Skirmish battle query

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Paul59
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:25 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:46 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:47 pm
Here is version 1.5 of my Random Skirmish Mod...
Aargh 1.5 keeps crashing on me mate, these messages keep coming up, something about a 251 halftrack whatever that means..

Image
This shows the value of getting someone else to test things!

Due to brain fade, I had put that missing file in my main build, so the mod was working perfectly on my PC and I had no idea anything was wrong!

I have updated the link in the post above, many thanks for spotting the error!
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:27 am

Okay I can confim that ALL the following units appeared in the new 1.5 in various selection screens and various years when I was the human player..:)-

German- Hs123, Hs129, StukaG, Me262, Ostwind, 251/17, Jagdtiger, Maus and Resupply icon.
Russian- I-15, Sturmovik PTAB, Komsomolets, T48 57mm halftrack, T-35 and Resupply icon.

Of course it's much more difficult to see what the game gives the AI player, but I'll keep a note during play and post what I see.

Below: some human-owned 1.5 planes in action-
Polikarpov I-15
Image

Henschel 123
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Me 262
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:29 am

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:27 am
Okay I can confim that ALL the following units appeared in the new 1.5 in various selection screens and various years when I was the human player..:)-

German- Hs123, Hs129, StukaG, Me262, Ostwind, 251/17, Jagdtiger, Maus and Resupply icon.
Russian- I-15, Sturmovik PTAB, Komsomolets, T48 57mm halftrack, T-35 and Resupply icon.

Of course it's much more difficult to see what the game gives the AI player, but I'll keep a note during play and post what I see.
I have run some tests on the vanilla skirmishes, after making a simple amendment to the scripts to ensure that both sides get ground attack planes. In two scenarios, one an attack and one defence, the AI would not use it's Ground Attack planes. I have seen the AI use Ground Attack planes in the Historical campaigns, Mission 6 of the Bagration campaign for instance, but after checking the files for that mission I found that the Stuka is actually scripted to attack a certain area after turn 11.

So it looks very much like the AI does not use Ground Attack in Skirmishes, even vanilla ones, so I don't think you will see the AI in my mod using it either. It is rather disappointing, but there is not much I can do about it, especially if the developers could not get it to work either, and had to resort to scenario scripts to get them working in the campaigns!
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:49 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:29 am
..So it looks very much like the AI does not use Ground Attack in Skirmishes, even vanilla ones, so I don't think you will see the AI in my mod using it either..
Tell that to the AI Sturmovik PTAB pilot who just attacked me in a 1.5 Skirmish..:)
It was a Meeting, but whether the AI will also bomb us in Symmetrics, Attacks and Defends remains to be seen.

PS- in the same Skirmish battle the AI used your new Komsomolets too.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:23 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:49 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:29 am
..So it looks very much like the AI does not use Ground Attack in Skirmishes, even vanilla ones, so I don't think you will see the AI in my mod using it either..
Tell that to the AI Sturmovik PTAB pilot who just attacked me in a 1.5 Skirmish..:)
It was a Meeting, but whether the AI will also bomb us in Symmetrics, Attacks and Defends remains to be seen.

PS- in the same Skirmish battle the AI used your new Komsomolets too.
Well I am very glad to hear that, maybe it does depend on the Skirmish type, I did not try a Meeting type Skirmish.

I have also just tried to edit the Slith_RandomMap2.bsf file to encourage the AI to use it's Airstrikes. I am not quite sure what the purpose of the scripts in that file are, but they seemed a bit convoluted, so I simplified them and tested a couple of Attack skirmishes, and a defend, both in vanilla BTW. In both the Attack scenarios the AI used it's Airstrike, but just once in each battle. In the Defend scenario (that is with the AI on the attack) the AI did not use it's Airstrike at all.

So, I don't know quite what to make of all this, maybe the AI does use Airstrikes, but only rarely and maybe depending upon the Skirmish type. Maybe, my modded new Slith_RandomMap2.bsf has a beneficial effect in making the AI use it's Airstrikes, or maybe I just got lucky in the few battles I tested?

