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Probe Stratego a Good Single Player game


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#61 GaryLShelton

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:22 PM

The 'how come' is that there's no way to compare it to regular play because it doesn't offer that option. Therefore, there's no way to truly compare its relative strength to a normal game with a human.

When you play Probe you'll at least have a normal game, or the option of it, weak as it may be. Probe is far better than the web version single player for sure. MotF can't compare, unfortunately; literally, it can't be compared.
The complete GS&F Rules can be found here: http://forum.strateg...rum-rules-2016/

Draw Refusal Rules, specifically, can be read here: http://forum.strateg...604#entry339604

#62 Imer

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 07:55 AM

Gary, do you have any idea why this site's single player version is so weak? Jumbo started work on this site over five years ago. You'd think they would demand to produce the best. Or have they passed off this site to someone else? I'm not up on what's been going on here the past few years. I don't know if there will ever be an AI that can play Stratego at the level of a skilled human opponent, but it's not that big of a deal to write a program that at least forces someone to pay attention. Also, people hate Stratego programs that chase needlessly or fall into other robotic patterns; that can be hard to program out. And, finally, I can tell you that players love options, and those are not hard to implement. I've seen promises on this site of the "best ever' AI forthcoming, but I guess they haven't been able to deliver. It's a shame because this site has taken over the online Stratego community.

 

Maybe I'll send an e-mail to the author of Master of the Flag and ask him why he has implemented piece rank reveal the way he has. He and I haven't chatted in ages.


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#63 GaryLShelton

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 07:06 PM

Imer, I have no idea why they settled on what they have here for the single player. The team that designed this site was here long before my first arrival in late 2012. Some way, some how they got the go ahead for a very good design and the support necessary to program it. They did an outstanding job with the appearance of it. On the multiplayer game there've been a few little changes ages ago with the move and buffer timers, as well as the far more important creation of the HmmNess rule to quell unmitigated chasing. But nothing much else has happened since probably 2013. They never did anything to the old single player here that I can tell. It has a simple Two Squares problem and also it does not have HmmNess rule programmed in so the old web version single player will chase you forever until you give up your piece. Very robotic.

Of course, all this is not touching upon the new team that came up with the new artwork. You can see some of that here: http://imgur.com/a/fw2oE

This is the game I play all the time because I'm always on my phone playing and not my desktop computer. It's shocking at first for most people. The single player still has Two Squares issues but they've fixed the chasing and robotics. It is better than the web version, yes. But the main improvement they've made is to allow one to make the game playable on a phone with the separate graveyard button. This allows for the pieces to be of an adequate size in portrait style on my Android phone. Of course, they could have done this in the old artwork also but they never did. And now the new team doesn't want to even mess with the old team's product, though most players on the site are here because of that product.

The admins here have said point blank that they will replace the current web version with the new version at some point. They have indeed already done so for the Android and iPhone versions and anyone new cannot obtain the old look any longer. I am in that group.

As far as AI goes, I've often thought that the game company AI Factory, Ltd. makes an excellent product with chess and checkers and reversi. But neither they, nor Probe, nor anyone else was allowed to do programming here, apparently.
The complete GS&F Rules can be found here: http://forum.strateg...rum-rules-2016/

Draw Refusal Rules, specifically, can be read here: http://forum.strateg...604#entry339604

#64 Imer

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 04:32 AM

Thanks, that's interesting, all the changes over time. Stratego AI is a tough nut to crack. A few years ago I corresponded with a professor of AI who had published quite a bit on strategy games. He announced that he was going to produce a Stratego AI that would "shake the world" (his words) and then delivered something that couldn't defeat my dog while she was napping. No disrespect to him, it's just the massive amount of tweaking that's necessary with Stratego, and that is discouraging for programmers who are used to aiming for objective targets, such as in chess.

 

I still have my notes for the design of a learning algorithm that I think would be promising, but dunno if I want to put in the time and effort. Perhaps some day an AI student will take up the challenge and produce something that can give you guys a run for your money.



#65 The Prof

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 08:55 AM

Imer, are you familiar with Vincent de Boer's thesis "Invincible", and do you know if he or anyone else has tried to make an AI based on its ideas?  I'm not an AI expert by any means, but I found his thesis quite impressive and it seems to me that it has the potential to play a pretty solid game. 

 

https://www.dropbox....ncible.pdf?dl=0


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#66 GaryLShelton

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 08:10 AM

Imer, are you familiar with Vincent de Boer's thesis "Invincible", and do you know if he or anyone else has tried to make an AI based on its ideas?


The Prof, Imer mentioned VdB here: http://forum.strateg...indpost&p=51295
The complete GS&F Rules can be found here: http://forum.strateg...rum-rules-2016/

Draw Refusal Rules, specifically, can be read here: http://forum.strateg...604#entry339604

#67 Imer

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 07:37 AM

fyi

 

http://fivethirtyeig...t-humans-at-go/

 

Two takeaways from this article: First, the AI does not try to play like a human. Second, the participants in the discussion understand that "Games with vaguer boundaries and goals" represent an even bigger challenge than Go. Perhaps they'll undertake Stratego some day!

 

As to Vincent's paper, yes, I've read it. Vincent did try to write a program that played more or less as he does, and the result was mixed. Invincible played reasonably well for as little effort as he had put into it at the time, but over the course of several years it lost badly to Probe at tournaments. That's not encouraging when you consider that Vincent is one of the best Stratego players in the world whereas I never play Stratego at all. So I think it's a more promising course of action not to assume that a program should play like a human, but rather to ask what computers do especially well and write a program based on those strengths. The authors of the Go program are leaps and bounds better AI programmers than I, and it's not impossible they'd come up with something that could give top human players a run for their money. But if they did, I can guarantee it would be a program based on statistics and learning, and not the tricks of the trade human players apply.


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#68 The Prof

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 09:57 PM

Thanks Imer, this was my favorite quote in the article:  "It makes moves that no human, including the team who made it, understands."



#69 Imer

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 03:56 AM

Yeah, I loved that too. It's really an impressive achievement.






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