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Hey folks, 

I've been trying to play Final Blitzkrieg on and off, but I keep encountering a weird issue at a frequency that has me wondering if I'm encountering a bug or some weird situation that only affects me. Whenever I play a scenario with the Germans as a defender, the attacking US AI seems to be passive to a fault. I've seen an entire game go by, only to discover at the end of the game that all of the AI's machine guns and mortars are sitting in a neat line back at their spawn, or the infantry just stops advancing before even reaching its first objective, aside from perhaps a few loose squads that enter buildings I've abandoned.

Is this just a known "feature" of the game, as in the current state of the attacking AI? I notice most scenarios recommend that the human player take on the attacker role, but I've noticed the issue even in scenarios where this is not the case. My most recent encounter with this situation was playing the "Drive them out" scenario. As the time ran out, the US still had their tank and 250 infantry, but only some 30 of their infantry had even entered the first objective, and none made any attempt to push forward to later objectives. For the last 20 turns I just hit the end turn button and hammered the fast forward button repeatedly, since there was nothing else to do.

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No...it is not ūüėä The map is done, the research is done, most of the unit rosters are done... And remember... In a two option scenario you need an AI plan for both sides also....No Major

Good to know, chuckdyke. But it seems you replied in the wrong thread, as what you wrote didn't have anything to do with what wham asked.

If that really is the state of the AI, even with a plan provided for it by the scenario designer, then I kind of feel cheated here. I'll do some more research in Final Blitzkrieg and Black Sea, as tho

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Sounds like you may be playing a scenario that is only to be played by one side, or a head to head (H2H) one where there are no AI orders. Or a QB without AI orders as ASL Vet said. Earlier stock scenarios often were only playable by one side, although I’m pretty certain stock scenarios now are all playable by both sides. Fan made scenarios often are just playable by one side.

Go into the editor, pick one side, click Mission Objectives, then click Text, and see if there is any briefing for that side. If not, there isn’t likely an AI for that side. You can also check the AI to see if both sides have AI plans, but I don’t have access to the game and can’t give you directions on what to click from memory.

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6 hours ago, mjkerner said:

Sounds like you may be playing a scenario that is only to be played by one side, or a head to head (H2H) one where there are no AI orders. Or a QB without AI orders as ASL Vet said. Earlier stock scenarios often were only playable by one side, although I’m pretty certain stock scenarios now are all playable by both sides. Fan made scenarios often are just playable by one side.

Go into the editor, pick one side, click Mission Objectives, then click Text, and see if there is any briefing for that side. If not, there isn’t likely an AI for that side. You can also check the AI to see if both sides have AI plans, but I don’t have access to the game and can’t give you directions on what to click from memory.

AI in Attacking and Meeting Engagements. You already have a good Intel what the enemy's objectives are. And ambush right on their objective. Use the British attitude make sure you win the last battle, the ones before come a distant second. At least my visitor comes tomorrow to play Hotseat with. QB I prefer to play in Hotseat in Campaigns no choice you must play the AI.  

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QB battle maps have a common problem. AI plans (they are not really AI - they are just waypoints, triggers and times btw) assign routes to Groups. The problem is QB map designers separate the groups to take individual objectives. Imagine a map with three objectives:- 1 Minor near Allies setup, 1 Minor near Axis setup and 1 Major VP in the center. The engine assigns forces to each group in the "AI Plan". Group 1 moves to Minor VP, Group 2 moves to Major VP. If you are playing a small map with small force sizes (like only 1 formation), often the engine assigns the entire force to Group 1 and nothing to Group 2 or 3. They won't even contest the other objectives and you may not encounter them at all if you occupy the center. I've seen quite a few QB maps like this. The engine has no way of making appropriate strength assignments that make sense, and also a lot of QB maps are hastily made, with only rudimentary AI plans and really little thought as to how they play out I'm afraid. Some will argue the entire QB feature is "Not how this game is meant to be played!" etc.. and due to the development team's size and the way they farm out so much of map design to the community, it is unlikely to ever change.

I haven't encountered a QB map without any AI plan for a side. They usually have something. The only exception would be defense, where I guess you can leave units in setup positions with little or no AI plan and still provide some opposition.

