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fatgreta
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Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 05:15
I know, I know, another guy griping about the dice. All I can say about that is, in all of my war game groups, I'm the guy that everyone is mad at for always saying "dice roll their average, for everyone, there are no 'high rollers, low rollers, lucky rollers,' etc."

I'm playing my third solo game against the computer, and the number of drastically against the odds dice rolls so far is staggering. Four kills on one roll, three TANKS kills on another, four consecutive 2 dice rolls with two kills each. And, literally, every one of those examples (and there are more) has been the computer rolling against me. I'm rolling about average, maybe a little better.

So no, this isn't a gripe session, but an actual question. Some computer games (at least back when I played them) even the field against human players by upping the odds for the computer in combat. Is that done here?

Thanks,

Chris
      
Phread
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 05:39
Simple answer for you NO

DoW have said, and I trust them, that the die rolling software doesn't know who is rolling the dice.
      
fatgreta
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 05:40
Phread wrote on Mon, 27 June 2011 23:39

Simple answer for you NO

DoW have said, and I trust them, that the die rolling software doesn't know who is rolling the dice.


I hear that you trust them, but I've got my doubts. And while I appreciate the fast reply, I don't think shouting was really necessary.
      
Phread
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 05:45
Don't doubt, trust.

I was emphasising not shouting.


Seriously if you think DoW are going to rip you - and the rest of us - off then stop playing now.

I have been playing online for 7 months and have nothing but praise for DoW and DoW staff.

If you doubt their honesty and integrity then stop playing.

[Updated on: Tue, 28 June 2011 05:49]

      
fatgreta
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 05:46
Phread wrote on Mon, 27 June 2011 23:45

Don't doubt, trust.

I was emphasising not shouting.



If you don't mind, I'll keep my own council about when to doubt and when to trust, and do so for my own reasons.
      
Phread
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 05:58
Then good luck to you.

My words were meant as well meaning advice and I am sorry that you haven't read them that way.

Perhaps we can meet on the field of battle someday.

      
Grandviceroy
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 06:54
Calm down guys - you would like each other!
i know!
i have played you, phread, and in a game where the dice were 5 to one against me..
...i think it was the game with you about a week or so ago where i played their finest hour and got three grenades and three flags? - as my opponent (i think you) observed, that was a 0.0137 percent chance ... and we played on...(in a hollywood ending i would have come back from that to win, but i didn't...but if i recall we then did a rematch)..

..and fatgreta, well, we have played many games face to face over the last few years (phread, he and i live about an hour apart, belong to a group that meets every monday usually to do miniatures, sometimes memoir; he also hosts a once a month board game group)...you are also a grand guy to game with.

you two would like each other...so go play a game....THEN (one man's capitalization is one's emphasis or another's shouting, such is the danger of the written rather than spoken word) you can regale each other with the fickleness of the gods of dice...

...even tonight, playing head to head in the campaign with a pal (whom fatgreta also knows) we rolled so many green star combos the table looked like a bowl lucky charms (but these little green marshmallows are not magically delicious).

...
      
Nygaard
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 06:58
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 05:15

(snip)
So no, this isn't a gripe session, but an actual question. Some computer games (at least back when I played them) even the field against human players by upping the odds for the computer in combat. Is that done here?

Thanks,

Chris


Like the man said; nope.
And once you've played a few more games you'll see that the computer rolls just as badly as you do on a regular basis.

Just out of curiosity - what do you think would be DoW's interest in making the computer better or have it "cheat"?
If the number of people complaining about their "bad luck" is anything to go by, they should have made a twist to make cadets roll above average instead...

Magnus
      
Grandviceroy
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 07:26
fatgreta's remark is an honest question.

i reviewed computer games for many years - had columns in print and online magazines (the avalon hill general, fire and movement, the wargamer) and i know from designers that in many games the AI was or is given a boost to compensate for its often less than stellar play.

sometimes this is a production bonus (sid meier's civilization games for example are very up front about how the computer gets to build cheaper and faster and gets bonus resources as the levels increase).

it is a valid question. This is not chess, and whatever algorithms the computer uses in DoW have to factor in a lot of unknown factors ... like what cards does the other player have or could he have....

....the computer is not a bad player (i played twice just to get the interface down, then moved on to real people) but it does have a habit just from the games i have seen of making some pretty questionable moves - like coming OUT of a bunker or town or sandbag just to get one more combat die...and thus leaving itself vulnerable....and in situations where it could not possibly wipe out a unit and gain a medal by doing so...

it is good to know that the computer does not cheat ... but it is a VALID question (again, emphasis, not shouting)...as it is a time-honored tool in designing AI opponents...
      
