondo) in this thread

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2306421&mpage=8&key=&#4746705

is much closer to the correct position than what is usually offered as an answer.

Alfred 

(in reply to HansBolter)
Post #: 5
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 2:41:44 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

Hard AI does not die from hunger (or does it very slowly), but does not get supply from thin air (so you can get him into eventual penalties). VHard always has supply, generated from thin air.
Support/airsupport effects are also shifted to a better side. E.g Hard/Vhard AI planes can operate w/o air support, not sure if VHard is more pronounced.

I don't know what exact combat bonuses VHard gets

Where did this info come from? No dev has ever stated anything like this that I recall … if they did, please provide the link to refresh my memory.

I should also add that having been playing the AI for over 10 years, this does not agree with my observations.

< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 1/23/2020 2:43:26 AM >


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RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 2:45:18 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: inqistor
This air support trick is actually defined in LCUs. If you check them, some have 0xAviation Support in TOE. Andy said, it will help AI to move Air Units.

Sorry, this is not accurate. If you google search the forum, Andy answered this long, long ago. Not aware of any air support "trick". Again, please provide the link for this.

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Pax

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Post #: 7
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 3:09:28 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

Can someone refresh my memory on the difference between hard and very hard AI?

manual is not specific on the topic, it just says
historical -- balanced, no advantages
hard -- some logistical advantages
very hard -- some logistical and combat advantages

if my memory doesn't fail me, I believe you can't starve the AI under "very hard", am I right?
my question goes more for "hard"; does the AI still needs supply under "hard"; e.g. would the Allies AI starve at Bataan, if left unattended, or would it remain in supply forever?

thanks

Lotta bad info on the AI here, sorry for that.

Alfred provided a link to a prior thread and all of your questions are answered there.

The reason the manual is not specific about the AI is the manual pre-dates the AI. Worse, after it was written there were some very SERIOUS changes made to the game that adversely impacted the AI. These changes were made in favor of the PBEM "purists". I won't dig those discussion up, but feel free to search them up and read them. Anyway, those changes in some ways broke the AI rather badly and it has been in catch up mode ever since. The Ironman series puts many of the changes back in (in terms of the TOE's), but it can't completely fix all of the changes that were made. My last point is that, AFAIK, as part of the big change just before release, the effects of the AI difficulty settings were changed to be consistent with the other changes. (If that makes sense.)

That said, the newer AI scripts that Andy just released are really pretty good. I've been testing them and the AI does quite well for itself.

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Pax

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Post #: 8
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 3:40:06 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo


quote:

ORIGINAL: inqistor
This air support trick is actually defined in LCUs. If you check them, some have 0xAviation Support in TOE. Andy said, it will help AI to move Air Units.

Sorry, this is not accurate. If you google search the forum, Andy answered this long, long ago. Not aware of any air support "trick". Again, please provide the link for this.


For some months now there has been a marked deterioration in the quality of answers provided to newbies. It has even reached the stage where some are just flatly refusing to accept my posts.

The only aviation support "trick" which the AI receives is that which is outlined in s.16.5 of the manual. That isn't even really a "trick" as it is completely transparent even though it only applies to the computer player, not to a human player. The rationale for this computer benefit is stated in the manual. Obviously the benefit can only apply to a Base Force which includes the Aviation Support device in it's TOE.

Alfred

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 9
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 4:50:54 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

Can someone refresh my memory on the difference between hard and very hard AI?

manual is not specific on the topic, it just says
historical -- balanced, no advantages
hard -- some logistical advantages
very hard -- some logistical and combat advantages

if my memory doesn't fail me, I believe you can't starve the AI under "very hard", am I right?
my question goes more for "hard"; does the AI still needs supply under "hard"; e.g. would the Allies AI starve at Bataan, if left unattended, or would it remain in supply forever?

thanks

Lotta bad info on the AI here, sorry for that.

Alfred provided a link to a prior thread and all of your questions are answered there.

The reason the manual is not specific about the AI is the manual pre-dates the AI. Worse, after it was written there were some very SERIOUS changes made to the game that adversely impacted the AI. These changes were made in favor of the PBEM "purists". I won't dig those discussion up, but feel free to search them up and read them. Anyway, those changes in some ways broke the AI rather badly and it has been in catch up mode ever since. The Ironman series puts many of the changes back in (in terms of the TOE's), but it can't completely fix all of the changes that were made. My last point is that, AFAIK, as part of the big change just before release, the effects of the AI difficulty settings were changed to be consistent with the other changes. (If that makes sense.)

That said, the newer AI scripts that Andy just released are really pretty good. I've been testing them and the AI does quite well for itself.


Further to PaxMondo's comments.

There was a very conscious decision made by the devs to not disclose in any great detail, the computer benefits (and disadvantages too) which result from the different difficulty levels. Forum searches will find a few dev comments on the subject, but they are couched in very general terms. This dev policy does make it hard for the general player to determine accurately what is the exact situation. Which is exactly what the devs wanted and as such it would be most inappropriate for me to breach the dev policy.

