The AI fleeing battle

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nathanebht
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:48 pm

The AI fleeing battle

Postby nathanebht » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:50 pm

Each battle when you have a mix of large and small ships, they appear in a spread out formation. For each substantial battle, I advance my large ships which have the most shields, armor and missile defenses. Then pull my small ships in behind them. No use to hit the auto-combat button which will put my small ships way out front, get them focused and destroyed.

With this latest update in testing, the AI will sensibly flee battle if you have them out gunned. It would be a big improvement if its immediately visible when any enemy ship is set to flee. I don't know how many times I've individually moved 20 or 30 ships to a more sensible formation and next turn the AI flees. Its aggravating.

The AI might battle, forces are possibly somewhat close. Move 20+ ships. AI flees. Repeat. Thinking about it, why let us enter the battle screen at all? If the AI can pull out with no losses. Use the auto-combat results to determine if its worthwhile to give us the option to battle.
Last edited by nathanebht on Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bjg
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Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby bjg » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:22 pm

nathanebht wrote:It would be a big improvement if its immediately visible when any enemy ship is set to flee.

Isn't it already visible? They prepare the engines, which usually means a big(ger) torch of fire on the back.

nathanebht
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:48 pm

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby nathanebht » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:34 pm

I'm using a large screen, can't really see it. If its there.

zolobolo
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Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby zolobolo » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:34 pm

You can also tell by the fleet movement (or lack thereof)

If AI initiates the battle, they will not flee as the calcualtion takes place before the initiate it
If player is attacking, then the AI fleet moves first (being the defender) - if you see that the AI did not move in its first turn, that means that they have hit the retreat button and will be gone in a turn or two so no sense moving ships ahead

It would make sense to have a shortcut before battle is initiated yes: the retreat calculation would basically need to be done before each battle to see if the actual battle needs to be initiated: depending on how the engine calculates retreat, it could be difficult though: maybe you cannot shortcut to the fleet fleeing

nathanebht
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:48 pm

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby nathanebht » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:08 am

The AI's engine thrust graphic sometimes will already be on. Other times you will see it turn on. However, if the AI has a lot of missiles then I still have to move my small ships that are on the forward tips of the formation.

In my last game I was playing the Ashdar Imperials who have that homeplanet ancient warp gate. So basically, every battle the AI would end up retreating. Every single battle from the middle to the end of the game.

They would direct a good size fleet at one of my planets. I would gate in a slightly larger defensive fleet at the last moment. On the next turn, battle would start and they would flee.

So forgive me, I got a little frustrated. That ancient warp gate should have a limited number of uses or limited range. Definitely going to pick a different race next game.

zolobolo
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Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby zolobolo » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:42 am

I see where you are coming from. Yes you can play the AI with the gate quite well but:
1. You have to have a superior force altogether to fend off their attacks everywhere (the fleet still needs to drag itself back to the gate or to the nearest planet being attacked in normal speed)
2. The larger the map and later the game this time increases considerably.

Thus the exploit itself only works on small maps, early game and with a superior force. But if you have the later it makes more sense to take the offensive -AI will take on larger forces when defending.

The retreat logic makes sense as there is no strategic value in throwing away a fleet against a superior force (human players would do the same)

Where the AI might need further improvement here is how it orcastrates attacks. Having more (if smaller) attack fleets might help them exploit weak spots in the defence better though it would also lead to more micro and ironically also to more retreating fleets overall ;)

Dragar
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:20 pm

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby Dragar » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:37 am

Retreats are rarely without some attrition if you pack enough long range weapons.

If you are seriously outnumbering an AI fleet, the AI is entirely correct to retreat - and either you have a huge numbers advantage, or your forces are deployed wrong. One huge fleet can only be in one location at a time, while many small fleets can wreak havoc against such a deployment, and retreat from any engagement.

This is why defensive structures should be strong - it's very easy to attack where your enemy isn't, but very hard to respond with your own defenses.

nathanebht
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Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby nathanebht » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 pm

That game with the Ancient Gate I had advanced through lasers to primary beams. Didn't have anything long range to reach them before they retreated. It was a large 85 planet map against the normal difficulty AI.

The AI did try attacking with several fleets of various sizes. I was producing more ships than they could. Would also pull ships back to the Ancient Gate when it was safe to do so. If I took an enemy planet and it was under threat, I left a defensive fleet there.

The AI was entirely correct to retreat so many times. The Ancient Gate is a huge advantage. It just wasn't fun to have them retreat from every battle because of my gating in additional ships.

Dragar
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:20 pm

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby Dragar » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:08 am

Yes, that's a big disadvantage of even heavy beam weapons - vessels can usually flee before they engage. I usually include several carriers or missile boats for point defense and to pick off retreating vessels. You could also try adding ships with additional engines to close a bit closer, but it's often harder to get those to focus fire.

Dragar
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:20 pm

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby Dragar » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:07 am

A comment in another thread made me think: it would be pretty cool if larger ships took longer to retreat than smaller ones. But the AI might be a limiting factor in making that mechanic viable.

username
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:59 am

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby username » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:02 pm

zolobolo wrote:If AI initiates the battle, they will not flee as the calcualtion takes place before the initiate it
If player is attacking, then the AI fleet moves first (being the defender) - if you see that the AI did not move in its first turn, that means that they have hit the retreat button and will be gone in a turn or two so no sense moving ships ahead
This is not true, I have had the AI repeatedly initiate battle and then flee before any shots are landed or even fired. The one thing that seems to steel his resolve in the slightest is the presence of his troop transports, which means he won't run for an extra round. The AI will even run from battles he can't possibly lose because even a cursory examination would make it clear that I simply don't have enough missiles to break through their PD or ammunition to kill all of them even if I could.

zolobolo
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: The AI fleeing battle

Postby zolobolo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:54 pm

username wrote:
zolobolo wrote:If AI initiates the battle, they will not flee as the calcualtion takes place before the initiate it
If player is attacking, then the AI fleet moves first (being the defender) - if you see that the AI did not move in its first turn, that means that they have hit the retreat button and will be gone in a turn or two so no sense moving ships ahead


This is not true, I have had the AI repeatedly initiate battle and then flee before any shots are landed or even fired. The one thing that seems to steel his resolve in the slightest is the presence of his troop transports, which means he won't run for an extra round. The AI will even run from battles he can't possibly lose because even a cursory examination would make it clear that I simply don't have enough missiles to break through their PD or ammunition to kill all of them even if I could.

I have only seen such cases when playing imperials: when the fleet is moved in in the last turn, the AI did in fact initiate the battle but then retreated.

The above should be a flaw in the logic unless the AI "decides'" to engage one turn earlier for some coding reasons

Generally the AI should be less likely to weight missiles properly ignoring them most of the times (at least when I was testing the changes but there have not yet been any updates since).

If they don't move though you can be pretty sure they have retreated (if the engine trail is not visible enough)


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