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Subject: Online question rss

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Bruce Payan

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I have yet to play TS online, but was looking closely at this result:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1891099/twilight-struggle?siz...

Question... what are the little yellow ribbons underneath under Cuba, Poland, Romania, South Africa, and North Korea? I've never noticed it before.

Some sort of coup prohibition?

-- bp
 
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Matt Gustafson
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The yellow mark through the influence indicates that the number of influence has changed during the current players action round.
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Max DuBoff
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You should use Wargameroom...
 
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mak
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MD1616 wrote:
You should use Wargameroom...

You really shouldn't....
Not with the new TS module that is out for Vassal. It fixed all previous problems.
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Max DuBoff
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Makis mou wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
You should use Wargameroom...

You really shouldn't....
Not with the new TS module that is out for Vassal. It fixed all previous problems.


Except that Wargameroom has always had full rules enforcement, whereas VASSAL only got partial rules enforcement recently. (I suspect that Wargameroom has a larger community too.) I'm perfectly willing to try the VASSAL mod when I get a chance (hopefully later this week, but as far as I'm concerned Wargameroom is the best a program can possibly get.
 
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Ioan Mitiu
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MD1616 wrote:
Makis mou wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
You should use Wargameroom...

You really shouldn't....
Not with the new TS module that is out for Vassal. It fixed all previous problems.


Except that Wargameroom has always had full rules enforcement, whereas VASSAL only got partial rules enforcement recently. (I suspect that Wargameroom has a larger community too.) I'm perfectly willing to try the VASSAL mod when I get a chance (hopefully later this week, but as far as I'm concerned Wargameroom is the best a program can possibly get.


The above mentioned facts are probably true - but should mention also that Java-implementation of Wargameroom had some stability-issue so, especially if you use Windows 7, expect to be forced to restart the connection/reload a save at least once per match ... something which I almost never notice on Vassal.
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mak
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MD1616 wrote:
Makis mou wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
You should use Wargameroom...

You really shouldn't....
Not with the new TS module that is out for Vassal. It fixed all previous problems.


Except that Wargameroom has always had full rules enforcement, whereas VASSAL only got partial rules enforcement recently. (I suspect that Wargameroom has a larger community too.) I'm perfectly willing to try the VASSAL mod when I get a chance (hopefully later this week, but as far as I'm concerned Wargameroom is the best a program can possibly get.

Nothing could ne further from the truth. Even the previous Vassal module had full rules enforcement. There is a complete log, so when you alter something on the map, a warning pops out. Especially with the current module, there is no way to cheat, since no one can take a look at the card deck (except the discarded card decks, which is legal.) As for the larger community part,there are always different people playing. Especially during the evening hours you can find about 20 different people playing, from amateurs to very experienced players.
Allow me to clarify the reasons i prefer to use Vassal instead of Wargameroom:
1)User friendly
Everytime i tried to install Wargameroom i failed, miserably. Instead, its sooo easy to download the latest vassal version, then install the TS 3.0.11b module and you are ready to play.
2) Amateur player friendly
In Vassal the cards are the exact replicas of the actual boardgame, meaning that the full text of a card is visible. In Wargameroom that is not the case. So if a new player wanted to play he had to carry a printed list of the card text or look up at the cards, which would be time consuming, tiring and of course not fun at all.
3) Deluxe Edition map
Wargameroom uses the old second edition map. Veteran players may prefer the old one. But i sure do not.
4) Influence clarity
The influence tokens are also the exact replicas of the Deluxe Edition in Vassal. So with one look you can see which countries are controlled by the players. In Wargameroom i find it difficult to say which is which. A controlled country only has a bigger number of the influence played there. Confusing.
5) Original rules
In Vassal no one forces you to use the +2 balance influence for USA. Of course if you prefer to give a helping hand to the US you can always find a player who plays the same as you.
6) Fast and easy play
I am not saying that Wargameroom is slow, but there is a rumor flying around that Vassal TS is slow and difficult to play. That is simply not true. My games with experienced players never go beyond 1 hour for 10 full rounds.
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Kristian Thy
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Makis mou wrote:
Nothing could be further from the truth.


