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Spike Soldier





What's special about it?

It's a micro melee bot that supports both advanced movement and targeting.

Great, I want to try it. Where can I download it?


How competitive is it?

As for now it is somewhere in the middle in every category. This proves, that in MicroBots it's better to implement only a decent movement, rather than average movement and gun.

How does it move?


How does it fire?

Surprise: AntiGravity.

How does it dodge bullets?

It doesn't.

How does the melee strategy differ from one-on-one strategy?

There is no one-on-one strategy.

How does it select a target to attack/avoid in melee?

Basically the nearest, with a little bit of Math.random() included.

What does it save between rounds and matches?

Nothing intentionally.

Where did you get the name?

Spikes are by far the nicest family of creatures in Magic the Gathering (see that cute little spike on the top of the page?).

Can I use your code?

Not until I have definitely stopped working on it.

What's next for your robot?

If I'm able to squeeze it any more, I have to improve that movement.

Does it have any WhiteWhales?

Any CornerMovement bots.

What other robot(s) is it based on?

QuickHack - geez, that bot has every code snippet I would need.

Comments, questions, feedback:

You made me curious enough to have me de-lurk :-p . Pls explain how Antigravity can be applied for aiming? --Dummy

Select a target, make some assumptions that it uses anti-gravity and also how it applies the antigravity (i.e. inverse square law? anti-gravity points located around walls? how much "mass" compared to bots? etc. and iterate the targets movement forward through time using these rules, and making assumptions about how all the other bots will move. Aim to intersect one of the target's future predicted positions. Simple in principle ;) The caveat is in the multiple occurrences of the word "assumptions"! But having said all that, that's an assumption on my part :) I'm all ears... -- Shrubbery

By the way, I must ask the author: do you have a Black Lotus? If you don't, I'm not sure I should be associating with you :D -- Shrubbery

Sounds pretty cool. I wanted to do something like that when I was building my first bot PheonixM, but got sidetracked onto OneOnOne. -- Jokester

Nice idea lRem, but i think it will not work :) However im not a Meele specialist... Shrubbery do you have one? --Krabb

Are you asking if I have a melee bot, or specifically if I have a bot using that sort of principle? Vapour is very much a melee-oriented bot, but it doesn't do anything like this for aiming. I did discuss something along these lines with some other robocoders long ago, but we also concluded it was a nice idea but too hard to make it work well enough, so din't look into it any further. But it is always possible to be proven wrong :) Especially if theres an innovation in the works. -- Shrubbery

I don't think it's a bad idea. Sure, every bot has a different kind of movement, but a lot of melee bots that implement some form of AntiGravity do show some similarities between one and other. For example: they spend an awful lot of time at the sides of the battlefield, away from the corner. There's a possibility that you may find some behaviour that you might be able to exploit, if you study the melee battles between a mix of melee bots long enough. Anyway, I like to see new ideas. :-) --Dummy

@Shrubbery: Yes, that's how the bot is aiming. And however the assumptions are weak, the targeting is better than just the usual. Especially with the RNG blessing ;) And I'm also not sure that you should be associating with me - Black Lotus is simply to expensive for me (I'm just a student with an extremely low paid job, dependent on the price Black Lotus would eat my 3-4 months income ;) ). @Dummy: Using AntiGravity for aiming like this proves to be a bad idea. It is kind a bloaty thing, and I got unable to fit a good movement in. On the other hand, in mini it's quite easy to fit a much better gun. So if I don't find a way to shrink this by about 100 bytes, this would be a dead end. --lRem

I meant do you have a Black Lotus by "do you have one?" --Krabb

The next version of FloodHT takes AntiGravity / risk into account in its targeting in melee. See FloodHT/Hype under melee strategy. Note that this targeting algorithm doesn't so much assume the enemy is using anti-gravity so much as asking the enemy if they use antigravity and risking learning somewhat slower otherwise. -- Kawigi

Writing your AntiGravity system such that it can be applied both on your movement and aiming should save a lot of bytecode, but I'm guessing that you're already doing this. :-) --Dummy

@Krabb - aha, yes I see it should have been obvious what you were asking :) Yes, I've got a BL. Not top quality, obviously was used a lot before I got it and it shows, but nevertheless I'm quite proud of it. Depressing thought how much time and money I spent on that game in those days! -- Shrubbery

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Last edited June 13, 2005 19:48 EST by Shrubbery (diff)