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Differences between TCP/IP players & PBEM players. Cast your opinion here.

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Hello fellow SC wargame players,

As you know, SC is one incredible game. I've been playing for about 8-months. It is one very addictive game, but doesn't have the side effects of crack, booze, or gambling smile.gif

I would like to give my opinions about the differences between TCP/IP players & PBEM players.

When SC first came out, there was only PBEM. I was so happy for a computer strategic game that was sort of like 3R (Third Reich) that I didn't care it wasn't live. After many games (& victories) in PBEM, then came TCP/IP became & it was a springboard for new play (& meet new players quickly). I gave up on PBEM games when TCP/IP came out because "PBEM lost the flow of live play". TCP/IP offered the observation post views while the opponent move, live messaging, & an entertaining intensity.

Anyhow...Here are the differences between PBEM players & TCP/IP players. Feel free to add your own comments & observations.

1) PBEM players obviously don't have a good block of time to play.

2) PBEM players tend to be married, thus most TCP/IP players are single relatively speaking.

3) Alot of TCP/IP non-stop addict players have lived with their parents (see Waltero), while PBEM guys consider playing & returning a turn, just a daily activity.

4) PBEM player's are "more historical"

5) TCP/IP guys are "more addictive"

6) TCP/IP guys are "glory hunters" while PBEM "for the love of the game" (see #4)

7) TCP/IP have invented the "gamey stuff"

8) PBEM guys are older (see #2)

9) The great players (Terif, Zapp, & Rambo) are computer science saavy. This comment doesn't really fit into the PBEM vs TCP/IP. Just a comment. Saying who is great vs. not great is really another thread.

10) TCP/IP players are more social.

Anyhow, these are my findings playing both PBEM (old days) versus TCP/IP (new days).

Looking forward to responses,


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These are some good insights. Here are some comments from a different perspective:

1) If players make a block of time to play (2-4 hour sessions over multiple days) then TCP/IP is a viable option.

2) Being married definitely affects #1.

3) Non-stop addict players generally cannot be married with jobs. The real world comes first.

4-6) These are personal choices. There appear to be PBEM addicts running several games simultaneously with different players. Immer Etwas and I tend to play "historical" games "for the love of the game" via TCP/IP. So it's up to the players.

7) "Gamey stuff" was happening in Third Reich 30 years ago. There's nothing new about the Dutch Gambit or Italian Gambit. If we could see a Turkish Gambit by the Russian player in 1940, we probably would. All games tend to have a few loopholes.

8) #1-3 tend to come with the years, true.

9) Computer science saaviness may help to understand a few things, but really isn't necessary. Dan Fenton and I put together the Strategy Guide without seeing a single line of Hubert's code written in object-oriented Eiffel. All we needed was the User Manual, its updates and errata, the version changes, forum comments, and many hours of gameplay. Everything you want know is out there if you can read.

10) You'll find perfectly social people who also play via PBEM or even exclusively against the AI, if you look. Playing anyone else in any way is what this hobby is about. It all boils down to personal preferences.

SC has matured into a final version now. Once you've broken the code and learned how to beat the AI, play other people via either PBEM or TCP/IP or hotseat and learn some new techniques. And once you've tried all the gamey strategies, settle into some house rules to find whatever balance you're looking for. I'm still trying different scenarios with different game settings to see what happens next. smile.gif

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Good post, Rambo.

I do get an occasional tcp session in, maybe a couple times a month, but it's always with someone I have a pbem game going with, to jump start it. Got two tcp sessions in with Matt during the pbem tourney.

My tcp sessions can be a blast, as having two or three beers during tcp is a must, regardless of the detrimental effect this has on my game play. I wouldn't say pbem'ers are less social, just not able to banter the same was as one can while tcp'ing. I do like chatting during tcp, and the feel of tcp is much better, but what can you do, real life holds the trump cards.

Yea, being married cuts into tcp, no doubt. Actually, the 1 in 50 times or so that I have to reload a pbem turn is usually because I tried to sneak in a turn before the real general, the better half, issued orders that it is time to head out to whereever we're heading out to. If I'm just starting a Barbarossa turn and she says it's time to hit the road, the turn just ain't going to get finished.

See Ya


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Congratulations to everyone here, a slightly bigger "Excellent!" to john_j_rambo for starting this interesting thread.

Go on, folks, tell me more homestories about the "real generals", lol.


Walking into the bar, Harvey said to the bartender, "Pour me a stiff one, Eddie. I just had another fight with the little woman."

"Oh yeah," said Eddie. "And how did this one end?"

"When it was over," Harvey replied, "she came to me on her hands and knees."

"Really? Now that's a switch! What did she say"?

"She said, 'Come out from under that bed, you gutless weasel "

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Continued from Above . . .

After coming out from under the bed, Harvey went to the computer and kicked Poland's Ass! When Warsaw fell he muttered, "not afraid of her -- I'm the boss around here!"

[ July 06, 2003, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I remember as a kid playing "Conquistador" & we needed a 4th player. Well, we couldn't get anybody, so my sister volunteered to play. Luck would have it, she played England & was kicking ass. She owned N.America & was farming alot of cash for a possible victory while the rest of slugged it out for the gold mines & Indian wars. She was only a few turns from winning when the rest of collabratated to ensure we wouldn't lose to a girl. "Conquistador" has it's share of dipliomacy so I made a deal not to attack her colonists...well, the double-cross treaty crushed her chance to win.

