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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: HotAC/DotE Scum AI Discussion rss

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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 decided to develop Scum AI ships for use in Defenders of the Empire, an Imperial variant of HotAC. Copying text from the original discussion: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/135532?commentid=6669...

TreatRangeAsRange_2 wrote:
I am thinking of making AI's for Scum ships. What is most thematic, that Scum generally fight to the death or has a flee AI that is the same as the Rebels in this ruleset?


Storgar wrote:
They are in it for the money so want to live to spend it I would say.


mlvanbie wrote:
It's worse than that -- the AIs for elite talents should screw over other ships on their side by stealing tokens. However, illicit upgrades such as Feedback Array and Dead Man's Switch aren't for wusses (but are great for killing Imperials, as are Black Market Slicer Tools).

In general, I think that fleeing should be scenario-specific. HotAC players flee all the time, but Rebels fight to the death in the movies because the stakes are so high. I expect that for some mission objectives, Black Sun peons have been told to 'come back with your shields or on them'. Once the primary objective is taken care of then they might be willing to flee.

Effectiveness: (Attacker's red dice + number of offensive tokens) - (defenders green dice + number of defensive tokens)

Feedback Array AI: Use if

* there is a target in range 1
* guaranteed kill => yes
* owner is not an expensive ship that will be killed by using the array
* no shot or owner has negative effectiveness

Of course, if you are already dead and in simultaneous fire you won't be killed by using the array....

Glitterstim AI: Use if

* combined effectiveness of possible incoming attacks is greater than half of remaining health
* (number attacks on you with positive effectiveness) + (number of attacks you can make) - (number of focus tokens) > 2



TreatRangeAsRange_2 wrote:
Good points.


I have followed Storgars lead with the Rebels and added Flee AI for the Scum, and then anyone can disable that AI when making their own specific missions.

I have set the triggering level to 2 Health, the same as for the Rebels. But I am open to change it across the board to make Scum and Rebel AIs even more different.

I've played it safe with Illicit upgrades, and have only taken ones that are easy to implement on the AI cards. Right now I have BMST for the PS 1 Z-95, Hot shot Blaster (one use) for PS 3 Z-95 and Dead Man's Switch for the PS 1 HWK.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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R2, Black Market Slicer Tools are a bit tricky. It is fine at PS1 for opportunistic use against PtL Interceptors and non-Defenders who wants to turn around. Even better if they aim for the nearest stressed target. Mostly this just discourages the players from taking stress.

If you really want to make elite Imperials die, you need a source of stress and to fly the Z-95s so that their targets are going to fly past them. (If you give up a focus action, you can't really afford to be a target and you aren't likely to have an effective shot.) This also means not K-turning past enemies. Sample list:

Asajj Ventress — Lancer-class Pursuit Craft 37
Push the Limit 3
Tactician 2
Black Market Slicer Tools 1
Gyroscopic Targeting 2
Shadow Caster 3
Ship Total: 48

4x Binayre Pirate — Z-95 Headhunter 12
Black Market Slicer Tools 1
Ship Total: 13

Gyroscopic Targeting should just make repositioning the firing arc free. Mobile firing arc direction priority rules:

- get a target at R1
- so that special abilities can activate
- so that there is a target at R1-3
- if the action is free, nearest target not in primary arc

Moving the mobile arc should be the first action choice. Pretty much any combination of free action and action ordering for the other actions works, but they should tend to give the ship a focus token.

Tractor beam AI positioning priority:

- must move off the board
- on an obstacle
- in firing arcs of ships that have not shot
- to lose firing arc if hasn't shot
- next turn will move through an obstacle


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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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I don't think that you want the Flee AI on anything with a Dead Man's Switch. At that point you want to be in as many range 1 shots as possible. I suggest Guri as an elite with DMS (since Glitterstim is hard) and an AI that wants to move into range 1. She is probably best suited to be a scenario villain.

Star Viper - Guri
Virago Title
Dead Man's Switch
Sensor Jammer
Autothrusters
Advanced Proton Torpedo

Free TL before movement

1 Boost/Roll
* To get a shot on TLed ship
* To get a shot on any ship
* To be at R1 of an enemy (if 1-2 health, R1 for as many ships as possible)
* To be in as few enemy arcs as possible
2 Focus

Possibly R1 needs to be a higher priority.

Guri's classic Lone Wolf doesn't work well with an AI, so maybe Fearlessness? If someone gets set up for APT+Fearlessness, that's probably 6 hits.

