Iron War - Official Thread

  • Admin

    @frostion updating bots it should be there now shortly good stuff

  • Admin

    @frostion I believe that's incorrect. The resource bonus % should apply to all resources: But flat bonus is only available for PUs.

    @zlefin There is not currently away to set different % per resource. I considered doing that but didn't know if it would be useful for enough maps and enough players would use it to make it worth it. Given that the AI doesn't really understand fuel yet, it might make more sense to consider it now that fuel has been revamped.

  • Admin

    @redrum Nice! I would say that the option to give extra percentage to all kinds of resources covers most needs, for most maps.

    Maybe an option to give flat rate of certain special resources would also benefit some maps. But then, as maps may have a lot different resources, an option like that should come with the ability for mapmakers to enable/disable certain resources from showing in the start menu. Maybe some resources do not fit as resources that ought to be "increasable".

    How about XML options for the resource list like:
    or something shorter and simpler?

  • Admin

    @frostion I think the better approach is actually to allow map makers to just define difficulty levels with specific percentages/flat bonuses for each map in addition to the basic bonuses we already have. So on Iron War, for example, since the AI doesn't really understand fuel maybe you have the following:
    "standard" - "25% fuel bonus"
    "hard" - "50% fuel bonus and the rest 10% bonus"
    "very hard" - "100% fuel bonus and the rest 50% bonus"

    I think that probably makes it easier for the average player to understand and keep the game setup UI simpler. Otherwise you could end up with a lot of input boxes on the screen.

  • Admin

    @redrum Would your described way then replace the percentage and flat rate totally? If so, then an easy, medium and hard should maybe be supplemented by a "custom"? I agree on keeping the menu options simple, and letting mapmakers preset values.

  • Just went a dozen rounds vs Hard AI Allies at 125% and it felt pretty good. In every game I've played vs the AI there invariably comes a point when you break away, and then it doesn't really matter how much of a bonus the AI has received, because they can't recover, but up until that point the extra PUs and Resources make a pretty big difference in the feel of the difficulty level.

    I also like the idea of default difficulty settings of the sort redrum just mentioned, mainly because I think the average player is more likely to click a simple difficulty setting, than they are to pop the hood and start tweaking a bunch of complex values at launch. I think they are more likely to say, "ok, last time NORMAL was too easy, so I will click VERY HARD this time and see how that feels" as opposed to going in and assigning bonuses nation by nation. It would also give us a chance to really cater the bonuses to the AI's current ability. So for example, I've just been picking a universal number like 110% or 125% etc and giving each AI nation that same bonus, mainly because it felt clean and easy to replicate. But maybe some nations need more? Perhaps some need less? With a default setting you could get more nuanced with it.

    That said, I still think its important that the player be able to adjust this stuff on the fly, via a CUSTOM difficulty or whatever. And its definitely important that they be able to see it all charted out somewhere (so that the difficulty tweaks for the standard levels aren't invisible.) Until then though, I'll just keep trying to tease out a number that I feel works alright for the AI Allies until I hit one that kicks my ass consistently hehe. Next I'll try like 130% or thereabouts.

    Oh also this last time I did try buying a couple Kamikazes at the end there, but I only used them in one attack so far. I haven't made much use of those or the V rockets or nukes, somehow I felt like it was probably a cheapshot on the AI. But as the difficulty of the AI bonus levels increases, then I feel less sporting and less likely to cut the computer as much slack. Probably at the 130% bonus level, stuff like strat bombing will be necessary to maintain parity with the machine? Will have to see

    Anyhow, here is the last one...
    0_1523315918556_Elk vs Hard AI Allies 125 Germany round 13.tsvg

  • Admin

    @frostion I'd leave the custom settings we have now and just add the preset values per map.

    @Black_Elk Exactly, my thought as well. Make difficulty settings simple and easy for users. Also gives a way for players to compare games. I'd definitely look to provide a read-only summary of what each difficulty level actually is doing.

