PBEM replaying turns cheat

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

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Man0lo
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PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by Man0lo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:41 am

Is there any way to check if your opponent has played his turn several times in order to achieve the best results in his favor? Thanx!

JyriErik
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by JyriErik » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:17 pm

Not that I'm aware of. Still, considering the amount of fighting that goes on in an average turn (especially later in the game) the benefits are WAY overridden by the diasadvantages. Replaying to get 3-5 results go your way is a pain, 20-30 is a nightmare.

Jyri

Man0lo
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by Man0lo » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:30 pm

Its not that pain if u consider that he may choose some crucial battles to win each turn that could give a clear advantage. Its not that hard to seek for 2-3 crucial good results each turn. I guess there is no way to prevent it in PBEM.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri May 08, 2020 1:04 pm

Slitherine have a ladder system for many games so if a new version of CEAW was ever made then I think implementing a ladder system to prevent cheating would be high on the list. A ladder system means you check out your turn from the ladder server to your game and play it. Results are stored continuously into the ladder server. So you can't reload the turn because the server keeps track of the progress while doing the turn. If you jump out of the game then you will either start from where you left or the turn have to be replayed and the opponent will be alerted by the ladder system. If you see that the turn was replayed 4 times when you get your turn then you know it's not right. If you have 1 reload in the entire game your opponent will probably ask why and you can give the reason like game crash, power outage or whatever. Not knowing if the turn was replayed or not is the real problem for dealing with cheaters.

I agree that the lack of ladder support is one of the big weaknesses of CEAW and GS. This means you have to pick the opponents you wan to play against.

It's quite easy to spot cheaters because you see the result of each turn. Honest players will always get some failed attacks and you will see the result of that along the front line. Typically you have your units surviving with 1-2 steps after the enemy phase. Enemy air units with many step losses after the battle is another indication of an honest player and so on. If you see your crucial hexes having been attacked multiple times with no or very litle damage then you know your opponent didn't reroll to get a better result.

Cheating is worse if there had been tournaments. However, most people play against friends they have found on the forum and they learn to trust one another. Those you can't trust you won't call friends and suggests new games with.

Man0lo
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by Man0lo » Tue May 12, 2020 4:17 am

Peter Stauffenberg wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 1:04 pm
so if a new version of CEAW was ever made.
You just mentioned the main issue. I ll never understand why they discontinued CEAW and they invested so much in "Strategic command" series which is inferior game in my humble opinion. "Strategic Command" lacks of strategic resources based economy like fuel and manpower and that makes it a shallow game in terms of grand strategy . That is the reason which kept me away of this title. Plus CEAW has much better visuals which is maybe not so important for a grand strategy game but still...
I had always the wish and hope that we could see a sequel of CEAW which would cover a global scaled map. But that was a dream that will never come true. :cry: :cry: :cry:

Unfortunately its hard for me to trust playin PBEM without the intervention of the server as you described it. Every good movement of my opponent now looks suspicious to me.

Jimbonsx
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by Jimbonsx » Thu May 21, 2020 8:43 pm

I've thought about the problem of multiple-replaying of PBEM game turns and I have an idea I'd like to share with either the moderators or developers. If you're interested please PM me.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:15 pm

Unfortunately GS v4.0 is no longer worked on. So it would be Slitherine who might want that kind of info.

I was thinking about writing data about unit game name (created by the program at the start of the game and hidden from the users) and unit turn into the registry every time you open a file. The program could also increment a counter if it detects the same game name and unit turn. When you save the game the counter is stored in the save game file and presented to the other player when he opens his turn.

This could help against some cheating, but once players manage to find out where in the registry you store such values then you're back to having cheaters again. A way to bypass this is to introduce a lot of registry keys for the game and check if they are all there when starting a turn. If some are missing then the game will be terminated with a corrupt save game message. The key is to scramble the valuable data so you can't check for turn number increasing and thus seeing which one controls the counter. So all registry key values get updated every time you save. Most with random data, but the valuable ones with the data needed to prevent cheating. Then a cheater will have to try to manually alter each registry field hoping to find the one containing the counter. If it's scrambed then it's hard to know which value to set it to as 1 (the one indicating no cheating). We could have done something like this if there had been any players left playing the game. ;)

However, you only get rid of cheating completely if you introduce some kind of ladder system where the server keeps track of how many times you loaded the game.

pipfromslitherine
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Re: PBEM replaying turns cheat

Post by pipfromslitherine » Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:22 pm

We internally track reloads and take appropriate action.

Cheers

Pip
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