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Topic: No longer winning :( Autocrat broke or I really don't know how to play

Tibor
Joined: 2009-03-23, 23:24
Posts: 1231
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Location: Slovakia
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 22:18

You are blue? Your military strength looks very good.

Anyway, I am not a good player, so perhaps king_of_nowhere or kaputtnik or einstein will give some good advices....

BTW, it is not important but I am just curious what map it is...


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maddog
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Joined: 2015-11-15, 02:28
Posts: 6
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 22:25

The map is Mountain Lake v.3, yes I am blue.

I played it twice, this time I had enough soldiers for 1.5 fights, afterwards green took both my fortress and citadel and I couldn't do anything about it. I wasn't even fighting on multiple fronts or anything.

EDIT: Wow, did you make that map??

Edited: 2015-11-15, 22:32
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Tibor
Joined: 2009-03-23, 23:24
Posts: 1231
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Location: Slovakia
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 22:43

Yes, it is mine map face-smile.png


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maddog
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Joined: 2015-11-15, 02:28
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2015-11-15, 22:53

Hey, you made some my favorite maps! I played spider lake for like 50 hours. Thanks!


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2015-11-16, 04:45

ok, i see. Your economy would be absolutely fine in an hour-long game, but for a 5 hours game it is very small; also, I see 2 chokepoints. I played spider lake, and know that it is a very large map, so you should have many more buildings. After 5 hours of game, you could grow much bigger. you could have 3-4 medium buildings per type and half a dozen smelting works supporitng 2 war mills working at 100% and feeding two training camps.

The main chokepoints I see are that you have 1 bakery and 2 smelting works.

You can see that you have 285 grain in stock, so you have plenty of farms, but you're not doing anything with what they produce. You also have 45 bread, so you're not using the bread either. Do you have a battle arena? Evasion is the most important promotion for soldiers, and barbarian arena eats a lot of bread. if you have, make sure that you actually have soldiers training in it. if you miss soldiers in your military buildings, the soldiers will prioritize going in military building rather than going to be trained. You don't want that! one single level 0 soldier won't do much difference at the front but soldiers getting promoted will. So, if you have your military buildings half empty, close enough slots to make sure some of your soldiers will go get training.

Then you see that you have plenty of meals, and lots of coal and iron. those are unused. wasted. lost. your mines are producing a lot of wares, but they can't be used because you don't have enoough smelters. Smelting works are among the slowest of buildings, and you generally need a lot of them. Just consider: if those 71 iron ores you have in stock were smelted and turned into axes, you'd get 71 soldiers, raising your power from 259 to 330. Then if you worked those 285 grain you'd get 95 bread, in addition to the 47 you have. That would let you train 40 of your soldiers to evasion 2, raising your power to 410. You could have almost twice your power if only you used the resources you already produced. Not to mention those 30 gold ingots and 50 gold ores you're also not using.

My general advice is to look at the stock from time to time. I never used ware statistics, I can't even interpret them, I just look at the stock. Am I accumulating a lot of a resource? Then make buildings that use it. Am I running short? then make buildings that produce it. Repeat until you run out of space. So in your case, upon seeing you have plenty of grain in storage, make more bakeries and breweries. Then you see you have plenty of bread, make sure to use it in the battle arena. You don't have enough soldiers to train in the arena, make more mines. now you have an abundance of ores, make more smelters. You lack coal, make coal mines; if there is no coal, make plenty of woodcutters and foresters and charcoal workers. now you have coal, and you're producing plenty of ingots, more than your war mill can use; so build a new one. And now you are making so many weapons your training camp is not using all of them, so make another training camp. Always grow, grow, grow.

And by the way, since you have grown so little in five hours, I can only assume that you have little wood. Make more woodcutters and foresters. Make sure they are in fertile ground (the green one, mostly). You must have enough wood to keep making new bulldings all the time. especially on a large map where you want to fill all that empty space. if you run out of space to build stuff, you can always dismantle them. On a map like spider lake, I'd make at least 10 woodcutters + foresters, maybe more.

P.S. Ignore productiivity graph. It is mostly meaningless. sure, it says you have 70%, but that just means that your woodcutters are working, and your wells, and your farms. It gives you an average, so it doesn't let you spot problems. In your case, you may have 100% productivity, because your smelters are working at 100%, and everything else is "skipping work because: economy does not need X", which counts as 100% productivity. You may have a big chokepoint smothering your war production, but your economy still says 100% productivity. Funnily, if you make more smelters, you'll finally absorb all that stock, then your smelters won't be working at 100% anymore, and your productivity will go down. even if in reality yoiu are producing much more than you were before. For the same reason you should also ignore the "wares" in general statistics; it tellls you how many wares you have in warehouses, and since wares in warehouses are wares you are not using, you want as little of those as possible. In fact, a high score on the ware statistic means you are doing something wrong. My score of it is always smaller than that of the ai, because my economy is efficiently using all it produces.

