For the People PBeM Conventions
Notes on the Above the Fields FTP Program
- The main purpose of The OB text files generated by 'Lincoln' and 'Davis' is for use on ACTS and/or with an opponent who uses some other program (or just the real board, go figure). However, I still find them of great use since they also record the total SP's. Each OB file gives the total number of SP's for a side. Two 'software features' to watch for though:
- If a Cav Bgd is used on the Army Gen Track, that SP(s) will be counted twice. So... use the regular Cavalry General marker on the Army Track, though by default we know the counter represents a Cav Bgd. During the game, from Fall '61, I use the Summer '61 space to keep the Cav Bgd/Cav Gen marker not in use.
- If two or more Army SP Markers share the same SP space, the space is counted only once. So if the actual total USA SP count is 68, and there are two Armies at 10SP, the USA_OB file will give a 58 total.
- The 'Help' documentation on the Card dialog box is a little misleading. The proper use of 'Played' and 'Discarded' cards is important to the 'Discard one from opponents hand' function. When clicked, this function looks at the unplayed cards in your opponent's hand and discards one. If you opponent has not been 'managing' his hand in order, the discard function will have either too many or two few cards to chose from.
- It is always best to save a file with a new name. A generic name convention is 'US_62SpR2', the CSA's turn then 'CS_62SpR2', and the next card would be 'US_62SpR3'. A deal is 'CS_62SuR0', and multiple files for a move 'US_62SpR2_1'. To sort quickly to the last file saved, in the Save Dialog Box, click on the 'Modified' column, this will arrange them in order played (saved). Cool. If you can't see the modified column, make the 'Name', 'Size, and 'Type' columns smaller, it will come into view. (the initial spacing of those columns is set by the MS Explorer program, change it there also and it will show up in the Save dialog the same).
- Once a card is permanently removed, its gone. If you forget to permanently remove, it will get reshuffled. If this happens, use it as na OC when it comes back up while also discarding it.
- Say, you are the USA and play 'Railroad Degredation'. Play it normally and save with a new name. Then the USA player must click (and save) the 'Discard one from opponents hand' button, and save (same filename OK here). When the CSA (in this case) sees that a card was discarded, he must inform the USA gamer which card it was (and the USA gamer can verify after passwords are exchanged at the end of the game).
- At the end of the game the gamers must exchange Passwords.
- If you can't find a counter, its probably in the space below the 15SP of the Army track.
- Beginning Summer '61, use the Spring '61 space to place KIA'ed Generals.
- Beginning Fall '61, use the Summer '61 space to place Cav Bgd/Gen markers.
- Note you can change a space to a yellow color (Resource destroyed), USA flag (USA capitol), or a CSA flag (CSA Capitol). A USA flag in some Neutral or CSA State is a reminder that state is now USA controlled. A CSA flag in some Neutral State is a reminder that state is CSA controlled.
- Whoever resolves the combat should roll for both sides
- Whoever first sees the battle is set rolls both dice. Most of the time this is the defender. Unless the Attacker stated otherwise, the Defender may safely assume the Attacker will use his best DRM and the Attacker has battle event cards (BEC).
- Other times its the attacker. Say Jackson is bearing down on one lone USA SP. The SP can't intercept or withdraw, so Jackson has two choices:
I like #1 most the time. #1 does give a possible advantage to the other gamer, the USA in this case. If the USA does have an interrupt card or a BEC, because the CSA sped right through, the USA will get to see results before deciding to play an interrupt card or a BEC. If the USA does decide to play one of these cards, all of the CSA's drs and moves must be redone.
- Speed right through. Save and send a file up to that point, then resolve the combat, and if the CSA can continue moving, do so.
- Save and send a file up to that point, ask the defender to resolve.
- Another good time to speed through is when moving past a General with SP's. Say Jackson wants to move to a space next to McClellan. McClellan has the option to intercept... as the CSA, go ahead and make the interception dr for McClellan instead of waiting on the USA to decide. If McClellan intercepts, whoops, Jackson must pause the and await the USA decision if the USA will indeed take that interception. If the intercept fails, well thats it, no need to pause to ask the USA if he will intercept since its moot now.
Some gamers can play this way, others do not. If I'm speeding through I'll note 'Speeding' or something in the email
Internet Die Rolls
Two I am aware of Internet Die Rolls, dice.com and Irony. As a long time PBeMer and a PBeM GM, I have learned that dice.com has problems. Too many times dice.com will delay in sending the dr(s), or not even send them at all. So far I have yet to hear of the drs being sent to one gamer and not the other. When this happens, each time the cause was found to be an incorrect email address (such as having a (invisible to the naked eye) space at the end of the address. Irony has yet to 'malfunction', though I'm sure it will someday. When this happens:
- Too many drs, no problem, use the ones you need discarding the rest. Do not reroll.
- Not enough drs, no problem, use the ones you got and send for the rest.
- No response from die roller: Best not to send for a second die roll. Wait about 24hrs, if the drs still haven't shown, the original sender will notify the original receiver to send for the drs. When the receiver is notified he is to roll because of missing drs, and the receiver has yet to receive those drs, the receiver will send, and at that instant the original senders drs will not be used, even if they come in.
- Multiple die roll requests: Use the drs the receiver got first.
- The yet to happen one gamer gets die rolls and the other doesn't and the email addresses were fine : Use those drs. Whoever got the drs forward them to the other gamer so he may inspect the email addresses, and if all is OK, use those drs.
lifted from the BPA PBeM Error Handling Conventions
- Player A makes an illegal move(s), attack(s), etc.
- Player B can accept the move as is without changes, or declining this,
- Player A must redo the entire turn from that point.
- Miscalculated combat odds or drms is not an error. There is no redo for this, the actual odds/drms are applied.
An example is a campaign move. On Move I the gamer say moves an Army 7 spaces. Then the gamer 'speeds' through Move II. Here the turn would be reset to the beginning of Move I if the non-moving player wanted, or the turn is left as is if the non-moving player wanted, his call.
Unless stated, combat die rolls are 1st dr attacker, 2nd die roll defender (remember, an intercepting force is still the defender). If stated then use the order given. Sometimes a gamer will 'transpose' drms, this should be obvious when it happens, and again the actual drms are used and the die rolls are applied in the order specified (and if not specified, its att/def).
My own convention is att/def.
Future Software Upgrades
First thing, when you do download a newer version and have an older version insatlled, you must uninstall the old 'For the People With Cards' first. Or, if you are an advanced computer user, just manually delete the "ForThePeople_WithCards.exe" file, thats what must be done. Then install and check the lower left hand corner of the about box to make sure it took.
Please let me know if there are any enhancements you'd like to see, I will reply as to the likelyhood of it happeneing. The present list is:
- Add a dialog that lets gamers permanently remove/unremove a card from any deck.
- Allow cards in hand to be 'unplayed'.