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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - A simple approach to combat

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A simple approach to combat

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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby Memetix » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:40 am

I'm glad the strategy has been of use to some of you. To those who are still struggling to understand my ramblings, I apologise.
Explaining it here in the forums has helped me to spot a few weaknesses and hopefully improve my code too, so everyone benefits.
I must admit the "lazy friend" is big problem that I suffer from too. On the plus side, it usually results in a 1:1 swap so I don't mind too much. This algorithm is after all an approximation of what could happen and appears to be "good enough" 98% of the time even if some of my ants aren't always team players.

Of course, if there are now lots of bots using this strategy the metagame suggests an approach that utilises the weaknesses of this approach will now do very well ...
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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby codetiger » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:53 am


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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby WildUtah » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:23 am

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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby codetiger » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:31 am


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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby tictac » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:31 am

"lazy friend issue":
what i do is just to split all battles into local arena (meaning i cluster together all ants with at least one ennemy in common), run the algo (well my closely ressembling algo) for all ants in an arena, and then rescore by updating the influence of my ants using their actual moves instead of considering they can go everywhere (the default influence method assumes that your ants can somehow be everywhere at once). This favors a bit the opponent because its as if he can foresee what i will do. then use this global score as a global evaluation for the move set : this way its ok to kill one of your ants if it supports the killing of another ennemy
they i try to modify some moves for my ants and rescore etc... i retry only 4-5 configuration of moves but usually one of them is good.
i also run a computation in "berserk mode" where i consider the cost of my death to be 0.5 the killing bonus for ennemy ants to generate aggressive moves for all ants (emaing i try to move them to KILL SQUARE easily), and then rescore all using the truedeath cost. this set of move if often not good but then i can improve from this set of aggressive move by changing only the worst ones(the useless suicides).

EDIT: well its no longer a single pass combat routine of course but to introduce collaboration you have no way around that i think
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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby agent_smith » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:45 pm

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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby raver1975 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:32 pm

Thanks a lot for this idea. The only major aspect of my bot I coudn't figure out on my own was an acceptable combat strategy. But this thread filled in the missing pieces for me, and now my ants squash the competition!

Now I can finally stop obsessing over my bot. This competition is very, very addictive, I spent most of my waking time thinking about it, and watching replay after replay. Uggh, that was terrible!
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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby Odyssey » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:09 am

Thank you very much! I had trouble coming up with a working combat algorithm. With some of the comments you added, I was finally able to implement it. My bot is so much better now that it has a combat strategy. :D
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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby erdman » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:44 am

Is there a tractable way to account for blocked squares (ie water) with this method?
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Re: A simple approach to combat

Postby Memetix » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:49 am

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