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    Your Elvenar Team

Auto battle vs. manual battle

Smooper

Active Member
I am a big fan of manual battlling and that is from my years of playing strategy computer wargames. Manual battling hereis similar to the game Heroes of Might and Magic. It is a simple battle mechanism but one that involves some strategy and can be fun. The problem is manual battling can take some time and when you have many manual battles to complete (spire, tournament, province) it can take too much of your time. Autobattles are the answer to that. But....the computer fights really stupid. I would like to make a manual battle tip sheet at the very least and perhaps a full blown guide but wanted to share an experience I had in tournament this morning.

This was in the 11th province. The enemy consisted of all HM and only one was a 2 hex range HM. I had a fed fire phoenix. Now, normally I would fight this manually and I would not lose one troop if I threw out 5 priests. Predictably it was stupid. It moved the mages into range and started firing. 3 mages could fire in first round. One of the mages moved up behind another at the start of the second round (stupid computer). The top mage came in and fired at the top HM and did good damage but not enough to kill the unit. Then the 3rd mage to move did the dumbest thing ever and moved up and over to attack the top injured HM. It finished this unit off but now was vulnerable to attack from two other HM units this round. One of them moved in and destroyed the whole stack of mages.

In a manual battle I would keep falling back out of range and focus fire on the HM with a polearem (2 hex range). They would never touch me because they aren't fast enough. This is why I fight manual most of the time and especially battles further into the tournament.

What are your thoughts on how to fight this battle and using manual vs. auto fighting?
HM Battle example.jpg
 
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Dhurrin

New Member
The problem with making the fight AI for autofight smarter is that it will effect both sides.
Manual fighting sure does reduce the losses a lot. I just don't have time to do the fights manually.
I would love to be able to see the battlefield before committing troops, because now for autofight one choses units blindly, which can have a huge detrimental effect on whether they can or cannot move.
 

Smooper

Active Member
the only thing you can do is play on computer, choose fight, check out the battlefield, surrender and then pick troops and hit autofight. Would take some time to do it this way also.
 

Enevhar Aldarion

Oh Wise One
I always auto-fight, but when I get a battle where I expect to win and don't, I do load in either a dog or a ranger and hit manual, just to see how my favored troops lost, and wow, are some of those terrain layouts horrible. The ones that funnel your troops through a single hole to get to the enemy will get melee troops slaughtered, troops that have no reason to lose that fight. And because there is no way to skip a turn in auto-battle, to let the enemy move first, the only way to avoid those losses is to load up manually, skip the first turn, then hit the auto-finish button and watch the fight. And doing that also shows you how stupid the combat AI is in this game. Instead of wiping out the enemies your troops are strong against, they will attack the ones they are weak against first or they will attack a full enemy squad, instead of killing off the partial squad right next to it. And this is what the AI does with your troops, while not doing the same dumb stuff with the enemy troops. I also think there is more glitchiness going on than just with the debuffs that have been reported. The last time I had to load a fight and watch, I saw my light ranged attacking an enemy heavy melee and doing less damage to it than it was doing back. That should be impossible with the advantage the light ranged have, but they just could not kill this heavy melee squad.
 

Gkyr

Chef
As you said, you would do it manually and you would not lose a single troop. You really dont need us to chime in on a battle that you have already figured out.

Hey folks, quit calling it AI. If it was AI it would learn, adapt and batter our butts. It is a battle algorithm, no more, no less. It is dumbed-down on purpose (notice how HM move only one square at the end?) so that we can win.
 

samidodamage

Buddy Fan Club member
quit calling it AI.
Nope. ;)
I admit I'm a lazy typist. If I'm going to abbreviate Fellowship, Heavy Melee, Ancient Wonder, etc., you can bet I'm not typing out 'battle algorithm'. I do understand that's really what we're talking about and I think for the most part so do other forum posters. At times, the first time I use *AI* I may put in a 'for lack of a better term' if I plan to use the word often. But, seriously, I'm lazy, lol!
 

ed1960

Buddy member #3, EAA
What are your thoughts on how to fight this battle and using manual vs. auto fighting?
Well first off I would use Blossom mages or whatever level you had for Merc Mages and either auto or manual would do better as they have more range. Alternately I would use Banshees.

Ed
 

Myne

Oh Wise One
As you said, you would do it manually and you would not lose a single troop. You really dont need us to chime in on a battle that you have already figured out.

Hey folks, quit calling it AI. If it was AI it would learn, adapt and batter our butts. It is a battle algorithm, no more, no less. It is dumbed-down on purpose (notice how HM move only one square at the end?) so that we can win.
Then I vote we call it BAttle ALgorithm....BAAL
 

Smooper

Active Member
Well first off I would use Blossom mages or whatever level you had for Merc Mages and either auto or manual would do better as they have more range. Alternately I would use Banshees.

