PBEM Mechanics (Full Version)

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Bullwinkle58 -> PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 4:26:52 PM)

I've never played PBEM for a variety of reasons, but I decided to see what the mechanics of the file transfers were like. I loaded a Coral Sea game after reading the manual and played both sides through to the end. I simmed everything, including mailing myself each turn file. Have a couple of questions for PBEM vets.

1. I do not play the AI with hexes on at all. I find them visually overpowering. I especially do not play with hex sides on; that's like the Vegas Strip to my visual cortex. Am I correct in thinking that the Japanese player alone controls if hexes are showing? And that the Allied player can only, for his own side's presentation, control if hex sides are used? Do PBEM players ever get into a beef on whether hexes show at all?

2. Does it mess up either side if the Allied player adjusts the game settings he can control in the course of the game? Can each side have different Delay settings for example and it not break something as time goes on?

3. I use Outlook for a mail client. How do people handle file naming and file retention? It was a little weird doing both sides and having to remember to send two files for Japan, but only one for Allies. How do GC players label their e-mail so they don't load yesterday's or something? Is there an easier way to handle them than cut & pasting between the e-mail client and the Explorer pane? Do PBEM players keep a deep archive of old turns, and if so how do you label?

4. An aside: it seems like the acceleration keys work very differently than in AI play. There the space bar accelerates the movement through animations and the ESC key dumps to the combat report. In PBEM it seems that the space bar removes delay between turn phases, but the ESC key accerates the animaitons. And there was no way I could find to dump to the combat report.

Also, I noticed that the TF reaction messages seem to be reported in PBEM while I don't recall seeing them for CVs in AI play. Also, it's disconcerting to run the combat replay and hear the "enemy ship sinking" sound effect when you didn't recently see the attack which caused it.

Anyway, any help from the PBEM gurus on 1-3?




Chickenboy -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 4:45:14 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

1. I do not play the AI with hexes on at all. I find them visually overpowering. I especially do not play with hex sides on; that's like the Vegas Strip to my visual cortex. Am I correct in thinking that the Japanese player alone controls if hexes are showing? And that the Allied player can only, for his own side's presentation, control if hex sides are used? Do PBEM players ever get into a beef on whether hexes show at all?



Yes-hex sides on is literally glaring. I typically play with hexes on as I find it helpful for plotting single hex movement of TFs.

Player 1 sets the controls for the game. A good PBEM partner will adjust game settings to avoid epileptic seizures in his opponent.


quote:


2. Does it mess up either side if the Allied player adjusts the game settings he can control in the course of the game? Can each side have different Delay settings for example and it not break something as time goes on?


Dunno. I've never played the Allied dogs as PBEM. I'll yield to those that have.


quote:


3. I use Outlook for a mail client. How do people handle file naming and file retention? It was a little weird doing both sides and having to remember to send two files for Japan, but only one for Allies. How do GC players label their e-mail so they don't load yesterday's or something? Is there an easier way to handle them than cut & pasting between the e-mail client and the Explorer pane? Do PBEM players keep a deep archive of old turns, and if so how do you label?



Bunch of ways to do this, Bull. In a couple of my PBEMs we exchanged one file only (e.g., save slot #17) between us. "Interim saves"-those that weren't finalized but were savegame files whilest you got a cup of coffee or something varied, but were usually a close numeric cousin to the exchanged file (e.g., interim save = #18 or somesuch).

Another method used is to have the Allied player only send back one save slot (in one of my PBEMs it's slot 40). This is played by Player 1 and then the finalized turn sent back can be one of a series (I use #30-39 as finalized saves sent back to the Allied player). This enables a small repository of saved turns as normal course in case of some sync error or whatnot.

Periodically, I'll back up all savegames to an external hard drive.

I also use Outlook (and Outlook Express). I put the turn date in the subject line to Player 2, attach the relevant files (001 and 031-039) and send to the Allied dogs. When I get a turn back, it sits in my inbox (after I save the 040 to my AE save directory) until I 'reply' with my turn. Then, I drag it to my "sent email" box to get it out of my inbox.

Cheers, mate.




Empire101 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 4:45:58 PM)

1. I always play with hexsides on so I can't help you there.

2. I don't think it messes anything up, I leave my settings mostly in 1.0/1.5 second range. Ithink preferences are independent for both players

3. I use DropBox to send turns. ( Torsten put me onto that ). Its hassle free, and free, and I've never had a problem. VERY reliable and safe.

I just move the old allied save file to my current PBEM save folder that I have created at the start of the new game( as a safety net really ), copy and paste the turn into my save games folder, and off I go.

Its generally a good idea to agree on a couple of game slots before you start to avoid confusion, I generally use Slot 5 for my saves ( Japan ), and ask my opponent to save his turn into slot 6 ( Allied ).

