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Welcome To Gladiabots
By Edgar Crowe
A guide to help new players get started.
Hello there,

Welcome to Bronze League. ++you are never leaving++ So you've finished the tutorial and you think your ready to climb the ladder.

Your not.

In fact, your gonna fail a lot. but that's okay. This game is all about improving upon your failures. You might find a strategy that gets you to top 100 of bronze; only for some one to have a hard counter that sets you back a long way. Or a new meta arises and you gets sent back to last place of Bronze.
++Join the meta their winning, so will you++ Always remember if you can adapt your AI to over come an obstacle you'll be a Grand Master one day.
File Organisation
File management is key to victory. ++I'm not a robot I swear++ You'll end up creating lots of niche AI that are optimised for particular tasks. Eventually you'll bring them together under one AI that participates in matches.

By making use of sub-AI and folders debugging becomes much simpler. ++No it doesn't++ If you can find how your opponent is buggering your Bots. Or, where your Bots are being buggered by bad AI. You can create a more effective solution, quicker and better.

As you can see the AI that handles the individual Bots, and uses the Team Functions, is given it's own special place. ++Because it is their King++ This means that if I make a new AI for domination it may also use the other sub-AI; but I won't get confused and (totally by accident) include the Elimination AI. ++Just imagining the buggered AI gets my cogitators hot++
Team Composition
Your team composition is only important to you. ++Use shotguns I won't think less of you++ Personally I like the tactical flexibility of <<Insert unit type here>> and <<Insert unit type here>>. But even a well balanced to team can lose to an Assault bot rush or Sniper Artillery team. The path to victory is in the programming. Find a style you enjoy and improve on it. If you hate your team but it wins, you won't enjoy the victory. ++Praise the machines. They are obedient pets++

Of course coming up with a suitable team uniform is mandatory. But first you need victories before you earn the right.
AI Node Evaluation
This is where things start to get a little... Technical.

The nodes are checked left to right. Top to Bottom. In that exact order.

So if you have a node on the far right that has branches that spread all the way to the far left. ++You monster++ The bottom nodes on the far left will be checked before before the next branch.

Also if a node ends in an action the AI will stop evaluating other nodes.

This why conditions are important. If you have an action that has no condition controlling when it activates. it will be activated once and never shut off. So if you ever have a match where the opponents Bots perform one action and no other; your opponent ++Is a moron++ has likely made an error.
The Nodes Themselves
There are several Node types:
- Actions
- Conditions
- Connectors
- Sub-AI

Connectors do nothing but tidy up the work place and are white diamonds.
Sub AI are other AI you've dragged in to a larger AI tree.

In addition to this they can be one of several colours:
- Red = Relating to an enemy
- Green = Relating to myself
- Dark Blue = Relating to allied Bot (NOT myself)
- Purple = Counter relating to myself
- Black = Relating to (pending)
- Light Blue = Relating to Team (allied Bots AND myself)

Black nodes are special in that they can relate to both allied bots, myself, and/or enemy Bots. Most of the time a regular node will do. But if you want to check if your health is lower than an enemy Bot this is the node type you need to use. ++Nodes designated by target; not colour++

When making new nodes you need to select an an action (unless the node is a condition) and a target. Who you target determines what node functions are available to you. You'll learn the most by experimenting with nodes and what conditions/checks/parameters you can apply to them. ++Trial and error is methodology used by cavemen who can't derive information from data!++
Data Retrieval
So we've touched on actions the importance of node order/placement. Now we're gonna talk about tags and counters. ++My favourite kind of counters, statistic counters++ Keeping track of how many Bots are near you as well as where the greatest concentration of enemies is are valuable pieces of information. After all we don't want to attack a large group if we are under strength. nor do we want to focus all of our resources in one place if there are friendlies being hunted down that we could save.

Importantly counting doesn't stop node evaluation. Tagging does, but only briefly, unlike actions such as moving or attacking.

This ensures we can go to the greatest concentration of enemies regardless of where they hide. By using the team counter we make it so that all of our bots know the location of the enemies.

This blessed piece of work uses a regular counter to try and keeps the Bots together and operating as small teams to whittle down the enemy from multiple angles. However it doesn't discourage working as one big squad. ++Or as giant clump that gets in the way of itself++

This truly divine AI ++Hubris will be my downfall++ tags the nearest enemy bots based on their range from me and reassigns tags when that they move. I'll explain how this used later in the Attacking & Pushing section.