 

PS. I've probably been overly critical of map designers. Setting separate groups to take and hold separate objectives makes sense, if you want to occupy and contest those objectives for the whole game to earn VP's. The designers have little choice.

Edited by Jace11
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I was playing scenarios that come with the game, and the scenario notes for these scenarios do not have the warning for being only suitable for attacking or H2H. As noted in the original post, the last encounter with this issue was with the "Drive them out" scenario (Allied attack, 60 minutes) that comes with the base game.

Sadly I lack suitable human opponents for H2H, so I am trying the game out with the AI, but the issues I am seeing are downright weird.

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12 hours ago, wham said:

I was playing scenarios that come with the game, and the scenario notes for these scenarios do not have the warning for being only suitable for attacking or H2H. As noted in the original post, the last encounter with this issue was with the "Drive them out" scenario (Allied attack, 60 minutes) that comes with the base game.

Sadly I lack suitable human opponents for H2H, so I am trying the game out with the AI, but the issues I am seeing are downright weird.

Drive them out has an American AI plan.  I know because I made it myself lol.  Not sure what you are doing - you sure you selected the German side?  I'm at a loss as to why they wouldn't be moving for you unless you maybe selected the American side instead of the German side after picking the scenario.

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20 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

AI in Attacking and Meeting Engagements...Use the British attitude ...  At least my visitor comes tomorrow to play Hotseat ...  

Good to know, chuckdyke. But it seems you replied in the wrong thread, as what you wrote didn't have anything to do with what wham asked.

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5 hours ago, BornGinger said:

Good to know, chuckdyke. But it seems you replied in the wrong thread, as what you wrote didn't have anything to do with what wham asked.

He needs the

 

On 1/12/2021 at 5:07 AM, wham said:

Hey folks, 

I've been trying to play Final Blitzkrieg on and off, but I keep encountering a weird issue at a frequency that has me wondering if I'm encountering a bug or some weird situation that only affects me. Whenever I play a scenario with the Germans as a defender, the attacking US AI seems to be passive to a fault. I've seen an entire game go by, only to discover at the end of the game that all of the AI's machine guns and mortars are sitting in a neat line back at their spawn, or the infantry just stops advancing before even reaching its first objective, aside from perhaps a few loose squads that enter buildings I've abandoned.

Is this just a known "feature" of the game, as in the current state of the attacking AI? I notice most scenarios recommend that the human player take on the attacker role, but I've noticed the issue even in scenarios where this is not the case. My most recent encounter with this situation was playing the "Drive them out" scenario. As the time ran out, the US still had their tank and 250 infantry, but only some 30 of their infantry had even entered the first objective, and none made any attempt to push forward to later objectives. For the last 20 turns I just hit the end turn button and hammered the fast forward button repeatedly, since there was nothing else to do.

I had a look at the Scenario 'Drive Them Out'. It says: "Allied Attack!" It seems that the AI plays the German defender and the human player the "Allied Attacker." When you play outside the recommendations of the designer funny things can happen. Best way to make it clear is to play with the editor. Know how triggers are created and AI plans. I am not an expert and use the editor for testing some pet theories. I have nothing but the deepest respect for these guys who give us some very enjoyable games. That's why play using their recommendations. Happy gaming. 

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Nothing in the "Drive them Out" scenario description indicates that it should only be played with a human as the Allied player, and hearing that there is an AI plan for it indicates that it should work (really neat to hear someone who worked on the scenario is in the thread @ASL Veteran!). The reason I raised this thread is that I keep seeing similar issues in multiple scenarios. I took some screenshots of the game as I played. I've attached one image below, taken about 15 minutes into the 60 minute scenario. The blue line indicates the movement pattern of the American Sherman tank. The red line indicates the extent to which most of the American forces had advanced up to when time ran out after turn 60, and the green line indicates an area where a few American squads moved up to in the last 10 turns.

A rough outline of how the battle went:

- The ridge I defended on the left received constant mortar fire, but no other attempts were made by the AI to attack it. I had to retreat troops off the ridge to preserve them, and just walked them back out there near the end of the time limit.

