Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
42 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: How good is the Steam/Playdek AI? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Alea jacta est
United States
Thonotosassa
Florida
flag msg tools
No matter where you go, there you are.
badge
Shamelessly looking for a citizenship star!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was just curious how good or bad the App AI is. I am finally to where I can beat it. I lost my first 9 (mostly by defcon suicide as a result of learning). I'm 3 and 2 in my last 5 games. Won twice with US and once with USSR. The last game came down to final scoring where I went into it 1 point ahead but ended the game +18 for the win.

My first win ever against the AI was with Wargames. I remember reading the card (I had never even seen the card before) and going, "you gotta be kidding me. really?" I was +12 as the US when I got it. I played it and waited for some kind of defcon suicide surprise to happen. Most of my defcon suicides happened while I was in the lead. One I was +15 as USSR going into turn 10. I played my last card (forgot what it was) and got the "Defcon Warning" thing. Already spaced a card. And easily could have played the hand differently. But oh well, live n learn.

So anyway, is the AI a decent gauge to go by? Is it pathetically weak or if I can beat it I'm doing okay?

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Conor Hickey
Ireland
Dublin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You'll most likely get a skewed answer here because a lot of people reading this forum have played this game hundreds of times.

For them, the AI provides zero challenge and makes a lot of nonsensical and/or predictable moves, plus some flat out bizarre ones - this was pretty much exactly what I expected when I heard they were doing an AI.

That said, it does seem to provide a reasonable sparring partner/teacher for someone like yourself who is just learning the game - you are doing okay because you are learning to beat it regularly which means you're getting better at the game
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What he said. The AI is "pathetically weak", but the range of skill at TS is very very broad indeed. There will always be human opponents at a similar level to you regardless of how difficult/easy you find the AI. I made a poll about this here to see what people thought.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Pilkus
United States
South Riding
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Senescens,

Conor and Ben are spot-on in their comments. I have less than two dozen games under my belt against human opponents, and I have a .500 average. Against the AI, I have played nearly as many games and have won only twice as USSR. If you're ever out there and want to play, let me know as it appears you and I may similarly skilled at this time. Unfortunately, asking if the AI is any good doesn't particularly help...I'm a 40-year Chess player, so I have yet to find any AI that beats me 2:3 times, and fewer human opponents. But, it's a function of experience. Gentlemen like Conor and Ben have played many, many times, and won't find the AI to be particularly challenging.

Cheers,
Joe
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark J
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The problem I see with the AI is that it doesn't seem to be getting all that better. It doesn't obsess over Africa and South America like it once did. And it used to love realignments, it seems to have dialed that back some. However, I'm still able to defeat it by Europe control before the mid-war begins.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
badge
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've lost to the AI, but mostly it's only ok. Of course, I play a lot of iOS games with only ok AI (mostly Titan and Ticket to Ride).

I enjoy it because I can play against the AI while I'm watching television or waiting for my turn to roll my one die in my RPG combat that session...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kris Wei
China
flag msg tools
AI is -- with 500 MMR -- in our consideration.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sankt wrote:
AI is -- with 500 MMR -- in our consideration.
What does MMR mean here?

The Elo/Glicko rating is equivalent to 500? If so, I'm inclined to agree.

My own rating is currently around 1900 (but should probably be lower). I have several friends ranked around 1300~1500, and all of them can be confident of an approximately 100% win rate against the AI, which I think is defined as an 800-point difference. 1300 - 800 = 500.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kris Wei
China
flag msg tools
Benkyo wrote:
sankt wrote:
AI is -- with 500 MMR -- in our consideration.
What does MMR mean here?

The Elo/Glicko rating is equivalent to 500? If so, I'm inclined to agree.

My own rating is currently around 1900 (but should probably be lower). I have several friends ranked around 1300~1500, and all of them can be confident of an approximately 100% win rate against the AI, which I think is defined as an 800-point difference. 1300 - 800 = 500.

