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Thunder Alley» Forums » Variants

Subject: Four AI teams (work in progress) rss

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Benji
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I just recently got the game and love it! Playing solo works fine and is fun too, but i thought i would try to come up with different Teams to race against. The idea is that the AI is kept simple, yet may hopefully put up some kind of resistance to a human player. Here are the first three, NOW FOUR Teams(work in progress, feedback is more than welcome). Two (NOW THREE) of them play quite nice, the other one not so much ...

AI Teams follow the normal rules with only a few exceptions.


AI BASIC RULES:

- Whenever it's the AIs turn, a random card is drawn and followed according to the teams individual rules (see below). Card-specific movement rules must be followed.

- Unless otherwise noted, AI drivers always prefer inside lanes.

- All damage to AI cars is temporary (take damage as usual, but remove all after pitting).

- AI cars do not pit if pitting results in being lapped, unless at 6 damage.

- "Joining the furthest line" usually means that the car joins the line at the most advanced position possible (take over, then push into the line)



AI1: TEAMPLAYER ***********************************

Activate:
Teams second placed car (or last remaining) based on track running order, not counting (for all purposes) already activated cars. [Teamwork second car: already activated cars are available, choose team second placed, or third if the second was just used for the main movement]

Movement:
Solo movement or team leading car: choose path that allows furthest forward movement.

All other: Move to same (closest) lane as team leading car, then move forward (pushing costs according to card type).

Linking/Pushing:
Choose lanes with most own cars, then least other cars, then outside.

Events:
Choose worst placed car among eligibles.

Pit:
4 or more damage. Yellow flag: 3 damage, unless last lap (4).

Special:
Add 1 to all movement points on the card (e.g. all three values if "Teamwork").



AI2: RUBBIN' IS RACIN' *********************************

Activate:
Car with most adjacent cars, last placed among eligibles.

Movement:
If no other cars in the same and adjacent 2 sectors: move forward as far as possible. Otherwise:

1st move: if NOT ajacent to team car, change lane, pushing the maximum number of other cars, then towards the inside, then outside.

Then: stay in lane and move forward as far as possible (see "special").

Linking/Pushing:
Choose lanes with most own cars, then least other cars, then outside.

Events:
Choose worst placed car among eligibles.

Pit:
3 or more damage. Last Lap: 4 or more damage.

Special:
Solo/Lead movement: Pushing forward costs 2 instead of 3 MPs.



AI3: OPPORTUNEISTIC *********************************

Activate:
Car with least adjacent cars, better placed among eligibles.

Movement:
Solo movement or lead movement : Complete movement to cross finish line, then join furthest existing other line (regardless of team composition), longer (after joining), then closer to inside if equal possibilities exist. If no other line possible, choose path that allows maximum forward movement.

All other: change lanes if longer line can be built or finish line can be crossed, otherwise stay in lane.


Linking/Pushing:
Choose lanes with most own cars connected after move, then most overall cars, then inside.

Events:
Choose worst placed car among eligibles.

Pit:
3 or more damage.

Special:
Don't take red or grey damage tokens (other effects from the according event cards still apply)



AI3: CARFUL!*********************************

Activate:
Last placed eligible car.

Movement:
Solo movement or lead movement : Complete movement to cross finish line, then choose path to move maximum spaces forward.

All other: if linked, stay linked to same cars.
If not linked, create furthest possible link, to line with most own cars if equal, then to inside.

Linking/Pushing:
Choose lanes with most own cars connected after move, then least overall cars, then inside.

Events:
Choose most damaged car among eligibles, then last placed.

Pit:
2 or more damage, 3 if final lap.

Special:
Pit exit: 6 MP (solo movement)




There won't be more new Teams for now, instead i will try to adjust the existing four if necessary (keeping them simple!). Again, questions, feedback and experiences are welcome!
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Travis Hill
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Re: Two AI teams (work in progress)
I was just thinking/planning through this with
Brandon Kempf
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Keep up the good work!
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Peter
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Re: Three AI teams (work in progress)
Ha, I didn't know you were working on AI-teams/-systems. I'll definitely give these a try and get back to you.
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Benji
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Re: Three AI teams (work in progress)
I wasn't, but then they started drilling holes in our walls and taking apart our server in the office, so no chance to do any real work

By the way, i don't think they are a real match for a human player (even with the bonuses they get), unless a few well-timed yellow flags help them, but then again, it would be kind of a bad sign for the game, if three lines of "code" could beat a real player. Still, it seems that they can keep up for a bit, and racing them against each other is fun too
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Benji
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Re: Three - no four AI teams (work in progress)
Fourth Team added.
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Peter
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Re: Three - now four AI teams (work in progress)
I thought I'd share the results of a test run* I did with all 4 AI teams and one team played by me.

