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Manual or AI Error?


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I have been enjoying playing AOD for the first time and have yet to complete my first game.

I thought I may have found an anomaly with the AI in that, according to the military strength reports, the USA navy strength increased from 3 to 14 in 1 turn and a number of the new ships were created off the coast of Japan!

My next thought was to consult the manual, but it seems to contradict itself. On page 84 it says "While friendly information will always be available, some enemy information will be hidden when the game is played with the fog of war option selected." As I play with fog of war option selected, this would explain the miraculous addition of 11 ships and even more amazing, the creation of at least some of those ships at sea!

Then on page 85 it says "New! This graph includes all units, even those that cannot be seen under Fog of War,".

The AI seems to be playing by the first statement, so you cannot trust military strength reports for the enemy, therefore the page 85 statement quoted above should be removed from the manual.

On a completely different subject, I notice on the map of Australia, a railway line is shown from Alice Springs to Darwin. This line was only completed in 2004. During WWII the railway from Darwin to Alice Springs was only built as far as Larrimah, 500km south of Darwin, leaving a 1000km gap to the southern rail head at Alice Springs. During the war, supplies were transported by road between the two railheads, which would have been a real problem if Australia had been invaded via Darwin by Japan (The most likely invasion route).

This railway line should be partially removed to reflect the reality at that time.

Finally, I think AOD is a brilliant game and I congratulate the creators on doing a fine job.

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I have been enjoying playing AOD for the first time and have yet to complete my first game.

Great to hear :)

I thought I may have found an anomaly with the AI in that, according to the military strength reports, the USA navy strength increased from 3 to 14 in 1 turn and a number of the new ships were created off the coast of Japan!

For the appearance of new units along the coast of Japan this sounds very odd, do you know what the date was in game when this occurred?

There is nothing in the scripts or code that should have something like the above occur and I wonder if this is perhaps a mod or perhaps just the US naval units appearing along the coast of Japan out of Fog of War?

There are events that allow for the creation of new US naval units like when you attack at Pearl Harbor or just during the course of the war and if this happened with other naval units coming in from previous purchases off of the Production Queue, then it is certainly possible to see a naval unit gain of 11 units in one turn. Not likely for every turn but possible.

My next thought was to consult the manual, but it seems to contradict itself. On page 84 it says "While friendly information will always be available, some enemy information will be hidden when the game is played with the fog of war option selected." As I play with fog of war option selected, this would explain the miraculous addition of 11 ships and even more amazing, the creation of at least some of those ships at sea!

Then on page 85 it says "New! This graph includes all units, even those that cannot be seen under Fog of War,".

To clarify, the Reports strength will show you the total number of units even if you cannot see them on the map... so there is a bit of a contradiction but the "New!" section is correct as far as the reports screen report the totals.

On a completely different subject, I notice on the map of Australia, a railway line is shown from Alice Springs to Darwin. This line was only completed in 2004. During WWII the railway from Darwin to Alice Springs was only built as far as Larrimah, 500km south of Darwin, leaving a 1000km gap to the southern rail head at Alice Springs. During the war, supplies were transported by road between the two railheads, which would have been a real problem if Australia had been invaded via Darwin by Japan (The most likely invasion route).

This railway line should be partially removed to reflect the reality at that time.

Finally, I think AOD is a brilliant game and I congratulate the creators on doing a fine job.

Thanks and we'll take a look to adjust the railway :)

Hubert

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Hi Hubert,

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I am running v1.01 AoD and have not made any mods to the downloaded files. The date is Nov 15 1946 and the USA naval strength is reported as 3. When I push the "end turn" button, the AI does it thing and 3 USA navy vessels appear off the east coast of Japan. Dec 14 1946 and its my turn so I attack the USA navy ships & 2 or 3 more appear.

Maybe there is a problem with the reported USA naval strength in the previous move, and the AI isn't creating 11 new ships.

Anyway, if you want to investigate futher, I am happy to send you the saved file before the miraculous event and you can see it for yourself as the AI appears to create 11 new ships every time.