Ed
I don't think Blossom Mages have more range, 5 is the same as the Priests and I use priest because they are 3 star and my Blossom Mages are 1 star. I get debuffs and the damage is similar. Blossoms go first but not that important when fighting HM. I will look into using Banshees as I never use them for anything. They can't "kite" away from enemies very well.
 

ed1960

Buddy member #3, EAA
I don't think Blossom Mages have more range, 5 is the same as the Priests and I use priest because they are 3 star and my Blossom Mages are 1 star. I get debuffs and the damage is similar. Blossoms go first but not that important when fighting HM. I will look into using Banshees as I never use them for anything. They can't "kite" away from enemies very well.
Since I play "Elf," I can't say much for the Priests, my bad if they are the same. In this case, then I would use LR against the HM if your Mages don't work.

Ed
 

crackie

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
I don't scout manual fighting because it already takes too long. Ain't got time to be canceling out of maps and starting over. I also don't always pick the same troop lineup when I manual fight vs autofight. The AI prioritizes targeting different troops than I would, which would greatly change the movement and location of all the units on the board. I can't imagine the devs would bother spending anymore time developing the algo though. First, it's been said that the majority of players cater. Second, fighting is completely optional. Of the players that do fight, only a tiny percentage manual fight, which means most of the fighters don't know or don't want/need to know what's going on under the hood.

However, I get asked a lot of battle questions, but I don't have all the answers. Sometimes, a question is interesting enough that I'll invest the time to research it out of curiosity. Watching autofights is never a good time, but I generally watch them with a thesis in mind. If they are not behaving to my thesis, then I'm obviously wrong so I'll tweak my thesis. When your thesis finally hits though and you watch like 15 consecutive battles where you can correctly predict what happens, it's a pretty big eureeka moment and endorphine rush. Like @Gkyr said, the AI is not learning. It's following lines of code that do not change and it's not an overly complex battle algo because this isn't a battle focused game. Therefore, you can figure out the logic sometimes. And then there's the follow up of you now know what it *is* doing, but how do you counter it? Then I have to make more adjustments to my autofight selections. There are still plenty of blind spots that I can still continue to explore, but certain part of the puzzle I can see pretty clearly and it's no longer random, but very predictable as I've acquired more and more missing pieces. Then of course, I try to report back to the person that asked the question, but they've only known autofighting and has never seen a gameboard so they sometimes don’t understand the significance of the findings. Sometimes it feels like speaking another language where your original thought is in English but you then translate it in your head. My native tongue battling is def manual fighting perspective.
 

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
I don't think Blossom Mages have more range, 5 is the same as the Priests and I use priest because they are 3 star and my Blossom Mages are 1 star.
The higher star troops, especially if they have special abilities, are better than the lower ones. I've played both human and elf. Never liked the 1-star blossom mages for either race. You will like them as 2-star and love them as 3.

I only play my human city now and generally use blossom mages more than priest. Priest can take a hit better but have a lower initiative. So, when I can have 1st shot, I'll use Blossom Mages. If the enemy will get 1st shot, I lean toward using Priest. Easiest example is a Blossom Mage has a higher imitative than their Thornrose Mage while the Priest is lower, so use Blossom Mage. But it needs to be at least 2-star. There are many, many other cases where I use Blossom Mage instead of Priest. Blossom Mages are better against HM than Priest, but Priest is better against HR. It's all a balance according to all the stacks they bring and the landscape of the arena.
 

Dhurrin

New Member
the only thing you can do is play on computer, choose fight, check out the battlefield, surrender and then pick troops and hit autofight. Would take some time to do it this way also.
I'm at a point where I have my Timewarp at lvl 30, so with my Polar Bear I can do the entire tourney without any waiting time. I usually do 30-35 provinces. Doing them this way means I only have to feed my firephoenix 1 time for the entire tourney.
There is absolutely no way I have the time to manually send a ranger squad, look at the terrain, surrender, then go back in, choose trooptypes and do a manual fight for 30-35 provinces x 6 rounds. Especially since I often have to do so on breaks at work, which means on my phone.

This is a game, not my job, I don't have the time for that. So I make do with the ridiculous losses.

If I lose where I should have an easy win (for instance 5 of my heavy melee against 4 heavy ranged and an archer unit get slaughtered, or my 3x light melee+ 2 heavy ranged getting killed against 4 archers and 1 heavy ranged) that tends to be due to an incredibly sucky terrain set-up, but I can't see that. So after such losses I tend to either cater that encounter or do it manually from home later, which is not always an option.

It really would be nice if we could see the layout of the terrain before placing units. Even if we had an option to pay a combination of goods/supplies/coins/mana for the priviledge. Or have to have some kind of building (Scoutmaster's station would be a nice name, maybe like the polar bear; feed it and for 5 days (or 2 days), in the city to get that option to pay for a look.
Or if it is an evolving building anywhere between 1 and 5 days depending on the stage) you can see the terrain layout in battles)
 
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