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sam1812
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Ambush horror stories Mon, 17 January 2011 07:23
I was playing Axis at Twin Villages in the new version. My opponent went Behind Enemy Lines, moving his infantry between two of mine. I was holding Ambush, so I loaded it. The Ambush arrow indicated one of the two possible attacks my opopnent could make. However, he chose to attack my other unit, so the Ambush didn't happen. (I have filed a bug report about this.)

If only one unit is attacking and Ambush is loaded, the Ambush should automatically trigger against whatever attack the unit makes.

Better yet, we should be able to control our own Ambushes, just as we control our retreats and Recon choices.

Are other people still having undesirable results with Ambushes in the new version?
      
Nygaard
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Re:Ambush horror stories Mon, 17 January 2011 08:57
I think it works pretty well. The only problem is when you need the computer to roll against a specific opponent because the battle is on the line. But since it works both ways I don't mind too much.

      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush horror stories Mon, 17 January 2011 09:37
I suspect that with the different factors that have to be taken into account, the Ambush card will never quite work the way it does in a face to face game.

Factors:

1) Playability - nobody wants the game to be slowed down when you have the Ambush card. This would happen if we had to wait for our opponent before every attack.

2) Speed - the game moves so fast that we can't possibly click on the correct unit to ambush before the attack has already happened because by the time we're seeing the target, the attack is over.

3) Game Rules - the player needs to be able to Ambush an enemy before they roll their attack dice. It wouldn't be fair to see the die results and then pick if you want to Ambush after the roll like in Vassal.

4) Other Factors - I'm sure there are factors I haven't thought of that also play into this programming.

In the end, I think we have to realize that the Ambush card may not be perfect! It might be one area where the computer version is a bit different than the tabel-top version... Rolling Eyes
      
Vulch
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Re:Ambush horror stories Mon, 17 January 2011 11:26
I think, on the whole, it works pretty well. Having played nearly 150 games, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand when it has not worked to my advantage, or as I would have wished.

The computer seems pretty good at picking the most vulnerable unit, or the one with the best chance of success. Occasionally the unit that the computer has picked doesn't get attacked, but "hey ho", that's life.

Having said that, the scenario Sam outlined would seem to be a mistake by the computer.
      
sam1812
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Re:Ambush horror stories Mon, 17 January 2011 14:46
Jesse, it sounds like you're giving great importance to the pace/speed of the game. I respectfully submit that, while none of us want the game to drag, the small amount of time to approve close assaults would not cause the game to drag.

Right now, we have the same situation every time the computer asks whether you want to ignore the first flag, and you have the same situation every time the computer asks you to choose among multiple retreats.

I would not want the AI to decide whether I should ignore the first flag. I would not weant the AI to decide which retreat I should take. I don't want the AI to decide which card I should choose after a Recon. And I don't want the game to decide which Ambush to do -- and I especially don't want the AI insubordinately to ignore my order to Ambush an attacker. If it adds two minutes to the game, that's not a terrible thing.

And some day, in another battle, I'll be attacked on both flanks while I'm holding an Infantry Assault and Move Out, planning to move to the right, and my Ambush will trigger on my strategically unimportant left flank, instead, because the AI doesn't know my plans and doesn't take requests.

When we get up to Combat cards, and you have to choose between Ambush, Out of Ammo, Out of Fuel, and Pull Back, depending on the situation, the defender will need to have his choices, too.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush horror stories Mon, 17 January 2011 15:47
sam1812 wrote on Mon, 17 January 2011 17:46

Jesse, it sounds like you're giving great importance to the pace/speed of the game. I respectfully submit that, while none of us want the game to drag, the small amount of time to approve close assaults would not cause the game to drag.


My emphasis is more on the 'playability' factor, though pace/speed are part of that. There are several things that I think play into a decision not to have players approve close assaults.

1) To keep the fact that you have an Ambush card secret, the game would have to incorporate a system of approving Close Assaults for the entire game. Otherwise your opponent would know you held the Ambush card as soon as there was a lag for your approval.

2) In battle that requires 5-6 medals it could easily take 30 minutes to play and each player would be faced with 50+ questions about whether they want to Ambush a Close Assault...even when they don't hold the card! I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to click "NO!" a whole bunch of times during any game when I don't have the card.

3) I think the in-game approval requirements (like retreat, and ignore the first flag) do work well but do slow a game down simply because players have to be paying attention and they have to be sitting in front of the computer. I can't count how many times I've played my turn and gone to get a drink or switched screens to look at something else online. Then when I get back I see that my opponent has been waiting for me to pick a retreat hex. If players had to answer a question like that every turn it would slow games down more than just a few minutes.

I understand what you're saying, Sam, and I agree that in an ideal world you could select exactly which unit you want to Ambush. But I don't think the approval system would work with the Online game. I don't think the negative consequences would justify the added control players would have.
      