Nygaard
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 07:45
Grandviceroy wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 07:26

fatgreta's remark is an honest question.
(snip)

it is good to know that the computer does not cheat ... but it is a VALID question (again, emphasis, not shouting)...as it is a time-honored tool in designing AI opponents...


Sure it's a valid question - I've played tons of games where the AI "difficulty" was basically just how much the computer was allowed to cheat - but again I don't get why DoW would be interested in making the DICE be off? What would be their interest?
And I Phread certainly wasn't angry - if anybody have had his doubts about the dice in the online version it's Phread... Wink
And I'm pretty sure DoW wouldn't have been able to get away with a cheat without him crying foul.

And then there's the "sigh-not-another-threat-about-bad-luck"-fatigue that we regulars here on the forum can tend to get. If fatgreta had done even a light search he would have found half a dozen threats about exactly the same subject with exactly the same comments - and a link to the actual results of DoW...
Two that came up in a quick search:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/en/msg/?goto=204270#msg_204270
http://www.daysofwonder.com/en/msg/?goto=210727#msg_210727
      
sam1812
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 07:56
DOW has been very upfront with M-Online -- including changing their initial policies on how to charge for the games and how the Ambush card should be managed (in response to clear user feedback). Their programmers have been very responsive to hundreds of bug reports and user questions during the beta and beyond, and they even published full details of the player rating formula (and subsequently agreed that it needs to be tweaked).

So, to get back to the original question, DOW has firmly stated on numerous occasions that the die roller is separate from the AI, it doesn't know which player is rolling, and it doesn't know what the target is.

Bottom line: If they say the die roller is independent, it's true.
      
Yann
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 11:16
Another "Johnny cheats" thread, here we go again... Shocked

Just for the records (again):

- The dice are rolled by the server.
- The server does not care who's playing. It just rolls the dice.
- Johnny has no more or less access than you to the game data. It even runs on your own machine, using the exact same client-server protocol as you.

One thing is different: Johnny is better at maths than any of us! No wonder, it's a computer program. This means it always tries to roll more dice and in better situations than us. That's why Johnny is tough to beat... Twisted Evil

For more details, refer to my post that gives stats:

http://www.daysofwonder.com/fr/msg/?goto=204270#msg_204270

To conclude: the other day, I was helping my 15-year old daughter on a math homework. The task was to use Excel, draw random numbers between 1 and 6, and find how many draws it took to have an even distribution between the 6 numbers. Do you know how many rolls it took to reach good accuracy? 10,000...

So guys, get back to me after you wrote down 10,000 rolls in M44 Online, and then we can talk Laughing


Yann
      
stenic
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 12:59
fatgreta,

Your frustration is understandable but consider the dice.

Getting 4 kills in 1 roll of 4 dice happens a fair bit, especially on infantry.

There are 2 infantry figures, 1 grenade, 1 tank, 1 flag, 1 star on each dice. So for infantry each dice has a 50% of a kill, tanks 33%. If either have their retreat blocked this goes up to 66% and 50% respectively.

The AI also uses opportunities to roll extra dice. Playing First Wave I've watched in amazement as the german have leapt off the cliffs and race down the beach to throw me back into the water. Even more amazing it worked as I had no cards to counter Embarassed
      
fatgreta
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54
Nygaard wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 01:45


Sure it's a valid question - I've played tons of games where the AI "difficulty" was basically just how much the computer was allowed to cheat - but again I don't get why DoW would be interested in making the DICE be off? What would be their interest?
And I Phread certainly wasn't angry - if anybody have had his doubts about the dice in the online version it's Phread... Wink
And I'm pretty sure DoW wouldn't have been able to get away with a cheat without him crying foul.

And then there's the "sigh-not-another-threat-about-bad-luck"-fatigue that we regulars here on the forum can tend to get. If fatgreta had done even a light search he would have found half a dozen threats about exactly the same subject with exactly the same comments - and a link to the actual results of DoW...
Two that came up in a quick search:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/en/msg/?goto=204270#msg_204270
http://www.daysofwonder.com/en/msg/?goto=210727#msg_210727


This kind of escalation from actual question to personal vindictiveness is one of the most frustrating things about internet forums. I should probably leave it alone, but I was up late dealing with the aftermath of a dog / porcupine encounter (there were not surprises in those rolls, I can assure you), so I'll post several points in response to some of the responses above.

