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Old 10-04-2017, 11:29 PM   #41
Keith E Carter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sedalia, NC
Default Re: Beta testers wanted for Ogre video game

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Yes, do not underestimate the meat processor that you were born with. It retrains rapidly and adapts to a lot of situations. Equaling even an average human opponent is a high bar for an AI ....
The 1986 version of the game had a competent AI. Quite an accomplishment given the limited computer resources of the time. It did so by looking at every hex the Ogre could reach and generated a value for that hex based on 1) added the value of the defenders the Ogre could attack from the target hex modified by the chances of disabling or destroying; 2) subtracted a value for the amount of damage the Ogre may suffer in that hex; 3) modified the sum of the first two based on distance to high value long range targets like howitzers and the CP. Getting closer increased the value of that hex, moving further away reduced the value of that hex. The Ogre then made the move to the highest value hex. This meant that the Ogre was inclined to approach the CP (or howitzer off to the side) but if it could do enough damage backing up it would.

Effectively the 1986 AI did an exhaustive 2 ply look ahead. It made for a credible AI that came across as intelligent and, while not a strong player, was at least in the ballpark of equaling an average human opponent. Imagine how strong that AI would be with a 4 ply look ahead, or a 6 ply look ahead! Since 1986 computing power has gone up many orders of magnitude. That kind of look ahead is now possible, maybe even more.

Alas the Auroch AI in the beta did not take this approach. It lined up across from the CP and ran straight at it ignoring any howitzers off to the side or units to the rear while rarely taking advantage of opportunities to ram. In short, the Auroch AI created a turkey shoot.

It is ironic that in the Strategy and Notes book that came with the 1986 version it says on page 20, paragraph 2, 4th sentence "... the Ogre must not blindly dog a path straight to the CP, or the defense will merely set up a gauntlet that would destroy the Ogre before it could reach the CP."

The 1986 AI would dominate the Auroch beta AI. The value of the Auroch version of the game is the ability to play either side in a broad range of scenarios against a human opponent.

edited for typos

Last edited by Keith E Carter; 10-05-2017 at 12:03 AM.
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auroch, auroch digital, beta, beta test, digital, ogre, tester

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