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Subject: New Siege of Jerusalem Vassal update (2.1) posted rss

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Rob McCray

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SoJ fans,

I have posted an update to the Siege of Jerusalem Vassal module (2.1).
http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:The_Siege_of_Jerusal...
Important: I was not ready to post it because there are some image problems that I need help from the Vassal team to fix, so to give them access to it I went ahead and posted it.

What you need to know.

First it is safe and ok to download it. The errors are only that I can't replace some of the images that I need to, particularly some of the internal instructions that I had temporarily added.

To advance the turn counter, use Shift Right arrow button...not Ctrl Alt Up as indicated in some of the instructions that I cannot remove.

Instructional videos have been made and are currently awaiting youtube upload times before they will be posted to BGG. This may take a couple of days to be honest.

It is highly automated. here is a short list of what it now does.
1. Turn control with automated commands to calculate all aspects of victory points, replacement and unit life cycle throughout the game.
2.Full Assault Period Interphase automation
3. Judean/Roman unit replacement built in. Automatically calculates the percentage and randomizes returning units and sends them back to the board.
4. Victory points calculation for casualty, preparation, escape points, Eliezer ben Yair still on map, redoubt control.
5. Separate map to indicate city area control.
6. On map tracking of Judean reserve units for each area
7. Hide Judean artillery from Roman player during secret deployment.
8. On map tracking of redoubt control
9. KTX marker removal.
10. Judean reserve unit randomizer die roller.
11. Step by step instructions for each Assault Period Interphase step.
12. Overlays (Right click on a firing unit such as artillery) that indicate the range in hexes for primary, secondary and tertiary ranges.
13. Overlays that indicate Command Control ranges for leaders in hexes. (Right click on leaders and select CC Range)

In short, this module does almost everything necessary to play the campaign game without external data management. There is a learning curve of course, hence the pending videos but I believe it will be worth it in the long run. All of the data management is internal to the module.

Please give it a try...be patient, and let me know what you think.

Rob
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Martijn vR
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Hi Rob,

Wow, that's truly amazing! I'll check it out, but from what you describe I can only be amazed what you made! Currently playing the introduction scenario in 2.0, but I'll check if we can switch.

Thanks!
Martijn
 
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Martijn vR
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Didn't have time yet to see how everything works, but it looks great! Did some quick 'looking around'. Some remarks:
- Could you add the fort in the NW corner of the TQ? Not sure where the stairs should go to. It seems to the TC (just like in the NC, CoD and LC)
- Is there any way to remove those red movement lines? I'm not too fond of them (especially when the Romans move, it becomes a mess of lines and doesn't make it more insightful). Pushing the move button removes also the 'moved'markers which are very handy..
- Your control overview misses 2 areas (without levy points, but still..): Fortress triangle and Yafo Gate.
- A very nice to have, but probably hard to make is to let the missile range overlay take the LoS into account..
- Is there any way to view the dead pool/unused counter pool? Like to count bodies
- Just curious: I had a hard time figuring out how to handle the reserves and replacements (see my excel file here on BGG). Especially when you run out of counters, and with essentially two dead pools (recent and older..). Did you all incorporate this here?
- About missile fire: when I right click on a unit, I get the choice between primary or secundairy range.. And there is a button to clear all missile fire.. But how do I fire at all? (Or perhaps I should read/look at the manual first.)
- Also the change value-button on the menu (right button on unit) is for what?
- Gate overlay: the inner part of those two gates into the Inner Temple wall are missing. Pretty clear of course, but for the sake of completeness.
- The mini window that pops up for Step 16 in the AP, could that be made a bit smaller? I did it myself, but it keeps enlarging to the Original size when I go to the next step..


 
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Brian Sielski
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Are you planning on making any more changes? I'd rather wait to examine it when you give the, "this is final" word.
 
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Rob McCray

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Thanks for the quick look over. Many improvements came out of it.

Version 2.2 will be out shortly as a result. Did you get to view any of the videos that I posted. My voice could drone anything to sleep, but hopefully I have explained how some of the functions work.

So here is what I came up with from your suggestions:

So my response under each of your suggestions.

- Could you add the fort in the NW corner of the TQ? Not sure where the stairs should go to. It seems to the TC (just like in the NC, CoD and LC)

Done.

- Is there any way to remove those red movement lines? I'm not too fond of them (especially when the Romans move, it becomes a mess of lines and doesn't make it more insightful). Pushing the move button removes also the 'moved'markers which are very handy..

Yeah I had pretty much come to the same conclusion. Movement trails turned off but can be individually turned on if desired.

- Your control overview misses 2 areas (without levy points, but still..): Fortress triangle and Yafo Gate.

Added two smaller pieces top flip to show control for those areas.

- A very nice to have, but probably hard to make is to let the missile range overlay take the LoS into account..

I'm gonna consider this one impossible, or at least highly improbable.
The missile fire overlay is simply an image. It cannot detect anything. It's one of the limitations of Vassal. Line of site is possible, however with the irregular hex that I had to use due to the cockeyed hex labeling method used by Avalon Hill, the LOS function is rendered useless except for across a straight line of hexes, not through oblique angles across hexes.


