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Subject: Aide-De-Camp for Wargames online rss

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Kevin
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I recently found the Aide-de-Camp system that allows wargames to be played online. Before I invest in this, does anyone have any experience using this system. I found out about it when I realized a ton of GMT games are available to be played over Aide-de-Camp. If anyone can offer any comments, I would be really interested to hear opinions. My main goal was to be able to play Europe Engulfed with friends out of state.

Thanks,
Kevin
 
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Kevin Moody
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There are five online tools I'm aware of for playing wargames over the computer: ADC, Cyberboard, VASSAL, ACTS, and the system found at the wargameroom.

ADC is a program you have to purchase, and the game modules usually also have to be purchased. Although I'm not very proficient with it, I played with it enough to know that I will only use it if I have no alternatives.

Cyberboard is very similar to ADC, but free, with game modules typically free, and is, IMO, slightly more intuitive than ADC, but due to VASSAL it's now also on my "only if there's no alternative" list.

VASSAL is a Java-based program (benefit: cross platform (PC and Mac), downside: resource hog), that is free, the game modules are free, and in addition to offering PBeM it also can be played live (you will see your opponent move pieces, roll dice, etc, as he does it). It's extrememely intuitive...have someone spend five minutes with you to show you the ropes and I doubt you will ever forget. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the number of game modules available for it (yet) that ADC and Cyberboard do (but it's getting there rapidly).

ACTS is a program used mostly in wargames involving cardplay (We the People, etc, and pure card games like Blue vs Gray). It's often used in conjunction with Cyberboard (which will keep track of the board).

My recommendation for you and your friend is to try the wargameroom and use their iEE program to play/learn Europe Engulfed. The graphics are very primitive (there's been a fan-based mod in the works for some time now using original GMT graphics, but no word on when that will be available). Both players must be logged on to use the program (it's only live, no PBeM play). http://www.patmedia.net/bmh1980/downloads.htm

Playing live with a VOIP program like Skype is a lot of fun.

Regardless of which one you go with, if you enjoy it and continue to use it please consider sending the host(s) a donation...other than ADC, which you will have paid for, of course
 
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Don Schoemaker
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I faced the same question about six months ago. IMHO after digging around I found that ADC2 is fading in use/popularity. It's simple economics... you have to, or should own the origial game, then you pay for ADC2 and pay for the ADC module for your game. Those all add up.

Cyberboard and Vassal have no set cost (you can make paypal donations). The modules that are out there are still limited, but they also come without any additional cost.

I used to play Cyberboard years ago. It has never been the easiest to play. I ran across Vassal and I'm hooked. It's my interface of choice. I even play solo (multiplayer) games on it. Eventually their will be more and more modules and the range will grow...

Try Cyberboard and Vassal both... since they are free there is no downside. I still use Cyberboard for games not yet in Vassal's stable.

As noted above, there is also wargameroom.com for a couple of games including EE. However it has a cost and you can only play live last time I looked into it. Playing a full game of EE on the net is a daunting task to say the least. Good luck.
 
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Dave Rubin
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Lot's of good advice above, to which I'll add my own amplifications:

There used to be a significant gap in the "screen appeal" of Cyberboard and ADC2, but that has been greatly narrowed by the practice of some publishers (in particular, GMT) of allowing the use of original or reduced graphics files, expecially for maps. Also, Cyberboard was more recently upgraded than ADC. I tend to play older games on ADC2, but newer releases find me using Cyberboard modules. Viewing the boards for the two programs at Consimworld, it appears that Cyberboard activity has overtaken ADC2 activity. However, there is a bigger "catalog" of modules for older games with ADC2. Many ADC2 modules are free, too (google Hauptkampflinie to find the site where they are collected).
 
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