Easier Bots

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Sdow1
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Easier Bots

#1 Post by Sdow1 » Fri Jul 22, 2022 3:52 pm

Hi All,

Is there any thought to being able to select easier/tougher bots? I am newish to the game and would love to not be wiped out in 6 years every time. ALSO is there a way to work WITH the bots?
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Slugy2757
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Re: Easier Bots

#2 Post by Slugy2757 » Sat Jul 23, 2022 12:28 am

i agree and the bots usually work together which makes it very hard when playing alone as sometimes it's practically a 1 v 6
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kestasjk
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Re: Easier Bots

#3 Post by kestasjk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 1:15 am

I had my best bot game recently where I worked with France and came 2nd. But yep it's definitely on the todo list to add difficulty ratings to the bots, unfortunately AI researchers aren't very interested in making AI less smart so we need to prod a bit
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Trigfea63
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Re: Easier Bots

#4 Post by Trigfea63 » Sat Jul 23, 2022 3:28 am

That would be very cool if you could control the skill level of the bots!

To answer the second part of your question, it definitely IS possible to work with the bots. You won't always succeed, but you should try. With practice, observation, and learning from others, you can improve your results against the bots.

Successfully working with a bot is similar to successfully working with another human player. You communicate through your moves that you want an alliance, or at least mutual non-aggression. How do you communicate this? There are three basic ways:

1. The support-hold order. Order your unit to support-hold an adjacent bot unit. Even if the bot unit isn't threatened, this order is universally understood as a request for peaceful relations.

2. The movement order. Move your units away from your bot-neighbor's units. This requires some trust, and it isn't the right thing to do in all situations. But it's also a more reliable signal of friendship than a mere support-hold order. By moving away, you take yourself out of a position that's threatening to the bot, and put yourself into a position that's non-threatening. For example: As England, opening to North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Edinburgh signals friendship to France. (It also signals hostility to Russia!)

3. The support-move order. Anticipate where your bot friend wants to move, and support his move there. A common example: As Germany, move Kiel-->Denmark in Spring '01, and in Fall '01 support Russia's almost-certain move, Gulf of Bothnia-->Sweden. Even better, later in the game, support your bot-friend's move to dislodge a common enemy's unit. See if the bot reciprocates. Sometimes they do. This is a pretty powerful signal of friendship when used properly. You are giving the bot a supply center it could not have gotten without your help.

These techniques won't always work, of course. Sometimes the bots will just gang up on you regardless. When that happens, you're toast. But learning to communicate through your moves should improve your results. If you're really getting wiped out early in game after game, every time, you should probably also read up a bit on opening strategy, tactics, and so on.
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Bonatogether
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Re: Easier Bots

#5 Post by Bonatogether » Sat Jul 23, 2022 3:51 am

I believe I read somewhere that the bots (the old bots, at least) either had carebear or stabber personalities, so figuring out which one was which - usually not too hard - was a big step forward in being able to crack them. Potentially out of date with the new bots that we have :)
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V+
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Re: Easier Bots

#6 Post by V+ » Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:13 pm

I'm new to bot games (just using it to play around in the new UI), and the behavior that confused me most in the game linked below was the collusion between Eng and Fra that lead to a Fra solo win. Thing is, Fra had numerous opportunities to easily win earlier in the game, but the dynamic duo took it all the way to a 18-16 split, and Eng seemed to make no attempt to play for the win or even the 17-17 draw. Is this something the AI learned from observing past by past games won by multi-account cheaters?

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=425238
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Slugy2757
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Re: Easier Bots

#7 Post by Slugy2757 » Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:19 pm

Yeah the bots do seem to work together quite a bit, i've been trying to solo as every country going against the bots but it's so hard with the constant teaming between the bots meanwhile they rarely team with the player i've only managed to succeed with France and Germany it just seems impossible with the other countries because they work together.
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kestasjk
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Re: Easier Bots

#8 Post by kestasjk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:32 pm

V+ wrote:
Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:13 pm
I'm new to bot games (just using it to play around in the new UI), and the behavior that confused me most in the game linked below was the collusion between Eng and Fra that lead to a Fra solo win. Thing is, Fra had numerous opportunities to easily win earlier in the game, but the dynamic duo took it all the way to a 18-16 split, and Eng seemed to make no attempt to play for the win or even the 17-17 draw. Is this something the AI learned from observing past by past games won by multi-account cheaters?

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=425238
Heheh that's an interesting theory .. but if we assume that the bots don't share information between each other before games (and I think that's a safe bet as I think they're actually stateless, so just take each board as it is, IIRC) then they cannot be metagaming, because there's no prior arrangement.

For me I've now played dozens of games with bots and a handful of games against people, and I find that bots are a lot more trusting and ready to ally if you sort of send the signal that you're going to leave them alone without leaving yourself totally open.
They seem to twig on pretty quick that that person is no threat so we'll go back to back

They would have some meta-games in their dataset, so would know the power of strong alliances, but I expect they're just looking at move patterns to try and figure out who's friend and foe. At the start of the game you pretty much went out in every direction except Austria. It looks like you supported england but they attacked you at the same time and you bumped them in Sweden
Screenshot 2022-07-24 072518.png
So it makes sense none of the bots would see you as being on their site, except austria, and austria is the only one who left alone.

