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A general tutorial for PBEM
1. General
The PBEM-tutorial of the PanzerLiga (PL) concerns the Games supported by the PL, which are "Panzer General 1", "Allied General", "Panzer General II", "Panzer General 3D/ 3DSE", "Pacific General", "Peoples General", and "Strategic Command".

In the PL, all games are played in the so called "mirrored-mode". That means that a complete game in the PanzerLiga (a match) always consists of two single games. Each player has to take on the role of the attacker as well as the role of the defender once. Of cause, the scenario you play is totally up to you. All you got to do is to agree on a scenario before the match starts and - if necessary - arrange the game settings.
It's only in the tournaments played within the PL that the scenarios and settings for the games of the tournament are obligatory set by the head of the tournament.
2. Game versions
In order to play in the PanzerLiga you need to be a registered member of the PanzerLiga and to have the latest versions of updates, and - if available - equipment files installed for the respective games. The updates and equipment files required you'll find under "Downloads" -> "Updates". Please do only use those except you have come to an understanding with your opponent about a different version before the match starts.

The obligatory use of the respective latest updates and equipment files is necessary because they remedy programming errors in the sale versions of the games and better the handling of the games. In addition, all the players of a league must have a standardized version at their disposal. For when players with different versions or equipment files meet errors will occur during the game or even game crashes.
3. The course of a PBEM game
In the mode of PBEM the result of every single turn is saved by the player as a file and this file is then send - after it is zipped - to the opponent via an attachment of an email. The recipient of the email saves the zip folder on his computer, extracts the turn(s) and then copies respective one turn into the save folder of the game to work it off. After the start of the game the turns can then be loaded into the game and the current state of the match is shown.

The zipping and extracting of the turns is done with the zip program "WinZip" (in the PL from version 8.0 upwards) which compresses the turns into a zip folder so that they firstly won't take up as much capacity as before and secondly are protected against damages through errors or faults during the mailing process on the internet. Unzipped turns get frequently damaged when sent and cannot be used in the consequence of it.
You may download the zip program WinZip free of charge i.e. from http://www.winzip.de (see also the download section of the PL). Of course you may use other zip programs if you have come to an agreement with your opponent(s) (otherwise they may not be able to extract your turns ...).
4. Saving and naming of turns
In order to save a turn, the turn has to be given a name in the "save as" box, for otherwise the old turn of your opponent will be overwritten with the new file, which may cause replay crashes and thus reload suspicion with your opponent. To make the turns easy to recognize (it needs to be possible to unambiguously assign each turn to a certain match) the following scheme is used within the PL for the naming of turns:

Abbreviation of the attacker's name_abbreviation of the defender's name_number of turns + a / b

a = attacker's turn
b = defender's turn

The abbreviations are to prevent long names of the turns (with which PG II has got its problems once in a while and which may lead to a faulty replay / replay crash). The separating underline ( _ ) between the abbreviations is made by simultaneously pushing the "shift" and hyphen button.

So if i.e. BoPeep and wortlord play the scenario "Market Garden" against each other, BoPeep would name his opening turn ( = his first attacker turn) "bop_wort_1a". If you play several different games simultaneously against the same opponent it is useful to first state the abbreviated name of the scenario - in this case "Mark_bop_wort_1a" - so that you instantly know which match it refers to.

If you have entered and confirmed the name of the scenario you can leave a small note for your opponent in the lower box of the save menu - like "your troops won't hold out much longer ... *g* " or "What a pity, your artillery was too strong :-( " or the like.

Yet, you should not use umlauts (, , ) but rather use only "normal" letters (so instead write ae, oe, ue), because PG II has got some problems with umlauts here and then, and the replay of a turn crashes sometimes when umlauts are used in the note box or within the name of the turns. This is also to what the comment "Extended Char" in CheatChecker refers to: umlauts do not occur in the English speaking regions and thus they may cause the game / replay to crash, because the game originates in America and the German version is only a localized version that not always runs smooth. Special signs (like /, &, %, and so on) are not accepted anyway and cannot even be used in the note box.
5. Keeping of turns
In order to keep one's own or the opponent's turns of PBEM games it is strongly recommended to create an extra folder in the save directory (or anywhere else) for any single match and to store all the turns of the respective game therein until the match is finished. If it then should happen i.e. that the opponent suddenly does not respond anymore or you got a reload suspicion (see Penal Code) you are able to submit the turns concerned / the last mail of the opponent enclosed in an application form to the court martial (see menu of the Court Martial) and get - with regards to the state in the game - points for the match credited. Even clearer but also more awkwardly it is to store one's own and the opponent's turns of a match in two separate folders.

This somehow annoying managing of turns is necessary, because it is the safest way to have only one single turn in the save folder at a time. Otherwise the games may (and no one knows why) deliberately mix parts of the turns located in the save folder and the replay will then show plain nonsense (i.e. Americans fire suddenly with Italian guns during the replay) or crash. That often looks like a reload (see Rules) and cannot always be discerned by the court martial from a true reload. Hence it is in your own interest (so that you won't fetch yourself a false reload sentence) to not let those turns lie carelessly in the save folder, but have only one single turn therein - at maximum the two turns of a match.

Furthermore the game must be restarted for each turn anew. So if you have finished and saved a turn you should exit the game, move your turn into the respective folder of the particular game and then to do another turn restart the game. If not, the game may get confused (see above) and your turns may look like a reload ...
6. Sending the turns
When you have done your opening move or both turns of a match you should first zip them, so that your opponent won't get only trash data. Unzipped turns get damaged during transport quite often and cannot be read by PG II in this case.

To zip turns (or any other file) you need a zip directory, so that you can pack (compress) the turns with it / into it. To do so, start WinZip and click at the left upper side on the button "new". You might as well use an already existing zip file for that purpose and rename it later on. Now you must choose the destination folder for the new zip directory - that is the folder in which it is created - and select a name for the zip directory (like "Market_Garden_1"). To select the files you like to pack (in this case the turns), click on "Add" and choose in the appearing list of folders that folder in which the files are located. Then select the files through clicks and if necessary you need to confirm the selection.
7. Receiving turns from the opponent and loading them
Logically, the opponent's turns will also arrive in a zip file attached to an email of your opponent. It's best if you save this zip file in the folder that belongs to the particular match. To extract the turns of your opponent select the directory by clicking on it. Then, by simultaneously pressing "Ctrl" and "A", you can select both turns (or all the files of a zip directory), or you keep "Ctrl" pressed and mark individual files by clicking on them one after the other. Because by default WinZip always extracts only the first file of a directory.

To unpack the files you marked, choose the menu entry "extract". In the menu that now appears, choose the destination folder for the turns (and it is best if that is the particular folder for the match), and confirm it by clicking on the "Extract" button on the upper right side.
To do your turns you better copy only one single turn into the save folder of PG II, because your opponent (see above) may otherwise get problems with the replay. And this is not only annoying for your opponent but can lead to a mistaken reload sentence by the court martial if your opponent sends the defective turn for investigation to the court martial. For a defective turn is unfortunately not always distinguishable from a reload. Thus, a wrong reload sentence is easily avoided by a process that takes 15 seconds (end the game after turn 1, move the turn over into the respective folder, copy a new turn into the save folder and restart the game) and further it is only fair that your opponent is able to watch a working replay ...
For every game supported in the PL there is a more detailed instruction under "Tutorial", where you'll find specific points of the different games regarding PBEM and online matches explained.

If you have questions or suggestions concerning the PL-tutorials or regarding the PBEM section, please contact wortlord schicken.

But for the time being, take care on the pixel stalk ...

wortlord, Die PanzerLiga 2003
 
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