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A few AI issues


Mar 25, 2018
Command Ops is a great game. The AI seems particularly strong but there are a few issues which occur which result in what I think is unlikely behaviour / results:

1. The AI boss’s decision making:

A. Sending artillery battalions into an advance. In most of the battles I have played against the AI I see enemy artillery regiments and battalions advancing into range of my defending units, instead of sitting in the rear area providing arty support. I am sure that it may be difficult to deal with this from a coding point of view but it would nice if it could be looked at.

B. Continuation of operations throughout the night. Night battles did of course happen but not often. The AI boss however appears to take the view that its units do not require rest at night leading to very unlikely movement into contact in the wee hours, particularly with armour. I remember reading a tank driver’s description of driving at night in Normandy - in his case his unit was moving up to the front before Operation Epsom or Operation Jupiter. His unit was several miles behind the lines and operating with strict limits to lights. He recalled the whole night as being completely disorientating and being unable to see anything except the small red light in the rear of the tank ahead of him. He was miles from the enemy. In real life night attacks occurred but mostly by accident. They would be rarely used as a plan due to the risks and confusion, but the AI boss invariably keeps hammering away throughout the night.

C. AI units keep attacking despite crippling losses, sometimes until the last man or tank. I think that it would be better if units that have suffered 50% or more casualties during the game became incapable of attacking, to reflect the fact that they would in reality be combat ineffective. Ok for them to continue defending.

2. Direction of retreat - this is an issue I see quite often where friendly units retreat towards a spotted enemy. I can imagine that sometimes this may have happened due to smoke, confusion, noise etc leading to soldiers getting confused about the best line of retreat. But it seems to happen rather too much.

3. Getting units in combat to withdraw - in practice it seems it is often very difficult to get an engaged defending unit to withdraw. I understand that this is modelling the reluctance of units under fire to move and therefore potentially expose themselves - however in real life units were able to withdraw. In the game I think it is too difficult.

4. One last issue is that the game as a whole seems too lethal - casualties by small arms and arty seem to be much much too heavy. I think casualties should be greatly reduced but the effect on units of casualties that are caused increased and that units’ ability to fight be reduced significantly the longer they are exposed to combat and that units that suffer say 50% casualties be at an increasing risk of being treated as having been eliminated - for the purpose of the battle, rather than having to kill every last man.

These are my thoughts only on how what is already a great game might be improved.

Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

Panther Games Designer
Jul 31, 2014
Canberra, Australia
Thanks for that Kensal. I agree re lethality being too high. I have made mods to reduce while upping suppression and morale effects. Like the arty mods I've made they are waiting to be tested but that's held up while we fix this out of sync issue. So please hang in there.

Re your suggestion about making units that suffer 50% losses incapable of attacking. I agree with your sentiment, but it's a lot more complicated that the simple rule you suggest. It always is. :) In some scenarios many if the not the majority of units start at less than 50% strength and yet historically they attacked. If you base it on a comparison with their at start strength, then you may end up with units as little as 20% attacking. And yet there are numerous historical examples of where units did exactly that. But having highlighted the difficulties, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try and fashion a solution. Leave it with me.