- Is there any way to view the dead pool/unused counter pool? Like to count bodies

Done for the dead pools. The reserve stacks for the Judeans can be viewed by mouseover because they are not decks, while the dead pile stacks are.

- Just curious: I had a hard time figuring out how to handle the reserves and replacements (see my excel file here on BGG). Especially when you run out of counters, and with essentially two dead pools (recent and older..). Did you all incorporate this here?

I remember you use of the terms recent and older before. I went with a different terminology Assault ((AP) dead and permanent dead) but I think we are talking about the same thing.

Here is the life cycle of a Roman unit as I interpret it.

Pre-game scenario board to Main map. If never killed, remains on map with automatic return each subsequent Assault Period. If killed, send to dead pile. While in dead pile, casualty AP Victory Points are accounted for, then the dead unit is moved to the Replacement Randomizer Dead Pile for possible random selection to return in the upcoming AP. Random selection occurs and if selected, the unit is returned to the Main Map. If not selected, that unit goes to the permanent dead pile. From the permanent dead pile, the unit may be returned during the next interphase period to the RRDP for another shot at random selection and will either return to the board if selected or return to the permanent dead and that cycle will return until the end of the game.




- About missile fire: when I right click on a unit, I get the choice between primary or secundairy range.. And there is a button to clear all missile fire.. But how do I fire at all? (Or perhaps I should read/look at the manual first.)

This function is simply for information purposes only. Currently there is no actual firing function in the module. I hope to build on this so for now, it is included to help beginners (which I still consider myself to be) label visually those units selected for firing. In the end, it is a cumbersome way to add units. My friend that I play with can add them in his head in a nanosecond. So again, this is only for learning reinforcement at this point. It is not impossible I think to make the firing mechanic functional, but it will be a huge endeavor to complete and would make an entire module update on its own. So it is what it is for the time being fully functional within its very limited scope.


- Also the change value-button on the menu (right button on unit) is for what?

Any time you see a change value, that should not be visible. Those are for hidden commands. I have gone through (again) and hopefully removed all of them, however, it is difficult to eliminate them because they are spread out all through the module. They serve no function for human play and should not be selected if found so if you see any more when the new version (2.2) comes out shortly, let me know so I can remove them for 2.3!

- Gate overlay: the inner part of those two gates into the Inner Temple wall are missing. Pretty clear of course, but for the sake of completeness.

Done

- The mini window that pops up for Step 16 in the AP, could that be made a bit smaller? I did it myself, but it keeps enlarging to the Original size when I go to the next step.

I think I fixed this as you were asking. The turn controls are useful, but annoying because they either appear as free floating windows or take up space in the menu section. It would be better if Vassal allowed the turn control text to only appear in the window or in a on board text like I have designed on the map in SoJ. You can undock the turn counters by selecting File, preferences, Turn Counter, then deselect Dock into Toolbar. This makes it a free floating window.
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Brian Sielski
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When this is done ... I'm going to have to give this another shot at playing. I'll have to see if Alan can play! LOL
 
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Martijn vR
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[q="clanmacrae9"]Thanks for the quick look over. Many improvements came out of it.

Version 2.2 will be out shortly as a result. Did you get to view any of the videos that I posted. My voice could drone anything to sleep, but hopefully I have explained how some of the functions work./q]

Sorry, I tried but woke up 10 hours later. No, I thought they weren't online yet?

Quote:
So here is what I came up with from your suggestions:

So my response under each of your suggestions.

- Could you add the fort in the NW corner of the TQ? Not sure where the stairs should go to. It seems to the TC (just like in the NC, CoD and LC)

Done.

Just curious: did you just add an orange hexagon or is it also possible to copy a fort from elsewhere and paste it here? (Would be cool of course..)

Quote:
- Is there any way to remove those red movement lines? I'm not too fond of them (especially when the Romans move, it becomes a mess of lines and doesn't make it more insightful). Pushing the move button removes also the 'moved'markers which are very handy..

Yeah I had pretty much come to the same conclusion. Movement trails turned off but can be individually turned on if desired.

Super!

Quote:
- A very nice to have, but probably hard to make is to let the missile range overlay take the LoS into account..

I'm gonna consider this one impossible, or at least highly improbable.
The missile fire overlay is simply an image. It cannot detect anything. It's one of the limitations of Vassal. Line of site is possible, however with the irregular hex that I had to use due to the cockeyed hex labeling method used by Avalon Hill, the LOS function is rendered useless except for across a straight line of hexes, not through oblique angles across hexes.

Thought so. You would have to add height to all structures - but since Vassal doesn't 'read' the map, seems hard to do yes.


Quote:
- Is there any way to view the dead pool/unused counter pool? Like to count bodies

Done for the dead pools. The reserve stacks for the Judeans can be viewed by mouseover because they are not decks, while the dead pile stacks are.

In the old version (1.34?)Alan and I just moved the dead units to the side of the board (at least for the Romans). Apart from the separate pools, would it be possible to open the off-map area again? Also necessary for Romans retreating off-map BTW.

