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Stwa
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Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:00 am

:neener:

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Stwa
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Robo Merchant is Totally Automated

Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:20 am

By using this system, you can turn every sea zone in BoA into its own BoA2 Shipping Box! But this system is WAY more fun.

The system is totally automated, you don't have to do anything or even pay attention to the ships passing by if you don't want to. The system simply deletes all the active ships (within the Robo merchant system), at the start of each turn.

Next each ship is randomly re-created in a sea zone, but chosen from a list of sea zones appropriate for each unit. (i.e. the trade route)

The percentage chance that a ship will be created (any given turn) is set at 25% percent, but can easily be changed to any value.

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Stwa
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Robo Merchant Provides Opportunities for Combat

Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:41 am

Since each ship can be re-created in potentially any sea zone every turn, it is possible for them to be attacked by warships of the AI, Human Player, or other Robo Privateers.

Robo Privateers are generated by the system every turn just like Robo Merchants, and use their own "trade route" (a set of sea zones), for hunting purposes.

Robo Privateers are always created with a defensive posture, giving the AI or Human Player that controls them, the option of attacking any enemy ships that are in the same sea zone that turn.

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Stwa
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Robo Merchant is Totally Flexible

Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:53 am

Ships can use any name they want, it just needs to be unique to the game.

Trade routes can include any sea zone. Do not specify land zones (harbors).

Any robo ship can include cargo upto is limit specified by the game.

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Robo Merchant is Modular

Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:10 am

That means Robo Merchant is developed with its own script file and can easily be included by any other BoA scenario or campaign.

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PhilThib
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Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:19 am

Interesting, but what is the final purpose (but the fun) in terms of gameplay?
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Stwa
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Robo Merchant Provides Victory Points For Players

Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:12 pm

Robo Merchant provides Victory Points for players whenever a Robo Privateer destroys a Robo Merchant with a cargo of goods.

A valuabe cargo can be worth more than the ship that carries it. (think Spanish bullion or English currency)

Robo Merchant improves the game by providing more ships in the sea zones beyond the basic naval fleets.

Had this been a French Merchant (see pic), the English Fleet in Lower Bay would have shot it out of the water. Also, What is Glover doing on Long Island.

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PhilThib
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Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Good stuff indeed. I'd love to see the scripts (even better the excel sources if you have them)
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Stwa
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Robo Merchant Prototype

Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:48 pm

Remember, each ship whether it be a Merchant or a Privateer, use the same two scripts.

One script for deleteing the ship and any cargo it is carrying. This script must go first.

And a second script for re-creating the ship and its cargo.

Populate the worksheet with as many ships as you desire, and include ...

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PhilThib
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Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:06 am

Nice indeed. I'd like to get the excel source if you have it (send it to me by email at pthibaut@ageod.net) if you want. My question is where do you script the "bonus" effect of the goods?
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Stwa
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Robo Merchant Example: 1814 Southern Scenario

Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:56 am

The main dilema for Jackson in New Orleans, is how to capture Pensacola and return before the British try to capture New Orleans.

In the following example, Jackson splits his force, but leaves Lafitte in charge of a meager force at New Orleans.

Penasacola is refinforced the next turn with Colonial Marines and Jackson arrives. Jackson assaults the next turn.

When Jackson starts back for New Orleans, Cochrane's fleet beams in, and lands a force in New Orleans.

Lafitte retreats away (no battle), and Jackson (marching from Pensacola) does not arrive in time.

In the same turn, a Robo Merchant (Spanish) beams into the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

After Cochrane delivers Pakenham he sails away but traverses the Eastern Gulf. He sees the Spanish Trader with a cargo of Bullion, and there is a battle.

Interesting Note: In 1814 England and Spain are allies, and they cooperate in the defense of Pensacola. The British Navy would also cooperate with the Spanish Navy (its warships). But in North America, British warships will attack Spanish merchant ships. True or False. If False, then I need a 1812 Merchant script that would express the relationship properly.

Note: The Privateer in the Western Gulf is NOT a Robo Privateer. It was in the harbor at New Orleans when the British landed and attacked.

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Robo Merchant Components

Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:16 am

On my system, I did use a different merchant script for each of the three wars covered by the game, to reflect the changing alliances and nationalities. One script for 1755, 1776, and 1812.

For the ships in the system. I only used six merchants and one privateer. All merchants are included in each script, but there are no Privateers in the 1755 script, so you will have to shoot the merchants with fleet warships.

Also, the amount of VP that each side accumulates during any scenario in which a merchant script is included, will probably NOT be a significant percentage of the total with the arrangement presented in this thread. The cargos are rated at 5 VP, the same as a 100 gun ship of the line! Nevertheless, I will probably not add more ships other than the ones listed below.