ORLY?

VASSAL eats babies! whistle
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Michael Kiefte
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MD1616 wrote:
(I suspect that Wargameroom has a larger community too.)


I used to think that too, but I'm not sure it's true any more.

Every now and then I take a look to see how many people have played on the VASSAL webserver.

One thing I have noticed is that there are regularly more people playing or looking to play TS on the VASSAL server than there are total people on the Wargameroom chatroom.

That's not totally fair of course: You don't have to be on the Wargameroom chatroom to play Wargameroom. However, it's also true that the Wargameroom chatroom has people wanting to play all sorts of different games, not just TS, whereas you only see the TS players on the VASSAL server.

I'd be really interested in comparing the stats. (Note that I don't actually care either way--it's not like I'm doing this for the money )

I won't go into the advantages of VASSAL over Wargameroom as that would be somewhat disingenuous (albeit there is obviously some reason why I made the module in the first place having tried Wargameroom--I'll leave that for others). However, I will mention one advantage that Wargameroom has over VASSAL: It seems nigh impossible to cheat on Wargameroom. It's very difficult to do on VASSAL without being caught but it is easy to wreck an ongoing game by doing something very much out of the ordinary (although the Undo button usually fixes things.)

As for rules enforcement, I was stuck between people who wanted to play TS rapidly online and people who play PBeM. All of the rules enforcement on VASSAL are intended to speed things along. The major area that is not enforced is influence placement which really wouldn't speed anything up at all -- you'd still have to click on the countries and hit the up arrows. Coups and realignments are enforced because that does speed things up enormously.

However, I notice that some bright individual has posted a PBeM version of the module which would leave me free to implement remaining rules relatively easily. Although it wouldn't speed the game up, it would avoid errors in influence placement.
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Michael Kiefte
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turbothy wrote:
Makis mou wrote:
Nothing could be further from the truth.


ORLY?

VASSAL eats babies! whistle


That was fixed in the last version.
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Max DuBoff
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Makis mou wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Makis mou wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
You should use Wargameroom...

You really shouldn't....
Not with the new TS module that is out for Vassal. It fixed all previous problems.


Except that Wargameroom has always had full rules enforcement, whereas VASSAL only got partial rules enforcement recently. (I suspect that Wargameroom has a larger community too.) I'm perfectly willing to try the VASSAL mod when I get a chance (hopefully later this week, but as far as I'm concerned Wargameroom is the best a program can possibly get.

Nothing could ne further from the truth. Even the previous Vassal module had full rules enforcement. There is a complete log, so when you alter something on the map, a warning pops out. Especially with the current module, there is no way to cheat, since no one can take a look at the card deck (except the discarded card decks, which is legal.) As for the larger community part,there are always different people playing. Especially during the evening hours you can find about 20 different people playing, from amateurs to very experienced players.
Allow me to clarify the reasons i prefer to use Vassal instead of Wargameroom:
1)User friendly
Everytime i tried to install Wargameroom i failed, miserably. Instead, its sooo easy to download the latest vassal version, then install the TS 3.0.11b module and you are ready to play.
2) Amateur player friendly
In Vassal the cards are the exact replicas of the actual boardgame, meaning that the full text of a card is visible. In Wargameroom that is not the case. So if a new player wanted to play he had to carry a printed list of the card text or look up at the cards, which would be time consuming, tiring and of course not fun at all.
3) Deluxe Edition map
Wargameroom uses the old second edition map. Veteran players may prefer the old one. But i sure do not.
4) Influence clarity
The influence tokens are also the exact replicas of the Deluxe Edition in Vassal. So with one look you can see which countries are controlled by the players. In Wargameroom i find it difficult to say which is which. A controlled country only has a bigger number of the influence played there. Confusing.
5) Original rules
In Vassal no one forces you to use the +2 balance influence for USA. Of course if you prefer to give a helping hand to the US you can always find a player who plays the same as you.
6) Fast and easy play
I am not saying that Wargameroom is slow, but there is a rumor flying around that Vassal TS is slow and difficult to play. That is simply not true. My games with experienced players never go beyond 1 hour for 10 full rounds.