So after I've finished my turn I just copy and paste the Slot 1 ( combat report ) and Slot 5 ( Japans current turn ) saves into dropbox




Chickenboy -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 4:50:17 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Empire101
3. I use DropBox to send turns. ( Torsten put me onto that ). Its hassle free, and free, and I've never had a problem. VERY reliable and safe.

I just move the old allied save file to my current PBEM save folder that I have created at the start of the new game( as a safety net really ), copy and paste the turn into my save games folder, and off I go.

Its generally a good idea to agree on a couple of game slots before you start to avoid confusion, I generally use Slot 5 for my saves ( Japan ), and ask my opponent to save his turn into slot 6 ( Allied ).

So after I've finished my turn I just copy and paste the Slot 1 ( combat report ) and Slot 5 ( Japans current turn ) saves into dropbox


Ditto the handiness of Dropbox. I should have mentioned that too. Very helpful for turn exchange. When using Dropbox, I just fire off an email to my partner to alert him to the arrival of the turn.




Canoerebel -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 4:57:07 PM)

Bullwinkle, some day I wanna play you in an email!

The PBEM works smoothly and easily, once you get used to a few things. Some of the things you mentioned, I wasn't aware of didn't take place in games vs. AI.

I like the ships sinking sounds. I can sometimes, though not always, deduce what ship went down. Even when I can't, it's always encouraging to know that some enemy ship somewhere succumbed to damage.

CV reaction is always displayed on the screen. When you're the Allied player, seeing CV reaction is almost always really, really bad news. When I see reaction, I grab the arms of my chair, break into a heavy sweat, and have visions of John III passionately kissing Phyllis Diller.

I've never used the excelleration key, so I can't help you.

As Allied player, I have two save files: one for pre-complete saves and one for the finished turn. In my game with PzH, I used 08 slot for finished turns, so I save over the previous turn, then send him the new 08 for the next turn. Never had a problem.

Once the IJ player establishes the setting, I don't touch them. I don't know if doing so would mess up the settings.

I have hexes set in my current game, but played without them in some previous games. I think each player can set this differently with no problem.





adsoul64 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:03:02 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel
As Allied player, I have two save files: one for pre-complete saves and one for the finished turn. In my game with PzH, I used 08 slot for finished turns


I hope "used" doesn't mean the game is over [:-]




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:10:09 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

1. I do not play the AI with hexes on at all. I find them visually overpowering. I especially do not play with hex sides on; that's like the Vegas Strip to my visual cortex. Am I correct in thinking that the Japanese player alone controls if hexes are showing? And that the Allied player can only, for his own side's presentation, control if hex sides are used? Do PBEM players ever get into a beef on whether hexes show at all?



Yes-hex sides on is literally glaring. I typically play with hexes on as I find it helpful for plotting single hex movement of TFs.

I figure I'm in a tiny minority in playing with hexes off. And that this would be a deal-breaker for an opponent. I'm used to using real charts without all the mess; it helps me think and visualize forces moving across big open water if the honeybees haven't been around. I use the range circles to guesstimate movement limits, and seat-of-the-pants for the rest. I think most old timers here know I'm no scientific, mathematical player. Probably get my behind handed to me if I played such an opponent, but I'd make it up by sheer, drooling aggressiveness. [:)]

Player 1 sets the controls for the game. A good PBEM partner will adjust game settings to avoid epileptic seizures in his opponent.

I think the Japanese player would have to turn them off before sending every turn and back on for his own use. I don't know if anyone is that nice.

quote:


2. Does it mess up either side if the Allied player adjusts the game settings he can control in the course of the game? Can each side have different Delay settings for example and it not break something as time goes on?


Dunno. I've never played the Allied dogs as PBEM. I'll yield to those that have.

It didn't seem to hurt across the ten turns of Coral Sea. I was wondering if it gradually got things unsyched or something. Sounds from other responses that it does not.

quote:


3. I use Outlook for a mail client. How do people handle file naming and file retention? It was a little weird doing both sides and having to remember to send two files for Japan, but only one for Allies. How do GC players label their e-mail so they don't load yesterday's or something? Is there an easier way to handle them than cut & pasting between the e-mail client and the Explorer pane? Do PBEM players keep a deep archive of old turns, and if so how do you label?



Bunch of ways to do this, Bull. In a couple of my PBEMs we exchanged one file only (e.g., save slot #17) between us.

I used Slot #3 only since I have an AI game saved in #4.

"Interim saves"-those that weren't finalized but were savegame files whilest you got a cup of coffee or something varied, but were usually a close numeric cousin to the exchanged file (e.g., interim save = #18 or somesuch).

Can you only hit the "End Orders" red arrow once? Or can you hit it, change your mind, and go load one of the interim slots and keep going? Playing the AI I almost never have an interim save since if I forget something or leave it half done it's just a bennie for the AI. I imagine PBEM turns are more thoughtful and take longer on average.

