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Well the AI never bothered to set up their units at all so this was a complete waste of time.

Well maybe not a complete waste... people got a couple screenshots to look at out of it. Too bad they weren't very exciting screenshots. I have tomorrow off from work (freak accident by my leadership I'm sure) and will do a scenario or something. That should get at least a bit better results than this.

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Hi Kieme, I don't think it confirms anything about the AI's capability. The AI in scenarios does fine, but there's something not right going on in QBs.

BigDork, can you check the map that you played in the editor (page didn't load so I couldn't check which map it was)? I believe you'll find the same reason that the AI didn't even setup its units that I found in the "QB Village Attack2".

Namely that at least some, if not all, of the QBs do not have the setup zone painted for the AI to deploy in.

There's two steps to making it so that the AI will set up its units. The first step is the normal map design of painting a Setup area or areas.

The second step, which seems to have been missed, is in the AI Plan setup. The very first step for each AI plan is "Setup" and it also has to be painted onto the map or else the AI won't be able to deploy its forces and they'll just sit where they started, especailly if the AI just has a "inflict causalities" objective. If it has a terrain objective, it will send units to capture them but obviously has to do so after the setup period.

The manual makes mention of this, but maybe it was a last minute change? In any case, the setup/deployment issue should be easily fixed just by painting the setup zones so that the AI can deploy.

The not firing, however, seems like a bug to me. I played a QB on the defense, but neither my troops nor the AI's would fire. Finally the computer did fire, and then everyone started firing but only small arms (at a Stryker ATGM).

I don't know what the problem is, but it seems like the TacAI has a bug with QBs. I'm hopeful that it's something fixed in 1.02 since the AI does work in the scenarios but we'll see this week (in theory).

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Looking at the city attack map in the editor I have a theory as to why things did not work correctly.

From the looks of it the map is set up for the red to be the defender. All of the objectives that need to be reached are inside of the red setup area. By playing as the red side, attacking blue I think it confused the AI plan enough that blue didn't know how to set up.

That's just a theory though.

edit: Ok... so much for my theory. I just tried two QB setups... one US attacking Syria and one Uncons attacking Syria... both resulted in the AIs forces sitting in the same corner. shrug.gif

edit 2: Well I just tried a QB on the town map and at least the Syrians weren't crowded into one corner of the map. Of course the AI just set all their troops up outside buildings where they were easier to kill but that's another problem for a different thread.

[ August 05, 2007, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: BigDork ]

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I took a look at QB City Attack (which is the map I think you were talking about/using BigDork) and the AI plan Red 1 has a setup zone and is set to "Use Frequently" however the Red 2 plan is also set to "Used Frequently" but doesn't have any setup zone.

Sounds like the plan selected each of those times was Red 2, so the troops were stuck where they started.

BF needs to review the AI plans for all the QB maps to make sure that the AI plans are correct. :(

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Well, seems that AI plans are wrong, and this is quite a big miss since there are not so many scenarios and not so many -non random- QB maps... I wonder if they were ever test played.

On the other hand I still think AI is missing.

Take this example: the scenario set in "high altitude" as a meeting engagement, with a little structure complex in the centre and BMPs vs Strykers.

I've played it on Syrian side only, but computer will always behave in the very same way no matter what my forces are doing or where they are.

This means having Strykers coming aside BMPs, moving to get behind the structure even if there's a BMP blocking the way....

So, in this map AI does what it has been told to do, but is this all? I mean, this way some really incredible situations happen one after the other...

Now in this scenario AI at least makes its moves (StratAI set by scenario designer), and AI will also do (not without other flaws) some of its TacAI work (shooting enemies).

TacAI works also during QBs (IF there enemy forces are there), they will shoot you if you get to their corner.

So that I think that there's a problem with StratAI, plan executions and scenario StratAI Planning (missing!)... but I recognize there's a bit more beside this... seems that there's no "medium sized" AI, the one which makes the difference...

In old CM1x it was quite basic, but I still remember computer could ask for an arty attack and could move its forces to attack your positions.. and there was no "stratAI" setting in scenarios designs.

Now it seems all AI work (but TacAI) is on scenario designers' hands. It's a shame QBs are bugged (looks like there was "0" testing on this feature, and this is quite a not good thing..)

and it's a shame it seems to be a problem related first to scenario designers' work... BUT even without such work old QBs worked... and so I'm quite annoyed with this.

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The AI has always been in the scenario designer's hands - in CMx1 titles you had to place the flags. Without them, or if they were laid out poorly, the computer opponent would definitely not work right. The problem here is that it seems easier to miss a step or two as the scenario designer. It would be nice if the editor could do a quick sanity check for those simple things when you saved.

Not that there isn't room for improvement in the AI, but it seems to work pretty well in the campaign. That makes me believe there's a bug that breaks the AI in QBs.

I think a lot of what we're seeing can be summed up like this:

1. QB maps that are missing some critical parts of their AI plans

2. A bug in the QB unit setup that won't put units inside houses

3. A need for TacAI "balancing" (for example, units too unwilling to fire their larger ordnance like ATGs or RPGs)

4. Some LOS/LOF bugs (it's acknowledged that they exist, probably fixed after 1.02). These bugs cause some big problems - last night troops were getting seen and shot through a hill (QB Attack Forest).

5. Some unreasonable "purchases" in QBs (how can it buy only a section of MGs for the Syrian side sometimes?)

I think once those are ironed out, the play will change and improve dramatically.

People comparing the AI in CMSF unfavorably to that in CMBO must be forgetting a lot of the horrid things it would do before. Like if it were attacking and there was a covered route of trees, that is the only place the AI would attack from. If I had artillery, as soon as I caught site of one unit there I could demolish its force.

Last night on the map "QB Assault Forest" (I did tweak the AI plans for both attacker and defender) the AI would often come from two directions at once and pop out from behind trees when I wasn't expecting it. To me that's a large improvement.

I also saw some of the similar weaknesses that showed up in CMx1 where, for instance, the computer would send troops almost in a human wave approach where all the units would go the same way.

I'm not against improving the AI if and where it can be improved, I just think that a lot of what we're seeing (especially in QBs) is a matter of bugs that need squashed rather than specific problems with the AI. smile.gif

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