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Advanced Fleets - A new approach

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Ares de Borg, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    This is what I have now, but it's not working too well. The AI will rather build nothing than the units you want it to build.
     
  2. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    Ares,

    i've seen the AI build a pretty diverse fleets w/ some of the methods we used for AoI. we've also seen rail guns get built and used only on rails (but unfortunately, roads also). little short on time right now but i could go into it all in some more detail if you like...or by pm. or not at all :cool: up to you old boy :)
     
  3. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias I saw the Great Library burn.

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    I, for one (another) would like to learn the High Wizard's ways :king:

    Best,

    Oz
     
  4. General 666

    General 666 Culturebringer

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    Please don`t use a PM to discuss about it. There is a public interest in that topic.:D
     
  5. timerover51

    timerover51 Deity

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    If you can locate a picture of the US Army 280mm cannon for firing atomic rounds, you can get an idea on how you can move what should be a railroad gun on roads.
     
  6. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    Please share your wisdom, Sir. :)
     
  7. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    ok :)

    now, keep in mind that there are a bunch of qualifiers i use wrt sea unit builds. so i'll try and address them as i go along. just stuff specific to our scenarios and it might not be everyone's cup of tea. however, it has worked very, very well for us and it is imho the best use of sea unit behavior for civ3 (considering our circumstances that is).

    the main point regarding "diversity" is to have two (2) or more separate regions on the map. by this i mean that there's 'isolated' regions on the map that have two (or more) distinct resource access areas.

    for example, Great Britain can build all types of ships, including capital ships, in the home islands (due in course to a resource called 'Industry'). this list includes TBs, DDs, PCs, CAs, CLs, SSs, BBs, BCs, CV/CVLs (bolded = capital). however, abroad (in the colonies and commonwealth holdings) they can only build non-capital ships due to the lack of the so-called 'Industry' resource.

    of course, to maintain this 'resource isolation', one must set up the map to curtail (or remove altogether) sea/ocean/air trade. now, it doesn't haven't to be removed entirely. you could allow for it in certain cases through special city imp's or wonders and thus allow for some construction of capital ships. however, that discussion is not so important here. the main point is that there are distinct regions on the map where two (2) sets of ships are able to be built: all (capital + non-capital which is typically the highly industrialized areas of the map) and the non-capital classes (abroad assuming that the requisite resources [e.g., coal and iron] are inside the strategic resource box of the cities).

    my experience with actually trying to get the AI to build more seas units tells me that i had to give it a reason to build them...sounds simplistic :) i know. but the point is if there's good reason for the AI to build them, then, in my experience, it will. good ways to promote this:

    cheap prices - low shield costs for seas units is absolutely a plus for the AI. we intentionally set the prices for seas units in our projects real low and the AI does indeed build more than what we were originally accustomed to. don't have a specific formula on prices...but each class was sort of tiered out in terms of costs (e.g., BBs set at a certain tier for gen1-->gen2 and so forth).

    easy access to imp's that produce vet sea units - we've seen that the AI is far, far more inclined to build sea units if it has the ability to produce veterans. so granting an easy route to build these types of improvements is paramount irregardless of whether there's resource isolation. i mean, it is probably Issue No. 1 for the AI in terms of whether to build or not to build, that is the question :)

    escort - we all know how the AI loves to send along big-ass warships to escort their puny little transport units. annoying as hell imo...well, why not try and capitalize on this behavior and and design, a class of ships able to keep up w/ the transports? when set up in conjunction w/ the 'isolated resources', the AI does pretty well in building, say, cruisers, to tag along w/ their transport units.

    ultra cheap transport costs - dirt cheap w/ no resource requirements. bumping up the transport capacity seems to work well too although we don't go too wild w/ this. however, the AI will build lots of them if they're super cheap. and as a result, amphibious operations generally increase. and the AI, if it has the proper infrastructure in terms of shield production and cities, will send along escorts (not always but the AI will definitely send them along if it has them).

