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Thread: Common "Glitches" and what to do about them in PBEM

  1. #1
    HPS/JTS Forum Moderator MODERATOR Gary McClellan's Avatar
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    Common "Glitches" and what to do about them in PBEM

    I'm putting this up as a bit of a "help" thread, to answer some questions that come up from time to time.

    1) What file do I send?
    It depends on if you are playing through the "Game" Frontend, or the "Campaign" Frontend.

    If you are coming in through the game, it is the.bte file. So, if you're playing a game GaryvsMike, it's GaryvsMike.bte

    If it's a Campaign Game, then it's GaryvsMike.cpf
    Campaign games get trickier, because it actually gens three files, but the .cpf is the only one you send.

    2) I start a game and all I get is a black screen and one hex showing.
    Make sure you are on the same patch

    3) I can't Password my File!
    This means you're in a Campaign game. There are technical issues that make it impossible to password a Campaign file.

    4) My opponent sent me an email full of random gibberish!
    Now and then, turn files will get mauled in the mail. My experience is about 1/10 of the time that they're sent, they get butchered and you see the gibberish. HOWEVER, in 6 years of playing these games, that's never happened if you use a compression program like WinZip or WinRAR.


    If I can think of some more common things, I'll post them.

  2. #2
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    Gary, one of the most common errors is the old pbem.yyy file problem.

    The player opens his game and tries to watch the replay OR bypass it but gets this error message:

    "Error reading replay file"

    This has to do with the pbemail.yyy file getting corrupted and the data it wrote back to the .bte or .cpf file in turn is not valid.

    Remedy: the player that sent you the file must delete his pbem.yyy file and redo the move.

    Periodic deletion of pbemail.yyy stops the problem from ever happening (as far as I have seen).

    If anyone wants a batch file that will delete all .yyy files on your hard drive let me know. It can be customized to only delete .yyy files in the default directories for HPS games (C:\Program Files\HPS Simulations\<name of game>).

    A weekly purging of these files can actually be set up using the AT command as well. You can reach me with more info on the AT command if you like. You would set it for say, dinner time when you wouldnt be using the PC.

  3. #3
    HPS/JTS Forum Moderator MODERATOR Gary McClellan's Avatar
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    This isn't so much a glitch, as a piece of advice.

    If you're playing the Campaign Game, it isn't always obvious what scenario you are playing. There are times you need to know it
    1) If you want to register the scenario for the ladder -or-
    2) If you have a question for HPS Tech Support

    You can find it by opening up the .cpf file using Notepad.

    campaign.cpd
    0 3
    3h1
    0 0
    0
    -1
    -1
    ----- PEM Header -----
    1 0 -1 -1
    8
    C03. Sharp Action at Eckmuhl
    1809 4 20 15 30 0 0 23 32
    The file goes on a ways after that, but notice the 3rd line after the -----PEM Header

    That shows that I'm playing CO3. Sharp Action at Eckmuhl.


    Now, I will say this. It might be tempting to open this file early on, and look at the enemy dispositions and use that info to create a "perfect strategy"

    Don't do it! I'm not talking ethics or anything here, but honestly, one of the great joys of the Campaign system is that you don't know exactly where all the enemy troops are, or even how many there are. You have to do your scouting and consider where the bad guys might be! You take a peek at the other side of the file, and you lose half the fun!

  4. #4
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    "Error reading from replay file"

    I just had this problem. Opponent resent the same move (turn#12) after I got the "Error reading from replay file" and everything seemed ok. On my second move (turn#14) after that my opponent could not read or use my file.
    I noted the delete pbem.yyy suggestion. What is this file? Can I delete it and make move 14, or do we need to go back to his move 12, where initial problem started? Attempts to resend the same file this time did not succeed, and he redid move 13 (without deleting pbem.yyy) and it seems ok.

  5. #5
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    In addition to pbem.yyy file 96 KB of type YYY file, a file titled pbem (no file extension) 92 KB of type Stitch has appeared. The Stitch file's time/date stamp precedes the YYY file by 17 minutes. I see the pbem.yyy file in another game folder, but not the Stich type pbem file. So I'm guessing deletion of both is required.
    Thanks for any hints.

  6. #6
    HPS/JTS Forum Moderator MODERATOR Gary McClellan's Avatar
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    Never heard of that one. You may want to message Rich.

  7. #7
    HPS Games Forum Moderator MODERATOR rahamy's Avatar
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    Warren, I just did a search of my entire hard drive, including hidden files, and I have no "stich" types files, nor any files simply called pbem. So, not sure where this came from, but it isn't generated by the game...

  8. #8
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    Just a thought here.

    There have been some pirated exe files of the various games out, and some of these are included in some of the various mods. Perhaps, one of these produce these other files.

    I'm with Rich and Gary, I know of no files with these extensions produced by the official games.

    Another quick thought: does your machine have any viruses that may be grabbing file names and creating these odd files?

  9. #9
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    Rich, Al,
    I believe my computer to be virus free. I did at one time mess around with the infamous Coblexlaw mods. I dont believe any of that stuff is in current game directory. I've been regularly deleting these files, and have had no problem since.
    Warren

  10. #10
    HPS/JTS Forum Moderator MODERATOR Gary McClellan's Avatar
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    Hm... you may want to take that file, put it in a .zip and fire it off to Rich, so he can then fire it off to JT... somethings wierd.

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