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War of the Ring (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Shadow Bot Player (for solo play) rss

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The file is now available for download

After trying the existing solo variant for first edition I started tweaking. Soon I found one adjustment led to another and I just decided to replace the whole thing with a bot. One which follows the game rules.

I've been playing Falling Sky recently and liked its implementation, so I'm going for something similar (though it might not be flow charts until it's more nailed down). I think my experience of modding AIs in the video game RTS space will provide useful in thinking how to turn decisions into a set of rules. And also in preparing for the limitations and embarrassing edge cases where the whole thing collapses

This topic is just a placeholder for now. If this is something that interests you then subscribe here and I'll post any relevant updates or announcements. I've already got the bot to a point where it can play a full game under human rules (well, apart from fully hidden cards), so now I'm trying to stop it wetting the bed through silliness like getting backdoored, or being too cautious about being backdoored, and making smarter decisions on what to move and where to muster.

I should note that I have next to no experience of WotR, so I'm relying on replay files and strategy posts to put something vaguely sensible together. Yet at the same time I want to try and avoid it playing exactly the same every time because then it gets boring. It will also be base game only for now because I don't have the expansions.

I won't wait on perfection to get a file up (especially as I don't have the game skills necessary to really work it over), so hopefully I should have something worth your time in the next few days. I expect the first issues will simply be "what the heck does this mean" in relation to rule wordings.
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Joffrey N.
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Great initiative !! It will be a pleasure to actually play with the standard rules for solo play with FP.
If you need any help, please let me know, though Im not an experienced WoR player neither...
 
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Well once I publish something I'll certainly want feedback on any games using it, confusion around rules, times when it broke or did something stupid, etc.
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Rafael Ramus
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Quitch wrote:
Well once I publish something I'll certainly want feedback on any games using it, confusion around rules, times when it broke or did something stupid, etc.


I'm definitely going to try it. Any intentions to add the expansions along the road?
 
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Possibly, but let's make a non-shit base game version first, I'm sure it will already be pretty overwhelming to most
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NORAZLI SHAZRIL
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I hope you will manage to make bot for this game. Really interested in buying this game, but prefer to play it solo style like eldritch horror because its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this
 
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ghobot21 wrote:
its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this
There is actually a fairly huge community of people that are very very happy to spend hours playing this, with opponents all over the world playing thousands of games every year, including a well used ladder mapping top players rankings, and also annual world championships.

Guild page here with all information: https://boardgamegeek.com/guild/1733

Facebook page here to find players to play with: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WotRonline/
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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roysubs wrote:
ghobot21 wrote:
its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this
There is actually a fairly huge community of people that are very very happy to spend hours playing this, with opponents all over the world playing thousands of games every year, including a well used ladder mapping top players rankings, and also annual world championships.

Guild page here with all information: https://boardgamegeek.com/guild/1733

Facebook page here to find players to play with: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WotRonline/


Except of course there is a vast difference between playing online vs. the physical game.

And not everyone wants to meet up with strangers to play a game in person either.

Solo AI is an excellent way for people to play games outside their own groups or in limited time situation where you can pause without inconveniencing another person.
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Just posting to say I'm still hoping to get a version out to people ahead of Christmas. Mustering is proving to be the biggest challenge but if playtests over the next couple of days go well then I'll be pushing what I have onto BGG for people to get their teeth into while I continue to work on refining it. I know all too well the danger of people sitting on their work until it's "perfect" only for them to lose enthusiasm, get tied up in something else or just plain disappear and then it's never released.

Be warned, there will be a learning curve. I've added an example of play into my draft to help people get the hang of how it's supposed to work. I'm looking forward to having it uploaded for people to break and reveal all my really bad assumptions
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I'm following here and will be glad to help. I had taken the solo rules that were available and tweaked them a while back to simplify a few things so I may be able help with the tweaking process here too.
 
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klkitchens wrote:
Except of course there is a vast difference between playing online vs. the physical game.

klkitchens wrote:
Solo AI is an excellent way for people to play games outside their own groups or in limited time situation where you can pause without inconveniencing another person.

Just curious where above I said anything against any of that, did I? Solo play is great, but there was a specific question, I was just responding directly the point on "its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this"! There are a million ways that people can play, and all are fine.