    raw materials - this is pretty much exclusive to my stuff. it's the reverse capture the flag method and there's a building available overseas (i.e., only in the colonies) that produces these units and they need to be shipped back from abroad to the home country in order to be cashed in for VPs and gold. the AI will guard these TRs if it has the inventory (see above). in addition, this method, while not for everyone due to the tediousness of it all, creates de facto shipping lanes and it gives rise to another aspect of naval strategy: commerce raiding. this is a pretty neat tactic in AoI and CLs and other smaller vessels most definitely come into play here and the capital ships are at times (the early gen ones) at a disadvantage due to speed (mvmt points). anyhow, just a neat little side game that is present for AoI.

    upgrading and obsolescence - we set all capital ships on an obsolescence track (i.e., gen1 BB is obsoleted by gen2 BB and so forth). this means that they do not directly upgrade to one another but the obsoleted version disappears from the build queue when the next generation is available. this is done in the editor...but the unit action to actually upgrade is not checked. the reason for obsolescence is not to penalize...but to put these capital ships on a different track compared to the non-capital ships which can upgrade. upgrade sequence can depend on a bunch of things and is pretty subjective. however, we set DDs, mostly, to an every-other-generation path (especially when there's a lot of generations - 7 or 8 in AoI alone). CLs we set to upgrade directly to one another in sequence. other cruiser types and submarines have varying upgrade paths depending upon the quantity of generations, quality of the construction, and some other factors. but again, subjective to a certain degree. but the point to take away from this is that the non-capital ship generation lines have a nice 'finish line' so to speak whereas the capital ships, with their brute force and all, do not. and the AI does upgrade its ships so long as it has the scratch and the wherewithal (i.e., imp's that allow for it). the obsolescence also puts the human player into decision mode where he/she has to decide whether to keep the older generations of capital ships around for secondary roles or whether to scrap them (disband).

    another less-discussed factor is the stat arrangement. i won't get into our formulas here b/c it's dry and pretty technical (yet, for us, extremely effective). however, what it accomplishes is a few things: it gives each type of ship the proverbial raison d'être which is imperative for all unit types. don't confuse the AI or give it multiple types of units that essentially do the exact same thing. differentiation is the key - and we use several things to set certain sea unit types apart from the others like total tonnage/displacement (i.e., HPs), total no. of guns on board (bombardment rating and RoF), torpedo tubes (very important for the TBs & DDs since they have high rates of fire but lower bombardment ratings [compared to the capital ships]), abilitiy to 'detect invisible' units like submarines, the 'invisible' tag for subs, extra movement points for cruisers, and a few other things. again, real technical stuff but it allowed us to get that differentiation that we were after. i mean, not only does the AI build all of the sea unit types in one location or another, it also gives the human player some options as well. for example, if the human player says go scratch to building non-capital ships, he/she is gonna have piles of obsolete units lying about at some point whereas construction of non-capital ships has a more fluid development path (i.e., upgrades allowed) and offers the player a more diverse fleet in general.

    hope this may help some and always happy to provide more details as time permits :D
     
  8. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Very useful information there, El Justo :goodjob:
     
  9. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias I saw the Great Library burn.

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    El J -- Many, many thanks for sharing this :thumbsup:

    All The Best,

    Oz
     
  10. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    Thank you Sir, some really good info there. I have done some of these, like the obsolescence chains for BBs.

    I just did some testing and you're absolutely right. I preplaced some cities and the AI did not start to build sea units until a shipyard was established. After that, it started to crank out units. Is there a possibility to have a wonder put a shipyard in every city or will the game crash when it tries to build shipyards in non-coastal cities?
     
  11. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Some additional remarks to the wise words in the post of El Justo:

    AoI is a scenario with a lot of preplaced buildings and units on the map. In my eyes it is the best simulation of naval activities for civ 3. But what happens for epic games, that start with zero buildings and ships on the map and where you don´t have the advantage of preplaced resources?

