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CYCLES

GAIA commands all troops by cycling through organized phases. After she finishes all phases, one cycle is complete.

From a very high level view it can be divided into two phases: Intelligence and Orders. The end of the cycle is celebrated by a well-deserved waiting time and then it starts all over again.

The key phases of a cycle are:

1.Gather Intelligence
2.Update Alarm Levels
3.Classify andvalue
4.Define Conflict Area’s
5.Issue Orders

Let’s go through one cycle just briefly, so you get the idea behind it.


Gather Intelligence

In the ‘Gather Intelligence’ phase GAIA gathers information on the whereabouts of her own and the enemy’s troops. For her own troops she notes where they are, where they have been and where they are going. This information is used to optimize the patrols. It is not necessary for forces to patrol a certain area if a friendly force has recently been there or is planning to go there.

Apart from her own forces, GAIA takes note of all enemy units seen by her forces (including friendly forces not under the control of GAIA). For each target she notes where and when the enemy was last perceived to have been seen. Confirmed kills are scratched from her list without any remorse. Basedon the last time an enemy was seen it is categorized in either Targets or Spots. Spots are outdated (i.e. not seen for a while) Targets. Spots are used for patrolling (making sure it is clear), while Targets need immediate response and are used for attacks. A Target becomes a Spot by simple staying unseen by GAIA forces until a certain time has expired.

A Spot can be cleared (by a patrol checking out the location of the Spot) or by the fact that too much time has passed and the Spot is dropped from her list (and forgotten).


So Targets can be scratched from the Target list in the following ways:

1.The target is killed.
2.The Target is lost and becomes a Spot.


Spots disappear from the Spot list in one of the following ways:

1. The enemy unit is seen by GAIA forces and the enemy unit becomes a Target once again.
2. GAIA forces have been at the location of the Spot and seen noone. We call that active clearing.
3. GAIA forces fail to actively clear and the Spot simple becomes outdated (too much time haspassed by). The Spot is scratched from thelist and forgotten.


Update Alarm Levels

Every group under GAIA control operates in a certain area. We will call these areas zones. During this phase GAIA starts to check if each zone still has active forces. If a Zone contains no more forces then GAIA forgets all about this zone. Put another way: GAIA produces a list of active zones and considers zones without forces as lost.

Secondly GAIA checks the alarm level of each zone. The levels are Green (No enemy seen), Orange (Enemy’s close), Red (enemy in the zone). These alarm levels affect the behavior of all the groups that are operating in that zone. Green means, all is ok and the groups are moving around “SAFE”. Redmeans the highest alert and they move “FULL” speed and AWARE. Combat status is never given. Combat status is defined by the group itself. As soon as it gets into active contact with the enemy it moves itself into Combat Status (BIS default behavior). The combat status excludes it from most orders GAIA can give (but not all!).

G ZONES


Overlapping Zones

A zone can overlap another zone (a big zone containing another zone). GAIA calls these overlapped zones Child Zones and the one overlapping the child is called the Parent Zone. Child zones are

affected by Parent zones. If the Parent Zone becomes Orange (targets close), then the Child also becomes Orange. Red status can only be achieved when there is a target inside the zone, so a Child zone will as a maximum go to status Orange, based on the status of the Parent zone.

G ZONES 2


Classify and Value

During this phase GAIA evaluates the size of her forces and what they are capable of. Every group will be analyzed and for each group she notes the following information:

- Class
- Speed
- Points
- Portfolio
- Cargo Space

Let’s take a closer look at what these value mean, as they are vital for the decisions GAIA makes.


Class

A class is a conclusion we draw from analyzing the units in a group. Some examples will help: If we have 10 normal infantry then GAIA will classify this group as Infantry. If it contains 5 recon units then it will be classified as ‘Recon Infantry’. So far these are straight forward examples.

Let’s say a group contains 5 infantry and 1 Hunter with 2 cargo spaces; this group will be classified as ‘Motorized Infantry’. So why do we need that class anyway?

Orders to Recon Infantry are different than orders to artillery units. So when a group is identified as a particular class, it makes it clear what orders can be given to that group by GAIA. Those orders are stored in the so called 'Portfolio'.

The classes that are currently automatically detected and supported are: Infantry, Recon Infantry, Anti Air, Car, Motorized Recon, Motorized Infantry, Tank, Mechanized Infantry, Artillery, Helicopter, Ship, Support, Static Gun, Submarine, Unknown.

The “unknown” means that a combination of units is found that GAIA does not recognize as a certain class. An example would be 2 helicopters and a tank in a single group. It will still be able to give it orders, but it will be very cautious and very unexciting. I would not advise using this sort of group, but it’s not up to me, it is up to the mission maker (our most firm MCC belief).

As GAIA moves to release 1.0 candidate, I am sure I will have forgotten some class combinations.

Also the list is not complete; that I am aware off. Snipers for example. This is where the famous words come in: "in a future release!"

So I hear you think. A Car? Isn’t that rather small, too little to tell what it can do? Yes, it is. What about if we also check whether that car has a mounted gun and if it holds cargo for transportation?

Portfolio

As has been said, the portfolio is a set of orders a certain group can execute. The portfolio is based on the class and its specific details. Let’s sum up the possible orders with a brief description of what they do.

G PORT

So how is this all handed out to the group? The following table will shine some light on that. The condition means: does this group have any special requirement before its gets an order added to its portfolio. If, for example, a unit does not hold thé DoAttack ordeŕ, then it will not attack during Order Phase of GAIA.


G PORT 2


Speed

The value for speed indicates how fast a group can move. GAIA recognizes ‘Slow', 'Normal' and 'Fast’. Foot mobiles are considered Slow, vehicles are considered Normal and air units are considered Fast. The group can however contain different unit types in which case the slowest unit determines the speed.