I will expand slightly on PaxMondo's observation of "breaking" the AI. The word "breaking" is too harsh for it implies that the computer opponent is useless. That is a claim often made by PBEM players who tend to talk nonsense about the AI, usually based on their limited experience of deliberately playing ahistorically implausibly which the historically plausible scripts cannot be made to react to such human behaviour. If the situation were reversed everyone would complain of (a) the AI cheating and (b) they had bought a game which was supposed to be based on the historical record. Imagine the outcry if there were a script for 7 Dec 1941 where the Japanese could use the first turn magic move bonus to land on the West Coast. Or to land sufficient forces to capture Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941.

It was one of the dev aims to improve the quality of the AE AI compared to that of classical WITP. It had been one of the loudest complaints of classical WITP players that the AI was not sufficiently challenging. Originally it was thought this widespread complaint could be mainly addressed via the medium of the new scripts. However a couple of years into the development it became obvious that the other AE improvements were unmasking even further the classical WITP AI limitations. To fix this necessitated throwing out the old AI and basically writing a new one which would better support the AE improvements and scripts. Needless to say, the available time to accomplish this task was less than the ideal.

To further complicate the AI development was the constant tension between making the AI better and players complaining they couldn't beat it. Yes the AI is not as strong as it could be because there are too many forum cry babies who simply can't handle being defeated by the computer. These cry babies are the posters who create the loop from hell:


  • do anything to beat the computer (includes repeating until memorised the exact computer moves so that once learnt the human can take advantage of this knowledge, or redoing the turn until a new favourable outcome results, or using hindsight and disregard of historical political limitations to hit enemy weak points)
  • then complain the AI is too weak
  • when improved AI/script/computer OOB is provided, complain the AI cheats/is unhistorical, often then abandoning the game not accepting they have been defeated by the computer, (but had a human opponent similarly abandoned the game, would bask in the glory of having won as their human opponent had resigned)
  • return to start of loop of doing anything to beat the computer


With all the unfair restricti8ons placed on Andy Mac et al, it is remarkable how well he has succeeded in making the AI challenging for those who don't engage in the loop from hell.

Alfred

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 10
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 7:06:08 AM   
Kursk1943


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Alfred: 1+!

As a consolation: There a still some gamers out there you really enjoy playing against the AI, like Hans Bolter and me.

< Message edited by Kursk1943 -- 1/23/2020 1:55:17 PM >


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Post #: 11
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 8:41:57 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kursk1943

Alfred: 1+!

As a consolation: There a still some gamers out there you really enjoy playing against thte AI, like Hans Bolter and me.


I am very much aware that there many out there who enjoy playing the computer. Even against the original released scripts for scenario 1, let alone the 2012 script updates or the recent scripts. Not to mention the recent enhanced Ironman.

When Matrix profiled the customer base, it found that about 80% of AE players played solely or predominantly against the computer. Very few of these players ever post on the forum. In fact of the 20% who do play against another human, the overwhelming majority of them also do not post regularly on the forum. Which means that it is only a tiny proportion of the customer base who do post regularly. Of those who post it is an even smaller subset who rail against the AI.

It is far too simplistic to state that a human opponent will always provide a better challenge than the computer. There are many human players who are not strong AE players. A PBEM against them will often be less challenging than playing the computer.

Take heart, it isn't just you and Hans Bolter who have regularly played the computer for years and have enjoyed the challenge sufficiently to retain their interest in playing AE. Again kudos to Andy Mac and the devs for their achievement.

Alfred

(in reply to Kursk1943)
Post #: 12
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 7:31:29 PM   
Macclan5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter

That's good to know. I have avoided Very Hard believing that it would prevent me from isolating large stacks and succeeding in reducing huge siege battles. I have stuck with Hard.



Ditto to this entire thread. Thank you all.

Very informative reading.

I have personally been playing the -"historical 20 odd days" "hard 10 odd days" back and forth under some wrong assumptions.

If I passed on wrong assumption I apologize.

I do think the AI clever interesting especially with its variants. Possibly differently prioritize scripted targets.

I have seen three variants now (i) deep south pacific push through Suva (ii) an Australian push through Normanton and (iii) "seemingly very historically accurate"



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RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/23/2020 8:57:23 PM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo
quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista
Hard AI does not die from hunger (or does it very slowly), but does not get supply from thin air (so you can get him into eventual penalties). VHard always has supply, generated from thin air.
Support/airsupport effects are also shifted to a better side. E.g Hard/Vhard AI planes can operate w/o air support, not sure if VHard is more pronounced.

I don't know what exact combat bonuses VHard gets

Where did this info come from? No dev has ever stated anything like this that I recall … if they did, please provide the link to refresh my memory.

I should also add that having been playing the AI for over 10 years, this does not agree with my observations.

