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Resolved [1.3] All the Problems with Siege AI (a lot)(videos + photos)

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Lychee Nut

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
As of 1.1 still no changes in these issues.

I can show most issues off in a single siege, because no matter what siege it is, the AI almost will always do the same things. I would like to point out that even though some of these fixes would make attacking AI VERY strong, and have a good advantage, because they won't be acting dumb. The defenders are pretty under-whelming in single-player as it stands anyway... They lack rocks to lob over the wall, they don't have a particularly nasty gate, because they don't have much health, and rams and towers are basically having free reign over the battlefield: easily able to reach destinations and do their damage. The gates have no pitch, and only one or so AI that throws rocks in some places. I find that good AI would make gates very weak compared to other breaching points. This is not in-line with historical accuracy and should be addressed separately from bug-fixes, because gates were designed to specifically be a deterrent, it was the last place you wanted to attack, because it was the most obvious and therefore the defenders and gate designs were always very very dangerous to assault. This is why breaching the walls, sapping, and siege towers and ladders were focused on not assaulting the gate. Anyway, the weakness of the gates is something that needs to be addressed separately from this, because this post is about the problems with siege AI behaviour.



*T1 T2 siege towers with ramps no longer an issue
In this video you can see the AI has a hard time using ramp type siege towers. They will run up and down the ramp, not sure what direction to take. This problem becomes worse, if as in this case, the gates are down.

There is also several issues with the use of the tall siege tower's that have ladders. In this video you will see the AI struggles to use all three ladders and mills around in circles at the bottom of the tower a lot. The AI when it does find a ladder seems to always insist on mainly using one and usually the same, ladder. Also, when the first guy reaches the top, he decides to open the ramp and be a one-man army. He then gets mobbed, along with the tower and it makes it a very poor use of the tower, there needs to be a group of people up there before the ramp opens as a buffer, the way towers are intended to be used.

1.3 Video: still an issue

Additionally there is an issue where if you climb the tower first, people on the main ladder(the one they like to actually climb) will not get get into the top compartment, because your butter-butt is too big for them. Room for one, gentlemen. You can also see in this video that the guy on the far ladder doesn't care, and that he also exhibits the one-man-army behaviour.


Furthermore if your tower gets swamped, the enemy suddenly is so blood thirsty they don't want to wait for you to come to them. They will climb down the ladders on your own siege tower to get to YOU! sometimes they are so impatient they won't even use the ladder, occasionally you will see them Gimli jump into the horde below.


On to Ladders, even if the AI is holding position, waiting for the ram, I can force the AI to use the ladders, if I simply interact with it, since I am NOT the siege commander I feel like this is giving me control I don't deserve, watch this in action here:


On the other hand, the defenders have ladder push-poles, and they often rarely use it, in fact, I replayed the siege, and during the entire fight, not once was it attempted to push the ladder off the wall even when they had a chance. I have seen them use these push poles before but they are quite random in when they use the poles. Even when you are in a castle defense, assigning a unit to a wall and placing them on the ladder pole holders it is very finicky to get them to work.


So there is also an issue on some maps like this one (Tier 1 Empire castle) where the defenders walk/get pushed/ charge the enemy by running off the wall into the horde below. (sorry for poor quality, snow murders my FPS. Also turns out my audio was streaming in lower quality I don't have the save file to redo this anymore, sorry :facepalm:)

On the matter of rams, and gates. The enemy seems to LOVE to take down the gate, so much so, that they have a whole formation behind the ram, when the gate is breached, they rush in and murder. They rush in to the Sturgian City, and what happens off-cam is they get murdered in a 360 degree killbox of archers. they manage to do about half damage to the inner gate before complete annihilation, pretty freaking good. Normal behaviour is seen here (cut to the end):



However after that, the AI never reforms a second group for a renewed push on the gates, all you get is this trickle of soldiers. They just meaninglessly get slaughtered most of the time until a couple lucky clucks, get in and finish the door. Then ALL the AI prioritizes the gates.



In this video one guy finally broke open the gate(notice all those bodies on the ground), and now watch the rest of the AI in action:



However, if you have ladders, and they are attached to the walls, on many castles, as soon as the ram breaches the gates(in this case on an empire castle) they ignore the breach and split up for the ladders.
Granted gate defenses need to be higher (because historically they were the hardest to take) so that rams aren't just the most OP equipment. Breaking that second door is actually pretty easy in most castles and cities. No boiling pitch, no flame pots, no rocks being dropped in this city, and the archers can only handle such a volume of soldiers to protect a door with a quite low amount of health honestly. The gate should be the last choice, not the first choice in a siege. However that is my point, the AI kind of half-asses the gates, and should really either ignore them or focus on them if its really going to be a thing.

When the AI set up a defensive formation behind the final gate, and the enemy breaks through, they just SIT there. They don't try to keep the enemy out so they get shot more by the archers behind crenelation and arrow slits, they just hold position. The enemy swarms in, and then they just outright surround and murder the defenders who are being rather stubborn in holding that piece of dirt. Here is a photo example. If the defenders get reinforcement waves, you will be able to see as in this video, that they will join the formation, and only fight until they get back into the position. They are magnetically drawn to the position, as a reinforcment wave started chasing me, when I got too close to the square formation they just totally ignored me and went into that formation


New problem found with AI Siege today, If your playing as defenders, and you have mangonels on your wall, the men who are manning the mangonels will fire until they destroy a piece of siege equipment. In this video here for instance, another mangonel destroys the Ram, and once it is destroyed all the mangonel crews drop the equipment and go do something else, even though they should still be shooting that siege tower on the left side. They will not pick up the equipment again until the siege tower hits the wall. This is reproducible in any siege for me so far that has mangonels. they clearly had enough time to destroy both the tower and the ram but because they dropped the equipment time and again after reloads I could never manage to defend the castle, the tower dooms me every time.


