PBEM Addict

Besides LSN and the Combat Mission Games, are there any other good PBEM games? AoW2 or the new stand-alone expansion, for instance?

I’m completely addicted to LSN right now, but since I’m a non-subscriber the game is quite limited for me.

AoW2 is great for PBEM. With Shadow Magic, it’s even better, since SM is much better for multiplayer.

Alpha Centauri is good, but there are still some serious problems with it. The spies (I forget what they’re called…infiltrators?) don’t work in PBEM and you can break the game once you take a player out. Which is too bad, because it’s a perfect PBEM game in terms of the diplomacy and long-term play value.

I haven’t fiddled with the Civ III PBEM as of the latest patches, but it was in pretty sad shape when it was released. Anyone know if PBEM has been fixed up?

Infinite Interactive’s (the new name for SSG) new Warlords game should be pretty good for PBEM. It might be too streamlined for some tastes, but it has solid PBEM support with playback of your opponents turns.

Korsun Pocket is great for PBEM if you’re into traditional wargames.


Hmm. AoW2 is selling for $29.99 Canadian, while SM is selling for $39.99 Canadian. With both SP and MP in mind, which is the better buy?

Hmm, I’ll have to try that.

I didn’t buy Play the World. Civ III PBEM would probably be awesome if it worked well though.

Looking forward to it.

Never tried one.

Tromik, you should definitely spend the extra $10 for Shadow Magic. It’s worth it.

BTW, in the end, I don’t recommend Alpha Centauri for PBEM. Like Holistic’s Emperor of the Fading Suns, it’s great in concept, but it just doesn’t work very well. Unlike EFS, however, Alpha Centauri is still fantastic for single player. But don’t get it just for PBEM.


No, actually, I own SMAC. It’s just buried in my closet somewhere at the moment.

Shadow Magic it is - I’ll probably buy it Tuesday or Wednesday.

I think it is just so charming when someone responds to every single line that someone wrote them. Just adorable.

Tromik, yeah, I hate to say it about a game I love so much, but there is just no reason to purchase AoW2 anymore now that Shadow Magic is out. Shadow Magic took the core game, smashed fifty pounds of stuffing and spice down its craw and then baked it to a bronze shimmer. Unless you’re curious about the original campaign, anything that was available in AoW2 is in Shadow Magic, but much, much better.

I’ll play a PBEM game with you, if you’d like. Lutes or anyone else, care to join in?

Having just received the game, I’ll jump in. My problem is that I’m too used to exploiting the AI to be tricky enough for PBEM.
I’d love to try a 'net game but the time-zone thing works against me- your Sundays gaming are my Mondays working. :(

I’m buying the game tomorrow - which is today…Tuesday. Can you actually get a 3 or 4 player PBEM game going with AoW: SM?

Oh, definitely, tromik. We have an 8 player PBEM game going on right now. I’m pretty terrible at PBEM (I can never seem to maintain the momentum or as coherent an idea of my battle strategies when I’m waiting a week for the turn to get around again) but if you want to grab the game, I for one wouldn’t mind jumping in to a small (map size) PBEM game with you.

Peter, you and I could probably work something out, me being in Ireland and all. Maybe early Saturday morning, GMT?

Well, I’m GMT +10.
I’m also the proud father of two very young kids and happy partner of a pretty frazzled wife who thinks that just because someone’s sitting in front of a computer doesn’t really mean that they are doing anything deserving priority. This tends to mean that my best gaming hours are 9:00 pm onwards after I tuck them all into bed. Which means it’d be about 11:00 am for you. There may be a wriggle space of half an hour but that’s pushing it. It doesn’t seem to sync with your preference very well.

Anyway, how long does a session last? And what’s this I hear about multiplayer problems?
Oh, and what options work best for multiplay- strategic battles off I suppose?

It really is a gem of a game and I’m keen to try it out.

Peter, the multiplayer problems wouldn’t effect us since they use a specific setting that isn’t generally used in our Qt3 games (the problems only happen when you set tactical-combat on versus the AI, which makes an average game take two or three times as long). The average multiplayer map is probably going to take you two-four hours for a small-medium map. It is definitely a time sink, but a single game can be broken up over many sessions if it needs to be. The settings we use for Qt3 matches in 5 minute turns, exploration off and tactical combat versus humans only (which is the real reason the game is fun).

Let me know if you think you can sink the time in for a weekend gam - Saturday mornings are generally quiet for me.

I worl Saturday mornings, unfortunately. Alos, I’m GMT -5. Anyother days? Evenings?

tromik, the regular QT3 games are on Thursdays and Sundays at 1pm EST. I was just trying to make an exception for Peter Frasier, so he could learn the ropes. You are, of course, welcome to join in either of those other games or just set up a PBEM game with me.

Excellent. Just got home with the game BTW. I’ll install it after work.

As far as other PBEM options, I’ve played a few epic games of Dominions via email. The interface is obtuse as hell, but once you get past it there’s a pretty neat game underneath.

Installed AoW:SM and am going through the tutorial. I suck at the tactical combat. I’m too used to Disciples 2’s combat, which is simplified down to who(m?) you attack with who.

I’m already addicted, but the tactical combat makes me cry.

Dammit! I have to go watch S.W.A.T. now.

Keep at the Tactical Combat, tromik - if the AI is eviscerating you, a seasoned MP will wrench your skull off the pivot of your neck and slowly make love to the once occupied skull-hole. Then again, nothing will get you learning quicker than some TC in a multiplayer game: watching other people do it is really helpful.

You might want to check out the first four threads on this page for some decent beginner strategies for SM. The strategies are for AoW2, but a lot of the core concepts will be applicable to SM.

I’m getting better at the combat now. My archers are getting really good, even from far distances, and I close in on other enimies with melee fighters. Simply, but effective.

Are there any battle rules (Total War style) that I should keep in mind? oes a certain unit always have an advantage against another certain unit?

It’s all in the stats and vulnerabilities. In general, you want your attacking unit to have a higher ATT than the defending unit’s DEF. When possible, coordinate units to gang up on the biggest threat of an opposing force. Units with the Pole Arm skill are useful attacking cavalry and defending against fliers. Remember that units get a free strike against anything moving out of an adjacent hex (unless it’s a flier). Oh yeah, and magic attacks are best used against units with a low Resistance. Get in the habit of clicking on opposing units and examing their stats and abilities.

Don’t neglect unit enchantments. If you’re defending a city, archers or ballistae with Enchanted Weapon can wreak havoc. I usually load my Heroes wup with unit enchantments whenever they are venturing into dangerous territory.

I’m sure other folks have lots of good tips.

Dominions is great, but don’t play it on a big map. After turns started taking an excess of four hours, and we had moved the frequency down to once a week, it just got ridiculous. While the battle raged though, it was majorly intense. I don’t think I’ve ever given so much though to my moves in a game.