JJs Juggernaut
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 03:59
I have heard a lot about the problems with the ambush card and have experianced them myself. Sad Once, my opponent moved another unit next to my unit that i wanted the card to be used on and the ambush switched to this new unit. My tank was in a city and the new unit was on a hill so my card was wasted before I had a chance to "disarm" it. Mad Why couldn't you "arm" the Ambush card and then double click on the unit you want it to be used against (providing that unit is in close assault)? That would allow you to choose which unit to use the card on. I think that would solve most of the problems with the card, exept not being able to switch in time due to the slight delay in seeing your opponents move from the time he moves.

thanks.
      
Nightrain
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 04:08
dear Jesse,

I agree with Sam here, and for Wittman's sake, I will choose the option for my opponent to know that I'm holding an Ambush card rather than the AI pick the target in the lightning pace for me, and boy did he pick a wrong one several times, or worst, the Ambush didn't come out because my unit was killed first Very Happy

in any given situation, when Ambush hasn't come out, I always assume that my opponent is holding the Ambush, and every close assault that I made, I always anticipate an Ambush coming, so that doesn't really matter for me, and I guess that's also been in mind in every experienced players.

and beside, talking about a fast game, among my four hundred Vassal games experience, I think confirming a close assault everytime Ambush hasn't come out will probably only cost you at maximum 2-3 minutes per game (not per turn!), and that's ain't significant at all, but talking about wrong Ambush decision, that could be a game turner, from winning to a frustrating defeat, especially in the late game.

Quote:

3) Game Rules - the player needs to be able to Ambush an enemy before they roll their attack dice. It wouldn't be fair to see the die results and then pick if you want to Ambush after the roll like in Vassal.


and i don't understand your quotation on this one. In Vassal, a player never rolled his dice before opponent confirm the Ambush, so it's a fair game.

now I know many players will probably not agree with my opinion and still rather pick the AI, but I believe many will also be on my side. So I guess the best solution is to have an on/off switch of this ambush situation. If you want to confirm Ambush, switch it on, otherwise, let the AI decide, everybody happy Smile
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 04:30
Nightrain wrote on Tue, 18 January 2011 07:08


Quote:

3) Game Rules - the player needs to be able to Ambush an enemy before they roll their attack dice. It wouldn't be fair to see the die results and then pick if you want to Ambush after the roll like in Vassal.


and i don't understand your quotation on this one. In Vassal, a player never rolled his dice before opponent confirm the Ambush, so it's a fair game.


From what people said, I was lead to believe (maybe incorrectly) that in Vassal and especially in PBM games the Ambush card is applied after a player has attacked, since there's no way to interrupt an attack. This system of playing is a modification of the rules to accomodate the online game, just like the AI system is a modification. Granted, I've had the AI Ambush the wrong unit but DoW is still improving the card.

While I agree that more control would be ideal, I don't want to sacrifice the flow of the game for a situation that works quite well (though not perfectly). I think JJ might be onto something with the idea of players being able to select their 'primary target' for the Ambush card but we'll still run into situations where that primary target doesn't attack first!

Give DoW a chance to keep tweaking the AI choices...I think they're still improving it! Cool
      
sam1812
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 06:17
Jesse, the custom on Vassal is to announce your dice before rolling a close assault, and wait for the opponent to confirm before rolling. It only takes a few seconds.

In a typical game, each player rolls somewhere between roughly 30 and 60 dice. Many of them are ranged attacks, and many of the close assaults are multiple dice. It's not many extra minutes at all. (In fact, for inexperienced players, the custom is to annoucne all dice, just to be sure they understand everything, and even that doesn't slow the game down terribly.)

What slows the game down more is players like me, who deliberate about their moves. Smile

In PBEM, the custom is to interrupt the logfile with your Ambush, while you're viewing it for the first time. (Both players in the game need to have trustworthy opponents.) When I played a lot of PBEM, my regular opponent and I sometimes would give conditional instructions, just in case the other player ambushed.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 08:03
sam1812 wrote on Tue, 18 January 2011 09:17

Jesse, the custom on Vassal is to announce your dice before rolling a close assault, and wait for the opponent to confirm before rolling. It only takes a few seconds.


Thanks for explaining that to me. I've never played Vassal, so I was just going off what I understood from what people said.

Maybe it's just me, but I would very much dislike having to confirm every Close Assault attack! It sounds like you guys are used to confirming attacks because of Vassal but as someone who has only played Memoir '44 Online game it sounds clunky to confirm every attack!! But like I said, I might be the minority view point in this area. Cool
      
Nightrain
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 09:51
Jes,

the only way any dice is rolled is in PBEM, but usually in PBEM, if you play a friend that you can trust, this is not an issue, because in Vassal's PBEM, you can press PgDn to view actions sequencially, so when you see an enemy approaching and you have Ambush card, instead of continue playing the logfile to see the roll result, you stop right there and start a new one, and play your Ambush card, and continue.