  • Sounds good to me. I guess to zlefin's Q, it would probably make sense to have a mode that just gives the AI nations like 9999 fuel so that it wouldn't botch their movement.

    Just finished a game vs hardAI Allies at 133%. They were pretty formidable.
    Russia is still active even after a dozen rounds, and the Allies have quite a few aircraft and ships parked off South America and Australia. India held out a lot longer this time around, and Africa took a concerted effort from both the German and Italian fleets before we finally knocked France out after like 13 rounds hehe.

    The TUV and PUs are about even for both sides, even though Axis control twice as much production and all but 6 of the VCs. Not sure how much longer it would take to mop up what remains of the Allies, but probably a while. Here is the situation for Japan in 1946...
    0_1523488540596_Elk vs Hard AI Allies 133 Japan round 13.tsvg

  • ps. regarding Edit Mode, I was trying to figure out earlier how to change the starting fuel on the fly, but didn't see any options for that. I guess it would require an xml edit?
    I can add in the actual oil drum units, but I was thinking more along the lines of what I mentioned above. Just giving the AI nations a huge starting reserve so it would never run out of fuel and they wouldn't get stuck, when they invariably by more aircraft or ships than they can support hehe.

  • Admin

    @black_elk Couldn't this be achieved via a game setting?

  • Moderators

    What would be useful for triggers is a conditon that checks if a nation is being played by the AI. This would let us automatically give AI extra resources, and could also be enabled by a game option

  • I'm pondering other ways to let the ai play while not giving it infinite fuel.
    setting up an alternate production frontier with units that drain fuel per turn like the old system could work; though it'd require a lot of work to maintain.
    something similar could be accomplished with a series of triggers to modify fuel for ai players; though again a big nuisance.
    I'll keep thinking, maybe there's a good way to do it that's not too hard to maintain and create.

  • Admin

    @zlefin I just think you could achieve this via a trigger. Something that fires each turn based on whether a nation is controlled by the AI or not.

    I'm not saying that and "easy" "medium" "hard" and "expert" setting isn't a cool proposal... just that you could make AI controlled players playable in regards to fuel.

  • Admin

    @CrazyG @zlefin

    Checkout Feudal Japan for ideas on confirmation that AI being played by a nation.

  • @general_zod, @CrazyG, @zlefin
    In 'Invasion USA', I use 'userAction' and 'switch' conditions to detect and change setups for AI players. 'userAction' are ignored by the AI.


  • Yeah a game setting, trigger, user action, each of those would probably be more user friendly than an edit. Though it would be cool for basic functionality if all the starting resources could be edited the same as PUs, just so everything is consistent/accessible via Edit Mode.

    I tried another game vs HardAI Allies at 133%. This time they rocked me pretty hard. Even though my Axis were able to sneak a technical knock out for the VC win, the situation on the ground is looking pretty grim here. Probably overextended myself with Sea Lion to Africa ambitions. The AI Soviets are still at full strength, and about to roll up on East Germany. Finland fell a while back, so now it seems that the Russians have their sights trained on Berlin.

    I thought my Japanese opener felt solid, but a less than stellar performance in subsequent rounds had us stalled up trying to defeat India. In the end it was left up to the Italians to finally crush India on the double team, after the Japanese spent their whole wad trying to soften them up. Unfortunately that allowed for a resurgent British Colonies, so now the Italians are sweating too. Its kind of cool to see how the AI makes pretty good use of its bonus. In this case it was the French Colonies and KNIL who conspired to screw us with their boost, drawing out the fight for the Indian sub-continent and forcing a bloodier affair than Japan would have liked hehe.

    I think its safe to call this one for the Machine, just based on the TUV and production totals. Allies are pulling away for sure. Nice work HardAI!...

