Astraeus Player's Guide

Better Attacking


What Is Your Best Target In Range?

  • The default code I provided to you was very simple: your base unit class has a method called skirmish. It's strategy consists of two elements:

    • Stay at max range from the nearest enemy

    • Fire your weapon at the nearest enemy

  • The problem is that our attacking and movement are linked together. What if we want to attack something other than the nearest enemy?

Attack vs. Movement

  • Think about attacking and movement in seperate stages

    • attack(Weapon w) - Targets and uses this weapon on best target in range

    • movement() - Decides where we want to move

First Steps - Attack Lowest Health Enemy

  • Units can deal the same amount of damage regardless of how much health they have left. As a result, it is very useful to eliminate enemy targets.

  • By firing at the most damaged enemy, rather than the nearest enemy, your units will focus their fire on the most vulnerable targets they can hit.

  • You can find out which unit has the least overall health by calling getCurEffectiveHealth(). This method adds up the unit's current shield + plating + structure.

  • You'll want to write a helper method with a header like:

    • Unit getLowestHealthEnemyInRadius(float radius)

Focusing your fire on a highly damaged unit is far more effective than spreading out your shots.


A Point System

  • Your units may have to balance a lot of different factors to decide which to attack. Mr. M's teams try to resolve this by using a point system for choosing targets.

  • Looping through the targets, a unit might be given "points" for having a lot of damage already, being a major threat, or being too close my base. When I add up all these points, I target the unit with the most points.

Factors To Consider

  • Target Health - Favor units with low health

  • My Damage - Favor units that I can deal the most damage to

  • Target's Damage - Favor units that deal a lot of damage

  • Enemy's Position - Favor units that are closer to me / my base ship / center of my fleet

When To Fire...

  • Do you always want to fire your weapon? Usually the answer is yes!

  • But consider waiting to fire until something is a little bit within your max range. What happens if you fire at exactly max range and then a unit moves one pixel away while you're still aiming? It cancels your attack!

  • You can have fancy solutions to this problem that are more precise, but you can sometimes solve this by giving your units a little wiggle room and only firing at 95% of max range.

Estimating the enemy damage and my damage can be solved by writing a single method to calculate estimated damage. Consider...

  • Base weapon damage

  • Rate of fire (use time / cooldown)

  • Chance to hit (accuracy vs. dodge)

  • Damage type vs. defense type