I never play any other game than this online. Reason being that the client is so boardgamey in play. We move the pieces, we take the cards, but the game and the pieces are rendered perfectly. I also, generally, dislike playing boardgames online, except this one. Others may hate the client, and that's fine, but people that never try, who just go out of their way NOT to even try, well, that's just a shame. If I said "no no no, I'm never trying this online as in general I don't like online games!" I would have never discovered what a great client it is.

I agree, generally I'd always want to play face to face if I possibly could. But being able to do it this way, means I actually get to play it a lot, instead of the once every 3-6 months that I probably would if restricted to face to face. This way, I get a real game against a real person, at least once a week (actually 4 games this week), while relaxed at home with a cup of tea and able to save games and play over a couple nights (which is pretty hard to do with a physical copy unless leave it out for days!).

And, by the way, there is a world of difference between playing a REAL person, than a bot ... But, whatever way people want to play is all cool to me, and I think solo bots are *great*, I think it's fantastic that folk are building these (and note: using the solo bot rules with the online client works fantastically well, and I've done just that myself also!). No problem if you don't even want to give the client a try though Kevin, that's cool, but for anyone that reads this, feel free to give the client a try if you want, the guys that built it put a ton of effort into making it work well, and it really is great (I play it on my 50" TV and it looks great having the map of middle-earth and the pieces all over). However you want to play, enjoy!
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Jerry Tresman
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Roy when you play on your TV do you use a smart TV or use a PC.

It looks like the client his for the first edition and I only have the 2nd edition.

I have a feeling it won't work on Smart TV browsers or Android devices, so not useful for me.



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The client is only for the 2nd Edition Jerry (there were older 1st Edition versions but they're quite old now, everyone I know moved to the 2nd Ed clients years ago). The latest "Fangorn" version is 2nd Edition, with Lords of Middle-earth as an optional add-on within the game, and there is a different client that also includes the Warriors of Middle-earth expansion. The point of the client was a way that owners of the game could get a chance to play more than they might face to face.

I've never thought about it working on Android / Smart TV OS'es, but it might work, so long as that device can run Java. I use a PC myself. I either plug my laptop into the TV (I've played games while in hotel rooms when travelling for work of an evening!), and I also have a PC connected to my TV (a small form factor PC that I watch films with). There are no graphics requirements either, the client run on a 10 year old PC. All you need to do is be able to install Java as it runs on top of Java, and the game will run on any PC or Mac just as easily. I also play it on my 24" monitor on my PC in the office, and that works great also . Anytime you want a game online, let me know and I'll talk you through the client. Always happy to introduce more people to the client to let them see how enjoyable it can be to play this online, or, if people prefer running a solo bot, I'm happy to show them the ropes so that that they can do that equally on the client

See above for the links to the Guild page with more info (which has links to download the latest client also).
 
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I shall have to try a big TV sometime, I don't really enjoy staring at a monitor for too long.

For an AI one important thing for it will be deciding its priority targets early so moves are not wasted. And one important factor with this will be the strategy cards that it draws. If it draws Shadows over the Misty Mountains then perhaps the Elves will be in trouble early, if the Corsairs of Umbar are drawn then Gondor may be on the menu. Naturally there'll be some preparatory steps too but by turn 2 the armies should be in motion!
 
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roysubs wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
Except of course there is a vast difference between playing online vs. the physical game.

klkitchens wrote:
Solo AI is an excellent way for people to play games outside their own groups or in limited time situation where you can pause without inconveniencing another person.

Just curious where above I said anything against any of that, did I? Solo play is great, but there was a specific question, I was just responding directly the point on "its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this"! There are a million ways that people can play, and all are fine.

I never play any other game than this online. Reason being that the client is so boardgamey in play. We move the pieces, we take the cards, but the game and the pieces are rendered perfectly. I also, generally, dislike playing boardgames online, except this one. Others may hate the client, and that's fine, but people that never try, who just go out of their way NOT to even try, well, that's just a shame. If I said "no no no, I'm never trying this online as in general I don't like online games!" I would have never discovered what a great client it is.

