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Importance of Victory Flags to Tac-AI ?


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This is related to a post I made a few days ago about the reluctance of the Tac-AI to send its tanks across a heavy bridge, even if that route was the only way across a river [see "AI Tanks and Scary Bridges (Revisited) elsewhere in this forum for a more detailed explanation]. I decided to replace the bridge with a one-tile-wide paved road that crossed the river, essentially creating a causeway. The AI-controlled Russian tanks still stopped on the Russian side of the causeway, while the Russian infantry moved out along the causeway. I then placed a victory flag on the middle of the causeway to try and lure the AI-controlled tanks onto the causeway. This worked, but the tanks still stopped as soon as the victory flag was Russian-controlled, regardless of whether it was a tank or infantry that did the controlling. I did not have time to experiment further, but this AI behavior made me wonder:

Does it make any difference to the AI if the victory flag is a small one or a large one? That is, will the AI behave differently in each case? Will the AI stop once it's controlled a small victory flag, even if there's a large one also on the map which is not under the AI's control? Will the AI be more aggressive if the victory flags are under enemy (i.e., my) control rather than being controlled by neither side (neutral gray with question mark)?

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*bump* and an update:

Last night, I decided to place a small victory flag on the German side of the causeway, and a major victory flag on the German edge of the map, (where the paved road exited, to simulate a rapid Russian advance into the German rear areas). The Tac-AI advanced some infantry squads across the causeway, with several tanks (2 T-34/85's of veteran status and a SU-85 of regular status) following closely. Despite HMG and arty fire, several squads made it to the German side of the river, along with both T-34's (the SU-85 having been immobilized by an arty shell, then abandoned). These units captured the minor victory flag, but then the infantry squads got pinned down in house-to-house fighting in a small clump of shacks along the road. Both T-34's went on ahead into the open floodplain - and then just milled around, presenting no supporting fire for the pinned infantry (no clear LOS was present), and not advancing on to the major victory flag, which was some 400m away. Eventually both T-34's were taken out by a Puppchen hidden in some scattered woods 300m away. A reinforcing platoon of T-34/85's that arrived on the scene were likewise destroyed, both by the Puppchen and a Panzerschreck team, while they drove around aimlessly near the minor victory flag. The game then ended.

Obviously, I'll need to skew the game balance more towards the Russians if I'm to play a satisfactory game against the Tac-AI. The entire time the victory points were in favor of the Germans, but if the Russians had captured the major victory flag, they could've won the game or at least forced a draw.

Anyone have any insights on how to make the Tac-AI realize the difference between a minor victory flag and a major flag, and to go for the real deal? Would bumping the tanks' or infantry's experience to Crack or Elite make the AI more aggressive in advancing on the major victory flag, or would placing lots of cover along the entire route serve as a hand-holding method of encouraging the AI to move out?

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One of the biggest issues I've spotted with the AI is its failure to deploy support units adequately. It doesn't use maching guns, mortars, or AT/infantry guns at all well, preferring to faff around and march them 100m across open terrain than let them sit tight and target the enemy.

Flags are critical to making the AI attack in a particular direction. The larger the flag, the keener the AI is to attack in that direction. You can quite handily use water, bridges and flags to easily direct an AI attack.

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