Retreat!

This week I have been working on improving my code dealing with retreat. Since this is a common feature of war games I thought I had better make it work better than I presently have.

There are several problems I am battling (no pun intended!) with at the moment.

Take a look at the below scenario

Here the Russian 167 Rifle Division (Center of screen)  is required to retreat 3 hexes. Possible final retreat hexes are marked with the yellow outlines.

So the problems I am wrestling with:

  • Do I let a human player choose the hex they can retreat to? This of course would be the norm in a board game. Not so common in PC war games.
  • What about the AI? How can I replicate how a human would choose the final retreat hex?
  • If I really can’t replicate how a human player would choose then is it fair in the game to give the human player a possible advantage over the AI?
  • Do game players even want this level of control?
  • Should a 2 player game allow players to choose retreat hexes but not when playing against the computer?
  • What about PBEM? I cannot expect the players to email every battle when there is a retreat decision needed by the opposing play.

With Kursk – Battle at Prochorovka I let the computer decide on a random retreat hex with little real thought on how it decided which one to pick.

My current thinking is I will let the computer control the final retreat location but I will try to give more reasoning to the final location by for example looking at things like:

  • Does the final retreat hex help maintain the front line
  • Is it a hex with defensive benefits
  • Is the retreat hex in supply
  • Are other friendly units nearby

So I will give each Hex a value and then the one with the highest score becomes the choice.

I will also back port these improvements into Kursk – Battle at Prochorovka so that players of that game benefit from the things I learn/improve as I develop more games.

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