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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:21 am
Posts: 124
Location: metro Chicago, IL, USA
It's not just the JTS Civil War Battles series, or any other ACW game. I have insider knowledge of several officially sanctioned publisher surveys (typically with responses numbering in the hundreds). In each case, the percentage of AI-only or AI-predominantly players is roughly 80% or more. It seems to be an industry-wide standard. Good luck with trying to get such players to change their ways. It's not that they don't know what's good for them. They know what they like, and maybe have good, justifiable reasons for thinking the way they do.

[Not wanting to participate in yet another PBEM vs. AI argument, Berto quickly exits stage left...]

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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2002 6:07 pm
Posts: 58
Location: USA
I have tried to plug PBEM as often as I can.
From my designer notes Campaign Shenandoah:

Types of scenarios to play:
In Campaign Shenandoah, there are four types of scenarios. First, play with unlimited clear skies, and warm weather. The visibility here is 70 hexes maximum with a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or if you prefer, 22.2 degrees Celsius. Of course, terrain and elevations will hinder that maximum line of sight (LOS). Second, you can choose to play a scenario using the weather feature. But beware, Mother Nature can be very fickle, and thunderstorms can become very hard on the men trying to fight with black powder and thick wool uniforms. Third, you can play against the A/I. Here, each scenario is designed to be played by a specific side. Because the A/I is limited in its defensive capabilities, it will usually play best as the attacking side. Sorry, no artificial chess opponents are available. Once more thing, all scenarios, regardless of which side, can be played by the A/I. However, the way the computer will play will vary greatly. Forth, there are the campaign scenarios. These scenarios will play differently due to the unit mapping feature of the campaign. They are only intended to be played once you enter the campaign mode of the game.
NOTE: My personal preference in playing these games, is to find an opponent, and use the PBEM (play by email) method of play. Opponents are easy to find. If you need assistance, check out the following clubs and their websites.
Clubs
**Note** - We are including these links in the interest of connecting people of similar interest so they may find opponents to play our games against. That in no way represents an "endorsement" of any particular club or condones anything which takes place within the club. Everyone must decide for themselves where they find opponents. With that said - our games SHINE when played by email. I (Rich) can't tell you how many hours of enjoyment I have had conducting PBEM games against guys all over the world...so explore, and, enjoy...
JTS Wargaming Opponent Group - Facebook group, covers all the different JTS series of games.
The Blitz Wargaming Club - covers all the different JTS series of games.
American Civil War Gaming Club - ACWGC - focuses on the Civil War Battles series of games.
Napoleonic Wargaming Club - NWC - focuses on the Napoleonic Battles series of games.
The Colonial Campaigns Club - CCC - focuses on the EAW series of games.
The Wargaming Society - covers all the different JTS series of games.
The Wargaming Club - TWC - covers all the different JTS series of games.
Wargamers Club for Gentlemen - WGCG - Supports all JTS games with a league and tournaments.

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Brigadier General Richard Walker
4th Brigade,3rd Division
Hardee's Corps
Army of Tennessee
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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 7:20 pm
Posts: 171
Location: USA
PBEM only. Have not played AI since Battleground Gettysburg (one time in 1997).

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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 3:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:53 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Hello Rich,

Sorry I just now saw this, I play the A/I almost exclusively in all your titles, and I have found in the years of dedicated play there are some improvements the A/I could employ. In all my titles, I have written scenario improvements designed to make the A/I more historically consistent and more deadly. I play primarily from the Confederate side, and have worked on scripts with this in mind. In many scenarios I have moved the Union troops closer to an attack position otherwise their attacks seem to develop far too slowly in my opinion. Once they begin to attack in coordination as long as I keep feeding scripts to divisions or brigades every hour to press on. Pathfinding can be a struggle for the A/I when backed up behind some artillery or supply wagons. Sometimes I've noticed the A/I pressing to attack then stopping suddenly out of position to exchange fire. Without a follow up script ordering them to go forward they tend to remain far away from any attempt at the intended objective points. The A/I very rarely forces a crossing over a bridge hex or creek bridge if any type of resistance is detected on the other side they seem to form up in line and then are unable to cross over the bridge siding. On the defensive side the A/I plays very strong defending a location as long as they can get into the proper position through pathfinding. Artillery pathfinding and deployment can sometimes be in a position where they can be overrun quickly unless they are given specific scripts per battery. In smaller scenarios with less tree coverage the A/I tends to move much quicker in a more historical manner, but I'm constantly working on the full battle scenarios improving movements and slowly play testing the results. Please don't take these as criticisms. I absolutely adore your games, and have countless JTS titles in my library. I am just inspired to make these games I love better in any way I can. The hundreds of hours I have spent making the A/I better to play against I feel is just scratching the surface at making these games greater than ever.