She promptly thru the gameboard with all the little cardboard pieces all over the place.

That was first & last expience with female competition in wargaming smile.gif

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I had similar experiences in my own family years back. Women tend to take things personally, but as you say, the flip side is the guys go to extremes not to lose to them.

I gave up on board games like Risk long ago.

My brother and sisters used to play it a lot. I nearly always won, so my brother struck on the brilliant idea of having everyone driving me out of the game first. Incredibly, they started saying I was a sore loser when I no longer played with them. Sure, there's nothing like going 1 against 5 out of the gate and seeing the others make moves that are downright stupid because they won't be attacked till I'm out of the game. Well, to me, not playing meant they obviously succeeded.

Last time one of them brought it up we had a little arguement and the funny thing was all their kids understood what I was talking about. Sometimes the people closest to you are the hardest ones to understand.

But that drove me into serious chess playing, which is always one on one -- unless you agree to some sort of weird consultation conditions.

[ July 06, 2003, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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we played a lot of risk this winter.. and i can say it's all about the diplomacy.. not strength nor strategy... it's the common macchiavelli lobbysts dream smile.gif

which leads to lots of real world hostility and argue.. why me ? younogooddirtylowdown..

you could say it's all about: pick your saddam !

look at him his massing his forces he's the biggest on the map, you know i'm peaceful i wouldn't attack you you know i wouldn't..

you must have a hell of a lot charisma and pesonality to convince all you are the good guy and someone else is the saddam or else play against all odds !

you discover things you didn't know about your backstabbing "friends" ! smile.gif

anyway it's lots of fun but people take it far too much seriously and personally which takes me to the point... for me playing pbem is kind of casual and without tension and people are more based on fun and pure gameplay rather than tcp/ip where all are trying to prove something.. :rolleyes:

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I think the generalities in the TCP and PBEM player differences are reasonably accurate, and agree with some of the subsequent clarifications made.

Two points to add:

1) I've wondered about the quality of moves in TCP vs PBEM. I've only played TCP once and felt I had to move quicker because someone else is live and waiting. In PBEM turns I take my time. Sometimes I watch the opponent's replay turn and then go off and have supper while I'm thinking about what I might do.

So I wonder if there is more "quality" to a PBEM move because more time can be spent on it. On the other hand, there is "lack of continuity" if the turns are not sent quick enough, which would decrease the quality of PBEM play relative to TCP.

2) Instead of being married as the "deal-buster" for TCP, I'll suggest that it is simply responsibility. If you don't have some responsibility, do yourself a favour - get some.

I've got a wife and four young kids. :D I've got a demanding job smile.gif and unfortunately a major disease :( . I need to care for my house, be involved with my wife & kids in a major way, participate in the lives of my friends, travel, play sports, be involved with my faith, and also need time to relax. :eek:

I get more juice from drawing the best out of other people at work, at home and in friendships than I do from putting myself first. I admire the man who can help others live their lives to the fullest more than the one who is focused on living his own life to the fullest. Hey, I'm no saint, I'm just tellin' ya leadership in the real world appeals to me more than playin' games all day on a PC. smile.gif We're all different and that is fine.

Games to me are a bit of relaxation, they feed my desire for competition, and keep the mental juices moving. Bottom line, they are fun - especially this game. smile.gif

I don't have time to sit & watch another guy do his moves for 30 minutes at a time, but then I want to win and don't want to miss seeing his moves either. So PBEM is perfect for me.

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Don't you just love it when your watching your opponents turn, and in comes your daughter, and she wants you to read her a book. Or the wife comes in and expects you to pay attention to her :rolleyes: . Now was that a transport that just went by, hey, where did all my units go :eek: .

One of the difficulties of PBEM is that one turn may see two units transported somewhere, and the very next turn see them go back home because you forget what you were doing from the previous days PBEM turn.

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How about playing a PBEM game where you can legally reload? Wow, you'd have some interesting results.

My worst TCP/IP move was last weekend against ZappSweden. I was in control of a German Army strength-2 SouthWest of Manchester......When......oppps, I clicked to attack, ouch! I just wanted to see the predicted combat results at the top of the screen but had a reflex mouse attack.

Not only did I NOT take UK with control of 3-hexes around Manchester, Zapp was able to easily kill the Germany Army with naval, then move a fresh corp into that key hex.

I hate the mouse miss clicks,


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Yes, these lousy miss clicks, i hate them as well. Not only that you often suffer catastrophic losses because of them, no, your opponent might think that you are an utter jerk as well ("Doh!").

Good that my left mouse button is not the trigger of a gun ... :D

[ July 08, 2003, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: xwormwood ]

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Originally posted by JerseyJohn:

I had similar experiences in my own family years back.

Ah a trip down memory lane. We used to have a computer game called Colonial Conquest for the old Commodore C-64. Similiar to risk.

We used to draw the names of the six countries out of a hat and then play.

Like one time as the Germans I asked the Russians if I could march 3 million troops through western russia so I could attack scandinavia. They said yes. But instead of attacking sweden and norway, I left them to dig in. Boy was the russian suprised when he went to re-occupy the land and his armies got slaughtered.

Or how about France and Germany working together to knock out Britian. Always suspicious of each other.

We kinda find that in SC playing hotseat. But we really wish that historical alliances could be turned off.

Ah the good old days.

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