CIG 2012

CIG 2012 StarCraft RTS AI Competition

Over the last years, the AIIDE and CIG StarCraft competitions have seen quite some progress in the development and evolution of new StarCraft bots. Still, these would not be fit for beating expert human players, but the gap is seemingly getting smaller. StarCraft (by Blizzard) is one of the most popular RTS games of all time, is known to be extremely well balanced, and thus is an ideal candidate to test different AI approaches.

This competition is part of the Computational Intelligence in Games conference 2012.

Important Dates

Submission deadline: August 15, 2012
Conference: September 12 - September 15, 2012

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know via mail

Submitted Bots

Bot Name Main Contributor Institution Bot Race Web Link
BroodwarBotQGabriel SynnaeveINRIA, Collège de FranceProtoss
XelnagaHo-Chul ChoSejong UniversityProtoss
BTHAIJohan HagelbäckBlekinge Institute of TechnologyTerran
SCAILJay YoungThe University of Birmingham, UKProtoss
SkynetAndrew SmithfreelancerProtoss
AIURFlorian RichouxUniversity of NantesProtoss
AdjutantNicholas BowenUniversity of Central FloridaTerran
IceBotWang ZheRitsumeikan UniversityTerran
UAlbertaBotDavid ChurchillUniversity of Alberta, CanadaProtoss
NovaAlberto UriarteDrexel UniversityTerran


The results presentation as held on the CIG 2012 provides a good overview and some insights. The final standing is:

Rank Bot Name Main Contributor Win Rate Avg Frames 1h Timeouts Crahses Timeouts
1SkynetAndrew Smith 0.787 14371.61 4 99 16
2UAlbertaBotDavid Churchill 0.655 15734.90 24 106 9
3AIURFlorian Richoux 0.609 19488.85 47 114 29
4AdjutantNicholas Bowen0.587 22451.56 61 97 33
5NovaAlberto Uriarte0.531 23265.75 53 111 25
6XelnagaHo-Chul Cho0.512 21570.69 42 116 23
7BroodwarBotQGabriel Synnaeve0.479 21521.37 58 221 13
8SCAILJay Young0.350 23749.38 59 97 8
9IceBotWang Zhe0.292 24123.53 77 280 11
10BTHAIJohan Hagelbäck0.19919782.25 25 135 22

Each of the 6 maps has been played on 675 times, 15 times by each bot-bot combination. Each bot thus played 810 games. We used 6 client computers, but most of the games (around 50%) were actually played on just 2 of them. As we did not have a network drive available, all reading/writing to disk by the bots was only local (on the computer currently used by the bot). We apologize for this.

Matrix plot of how the bots played against
each other The plot on the right (click to increase size) documents how the bots fared against the specific opponents. Note that Xelnaga is the only bot that regularly beats Skynet, whether Nova is especially strong against the UAlbertaBot. Some bots know their enemies… :-)

Raw text output of result analyser Replays of all 4050 played games

Please note: there are at least 2 games where 3 players entered, which is to be considered as technical problem. However, we presume this did not affect the results very much.

Here are the 2 replays shown in the presentation: Xelnaga surprising Skynet with a targetted DTS attack on its probes, and Nova successfully luring UAlbertaBot's probes into its own base.

All the numbers have been computed using the tournament software provided by the AIIDE 2012 StarCraft competition team of the University of Alberta, Canada, namely Michael Buro, David Churchill, Jason Lorenz. Many thanks again!

Getting Started

The competition will use StarCraft Brood War 1.16.1. You must possess a legal copy of the game.

Bots for StarCraft shall use the Broodwar API, which provides hooks into StarCraft and enables the development of custom AI for StarCraft. Interfaces in many languages are available to query the current state of the game and issue orders to units. As of now, we expect all bots to use BWAPI version 3.7.3 which as also the version planned for the AIIDE tournament. However, there is a slight chance of an emergency bug fix to the BWAPI (such as happened last year) so that we need to switch to a newer version. bwapi3.jpg

The following material is a bit outdated, as it was prepared by Ben Weber for the AIIDE StarCraft competition in 2010 (and not everything has been updated since then). However, it still provides a valuable starting point if you want to start designing and implementing a bot from scratch. Please note, that the referenced BWAPI versions are not used any more for our competition (we go with BWAPI 3.7.4 which has been issued in early July, 2012 and fixes some tournament-related issues with 3.7.3):

  • Instructions for setting up the environment are available here.
  • An introduction to the Broodwar API is available here.
  • Instructions for building a bot that communicates with a remote process are available here.
  • A JNI (Java) bridge to the BWapi by Ben Weber is available here.


Due to lack of participation last year there will be only one track this year (formerly called “Track A”). Detailed rules are here.

This year, we will use the tournament software of the AIIDE competition, provided by Michael Buro, David Churchill and Jason Lorenz (many thanks, guys!). We will therefore have only one bracket and will play as many repetitions of round-robin as possible. Note that time constraints are quite hard and a large tolerance (1 min) applies only for the first frame to allow loading data and setting up.

The new version of the tournament software enables to use a persistent data store so that learning over multiple games gets possible.


We use a collection of 6 maps, 3 of which have 3 spawn points, and the other 3 have 6 spawn points. All maps have size 128×128 as some of the bots experience problems with other map sizes.

3 Player Maps
Athena IINeo Moon GlaiveTears of the Moon
6 Player Maps
LegacyRiver of LightThe Huntress 1.1

Additional Information

Organizing Committee

Tobias Mahlmann, IT University Copenhagen
Mike Preuss, Technische Universität Dortmund

For any comments or inquiries, please write to

StarCraft®: Brood War®
Used with permission granted to CIG. Blizzard has consented to run the competition via the Broodwar API interface, which uses a back door of the game and is not in any form related to Blizzard. Thanks!

©1998 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. StarCraft, Brood War and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Last modified: 2015-09-08 15:53 (external edit)