TripleA Changes for PBEM



  • I’ve never posted here before and have just been lurking in the shadows trying to figure out the best way to play my favorite game on-line.  I love the TripleA interface and like the changes that have been recommended here.Â

    Is there a way to play Axis and Allies Revised on TripleA?  Some kind of map upgrade that I have not seen? (I see that you can select rules I recognize from revised - i.e., artillery, destroyers, one hit battleships etc…).  If not, when is someone going to make that upgrade?


  • 2007 AAR League

    TripleA comes with everything needed to play AAR.  You should be able to Load New Game and select revised (the default is classic).

    Make sure you have the newest stable release from triplea.sourceforge.net

    This works very well to either play live, or email the file back and forth.  For Play-By-Forum, my brother is working on some changes to incorporate some additional features.  Stay tuned.



  • RJClayton - Thanks for the information.  I can’t believe that I had not found that option.  🙂


  • 2007 AAR League

    Ok, I haven’t posted for a week or so… my apologies.  Things were absolutely crazy at work last week, and then my laptop hard drive crashed this weekend with all my triplea source on it 😞
    I’m sending the drive in for professional data recovery, but in the meantime I’ve managed to extract my code changes from the latest jar file and merge them back into the source.
    I’m going to be testing this new merged copy in my current game against rjclayton.  I’m going to defer sending the jar file out to anyone else until I am sure it is ok (the merge was quite complicated).  Sorry Frood… so close and yet so far.


  • 2007 AAR League

    My current thoughts on implementing the edit feature is that it might be easiest to implement each feature at the appropriate step.
    So, in edit mode, you could:
      - purchase units for any player at the purchase panel
      - alter ipcs held at the purchase panel
      - move any player’s units into combat during combat movement
      - resolve all players’ combat during combat phase
      - choose to fix the dice and/or casualties during combat phase
      - move any player’s units during non-combat movement
      - place all players’ units at the place panel
    The reason to do things this way is that it likely won’t require changes to the underlying game engine.  I think it makes sense anyway for the movement/combat edits.
    One thing that is not ideal is having to wait until the placement phase to add units to the board.  This might be a significant enough drawback to warrant changes to the game engine.  Not sure yet.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Also the need to remove units from the board/change territory ownership.  I can see where you’re going with the need to be able to add/remove units at any time (and possibly change territory ownership).  I think everything else would work fine as described.  These edit options would somehow need to be prominently displayed when they are active, so that players are aware of what edit options they have at different phases in the game.  Perhaps even giving them a button on their “action” panel when an edit option is available would be appropriate.

    And of course, any edits would need to be highlighted as edits in the history panel.  Prominently highlighted.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @tonez:

    Wow, that sucked.  I just worked a 16 hour day.
    Anyway, froodster inquired on another thread about how he could make his dice server TripleA-friendly.
    I’m going to answer in this thread.  Basically, a simple dice server with email capability is all that TripleA wants and needs. 
    Here’s a sample request to the old tripleawarclub server that worked great:
    /MARTI.php?numdice=5&numsides=6&modroll=No&numroll=1&subject=blah&roller=player1@domain&gm=player2@domain&send=true

    The html output that TripleA parses looks like this:

    Dice serveryour dice are: 6 3 1 5 6

    Nice and simple.
    Any variation will do as long as it is generic like this. 
    A low-luck option is cool too, as long as it is just a flag.  TripleA doesn’t support Low Luck PBEM yet, but perhaps someday soon.

    Try those parameters with a script I’ve just uploaded to http://frood.net/aacalc/triplea/index.php (index.php can be left off) The html output is identical to what you show above except that the head section also includes a title tag around “Dice Server”


  • 2007 AAR League

    The PBEM changes are still in progress, although a little slower than before.  I’m working on some of the edit features currently.  I have added an Enable Edit Mode option to the Game menu, and I now have the actual edit features about half done.  Currently, you can do combat and non-combat with any units on the board (from any player), you can move units around the board without regular movement restrictions, and you can fix the outcome of a battle by choosing casualties without rolling the dice.  I still need to add edit modes for purchase/placement steps, and I still need to figure out how to allow early placement of new units (for instance, in the purchase round), although I think I have an idea of how to do that.
    So, it’s almost to the point where you can use triplea to play against a forum player, which is pretty cool.

