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AI Plans--Trying to surprise myself

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I game solo because RL just doesn't allow time commitment for H2H atm.

So whenI make my own scenarios, I want to be able to surprise myself as much as possible. There has been a lot of good information from experienced scenario makers on the threads lately, which has helped me develop much better AI plans, but I have a few questions I hope someone can help with in order to hopefully allow me to build in more surprises.

What I want to do is to have enemy flanking attacks come at me at random, or not at all (makes no difference if I'm defending or attacking). I want the possibility of them occurring, but not the certainty of having them occur. That way, it will keep me honest in my deployments, by forcing me to have flank protection at all times, or chance the devastating consequences.

The problem is that you have to set your AI groups, reinforcement groups, and deploy them before you can create AI plans. So, even if I use the work-around of setting my flanking group as a reinforcement that will occur after the game ends, what happens then is the flank attack never occurs, period. There is nothing I can do in setting the AI plans to allow for them to appear in one plan during the game, and another plan not appear at all, correct? If I give the flanking group no orders in one plan, they will still show up in their set up zone, because there is no option to "delete" the set up, only the orders after the set up. I guess I could use the reinforcement time variable to get some uncertainty, but then there is the risk that they come in way too early in any given plan, because that variable is set before you set up your AI plans.

Also, am I correct that if I give the flanking group several set up zones (for instance, the default enemy group gets the Red 1 painted set up zone, and the flankers get three Red 2 zones, two on one side of the map and one on the other), then then they will come on randomly into one or more of those zones? But then, I'm going to have difficulty in setting orders for the individual AI plans because I won't know which side of the map they will appear on, which could lead to some funky behavior (unless the zones were basically directly across from each other and the orders simply took them to a place in the middle between them).

Am I making sense here? I have the flu, so probably not thinking as clearly as I should. Thanks for any help and comments.


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The map set up zones have little impact on the AI setup as there main use is to establish the area in which the human player can deploy forces. Having said that, AI units will not be able to set up outside a map set up zone if placed in one in the deploy editor. Although this can be used to your advantage

Use the set up order in the AI editor to establish AI set up positions.

In plan one these can be in one place, in plan two another.

Set different exit times for each plan, and you can have very different plans carried out. (It does make sense for these set up positions to be out of LOS of the enemy so the AI units can sit safely until time to move.

So you can have a game where plan one is a left flank attack, and plan two is right flank, with different timings applied.

Or you could always just play a QB !


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Just to add in case you are not aware of this

A good test is to create a scenario with just one unit. (FOOs are good for this)

Select a group for the unit - we'll go with AI group 2.

In the unit editor deploy the unit on map.

In the AI editor then paint a dozen set up locations for the specific AI group (in this case 2), I would suggest each be of 2-4 action squares. These can be anywhere you want the unit to set up.

Save and then "play the battle" several times over and you should see the unit set up in differing locations each time the mission is played.

This gives a good level of random set up within the same AI plan. It does have it's limitations but for small forces it can be very powerful.



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Don't even use the reinforcements. Always have the flanking group start on the map. BUT, design their startup point to where it is visually isolated from the rest of the battle. In other words, if the flanking group does not move then it will have no effect on the battle.

Then develop several different plans where the flanking group does different things, for example:

PLAN 1: do nothing (stay out of the battle)

PLAN 2: flank right side

PLAN 3: flank left side

PLAN 4: attack straight

Actually, you can try replacing PLAN 1 with a move order to an exit objective. That way the units will leave the map eventually without entering the battle.

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