Data is important, without it your Bots are a mindless swarm attacking anything and everything. With data your Bots form a team. A coherent team is always more effective than a swarm. ++Unless the swarm has a Shotgun that is used to distract allied Bots++

Knowing when to leave the fight will let your bots fight longer. But always retreating will lead to your eventual demise. ++Cowards will be mind wiped and turned into Bots++ there are also some units that are slow or have a long set up time before they can attack again. For these types of bots having an effective solution to leave is difficult find.

I've found that by having slower units leave at different times based on health remaining and shield percentage. Is more effective than always waiting for 0% shields.

But what about moving tactically? Not just to recover shields. But to confuse the enemy or seek advantageous positions. A lot of good players focus their attacks on one enemy before moving to the next. What we can do with our knowledge of Data Retrieval is move before they attack us.

By including a check to see how many Bots are attacking us we can move if the number is too high. Some cunning ++<<censored>>++ players will not attack fleeing enemies if there is a more valuable target nearer. But those who focus down targets; and don't switch until the enemy is out of range; will suffer for it as our Bots attack the distracted enemy. Some ++<<censored>>++ players use this strategy with Shotguns. if you find a way to counter this play you'll go quite far.

Another tactic we can add to our movement is to check who needs healing the most and to allow them to retreat while allies hold back the tide of enemies. Of course you need to make sure you use an action to use the healing kit. Otherwise your Bot will simply stand next to it.
Attacking & Pushing
Who to attack is a broad question with many people suggesting different strategies. Ultimately there is little assistance I can offer. What this section is dedicated to, is teaching how range works and maximising the use of your machine gun and sniper Bots.

Working our way from the targeted enemy to our Bot.
- The first line is the out of range barrier, past it is long long range
- The second line is the long range barrier, past it is medium range
- The third line is the medium range barrier, past it is close range

What this means is, is that if you attack a Bot at the Out of range barrier line. They can hop back and forth forcing you to switch targets constantly. Remember attacking at long range is fine, attacking not out of range is not fine. ++The difference is subtle; unlike the size of your mother++

As for snipers and machine guns, they have a very long set up time and benefit from sustained fire. Having them prioritise a target being attacked by the closet allay and then focus on that target until they can no longer attack it or they must retreat is best. The longer they are firing the better,
forcing an enemy machine gun or sniper to constantly switch targets is a very effective method.

Moving on.

The closer you are to something the easier to hit it becomes. ++Snipers never miss++ Of course the same goes for you. Running right up to the enemy is more likely to get you killed quicker than anything else. But if you don't get closer and runaway to regenerate shields you will eventually get backed into a corner with no room to maneuver. The solution is to push forwards at just the right time and gain ground.

Do you remember Tagging the nearby allied Bots? This is where it's important. If you have a superior supporting force. You can advance forwards to get an increased probability to hit and with luck ++There is no luck. Only statistics++ force them to retreat into a corner where they will no longer be able to retreat and be stuck in a loop due to their own programming. ++When faced with a wall behind you don't retreat. Fight harder++
Unfortunately, the key to lasting success lies in secrecy. While there are general strategies to deal with most scenarios. And you can make bots deal with a large amount of problems. You will need to add counters and maneuvers that give you an edge. But once someone figures out how to counter your counter its back to the drawing board.

You'll notice that while I've offered up my AI for dissection and inspection. I haven't gone in depth to explain how the AI itself works. In a few days it might have to change completely because someone spotted a weakness they can exploit. ++It needs to change anyway I'm still stuck in <<censored>> Bronze++
Closing Remarks
I hope you've found use from this guide. Have fun experimenting with the nodes and Bots.

I look forward to seeing you Grand Master one day. ++I swear if you beat me on the way you come back and tell me you made it++

Good luck.
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Defunct Jan 31, 2023 @ 1:25pm 
Join the Discord for more!
Since that time, we came up with *small* and **easy-to-copy** AIs that already do wonders :-)
Edgar Crowe  [author] May 7, 2020 @ 1:28pm 
Thank you :)
noinflection May 7, 2020 @ 1:07pm 
Very good one! nice format.
Edgar Crowe  [author] Jun 25, 2019 @ 12:50pm 
Your welcome :)
Viper78 Jun 25, 2019 @ 10:38am 
Thanks for the guide. Really helpful for beginners like me.
kavon Jun 10, 2019 @ 12:22am 
Thank you again, you're a legend!
Edgar Crowe  [author] Jun 9, 2019 @ 12:11pm 
I'm glad you found it helpful. And thanks for the feed back I'll be sure to add it in
kavon Jun 8, 2019 @ 9:29pm 
Thanks for putting the time into this guide, it was very informative. I'm still new to this game and have found it easier to learn from looking through other player's diagrams to work things out... If only I could see your last "Attack" sub-AI, that would've been awesome :)