Another method used is to have the Allied player only send back one save slot (in one of my PBEMs it's slot 40). This is played by Player 1 and then the finalized turn sent back can be one of a series (I use #30-39 as finalized saves sent back to the Allied player). This enables a small repository of saved turns as normal course in case of some sync error or whatnot.

That's what I was looking for. It seems the Japanese player has more fiddly overhead than the Allied, but he has to play two files.

Periodically, I'll back up all savegames to an external hard drive.

I also use Outlook (and Outlook Express). I put the turn date in the subject line to Player 2,

I tried to do "Allied Turn 3" kind of thing, but I quickly got tangled up in whose #3 it was. The game date is better.

attach the relevant files (001 and 031-039) and send to the Allied dogs. When I get a turn back, it sits in my inbox (after I save the 040 to my AE save directory) until I 'reply' with my turn. Then, I drag it to my "sent email" box to get it out of my inbox.

I erased them. Archiving in Outlook is better. I set up an archive in Explorer in the Matrix Games/AE folder hierarchy, but it was another step and fiddly.

Cheers, mate.

Thanks. I'm thinking about taking the plunge if I could find the right opponent.





adsoul64 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:17:16 PM)

quote:

Thanks. I'm thinking about taking the plunge if I could find the right opponent.


I guess I've already heard but please trust me: there's no match PBEM vs AI. The feeling you've while waiting for an all-important turn, the unpredictability of a human opponent vs AI... well, like tha famous credit card, they haven't price [:D]




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:18:29 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Empire101

3. I use DropBox to send turns. ( Torsten put me onto that ). Its hassle free, and free, and I've never had a problem. VERY reliable and safe.

Is this the Dropbox you're talking about? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropbox_(service)

I'm not sure I see the advantage over regular e-mail attachments.







geofflambert -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:24:47 PM)

It seems to me if you keep or archive your e-mails with the attached turns, you always can download them again and restart the game from there. Am I missing something?

Canoerebel, as the Allied side, I set my CV's to reaction of 6 and I've won two such battles hands down without losing a carrier, once where I slightly outnumbered the IJN (4 CVs to 3 CVs and a CVL), and once where it was 4 allied CVs to 6 IJN CVs.

quote: When I see reaction, I grab the arms of my chair, break into a heavy sweat, and have visions of John III passionately kissing Phyllis Diller. end quote. [X(]

Beats porn, doesn't it? [:'(]




witpqs -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:25:07 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

I've never played PBEM for a variety of reasons, but I decided to see what the mechanics of the file transfers were like. I loaded a Coral Sea game after reading the manual and played both sides through to the end. I simmed everything, including mailing myself each turn file. Have a couple of questions for PBEM vets.

1. I do not play the AI with hexes on at all. I find them visually overpowering. I especially do not play with hex sides on; that's like the Vegas Strip to my visual cortex. Am I correct in thinking that the Japanese player alone controls if hexes are showing? And that the Allied player can only, for his own side's presentation, control if hex sides are used? Do PBEM players ever get into a beef on whether hexes show at all?

The Japanese player controls how things look during the replay, and how things look when you get the turn. You can make any changes at all that you want to in appearance.

I play with hexes on, otherwise I can't see what hex I'm clicking on for my TFs. Easy to change, though and it's a hot key, I just forget which one because I don't use it.

Hex-sides (terrain) is easy to toggle on and off: it's the F6 key.

Hex-side ownership is toggled with the 'w' key.

These (and other things that you can change, range circles, etc. etc.) will have no effect on your Japanese player opponent.
quote:


2. Does it mess up either side if the Allied player adjusts the game settings he can control in the course of the game? Can each side have different Delay settings for example and it not break something as time goes on?

No messing up. But, the Japanese player controls how things look during the combat replay, and how things look when you first open the turn. If, for example you like message delays when giving orders to be different than your opponent, you will have to change them when you get the turn (every turn).
quote:


3. I use Outlook for a mail client. How do people handle file naming and file retention? It was a little weird doing both sides and having to remember to send two files for Japan, but only one for Allies. How do GC players label their e-mail so they don't load yesterday's or something? Is there an easier way to handle them than cut & pasting between the e-mail client and the Explorer pane? Do PBEM players keep a deep archive of old turns, and if so how do you label?

I have a separate AE install (just copied the top AE folder to a new name) for each PBM so the save slots (and scenarios, and artwork, etc.) never collide.

For a given PBM, I use save slot 010 for my intra-turn saves (whenever I feel like saving during the turn) and as my "saved it just before ending the turn" save. I use save slot 015 for the end-of-turn save that goes to my opponent.

Because I have done a whole lot of bug-hunting, I find it easier to take one additional step. I copy the slot 010 file into a 'saved' sub-folder and rename it to append the game date to the beginning. I also copy the slot 015 file to a 'sent' sub-folder and rename it likewise. It is this file, with the turn date as part of the name, that I send to my opponent. I figure it cuts down on confusion. Here is a file I sent last night: "1942-10-03-wpae015.pws"

I delete those files periodically, keeping roughly two game-weeks worth to help hunt bugs when the need arises.

