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Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side?

 
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Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 5/4/2021 6:20:08 AM   
Mock726

 

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I have been letting two computer players duke it out, historical campaign scenario. Stopping them every three months to check out what each side is doing. After two years the front lines are pretty historical,losses are anything but. Japan has lost one BB and no CV's, US has lost all CV's, Brits still have all CV's.

I was contemplating taking over for the Allies and taking on a Japanese Computer player at this point. But. I am finding units in odd places, in the wrong theater, and restricted units in places they should not be able to get too. So I am wondering if anyone has ever written a FAQ about taking over for a computer player that has had time to run amok?

I can see some of the odd things the computer player does. Cargo TF's with 1 DD, 1 AKL and one little tiny ASW vessel without anywhere near the endurance to get from one end of the run to the other. But I am sure there is other stuff, particularly organizational, that would need to be taken care of.
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RE: Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 5/4/2021 6:58:17 AM   
BBfanboy


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The AI runs mostly off scripts that define targets to be taken or defended and dates for start and end of those efforts. It cannot react realistically to developing situations because the developer could not possibly write scripts for every situation and it is not a true AI that can calculate a huge range of factors and make human-like decisions. This results in strange force allocations and sometimes disastrous combat results for one side or the other.

In addition, because the script writer cannot know how the game situation will develop and what forces will be available or where, the AI (computer player) can do things like moving units that are restricted by sea, or teleporting a ship from one port to another to participate in a scripted operation. Such shortcuts were necessary to allow the AI to carry out scripts after the first few weeks of play have made non-historic situations.

I don't know of anyone who has run the game with the computer playing both sides for so long, so AFAIK there is no guidance on taking over. I would guess it is like starting the game on Dec. 8th as Allies and having to deal with the mess of badly positioned units, lack of supply in some areas and awful strategic deployment. You just go around the map and start moving things around while making some goals for your first offensive when you can collect the means to start one.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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RE: Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 5/8/2021 5:45:16 AM   
Mock726

 

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The scripts seem to do a good job of recreating the Japanese offensive plans and their execution. After two years the places they historically intended to take they mostly have. So I would also anticipate the scripts doing a pretty good job on defense responding to Allied counter-offensives, because these will likely follow historical precedent. There are only so many practical roads and sea lanes to Tokyo.

The big advantage of taking over after two years of computer vs computer would be that it will bear little resemblance to any historical situation, so you will have to improvise. In the one I am ran the Allies, devoid of any USN carriers, will have to seek to cut the Japanese victory point lead through land based offensives. Make Churchill happy by taking the Netherlands colonies back for them, and maybe the British ones too.


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RE: Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 6/11/2021 7:01:52 AM   
Mock726

 

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I can answer my own question now. Took over from the Allies using a save from the six months into the war point of a Computer Vs Computer run of the Campaign.

The computer player does not play by the same rules human players do, so there is an immediate need to make changes to fix things up to accommodate the rules for humans. For example the computer leaves damaged warships in Readiness condition while they are being repaired, so all ports need to be checked and damaged ship conditions changed as appropriate.

The computer does not always pay attention to the command restrictions. In one case I had a P-38 unit in Darwin that was assigned to the permanent US West Coast garrison headquarters. There were many others air units sprinkled across the South Pacific that could not get to where they were, and can't just be immediately moved back because any attempt to just change their base shows no possible destinations for them. There were also some LCU moves in progress or already made that took units far from where their assigned HQ was. Lots of Headquarters reassignments must be made.

Most bases did have adequate supplies and fuel, as well as aviation support for the planes there. There were many AK/AKL's sitting idle in a few ports, Auckland had more than 40 sitting idle there. Too many TF's consisting of a single DD and a single AK/AKL meant that there weren't enough DD's available to escort the CV's waiting patiently in San Diego. A lot of rearrangement of supply and fuel TF's is needed immediately.

Campaigns just look much too long for me to be interested in playing against another person. But using Computer vs Computer runs to create new, non-historical configurations of forces is an interesting way to generate shorter “You versus the Computer” scenarios.

In another Computer vs Computer run the Dutch managed to hang onto the western third of Java for the entire war. Taking over from the computer in Late 1943 and using forces originally sent to the Central Pacific to instead turn Java into an unsinkable aircraft carrier for B-29's could be an interesting scenario.


(in reply to Mock726)
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RE: Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 6/11/2021 3:15:51 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mock726

I can answer my own question now. Took over from the Allies using a save from the six months into the war point of a Computer Vs Computer run of the Campaign.

The computer player does not play by the same rules human players do, so there is an immediate need to make changes to fix things up to accommodate the rules for humans. For example the computer leaves damaged warships in Readiness condition while they are being repaired, so all ports need to be checked and damaged ship conditions changed as appropriate.

