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Newbie questions about using cm-helper

I am finally taking the plunge to play H2H. My opponent is known to me from the BFC forum and not currently a member of FGM. We've chosen to play the scenario "H2H Hameau". We're both new to H2H and cm-helper. He has already played one H2H game. This is the first time for me. May I ask the questions below?

I apologize if there is already a cm-helper thread. Please point me to it.

I've successfully installed cm-helper-1.6.2. He sent me the game. I opened it and created a password. We have not played any turns yet. Now, that we're ready to start, I notice now that when I "fight" this scenario in CMBN on my computer, it prompts me for my password. I did not proceed. I want to understand the following things better.

1) What happens when I open our game in CMBN, look around, and exit without saving? Do I mess anything up?
2) May I open the game, plot some moves, and save for later without triggering a new turn?
3) What is the process to actually play a turn? Is it triggered by pressing the large red "End Turn" button?
4) Does cm-helper need to always be running in the background on my computer when I play our CMBN game?
5) How will I know that my turns get sent and his turns arrive? Will cm-helper tell me when I "run" it as a program?
6) Is the best way to see whether a turn arrives, just to start cm-helper and check?

I'm sure it is simple but it is all new to me. I don't want to cause any foolish mishaps for either of us. Thank you for your help.
 
I am finally taking the plunge to play H2H. My opponent is known to me from the BFC forum and not currently a member of FGM. We've chosen to play the scenario "H2H Hameau". We're both new to H2H and cm-helper.

Excellent should be fun. Answers where I can in line.

1) What happens when I open our game in CMBN, look around, and exit without saving? Do I mess anything up?

Nothing will happen and you will not mess anything up.

2) May I open the game, plot some moves, and save for later without triggering a new turn?

Yes. When you save it creates a .bts file that you can then reopen later and finish - see below. Because the game automatically increments the number at the end of the file every time you save or generate a turn, here is what I do when I want to save a turn: After I save I add "_saved" to the end after the number. Then when I later generate the next turn file to send the game will add "001" after my "_saved" and I can just back space the "_saved 001" away. This way the game preserves the turn number you opponent is expecting. It also has the advantage that in the game's list of turns and saves you can tell clearly which files are your saves. This I find very helpful.

The game does not care one whit what the number is at the end - but CMHelper might. I know Whose Turn Is It tracks by turn number. It does not care what the number is or if it jumps but if it goes down it will consider that lower numbered turn as older and ignore it.

3) What is the process to actually play a turn? Is it triggered by pressing the large red "End Turn" button?

Yes once you pres the Big Red Button (BRB) it will generate the next email file.

4) Does cm-helper need to always be running in the background on my computer when I play our CMBN game?

I am not 100% sure but I don't think so. I can definatly say that Whose Turn Is it does not care if it is running or not when it starts it checks the turns in the games it knows about and the drop box folders it is watching and updates the lists of games based on the files it finds. I imagine that CMHelper does the same.

How ever I would recommend leaving CMHelper running so that it can notify you when you have a new turn file to play.

5) How will I know that my turns get sent and his turns arrive? Will cm-helper tell me when I "run" it as a program?

I am not familiar with the UI specifics of CMHelper but I believe it tells you when you have turns to play and what turns you are waiting for your opponent to play. I am not sure what you mean by "when I "run" it as a program" though.

6) Is the best way to see whether a turn arrives, just to start cm-helper and check?

I imagine so or leave it up. Whose Turn Is It has a tray icon that shows you when you have a turn or turns to play it even lights up yellow and red if you are "late". I imagine that CMHelper has something similar - in fact I am pretty certain it does because I remember reading that it has growl on the Mac - something that WTII doe not do at the moment.
 
F

Floki

Guest
A couple of suggestions....

First....you are going down a dangerous path. Once you play Combat Mission against a real life opponent there is no turning back...forget about your life and if you are married or have a SO she will not be very happy with you. LOL


Okay now to be serious. The first file is a password generation file so just put in your password and send the next numbered file back to your opponent.

If you are playing only one PBEM game you don't really need to use CM Helper or "Whose Turn is it" Just set up dropbox and manually copy and paste your game files into it.

Once you get comfortable exchanging files then play around with a CM file manager.

Cheers and have fun.
 

PhilM

FGM Lieutenant
FGM MEMBER
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
1,824
Location
UK
Just to add a bit to A Canadian Cat's responses, specifically on CMH: yep, leave it running (which is what I do).

