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  1. Essentially yea. The game doesn't need any actual AI but if you give designer more options then you could have much more competent scenario AI. Triggers based on % casualties for an AI group, AI group SOPs and so on. Essentially ways for the scenario designer to say IF THIS THEN THAT for their plans. It'd make the AI more resilient and make scenario design far easier. As right now good design requires a ton of play through to get a feel for "most likely outcomes" and sort of prediction of what players will do. For example, I made an AI attack scenario a few years ago and essentially watched and recorded the results of a ton of slight variations of an attack. Like most of the AI creation time was just trying to figure out how well the attack went and then trying to see into the players mind. If I could have just said "DO this attack until X then do Y" it would have made a more competent opponent and not taking so many hours. --- If you look at my second example in my long post you can kind of see what I'm talking about. Essentially a trigger for % casualties suffered by AI group opens up a lot of options we don't current;y have. It isn't extremely different but each additional trigger allows for increasingly complex scenario AI design.
  2. The issue with a scenario is that both players will likely be capable of winning. I would suggest building a QB beforehand wherein your friend gets 4x to 5x your force. Essentially he should not be able to lose. For example: You have 1x Plt. of Soviet infantry, 1x platoon of T-34-76, maybe a mortar Your friend has 1x Company of Panzer Grens, 2x Plt of Panthers or a Panther and Tiger platoon, and some 105mm guns on-call. Essentially you are going to be more experienced and until he is up to speed you want to be able to at most give him a bloody nose but not really stop him. This will allow him to comfortably learn the game without being beat down by a pro. After he is comfortable with the game you can start bringing things up to parity.
  3. Fundamentally the issue is that the strategic AI does not exist. Only tactical AI and that AI is only reactive never proactive. What we all call the strategic AI is simply the designer creating from scratch a per scenario AI that is going to follow a rote path. The real limiter on scenario design is that the designer is pretty limited on their ability to build scenario specific AI. Cool things can be done with it but its still limited. Its not abstract thinking - you just consider it abstract thinking because @RepsolCBR described it using human language. You can achieve RepsolCBR's "abstract thinking" via logic gates. The scenario designer is doing this right now its just that the options are limited. Below for example is a series of options that can be done in-game currently. #5 could be construed by some people as abstract thinking but its really just a trigger. 1. The AI is to move at a cautious speed 2. AI is to attack starting from POINT Alfa to Point Bravo with GROUP 1 3. The AI may call artillery on LOCATION November 4. After arriving the AI will delay 20 minutes 5. The AI will attack from Point Bravo to Point Delta if enemy troops detected at LOCATION NOVEMBER Now if you had more detailed and granular options with the inclusion of SOPs and some free flow from the AI you could get more natural reactions. 1. The AI is to move at a cautious speed 2. AI is to attack starting from POINT Alfa to Point Bravo with GROUP 1 3A: If GROUP 1 sustains 50% casualties reroute GROUP 1 and GROUP 2 TO POINT CHARLIE. 3B: Once POINT CHARLIE is reached proceed to POINT BRAVO 3. The AI may call artillery on LOCATION November 4. After arriving the GROUP 1 will delay 20 minutes 4A: If GROUP 1 casulties > 40% cancel all orders proceed to DEFENSE POSITION 5. GROUP 1 will attack from Point Bravo to Point NOVEMBER if enemy troops detected at LOCATION NOVEMBER All of the above could again be done within the bounds of the scenario designer system in the game currently. Just a bunch of triggers. And again if you gave the AI some free hand you might not even need to do all of this. 1. The AI is to move at a cautious speed 2. AI is to attack starting from POINT Alfa to Point Bravo with GROUP 1 AI LOGIC: If GROUP 1 engaged by infantry ClOSER than 200 meters TARGET BRIEFLY 50% of buildings within 200 Meters along route of march. 