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Subject: Campaign opponent wanted rss

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John Pankonien
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Hi there!
As the title states I'm looking for an online opponent for the campaign game. We can talk about if and any variants or options should be included. If interested, we could even AAR the game on to the forum. I've played a good amount of OCS and Tunisia is my favorite. I figured vassal pbem would work best and was hoping to have a relaxed fun game going back and forth of the course of a few months. I work during the week but can easily knock out a few turns through a weekend. I've done plenty of solitaire and would like to try my hand against a live opponent. Message me back and lets talk!

Sincerely,
Kwando
P.S. hope this is the right post spot.
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Joe Moles
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You would probably get better visibility posting to the current Vassal Geeklist. October's has not be started yet, but the subscription list is here: [geeklist=115364][/geeklist]

Once Octobers is up, just add the game you want to play to the geeklist with details and you'll probably get some pretty quick hits.

I'd definitely be interest, but not actually played OCS and my dance card is pretty full, although 2 couple turns a week I could probably do.

 
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Twisk of the Blue Feathers
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kwando44 wrote:
Hi there!
As the title states I'm looking for an online opponent for the campaign game. We can talk about if and any variants or options should be included. If interested, we could even AAR the game on to the forum. I've played a good amount of OCS and Tunisia is my favorite. I figured vassal pbem would work best and was hoping to have a relaxed fun game going back and forth of the course of a few months. I work during the week but can easily knock out a few turns through a weekend. I've done plenty of solitaire and would like to try my hand against a live opponent. Message me back and lets talk!

Sincerely,
Kwando
P.S. hope this is the right post spot.


It is an intriguing notion. Never played OCS by PBEM, I am curious how it would work, with all the fog of war and all. Wouldn't the other guy see you moving your supplies and trucks around?
 
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Malcolm Cameron
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chuft wrote:
It is an intriguing notion. Never played OCS by PBEM, I am curious how it would work, with all the fog of war and all. Wouldn't the other guy see you moving your supplies and trucks around?


I have played a lot of OCS by email using VASSAL.

It works really well. Most of the VASSAL modules have fog of war built into the module, courtesy of the late George Hayward.

Each player takes command of a side via a menu button. Once you do that, you can see all of your own units. But when hovering the mouse over a stack of the other side's units you can only see what the fog of war rule allows you to see (so, for example, if there is a combat mode attack capable unit in the stack, the other side will see it and the rest will be masked).

In some modules the 13.7 formation markers are also available and can hide the units of that formation (other than the top one). The modules can be set up to add extra fog of war, such as by making units beyond a certain range invisible, but that is optional.

When moving your own units all of that works really well - you can see where the ZOCs and patrol zones are, for example.

Combat is handled by an "attack" marker - when you place one on an enemy stack, you can see and manipulate all the units in the stack. To do an attack, I pre-commit my units and pay the supply and only after doing that do I put an attack marker on to see what I am up against.

Defensive combat supply can be caught up in the other side's next log.

It requires a reasonable dose of common sense but I find it runs very smoothly - three logs per player turn usually (1. my refit, reinforcement, movement and supply; 2. your reaction; 3. my combat and exploit).

Sometimes it is a bit more back and forth - where an option decision for a defender is not obvious and may affect the rest of the move, for example. But works really well in my view.

(Allows a lot more OCS play than would happen if I was limited to face to face or live VASSAL play).
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Twisk of the Blue Feathers
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Malcolm C wrote:
The modules can be set up to add extra fog of war, such as by making units beyond a certain range invisible


Now that sounds really cool.

My concern is mostly with the dumps and trucks, since unless they are stacked with a combat unit, they would tend to be visible, unless you are just teleporting them from one stack to another without moving them across the map. If units were invisible beyond a certain range, though, that would be even better.

How do you handle defensive supply? Obviously the defender will want to choose internals if he knows his unit has been killed.

Thanks for the info, sounds like OCS has been well treated by Mr. Hayward.
 
