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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
Freyberg

Requests for AI

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1) Triggers

I'm playing around with the AI - it's fun and I see that a lot is possible, but it would be useful if other events could trigger an order.
Some useful events would be:

  • Casualties/damage
    i.e. - you could order a unit or vehicle to move (or retreat to a fallback position) at a certain percentage of casualties or damage (the damage one is not so important, as tanks tend to retreat anyway)
  • Enemy retreat
    Unit engages and doesn't move to next order until (or unless) the enemy retreats (although I could see that the coding for this might be complicated).
    I know that you can set up something along these lines with target objectives, but simply responding to enemy activity would be simpler.

2) Advance/Assault etc.

It would be useful to have other orders apart from advance, assault etc., such as:

  • retire
    So that tanks could be made to reverse, instead of turning round and showing their rear armour - it's weird that when retreating they sometimes seem to turn around (I'm just assuming this is what's happening, because I've seen this behaviour quite a lot in QBs - or is this a feature only of the 'quick' and 'dash' commands?).
  • hunt
    Like the hunt order in the UI - so that a vehicle or unit would stop and engage on contact and not proceed from that point - its order would be considered to have been completed.

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3 hours ago, Freyberg said:

retire
So that tanks could be made to reverse, instead of turning round and showing their rear armour - it's weird that when retreating they sometimes seem to turn around (I'm just assuming this is what's happening, because I've seen this behaviour quite a lot in QBs - or is this a feature only of the 'quick' and 'dash' commands?).

As at Engine 4 this is now in game

Page 103-104 of the engine manual details


Each AI Order can designate a Fire Zone for area fire. This is done by painting on the 2D map just like a Movement Zone, but by CTRL-left-clicking instead. The tiles designated as targets will be colored red instead of yellow. While that AI Order is being carried out, the AI Group will attack the Fire Zone with suppressive area fire if it doesn't have any spotted enemy units to engage or other important tasks to do.
It is important to note that the Fire Zone is the lowest priority task for the AI Group. Other tasks, such as moving, unloading, attacking a spotted enemy unit, etc will take priority over shooting randomly at the Fire Zone.

Each AI Order can be given a location for it to Face towards. After painting the Movement Zone, Alt-left-click on a single tile that you wish the AI to face towards. When the AI Group reaches its destination, it will pivot or rotate towards the designated point.

By shift-left-clicking on the map, AI Groups can be ordered to Withdraw while moving towards their movement destination. Vehicles will move in Reverse to the destination, while infantry will leapfrog back while turning around to face behind them. Like the Facing Zone, Withdraw Zones are a single tile that the AI Group will face towards. For example, a vehicle given a Withdraw Zone will reverse towards the Movement Zone, while keeping its front pointed towards the Withdraw Zone.

P

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5 hours ago, Pete Wenman said:

As at Engine 4 this is now in game

Page 103-104 of the engine manual details


Each AI Order can designate a Fire Zone for area fire. This is done by painting on the 2D map just like a Movement Zone, but by CTRL-left-clicking instead. The tiles designated as targets will be colored red instead of yellow. While that AI Order is being carried out, the AI Group will attack the Fire Zone with suppressive area fire if it doesn't have any spotted enemy units to engage or other important tasks to do.
It is important to note that the Fire Zone is the lowest priority task for the AI Group. Other tasks, such as moving, unloading, attacking a spotted enemy unit, etc will take priority over shooting randomly at the Fire Zone.

Each AI Order can be given a location for it to Face towards. After painting the Movement Zone, Alt-left-click on a single tile that you wish the AI to face towards. When the AI Group reaches its destination, it will pivot or rotate towards the designated point.

By shift-left-clicking on the map, AI Groups can be ordered to Withdraw while moving towards their movement destination. Vehicles will move in Reverse to the destination, while infantry will leapfrog back while turning around to face behind them. Like the Facing Zone, Withdraw Zones are a single tile that the AI Group will face towards. For example, a vehicle given a Withdraw Zone will reverse towards the Movement Zone, while keeping its front pointed towards the Withdraw Zone.

P

Thanks for that - apologies for being lazy and posting my question before reading the Engine manual (I'm reading that section now).

I have to admit, there are a number of things - some small, some possibly a little less small - that BF could do to make the AI more responsive and to make the interface more usable.

Some more things I would add to the (short and fairly modest) wishlist above would be

  • timed pauses (not based on absolute clock time)
  • simple conditional branching
    - this would only have to be very simple to add a lot to the game, such as a checkbox that would allow an order to occur even if the previous order/s had not been completed.

 

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16 hours ago, Freyberg said:

Some more things I would add to the (short and fairly modest) wishlist above would be

  • timed pauses (not based on absolute clock time)
  • simple conditional branching
    - this would only have to be very simple to add a lot to the game, such as a checkbox that would allow an order to occur even if the previous order/s had not been completed.

Conditions would be nice, I agree. Perhaps some day but they would raise the complexity of development, UI and testing. Meaning it would be a lot of work.

As for relative time, yes that would be great too. There is a workaround that you might find helpful: set clock times in the past (usually I just set the time to 0:00). That way when the unit gets to the end of their order the time is up and they will begin executing the next one. It does not allow pauses but it does get the orders executes once the trigger is triggered.

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