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How smart is the AI??


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The AI isn't capable of using tanks in formation, same for using proper infantry tactics.

When defending against the AI (which isn't much fun anyway) you'll often see the AI leading it's assaults with HQ units, or arty FOs charging your lines...

The AI does a pretty good job in defending but don't expect too much when it is attacking.

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Unfortunately, the very weak operational AI of CMBO remains in CMBB. It more or less just sends all its units in a big jumble right towards the major flags. I doesn't maneuver or coordinate units intelligently, be they infantry or armor (armor in particular), doesn't take decent (any?) advantage of overwatch/supporting fire, makes units casually walk towards the flags instead of running when getting there first could provide a big advantage, etc. Hopefully the next CM will put more emphasis on the AI.

[ October 31, 2002, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Stacheldraht ]

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I think a better help would be to improve the editor. Some kind of scripting would really help, as well as 'triggered events', the kind of 'reinforcement 2 will not appear before VL xy is taken'. I guess that's something for the engine rewrite.

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Originally posted by Stacheldraht:

Unfortunately, the very weak operational AI of CMBO remains in CMBB. It more or less just sends all its units in a big jumble right towards the major flags. I doesn't maneuver or coordinate units intelligently, be they infantry or armor (armor in particular), doesn't take decent (any?) advantage of overwatch/supporting fire, makes units casually walk towards the flags instead of running when getting their first could provide a big advantage, etc. Hopefully the next CM will put more emphasis on the AI.

The best brief description I've yet seen of the AI as attacker. Though the AI defends better than it attacks, it sometimes loses a substantial part of its force in hapless, piecemeal counterattacks when it would do better to hunker down in cover and shoot at your incoming forces.
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Supposedly for CMBB they did some minor tweaks to improve AI unit coordination...to reduce it's spotter and HQ rushes, use some overwatch, etc. I wonder if it now sets up such that C-and-C is valued; all too often HQ's and squads (plus support weapons) are seen to be scattered during my test runs in viewing AI set-up w/ the FOW off.

Personally I've seen the AI do lots of Armor overwatch (even in CMBO), but that doesn't matter much when this overwatching is occuring 500m ahead of its infantry "support," and you might only see 1 Hetzer w/ its flanks exposed "overwatching" for 3 King Tigers and 1 Jpz V.

The AI *is* kinda smart- it just has a *lousy* memory!

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Originally posted by CombinedArms:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Stacheldraht:

Unfortunately, the very weak operational AI of CMBO remains in CMBB. It more or less just sends all its units in a big jumble right towards the major flags. I doesn't maneuver or coordinate units intelligently, be they infantry or armor (armor in particular), doesn't take decent (any?) advantage of overwatch/supporting fire, makes units casually walk towards the flags instead of running when getting their first could provide a big advantage, etc. Hopefully the next CM will put more emphasis on the AI.

The best brief description I've yet seen of the AI as attacker. Though the AI defends better than it attacks, it sometimes loses a substantial part of its force in hapless, piecemeal counterattacks when it would do better to hunker down in cover and shoot at your incoming forces.</font>
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The attacking AI in CMBB is not as inept as it is in CMBO.

If you pay attention, the CMBB AI uses tanks (and all AFVs?) in bounding overwatch. Try it, only half the tanks will move at a given time. Additionally, the AFVs do not tend to outstrip their infantry support any more. And finally, spotters, mortars and HQs don't lead the attacks much.

Pay attention man, the changes are there! ;)

Those things said, yes the AI tends to funnel through one particular area on attack. That being the case, identifying the one avenue of attack it will use (at least unless it gets fed up and chooses a new one) will pretty much win you the game without much effort.

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Originally posted by Cameroon:

That being the case, identifying the one avenue of attack it will use (at least unless it gets fed up and chooses a new one) will pretty much win you the game without much effort.

Not too difficult.

Look at your VLs. Watch out for patches of trees/woods leading towards the VLs.

Target arty on the woods.

Wait...

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The consensus is that the AI lacks a whole heck of alot. But there are ways to improve the AI's chances at putting up a fight.