I am pleased you are prepared to look at the Darwin railway thing as it would make a difference to defence of Australia.

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Thanks for the file CATS2010 and I believe I've found the issue which is that naval units that are in a transfer loop are not counted as naval units on the map.

So in the turn you sent me, there are 3 US naval units on the map, 5 in a transfer loop that are set to arrive on the very next Allied turn, as well as 6 in the P/Q that are set to be placed in the next turn.

This explains the jump from 3 to 14 units on the very next turn. The 5 in the transfer loop also arrive just outside of Tokyo and this is why it might look like they are being built there as well.

Hope this helps,

Hubert

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Hi Hubert,

Thanks for solving the mystery. It begs the question however, why the ships in loops are not counted? As ships can disappear into loops for up to 6 turns it is quite difficult to keep track of allied naval strength.

Would it be possible to count ships in transfer loops in a future revision?

Thanks again for your quick response

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I would like to add two comments to this discussion. First I really do not understand the reason for putting any delay into a loop other than arriving on the opponent's turn or the looping player's next turn. Most of the ships we are dealing with here are not slow merchant men but warships or fast transports either of which could typically get to the other side of the world within the span of the standard AOD player and opponent turn.

My second comment is that it is actually quite unrealistic for players to know how many ships their opponents might currently have - pilots were particularly poor at identifying the types of ships they had sunk and even whether they had sunk anything at all. The Germans claimed to have sunk the Ark Royal several times before they eventually did, they also claimed the sinking of HMS King Alfred which was the name of a shore based training establishment where my father spent part of his WW2 service. I should not single out the Germans as being mistaken - Winston Churchill did not beleive the Japanese had as many aircraft carrying ships as was actually the case. I guess this was because he was unaware of the IJN "shadow fleet" construction programme which subsidised some pre-war merchant shipping construction to have facilities included to enable rapid conversion to CVEs.

I would personally argue for a degree of disinformation to be included in the standard reports rather than they should be made 100% accurate!

Regards

Mike

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Hi Hubert,

Thanks for solving the mystery. It begs the question however, why the ships in loops are not counted? As ships can disappear into loops for up to 6 turns it is quite difficult to keep track of allied naval strength.

Would it be possible to count ships in transfer loops in a future revision?

Thanks again for your quick response

This should certainly be counted and we will make this adjustment for future revision.

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Hi Mike,

I think the only reason we have a delay is so that it more or less matches the current ranges of the naval units and the number of turns it would take the naval units to reach those positions without the loops.

I believe the loops are generally a bit quicker and while I realize that the ranges and turns are still under debate for naval units (real life versus gameplay), this is still the logic behind the current setup.

For the reports, we've gone back and forth on just how much should show under FoW and I believe the consensus was that if the reports only showed what was "known" under FoW then the reports dialog was not of much value. This is why we later decided to simply show accurate numbers regardless of FoW.

Now we could have it that it is not as accurate as you've suggested and that is definitely something to consider as well.

Hubert

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How about a different perspective Hubert? Ships that move by the owning player's devices represent "patrolling", hunting type of operations rather that transitting(loops) actions.

I understand that naval vessels that are moving to a different theater would exercise some appropriate caution, but it would not be the same kind of dedicated grid type seaching that patrolling vessels would use.

Hence, transitting vessels travel further, faster, than patrolling, recon mission oriented ones.

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Quite right SeaMonkey!

But you can not freely choose the destinations of the fleet with loops. So then you have yet again slipped to the other end of the map with "patrool speed". I think the loops should make parts of the map navigable that are not connected with each other. Some loops are also welcome to help the AI in the lossless merging of maritime and landing forces to a special map point. But selecting two basic speeds, we call them once "patrool speed" and "naval forced march", should then logically be linked to the naval units. The call for realistic ocean voyages would be met, just as the game tactical need for separation of "movement" and "attack" in case of a long distance travel. Classic loops and a slightly modernized model of the ship's actions then also promote the game fun for everyone...as well as any other small novelties with which Hubert has enriched the game in the past. ;)

Cheers

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