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Cyberboard

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on May 10, 2010

One of the best Play-by-email tools is the “Cyberboard” program by Dale Larson.

Cyberboard – what’s that?

Totaler Krieg with Cyberboard

Cyberboard is a program which allows you to play even complex Consims such as Totaler Krieg by email (alas, it only works with Microsoft Windows). If offers a comfortable user interface with lots of functions for manipulating and moving the counters, the automatically recording of moves (which can be played back step by step), an integrated dice roller and much more.

It allows comfortable gaming with one or more opponents by email. All moves and actions of the players are included into a “Game History”, so that the initial game file grows over the time and eventually consists of an entire game which can be watched like a movie and stored in a gaming archive. Additionally, the program includes another tool (“Cyberboard Game Designer”) which allows to create more game modules for playing your own favorite games via Cyberboard. There are also tons of modules to be found on the internet which are used by a large player community all over the world.

Step by Step

he current Cyberboard version is 3.0 – a significant update of the previous versions that has many new features including 16 bit color support and a revamped user interface. Information on the current developments can be found at the Cyberboard-Website (you can also download the program here for free, because Cyberboard is freeware!).

The Cyberboard folder. The program even runs under Windows 7 64bit.

The first Cyberboard version was programmed for Windows 3.1 by Dale Larson in 1994. He wrote it out of a personal need, simply because he needed a useful tool for email playing – which was quite complicated then. He was annoyed by the errors occurring while playing with a real board and the following transcription of the moves into the computer. So he started searching for an alternative.

The initial thought was that playing a board game by email should become more comfortable by simply exchanging automatically recorded moves – instead of complicated descriptions of actions done on a real board, which the opponent must follow on his own real board. Theoretically any board game can be played by Cyberboard, but because of the integrated features it is especially useful for playing counter-based wargames. The program doesn’t include any artificial intelligence, it’s a GAP (Game Assistance Program) – a graphic tool for playing vs. a human opponent. It neither checks if your moves are rules conform nor does it allow solitaire play against the “system”. Larsons idea was to transfer the gaming experience of face-to-face-play to a computer program. And this works great because of the smooth control interface and the game speed by utilizing the recording and playback functions.

Cyberboard game files are called "Gameboxes" (*.gbx). They include force pools, maps, descriptions and more.

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