1) I don't think I'm a particularly good M '44 player, and I'm not surprised that the computer beats me. In an attempt to get better, I posted here wanting to know what I was up against. I never claimed DOW had any "interest in the AI "cheating." I asked if part of the AI's competence was letting it roll better, period. If it is, fine. That's important information for me, as I expect virtually all of my games on this system to be solo plays.

2) ALL CAPS is, as far as I know, the universal symbol for shouting in internet posts. If you do a quick search, you'll see plenty of references to exactly that fact.

http://creativecurio.com/2007/08/why-you-shouldn%E2%80%99t-t ype-in-all-caps/

http://hubpages.com/hub/What-People-Think-When-You-Type-in-A ll-Caps

http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/08/14/how-to-be-polite-while- youre-online-practicing-good-netiquette/

Add to that someone ranked "Colonel," with eleventy billion medals and such in his signature, giving what sounds like an order to someone who's new here, and see what you get. I'm addressing my part of that in a separate post.

3) This is not "another Johnny cheats thread." I said at the very beginning of my post that wasn't my intention. Replies to that effect are simply condescending, if not downright rude. They also come across as fan-boyish.

4) I also pointed out that I wasn't talking about the overall hit percentages. I get that a four kill roll isn't a terribly unusual event statistically. In fact, after the last game I played, I had a slightly higher overall hit percentage than the computer. I was talking about how often the wildly "off" percentage rolls went either for the computer or against me. The posts referenced in one of these replies quite simply do not address "exactly the same subject." Both of those posts are talking about hit percentages. That specific comment, as well as being condescending, is simply incorrect.

4a) It also brings up what I admit is a pet peeve: the "you could have searched..." reply. Why is it a problem to post a new thread? The title was pretty descriptive, I think you knew what you were in for when you clicked "read." If you didn't want to be part of that discussion, why not just pass on by?

5) If someone can read my original post, and show me how I was critical of DoW, I'll post a letter of apology to them. The thing is, I've got no criticism of them (well, I think their prices for board games are a little high, but they're no Troll & Toad). I think their games are good in every way, I think their customer service is quite good, and I think this specific product of theirs is well done. I agree, they were very upfront about their approach to pricing for this game, and I think it's probably the best bang for the buck I've seen for any of their Memoir '44 stuff. I'm happy with the game, and now I'm better informed about it as well.

Chris
      
fatgreta
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 13:58
Phread wrote on Mon, 27 June 2011 23:58

Then good luck to you.

My words were meant as well meaning advice and I am sorry that you haven't read them that way.

Perhaps we can meet on the field of battle someday.




I think that this reply:

fatgreta

If you don't mind, I'll keep my own council about when to doubt and when to trust, and do so for my own reasons


was overly snitty, so I want to apologize. My dog had just tangled with a porcupine, so I was a bit off center. I will stand by my reasoning for it (illuminated in my last reply in this thread), but I don't want to sound hostile toward you personally. I'm sorry that I snapped.

Chris Buhl

[Updated on: Tue, 28 June 2011 13:58]

      
Blackthorne
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 14:09
I'll straddle the fence here. First, I have four friends who tried the online game and quit for the reason the OP stated. They believe the computer's dice rolls were absurd. Honestly, I wonder sometimes. Perhaps the computer does set up the best percentage shots vs what a human would do but my victory percentage against Johnny vs humans is drastically different. Save your bandwith about how I'm wrong, I've read all the threads and the DOW replies. My results, like many others, suggest we either suck as players (and my % against humans would debate that) or something is funny about Johnny.

Second, play real people instead of the AI. You'll find the game far more enjoyable. The Memoir community is also, by and large, a really friendly, social bunch. And unlike Johnny (allegedly), they make mistakes of judgment which allow you more chances at victory. And you get shiny achievements!

Lastly, it's a great product and the DOW team's customer support is at a level you will not find virtually anywhere else online or otherwise.

[Updated on: Tue, 28 June 2011 14:10]

      
stenic
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 15:55
Fatgreta, too bad about the porcupine and your dog, hope the dog is ok.

I think Johnny's tactic are vastly different from a human player, even a good human player.

I'd be interested to know from Yann et al if the AI thinks ahead or optimises for that one turn - especially interesting for how the AI considers Commissar card selection. Does it ever play Counter Attack or Recon out of turn?

