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Hawkmoon von Köln
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Ambush + Move Tue, 08 June 2010 22:00
What to do to play this card against AI ?
I've been playing a normal infantry ; I began to move it but after thinking put it on its original hex so it didn't really moved. Ai didn't allow me to open fire with this unit.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 08 June 2010 22:48
Hawkmoon von Köln wrote on Tue, 08 June 2010 13:00

What to do to play this card against AI ?


Playing Ambush actually works really well, but you do have read the directions for it! Very Happy Basically when you have the Ambush card and you want to use it, you click on it and the card pops up a little on your screen. This is basically "preparing" the card for play. Then when you want to play it, I believe you drag it to the screen.

Quote:

I've been playing a normal infantry ; I began to move it but after thinking put it on its original hex so it didn't really moved. Ai didn't allow me to open fire with this unit.


That's strange because I have done the exact same thing (picked up a unit and then decided not to move it so I put it back in it's starting spot) and I was still able to do what I needed. That might be something to try again and then send a log if it does the same again.
      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Wed, 09 June 2010 00:17
Actually if you read the manual carefully, all you need to play Ambush in either mode is to ready it up in advance in your hand. Once it appears slightly raised, it is ready to ambush your opponent (the one it shows the yellow ! on. If a more appropriate use appears, the computer will automatically see it and realign the Ambush for that combat. And your Ambush will automatically trigger once the enemy unit it points out enters in Close combat with your unit.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush + Move Wed, 09 June 2010 00:23
eric wrote on Tue, 08 June 2010 15:17

Actually if you read the manual carefully, all you need to play Ambush in either mode is to ready it up in advance in your hand. Once it appears slightly raised, it is ready to ambush your opponent (the one it shows the yellow ! on.)


Ah, good to know. Thanks Eric!! The Ambush system works really well, so nice job on that aspect. Cool
      
Hawkmoon von Köln
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Re:Ambush + Move Wed, 09 June 2010 10:03
Clearly, the response is RTFM ! Laughing Shocked Embarassed
I didn't do that so I'm gonna read it tonight... Cool
Thx for the answers.
      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Wed, 09 June 2010 23:28
Yes, reading the (admittedly short) User Manual is key. You will likely discover several important features there. Smile
      
Praxeo
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Re:Ambush + Move Thu, 10 June 2010 18:21
Hi

Glad to read that the ambush works really well.
N'est-ce pas Éric ?
      
LotusArdent
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Re:Ambush + Move Fri, 11 June 2010 11:05
Sounds like private joke...
      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Fri, 11 June 2010 16:43
Yes, it is. Private for now at least. Cool
      
Praxeo
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Re:Ambush + Move Fri, 11 June 2010 17:53
Anyway, on my side, I'm not glad at all, since I could play Ambush at the beginning of my turn (which activated no unit and with no result, of course, but also no crash - even Johnny did not pass this time lol). After many tests, I never got this Ambush again. So I don't know.

Am I the only one would can select the ambush at the beginning of his turn ? (A bug I reported to DOW)

[Updated on: Fri, 11 June 2010 17:53]

      
Brummbar44
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Re:Ambush + Move Fri, 11 June 2010 22:59
I've become better at using the Ambush. However, it still needs a little work.

Here was the situation....
ad79 was about to attack with his tanks one of two equally strong tanks units that were both adjacent. I clicked on my ambush, the card went up and it indicated one of the tanks. All is well so far. But then, ad79 targeted the other tank...my ambush didn't work Sad

What's worse, it didn't work on the overrun either?! Fortunately, ad79 didn't wipe the unit out...but he easily might have which would've been frustrating with an Ambush card in hand.

Don't get me wrong, you guys have done a great job on this and I understand the limitations of the network issues...but I think this needs to work better...or have more control.
      
ad79
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Re:Ambush + Move Fri, 11 June 2010 23:09
I was quite happy with how the Ambush worked in just that scenario. Laughing


      
LotusArdent
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 10:48
Could Dow Write a "How to Play that -bip- ambush" please... because this card make me nervous.

