more independent unit AI

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WelshZeCorgi
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more independent unit AI

Post by WelshZeCorgi »

I feel like there are some odd behaviors in the unit AI, like Bradleys remaining motivated and plinking away at a T-80 with no TOWS in the tubes as it calmly points its gun and blasts the IFV out of the water. They don't back away or hide from dangerous, unkillable threats or deploy smoke when automatically when they're about to be killed with a high PK shot.

I think they should have a little more autonomy and options to change their behavior in and out of combat.
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nikolas93TS
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RE: more independent unit AI

Post by nikolas93TS »

Sergey Suvorov's volumes on the BMP-1 and BMP-2 mentions some interesting tests regarding auto-cannons and tanks.

In one attempt to persuade military officials to adopt the Object 681 with the 2A41 73mm smoothbore cannon, a comparison trial was organized. The target was a T-72 tank, and the distance was 1,200 meters. The Object 681 opened fire first (on the side of the tank), and not one single round penetrated the tank. One went over, one fell short, and the other successfully impacted the side skirt, but the reinforced plastic side skirt flexed in such a way that the round did nothing. Then, the Object 675 - the BMP-2 prototype - stepped up. It let off three bursts of 8 rounds in the high rate of fire mode. All external equipment including periscopes and the gun-sights were completely destroyed, and the roof mounted anti-aircraft machine gun was separated from its mount, landing 15 m away from the tank.

Later on during its acceptance trials, the BMP-2 fired on a combat loaded T-55 (modernized) and T-72 from the side, again with 3 x 8 round bursts on the high rate of fire mode. In both cases result was cleat mission kill.
The T-55 had its anti-aircraft mount, IR searchlight, and externally mounted laser rangefinder shredded away. The 100mm cannon was hit and penetrated in two places. The external fuel tanks mounted on the track fenders ignited and burned outside the tank, but the gun-sight was unharmed and tank was in a drivable state. A total firepower kill was achieved due to the damaged cannon. The T-72 also had its anti-aircraft machine gun ripped off, and its optical devices were damaged. The fender fuel tanks were hit and the ignited damaged the turret seals (compromised the sealing of the NBC system) and some of the burning fuel leaked to engine compartment and damaged the engine, though the automatic fire suppression system worked. It was counted as a mobility and firepower kill. In neither case was side armor actually perforated.

Currently auto-cannons in-game are pathetic against tanks (although lucky shoots of more powerful cannons can still disable them in certain cases, and in actual combat above situations are probably less common) but we are planning a more detailed component damage model. Still, I just wanted to illustrate how hard is to judge and even more so to code what and when AI should stop firing. Sometimes the player might want to suppress, damage, or distract the target it another unit can kill it.

There were some recent AI self-preserve suggestions too, but we haven't really done anything yet in that field.
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nikolas93TS
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RE: more independent unit AI

Post by nikolas93TS »

Another interesting episode.

"On 9 November 1987 during the SADF's attack on FAPLA's 16 Brigade, B Company of Combat Group Charlie was pinned down in front of the FAPLA positions and drawing heavy fire from assorted weapons. A Ratel was surprised by a T-55 which appeared out of the bush less than 60 metres away. The Ratel's gunner, Rifleman Adriaan Thom, placed some twenty armour-piercing rounds from his 20mm gun just below the tank commander's cupola, some of which penetrated, for an internal explosion destroyed the tank. The commander then ordered the infantry section to debus, soon after which the Ratel was itself knocked out by another T-55. The gunner, Rfn. Adriaan Thom from Ruyterwacht in Cape Town, and the driver Rfn. Muehlenbeck were both killed. One other member of this section, Rifleman P.G. Claasen, was killed by small-arms fire a few moments later. Rfn. Thom was later on posthumously awarded the Honoris Crux for his actions."
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Veitikka
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RE: more independent unit AI

Post by Veitikka »

One issue with individual units making independent decisions is that it can clash with formation orders, making movement slower. For example, if a Soviet tank/IFV starts reversing to safety in our 30m/cell grid system it can take a looong time to complete, and other units may have to wait until the tank/IFV has finished its retreat.
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Werezak
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RE: more independent unit AI

Post by Werezak »

ORIGINAL: nikolas93TS
Currently auto-cannons in-game are pathetic against tanks (although lucky shoots of more powerful cannons can still disable them in certain cases, and in actual combat above situations are probably less common) but we are planning a more detailed component damage model. Still, I just wanted to illustrate how hard is to judge and even more so to code what and when AI should stop firing. Sometimes the player might want to suppress, damage, or distract the target it another unit can kill it.

Looking forward to the new component damage model. I think it will lead to better gameplay. Because auto-cannons are not effective against armor, it leaves IFVs over-reliant on ATGMs to defend against tanks, which I think distorts things.

I believe it is possible to create an AI that does a good job at knowing when to fire, when not to fire, and what to fire at. But such an AI would have to work at the formation level (being aware of and directing fire for all units in the formation), or perhaps even with some amount of inter-formation communication.
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