Alright, I think I need to try the VASSAL program, because it's wrong for me to judge on incomplete information. Would you perhaps care for a game tonight?


In the meantime, I should clear up a few things. First of all, card text is not at all hard to access in WGR. Clicking "Information" in the top bar gives, among other things, the options "Text of Cards in Hand" and "Text of Cards in Deck" (a drop-down bar will appear).

Also, WGR gives every possible balancing options (optional cards, CCW, and any number of extra points and influence (to clear up the notion that there is no option). The league default applies to league games and nothing else (and Daniel runs another excellent league that might be more suitable for players who want less balancing).

It's worth noting that I've never had the problems to which Ioan refers, although I can see why those would be a bit of a hassle.

I don't really care about the map design, but it is worth noting that the old map was brighter and clearer (yes, I use the deluxe edition when I play at home, but it doesn't really matter to me).

The only main problem with WGR is that one player needs to host, but I use Hamachi to solve that.


I'll comment more after I play on VASSAL! Thanks again to Michael for adapting it to the newer VASSAL.
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Max DuBoff
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Oh, sorry, I meant a larger community over more games (since I'd rather be able to go to one chatroom and find a variety of games). I realize I was quite unclear about that.
 
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mak
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MD1616 wrote:
Alright, I think I need to try the VASSAL program, because it's wrong for me to judge on incomplete information. Would you perhaps care for a game tonight?

Deal! I will be available for play in about an hour and a half from now. See you
 
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Pascal Abidor
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As someone relatively new to TS and who has just started playing it online, I will add my two cents. This may be redundant but here it goes.

Rules: wargameroom's full rules implementation is really convenient but I feel that it also means you don't learn to implement the rules when playing on the board. Vassal forces you to really learn and come to know the rules.

Stability: I have a mac and my internet connection isn't great in my current apartment. Wargameroom on mac is annoying, and a dropped connection is a significant enough inconvenience to make playing not fun or not even tenable. It also means I can't host ever. With Vassal, a dropped connection means I have to click a few times and I'm back in the game, no problem.

Visually: Vassal looks amazing. You have a digital version of the game with only minor automations to make things easier. Wargameroom looks like windows 3.0. My first reaction to wargameroom: "Ok, I could deal with this if it means I can play TS". My first reaction to vassal: "Whoa, I want to play TS this way."

Ease of use: With Wargameroom there is no way to see the game text of all your cards at the same time! This makes it extremely difficult if you don't have every card memorized or if you don't have the electronic hand excel sheet, or if you don't have the game cards (in numerical order) next to your computer. Otherwise, its A LOT of clicking. Also, The full rules implementation doesn't keep wargameroom from being incredibly unwieldy. Besides all the work to just read the cards in your hand, the effect is that, unless your really familiar with how wargameroom works and with TS itself, the gameplay feels very mediated and not direct - like a computerized version of the board game. Vassal doesn't cut down on the clicks, but you do feel like you are clicking to actually play the board game, not clicking to control the program to tell it what to do with your game.

Players: Its easier to find opponents in wargameroom. A centralized chatroom for all games beats out vassal's opponents wanted forum. But only because its easier to just login and play a game with someone. If you want to schedule live play or find pbem players, then vassal and wargameroom might be evenly matched.

In sum, wargameroom is for the experienced player who just wants to play and experience the mechanics of the game, Vassal is for learners and experienced players alike, and especially those who want to enjoy the visuals of the game.
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Max DuBoff
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I apologize, everyone. I have come to realize that I've been quite rude over a series of different threads. I hope I may be forgiven for my misdirected zeal, and I apologize again if I have offended anyone (absolutely no offense was intended).
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Daniel Hogetoorn
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Let's add to this thread, now Max has mentioned my league ;-)

I played on both Vassal and Wargameroom, and I prefer the last one. I'm a very experienced player and happen to know all cards by heart. In that case I've got time to scroll the map and have a great overview. I can imagine that WGR is fussy for people who don't know the cards. However, the few times I played on Vassal I was always confronted with players who were shouting that I was too slow, even if I was thinking for no more than 10 seconds or so. It even happened three times that I decided to quit the game, because I was really offended. I'm no slow player at all, but on Vassal all players seem to be in a hurry. Maybe I'm generalizing and have I been just unlucky with my choice of opponents, but it destroyed my fun and I'm not fond of playing on Vassal anymore.