If my apponent is Johnny, i never succed to play this card. At his turn, i click, very quietly, no strees... the card move up a bit on the board... ok your ready Lotus... take care.
Ho, Johnny plays THE unit where you prepare the ambush, and... the nightmare begins.
- I try to drag the card... no way...
- I try to clic/double clic on the card no way...
- I try to clic/double clic on the opponent unit no way...
- I try to clic/double clic on the my unit no way... and black screen!

I just succed to play one time, this card. It was beetween Brumbar and me... and i think i could play it only because there is a small lag. But i really dont lnow how i succed it because i try many action to play it.

Eric says :
Quote:

f a more appropriate use appears, the computer will automatically see it and realign the Ambush for that combat. And your Ambush will automatically trigger once the enemy unit it points out enters in Close combat with your unit.


Anyway, if you want to play another one ?

[Updated on: Sat, 12 June 2010 10:49]

      
Brice
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 11:30
LotusArdent wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 10:48

Could Dow Write a "How to Play that -bip- ambush" please... because this card make me nervous.

If my apponent is Johnny, i never succed to play this card. At his turn, i click, very quietly, no strees... the card move up a bit on the board... ok your ready Lotus... take care.
Ho, Johnny plays THE unit where you prepare the ambush, and... the nightmare begins.
- I try to drag the card... no way...
- I try to clic/double clic on the card no way...
- I try to clic/double clic on the opponent unit no way...
- I try to clic/double clic on the my unit no way... and black screen!

I just succed to play one time, this card. It was beetween Brumbar and me... and i think i could play it only because there is a small lag. But i really dont lnow how i succed it because i try many action to play it.

Eric says :
Quote:

f a more appropriate use appears, the computer will automatically see it and realign the Ambush for that combat. And your Ambush will automatically trigger once the enemy unit it points out enters in Close combat with your unit.


Anyway, if you want to play another one ?


Once activated (a simple click on the card) the ambush card raises. It selects automatically the best attacker/target couple of units to either incur the most damage to your opponent or lessen kills on your side. This is indicated on the board (during your opponent turn) with a small yellow '!' between both units. This best unit couple is recomputed when the board changes (ie units move or gets killed).

The card triggers automatically when this attack happens, you don't have to do anything.

I fixed a couple of things (which will be part of beta3) regarding the ambush (notably you can now activate it at anytime, not only in your opponent turn).

      
Yann
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 13:30
Brummbar44 écrit le Fri, 11 June 2010 22:59

I clicked on my ambush, the card went up and it indicated one of the tanks. All is well so far. But then, ad79 targeted the other tank...my ambush didn't work Sad

My guess is that you activated it too late. Remember, that can be like 10 secs difference between the moment someone attacks you and the moment you see it on your own side. You really want to activate your Ambush card well in advance - like at the very beginning of your opponent's turn. Don't wait for the battle phase.

Yann
      
sam1812
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 16:12
Brice wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 05:30

LotusArdent wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 10:48

Anyway, if you want to play another one ?


Once activated (a simple click on the card) the ambush card raises. It selects automatically the best attacker/target couple of units to either incur the most damage to your opponent or lessen kills on your side. This is indicated on the board (during your opponent turn) with a small yellow '!' between both units. This best unit couple is recomputed when the board changes (ie units move or gets killed).

The card triggers automatically when this attack happens, you don't have to do anything.

I fixed a couple of things (which will be part of beta3) regarding the ambush (notably you can now activate it at anytime, not only in your opponent turn).

And Yann wrote

My guess is that you activated it too late. Remember, that can be like 10 secs difference between the moment someone attacks you and the moment you see it on your own side. You really want to activate your Ambush card well in advance - like at the very beginning of your opponent's turn. Don't wait for the battle phase.

I'm not a playtester, but as a heavy Memoir player with over 750 games played on Vassal, I've been listening carefully to these discussions.

Sometimes, the unit you want to ambush is not the one where the ambush will do the most expected damage. Sometimes, it has to do with what part of the board you're planning to attack next ... or which enemy unit is capable of doing the most damage to you (especially if there are close assaults happening in two separate parts of the board) ... or whether or not the opponent has already rolled many hits against the particular defending unit.

When you play an opponent face-to-face, he announces his attack and you can decide, based on all rolls that have happened up to that point, whether or not to Ambush.

