PBeM Program Help Page

Charles McLellan has also written some very detailed help pages for TRC and Bull Run.


All of the PBeM programs are pretty much the same, with a few specific differences here and there. First is to download the the setup program to your C:\temp (or any) folder. The setup program you downloaded is a 'self-extracting' zip file. Double click it and 'extract' the files to the C:\temp folder. Now a file named 'setup.exe' appears in your C:\temp folder. Double click it, then just select "Yes" or "Next" or whatever the default selection is. Once the program finishes, the PBeM program has been setup.


Go "Start->Programs->Bull Run". The program will display a 'splash' screen, then the Bull Run map. Note the button bar at the top left of the screen.
Bull Run Button Bar

If you hold the mouse over one of the buttons, a message will appear. There are four groups of buttons :

Click Open Turn. Select one of the files shown (in the example above, "RebsSet.br" was selected). It will take about 15 seconds to load the file, and the mouse will change to an hourglass. After the file is loaded, the mouse will become an arrow again and the selected file name will be at the top of the screen. Counters now populate the screen (note on some mapboards, there is a unit 'OB' to the lefte of the map, that the counters fit perfectly).

Moving Units

The Move button should be 'selected' already, if not, click it. Now left click a unit, and keep the mouse button down. Move it to a new hex, then let the mouse button up. Thats it. Move another unit. Now click the Undo Last Move button, and the unit returns to the hex he just came from.

Now move 3 or 4 (or however many) units into the same hex. Click the Move All button. Now click the hex with all the units and move them to a new hex. They all go eh. Click the Move All button again (toggle it off). Click the hex with all the units quickly, keeping the mouse over the hex. Note the stack 'rotates'.

Click the Return to Start Hex button. Go to the stacked hex, and left click it real quick. Note the top unit returns to thex he was in when the file was first opened.


Click the Combat button. Left click any hex with a unit. The combat dialog box comes up. Select the odds, then click the "Bone" button, and there is your die roll. (you have the option of selecting a 'Random DR modifier also, this just adds '6' to the computer generated random number, just like the ol' PBM Stock Market method, if you don't use this option, no problem (I always do, roll my own die then 'add it')). Now fill in pertinent info, numero uno being the results, and if who was attacking whom if not obvious. Now click done.

Click the Show Combat button. Right click the hex where the combat took place. Note a dialog box comes up with all of the information of the combat that was in that hex.

Flipping Units - Counter Markers

In Bull Run, an unit is : face up, face down, or STOP. In CaE, units are always face up, and they are also : Battle Rages, or Disrupted. For games where a unit has different 'states', the is the toggle button, named Flip/Stop in Bull Run. Click this button. Now right click a unit. The unit will toggle through the different states.


Move some units around. Click the Save Turn button. You are asked "Is this is the End of the Turn?" Click "No". Now give this 'turn' a new name and click OK (save it). You must always give a new name for a turn, as the program refuses to overwrite files (though you are not warned). The program saves the file to disk, and also reloads. Note 15 seconds later the file name at the top of the program window has changed to the just saved file. Click the Return to Start Hex button. Next left click one of the previously moved units. Note it returns to its previous start position from THE LAST TURN FILE (more specificaly, the unit returns to the last hex where it was saved as an end of turn). Click the Save Turn button, and this time say "Yes" to the end of turn question. When the file reloads, with the Return to Start Hex button still down, click ANY unit anywhere. Nothing happens.

When you save a file, two files are saved to disk. The two files have the same name, but different extentions. One has the unit location/state information, the other combat information. When you send your turn to your oppenent, attach BOTH files to the email (though if no combat took place, it's not really nessarsary to attach the combat file).

A PBeM Bull Run Turn would go as such :

  1. Load your opponest last turn
  2. Start moving you units about, ie, take your turn
  3. If you can't finish today, no problem, save your present move as "Not End Of Turn", and give it some dummy name. Then later you can reopen this file.
  4. Once you are finished moving your units, but before combat, save your turn as "Not End Of Turn".
  5. The program will reload the just saved turn. Now do your combat, 'rolling' the dice and applying the results (retreat units, remove eliminated untis, ect).
  6. Save as "End OF Turn"
  7. You have now generated 4 files : 2 'turn' files and '2' combat files. Attach all four files to an email, and send it. Your done.

America OnLine

Back in '96, and some of '97, AOL was near unusable for exchanging email attachments with non-AOL accounts. Things are better now, but still a bit off. In a PBeM game with one AOLer, we have to 'zip' all files (though not a bad thing for TRC, where you have 2 impulses and 8 files to send). In another AOL game, I can attach any number of files, but the AOLer can only attach three.

Error Handling

Player A makes an illegal move(s), attakck(s), odds calculation(s), ect.
Player B can accept the move as is without changes, or declining this,
Player A must redo the entire turn.

Program Graphics Error

The Programs map is THE map. Where the program map and 'actual' map differ, the Program map takes precedence. Same for counters.

How to quickly sort all of those files

Above the Fields