    In lots of Debug-games for CCM I noticed the following: The AI of civs with the trait "seafaring" always built a greater ammount of ships very early in the game, even if there didn´t exist buildings in the cities that can produce veteran ships. If the AI had the choice between ships that can transport other units, but have no attack value and ships that have an attack value, the AI of "seafaring" civs always built early in the game a greater number of ships with a transport value (and no ships with the attack value), while other civs had a tendancy to build ships with an attack value.

    A ship the AI really loves in CCM is the catapultship. It is the first ship that has a lethal sea bombard option. First I gave that ship a lethal land bombardement option, too. It happened in era 1 and in the very early era 2 of CCM, that big fleet of the AI with more than 30 of these catapultships appeared in front of my coastal towns and bombed out the whole garrison of these cities (so these ships had only a bombardfactor of 1 and an RF of 1). Now the lethal landbombardement of these ships is removed in CCM, but the AI still likes these ships, so it doesn´t built them now in these extensive numbers.

    ----------------

    Ares, I think the game will not crash when a wonder gives an improvement, that normally is only allowed for coastal cities, to any city of that civ on the map and therefore to non-coastal cities, too. Remember the Hoover Dam in standard civ 3, that gives a hydroplant without any problems to every city on the continent, even if these cities are not next to rivers, what normally is a perequisite of that building.
     
  12. General 666

    General 666 Culturebringer

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    Thanks for sharing EJ and Civinator ! I will included some of this in my Epic.
     
  13. vingrjoe

    vingrjoe Landlocked Shipwright

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    Civinator,

    Did you at all witness the AI preferring to use the Lethal Bombardment flagged ships for just that role versus it using them to guard transports ?
     
  14. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Yes vingrjoe. The AI definitely uses these early ships (coming with mathematics) in an offensive role and not only for escort duties. In later phases of the game that behaviour of the AI changes. I know about the AI problem you are targeting to. May be I have to add, that the catapultships in CCM are the only early units with an offensive bombardement ability -and they are cheap according to the advice of El Justo, that he posted above not for the first time. The catapult landunits in CCM have only defensive land-bombardement (range zero).

    .. and vingrjoe: Thank you very much for all your great units. :) A lot of them are in CCM.
     
  15. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    Seconded.

    Very helpful tips and tricks here, guys. :)
    Now another annoying part - submarines. It's not easy to get them right. Basically I see two options, either give them low A/D/HP and high Bombard and ROF, or crank the Attack value up. What is your experience?
     
  16. Madeira

    Madeira Emperor

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    I have an idea for submarines which I believe gives them a very good bonus, in my mod both sea and ocean tiles have movement costs higher than 1, submarines will be the only units that ignore movement costs of oceans. Then I also make use of the sea LM terrain to make "trade routes" that cross the oceans in a few locations, what will probably happen is seeing increased surface ship traffic in those routes, and the subs will be able to quickly go in and out, hit and run. So I'll probably give my subs a good attack but low defense, if they're caught they shouldnt have very good chances. Attack more powerfull than surface ships, but less hitpoints.
     
  17. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    Interesting idea, Madeira. I'm torn between making subs invisible bombardment platforms (torpedo attack) and the classic way of using them as invisible de-facto-surface ships. I don't like them going muzzle to muzzle with BBs and have a chance of winning, but neither do I like them bombarding the coastline. *sigh*
     
  18. vingrjoe

    vingrjoe Landlocked Shipwright

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    I brought this up maybe a year ago or better with the TCW staff; Could LM terrain be used along shorelines and have it so subs cannot traverse on those tiles ?
     
  19. Ares de Borg

    Ares de Borg Norman Knight

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    I fear there is no LM Coast. :(
     
  20. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    You could make it so that they can only traverse sea/oceans, and use the hex editing trick to place "seas" which look like coasts outside every city.

    Still, even with that way, it's possible for the subs to attack some portion of the shoreline, and also cities.
     

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