PBEM question

John Tiller's Campaign Series exemplifies tactical war-gaming at its finest by bringing you the entire collection of TalonSoft's award-winning campaign series. Containing TalonSoft's West Front, East Front, and Rising Sun platoon-level combat series, as well as all of the official add-ons and expansion packs, the Matrix Edition allows players to dictate the events of World War II from the tumultuous beginning to its climatic conclusion. We are working together with original programmer John Tiller to bring you this updated edition.

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TJD
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PBEM question

Post by TJD »

I'm fairly new to PBEM, having played only a half-dozen games or so, and wonder how concerned I should be about "The Number of Saves Exceeds ..." warning. In five games I've seen this warning 3 times. I know the purpose is to discourage cheating but I wonder how often the appearance of this warning really correlates to cheatin' going on. I mean, if you want to cheat, there are easy ways to avoid setting off this warning (just recopy the .bte file into the directory). Anyway, I'd like to ask more experienced PBEM players what their feelings are on this. Does this warning occur commonly and do you usually just disregard it?

Thanks,
TJD
1925frank
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RE: PBEM question

Post by 1925frank »

I'm no authority on this, but you're correct that the warning is designed to discourage cheating.  Perhaps it does this by encouraging players to play their turn with no saves or with as few saves as possible.  I'm not sure how that figures in cheating.  Apparently you can save mid turn, inch forward, and if you don't like the result, you can restart from the previously saved position and avoid the previous mistake.  I guess multiple saves might be an indicator this is happening.  For larger scenarios, I would expect multiple saves.  For smaller scenarios, you might question why someone had to save so frequently.  I tend to save frequently because I get interrupted frequently, and when I get interrupted, I'm not sure when I can return to the game.  I guess it's a tool, but I'm not sure how valuable a tool. 
TJD
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RE: PBEM question

Post by TJD »

ORIGINAL: 1925frank

I'm no authority on this, but you're correct that the warning is designed to discourage cheating.  Perhaps it does this by encouraging players to play their turn with no saves or with as few saves as possible.  I'm not sure how that figures in cheating.  Apparently you can save mid turn, inch forward, and if you don't like the result, you can restart from the previously saved position and avoid the previous mistake.  I guess multiple saves might be an indicator this is happening.  For larger scenarios, I would expect multiple saves.  For smaller scenarios, you might question why someone had to save so frequently.  I tend to save frequently because I get interrupted frequently, and when I get interrupted, I'm not sure when I can return to the game.  I guess it's a tool, but I'm not sure how valuable a tool. 

Thanks for the response. I'm playing a size 7 scenario right now. It's on move 4. Moves 2 and 3 each warned of 2 saves. It seemed too early in the scenario to be worried about multiple saves. But move 4, where contact has been made, warned that 3 saves had been made. Seems pretty odd. The scenario really isn't that big.

Thanks again,

TJD
umbro
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RE: PBEM question

Post by umbro »

I would simply let your opponent know that the game reported extra saves and ask why that may be.

umbro
TJD
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RE: PBEM question

Post by TJD »

ORIGINAL: umbro

I would simply let your opponent know that the game reported extra saves and ask why that may be.

umbro

I've done so, but my concern or question really isn't so much about this specific game as about how often the save warning is encountered by experienced PBEM'ers. I was discouraged for a long time from PBEM by reports that cheating was rife and unstoppable, and maybe I'm still reacting to that.

TJD
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MrRoadrunner
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RE: PBEM question

Post by MrRoadrunner »

ORIGINAL: TJD

ORIGINAL: umbro

I would simply let your opponent know that the game reported extra saves and ask why that may be.

umbro

I've done so, but my concern or question really isn't so much about this specific game as about how often the save warning is encountered by experienced PBEM'ers. I was discouraged for a long time from PBEM by reports that cheating was rife and unstoppable, and maybe I'm still reacting to that.

TJD

I think Umbro has said it best. Ask your opponent why. [:)]
Cheating in games? There will always be cheating. I think it is not so much as you are lead to believe.
The "Save Exceeds" feature is a tool, if you suspect cheating. But, it should not be the only thing you should go on?

I would get concerned if my opponent saved many multiple times in a Size 2 or 3 scenario. But, those cases have not come up yet. [;)]

I've played a few games in my day. I save occationally, when I am called away from the computer. It's rare that I would save more than twice in any game I play. The one exception would be in a teamgame.

Relax and comm with your opponent. It's only fair, and will ease your mind?

RR
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
TJD
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RE: PBEM question

Post by TJD »

ORIGINAL: MrRoadrunner

I've played a few games in my day. I save occationally, when I am called away from the computer. It's rare that I would save more than twice in any game I play. The one exception would be in a teamgame.

That's the sort of feedback I was looking for. I hadn't really expected to see this warning at all, at least not in the sample of games that I've played, all but one of which have been on the small side. I assumed that players would go out of their way to avoid saving, but it seems not. Anyway, it's curiousity, not raving paranoia, that led me to post the question, and I agree the only solution in any particular case is to chat with the opponent....

Best,

TJD
1925frank
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RE: PBEM question

Post by 1925frank »

Personally I would consider a 7 complexity fairly large.  I would consider myself lucky to get through that without saving.  I will also frequently look at the playback in the morning before work just to see what happened, and then I do my half of the turn in the evening -- hopefully in one sitting.
 
In time you'll develop a rapport with other players, and you won't worry about cheating.  If you think the other player is cheating, and if it distracts from your enjoyment of the game, you probably will find others to play against. 
 