Track: Pullinger's Pyramid, 3 laps

Final ranking of cars (and earned Turn Leader points):
1. Team Player
2. me (2 TL)
3. me
4. Opportuneistic
5. Rubbin' is Racin'
6. Carful
7. me (2 TL)
8. Team Player
9. Rubbin' is Racin'
10. Opportuneistic
11. Carful (6 TL)
12. Opportuneistic (1 TL)
13. Carful (lapped)
14. Rubbin' is Racin' (lapped)
15. Team Player (lapped)

Final team ranking:
1. me (124 points)
2. Team Player (111)
3. Carful (108)
4. Opportuneistic (107)
5. Rubbin' is Racin' (104)

It was quite the photo-finish, too: Just before I would have secured a double win for my team, there was one last yellow flag. So all cars lined up at the green line. Then it was a Rubbin' is Racin' car that pushed the Team Player winning car over the line. It would have pushed my own two cars, but it changed lanes first, according to its AI rules. And if it hadn't been for its AI-rules, the RiR car might even have taken the victory for itself, as it had a Lead card and enough movement points to pass everyone else.

* I must admit that I forgot to apply one of the general AI team rules: I gave them permanent damage markers even though they were not supposed to take any. whistle
So, had I played correctly, I might actually have lost to the AI... blush
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Benji
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Re: Three - now four AI teams (work in progress)
Great!

Concerning the damage: the AI drivers do take the permanent damage, but it just counts as temporary, so it is removed after a pit stop. Since their cars are "clean" after each stop again, the AIs need to pit less and are more competitive than with permanent damage.

Rubbin may be a bit underpowered, but i need more results too. I like them anyway, because they are the meanest guys
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Peter
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Re: Three - now four AI teams (work in progress)
Thanks for the clarification!

I found the teams to be pretty well balanced. And if Rubbin' is underpowered, then at least not by much. But I plan to have them run the three other tracks, too, to get a more conclusive result.
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Benji
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Re: Three - now four AI teams (work in progress)
Opportuneistic slightly modified: solo/lead movement now tries to join the furthest existing line (this can be a single car), instead of trying to create the longest line.

Rubbin' is Racin' slightly modified: doesn't change lanes if no other cars are around anymore.
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Benji
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Re: Three - now four AI teams (work in progress)
I started a season (4 races) against the four AI Teams. Here are the standings after the first race: Saint Adriana Speedway

1. Carful - 121 pts
2. Burnin' Benji (human) - 118 pts
3. Teamplayer - 107 pts
4. Opportuneistic - 106 pts
5. Rubbin' is Racin' - 95 pts (tech. difficulties)


A full report of the race (in german) can be found here: http://wfgamers.blogspot.ch/


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Benji
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The Results of Race 2: Yunta Brothers Velodrome

Race results:

Burnin' Benji 131
Rubbin' is Racin' 109
Teamplayer 107
Carful 103
Opportuneistic 98


5 cars were lapped, the human player dominates the final standings, the race itself was much less certain, but having all cars in the race until the end helped a lot.


Overall Standings after 2 races:

1.Burnin' Benji 249
2.Carful 224
3.Team Player 214
4.Opportuneistic 204
5.Rubbin' is Racin' 204
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Benji
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Race 3: Verghns Grove

Race Results:

Carful 119
Burnin' Benji 119
Teamplayer 108
Opportuneistic 102
Rubbin' is Racin' 99

Great Race by Carful, but Team Burnin' played it safe.

Overall Standings after 3 Races:


1. Burnin' Benji 368
2. Carful 343
3. Teamplayer 322
4. Opportuneistic 306
5. Rubbin' is Racin' 303

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Peter
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I see Carful keeps things interesting. Still, to catch up 25 points in a single race seems very unlikely...

I must say I'm a bit disappointed with the Rubbers, I would have liked to see them do better. But there's still one more race to go, here's to seeing them getting rid of the last place!
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Benji
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Well, the Rubbin' guys (...) were VERY unlucky. Whenever there were carparts lying around, they had some red paint on them.
Still - racing the teams was fun. I'd like to do another season, the teams just need slightly better boosts than they have now to make them even more competitive.
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Chris Milis
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Hi Benji,

I love this game and have played mostly solo picking the best moves for each team, sort of works. I'm looking forward to trying your variant. I have 1 question. Why would the AI cars not keep permanent damage? If they did they might get retired out of the race?

Thanks for your time,

All the best,
Chris.
 
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Benji
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Hi Chris

Thanks for your comment and for trying the bots!
Compared to "picking the best moves" (or whatever seems to be the best move), the AIs have their own "personality" - in fact they can be quite stubborn. This means they need some help to stay competitive against a (often more intelligent ) human player.

Since a random card is drawn for them, they would collect more permanent damage than a human player (who would probably avoid some of it). Discarding it means that they need to pit less, wich helps them. They probably even need a little more help, but i personally already find them quite fun to race against.

Don't hesitate to ask if you need more info - looking forward to hearing about your experience with them...
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Chris Milis
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Hi Benji,

Thanks for getting back to me, makes sense. I'll let you know how I get on!
All the best,

Chris.
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Don Schiewer
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Any more updates to this? I'm really hoping to find some ways to play this solo!
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