    I haven’t had a chance to try Frood’s new dice server yet, but if it behaves like the tripleawarclub server, then it should be easy to integrate.


  • 2007 AAR League

    rjclayton just posted in our current game (http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=8331.120) that he’d like triplea to prevent non-combat movement during the combat movement phase.

    I think the reason it allows it in the game engine currently is because you have to allow n/c for certain units, like carriers, and also it allows you to make intermediate moves territory-by-territory without using waypoints.  I’ve added a post here:

    To fix this, I think you’d first need to:

    • fix the carrier must-move-with logic to allow combat movements as long as a carrier could be in range (probably need new CarrierTracker.java object)
    • also ensure that carriers can’t be “over-booked” during combat movement phase (or is this allowed in the rules?)
    • disallow intermediate movements during combat movement phase… force the use of waypoints

    Another option is to just have a validation function when you click the “Done” button for combat movement, that validates all the queued moves before moving to the combat phase.
    I’m not sure how easy/difficult this would be.


  • 2007 AAR League

    One problem is that the engine sometimes doesn’t always pick correct waypoints (or recognize that a route exists). I’ve tried to declare combat moves and been told “You can’t move there”, but I can do it moving one territory at a  time. So sometimes you need non-combat moves to successfully make your combat moves.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Yeah, the validation seems like the way to go.


  • 2007 AAR League

    While it’s on my mind:

    I still see the need to be able to generate a UDR (Unit Deployment Report) from TripleA, like the one you can generate from ABattlemap.  Yes, we are posting screenshots, but who knows if the screenshot hosting site will still be operating 6 months from now.  Or how long they will let these files sit on their server before they are deleted.

    Also, djensen is talking about blowing away old file attachments from this server.  So potentially the triplea saved game files will be gone too.  If I try to go back and figure out what’s happening in a game without the screenshot or saved game file, I’m sunk.  However, if we have a UDR listing of all the units in all the territories from time to time, we could still work it out.

    Maybe at the end of each round (ie. after US finishes) it could attach a UDR to the end of the USA post?


  • 2007 AAR League

    @froodster:

    So when you say “fix the battle outcome” I imagine a screen similar to the “purchase units” or “move units” dialogs where you can simply adjust the units of each side, maybe with one master button for each side that would set all units to 0 for that side.

    Actually, it could be accomplished simply by skipping the dice, and then removing the limitation in the casualty screen that you have to match the number of casualties (or by allowing the player to specify the total number of casualties) and then you just take as many casualties from each side as necessary to reach the final outcome indicated by the dicey. Then you end the battle as normal.

    Hey Frood, this is exactly what I’ve done now, and it works great.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @tonez:

    Hey Frood, this is exactly what I’ve done now, and it works great.

    Yep.  Tested it yesterday and it works great!


  • 2007 AAR League

    Sweet. Love to get my hands on a zip file!


  • 2007 AAR League

    @froodster:

    One problem is that the engine sometimes doesn’t always pick correct waypoints (or recognize that a route exists). I’ve tried to declare combat moves and been told “You can’t move there”, but I can do it moving one territory at a  time. So sometimes you need non-combat moves to successfully make your combat moves.

    Hey Frood, have you tried holding down CTRL when you left-click a territory while moving a unit?  It allows you to choose your own waypoints, one territory at a time.  It is also mentioned in the Help section under Movement Help.
    I agree that the automatic waypoint selection algorithm seems to choose the wrong path sometimes.  Perhaps this could be fixed.