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Jim P.
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This seems like a good time to come clean and ask a question as well...I am a sufferer of vassal fright. I have had offers to play some of the OCS titles I routinely solo, but I admit I duck out usually saying that I need to learn the game better. shake

I understand what vassal is and how it works, but running it with a live (or email) game seems daunting. For example, Malcolm:

When you save a log file for emailing, does it save the entire state of the game at that moment? Opponent state as well as your own? If so, if it were my phase, I would do my movement and plan combat, save a log file, and then send it to my opponent.....then he would use this log file as the new state of the game to use for his reaction step? All older log files before aren't important anymore (unless you wish to review the game afterwards)?

Is there a common protocol for naming the files that most players use, such as Turn3_step1.log or somesuch?

Finally, isn't it challenging to load an opponents log file, and rather than watch him move his stacks,you must discern from memory where his units were and where he has now moved his units? They are instantly in new locations...

Thanks

 
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Bill Lawson
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chuft wrote:
Malcolm C wrote:
The modules can be set up to add extra fog of war, such as by making units beyond a certain range invisible


Now that sounds really cool.

My concern is mostly with the dumps and trucks, since unless they are stacked with a combat unit, they would tend to be visible, unless you are just teleporting them from one stack to another without moving them across the map. If units were invisible beyond a certain range, though, that would be even better.

How do you handle defensive supply? Obviously the defender will want to choose internals if he knows his unit has been killed.

Thanks for the info, sounds like OCS has been well treated by Mr. Hayward.


The trucks and dumps are as invisible as the combat units. You may know where a dump is at times but not whats in it. It could be a single t or multiple SPs. defensive supply is easy. You cannot use internals if supply points are available so thats a non issue. OCS with the vassal FOW is the best FOW system I've ever played. You sort of know whats going on but never know if the enemy has supplies or not. Things are not always as they appear to be. Very cool!
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Bill Lawson
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
This seems like a good time to come clean and ask a question as well...I am a sufferer of vassal fright. I have had offers to play some of the OCS titles I routinely solo, but I admit I duck out usually saying that I need to learn the game better. shake

I understand what vassal is and how it works, but running it with a live (or email) game seems daunting. For example, Malcolm:

When you save a log file for emailing, does it save the entire state of the game at that moment? Opponent state as well as your own? If so, if it were my phase, I would do my movement and plan combat, save a log file, and then send it to my opponent.....then he would use this log file as the new state of the game to use for his reaction step? All older log files before aren't important anymore (unless you wish to review the game afterwards)?

Is there a common protocol for naming the files that most players use, such as Turn3_step1.log or somesuch?

Finally, isn't it challenging to load an opponents log file, and rather than watch him move his stacks,you must discern from memory where his units were and where he has now moved his units? They are instantly in new locations...

Thanks



Vassal is extremely easy to use. It may take all of 5 minutes to get you up to speed.
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Malcolm Cameron
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chuft wrote:
How do you handle defensive supply? Obviously the defender will want to choose internals if he knows his unit has been killed.


I usually type a comment into my log file along the lines of this: "You can spent 2T, or internals if no on-map supply is available, or you can choose to withhold combat supply altogether and defend at half strength. Decide now before you see the surprise roll ..."

I might then enter a couple of blank lines in the log comments to ensure my opponent has time to decide.

I trust them to make that decision in a binding way before seeing the dice - purely as a matter of honour. When they do their next log they should just be honestly implementing the decisions they took before the dice were rolled.

chuft wrote:
Thanks for the info, sounds like OCS has been well treated by Mr. Hayward.


That is certainly true. I never had the pleasure of dealing with him directly, but I am in his debt as a gamer.

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Malcolm Cameron
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
This seems like a good time to come clean and ask a question as well...I am a sufferer of vassal fright. I have had offers to play some of the OCS titles I routinely solo, but I admit I duck out usually saying that I need to learn the game better. shake


I played solo for six months or so before entering the PBEM world - I am really glad I did. The OCS community is pretty broad and welcoming. And it is a hoot to play the games PBEM. It also allows you to play OCS in bite sized chunks at a pace you are comfortable with.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
I understand what vassal is and how it works, but running it with a live (or email) game seems daunting.


As Bill said, it is not daunting at all. Takes a bit of getting used to, but really easy. I am not at all tech-savvy. If you can click and drag, and type the occasional comment, you can play anything using VASSAL.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
For example, Malcolm:

When you save a log file for emailing, does it save the entire state of the game at that moment?


