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How's the new AI triggers?


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AI triggers, even though pretty simple at this point, work great! For example, BFC Steve made a scenario where the Soviets have to move through a village and take a bridge on the other side (how quickly we forget...I can't remember the name). He said he set up the Germans with rolling AI triggers, one unit keying off the rest after the first one moves back when the Soviets get to a certain area. It really felt like the Germans were reacting to my advance in a believable, relatively orderly retreat. Scenario builders will no doubt be very happy with triggers.

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AI triggers, even though pretty simple at this point, work great! For example, BFC Steve made a scenario where the Soviets have to move through a village and take a bridge on the other side (how quickly we forget...I can't remember the name). He said he set up the Germans with rolling AI triggers, one unit keying off the rest after the first one moves back when the Soviets get to a certain area. It really felt like the Germans were reacting to my advance in a believable, relatively orderly retreat. Scenario builders will no doubt be very happy with triggers.

Yup! Without getting into any spoilers, I often use a combination of Triggers from units and from terrain. Each has their pros/cons for a particular situation and if you combine them you can get a really well rounded end result.

They don't solve every problem, but they sure do make a big improvement. That scenario mjkerner mentioned really does have a great feel to it. Without Triggers a really, really good scenario designer could have come up with something similar. But if the player did anything unexpected it would all fall apart quickly.

The single biggest thing Triggers do is give the AI designer more certainty as the game progresses. It's so very, very hard to predict how the game is going to look at exactly 45 minutes into a 60 minute game. Triggers take a lot of the guesswork out of things. If the Human goes quicker or slower the AI's reaction can be the same instead of being caught executing late or early.

Steve

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The best application of triggers is when you don't recognize them being used at all. The last thing you want to see is people 'playing the AI' instead of the tactical situation. Basing their decisions on where they believe a trigger might be painted and avoiding tripping them. If you're not planning to build your own scenarios it might be best if you forgot that triggers exist at all and just play the situation.

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The best application of triggers is when you don't recognize them being used at all. The last thing you want to see is people 'playing the AI' instead of the tactical situation. Basing their decisions on where they believe a trigger might be painted and avoiding tripping them. If you're not planning to build your own scenarios it might be best if you forgot that triggers exist at all and just play the situation.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!

Good point MikeyD. When I was playing Steve's scenario, one of the first I tested, I had completely forgot that triggers were in the game. It was only after the Germans hit me with a counterattack in my flank at just the right (well, wrong actually) time that I thought "oh wow, I forgot about triggers...I bet these guys are acting off triggered AI orders?"

But I'm not sure that "playing the AI" will be much of a problem. People want to be gamey, then they will be. I get the sense, though, that the vast majority of players, or at least those on these forums, like to plat the tactical situation.

Now, I find myself constantly worried that the scenario designer used triggers, and that will mean a surprise is coming, but when, where and how? A triggered response could come practically anywhere, any time, and since they can trigger off both orders and terrain, it simply isn't worth it to try to guess. Better to just play the tactical situation, as you suggest, but with even more caution than usual. In fact, I find that I am playing more like I do against human opponents...scout, scout, scout, then scout again, before I move out the bulk of my troops. Because now, it's not the designer trying to guess my timing. The enemy's movements are baked into where I go or what the AI's orders are, or both.

Great times ahead!

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After all is said and done I think the AI triggers are the most exciting development/addition to the game series. Nothing will beat H2H, but the triggers at least give the scenario designers a chance to throw a few curve balls in.

I imagine that nested triggers will be the obvious direction for CMx4.

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Can a trigger be set for a group to withdraw if it reaches a predefined percentage of losses?

No. Triggers can be activated by

a) trigger objective touched by enemy/own unit, armor/any force. e.g. tanks enter a particular area.

B) another unit commences a particular order

BF have said triggers might be extended in future though - conditional such as your good example, or branching or nested.

So, we're seeing the beginning of a beautiful thing :)

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Any idea how to access these new triggers in the editor? I couldn't see anything new, but I didn't look at every menu item in the editor.

