What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

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What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

RogerCooper
Redrum's Hard AI has reached the level of being a reasonable opponent. Playing against it has taught me the following.

Losing Russia is not the end of the game. If the western Allies have large fleets that are already landing forces in Europe, the incomes are about equal and it not easy for the Axis to achieve victory.

Games can be drawn. Although all the published games have no specific draw conditions, Axis & Allies can easily result in situations where no one can win. If a land power faces a sea power, neither can make progress without a substantial income advantage. The sea power just keeps invading the land areas. The land power can't build a fleet to stop the invasions, but usually can drive the sea power back with ground forces.

In the long run, sea power is better than land power. In the short run, attacking by sea is hard as you need to build transports and escorts. Once built, the sea power gives far greater mobility. Infantry next to a transport can effectively move 4.


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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

Cody Young
I just saw that Hard AI is an option, and being largely relegated to single player games, I excitedly launched a new NWO campaign as Germany with medium allies against hard opponents in order to glory in the difficulty. . .

But the Hard AI for me won't take their turns. It simply never does anything at all.

Is there a fix?
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

beelee
I just tried it and it worked for me. German human all german allies medium AI. All Allies hard AI. It does take a minute or two before it does anything while it's thinking. So...? IDK
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

Cody Young
Maybe I was just too impatient. I will try again. Been a couple years since I had to deal with a tardy AI. Used to be a problem for triple A, but it has improved incredibly since those days

Ty man
PJT
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

PJT
In reply to this post by RogerCooper
I was excited to see the Hard AI, but *wow* is it slow.  Not just "thinking" time, but also non-combat movement done unit by unit.  Definitely a large improvement in competence as an opponent, but I look forward to it being sped up.
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

redrum
Administrator
@PJT - Make sure to adjust the setting "Game" -> "AI Pause Duration" to 50ms to decrease the move time. Also if you upload a save game and describe how long turns are taking then I can take a look. In general, most of the standard WW2 maps run pretty fast but larger maps take longer (NWO, etc). You can also adjust your memory settings if you have additional memory which tends to speed things up considerably.

PS - Also, there is the latest pre-release that has lots of performance enhancements and installing it is described in this post: http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/AI-Development-Discussion-tp7585227.html
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

aaalafayette
Administrator

@redrum, can we make pause duration setting you mention to be the default?
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

redrum
Administrator
There seems to be a lot of different opinions on what the pause duration should be. Some people like it as is and enjoy watching the moves. Others like myself just want the moves to be instant then I can review the map. Not sure what we should make the default.
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

aaalafayette
Administrator
Fast, convenient, common case - tend to be the best defaults IMO.

I'd rather someone be annoyed the AI is going too fast and then try to figure out how to slow it down, rather than be new, perhaps overwhelmed by all the various options, and then quickly annoyed the AI is moving too slow. Could create a bad first impression.

So I'd still default it to fast and allow it to be slowed down.  When/if we improve the settings UI this would help this be less of an issue.
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

redrum
Administrator
Agree. Though you will get those people that complain that you're changing an existing default but you can't please everyone. I think the question then is to what value should you change it to? Its probably actually better to set it to 5-10 ms since large maps even 50ms can be slow when you have 100s of units.
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

ubernaut
maybe there should be a dynamic option which bases delay on number of units?
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

Cernel
In reply to this post by aaalafayette
As I've already said since basically when Hard AI started existing I suggest:

default: 250 ms
minimum: 10 ms
History plays dice
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

Cernel
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Cody Young
As of today, with 1.8.0.7, tested on my i5 5 years old computer (high priority to TripleA):

Default options. Germans assigned to Human and all others to Hard AI. Nothing done with Germans. Time from confirming "Done" on Germans Non Combat Move till the end turn of Russians, with AI pause duration 50 ms:

5 tries all gave times from 22 to 35 seconds for the first Russians turn, with Germans having done nothing before. Having 796 MB (default) or 4 GB RAM assigned seems making no difference.

---

Tested on my i5 5 years old computer (high priority to TripleA and 4 GB RAM assigned):

New World Order. Default options. All players to Hard AI. AI pause duration 50 ms:

Time from clicking on start till end round: 3 minutes and 45 seconds
Time from end first round to end second round: 4 minutes and 27 seconds
Time from end second round to end third round: 6 minutes and 43 seconds

Under these conditions, the time taken by the 50 ms delays is almost irrelevant (reducing it to 0 ms would speed up only of a few seconds per round).
History plays dice
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

Veqryn
Administrator
In reply to this post by redrum
The current default is about as low as it can go with people still being able to see what is going on.
This is by it is the default.

If you want it to go obscenely fast because you aren't watching and do not care, then you change the default to be lower.

50ms is the lowest you can go, because we were having weird issues when it was even lower.
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

RogerCooper
The logical default it the minimum value, as any other value is arbitrary.

In addition, a naive user might start playing a large scenario and be turned off by the long delays.
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

Cernel
My subjective/arbitrary lowest value at which I'm still able to see what is going on goes from 100 ms to 250 ms, depending on the map. At 250 ms I'm surely able to keep up, so whatever higher value feels just dumb and annoying.

My xp tells me that if I put it at 500 ms on Feudal Japan about everyone gets annoyed and tells me to let the AI run faster. And the AI moves very few units there (rarely AI stacks are over 20 units).
History plays dice
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Re: What the Hard AI has taught me about Axis & Allies

GhostWriter
In reply to this post by Veqryn
RE: default speed

how viable would it be to gradually (map by map?) add a game setup option for game speed?