Keep looking out for these AI Airstrikes mate, and let me know if any appear, and in what type of scenario it happens.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:07 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:23 pm
..So, I don't know quite what to make of all this..
It'd help us if the devs popped into this thread to enlighten us now and again, I know Pip does sometimes, but Andrew Gardner never does!
I presume the game is selling fairly well and if the devs talked to us to show prospective buyers that they still support it, it'd generate more sales and cash for their piggy bank..:)
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:26 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:23 pm
Keep looking out for these AI Airstrikes mate, and let me know if any appear, and in what type of scenario it happens.
Okay here's an AI (repeat AI) Sturmovik clobbering one of my Hetzers in 1.5 today.
It was a Human=German Defend Skirmish in April 1945, the Russian AI was the attacker and the computer gave him a bunch of T-34/85's, a couple of SU-152's, and several infantry and 2 Komsomolets plus that Sturmovik, and he also had an AI Yak-9 which kept buzzing around.
I had an air bonus icon too, a Me-109 fighter.
Conclusion- the computer does give the AI (and the human player) bombers and fighters in 1.5 Skirmishes..:)

Image
Last edited by PoorOldSpike on Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:41 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:26 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:23 pm
Keep looking out for these AI Airstrikes mate, and let me know if any appear, and in what type of scenario it happens.
Okay here's an AI (repeat AI) Sturmovik clobbering one of my Hetzers in 1.5 today.
It was a Human=German Defend Skirmish in April 1945, the Russian AI was the attacker and the computer gave him a bunch of T-34/85's, a couple of SU-152's, and several infantry and 2 Komsomolets plus that Sturmovik, and he also had an AI Yak-9 which kept buzzing around.
I had an air bonus icon too, a Me-109 fighter.
Conclusion- the computer does give the AI (and the human player) bombers and fighters in 1.5..:)

Image
The AI's use of fighters is not in question, it does it all the time. How many times was the Sturmovik used though? Was it just the once, or many times?
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:50 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:41 pm
..How many times was the Sturmovik used though? Was it just the once, or many times?
Just the once.
Also, the AI PTAB version only made one attack in a game I played yesterday.
The games were around 20 turns length.
But the important thing is that they did appear in the battles, even if only once..:)
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:50 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:50 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:41 pm
..How many times was the Sturmovik used though? Was it just the once, or many times?
Just the once.
Also, the AI PTAB version only made one attack in a game I played yesterday.
The games were around 20 turns length.
But the important thing is that they did appear in the battles, even if only once..:)
Thanks mate,

Yes, once is much better than never, which I was fearing was the case. I still have not seen the AI airstrikes used at all, apart from those two battles that I used a modded Slith_RandomMap2.bsf in. I don't want to add that to the mod, because I am not really sure what the effects of it will be. The fewer modded scripts the better I say. So it is excellent that you have seen the airstrikes.

BTW, I have noticed that two of the modded units that I added; the Flak 30 and the Sdkfz 251-17, have very inconsistent stats. They have the same gun as the vanilla Sdkfz 10-4 SP AA gun, a 20mm Flak gun, so they should have the same attack values, but they don't. They don't even have the AA fire capability! So I will fix that for the next version. I will also make sure that I check the stats of all the modded units that I took from other scenarios.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:06 am

Paul59 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:50 pm
I still have not seen the AI airstrikes used at all..
I have..:)
I just played a 1.5 skirmish in June 1941 as the German Defender, and the Russian AI tried to bomb me with this I-15 (red circle) but it flew across the frame without bombing, and the message "Driven off" came up, presumably by my Me-109 on its tail (blue circle), and I never saw the I-15 again haha.

Apart from the Me-109 I was also given a Stuka which I made several bombing attacks with, but the AI had a MiG and it shot my Stuka down later.
At certain points in the game my Me-109 flew across the screen and the message came up- "You have air superiority", and at other times the AI MiG flew across and the message "Enemy has air superiority" came up.
In other battles, standard BA2 planes sometimes appear too, so air operations seem to be working fine for the human and the AI in 1.5..:)

To recap, your new AI Sturmovik PTAB attacked me yesterday, and the AI I-15 tried to attack me today, both are new additions to your mod so congrats on that.
I'll start playing some battles as the Human Russian tomorrow and will let you know if any of your new German AI planes attack me (Hs123, Hs129, Stuka G, Me262), and I'll also note which of your new ground units appear in the AI forces.

PS- Hey I just remembered I had your new Flak 30 gun in the battle (in that emplacement towards bottom left) but it never fired throughout the game, perhaps it was historically pressed into use as an AT gun (it only fires AP, not HE) so yes you're right to want to examine its stats..:)

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:25 am

I actually got an AI airstrike last night, right at the end of the battle, it took me completely by surprise, so I did not identify if it was a regular Sturmovik or a PTAB. Unfortunately, my Sdkfz 251-17 got knocked out a few turns before, so I did not find out if it's AA capability had been restored by my changes to it's stats.

I then took another look at the scripts, and I have found two big restrictions on the AIs use of air strikes. Firstly, there is a script that prevents an AI airstrike if it has no line of sight to the target. The notes say that is to prevent accusations of AI cheating! Then the second script stops the AI using an airstrike if an AI unit is within 5(?) Tiles of the target. With those two restrictions it is perhaps no wonder that the AI normally only uses a maximum of one air strike per battle!

