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Hi,

In a game with human US player vs. Jihadbot, Jihadbot flipped this card:

2 Neutral
Tora Bora
US traps al-Qaida fighters but not leaders
Play if at least 2 cells in a Regime Change country.
Remove the 2 cells.
Roll Prestige.
Draw a card.

There were two cells in a Regime Change country, Afghanistan, and so it appears that Jihadbot considers this a playable event, and does this. It removes 2 cells (it had plenty there), rolls Prestige and draws a card.

In this particular game, Jihadbot rolled a 5, causing Prestige to rise, and then rolled a 5 and a 6, causing Prestige to rise by 5. Jihadbot then proceeded to tank the game because the human US now had Very High Prestige, and began flipping space after space to Good Governance. Jihadbot meanwhile is paranoid about Funding and wastes time Plotting.

I consider the Jihadbot choice of playing Tora Bora for the Event to be dubious -- why risk the game on a random element when Jihadbot's natural advantages are grinding out victory relentlessly via the extra chances to do ops. I keep checking this card on the Event sheet and I remain surprised that it doesn't consider this event unplayable instead.
 
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chuck reaume
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I don't have the rules in front of me so I may be wrong on this but I thought there was something referencing the fact that if an event doesn't benefit the bot (either Jihadist or US) and it's not on the card list then it is considered unplayable.

I could be wrong though (wouldn't be the first time!).

In that case, I would consider this an unplayable event for the Jihadist since the first condition clearly does not benefit them - regardless of the potential benefit of the prestige roll.
 
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reemer wrote:
I don't have the rules in front of me so I may be wrong on this but I thought there was something referencing the fact that if an event doesn't benefit the bot (either Jihadist or US) and it's not on the card list then it is considered unplayable.

I could be wrong though (wouldn't be the first time!).

In that case, I would consider this an unplayable event for the Jihadist since the first condition clearly does not benefit them - regardless of the potential benefit of the prestige roll.

It's not there, Chuck. The only times the JihadistBot doesn't take a Playable event is when either it improves Governance/Alignment, or it does nothing.

As for Tora Bora, the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)
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Turbine2k5 wrote:
reemer wrote:
I don't have the rules in front of me so I may be wrong on this but I thought there was something referencing the fact that if an event doesn't benefit the bot (either Jihadist or US) and it's not on the card list then it is considered unplayable.

I could be wrong though (wouldn't be the first time!).

In that case, I would consider this an unplayable event for the Jihadist since the first condition clearly does not benefit them - regardless of the potential benefit of the prestige roll.

It's not there, Chuck. The only times the JihadistBot doesn't take a Playable event is when either it improves Governance/Alignment, or it does nothing.

As for Tora Bora, the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)

Right. It just seems to me to be the sort of gamble that the bot needn't take.
 
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dbuel wrote:
Turbine2k5 wrote:
reemer wrote:
I don't have the rules in front of me so I may be wrong on this but I thought there was something referencing the fact that if an event doesn't benefit the bot (either Jihadist or US) and it's not on the card list then it is considered unplayable.

I could be wrong though (wouldn't be the first time!).

In that case, I would consider this an unplayable event for the Jihadist since the first condition clearly does not benefit them - regardless of the potential benefit of the prestige roll.

It's not there, Chuck. The only times the JihadistBot doesn't take a Playable event is when either it improves Governance/Alignment, or it does nothing.

As for Tora Bora, the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)

Right. It just seems to me to be the sort of gamble that the bot needn't take.

And why not? It seems like a good chance. I'd take it, especially if US Prestige was High or Very High.
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I'm surprised this card doesn't have special instructions. Or did I miss it in the table?
 
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smittyohio wrote:
I'm surprised this card doesn't have special instructions. Or did I miss it in the table?

It's not in the table because there's no need for special instructions.
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Turbine2k5 wrote:
dbuel wrote:
Turbine2k5 wrote:
reemer wrote:
I don't have the rules in front of me so I may be wrong on this but I thought there was something referencing the fact that if an event doesn't benefit the bot (either Jihadist or US) and it's not on the card list then it is considered unplayable.

