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Aircraft Carriers

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by rhodie, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. rhodie

    rhodie Bwana M'Kubwa

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    Greetings fellow CivFanatics and CCM colleagues. Its been a while.

    I am working on a scenario that requires the use of pre-aircraft carriers and specific carrier aircraft.
    But I have come up against a particular hurdle and wonder if anyone had a solution?

    The problem is that the aircraft of nations under AI control do not remain on the carrier.

    I have tested many times and these are my findings:
    1. The AI is unaffected by any aircraft settings. It ignores 'load', 'go-to' flags or ‘re-base’ flags.
    2. Warships with pre-loaded aircraft tend to retain their aircraft most of the time.
    3. Carriers flagged as aircraft carrying ‘warships' will not lose their pre-placed aircraft.
    4. The AI will move some or all aircraft that have been pre-loaded into ships designated as carriers.
    5. The AI will move other non-carrier aircraft like heavy bombers and aircraft without ‘load’ flagged, into ships designated as carriers.
    6. The AI will sometimes move all a carrier’s pre-placed aircraft and leave it empty.
    7. Carriers with 'requires escort’ flagged will not move if their pre-placed warship escort moves away.
    8. AI aircraft pre-placed inside cities with a Carrier do not load onto the carrier.
    9. The AI will move any pre-placed aircraft around the map without any strategic purpose.
    All these actions are random. Within ‘Conquests' there seems to be a programme for the Player and another for the AI. Unless a player is using a 'debug' BIQ, he/she would remain unaware of the changes the AI has done to the original pre-placed units.
     
  2. revenantlast

    revenantlast Chieftain

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    As far as I'm aware (somebody else probably knows better)...

    AI can use re-base on all aircraft (the same as it can use bombard from a ground unit with bombard strength/range) without the flags being checked... it only seems to effect the humans ability to click the buttons, not the units ability to to perform the action, sadly.

    I have also noticed the AI don't seem to use carriers like humans. They seem to view them more like movable airfields... so they will re-base to them if they want to bomb something from that position, but then seem to move them out once they're done.

    If you're trying to restrict which aircraft can use carriers, you could set the non-carrier aircraft with the 'tactical missile' flag.
    Then only carriers marked with the 'transports only aircraft' and 'transports only tactical missile' flags would be able to load them. This should stop the AI re-basing them to your regular carriers, if that's what your going for.
     
  3. rhodie

    rhodie Bwana M'Kubwa

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    Thank you for your excellent suggestions revenantlast. I will test them out now. Hopefully, the aircraft flagged as ‘tactical missile’ will not become one-way kamikaze.
     
  4. revenantlast

    revenantlast Chieftain

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    If I remember correctly, its the 'cruise missile' flag that makes the unit single-use-only.. I think the 'tactical missile' flag is designed to let you use subs to carry nukes, but the AI wont re-base aircraft to subs without the 'transport only aircraft' flag so you should be safe!
     
  5. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Hi rhodie, great that you are posting again at CFC! :)

    The methode of making an aircraft another 'carrier type of unit' (and to give the plane only the tactical missile flag is only the first step in that setting as it would allow to load that plane into ships that can transport cruise missiles) is used since a very long time to prevent some aircraft from beeing based on aircraft carriers and to tie them only to land bases. Civ 3 doesn´t load normal 'carrier units' into other carrier units.

    Unfortunately this methode only prevents aircraft from beeing based on carriers, but it doesn´t hold aircraft, that don´t have those settings, to be stationed on carriers.

    As long as the unit doesn´t hold the strategy setting as cruise missile (red marked in the screenshot below), the unit is not working as a 'kamikaze' unit.



    As the programmed performance of aircraft carriers in Civ 1 - Civ 3 is not working (cannot say here anything about aircraft carriers in Civ 4 - 6 as I became every time to be too much annoyed about the graphical presentation of these civ games before aircraft carriers appeared in my games), here is the workaround I used in my mod CCM:



    For the attack animation of these carriers I mostly use the fortified or fiddling animations of those units showing starting aircraft from that carrier.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
    Damo13579 and tjs282 like this.
  6. rhodie

    rhodie Bwana M'Kubwa

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    Hello Civinator

    Thank you for the greeting. It certainly has been a long time.

    Thank you for posting the method that you use in CCM. Unfortunately I did not get a message that you had posted and only saw your post when I signed in just now.

    So, there are actually no aircraft on your carriers, just simulations of attack? Is the AI moving the carriers?

    Meanwhile, I have been testing various options based on using the 'tactical missile' suggested by revenantlast.

