From: Norwich, England
pzgndr I dont know if you found my suggestions there but it was basically that if people had reinforcements to place or Naval factors to place those are the only countries that should have a reinforcement phase. Other than placing infantry units basically all where due regardless of the country at similar times. Those that dont have a navy like prussia, shouldn't a naval phase.
Too many times phases where wasted where people didn't put in auto skip, or auto skip didn't work.
I have a problem with this. There are many times when you might want to do things in the reinforcement phase other than place reinforcements. The game can't reasonably assume you do not need a reinforcement phase at any stage of the game. You can transfer forces to and from garrisons, add and remove leaders, add corps counters, remove counters, transfer factors between corps, give individual units orders, lend units to allies, select your move position. None of these involve having reinforcements available.
In summary it is going to be impossible for the game to find any circumstances where it could auto skip a nation's reinforcement phase. Auto skipping a naval phase of a nation that has no ships is reasonable, but hardly worth the programming time.
On the occasion that what you say is true only at war that anyone would need to use the reinforcement phase monthly. If not at war once a quarter would be the utmost, you can do the rest of your house work at that time. and by what I see what you are saying is that you are happy with the 48 + files per month to play this game?, if not then you have not offered anything to make this game to finish at a reasonable time. I know I dont want to spend another 7 years of my life on something that goes as slow as it does now. And you wont get players doing what is necessary always to get you there faster.
OK here's an idea, instead of an autoskip, how about a semi-autoskip ?
When you finish your diplomacy phase and the game sees that you have no reinforcements to place, and your phase has not already been set to skip, you get a prompt "You have no reinforcements to place in the next phase, should your reinforcement phase be skipped ?" and offers two boxes, yes or no.
Sadly I feel that without a major redesign and possibly fundamental conceptual change the PBEM game is doomed to be lengthy. I think the best available solution is to continually keep on top of players and get them to skip as often as possible, be rigid about skipping late turns and generally keep the pressure on to keep the game moving. Changes to the game may help a bit, but personally I'd rather see the limited programming resources that are available being focussed on other things.