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Two simple tricks that would make the AI seem smarter


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I know it's difficult to program a good AI, but here are two ideas that might be simple to implement and would make the battles tougher for the human:

1: When enemy squads in bocage come under fire, they often withdraw just a tiny bit, like 1 or 2 action squares. Then they sit there and just wait to be rushed, since the bocage now blocks their view. My idea is to make squads do a check once in a while:

If they are not under fire, if they feel ok, and if they have not moved because of any plan, and if they are close to their starting point, then move back to the starting point. This would mean that as a player, you won't be sure that squads that fall back will stay back once they are rallied.

2: Often, enemy tanks are just sitting in ambush positions, which is fine. But when they take fire, they sometimes fall back, and turn around to do so. My idea is to make them REVERSE when pulling back from enemy fire, and do a periodical check just like for the infantry:

If they have moved, if it wasn't as part of a plan, if they are OK -> then turn to face the player's side of the map. The tank should not move, as that would bring it back in the sights of whatever made it withdraw, but I've seen several tanks turn around and move 2-3 action squares away, then just sit there with their back turned, making them extremely easy targets.

Standard disclaimer: I provide this idea solely out of enthusiasm for the game, not to annoy anyone. By providing this idea I in no way assume I am more clever than the developers of the game or anyone on this board that might disagree with my suggestion :)

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3. Have advancing infantry Slow the last AS before snuggling up behind a linear obstacle, or any cover that can be seen past, so into buildings.

I like that idea. Might even make it dependent on troop quality, so green troops would just rush in where veterans fear to tread.

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Two other simple ideas and likely more simple to implement (repost...)

1. Those pixeltroopers, that are about to change clips, mags and belts for their small arms weaponry, go to full cover, instead of preserving the currently held stance (standing, crouching). In example, a SMG gunner standing behind a window, just emptied his mag. Currently, unless getting suppression at this point, he keeps standing fully exposed, while changing magazine. He should go to crouch, or even lying down, while doing.

This is some the most annoying and stupid behavior to be observed in the game and usually results in say...20-30% more casualties for ALL pixeltroopers engaged in fire fights and reloading weaponry. :P

2. Buddy aid to be preferably provided in lying down position and not as currently in standard crouch. It´s quite annoying to loose so many pixeltroopers providing buddy aid, particularly those units in defensive positions and not moving. I always keep praying that buddy aid (no matter if applying first aid, or taking weaponry/ammo) is not applied in those cases, as the Tac AI´s impression of "security", is unreliable at best. :P

Just watch your battles carefully and see how many ptroopers get hit, while beeing exposed unnecessarily due to mentioned cases.

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Good ideas Harry.. Is there some big official idea thread somewhere the developers might look?

No. There was a big long thread over in the FI forum. But BFC, or at least someone who understands the parameters of what they might possibly do, read everything, even if they don't respond.

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Re point 1) of the OP: this would necessitate that pixeltroopers have memory. AFAIK they have not. They have a state (suppression, morale) and stats (experience, equipment) but they have no memory.

Adding memory would be a huge improvement. Being able to remember that your buddy stepped on a mine a second ago and not go there. Not crawl to buddy aid where your comrade was just shot by a sniper. Remember from where those last shots came and be ready when the enemy pops up his head again. Remember that that tank just drove behind the house and anticipate that he probably comes out on the other side.

Lots of things - difficult to make and easy to eat CPU and memory. :)

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RockinHarry,

I like your first idea, and would love to see infantry fire from well back from a window or door, rather than be easily seen by being right against it as a default condition. The manuals from any number of countries are explicit on the incorrectness of being right at the window, rather than in the shadows inside the room. Were the resulting concealment also modeled, this would greatly reduce casualties, especially in buildings with lots of windows. As for the second...

If you Google WW II medic pictures, you'll find that almost all of them show the medic either kneeling or crouched. It's very hard to patch someone up while lying prone. Also, if we say the buddy aid is about weapon recovery, what kind of leverage can you apply to, say, a 200 pound man who's lying sprawled on the ground, likely with his ammo pouches under him or on the far side, given Murphy's known predilections?

Regards,

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Re point 1) of the OP: this would necessitate that pixeltroopers have memory. AFAIK they have not. They have a state (suppression, morale) and stats (experience, equipment) but they have no memory.

Adding memory would be a huge improvement. Being able to remember that your buddy stepped on a mine a second ago and not go there. Not crawl to buddy aid where your comrade was just shot by a sniper. Remember from where those last shots came and be ready when the enemy pops up his head again. Remember that that tank just drove behind the house and anticipate that he probably comes out on the other side.

Lots of things - difficult to make and easy to eat CPU and memory. :)

Just to be all nitpicky here:

--I believe units react cautiously in the presence of mine markers, which show up (usually) after the first mine kill. Will units opt to cross a mine marker when another path is available?

--It's quite likely that you don't know where the sniper shot came from, so you can't easily avoid its direction more than any other. Meanwhile, your buddy is lying there wounded, bleeding out, pleading for aid. I like that CM soldiers sometimes do stupid/heroic human things.

--Memory actually does exist to a degree in the form of lost-contact markers--in fact this is one of the real innovations of the CM engine. If troops saw a tank go behind a building, there will be a "?" marker at the point where it disappeared from view. I believe that, in the absence of more immediate threats, the unit will keep an orientation towards lost contacts for a reasonable amount of time.

The flow of information between units is another form of memory, or least intelligence, that tends towards realistic awareness and behavior.

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--I believe units react cautiously in the presence of mine markers, which show up (usually) after the first mine kill. Will units opt to cross a mine marker when another path is available?

I have not tested this but IIRC I had at least one instance where the first team stepped on a mine and stops. But the following second team does not until it also steps on the mine.

So actually more a lack of communication than memory. :)

--It's quite likely that you don't know where the sniper shot came from, so you can't easily avoid its direction more than any other. Meanwhile, your buddy is lying there wounded, bleeding out, pleading for aid. I like that CM soldiers sometimes do stupid/heroic human things.

Again anecdotal evidence: I had a HQ behind a house - safe but it could go nowhere without getting under fire. A few meters away was a wounded soldier of another squad. Over the course of several turns one guy would crawl to the wounded soldier and get shot until all three were dead. Very heartbreaking.

A bit like SPR but with more heroic and dumber soldiers.

--Memory actually does exist to a degree in the form of lost-contact markers--in fact this is one of the real innovations of the CM engine. If troops saw a tank go behind a building, there will be a "?" marker at the point where it disappeared from view. I believe that, in the absence of more immediate threats, the unit will keep an orientation towards lost contacts for a reasonable amount of time.

Sorry - no. That is no memory. It is just a simple delay on the cease fire (for infantry). For tanks its easier to see: as soon as the contact goes away the turret will turn back to the front. There is no outguessing the enemy.

At least AFAIK - I'd love to see that in the game.

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