Sea of units

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Eraser
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Sea of units

Post by Eraser » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:10 pm

The screenshot below is Ardennes on General difficulty, end of mission. I've just captured the last objective near the top of the screen, losing the Decisive Victory by a single turn (the limit was turn 12).

Take a look at the amount of enemy units on the screen! I had scouted this area with airplanes a few turns before and found it nearly empty. The objective was defended only by 1 infantry, 1 artillery and 1 AT gun. Seemed like an easy Decisive Victory.

However, in the last 3 turns or so, the AI surrounded the objective completely with AA and AT guns and, in addition to that, bought more than 20 of those M5 vehicles (there's 17 of them on screen, plus a couple off screen and a few already destroyed). That's over 25 units purchased in only about 3 turns.

I've seen this before, but never this bad. The AI always seems to buy a lot of units right when it's about to lose. Seems to be hardwired behavior, a kind of desperate last stand.

I know the computer is playing by the rules. It had the prestige and spent it. But it sure feels like you're being cheated when you lose a DV because the AI decided to drown you in a sea of cheap units.

Should some kind of limit be implemented, maybe cap AI prestige? How about limiting unit purchases so that each player is only allowed to buy 3 units each turn?

Image

monkspider
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Post by monkspider » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:53 pm

Holy cow! That is insane! I think there are some scripting anomalies in the Ardennes scenario that seem to be especially esoteric. I saw someone else post about them once, it sounds like you might have done things in such a way that it triggered the AI getting an insane amount of prestige all at once.

MartyWard
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Post by MartyWard » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:56 pm

Aren't there triggers that give the AI additional prestiege when you approach or capture certain hexes? Maybe you triggered a bunch at one time based on how you advanced.

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:02 pm

There's two situations in the Ardennes scenario that will grant the AI 4700 prestige each - all at once.
You can buy a few units with that...

The game could really benefit from staging zones (if you buy reinforcements, you have to place them there) and limits on what can be bought in a single turn.
In a Stalingrad scenario, you could theoretically buy loads of King Tigers as the german player and place them right in the cauldron.
Of course, you wouldn't be given the prestige to do so by the scenario designer, but the point stands.
Ever since PGForever, I always found it incredibly annoying at times that the AI can buy so many throwaway units and place them right in your face.
Usually, this only encompasses AT/AA/ART and Inf, because tanks and planes are so expensive, but it's sometimes very annoying to me. Others player don't seem to mind it, though...

Also, this example shows the AI places too little emphasis on higher-tier units. It should buy some beefy stuff with 4000 prestige, not hordes of units that will slow you down, but will eventually be unable to cope with your forces in any way.

$0.02 cent and all.
_____
rezaf

MartyWard
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Post by MartyWard » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:15 pm

If not staging zones then the AI should look at what it can see is opposing it and buy untis that can at least do some damage. Against KT, JP and Tiger those tanks it bought won't do anything but catch shells.

El_Condoro
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Post by El_Condoro » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:35 pm

Staging zones or supply hexes (PG2) are sorely needed in the editor IMO. I have posted a request for them there. In my scenarios I resort to making sure the city/town hexes have entrenchment type under them so they look like cities but can't be used to place new units. Its not ideal but it's better than being able to spawn new units in locations possibly even behind enemy lines.

Kerensky
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Post by Kerensky » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:58 pm

Haha wow, that is quite a flood of units there!

Just so you know, this sort of issue has been addressed in future content. Because the current scenarios were designed to be jacks-of-all trades (Campaign maps, player VS AI scenario , player vs player scenario) there are a few holes in them, as you have found here. :)

With more robust AI triggering and configuration, as we have done for the new DLC campaigns just announced, this sort of surprise issue should be resolved.

impar
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Post by impar » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:33 am

The image description says: "Pattons 3rd US Army arrives for a pic-nic in the Ardennes."

Shrike
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Post by Shrike » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:10 pm

You know, you could also leave this behaviour in, but provide the Germans with tactical nukes :P

Molve
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Post by Molve » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:31 pm

This situation is because of two things in combination:
1) a sudden influx of AI prestige
2) the AIs rather strange building priorities.

If the AI has only a couple of hundred prestige points, then it usually does okay; reinforcing wounded units and buying one new "best unit" (usually a tank).

But give it a big amount of prestige all at once, and it goes haywire: it could buy and surround a victory hex with five AA units and one artillery.

There clearly are cases when the AI can't cope, and spends everything on useless units like recon.

Another case would be Hylan Valley, where the AI buys only Comets when on the attack (okay, I guess), but where it for some unfathomable reason decides that for the defending Germans the best bet is to swamp its lines with PzIVD's (!!)

I do not expect this issue to be fully solved until a core engine patch focussed on AI improvements is issued. Meaning "the scenario designer can't cover for the game engine AI deficiences".

MartyWard
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Post by MartyWard » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:39 pm

Molve wrote:Another case would be Hylan Valley, where the AI buys only Comets when on the attack (okay, I guess), but where it for some unfathomable reason decides that for the defending Germans the best bet is to swamp its lines with PzIVD's (!!)

I do not expect this issue to be fully solved until a core engine patch focussed on AI improvements is issued. Meaning "the scenario designer can't cover for the game engine AI deficiences".
I'm no designer but could the AI unit choices be limited so that at least if it bought units they would be better suited to the battle? For example if the scenario takes place in 1944 then PzIVD's just can 't be built by the AI.

Eltare
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Post by Eltare » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:44 am

Yes, it would be nice to enter into the configuration file of game the prohibition / permission to buy more than 1 unit in the turn in each city / airport.

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:23 am

Actually, it'd be even nicer to be able to issue a list of available purchases for both player and AI, and even set flags for stuff purchasable in forthcoming scenarios.
That, and the aforementioned deployment hexes, would provide ample opportunity to MAKE the AI cope better.
_____
rezaf

Molve
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Post by Molve » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:39 am

I suspect it has something to do with core sizes. That is, it wants to fill its slots, and goes away and buys six recon or medium tanks; all useless of course

Unless you count I will deny you a Decisive Victory by swamping you in more lines of crap units than there is turns available for the DV! Bwhahaha*!
*) Dramatisation. I actually don't know what the computer's laughter sounds like.

ffl310
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Post by ffl310 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:47 pm

impar wrote:The image description says: "Pattons 3rd US Army arrives for a pic-nic in the Ardennes."

:-) :-)
To say the least.

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