The BGG top 200 available on Vassal. It's not just for wargamers
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Before I get to deep in this list I want to give a thank you to two Geeks here who helped me get into Vassal. First to Bill Lawson who answered questions for me to make getting into Vassal easier and Colin Hunter who was nice enough to take the time to run this novice through his first Vassal game. Thanks to these two gentlemen I have not only learned Vassal but I'm teaching it to friends. Even my wife who I can never get to play games with me tonight played Blackbeard.

For those unfamiliar with Vassal here's the basics. Vassal is a computer program that allows people to play boardgames with others online (or you can even play solitaire). Originally designed for Advanced Squad Leader (Vassal originally stood for Virtual Advanced Squad Leader) it features literally hundreds of games from more current titles to out of print classics. To learn more about Vassal check out the official Vassal website. There you will find a list of modules available as well as a tutorial one that can help you get started.

http://www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php

Another good place to check out is a new Yahoo Group formed to help people learn to play. It features log files from past games. You can download the files, load them into Vassal and watch a previous game to learn how to play it. Rather a cool idea.

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/vassaltraining/

One misconception is that Vassal is only for wargamers. This is in part due to the great support wargame companies such as Columbia Games, GMT and MMP have shown it. Thus people assume it's just wargames which to be honest in the past have been the vast majority of the Vassal modules. However there are a number of really good non-wargame titles available as well with the number of euros growing.

The point of this list is simple. It's a list of the games in the top 200 on BGG available for use on Vassal...sort of. Truth is of the top 200 games 49 have Vassal modules so I added The Civil War which is slightly outside of the top 200 to make the list a nice round 50. It's a rather eclectic list ranging from hardcore wargames to light euro fillers. I know that there are also games available to play online elsewhere that aren't on this list such as Agricola but this list is specific to ones on Vassal (I wish Agricola was available on Vassal!).
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1. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:6]
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I almost cringed when I started thinking about doing this list and saw that this would be the top game. Not because it's not a good game. Heaven knows it's a great example of the CDG system. I cringe because one thing I wanted to show was that there were other things besides wargames available on Vassal. So here's the top game on the list and it's perhaps the game that is most debated on BGG about is it or isn't it a wargame. It's actually a good example of why I prefer the term "historical simulation" over wargame.

Personally I think Twilight Struggle is a great game for people who want the conflict and historical depth you find in wargames but aren't really into military history so they don't care for games on subjects like WW II or the American Civil War. I think this is backed but by the following success of 1960: The Making of the President and the great interest in the upcoming Founding Fathers. While military conflicts have very dramatic effects on history they are not the only historical events with conflict nor are they the only ones that are interesting to explore through gaming. For the most part non military historical themes have been the realm of euros with often times the theme simply dressed over an abstract mechanic but that seems to be changing. I think there is a growing number of eurogamers who want to move into this area of historical simulations without having to play what are generally thought of as wargames.
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2. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:36]
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Now here's one that is definitely not a wargame. Been wanting to try this but I swear every time I get a chance to play I get sucked into a game of Battlestar Galactica (not a bad thing mind you).
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:50]
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Never played but would greatly like to. It's been one of those games that I've wanted enough to put it on my want in trade list but not enough to go out and purchase.
 
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4. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:58]
 
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Just ordered this game but I ordered it with the Agricola expansion so will have to wait for it to be released before I can get it. Looking forward to playing it but I doubt I will play it on Vassal. Part of the fun of games like this is all the stuff. Twilight Imperium will be a game for me and my friends to play into the late hours on a Saturday night. It's a game were half the fun is the game and the other half is just shooting the bull with your best friends for hours.
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5. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:60]
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Need to try this sometime.
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6. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:76]
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Perhaps the highest rated game on BGG that I dislike. Feel free to burn me at the stake.
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7. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:81]
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No Battlestar Galactica or Arkham Horror but even so there are some co-op games.
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8. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:114]
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There is an actual Vassal Command & Colors Ancients club on Yahoo Groups.
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9. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:126]
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I really like this game. The only problem is there just are to many other card driven wargames that I like better so I never get to play it. Thus my copy sits on my shelf for the most part.
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10. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:132]
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I love Combat Commander. I own everything GMT has put out for it. Haven't played it yet on Vassal but a friend of mine who I am starting to do Vassal with loves it as well so I know we're going to be playing a lot of it. To me CC seems to be a perfect Vassal game.
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11. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
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My introduction to Vassal and the game I plan on using to teach friends how to play.
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12. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:127]
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Have some friends who love Age of Steam. The only problem is they are really really good at Age of Steam and when I play it with them I suck wind in comparison. What's cool is tonight I was chatting with a friend at my FLGS and told them about Age of Steam on Vassal and they really like the idea of playing it on Vassal. Might be a good game for my wife and I to play together with him.
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13. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:161] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
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There are 147,693 Carcassonne expansions. Not sure how many are available on Vassal but I know at least Hunters & Gatherers, The Discovery and The Castle are.
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14. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:181]
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I really enjoy this game but don't get a chance to play it much. Might be a good one to push on my wife though once I get her a bit deeper. She enjoyed Blackbeard tonight (actually I think she enjoyed giving me scurvy over and over) so if this continues to go well maybe I can get her to try this one.
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15. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:189]
 
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Available in English, French and Spanish for Vassal.
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16. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:169] [Average Rating:7.87 Unranked]
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Vassal has 18XX which supports 1826, 1851, 1889, 18AL, 18EU, 18GA, 18Scan, 18US, 18VA. Not familiar with the game series to be any more detailed than that. Would love to try it sometime however.
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17. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:219]
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It's so hard to find 4 or 5 of my friends all available to play this game on a Saturday for as long as it takes even though we all enjoy it a great deal.
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18. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:232]
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I so want to play this. Twice I've seen someone break this out to play after I'm committed to play something else. I also have it on my want to trade for list. Was pleasantly surprised to see it has a Vassal module.

After posting this list it dawned on me that this would be a good game game for my wife and I to play on Vassal together. I showed her the game on BGG and she actually said she would like to try it so it's moved to top of my want list.
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19. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:242]
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Valley Games is another strong supporter of Vassal. Can't wait for their upcoming Republic of Rome to come out.
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20. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:239]
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Would you believe I have never played this.
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21. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:259] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
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After all Vassal stands for Virtual Advanced Squad Leader.
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22. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:257]
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Maybe it helps if you like the books but I've played this twice and never cared for it.
 
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23. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:261] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
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Played this last Friday in a seven player game. We played with the western expansion and simply had to much map and thus room. This may not sound like that huge a problem but the result is we all at one point had 9 cities as we had so much space. We also ended up getting the higher level disasters early when we hadn't really had a chance to get civ cards to defend against them. The result was people got literally devastated and taken out of the game (I went from 9 cities to 1 in a single turn). As weird as it sounds the game is actually easier when there's less room to expand.
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24. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:296]
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Another in the Commands & Colors family.
 
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25. Board Game: Hammer of the Scots [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:376]
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Columbia Games also is a great supporter of Vassal. I have a friend who is a card shark at this game. He eats people alive at it.
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