    These are the results:
    1. Flagging a specific aircraft type as a 'tactical missile' and pre-placing it with a carrier that is flagged as a 'Naval Missile Carrier’, stops the AI from moving any normal aircraft onto the carrier.
    2. But it does not stop the AI from moving the ‘missile' aircraft off the carrier.
    3. The AI does not move a carrier that is flagged as a ‘Naval Missile Carrier’.
    4. If a carrier has been flagged as a ‘warship’, the AI will move it but not its pre-placed aircraft.
    5. If a carrier is flagged as both ‘carrier' and ‘warship', the AI will move both ship and pre-placed aircraft as one.
    6. Warships like cruisers that have pre-placed float aircraft need the 'carrier', 'warship', ‘unload' and 'bombard' flagged. The AI will then move both ship and aircraft as one.

    I will now test your method. Thanks.
     
  7. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    rhodie, this is a hybrid setting where there is place for real carrier borne aircraft, too. The AI is moving the carriers and planes that are loaded into those carriers. It seems, that it is not enough to place aircraft into the same tile as the preplaced carrier. If the planes are not loaded, the AI carriers will move on without the planes on board.

    I made a test with those loaded carriers in Debug mode by setting the game with the multiplayer tool to two human players at the start. In the first turn I loaded the carriers of both civs as a human player with planes. In the second turn I set one of those Civs to be played by the AI and the AI used and moved the carriers and the loaded planes as intended. May be some forum members here have a better idea how to ensure, that planes are really loaded by the AI into preplaced carriers.

    Of course the equipment with real planes seems to be mainly used by the human player - but at least the AI carriers now with their bombardment capacity can really participate in the game and are not only completely useless lame ducks.

    I attache a screenshot with the complete settings of one of the carriers in CCM. If you do a test with the long range bombardment of those carriers, please don´t forget, that a target must be identified before it can be bombarded.

     

    Attached Files:

  8. rhodie

    rhodie Bwana M'Kubwa

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    Thanks for the images and information Civinator.

    My carriers have similar settings to yours. I had three original carrier aircraft types on each carrier until I noticed that the AI was moving the fighters off. I have now replaced them with carrier bombers.

    I pre-placed both carrier and their respective historical aircraft types onto the same tile on the map.

    Every turn is different. Sometimes some aircraft are moved off the carrier. Sometimes they all remain. Sometimes all aircraft are moved off the carrier.

    In almost every test, both carrier and pre-placed aircraft moved together. Only once in twenty tests has one aircraft been left behind.

    I tried using the 'missile' flag but have now dropped that and the pre-placed aircraft are not being replaced.

    Judging by the animated flash that comes from the carrier and subsequent bomber over a target, the AI is using some aircraft to bomb targets.

    I don’t think that I can expect anything better and will just leave the settings.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  9. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    rhodie, as always, you are very welcome. Civ 3 is full of compromises and I think at present this is the best we can do with carriers. Not overwhelming, but much better than nothing. :)
     
  10. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    Civinator/rhodie... Good to see the Carrier situation has been adjusted to work more as wanted.
    I have not used Carriers in years and did not know they also have AI problems... this is Good to know :goodjob:
     
  11. Predator145

    Predator145 Warlord

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    Has anyone tried giving auto produced air units (from a coastal small wonder) the "tactical nuke" flag and carriers the "missile carrier" flag? The carriers still have the "only transport air units" flag on them that way tactical nukes don't get loaded. I've had the AI successfully load these air units into the carrier but I can't see them bombing anything from debug mode. They will bombard for sure if it's a land unit (the effects are like that of land based artillery in that case). I've made sure to give these air units both bombard and bombing with their respective ranges.
     
  12. Kirejara

    Kirejara King

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    I had in my game a small wonder "Royal Aircraft Factory" (produced basic Light Bombers for Carrier use) with the addon "Naval Aviation Wing" that autoproduced basic Floatplanes.

    These basic Floatplanes upgraded into the different Seaplane types and later Attack Helicopter types. They were all flagged as "Tactical Missiles" in unit ability. Some nations were also able to build VTOL-Fighters (z. B. Harrier).

    Because Seaplane- and Helicopter squadrons are smaller then regular squadrons they had -1 hitpoint.

    Cruisers (1), Seaplane Cruisers (2) and VTOL-Carriers (4) were marked as "carries only aircraft" AND "carries only tactical missiles" and had the AI Strategie "Missile Carrier" marked.

    Since I was attacked in several games by seaplanes far from land bases, I would assume that it worked. ;)

    While I had seen the KI using "normal" Carriers in game, most of the time they simply parked them with an escort close to the fighting zone as floating airbase.

    And if they had actual aircraft on board they even used them. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  13. Kirejara

    Kirejara King

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    I forgot to write, that one can easily prevent the KI from loading multi engined Bombers, twin engined Fighter and similar aircraft into Carriers.

    Just give them one cargo point and mark them as "carries only aircraft", carriers only tactical missiles" AND "carries only foot units".

    Even the KI is then unable to load anything into them or to load them into Carriers.

