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  #1  
Old July 27th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Heroscape Computer Player *Finished Version*

I made a program which I call "Heroscape Computer Player." The purpose of this program is to enhance solo play.

I usually end up playing more Heroscape games by myself than with other people as the people I usually play against are busy or live too far away to play often. As we all know, one of the problems with solo-play is that you can't hide the two armies' order markers because you place order markers for both armies, and I also find it tedious to place order markers and take turns for multiple armies.

This is where Heroscape Computer Player (HSCP) comes in. HSCP is a java program I am working on that places order markers on figures in an army every round, and when it’s time for that army's turn, it reveals the next order marker.

So this is basically how you would use HSCP in a Heroscape game:

1. Draft your army and the enemy army. On HSCP, add the figures for the enemy army.
2. Click the “New Round” button to place order markers on the enemy army.
3. Start the round. When it’s time for the enemy army’s turn click the “Reveal Next Marker” button, and take a turn with that card.
4. Repeat for each round.
5. When a figure in the enemy army is destroyed, remove it from the army on HSCP.
6. If you need to add figures to the enemy army part way through the game add them on the HSCP too.



*** Out Dated Information as of Dec 10, 2010***
Spoiler Alert!


You will need Java on your computer to run this. If you don't have Java, here is the link: https://cds.sun.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP...-CDS_Developer


***(EDIT: Dec. 10, 2010)***

Well, it's been several months, and I finally finished HSCP. I have made numerous improvements compared to the unfinished version. The computer now knows about bonding, special abilities involving order markers, and has a pretty good algorithm for placing order markers. I also added an attack calculator for rolling attack and defense dice and also a button to roll a 20-sided die. Additionally, I improved the user interface and added more graphics. This is the final, finished version; however, if anyone finds some serious bug or finds some oddity in the computer's order marker placement strategy, I will make an update. HSCP now includes every official Heroscape figure up to and including Samuel Brown. I will also make updates should any more official figures be released. Hope you all enjoy using HSCP and find it useful for your solo-play! (And make sure you read the instructions before using it.)

Here is the link for the current version of HSCP: http://www.mediafire.com/file/o35cje1c795qq25/HSCP.jar

Last edited by SIEGE; December 10th, 2010 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Made a new version of HSCP
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  #2  
Old July 27th, 2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Cool! You should post a link to it.
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  #3  
Old July 28th, 2010, 03:50 AM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Sounds cool.

To add it to the downloads here you either need to be a Site Supporter ($15/year, or $45/lifetime) or a Contributer (free, but less street-cred ).

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Old July 28th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Good stuff. Teaching a computer to place order markers in a sensible way is an interesting project, and a crucial part of my long-term daydream about teaching a computer to play the whole game.

A few thoughts...

You might want to designate (ideally have the computer designate based on abilities, but let's not get carried away) different roles in the army. A couple of natural ones are glyph-grabber and clean-up.

If a card is designated as a glyph grabber then the computer should put the correct number of order markers on it in the first round, starting at 1, so that the unit can claim the glyphs. For example, you might designate rats as glyph-grabbers and the map might have glyphs 10 hexes from the start zone. In this case, the computer should put the 1 and the 2 on the rats. Similarly, if you designate Kaemon Awa as clean-up, then he should not get any active markers until near the end.

You might also consider wounded heroes: a rule-of-thumb to make it less likely to put a 3, or even a 2 depending on the game situation, on a heavily-wounded hero could be beneficial. Once you've given up on a hero anyway, putting the X there to draw fire might be good too.

"Shark" is another useful designation: units for which you want to load on the order markers once they are activated for the first time. Examples: Airborne Elite, Braxas, Zelrig,...

I don't think you should forbid putting the 3 and X on the same card. It's sometimes a good thing to do and if you know your opponent never does it that gives you quite a bit of information.

Another neat thing to do would be to maintain your random element, so that the above rules (and other more sophisticated ones) are not hardwired in. For example, you might give your clean-up Kaemon a 5% chance of getting the 1, 2 and 3 in any given round to send him on a charge.
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  #5  
Old July 28th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Get it up! You know I play solo all the time!
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Old July 28th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Wow! Sounds like a great idea. You should read this thread if you haven't already. It's a great article on order Marker placement and units that you may find useful.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Great work! I'd love to see it. Upload to a number of free hosting sites like mediafire and then post the link here.

Welcome to the site - as a new user, I recommend reading the first couple threads posted in the Index to Excellent Threads 2.0 linked below in my signature. I am sure many of us would love to help you in any way we can in making the program great!
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  #8  
Old July 28th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Whoa, I'm excited to see this put into play. Developing the rules for a heroscape AI (even just for order marker placement) could be a fun use of time in itself.
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  #9  
Old July 28th, 2010, 03:43 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Awesome.
I am interested to see the progress.
Welcome to the community.

I <3 HeroScape tournaments!
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  #10  
Old July 29th, 2010, 10:08 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

So here is the link for the download:
http://www.mediafire.com/?bpba24xs5ang3uc

And you need Java to run it:
https://cds.sun.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP...-CDS_Developer

Last edited by aquamaniac27; July 29th, 2010 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Wrong Link
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  #11  
Old July 30th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie View Post
Good stuff. Teaching a computer to place order markers in a sensible way is an interesting project, and a crucial part of my long-term daydream about teaching a computer to play the whole game.

A few thoughts...

You might want to designate (ideally have the computer designate based on abilities, but let's not get carried away) different roles in the army. A couple of natural ones are glyph-grabber and clean-up.

If a card is designated as a glyph grabber then the computer should put the correct number of order markers on it in the first round, starting at 1, so that the unit can claim the glyphs. For example, you might designate rats as glyph-grabbers and the map might have glyphs 10 hexes from the start zone. In this case, the computer should put the 1 and the 2 on the rats. Similarly, if you designate Kaemon Awa as clean-up, then he should not get any active markers until near the end.

You might also consider wounded heroes: a rule-of-thumb to make it less likely to put a 3, or even a 2 depending on the game situation, on a heavily-wounded hero could be beneficial. Once you've given up on a hero anyway, putting the X there to draw fire might be good too.

"Shark" is another useful designation: units for which you want to load on the order markers once they are activated for the first time. Examples: Airborne Elite, Braxas, Zelrig,...

I don't think you should forbid putting the 3 and X on the same card. It's sometimes a good thing to do and if you know your opponent never does it that gives you quite a bit of information.

Another neat thing to do would be to maintain your random element, so that the above rules (and other more sophisticated ones) are not hardwired in. For example, you might give your clean-up Kaemon a 5% chance of getting the 1, 2 and 3 in any given round to send him on a charge.

I had an idea similar to your first point about assigning "roles" to each figure. Mine was more along the lines of assigning values to each figure that would determine how offensive, defensive, supportive, etc. they were. However, I do like the idea of designating figures as glyph grabbers, clean up, etc.

For wounded heroes: I had considered this issue too. At first I was just going to ignore it, but including it would make the computer's strategy a whole lot better, and I already have an idea on how to include this.

I agree with what you said about the X order marker. Having it never placed with order marker 3 does give away some information. Perhaps I will make it that the computer doesn't care about the 3 and the X being together some of the time.
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  #12  
Old July 31st, 2010, 05:24 PM
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Re: Soloscape and the Heroscape Computer Player

Cant wait for bonding. Then grimnak wont keep getting the 3rd OM!!

The one problem I do have, is that it really only works well for small skirmish maps/armies. As soon as it tries to juggle too many units, it just leaves units out in the open to be slaughtered.

Last edited by aquamaniac27; July 31st, 2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Army sizes
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