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PBEM and Internet/LAN match: total fail. Help sought


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I am not posting this in tech support forum because my PBEM/H2H partner and I figure it must be some form of user error but we spent two hours trying to get either a PBEM or Internet H2H game going this morning and failed utterly.  Here is what we experienced:

 

PBEM:

 

We each tried setting up a quick battle, designating it as "2-Player Email" but then, after entering a password, CMBS wanted to save the game under the next available number slot for my QB saved games, which was "Quick Battle 025".  When I agreed to this, I got an error message (in a red text box) every time saying that the game could not save the file to an outgoing file location or something like that.  My friend experienced exactly the same thing when trying to set it up from his end.  We feel this must be a procedural error on our part as nobody else seems to be posting here about this PBEM fail but we are utterly baffled and cannot break out of the error loop.

 

Internet/LAN H2H

 

Again, total failure.  After setting up a QB and then giving our opponent the ISP/port numbers to fill in on the Network input screen that comes up, all we each got after taking turns to try and host was "Connecting..." and nothing from there.  We fiddled with our firewall programs, making sure the CMBS executable was added as an allowable process but no luck.

 

I can live without the Internet/LAN functionality (although I would rather it worked, obviously) but our inability to figure out PBEM is most distressing.  There must be something about the naming conventions or procedures that we are not understanding.

 

Possibly relevant additional info: I am in the US west coast, my friend is in London.  We have both installed CMBS on non-boot directories but have no problem playing SP or accessing the saved games data files which we both have in their default location in C:\Users\Battlefront\CMBS etc.

 

Before running into these issues in the game, we talked each other through setting up and syncing our Dropbox apps and tested file syncing successfully.  We also got CMHelper working on both ends.  However, as described above, every attempt to launch either a PBEM or an Internet/LAN game resulted in humiliating failure.

 

Either we are not understanding something here or there are connectivity issues, but of course these should not affect PBEMs, which are our priority.  With apologies in advance if we are both being obtuse but please can we get some advice here?  Many thanks.

Edited by Bahger
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I do not know how experienced you are with networking, but when you opened the game for your friend to connect, it shows an IP and port to which your friend has to connect. Does it show the IP that was given by your ISP or your local network address? For my friend and me, it is always the networking address of our home networks to which of course nobody outside can connect, so we cannot rely on the information given by the game. It has to be the IP from your ISP, which should NOT start like 192.168.x.x. I think your router should show you the correct IP address in the configuration screen, but there are also several web pages out there that show you your own IP address.

 

A second issue could be that the port is not forwarded by your router. Might be you have to do that in your router configuration. Sadly, this is such a vendor specific task, that I cannot really tell you where to do that.

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PBEM should be pretty rugged system. Have you tried to use different name for the save? When the game asks to make a save, you can name it which ever way you wish just like a regular save game. The save should go to your "outgoing email" folder which you can find in C:\Users\XXX\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Black Sea\Game Files\Outgoing Email. Check if the folder is set to "read only" for some reason.

 

Edit: Humm actually I just checked mine and it is read only and works nevertheless.. in any case you might try it and see if it affects it in any way. Also Be sure to run the game as administrator.

Edited by H1nd
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Well, creating a QB, designating it a 2-player Email game and naming it does not launch the game but puts me back in the main menu.  It does create a file in my CM Outgoing Email folder, which I have now sent to my friend in the hope that once he loads it, the battle will start and he can do his setup turn.  Does this sequence make sense to you?

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Well, creating a QB, designating it a 2-player Email game and naming it does not launch the game but puts me back in the main menu.  It does create a file in my CM Outgoing Email folder, which I have now sent to my friend in the hope that once he loads it, the battle will start and he can do his setup turn.  Does this sequence make sense to you?

 

Yes, that's how it should work.

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PBEM:

 

We each tried setting up a quick battle, designating it as "2-Player Email" but then, after entering a password, CMBS wanted to save the game under the next available number slot for my QB saved games, which was "Quick Battle 025".

 

You should give your QBs an unique name. Standard is simply "Quick Battle" and if CM finds such a file it will simply up the number. If you have several QBs you will get a serious mixup.

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Just go read the fine manual. Page 28 or thereabouts for multi-player.

I have to laugh at the inevitable "read the manual" post. Do you really think I didn't? And is it a good use of your time to come here to advise me to do so? You can tell from certain responses to my PBEM issue that the manual does not explain what to expect and do you really believe that the manual contains the solution for our total failure to get an Internet game going? "Read the manual". Thanks.

Edited by Bahger
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Yeah TCP IP connectivity is shaky at best, router is probably your problem as CM is often seen as an invasive program.

I wish they would of take time to update their late 90s multiplayer framework at some point.

Sigh.

I am sure you are right, Stagler. I wonder how to troubleshoot this problem or even whether to bother.

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So, did you guys get your PBEM game going in the end?

That red error dialog box is scary but so far (crosses fingers) each time I was able to try again and have it work. It is very important to give the QB some kind of unique name otherwise it gets hard to figure out what turn to play. I use things like "QB ian attacks bahger 001" or "QB ivb 001" depending on what pops into my head first. Also watch out for the odd surprise in the way the first few turns play out. When you play a scenario instead of a QB you will both likely experience a turn where you thought you would get to setup but instead only have to set your password because there is no force selection step but the game does the same routine internally. Then if you ever play a scenario that has early intel you can have a turn where you were expecting to do the setup but do not get to. That is so your opponent can do theirs first so the game can give you your early intel FOW icons.

The bottom line is the game is setting things up so you can get to the normal routine of "view turn", "issue commands", "save file" - repeat.

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Thanks very much for asking, Ian.

 

My friend and I are still grinding our teeth somewhat, as we are all setting up CM, CMHelper (which I persist in believing is a great asset) and Dropbox for the first time.  Some of it is very counter-intuitive, such as when to use Dropbox online vs when to use the app, which makes a file on your hard drive that theoretically syncs everything.  Whereas I played a ton of PBEMs in CMBO many years ago, I haven't since (except for a couple of battles in CMSF) and I am not used to all the additional steps within the procedure, none of which contain messages to the user, so that when you start a PBEM and get bounced back to the main menu, it is easy to assume, unless you know better, that the operation has somehow failed.  I think my friend and I will be able to machete our way through this but if you, or anyone else, would like to do a small trial PBEM and be available to get onto Teamspeak or Steam voice comms just to talk me through the procedure (involving CMBS, CMHH and Dropbox), I would be grateful; I am a relatively quick study once I get the hang of it.

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My friend and I are still grinding our teeth somewhat, as we are all setting up CM, CMHelper (which I persist in believing is a great asset) and Dropbox for the first time. 

 

Your persistence is warranted. It may be one of two things I've thought of:

 

1) CMH may not currently support/recognize CMBS.

 

2) If it does, there is an extra step once you have Added a new game. It's tricky for me to explain without doing it, but even after you've entered the type of CM and the folder where the PBEM files will be found it will do a check and say it can't find the folder for CMBS. You have to Edit Game (right click on the game line in CMH and choose Edit Game), then go the bootom Application field, Browse and find the folder for the CMBS.exe.

 

Good luck.

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