As far as I can tell it imposes almost no overhead on your system, and it will then work "as intended" to eg alert you to new game turns arriving ... the biggest drawback is that, if you also use your machine for "serious" purposes (some people apparently believe that there are more serious things than CM ...), the telltale "bing" of a new turn arriving is a terrible distraction ... :D
 

PhilM

FGM Lieutenant
FGM MEMBER
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
1,824
Location
UK
A couple of suggestions....

First....you are going down a dangerous path. Once you play Combat Mission against a real life opponent there is no turning back...forget about your life and if you are married or have a SO she will not be very happy with you. LOL


Okay now to be serious. The first file is a password generation file so just put in your password and send the next numbered file back to your opponent.

If you are playing only one PBEM game you don't really need to use CM Helper or "Whose Turn is it" Just set up dropbox and manually copy and paste your game files into it.

Once you get comfortable exchanging files then play around with a CM file manager.

Cheers and have fun.

I think I would - politely! - diagree with Floki in one thing: use CMH even for one battle. It beats messing about moving files to and from dropbox (I must be lazy!); in fact it's better to start CMH when you have just one battle to set up; then when you know how CMH works it's easy to add more battles, rather than trying to get CMH to work (not that it's that hard ...) when you have 3 - 4 battles to get set up in CMH ... Just my opinion :)
 
First....you are going down a dangerous path. Once you play Combat Mission against a real life opponent there is no turning back...forget about your life and if you are married or have a SO she will not be very happy with you. LOL

So true.

Okay now to be serious. The first file is a password generation file so just put in your password and send the next numbered file back to your opponent.

Yes, there is one wrinkle that may surprise you one day - It sure surprised me. There is a scenario where the first turn does not ask you for a password but goes straight to the save dialog. If the scenario has early intel the game may start by creating the first save file without ask you for a password - so the correct setup is done first for the early intel to work. Just don't panic if you are not asked for a password one day. The game will get you next time.

I think I would - politely! - diagree with Floki in one thing: use CMH even for one battle. It beats messing about moving files to and from dropbox (I must be lazy!); in fact it's better to start CMH when you have just one battle to set up; then when you know how CMH works it's easy to add more battles, rather than trying to get CMH to work (not that it's that hard ...) when you have 3 - 4 battles to get set up in CMH ... Just my opinion :)

Yeah, same here. I wrote a turn manager because I was such a screw up with coping files around. I would forget or put them in the wrong place. Or simply be annoyed at how long it took me to managed the file system for something that is a computer's job :)
 
D

Darth Panzer

Guest
This is a very helpful post and might be considered a Sticky Post, for others that are just starting out.
 
This post falls under the "Lessons Learned" category.

My first PBM game did not have auspicious beginnings . . .

After receiving file 01 from my opponent, I opened, created password, saved, and waited . . . .
and waited and waited.

His Cm-helper window showed status "Waiting".

I verified folder C:\Program Files\Combat Mission Battle for Normandy\Game Files\Outgoing Email had a game file '002'. Apparently, Cm-helper did not notice this new save file and did not copy it to our shared Dropbox folder. I was using Cm-helper 1.6.2.

I right clicked on the name of the match in Cm helper, and clicked "edit game". Then I received the window where you're asked to select "Game File Folder". Second game folder was empty. I clicked "Browse" and then selected the shared Dropbox folder also for the Second Game Folder. Still no success.
We decided that I should delete cm-helper-1.6.2 and install cm-helper-1.5.0 instead. Did this. We started over. In cm-helper, I successfully received his file 001 and he successfully received my file 002. He will deploy his forces then send me file 003 in another day or two when I will deploy and begin. Wish us luck!


As an aside and hypothetically speaking, should some silly wally be unable to find any AppState.txt file in his Windows Vista O/S machine nor see the directory for C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\GreenAsJade\CMHelper\, what should he do to resolve that, speaking hypothetically of course? Should our hypothetical numpty run that file search as Administrator for cm-helper stuff? :kilroy:
 
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F

Floki

Guest
@Badger73 Even when you have your CM helper running smoothly, if you are waiting always manually check the DB folder first to see if your opponent copied one there and it's just sitting or maybe your file was not copied in the first place. Once it's set up it runs nice and smooth but there are glitches at times. One time me and an playing partner waited a week before we figured it out.
 

PhilM

FGM Lieutenant
FGM MEMBER
Joined
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Messages
1,824
Location
UK
This post falls under the "Lessons Learned" category.