I very much want to control whether or not I ambush, and which enemy will be the target. Later, when the Combat deck is available in the online game, with several defensive cards, it will become even more necessary for the defender to decide in the moment.

[Updated on: Sat, 12 June 2010 16:15]

      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 16:29
sam1812 wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 07:12


I very much want to control whether or not I ambush, and which enemy will be the target. Later, when the Combat deck is available in the online game, with several defensive cards, it will become even more necessary for the defender to decide in the moment.


While I'm sure that would be the ultimate goal for DoW (to give you complete control) the directions we got about using the Ambush card explained that with various internet speeds and delays from both computers involved in a game, it isn't possible to have the player use the Ambush at the exact time because the attack may have already happened by the time you activate the Ambush card.

I haven't had a problem with the Ambush card system they have created and must say that I'm very impressed it works as well as it does!! Technology is amazing to me and the DoW team has done some great things with this game. But technology can only do so much at this point because it isn't live! There will be limitations and obstacles to work around and the Ambush card must have been a big one for the programing team!! Cool
      
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 17:34
Yann wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 04:30

Brummbar44 écrit le Fri, 11 June 2010 22:59

I clicked on my ambush, the card went up and it indicated one of the tanks. All is well so far. But then, ad79 targeted the other tank...my ambush didn't work Sad

My guess is that you activated it too late. Remember, that can be like 10 secs difference between the moment someone attacks you and the moment you see it on your own side. You really want to activate your Ambush card well in advance - like at the very beginning of your opponent's turn. Don't wait for the battle phase.

Yann


Oh, I was ready for the attack, it was obvious so I did prepare the card. That wasn't the problem, the problem was the program picked one unit while my opponent opted for the other.

Perhaps it would be better for the ambush to be on the unit doing the attacking rather than the unit defending, this way, no matter the target, the ambush would trigger.


      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 19:25
Brummbar44 wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 08:34

Yann wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 04:30

Brummbar44 écrit le Fri, 11 June 2010 22:59

I clicked on my ambush, the card went up and it indicated one of the tanks. All is well so far. But then, ad79 targeted the other tank...my ambush didn't work Sad

My guess is that you activated it too late. Remember, that can be like 10 secs difference between the moment someone attacks you and the moment you see it on your own side. You really want to activate your Ambush card well in advance - like at the very beginning of your opponent's turn. Don't wait for the battle phase.

Yann


Oh, I was ready for the attack, it was obvious so I did prepare the card. That wasn't the problem, the problem was the program picked one unit while my opponent opted for the other.

Perhaps it would be better for the ambush to be on the unit doing the attacking rather than the unit defending, this way, no matter the target, the ambush would trigger.



Unfortunately, this would not solve the problem, just shift it around. What we can probably do (I experienced a similar situation in one game) is tweak the AI for the Ambush a bit further to resolve tie-break situations like this even better.
      
Brummbar44
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 21:23
eric wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 10:25



Unfortunately, this would not solve the problem, just shift it around. What we can probably do (I experienced a similar situation in one game) is tweak the AI for the Ambush a bit further to resolve tie-break situations like this even better.


Good point. I can see this is a tricky part of the game to program...and job well done by and large.

Not to beat a dead horse, but check out this situation...

I had an attack coming in from a tank unit where it was adjacent to a dug in tank unit and an in open infantry unit. When I picked the ambush, it decided the tank unit was the target. I assume that it went strictly off the number of figures in the target as the tanks are not only harder to hit, they were dug in as well.

As an attacker faced with this situation, I would (as my opponent did) pick the infantry as the target. The Ambush never triggered and I stood by helpless while the tanks slapped my infantry around.

I understand the lag time problem...but perhaps when an ambush card is in hand, couldn't the other side's dice be prevented from rolling...or a dialogue box appear?
Something that delay's the game to allow the Ambush player to use it?
      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 22:23
No you couldn't do it this way (this would tremendously slow the game down AND let your opponent know you have an Ambush, destroying the element of surprise that is so fun).

But we can probably still refine things a bit, we'll see. For the most part (and already sometime better than the player would in a real game), the AI does a good job of playing it at the most "desirable" time (in the sense of helping you win the game). That by no means says our job is done though. Rolling Eyes
      
Brummbar44
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 12 June 2010 22:29
It does work well most of the time...it just needs tweaking on the decision process.