    However, given the availability of manual waypoints, it should be possible to completely eliminate support for non-combat movement during combat movement phase, I think, by fixing the other issues first.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Just a quick note since both rjclaytont and frood now have my latest jar file:

    • In edit mode, the movement phases allow you to move any unit from any player, to any legal place on the board, more or less.  There are still some kinks to work out though, so use this cautiously (save first).  One known issue is moving inf to a sea zone might put them in life preservers!
    • rjclayton reported a problem with calling Save Screenshot twice in a row - it was crashing his tripleA with out-of-memory errors.  I believe I’ve fixed that (works for me), but please give it a try.
    • there are still some cases where POSTing to the forum is failing.  If you get an Ethereal trace of a failure please send it to me.  In such a case you can just View the report and then post it manually via copy/paste.

  • 2007 AAR League

    That’s AWESOME! Just tried it out. Edit mode basically turns TripleA into Battlemap on steroids. You can now use it with any other dicey I guess (or real dice if you like, for FTF without the fuss of all the money and units etc.)

    Is there a way to manually post a turn summary / unit summary if you have not started a PBEM game, but just a normal game?

    Also, my triplea dice server at http://www.frood.net/aacalc/triplea/ is not yet listed as an option. It uses basically the same syntax as the MARTI.PHP one.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Has anyone tried to make TripleA export screenshots as GIF or PNG? With the large areas of flat color, it might actually be a smaller file than the JPG, and much prettier. Flat-color unit sprites would also make this smaller.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @froodster:

    That’s AWESOME! Just tried it out. Edit mode basically turns TripleA into Battlemap on steroids. You can now use it with any other dicey I guess (or real dice if you like, for FTF without the fuss of all the money and units etc.)

    Is there a way to manually post a turn summary / unit summary if you have not started a PBEM game, but just a normal game?

    Also, my triplea dice server at http://www.frood.net/aacalc/triplea/ is not yet listed as an option. It uses basically the same syntax as the MARTI.PHP one.

    Glad you like it.  It’s still a work in progress… I’m hoping to add a few more features for edit mode.

    If you go into the History tree, you can right-click on any node and view the history summary of that node.  There’s still no unit summary… but will be soonish.

    I still haven’t got around to adding your dicey.  I’ll try and do that soonish as well.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @froodster:

    Has anyone tried to make TripleA export screenshots as GIF or PNG? With the large areas of flat color, it might actually be a smaller file than the JPG, and much prettier. Flat-color unit sprites would also make this smaller.

    I didn’t try it, but it shouldn’t be too hard to try.  Currently I have it set to JPEG at 50% quality, which is why it only looks ok.  I don’t know much about image formats so if there are tricks to doing this with a reduced palette then I’m all ears.


  • 2007 AAR League

    I bet a 16-color GIF would be very functional - but GIF might be proprietary. PNG is open-source and better though I think, but I don’t have a clue how you make TripleA generate any kind of image file.

    Even fancier would be exporting to SVG, SWF or PDF (vector-based instead of bitmaps - smaller files but also require special software to view.)

    But a screenshot I guess is much better for game summary anyway than a unit summary anyway.


  • 2007 AAR League

    My only issue with the screenshot posting is that when the web server is offline (or if the site dies), it is very difficult to follow the game.  I think posting a UDR (Unit Deployment Report) at the end of each full round listing all units in each territory would be a useful compromise.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Here is another request from Frood:

    @froodster:

    With TripleA my one frustration is that often I move into unit placement only to realize I had not yet done all my non-combat moves. I wish there was a way to step back into non-combat after moving on to unit placement. A workaround I guess is to save the game immediately after combat so you can reload that if you forgot something. I appreciate that you can’t go back to combat declaration once combat resolution has started, but that’s different.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Another request, this one from Mateooo:

    @mateooo:

    I tried Triple A and liked it, except it is very unforgiving. I kept on clicking one too many times and skipping the noncombat phase. And last time I tried, it seemed there were problems with Ftrs moving and landing on AC. The program required an AC to be within range of the FTRs before combat starts, though I found ways around this by undoing moves.

    I also wish it would allow you to set up the map how you want, to fix mistakes and whatnot. Nice program though.
    Mateooo


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