And that brings me to another very important advantage of WGR: it keeps the thinking times of the players. For league play it's very important to give people enough time to think and keep the length of the games limited. That's why Vassal is not suitable for league play yet, although I would like to allow players to play on Vassal if thinking time would be implemented.
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Michael Kiefte
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MD1616 wrote:
I apologize, everyone. I have come to realize that I've been quite rude over a series of different threads. I hope I may be forgiven for my misdirected zeal, and I apologize again if I have offended anyone (absolutely no offense was intended).


You are probably one of the politest people on BGG and yet you still apologize for things.

Are you sure you're not Canadian?
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Been awhile since I poked around in VASSAL. Regarding TS, for those of you who have a widescreen laptop, can the whole TS board fit on one screen without scrolling, and is it readable? That's what always threw me off the online tools, I hate having to scroll around, and often when I zoomed out I couldn't really make out what was going on very well. Maybe this is less of an issue in a game like TS.
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Michael Kiefte
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DeDaan wrote:
And that brings me to another very important advantage of WGR: it keeps the thinking times of the players. For league play it's very important to give people enough time to think and keep the length of the games limited. That's why Vassal is not suitable for league play yet, although I would like to allow players to play on Vassal if thinking time would be implemented.


Do you know how time is tracked during the Headline Phase? Does the time count against both players or just one?

Just curious...
 
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DeDaan wrote:
However, the few times I played on Vassal I was always confronted with players who were shouting that I was too slow, even if I was thinking for no more than 10 seconds or so. It even happened three times that I decided to quit the game, because I was really offended. I'm no slow player at all, but on Vassal all players seem to be in a hurry. Maybe I'm generalizing and have I been just unlucky with my choice of opponents, but it destroyed my fun and I'm not fond of playing on Vassal anymore.

Since i play almost everyday on Vassal, i think i can answer you. When i was learning the game i too came across a certain individual who made fun of me because i was a noob. But in general most players are nice to each other. Of course this is a wargame (sort of) and in wargames things get a little tensed sometimes. I remember playing against a fellow who didnt let me undo a coup i did because i forgot defcon was at 2 and claimed he won. However i believe that jerks are all around us and they are not the privilege of Vassal. Havent you ever come across a rude person in Wargameroom? I havent encountered the time playing issue my self. Maybe you were unlucky at your opponent picks. Almost all af my usual experienced opponents are easy going and have the common courtesy to say "Good Game" at the end. I would really like to see a tournament staged on Vassal someday...
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Daniel Hogetoorn
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At the start of the headline phase time goes for both players. As soon as one of them chooses their headline, the time stops for him, but proceeds for the other.

@makis: no, I didn't meet a rude person on WGR yet, but maybe I was just lucky there and unlucky at Vassal. I would be more than happy to organize a league or championship over Vassal if there are sufficient people interested. However, thinking time is still a problem.
 
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Max DuBoff
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Makis mou wrote:
Havent you ever come across a rude person in Wargameroom?


Yeah, there are a couple. (They don't really play TS though.)

Makis mou wrote:
I would really like to see a tournament staged on Vassal someday...


Why don't you organize one?

Are you in the VASSAL Wargamers Europe FB group? Someone prganized a Combat Commander tournament in the American version of that, an you could probably use a similar model (he does two-week rounds in a Swiss system). You could probably even organize through BGG...

 
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Michael Kiefte
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MD1616 wrote:


Why don't you organize one?



I'm not sure I'd recommend that.

I think the VASSAL module will be ready for that at some point and when it is, I'll organize something.
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mkiefte wrote:
MD1616 wrote:


Why don't you organize one?



I'm not sure I'd recommend that.

I think the VASSAL module will be ready for that at some point and when it is, I'll organize something.


Oops, sorry, just trying to be encouraging.
 
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mkiefte wrote:
I think the VASSAL module will be ready for that at some point and when it is, I'll organize something.

Thank you Michael. You are my hero!
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