 
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kool_kat
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RE: PBEM question

Post by kool_kat »

ORIGINAL: 1925frank

Personally I would consider a 7 complexity fairly large.  I would consider myself lucky to get through that without saving.  I will also frequently look at the playback in the morning before work just to see what happened, and then I do my half of the turn in the evening -- hopefully in one sitting.

In time you'll develop a rapport with other players, and you won't worry about cheating.  If you think the other player is cheating, and if it distracts from your enjoyment of the game, you probably will find others to play against. 


Frank - Same here.

I usually; especially on the Complexity 7+ scenarios, will watch the replay and then save the game after any of my plotted artillery rounds are completed. I will then "try" to finish my move the next time I get back to the game, but sometimes need to save several times because of other real life stuff and distractions.
Regards, - Mike

"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." - Albert Einstein
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Big Ivan
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RE: PBEM question

Post by Big Ivan »

Frankly, I'm amazed anyone would want to cheat!!

Cheating is a tool used for the "Trophy Hunters" and not much else.

You become a better player by playing better players and gain the expierence on how you went wrong if you loose! One learns from that and I've learned a bundle from better players. John Given and Sir Killalot over at the Blitz have taught me a lot. So has Krink over at Game Squad.

Tournaments as a side comment are also a great gauge to see how good you are. You usually play some of the best in these get togethers and I have lost my fanny a few times.

I wish I had a few bucks for everytime I lost a game. I'd buy something I could use.
In close I hope cheaters would mend their ways, it detracts from the game and the spirit of competition.

Take Care!
Big Ivan
Blitz call sign Big Ivan.
TJD
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RE: PBEM question

Post by TJD »

ORIGINAL: mwest


I usually; especially on the Complexity 7+ scenarios, will watch the replay and then save the game after any of my plotted artillery rounds are completed. I will then "try" to finish my move the next time I get back to the game, but sometimes need to save several times because of other real life stuff and distractions.

This is good to know. I think I was laboring under the false assumption that, because the program tracked saves as a way to detect cheating, saves were therefore identified with cheating, and thus were something one ought to go to great lengths to avoid so as not to create the appearance of cheating. In other words, I thought saves were some big hairy taboo in PBEM. I see now that the attitude among experienced players is more relaxed than that, and I'm glad to know it, as I'm sure I'll need to save now and then too.

So, thanks for the feedback, all! I appreciate it, truly.

TJD
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Jason Petho
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RE: PBEM question

Post by Jason Petho »

On the other hand, there are those of us that play rather quickly. If I am distracted, I just leave the game on until I can return to it. A complexity 7-8 scenario is small from what I prefer to play and can play a turn of that size in usually no more than 10 minutes, including watching the replay and artillery. There really isn't a need for me to save.

But then, that may explain my win/loss record.

Jason Petho
1925frank
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RE: PBEM question

Post by 1925frank »

On a complexity level 7, I might take as long as 30 minutes (perhaps longer) to cogitate my nexts moves and the sequence of my moves and firings.  After all that thought, I still suck.
 
I get the impression some of my opponents breeze through a turn with the same speed as Jason, and they do so skillfully, but I simply don't read the maps or units with the same skill, and even after plotting it out, I frequently misjudge scenarios -- especially what can be done with the given scenario length.
 
If I play a scenario I'm familiar with against the AI (and presumably if I get to that point H2H), I might play a lot faster because a lot of the thought process is repetitive.
 
I guess it's like reading.  I remember when I first played Jeopardy on a computer screen (or some other game that required reading a lengthy question).  My opponent had the entire question read and was answering before I got past the first few words. 
 
 
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MrRoadrunner
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RE: PBEM question

Post by MrRoadrunner »

I just finished a turn in a size seven scenario, without watching the replay, and in one sitting. It took 25 minutes. I don't see doing it in less than half that amount of time. I might have trimmed five minutes but not fifteen.
And, I play very quickly. [X(]
 
RR
 
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kool_kat
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RE: PBEM question

Post by kool_kat »

ORIGINAL: TJD

ORIGINAL: mwest


I usually; especially on the Complexity 7+ scenarios, will watch the replay and then save the game after any of my plotted artillery rounds are completed. I will then "try" to finish my move the next time I get back to the game, but sometimes need to save several times because of other real life stuff and distractions.

This is good to know. I think I was laboring under the false assumption that, because the program tracked saves as a way to detect cheating, saves were therefore identified with cheating, and thus were something one ought to go to great lengths to avoid so as not to create the appearance of cheating. In other words, I thought saves were some big hairy taboo in PBEM. I see now that the attitude among experienced players is more relaxed than that, and I'm glad to know it, as I'm sure I'll need to save now and then too.

So, thanks for the feedback, all! I appreciate it, truly.

TJD

TJD:

I once thought like you do (did?) about game saves. And you know what? My game play actually was worse when I worried about the number of "saves" because I put pressure on myself to finish a high complexity turn rapidly... without taking the time to really study my move / combat options. I find that the opening turns in a CS game to be critical since you are plotting and executing on various tactics. This can take a while; especially, when you are playing a new / blind, high complexity scenario... so multiple saves are common.

So, cut yourself some slack... and as RR and others posted, communicate up front with your opponent about both game saves and your rules of engagement (ROE)

All the best in your CS gaming! [8D]
Regards, - Mike

"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." - Albert Einstein
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