You can at any moment load AI game as other side and check points of interest. With time you will get enough observations to make some conclusions

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 14
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/24/2020 11:54:59 AM   
HansBolter


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From: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo
quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista
Hard AI does not die from hunger (or does it very slowly), but does not get supply from thin air (so you can get him into eventual penalties). VHard always has supply, generated from thin air.
Support/airsupport effects are also shifted to a better side. E.g Hard/Vhard AI planes can operate w/o air support, not sure if VHard is more pronounced.

I don't know what exact combat bonuses VHard gets

Where did this info come from? No dev has ever stated anything like this that I recall … if they did, please provide the link to refresh my memory.

I should also add that having been playing the AI for over 10 years, this does not agree with my observations.

You can at any moment load AI game as other side and check points of interest. With time you will get enough observations to make some conclusions



IIRC Pax is one who routinely loads the AI side to correct its errant behavior and was not in need of such elucidation.

I, on the other hand, avoid loading the opposing side as I am loathe to garner free intel on its dispositions.

_____________________________

Hans


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Post #: 15
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/27/2020 2:39:58 AM   
PaxMondo


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I do intervene to address errant scripts, model upgrades, LCU upgrades, and ship upgrade/conversions. The devs have repeatedly stated that the AI does not "cheat". I do not believe that the AI gets supply "out of thin air". It is able to move it around, and does so with greater ease on the VH setting because the AI does not understand islands and other resource movement obstacles (My belief). So, the VH allows supply to flow as if the AI were a master logistician like Major Mike. A PBEM player would push extra supply into an area ahead of an invasion. The AI can't see that coming, and so doesn't. Thus, you invade and the AI has minimal supply present. The VH setting simply alleviates that oversight by having supply get through your cordone (think Eastern Front how the SOV got supply to surrounded areas so often). Just like the combat factors: the AI can't choose the best commander, doesn't understand HQ ranges and types. So to level the playing field, VH says "Well, let's add in the bonuses as if those HQ's were present just like any competent player would."

If you want to call it a cheat, go for it. But, AI players call it "Computer Opponent".

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RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/27/2020 8:42:39 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

like Major Mike.


I think that's Colonel now.

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RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/28/2020 2:22:48 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

Imagine the outcry if there were a script for 7 Dec 1941 where the Japanese could use the first turn magic move bonus to land on the West Coast.


Does Coal Harbour count?

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RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/28/2020 6:09:29 AM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R


quote:

Imagine the outcry if there were a script for 7 Dec 1941 where the Japanese could use the first turn magic move bonus to land on the West Coast.


Does Coal Harbour count?


Think if they landed at Port Rupert and took Canada while restricted US units weren't allowed there. Then the Japanese could bomb a lot of places in the US for strategic points.

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Post #: 19
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/28/2020 11:48:36 AM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R


quote:

Imagine the outcry if there were a script for 7 Dec 1941 where the Japanese could use the first turn magic move bonus to land on the West Coast.


Does Coal Harbour count?


Think if they landed at Port Rupert and took Canada while restricted US units weren't allowed there. Then the Japanese could bomb a lot of places in the US for strategic points.



A scenario similar to this has been played out once without the Japanese player getting an opportunity to exploit strategic bombing. Panzer Jager Hortlund tried invading Canada. It was an interesting experiment before it petered out and he disappeared. It did uncover a serious design flaw in that American emergency reinforcements are NOT triggered by an invasion of Canada as if that is remotely realistic.

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Post #: 20
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/28/2020 11:53:15 AM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R


quote:

Imagine the outcry if there were a script for 7 Dec 1941 where the Japanese could use the first turn magic move bonus to land on the West Coast.


Does Coal Harbour count?


Think if they landed at Port Rupert and took Canada while restricted US units weren't allowed there. Then the Japanese could bomb a lot of places in the US for strategic points.



A scenario similar to this has been played out once without the Japanese player getting an opportunity to exploit strategic bombing. Panzer Jager Hortlund tried invading Canada. It was an interesting experiment before it petered out and he disappeared. It did uncover a serious design flaw in that American emergency reinforcements are NOT triggered by an invasion of Canada as if that is remotely realistic.


I remember one where somebody did invade Canada and did bomb the US.

But think if they could magic move and invade Portland?

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Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


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Post #: 21
RE: logistical advantages: AI hard vs very hard - 1/28/2020 4:59:07 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R


quote:

Imagine the outcry if there were a script for 7 Dec 1941 where the Japanese could use the first turn magic move bonus to land on the West Coast.


Does Coal Harbour count?


Think if they landed at Port Rupert and took Canada while restricted US units weren't allowed there. Then the Japanese could bomb a lot of places in the US for strategic points.

US forces can move to Canada at any time, even if restricted (unless the player self-imposes the restriction at the border). I agree with Hans that if there was an invasion anywhere on the NA mainland or Vancouver Island, the US would not be looking for PP to go and meet it, so I do not restrict movement of homeland US units. Canadian BFs are also useful in the US because there are few Canadian planes to look after, and they have engineers to build airfields higher. I use them in the US when I can.

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Post #: 22
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