Match-Making Rating. (I just mean that Glicko rating)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Professor wrote:
Gentlemen like Conor and Ben have played many, many times, and won't find the AI to be particularly challenging.
I can't speak for Conor, but I'm around the two dozen games mark myself. That said, my games tend to take a week to a month to complete, and I don't like playing multiple games concurrently, so my ratio of number of games completed to hours spent thinking about TS is pretty ridiculous.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe K
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I´m in the boat of those new to the game. On top, I´m more of an ameritrash than a euro or even chess-like gamer, so maybe my answer won´t help you so much in comparison to those more acquainted to TS.

The AI (at least on iOS) offers a "good" challenge in my opinion. It makes decent choices about hand selection, and, as far as I can see, does firm pacing as reaction to player´s actions. It will use all options.

As I´m still about to learn the details of a given priority to care for due to present board state (something a tutorial couldn´t offer to this extent I admit), I´m not yet able to decipher whether the AI´s choices are top notch or not when it comes to cloaking certain actions, and thus, set the player under pressure as for difficult 50/50 decisions.

The good thing is, however, you could always handicap yourself and grant the AI (or yourself) extra Operations points to be on par skill-wise. I, by myself, feel entertainent.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Barlowe
United States
Clarks Summit
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I had only played one face to face game before tackling the iOS app.

After losing my first 10 games against the AI, at least 2-3 of them because I misunderstood the defcon button, not thinking the app would actually let me end the game without more of a warning.

Now I am 5-0 in my last 5, 3 as US and 2 as USSR. No handicap for either side. If I am paying close attention, I don't see why I should really lose again if you follow the basic principles of play, easily found in the strategy section.

I definitely found the AI to be entertaining.

It should be said that my games rarely make it into the late war period, it's almost always over, one way or another, mid-war.

So far I've managed a European win, launched a space shuttle as US, had a war games win (via live opponent). Most games are to 20 however.

Overall I'd say the app is excellent training.

I've played a number of online games against very friendly opponents. Very positive experience there, so when the AI becomes dull, I'll play mostly there.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Pilkus
United States
South Riding
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
David,

Very good! I'll have to check out the strategy guide.

Cheers,
Joe
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jaryn L
Canada
flag msg tools
I've played the board game maybe 8-9 times now, won 5-6 times? Not super experienced, but not bad.

Just played the Steam version for the first time. It's pretty neat that the game exists in this format, though the interface is occasionally a little clunky.

Anyway, this, my first play, I played against the "AI". I won as USSR with an Automatic Victory from total control of Europe in Round 3...

And I don't think I got particularly lucky.. The AI might just be terrible!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kiendas wrote:
Anyway, this, my first play, I played against the "AI". I won as USSR with an Automatic Victory from total control of Europe in Round 3...

And I don't think I got particularly lucky.. The AI might just be terrible!
I think most discussions of AI strength have to ignore issues such as uncontested control of Europe, otherwise we might as well give it a rating of zero and call it a day. I played against it as if I were playing a real opponent who would make the "best" responses possible to each of my ARs, and without exploiting any obvious gaps in the programming. It's still terrible though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alea jacta est
United States
Thonotosassa
Florida
flag msg tools
No matter where you go, there you are.
badge
Shamelessly looking for a citizenship star!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Benkyo wrote:
Kiendas wrote:
Anyway, this, my first play, I played against the "AI". I won as USSR with an Automatic Victory from total control of Europe in Round 3...

And I don't think I got particularly lucky.. The AI might just be terrible!
I think most discussions of AI strength have to ignore issues such as uncontested control of Europe, otherwise we might as well give it a rating of zero and call it a day. I played against it as if I were playing a real opponent who would make the "best" responses possible to each of my ARs, and without exploiting any obvious gaps in the programming. It's still terrible though.

Man I must just suck at the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Maddest Hatter wrote:
Man I must just suck at the game.
Everyone does at first, don't sweat it =P
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alea jacta est
United States
Thonotosassa
Florida
flag msg tools
No matter where you go, there you are.
badge
Shamelessly looking for a citizenship star!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The AI is my tutor and virtually only opponent. I've logged about 15 games in. Granted, maybe 7 or 8 of them were insta-death defcon suicide bombs. I've had a couple to deep mid-war before it happened too.

