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[Sun Tzu] says in [The Art of War] this (and other things) about terrain.
"The contour of the land is an aid to an army; sizing up opponents to determine victory assessing dangers and distances, is the proper course of action for military leaders. Those who do battle knowing these will win, those who do battle without knowing these will lose."

Other (external) resources for Art of War:

I'm trying to grasp this. Correct me if my interpretation is warped... Some ways to attain WantedTerrain (win the battle field)

Here is one idea I have not seen elsewhere. Have you? The battle field has no "real contours" for you to see WantedTerrain. However, there is line-of-sight. If you are being attacked in Melee, move behind another robot which is not firing at you. Let that robot act as a HILL. Would it be too cowardly? (Sun Tzu probably wouldn't call it cowardice) Over a series of rounds, keep track over the ranking of the different robots (who dies first and last) and try experimenting with picking weaker or stronger robots to hide behind. Perhaps this line of thought would be to computation-intensive and not pay off.

We have to appreviate that Sun Tzu never fought 10 other opponents at the same time on a gigantic football field with no contours, no vegetation, no horses. Else he might have written a few more books.

Too cowardly? Nah! I did a few sketches of this kind of hide-behind-others and found that if I could only calculate an approximating line through the center of the school of enemies I could then place my robot at the end of that line. And your idea of chooing the end with the lamest enemy would surely add an edge. I don't think it would cost all that much CPU time. -- PEZ

I think it is a good idea. -- tobe

So do I, i might even use it when i learn enough Java. -- Tango

DuelistMiniMelee does something like this, rather than just avoiding other bots, it tries to avoid being targeted by making sure that it isn't the closest to the strong bots. :-) --David Alves

Heh, I sketched this idea (I called it BombSheltering) for my first series of bots, although I never implemented it. My idea was also based on a line through the centers of the attacking bot and the BombShelter, and then staying on this line (or close to it) until the bombshelter's energy drops too much (then finding a new bomb shelter). Also, an obvious strategy would include monitoring both of the two robot's energy levels, and determining when one of the attacker's bullets has hit the BombShelter, then jumping out of hiding just long enough to fire a bullet at the attacker. -- Scarpia

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Last edited March 20, 2007 23:50 EST by Moku (diff)