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Pathfinding: me or TacAI

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If I want to move a vehicle along a winding road*, should I plot waypoints along the road or should I just specify end-point ant let the (Tac)AI do the path finding?

Does it matter if the road is bounded by impassable or semi-passable terrain?

ISTR that the TacAI pathfinding sends my vehicles through scattered trees when there is open ground available – does it know about roads?

* or through terrain of varying impassability .....

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Originally posted by Rankorian:

Waypoints, unfortunately. And it takes a bit of practice to get optimal results from the TAC-AI even then.

Related question; it seems to me that more waypoints actually slow vehicles down when moving on roads, or is this just my imagination. Say you have an 'S' curve. In my experience the vehicle moves faster with just 4 waypoint to get through the 'S' curve, as opposed to say, using 8 points. It seems the vehicle slows down to reorient itself for each waypoint so it hits them exactly. With 4 points the vehicle may spend part of the movement on the fringes of the road, or even slightly off road, but they seem to move faster.

Is it just me?

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It's not just you .... it seems to me that the units assiduously follow waypoints and rotations, and seem to ‘stop - rotate – go’ rather than just 'turning the corner'. I think the TacAI just takes the corner .... if it's worked out it can go round the rocky patch rather than through it ....

I did read elsewhere (can't recall where - probably from Poor Old Spike) that tracked vehicles certainly benefit from smoother plotted turns - IOW don't do a single right angle turn, do two 45˚s, or three 30˚s with short legs between. That certainly works for me in practice.

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If you are having trouble manuevering a vehicle around vehicle impassable terrain i.e; woods and rough. Plot your directions unless you are that strapped for time. If the poor old TacAI does it itself it may do several moves and the turning and weaving of unnecessary moves will take up a lot of time.

What helps to keep the TacAI from replotting moves due to slightly off direction, ( Maybe you placed a command line too close to woods or something ) is to go to ground level and take a look for yourself. Or just use the LOS tool and run the LOS line along your command line. If the LOS says woods/rough/other impassible terrain just slightly reposition your command line. Hope this helps. smile.gif



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Always plot your own moves. The only two exceptions I can think of would be either a)when the command delay is appalling - especially with early war out of command Soviet armour

or B) if the winding road is surrounded by impassable terrain so the TacAI has no choice but to carry along the road from one waypoint to another

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It still taking me a bit to get the hang of the waypoints because even the speed of the vehicle can affect optimal way-points.

"Fast" seems not always to be the fastest way to get through "s" curves, because (in CMBB/CMAK at least) if the vehicle is moving rapidly it may very well swing off the road--tnen try pivot and go back to the waypoint. Leaving you at the end of the turn with trying to figure out if it is better to replot and take the command delay, or let the TAC-AI figure it out.

This occured with me on one CMAK scenario (Crete/airdrop on AA guns/Allied) where two Matildas I received late in the scenario almost were never in the battle because I goofed an "S" curve. In retrospect (though I did not test it), I probably should have done "fast" on the initial straight stretch, then "down-shifted" to "move" through the turns. (Also, keeping distance between the two tanks, so the second tank would not replot its waypoints when it bumped into the lead tank)

Reminds me why I tend to like mostly-infantry battles........

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