Again, job well done overall!
      
sam1812
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Re:Ambush + Move Sun, 13 June 2010 08:12
rasmussen81 wrote on Sat, 12 June 2010 10:29

While I'm sure that would be the ultimate goal for DoW (to give you complete control) the directions we got about using the Ambush card explained that with various internet speeds and delays from both computers involved in a game, it isn't possible to have the player use the Ambush at the exact time because the attack may have already happened by the time you activate the Ambush card.

That may be true if you assume that automatically spring-loading the Ambush card is the only way to prevent the opponent from rolling his dice against you. But that's a bit like having a face-to-face opponent point to one of your units with his left hand and say, "my tank is close assaulting him," while simultaneously rolling 3 dice with his right hand so there's no time to stop him with your Ambush card.

The neat, simple solution is to announce the close assault, and wait for the opponent to confirm (or Ambush) before proceeding. Yes, it can add a couple of minutes to the length of the game, but the objective is to finish with the most medals, not the fewest minutes.

Since the computer doesn't know your strategy, it seems exceedingly strange to allow the computer to control the use of one of your most strategic cards.
      
Yann
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 11:21
sam1812 écrit le Sun, 13 June 2010 08:12

The neat, simple solution is to announce the close assault, and wait for the opponent to confirm (or Ambush) before proceeding. Yes, it can add a couple of minutes to the length of the game, but the objective is to finish with the most medals, not the fewest minutes.


The problem is that if the player who holds the Ambush card is asked if it should be played or not, it will introduce a delay that the opponent will notice. Think about the delay that you get when a retreat happens to see what I mean.
So this would tip over the opponent that the other one has an Ambush card, and thus greatly influence his decisions and distort the game.

Believe me, if there had been a "neat, simple solution", we would have done it Wink

This being said, we got some reports about the Ambush card on armor overrun. Obviously this is an area that needs improvements.

Yann
      
LotusArdent
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 11:43
That's why sometimes Ambush make me really nervous :

http://www.ludomagny.org/fckdata/Image/M44/m44.jpg

Johnny Axis :
Unit 1 : 3Tanks
Unit 2 : 3Tanks

Me Allies :
Unit 3 : 3Tanks
Unit 4 : 2Tanks

When johnny activates his 2 tank units, I pick up Ambush. Johnny will start the battle in first with the unit 1. AI chooses to play Ambush for me beetween Unit 2&4.

But i want to play ambush beetween 1&3, because if i'am a lucky guy, 3 hit dices and bye bye unit 1 Twisted Evil , if i'am a bit lucky, a retreat or more for unit 1, and bye bye the armor overrun Very Happy .

What happen in real, unit 1 roll 4 dices(card effect), 3 hits, byebye unit 2, make an overrun, make one hit more on unit 4, then unit 2 finish the work.

johnny 2 - Lotus 0 Mad

PS: For non-beta tester, dont worry i made the screen with the editor... this is not what you could see and M44Online the game. Razz

Other case :
It seems that if you have 2 closed assault, the AI seems to not thinking about what you could do with your card after the turn. Example : 2 closed assault, one in right section, other in left section. AI decide to let me play ambush in the right section... but i have no card to play in hand in this section for the future. So, at my opinion, i would prefer to play ambush on a section where i could finih the work if my unit is still there.

[Updated on: Mon, 14 June 2010 11:49]

      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 16:43
For the 1st case, it won't happen because you're "If I am lucky" assumption is "faulty" one in a statistical sense (what I mean by this is the Ambush doesn't work based on the assumption that you'll be lucky; instead it was developed to give you the single best results statistically, ie based on the average expected dice rolls, not some lucky ones, sorry!)

For the 2nd, dream on... it can't/won't happen either because again that is very subjective.

So my advice when playing the Ambust is to think of it this way: They way it's played reflects how much (sometimes how little) your men can obey your orders and keep a cool ahead to think strategically in the heat of battle. Laughing

Also keep in mind that there are many instances where the Ambush, once you arm it, will actually do an equally good or better choice than you could on your own.

