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 Post subject: Noble Rust world war AAR
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:17 pm 
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(I think I learned enough to try some multiplayer action over the weekend, after which I hope to be qualified enough to review the game.)

This World War was fun. I was even more lucky as last time with the distribution of secret allies, and it wasn't hard to dominate two thirds of the map without a serious problem.

On the west continent, I've had two countries, each on one side of the continent. As it turned out later, the three countries between mine were all neutrals, so it just became a question of taking them over quickly and then use the whole continent to build up a navy, in order to keep the enemy's destroyers out of my way.

The southern continent contained two secret allies of mine, and two enemies. Two more countries, including a large one were neutral. Once again, my countries were located at the edges. My eastern country decided to invade a neutral who turned out to me an enemy secret ally, while my western country decided to strike east at the large neutral. The enemy quickly countered, and filled its borders of the former country. This combat developed into a stalemate until I sent a couple of amphibians to outflank his units. The first one triggered the guerrilla, which took him out, but the second stopped his production. The second secret ally was north of my western country, and he ambushed my unprotected border. I quickly raised a few units and sent my invading forces back to help in the fight, but I still left a small opening, through which he got in. The enemy has made a huge mistake here, though. He raised LAVs, which have only one hex movement, and the first one immediatelly choked the access point into my country, and after taking it out I plugged the hole. Had he raised tanks instead, he'd get two of them inside, stop my production and overwhelm me in a couple of turns. Since my country was medium-sized and his small, I was able to keep this front stationary and raise a new invasion army, which I used to take out the large neutral and outflank the secret ally, and soon I was in total control of two continents.

The northern continent, around the wolcano, was the enemy's domain. He had three countries there, while I had one, sandwiched between a large and a small country of his. He immediatelly attacked my country, and I decided to keep it secret, wanting to use it as a second front when I decided on a naval invasion. He rolled over the continent until he came to the western country (medium). I placed one Smallfoot all the way into the far side of the forest, and he sent all his available units there. It took him five or six turns to take me out there, and his units were stuck in the forest for quite a while after that.

Meanwhile, the naval battle went in my favor. The enemy produced an obscene amount of destroyers, but they stood no chance against my combined fleet of destroyers and Firestorms. Once I cleared the inner sea, I prepared five amphibians and six naval transports; those mainly with tanks. I then declared my secret ally and invaded his largest country, hoping for a distraction. At the same time, I invaded him from the other side with two transports. For good measure, I also invaded the neighboring country. Here, I made a mistake. Had I waited one turn, the enemy would raise all his guerrillas on the border of my secret ally, and I'd have an easy access from the other side. This way, however, he managed to block me off for two turns, and thus saved two of his three rocket launchers (I took out one). However, even so it's hard to withstand 20+ tanks and 5 amphibians when all you have is a couple of measly LAVs, and your units get also bombarded by the Firestorms. The fact that most enemy units were stuck in the forest far away allowed me to sweep over his undefended countries, take over one completely, take over another capital and contest two countries. That put me way over 300%, and I won the war.

Once again, the enemy has shown the same two problems. He didn't properly assess the strategic situation, and he built way too many ground units to take out one Smallfoot. This didn't allow him to raise a strong enough navy to take over the seas and attack me. Second, he didn't use the right units. I've got the impression that if there were a cheaper long-distance naval unit, he's build it, but this way he was only building destroyers, which have no chance against Firestorms supported by destroyers. However, his biggest mistake and the single turning point in the game came when he didn't build tanks to invade my secret ally on the southern continent. He had a good shot at wiping me out, taking over another large country and engaging me into a long and costly war on that continent.


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 Post subject: WW AAR
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:51 pm 
Nice AAR.

It turns out in this battle that the enemy made bad strategic decisions about which units to build. This is not an easy kind of decision for an AI to make.

From my experience, you can rarely go wrong by building mostly LAVs supported by a smaller number of tanks and artillery.

When a war becomes one of maneuver and long-term strategy, then the AI is clueless.

One way around this is for the programmer to have 8 or 10 long-term strategical plans pre-programmed, one of which is chosen at random. The only game I have seen using this technique is TacOps. This way, the human player does not know which strategy to expect and has to plan accordingly keeping his options open until the situation becomes clear.

It is true that this technique is more appropriate for invasion scenarios where the main unknown factor is which route(s) of invasion will be used and the times of arrival.

henri


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