Robot's strategies

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inonzuk
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Robot's strategies

Post by inonzuk » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:49 am

Hi Guys,

Can someone please tell me how the "Nefarious" robots is playing ?

Or even better, is it possible to find its code somewhere?

Thanks
Inon

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Kef
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Post by Kef » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:30 am

it plays like a bitch 8)

the code is not available I think

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AquaRegia
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Post by AquaRegia » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:37 am

I think preach's working nickname, before he came up with "nefarious", was "asshatbot". She routinely suicides me and allows another bot to win.

inonzuk
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Post by inonzuk » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:50 pm

Is there any way to get some description of his strategy?

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Mike
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Post by Mike » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:08 pm

My suggestion - play 1 nef versus 4 or 5 quo's - boscoe - communist or trotsky - and then you can see how she plays.

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Bertrand
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Post by Bertrand » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:38 pm

inonzuk wrote:Is there any way to get some description of his strategy?
Hmmmm, trying to describe a complex AI's behavior in a few sentences is not easy. I know I wouldn't know how to describe my AI. As others have said, the best way to know how an AI works is to play with it.

Let me turn your question around: what you are trying to accomplish? Why the sudden fascination with Nefarious?

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Post by inonzuk » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:23 pm

I'm running some experiments to see how he is ranked {easy,medium or hard} with him playing against trotsky, yakool, que, pixie and he seems to be allot better then the others (he did better then few other robots in previous experiment including reaper).

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Kef
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Post by Kef » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:33 pm

actually Nefarious is built to be a she :)

No, Nefs are solid on some maps but total crap on others, sadly

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Bertrand
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Post by Bertrand » Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:40 pm

Kef wrote:No, Nefs are solid on some maps but total crap on others, sadly
Well, that is true for all the bots I guess. It's very hard to make an AI flexible enough to adapt to the multitude of maps/settings available in Lux.
inonzuk wrote:I'm running some experiments to see how he is ranked {easy,medium or hard} with him playing against trotsky, yakool, que, pixie and he seems to be allot better then the others (he did better then few other robots in previous experiment including reaper).
What settings/maps are you using for your tests?

Reaper was originally designed for high cards games, while I think Nefarious was designed to play well on low cards games. And it's impossible to tune an AI for all the maps in Lux - there are too many. I tried my best with Reaper, but there are still many situations where he does poorly. For example, Reaper hates maps with no continents, and low cards games.

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Post by Kef » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:53 am

Well, most bots do poorly on maps without continents because they don't have a "goal" to work to, no defined borders to fortify. Maps with a one-way connection has the same problem (scaluxtric for one).

Nef will try to break continents early on but will occasionally shaft when it seems like a lost cause, I'd define her as "heavy offensive with pretty weak defence", but it all depends on the map as Bertrand said.

BotofDoom is the most addaptive to game-types, Jack off all trades but master of none.

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Post by inonzuk » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:24 pm

I'm using a 5,5,5,5,5 game with no increasing bonus on a classic risk map.

BotOfDoom is also one of the stars of this setting.

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Bertrand
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Post by Bertrand » Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:54 pm

The best AI in 5-5-5 classic is Sparrow, by far. Sadly, that bot sometimes freezes and hangs the game, and it is not usable on large maps.

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Post by inonzuk » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:17 am

I've just made some games with the following bots (on the classic risk 5-5-5 game): Pixie, Nefarious, Shaft, Communist, Sparrow and Brainiac.

and this is so far nefarious's record line !!!

"Nefarious 62 1 61 1.6 123.0 4.0"

i.e. 1 win in 62 games.

and that after it was the best bot in previous runs (with different opponents every time of course).

Can anybody think of a reason why those specific opponents makes her record looks that bad ?