A log file records each thing you do. So if you click on the 34th Guards Rifle division and drag it to the adjacent hex, that is recorded in the log. If you then type "He will now overrun the Alert battalion in the adjacent open hex. First I will roll surprise at +2", that too will be recorded. If you then spend the 3T required, that will be recorded, and if you then press the button to roll the 2d6 required (or 2d6+1d6 for the column shifts, if any) the result of the roll will be recorded.

When your opponent opens the log file, it will start where you started. As he or she presses page down, the next thing you did will show up on your opponent's screen - the movement of the 34th Gds Rfl div; the comment you typed (identified by your name); the result of the dice roll.

Your opponent will be playing back your move, step by step. Usually, the screen will centre on the unit being moved etc so it is relatively easy to follow what your opponent is doing.

When moving units often there is little or no need for comments to be typed in along the way. Usually you need comments at combat time, to explain who is attacking what, which is the lead unit etc.

So the log starts where you started (you begin a log consciously by clicking "Begin Log File") and ends where you end it ("End Log File"). What you see and what your opponent sees are identical, apart from the fog of war constraints I mentioned earlier.

If you do a heap of moves without doing "Begin Log File" nothing gets recorded (that is a bad plan).

You can also do a save file at any point in time, which is simply a snap shot of the game state at that moment.

But the main vehicle for PBEM is the log file in which you start a log, do your thing, end the log and send it to your opponent to play back.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
Opponent state as well as your own?


Yes.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
If so, if it were my phase, I would do my movement and plan combat, save a log file, and then send it to my opponent.....then he would use this log file as the new state of the game to use for his reaction step?


Yes.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
All older log files before aren't important anymore (unless you wish to review the game afterwards)?


Yes.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
Is there a common protocol for naming the files that most players use, such as Turn3_step1.log or somesuch?


That depends on the players. I incline to OCD file names (like "027 July 15 Soviet combat and exploit" for the 27th log file of the game, recording the Red Army's combat phase and exploit phase for the 15 July turn). Others like to keep it a bit more real, with file names like "Kaboom" (for, well, whatever - but probably something involving artillery). It doesn't really matter, because if you save the files to a folder, they will show up in the order they were created.

InvisibleRobots wrote:
Finally, isn't it challenging to load an opponents log file, and rather than watch him move his stacks,you must discern from memory where his units were and where he has now moved his units? They are instantly in new locations...


No - because you see them moving, within the constraints of the fog of war rule. Once you know your opponent well enough, you can usually just speed through the moves in the log file, pausing at his or her comments. You do see the transport points zipping around in the backfield at high speed when you do that - but that is no different to what you would see in a live face to face game.

You can watch as closely or as loosely as you like if the other side's move has been logged.
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Twisk of the Blue Feathers
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Did they change the internals rule? It used to be the player's option, and "paying back" internals cost double (and took priority next turn). Players tended to use them when the unit in question seemed likely to get killed, to save supply points. The reason it was the defender's option was to prevent the enemy player from adopting a strategy of "using up" all the defender's supply with a series of piecemeal attacks against unimportant units.

Quote:
No - because you see them moving


Well, it is up to the opponent whether he moves things hex by hex, or just leapfrogs them from start to end point. I have seen people do it both ways. Is there a convention among OCS players regarding which way to do it? In FTF play, I have seen people typically "leapfrog" stuff around to maintain fog of war, hiding the moving stuff under the top unit of wherever they are going. In fact, the convention in FTF play used to be (maybe still is) to turn away from the table while the other guy was moving.
 
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Bill Lawson
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I started playing OCS with the 4.0 rules (we're on 4.1 now). All I can tell you is that using internals when SPs are available is against the rules. If it was allowed before it sounds like a good rule change.
 
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Twisk of the Blue Feathers
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It sounds like a good time. Also sounds like it would be best for someone experienced using the OCS modules to play with someone who isn't, so the new player can learn how to use the modules properly.

I have experience (years ago) playing OCS, and experience using Vassal, but not experience playing OCS on Vassal.
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