View Full Version : A thought about chivalry in AEP+PF

05-23-2006, 05:30 AM
(this post is strictly about offline campaigns)

I know this has been discussed before, but...come to think of it, this sim doesn't encourage chivalrous behaviour, does it?

First of all, friendly AI. They engage in kill stealing whenever they can. No, I'm not a "point*****" - by "kill stealing" I mean shooting at enemy aircraft with burning engines/fuel tank, severely damaged (smoking) or inoperable (dead) engines, aircraft that are doing emergency landing. In fact, they even do it when enemy AI is trying to land in our territory! What's the damn point?

I think the only reason why AI only rarely shoot at aircraft with clipped wings is that they provide a difficult target.

AI also regularly strafes enemy aircraft that did emergency landing. Go figure. If they weren't the ones who shot it down, that's pure kill stealing.

About enemy AAA. They shoot at friendly pilots that bailed out. Aside from being unethical, that's complete idiocy. Obviously they never heard about the fact that enemy pilots that bail out over own territory will be captured and in all likelihood important information can be extracted from them (especially if his captors are the Soviet military secret police - can't keep many secrets from them!). As Joseph Fouché famously said about an entirely different action: "This is worse than a crime; this is a mistake."

About vulching. AI, both friendly and enemy, does it whenever it has the opportunity to do so. The funny thing is that they are usually downed by AAA while doing so. It is both unethical and, which is 10 times more important, suicidal.

While flying the slovakian campaign, the following regularly happened: mission is to protect bombers, we are heading towards the target as we should, above the bombers at around 4500 m. After crossing the frontline, friendly AI notices an enemy airfield, with VVS fighters preparing for take-off (how the hell any pilot could realistically spot enemy aircraft 4500 metres under him, with clouds obstructing his vision, I have no idea). So instead of escorting the bombers as they should, all fighters start diving onto the airfield like mad. From that altitude. These guys really need a brain, I thought. They could destroy like 2 aircraft on the ground, got slaughtered by AAA and of course weren't there when our bombers needed them. I didn't follow them and remained with the bombers instead. Trying to defend them alone from VVS fighters was not my idea of a good time.

In short, AI are all the ultimate point*****s. When flying offline campaigns - which is what I usually do in this sim - they simply force me to fight with savagery with their behaviour. Instead of breaking off after shooting at an enemy aircraft and doing severe damage to it, I have to keep shooting at it until it explodes, loses wing or crashes into the ground because otherwise friendly AI will keep diving on it, trying to steal the kill instead of doing what their duty really is: fighting off undamaged enemy aircraft that actually pose a threat to our forces, both air and ground.

05-23-2006, 05:34 AM
Originally posted by Rammjaeger:
About enemy AAA. They shoot at friendly pilots that bailed out. Aside from being unethical, that's complete idiocy. Obviously they never heard about the fact that enemy pilots that bail out over own territory will be captured and in all likelihood important information can be extracted from them (especially if his captors are the Soviet military secret police - can't keep many secrets from them!). As Joseph Fouché famously said about an entirely different action: "This is worse than a crime; this is a mistake."

Oleg`s answer it was standard practice on eastern front.

05-23-2006, 05:45 AM
war is hell...chivalry will ge u killed

05-23-2006, 07:15 AM
I'm just re-reading Antony Beevor's excellent book, Stalingrad. (ISBN 0-14-024985-0) and this subject is mentioned several times.
The Eastern Front WAS quite different in the scale of its ferocity and the treatment of prisoners by both sides. We have to remember the events of Barbarossa to see why this was.

For many months the Russians were in retreat before a well-organised attack. Hundreds of thousands of prisoners were taken and similar quantities of refugees were generated. Painful details of the Rassenkampf and the activities of the Sonderkommando units are best read elsewhere, but they do help to explain the utter lack of 'chivalry' or, as some might say, humanity on the part of either side.

The attitude to pilots was that they were better dead than alive. With a fast-moving front-line there was every possibility that he or they might just get left behind as so many were. Many hundreds of thousands (millions) died on the steppe when they were abandoned by their captors on both sides. But they took no chances with trained aircrew and the possibility of rescue.

The book is a very worthwhile read. Painfully honest and well-researched, it is un-biased.


05-23-2006, 07:53 AM
This discussion about chivalry never stop amazing me. One aspect is quite understandable to me. The discussion about it regarding online play. As this help us maintain a level of civil conduct towards eachother.
The discussion regarding wartime behaviour is an other subject. I believe all the participants tried to kill eatchother, if they were able to. If you managed to eliminate an opponent he wouldnt be able to fight you tomorrow and thereby not a danger to your life.
We should not be as naive that we dont believe it wasnt a part of wartime strategy to try to decrease the amount of enemy´s skilled pilots. By doing that make the enemy less able as opponent.

I think every pilot rather met a novice aloft than the greatest of enemy aces, no?