    Same should apply to immobile land units, as the KI will crash the game if they try to unload a Fortress (with moat and all!) at the beach. ;)

    BTW the KI also simply ignores missing order buttons. ;)
     
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  14. Predator145

    Predator145 Warlord

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    After testing thoroughly in the WW2 Pacific scenario I've found out that the AI treats the "Tactical Nuke" strategy flag like a nuclear weapon regardless whether the unit has the "Nuclear Weapon" ability or not. That means they would load the "tactical nukes" into their missile carriers, move the carriers into position but would never bomb anything :sad:.

    So I dropped a nuke on Japan. Immediately afterwards, their carrier bombers flagged was "tactical nuke" on their "missile transport" aircraft carriers opened up on me. But only me though, not the Commonwealth, Dutch or Americans, for I, playing as the Chinese was the one who nuked them. The rest of them didn't move their carrier based bombers at all against Japan, because Japan has yet to nuke anyone.

    Wanting Japan to use nukes, I used the debug mode function to make a border Jap city produce a nuke. After Japan nuked me the rest of my allies' carrier based bombers opened up. Everything then worked as envisioned.

    But how do we get this to work in a random map game? The AI would only use it against a nuclear aggressor.
     
  15. revenantlast

    revenantlast Chieftain

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    I had a similar problem trying to get the AI to use missiles that weren’t Nukes.
    The solution I come up with was making a Cruise Missile unit with the Hidden Nationality & Nuclear Weapon flags (but not the ICBM or tactical nuke strategies.) Then have a small wonder that produces the unit but goes obsolete quickly.
    The effect is for a short period the AI will nuke each other as soon as a unit is within range of the cruise missile. When that happens once, they all seem happy to attack anyone with their units marked with the nuclear strategies.

    There’s a thread I started here:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/can-i-force-the-ai-to-go-nuclear.662327/
     
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  16. Predator145

    Predator145 Warlord

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    We know MUTUAL hidden nat nuking is gonna get the job done. But that causes too much impact on a random map game that i wouldn't want to implement. What about just 1 hidden nat nuke going off? I'm thinking about having a AI strat less hidden nat nuke that only i will build and drop cleanly in the middle of the ocean on some naval unit to get things going.

    Edit: Just tested this. YES, one hidden nat nuke from the player is enough to get everyone to use their "tactical nuke" AI strat units on each other. I can tell the Commonwealth has been using their units because that unit has died and there was a damaged zero that has shot it down. Thank you for the "hidden nat" ability idea!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  17. Kirejara

    Kirejara King

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    I must correct myself. :blush:

    Seaplane Tender have the Sea AI Strategies "Power" and "Carrier", Seaplane Cruisers have "Power" and "Missile Transport".

    But the KI is using them both as carriers or as attackers (seems to be selected by the KI when the individual unit enters service).

    And despite having a nuclear weapon taboo (not checkbox in AI Strategie ;) ), I have seen the KI using Seaplanes from Seaplane Cruisers and Cruise Missiles (marked in unit ability as "tactical missile") from Nuclear Submarines. :dunno:
     
  18. Predator145

    Predator145 Warlord

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    The "tactical missile" unit ability flag isn't a problem. The "tactical nuke" AI strat is. What were the AI strat of your units? If you want a "seaplane" as an air unit you need to have operational range and bombing function for it to be able to bombard. But if it has operation range it will also rebase if it's "air bombard" AI strat (regardless of rebase being checked or not) and not stay on the carrier as we want.
     
  19. Kirejara

    Kirejara King

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    I do not use the AI Strategie "Tactical Nuke" on any of my units.
    There is as far as I know no use for this strategie for other units then nukes.

    My Seaplanes, Attack Helicopters and VTOL Fighters have the AI Strategie for air units "Bombard" and/or "Defence" and the unit abilities "Tactical Missile"

    Because they are aircraft, they need VTOL Carriers or Seaplane Tenders (including I-400) with the unit abilities "carry only aircraft" and "carry only tactical missiles".

    In my games the KI used them both from land and carriers, depending on the location of their target and the range of the seaplane/helicopter.

    Abilities of my Seaplane are here: AI's Navies better off w/out 'Escort' flag?

    Cruise Missiles have the unit ability "cruise missile" and "tactical missile" with the AI Strategie for ground units "cruise missile". And the KI is using them both from land and from nuclear submarines (except of course the I-400 ;) ).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  20. Predator145

    Predator145 Warlord

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    The AI will use these "air bombard" units like regular ones. The "tactical missile" ability will only prevent them from rebasing into your regular aircraft carriers. But this won't keep them from using them mostly from land bases.

    I didn't know the AI loads "cruise missile" strategy units into things. That AI strat like the "artillery" one is mostly broken. The unit just sits in the city and will only bombard what's in range. I guess those loaded units most have been produced in coastal cities. Because if they're made in land they'd be stuck there.
     

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