    0_1523567850726_Elk vs Hard AI Allies 133 bonus Germany round 8 TKO.tsvg

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk Just a few questions on the strategic level ☺
    Could you have saved Finland by supporting more with PUs?
    Would you have a won more if you had skipped one of the Sea Lion or Africa Ambitions?
    If the AI valued VC more, would it have meant that you would lose?
    Do you always, as Axis, focus on taking out India with Japan?

  • @frostion

    I think the key to saving Finland (at least vs the Hard AI) is actually to aggressively stack Baltic States with Germany. Sending more PUs might work just as well too, but if Germany sets up shop next door with a large force, then you can move the whole Finnish stack forward to Eastern Finland or Karelia, and the AI Soviets will usually stay in place at Leningrad. Especially if G has a couple transports in range. I think the AI figures if it attacks either direction then they might get hit on counter. I have another save rematch vs the AI at 133%, showing how it works that I can post when I get home. Basically the error I made in the save above was to go hard south with Germany, which allowed the Russians to pick Finland apart hehe. And of course I sent my German transports way out of range to like Morocco.

    I do find that killing India is usually my number one priority with Japan. Even just containing India can make a pretty big difference when it comes to holding onto the Middle East. Otherwise British India will start owning the Axis at the center, at least under bonus % conditions. I think destroying the Indian transport is fairly critical, otherwise Iraq or Iran seem to get backdoored on amphibious, so I've been sacrificing the middle eastern Patrol Boats in round 1 to get that done. There's a nice domino play that I like which seems to take a lot of pressure off the Italian block. First I hit the British Colonies fleet in the Med with the German subs+transports, which is like 65% odds or better (you can bring the German bomber if needed.) That prevents the British colonies fleet from moving through Suez to the Indian Ocean, which would otherwise leave the Italians with no good options for their East Africa transport+destroyer. Then I like to use the Iraq PT boats and fighter to hit the British India transport. Once accomplished that leaves Italy dominant in the Western Indian Ocean so they can pressure S. Africa, take the Mid East oil or whatever.

    Japan I think has the most interesting challenge right out the gate, because they need to knock off KNIL as soon as possible (letting them live past round 2 and the Dutch are really hard to dislodge). But you also have to somehow deal with China at the same time, while not allowing the Russians to boot you out of Manchuria in the process. After the Dutch are smoked and China is contained, I think you have to make a tough choice either gun for India or gun for the Russian Far East. I tend to go after India, but its hard to say which direction is more effective. If I go after India then the Americans like to send fighter support to Russia which can be tough. If I go after Russia, India starts going major and wrecking stuff at the center, so its kinda 50/50 hehe. Playing against the machine is different than playing vs a human to be sure, but I still think the center/India would take priority in most games, just because it's where all the Axis can players can converge to can-open, give each other fighter support, exploit the turn order sequence for double team attacks etc.

    I do think if the AI prioritized VCs it might make a difference for the technical win, but for me thats more a formality, since I will usually hit continue even after the Axis hit 20 VCs. Often the AI is still pretty strong.

    ps. Here is the game I'm playing right now. After the last one I thought I'd shock the machine with an occasional bombing run, which definitely helped with the India crush. Probably a bit of cheap shot to strat bomb, but I was out to bring the pain to the French Colonies this time hehe. On the whole I think the hardAI Allies have done pretty well. I just dropped a massive stack of Russian units in Leningrad, which took like everything Germany had. Just a gigantic bloodbath.

    But now the Western Allies have begun their landings. France has been changing hands again, and the Americans are pretty firmly established in Morocco. Now they're stomping into Spain too with a ton of fighters and a big fleet parked off Gibraltar, so things remain pretty interesting on that front. Japan meanwhile is trying to manage a logistical pivot. Trying to decide where to go next now that South Asia has been handled...

    0_1523657558594_Elk vs Hard AI Allies rematch 133 bonus Japan round 7.tsvg

    ps. Pretty badass showing from the AI Americans out of Morocco. Despite getting rolled up everywhere else, the machine is still fighting tooth and nail for their corner of North Africa. I think that gold 5 spot is definitely working as intended hehe...