Just remember, a good economy turns all its products into power. Look at stock, and if you are accumulating a ware, make more buildings to use it. And if you are not accumulating anything, then make more farms, wells, hunters and gamekeepers. That's the most important rule for growing a good economy.

EDIT: P.P.S. I don't understand how you can have the wood hardeners working at 51% and the charcoal burners at 17%. Unless you set your hardwood target at 10, so the hardeners are "skipped working because economy does not need hardened wood", which would leave their productivity exactly as it was the last time they worked. In which case, if you can't run two charcoal burners at more than 17%, you really need more wood.

P.P.P.S. Wow, without realizing it I ended up writing quite a dissertation

Edited: 2015-11-16, 04:52
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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
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Posted at: 2015-11-16, 09:12

probably there is a (also!) a problem with highly trained soldiers (level 10). Most of players can't get them without micromanagement. I advice you to play with trainingscamp & battlearena settings. If you get few of those soldiers, you will win more fights and destroy enemies military & economy.

But probably main problem is the size of your economy. The size of your country is too small + number of buildings is not enough for your size of country.


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/

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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2015-11-16, 10:20

einstein13 wrote:

probably there is a (also!) a problem with highly trained soldiers (level 10). Most of players can't get them without micromanagement. I advice you to play with trainingscamp & battlearena settings. If you get few of those soldiers, you will win more fights and destroy enemies military & economy.

yes, there's also that, and with that strategy you can defeat the ai even with the small economy you have. however, this is more advanced gameplay, and i had already rambled enough. plus, I am afraid knowing it would ruin your fun. the ai is absolutely unable to deal with it, so i feel winning that way is about as satisfying as hitting a sack of potatoes with a baseball bat. it's the reason I make solo challenge maps, to make the game actually challenging.


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Tibor
Joined: 2009-03-23, 23:24
Posts: 1231
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Location: Slovakia
Posted at: 2015-11-16, 21:14
I was thinking a bit how to make AI more differenciated - my idea is to do it via limiting maximum number of buildings per type. For example for easy&barbarians, limits could be

wood hardener: 1
farm: 2
battlearena: 1
trainingcamp: 0

No need to limit everything, moreover some types of buildings are should not rather be limited this way.
This could be done via ai_hints sections in init.lua files (per each building).

And no big changes to current AI would be needed.

I would start working on this if there was a consensus on this....

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Vassili
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Joined: 2013-10-12, 19:19
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Posted at: 2015-11-16, 21:18

Sounds like a good idea.


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1264
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Posted at: 2015-11-16, 21:51

Tibor wrote:

I was thinking a bit how to make AI more differenciated - my idea is to do it via limiting maximum number of buildings per type. For example for easy&barbarians, limits could be

wood hardener: 1 farm: 2 battlearena: 1 trainingcamp: 0

No need to limit everything, moreover some types of buildings are should not rather be limited this way. This could be done via ai_hints sections in init.lua files (per each building).

And no big changes to current AI would be needed.

I would start working on this if there was a consensus on this....

I don't like it because it depends too much on the size of the map and the lenght of the game. on a large map, those limitations mean using a tenth of one's potential, or less. on a small map, they hardly matter. right now, in many small maps the ai is unable to fit a full economy, and cannot produce new soldiers; giving limits to some buildings may even help it, for it won't waste space for useless buildings. similarly, that limitation means that the ai will be just as strong in early game, but it will reach a cap and become useless later.

I see only two ways to make difficulty levels that are equally valid for large and small maps, for early and late game. One is changing the delay times of buildings; if an imperial farm normally produce a wheat in 80 secconds, at easy it may take 100, at hard 60. similarly to all buildings. A second way would be to change the evasion levels of all ai soldiers; currently, barbarian soldiers evade 25/40/55. It may become 32/46/60 (10% less chance to be hit at all levels, rounded) for hard, and 18/34/50 for easy.

Yes, I realize setting hard limits to ai number of buildings is MUCH easier than rewriting a lot of code to make the working time of buildings be difficulty-dependent. although I think evade levels may be easy enough. however, they are the only ways to make difficulty levels that will feel balanced all the way throughout the game. I don't like how some games (civilization the main example) try to balance the ai by giving it starting bonuses, making a computer that is an unstoppable machine in early game, while still being a pushover later.

However, if no one is willing to make all the code changes, then having difficulty levels defined that way would be better than nothing.

P.S. we should not derail this thread; if you want a discussion on difficulty levels, you should open a new thread. maybe even a bug report?

Edited: 2015-11-16, 23:21
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