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Scenario designing with AI

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11 hours ago, BornGinger said:

When I go about to do the AI plans, is there in the Scenario Editor the options to use a trigger like "if-then" and similar orders to the AI?

No there is no if then triggers. 

11 hours ago, BornGinger said:

Example 1: If there are two areas where reinforcements are arriving to and there is a possibility that one of those areas, which contains a setup zone for reinforcements, would be occupied by the opponent, is there an option to tell the AI "Send reinforcements to setup zone 1 but if that one is occupied by enemies then send reinforcements to setup zone 2"?

Reinforcements come in where you "deployed" then. Setup zones are not used for reinforcements.

11 hours ago, BornGinger said:

In the Unit section of the editor there are two columns. One is a column with available troops and the other one is a column with activated troops. When I expand a battalion in the activated troops column, I have problems to check which troops I have in each battalion or company, and to remove those I don't want to use, because I can't scroll the list of the activated troops. Is it supposed to be that way or am I doing something wrong?

You can scroll the activated units. It is just not very intuitive. Look for the orange triangles pointing up and down. Those allow you to page up and down.

 

11 hours ago, BornGinger said:

If I'd like to make my scenario map available for H2H as well as for a single player scenario, should I aquire troops for each side and deploy them or should the scenario map be empty of troops?

If you are creating a scenario then you should choose the forces for both sides and create AI plans as desired. Then when a player plays the scenario H2H or against the AI they will have the same briefing and forecast.

 

11 hours ago, BornGinger said:

Edit: What is the problem with uploading a picture to show what I mean? First I uploaded a picture which was accepted. Later on when I wanted to crop the picture I was informed that I only could upload 160kb. 

The uploading space on the server is very restricted for each user. Most people upload to a separate image sharing service and link her.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, IanL said:

You can scroll the activated units. It is just not very intuitive. Look for the orange triangles pointing up and down. Those allow you to page up and down.

I didn't see any orange triangels for scrolling around the Avtivated Troops window. I'll look a bit more thoroughly the next time.

39 minutes ago, IanL said:

If you are creating a scenario then you should choose the forces for both sides and create AI plans as desired. Then when a player plays the scenario H2H or against the AI they will have the same briefing and forecast. 

When I make this Axis/Allies vs AI single player scenario, I of course choose the forces for both sides and then create an AI plan (or AI plans) for the computer to follow.

But sometimes on The Scenario Depot, you can see custom made scenarios with the words "H2H only". Does "H2H only" mean that the scenario has forces for both sides with reinforcements preplanned but everything else is up to the two individuals who play against each other? That is at least how I understand it. So to make both a single player scenario and a H2H scenario I'd need two separate .btt-files. One with forces for both sides and AI plans for the computer (single player scenario) and one with forces for both sides but AI plans only for reinforcements, because the two individuals playing against each other do their own moves (H2H scenario). 

 

Thanks for all the replies from IanL, Mord and George MC.

 

 

Edited by BornGinger

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Ginger, click the down arrow in the upper right of the screen. It will go to the next “page” where the expansion will be.  

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31 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

I'll look a bit more thoroughly the next time.

I forget about them too. I cannot even say where they are from memory. I'm away from my gaming computer so I cannot check.

31 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

But sometimes on The Scenario Depot, you can see custom made scenarios with the words "H2H only". Does "H2H only" mean that the scenario has forces for both sides with reinforcements preplanned but everything else is up to the two individuals who play against each other?

Correct. If it says H2H only there are likely no AI plans.

31 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

That is at least how I understand it. So to make both a single player scenario and a H2H scenario I'd need two separate .btt-files. One with forces for both sides and AI plans for the computer (single player scenario) and one with forces for both sides but AI plans only for reinforcements, because the two individuals playing against each other do their own moves (H2H scenario). 

Ah, no you do not *need* two copies. Any scenario that has AI plans can be played H2H as well. Having said that sometimes a scenario that works vs the AI doesn't work so well H2H. Start by making a good scenario with AI for both sides. Then have some H2H play testing done. Only create a second H2H only version if you need to tweak something to balance the H2H experience.

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2 hours ago, BornGinger said:

Isn't HTH (H2H) something different than a quick battle map? I thought HTH (H2H) was the type of battle you play against another person either realtime or via pbem and quick battle an engagement against the computer where you choose your troops based on different points?