But it will never be able to do precisely what you want (especially if what you want is not optimal), sorry.

[Updated on: Mon, 14 June 2010 16:43]

      
Yann
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 18:00
Rasmussen81 just reported an issue that we would probably call a bug (your comments are welcome).

Currently, the Ambush Card evaluates the situation globally, i.e. for all units on the map. Consider this example: there are two units "in danger", one of the left flank and one on the right flank. The one on the right is in severe situation, so the Ambush card shows that this is where it will play.

Now, the opponent attacks on the left flank. Considering that the danger is on the right, the Ambush card is not played.

We are thinking about changing this behavior like this: evaluated positions would be restricted to active enemy units, not all enemy units. As a side effect, if there is only one close combat happening this turn, then the Ambush would be played on it 100% of the time. Put another way: if you activate the Ambush card at the end of your turn, then you are sure that it will be played the next turn if one (or more) close combat happens.

We think it would come a long way in making the Ambush card work more like what you expect.

Any comments?

Yann
      
LotusArdent
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 18:04
eric écrit le Mon, 14 June 2010 16:43

For the 1st case, it won't happen because you're "If I am lucky" assumption is "faulty" one in a statistical sense (what I mean by this is the Ambush doesn't work based on the assumption that you'll be lucky; instead it was developed to give you the single best results statistically, ie based on the average expected dice rolls, not some lucky ones, sorry!)



It's subjective too, to say that AI thinks that its better for you to... because in his case, its not better for you! And i'am sure about it... Take a look of what happens, in this case i lost two units. If i could play ambush before, it could not be worse.

And I dont talk about "I'am in the hand of god", but it's like when you play Backgammon, the art of game, is not to play as statistic tells you what to do... its to say : "at this moment i have to do this, because that what should i could have if i win, would be better than what i could lost if i do nothing".

And at last, i would say, as i say to Yann at phone, dont think about statistic... you are a human being, and sometimes, you think you have to do some choises, even stastistic says you are wrong... and it could works! And if it's not works... anyway, its YOUR choice. And by extension (not sure i dont do a bad word in english) actually, when i play ambush, with M44Online, its like when i play a overload map. You tell some orders to your guys, but they do what they want... and it's not acceptable for a one-to-one humans battle.

As a great man says, "the difference beetwen a hero and a silly guy is very short, if you succeed, you are an hero, and if you lost... you are stupid"

If what i said is to ambiguous, i will retry in french.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 18:29
Yann wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 09:00

Rasmussen81 just reported an issue that we would probably call a bug (your comments are welcome).

Currently, the Ambush Card evaluates the situation globally, i.e. for all units on the map. Consider this example: there are two units "in danger", one of the left flank and one on the right flank. The one on the right is in severe situation, so the Ambush card shows that this is where it will play.

Now, the opponent attacks on the left flank. Considering that the danger is on the right, the Ambush card is not played.

We are thinking about changing this behavior like this: evaluated positions would be restricted to active enemy units, not all enemy units. As a side effect, if there is only one close combat happening this turn, then the Ambush would be played on it 100% of the time. Put another way: if you activate the Ambush card at the end of your turn, then you are sure that it will be played the next turn if one (or more) close combat happens.

We think it would come a long way in making the Ambush card work more like what you expect.

Any comments?

Yann


That sounds like a great way to resolve some of the issues! Personally I think that the computer does a great job choosing which unit to Ambush but with this system it sounds like I can guarantee that the card will be used on a turn when there is only one attack taking place, even if it's not the most 'at risk' unit.

Thanks for all the hard work, Yann and team!! Keep it up, you've already done an amazing job. Cool
      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Mon, 14 June 2010 23:21
No LotusArdent, what you say is clear. It just can't be coded that way, for better or for worse- if we knew how to do mind-reading we'd be doing another job Laughing
      
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Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 10:16
Yann écrit le Mon, 14 June 2010 18:00

Put another way: if you activate the Ambush card at the end of your turn, then you are sure that it will be played the next turn if one (or more) close combat happens.


When ambush arrived in your hand from deck, it's at the end of your turn when you have already say "end of battle" isn't it?
So how could you pick it up for the next Turn?

Edit :
So how could you pick it up for the next Turn?