- Sincerely
Zachary Marsh

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3rd Brigade/Morgan's (3rd) Division/Forrest's Cavalry Corps
Army of Tennessee


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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 8:05 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 10:10 pm
Posts: 956
Location: USA
Col. Marsh,

If you haven't already done so I suggest you check out the primer on the Scenario Editor at the Engineering Department
http://acwgc-engineering.com/
It is just an introduction to the editor but towards the bottom I have included some things I've learned about AI Scripts and instructions on how to copy a script so you can produce variations on a script without having to redo the entire script.

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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 10:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:29 pm
Posts: 286
Hi Rich,

Early on, before I found the Club, I used to play the A/I. It was a little bit of a challenge in the beginning but the A/I is predictable and easy to find in vulnerable positions and exploit it.

The advantage of the PBEM format is that the human opponent will always be unpredictable and you don't know his tendencies. He may be aggressive or defensive oriented or he might focus on certain troop types or terrain. He may even setup a trap. This is where the A/I to PBEM differs. As the A/I scripts are programmed, it is hard to simulate this difference between H2H play and A/I.

I do like the A/I for the Campaign series but don't usually play the A/I in scenarios. H2H play is much better in this case.

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MG. Derek Hampel
Cmdr. Second Div., XV Corps
Army of the Tennessee


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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2002 6:07 pm
Posts: 58
Location: USA
Marsh1081 wrote:
Hello Rich,

Sorry I just now saw this, I play the A/I almost exclusively in all your titles, and I have found in the years of dedicated play there are some improvements the A/I could employ. In all my titles, I have written scenario improvements designed to make the A/I more historically consistent and more deadly. I play primarily from the Confederate side, and have worked on scripts with this in mind. In many scenarios I have moved the Union troops closer to an attack position otherwise their attacks seem to develop far too slowly in my opinion. Once they begin to attack in coordination as long as I keep feeding scripts to divisions or brigades every hour to press on. Pathfinding can be a struggle for the A/I when backed up behind some artillery or supply wagons. Sometimes I've noticed the A/I pressing to attack then stopping suddenly out of position to exchange fire. Without a follow up script ordering them to go forward they tend to remain far away from any attempt at the intended objective points. The A/I very rarely forces a crossing over a bridge hex or creek bridge if any type of resistance is detected on the other side they seem to form up in line and then are unable to cross over the bridge siding. On the defensive side the A/I plays very strong defending a location as long as they can get into the proper position through pathfinding. Artillery pathfinding and deployment can sometimes be in a position where they can be overrun quickly unless they are given specific scripts per battery. In smaller scenarios with less tree coverage the A/I tends to move much quicker in a more historical manner, but I'm constantly working on the full battle scenarios improving movements and slowly play testing the results. Please don't take these as criticisms. I absolutely adore your games, and have countless JTS titles in my library. I am just inspired to make these games I love better in any way I can. The hundreds of hours I have spent making the A/I better to play against I feel is just scratching the surface at making these games greater than ever.

- Sincerely
Zachary Marsh


Thanks for the reply in detail. I was wondering, since most replies, including your own, refer to playing the A/I in a general sense, have you tried the scenarios that are specific to playing against the AI? With most titles, but not all, I have referred to these as AI challenge scenarios. They are generally easy to spot. I would be interested in seeing some of your scripted scenarios. Could you send me a sample?

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Brigadier General Richard Walker
4th Brigade,3rd Division
Hardee's Corps
Army of Tennessee
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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2002 6:07 pm
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Location: USA
D. Hampel wrote:
Hi Rich,

Early on, before I found the Club, I used to play the A/I. It was a little bit of a challenge in the beginning but the A/I is predictable and easy to find in vulnerable positions and exploit it.

The advantage of the PBEM format is that the human opponent will always be unpredictable and you don't know his tendencies. He may be aggressive or defensive oriented or he might focus on certain troop types or terrain. He may even setup a trap. This is where the A/I to PBEM differs. As the A/I scripts are programmed, it is hard to simulate this difference between H2H play and A/I.

I do like the A/I for the Campaign series but don't usually play the A/I in scenarios. H2H play is much better in this case.


I absolutely agree, where and when possible, PBEM H2H is best. Ever tried LAN play? Live H2H.

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Brigadier General Richard Walker
4th Brigade,3rd Division
Hardee's Corps
Army of Tennessee
(JTS Scenario Designer)


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 Post subject: Re: About the A/I
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 6:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:45 am
Posts: 239
Location: Australia
Generally, I've found the AI dumb. But then my games against the AI have been limited and restricted to major battles. They were also many years ago. Rich, I will try a game or 2 against the AI with some of your designed battles and (if I remember) let you know what I feel about them.

Frankly, humans make better adversaries, although some will always play the odds.

Regards

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1st Division, Ist Corps,
Army of the Potomac.
http://campcromwell.blogspot.com/


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