Canadian Trader (Spirits)
English Trader (Currency)
Irish Trader (Wool)
French Trader (Munitions)
Spanish Trader (Bullion)
American Trader (Tobacco)

American Privateer (no cargo)

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Robo Merchant Fini

Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:53 am

Since my last post, I did change a few cargo names. I made the Canadian Cargo = Furs, and the Irish Cargo = Spirits.

It is embarassing, but I was trying for a theme. That is, the cargos or goods that would be most needed for nation building in the new world.

Specifically, guns, booze, money, smokes, and a nice coat. :wacko:

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Robo Indian Traders

Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:49 pm

Well, I re-worked the Robo merchant script, and now it is 100% failsafe, and sports some new features. I was also able to clone it and use it for Robo Indian Traders, that function the same way as the Merchants.

Here are the new features.

Less code, and now I deliberately put non-unique unit names into the database. This was the key to solving several issues.

There are 4 Merchant Traders (American, English, French, Spanish).

There are 4 Indian Traders (Sioux, Wichita, Pawnee, Apache).

Each trader can enter the game for either player faction (USA/CSA) and even both at the same time.

There are no longer any lock states imposed upon the incoming trader units, and Players or the AI can move the units freely, and reset their posture if desired.

In the top part of the script, the code attempts to delete each trader 2 times. Once for the USA version and once for the CSA version. 2 instances of the trader is the maximum number of the unit that should be in the game database at any one time.

The code does its deletions first, since the units could have been created last turn.

In the bottom of the script, the code attempts to recreate each trader (at perhaps a new location), again, once for CSA and once for USA.

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The Great Plains

Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:10 pm

For now, Indian Traders only enter the game in the Great Plains. Later on, I will probably add some frontier forts, and western cities to their possible location list (RegList). Merchant traders, if you recall, can visit a gazillion Ocean regions while they trade goods while trying to stay away from Commerce Raiders.

In the first pic, there are 2 Pawnee Trader units, one for CSA and one for USA. The chances of this happening is 5% a turn for any one Indian Trader unit.

When they enter the game, the player or the AI is free to change the unit posture to ATTACK, and in doing so, the unit will attempt to attack its twin unit. Traders are loyal to the factions they trade with. It is now the same way with the Merchant Traders.

In the second pic, two friendly traders, and a friendly Commerce Raider have entered the Caribbean Off Map Box in the same turn. The chances of doing this are 10% for each trader entereing the game, and 20% for the Raider. The chances of being located in the Caribbean off map box is also 10%. So its a 1% chance for each trader and a 2% chance for the Raider.

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Stwa
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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:33 pm

The Great Plains Off Map Box, was a blessing in disquise. The BoA map really ends in Nashville, Tennessee, but now this one OMB can be used to represent everything in the West.

There are just not Indian traders passing through. There are Indian Warriors, Wagon Trains, Bandidos, Jayhawkers, Bushwackers, and Partisans.

The Indian Traders and Wagon Trains always enter the Great Plains in a defensive posture, but everything else usually enters in attack posture.

It makes using this off map box a very dangerous place. This might make a player hesitate whenever thinking about passing through the Great Plains.

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Stand in the Place Where You Live

Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:36 am

OK, this new script works perfect. Just like the last one, but I am more clever since I realized I did not need to use the eval statements.

So Good! Right! Nope, we are done with the EASY part. The script properly creates units in the Great Plains or the Ocean Sea, and accounts for each trader, or character, by removing them from the game after one move.

But wouldn't it be more fun if the traders could presist on the map for a duration of time before the script removes them. There are no lock states, so the AI or the human player could mess with the units for several turns, before they are removed.

OK, to do that, we need to attach a proabably to the removal event for each trader and character. Before these events explicity attempted to delete two instances of each unit every turn to insure they were in fact removed.

And this is where all sorts of unexpected results await. So, it is no longer necessary to attempt to remove 2 instances of each unit, and this will save alot of useless script execution, while it attempts to remove ALL the units every turn, whether or not they were actaully created.

So, now each unit removal event, will simply use the Probability condition to determine if will try to remove its correspoinding unit. So I have set this Probability at 40%, while the create unit events are set to 5% for all Indians, and 15% for everyone else. So the removal of a unit should outpace the creation of the same unit.

So, now units can hang in the Great Plains before the script removes them, or before something bad can happen to them in the game. The Bandidios below have been camping for several turns in the OMB.

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Victory Points

Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:24 pm

All this talk about these wacky scripts makes me think of Victory points. Someone was in thread a while back and was wondering if the scripts themselves award victory points to the factions/players?

The answer is NO, they do not. But my understanding, is that through the course of winning and losing battles (naval too?), Victory Points are awarded and/or subtracted? from each faction/player.

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