PBEM Tech Question...

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barbarossa2
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PBEM Tech Question...

Post by barbarossa2 »

I have to admit, as someone who is known as being relatively "computer savy", I am having a hard time understanding the instructions for starting Play by Email Games...

On Page 190 of the manual it states...

Quote:
"Players may choose to start or load PBEM games from the opening screen. A new PBEM game should be started by the player who will be playing the first human player in the list of eight playable nations on the Setup Screen."
My Example: The "Start PBEM" screen lists the eight possible powers to play in the following order: 1) France, 2) Britain, 3) Sweden, 4) Prussia, 5) Austria, 6) Russia, 7) Turkey, 8) Spain
Four players wish to start a PBEM game. Among them, they decide to play Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Spain. The first nation on the list is Britain.


Quote:
"After clicking on the "Start PBEM" button this player will be taken to the setup screen, where he must choose which nations will be controlled by human players. After clicking on the "OK" button he will be prompted to enter a name for the PBEM game, which will become part of the save-game files that are generated into and retreived from the PBEM folder. Having done so, the first player will be able to take and complete the his turn."
My Example: Since Britain is the first player on the list as indicated above, it will be the British player who starts the PBEM game by clicking on "Start PBEM game" and assigning the different nations to humans or computer control. He sets Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Spain to control by humans and sets the other four powers to computer control.

Quote:
"When the first player (Britain) clicks on the "End Turn" button a pair of files will be created in the PBEM folder that will have his country's abbreviation and the word "Done" added to the name given to the PBEM game....These files should then be e-mailed to all of the players, each of whom will need these files to take his turn."
My Example: Britain executes his turn and clicks on "End Turn". .sve and .rep files are created in the PBEM save folder. The British player then sends these files to the Prussian, Russian, and Turkish player.

Quote:
"Upon receiving these files and moving them into his PBEM folder, each player except the last player should open them by clicking on the "Load PBEM" button. After a player has taken his turn and clicked "End Turn", a new pair of files will be generated, this time adding his country abbreviation and the word "Done" -- e.g., "Standard-Campaign_Turn000_2BriDone.sve" and "Standard-Campaign_Turn000_2BriDone.rep." As the first player has already done, all other players should send the pair of "Done" files they have generated to the last player."
My Example: The Prussian, Russian, and Turkish players take the .sve and .rep files they have received from the British player and move them to their PBEM folder. The Prussian and Russian players open the files they have just received by clicking on the "Load PBEM" button, finding the .sve file (only) which was sent by Britain, and opening it. There is no need to open the .rep file, this is done by the program without human assistance if it has also been placed in the PBEM folder. The Prussian and Russian players may now execute their turns and then click "End Turn" when ready. At this point a ...PruDone.sve and ...PruDone.sve file is generated for the Prussian player in his PBEM folder and similar files are generated for the Russian player in his PBEM folder. The Prussian and Russian players then send these newly generated files to the "last" player, Turkey.

Quote:
"Upon receiving all sets of files, the last player must click on the "Combine PBEM Files" button -- instead of the "Load PBEM" button--in order to take his turn. He will then be prompted to load and combine all of the other player's files before he can take his own turn. Once the last player is done with his turn and clicks "End Turn" he will generate files whose name indicates that all players have now taken their turn: e.g.,"Standard-Campaign_Turn001_ALL.sve" and "Standard-Campaign_Turn001_ALL.rep." These files are to be emailed to the other players, who should open them, take their turn, and reutrn the "Done" files they have generated to this player--thus whereas at the start of the PBEM game it is the first player who generates files for all of the others, for every subsequent turn it is the last player who does so."
My Example: Now that the Turkish player has files from Britain, Prussia, and Russia and has placed them ALL in his PBEM folder, he opens CoG:EE and chooses the "Combine PBEM Files" option--NOT "Load PBEM". Having loaded all of the files with the "Combine" command, he may now take his turn. Once the Turkish player is done entering his turn, he clicks "End Turn" and his computer will generate ONE ...ALL.sve and ONE ...ALL.rep file. The Turkish player then emails these to the British, Prussian, and Russian players. Upon receiving them, the British, Prussian, and Russian players place these files in their PBEM folders and open them using the "Load PBEM" command. Once again their computers will create ...Done.sve, ...Done.rep files which will be sent to the Turkish player for combining and the execution of the Turkish turn.

QUESTION 1: Assuming I understand the rest of the process (i.e. my example is correct), please explain the "Combine" command. When the file opener is opened, generally you can only pick ONE file. How does combine work? Is it enough to pick ONE file sent in by other players in the game for the current turn and the program will magically know which other files to use and combine?