    0_1523770199295_Elk vs Hard AI Allies rematch 133 bonus Germany round 12.tsvg

  • Another rematch, this time at 140%. I tried something different and went after Australia instead of India, to see how things would shake down. It was possible to pull off, but I had to send basically everything against Sydney ASAP, even building an extra transport at Truk to put as much heat on the Aussies as possible. It felt like kind of an inversion of the usual pattern. Instead of taking the center and then working outward, its was like a big push to the periphery then rushing back to the center before everything went to hell hehe. Was a little surprised to see that it actually worked pretty well. Thailand got dropped by the AI Dutch almost immediately, but somehow it felt like that worked to Japan's advantage since it gave a clean shot on those pacific KNIL transports, so even if Sumatra was stacked heavy, we knew those troops wouldn't be all hopping about in the backfield. India was pretty sav though. They're still alive even after a dozen rounds, pretty much the last man standing for the Allies at the center. Russia was pretty strong too. The AI Americans managed to take sneaky snake Norway for a time and sent some fighter support to Stalin in the process, which helped prop up the Soviets. They knocked off my black sea fleet from the air, which stalled things up and almost lost me the Middle East, before Italy came to the rescue. Played a stronger game in Africa than usual, and tried to come at British Colonies and France pretty hard, to make up for the fact that British India would be getting less pressure. Was a bit more effective than I thought it'd be. AI France seemed to freeze up and let Italy crack into Nigeria while the Germans came at Ivory Coast from the west, which was pretty sweet for Il Duce, allowing the Italians to go major.

    One thing I've noticed is that a bunch of British Fighters seem to get stuck in Victoria. I'm guessing that the AI Brits move all their ships and then run out of fuel before they can get to the Canadian fighters. Not sure. I guess the same thing happens in E. USA, though they seem to do a better job of getting their fighters into the action. Most of the rest of the AI nations seemed to do pretty well the fuel bonus at 140%, Russia is especially formidable once the bonus starts getting higher. They're still pretty deep coming out of Siberia and Irkutsk despite finally folding along the front with Germany.

    But we just showboated into Iceland with the Finns, so that's gotta give the AI Allies pause hehe. Anyhow, pretty fun stuff. I think I'll have to start playing as the other side next to see how they do.

    0_1523859789898_Elk vs Hard AI Allies 140 bonus Finland round 12.tsvg

  • First full game against the HardAI Axis. Started them at 110% with plans to work my way up. Before using a standard strategy I wanted to try the bomber thing again to make sure my initial assesment was accurate. I still think the bomber spam is the optimal strategy for the Allies and probably too overpowered. Its hard to say whether a more intelligent opponent might be able to overcome the bombers by purchasing fighters to scramble, but even then the minor Axis powers are particularly vulnerable owing to their limited production.

    I see two possible solutions, either limit the unit roster of the minor Allies so that bombers don't become available until later in the game, or else give all the Minor Axis powers access to bombers as well, so they can at least compete with a similar strat bombing campaign in response. Of the two, I think the former option probably makes more sense.

    France, South Africa, French Colonies, KNIL, and China could probably all do without bombers as a purchase option, or at least have their availability delayed until the endgame.

    I think I'd keep the bombers for British Colonies, British India and Anzac, so their unit roster matches that of the British, but nixing bombers for all the other minors would probably go a long way towards preventing a merciless spam.

    In this one by the 4th round the Allies are pretty much set... ready to light it up, and knock the Axis out of the production game entirely. Next time I'll give the Axis more to work with, and won't be quite so ruthless with the Strat Bs, but just wanted to show again how nuts it can get if all the Allies go hog wild with bomber purchases right out the gate hehe...

    0_1523988044955_Elk vs Hard AI Axis 110 bonus Russia round 4.tsvg