Some people play HTH battles where they choose the map they want to play on, and the forces they want to play with. The maps are usually chosen from the same folder single player QB maps are located. But single player QB maps (unless otherwise noted) come with AI plans. Hence the label "HTH only". It's basically a warning so someone doesn't choose your map for a single player QB and spend 30 turns with no movement/action from the AI. At least that's how I remember it, it's been a few years since I played one.

 

 

Mord.

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Posted (edited)

I see in the units option Available Troops something called "straggler group". With the help of internet I found out that a straggler group is a bunch of soldiers who haven't been quick enough to keep up with the main body of the army so they are staying a bit behind although moving forward. It seems that when I'm available to pick a team called "Stragglers" those soldiers are something else than someone being too tired to keep up with their mates. Is a "straggler group" some kind of rearguard in Combat Mission?

Edited by BornGinger

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Straggler group is more or less units separated from their main body, isolated, leaderless, generally low morale. Think folks escaping the initial German advance in the Ardennes from the 106th, 99th and 28th infantry divisions.   

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2 hours ago, BornGinger said:

I see in the units option Available Troops something called "straggler group". With the help of internet I found out that a straggler group is a bunch of soldiers who haven't been quick enough to keep up with the main body of the army so they are staying a bit behind although moving forward. It seems that when I'm available to pick a team called "Stragglers" those soldiers are something else than someone being too tired to keep up with their mates. Is a "straggler group" some kind of rearguard in Combat Mission?

The fatigue option in the editor determines how tired the troops are which is something that the scenario designer has to choose. Picking a straggler unit does not automatically make a unit tired.

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How does artillery support work? I thought that was dependant on the FO looking at the actual support target. It seems that it doesn't matter whether I have a good observer (veteran experience and high motivation) or a regular one (typical observer with regular motivation) and whether he's in a jeep driving by the targets from a kilometer or two away or behind a forest which blocks the view of the targets. When I start the scenario in author mode the artillery barrage starts almost immediately.

If the artillery is being used as soon as it's active, should I send it in as reinforcement at a certain time? If that's the solution do I really need the FO?

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The only plan you can specify is an opening barrage. With no plan the FO will find targets of opportunity. So, make sure you have them in locations that have visibility to where the enemy might be and they will call their own. Having Arty come in as reinforcements is a great way to keep them from getting used in the opening barrage. I'm not really much of an arty expert so hopefully if am wrong about any of that or there are more tips you will hear from others.

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Posted (edited)

I'll try with an excellent FO and see if he manages to call for artillery on a certain position. I wish it was possible to tailor the artillery support somehow, without having to use them as reinforcements, so the barrage comes a few minutes before the infantry assaults a position. A terrain objective as a trigger should have been enough. But that is maybe viewed as too gamey.

Edited by BornGinger

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

 I wish it was possible to tailor the artillery support somehow, without having to use them as reinforcements, so the barrage comes a few minutes before the infantry assaults a position. A terrain objective as a trigger should have been enough. 

One option you could use is on-map medium mortars unless you find their caliber to be to low. Put the mortars into an AI-group and have them area fire at the desired time and location.

This way you can get the AI to support the AI assult. The start of the barrage can be set either by the gameclock or by a triggered event and they will bombard where you tell them to and stop when you want them to (gameclock or trigger)

Edited by RepsolCBR

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1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

I'll try with an excellent FO and see if he manages to call for artillery on a certain position. I wish it was possible to tailor the artillery support somehow, without having to use them as reinforcements, so the barrage comes a few minutes before the infantry assaults a position. A terrain objective as a trigger should have been enough. But that is maybe viewed as too gamey.

AI planning for indirect fire (apart from Turn 1 bombardments) is extremely tricky to get working exactly how you want it to work. To that end I have given up on trying to do so in order to focus on the AI plan as a whole. In most of my CMSF scenarios which have insurgents as the AI controlled force, I include mortars with limited ammunition supplies arriving as off map reinforcements every 20 minutes or so. These combined with a good smattering of insurgent observer spy units with eyes on the likely avenues of approach will generally achieve the effect that I am after. That effect being to realistically represent an insurgent mortar threat and to keep the blue player honest. Generally, I find this approach works and I am happy with it because it is quick and easy and doesn't require much if any specific testing.