In defense of those showing exapseration over another 'Johnny cheats' threas I suspect it's because they appear often. That they appear often certainly shows that there is a perception of an issue at the very least. Would be interesting to know but I assume most of such threads come from new players? If so then have older player accepted the oddity and moved on or do not see the oddity.

Interesting to see that you are a wargamer too. In our group we have one bloke who is destined to roll bad, no matter what he does. We've even recorded his dice to check and he is statistically an anomaly, he rolls low when high is good and high when low is good. No rhyme or reason for it.

Quote:

I asked if part of the AI's competence was letting it roll better, period.


To be fair, in any one's book, any interference with dice rolls has to qualify as cheating, so despite
Quote:

I never claimed DOW had any "interest in the AI "cheating."
it might certainly have come across as asking if the AI cheats. But as you say, that's the internent for you.

Anyway, hopefully your experience of the game improves and I too would love to play you some time.

Steve P
      
Nygaard
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 16:34
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54

(snip)
This kind of escalation from actual question to personal vindictiveness is one of the most frustrating things about internet forums. I should probably leave it alone, but I was up late dealing with the aftermath of a dog / porcupine encounter (there were not surprises in those rolls, I can assure you), so I'll post several points in response to some of the responses above.


I'm coming across as vindictive?
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


1) I don't think I'm a particularly good M '44 player, and I'm not surprised that the computer beats me. In an attempt to get better, I posted here wanting to know what I was up against. I never claimed DOW had any "interest in the AI "cheating." I asked if part of the AI's competence was letting it roll better, period. If it is, fine. That's important information for me, as I expect virtually all of my games on this system to be solo plays.

OK - I'm sorry I understood your original question to be a critique - the "drastically against the odds dice rolls so far is staggering" sentence sort of threw me for a loop I think.
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


2) ALL CAPS is, as far as I know, the universal symbol for shouting in internet posts. If you do a quick search, you'll see plenty of references to exactly that fact.

http://creativecurio.com/2007/08/why-you-shouldn%E2%80%99t-t ype-in-all-caps/

http://hubpages.com/hub/What-People-Think-When-You-Type-in-A ll-Caps

http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/08/14/how-to-be-polite-while- youre-online-practicing-good-netiquette/


Good to know, thanks for the lessons. Internet etiquette is underdeveloped for sure.
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


Add to that someone ranked "Colonel," with eleventy billion medals and such in his signature, giving what sounds like an order to someone who's new here, and see what you get. I'm addressing my part of that in a separate post.

What sounded like an order?
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


3) This is not "another Johnny cheats thread." I said at the very beginning of my post that wasn't my intention. Replies to that effect are simply condescending, if not downright rude. They also come across as fan-boyish.

But isn't this about how the algorithm works? So how is it rude to mention that there has been several threads about it before - with very good insight and input from a lot of people?
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


4) I also pointed out that I wasn't talking about the overall hit percentages. I get that a four kill roll isn't a terribly unusual event statistically. In fact, after the last game I played, I had a slightly higher overall hit percentage than the computer. I was talking about how often the wildly "off" percentage rolls went either for the computer or against me. The posts referenced in one of these replies quite simply do not address "exactly the same subject." Both of those posts are talking about hit percentages. That specific comment, as well as being condescending, is simply incorrect.

But isn't it about the general algorithm? And isn't that explained in detail in many other threads?
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


4a) It also brings up what I admit is a pet peeve: the "you could have searched..." reply. Why is it a problem to post a new thread? The title was pretty descriptive, I think you knew what you were in for when you clicked "read." If you didn't want to be part of that discussion, why not just pass on by?
Sure post a new question, but then you might have to accept a relatively short answer when it's something that has been discussed MANY MANY times before.
Lurking and checking out how the "tone" is for a specific forum is also part of good internet etiquette, if you ask me. But I might be wrong, I haven't made a search on that Wink
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 13:54


5) If someone can read my original post, and show me how I was critical of DoW, I'll post a letter of apology to them. The thing is, I've got no criticism of them (well, I think their prices for board games are a little high, but they're no Troll & Toad). I think their games are good in every way, I think their customer service is quite good, and I think this specific product of theirs is well done. I agree, they were very upfront about their approach to pricing for this game, and I think it's probably the best bang for the buck I've seen for any of their Memoir '44 stuff. I'm happy with the game, and now I'm better informed about it as well.
Chris

I don't think you were critical about DoW - but again the "drastically against the odds dice rolls so far is staggering" comment about their work seemed to imply that you weren't 100% happy with it? Or am I wrong?

