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Thread: Fast PBEM duels - a try to start a new kind of Civ2 entertainment

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    SlowThinker
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    Fast PBEM duels - a try to start a new kind of Civ2 entertainment

    I didn't know where to put the following post. It should be in Civ2-Strategy, because I think it may be interesting for slow SP players, it should be in Civ2 Multiplayer, because it presumes games are played mostly in sessions like MP games, it should be in Civ2-PBEM, because it is a PBEM...
    So it is here now.
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    SlowThinker
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    Fast PBEM duels

    The aim of this thread is to gather people for a specific kind of multiplayer game. It will be especially suitable for slow players.



    Preface
    Recently I have tried one MP game and the game speed was quite high for me - I got confused easily, I wasn't able to control every detail of the game as I do in singleplayer. Then I joined one 7-player PBEM and it is quite slow... For me a disavantage of a standard PBEM game is that time periods of my concentration on the game are too short. I get deeply in the game...and it finishes for the present day.

    So ... my thinking is heading towards something between MP and standard PBEM:

    Standard PBEM vs. PBEM in sessions
    I can imagine 2 ways of playing PBEM:

    A) Slow PBEM
    A player finishes a turn and goes away. He doesn't know when his opponent will play and so he supposes he won't be able to continue for at least several hours (or days). This is how standard PBEMs are played.

    B) PBEM in sessions
    Players agree on a playing time. They can do something else on the computer, but they have enough time for a PBEM in the meantime. This way 5, 10, 20... turns may be managed in one session (it may last 1, 3, 10... hours). (This is a way of playing that is similar to MP: Both players must agree on time of sessions. Game is slower than an MP game, but on the other hand there is no time pressure and players needn't focus on Civ2 only. They can do other things concurrently.)

    So I would like introduce a new term...
    Fast PBEM duel
    In "Fast PBEM" players combine both Slow PBEM and PBEM in sessions. Sessions are preferable, but the game can continue also by Slow way when there is lack of time. Also some players may not be able to play in sessions. A duel is desirable since PBEM is slower with more players.

    Empire-building games
    I don't want to force them at any cost but... I prefer them. I mean both standard (vanilla) Civ2 or empire-building scenarios and mods.



    Now let us get deeper:

    Exigency of clear rules
    Most standard PBEM games are played without clear rules, but then some players start to reload battle outcomes (this is not a joke!) and the others wonder about that. Therefore I believe in PBEM there must be a clear boundary between allowed operations and disallowed ones.

    Cheating
    I have heard tales about people cheating in PBEMs, but I don't think this should be a problem. I suppose everybody plays the game because of thrill from anticipation, sense of responsibility for one's own decisions and all those similar entertaining things. People that would cheatwould lose all that fun. If someone wants to win by any way or without having to think, then he can start SP, go to cheat menu, and reach the Alpha Centauri in 3900BC. That is much easier than to bother with sending many e-mails.

    .hot saves
    Although most PBEMs are played in the .net (multiplayer/internet) mode, I suggest the .hot (multiplayer/hotseat) mode. The main reason is that a .hot savefile is opened much faster than a .net one (opening a .net game involves going through many windows).

    Accelerated start
    A partially accelerated start is possible - for example 2 Settlers, two warriors and 100 gold to start.

    Several starting positions
    A possible modification:
    My idea is that each civ should get two or three starting positions (settler + warrior or something similar) on distant map positions. Then empires will be fragmented and the game will be more interesting.
    (A note: For example, with two positions I consider this placement of starting positions
    AA
    BB
    less interesting than this:
    AB
    BA
    (because in the second example both civs will have to fight for the central area))
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    La Fayette
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    You can count me in as one of those ready to play that kind of game and willing to test the proposed features.

    Here is the question #1 I have in mind:
    What about x2 production ?
    My limited experience at MP makes me think that x2 prod leads to a very different game where 'high shields' terrain and some kind of ICSing have a huge advantage.