I follow the same procedure with the turn and combat replay that I receive.

As far as email goes, I use Thunderbird and every couple of months (real-time) I clean up the folder for each PBM so it only has about a month in there.

Opponents with Outlook have at various times reported that it has problems sending and needs to be kicked in the pants.

Also some ISPs are prone to corrupting save games in transit through their own (ISP, I mean) email servers. I don't use ISP email, only Google and a for-pay service and have never had a problem on my end with the email. I did have a problem when my DSL service was all wonky and error-prone.

If you run into a problem with corruption, it helps to put the save inside something like a .zip file or.7z file. Then you will know for certain it was an in-transit problem because you will not be able to get out the file.
quote:


4. An aside: it seems like the acceleration keys work very differently than in AI play. There the space bar accelerates the movement through animations and the ESC key dumps to the combat report. In PBEM it seems that the space bar removes delay between turn phases, but the ESC key accerates the animaitons. And there was no way I could find to dump to the combat report.

I know that they do work differently in AI versus PBM because I've seen Michael and players post about that. I don't bother using them, I just watch as whatever speed my opponent has selected.
quote:


Also, I noticed that the TF reaction messages seem to be reported in PBEM while I don't recall seeing them for CVs in AI play. Also, it's disconcerting to run the combat replay and hear the "enemy ship sinking" sound effect when you didn't recently see the attack which caused it.

FOW is really good but not perfect. I play without the sound so I don't hear the sinking sounds, but others have told me they knew that a ship damaged a while back had finally sunk because of the sound.
quote:


Anyway, any help from the PBEM gurus on 1-3?




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:28:28 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Bullwinkle, some day I wanna play you in an email!

One of us would have to play Japan. [:)]

And, despite all the "advice" I give you, you'd clean the floor with me, certainly in a first game. I have a lot of bad AI habits.


I like the ships sinking sounds. I can sometimes, though not always, deduce what ship went down. Even when I can't, it's always encouraging to know that some enemy ship somewhere succumbed to damage.

In AI you get the sound, but it's associated with something you just saw. Sub attacks, you see hits in the animaiton, you get the sinking sound as the cursor scrolls. In playing the Combat Replay file as Allies you hear the sound tomorrow when you get the file back, and not necessarily associated with an attack you just witnessed. More like the mine hit "Boom!" sound which just happens offstage.

CV reaction is always displayed on the screen. When you're the Allied player, seeing CV reaction is almost always really, really bad news. When I see reaction, I grab the arms of my chair, break into a heavy sweat, and have visions of John III passionately kissing Phyllis Diller.

In AI I've seen lots of surface TF reaction text messages as well as merchant TFs reacting and running away from threats, but I don't recall seeing the exact CV reation messages I saw in PBEM. I could be wrong though.

I've never used the excelleration key, so I can't help you.

Excellent!!!![:'(]

As Allied player, I have two save files: one for pre-complete saves and one for the finished turn. In my game with PzH, I used 08 slot for finished turns, so I save over the previous turn, then send him the new 08 for the next turn. Never had a problem.

This makes more sense to me than Chickenboy's series, but his is safer if you misclick. Different ways to go is why I started the thread. I know from long experience that I come at PC file management differently than a lot of people. I started when 64k was a lot of storage, so I tend to be very stingy with space usage.

Once the IJ player establishes the setting, I don't touch them. I don't know if doing so would mess up the settings.

I have hexes set in my current game, but played without them in some previous games. I think each player can set this differently with no problem.

As far as I can tell the hexes on is grayed out for the Allies, and not for the Japanese. The hexsides is controllable for each. I turn hexsides on once in awhile to check for impassable hexes on land, and sometimes to see reefs better, but the format hurts to look at.






Chickenboy -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:31:44 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58
I figure I'm in a tiny minority in playing with hexes off. And that this would be a deal-breaker for an opponent. I'm used to using real charts without all the mess; it helps me think and visualize forces moving across big open water if the honeybees haven't been around. I use the range circles to guesstimate movement limits, and seat-of-the-pants for the rest. I think most old timers here know I'm no scientific, mathematical player. Probably get my behind handed to me if I played such an opponent, but I'd make it up by sheer, drooling aggressiveness. [:)]


I get that-it's really a beautiful map. A part of me despairs of having a hex overlay on top of such a piece of art. But it's nigh unto impossible for me to plot hex movement just by dead reckoning without the grid's help.

quote:


Player 1 sets the controls for the game. A good PBEM partner will adjust game settings to avoid epileptic seizures in his opponent.

I think the Japanese player would have to turn them off before sending every turn and back on for his own use. I don't know if anyone is that nice.


