Questions regarding PBEM

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Sunbather
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2023 7:41 pm

Questions regarding PBEM

Post by Sunbather »

My dive into PBEM is imminent! Finally! Before I post a Opponent wanted ad, I have some preliminary questions that pertain to all titles:

1. Is there any argument against using one of my 'private' email addresses? It would be most convenient to use my Google Mail account. Or should I simply make a new email address? Then again, I have 3 email accounts I have to keep track of already, and don't want to have yet another one.
(There is an option with Google Mail to add an alternate email address that goes directly to my account but doesn't allow to do anything with that address, e.g. siging in somewhere. In fact, I think I've just answered my own question... )

2. Is there a way to list all the games I own in my profile somehow? I don't want to use the signature option, or else my signature would be very long!

3. CHEATING I: I assume you could endlessly reroll your turn to get a better outcome. Is there something to prevent that (i.e. you can only open the file once) or is it just a gentlemen's agreement that you won't do that?

4. CHEATING II: Not really 'cheating' but it is obviously very easy to see the future reinforcements and initial units on the map by simply loading up the ongoing scenario and have a look at the other side. What's more, you maybe have played the scenario before, and so you know the units. Presuming my opponent has already played the scenario multiple times, and for me it's a new scenario: would it be fair game or even encouraged to have a look at the composition of enemy units to even out the knowledge?
And if so, or if not, how is the potential discrepancy of knowledge handled?
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Steel God
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Location: Georgia USA

Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by Steel God »

Sunbather wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 1:13 pm My dive into PBEM is imminent! Finally! Before I post a Opponent wanted ad, I have some preliminary questions that pertain to all titles:

1. Is there any argument against using one of my 'private' email addresses? It would be most convenient to use my Google Mail account. Or should I simply make a new email address? Then again, I have 3 email accounts I have to keep track of already, and don't want to have yet another one.
(There is an option with Google Mail to add an alternate email address that goes directly to my account but doesn't allow to do anything with that address, e.g. siging in somewhere. In fact, I think I've just answered my own question... )

2. Is there a way to list all the games I own in my profile somehow? I don't want to use the signature option, or else my signature would be very long!

3. CHEATING I: I assume you could endlessly reroll your turn to get a better outcome. Is there something to prevent that (i.e. you can only open the file once) or is it just a gentlemen's agreement that you won't do that?

4. CHEATING II: Not really 'cheating' but it is obviously very easy to see the future reinforcements and initial units on the map by simply loading up the ongoing scenario and have a look at the other side. What's more, you maybe have played the scenario before, and so you know the units. Presuming my opponent has already played the scenario multiple times, and for me it's a new scenario: would it be fair game or even encouraged to have a look at the composition of enemy units to even out the knowledge?
And if so, or if not, how is the potential discrepancy of knowledge handled?
1) Use whatever email address you like, I don't think anyone but you will give it a second thought.

2) Some Clubs (like The Blitz) have a player profile set up that allows you to list all of the titles you own, making it very easy to determine if a perspective opponent has the games you do. It also tracks everyone's records of reported games so you can see (in basic terms) how experienced an opponent may be relative to yourself or others.

3) There is an option to select "No PBEM Save" in the games, which prevents what you're alluding to, however it's not a good idea to use it in large scenarios as it can be difficult if not impossible to play a turn in one sitting. In small scenarios it's easily used, and perhaps more useful as the shorter ones are where potential replaying could skew the outcome. In larger scenarios the law of averages will catch up over time and render such underhandedness moot. As you gain experience you will also learn what feels right and what doesn't, and if you feel something isn't right the easiest course is to move on and find a new opponent. If you are very new to PBEM and/or the game in general just allow yourself a learning curve as experienced players will get the better of you as you come up to speed. Don't assume the worst in people if you can avoid it.

4) Some people seem to think that's cheating or at least gamey, I tend to look at it as the routine intelligence that a commander would have going into the battle. Sure, that's a very generous way of looking at it, but a player who has played the scenario multiple times already has the knowledge, why shouldn't you. You could always discuss it as a house rule before starting a game with someone. Generally I don't care if players want to look at the map and OOBs, and release schedules etc, but also I've gone into games where the title is new and we've both agreed to play it blind because there's never a second first time.

Good Luck and Good Gaming; Paul
"Listen, I can design a better pencil, but I can't stop someone from sticking it up their nose." - John Tiller
Sunbather
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2023 7:41 pm

Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by Sunbather »

Steel God wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 1:34 pm Good Luck and Good Gaming; Paul
2) I do intend to make my entry at the Blitz and also the ACWGC some time soon. The opponent finder seems to work really good here in these forums here though so I'll make that my entry point. However, I really like the idea of those clubs to have a track record for the players.

3) Thank you for your detailed response! Very logical and valid point you make regarding the bigger scenarios. A grave mistake made 5 or 20 turns ago stays with you, no matter how you will reroll. And yes, that's what I do when I encounter a cheater in a live multiplayer game: change servers.

4) Yes, I was hesitant to call it 'cheating'. I just wondered how it is handled. And you gave me an excellent answer! After all, air or scout recon or other intel of troop movement 'behind the lines', so to speak, and previous to a battle, is not always modelled in these games. And even when it comes to ACW titles: there are so many accounts I've read where the visibilty far exceeded that of what's modelled in the game.
And I completely get that two enthusiasts and veterans seize the opportunity to play a new release blind!