    Any thoughts? (especially from experienced MP players)

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    duke o' york
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    Slow, you should put a little advert in the PBEM forum and ask for contributions from them.

    I've never played any kind of MP Civ2 (apart from SXNs ), so I'm not in a position to comment on this, but I may well dip my toe into the MP waters when my new laptop arrives, so I'll be taking interest in this thread as it seems to propose a more gradual learning curve than finding yourself annihilated by rah at 3000BC in your first game.
    I'm not sure that the set-up you described is ideal, but as far as you are concerned then it will be. I think that the choice of settings, etc should be left to the players so they can build the game of their choice (and there wouldn't be any moaning when someone lost if everything had been agreed beforehand).
    The way the game would be conducted sounds great though. It'd be extremely dumb for anyone to try to cheat as this can often lead to total MP estrangement, depending upon who it is and how long they had been doing it for. Not sure about here, but records are often kept of who has been caught cheating and in which games to give potential opponents something to consider. I'm sure that the system currently in place could be extended to your head-to-head PBEMs.

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    Scouse Gits
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    Yup - might give it a whirl...
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    -Jrabbit
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    On euro-time, unlikely for me. Like the approach, though...
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    Like your thinking, wish you were in Civ III land....
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    duke o' york
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    It would be far simpler for you to switch to Civ 2....

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    SlowThinker
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    Originally posted by duke o' york
    I think that the choice of settings, etc should be left to the players so they can build the game of their choice.
    I agree perfectly! Nothing is forced, the base is a slow MP duel. Also PBEM may be replaced by extremely slow MP (for those that don't have dial-up).

    Originally posted by La Fayette
    What about x2 production ?
    As noted in last paragraph, anything is possible.
    Concerning my person - I don't like 2x production nor 2x movement.

    Originally posted by duke o' york
    Slow, you should put a little advert in the PBEM forum and ask for contributions from them.
    I did it, along with Civ2-Strategy and Civ2-Multiplayer. The problem is that people in Civ2-MP are mostly concentraced to games where an empire of 30 cities is played in 1 - 2 minutes, and people from Civ2-PBEM play mostly scenarios where you start with 50 cities and 100 units (I magnify a little ).
    But I would like to see them here!

    I'm not sure that the set-up you described is ideal...
    Be concrete...
    BTW I finished one .hot PBEM duel with debeest now (he is interested to participate here too) and so I feel a little experienced.

    It'd be extremely dumb for anyone to try to cheat as this can often lead to total MP estrangement
    I am not afraid about cheating, I think a cheater would have to be completely dumb, because he himself would lose the game entertainment in the first place.
    I must say many Civ2-BBEM forum players worry from cheating, but I don't share this fear and I don't share the policy they use (You can read about it here: AI relocating workers; Hotseat mode, Saving and reloading turns ). I think the best policy is a trusting athmosphere. I simply suppose we are not dumb here.
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    debeest
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    You know I'm in, SlowThinker. I learned some things from our recent duel, my first-ever game involving a human being, and I'm eager to try again. I can rarely manage ongoing sessions, but I'd like to play multiple PBEMs at a time.

    Get in touch with me, anyone, and we'll give it a go.

    Jackrabbit, the Euro-time versus other times isn't that much of a consideration. My whole game with SlowThinker was played as single turns, no sessions. Sessions would be ideal, but aren't essential; and even with time differences, there may be opportunities on weekends, etc.

  11. #11
    SlowThinker
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    JRabbit, I agree with debeest. We played about 2 turns per day and the game lasted about two months. But sessions are better IMHO.

    Paddy the Scot, so did you dust Civ2 off?
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    SlowThinker
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    I prepared two documents:

    an example of PBEM duel rules: Rules of PBEM duel

    A comparison of PBEMs played in the .hot mode and .net mode (and instructions):
    Comparison of .hot and .net PBEMs
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    SlowThinker
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    Bump.

    Did anybody start a game?