I feel like I'm missing the bigger picture. There are so many decisions in the game, and frankly I know nobody that plays. I just don't know whee the priorities are. Yes, there are some standard tenets that all make perfect sense. "do this, if this then don't do that..." But it's going to take a very long time with repeated plays for me to recognize the "X" before I can couple it with "then do Y." If that make's sense.


In chess I would go to the local chess club and watch. Learn. Everyone would give pointers that many years ago were epiphanies, however after much (too much) time it's really common sense.

Twilight Struggle looks to follow that same idea. With enough repeated plays you just pick it all up. Familiarity is the path to success. But it's a "struggle" to slog through the games to get there. Twilight Strategy isn't really for beginners. You still need to accurately assess the threats, risks, and benefits of any given action before you can even begin to understand the possible ramifications of those actions.

Case in point, "Abandon a country if hope is lost there. Focus your efforts on something else." Excellent advice, but you still actually need to recognize when a country is lost. So many cards and abilities make this assessment very conditional unless it's so blatantly obvious that it can go no other way. And even then, where to focus your activity? How to correctly analyze the board takes time and guidance.

I love the game. I aim to get better at it. But frankly, I still lose to the "pathetically weak" AI about 75% of the time after at least a dozen plays.

if I found a local guy that plays who would sit down for a few hours and talk me through a game I'd probably learn more in those few hours than a few months of "discovery" on my own.

I'll get there. I love the game. But the one thing that is clear to me about TS is I'm incorrectly assessing the board and what to do.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The AI is certainly not the best tutor, in fact it's a terrible tutor once you get past the early hurdles. Always on availability and the fact it never complains about the RNG or ragequits are probably the only things going for it.

If you want to play an asynchronous game over a fairly long period I'd be willing to demonstrate some basic play. Benkyo on Playdek.
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alea jacta est
United States
Thonotosassa
Florida
flag msg tools
No matter where you go, there you are.
badge
Shamelessly looking for a citizenship star!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Benkyo wrote:
The AI is certainly not the best tutor, in fact it's a terrible tutor once you get past the early hurdles. Always on availability and the fact it never complains about the RNG or ragequits are probably the only things going for it.

If you want to play an asynchronous game over a fairly long period I'd be willing to demonstrate some basic play. Benkyo on Playdek.

I'm gonna take you up on that. Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Kiefte
Canada
Dartmouth
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Benkyo wrote:
The AI is certainly not the best tutor, in fact it's a terrible tutor once you get past the early hurdles.

I would even go as far to say that you will not improve by playing against the AI. Unless you play against a competent human, you will not learn good strategy.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have the physical board game but was only able to play it 3 times in the years that I owned it. When I got the PC game, I played 3 games against the AI, and won 2 of them, including the first game I played.

In all games, it was an enjoyable challenge, but I'm still very new to the game, and can't see the AI lasting, unless they update it.

I should also note, that I've seen many complaints of the iOS AI suiciding by holding scoring cards at the end of the round. I'm not sure if this has been patched up, though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tod Andrew
Australia
Wollongong
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: How good is the Steam/Playdek AI?

The AI can't be that good if an average like myself (only played about a dozen games) beats it in my first game by Wargames on T8.

The AI did some funny things, like couping Yugoslavia.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tod Andrew
Australia
Wollongong
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Whilst the AI does not offer much challenge in the full game, in the "Late War Scenario" the AI (as USA) is more challenging to a USSR player. In that scenario the USA has to acheive 20vp to win, but it is quite possible as the USA starts turn 8 with good board position.

So, the Steam game is worth playing, just for the practice gained in the "Late War Scenario". Nonetheless, it still has a few bugs; I think it has got a couple of defcon suicide endings wrong, with an incorrect application of cards/rules.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tod_13 wrote:
Nonetheless, it still has a few bugs; I think it has got a couple of defcon suicide endings wrong, with an incorrect application of cards/rules.
Care to provide any examples? I haven't seen any such bugs, but I have seen dozens of people complaining about bugs who actually misunderstood the rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   |