Well, if you could use your sterling oratory skills to convince your opponent of the merits of your position, perhaps you could just 'put it on and leave it on'. Problem solved. [8D]

quote:


3. I use Outlook for a mail client. How do people handle file naming and file retention? It was a little weird doing both sides and having to remember to send two files for Japan, but only one for Allies. How do GC players label their e-mail so they don't load yesterday's or something? Is there an easier way to handle them than cut & pasting between the e-mail client and the Explorer pane? Do PBEM players keep a deep archive of old turns, and if so how do you label?



Forgot to mention that Outlook 'remembers' where last you saved a DL file and brings up that directory as a default for attachments too. It's handy-unless I use my computer for something other than DL game turns. But that's just crazy talk.

quote:


Can you only hit the "End Orders" red arrow once? Or can you hit it, change your mind, and go load one of the interim slots and keep going? Playing the AI I almost never have an interim save since if I forget something or leave it half done it's just a bennie for the AI. I imagine PBEM turns are more thoughtful and take longer on average.


Once you hit the End Orders red arrow you're committed. The file saved to the identified slot can no longer be altered by you-it's awaiting the PW of the next player. This has resulted in more than one epithet du jour voiced by yours truly.

The alternative is that you can go back to the exchanged turn from scratch if you're using a different file number for your interim 'work' turns. Or go back to the original email and redo everything anew. So you'll find yourself wondering if the benefits of your addendum / corrected turn outweigh the hassle of redoing everything. Usually it doesn't, so you just bit your lip and ship it off.

Every now and then you get complacent and lose 4 carriers to a surprise KB attack. Hypothetically speaking, of course. BANZAI!


quote:


Thanks. I'm thinking about taking the plunge if I could find the right opponent.


Glad to hear it! Have you considered a PBEM scenario before a CG? May be a nice way to dabble in the PBEM experience. The Marianas scenario is a freakin' bloodbath-particularly for the IJ-and lasts some 3 months. The 1000-mile war (Aleutians) is quicker and more evenly balanced.




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:46:48 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

The Japanese player controls how things look during the replay, and how things look when you get the turn. You can make any changes at all that you want to in appearance.

I play with hexes on, otherwise I can't see what hex I'm clicking on for my TFs. Easy to change, though and it's a hot key, I just forget which one because I don't use it.

I thought the hexes on key was greyed out for the Allies, but the hexsides on was not. I did not think to try a hotkey. I wouldn't mind if the replay had hexes, but trying to plan a turn with them on drives me to distraction. I think I'll reload a PBEM and see if I can muck with the hexes on hotkey.

2. Does it mess up either side if the Allied player adjusts the game settings he can control in the course of the game? Can each side have different Delay settings for example and it not break something as time goes on?

No messing up. But, the Japanese player controls how things look during the combat replay, and how things look when you first open the turn. If, for example you like message delays when giving orders to be different than your opponent, you will have to change them when you get the turn (every turn).

I don't mind any types of delay really, but for long dogfights or surface battles with twenty ships on each side I like to accelerate through the middle parts depending on my mood.

For a given PBM, I use save slot 010 for my intra-turn saves (whenever I feel like saving during the turn) and as my "saved it just before ending the turn" save. I use save slot 015 for the end-of-turn save that goes to my opponent.

I think I'd go this way. Simple and no need to scroll down the saves list too far.

As far as email goes, I use Thunderbird and every couple of months (real-time) I clean up the folder for each PBM so it only has about a month in there.

I have two terrabytes of HDs installed and two more external, but I'm still Scrooge about using space. Old habits . . .[:)] A turn is what? about three meg for a GC?

Opponents with Outlook have at various times reported that it has problems sending and needs to be kicked in the pants.

It's a Model-T, but I understand it. I'm still using Outlook 2003, so maybe older is better.

Also some ISPs are prone to corrupting save games in transit through their own (ISP, I mean) email servers. I don't use ISP email, only Google and a for-pay service and have never had a problem on my end with the email. I did have a problem when my DSL service was all wonky and error-prone.

I have an ISP which is corporation-focused and only has consumer customers on a grandfathered basis. They're pretty tight. I've had the same e-mail address for fifteen years because if I ever change it I disappear in way too many places.





Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 5:55:43 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Forgot to mention that Outlook 'remembers' where last you saved a DL file and brings up that directory as a default for attachments too. It's handy-unless I use my computer for something other than DL game turns. But that's just crazy talk.

I mostly use Outlook to talk to Alfred and plot our take-over of the world.

Can you only hit the "End Orders" red arrow once? Or can you hit it, change your mind, and go load one of the interim slots and keep going? Playing the AI I almost never have an interim save since if I forget something or leave it half done it's just a bennie for the AI. I imagine PBEM turns are more thoughtful and take longer on average.

Once you hit the End Orders red arrow you're committed.

Ah. And ARRRGH!

The file saved to the identified slot can no longer be altered by you-it's awaiting the PW of the next player. This has resulted in more than one epithet du jour voiced by yours truly.