    I am looking for an opponent...
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    SlowThinker
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    bump.

    Nobody dares?
    There were people that told me they will play later... and silence...
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    La Fayette
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    You know I like the idea, but I am so busy with GOTMs, Tournament games, ... and so many Thrilling scenarios

  16. #16
    SlowThinker
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    You would be so busy with fast PBEMs and therefore not so busy with GOTMs...
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    Straybow
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    We could use a replacement for a missing player in the Seeds of Greatness "Ancient Empires" PBEM.
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  18. #18
    SlowThinker
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    It is a pity to be a best Civ2 player in the world. If only the gap between me and other strong players wouldn't be so large. Everybody is afraid of playing with me.
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    debeest
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    I, for one, got my butt kicked and know better than to try again soon....

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    SlowThinker
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    Originally posted by La Fayette in Hall of Fame thread
    I consider that samson is definitely the best civ2 player of all times and it is highly surprising that he was not in the HoF yet.
    Ehm...ehm...

    off topic
    Personal note towards LF: I will show you in Seeds of Greatness PBEM. I only need to crush that weak Assyrian civ so that I can teach you who is the best!
    Last edited by SlowThinker; January 21, 2005 at 21:49.
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    SlowThinker
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    Originally posted by SlowThinker
    It is a pity to be a best Civ2 player in the world. If only the gap between me and other strong players wouldn't be so large. Everybody is afraid of playing with me.
    I expected a queue of opponents after these words ... and nothing
    Last edited by SlowThinker; January 21, 2005 at 21:50.
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    La Fayette
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    Originally posted by SlowThinker

    Ehm...ehm...

    Personal note towards LF: I will show you in Seeds of Greatness PBEM. I only need to crush that weak Assyrian civ so that I can learn you who is the best!
    We say in french: "Ne vendez pas la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué".

    That weak Assyrian civ is not that weak IMO, and it might be quite a job to crush it.

    That being said, it is perfectly true that you are one of civ2 very strong players, at least IMHO.

  23. #23
    SlowThinker
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    off topic

    Off topic:
    Heh. Assyria will be a breakfast for me, Hittites a lunch and your Minoans a cake only.

    We say in french: "Ne vendez pas la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué".
    Seriously now: It looks I fooled you so that you really over-estimate my abilities. I think I have no chance against Assyria.
    Last edited by SlowThinker; January 19, 2005 at 13:51.
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    Peaster
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    I will try a duel.

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    SlowThinker
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    Aargh, you caught me ... ehm, ehm ... I cannot play right now ... ehm .... I have no time now... ehm ... let's wait a little...


    (Seriously, I will have an infrequent Internet connection in February and March. Or - if you want to start now and to interrupt...?
    But I am happy somebody answered)
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    Peaster
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    I am the Champ ! I am the Champ !

    Whenever you want to a chance to regain the title, just email me. Not sure I get the idea, though... it is basically a 2-person PBEM in which we agree to move quickly on certain agreed-upon days ?

  27. #27
    SlowThinker
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    ST esteems a new best Civ2 player in the world!

    Yes, certain agreed-upon days, quickly=15 min or 4 hours, anyway it is good to make more turns in a day.
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    La Fayette
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    (here are a few people who think they are the best civ2 player in the world)


    (and here is samson who doesn't post here any longer: what a pity!)

  29. #29
    SlowThinker
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    The Great Teacher (debeest) suggested some english words to be replaced:
    'expected' for 'supposed' and 'teach' for 'learn' (yes, a slight diference only)

    LF, I always thought your english abilities are very good...but I have to inform you that 'The best' means there may be only one such person.
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  30. #30
    La Fayette
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    Originally posted by SlowThinker
    LF, I always thought your english abilities are very good...but I have to inform you that 'The best' means there may be only one such person.
    IMO each of those people think he is "The best" and there is only one such person: himself. But they are all wrong, since samson already sits on the throne.

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