How to PBEM with V_Map or JV_Map

If you are used to playing on the tabletop, the process of playing a game over E-mail may seem cumbersome at first. However, once you get used to it, it's quite natural, and not as clumsy as it seems. This document only covers playing with V_Map or JV_Map. The process will be different with other utilities.

The Gory Details

  1. One opponent creates the VMP file with JV_Map or V_Map, and places his counters on the file. He writes the VMP file out, and E-mails it to the second opponent.

  2. The second opponent reads that VMP file into his utility, places his counters, writes out the VMP file, and sends it back to the first opponent. At this point, the game goes into normal play.

  3. The player whose turn it is first makes sure that he's looking at the latest VMP file, either one he wrote himself or that was sent to him by his opponent. He moves as many of his pieces as he can until his turn is over, until he requires the results of the dice to decide what further moves he wants to make, or until he requires input from the other player. At this point, he writes out the VMP file, and sends it as an E-mail attachment to his opponent, along with any other instructions, notes, or wanton chatter in the body of the E-mail message.

  4. If it is the end of the player's turn, go to step 8.

  5. If input from the opponent is required, the player whose turn it is waits for an E-mail message back from his opponent.

  6. If any rolls of the dice are required, the player whose turn it is performs them, for instance, by submitted E-mail to the the dice server.

  7. The player whose turn it is makes the changes to the game board (removing destroyed units, etc.) that result from the rolls of the dice. He writes out a VMP file and sends it in E-mail to his opponent.

  8. Repeat steps 3-7 until the current player's turn is over.

  9. It is now the other players turn. He should perform steps 3-8.

Managing VMP Files

To avoid confusion, it is a good idea each time you write out a VMP file to give it a new name, a name which hasn't been used yet in this game. One way to do that is to append a 3-digit number to the end of the VMP file. For example, a game of GEV might start with a VMP file named "gev000.vmp". The next time somebody writes out and mails a VMP file, he would call it "gev001.vmp". The next after that, "gev002.vmp", and so forth. That way, you always know what is the latest file, and you can be sure that you and your opponent are looking at the same VMP file when you are talking about the same filename.

Notes on PBEMming

Last updated 2001-January-19

This page is copyright 2000 by Robert A. Knop Jr. (