I noticed that it's fairly easy, if you aren't paying attention, to save it without the red arrow and send that one. The game has an error message which appears for the other guy saying "This file does not appear to be a properly saved PBEM file. Continue y/n" Whereupon the first guy gets a "Hey, Meathead!" e-mail I suppose.


Thanks. I'm thinking about taking the plunge if I could find the right opponent.

Glad to hear it! Have you considered a PBEM scenario before a CG? May be a nice way to dabble in the PBEM experience. The Marianas scenario is a freakin' bloodbath-particularly for the IJ-and lasts some 3 months. The 1000-mile war (Aleutians) is quicker and more evenly balanced.

I might. Probably Coral Sea just to get the real mechanics down. Then find someone who has No Idea how Japanese economy management works.




Lokasenna -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 6:00:04 PM)

I hadn't thought of Dropbox for PBEM files. I use it for some other file sharing, it seems like it would be the bee's knees (in keeping with the honeybee references) for "sending" turns back and forth. No need to make sure you're attaching the right files - just select it once, save the turn, sync Dropbox, and drop your opponent a line that the turn is ready for snatching.




Chickenboy -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 6:36:45 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58
Ah. And ARRRGH!


That's right! Thanks for the reminder! Today IS national "Talk like a pirate day", ye scalawags! Mend the mizzenmast! Grog and hardtack! Avast! ARRRGGH!




Chickenboy -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 6:39:24 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58
I noticed that it's fairly easy, if you aren't paying attention, to save it without the red arrow and send that one. The game has an error message which appears for the other guy saying "This file does not appear to be a properly saved PBEM file. Continue y/n" Whereupon the first guy gets a "Hey, Meathead!" e-mail I suppose.


Close. The game will ask for the next player's password. When it asks the Jap player for the "Player 2 password", that event usually results in the 'Hey, meathead, close yer turn properly' email.




obvert -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 6:40:02 PM)

Dropbox is key. Torsten got me into using and Jocke and I have switched to it as well. It's so easy, it's free, and the upload/download times are really fast compared to attaching constantly to emails. I usually send a quick note on email to Jocke saying the turn is up, but Dropbox show when it's uploading a new file, or when something has been deleted. It gives a little message in the corner of my screen. Very useful as well.

For the end orders you are committed, but only sort of. You should always save another copy if critical things are being changed, (especially for the Japanese player and the economic changes you can't reverse), and even if you finish the turn you could always load that save and write over the other final turn save after you make more changes.

With your knowledge of the game and strategic depth it would be really interesting to see you play a PBEM. You can't match it for adrenaline rush in WITP. There are great things about playing the AI and being able to flip turns as you wish, but the nerve-wracking wait for a turn to see how your opponent reacted and the resulting replay viewing are occasionally spine-tingling. Just keep the coffee away from the keyboard during the sub-attack night phase! [:)]

On top of that there is the great potential to really make a good friend during the game.




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 6:54:05 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

Dropbox is key. Torsten got me into using and Jocke and I have switched to it as well. It's so easy, it's free, and the upload/download times are really fast compared to attaching constantly to emails. I usually send a quick note on email to Jocke saying the turn is up, but Dropbox show when it's uploading a new file, or when something has been deleted. It gives a little message in the corner of my screen. Very useful as well.

I only glanced at the technical stuff on this. Does using Dropbox give them permission to reach into your HD and take files up into their cloud? Or only what you overtly drag into the outbox? They say everything is encrypted, but I don't like giving outside programs permission to come in and look around.

For the end orders you are committed, but only sort of. You should always save another copy if critical things are being changed, (especially for the Japanese player and the economic changes you can't reverse), and even if you finish the turn you could always load that save and write over the other final turn save after you make more changes.

That makes sense.

With your knowledge of the game and strategic depth it would be really interesting to see you play a PBEM.

This could be taken two ways. [:)] In the US we have a saying: "Big hat, no cattle."

You can't match it for adrenaline rush in WITP. There are great things about playing the AI and being able to flip turns as you wish, but the nerve-wracking wait for a turn to see how your opponent reacted and the resulting replay viewing are occasionally spine-tingling. Just keep the coffee away from the keyboard during the sub-attack night phase! [:)]

As I've played into 1943 in my third Allied GC versus the AI I'm finding I'm not even bothering to do many, many things because I know it just doesn't matter to the AI. I tried to play the Japanese for a change, but found I really disliked it on an emotional level. I tried to get a groundswell going for Matrix to fund an AI improvement program, but that looks unlikely. ("Hey! Newbies! Stop buying AE so they get hungry again!") So all that's left is to try PBEM. But I'm unsure if I could find anyone who would play the way I'd want to play.

On top of that there is the great potential to really make a good friend during the game.

Friends are overrated. [8D]





Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 7:14:44 PM)

Re hexes on, I have now searched the manual, all addenda from patches and upgrades, and pressed every key on the keyboard, and I don't find any way to hotkey hexes on or off. It can only be set on the set-up screen, and in PBEM by the Japanese player.