Hi,

Even when your question was answered, and blowing my own horn here, this is a short feature about triggers I posted at my blog just yesterday.

The new trigger system in Combat Mission Red Thunder

Hope it is useful to somebody.

Cheers,

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But I'm not sure that "playing the AI" will be much of a problem.

That may be up to the scenario designers. If we get too many triggers that are 'at the road intersection' (the most obvious locations) players will start avoiding going through road intersections. If triggers are instead 'the left side of the map' or 'the back slope of the terrain feature' then second-guessing triggers will be all but impossible.

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After all is said and done I think the AI triggers are the most exciting development/addition to the game series.

I think this might be right. Sometimes it feels like a completely different game. I.e. - yesterday my scouts move along, look over a hill, and are fired on by some German tanks. My scouts scamper down the back side and I start thinking about how to deal with them: can I flank? Should I drop arty? Can I get to a covered position and area fire near them?

And while I'm in the middle of moving troops around and thinking about things - the tanks and other vehicles I've spotted burst over the hill and start shooting things up! I wasn't expecting this at all. And this has huge ramifications for playing against the AI, where the danger usually doesn't (or didn't) come from units you've spotted (since they can be avoided or dealt with at your leisure), but from unspotted units. The best strategy against the AI has generally been: (1) spot thoroughly; and (2) defeat in detail. Defeating in detail usually isn't hard to accomplish because AI troops haven't really been able to come to the aid of other attacked troops not in their LOS. Although better scenarios made it difficult to isolate units, of course.

But now? Now there can be a reserve force completely out of LOS that won't be committed until something happens - and it will know where to go.

I suppose this might even allow the AI to use artillery intelligently? :o

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Now there can be a reserve force completely out of LOS that won't be committed until something happens - and it will know where to go.

A slight caution/dampener: that something has to be specific. You can't have the same units responding to the right flank getting its teeth kicked in (represented by enemy units in or near the former right flank positions, or friendly units being further to the rear than they should be) as you do responding to the left flank getting its ass handed to it. Each group can only have one pending trigger and one pending timetable item, AIUI.

But BFC have said they will keep working in the system, becuase it's exciting even as it stands.

I can see triggers producing many nonsensical actions or not being acted on at all in QB maps as it stands. Even the timed movements often don't happen because the AI has autopicked static units and assigned them to the moving unit group.

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Yes. I remember our valiant QB map designer did considerable experimentation before he came up with a nice workable QB AI that logically used triggers.

Based on my one QB experience that work was worth it. I immediately noticed that now AI truppen are doing something new.

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From RSW tutorial link...

"The Soviets start position ("setup" area in the editor's parlance) is to the south of the hill (yellow area in the map), out of sight from the Germans. In this screenshot, I am telling the Soviets to get out of there towards the next order anytime between the scenario start and end ("Exit between 0 and 28", scenario lasts for 30 min), but to wait until the "Saray" trigger is fired."

Is this correct ?...If so i have missunderstod things a bit...

I was under the impression that you could start a AI-group order either by a specific time or by a triggered action...

For example a platoon is set to advance towards a crossroad after 25 minutes by setting the exit after- and exit before times to 24 and 26 minutes. But if the enemy troops move into a terrain-objective (trigger location) at that crossroad the same platoon should start its advance order at that time (regardless of the timer) due to the triggered terrain-objective...Both options are avaliable...Either at the time 25 minutes or because enemy tropps triggered a start.

RSW set the order start-time to between 0 and 28 minutes...If i'm correct then the russians could start their attack at a random time between 0 and 28 minutes in RSWs example...

Have i missunderstood things ? can you only have one option avaliable ? either time or triggered action....

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Repsol

The timer still works, but the specified unit will only start moving once the set "and" time is reached.

Setting the "and" time to the scenario end means the unit will only move if the trigger is tripped.

So in your example I think I'm correct in saying that the unit would not start moving until minute 24 at the earliest even if the trigger was tripped in minute 2. If you want the unit to move as soon as the trigger is hit, but no later than 26 minutes you need set the time as follows - exit between 0.00 and 26.00

Hope that's clear if not shout

P

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