I agree, generally I'd always want to play face to face if I possibly could. But being able to do it this way, means I actually get to play it a lot, instead of the once every 3-6 months that I probably would if restricted to face to face. This way, I get a real game against a real person, at least once a week (actually 4 games this week), while relaxed at home with a cup of tea and able to save games and play over a couple nights (which is pretty hard to do with a physical copy unless leave it out for days!).

And, by the way, there is a world of difference between playing a REAL person, than a bot ... But, whatever way people want to play is all cool to me, and I think solo bots are *great*, I think it's fantastic that folk are building these (and note: using the solo bot rules with the online client works fantastically well, and I've done just that myself also!). No problem if you don't even want to give the client a try though Kevin, that's cool, but for anyone that reads this, feel free to give the client a try if you want, the guys that built it put a ton of effort into making it work well, and it really is great (I play it on my 50" TV and it looks great having the map of middle-earth and the pieces all over). However you want to play, enjoy!


Well you made the mistake of sounding like the many who jump on these sort of threads with "why would you play solo when you can play online?" nonsense.

If you didn't mean that then you're forgiven. But you didn't offer a solution to the persons problem who said he couldn't find people to play for hours and was looking for a good solo AI to play the physical game.

You did offer an alternative but not a solution.

It's not a question of whether I'd be willing to try the client (I actually have that's why I recognized it wasn't applicable to this thread). This discussion is about creating this specific bot for physical play. Not about general ways to play it without another person.
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Kevin, I don't know why you've chosen to do this, but you are completely out of order here. I in no way suggested what you've accused me of, and you just made that up and made a crass assumption about me. Instead of recognising your mistake and apologising, you've doubled down with more rudeness. That's not my problem. I made NO mistake here. The only mistake was your crass assumption about my intent, when I said nothing even resembling what you are accusing me of.

My response was 100% applicable to the direct point made above "because its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this" that I directly responded to, and 100% applicable to this thread, as I know people that play various solo rules with the client, and get a huge amount of enjoyment from doing so. I guess you are just denigrating all of them by stating that you "recognized it wasn't applicable to this thread". Ever considered letting people make their own minds up?

The discussion is not dictated by you. You chose to be rude, and that's on you. I don't know why, but I don't care much, as I was only polite to you.

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roysubs wrote:
Kevin, I don't know why you've chosen to do this, but you are completely out of order here. I in no way suggested what you've accused me of, and you just made that up and made a crass assumption about me. Instead of recognising your mistake and apologising, you've doubled down with more rudeness. That's not my problem. I made NO mistake here. The only mistake was your crass assumption about my intent, when I said nothing even resembling what you are accusing me of.

My response was 100% applicable to the direct point made above "because its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this" that I directly responded to, and 100% applicable to this thread, as I know people that play various solo rules with the client, and get a huge amount of enjoyment from doing so. I guess you are just denigrating all of them by stating that you "recognized it wasn't applicable to this thread". Ever considered letting people make their own minds up?

The discussion is not dictated by you. You chose to be rude, and that's on you. I don't know why, but I don't care much, as I was only polite to you.



I've not been rude in the slightest. I simple explained hiw your post came across and then refuted your justification of it.

Regardless it's not relevant to this discussion (nor is this side track). Nothing wrong with an online version at all and you should start a thread dealing with that option separately to encourage others to try it.
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Guys, take it to PMs. This is a non-argument. If you were face to face this would have been settled in 30 seconds... and you'd probably have finished a fun game together by now .
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klkitchens wrote:
I've not been rude in the slightest. I simple explained hiw your post came across and then refuted your justification of it.
You made assumptions about me that I never suggested. You explained how the post came across *TO YOU*. I made a friendly post, addressing a point, and that was all I would have said had you not decided to denigrate that. You say you have "refuted" the value of a client. Refute means to prove something wrong. Ok, so did you prove that all people who dare to use the client to play solo bots are stupid? Did I at any point TELL people that they must use a client? No, I did not. You refuted nothing.

klkitchens wrote:
Regardless it's not relevant to this discussion (nor is this side track).
It's completely relevant to the stated point, as shown (twice). If you feel this side track is irrelevant, then why did you decide to start it? Why are you continuing it? When you said you "forgive" me, was I supposed to roll over and accept your superiority? In what odd world do you think that happens?

klkitchens wrote:
Nothing wrong with an online version at all
Yes, I know, so I simply pointed it out to people that might not be aware of it, and that was all I was going to say. You are entitled not to play clients if you want, just as others are entitled to if they want. Don't dictate to people what to think, it's rude.
 