As an aside and hypothetically speaking, should some silly wally be unable to find any AppState.txt file in his Windows Vista O/S machine nor see the directory for C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\GreenAsJade\CMHelper\, what should he do to resolve that, speaking hypothetically of course? Should our hypothetical numpty run that file search as Administrator for cm-helper stuff? :kilroy:

The AppState.txt file is (should be!) in the same location as the log file ...

If you run the log file, it tells you where it is itself , and so where the other file is also ... Tried that way to find it? (To delete it, I guess ...?)
 

Meat Grinder

FGM Brigadier
FGM MEMBER
@Badger73 When you start a new PBEM game, CM Helper will not automatically associate the correct Dropbox folder with the new game turn unless the name of the save game is **exactly** the same as the Dropbox folder.

For example, you and I start a new PBEM game. I create a Dropbox folder named "Badger VS MG" and invite you. I then name turn 001 "Badger VS MG 001". At this point, if I click on CM Helper, it should recognize the file and the DB folder match and place the turn in the DB folder. When you receive and accept my DB invite, you will have to manually copy turn 001 from the DB folder into your CM(whichever game) Incoming Email folder. At that point, CM Helper should handle all the rest.

However, it is fairly rare for the DB folder and the name of the PBEM game files to always be exactly the same. If you tend to play the same opponents multiple times, you will often use the same DB folder for several games in a row, and the save game files will naturally have different names than the DB folder. For example, in our second game, you start the game and name the first turn "Grinder V Badger 001". At this point, CM Helper will not know that "Grinder V Badger 001" is supposed to be associated with the DB folder named "Badger VS MG". CM Helper will recognize the game file in the game's Outgoing Email folder, but won't know where to put it. What you will have to do is right click on the game in CM Helper's window and select Edit Game. Then under Game File Folder (Single/Incoming) click on the Browse button to the right and navigate to our DB folder. It should work just fine after that. Once you tell me you put a new turn 001 in our DB folder I would have to manually copy turn 001 from our DB folder into the game's Incoming Email folder, and then go through the same steps in CM Helper, after which it should work properly.

That's a long winded description of something that only takes a few seconds once you get used to it. Hope that helps.

BTW, CM Helper version 1.6.2 works just fine. There should be no need to go back to a previous version.
 
The AppState.txt file is (should be!) in the same location as the log file ...

If you run the log file, it tells you where it is itself , and so where the other file is also ... Tried that way to find it? (To delete it, I guess ...?)

Yep, our hypothetical ninny realizes that and, wouldn't you know, supposedly failed to find that directory tree where he expected it to be! Still he persists in wondering . . . :kilroy:
Thank you for providing help.
 
Another Lesson Learned, appropriate for those whose gaming machines are shared with others.

In my hypothetical defense, my job requires me to use multiples laptops which run different configurations of Microsoft O/S Windows7. I often forget that those settings aren't applied to my Microsoft Vista O/S gaming rig which is a "family" computer, sometimes used by others. I've learned through hard-earned experience to lock down things which prevent others from sub-optimizing my gaming experience.

All this is prelude to sharing that when one cannot find the cm-helper AppState.txt file nor see the C:\Users\<Your user Name>\AppData\Roaming\GreenAsJade\CMHelper directory tree, one should consider changing the properties of Windows Explorer to "show hidden files'!

It's the simple things which trip us up! Thank you and please go back about your normal business now . . . :kilroy:
 

PhilM

FGM Lieutenant
FGM MEMBER
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
1,824
Location
UK
Another Lesson Learned, appropriate for those whose gaming machines are shared with others.

In my hypothetical defense, my job requires me to use multiples laptops which run different configurations of Microsoft O/S Windows7. I often forget that those settings aren't applied to my Microsoft Vista O/S gaming rig which is a "family" computer, sometimes used by others. I've learned through hard-earned experience to lock down things which prevent others from sub-optimizing my gaming experience.

All this is prelude to sharing that when one cannot find the cm-helper AppState.txt file nor see the C:\Users\<Your user Name>\AppData\Roaming\GreenAsJade\CMHelper directory tree, one should consider changing the properties of Windows Explorer to "show hidden files'!

It's the simple things which trip us up! Thank you and please go back about your normal business now . . . :kilroy:

Glad you found it in the end!

Let us know how you go on sorting CMH ... as Meat Grinder said above, 1.6.2 does work, and you shouldn't need to - nor find any advantage from - using an older version.
 
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