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AI Artillery

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AI Artillery

Post  rschilla on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:02 pm

I suspect the answer to this one is poor design but has anyone else noticed the AI artillery running around like a chicken with its head cut off?
Specifically it seems to happen when a column comes up a road towards an established position. The first battery or two gets chewed up on the approach and then the last battery in the column starts moving back and forth from side to side but never seems to deploy its guns. They do this while continuing to be pounded until they run away.

Sort of reminds me of the old John Tiller Ligny game for Matrix where the artillery, which starts out in a good spot, limbers and unlimbers every turn while under AI control.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:20 pm

Are you using the KS mod? It should keep the guns from moving into enemy canister range, but not necessarily out of round shot range. Also, if the battery commander is far to the rear of his guns, (not uncommon), then the guns will not know what to do until the commander sees the threat and issues orders. Is this a sandbox game or one of the SOW scenarios? If it's the later, the guns may be programmed to move to a specific location that puts them into harms way.

Try to arrange the division so that the guns do not lead the column when marching down the road. This can be accomplished by rotating its position relative to the road or changing the initial division formation so the guns do not start on top of the road that will be used.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  rschilla on Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:33 pm

I've seen it before but in the current case it is a scenario via the KS scenario editor. And I know there are officers standing there but of course I can't tell if they are the battery commander or just some other schmuck who is hanging around. In the current case, Russians moving up on a road on a French line, the infantry gets there first and gets blasted while the (presumably) slower moving guns trail in a long column to the rear. I'm also assuming that when the editor positions a division in AI it does it the same as it does the active player: General in the middle, infantry on the sides, guns on the flanks. I always figured that the relevant movement speed and the distance to the road would determine the order of march.

Anyway, it almost looks as if the AI guns get stuck in some sort of graphic loop where they just move side to side but never deploy into a firing line. It's weird looking but by that point the whole column has been defeated anyway so the impact is rather minor.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:23 am

Sounds like the AI commander was a bonehead in that game. Usually he will deploy his brigades far enough away so they are not destroyed while in column and marching into the enemy. I can't really offer any advice in this instance.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:26 pm

Are you using the KS mod? It should keep the guns from moving into enemy canister range, but not necessarily out of round shot range.
Kevin in the KS Mod the AI all too often sends its artillery ahead of its infantry to die inside enemy canister range.

Its a known problem I have complained about before.

Something needs to be fixed. I suggested changing the default division formation a while ago so the artillery is not deployed on the flanks.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:23 pm

I fixed that some time ago. Unless there is some specific unusual circumstance, perhaps moving parallel to enemy arty along a road, the guns should reverse course and move out of canister range.

If you want the guns to deploy in the center of the formation, you can change to division formation from DRIL_Lvl4_Inf_Reg_Res to DRIL_LVL4_INF_DOUBLELINE in the scenario file. However, oft times that too will lead to the guns being in the front of the column. It really depends on which road the division is going to take.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  rschilla on Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:22 pm

I wonder if it has something to do with the script I wrote?

The column comes up a road which is covered by a French divisional battery and the Corps Artillery Reserve, so 3 batteries on the road.
The terrain invites a shot at about 650 yards which does some damage but then the road dips and the lead battalions are out of the line of sight. The guns continue firing on the back of the next battalions as they come up but when the lead battalion emerges from behind the hill they are about 300 yards away and the guns switch to cannister. Brutal. The lead battalion usually runs off but the others begin to deploy to the left and right of the road. The artillery seems to continue up the road. The first two batteries eventually deploy as soon as their infantry has routed out of their line of sight but by then the French guns are working them over. Once the first two are silenced it is the third battery which doesn't seem to know what to do. By then, the rest of the division is hors de combat.

In the script I have given this division a Tactics:5 order to advance on the primary objective which is located some distance behind the French line. Can't blame them for obeying orders, can I?

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:20 am

Artillery LOS can be tricky. We have found that a good clear LoS is necessary, preferably on gently rising ground and preferably out of artillery fire. Even roundshot dropping among the guns of a battery that's deploying can mess things up, which when you consider the historical situation, makes sense

If a column is coming over a rise close to an enemy, the battery commander may not have a LoS until far too late.

The guns wandering about syndrome is also strong evidence that the battery commander cannot find a good firing position for them. If there is a rise further back I would script your attacking artillery to deploy there if you can.

Remember too that artillery has a unique spotting system. All units spot from the sprite holding the flag. With artillery the commander is often behind his guns about 20-30yds and the guns themselves draw a LoS from the limber (which in the stock game is where the indentifying flag is carried) and not the gun itself.

However gun crew sprites take losses from the range where they are, so the gun is vulnerable 20yds or so ahead of its limber and the limber is another 20-30yds ahead of where the battery commander is leading his troops from, so a rise between him and any targets can make a lot of difference.

I think its a really poorly designed system in the original game myself but we have to live with it.

@ Kevin - I think you should create a thread and maintain a changelog in it. I was unaware you'd made that change. How long ago was it? I saw the 'artillery charge' quite recently.

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Re: AI Artillery

Post  rschilla on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:19 am

Thanks for the tip. I never knew that about artillery LOS.

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