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SOFTWARE SIMULATIONS

HOUSE RULES

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INTRODUCTION

These are the "house rules" for Software Simulations and Ab Initio Games. Many of them will be fairly obvious but they're all laid out so you know what to expect from us, and also how to behave. Our general rule is to be fair to everyone and treat everyone the same, but if you're inconsiderate to other players or to the GM then your behaviour won't be tolerated. See also Costs & Credits, Using Faxes and Fair Play.

SENDING ORDERS

We strongly recommend that orders sent by post are by first class mail, and allow three days for orders to arrive. Our estimate is that 90% of first class mail is delivered next day, 99% within two days and 99.9% within three days. If you allow less than three days for orders to arrive you run the risk of the postal service letting you down. We strongly recommend you don't use second class mail at all - it's simply too unreliable and not worth saving a few pence for the risk of your orders not arriving.

GUARANTEED DELIVERY

Please do not send orders by guaranteed/special delivery as we won't accept them. Firstly because we work from home and guaranteed delivery usually means the postman wants a signature at 7am in the morning, when we'd rather be asleep. Second if he does arrive at a more civilised time and we're not here to sign for a letter then he'll take away the letter again and require us to collect it. Either way it causes much more work and hassle un-necessarily. You should be organised enough to be able to send your orders in plenty of time - and if not you can always fall back on faxing orders in an emergency.

EMAILING ORDERS

We are currently developing games to allow you to submit orders via email using a dedicated website. Your GM will inform you if this is an option and how you may use the facility. If you do submit orders via email then these should arrive with your GM by 9am on the day of the deadline. You should note that not all emails are sent instantly by servers (though many people insist they are). You shouldn't wait until the very last minute to email orders as these run the risk of not reaching us in time.

RECEIVING RESULTS

Turns are normally processed on the day of the deadline and sent out by first class post (or in most games, by email if you so choose).

You can normally expect your results the day after the deadline (if things run on time and the post isn't slow reaching you). However, please wait four days before worrying that results haven't arrived (then call to find out what's going on). Please don't call the day after the deadline "to see if they ran on time" - the answer is either no because something went wrong and we're running behind to catch up (so answering such phone calls isn't very helpful) or yes and the postal service has let you down. Either way calling doesn't help to get the results to you any quicker. Wait the four days and then ring!

LATE ORDERS

In some games if you miss a deadline then your previous set of instructions (already stored inside the computer) are used instead. In others there is a computer routine to write orders for you. If your orders arrive late then they will be set aside and used only if no new instructions arrive before the next deadline.

MISSING TURNS

Game reports are kept only until the following deadline. If you miss a turn (by running out of credits or through mail getting lost) then you will need to act promptly in order to get the missing game report.

QUESTIONS

If you aren't sure about something to do with your game then please ask, but please follow a few ground rules. First make sure you've checked in the rules - if you ask something that's clearly in the rules you'll simply be told to read the rules. Second make sure your question is clear - if we don't know what your question is we can't answer it. The third is please put your question down on a separate sheet of paper - questions on the backs of turnsheets are easy to miss and it's much easier for you to read the answer if it's alongside your original question.

ERRORS

Mistakes in most games cannot usually be corrected, and games cannot be re-run. If you spot an error then you should inform the GM immediately, as there is a free turn credit for spotting an uncorrected error and compensation may be made for adverse effects on your position.

Errors must be notified as soon as possible (it's much easier to fix something if you tell us straight away, so if necessary we can notify other players - don't wait until just before the next turn is due and expect us to be able to sort something out).

When you're making an error report, give the facts. A large proportion of error investigations turns out to be a waste of time because the error has been reported incorrectly or relevant information has been withheld.

If you see a fault and fail to report it then you may be penalised when it comes to light, and you will certainly get no sympathy if you suffer difficulties from the problem later or suffer a disadvantage when it is corrected.

POSTAL STRIKES

In the case of a major postal strike, any deadlines falling after the start of the strike will be reset when the strike is over. Any turns due shortly before the strike will be held back until after the end of the strike if possible. No special arrangements are made for minor and local strikes (these are so frequent that we'd hardly ever be able to run a game).

PLAYER COMMUNICATIONS

In our sports games it is our policy not to publish player's addresses, but you may send messages to other players via the GM (umpire) to be forwarded with game reports. Messages should be on postcards or index cards, clearly labelled with the league name or number, your name and team, and the name and team of the player you intend the message to go to.

Inappropriate messages (anything likely to cause offence) will not be forwarded. Player newsletters (by players, for players, one for each league) are encouraged by some GMs.

In other games where player interaction is important to the game an address list may be provided. It is usual in these games to exchange email addresses and telephone numbers in the public messages section. In these games your email address will appear in the game report automatically if you elect to receive your game reports by email.

EMAILED REPORTS

In many of our games you have the option of receiving game reports by email. If you'd like to do this you'll need to send your email address and ask your GM to send you a copy of the program to print our reports on your printer (you can also download this from our website). If you can print off reports yourself then you may choose to have reports emailed to you instead of being sent by post.

Alternatively you may wish to have reports sent to you by email and post, but in this case you will be charged an extra 0.2 credit per turn for having the duplicates sent. However, the first time you try emailed reports we'll send them for free - you'll only pay the extra charge if you wish to continue having reports sent to you by both methods.

There isn't any difference in the cost of receiving orders by post or email. While sending emailed results saves us postage and printing costs we do have other costs to recoup from the development of the software involved. Where we make savings we generally try to pass these onto players in the form of keeping turnfees unchanged. Turnfee rises have been few and far between over the last ten years for these reasons.

EUROPEAN PLAYERS

Players are welcome to play our games from Europe. As a general rule of thumb we suggest that postal speeds are too slow for you to be able to play in weekly deadline games (ie. stats games) from Europe, but postal speeds are generally fine for two-week deadlines (delivery times are typically 2-4 days). In addition we charge an extra 10% on turnfees for European players, to cover increased postage costs when sending results out. This is normally reflected in the deduction of an extra 0.1 credit per turn sent out (unless you choose to receive results via email, in which case no extra charges are made).

NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS

Players are also welcome to play our games from North America. Postal speeds are definitely too slow for you to be able to play in weekly deadline games from the USA and Canada. For two-week deadline games you'll probably need to make arrangements for faxing orders in (air mail to the USA or Canada can take anything from three to seven days to arrive). Otherwise you should be able to play OK. In addition we charge around 1.00 extra per turn on turnfees for North American players, to cover increased postage costs when sending results out. This is normally reflected in the deduction of an extra 0.4 credits per turn sent out (unless you choose to receive results via email, in which case no extra charges are made).

OTHER OVERSEAS PLAYERS

As a general rule of thumb, if you can send suitable payment to us, and the post can get results to you and orders to us in time, then you can play our games from anywhere else in the world, though we will need to charge you for extra postage costs. Please ask for further details.

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