PBEM Sequence (Full Version)

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Erik Rutins -> PBEM Sequence (4/11/2008 9:33:16 PM)

I'll make a few comments on the PBEM system, as I think it's great but it's not typical so it may be confusing to some.

Since this is a "WEGO" game we saw that we could allow players to always be e-mailing two files at a time after initial setup, rather than one at a time. This speeds up play considerably.

The basic idea is that if there are two phases to a turn and you have your opponent's file with his orders for the first phase, you can complete your orders for the first phase, watch the execution and add your orders for the second phase. Then send both phases to him. He watches the first to see what happened. He then adds his orders for the second, watches the execution and gets to put in his orders for the first phase of the next turn. etc.

This makes for speedy PBEM play. The only exception is at the very beginning. You have to both agree on a scenario, then both do setup at the same time, then one player gets both setup files and starts with one phase of orders for Turn 1, before sending it off. From there on, it's always two phases at a time as noted above.

So here's the basic sequence:

1. Both players agree on a scenario and agree who plays each side
2. Each player separately starts that scenario as a multiplayer PBEM and completes their setup
3. Player 1 sends his setup file to Player 2, so that he has both setup files. Player 2 now has both setups and can do the Orders Phase for Turn 1. He sends Turn 1 Orders to Player 1.

--- That concludes the initial setup portion, from here on it rolls...

3. Player 1 loads Turn 1 Orders, adds in his orders, watches it execute. He then continues into Turn 1 Reaction and puts in his orders for that. He then sends those two phases to Player 2.
4. Player 2 gets to watch Turn 1 Orders execution, enters his orders for Turn 1 Reaction, watches that play out. Then puts in his orders for Turn 2 Orders and sends back those last two phases.

... etc.


- Erik

Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:20:31 AM)

Ok, I've decided to do a picture tutorial as some folks have reported confusion on how this works. I'm going to walk through the first two turns of a PBEM game from both sides.

First, select a scenario and pick sides. Both players agree on this.

I'm going to be both virtual players, let's call them Andrew and Bob. They agree on the scenario "Return Road to Kharkov". Andrew will play Germans, Bob will play Soviets.

Andrew launches his game and clicks on the Multiplayer button.

He types in a name for his game (in this case "AndrewvsBob") and a password (in this case "test"). He then clicks on New Game.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:23:24 AM)

The scenario selection screen show up, and Andrew chooses "Return Road to Kharkov" as the German Side, as agreed.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:26:02 AM)

This brings Andrew to the Purchase screen and he purchases his forces and clicks Start to do his Setup.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:28:42 AM)

Andrew now does his Setup. When he's done setting up his forces, he ends the setup phase and receives a prompt to send his file to his opponent. Since this is the Setup phase and he has nothing else to do, he's done.

He exits the game and e-mails the Setup file in his /PBM/Outbox folder to his opponent.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:32:52 AM)

Bob just received Andrew's Setup file. He saves the file to his /PBM/Inbox folder. Files you receive go in the Inbox. Your own saves to send out are found in the Outbox.

Bob does exactly the same thing Andrew just did, except that he does his Setup for the same scenario from the Soviet side. He decides on "BobsTurns" as his game name and also on "test" as his password.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:34:54 AM)

Here's where things get different. Bob completes his setup and gets the message to send it to Andrew.

But Bob also already has Andrew's setup file. So he can keep going for the next phase.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:38:36 AM)

Since Bob already has both Setup phases, he can also do his Turn 1 Orders before e-mailing both his Setup Phase and his Turn 1 Orders back to Andrew.

So after exiting to the Main Menu, Bob clicks the Multiplayer button again.

He sees his own Setup phase, so he clicks on it and selects Load Game.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:40:30 AM)

He is then asked which file to Merge with it. Since it's the Setup phase, you merge your opponent's Setup phase with it. You always merge the same turn+phase with the same turn+phase. Bob selects Andrew's Setup phase and enters his own "test" password and clicks on Merge Files.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:42:42 AM)

The scenario immediately loads and puts Bob in his Turn 1 Soviet Orders.

Bob completes his orders and ends the phase. He once again gets the message to send his files back to his opponent, Andrew.

Since Bob has no more phases of Andrew's to merge, he is now done and sends both his Setup and Turn 1 Orders to Andrew.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:45:46 AM)

Ok, back to Andrew and the Germans.

Andrew just got an e-mail with Bob's Setup Phase and Bob's Turn 1 Orders. Andrew puts both of these in his /PBM/Inbox folder.

Andrew launches the game, clicks on Multiplayer and chooses his own Setup phase to Load (currently still the only file in his Outbox).


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:46:38 AM)

This brings up his Inbox and he carefully clicks on Bob's Setup phase so that he can merge it with his own. He types in his "test" password and clicks Merge Files.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:48:59 AM)

This immediately loads the scenario and puts Andrew in his Turn 1 Orders. He now enters his orders and when he clicks to End the Phase, he gets the dialog reminding him to e-mail this file to his opponent Bob.

However, Andrew just merged his Setup files. He has not yet merged his new Turn 1 Orders with the Turn 1 Orders he received from Bob, so he can do another phase.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:50:46 AM)

Since he still has Bob's Turn 1 Orders to merge with the Turn 1 Orders he just finished, Andrew does that. He's back at the Main Menu so he clicks Multiplayer again and this time he chooses his Turn 1 Orders to Load.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:51:33 AM)

He then selects Bob's Turn 1 Orders to Merge Files. (always merge the same turn and phase with the same turn and phase)


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:54:16 AM)

This immediately loads the Scenario. Since Andrew is now past the Setup phase and merging the two Turn 1 Orders files, he starts by watching the Turn 1 Orders replay.

The screen starts with the replay ready to run. Click the pause/play button to start it.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:54:48 AM)

During the replay, you can pause it, change speed, etc. as normal.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:55:20 AM)

Once Andrew finishes watching the Replay, he clicks the Continue button.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 5:56:56 AM)

This brings him to his Turn 1 Reaction Phase. Andrew does his reaction orders and when he clicks to End the Phase, he gets a reminder to e-mail his file to Bob.

Since Andrew has no Turn 1 Reaction Phase from Bob yet, he's now ahead of Bob again and is done loading and merging files. Andrew sends both his Turn 1 Orders and Turn 1 Reaction files (the two newest in his /PBM/Outbox folder) to Bob.


Erik Rutins -> RE: PBEM Sequence (5/5/2008 6:00:42 AM)

Bob now receives an e-mail from Andrew with Andrew's Turn 1 Orders and Turn 1 Reaction. He saves both files to his /PBM/Inbox.

Bob's own most recent file is his Turn 1 Orders, so he starts by Loading that and Merging it with Andrew's Turn 1 Orders. As with Andrew, this starts him off at the Replay. Once he's done with that, he clicks Continue to do his Turn 1 Reaction.

When Bob finishes his Turn 1 Reaction, he gets a message reminding him to send it to Andrew. But he's not done, because he already has Andrew's Turn 1 Reaction so he has one more file to merge.

Bob goes back Multiplayer, Loads his own Turn 1 Reaction, Merges it with Andrew's Turn 1 Reaction and watches the Replay. After the Replay, he Continues to his Turn 2 Orders phase. Once that's done, he's now ahead of Andrew again and has no more files to Merge.

Bob now sends his Turn 1 Reaction and Turn 2 Orders (the 2 newest files in his /PBM/Outbox) to Andrew.

And so it continues... let me know if you have any other questions.

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