I would love it if people could post all their other siege problems here, this is a really big thing for me honestly, sieges are my favorite part of the game.
 
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Lychee Nut

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
So there is also an issue on some maps like this one (Tier 1 Empire castle) where the defenders walk/get pushed/ charge the enemy by running off the wall into the horde below. (sorry for poor quality, snow murders my FPS. Also turns out my audio was streaming in lower quality I don't have the save file to redo this anymore, sorry :facepalm:)


Added more to main post. Found older footage I forgot I had.
 

Skyn0s

Recruit
+1
Excellent post, those points you described need to be fixed one by one because they kill a lot the atmosphere of the siege and destroy the logical and strategic part of it.
 

Aszhune

Recruit
GJ Huskarl and thank you for summarizing it all. I have pretty much all the issues myself. (+ the stuttering that happens in large sieges as soon as the ramp of the siege tower touches the wall).
 

Lychee Nut

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
On to Ladders, even if the AI is holding position, waiting for the ram, I can force the AI to use the ladders, if I simply interact with it, since I am NOT the siege commander I feel like this is giving me control I don't deserve, watch this in action here:


On the other hand, the defenders have ladder push-poles, and they often rarely use it, in fact, I replayed the siege, and during the entire fight, not once was it attempted to push the ladder off the wall even when they had a chance. I have seen them use these push poles before but they are quite random in when they use the poles. Even when you are in a castle defense, assigning a unit to a wall and placing them on the ladder pole holders it is very finicky to get them to work.


However, if you have ladders, and they are attached to the walls, on many castles, as soon as the ram breaches the gates(in this case on an empire castle) they ignore the breach and split up for the ladders.


When the AI set up a defensive formation behind the final gate, and the enemy breaks through, they just SIT there. They don't try to keep the enemy out so they get shot more by the archers behind crenelation and arrow slits, they just hold position. The enemy swarms in, and then they just outright surround and murder the defenders who are being rather stubborn in holding that piece of dirt. Here is a photo example. If the defenders get reinforcement waves, you will be able to see as in this video, that they will join the formation, and only fight until they get back into the position. They are magnetically drawn to the position, as a reinforcment wave started chasing me, when I got too close to the square formation they just totally ignored me and went into that formation



Posted video evidence of the formation gate defense problem, and added a few more issues I have found, and just got footage for.
 

Lychee Nut

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
New problem found with AI Siege today, If your playing as defenders, and you have mangonels on your wall, the men who are manning the mangonels will fire until they destroy a piece of siege equipment. In this video here for instance, another mangonel destroys the Ram, and once it is destroyed all the mangonel crews drop the equipment and go do something else, even though they should still be shooting that siege tower on the left side. They will not pick up the equipment again until the siege tower hits the wall. This is reproducible in any siege for me so far that has mangonels. they clearly had enough time to destroy both the tower and the ram but because they dropped the equipment time and again after reloads I could never manage to defend the castle, the tower dooms me every time.


Found a new, and actually very big problem for defenders today.
 

Lychee Nut

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
As of 1.1 still no changes in these issues.

I can show most issues off in a single siege, because no matter what siege it is, the AI almost will always do the same things. I would like to point out that even though some of these fixes would make attacking AI VERY strong, and have a good advantage, because they won't be acting dumb. The defenders are pretty under-whelming in single-player as it stands anyway... They lack rocks to lob over the wall, they don't have a particularly nasty gate, because they don't have much health, and rams and towers are basically having free reign over the battlefield: easily able to reach destinations and do their damage. The gates have no pitch, and only one or so AI that throws rocks in some places. I find that good AI would make gates very weak compared to other breaching points. This is not in-line with historical accuracy and should be addressed separately from bug-fixes, because gates were designed to specifically be a deterrent, it was the last place you wanted to attack, because it was the most obvious and therefore the defenders and gate designs were always very very dangerous to assault. This is why breaching the walls, sapping, and siege towers and ladders were focused on not assaulting the gate. Anyway, the weakness of the gates is something that needs to be addressed separately from this, because this post is about the problems with siege AI behaviour.



*T1 T2 siege towers with ramps no longer an issue
In this video you can see the AI has a hard time using ramp type siege towers. They will run up and down the ramp, not sure what direction to take. This problem becomes worse, if as in this case, the gates are down.

There is also several issues with the use of the tall siege tower's that have ladders. In this video you will see the AI struggles to use all three ladders and mills around in circles at the bottom of the tower a lot. The AI when it does find a ladder seems to always insist on mainly using one and usually the same, ladder. Also, when the first guy reaches the top, he decides to open the ramp and be a one-man army. He then gets mobbed, along with the tower and it makes it a very poor use of the tower, there needs to be a group of people up there before the ramp opens as a buffer, the way towers are intended to be used.

1.3 Video: still an issue

Updated for 1.3 Ram issue fixed too nice!
 
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