Thank you so much Paul, you've helped me a lot with all your posts (answering to me or others) over the past year or so!

Bruno
Last edited by Sunbather on Mon Jun 17, 2024 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Erzhog Karl
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 2:59 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by Erzhog Karl »

Sunbather wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 1:13 pm My dive into PBEM is imminent! Finally! Before I post a Opponent wanted ad, I have some preliminary questions that pertain to all titles:

1. Is there any argument against using one of my 'private' email addresses? It would be most convenient to use my Google Mail account. Or should I simply make a new email address? Then again, I have 3 email accounts I have to keep track of already, and don't want to have yet another one.
(There is an option with Google Mail to add an alternate email address that goes directly to my account but doesn't allow to do anything with that address, e.g. siging in somewhere. In fact, I think I've just answered my own question... )

2. Is there a way to list all the games I own in my profile somehow? I don't want to use the signature option, or else my signature would be very long!

3. CHEATING I: I assume you could endlessly reroll your turn to get a better outcome. Is there something to prevent that (i.e. you can only open the file once) or is it just a gentlemen's agreement that you won't do that?

4. CHEATING II: Not really 'cheating' but it is obviously very easy to see the future reinforcements and initial units on the map by simply loading up the ongoing scenario and have a look at the other side. What's more, you maybe have played the scenario before, and so you know the units. Presuming my opponent has already played the scenario multiple times, and for me it's a new scenario: would it be fair game or even encouraged to have a look at the composition of enemy units to even out the knowledge?
And if so, or if not, how is the potential discrepancy of knowledge handled?
All of Steel God's points are relevant and spot on and therefore unnecessary to repeat. I will however add my 'two cents' for your guidance and assistance.
1. Email addy of no consequence, use whatever.
2. Most clubs, Blitz, NWC & ACWGC will allow you to list your current titles in one form or another generally.
3. The bottom line in a PBEM game is to Never replay a turn. Certainly Save It and return to it as time/circumstance dictates but do not replay a move, if you screwed up, accept it and move on.
4. This was a question I posed some time ago when I started PBEM also, as I assumed (incorrectly) that to view the reinforcement schedule etc was, whilst not cheating, killing the Fog of War element. I was subsequently informed, and quite correctly, that as this information is freely available to both players why would one player choose to shackle himself whilst another may not and all within the rules and constraints of the games. All reconnaissance is good reconnaissance ! An experienced player, as Steel God outlined, will likely have the edge in any event, initially anyway, and only through playing the games will experience build. Some people have been playing these games 20 years plus and know them inside out. As noted also, "Don't assume the worst in people if you can avoid it", time and experience will quickly highlight 'strange happenings' etc.

Good Fun & Good Gaming
andy moss
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Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by andy moss »

And one more piece of advice. Play a lot of people with different abilities. You will learn from defeats so don't get demoralized.
Also there are bound to be opponents who for whatever reason, rub you up the wrong way. Finish the game, move on and don't play them again. As time goes on you will form a small cadre of opponents you like and are reliable. Several of mine I've been playing for some 20 years now.
Enjoy!
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LordDeadwood
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Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by LordDeadwood »

andy moss wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:39 am And one more piece of advice. Play a lot of people with different abilities. You will learn from defeats so don't get demoralized.
Also there are bound to be opponents who for whatever reason, rub you up the wrong way. Finish the game, move on and don't play them again. As time goes on you will form a small cadre of opponents you like and are reliable. Several of mine I've been playing for some 20 years now.
Enjoy!
Just wanted to second this advice. I have only been playing PBEM about four years, and this reflects my own experience.
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Steel God
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Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by Steel God »

Sunbather wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 2:26 pm Thank you so much Paul, you've helped me a lot with all your posts (answering to me or others) over the past year or so!

Bruno
I am happy to have been of service. Thank you for the kind words.
"Listen, I can design a better pencil, but I can't stop someone from sticking it up their nose." - John Tiller
Sunbather
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2023 7:41 pm

Re: Questions regarding PBEM

Post by Sunbather »

Erzhog Karl wrote: Mon Jun 17, 2024 2:33 pm
All of Steel God's points are relevant and spot on and therefore unnecessary to repeat. I will however add my 'two cents' for your guidance and assistance.

Good Fun & Good Gaming
andy moss wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:39 am And one more piece of advice. Play a lot of people with different abilities. You will learn from defeats so don't get demoralized.
Also there are bound to be opponents who for whatever reason, rub you up the wrong way. Finish the game, move on and don't play them again. As time goes on you will form a small cadre of opponents you like and are reliable. Several of mine I've been playing for some 20 years now.
Enjoy!
LordDeadwood wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 7:40 am
andy moss wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:39 am And one more piece of advice. Play a lot of people with different abilities. You will learn from defeats so don't get demoralized.
Just wanted to second this advice. I have only been playing PBEM about four years, and this reflects my own experience.

I'm late but I want to thank you guys as well. My first "opponent wanted" ad is finally up and I am very much looking forward to finally play against a human brain
I don't mind losing in wargames at all. Like you guys said, only this way you will learn to play better. Also, in wargames even losing can be fun and full of tension.
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