Author Topic: Does the AI cheat with units locations ?  (Read 862 times)

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Offline vLabz

Does the AI cheat with units locations ?
« on: October 12, 2016, 04:28:54 PM »
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  • Hi,

    does the AI cheat by knowing the location of every enemy units ? I read it was the case, and that it was useless to build submarines against the IA...  :'(
    => is there any patch or project that attempts to fix that ? at least for submarines... ?

    cheers :)

    Online bvanevery

    Re: Does the AI cheat with units locations ?
    « Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 01:20:55 AM »
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  • I suspect the AI cheats when I send naval probe teams unaccompanied by conventional ships to protect them.  The AI seems to be a little too good at finding my teams and destroying them.  I don't have proof positive, but when 2 ships destroy 2 teams in very different places on the same turn, it makes me wonder.  Could be the AI reacts differently if there's an offical can-fight-back ship in the water, or better yet multiple such ships, which is what I sent out when I got tired of my unprotected probe teams being picked off.

    It is definitely possible to send screening ships to clear a path for the probes.  It's just tedious.  You have to produce more stuff.

    SMAC/X in general suffers from the problem that the AI does not get bored pushing units around, but you do.  I have quit many games because I was tired of the AI putting up the boring obstructions.  Typical physical fatigue trigger is 3 AM.  Start asking myself, why am I playing this game anymore?  If there isn't a good answer I quit.

    Similar is what I call the "WW I trench warfare" problem.  That's when you're stuck in a military campaign where you may win battle after battle, tactically micromanaging and doing just fine executing enemy units... but more units keep coming, and you never really make any strategic headway.  Neither does the AI make any headway against you.  Pretty much an unproductive stalemate.  Or if it is productive, it's not productive in terms of real world wall clock time.  You may be doing fine in game turns, but back in the real world, it's 1 AM, 2 AM, 3 AM... same old s**t.  No progress.  I end up quitting those games.

    Offline vLabz

    Re: Does the AI cheat with units locations ?
    « Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 01:29:04 PM »
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  • I see what you mean, sometimes the feeling of wasting our time… against a dumb AI that just throws units at our face. This can be the case for any game…

    However I didn’t have too much this feeling, because I avoid bery big planet size. I never ever start a game with many opponents on a huge planet. This almost guarantees tedious times when fighting, turning the game into an attrition war which… not very funny, because it is just too looonnnnng to play, too many super big cities, too many units, all the time…

    On the other hand setting a small size lacks of an epic feeling…

    My question was relative to the vision : does the AI see all units in the game ? I think I found the answer in the definitive guide to SMAX (Vel's SMAX Guide by Velocyrix):
    Subs (UU)
    Worthless against the AI, because they know where your units
    are anyway, but against a Human opponent, nothing could be finer!
    A Submersible transport does not even need an escort to slip in and
    cause havoc, which opens up whole new realms of possibilities,
    and enables you to get sneakier than ever! Imagine sending off
    a large (and very visible) task force of ships covering a transport
    or two toward one end of an enemy’s Empire, all the while, and
    completely unseen, the three submersible transports you built and
    loaded to the gills with Marines are steadily, stealthily making their
    way toward other key points of the Enemy’s empire!

    Online bvanevery

    Re: Does the AI cheat with units locations ?
    « Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 03:12:06 PM »
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  • Well if the AI does see literally all units in the game, it does not act meaningfully on that information in all cases.  If you have advance knowledge of where a unit is, and count up how many moves it's going to make, you can definitely set up an ambush where they will blithely move to terrain they are vulnerable in.  Then you can destroy them.  Definitely works against probe teams.  Works in rover warfare, where the person who figures out where the other person is, and gets to attack first, wins.

    Another trick is putting infantry on rocky ground, to stop the forward movement of an adversary.  The AI doesn't like attacking with less than full movement, so will probably halt in that open terrain square in front of your infantry.  Where you kill them.

    But ships... the AI seems to perform awfully well with ships.  Too well.  That's why I'm suspicious.

    Offline vLabz

    Re: Does the AI cheat with units locations ?
    « Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 03:49:58 PM »
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  • Well, my guess is that the AI knows about all units in the game, but it voluntarily does not set up ambushes to catch every enemy fighting force. It just fakes not seeing everything...

    Offline Yitzi

    Re: Does the AI cheat with units locations ?
    « Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 03:37:24 AM »
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  • I think it's less "cheats" and more "AI tech way back when simply wasn't good enough to be realistic about what the AI would know".


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