When we read about chivalry in books, written after the war, it´s essential to take into account it may be a way to justify the war to the author himself. I had WW2 veterans in my family, now gone. The remaining of their lives, when meeting fellow veterans the core of their discussions can be stated to be that justifying of the war among them selves. They all had killed and all of them experienced horrors of the war! Closeby seen comrades been killed and suffering of horrible wounds before dying. Such things have to be justified or you get mad.

05-23-2006, 08:40 AM
I like your thread but you're confusing two different things. Chivalry, ie showing some measure of humanity or respect for a defeated opponent is one thing. That I like to see practiced "online" I don't expect it offline at all.
Case in point I got downed early in a coop on Sunday night. We were doing a carrier attack mission and this guy "Flightsky" or something was flying live OpFor and just decimating the SBD's. He would properly come up on their low six and for some reason, the A.I. didn't do what it normally does with me which is immediately go into histrionics or "Daniel Boone Mode". He'd downed his third or fourth bomber when he got in attacked by 99th Snake and a furious BnZ/energy battle took place. As expected Flightsky after a valiant fight was downed by vulching A.I.

Our whole squadron,even some of us who he'd downed, gave him a standing ovation. We admired his skill, his bravery and tenacity and told him so. That is chivalry... And the I and guy's I fly with online practice it with "breathers" we fight.

A.I. is a differnet story. The woeful A.I. in this game:

1. Steals kills at all times.

2. Shoots through you to get at it's kills.

3. Rarely protects friendlies placed under their care.

4. Drop bombs when under mild threat to go dogfighting ignoring parked aircraft on the ground.

5. Go after parked aircraft on the ground when they should be protecting bombers.

6. Waste valuable ammo on any manner of worthless target while you get shredded.

7. Do every stupid thing imaginable and sometimes, mostly by accident, save your bacon from time to time...

Don't confuse the behavior of idiot A.I. with barbaric un chivalrous behavior, it's more often than not, just greed and stupidity.

Da Worfster

05-23-2006, 08:57 AM
AI is an annoyance like 99.9% of this sim, but we can do our bit as sports, anyone that doesnt can sc**w em selves, AI is a moron but id like to see human pilots:

- Not smoke chase
- Not kill steal (de-wing,fire,engine)
- Not kill an aircraft within 2 minutes of it taking off
- Not shoot a damaged aircraft with wheels down on approach
- Not PK someone by shooting parachute

Everyone can follow these simple rules and flying on a dogfight server would be a whole lot more curtious and enjoyable, its better and more satisfying to win your kill in a dogfight above 10,000ft than to win a cheap kill when someones taking off.

05-23-2006, 09:54 AM
It only becomes kill stealing if the sim hands the kill over to the AI who made the final strafe. Otherwise possibility to share kills could be there. Destroy as many as possible in as short time as possible and make sure they are destroyed must be the goal so shoot whenever you can. Not the AIs fault, it is the sim who takes the points and hands them over to the AI. That would make me sour too.

05-23-2006, 10:07 AM
OFFLINE: Ask no quarter, give no quarter.

ONLINE: Ask no quarter, give no quarter.

That said, if someone needs to fly around one of the many HL "point/stat-***** servers" shooting at wingless, burning, dead pilots, bailed, or otherwise incapacitated aircraft, they have way more issues to worry about than chivalry.

As for the A.I., they are what they are. Increased frequency of the "REJOIN" command as listed above helps, but in the end, they are nothing but programmed routines and can only act from within the boundaries of said programming.

Hopefully, B.o.B:S.o.W will bring us further down the A.I. evolution road.

05-23-2006, 05:54 PM
I will firstly say that offline, once I have neough rank to change loadouts and give orders, I tend to let the AI take kills to bring the squadron skill level up.

However .. it does seem that AI takes very little account of damage .. either their own or the targets.

Offline campigns would feel a lot more realistic if the AI left badly damaged targets alone and also broke off or even went home when they took excess damage themselves.

05-24-2006, 03:24 AM
OK, thanks for the replies, first of all I'd like to point out that I'm aware of the lack of humanity/dignity that characterised the war on the eastern front - although there were a handful of pilots on both sides who believed in fighting with dignity - and I don't really expect AI to exercise chivalry.

The problem is not only that point***** AI fights in a disgraceful way but also that they are complete idiots. They enter combat situations wherein they are grossly disadvantaged tactically and keep doing suicidal attacks disregarding enemy AAA and other defensive fire; on other occasions a group of them try to score easy points without taking any risks by chasing a lone damaged enemy aircraft instead of protecting their buddies and generally doing their duty. They always steal kills, yet on other occasions refuse to pursue outnumbered and lightly damaged enemy aircraft heading home. Not only are they idiots, they are also unpredictable.

The main problem is that due to their appetite for kill stealing you are forced to keep shooting at an enemy AI you damaged, regardless of whether it is trying to land etc., until it gets annihilated because otherwise friendly AI will steal the kill and you won't ever get medals or advance in rank. And if you don't advance in rank, you have no chance of trying to rationalise the behavior of friendly AI.