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Michael Emrys

A Thought Offered for Discussion

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It has occasionally been said that "wouldn't it be nice if there was some mode where the computer played against itself and I could just watch." I would like to take this idea and develop it a little further.

Suppose Charles and Steve were pondering this and decided they could make an interesting variant on CM, not replacing the existing possibilities of two human players facing off or one human against the computer opponent. Suppose the computer could assume two or more personae; let's call them Persona A and Persona B. Each will command one side in the game. It might even be possible to give each persona a profile of selectable characteristic strengths and weaknesses, bonuses that they could impart to their troops. Such things as tactical cleverness and originality; decisiveness; flexibility; fire control; movement; stealth; and so on. These traits could be assigned before the start of the game in the editor or Quick Battle purchase screen.

Michael

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Something simular have been discussed a while back...having the possibility to add - friendly - AI groups into the scenarios (troops from the same side or maybe civilians).

It would be more work for the scenario designer but i think it would be a nice feature that could lead to some intresting/different scenarios.

As for the leaders i wouldn't mind to try a few games in wich the leadership traits where more prononced and se how that would work and maybe add a few more ones like stealth, command capacity etc combined with the possibility to assign/reasign troops to different HQs during the actuall battle (this is where command capacity would play a part).

 

 

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5 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

It has occasionally been said that "wouldn't it be nice if there was some mode where the computer played against itself and I could just watch." I would like to take this idea and develop it a little further.

Suppose Charles and Steve were pondering this and decided they could make an interesting variant on CM, not replacing the existing possibilities of two human players facing off or one human against the computer opponent. Suppose the computer could assume two or more personae; let's call them Persona A and Persona B. Each will command one side in the game. It might even be possible to give each persona a profile of selectable characteristic strengths and weaknesses, bonuses that they could impart to their troops. Such things as tactical cleverness and originality; decisiveness; flexibility; fire control; movement; stealth; and so on. These traits could be assigned before the start of the game in the editor or Quick Battle purchase screen.

Michael

This is brilliant and would save me SO MUCH TIME!  In addition, I wouldn't have to worry about burn-out and spousal units screaming at me about wasting my life playing CM...

If the computer could also just turn itself on, decide to play a game, and get on with it without any input from me, it would be a godsend.  Yes!  Where do I plunk down my money?

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9 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

It has occasionally been said that "wouldn't it be nice if there was some mode where the computer played against itself

Disclaimer:  I feel compelled to type the following before incoming fires start to land spotting rounds among us:) I don't think anyone is advocating that Battlefront should stop what they are doing and re-direct their very limited time and resources to these ideas (not that they would anyways).  This is just a friendly discussion among friends. :)

So - not exactly the same, but along the same general lines, I think it would be interesting if there was a second AI force.  This would make possible all kinds of interesting scenarios.  Two competing or cooperating AI forces, depending how the scenario designer set them up.  One AI force would always be the OpFor as it is now.  The second AI force could be allied with the first AI force or allied with the player or fight both the player and first AI force.  It would depend how the scenario designer set it up.   

Conventional Example: An AI force set to play the role of a friendly unit (but not controlled by the player).  Alpha Company from your battalion advancing on your left flank.  So you have to maintain a certain amount of coordination with Alpha Company.  Then the actions of Alpha Company would be set by the scenario designer in the editor.  A Company would have different AI plans.  In AI plan #1 Alpha Company does a competent job of advancing and securing the player's left flank.  In plan #2 Alpha Company withdraws at a critical phase or stops to re-group etc.   

Unconventional Example:  Green on Blue attacks.  Or as @RepsolCBR said civilians.  But civilians that would not be controlled by the player.  The second AI force assigned as civilians (in CMSF2 using the unarmed spies and/or low ammo combatants) to represent refugees, people moving through a checkpoint, etc.  So a group of AI controlled civilians are approaching the player's checkpoint.  Are the civilians controlled by the allied AI or the OpFor AI?  All the player knows is that he does not control them and they are getting closer to his checkpoint and he has ROEs.  The last group was friendly.  Is this group?  Didn't the intelligence brief say something about a white pickup truck being used in an attack recently............. there is a white pickup truck with this group.......

The tactical situations would be greatly expanded with a second independent AI force.         

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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In the Total War series you can have allied forces commanded by the AI.  They usually have the tactical nuance of a three-toed sloth. Often are a liability, to such an extent that I would often commit one army commanded by me, against large  numerical odds, than even things up with an allied AI army as they were such a walking disaster area.

Sometimes they might be useful, in sieges, where numbers count and it's a slogging match.

The other tactic I created was the "counterpunch": I deploy my forces, then I would wait to see what extreme stupidity my AI allies would start on, then find some way to use it. For example, if the AI embarked on attacking enemy deployed on a steep hill frontally, I would wait till they were engaged, then race round the flanks and rear to cream the enemy while they were tied up battering the other army. But you can come unstuck if the allies get really badly bashed before you can intervene. If it is a campaign game, you can see a precious elite army commanded by a 10 star general that you have nurtured for decades thrown away in five minutes by the AI.