It's a bit tricky at first, but if you've played a lot of PBEM games, you'll get used to it Smile

i remembered playing PBEM with Paul (a.k.a stevens) and we completed around 51 games offline, including two complete Grand Campaigns, so that must be something fun huh Smile

That way, I can see the difficulty of implementing PBEM in this online games format by keep confirming close assault, so the only way to do PBEM style online is the automatic Ambush arm as it was implemented now Smile
      
clexton27
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Re:Ambush horror stories Tue, 18 January 2011 14:38
Dear Steve, Thanks for the shout out!!
Laughing

I am with Sam and Steve on this one. It would be nice to have the option of actually selecting which unit to ambush. If this involves an added function box for declaring close assaults, then that would be ok. It is really just a matter of mere seconds to confirm a close assault. Sometimes I take longer than that to roll my dice hoping that the dice select-o-meters have rotated around to a more favourable selection.

SUCH AS ALL GRENADES!!!!Twisted Evil

I know in the end this is a choice for DOW, but I think it would allow the player of the Ambush to really get to make his/her own choice. In the end we just want the online game to be as close to the board game as possible.

I know if they (DOW) don't come up with a work around to this, those who play in expert mode will just come up with their own. And this may be the most satisfactory result for all parties.

[Updated on: Tue, 18 January 2011 14:50]

      
SAS KAS
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Re:Ambush horror stories Thu, 20 January 2011 09:18
Another idea that could work with the existing system without changing the game flow, could be to have the option in settings to choose between certain ambush priorities:

1) always select weakest unit
2) always select first attacking unit
3) always select infantry (or armor)

In addition you can always try to "engineer" it yourself by holding back trickering the ambush card until the right situation appears.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Ambush horror stories Thu, 20 January 2011 11:30
SAS KAS wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 12:18

Another idea that could work with the existing system without changing the game flow, could be to have the option in settings to choose between certain ambush priorities:

1) always select weakest unit
2) always select first attacking unit
3) always select infantry (or armor)

In addition you can always try to "engineer" it yourself by holding back trickering the ambush card until the right situation appears.


Great idea!! Those could be choices in the "Options" section and could allow a player to have a bit more control of the current system if they wanted it. You could have an option for "Default" or "AI Choice" to simply keep the system as it is and let the AI decide which is the best unit to Ambush.

Good thinking. Cool
      
rtpMark
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Re:Ambush horror stories Thu, 20 January 2011 19:23
SAS KAS wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 03:18

Another idea that could work with the existing system without changing the game flow, could be to have the option in settings to choose between certain ambush priorities:

1) always select weakest unit
2) always select first attacking unit
3) always select infantry (or armor)

In addition you can always try to "engineer" it yourself by holding back trickering the ambush card until the right situation appears.


Here's my YES vote too! Smile
      
Randwulf
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Re:Ambush horror stories Thu, 20 January 2011 23:21
Sorry Yann.... sorry Brice...

Gotta cast my vote for that also... selecting weakest unit or first unit could also be a pop up when the card is armed???

I want first unit if mine is weaker, I want weakest unit if mine is stronger, and what happens during a multiple close assault?

I have seen the first weak unit die without using the ambush and the second stronger unit not get to ambush till the next turn???

not gonna be an easy fix...
      
eric
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Re:Ambush horror stories Fri, 21 January 2011 02:12
Guys,

To set expectations straight: While we appreciate everyone's input and respects everyone's thoughts on the subject, the way the Ambush card works isn't really up for discussion at this stage: The suggestions made on this thread have already been carefully considered and discarded for a variety of reasons, when we worked on the current implementation.

This does not mean things will never change of course; but at this time we have just way too many higher priorities on our plate to reopen this for debate.

Of course, there might also be bugs we accidentally introduced. To the extent there are, we will hunt and fix them.

Thanks for your understanding.

Eric

[Updated on: Fri, 21 January 2011 03:03]

      
Nightrain
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Re:Ambush horror stories Fri, 21 January 2011 04:15
hi Eric,

i also understand that too many things to handle right now, but since it's safe to say that M44 Online is still on its early development phase, so it's better to tweak the hard things today than a year later when Overlord/Breakthrough/all official maps/combat cards have been introduced.

so i guess let's open this thread for discussion even though we can't expect in a short amount of time for a change Smile

and another recommendation, looks like it's easier to put an option to disable Ambush calculation and put a confirmation whenever Ambush is armed, because if later you want to introduce Expert mode, when all movement and dices are rolled manually, the Ambush procedure is also should be manual right ?

Thanks
      
Yann
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Re:Ambush horror stories Fri, 21 January 2011 07:42
Quote:

because if later you want to introduce Expert mode, when all movement and dices are rolled manually, the Ambush procedure is also should be manual right ?

Yes, the Ambush card is managed completely manually in the Expert Mode. By the way, when we open the Expert Mode and you have used the Ambush card there, you will surely experience the network-related "time shift" issue and thus understand why we chose the automatic behavior in the Standard Mode.
In Expert Mode, it's not too much of a deal if your opponent plays the Ambush card even though you already rolled your attack dice : you have all the tools to "walk back" the action: add back figures (or even a full unit) on the board, remove a medal from your scoring track, etc.

Yann
      
Nightrain
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Re:Ambush horror stories Fri, 21 January 2011 10:26
yes Yann, i believe so, well at least for now, we should be waiting for the Expert thing to happened first Smile
      
    
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