CO2 BEDA FOMM Quick AAR

Discussion in 'CO2 - After Action Reports' started by john connor, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. john connor

    john connor Member

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    I should apologise really. This started off as a Beda Fomm AAR, but has now become a kind of log of my efforts to understand how you can influence AI behaviour using scenmaker, in order to get a better fight out of it.

    So far I seem to have learned (1) that if you give the AI multiple objectives with high points values then it will probe the various options, and this leads to more dynamic behaviour. But maxing the points on the objectives seems to cripple the AI in terms of getting it to mount attacks. (2) If you place max points on killing the enemy, then (so far) it seems to produce attacking behaviour. I want a combination of these 2 - I want the AI to both attack and probe alternbative ways to its objectives. But this was more or less the set up in the stock scenario (a balance between points for both things) and it led to nothing much happening. The devil is in the detail perhaps - in getting that balance exactly right. I will play on with this present set up (max points on kill the enemy) and see how it progresses.
     
  2. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Well, I was assuming the fusilier type units approaching my ACs were in fact tanks and not foot soldiers, but maybe not. The friendly AI put a barrage on them and the Marmons fired back. The Italian assault halted, and now they're retreating! No ACs lost, so far.

    87.png

    What will the Ai do now? I'd like it to reassess and then throw more at the ACs, including some tanks, if it has any. Let's see.
     
  3. john connor

    john connor Member

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    It paused, put a heavy barrage on the Marmons (no casualties) then came at them again.....

    88.png
     
  4. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Due to a bug I select my Hussar ACs and get the data for the enemy unit. We've destroyed it. This was an attack pressed home against the odds, with predictable results. The AI now seems to be veering off to the east. Night approaches. So, it's still going for the objectives, anyway. Will it attack my ACs again, I wonder?

    sel 3.png
     
  5. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Testing 2 screens again. In the pic below, all the dialogues etc are on the top screen and the entire bottom screen is the map. Nice.

    So far nothing much of interest from the AI:

    89.png

    The desktop background, for the top screen, is a map of Rolica (the battle of) - nothing to do with anything in the game.
     
  6. john connor

    john connor Member

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    What is the AI doing? Not attacking, I fear. So far just that one attack at the beginning that raised my spirits.

    90.png
     
  7. john connor

    john connor Member

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    I watch with interest. Huge 10km long columns of men and materiel. But no attacks....

    91.png
     
  8. john connor

    john connor Member

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    I don't understand. 1,500 points available for killing the enemy. 100 points for exiting. All this power trying to slink round a little AA unit. Why?

    92.png

    Broad daylight, good visibility. Why doesn't the AI concentrate and overwhelm this little unit? Then move on through?
     
  9. john connor

    john connor Member

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    A superb secret operation - all these men sneaking past in the night. But all for 100 points, when many, many more are available for organising and killing the enemy. I don't get it. Perhaps the effects of the scenmaker bug are messing with this.
    93.png
     
  10. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Coming up to 6pm day 3:

    95.png

    I haven't done much. The AI will at best get a draw, I think, going from the win/lose meter. Still no attacks. Despite the points lure.
     
  11. john connor

    john connor Member

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    ok. I don't understand at all. I got a marginal defeat, fair enough. But the Axis got 100 points - a full total by exiting I assume. So this means there's a bug in scenmaker. Because I tried to weight it in favour of killing the enemy to get points, but that wasn't the result. Killing the enemy was down as garnering 1,500 points and the exit objectives only gave 100. But the AI just went for the Exit objectives (and got a full 100 by exiting, I assume). And with all that force available (and stats maxed out at 100%) only 1 Bn level attack in the entire scenario.

    96.png

    This screen form scenmaker shows the force ratio - so you can see the massive disparity.

    94.png

    So why no attacks from the AI? That's my main problem with the game right now.

    Peter
     
  12. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Round 3. I try again with scenmaker and get it to take the following points and objectives for the Italians:

    98.png

    That means they can't get anywhere near a victory by just exiting. They MUST attack.

    So I park all my units willy-nilly and let them flood past me and exit. The win/lose meter stands even. Presumably they got all the points they can (8) now from exiting. Will they attack. Day 2 morning.

    97.png

    I'll just let it run now. See what happens....
     
  13. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Day 2 night. Nothing happening. Stand off.

    I direct huge attacks at the Italians, thinking maybe it will be more tempting for the AI to fight me if I leave entrenched positions

    99.png
     
  14. john connor

    john connor Member

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    kBeautiful Regimental level attack put together by the friendly AI on my command.

    100.png

    Just doesn't happen from the enemy AI though. Not ever. Someone correct me with pics, if I'm wrong. I'd like to be wrong. Anyone ever see a line of enemy tanks (or infantry) with big black arrows like that? More than 3 of them?
     