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Post by Preacherman » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:47 am

Nefarious was originally built to play in exactly the same way that humans did at the time - this is about 3 or 4 years ago, when the only map played was Classic and the only card settings used were 456 or 468. This meant that her basic strategy (if I recall correctly) was to sit and farm until she had enough troops to a.) take and b.) defend a continent. She would then sit and build there until she had enough troops to either take an adjoining continent and defend that too, or kill a human player, or if another human had become larger than her, in which case she'd go careening across the map and punch holes in their income. She had a bunch of human based strategies built in which included mutually beneficial farming agreements, the sense to block humans when she realised they needed to farm, etc, etc. She was a pain in the ass to play with, to put it bluntly.

The next version introduced the concept of teaming (this is during the big 'Bots First?' debates of the time) whereby she would automatically team up with all other Nefarious AI's on the map in order to eliminate other bots and humans first. This meant that she would not defend borders that she shared with other Nefarious bots, she would only kill them if they had high cards, etc, etc. She was at this time (IMO) as good as she was going to be. She didn't play as well when she was the only Nef on the map, but when there were two or more she was a very tough opponent.

Then it all started to go downhill - the number of maps available exploded, followed by some variations in what was normal in the way of card settings, continent bonus increases, etc, etc. I started customising her too much, trying to make her play as well on other maps as she did on Classic. This was a success to a point, but the nail in the coffin I think was when maps like the Castle series were introduced - this was the first time we in Lux had seen big maps with lots of countries that were not associated with continents. She would recognise these maps OK, and switched to a 'land grab' strategy rather than a continent based one, but it was never as successful as it could have been, and unfortunately I never got the chance to really develop her further as I'd have liked. She's a shadow of her former self now as most Old Skool players will tell you.

Anyway, that's her basic potted history - I still enjoy playing her as games with multiple Nefs involved are always still fun and somewhat more unpredictable than they are with subsequent bots like Reaper and BotOfDoom - both of which are far, far superior in terms of doing what they should be doing, which is winning games.

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Post by Kef » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:10 pm

Preach, please tell me you have the first nef release lying around somewhere, I would love that :)

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Bertrand
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Post by Bertrand » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:19 pm

inonzuk wrote: ... Can anybody think of a reason why those specific opponents makes her record looks that bad ?
Your results are typical: trying to determine which AI is the "best" one is like herding cats. The results change depending on the map/cards/continent bonuses, and vary depending on the other players.

If A is better than B, and B is better than C, in Lux it does not imply that A is better than C. For example, an aggressive AI could do well against passive opponents like Communist, but do very badly against more advanced AI, even worse than Communist does.
Preacherman wrote:... games with multiple Nefs involved are always still fun and somewhat more unpredictable than they are with subsequent bots ...
Well, she *is* a female AI after all...

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Preacherman
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Post by Preacherman » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:49 pm

Kef wrote:Preach, please tell me you have the first nef release lying around somewhere, I would love that :)
No, I actually don't - she's lost to the annals of time I'm afraid, unless Quasar happens to have a copy.
Bertrand wrote:Well, she *is* a female AI after all...
There's truth to that... :wink:

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dustin
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Post by dustin » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:41 pm

I probably have a copy in my emails of any versions that you sent me.

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Post by inonzuk » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:00 am

Another interesting question:

Is there a way to put a set of robots under some custom difficulty setting and let the computer randomize with that group only? Just like you can select an <easy> opponent and have the computer select robots from that group.

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SunTzu
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Post by SunTzu » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:15 pm


inonzuk
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Post by inonzuk » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:41 pm

Thanks, sounds like a great idea.

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Post by inonzuk » Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:16 pm

If I will use Chimera, the record table will keep Chimera's record and not the record of the agents she immitated? If so, any other idea to get past this problem?

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SunTzu
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Post by SunTzu » Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:51 pm

For the record book, just choose "View By Agent" and you'll get what you're looking for.

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Post by inonzuk » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:02 am

If i'll use "view by agent" I'll see a record line of Chimera itself. I want to be able to run an overall experiment with a subset of the bots which I personaly select see the results in the "view by agent" table per bot.

Am I making any sense here?

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