France and England were very trusting of each other, with france having two of englands SCs capturable at one point.. but I'm not sure if was a bad strategy at that point since attacking england would've imploded their alliance, and france got the upper hand anyway. it was hard to see in the end of the game where england could have taken over from france, though they did try right at the end.


Based on my experience with the bots I would say be more trusting than you'd feel comfortable trusting a person.. just based on the games Ive played Ive found the more ready I am to trust an AI the more it tends to pay off (though they still get me eventually.. once they've used me..)
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kestasjk
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Re: Easier Bots

#9 Post by kestasjk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:39 pm

Slugy2757 wrote:
Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:19 pm
Yeah the bots do seem to work together quite a bit, i've been trying to solo as every country going against the bots but it's so hard with the constant teaming between the bots meanwhile they rarely team with the player i've only managed to succeed with France and Germany it just seems impossible with the other countries because they work together.
Wow you won against the bots as france, that's impressive, and germany that's v impressive :o do you have a game ID or was it on play.webdip ?
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V+
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Re: Easier Bots

#10 Post by V+ » Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:50 pm

You're definitely not wrong with the analysis of my gameplay in the early years. I was definitely all over the place. It's part of my playing with the bots and trying to learn them... But there has to be a moment when Fra goes for the kill against Eng earlier, alliance be damned, no? Or a moment when Eng realizes that Fra is more likely to solo than they are and begins to works against it? I mean, did the bot playing Eng really do the math and determine that eliminating me was lower risk/higher reward than stopping Fra's solo?

The other thought I had is that because they're programmed to draw as soon as the human player is eliminated (at least, it seems to be that way from the time I was eliminated outright before the last turn?), why not gang up on the human in order to guarantee a non-loss result? After all, lots of human players also seem to favor a guaranteed draw over risking it for a solo win, and perhaps they AI internalized that tendency as well? Fascinating stuff...
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Trigfea63
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Re: Easier Bots

#11 Post by Trigfea63 » Sun Jul 24, 2022 2:21 am

The bots are not nearly as good as strong human players in terms of recognizing that moment when the alliance no longer makes sense and they should turn on their ally -- either to stop the ally's solo or to go for the solo themselves. They tend to stick with their alliances, for longer than is optimal. In this respect, they are more like inexperienced human players, or carebears. The bots are also quite weak at endgame play compared to strong human players. They will rarely band together to stop a solo, and they seem unaware or unconcerned about stalemate lines.
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Slugy2757
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Re: Easier Bots

#12 Post by Slugy2757 » Sun Jul 24, 2022 3:03 am

1

V+
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Re: Easier Bots

#13 Post by V+ » Sun Jul 24, 2022 3:07 am

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Bonatogether
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Re: Easier Bots

#14 Post by Bonatogether » Sun Jul 24, 2022 4:33 am

The bots have very little idea what to do in unfamiliar situations (which is why they're so bad at endgame play, I think, cause very few endgames look the same), so in my experience, they get tripped up with stranger openings. You can pretty reliably solo on the bots as Germany, I've found, by doing Ber-Sil-War, Kiel-Den-Swe, and Mun-Ruhr-Hol, and then just committing hard against Russia.
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Slugy2757
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Re: Easier Bots

#15 Post by Slugy2757 » Sun Jul 24, 2022 4:54 am

has anyone soloed the bots as every single country?
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Trigfea63
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Re: Easier Bots

#16 Post by Trigfea63 » Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:16 am

Yes, people have. Check out DougJoe's spreadsheet in this other thread on playing against the bots (post #35):

viewtopic.php?f=3&p=304278#p304278
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Slugy2757
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Re: Easier Bots

#17 Post by Slugy2757 » Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:41 am

just won as turkey! 3/7
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Bonatogether
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Re: Easier Bots

#18 Post by Bonatogether » Tue Jul 26, 2022 3:14 am

Slugy2757 wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:41 am
just won as turkey! 3/7
congrats

DougJoe
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Re: Easier Bots

#19 Post by DougJoe » Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:16 pm

Bonatogether wrote:
Sun Jul 24, 2022 4:33 am
The bots have very little idea what to do in unfamiliar situations (which is why they're so bad at endgame play, I think, cause very few endgames look the same), so in my experience, they get tripped up with stranger openings. You can pretty reliably solo on the bots as Germany, I've found, by doing Ber-Sil-War, Kiel-Den-Swe, and Mun-Ruhr-Hol, and then just committing hard against Russia.
How often is "reliably"?

georgefc3
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Re: Easier Bots

#20 Post by georgefc3 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:00 am

Bots generally speaking are actually pretty easy to win against. See this game that I played as Italy. I got a 25 center win in season 12. Played a Lepanto, took all of Turkey. Then quickly moved to France.

It was pretty easy. Austria was my friend (although a dumb one) the entire game. Except the last turn where I reduced him from 7 centers down to just 4.

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=428474

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