Example:5 infantry, 1 Hunter with 2 cargo slots. The vehicle is Normal, the infantry is Slow and there is only space for 2 out of 5 infantry in the cargo. The group is considered Slow.

Example:6 infantry, 1 M113 with 8 cargo slots. The vehicle is Normal and the infantry is Slow. Sinceall infantry can fit in the vehicle, the group speed is Medium.

So why do we need that speed indication? The speed of the group affects its reaction range. Said inanother way: the faster the group is, the further it can travel for attack orders. So foot mobiles are more limited in range to respond to attacks then air units (with exceptions, but that is for later


Points

Points indicate the threat value of a group of units. That can be either friendly or enemy groups.

Points are used to see how much of a response we need to eliminate a threat. GAIA will almost always try to top the enemy points by at least 2 times before commencing an attack.


Examples:

Based on the number of troops we can calculate the point value that is used in the battle system.

6Infantry = 12 points, plus 1 mechanized armored vehicle makes it a total of 37 points.

GAIA calculates the points for vehicles based on a base value of 20 and then 5 points for each turret/gun.

Let’s take a look at the current point table:

G POINTS

Clarification for the (*): When we have a Hunter (car) it is worth 5 points. If we hold that same hunter and mount a heavy machine gun on top of it we add 5 points. That would make 10 points total.

Why does GAIA need to check on that every round?

Within the GAIA system each class holds a so called Portfolio. This basically means that it becomes clear what sort of activity can be executed by this class. This sounds more vague then it has to be so, let’s get some example going here.


Example 1:

A group contains 6 infantry and a transport vehicle with crew. The classification system checks this and, based on the conditions in GAIA, concludes that this is a Mechanized Infantry. The portfolio of Mechanized infantry is: DoAttack, DoPatrol and DoClear. This means that the group can be used during attacks, can actively patrol and is able to clear Spots (see above). Also the preference for its terrain is attached to the class. In this case it would be roads and open areas.

Based on the number of troops we can calculate its point value, that is used in the battle system.

6Infantry = 12 points, plus 1 mechanized armored vehicle makes it a total of 37 points.

GAIA calculates the points for vehicles based on a base value of 20 and then 5 points for each turret/gun.


Example 2:

A group contains one car, has no guns and holds 2 empty cargo s. This ‘group’ is identified as Car, but because of its content (no guns) it holds the following portfolio: DoTransport, DoHide and DoPark. This basicly means that the car is available for 2 man groups for transportation request, will try to hide during combat and ‘Parks’ the car somewhere aside the road waiting for transportation requests. As you see the car has no DoAttack. The battle system will for that reason not send the unit into attack. The points for this care.


Define Conflict Area’s

Each cycle GAIA will ask all the groups on her side what targets they are aware off. She also tries her best to note only the highest quality spots but sometimes that does not go asplanned. In other

words, there is some randomization created in this process to create the same issues humans face: communication errors.

To keep track of all those targets she notes the time and place a target has been seen for the last time. There can bequite a distance between the real position of the unit and the position given to

GAIA. The accuracy of it is fully depending of the quality of the spot. So, it is important to understand GAIA works with presumed position. It speaks for itself that the more a target makes itself known to GAIA, the more accurate the spot will be. In case of a firefight at close distance, it will be VERY precise. (so better run:P ).

GAIA faces a challenge with all those targets. How do you organize units going into battle if you only know the presumed positions of individual targets? GAIA does not want to bother to much about details. So she draws a circle of 100 diameter around a target and calls that a Conflict Area. (CA). Conflict Area's stand central in the functionality of GAIA. Lets visualize that by an in game shot with the GAIA debugger on.

G CNFLCT

What you see in the above picture is 2 Conflict Area's (CA's) that each hold one or more targets. If the targets get outdated, they are called Spots. Spots are not used for Conflict Area's (details, details, I know).

So why on earth does GAIA need Conflict Area's? As seen before, we could give points to groups of the AI. So we had an infantry group worth 10 points for example (5 infantry dudes). But what on earth does that hold any value if we only calculate with solo targets/units. The answer is nothing, so we needed a solution for that.

Lets take the Conflict Arae on the top left. We zoom in a little for fun:

G CNFLCT 2

So why on earth does GAIA need Conflict Area's. As seen before, we could give points to groups of the AI. So we had an infantry group worth 10 points for example (5 infantry dudes). But what on earth does that hold any value if we only calculate with solo targets/units. The answer is nothing, so we needed a solution for that. Lets take the Conflict Arae on the top left. We zoom in a little for fun:

We now see that this Conflict Area holds about 6 infantry guys. That is worth 12 points. So now weknow how much points we can send in to respond to this threat.

So in short. Why does GAIA work with conflict area's:

- It makes it possible to define the conflict over the battlefield on a higher level and respond to that.
- CA's dont go run around as fast as Targets. Making it more stable.
- Points can vary in one CA over time. Units die, we find more units in there etc etc. It gives GAIA the chance to evaluate a battle area.



Issue orders

Issue orders is the phase where it all comes together. This is where GAIA sends troops on patrolduties, sends group to Conflict Area's. The example can be seen in the above picture.

So what is the line in the picture saying SAD there?

You she GAIA respond there by sending a group on a SearchAnd Destroy order to the conflict area.

FYI: You will not see the above targets and CA's in MCC unless you run into debug mode.

Behavior

Aggressive: Units will attack Conflict Areas (see above) outside their zone.

Defensive: Units will not attack Conflict Areas outside their zone.

Fortify: Units will search for buildings and wait for scum to get them.

There are a few classes that behave in a more special way so let's discuss them here.

Learn out more uses for GAIA in the advanced features section.

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