How to play Multiple-Player Games with Cyberboard

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This page will detail the precise method of achieving Multiplayer PBeM games using the Cyberboard Play by Email game utility.  To make this tutorial a little easier to digest (especially for the TV generation), I've recruited members of a popular early 70s television show to demonstrate the methodology for you:

And our players are.....

Hey, they needed the work, okay?  Our guest players will be called, for the sake of argument:

Mike Greg Peter Marcia
Player Mike Player Greg Player Peter Player Marcia

Some games may not require a referee, but many multiplayer games doimages. this person takes on the role of impartial referee, race steward, and rules adjudicator.  We'll call our referee "Alice".


Race Steward Alice


Now, on to the Game.

One evening, Mike Player Mike emails his desire to play a PBeM game to his pals, Greg Player Greg, Peter Player Peter, and Marcia Player Marcia.  They all concur that a PBeM game would be "Swell!"   Possibly because of Mike's admiration for Greek and Roman themes, the game decided upon is CIRCUS MAXIMUS (Avalon Hill).  [NOTE: Insert any multiplayer themed game here.  I use CM because it's simple and has situations where a turn is halted to resolve player attacks, which is generic enough to apply to ANY multiplayer game]

Alice Race Steward Alice is given the thankless task of being the Racing Steward (or referee).

Setting Up the Game for Multiplayer Play (what the Referee does)

Alice Race Steward Alice goes to a great PBeM support site she knows about and downloads the Circus Maximus zip file, which contains the following files:

CM#.GBX (Circus Maximus Main Gamebox (with a version number).  This is the main repository of all images required to play CM).

CM#.GSN (Circus Maximus Scenario File (possibly with a version number).  This is a file that sets the pieces up on the board. 

Alice Race Steward Alice  then opens up the Cyberboard Player module (CBPlay.exe), selects File, New to create a new file (Either Scenario or Game.  She chooses GAME).  She may move the piece order around for the starting gate, or delete some pieces to bring the number of racers down to only four.   In any event, after she makes some changes, she saves out the resulting GAME file with some pithy, easy to remember file name:

BRADYBUNCH.GAM (the game file, the instance of specific players playing a specific email game) [NOTE: by "Specific" I mean, the game that Mike, Greg, Peter and Marcia played]

Alice Race Steward Alice, if she has a few brain cells firing in her head, creates an EMAIL DISTRIBUTION LIST with the player's addresses on it:


and herself, of course: Alice@MeatPackers.Org

[not real email addresses. these are random nonsense addresses and won't work]

A good email distro list will save countless headaches later.  She calls hers BB_CMGAME.  SHE MAKES CERTAIN ALL OTHER PLAYERS HAVE A VERSION OF BB_CMGAME IN THEIR MAIL PROGRAM'S ADDRESS BOOK.

Alice Race Steward Alice  sends CM.GBX, CM.GSN, and BRADYBUNCH.GAM to BB_CMGAME.

Cruising through Turn One

Alice Race Steward Alice selects all of the Activation Chits in the Activation "Cup" map of the CM Game File called BRADYBUNCH.GAM.  She selects Actions, then Turn Piece Over from the menuimages  Then she selects Actions, Begin Compound Move from the menu.  She rapidly moves the activation chits around, keeping them face down.  She finishes the turn, saving it out as Turn0Setup.GMV.  The GMV file is the current turn file.  It records the physical location of pieces on the map, so it becomes crucial during the course of play.  EACH PLAYER WILL GENERATE A GMV FILE EVERY TIME HE OR SHE MOVES  A PIECE

Alice Race Steward Alice sends Turn0Setup.GMV to her BB_CMGAME distro list. She admonishes  Mike Player Mike, Greg Player Greg, Peter Player Peter, and Marcia Player Marcia to just ACCEPT the turn without looking at it.

[NOTE: The step just described is a fairly painless way of achieving random drawing of chits for multiple player activations, similar to the chit pull command activation being used in many current wargame designs.  A fair amount of trust is involved here: you want your players to ACCEPT the randomization turn without really reviewing it or they'll see what chit goes where.  Fortunately, these players have worked with each other before and trust each other.  Note, additionally, that Alice doesn't HAVE to use this method to determine who goes first; she's not playing.   She could just as easily put physical chits in  a cup and draw them out, or roll a dice or whatever.  The above method is mentioned in case the Referee player decides to play as well]

As it turns out, the first Chit Alice flipped was for Peter Player Peter

Peter Player Peter Reviews his turn, Accepting Turn0Setup.GMV without looking.  He Sets up his driver and team using the map called RACE LOG.  If you are familiar with Circus Maximus, you know that you need to fill out a chart to create and customize a team & driver.  Since this is meant to be a generic multiplayer tutorial, we won't delve into that process in detail.  Suffice to say that Peter fills out the chart (which is replicated on the RACE LOG map) using markers available in the gamebox.  Assume that all players will do this as the very first thing.