I could be wrong though (wouldn't be the first time!).

In that case, I would consider this an unplayable event for the Jihadist since the first condition clearly does not benefit them - regardless of the potential benefit of the prestige roll.

It's not there, Chuck. The only times the JihadistBot doesn't take a Playable event is when either it improves Governance/Alignment, or it does nothing.

As for Tora Bora, the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)

Right. It just seems to me to be the sort of gamble that the bot needn't take.

And why not? It seems like a good chance. I'd take it, especially if US Prestige was High or Very High.

Because it lost the bot the game. The bot isn't bright enough to dig out of the hole. You're saying, "Aw shoot, I'd do it," but after doing it you would make human choices, not single-minded bot choices that lose it the game. It's not a very good choice for the bot.
 
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smittyohio wrote:
I'm surprised this card doesn't have special instructions. Or did I miss it in the table?

I'm surprised this card doesn't have special instructions too, the bot has natural advantages in getting to do safe ops off of enemy cards, and getting op points off of neutral cards even if it does the event, so the bot has this sort-of built in "op advantage" that it can use to grind out victory. So it's really not optimal for the bot to take reckless chances, it doesn't need to do that to win.

Also, with Tora Bora, the bot actually has to remove two cells to make the die roll, and this might be no big deal but might be pretty terrible depending on the situation. You would think there would be an SI to cover at least that.
 
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Turbine2k5 wrote:
...the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)

[...]It seems like a good chance. I'd take it, especially if US Prestige was High or Very High.
I agree that this is a good play for the bot & Turbine's analysis is spot on; well, wait, I guess I'm saying it'd be an event I'd play in most hands given my own feelings of either mojo or desperation. And this game tends to get me feeling either cocky or desperate just about all the time. So I'd mostly be playing it.

I also think that it suits the nature of the game, that high reward efforts carry risks, else the choices wouldn't be so tough. And why shouldn't the bot play in the spirit of the game and give you an unpredictable opponent? Perhaps better said: I can almost hear the bot cuss & yell at the back-to-back posture die rolls - "Three bad dice in a row!" - and maybe, just maybe!, I'd enjoy it's bitterness as it calls me a lucky bastard. Why can't bots be bitter, too? Seems like a fair bargain for an AI to live a little of this stuff out here, yes?

Since you're playing solo, tho, I certainly see nothing wrong with you changing whatever bot choices you'd like to reflect your own sensibilities. I've done my own fudging of the bot behavior to satisfy my own sense of narrative, tho after 5-6 plays of the expansion my own heuristics have shifted from a more cautious approach to one that is less risk-averse & a bit more appreciative of letting the bot be the bot. YMMV of course.

In the spirit of play: since your bot did get three bad die rolls on this instance, how about if you decide the bot gets the holy fear of this card & the next two times it comes up in its deck it says "No f***ing way, I hate that card" and uses the Ops instead? And you can commiserate with it. Buddies in getting burned.
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dbuel wrote:
Turbine2k5 wrote:
dbuel wrote:
Turbine2k5 wrote:
reemer wrote:
I don't have the rules in front of me so I may be wrong on this but I thought there was something referencing the fact that if an event doesn't benefit the bot (either Jihadist or US) and it's not on the card list then it is considered unplayable.

I could be wrong though (wouldn't be the first time!).

In that case, I would consider this an unplayable event for the Jihadist since the first condition clearly does not benefit them - regardless of the potential benefit of the prestige roll.

It's not there, Chuck. The only times the JihadistBot doesn't take a Playable event is when either it improves Governance/Alignment, or it does nothing.

As for Tora Bora, the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)

Right. It just seems to me to be the sort of gamble that the bot needn't take.

And why not? It seems like a good chance. I'd take it, especially if US Prestige was High or Very High.

Because it lost the bot the game. The bot isn't bright enough to dig out of the hole. You're saying, "Aw shoot, I'd do it," but after doing it you would make human choices, not single-minded bot choices that lose it the game. It's not a very good choice for the bot.

