ATF Scenario Builder
ATF Power Toolkit
in Raging Tiger
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Falklands War: 1982
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Star and the Crescent
How to Create a Faction AI Script
The basic method for building a Faction AI
script is to first, plan paths for enemy
hierarchies, then plan Missions
for enemy hierarchies, and then, finally, create a Faction
AI that triggers units to begin movement and execute Missions as
triggers are met.
Now that we have planned all of the enemy paths, and we have planned and
canceled the Missions for all our hierarchies, it is finally time to
start building a Faction AI script. At its heart, a Faction AI
script is just a list of triggers, or conditions that must be met, and
orders to be executed upon those triggers.
The best advice we can give you is keep it simple.
The more complicated your script, the more likely it will break.
Think about what you want the enemy to do, and when they need to do it,
and describe it as simply as possible in the script. Unnecessary
orders or triggers almost always have unintended effects.
Create an Enemy Faction AI Script:
Both the Neutral and Enemy Unit Lists have Faction AI's. Our
scenario example does not include Neutral Units, so we will concentrate
on building an Enemy Faction AI script.
1. Select 'Unit', 'Hierarchy', 'Faction AI', 'Create', and
2. The AI Order Edit dialog is the foundation for the
Faction AI script.
- Order Name. Not used. Can be left blank.
- Prerequisite Data. Stuff that you want to store for use
throughout the script is stored here. Most commonly, you
will store routes by copying them to the clipboard and then
'Adding' the 'Route' Data object.
- Abort Conditions. The conditions under which the entire
script will abort early.
- Abort Orders. Final orders that will be given just before
the script aborts.
- Order Phases. These are operational phases that will be
executed in order to execute the script. A new phase will
not start until the previous phase's 'Phase End Conditions' have
Add an Order Phase to the AI Script:
An Order Phase is a set of instructions that are executed at roughly the
same time. Ideally, all of your orders will fit in one phase.
However, sometimes simplicity or necessity will demand that the orders be
broken into multiple phases.
Add an AI Phase Order:
'Sustain Orders' in the 'AI Order Phases' dialog are all in the form of 'AI
Phase Orders' These are condition-order linkages that execute a
list of instructions when the condition list has been triggered.
This is the heart of the 'decision point' tactics the Armored Task
Force AI executes.
1. The AI Phase Order Edit dialog allows you to create and edit
- Last Order. An order title that allows you to add a memory
aid to remember the purpose of the Phase Order.
- Delete After Execution. This will almost always be
checked! This tells the AI Order Phase to delete this
Phase Order after it is executed (all of the conditions are
met). If you fail to check this, the hierarchy orders listed
will be triggered repeatedly, without ever getting a chance to
execute. Failure to check this box is the most common cause
of bugs in Faction AI scripts.
- Order Execution Conditions. This is a list of all of the
conditions that must be 'true' before the Hierarchy Orders are
- Hierarchy Orders. This is a list of orders, each set to act
on a certain hierarchy, when the 'Order Execution Conditions' are
2. The first thing you should do is decide on a condition or
conditions for the order. The trigger for the movement of
artillery battalions will be when the elapsed time in Armored Task
Force is 10 minutes. We will set an AI
Time Limit condition for this Phase Order.
3. Next we add a Hierarchy Order. The Hierarchy Order
Dialog will allow us to do this. A Hierarchy Order executes an
order on a specified hierarchy, unit, or group of units. You may
either specify the hierarchy, unit, or group by name or select a list
of codes to pick the target.
- Order Type. This is the order you want executed. More
on that in a minute.
- Hierarchy Name. If you wish to execute the order on a
specific hierarchy or unit (the most common method), click
here to select a name.
- Target Code, Echelon. This is a list of toggles which allows
you to specify a target by describing it. These toggles are
seldom used and can often have unexpected result. We
recommend selecting a 'Hierarchy Name'.
4. Most commonly, you will use Hierarchy Orders to initiate
Missions, which are called AI Orders by the ATF Scenario
Builder. You may also use the 'Toggle Order' or 'Cancel
Toggle Order' orders to turn on and off Orders and SOP's such as
'stop' or 'hold fire'. More on this later.
5. You need to pick the 'Mission' you want to execute.
Remember that we planned these
Missions previously for our hierarchies. DO NOT give a
Mission (AI Order) to a hierarchy until you have planned it, executed
it, and canceled it.
Doing so will cause the unit to act without objectives, locations, or
orientations set, having buggy and unpredictable results. If you
need to plan a Mission, close all of the Faction AI windows by
selecting OK, plan the mission, and then come back to this spot to edit
the Faction AI.
6. With the order set, we can now specify the hierarchy to which
we want the order given.
7. We are telling artillery battalions to move to their Position
Areas, so we pick all of the artillery hierarchies.
8. That's it! We have finished building the hierarchy
9. If we want the order to use any of the 'Prerequisite Data'
from the initial AI Order dialog, we specify it here. This is
most commonly used if we have given the 'Assign Path' order in our
Hierarchy Order dialog. We would specified the stored 'Route'
data item we want to assign here.
10. We can use a single Phase order to give multiple orders to
11. ... So we are going to use the same Phase Order to order all
of our artillery to move at once.
12. With this phase order completed, we continue to add Sustain
Orders until we have all of the condition-order sets completed that we
want to execute in this phase of the battle.
Remember, the AI will continually check all of these sustain orders
while this phase is active, and continually check the Phase End
condition. If a Phase Order has 'Delete After Execution' set (the
most common setting), when a Sustain Order is triggered, it will be
executed and deleted. When the Phase End Condition is met, the
whole Phase will be deleted (whether all of the Sustain Orders have
been triggered or not) and the next Phase will begin.
13. We have finished adding Phase Orders and this Order Phase is
Next step :
Add an AI Time Limit Condition