100% of buildings that contain contact marker Now you have the AI automatically reacting to a group threat. A single unit in the group has detected an infantry threat at close range and now the entire group is going to react via searching fire. If the AI suspects that a unit is there (a contact marker) it will definitely fire at the position. AI LOGIC: If GROUP 1 Casualties > 50% reroute remainder 400 meters Left/Right to area of greater cover and attempt to move to AI POINT CHARLIE and then to POINT BRAVO And the AI will no longer continue a suicidal attack down a single avenue of approach but attempt another route. All it does it say "where is more cover" and then add its own intermediate waypoint between ALFA and BRAVO ----- All of these examples have something in them that you might consider "abstract thinking" but none of it actually is. Its all just a series of decision points that the AI arrives at. The difference between CM and many other games is that there are no decision points for the AI at all. Any decision is inputed by the scenario designer. You don't necessarily need the AI to make its own decisions and the CM system is fine. But as we;ve seen over the years the more power you give the designer the smarter the AI can appear. I've done both some Arma scenario design and Combat Mission and the Arma system has no real strategic AI either and is handled by player triggers. The system is far more complex and as a result you can get far more complex results from it if you put in the time. Edit: I will say I've done some game AI design and none of its simple. But you do not need an AI capable of abstract thinking. You just need to spend enough time working with it so that the maths behind each decision makes sense most of the time. Abstract thinking really only comes into play when you want a universal AI but no one here is talking about that. This is all just bespoke AI that exists solely to play Combat Mission - you can do that and do it quite well with the technology on hand. The issue is that building it is going to eat up time. Which is, I assume, why we have the scenario designer doing AI programming. Which again is fine, but the more options you give the designer the better the resulting AI can be. Any of the recommendations people have made could be done with a designer system there are just insufficient options for it currently.
  4. Its not against yourself. You can assign one of the red forces to the AI. Red vs Red is scenario editor nomenclature but it plays no different than the standard battles included in the game.
  5. IIRC back when CM:SF1 was still played by people there were several Red on Red scenarios and I think a campaign. One was set in a fictional African country and it fits your request almost perfectly. I don't know if its still around anymore but if you search in either the CM:SF1 or CM:SF2 repositories you may be able to find several of them. If you are into multiplayer you could also play CM:SF2 with some custom rules in Red V Red to achieve this also.
  6. Part of the issue is that Combat Mission does not record well. I sometimes enjoy watching youtube AARs DARs, for example Josey Wales, however even I can find it quite boring at times. So much of the game is in the mental planning and then seeing your execution and that tension generated by wondering "will the round hit" or rewatching a freak ricochet that kills the Coy Commander. When you are simply watching a video you do not get that and are left with some of the worst parts of the game. Another example is that I enjoy playing Chess and participated in sanctioned tournaments for 10 years or so. However, I will not ever watch a video of someone playing chess as I find it extremely boring because you lose so much of the game. If you would like to "sell" the game to anyone I highly recommend that you get them the demo and perhaps assist them through it or let them mess around with it. SInce the player decision making process and then the reaction of the game is critical to how enjoyable CM is. Unfortunately as demos have become rarer it is increasingly more common for people to judge a game via video rather than hands on. If I had to judge CM via video I would likely have never played it.
  7. Yes, I was wondering about the physical sights on the gun. Not about the effective range or anything really related to its Combat Mission application. I just figured that a forum like this would likely have someone with info on it as CM tends to attract a certain group. Online its quite easy to find that the war-era Thompsons quickly went over to the fixed sights. However, you will generally just find some text that says: With no information about the fixed sight. Sometimes they will mention that it had a peep sight and notch sight but again no mention of what ranges these were for. Without any definitive info you see people then post what they heard or what they assume is correct. The most popular answer is that the peep is 50 yards and the notch is 100 yards. The second most popular answer seems to be that the peep is 100 yards while the notch is 50 yards. In the video Sgt. Squarehead posted above Ian from Forgotten Weapons says that the peep is 100 yards while the notch is 250 yards. I'm inclined to take is word on that even though I've yet to be able to track down a technical manual or training film from the era the explicitly states this.