- The 2 MG's on the right flank came under heavy MG and indirect fire, and ended up retreating after suffering considerable casualties. American forces never got close to the buildings.

- The recon force on the western edge of town held out until about turn 30, then collapsed and retreated into the woods and toward the rear. The American AI shelled the forest with artillery and drove up the Sherman onto the road as if daring my MG's to fire on it, but then just sat still there for about 20 turns straight.

At the end of battle I inspected the map and found the forests behind that red line crawling with 200+ Americans. Four different HQ units had stacked up in one of the buildings, with the rest scattered among their men. I think maybe 20-30 men crossed that red line, advancing toward the green line.

If the AI's objectives are at all in line with mine as defender, then it seems to me that either I managed to get the AI so off-balance that it did not feel secure enough to advance, or it somehow just failed. Battle outcome was an SS tactical victory.

 

If nobody else is having similar issues, I can only wonder what might be causing this to occur for me? I might replay the scenario later this week, or some others, and see if I can get the issue to repeat again.

Image2.thumb.png.a9619b36e0f4aa274a222d0cff4c9a64.png

Edited by wham
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It says allied attacker, I would be surprised if the designer put an attacking plan in the scenario. If it says attack, you attack. If it says defend, defend. The AI is a shocking attacker at the best of times. I feel I can point this out till I see blue. Give editing a go and you see what is involved to make a scenario. It depends on the triggers he put in. In this scenario you win every time as a defender. Make the green objectives ambush areas, that is how you fight meeting and defending scenarios. The road is the attacker's route the ambushes should be executed from cover. As allied attacker it is an enjoyable scenario. My tip: put the mortar HQ on the Sherman, he can use the Sherman's radio get the intel from his Battalion HQ and use the Sherman as a FiST vehicle. He will be 70 years ahead of its time. That's why maybe Battle for Normandy doesn't allow tank passengers. Different designers implement different plans. Here is the scenario editor, you can put in AI plans or you can choose not to. It is a lot of work and it looks like he didn't give the AI any American battle plans. My conclusion is play as American attacker only for this game. AI.jpg

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Wait, are you saying that if the scenario type is "Allied attack" then it is only suited to be played with the player as the Allied side, and if it's "Axis Attack" then it should only be played as the Axis side? Since all of the scenarios that come with the game say they are either a meeting engagement, probe, attack or assault, that would mean there are no scenarios where a human could play as a defender against an AI attack? I must be misunderstanding something there, right?

EDIT: I just quick-played through the scenario again. Single player, turn based, elite difficulty. Human as Axis defender, AI as Allied attacker. I didn't give any orders, I just hit end turn and fast-forwarded to the end, through all 60 turns. SS Tactical victory again, and the AI seems to have made even less progress than the last time, with none of the American infantry reaching the buildings on the edge of town. The AI reached its first objective (D'hutt outskirts) and managed to drive the Germans off their first objective (Western D'hutt). In conclusion, it seems that at least in this scenario playing as the defender is kind of pointless, but then: if that's the way Final Blitzkrieg is designed, with the AI never being able to attack as chuckdyke above suggests, then I've thoroughly misunderstood the point of the game series despite having played since CMBB2.

Image link to final map state: Ey36zbS.png (2560×1440) (imgur.com)

image.thumb.png.2bcddc889387f950170f3c76c6f89b0c.png

Edited by wham
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10 minutes ago, wham said:

Wait, are you saying that if the scenario type is "Allied attack" then it is only suited to be played with the player as the Allied side, and if it's "Axis Attack" then it should only be played as the Axis side? Since all of the scenarios that come with the game say they are either a meeting engagement, probe, attack or assault, that would mean there are no scenarios where a human could play as a defender against an AI attack? I must be misunderstanding something there, right?

