suicide tactics

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homunculus
Posts: 537
Joined: July 21st, 2010, 9:47 pm

suicide tactics

Post by homunculus »

did a series of wml experiments that actually grew into a campaign, but still one experiment is nagging on me.

there is a curious thing that ai is doing.

when ai has a lot of badly wounded units, it attacks one of my high damage attackers with a badly wounded unit.
the badly wounded ai unit dies and the hex is free for the next ai unit to attack my high damage attacker.
repeat until my high damage attacker is dead.

tactics guide says something like this:
1. it is good to (kill or) heavily damage enemy units.
2. a healthy unit should be likely to survive attack from 2 enemy units.

the ai is smart (outsmarts the tactics guide) in many ways:
1. the badly wounded ai units would need to retreat to a village and stay useless for a considerable length of time, and demand upkeep. also, the village could be used to heal another ai unit that is less wounded and could become useful sooner.
2. my high damage unit is dead.
3. an apparently defensive location with 1 hex access is enough for ai to kill my high damage unit with, say, five worthless almost dead units.
4. my units will not get easy exp next turn by killing low health enemy units.

and, i noticed that i am sometimes using the same tactics myself.
in that sense, all is fair, but still i feel that this kind of smartness (on both sides) is an artifact.

this is why i started to think about a wml experiment that would have the same effect as battles happening only at end of turn.
the units would move to place and the red attack arrow would appear (could be an image, maybe), but fighting would only happen after the end of turn is pressed (effectively the start of turn of next side) [skipped a discussion about the countless problems this would create].

a simpler version could be that the fights would happen the way they do now, but a dummy unit or a ghost would appear where attacking side died, allied to attacking side (those ghosts would disappear at side turn event).
this would be unlike fight happening at end of turn, but would just eliminate the mass suicide case.

now, i would want to ask if this has already been done in some umc, or at least discussed?
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Yogibear
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Re: suicide tactics

Post by Yogibear »

homunculus wrote:...but still i feel that this kind of smartness (on both sides) is an artifact.
Indeed, the ai is not that smart at all. What makes it do that kind of thing is a strong urge to kill something - whenever a possibility shows, it will march that way. The rest is rather nice side effects, but the ai didn't account for them.
homunculus wrote:now, i would want to ask if this has already been done in some umc, or at least discussed?
Not as far as i know.
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SlowThinker
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Re: suicide tactics

Post by SlowThinker »

The current system is indeed counter-intuitive.
For example a very easy way how to win Colloseum Pro is to buy heal and absolutely no attack: you need your units do as low damage as possible, so that enemies have a minimum chance to suicide.
homunculus wrote:a simpler version could be that the fights would happen the way they do now, but a dummy unit or a ghost would appear where attacking side died, allied to attacking side (those ghosts would disappear at side turn event).
this would be unlike fight happening at end of turn, but would just eliminate the mass suicide case.
I always thought a system with a corpse of the attacker that disappears only after the side ends turn would be very natural.
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tr0ll
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Re: suicide tactics

Post by tr0ll »

that would certainly save a lot of grief regarding high level units, and ease addition of dramatic death scenes.

however it would also effectively neutralize WCs :P
commanders have to learn to keep tank or fodder units in front of them or establish ZOC to prevent suicide attacks. sadly no leading the charge
:hmm: maybe add your excellent observations to the strategy wiki
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homunculus
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Joined: July 21st, 2010, 9:47 pm

Re: suicide tactics

Post by homunculus »

those two events in the spoiler below is what i added to my campaign's utils/deaths.cfg (which is a natural thing for campaign developers to include in every scenario).

for people who don't like to read wml, it says:
if i died at my side turn then i must have been the attacker, and therefore i must not be removed from that hex until the end of my side's turn.
after attacking i had 0 moves and no more attacks left, so i am just standing there as a gray shadow until the turn ends.
Spoiler:
you can still suicide with canrecruit=yes units because i didn't want to create artifacts with victory_when_enemies_defeated=yes.
maybe that would not have been a big problem in campaigns because the relevant leader death can only happen on ai side turn, while i guess the player leader death event would trigger anyway and the hero death events in deaths.cfg would usually take care that the player looses.
or maybe all that would be needed to remove the side leader suicide spam (lol) would be to set canrecruit=no for dead units, but i don't have good ideas how to test it atm.

what is not solved though, is that if there are several opponent sides they can attack from same hex as many times as there are opponent sides (each opponent can suicide from same hex once).
maybe the turn when the dead attackers would be removed might be the start of turn of the side that they attacked.
actually this kind of arrangement would create a lot of complications, no good idea how to do it right.
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Moribund
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Re: suicide tactics

Post by Moribund »

What effect does this have on multiplayer?
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