I think the idea of civilians could be good. in Desert Sniper by Ed Nash (brilliant book recommended by @Bootie) he has the dilemma several times of seeing unarmed civilians who his Kurdish comrades want him to shoot as ISIS (which he  doesn't) but then an unarmed man carrying a "baby" walks through no-man's land, and turns out to be a suicide bomber. It is very difficult to know what is the right course of action.

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44 minutes ago, JulianJ said:

I think the idea of civilians could be good. in Desert Sniper by Ed Nash (brilliant book recommended by @Bootie) he has the dilemma several times of seeing unarmed civilians who his Kurdish comrades want him to shoot as ISIS (which he  doesn't) but then an unarmed man carrying a "baby" walks through no-man's land, and turns out to be a suicide bomber. It is very difficult to know what is the right course of action.

Yeah, difficult. I think the closest we are going to get in CM is the civilian density setting in CMSF which controls how hard it is to spot unconventional enemy forces.

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Disclaimer:  I feel compelled to type the following before incoming fires start to land spotting rounds among us:) I don't think anyone is advocating that Battlefront should stop what they are doing and re-direct their very limited time and resources to these ideas (not that they would anyways).  This is just a friendly discussion among friends. :)

LOL

These ideas do sound fun. I am not 100% sure how many times watching the AI fight it out would really be fun but having AI controled forces fighting alongside you would be awesome.

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I do this in Command, ARMA, and Steel Beasts.  The goal is to build a plan on both sides that minimizes human intervention.  This is true sandbox play.  90% of my play in CM is hotseat so I can tinker with different plans.  It can teach a  lot about how things work by letting you take a step back and watch it play out.

I should point out that one thing these three games have in common is the powerful scripting capabilities that let an experience designer do very unique and un-AI-like things.

Edited by Thewood1

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1 hour ago, JulianJ said:

In the Total War series you can have allied forces commanded by the AI.  They usually have the tactical nuance of a three-toed sloth. Often are a liability, to such an extent that I would often commit one army commanded by me, against large  numerical odds, than even things up with an allied AI army as they were such a walking disaster area.

Sometimes they might be useful, in sieges, where numbers count and it's a slogging match.

 

The AI is limited...true 😉

But i don't think that the main selling point for having friendly AI troops in a scenario would be so that you could rely on them to swing the battle in your favour in a better way then you would be likely to do with the same troops.  If the scenario designer wanted to though he could set it up so that your AI troops ( the friendlies) does a better jobb then the enemy AI troops. The flexebility here is pretty big. How 'good' will the friendly AI be ? It will be up to the scenariodesigner...

The main reason for having friendly AI is however that they could add a bit of flavour and varaity to the scenarios. Things like..

- A small AI controlled force of rebells (friendly) have been attached to your troops. In this mission they will guide you through enemy territory to attack a high value target. Can they be trusted ? will they do as promised ? or will they lead you into an enemy ambush ? 💀

- You unit have been tasked with providing security in a sector of the city while a supply/medevac convoj moves through (friendly AI unit).

Many, many cool things could be made even with very small friendly AI forces...

 

 

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On 11/10/2018 at 4:49 PM, Michael Emrys said:

It has occasionally been said that "wouldn't it be nice if there was some mode where the computer played against itself and I could just watch."

There is a famous computer war game that, for some time and reasons that escape my comprehension, was marketed as having AI so good that one could pretty much sit back and the computer do things for you.


Guess what. There was a considerable number of comments on the Internet to the tune of "oh yeah it's so cool, but you know, the computer is so much better than me at playing the game that I eventually shelved it". That was pretty much a moment like this for those guys, having the goods and then letting them go

giphy.gif

The really funny bit is that it was complete baloney. Anybody who actually played the game with some attention, would appreciate that the AI while good and helpful, was immensely inferior to a experienced player with a bit of an eye to detail that used the available AI orders to the maximum effect.

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5 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

The really funny bit is that it was complete baloney. Anybody who actually played the game with some attention, would appreciate that the AI while good and helpful, was immensely inferior to a experienced player with a bit of an eye to detail that used the available AI orders to the maximum effect.

I hear you. I've experienced pretty much the same thing a time or two. The time is not yet upon us where a computer can be said to completely supplant a good human player and the investment required to even get close is far beyond the capacity of small game companies like BFC. That said, I think the day is not so far off when AI can be coaxed to perform well enough to at least be interesting.

Michael

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My wet dream is that combat mission some day (soon 😁) will have a triggersystem like the one found in DCS world.

My, my, my...what cool scenarios could be made if something like that ever happens.

The quality of the AI opponent would be increased massivly...maybe not fully to human level...but darn close  😎

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2 hours ago, mjkerner said:

RepsolCBR, you and I have a serious divergence as to what constitutes proper subject matter for a wet dream, lol!😉

If I had wet dreams like his, I'd be seeing my GP pretty damn sharpish. In the meantime I hope that BFC don't waste their time on this flight of fancy. They've got enough on their plate as it is.

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5 hours ago, mjkerner said:

RepsolCBR, you and I have a serious divergence as to what constitutes proper subject matter for a wet dream, lol!😉

 

2 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

If I had wet dreams like his, I'd be seeing my GP pretty damn sharpish. In the meantime I hope that BFC don't waste their time on this flight of fancy. They've got enough on their plate as it is.

Oo ooohh...and heres me thinking i was normal.

Maybe i should go and se someone about this 😉

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