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Subject: VASSAL vs. CyberBoard rss

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The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
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Which is better? What, from the gamers perspective, is the reason you use one and not the other...or if you use both go there too. Which is easier to learn/navigate? Obviously VASSAL has the live version but just compare the PBEM status of the systems.

Thanks in advance for the input.
 
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Brad Miller
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I think the file saving mechanism is a bit easier to use in VASSAL than with Cyberboard, but there are more games available that I'm interested in that exist in Cyberboard. I also can make gameboxes in Cyberboard, and I haven't learned to do that with VASSAL yet.
 
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Nick Avtges
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I'm very interested in people's opinion's about this as well. I do use Cyberboard but I haven't used VASSAL. I did use VASSAL's ancestor VASL a few years back. I used VASL in both live and pbem modes. I thought VASL was pretty incredible and was looking forward to the development of VASSAL, which was just in it's infancy at the time. Since then I've pretty much given up on ASL and started playing more euros. Wargames still held a special spot in my heart and I've had Cyberboard games going with a buddy of mine for a while, but pbem slowed down a lot as I found a good local euro gaming group. I've used Cyberboard for many games: Turning Point: Stalingrad, Breakout Normandy, and most recently Bonaparte in Marengo. I also dabbled a bit in gamebox creation with Turning Point: Stalingrad. Cyberboard is a great tool and I've found it pretty easy to use and there are plenty of games for it. I really like it. VASL I found to be initially a little confusing because I think the interface was primarily designed for live play over the Internet. Of course, I don't know if VASSAL is the same way.

Anyway, I've been trying to step up my pbem play lately, and will most likely be trying VASSAL in the next few weeks once I decide on a game and an opponent...any recommendations?

Bottomline, both are really great FREE tools!
 
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Michael Powell
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I think both are great. I wonder where the wargame hobby would be now if we had both of these 10 years ago. I prefer Vassal because you can play games live. I will usually wait till after 9 at night when cell phones are free to call and chat while playing. However, you can use text to chat in the game while playing. On the other hand, there are more Cyberboard games to be had.
 
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Don Schoemaker
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Since it allows "live" play I prefer Vassal. I use skype so there is no charge to chat with my opponent (if they have it). There are a LOT more Vassal mods than there were even just a year ago.
 
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Michael @mgouker
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Some games only have CyberBoard though. My preference is also for VASSAL. It's more like your computers are a virtual board and you can even open up chat windows to negotiate with opponents.
 
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J C Lawrence
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thoia wrote:
Which is better? What, from the gamers perspective, is the reason you use one and not the other...or if you use both go there too. Which is easier to learn/navigate? Obviously VASSAL has the live version but just compare the PBEM status of the systems.


VASSAL is cross-platform and portable. That's more than enough to decide for me.
 
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Bob Roberts

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VASSAL all the way. Live play, mods are easy to make, far more features supported. If there are games you like that are only on Cyberboard why not try your hand at making a VASSAL version. If Cyberboard had developed online play I might have stuck with it but VASSAL got there first. VASSAL also boasts a very lively development crew. Rodney Kinney, the creator, and a bunch of other chaps who work hard at making VASSAL better all the time. RK was kind enough to include some features I had asked for, cant say that happens too often in the software world lol.
 
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Leo Zappa
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I have no desire for live play (my friends and I have extremely hectic lives and coordinating times to sit in front of a computer is not an option). Of these two, which provides the easiest, most seamless PBeM interface???
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I've never used Vassal because if I have the time for a live game, I'd rather play it in person. CyberBoard is designed for play by email, so you can take a turn whenever you find the time.
 
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J C Lawrence
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VASSAL is also frequently used for PBeM. I can't comment on comparative ease of use, but it certainly works and works well enough for a great many ongoing games to be using it.

 
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Lea Hudson
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I've never played Cyberboard and VASSAL only once, but it was a blast. The live chat and spectating options are great and make things a lot easier, particularly as VASSAL isn't the easiest gui to work out when you're a newb. I played Memoir '44 the day after buying the actual game and found it almost as much fun with VASSAL as with a RW opponent.

From what I can gather, Matrix Games now own VASSAL, or at least the rights to it and are developing retail games for the engine. They have stated that it will always remain free. This has to be a good thing as Matrix are a good company who look after their customers and produce excellent games. To have VASSAL running on their servers with their development potential means it has a rosy future.

Regards,
Lea.
 
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Adam Starkweather
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I use a Mac so VASSAL is the only choice but I have tried CB on laptops and know how it works.

For what it is worth, VASSAL is the comer and will be the thing everyone uses fairly soon but for now, CB is better supported.

If only playing PBeM, CB is much faster as VASSAL program is so computer intensive - takes a longer time to save and load...

On the other hand, VASSAL offers game assist features that are unheard of in CB land (and you are just starting to see these now).

I say keep ahead of the wave and play what everyone will be playing. Go VASSAL all the way. There are plenty of sets to play and it is growing everyday.

I am fully supporting VASSAL and not CB in all my designs.

Adam
 
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Clark D. Rodeffer
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I also really like that VASSAL is cross-platform. But what about Thoth? I know it's also Windows-only, at least for now.

Clark
 
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Jeffrey McBeth
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The intersection between Mac/Linux people and Boardgaming is not insignificant. VASSAL is the only tool that works on all the three major platforms. The only way I could play boardgames with the people I play boardgames with is to either do it by hand or VASSAL.
 
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Asher D.
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VASSAL also supports more and better graphics formats, so the games just look better. Think of it as better bits
Last year I have put some time into remaking the counter set for Victory in the Pacific, basically making the ships counters look like the real game's ship counters rather than flat and dull colored icons.

There's an active forum on yahoo for the vassal engine development, and a new one over at Strategy Zone Online about developing modules (http://www.strategyzoneonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=...)

VASSAL started out from ASL, so there's a better coverage for wargames in the existing modules, but more and more boardgames are added continuously.
It's also pretty friendly for the module developer (though there is a learning curve) so if you want to play a certain game which doesn't have a module yet, you can make one yourself. The group on SZO has several very talented and knowledgable people who I'm sure will be happy to help anyone working on their own module.

I looked at both tools and I have to say I much preferred VASSAL, even without taking into account the live play option.
Mostly for the feel, graphics, and user interface.

 
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Bob Roberts

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Quote:
CB is better supported.


I assume by this you mean the number of games currently available?
That would be partly due to CB being around longer.

VASSAL has far better actual support from what I can see, RK and the other chaps are constantly updating and adding new features, I don't think Dale has updated CB in quite awhile.

VASSAL also supports card decks, dice with custom faces, layers and a lot of other features not found in CB.
 
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David Seddon
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Watch out for Forward Observer #3. It's coming soon on this very subject.
 
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Tim Franklin
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mcbeth wrote:
The intersection between Mac/Linux people and Boardgaming is not insignificant. VASSAL is the only tool that works on all the three major platforms. The only way I could play boardgames with the people I play boardgames with is to either do it by hand or VASSAL.


To be fair, CB *does* work under VirtualPC and WINE - I'm using the former to play Here I Stand (which is looking excellent, by the way!). It's slow, and I mean real wading-through-treacle slow, and only WINE is a free option - to say nothing of the bad taste that buying a proper computer and then ending up running Windows on it leaves in my mouth gulp

But it's better than not playing the games at all...

The thread remind me, I've done a little bundle-up of VASSAL to look and feel more like a Mac app, if anyone is interested in testing that it works as intended before I present it to Rodney and ask for his blessing, PM me.
 
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The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
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Thanks to everyone for their input I really appreciate your experiences shared here.
 
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