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CAN'T GET PBEM TO WORK

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CAN'T GET PBEM TO WORK

Postby xlegion » December 1st, 2008, 3:49 pm

Hello out there:

I am having a devil of a time understanding how pbem works. I'm trying to 'simulate' a game solitaire to understand how the pbem system works. But I just can't get it to work. I will state below the exact steps that I have taken and maybe someone out there who is experienced with pbem play can help.

The module I am playing is the new test module "Washington's War" by Mark Herman. OK. Here is what I do.

1.) I open the Washingtons' War module
2.) I start a log file giving it a distinctive name
3.) The instructions say that you then 'open' the file, but how can you do this when you are in fact 'naming it' and 'saving it' not 'opening it'? Anyway, I save the file just in case with a distinctive name.
4.) I then do the 'begin logfile' procedure and I see on the screen the game board of course and the chat line and log file.
5.) I start placing the American Political Control Markers and I note that as I do so the game is 'recording' my every move and noting where I place the markers.
6.) In the chat line I state that I am placing markers.
7.) When finished I "end the log" file and save the turn
8.) I then closed down the whole VASSAL engine
9.) I now 'open' the VASSAL engine just as if I was the British player (my opponent as it were)

But here is where I get lost. I would assume that the British player 'just opens' the file just sent, but when I do that I don't see any of the American PC markers on the board. All I see is the game just as if it has not been started.

What am I supposed to do as the British player or any player for that matter. Don't you just 'open' the file and begin playing? What am I missing here?

Any help appreciated, because I think this VASSAL engine is just awesome, if I could just figure it out.
xlegion
 
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Joined: October 14th, 2008, 8:31 pm

CAN'T GET PBEM TO WORK

Postby uckelman » December 1st, 2008, 3:57 pm

Thus spake "xlegion":
But here is where I get lost. I would assume that the British player 'just op
ens' the file just sent, but when I do that I don't see any of the American P
C markers on the board. All I see is the game just as if it has not been star
ted.

What am I supposed to do as the British player or any player for that matter.
Don't you just 'open' the file and begin playing? What am I missing here?


When you load a log, you get the state at the beginning of the log. You
need to use the "forward" button in the toolbar (or PgDn) in order to
advnace through the log.

--
J.

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uckelman
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CAN'T GET PBEM TO WORK

Postby xlegion » December 1st, 2008, 4:21 pm

Ok, I'm getting 'closer' but still have not quite got it yet.

I get to the point where I have put a password in for the American player, do the move, open the log file, close the log file, save the game.

OK, here is where I get confused. I am now the BRITISH player and I have just opened VASSAL. Do I 'start a new game' and then load the file or do I 'load a saved game'?

When I choose load a saved game for the sides I see something that says 'null'. I load the game but then I can 'see' the American cards, which I am not supposed to see.

I don't get it. Wouldn't you have to put a password in BEFORE loading the game. What is the use of putting a password in AFTER you have seen your opponents hand?

Why is there not a clear file written somewhere on the VASSAL site on HOW to play pbem? VASSAL I think would be a heck of a lot more successful if they could get their instructions out there on HOW to play pbem.
xlegion
 
Posts: 29
Joined: October 14th, 2008, 8:31 pm

CAN'T GET PBEM TO WORK

Postby uckelman » December 1st, 2008, 7:09 pm

Thus spake "xlegion":
I get to the point where I have put a password in for the American player, do
the move, open the log file, close the log file, save the game.

OK, here is where I get confused. I am now the BRITISH player and I have just
opened VASSAL. Do I 'start a new game' and then load the file or do I 'load
a saved game'?

When I choose load a saved game for the sides I see something that says 'null
'. I load the game but then I can 'see' the American cards, which I am not su
pposed to see.

I don't get it. Wouldn't you have to put a password in BEFORE loading the gam
e. What is the use of putting a password in AFTER you have seen your opponent
s hand?

This is because the sides are keyed on your password only. If you set up
for the American player and then don't change your password, you'll continue
seeing the American player's pieces.

I do not like this and think it creates a great deal of confusion. It's
something I intend to change when we start work on VASSAL 3.2.

Why is there not a clear file written somewhere on the VASSAL site on HOW to
play pbem? VASSAL I think would be a heck of a lot more successful if they co
uld get their instructions out there on HOW to play pbem.

I agree with you that we need better documentation. We keep asking for
volunteers to help write documentation, but no one ever does.

--
J.

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