It depends on the game; my strong suspicion is that this game was meant to be played as allied attacker only. I don't like to play as defender against the AI full stop in H&H it is different. The AI is incredibly brave but also incredibly stupid. Yes, as a rule of thumb if it says Probe, Attack or Assault play that side. The outcome depends how you use the artillery the AI can't do it properly especially the allied site depends on their artillery. My experience only a very few games are enjoyable as defender against the AI. See the AI as training the really challenge is against a human player who knows what he or she is doing. If you know the enemy's objective, it is the place where you can ambush his troops. You only must occupy it on the end of the game. Here he needs to touch most of his objectives ambush the approach routes. If he didn't move, you win the game. If you like to defend find a human player, they are hard to find. Hotseat is good fun, I am retired and play with other retirees. You must mask your ranging artillery rounds by plotting some light bombardments with your second mortar. Against the AI you don't have that problem, don't occupy the objectives in the beginning of the game. if the AI uses artillery that's where he will use it. 

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You make a fair point, sure, and the AI is never going to be on part with a human player. However, since the game has the option of playing single player on either side, and only some scenarios have the "best played as X" warning, I'd have imagined there was some standard to ensure all the scenarios that are included in the game are at least somewhat playable on both sides unless otherwise stated in their description. And if ASL Veteran above says there is an AI plan to enable its attack in this scenario, I wonder why it seems that it's failing so badly?

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4 minutes ago, wham said:

You make a fair point, sure, and the AI is never going to be on part with a human player. However, since the game has the option of playing single player on either side, and only some scenarios have the "best played as X" warning, I'd have imagined there was some standard to ensure all the scenarios that are included in the game are at least somewhat playable on both sides unless otherwise stated in their description. And if ASL Veteran above says there is an AI plan to enable its attack in this scenario, I wonder why it seems that it's failing so badly?

It is the scenario; I just played a meeting scenario it was boring. If you like a battle as defender play 'CW Seven Winds' in Battle for Normandy that one is not too bad. The AI doesn't use the allied artillery assets properly and as German defender it is very winnable. The key to win it as allied attacker is by placing your TRP's and have a creeping barrage onto your objectives. The AI just can't do it.  

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If that really is the state of the AI, even with a plan provided for it by the scenario designer, then I kind of feel cheated here. I'll do some more research in Final Blitzkrieg and Black Sea, as those are the only CMx2 games I own, and see what I come up with.

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6 minutes ago, wham said:

If that really is the state of the AI, even with a plan provided for it by the scenario designer, then I kind of feel cheated here. I'll do some more research in Final Blitzkrieg and Black Sea, as those are the only CMx2 games I own, and see what I come up with.

Sorry to hear you're disappointed but AI means Artificial Intelligence I must add very artificial. As defender not very hard to beat. I think as attacker this scenario may have one Battle Plan and the editor just gives you 5 plans for either side. Shock Force 2 gives the editor 16 plans for both sides to play with. If you as defender don't give the AI a trigger it won't move. I had one game that I took my objectives organized a defending position and waited and waited. Pressed the cease fire the game gave me a Major Victory and I saw the German troops in position to ambush me. It was the editor, no plan to take the objectives back. Playing as attacker will give you fun. Defending is the same principle you have standing or listening patrols and counterattack units. Therefore attacking is good practice for defense. 

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3 hours ago, wham said:

If nobody else is having similar issues, I can only wonder what might be causing this to occur for me?

I haven't noticed this before but actually had this happen to me yesterday and today but in a quick battle.

When I had the same happen to me I decided to prepare that quick battle in author mode, or what it's called, just to check on the behaviour of the attacker.

The strange thing is that a few times I've prepared a quick battle on this map, the attacker starts moving his troops but most of the times I've prepared this quick battle the attacker doesn't move at all.

Maybe @wham, as he was the one who started this thread, should report this as a bug?

Edited by BornGinger
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Here is another theory it may depend what you do as German defender which triggers an allied battle plan. Play first as attacker and observe what the AI does as the German defender. The game recommends starting cautiously.

Drive-them-Out.jpg

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I've decided to run a test on all the attack/defend maps in the games to see if they all produce a similar result if the defender is just passively sitting in place and shooting on sight. Will take me a bit of time, but I'll report back and, as BornGinger suggests, report the issue as a bug if it seems to be one after this testing.

As for the scenario, I don't think I can start any more cautiously as the defender than sitting in place and waiting for the Americans to come up to me. If anything, I'd expect the AI to attack more eagerly if it doesn't see any defenders even as it moves up, though maybe this is a misconception on my part?

