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Ridaz

What a beautiful game!

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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone! This is not an official AAR cause I was enjoying the game too much to take screenshots during the scenario. I only managed to save after the battle ended so all the screenshots are front the end of the scenario , but I would like to share my recent experience with black sea.

After trying out the Demo and playing the training mission twice (lost the first time) I noticed at the end of the game the AI retreated to the woods when i was closing in on the town. I thought that was kinda cool and realistic. After all, the logical path was to retreat to the woods. Later, after reading more about the game's AI, I was somewhat surprise that it was based on trigger and that the AI had 3 levels. strategic, operational and tactical. I believe the strategic level is the one that is trigger based.

So I bought myself my first CM copy. I played through the training campaign while following the guidelines on the manual which i had printed out. In the last mission I realise that it was the same scenario from the demo so I thought I would do fine but this time I followed the manual by splitting my team and all. First, I noticed when I sent my riflemen scout near the observation post alone they were engaged by snipers from the forest, which I kinda knew was there. However, this did not happened the first time I played in the demo, and I don't quite remember what I did. I made some mistakes on the way and ended up losing my observer, HQ and and 1 squad. 

So I restarted the scenario again but this time I did it my way instead of following the manual. I sent one of my Bradley to to the side of the sunken road to engage the snipers which I know would shoot my guys near the woods at the observation post, but nothing happened I sent the same rifle squad to scout the woods and I got no engagement from the other side, no snipers, nothing. I sent he rest of my assault troops to assault route 1 without incident only engaging 2 squads on the way to assault route 2.

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By the end of this scenario, I caught the Russians retreating to the woods again just like in the demo, however this time I had 2 Bradleys near the entrance of the woods, getting ready for a massacre. Guess what, only 2 squads came out and after getting shot, the rest of them decided to stay in the buildings surrounding the chapel. They refused to come out until they surrendered, i managed to only take out 1 squad out of 4-5 that attempted to retreat back to the woods, mainly because I believe they turn back after the first two squads were engaged by my Bradleys

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After this, all I can say is that I am very impressed with the AI reaction to what do in the battlefield. It could just be random luck that i trigger or did not trigger certain triggers but this is the most realistic AI opponent I have seen.  In most games if the AI retreats if that even happens then it will happen no matter what, even if they are running into a meat grinder, but not in CM.

 

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All that remains of the Russian forces. 

 

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Made a mistake and lost a full squad, I was hoping to get full score. 

 

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Some Russians who died to my Bradley flanking them from the back of the town. Bradleys are beasts!

Edited by Ridaz

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@Ridaz  Thanks for sharing.  Interesting battle.  In addition to triggers there are different AI plans that can load when you start a scenario.  I did not look in the editor but I suspect you were not always fighting the same AI plan.  The same AI units will be involved but they can be in different locations on the map with different triggers and timers depending on which AI plan loaded.  Unlike many scripted linear RTS games where you know that every time you come around that particular corner there will be a sniper in the second floor of the brown brick building, third window from the left etc..........  

In Combat Mission you can turn down an urban street and have some minor small arms resistance.  Play the same scenario (against a different AI plan) and take that very same urban street and you may find yourself in the mother of all battles or find the street deserted.  You just never know for sure which makes many scenarios re-playable and Combat Missions in general such a great game.     

Enjoy and post more AARs. :)

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2 hours ago, Bud Backer said:

Nice little AAR. :) 

Thanks a lot, its my second AAR, the first one I did was for EVE Online

28 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

@Ridaz  Thanks for sharing.  Interesting battle.  In addition to triggers there are different AI plans that can load when you start a scenario.  I did not look in the editor but I suspect you were not always fighting the same AI plan.  The same AI units will be involved but they can be in different locations on the map with different triggers and timers depending on which AI plan loaded.  Unlike many scripted linear RTS games where you know that every time you come around that particular corner there will be a sniper in the second floor of the brown brick building, third window from the left etc..........  

In Combat Mission you can turn down an urban street and have some minor small arms resistance.  Play the same scenario (against a different AI plan) and take that very same urban street and you may find yourself in the mother of all battles or find the street deserted.  You just never know for sure which makes many scenarios re-playable and Combat Missions in general such a great game.     

Enjoy and post more AARs. :)

You're right I almost forgot about the random AI plan, I am impressed if the devs actually placed multiple plans in training scenario since most people will only do it once. However, I still believe that the AI genuinely stopped retreating to the woods at the end since they did try to do it but failed.

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I keep telling people who complain about "OMG but CM has no AI, have to script" is that in the end it's all down to player's perception of AI and well made missions create a much better illusion of a smart opponent than a "dynamic" AI that still uses reaction scripts, except generic ones. In Call to Arms the key to winning AI skirmish is placing your teams into static positions just before capture points and watch AI get massacred. You can't apply the same logic to new battles in CM - you don't know what will happen. In a way you are battling an actual human opponent except the one made his moves before yours.

Edited by kraze

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What I find with CM AI plans is that it's only ever one plan. 

It would be ideal if different plans could come into effect based on different events. IFTTT. 

It's very difficult to work thus in the AI, and I've yet to see a proper tutorial that examines the AI mechanics to the detail I need. 

The one that comes either the game shows how to do things but not WHY. I've gone through dimple scenarios to see the AI but many times it's genuine WTFery. 

Edited by kinophile

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8 minutes ago, kinophile said:

What I find with CM AI plans is that it's only ever one plan. 

It would be ideal if different plans could come into effect based on different events. IFTTT. 

It's very difficult to work thus in the AI, and I've yet to see a proper tutorial that examines the AI mechanics to the detail I need. 

The one that comes either the game shows how to do things but not WHY. I've gone through dimple scenarios to see the AI but many times it's genuine WTFery. 

Not true.  I Have only done a few scenarios for BF but I have tried to have more than one and usually 5 AI plans.  It really comes down to time, the scenario itself and the designer.  The editor allows for more than one.   If you really like a scenario, but it does only have one plan it is a simple step to open the editor, copy that same plan and tweak it just a bit.  Do that 4 times and you now have a scenario you like and variability in what will happen.

As to learning the editor and AI plans, that is mostly just toying around and practice.  Use a small unit scenario so you can really focus on their actions and try different options observing their behavior in scenario edit mode.  Getting really good is a whole other thing.  I can't claim to be at that level, but I can do the basics. Getting really good is more an issue of learning from experience.  The rules don't change, but your understanding of how to make the best of those rules will grow.  I prefer to stick to small unit stuff as you have very specific control versus broad brush.  Some designers though excel at  larger scenarios that I find totally intimidating.

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On ‎10‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 6:32 PM, sburke said:

If you really like a scenario, but it does only have one plan it is a simple step to open the editor, copy that same plan and tweak it just a bit.  Do that 4 times and you now have a scenario you like and variability in what will happen.

Not in CM:SF or CM:A sadly.....It's a purely manual process for those two.  :(

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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Not in CM:SF or CM:A sadly.....It's a purely manual process for those two.  :(

I believe this is a thread for Black Sea.   :D But to your point CMSF is in process of upgrade. CMA is an old title and the only one that won't have this capability.  6 out 7 ain't bad. 

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