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Old 04-22-2022, 03:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2015
Default Why is the AI so bad at original map?

I was a big time player of the 1986 DOS game and I remember gnashing my teeth in frustration at how often I lost. I fired this up the other day just to mess around and did Mark V attack playing the OGRE.

The AI defender was SO TIMID. I took out the CP with MV3 using one of my MBs. My only tread damage was from my own ramming! I ended up driving around the fleeing units killing them all.

Out of shock I tried another run and this time instead of screaming for the CP like was always critical before, I just drove around murdering everything, too afraid to engage me. It's like each unit individually rates the risk to itself only, instead of recognizing you have to hit the OGRE with so many units some will survive to shoot the next turn. I finished that one with MV3, 1 MB, 6 SB. Just ridiculous.

I thought okay maybe the AI just can't figure out how to run Defender (even though I could write a simple logic checklist on a napkin), so I played Defender.

6 HVY on the southline, 7 GEV in between them, 8 MSL at the northline, and 10x3 INF between them. OGRE comes in at center and DOESN'T MOVE. Then it DOESN'T FIRE A MISSILE. My turn. WTF is happening? GEVs rush in and a pair of them get a 1:1 on a MB without success. They retreat out in a hemisphere to 6 hexes (as you do) with the HVY all forming a circle as well, so the OGRE has to commit to a direction. MSLs start the jaunt down.

The OGRE just sits there AGAIN, and doesn't fire a missle. My turn. What the F?

GEVs all duck in and take out the MBs and duck back out. HVYs have been sitting at 6 hexes the whole time, and the OGRE does not move to engage, nor fire missiles. Over the next couple turns the GEVs reduce the treads to M2. It still hasn't moved, still no missiles fired. HVYs move to 5 hexes, MSLs are now 6 out.

It still doesn't move, but FINALLY fires all 6 missiles. I lose 3 HVYs.

Now everything piles in. GEVs, HVYs, MSLs, all in range. Take out 4 SBs. It knocks out one more HVY and the next turn I take out the remaining SBs and it just cowers on the entry hex while I hammer it with everything remaining down to MV0 and finally finish off the APs.

It was like embarrassing. I swear the AI was better than this but I also don't know how often I played the original scenario when I first got this game.

On defense I don't understand why it values individual units so much, it's almost comical. On attack it's terrified of taking return fire for some reason, and won't move into any hex that it might get shot back from...
Eugee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2022, 12:44 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minnesota
Default Re: Why is the AI so bad at original map?

The initial AI was brave. All the AI units would charge in, so you could hang back, get first shot on everything, and butcher them.

So players complained that it was too easy. The developers went in and changed the AI to say "letting the other side get the first shot on you is bad." Now it hangs back, trying to stay clear of the enemy attack range.

Which lets you effectively herd the AI units like a gaze hound intimidating the flock. They all back away and let you go where you want. Not good for the Kill the CP scenario.

Last time I played I took the two Mk III attack on the theory that I could catch the defenders between the two of them and they'd have to fight. It worked. Sort of.

One Mk III went up the right map edge. The defenders backed up until the SHVYs were with them, then went on the attack. They eventually beat down the Mk III to only some APs.

Meanwhile, on the left map edge, the other Mk III marched along and was never shot at once. Even the MHWZ passed up a chance to get a shot in, because it was afraid of the Ogre missiles (deservedly, as that's what got it, only missile I fired all game). Did I mention this was the side of the map with the CP?

Once the CP was gone the 2nd Mk III went to help out its buddy, taking a few shots in the process, but they missed.

I'd like to play humans more, but the matching making system requires both players to be in game at once and I just don't pull it up that often.
selenite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2022, 09:51 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Why is the AI so bad at original map?

Is the AI really running naive per-unit heuristics like "brave" or "not-brave"?


This is a turn-based game with a relatively small number of units on relatively small maps, running on machines with gigabytes of available RAM.

The AI should be using heat-maps for probable damage inflictable by the enemy per hex, and/or just flat-out game-tree-ing the entire match!
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:35 AM   #4
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GranitePenguin's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Plainfield, IL
Default Re: Why is the AI so bad at original map?

This behavior is something I spent a fair amount of time with some of the Auroch Digital team to address, which went into the latest update. The veteran players will probably still find the AI easier to beat than they might like, but the "timid ogre" problem should no longer exist.

Please let me know what you find with the latest update (version on the main screen)
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:26 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minnesota
Default Re: Why is the AI so bad at original map?

Much better!

Not a great tactician, but I can hold back some units to make it more fair.
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Old 08-29-2022, 11:52 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2022
Default Re: Why is the AI so bad at original map?

Just bought the game myself and this is the first thing I checked.

AI OGRE is... OK... now. I didn't stress it too much... ran a braindead 4 howitzer defense against a Mark III, rolled below average, got overrun, and the OGRE limped off the map with 5 treads remaining (my last howitzer missing it 3 times in a row on the way out).

AI defense still has problems.

First, it's cheating and taking an extra 2 armor units in the forward zone (deployed stacked (?), as well), for 10 heavies and 4 GEVS total. Is this intended to be a handicap?

Second, while the armor units try to stop my OGRE more or less aggressively (if unimaginatively) , the infantry refuse to close. Instead they seem to be trying to box me in or something (they hang around at 2 squares range... even retreating to that range if any survive on my turn). All I need to do with my Mark III is handle the GEVS, then race up the side of the board... the infantry stays out of my way and the heavies clumsily try to chase me.
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Old 08-30-2022, 02:33 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2022
Default Re: Why is the AI so bad at original map?

Fascinatingly enough, -none- of the defenders units will move within 1 space of the OGRE, very much limiting how much firepower they can concentrate.

Also, back to the OGRE AI, I've noticed it has a bad habit of wastefully firing its guns on neighboring infantry when it still has unfired APs available for that job (target priority overall is something of a mess, but that one was very apparent).
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