Contrast that with a plan where you absolutely want a specific AI controlled off map 105mm battery to fire anti-personnel rounds for 5 minutes onto a specific 100m long trench line 20 minutes into the game. If this is what you want to achieve then I wish you the best of luck because the tools in the editor just do not exist to control AI artillery to that level of detail. If your mission hinges on this happening then you need to revisit your mission design concept and the mission narrative.

However, by all means you can try to fine tune and here would be my tips:

  1. Have your artillery arrive as a reinforcement just before you want the rounds to come in.
  2. Purchase TRPs and place them in your desired target area.
  3. Purchase more artillery observers than you would ordinarily need.
  4. Put them in positions where they can observe the desired target or ensure that the AI plan gets them to positions where they can observe the target.
  5. Give your observers high equipment quality, experience and motivation ratings.
  6. Test, test, test.

Good luck.

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6 hours ago, Combatintman said:

I have given up on trying to do so in order to focus on the AI plan as a whole.

That's what I decided to do. I'll first make sure the AI plans for the different groups work as planned. When that is done I'll see whether I manage to get the barrage I want. If it doesn't work the scenario will have to do without any barrage.

6 hours ago, Combatintman said:

I include mortars with limited ammunition supplies arriving as off map reinforcements

I was thinking that maybe using off map reinforcements could be worth a try. But I don't want to use loads of FOs just to get a certain effect. That would definitely be too gamey.

 

7 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

The start of the barrage can be set either by the gameclock or by a triggered event and they will bombard where you tell them to and stop when you want them to (gameclock or trigger)

I haven't checked triggers so much yet. With "triggered event" you probably mean a terrain objective that is used as a trigger when a unit enters that objective. I thought it isn't possible to get artillery fire that way in Combat Mission. I know that it was (or is) possible in the Theatre of War and Men of War series of games. But I didn't find anything about artillery and terrain objectives working together that way in the Combat Mission manual.

Well, well. I'll first make sure the AI groups work the way I want them to and then see if I can do anything about the artillery (off map or on map).

Thanks for all your replies.

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1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

 

 I thought it isn't possible to get artillery fire that way in Combat Mission. I know that it was (or is) possible in the Theatre of War and Men of War series of games. But I didn't find anything about artillery and terrain objectives working together that way in the Combat Mission manual.

 

It's kind of a 'cheat' with the areafire function introduced with the V4 update (i belive). In the editor the areafire function allows you to 'paint' an area on the map and assign an AI Group to fire at that location ones they reach a certain waypoint (orderlocation). This is sort of a compliment to the usual paintings of order(locations) that you make for each waypoint you want your AI Groups to take. Place your waypoints (orderlocations) on the map...order(location) one will move the AI-Group to location 1. order(location) two will move them to location two and Three  to three and so on. What areafire allows you to do is having your AI-Group start to areafire at the location of your choise ones they reach a certain waypoint. If you for example would like them to start to area fire at a set of buildings as the reach waypoint (order(location)) 2 then in addition to painting the usual orderlocation for the waypoint you may also add this new areafire function to this order (waypoint). Hold down the correct key combination (i don't remember it right now but it is something like CTRL or ALT i belive) and then paint the area around those Buildings you want  you would like the AI Group to fire at. Remember to have ORDER 2 selected when you do this so the area fire 'connects' to the right waypoint. Now the AI Group will fire at these Buildings until they start the move towards order(location) 3. Or until they run out of ammo.

You may use this function with your on-map mortars also to get a bit of indirect fire support going. But it has to be ON-MAP units. Therefore mortars.

