Michael T wrote:Ok even with a host is there anything to stop a player 'looking' at opponents units simply by resolving the move on his own machine? So I am now asking is an opponents side protected by a password?
I realise I am probably wasting my time, but try to think about how many player AGEOD games work. WoN is going to have some attributes of Pride of Nations - a long campaign game and the possibility of up to 7 players - so I'll try and explain it from my experience of PoN.
Generally with long game it matters to keep the game moving so if one player is going to be away for a couple of weeks and their state is basically at peace, the convention was to do one of two things. First, obviously, no one attacks them. Second, to stop the game reverting control to the AI, fake orders were submitted (in effect the orders were blank but there was a need for an order file from that country). Second problem, is that players drop out - sometimes time pressures, sometimes in a huff because they are losing. In the current system the country can be reverted to the AI and if another player wants to join later it can be returned to human control.
Third problem, more general. As with WiTE, a lot of AGEOD games feature situations were a fundamentally weak side is dominant early game (such as France in the French and Indian wars) or Prussia in Rise of Prussia. Unfortunately, as in WiTE players who take this side sometimes give up when the balance of the game shifts (and I have had 2 WiTE PBEMs end on T80 ... you'll know exactly what this means). Now the current system at least allows the player who has been the weaker side to that point to revert to the AI and carry on.
Fourth problem, idea testing. Sometimes when playing the AI you may want to rerun a turn. Not to 'cheat' but to test something - stances, force organisation etc ... or try multiple branching paths from a key point. All part of gaining both tactical competence and a strategic overview. You may even want to use an old PBEM game as the base for this.
Your proposal/desire cuts across all this flexibility. Which is why I am left wondering why you are so obsessed. Yes security in the AGE game system is weak, its designed to allow a wide range of play styles and flexibility. AFAIK instances of suspected cheating are vanishingly rare. In the main because in the AGE game system, the true pleasure of PBEM is outwitting your opponent (or stumbling into a trap).