I will experiment with some edits to those scripts, or get rid of them all together and see what difference it makes.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:28 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:25 am
I actually got an AI airstrike last night, right at the end of the battle, it took me completely by surprise, so I did not identify if it was a regular Sturmovik or a PTAB. Unfortunately, my Sdkfz 251-17 got knocked out a few turns before, so I did not find out if it's AA capability had been restored by my changes to it's stats.

I then took another look at the scripts, and I have found two big restrictions on the AIs use of air strikes. Firstly, there is a script that prevents an AI airstrike if it has no line of sight to the target. The notes say that is to prevent accusations of AI cheating! Then the second script stops the AI using an airstrike if an AI unit is within 5(?) Tiles of the target. With those two restrictions it is perhaps no wonder that the AI normally only uses a maximum of one air strike per battle!

I will experiment with some edits to those scripts, or get rid of them all together and see what difference it makes.
Very strangely, after three tests of small scenarios where I have either modified these restrictions or deleted them altogether, it has made no difference at all. I did not get a single AI airstrike, even though I made another temporary edit to guarantee that they had an airstrike plane.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:52 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:25 am
Firstly, there is a script that prevents an AI airstrike if it has no line of sight to the target. The notes say that is to prevent accusations of AI cheating! Then the second script stops the AI using an airstrike if an AI unit is within 5(?) Tiles of the target. With those two restrictions it is perhaps no wonder that the AI normally only uses a maximum of one air strike per battle!
Interestingly the AI is certainly not shy of using mortar/arty bombardments against my units with devastating effect even though it has no LOS to them because they might be deep in thick forests for example, but from what you say the AI planes are far more reticent to bomb "blind" as the scripts reveal.
Personally I bomb "blind" against suspected unseen enemy positions all the time all over the map, but now I feel sorry for the AI so I think I'll introduce a "house rule" to bring my own air operations into line with the AI in the interests of fair play, namely by only bombing visible spotted enemy units that are at least 6 tiles away from any of my units..:)

PS- More news from 1.5 gameplay- your new little Pz 1 appeared in the AI's forces during a Skirmish yesterday.
Incidentally two vanilla AI 88 Flaks appeared in another Skirmish yesterday and both opened up on my I-15 bomber and shot it down.
They also gave my tanks a very hard time (I lost the game) confirming that AI 88 Flaks will target planes AND ground units on their own initiative, making them very dangerous dual-purpose units. (I had no arty to clobber them so my tanks had to try to take them out face-to-face and failed bigtime)
Last edited by PoorOldSpike on Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:00 pm

For the first time I received two AI airstrikes against me (I-15s), this was in an Attack Skirmish. I have given up with trying to increase the frequency of the airstrikes by editing the scripts, so this was with the same scripts as in the 1.5 Skirmish mod.

What might be significant: I was playing on a wilderness map with the Openness set to 99%, therefore the AI had lots of opportunity to keep my units in LOS.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:03 pm

In another Wilderness Skirmish with the "Openness" set to 99% I have just seen 4 AI Airstrikes! That must be the record.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:34 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:03 pm
In another Wilderness Skirmish with the "Openness" set to 99% I have just seen 4 AI Airstrikes! That must be the record.
Haha, yes I've been experimenting with very open 1.5 Skirmish wildernesses too, to try to reproduce an open "Steppe" map..:)
Problem is, even with the Fortification setting at 100% there's usually not enough cover for the defending infantry on the almost-bare battlefield (below).
Incidentally is there any reason why you uses 99% and not 100%, does the game engine prefer 99% in the various settings or what?

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:42 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:34 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:03 pm
In another Wilderness Skirmish with the "Openness" set to 99% I have just seen 4 AI Airstrikes! That must be the record.
Haha, yes I've been experimenting with very open 1.5 Skirmish wildernesses too, to try to reproduce an open "Steppe" map..:)
Problem is, even with the Fortification setting at 100% there's usually not enough cover for the defending infantry on the almost-bare battlefield (below).
Incidentally is there any reason why you uses 99% and not 100%, does the game engine prefer 99% in the various settings or what?

Image
Not really, I was just experimenting with the level to see what the differences are, and before you ask, I don't really have any conclusions yet! It all seems very mysterious and bizarre, like most things with the Skirmish mode! 100% Open still gives a large patch of Forest!

One bit of good news, I think I have finally made a useful edit to the scripts to allow more AI Airstrikes. I have relaxed the script which won't allow an AI airstrike if it is within 5 tiles of an AI unit. I actually reduced it to 1, and in the last test battle with 50% Open Wilderness I got 5 AI airstrikes against me! Happy days!
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:46 pm

The Mod now has it's own thread:

viewtopic.php?f=312&p=817400#p817400
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