(This is for playing a quick batle, operation etc. against the AI. I dont intended to elaborate on how to improve how that AI acts when you are desgining a level.)

1. You can give the AI an experience bonus. This will increase the quality of his troops. This doesn't help it choose the right path, or make it travel in formations and such, but whatever, it helps it a bit.

2. You can give the AI extra troops. Depending on the level, sometimes 50% extra troops will give the AI a fighting chance. Try it. The AI will swarm in one giant blob of men and materials, like it always does, but there will be more!!! Heh, heh.

3. What I find is that most of the AI's casualties are caused by attritional arty. Like, when the AI is forming up in that patch of woods. SO what do you do?? Natch! You bomb the patch to hell! AI's attack is broken up, tanks stripped of support.. AI loses again. SO, may I suggest that you either not use heavy arty against the AI, or at least limit your usage. Purchase smaller arty to suppress, not to kill. THis will help. Trust me! :cool:

You would be surprised how successful the AI can be when it has a troop % bonus, troops experience bonus, and arty is not causing too much trouble.

Anyways, thats my 2 Canadian cents.... So it's only really my 1.3 cents... :D

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Originally posted by Prof.Nutbutter:

The consensus is that the AI lacks a whole heck of alot. But there are ways to improve the AI's chances at putting up a fight.

I think the point is not to improve the Artificial Incompetence's chances by giving it more troops to waste.

The Ai drives 10 tanks on a coverless hill in the middle of the map. All get knocked out in 3 turns. Give it 20 tanks instead. All get knocked out in 5 turns. Does that make it more fun to play vs. the AI?

Use the AI for learning the game, then go play vs. humans.

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Like redwolf will probably be along in a moment to say, if you add more % of AI troops, it only hurts the AI's score when you kill them in droves. Extra exp. levels are the way to go.

Question: I know that when you add exp.levels in a Scenario, it just adds Exp. to the *existing* troops, without changing the OOB. When I do this in QB's where I buy the AI's troops (in CMBO) you "pay" for the exp.upgrade, thus resulting in less overall troops, just a higher level. So the troops still say "regular" in the game when they are "really" veterans, but do they only count as Regulars for victory points? How does that work in CMBB?

The problem w/ adding exp.levels to the AI is that if they still get charged "full price" in Victory pts, well, Veteran tanks are still going to outstrip their inf.support to some degree.

As far as suggestions for play balance- I highly recommend buying your own troops and giving yourself *no off-map arty/no spotters*. It really makes you get mileage out of on-map mortars, SPG and such. I used to do that w/ CMBO, but w/ CMBB it may be really tough to do that and win.

Even w/ their big pre-barrages, no offmap arty doesn't sound out of line for Soviet SOP, since I've heard that they used lots of towed field guns in direct fire, as well as SPG. Maybe just get one or two 82mm rocket spotters for a battle where you'd normally be launching 132/152+ mm.

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Before I get beaten to death by the stats grogs let me say I have no firm data to back this up. However ....

Even on the defence in a human designed scenario the AI seems to have a major failing - it wants to counter-attack.

This behaviour may have been present in CMBO but I played so little of that game against the AI I couldn't say. That said, I have been tying diligently to follow Zarquon (still got your towel)'s advice and am using the AI to try and learn the new game.

As I am practising for the PBEMs that lie beyond, I normally play only the Soviets on the attack and have observed that once one obtains possession of one victory location the AI will cheerfully and immediately abandon the carefully prepared and cunningly sited positions given to it by the scenario designer in a manic attempt to regain the "Lost Flag".

This behaviour was really brought home to me in my many playings of the scenario "Cracking The Egg". Leaving aside the issue of the German armour, I noticed every time that as soon as I took the nearest flag German infantry, that had until then been unseen, and in some cases unsuspected, left their holes and rushed in full sight of my chaps towards their lost flag. This wanton abandonment of the advantages of their hidden status enables me to slaughter them wholesale. No human opponent that I have ever met would contemplate such a counter-attack.

