View Full Version : A.I. Ground attack bug... discussion.

08-30-2005, 02:25 PM
I have sent the following e-mail to PF @1C.ru

I have recently encountered a problem when building ground attack missions since the 4.01m patch has been installed. I am running Forgotten Battles + ACE Expansion + Pacific Fighters merged.

All US fighters I have tested including the F4F Wildcats, the F4U1x series, P38s, P400s & F6F will not attack ground targets. Even when ordered to do so by the flight leader, they will respond €œunable€ or they will reply €œattacking now€ and fly away for home base. I have included a couple of test missions for you to demonstrate the issue. With AA ground targets, the A.I. flight will make 1 strafing pass and proceed to home base whether the target is damaged or not. The wingmen usually do not fire at all and make no attempt to attack.

When I add a bunker (#385) to protect the AA, the A.I. will continue to attack until they destroy it. In both cases, they will ignore any other type of ground object such as ships or vehicles.

When a simple ground attack mission is presented to the AI, the waypoint frequently skips over the ground attack waypoint and advances to the next one after it. The AI flight (meaning your own flight if you are a wingman) will then continue to the next waypoint which makes it impossible to complete the mission. I have included a screenshot to demonstrate this issue as well.


When you combine these 2 issues, it is almost impossible to force an A.I. flight into attacking any type of ground target. My success ratio has been about 1 time in 20 that they will attack at all.

I appreciate your time in considering this as it is a major issue to us mission builders. It severely limits the type of missions we can make. I have not tested other types of AC and I have not had any issues with bombers or fighters armed with bombs....

Thank you and I hope this can be addressed in a future revision.


Does anyone else have anything to add to this issue? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

08-30-2005, 02:44 PM
He BB. I have not messed with this much since 3.xy, but dedicated fighters and attack bomber aircraft respond differently to waypoint instructions. If I recall, fighters won't normally obey an Un-set waypoint, but attack bombers will.

Interestingly, I also noticed that all planes will keep drop tanks if they are following a ground attack waypoint.

btw, how do you get those smooth high clouds? For a change of scenery I used to be able to change the TexFlags.DisableAPIExtensions=0 to [=1] to turn the high cirrocumulus into cirrostratus like you have in your screenshot. Since I became able to use Perfect Mode, I can't do that anymore.

08-30-2005, 03:19 PM
He's not running perfect...thats why.

08-30-2005, 03:52 PM
I have had the same problems as Bird Brain. Trying to redo the Tarawa raids and no one wants to attack but me. I can get them to drop bombs if I give but thats it. Though they miss the target most of the time unless on Ace.

P.S. Wouldn't it be nice if multi postion bombers would strafe ground targets as you pass over ground targets.

08-30-2005, 04:17 PM

Can I download the particular mission(s) you mention in your post? If so, I will take a look at them and let you know what I find.

I don't have a lot of time to post about AI ground attack right now. Suffice to say that it can be very complicated to get them to do it. Each situation is different and there is no easy answer to this question.

Anyway, if I can look at the mission maybe I can help you.


08-30-2005, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by Aviar:
Can I download the particular mission(s) you mention in your post? If so, I will take a look at them and let you know what I find.... if I can look at the mission maybe I can help you.
You are welcome to look at the test missions, but they are not what I am worried about. They are simply 10 minutes of placing a few objects to explain a problem.

demo missions (http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/AI_Test_Missions.zip)

Start the mission, place the player plane on autopilot, hit F2 and open the mini-map. Watch what happens and then run it again the same way. Repeat that 10 times and you will see what I mean. The mission goal is to destroy 2 ground objects on the sandbar out of 4 and it just does not work, even with 4 fighters attacking 4 unprotected objects. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

If you assign a target to the fighters, the results are the same. The majority of the time, the waypoint will skip over the ground attack WP. When they do follow the set path, 1 or 2 AC will attack. If they miss, they will not return, and if you order your wingmen to attack, they ignore you. Placing the bunker around the AA solves the problem which suggests that it is a coding issue. Try it and you will see. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I have spent hours trying to solve the problem of the waypoints skipping to home base, and I have realized that it is random. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

This has only been a problem since the 4.01 patch and I realized fighters would no longer attack ships when I was in the middle of making Cactus Diary. After I installed the patch, missions that had already been completed would no longer work correctly.

08-30-2005, 11:04 PM
Bird brain pretty much summed up the same problems I have encountered while trying to use the F4U-1D Corsair in the FMB.

I have a mission where I have two flights from the same squadron tasked to attack an airfield.
I have experimented with different load-outs of 500lb bombs only, Rockets only, as well as combined Rockets and bombs.

If I have both flights targeting the same Objective, (in this case a Zis Radio Truck) all the aircraft roll over behind the player (as leader) to dive-bomb the target with their undercarriage lowered which looks a bit odd?

If I split the flights up to attack a separate target from the players flight (in this case AAA and Stationary Aircraft) the second flight will not attack at the target area at all€¦ even with the ground-attack waypoint set upon a target within the Objective marker ring.

If I manually radio the second flight to specifically target the AAA or Vehicles etc, the AI appears to immediately ditch the bombs without aiming as soon as the radio call is made.

To get around this problem I have tried arming them with Rockets only€¦ but with mixed results.
When they do decide to engage the targets after I have used the radio commands, most fire their rockets while strafing, perilously close to the ground which often sees them auger in without time to pull out again.

Obviously, these problems cause havoc with the mission with half the squadron being destroyed even before enemy aircraft show up.