The AI can probably be tweaked for the Protectorate Starfighter.
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Maldus Alver

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I think for Scum AI they should be a bit more interested in self preservation. If a Scum gets a damage card I think the AI should be looking for the nearest table edge, unless it happens to be a fanatical pilot but those would be veterans and enforcers.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Jabba thought Han Solo was 'my kind of scum', but Han really should have made things right immediately....

The Rebel AI for DotE does a lot of fleeing, generally at 2 hull left. For many Scum ships there is a decent amount of hull. Maybe last hull is a good time for Scum to flee.

Simpler Feedback Array logic:

* don't use if it will kill you
* do use if it is a guaranteed kill
* shoot if possible

Inertial Dampeners:

* if target is in one of the front arcs at R1/R2 closing, 50% chance of doing a Red 0 instead of usual maneuver
* don't discard

Hot Shot Blaster:

* use if no shot in arc
* discard

Rigged Cargo Chute:

* use if fleeing (and pointed at edge)
* use if it will land on an enemy ship
* discard

Cloaking Device:

* use if you have no shot (and ships have a shot on you?)

(Good to pair with Stygium Particle Accelerator, maybe for use on a Star Viper.)
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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Hi,
As Michael wrote, I am working on some Scum AI’s due to the fact that I am making a Scum/Rebel mission arc for DotE. I had a maildiscussion with Michael before, and he has posted some of the mails on this thread.

The plan is to create AI’s for most of the Scum ships, but I will publish them in the order of appearance to get feedback on the ships that need it the most.

I have initially made AI’s for Z-95 and Y-wing, Firespray and the HWK, but after Storgar and I decided on a new meta mission arc plan, I switched focus to other ships, since my mission arc will begin when the players have leveled up to PS 3 and are flying either an Interceptor or a Bomber.

So, the first Scum ship the players will encounter is the Heavy Scyk. If You have read the rules for DotE You will know that there are (currently) 2 levels of AI cards for each Squadron ship (Squadron ship in this context is a ship that has 2 non-unique pilot cards in X-wing. I base each AI card on the upgrades available on those pilots. So a Cartel Spacer (like below) does not have access to EPT etc.

The Players will encounter Cartel Spacers when they are up to PS 5. At PS 6, they will encounter Tansaari Point Veterans instead. Also note that Imperials have the initiative in DotE, so they move first if having same PS as Scum or Rebels. Future Heavy Scyk elites are added on top of the Tansaari Point Veteran Ai.

Here are the AIs. Both flee at Health 2.

Cartel Spacer PS 2 (Heavy Scyk) This build costs 22 points.

Select Target

1) Nearest Enemy in Arc and at Range 1-3
2) Nearest Enemy

Select Maneuver

Check targets range and direction, roll on the matching table and skip step 3 on red moves.

Action Selection

1) barrel roll to get a shot
2) focus if you have a shot
3) evade

Attack Target

Nearest Enemy in arc

Ion Cannon
If this attack hits, the defender suffers 1 damage and receives 1 ion token. Then cancel all dice results.

Stealth Device
Increase your agility value by 1. If you are hit by an attack discard this card

----
Tansaari Point Veteran PS 5 (Heavy Scyk) This build costs 29 points.

Select Target

1) Nearest Enemy in Arc and at Range 1-3
2) Nearest Enemy

Select Maneuver

Check targets range and direction, roll on the matching table and skip step 3 on red moves.

Action Selection (Select 2)

1) barrel roll to get a shot
2) focus if you have a shot
3) evade

Attack Target

Nearest Enemy in arc

“Mangler” Cannon
When attacking, you may change 1 of your hit results to a crit result.

Push the Limit
During Action Selection you may perform one additional action.

Stealth Device
Increase your agility value by 1. If you are hit by an attack discard this card.


Feel free to comment upgrade choices, Action Selection, Flee level etc.

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Storgar The Viking
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Looks good, the only comment I would consider is the push the limit, by making the AI gain a stress after taking the action, the following round it would be very limited with moves and actions. Would assigning a free focus or evade in the select target phase be a better option?

Unless of course you are not assigning the stress as it is not noted in your comment.
 
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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That is correct, I looked at the HotaC Elite cards and following those examples the PTL on AIs will be without the drawback of gaining stress.

It's an option to add it in the target selection phase, but I find it awkward that some AI ships in HotAC have focus even after making a red turn.

I would like to try out this implementation instead and see how it works.
 
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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Already found a typo :-)

Action Selection for Tansaari was meant to be:

"Action Selection (Select 2)

1) barrel roll to get a shot
2) focus
3) evade
"






 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Any reason for not including barrel roll to get out of arc?

A complete list of actions would include TL if not in enemy arcs. OTOH, Mangler+Predator was effective on TIEs in the regular HotAC and made TLs pretty much pointless. (After a few sessions without taking any damage at all, the player switched to a B-Wing and promptly got shot down.)

Now that the title comes with an extra hull, you might want to leave off the Stealth Device on the lowest-level ships.
 
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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mlvanbie wrote:
Any reason for not including barrel roll to get out of arc?


Not really, initially. It was a typo, but then I thought that taking focus is better than getting out of arc if you are constantly moving last. AND, it makes it a little bit different from TIE's AIs.

For the Veteran I think that getting focus + evade should be a higher priority than getting out of arc + focus when the ship is moving before the players anyway. And, I have no room for adding it either.

mlvanbie wrote:

A complete list of actions would include TL if not in enemy arcs. OTOH, Mangler+Predator was effective on TIEs in the regular HotAC and made TLs pretty much pointless. (After a few sessions without taking any damage at all, the player switched to a B-Wing and promptly got shot down.)


There is room on the card for more actions on the Cartel AI, but I don't think TL will ever be an option there. On the Veteran card there is a limit of space, I have no room for more rows since I have added 3 upgrades already. We have a new design in the works for the cards, but still the upgrades share space with the AI steps, as on DotE v1.3 AI cards.

mlvanbie wrote:

Now that the title comes with an extra hull, you might want to leave off the Stealth Device on the lowest-level ships.


I did some playtesting tonight with 2 PS3 Interceptors with no upgrades vs 2 Cartel Spacers AI's without the Stealth Device, and I think they are quite balanced. The Interceptors managed to get both Spacers to flee after a couple of rounds. But pretty quickly the Interceptors will buy Stealth Device and Autothrusters, and then the Spacers will be at a disadvantage. I think I need to play the entire first mission to see if the Stealth Device should stay or go.


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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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If the players need to face M3-As before they have Interceptors, then they probably won't be able to hit them if they have Stealth Devices.

Ships that don't use repositioning will move to somewhere in their firing arc. I don't know how often this makes rolling out of arc work for low-PS pilots, but in general the BR actions are just making them less predictable.

There should be guidance about using primary weapons at R1 instead of Ion Cannons, but maybe it is only worth using primary weapons on lower-agility pilots so it doesn't matter if the players are Imperials.
 
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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mlvanbie wrote:
If the players need to face M3-As before they have Interceptors, then they probably won't be able to hit them if they have Stealth Devices.


As it looks right now, the players will not face them in a TIE Fighter, so for the first version I think I'll keep the Stealth Device on. We can change it later if the missions become horribly unbalanced due to this.

mlvanbie wrote:

Ships that don't use repositioning will move to somewhere in their firing arc. I don't know how often this makes rolling out of arc work for low-PS pilots, but in general the BR actions are just making them less predictable.

Good point!

mlvanbie wrote:

There should be guidance about using primary weapons at R1 instead of Ion Cannons, but maybe it is only worth using primary weapons on lower-agility pilots so it doesn't matter if the players are Imperials.


This I think I have room for. Where should the limit be? "If Target at Range 1 and has Agility <3, use primary weapon" ?

 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 wrote:
As it looks right now, the players will not face them in a TIE Fighter, so for the first version I think I'll keep the Stealth Device on. We can change it later if the missions become horribly unbalanced due to this.


When you gave the low-level pilots an Ion Cannon, I thought that they were supposed to show up early. OTOH, it is PtL Interceptors that have the most to fear from them. The average TIE-LN may think 'White 1? Sweet!'

TreatRangeAsRange_2 wrote:
This I think I have room for. Where should the limit be? "If Target at Range 1 and has Agility <3, use primary weapon" ?


That's what I was thinking. However, I haven't seen your maneuvers. Looking at the M3-A dial, if it is likely to 3K or hard 1 when an enemy is at R1 ahead, then maybe the Ion Cannon is best. That takes playtesting.
 
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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Version 2 of the Scum AI and SCUM Elite Cards pdf for Defenders of the Empire has been uploaded and can be found here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/135532/defenders-empire

It includes AI's for the following ships:

Heavy Scyk (M3-A Interceptor)
Protectorate Starfighter
Z-95
Y-wing
HWK 29
Firespray

V3 with minor chnages based on feedback is being prepared.



 
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TreatRangeAsRange_2 TreatRangeAsRange_2
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Version 3 of the Scum AI and Elite pdf uploaded to same place.

New in this version:

1 more Elite card for Y-wing
2 Elite cards for Firespray
AI's for Kihraxz Fighter + 2 Elite cards for it

+ various updates on almost all AI's and Elitecards based on feedback.

Feel free to comment and give feedback to make these even better!
 
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