The Tactical AI (often abbreviated TacAI) is a collection of algorithms used to decide most unit behavior; all unit actions are created by the TacAI except for actions that a player can order via commands. (If a player orders them, they are his actions. If the computer is playing that side, then they are created by the Strategic AI.)
Tactical Target Selection Edit
Targets must be fully seen enemy units for the TacAI to select them. The TacAI may do area fire for a little while at an area where a targeted unit becomes concealed, but it will not initiate area fire on its own. (Thus, the computer player never does area fire -- a large advantage to the human playing the AI.) Combat commands allow a player to fine-tune what the TacAI does; they are never absolutely necessary except for area fire.
See the article on combat commands for more detail on how they affect units' targeting. Here is a summary:
- Target - tells the TacAI to fire only at one particular enemy unit
- Target Light - like target, but in addition, don't fire as much, and don't fire the unit's main weapon. For tanks, the main weapon is the gun; its MGs will be fired. For a gun, the main weapon is that gun; the crew's personal weapons will be fired. For a heavy MG team, the main weapon is the MG; the crew's personal weapons will be fired.
- Target Arc - only fire at targets within the set arc; selection between multiple targets in the arc is up to the TacAI as normal. The TacAI will sometimes take over a unit which has a nearby enemy not within it covered arc. In this case the unit will fire outside of its arc.
- Target Smoke - fire smoke instead of normal rounds
Deciding on Details of Move to a Waypoint Edit
When you order a unit from A to B, they will go there in a straight line if the terrain allows. If they cannot, then the TacAI must decide how what path they take. Generally the TacAI will use the shortest path it can find.
While moving, soldiers will sometimes stop and take a quick shot at nearby and/or exposed enemy troops, then resume moving. The TacAI controls this decision.
When moving troops come under heavy fire, the TacAI may decide to change their move in several ways. Usually such troops try to move faster, except when they are so tired that they could only use walking speed (i.e. not even Quick). In that case they will switch to slow (i.e. crawling). Sometimes they cancel their move altogether to seek nearby cover.
Squad Splitting Edit
When a player uses an Admin command to create one or more teams, the TacAI decides on the exact distribution of men to the resulting units. Note that this decision appears to be stable so long as the squad takes no casualties -- for example, you'll get the same two men in a scout team each time.
Tactical Infantry Positioning Edit
The TacAI will not move good-order infantry out of their assigned action spot. However, it does decide where each man will position himself within his team's action spot.
Controlling Bad-order Units Edit
When a unit has lost its discipline and become shaken, panicked, etc., the TacAI controls all of its actions. See the article on morale for more.
Units may initiate evasive action in the face of danger. For infantry this may be crawling to cover. For vehicles it could mean popping smoke, rotating to face the threat and/or retreating from the threat.