Magnus
      
stenic
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 17:07
Magnus,

Ahem...I think you meant
Quote:

discussed many many
and not
Quote:

discussed MANY MANY



I'll get me coat...
      
eldonion
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 17:34
fagreta

As a general comment I would just like to say that one of my main reasons that I prefer M44 on line (besides the game itself,) to all of the other options and games available, is the friendliness, banter and willingness of the forum members to help out and assist wherever they can.

This is mirrored by the DOW staff themselves who will carefully listen, then explain and and/or fix whatever problems or issues they can.

A number of the more senior members of the forum were involved with a lot of play testing and queries that occurred during the BETA testing phase of the process. (which by the way lasted for over 2 years!!)

A large number of these points have been raised and answered many times over this period.

If we sometimes forget that not all people have been around as long as us, then please accept my apologies as I am quite sure no slight or put down was ever intended.




Regarding internet etiquette

A lot of the more senior members are shall I say less well educated in these matters then the younger generation.
(you only have to ask my children if you want proof!)

So CAPITALS means shouting does it
(Personally I would have thought that it was just a means of emphasizing something!

well I'm not to old to learn these new ideas so I am sure, that I and the rest of the dinosaurs will try to remember that in future.

good luck with your future games and try playing against real opponents as not only can you enjoy some banter but you get a chance to start collecting the cool badges and promotions





      
Nygaard
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 18:01
stenic wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 17:07

Magnus,

Ahem...I think you meant
Quote:

discussed many many
and not
Quote:

discussed MANY MANY



I'll get me coat...


OOPS - Embarassed
You are right of course Smile
      
stevens
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 19:46
The reality is that many of us OLD FARTS mean no disrespect, but we capitalize and BOLD TEXT so we can see what we are reading. We are all suffering from a lack of eyesight.

So thanks for keeping us aware of the need to remain tenderhearted while compensating for our vision loss. I will do my best!!!

Laughing Laughing Laughing
      
Phread
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Tue, 28 June 2011 22:19
fatgreta wrote on Tue, 28 June 2011 23:58

Phread wrote on Mon, 27 June 2011 23:58

Then good luck to you.

My words were meant as well meaning advice and I am sorry that you haven't read them that way.

Perhaps we can meet on the field of battle someday.




I think that this reply:

fatgreta

If you don't mind, I'll keep my own council about when to doubt and when to trust, and do so for my own reasons


was overly snitty, so I want to apologize. My dog had just tangled with a porcupine, so I was a bit off center. I will stand by my reasoning for it (illuminated in my last reply in this thread), but I don't want to sound hostile toward you personally. I'm sorry that I snapped.

Chris Buhl



Chris,

Thanks for the apology - which wasn't needed, but is acknowledged in the spirit that it was offered.

I apologise to you, and everyone, if I offended you or anyone.
That was never my intention either.

We can disagree on your reasoning but I am happy that we can agree that we never meant it to be personal.

My rank means that I have played (and paid) a lot of games only.
I was making comments based on experience, not expertise.

Thanks again
Phread.
      
Phread
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Wed, 29 June 2011 05:50
Today I have had two solo battles against Johnny where - if I didn't know better - I might have sworn Johnny had "special" dice.

In the 1st battle at "Sugar Loaf and Half Moon" Johnny (as Axis underdog) rolled 60% hits on infantry and 50% hits on armour against my 33% infantry hits to beat me 6-3.
In the repeat battle Johnny rolled 50% ad 40% against my 33% (again) but, because I got more shots in, I won 6-5.

In two consecutive battles Johnny out shot me while I rolled only 2/3 of the average. A demonstration that these rolls happen to me too.
      
JJAZ
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Wed, 29 June 2011 07:36
I wonder.

1:if the cards johnny gets are random at game start?
2:if he knows what cards the human player holds?

Laughing

[Updated on: Wed, 29 June 2011 07:36]

      
stevens
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Wed, 29 June 2011 11:57
YES, Johnny is the ultimate Svengali!

http://thewritersideoflife.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/derren-brown-svengali.gif?w=450&h=270
      
JJAZ
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Wed, 29 June 2011 16:37
stevens wrote on Wed, 29 June 2011 11:57

YES, Johnny is the ultimate Svengali!

http://thewritersideoflife.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/derren-brown-svengali.gif?w=450&h=270


Why then they did not call him Sven? Laughing
      
Phread
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Re:Does the computer AI "balance" against humans by massaging the dice? Wed, 29 June 2011 21:12
Because Sven is not a very british name. Laughing Laughing Laughing
      
    
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