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Power Grid: The Robots» Forums » Variants

Subject: Superbots that make less stupid moves. rss

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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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The following has been ripped from another thread:

friedemann wrote:
Matthias_Wlkp wrote:


On the other hand, "buy 1 city in step 1, buy 2 cities in step 2...." turned out to be the most boring one, especially combined with "start with 100 electro" part - that particular robot was sitting on cash all game...
I hope you played 1 city per round in step 1, two cities per round in step 2. I found this very interesting, because it felt like a very good number of cities.

On the other hand: The robots are not built to beat human gamers. They are not AIs. It is like the artwork of them is, they are not androids, they act like 50s toy robots. They are deterministic so you can use their behavior to play against the other human players. (and this is what I like when I play with them.)
Clearly the designer had no intentions on the robots providing intelligent opposition as they are not designed to; however, I don't see how it would all too difficult to make them smarter.

My solution to making robots smarter with a more intelligent AI is to: Make 2 or more robots and use a marker to indicate which robot is the active robot. A robot is active as long as it doesn't try something stupid. The moment it tries to do something that everyone agrees is stupid, the next robot becomes active and does its action instead.

I personally think the robots are fine the way they are, but thought I'd throw this out there for people looking for more challenge from the robots.
 
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Russ Williams
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bbblasterfire wrote:
My solution to making robots smarter with a more intelligent AI is to: Make 2 or more robots and use a marker to indicate which robot is the active robot. A robot is active as long as it doesn't try something stupid. The moment it tries to do something that everyone agrees is stupid, the next robot becomes active and does its action instead.
That won't necessarily make the robot play smarter, since whatever "stupid" move the robot is going to try may well be good for one or more human players. So they won't want to override the "stupid" move.

(Unless you're also introducing some impossible-to-enforce rule that people have to vote "honestly" instead of in their own perception of their best interests as players.)

---

Also, for me, using the humans as intelligent input to guide the robot's moves is not satisfying on principle in any case. It seems like a cheat and not very impressive AI.
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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russ wrote:
bbblasterfire wrote:
My solution to making robots smarter with a more intelligent AI is to: Make 2 or more robots and use a marker to indicate which robot is the active robot. A robot is active as long as it doesn't try something stupid. The moment it tries to do something that everyone agrees is stupid, the next robot becomes active and does its action instead.
That won't necessarily make the robot play smarter, since whatever "stupid" move the robot is going to try may well be good for one or more human players. So they won't want to override the "stupid" move.

(Unless you're also introducing some impossible-to-enforce rule that people have to vote "honestly" instead of in their own perception of their best interests as players.)

---

Also, for me, using the humans as intelligent input to guide the robot's moves is not satisfying on principle in any case. It seems like a cheat and not very impressive AI.
The robots require input from time to time as is, so I don't see this variant requiring much more. This variant could still eliminate the stupid moves that benefit no one. I think it would be most interesting to use this variant in a 3 player game with a majority vote rather than a unanimous vote.
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Alex Drazen
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Simple suggestion:

Give the robot the following extra powers:

- If the robot cannot build into a 10 spot without "jumping" someone else's city and paying an extra connection cost during Step 1, he can use a 15 spot, proceeding in accordance with the robot build rules for "cheapest sequential building." If the next part of his build gives him direct (non-jump) access to a 10 spot, he must go there first before he can use this power again.

- If the robot cannot build into a 10 or 15 spot without "jumping" someone else's city and paying an extra connection cost during Step 2, he can use a 20 spot, proceeding in accordance with the robot build rules for "cheapest sequential building." If the next part of his build gives him direct (non-jump) access to a 10 or 15 spot, he must go there first before he can use this power again.


In addition to this, start the robot with 100 electro, and give him the "always builds first city for 0" power and/or the "all cities cost 10" power.

Finally, the robot should buy plants using the power plant rules from The Trust from the Deluxe edition.

Haven't tried it, but off the top of my head I imagine that would provide a challenging robot that pushes players hard.
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