    #114 john connor, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  15. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Looks like a Bn level AI attack under way in the northern part of the map:

    101.png
     
  16. john connor

    john connor Member

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    It ends in a draw, like this:

    102.png

    Just that one Bn level attack, in the entire scenario.

    So. I don't know what to do really to get the AI to attack. That exhausts my efforts, I'm afraid. These were super-crack troops on the Italian side. 100% maxed out for every attribute except fatigue, which was nil when they entered. I have tried various ways to give objectives that would encourage the AI to use its over 3 to 1 advantage (by day 3) of force to put in concerted, useful attacks. I remain puzzled.

    As I said, I've posted separately to ask Dave how the AI works in this respect. There's something I'm missing, I assume. The friendly AI is superb (though it has the benefit of my interfering when it gets stuck.....) , so I feel something might have got broken, along the way, with the enemy AI.
     
    #116 john connor, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  17. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Great problem solving there Peter, I'm finding it very interesting.
    As you are using this scenario for your test bed I think you should be aware of some other less game engine related restrictions that may be causing the attacks problems.

    I have been doing some historic reading about this battle, and one of the problems the Italians had was a reliance on foot infantry.
    They had relatively few tanks, and were slow to bring them down from the north.

    In this area of desert the terrain is very open and flat.
    Infantry are not very effective on the offence in this kind of terrain, especially against dug in or armoured opponents.
    Just imagine yourself trying to attack well trained soldiers, possibly even dug in, across that open space, with no cover.
    Just one well placed heavy MG could mow down your entire infantry Coy in a matter of minutes.
    Infantry are of much better use in the defence to hold ground in this type of terrain.
    For offensive operations the tank is key for desert warfare, and the British tanks were superior to the Italians.

    If you replace those infantry Coy's with tank Coy's, preferably German equipped ones, give them some extra fuel, and ensure the on map boss has plenty of capacity, things might be different?
     
    #117 Daz, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  18. john connor

    john connor Member

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    I didn't check the on-map boss load, that's true. And we can give some leeway for foot v motor. But I maxed them out, Daz. These were crack rested troops (at start). I think something should have happened, more than one little attack. But anyway, I tried again with Manhay yesterday, playing as Allies (which I seldom do in that scenario) and it was a walk over. The AI mounted no effective attacks. Like I say, just probes, then lots of apparently stuck/frozen/useless units doing nothing. And I've played Manhay so often as Axis that I know you can in fact make life difficult for the Allies. Check it out. You don't need to do much. Run it on full speed, play as Allies, stick concentrations on Manhay, Grandmenil, the Erezee exit etc, sit back and watch. Then let me know what you see. As I keep saying I would love to be wrong about this. And the thing about Manhay is that it didn't used to be like that. It used to be tough for Allies too. So I'm guessing your bug theory is pretty near the mark. I've written privately to Dave about it.
     
    #118 john connor, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  19. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Yes I understand what you are saying and agree to a lot of it.

    I was just making you aware of some of the less game related restrictions in this scenario for an attack against static positions by infantry over open terrain, well trained or not.
    Just think of the first World War casualties, human waves against static positions, and that was with fairly good cover from all the bomb craters. The advent of the machine gun pretty much made these tactics obsolete.

    The desert was more a war of manoeuvre over vast areas, which is exactly what the British did here, outmanoeuvring the Italians, by cutting of their retreat from Cyrenaica.
    The Italians had nowhere to go other than down that road, and the Italian command were slow to bring the tanks into action to assist the breakout.
    As the Italian infantry were not motorized they had very little scope for flanking manoeuvres.
    AfricaMap1.jpg
    AfricaMap2.jpg
     
    #119 Daz, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  20. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Ok. More experiments. I maxed out the stats for all the Axis SS units in Manhay and played it through as Allies. The AI put in an aggressive performance in terms of getting quickly to the objectives and attacking in company strength to take them. Looks like this after a few hours (surrender pic):

    2.png

    As you can see, all the objectives within reach have been contested. There is a Co+ attack going in near Lamormenil (bottom left). Other attacks seemed to involve only single companies, though this was roughly the amount of force required to dislodge the Allies, who are weak at this point. Something has gone slightly wrong at Grandmenil, which is a major objective, but being contested only by a single weak unit. And at Manhay itself the infantry there have not formed up to put in a proper attack. In fact, I've seen no attack markers at all there, just Move markers, so I'm not quite sure what they're doing. I'll play on a bit and see what happens as the Allies toughen up. But already I would say there is a big diff between this and the Italians, as Daz (and others) have suggested there should be. However, I've still yet to see a co-ordinated Bn level attack, let alone anything above Bn level. But in this scenario, with the AI having to contest several objectives, above Bn is unlikely to happen. IN fact, because the AI has chosen to break up the armour formation, I would think that the only place where a proper Bn level attack should go in right now is Manhay. I will deliberately not shell those Axis PGRs in the morning, to see if they choose to do that.
     
    #120 john connor, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

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