See, but you're missing the fact that you're not playing a human player; you're playing against a flowchart that takes what it knows and does the best it can with it. It's playing the long game, trying to set itself up for the best board position even if there would be a specific move that would achieve immediate victory (e.g. 14 Poor/IR countries, US Prestige 1, and there's an Unmarked country on the board. There's a 2/3 chance that Testing it would win the bot the game, but it may be worried more about Funding or an immediate Major Jihad.) It would take a lot more player aids to account for every nicety, corner case, and exception possible. What the JihadistBot knows about Tora Bora is that:

- It's gonna lose me 2 Cells, but...
- I'll get to roll US Prestige, which has a 2/3 chance (at least) of hurting the US Player.
- I'll draw another card.
- I gain 2 more Ops in Reserves, if I don't already have them.

I'm sure that Adam (I hope he'll drop in soon) took this into account and decided that this was good enough for about 99% of board cases. It's all based on what he could fit into those 2 player aids and the rules. If you want to change what your bots do, go ahead. But the pros here outweigh the cons.

Quote:
...it's really not optimal for the bot to take reckless chances, it doesn't need to do that to win.

Again, this isn't reckless since there are more benefits than drawbacks.

Quote:
Also, with Tora Bora, the bot actually has to remove two cells to make the die roll, and this might be no big deal but might be pretty terrible depending on the situation. You would think there would be an SI to cover at least that.

Then in what specific situations would removing 2 Cells from an RC country be worse than a potential Prestige loss, a tempo gain, and extra Reserves?
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tjshields wrote:
Turbine2k5 wrote:
...the bot not only chances the degradation of US Prestige (which generally happens 2/3 of the time, 5/6 if GWOT doesn't match US Posture) but also gains tempo in the form of an extra card AND banks some Reserves. This is an acceptable benefit for 2 Cells. What happened with you is very unlikely. (I think I've raised US Prestige 5 points maybe twice since I've played the base game.)

[...]It seems like a good chance. I'd take it, especially if US Prestige was High or Very High.
I agree that this is a good play for the bot & Turbine's analysis is spot on; well, wait, I guess I'm saying it'd be an event I'd play in most hands given my own feelings of either mojo or desperation. And this game tends to get me feeling either cocky or desperate just about all the time. So I'd mostly be playing it.

I also think that it suits the nature of the game, that high reward efforts carry risks, else the choices wouldn't be so tough. And why shouldn't the bot play in the spirit of the game and give you an unpredictable opponent? Perhaps better said: I can almost hear the bot cuss & yell at the back-to-back posture die rolls - "Three bad dice in a row!" - and maybe, just maybe!, I'd enjoy it's bitterness as it calls me a lucky bastard. Why can't bots be bitter, too? Seems like a fair bargain for an AI to live a little of this stuff out here, yes?

Since you're playing solo, tho, I certainly see nothing wrong with you changing whatever bot choices you'd like to reflect your own sensibilities. I've done my own fudging of the bot behavior to satisfy my own sense of narrative, tho after 5-6 plays of the expansion my own heuristics have shifted from a more cautious approach to one that is less risk-averse & a bit more appreciative of letting the bot be the bot. YMMV of course.

In the spirit of play: since your bot did get three bad die rolls on this instance, how about if you decide the bot gets the holy fear of this card & the next two times it comes up in its deck it says "No f***ing way, I hate that card" and uses the Ops instead? And you can commiserate with it. Buddies in getting burned.

Well the other issue is that without an SI, there's no consideration for what Prestige is currently. If Prestige is 12, then Tora Bora does indeed become a much better play for the bot, because it gets to draw a card and Prestige can only go down. But if Prestige is 1, the bot is like "I get to draw a card, yay!" and playing Tora Bora for the event despite the fact that Prestige can only go up. So this becomes another thing where it's surprising that there's no SI that at least checks to see, what is Prestige right now, and then bases the decision on that in some way.

So it becomes easy to imagine an SI that says something on the order of "Consider unplayable if Prestige is already low," or not necessarily exactly that, but something.

In any case, in this particular game, it made the bot too easy to beat.
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