Interesting game indeed… far from trivial.
I was wondering though, given the few ship and the small maps (even 14x14 is actually pretty small), my random bot is still managing a small percentage of wins over my slightly more intelligent bot, which still need quite a bit of work though.
I tried a large map (48x48) with double the number of ships and the random bot’s percentage dropped significantly. Just a suggestion, but wouldn’t a “huge” map for the finals dilute the element of chance even further? The higher-rank bots will be pretty close to one another I think and this will be an advantage to the better bot.
We are dealing with computers after all…