Is there a PBEM technical post somewhere? I do the german turn, end turn, then zip it and email it to my opponent. He unzips it, loads it, does his Russian turn, ends turn, zips it, emails it to me. (Same name, 00js-rl.bte each time) I unzip (to same default location in jtcs) and load it and it shows me the german turn (that I did) and says its the Russians turn again! When it should show me the Russian turn my opponent did and let me play turn two for germany. Infuriating! Help!
Saw your other post as well. It seems the G1 Admin did not make it to new Blitz portal. Too bad.
My first guess as what went wrong would be that you are opening an old file. I always play extra safe with game files, by cutting the file from game folder and pasting it to my "PBEM Files" folder. Then, when I receive a file, I always put it to an game folder that is empty of the previous file.
The other reason might be that it is not you but your opponent who accidentally sent your original file back?
Third common problem is not to push the Next Turn button, but the symptoms of that is that you are not able to open the file at all.
I can't recall what the Blitz article said, I believe Glenn Saunders' article is pretty much spot on. The thing I do like about the Blitz recommedatios is the file naming, which I like more:
!! ensures the files are not to be mixed with other files that start with a number, as there is a plenty of them in the folder.
Anyway, here's what the manual has to say. It is good advice, although makes for a long reading. I hope it helps. It seems you have already read it, though, given you are using the naming convention it mentions...
15.0 Having Fun with Play by E-Mail
By Glenn Saunders
Pitting your skills against another human in a PBEM game is one of the more challenging aspects that the Campaign Series has to offer. I’ll never forget my very first PBEM game. My heart was literally pounding as I saw the units move across the map, but this time not under computer control. There was another human at different terminal trying to defeat me. This was getting personal!
But for someone new to this aspect of wargaming, it can sometimes lead to frustrat¬ing experiences where files just don’t seem to cooperate. The purpose of this section is to point out some “tried and true” techniques that have proven themselves over time to reduce, if not completely eliminate, most PBEM difficulties.
First of all, you cannot keep your game files in a separate folder (or directory). As much as it may seem like you can, this Windows95/98®, Windows XP or Windows Vista file management ability does not work with the Campaign Series. In order to work properly, all saved game files must be kept in, and opened from, your Campaign Series directory, that by default is usually:
C:\Program Files\Matrix Games\John Tiller’s Campaign Series
Secondly, when playing the game, always, always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep the same game file name. Here are a couple of tips on this:
Consider starting your PBEM game file name with 00, as these files will alphabetical¬ly appear at the top of your directory list in Windows® Explorer.
Use your initials and your opponent’s initials separated by a dash. Therefore if I, Glenn Saunders, were playing a game with John Brown, our game file might be called:
It may seem complex, but it really works.
Avoid trying to send files back and forth that include the turn number. If you wish to use the File / Save As... function to save the game at every turn, then that is your own business. But if you try sending these variable file names, you will inevitably make a mistake and save the file with the wrong name resulting in lost time and relaying turns or exchang¬ing e-mail while you sort out the mess with your opponent.
Passwords can be used with PBEM games. The whole purpose of the password protection in Campaign Series is not to prevent cheating per se, but to prevent your opponent from accidentally opening your game file in the wrong phase and thus spoiling the Fog of War effect by seeing the position of your hidden units. Passwords are for honest players and are not meant to stop cheating. There are some people out there who are going to cheat, but by and large, I’ve found that the vast majority of wargamers are honest.
Keep your password simple. This is not your bank account or your company secrets that are being guarded here. Use common words that are before your eyes or so easy to spell as to be difficult to forget. Avoid complex names using special characters and shifts in case from capital letters to lowercase. Here are some examples of my favorites: as I look around my office, I see the words “monitor” and “laserjet.” I see “pocket” and “oxford.” I drive a “van.” Use your dog or cat’s name, perhaps. Anything you won’t easily forget.
Use a compression utility and always “zip” (compress) your files, even if they are not big. Compressing the file adds a little time to the PBEM process, but it saves tons of lost time. Compression utilities can be found as shareware on many sites around the Internet. You will certainly find something at: www.winzip.com.
Compressing (i.e., “zipping”) the game file has two purposes:
– It reduces file corruption when the file is being sent across the many miles that typ¬ically separate you from your opponent. I will not go into the technical details, but it is like “rolling up a map before you step out into the wind” – there is much less chance the map will be ripped away by the wind if it’s properly rolled up.
– When sending and receiving files by e-mail using many different types of e-mail programs, ZIP files are usually handled in a consistent manner that can be handled by the person receiving the file.
For example, I have been sent files that were not zipped and they are sometimes appended to the end of the e-mail message. In these cases, it is possible but difficult to copy the entire message into an editor and remove the unwanted parts – but you have to be very careful and know what data’s important and what’s “excess.” Miss a single character, and the file will not work properly. “Error opening file” is not a message you want to see!
Any e-mail message that includes a game file should have the word “GAME FILE” in the subject line of the e-mail. Some people like to chat and exchange e-mail messages, including game comments or other news with their opponents. Sometimes they attach the file. But sometimes they think they attached the file, and never mention the game in the message. The result can easily be several lost days while the person who “thought” he sent the file (and didn’t) waits for the person who doesn’t have the file to return it.
If you are chatting with the person you are playing, be careful to remove the “GAME FILE” word from the subject line if your message does not contain the file. When in doubt, ask! It only takes a second and might avoid days in lost gaming.
Make yourself a backup copy of your game before you press the “END PHASE” button and get the file ready to send. What I recommend is that you do a FILE / SAVE AS... view.bte – then “SAVE AS” again – back to the GAME FILE name. This does two things:
1) It allows you to look at and ponder the situation while you wait for your opponent to respond (it could be days and you may wish to look at the situation map), and...
2) It gives you a backup. If the file does become corrupted during the transfer and your opponent can’t open it at his end for whatever reason; you merely open that file, then SAVE AS / Game file / END PHASE / ZIP and resend it to him. You’d be surprised how many games have been saved that way.
Finally, always press the “END PHASE” button before you send the file. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often it is forgotten. Simply by rushing to send out the file and get on with the game you are more likely to cause delays. And that is a fact proven over many matches.
In the event that you do have a problem with a PBEM game, reading a file or getting an error, here is what is recommended:
1) Try checking your password.
2) Completely shut¬ting down your PC and “cold start” it (that has opened 3 or 4 file that would co-operate).
3) if #1 & #2 fail, then ask your opponent to check and make sure he remembered to END PHASE. These three simple things correct 98% of the PBEM problems.
If problems continue, come up to the Campaign Series forum at www.matrixgames.com and see if one of the helpful contributors there can help you out.
Good Luck and Good Gaming!
< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/2/2011 10:11:57 AM >