Sunday 19 February 2023

AI and Solo Wargaming

Could we one day see Artificial Intelligence used to enhance solo tabletop wargames, providing more realistic generals to fight against on our game tables? Could AI for instance enable us to play against accurate facsimiles of famous generals from the past, providing wargamers with more realistic and challenging opponents in solo games? Or is this one step too far for a hobby that has one nostalgic foot planted firmly in the past?


  1. Very interesting topic, Lee but can you distinguish between a comment from me and a comment generated by an AI chatbot?

    For me, the notion of playing against a computer-generated AI is not necessary when I have so many NI (natural intelligence) opponents of different interests and playing styles that I can conjure up for a remote game often at a moment's notice.

  2. Lee,

    For about a decade, I have been using a computer code to do the game functions for RJW and WW1 era naval miniature games. I added an AI function to the code, initially to allow me to run long test scenarios without continuous input from me. Recently I have used it to test tactical concepts, and I have done one game with the AI against a real player other than myself. Computer AI naval games have, of course, been around since at least the late 70s, so there is no real breakthrough here.

    I don’t see any reason why the same technique could not be applied to land miniature games, just as there have been many computer games for historical land warfare (e.g., those by Dr. Peter Turcan).

    Here is a link to the recent AI vs Human game:

    And here is a description of the broader idea:

    Thanks for the video and the discussion,

  3. AI has it's place. But sometimes solo gaming is about beating yourself AND being honest... not about creating an artificial opponent. Some of my best solo games have just been me walking round to the other side of the table - no computer or cards or decision dice rolls.

  4. My first response was, in hindsight, a bit off topic (sorry). To address your question about the value of AI recreations of historical leaders, my answer would be yes, but with some qualifications:

    1) While it might be possible to program AI to do what ‘Leader X’ did in a well defined situation, I think that knowing what ‘Leader X’ would have done in ANY situation is beyond human ability. If we could create an AI that could do that task in theory, how would we know if it was correct?

    2) Since your video shows you sitting next to a table with miniature unit bases, is it safe to assume that the intent is to create AI that would do what ‘Leader X’ would do if he could see the battlefield as a miniature wargamer typically does? How would we determine what Napoleon, for instance, would have done at Austerlitz if he had that kind of view (or more importantly, if his opponents had that kind of view)? I think few historical leaders ever had the birds eye view of a battle that we do.



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