The computer does not always pay attention to the command restrictions. In one case I had a P-38 unit in Darwin that was assigned to the permanent US West Coast garrison headquarters. There were many others air units sprinkled across the South Pacific that could not get to where they were, and can't just be immediately moved back because any attempt to just change their base shows no possible destinations for them. There were also some LCU moves in progress or already made that took units far from where their assigned HQ was. Lots of Headquarters reassignments must be made.

Most bases did have adequate supplies and fuel, as well as aviation support for the planes there. There were many AK/AKL's sitting idle in a few ports, Auckland had more than 40 sitting idle there. Too many TF's consisting of a single DD and a single AK/AKL meant that there weren't enough DD's available to escort the CV's waiting patiently in San Diego. A lot of rearrangement of supply and fuel TF's is needed immediately.

Campaigns just look much too long for me to be interested in playing against another person. But using Computer vs Computer runs to create new, non-historical configurations of forces is an interesting way to generate shorter “You versus the Computer” scenarios.

In another Computer vs Computer run the Dutch managed to hang onto the western third of Java for the entire war. Taking over from the computer in Late 1943 and using forces originally sent to the Central Pacific to instead turn Java into an unsinkable aircraft carrier for B-29's could be an interesting scenario.


What was the situation like for losses of major ships on both sides? Did the Japanese overwhelm or not? Did the AI bring lots of oil or fuel to Honshu are a human player must to keep industry running?

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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RE: Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 6/16/2021 12:01:51 AM   
Mock726

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


What was the situation like for losses of major ships on both sides? Did the Japanese overwhelm or not? Did the AI bring lots of oil or fuel to Honshu are a human player must to keep industry running?


In the two Computer-Versus-Computer runs that have finished so far Japanese major warship losses were well below historical levels, Allied major warship losses were above historical. Major warship losses were similar in both Normal and Very Hard difficulty games.

After securing their defensive perimeter Japan goes on the defense, their CV's are usually only found in TF's with 4 CV's and a BB or two. The USN, always short of carriers, deploys their CV's in 1's and 2's. The slow pace of Allied counter-offensives into the Central and South-West Pacific don't help, as Japanese land based air seems to carry the bulk of the defensive burden. In both games ten USN BB's were sunk after 1941, all by air-dropped torpedoes. Can't tell what planes dropped them, but the exchanges didn't cost the Japanese any major warships (nothing lost in the area at the time). My impression is the USN computer player does not do a good job providing CAP over its forces.

In normal difficulty mode the Japanese efficiently advanced to their intended defensive line, taking over the Phillipines, Burma, the Netherlands East Indies, New Guinea, and the Solomons, pretty much on the historical timeline.
In Very Hard difficulty mode the Japanese again advanced to their intended defense line almost everywhere, but a bit slower. Except against the Dutch around Batavia. The Dutch Army was able to hang onto the western one-third of Java and held it for the entire war. It seems Very Hard helps ground defense more than offense, but not enough to help the Brits keep Burma.
Major warship losses in both games were about the same, for both sides. Losses for AK/AKL's were much higher in V.Hard mode, 80% higher for the Japanese, 20% higher for the Allies.

The description of Very Hard mode says – "Computer is given some logistical and combat advantages." The combat advantage showed up helping the Dutch Army, and in higher losses for both sides in air and ground forces. The logistical advantages really show up in the economic game. I looked at the Industry window for each save,
selecting "Bases at minimal requirements".

In Normal mode the Allies usually had 5-10 bases with a value in the red the whole war, the Japanese started with 0 at the beginning but by 1943 and through the rest of the war usually had 15-20+ bases in the red. Lots of oil and fuel shortages.
In Very Hard mode neither side ever had more than 1 or 2 bases in the red, mostly they had 0. Not sure if all that oil and fuel is actually being delivered or if the computer just gives itself however many are needed at each base each turn. That would be a logical way to give the a Computer Player a helping hand, and
probably the easiest. The few bases in the Red in Very Hard mode were mostly being actively fought over or had just been captured.

I don't believe that a Computer Versus Computer game will ever resemble the results of a Human vs Computer or Human vs Human game.

I would support the idea, that I have seen made in this forum, that if you are playing against the computer always play against a Very Hard difficulty opponent.

(in reply to BBfanboy)
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RE: Comp Vs Comp - any hints for taking over a side? - 6/16/2021 3:44:18 AM   
BBfanboy


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Thanks for the detailed description of the Computer vs Computer game. I doubt I would ever try that method to skip through the early part of the war - the Allied ship losses you describe mean the agony of early 1942 has just been moved ahead a year or so.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to Mock726)
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