If anyone has other info I'd appreciate it.




obvert -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 7:24:19 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

I only glanced at the technical stuff on this. Does using Dropbox give them permission to reach into your HD and take files up into their cloud? Or only what you overtly drag into the outbox? They say everything is encrypted, but I don't like giving outside programs permission to come in and look around.

You post the turns to the dropbox folder on your machine which just uploads them. You make a folder in the dropbox area only the two of you can access. Once your opponent loads up the file(s) they immediately download to your machine automatically. I suppose there is the possibility of issues with security, but no more than in using the web if you have good anti-virus software. Every page you look at on the web is effectively downloaded anyway. At least that's what the IT guys keep telling me.

With your knowledge of the game and strategic depth it would be really interesting to see you play a PBEM.

This could be taken two ways. [:)] In the US we have a saying: "Big hat, no cattle."

Hah!! Sometimes a small hat suffices. To play PBEM I've found the most important attribute in my arsenal is humility. There will always be things I don't understand about this game, and many more things I have forgotten (or just neglected to do).

As I've played into 1943 in my third Allied GC versus the AI I'm finding I'm not even bothering to do many, many things because I know it just doesn't matter to the AI. I tried to play the Japanese for a change, but found I really disliked it on an emotional level. I tried to get a groundswell going for Matrix to fund an AI improvement program, but that looks unlikely. ("Hey! Newbies! Stop buying AE so they get hungry again!") So all that's left is to try PBEM. But I'm unsure if I could find anyone who would play the way I'd want to play.

If you play someone experienced, the best part is realizing they are learning your game and reacting to the way you play. So you must react again to their actions, and it goes from there. Very challenging, good fun.

In the opponents wanted post I'm sure you'll state exactly what you're looking for in an opponent. You seem to be clear on how you'd like to play. The vetting could take some time, but you also know the forum and the players enough to find a good match.

On top of that there is the great potential to really make a good friend during the game.

Friends are overrated. [8D]

Friends made on the internet especially! Yet, it does make the game play better to communicate well, and I've found that leads to at least a good amount of mutual respect.






Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 7:41:07 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

I only glanced at the technical stuff on this. Does using Dropbox give them permission to reach into your HD and take files up into their cloud? Or only what you overtly drag into the outbox? They say everything is encrypted, but I don't like giving outside programs permission to come in and look around.

You post the turns to the dropbox folder on your machine which just uploads them. You make a folder in the dropbox area only the two of you can access. Once your opponent loads up the file(s) they immediately download to your machine automatically.

OK, this is what I didn't understand before. The automaticlaly part. I can see how that is easier than having to insert e-mail attachments, and then cut & paste them out of incoming e-mails. Still, it would be so great if AE had the server architecture WitE has. For finding games as well.

I suppose there is the possibility of issues with security, but no more than in using the web if you have good anti-virus software. Every page you look at on the web is effectively downloaded anyway. At least that's what the IT guys keep telling me.

Yes, pages are all cached.

With your knowledge of the game and strategic depth it would be really interesting to see you play a PBEM.

This could be taken two ways. [:)] In the US we have a saying: "Big hat, no cattle."

Hah!! Sometimes a small hat suffices. To play PBEM I've found the most important attribute in my arsenal is humility. There will always be things I don't understand about this game, and many more things I have forgotten (or just neglected to do).

My biggest fear would be doing things in "the AI way" and getting clocked. Three-plus years of those habits.

As I've played into 1943 in my third Allied GC versus the AI I'm finding I'm not even bothering to do many, many things because I know it just doesn't matter to the AI. I tried to play the Japanese for a change, but found I really disliked it on an emotional level. I tried to get a groundswell going for Matrix to fund an AI improvement program, but that looks unlikely. ("Hey! Newbies! Stop buying AE so they get hungry again!") So all that's left is to try PBEM. But I'm unsure if I could find anyone who would play the way I'd want to play.

If you play someone experienced, the best part is realizing they are learning your game and reacting to the way you play. So you must react again to their actions, and it goes from there. Very challenging, good fun.

Yeah, I've always figured that. I play shooters on-line, but I've never played a turn-based game where real thought is required. I had a blast in my first AI game, but recently it's more a drag than fun because I know the sorts of things, usually click-fests besides, that I don't need to do to win anyway. In this game I even abandoned the right 50% of the map and just concentrated on winning an auto-vic in the UK/Commonwealth areas. It's very easy to do by your third game. At this point I've long ago gotten my money's worth out of AE, and I do play lots of other games, but I still come back to this one.

In the opponents wanted post I'm sure you'll state exactly what you're looking for in an opponent. You seem to be clear on how you'd like to play. The vetting could take some time, but you also know the forum and the players enough to find a good match.