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4 minutes ago, wham said:

I've decided to run a test on all the attack/defend maps in the games to see if they all produce a similar result if the defender is just passively sitting in place and shooting on sight. Will take me a bit of time, but I'll report back and, as BornGinger suggests, report the issue as a bug if it seems to be one after this testing.

As for the scenario, I don't think I can start any more cautiously as the defender than sitting in place and waiting for the Americans to come up to me. If anything, I'd expect the AI to attack more eagerly if it doesn't see any defenders even as it moves up, though maybe this is a misconception on my part?

As an American attacker you must expect to come under fire of the Germans it says so in, the scenario briefing. As defender you may be expected to be aggressive. I opened this briefing as the US attacker. I can expect to come under fire in the first minute which may very well be the trigger. You can test this out by trying.

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It says the same thing in the scenario notes for the Germans. Depending on how the Americans move, they can come under MG fire from the Germans during turn 1, even if the Germans don't move. That warning is visible on the image on your previous post, too.

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2 hours ago, wham said:

If that really is the state of the AI, even with a plan provided for it by the scenario designer, then I kind of feel cheated here.

That scenario is one of those we get with the game, right? The scenarios we get with the game usually have plans for both sides. If a scenario is for one side only it is clearly mentioned when you are about to pick a scenario to play.

 Custom made scenarios more often are to be played for one side only.

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I have not downloaded any extra scenarios. I am only testing the ones by Battlefront, that are provided with the game. So far I've tested 7 maps and only on 3 of them the AI was able to attack effectively.

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It has been a known fact for many years that the AI is incapable of conducting a good attack. The current tools in the editor does not allow for such an attack to be designed.

The number of AI attacking scenarios that have been designed in the last couple of years are very few...and the number of GOOD AI attacking scenarios are even fewer.

A very small group of the most experienced and skilled designers might be able to design a decent AI attack scenario...but it is indeed very, very difficult to do right now...

Atleast if you want the defending player to command anything larger then a platoon...

If the defending player commands a company...then the AI would need to attack with a reinforced battalion. Something that it is completally incapable of commanding in anything that recembles a good way.

The quality and limitations of the AI is a discussion that has been ongoing for many years. Strangely quite a few of the members on this forum refuse to admit that the AI is lacking and don't seem to care about the fact that the current option for a human player is to play as the attacker...only !

If he wants a good fight...

I find this kind of strange...we are currently only playing 'half' a game....As the attacker.

Vs the AI the option to play as the defender does almost not exist.

As a defender the AI can be  a challange for sure and usually performs fairly well but on the attack....NO, NO, NO 

The claim made by a few that the AI actually does fairly well if left on its own (not scripted) is utterly ridicculus...to name a few shortcommings...

On its own...

- it does not use smoke (mid, late game)

- its indirect support is often badely timed and at times even badely targeted.

- It makes poor use of special weapons such ad flamethrowers, panzerschrecks and snipers.

- it will never area fire (with direct fire weapons) on likely enemy possitions.

- it very rarely possitions...and repossitions its base of fire supporting weapons in good possitions. They kind of just tag along.

- the AI overall situational awareness is very limited as is its understanding of the terrain.

- it does not reinforce succes or abandones failure.

- limited vehicle - infantry cooperation.

- it has no understanding of dangerareas but often sigg, saggs its way forward in and out of cover.

A brunch of members here are advocating for improved scriptingtools...to be able to help the AI to perform better...but others do not agree...

Different people wants different things I guess...but as some are suggesting...that we should aim for less micromanaging (scripting) is not very realistic imo...

Not with the current gameengine...and since v.5 of this engine has just been annonced i doubt we will see CM3 for atleast a few years yet.

A more selfcontrolling AI might possibly be a thing with CM3...maybe.

But lets first work with what we have got...that is CM2...

Improved scripting seems far more realistic to me atleast...hopefully we will get some with v.5.

Playing as the defender is...fun afterall. If faced by a decent advisary.

Even if that is not a human.

 

 

 

Edited by RepsolCBR
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