On Page 191 of the instruction manual it states:

Quote:
"Note: Due to an incompatibility with certain operating systems, some players may not be able to use the "Combine PBEM files" button. If it is the case that the individual playing the last human-controlled nation in the list of eight nations has this problem it will be necessary instead for each player to take his turn and then send the files he has generated to the next player.

QUESTION 2: Who is the "next player" in the last few words of the last sentence. Let's assume in my examples, it is discovered that Turkey does indeed have this problem of incompatibilty. What is the operating procedure? This is, unfortunately, a very confusingly written paragraph.



My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori*.
-Wilfred Owen
*It is sweet and right to die for your country.
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ericbabe
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RE: PBEM Tech Question...

Post by ericbabe »

One can select multiple files by shift-clicking or -- if my memory is correct -- by clicking on multiple files.  In short, standard Windows interface procedures for selecting multiple objects should be in effect in this dialog.

"Next player" means "subsequent human player" in the sentence you quote -- that is, subsequent in the turn order (France, Britain, Sweden, Prussia, etc.)
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barbarossa2
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:13 am

RE: PBEM Tech Question...

Post by barbarossa2 »

Eric, if in my example, the players discover that Turkey has the system incompatibility, who then is the subsequent player?  Spain?  Spain is computer controlled in my example.
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori*.
-Wilfred Owen
*It is sweet and right to die for your country.
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ericbabe
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RE: PBEM Tech Question...

Post by ericbabe »

Each player other than the first one is the subsequent player.  So someone takes his turn, e-mails it to the next player, and so forth.  After France takes his turn, then the next human player in the turn order after France is the subsequent player.  After that player takes his turn, the next human player in the turn order is the subsequent player.
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barbarossa2
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:13 am

RE: PBEM Tech Question...

Post by barbarossa2 »

Ericbabe,

Very interesting!  So, you can actually just pass it from one player to another by always clicking "load PBEM" and opening the turn file which was completed by the player before you?  In effect there is no NEED to for the last player (Turkey in my example) to "combine files"?  It can always simply be mailed from Britain to Prussia to Russia to Turkey to Britain to Prussia to Russia to Turkey to Britain, etc.?  And in each step of the process it can be opened with a "Load PBEM" command and never a "Combine PBEM Files" command? 

So the following would be a valid example in which the compatability issue has cropped up with Turkey (being the "last player" in the example above) or in a game in which players simple want to email turns from one player to the next in an endless circle (continuing my example from above)?:
1. Britain starts the game with the "Start PBEM" command, assigns player slots, executes his turn, clicks on "End Turn" and sends the resulting ...BriDone.sve and...BriDone.rep files to Prussia. 
2. The Prussian player saves the files he just received from Britain to his PBEM file.  The Prussian player then opens the ...BriDone.sve file from his PBEM folder using the "Load PBEM" command (the program knows where to get the .rep file itself), executes his turn, clicks "End Turn" and then sends the resulting PruDone.rep and PruDone.sve files in his PBEM folder to the Russian player. 
3. The Russian player saves the files he just received from Prussia to his PBEM file. The Russian player then opens the ...PruDone.sve file from his PBEM folder using the "Load PBEM" command, executes his turn, clicks "End Turn" and then sends the resulting ...RusDone.rep and ...RusDone.sve files in his PBEM folder to the Turkish Player.
4. The Turkish player saves the files he just received from Russia to his PBEM file.  The Turkish player then opens the ...RusDone.sve file from his PBEM folder using the "Load PBEM" command (NOT the "Combine PBEM Files" command)", executes his turn, clicks "End Turn" and then sends the resulting ...TurDone.rep and ...TurDone.sve files in his PBEM folder to the British player.
5. The British player saves the files he just received from Turkey to his PBEM file.  The British player then opens the ...TurDone.sve files from his PBEM folder using the "Load PBEM" command, executes his turn, clicks "End Turn" and then sends the resulting ...BriDone.rep and BriDone.sve files in his PBEM folder to the Prussian player...
6. and so on... 

Additionally, it seems that if one were to play a two player game, that one player can click the "Start PBEM" game and set the game up for two players, then enter his turn, execute his move and click "End Turn", at which time his ...Done.sve and ...Done.rep files are generated.  He then sends these files to the next player who saves them to his PBEM folder and opens them NOT with the "Combine PBEM Files" command, but with the "Load PBEM" command.  This second player also executes, generates his ...Done.sve and ...Done.rep files then returns these to player one, who again opens them with the "Load PBEM" command?  So an entire PBEM game can be played without ever opening files with the "Combine PBEM Files" command?

Thanks
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori*.
-Wilfred Owen
*It is sweet and right to die for your country.
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