[Updated on: Tue, 15 June 2010 15:24]

      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 15:17
LotusArdent wrote on Tue, 15 June 2010 01:16

Yann écrit le Mon, 14 June 2010 18:00

Put another way: if you activate the Ambush card at the end of your turn, then you are sure that it will be played the next turn if one (or more) close combat happens.


When ambush arrived in your hand from deck, it's at the end of your turn when you have already say "end of battle" isn't it?
So how could you pick it up ?



That's the beauty of the Ambush card. As soon as it's in your hand you can select it and if a Close Assault happens in your opponent's turn it would be used. Smile

As much as we all might wish to use the Ambush card exactly when we want, on the attack we want, we still have to play according to the ability of the computer game designed for us. If the DoW team could have programed the Ambush card so we could play it instantly (like in a Face to Face game) they would have. With this option it sounds like they'll be able to get it close to giving us full control but it's still a computer game that's having to work over huge distances...

The Ambush card may never give us absolute control and choice like we have in our table-top games of Memoir '44 but it's kind of like the Lord of the Rings movie series. They are amazing movies but they don't follow the books in every single aspect (mainly because they can't and still be fun, entertaining, and theatrical). The computer version can't be an exact duplicate of a normal game with a normal person because at this point the technology we have doesn't allow some of the same principles (like instant Ambush). However, it's pretty darn close! Very Happy
      
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Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 18:29
Sorry Jesse, but the Ambush needs to work better.

There at least needs to be some tie in to the units that have been ordered!

Here's the latest example...
I had an ambush. My opponent played a flank card and ordered 2 units. I had a feeling that he would move close and attack so I clicked the Ambush card. However, the program felt that I would be best served if I played it against a lone infantry in the center!? That unit wasn't even ordered!

Again, while I can appreciate the problems associated with this particular aspect of the game. This really needs to be resolved otherwise it simply doesn't play like the actual game. I'm not sure if 'close' cuts it in this case.
      
eric
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October 2002
Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 18:47
Just to be clear:

We will try and refine the Ambush so that it breaks ties appropriately and so that is armed to go on units that are effectively at risk (ie in contact with enemy units that have been ordered).

Also to be clear:

As described in the User Manual, the Ambush will NOT work exactly as in the board game (at least in PvP and SOLO games; in Expert mode, it will work whatever way you want it to work Very Happy )
      
Brummbar44
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Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 19:39
eric wrote on Tue, 15 June 2010 09:47

Just to be clear:

We will try and refine the Ambush so that it breaks ties appropriately and so that is armed to go on units that are effectively at risk (ie in contact with enemy units that have been ordered).



That would help a lot! The ordered units issue has gotten me a couple of times now.

Thanks.
      
eric
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Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 19:46
Brummbar44 wrote on Tue, 15 June 2010 10:39

eric wrote on Tue, 15 June 2010 09:47

Just to be clear:

We will try and refine the Ambush so that it breaks ties appropriately and so that is armed to go on units that are effectively at risk (ie in contact with enemy units that have been ordered).



That would help a lot! The ordered units issue has gotten me a couple of times now.

Thanks.



Us too, us too - says Eric who's been trying to prevent the Liberation of Paris as the Axis commander without success way too many times in a row Confused Rolling Eyes
      
stevens
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February 2007
Re:Ambush + Move Tue, 15 June 2010 21:05
Dear Eric,
Glad to here in the expert mode that we will be able to use the card as we wish. Thanks for all the time you are putting into responding to the queries of your clients. It is much appreciated!
      
henryblake
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June 2005
Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 10 July 2010 06:52
This may be entirely impractical given the game mechanics of the software, but could the ambush be refined so that the holder could designate the only attacker or defender that it would be used with? Maybe even multiple designations for the AI to choose from?

Obviously, compromises needed to be made for the online version of this card, but if the player could optionally restrict which units the card would apply to when used, it could still give a level of human tactical control that the system described here (as I understand it) seems to lack.

The decision to ambush is sometimes based on the situation of the attacking unit and sometimes the defending unit. Optional player designation of suitable units allowed to activate the ambush could allow the AI to infer the player's intent more precisely. If the card is played but no intent is signaled, the AI could default back to its supposedly optimal strategy as it currently does.