Peter Player Peter then uses the ROLL DICE icon in Cyberboard to roll for voluntary straining [Specific to Circus Maximus.  He could be rolling for Air Support, or Reinforcements, or whatever].  He applies the endurance penalty to his movement (marking this on the chart in log file) and using COMPOUND MOVE again (see above), then selects PLOT MOVE.  Both of these are in the Actions menu.  He selects his horse team, and moves it square by square.   Lets' assume Peter has a regular speed of 16 (he rolled 15 for his team and has a plus 1 for his CDM).  He rolls 4 for voluntary straining.  Thus, he move 20 squares down the main CIRCUS MAXIMUS map from start.  His movement is over.  He then selects the Random Draw "Cup" map, and flips over an activation chit.   It's Marcia Player Marcia .  Peter saves his turn file as something Pithy like: Turn1PeterMoves.gmv.  He sends Turn1PeterMoves.gmv to his version of   BB_CMGAME.

Alice Race Steward Alice, Mike Player Mike, Greg Player Greg, Peter Player Peter, and Marcia Player Marcia all receive the file Turn1PeterMoves.gmv.  

Peter Player Peter deletes it form his mailbox (he already has it).   Alice Race Steward Alice, Mike Player Mike, Greg Player Greg, and Marcia Player Marcia all open their GAME FILE (BRADYBUNCH.GAM) and import the Turn1PeterMoves.gmv into their copy of BRADYBUNCH.GAM by using the File, Load Recorded Move File Menu Command.  They will be prompted to accept the game state in the MOVE file, or in the CURRENT GAME. They want to select the MOVE file. [NOTE: If you haven't figured this out yet, it might be a good point to mention that all game files really should be in the same subdirectory.  It's less painful that way] They then review what Peter did by using the Play function (sideways arrow; looks like a PLAY Button).  As the whole Bunch has no problem with Peter's turn, they all ACCEPT it.

Marcia Player Marcia makes a move, similar to Peter's, zooming out and not attacking anybody.  She goes about 19 squares down the track.  The chit she flips over is Greg's Player Greg.  She saves out her GMV file as Turn01MarciaMoves.Gmv and sends it to her Version of BB_CMGAME.  She deletes it when it arrives in her mailbox, but the rest of the Players Review and Accept it, making sure to use the game state that is stored in THE MOVE FILE.

Greg Player Greg charges out of the chute and for some reason pursues Marcia Player Marcia, moving his chariot next to hers and declaring a whip attack versus her driver.   He still has 5 MPs left, so he puts a numeric marker 5 next to his team.  He then sends his interim turn to his version of BB_CMGAME, interupting the turn to perform the attack.  He sends Turn01GregShagsMarcia.gmv   to the list as an attachment, giving Marcia the option to "take it", evade, or brake [NOTE: Specific to Circus Maximus.  This could be any counterattack segment of a turn sequence.  Yes, I know that you need to roll "starting from a dead stop" penalties in CM, and you can't attack on turn 1 anyway, but I'm trying to teach here].
Marcia Player Marcia decides to brake, and informs Greg Player Greg  that it's okay by her for him to roll for her when he resumes the turn.

Greg Player Greg performs the neccesary procedure, and watches Marcia's Player Marcia chariot fall behind.  He then moves the remaining five MPS and sends out his turn, Turn01GregMoveComplete.gmv, to BB_CMGAME.  In his turn file, he flips the remaining activation chit, which is

Mike Player Mike.  The rest of the Bunch review and accept the second half of Greg's move Player Greg

Mike Player Mike, a dab hand with a whip, flogs his ponies and takes off after Greg Player Greg-- a ram to the rear!  Mike sends out Turn01MikeNailsGreg.GMV to his version of BB_CMGAME.  The rest of the Bunch Review and Accept it.

A similar procedure to Greg's Player Greg attack on Marcia Player Marcia takes place, only with Greg Player Greg  choosing to evade (and rolling for himself).   His die result is a sideslip, but he doesn't flip his chariot!

Greg Player Greg  sends out Turn01GregEvasionRoll.GMV to BB_CMGAME.  

Frustrated, Mike Player Mike watches Greg escape his clutches.  He moves his chairot the rest of its movement and the Turn Ends.

Next turn, Alice Race Steward Alice performs another "randomizing turn" and sends it out to start the new turn again. 

This procedure is repeated until the game ends with a clear victor.




All images and the Term Brady Bunch are copyrights of Paramount, a Viacom Company.  Images used for Entertainment only.