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I'll gladly delete back to the point at which Kevin started this pointless thing. But with all the comments about "refuted" and that he "forgives" me. I just wanted to post a simple thing for anyone that might not be aware of it! The "refuted" part is just nonsense, so I just hope Kevin will back away from denigrating people that way ... sheesh ...
 
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Paul Harding wrote:
Guys, take it to PMs. This is a non-argument. If you were face to face this would have been settled in 30 seconds... and you'd probably have finished a fun game together by now .


Problem solved. But you're right that something is getting lost in text vs. direct dialogue.
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Don't dictate to others how to think is my rule of thumb. You "refuted" nothing, and just polluted this thread for no reason (if you'd just been polite then I would've posted one thing, and that's that, not such a hardship huh).

"Well you made the mistake" - I made a friendly comment. Fairly and politely. Nothing more. I made the mistake of daring to believe that others have a right to talk around you apparently.

"sounding like the many who jump on these sort of threads with "why would you play solo when you can play online?" nonsense". Except I never said that and it's crass of you to assume my intent (you could have just asked me).

"If you didn't mean that then you're forgiven.". When you insult people, your forgiveness is worthless.

"I actually have that's why I recognized it wasn't applicable to this thread". Tell that to all the people that play solo bots on the client. Some people feel the client is applicable. You just dismissed their views.

And to answer YOUR point "limited time situation where you can pause without inconveniencing another person.". And again, the client fulfils that beautifully for both solo play and human-to-human play.

I simply responded to this comment "its hard to find people who want to spend hours playing this" with a polite comment for others to use or not use at their convenience. Something is getting lost in direct dialogue, but hurling "talking nonsense", "you made the mistake" etc and the conceit of you forgive me, that's just indecent. If in doubt, just try to be polite and not hurl clangers like the above, as that's usually a friendlier option.
 
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I would love this!
 
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Oh, come on, get a room you two!
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roysubs wrote:
The client is only for the 2nd Edition Jerry (there were older 1st Edition versions but they're quite old now, everyone I know moved to the 2nd Ed clients years ago). The latest "Fangorn" version is 2nd Edition, with Lords of Middle-earth as an optional add-on within the game, and there is a different client that also includes the Warriors of Middle-earth expansion. The point of the client was a way that owners of the game could get a chance to play more than they might face to face.

I've never thought about it working on Android / Smart TV OS'es, but it might work, so long as that device can run Java. I use a PC myself. I either plug my laptop into the TV (I've played games while in hotel rooms when travelling for work of an evening!), and I also have a PC connected to my TV (a small form factor PC that I watch films with). There are no graphics requirements either, the client run on a 10 year old PC. All you need to do is be able to install Java as it runs on top of Java, and the game will run on any PC or Mac just as easily. I also play it on my 24" monitor on my PC in the office, and that works great also . Anytime you want a game online, let me know and I'll talk you through the client. Always happy to introduce more people to the client to let them see how enjoyable it can be to play this online, or, if people prefer running a solo bot, I'm happy to show them the ropes so that that they can do that equally on the client

See above for the links to the Guild page with more info (which has links to download the latest client also).


Thinking about it android is not a java platform it uses dalvik not Java and most Smart TV's run under Android.

I love the game and was only interested for solo play . For cometitive play I prefer face to face and if i wanted to play Computer games I would go back to the LOTR games for the pc. I have to much of PC's at work and TBH prefer tacticle and social experience. I do enjoy solo games even though they lack the social element. They are still tactile and I notrmally weave them into historica research or similar (plenty of LOTR material to call on)

I do not think Kevin was being rude and see where he was comiing from. You pointed to a valid alternative , however most of us came by here because we are interested in an AI/Bot for the game.

if you are interested in that good but please don't sidetrack this thread or push another agenda. Your replies have put me off exploring the guild you pointed to I will leave the precious stuff to Gollum
 
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