It doesn't seem to me that this solution would have a negative impact on the flow of the game or network lag, because the player would not be designating precisely which close assault the ambush is used for, but is instead indicating which units (potential attackers or defenders) activate the ambush, so the designation can be made during any phase of the game. It would add some complexity to gameplay, but use of it would be optional, so a player could use it as he got more sophisticated in his use of the gaming system.

Often doing or preventing the most damage to units is optimal, but unless the AI is so good such that it is superior to all human players in all situations (in which case sign me up to play "Johnny" forever), I would prefer to give my own orders to the extent that it doesn't mess up the flow of the game. Otherwise, I'm afraid that the AI's evaluation of the best ambush might effectively lead to it always choosing to take a player's queen, even though the savvy strategist knows that sometimes sacrificing the queen can lead to checkmate. These difficult but necessary decisions are what separate the Pattons from the crybabies Very Happy

Sorry if this seems anal. I truly love this game and I take it too seriously (to the point that, like "Johnny", I have also calculated the Markov chains for various stock attack situations so that I can make informed decisions about optimal attacks when evaluating my options). Memoir is the best game I have ever played--it is easy to learn, easy to teach, fun to play, and has surprising depth. I am sooooo looking forward to the computer version and I want it to replicate the board game as closely as possible, which is why I am making this suggestion.
      
sam1812
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Re:Ambush + Move Sat, 10 July 2010 14:55
Stephen, I haven't seen the online version yet, so this is only a guess, but listening carefully to what everybody has said here, I've been having similar thoughts about how the Ambush problem might be solved.

I think your chess analogy is particularly apt. Johnny may be perfect at calculating the probabilities, but I note that several of the playtesters (Brummbar, Hawkmoon, Rasmussen, Stevens, and probably others) are consistently beating him 70% or 80% of the time.

Sam E.

[Updated on: Sat, 10 July 2010 18:02]

      
henryblake
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Re:Ambush + Move Sun, 11 July 2010 17:27
Been thinking more about this subject.

The biggest question over the years for computer Memoir has been how the Ambush card would be implemented. I suspect that this issue more than any other will determine how the computer game is received by current players.

The way I see it, the online game should have the following design goals:

1. Memoir online should replicate the experience of playing the board game as closely as possible.

2. Variability in the game should come from dice rolls, card selection, and player decisions. The mechanics of the game should otherwise be transparent and repeatable. The workings of your opponent's mind should be the only "black box" in the game.

3. The Ambush card (or any other card for that matter) should not delay the game, nor should a player have to tip his hand about possession of the card before it is used.

In the many hours I have played on Vassal I have thought about this problem a lot. So far, I have been unable to come up with a solution to the Ambush Problem that allows a player to use it exactly as it is used face-to-face without interrupting the flow of the game, which would be unacceptable. Some compromise therefore has to be made that either introduces AI or reduces the card's flexibility while still maintaining player control.

Having never played the beta, I admittedly cast only a partially-informed vote for player control. I propose that the player who has the Ambush attaches the card to a unit or units (either his own or his opponent's) and the first unit so designated to enter into a close assault automatically activates the ambush. This occurs completely deterministically, with no interference by the computer as to when the ambush actually occurs.

This way it is still the player who sets up the ambush, and can control absolutely either the target or the unit that will carry it out, but not necessarily both. Just like in a real battle, the ambush may be set up by a defending unit only to have a different enemy than expected walk into it and trip the attack. Or it can be assigned against a specific enemy unit without any guarantee of which defender will carry it out. The focus of the ambush is still completely under the control of the player, though some flexibility of play is sacrificed in exchange for that control.

Does this ambush work exactly like it does in the boardgame? No, but in theory the boardgame could work like this (though I can't imagine anyone recommending that). The same cannot be said for the AI solution, which seems a fairly major departure in the game philosophy and design. Just because my proposal works differently than the printed card, doesn't make it any less Memoir-like, whereas the computer seizing control over when and where your units attack is definitely very unMemoir-like.

I know you have also put a lot of thought into the "Ambush Problem", so I would be very interested to hear if you have already considered doing it this way, and if so, why you ultimately decided to go in a different direction.

Regards,
Stephen
      
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