I would suggest that although the AI is better on defence than attack it does have a critical weakness which can be exploited..

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"I think a better help would be to improve the editor. Some kind of scripting would really help, as well as 'triggered events"

There are things that can be done with the editor

to provide a "quick" band aid. How about designer selected waypoints that guild the attacking AI? If my memory is right this was done in Norm Koger's engine. How about letting the designer select the aggressiveness of formations? This may lead to better timed attacks. I would think you could program the ability to set a units formation - line, column etc. This is done in Panzer Elite. Having HQs leading an attack I guess could be hard coded out of the engine.

But nothing will replace playing another person

until advanced AI technology filters down to $50 software. There are many more factors in CM than

in chess at which AI does very well these days. Someone out there probably works in the field of AI and can add more to this discussion.

Kevin

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Originally posted by Cameroon:

Yes, the computer does seem to like to make immediate and ill-advised counter-attacks while on the defense.

I'll wait for the 1.01 patch before asking if there is anything to be done smile.gif

I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but Madmatt's 1.01 list does not mention any fixes to general AI behavior such as defending troops now NOT making suicidal counter-attacks.
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Originally posted by Kevin Kinscherff:

But nothing will replace playing another person

until advanced AI technology filters down to $50 software.

Or any software for that matter, Artificial "Intelligence" has one big, major, unassailable flaw. It can't recognise what it doesn't know.

The key to "advanced" AI is two-fold, "intelligent" pathfinding that allows the AI to analyse a situation without having to compute all the options (sidenote: BigBlue was fed all info about every chess game Kasparov has ever played from his 12th year on :eek: ) and two "intelligent" structuring so the AI knows what it's looking for..

Take the counterattacks for example, the AI can't actually analyse the situation and is thus forced to rely on a generic way of operating (unless you can preprogram all situations..).

I hope that that was in any way clear, probably not so I'll try to come up with a betetr description tommorow ;)

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Originally posted by StellarRat:

I still think that BFC should give us an API that lets you see what your units see and manuever/fire your units (all within the framework of the rules of course) that way anyone could try writing their own custom AI if they wanted.

To make this really work, they'd have to give you much more info about the program than they probably want to. Not that I wouldn't like an CM-OS (Open Source) version, but can you imagine BTS make a living from hotline support only?
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Most of the time the AI is poor. But i had a scenario where there was a platoon of russ. Inf testing ahead then followed by a pack of T-34s to gather my attention while another flock actually flanked my position (out of LOS) of AT-guns and 2 Stugs. The flanking T-34s popped out of the fog (Normal fog = 250 m LOS) at full speed while another flock raced at full speed to flank my other side (man they can be fast), couldn't believe what i saw all in two rounds ! Needless to say that my Stugs and AT-guns were wiped out. I created the scenario myself and have no explanation for this, all the T-34s (around 10)spawned at the same place.

Maybe a 1 in 1000 incident ?

smile.gif

Greets

Daniel

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posted October 31, 2002 08:39 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Kevin Kinscherff:

But nothing will replace playing another person

until advanced AI technology filters down to $50 software.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Or any software for that matter, Artificial "Intelligence" has one big, major, unassailable flaw. It can't recognise what it doesn't know.

The key to "advanced" AI is two-fold, "intelligent" pathfinding that allows the AI to analyse a situation without having to compute all the options (sidenote: BigBlue was fed all info about every chess game Kasparov has ever played from his 12th year on ) and two "intelligent" structuring so the AI knows what it's looking for..

Take the counterattacks for example, the AI can't actually analyse the situation and is thus forced to rely on a generic way of operating (unless you can preprogram all situations..).

Clear to me. I was just thinking there are probably expensive super computing AI systems

out there that learn as they go. But a pre-programed approuch send more practical. An API

scripting thing is out of the question I think.

But hard coding adherence to some basic tactical rules may address help via pre-programing the AI.

Fuzzy logic is just that. What if designers could apply hard and fast rules to some formations and the current AI to others. Options like this, I think, can be done with the current technology.

- Kevin

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