Mobius' Dispatches from the Front

August 9, 2019
The Indirect Strike artillery program has some strange bits.  The height of the side produces an interesting feature. The area that it traces on the ground is (width x cos + length x sin ) times  height over the tangent of the angle.  So it can actually be larger than the height x width and length itself when the striking angle is under 45 degrees.  This is because we are using the area it covers on the ground as the fraction of hectare.  Kind of weird but we have to follow logic.  Then there is angle that the maximum area that is exposed.  Ordinarily this would be somewhere 60-65 degrees depending on tank width to length ratio where the maximum vertical area is reached.  This would be true except one component is the ballistic shadow area reduces the footprint of the area on the ground of the shell damage radius.  The maximum ballistic shadow area is also at the maximum vertical area so it cancels out.  I go through a quadrant calculating the area for each 0.5 degrees oblique.

August 8, 2019
The Indirect Strike artillery program can be downloaded here.  Download

August 5, 2019
The question of what is the chance that a tank will take damage from artillery came up on a forum/  There is the area of the top of the tank.  Then there is the exposed side or rear/front.  Then there is an area around the tank that a hit will damage the tank.  For 105mm shells this is 0.5 meters and 152/155mm this is 1.5 meters.   This extends out from the tank edge.  The exception to this is that the deck of the tank is raised up a meter or two.  That produces a ballistic shadow which eclipses some of the area around the edge.  This is something that has to be calculated on a tank to tank basis.  You would think the most vertical area of a tank would be exposed at the diagonals.  But this is where the maximum ballistic shadow lies.     The area of all this is usually divided by a hectare of artillery beaten zone area.   100 x 100 meters.

August 3, 2019
The Crazy Eight Extreme program is at the release level, ie. 1.0.   I think I got all the bugs out and frankly I'm tired of play testing it.

July 30, 2019
Kind of weird.  Running the program the Sub form of the scores took about 30 seconds to show up.  I don't know it my computer is doing things in the background or what to delay it.  I have to put the scores in the main routine.  That is just unacceptable.  I thought it wasn't working but it is.  Just a big delay. 

July 29, 2019
Doing a game in Windows is different than the old style single process games I've done in the past.   There the process cycles through each player turn and comes back to halt at the player's input/   In windows it is event driven so I have to cycle through the players turn depending on what is clicked.  There are two main inputs, the card to be played or the card stock pile card picked.  If a card is selected to be played it goes the players turn then cycles through other players until it needs the player to play another card.  If he can't play he draws a card and tries to play again. So the game can't go to other players until there is a card played.  If there are 19 cards in his hand he can't draw or play any more cards.  In this case it is up to the game to run the other players turn.  This has to be launched when the 19th card is drawn.  So there is duplication of some code for these two turn cycling events.

July 27, 2019
Up to Crazy 8 Extreme beta 0i now. Just doing some polishing on the game now.  The AI players use one of two different strategies.  I haven't seen any major differences in their scores though. 

July 21, 2019
Up to Crazy 8 Extreme beta 0h now. This game puts up a good fight.  I don't win at all. The program doesn't cheat but it does make adjustments in play based on the number of cards other players are holding.  I was going to refine that and only test the player in the direction of play but so far the computer players have no problem beating the human.

July 20, 2019
The Crazy 8 Extreme program has been updated to beta 0g.  All the features I needed to add are in.  For play of 3 to 5 players.  It saves games and restores them.  It is pretty much done.  I may polish things up for the release version and remove generation a log file.  That is for testing.

July 14, 2019
The Crazy 8 Extreme program has been updated to beta 0c.  Programming the progressive two option was a bit difficult.   But it seems to be working.  It is set to automatically play the players hand if they have to play a 2.  I may have to add back in some player control where the player may choose to draw cards instead of playing a 2.  Thus maybe preventing a full circle of twos to come back on them.. 
The algorithm is really pretty good.  It does beat me quite often.  I wouldn't call it an A.I. But rather a formula of play.  It uses a weight system to prioritize cards.   Some weights have random elements so it isn't all rote.

July 12, 2019
The Crazy 8 Extreme program has been updated to beta 0b.

July 7, 2019
I decided that I could write a program that  played Crazy Eights with the card rules I wrote up.   This is in beta form

right now.  Some other features for saved games need to be added and tests for failure have to be done.

June 18, 2019
And now for something completely different.    Rules for a Crazy Eight like game.  [PDF]
What is amazing is that the Crazy Eight system has been incorporated in a number of commercial games over the years in a number of different countries.  Uno is an American version but there are games from Germany, Israel, Czech Republic and Hungary.   Looking

up various derivations on Wikipedia rules sometimes enforce mostly silence to calling out cards played in silly voices to conspiring between players.

May 30, 2019
The Panzer War Japanese gun tables slightly revised. Sights went to 24% and some penetration values revised as they now use calculated values from NaaB2.

May 28, 2019
The Panzer War German,  British and French gun data tables have been updated as a format problem only displayed one digit of the stun value.