  8. yes, this is the point I was trying, and failing, to make. I don't find it a constant issue in the WW2 games as an aggressive attack can succeed, however in the modern games it essentially dooms many attacks before they even really begin. RE: playing different games I wonder if its not related to the maps being played? If anyone played FEAR, a first person shooter from 2005 or so, they'll likely have heard that the AI is superlative. However, in reality the AI isn't anymore advance than just about any other FPS. What the designers did is specifically design the maps for the AI to take advantage of. If placed in any other terrain they would be hopeless but in the very specific maps made for FEAR the AI was stellar. Within the CM context specific map design might give you much "smarter" ai deployments than others. I notice in Freyberg's post for example there aren't any deep woods that I can see and the roads appear to be relatively open. Perhaps that is influencing how good the deployment is in some way. Because when I play QBs I often see absolutely terrible deployments. Critical AT guns in the middle of deep forest, directly behind a house with no LOS, etc... It might also have to do with the size of the battles being played. If you give the AI more units then its going to have more chances to get it right and the fact that the 88mm gun is in the ass end of nowhere isn't as noticeable or critical. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.E.A.R._(video_game)
  9. Obviously you can;t tell the ai to be successful because there is no AI to speak of. I think we all know that. The CM decision of only having bespoke designer intent is quite good when the designer is both skilled and lucky enough. It can create some truly fantastic scenarios, however, it can also be significantly worse and the QBs suffer the most.
  10. Unless I am mistaken the AI makes no threat assessment. Individual units will make reactive assessments to pressure placed on them but they are always reactive. Never forward looking. E.G. A player may decide that their chosen avenue of attack is too costly after seeing a Platoon vaporized by fire and reroute or bring in more support before sending anyone else to die. Whereas the AI will never realize that. They will just keep feeding men into the machine. Those individuals squads and sections will realize that they are in a high threat situation but only after leaping into the fire. Regardless of their morale ratings they're all in the same pickle. Playing modern exacerbates this issue as its far rarer to get second chances. The lessons learned when Javelins are raining down must be learned by adjacent units. As the unit engaged by the Javelin no longer exists. At least that is my fundamental issue with the AI on the attack. That they have a difficult time adapting to a threat unless you provide them with overbearing numbers or firepower. Because they essentially have no understanding of economy of force. yes the 2 surviving crewmen will skedaddle back to safety but 2nd platoon is on deck and ready to die.
  11. Were the Thompson sights ever refitted to be 50 yards and 100 yards? I saw an interview with Ken Hackathorn were he states they were 50 and 100. My initial thought is that he is just misremembering information but again the 100/250 seems very optimistic, and the Thompson sights being updated after WW2 doesn;t seem incredibly far fetched.
  12. @Sgt.Squarehead Thanks the 1928A1 video had the information I am looking for. 100 yards and 250 yards. Which seems more aspirational than practical to me.
  13. I'm in a discussion with a few folks about the M1 and M1A1 Thompson. Specifically what are the sights ranged for? They have a fixed sight with an aperture and notch but I cannot find any information about what they are set for. I've seen comments that they are 50 yards and 100 yards (aperture/notch), 100 and 250, and even 100 and 50. Can anyone answer this for me?Insert other media
  14. It looks like after the initial ranging shots the gun essentially is only ever off by its own inherent accuracy. As the gun fires and the gunner corrects you should likely see some amount of drift on the point of aim. Especially at long ranges. Since you are now dealing the the gun's recoil, any vehicle recoil/settling, and possibly the gunner moving the point of aim to reacquire the target. Now like I said this is the one I'm most unsure about, but the current results feel a little bit too robotic.
  15. I've reread the post a few times and collected some thoughts. 1. The gunner's sights are likely too accurate at range At the longer ranges (depending on the sight) you would not be able to accurately place the gun onto the center mass of the target. Just based on the inability for the gunner to accurately use his sight picture to do so. Meaning that even if a target is spotted at an extreme range the ability to accurately fire would be impossible. This would be similar to shooting with a rifle. Your rifle is going to be physically more accurate for a much longer range than the shooter is capable of seeing/accurately lining up the sights. 2. The gunner likely has too much knowledge of the target The gunner continually hits the center of mass when in reality they may not know where the center of mass is or even mistakenly identify the center of mass. For example, a Tiger is situated in heavy woods and is spotted by an opposing vehicle. The shooter may see a portion of the Tiger but they may not know what portion of the vehicle they are seeing. Resulting in them firing repeatedly into a random portion of the Tiger or totally missing if they incorrectly identify the orientation of the vehicle. 3. The gun should likely become increasingly inaccurate as the gunner continues to shoot. I may be wrong here but while the gun, if perfectly stable, should have perfect accuracy based on its qualities, the qualities of the ammunition, and the qualities of the environment this should not be the case in the field. As the vehicle or gun would move around due to the recoil forces of firing repeatedly on often uneven ground.
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