Previously, I hadn€t messed with the FMB since patch 3.04, but never had this sort of trouble before.
Unfortunately I can€t say for certain which later patch introduced these problems. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

I hope the techies at IC at least take a look at these problems and are able to correct them in the next update. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

BTW, im running a fully merged install with the latest patch (4.01m)

08-30-2005, 11:14 PM
I briefly looked at mission #1 and tried a few things. If I had 2 hours I could list my findings. I did get mixed results but the planes did attack at times.

The main problem with this mission is that the planes need bombs to attack correctly. I gave them bombs and ordered them to attack ships and they did. When I gave them a higher skill they actually sunk one.

They also attacked (with bombs) on their own when I removed myself from the mission (all 4 planes AI).

Of course, the AI is not perfect and we can't always get them to do what we want. I wish we could.

Now I need to go to bed. Maybe we can discuss this in more detail later.


08-31-2005, 02:08 AM
Would be nice to figure out the conditions to be fulfilled for different AC to do ground attack.
I'll be trying the test missions. And looking at some of my own which seems to work fine. Actually
I did some 'fun' missions where red fighters attack ground targets and a flight of bandits come out of the blue sky shortly after the ground attack began, well the reds (P40) would try to carry their ground attack passes and just go defensive when shot at, kind of nice and silly at the same time http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif
Ah yes in that mission the p40's dropped bombs first and then continued strafing the remaining targets, and I didn't use 'set target', just dragged the ground attack point over the targets.

08-31-2005, 03:28 AM
I have a mission with Vals and Zeke's attacking Wake Island in 3.04m.

I'll port it across to 4.01m and see what happens ( atm the ground attacks go in very well and the AI Vals frequently go around for another shot ).

08-31-2005, 04:55 AM
It's not just limited to the fighters.

I play a LOT of offline campaigns and whether it's a bug/or ommision in the way DGEN scrpits missions I don't know but at fairly regular intervals (especially with dive bombers v. ships - USN SBD in particular) you can escort bombers an hours flight, reach the target area and... the turn round and bugger off home with their ordnance.


As for getting flights under your control to ground attack, RED flight tend to be pretty good other than the fact they seem to throw themselves into the terrain at a frequency thats a little bemusing!

It's white flight (nos. 5 - 8) who are the most insubordinate. One pass and they'll either go home or orbit about 5-10 miles from the target replying unable to any call for them to get stuck in.

The wonders of AI - these game has moments of greatness but other times... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

08-31-2005, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Aviar:
The main problem with this mission is that the planes need bombs to attack correctly.
You have hit the nail on the head! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

With that being the case, in trying to write a historical campaign I can no longer duplicate fighters strafing barges and enemy positions on the way home from a mission. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

Actually I can, I just have to make the mission target AA with a bunker around it and few enoough of them for the player to succeed by himself. It is somewhat "limiting".

Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
btw, how do you get those smooth high clouds?
That is a screenie off my computer at work. It uses the onboard graphics card with about 36 mb of RAM. I have all the settings on "high" and clouds on "medium". It is a slide show, but I can use it to test missions on AI, view skins in the QMB and run the FMB.

08-31-2005, 05:52 AM
One quick note, the Corsairs attacking with their undercarriage down is correct. That is used as the corsair's air brake. I havn't fooled with the FMB since 4.01. Maybe one day (after next patch and especially when big one comes out later)

08-31-2005, 07:34 AM
Oleg was kind enough to reply to my e-mail;

"AI planes with the machine guns only as a weapon will not execure your command to attack the ships and will go to the next weypoint."

This is a partial answer in that we now know it is intentional. I asked if that applies to other objects as well. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif

It is possible that targets including ships are forcing the fighters to skip the waypoint. I will test that as well.

08-31-2005, 08:09 AM
I have tried to get bomb armed A-20s to attack shipping. When I give the flight the order to attack they jettison their ord right away, then fly off.


08-31-2005, 04:20 PM
@RXMan, Cheers for clearing up the Corsair landing gear for me mate. I genuinely thought it was a bug lol. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1072.gif

Still the bugs with the radio commands and AI not engageing consistantly are a real pain in the backside. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif

I hope whatever was changed can be reverted back to how it was previously without too much difficulty or flow-on effects to other things.

08-31-2005, 04:28 PM
Funny you should mention, B-b!

last night, I was playing with a mission in which P-40Es laden with 500 lb bombs must attack a japanese held town. On the river nearby is a Japanese gunboat.

My wingman (I was leading the P-40Es) would not comply with my "Attack ground targets-> Ships" command, even when at close range to the gunboat, and before he dropped his bomb. He replied "unable". The gunboat was ~2 miles away, we were at ~400m. i thought it was altitude/proximity related. I immediately ordered hin to "Attack ground targets-> All", and he instantly dropped his bomb in a glide bomb attack on some type 94 trucks

I have only tried this with the armed Japanese fishing boat so far, but will test with others

09-01-2005, 09:14 AM
More info from "The Man"

I asked if the A.I. programmed to skip ground attack Waypoints with ships applied to any other objects as well.

The response;
"In other words they will not attawhen they know that it is impossible to destroy by MG only."

That means that if you have any objects within the target circle at the beginning of the mission that cannot be destroyed with machine guns including tanks, armored vehicles, etc. that waypoint will be skipped most of the time and the mission will not be completed.

I suppose this will keep the AI fighters from continuing to attack a target they have no hope of destroying and getting shot down themselves. I recall comments about that before.

This does not address the issue of bombers dropping their ordnance as soon as the attack command is given, but I have not experimented with that and if you guys want to get it taken care of I would suggest sending a bug report to Oleg. He is obviously watching them and will at least give you an answer. The next patch to correct errors is being tested so you might want to hurry up if you already have a mission to send as an example. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif