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AI in JTS games
03-17-2020, 10:42 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-17-2020, 10:47 PM by Ekaton.)
#1
AI in JTS games
I have several JTS games. I currently don’t have enough time to play against a human opponent with any consistency so I tried to play some larger scenarios against the AI. Here are some of my thoughts:

1) In CS Normandy ‘44 the AI is quite alright (Caen Country scenario at least). I took Bayeux and Caen on the second day and fortified my positions on the western side of the river. German counterattacks are done alright, a lot of tanks just east of the river, shooting my troops on the other side, causing heavy losses. Attacks against my paratroopers and commandos are a bit half-hearted but generally alright. AI doesn’t just send troops blindly to attack but rather created a consistent defensive line, only attacking in one area, concentrating its troops and support units there. Troops stick to their prepared positions and don’t counterattack when they are hopelessly outnumbered.
2) I gave the AI “a nudge” a few times, retreating its units from very exposed areas. I was afraid that this might break some scripts but I don’t think it did. 
3) I bought Moscow ‘41 yesterday and moved to the big one, operation Typhoon, the basic variant. A completely different experience. On turn one Soviet units left their trenches and counter attacked, suffering obscene losses as a result, not achieving anything in particular. I concentrated my forces in several schwerpunkte and that’s where the enemy suffered the worst losses counterattacking. 

Why is my experience with both games so different? They use the same engine, what makes the AI so awful in one game and rather decent in another? Is AI likely to be better in smaller scenarios? Is the AI better in newer games? Do you have a similar experience?
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03-17-2020, 11:20 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-18-2020, 01:41 AM by Lowlander. Edit Reason: clarification )
#2
RE: AI in JTS games
I also only play against the AI, used to pbem John Tiller and Gary Grigsby games especially WITP but now retired and on baby sitting, shopping and tv sports duties.
Panzer Campaign games, I used to give the AI a 40% advantage but was told in no uncertain terms to give it a 50% advantage, find it to be a better game which is usually won around half way thro a campaign game, that's if I don't burn myself out because some campaign games are huge.
Now for the PBEM gamers reading this, my experience with pbem games is they also usually end around this time as well.
I only had one pbem game go to the finish which ended in a draw.

DO NOT PLAY AGAINST THE AI ON ANY CAMPAIGN OR SCENARIOS SPECIFICLY DESIGNED FOR HEAD TO HEAD PLAY, use one of the other variants.
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03-20-2020, 04:07 AM,
#3
RE: AI in JTS games
Gentlemen

I haven't designed AI scripts for PzC, but I have for SB and PB. They are relatively simple; unit(s) move towards location A on turn Y. If you go into the scenario editor you can see them. The scripts are based on how the designer thinks the scenario will play out. The larger and longer the scenario, the harder it is to write scripts that make any sense. There are just too many variables to consider. I don't have a good answer for you, but if you want more competitive scenarios, pick the smaller ones. They are likely to play more reasonably. And if you pick a scenario that is designed for head to head play, there is a good chance that it is not scripted at all.

Jeff
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03-20-2020, 07:46 AM,
#4
RE: AI in JTS games
Jeff, do you then consider the AI would be better as the aggressor in these games.
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03-20-2020, 08:02 AM,
#5
RE: AI in JTS games
There are some scenarios that I have seen that are designed to be played as a defender. I believe that Minsk has a few. SB Korea has some too. They tend to rely on large numbers of attackers to balance things out. If you're into horrific odds and last stands, I think you might find some scenarios designed with that in mind. But the scripting does not react to changes in the battlefield as the game progresses so the attackers will have little imagination. And as before, the longer and larger the game, the more problematic this becomes.

But in general, attacking is more difficult than defending and consequently, the AI does a better job in that role. I also think that it is generally more fun to attack than it is to defend, you are proactive as opposed to reactive. So, when I play against the AI, I am almost always the attacker. And I will confess that I rarely finish a scenario against the AI. That's in part because I lose interest, but also because the challenge is gone somewhere between a third and half way through the game. By that time, I have usually accomplished most of what is difficult and the rest is mopping up. And that's fine with me. I have gotten enjoyment out of the game and it's time to move onto to something else. It's not the same as finishing a book.
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03-20-2020, 09:07 PM,
#6
RE: AI in JTS games
I'm a very new member who has only played computer war games as a solo player. I've played John Tiller games for years, and with PC Normandy 44 I find it easy to get the upper hand playing either Allies or Germans - I do not give either side any advantage on the slider to set up the game. That's why I've joined this blitz group, hoping that a human opponent will give me a run for my money! Kampfmeister
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03-21-2020, 06:56 AM,
#7
RE: AI in JTS games
Welcome to the PBEM community, you will certainly find any human opponent far superior to the AI so hang on to your hat!!  Big Grin
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03-21-2020, 11:34 AM,
#8
RE: AI in JTS games
Some months back I had looked at the PC series again after "centuries" of absence and the AI(at least in France 40) is pretty useless imho.
I though I could gain a little experience going against the AI but by now I think I get away with things where a human player would kick my ass into the sun, and this is already so in small scenarios, in larger scenarios that demand strategic thinking it complete out of its league.
At best you can go against the AI to test things if you don't understand game mechanics or points for the manual, but besides that go for a human opponent.
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