My other concern is how many Japanese players quit. I suppose there's no help for that; people can say they won't but things change in people's lives. I've played all the way to 1946 and the late game is a whole different animal than 1942. I'd also play it as a game and to win, not as a tour or a sim. I've said many times I believe the VP and auto-vic systems are very well designed and balanced so Japan can win the game at any point. I really believe that.

On top of that there is the great potential to really make a good friend during the game.

Friends are overrated. [8D]

Friends made on the internet especially! Yet, it does make the game play better to communicate well, and I've found that leads to at least a good amount of mutual respect.

I've made several e-mail friends from this forum, and I do value it for the worldwide flavor it has. I used to be more worldly than in recent years, so this place is a nice vacation from Minnesota.








witpqs -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 9:40:52 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

The Japanese player controls how things look during the replay, and how things look when you get the turn. You can make any changes at all that you want to in appearance.

I play with hexes on, otherwise I can't see what hex I'm clicking on for my TFs. Easy to change, though and it's a hot key, I just forget which one because I don't use it.

I thought the hexes on key was greyed out for the Allies, but the hexsides on was not. I did not think to try a hotkey. I wouldn't mind if the replay had hexes, but trying to plan a turn with them on drives me to distraction. I think I'll reload a PBEM and see if I can muck with the hexes on hotkey.

2. Does it mess up either side if the Allied player adjusts the game settings he can control in the course of the game? Can each side have different Delay settings for example and it not break something as time goes on?

No messing up. But, the Japanese player controls how things look during the combat replay, and how things look when you first open the turn. If, for example you like message delays when giving orders to be different than your opponent, you will have to change them when you get the turn (every turn).

I don't mind any types of delay really, but for long dogfights or surface battles with twenty ships on each side I like to accelerate through the middle parts depending on my mood.

During a combat animation or report, pressing the <escape> key goes directly to minimum delay (or dismisses the report like mouse-clicking on "Done"). I use it many times during every combat replay! [:)]

For a given PBM, I use save slot 010 for my intra-turn saves (whenever I feel like saving during the turn) and as my "saved it just before ending the turn" save. I use save slot 015 for the end-of-turn save that goes to my opponent.

I think I'd go this way. Simple and no need to scroll down the saves list too far.

As far as email goes, I use Thunderbird and every couple of months (real-time) I clean up the folder for each PBM so it only has about a month in there.

I have two terrabytes of HDs installed and two more external, but I'm still Scrooge about using space. Old habits . . .[:)] A turn is what? about three meg for a GC?

Opponents with Outlook have at various times reported that it has problems sending and needs to be kicked in the pants.

It's a Model-T, but I understand it. I'm still using Outlook 2003, so maybe older is better.

Also some ISPs are prone to corrupting save games in transit through their own (ISP, I mean) email servers. I don't use ISP email, only Google and a for-pay service and have never had a problem on my end with the email. I did have a problem when my DSL service was all wonky and error-prone.

I have an ISP which is corporation-focused and only has consumer customers on a grandfathered basis. They're pretty tight. I've had the same e-mail address for fifteen years because if I ever change it I disappear in way too many places.







Empire101 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 10:04:57 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL witpqs

Also some ISPs are prone to corrupting save games in transit through their own (ISP, I mean) email servers. I don't use ISP email, only Google and a for-pay service and have never had a problem on my end with the email. I did have a problem when my DSL service was all wonky and error-prone.


I have had this problem also. Game saves have been corrupted or are not received, even though my opponents have sent it.

Dropbox is safe and reliable. I've never had a problem with it sending my save game files.




zuluhour -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 10:34:38 PM)

quote:

Dunno. I've never played the Allied dogs as PBEM. I'll yield to those that have.


[:D]




zuluhour -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 10:37:58 PM)

I also would like to face the Moose, I have discussed it at TWIT HQ, and most are in favor.




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 11:16:44 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: zuluhour

I also would like to face the Moose, I have discussed it at TWIT HQ, and most are in favor.


Translation please?




zuluhour -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/19/2012 11:32:50 PM)

I'm sorry Bullwinkle, here at Zulu HQ our game just ended (see AAR). It was my first PBEM and was......well a boat load of fun. As we speak I am corresponding with the Emperor about just that. I have always been interested in thoughts you have raised through the threads and think you would also enjoy the "suspense" of the PBEM. As you are a celebrity Moose, the comment above was intended to luuuurrre ya in!

smooth sailing!

Zuluhour
CnC TWIT HQ




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: PBEM Mechanics (9/20/2012 2:18:15 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: zuluhour

I'm sorry Bullwinkle, here at Zulu HQ our game just ended (see AAR). It was my first PBEM and was......well a boat load of fun. As we speak I am corresponding with the Emperor about just that. I have always been interested in thoughts you have raised through the threads and think you would also enjoy the "suspense" of the PBEM. As you are a celebrity Moose, the comment above was intended to luuuurrre ya in!

smooth sailing!

Zuluhour
CnC TWIT HQ


PM sent.




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