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PBEM Game? - ishar - 04-04-2014

Hi everyone!

Being my first message on this forum, I have to thanks the community for the Megamek program and for maintaining this forum.

I'm not totally new to Battletech, being on long term fan of the universe through its various incarnation - not only the boardgame but also the video games or the RPG. I'd love to play the boardgame on a regular basis, but now having a family, live games are impossible to schedule - not to mention that I'm French and living in Paris, where they are not so many BT players.

The best type of game I've found and that I use for some over games I play (ASL, Diplomacy) is play by email game or, more generally, asynchronous play. That allow the players to play their turn when they have time, then leave the game (or send the files to the other players) and wait for him to have time to play his turn.

I was wondering if that's something possible to do with Megamek, and if they were players here interested in that kind of game and that would like to start a game with me?

Cheers!


Re: PBEM Game? - Jayof9s - 04-04-2014

The way movement works in battletech doesn't work real well for asynchronous play, you can essentially only move 1 unit for every unit your opponent moves. So it is technically possible to email the save back and forth between each move for each unit, but the timing of it would be atrocious.

It would become more playable asynchronously if simultaneous movement was ever implemented.


Re: PBEM Game? - Sidewinder - 04-05-2014

BattleForce is a game much more suited to PBeM style play.  The Alternative Move rules for BattleTech make each turn take (n+2) emails where n is the number of units in the game.  It gets smaller as the sides get whittled down, both because of downed units and once the sides get uneven the larger side can move multiple units in a single email, firing and physical phases will take an email each.  In BattleForce you only have to trade emails twice per phase.  Once at the beginning of the phase, and once in the middle of the phase. If you are just using ground units, its a total of 5 emails per turn, regardless of the number of units.  And it would not be too hard to resolve the combat phase simultaneously to cut down on another email.

The more emails you have to send, the slower the pace of the game, and honestly, I would lose my train of thought if I had to wait more than a day to finish just one turn of the movement phase.  May be interesting for duel scenarios, but I wouldn't want to play it anywhere above the lance level.


Re: PBEM Game? - Mekslayer - 04-07-2014

Megamek can be played in the asynchronous mode... but it requires a GM... and all moves must be sent in to the GM  as simultaneous moves, for him to resolve with Megamek.

What happens differently is that you now have to predict where your enemy will be, and it gets to be a harder game. The exception to movement is when two enemy or friendly mechs wish to occupy the same hex... in that case the one who sends in move first takes the hex, seizing the initiative, and the second player then either ends up short of this hex, or if jumping has the option to declare a DFA.

This is how all BT PBeM games work.

-Mek


Re: PBEM Game? - ishar - 04-23-2014

(04-07-2014, 06:26 PM)Mekslayer link Wrote:Megamek can be played in the asynchronous mode... but it requires a GM... and all moves must be sent in to the GM  as simultaneous moves, for him to resolve with Megamek.

Many thanks for your answers (and sorry for the delay of my own answer: I through I would received an email in case of any reply on my post, but I probably forgot to check that option).

The use of a GM was my fear, and thinking about it, you're probably right.

I've played PbEM wargames (ASL) a bit using VASL. The way you do it is: you record all your movements and send the file to your opponent. Then he plays those move one at a time and can interrupt (mostly opportunity fire, in ASL) at any time, then re-send you the file so you can resume your move - do the same like the first time, or change them depending on the interrupt's results.

If both player's are on the same page concerning the pace of the exchanges, the game can move on pretty smoothly. Not ideal of course, but when you don't have any option, it's OK.


Re: PBEM Game? - Mekslayer - 10-09-2014

So I had to ask Ishar... did you want to run megamek as a PBeM?

I would be up for it.. if u want to try.


Re: PBEM Game? - Jayof9s - 10-09-2014

Since simultaneous movement was added after this thread was created, I think asynchronous play could potentially be implemented now. Although, it may still be a large undertaking to allow the 'merging' of save files after each side has moved / fired.

You could attempt it now, but one side would have the advantage that the other player moved all of their units after the other player. It would be better if both players moved and were forced to 'guess' where the other would end up. I also don't know of simultaneous movement has been heavily tested at this point.


Re: PBEM Game? - Arlith - 10-09-2014

There was a bug with it that I fixed recently that hasn't made it into a release yet.  Otherwise, the "one player having to move all units before the other" thing is a pretty serious issue, imo.  According to TO, simultaneous movement is supposed to be "blind" but it hasn't been implemented in MM like that, yet.


Re: PBEM Game? - Jayof9s - 10-09-2014

Baby steps towards being able to play asynchronously at least. Wink


Re: PBEM Game? - ralgith - 10-10-2014

(10-09-2014, 10:12 PM)Jayof9s link Wrote: Baby steps towards being able to play asynchronously at least. Wink

Yup. And worked pretty good when we play tested it Tongue

Though I'm curious what "bug" Nick fixed in it now lol.


Re: PBEM Game? - ishar - 10-10-2014

(10-09-2014, 11:40 AM)Mekslayer link Wrote: So I had to ask Ishar... did you want to run megamek as a PBeM?

I would be up for it.. if u want to try.

I am! Please, contact me on ishar_at_swarmofheroes.com

Not sure what this "simultaneous mouvement" is all about. I suppose this is a specific feature of MegaMek to speed up online games, as there's no such thing in the BT rules as far as I can remember.

(10-09-2014, 09:51 PM)Arlith link Wrote: the "one player having to move all units before the other" thing is a pretty serious issue, imo.  According to TO, simultaneous movement is supposed to be "blind"

ASL (Advanced Squad Leader) has the same kind of issue; when a player is making a move, the opponent needs to decide if he interrupts or not without knowing the following moves. But ASL PBEM players do all their moves anyway, we're just making confidence in each other to not check all movements made before choosing where to interrup. It really works well. No ideal for sure (if you interrupt, you have to send back the file to your opponent so he can redo his moves, possibly adjustement them based on the interruption's results), but managable.