Assign your mortars to an AI-Group and place them on the map. The way that ORDERS (orderlocations) work is that if you don't paint any terraintiles for a certain ORDER the your AI Group will remain in Place where they are for that ORDER and not move anywhere. The way you can do this is...Select the AI-Group assigned to your mortars and for ORDER 1 do not paint any tiles (the mortars will show up where you placed them in the deploymentface in the editor and stay there.) Now to get the mortars to start to fire at  the desired time either set the EXIT BEFORE/AFTER on ORDER 1 to the desired time or if the bombardment is ment to start as a result of a trigger set it to WAIT FOR TRIGGER. On to ORDER 2 (the shooting part...) Don't paint any tiles for ORDER 2 either. No ORDER-tiles (waypoint) that is. This way the mortarteam will remain in Place for ORDER 2. What you should do however is to paint the location you want your mortars shooting at. Hold down the corract keys for areafire and paint the 'target area'. To time the lenth of the bombardment set the EXIT BEFORE/AFTER for ORDER 2 to the appropoate time. Or if you so desire use WAIT FOR TRIGGER (a triggered event will stop the bombardment.) In order to get the bombardment to stop we need to add a third ORDER. For order 3...paint NOTHING ! No ORDER(location)...that is waypoint...also do not paint any AREAFIRE location for ORDER 3. This way ones the AI Group with the asigned mortars 'move' to their third waypoint (order) they will remain in Place and also stop areafirering. The barrage is over !

 

1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

 

Well, well. I'll first make sure the AI groups work the way I want them to and then see if I can do anything about the artillery (off map or on map).

 

I may not have descibed this in a very good way above but if you manage 'understand' and do it like this...It will work ! You will be limited to mortars though and you will need to have atleast one spare AI Group for you mortars. It may not be a perfect solution but i think that for something like a company sized attack 'mid-battle' it will do nicely. The heavy bombardment (caliber) should be finished ones you start to advance unless the map is very large perhaps. Pre bombardments work fine for this...

 

1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

 

I haven't checked triggers so much yet. With "triggered event" you probably mean a terrain objective that is used as a trigger when a unit enters that objective. 

Yepp !

Hope this is somewhat helpful 😎

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On 8/10/2018 at 6:57 AM, RepsolCBR said:

It's kind of a 'cheat' with the areafire function introduced with the V4 update (i belive). In the editor the areafire function allows you to 'paint' an area on the map and assign an AI Group to fire at that location ones they reach a certain waypoint (orderlocation).

I knew about the fire zone and the ctrl-key command but I wasn't thinking about that it could be used for mortars as well as for the small arms. And I don't really think that using the fire zone the way you described it is any cheat. If Battlefront has made it possible to use the fire zone order in this way, it's used just as designed. and I will use it too. At least as long as the mortars are able to reach the area without risking to get annihilated by enemies that are too close.

I'll test and see if I can move a mortar unit to a location first, make them to deploy their equipment and then fire at a location. But I suspect that the mortar team (squad) has to be stationed from the beginning without moving anywhere to be able to use the mortars.

Thank you very much, Repsol.

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1 hour ago, BornGinger said:

I'll test and see if I can move a mortar unit to a location first, make them to deploy their equipment and then fire at a location. But I suspect that the mortar team (squad) has to be stationed from the beginning without moving anywhere to be able to use the mortars.

 

Please let us know the outcome of that test, BornGinger. 

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34 minutes ago, mjkerner said:

Please let us know the outcome of that test, BornGinger. 

You have more than 3000 posts and must be a veteran when it comes to testing and I'm sure already know the answer.

Everything worked as I hoped. Just a pity the artillery barrage on a support objective has to be triggered in the beginning of a game. Now I can put my mind on the AI groups and their movements and actions. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, BornGinger said:

 And I don't really think that using the fire zone the way you described it is any cheat.

No 😎

Bad choise of word from my part...This is not cheating but i don't think that BFC originally thought of this possibility when they added the area-fire feature with the V4 update. If they had realized this neet trick they ought to have mentioned it in the patch notes or in the V4 manual. Having this possibility when programing the AI plans is a BIG ! improvement and should have been well described imo. This trick have been known on these forums for quite some time though and i'm pretty certain that a fair number of the upcomming 'stock' as well as comunity made scenarios will be taking advantage of it.

This is a POSSITIVE sideeffect of the area fire  feature i belive it should be taken advantage of !

 

21 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

Everything worked as I hoped. 

Cool ! 😀

Edited by RepsolCBR

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Lol, no, never have screwed around with mortars in setting up AI triggering. I haven’t hardly visited the editor, except for minor tweaking of existing scenarios, since v4 came out. So thanks for reporting your results!

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The Manual says about terrain objectives that  "Each side can be assigned up to 8 terrain based objectives. This involves defining where the objective is, what the player is supposed to do with it, and various other details". How old is that statement? I have 10 terrain objectives on my map.

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