Quote:
I remember you use of the terms recent and older before. I went with a different terminology Assault ((AP) dead and permanent dead) but I think we are talking about the same thing.

Here is the life cycle of a Roman unit as I interpret it.

Pre-game scenario board to Main map. If never killed, remains on map with automatic return each subsequent Assault Period. If killed, send to dead pile. While in dead pile, casualty AP Victory Points are accounted for, then the dead unit is moved to the Replacement Randomizer Dead Pile for possible random selection to return in the upcoming AP. Random selection occurs and if selected, the unit is returned to the Main Map. If not selected, that unit goes to the permanent dead pile. From the permanent dead pile, the unit may be returned during the next interphase period to the RRDP for another shot at random selection and will either return to the board if selected or return to the permanent dead and that cycle will return until the end of the game.

Actually, the hard part was with the Judean side.. And, you don't need two dead pools for the Romans. That distinction only serves to make the reserve drawing of the Judeans possible. But, with the exception of Titus, what you write is true.

For the Judeans it goes like this (copied from my own excel tool):
After this there are two overviews regarding the dead pile. One is the total dead pile (the source for the levy draw) and the dead pile with units from previous assault period(s). The latter is used for the drawing of reserves once the reserve pool is exhausted. It may not be direcly apparent in the rules, but the drawing of reserves works as follows (and is incorporated in this tool as such): all units are drawn first from the reserve pool. When a certain unit is unavailable there, the Judean player has to substitute that for a lower quality units (zealots become regulars or militia, regulars become militia). If even
these lower quality units are unavailable, units may be taken from the dead pile, but only those units not drawn in the levy of previous assault period.
In the theoretical situation that all militia in the reserve pool are exhausted, you may draw from the dead pile, although higher quality units are available in the reserve pool.
The next sections provides information on the reserves and the permanently removed garrisons, there is an input section in which you can insert the Judean reserves per type and city area. This section also checks which units you can choose, according to the rules (see above). So the order in which you enter the units is important. If there is only 1 zealot left in the reserve pool, you can't fill in 2, since the reserve pool should be empty before you can take from the dead pile. If that happens in the same rally phase and you also roll for a second zealot, then you can fill in a 2, because at that moment the reserve pool is empty. The reverse works differently though: when you have only zealots left in the pool and roll for a militia, you can fill it in and the sheet will take it from the dead pile.
(since you can't get better quality units).



Additional questions/remarks:
- Is it possible to make control markers for BUs as well? Ones that stay after you hide the units.
- When I conquer a city area, I have to cover each and every tile with 'razed' markers. Is is possible to drop a 'layar' of cleared markers at once - perhaps automatically when the Roman conquers an area for the first time. Note that the area should still be recognizable as former BU, for recapturing purposes.
- For the HP and TQ we need control hexes for the edifices as well.
- There are 6 ramp hexes in the campaign game, but only 5 are needed.

Keep up the good work!
Cheers,
Martijn
 
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Rob McCray

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Quote:
Just curious: did you just add an orange hexagon or is it also possible to copy a fort from elsewhere and paste it here? (Would be cool of course..)


I added a fort. Looks pretty convincing I think. Additionally, I made the fort a gamepiece similar to the cleared hex pieces that allow you to toggle to your hearts content wherever you believe the stairs lead. you can select 1, 2, 3, or the ridiculous 4 stairway directions...or none. With no guidance from the game, I thought it would be cool to allow player interpretation.


Quote:
Thought so. You would have to add height to all structures - but since Vassal doesn't 'read' the map, seems hard to do yes.


Yes, it would be a monumental undertaking. I also would be concerned how much it rendered the module unplayable due to lag times. I am pushing the limits on ram usage as it is with the large graphics and numerous automated commands and calculations.

Quote:
In the old version (1.34?)Alan and I just moved the dead units to the side of the board (at least for the Romans). Apart from the separate pools, would it be possible to open the off-map area again? Also necessary for Romans retreating off-map BTW.


This one comes with a bit of compromise from the module. The cockeyed Avalon Hill hex numbering system meant some sacrifices to the main map. I think it is worth it, especially since identifying each individual hex cost me about 6 month of my life. Ultimately, it will not allow for free placement along the edges. I did however add a box for off board Roman retreat which should serve quite well for that purpose. Additionally I added a send to location command for each Roman unit to go to the off board retreat location.

Howsoeverbut!...and this is important to the module. Units must follow the module life cycle for the dead pile to be counted for victory points so using the off board map for dead Romans defeats the entire scorekeeping mechanism.

Quote:
Actually, the hard part was with the Judean side.. And, you don't need two dead pools for the Romans. That distinction only serves to make the reserve drawing of the Judeans possible. But, with the exception of Titus, what you write is true.


I would say that there is in fact only one Roman dead pile in actuality, only my Romans transition through different phases of it, not unlike Dante's navigation through the underworld.

Another important thing you can help with!
Take another look at the life-cycle of a specific unit. I may be misinterpreting something here.

Beginning of the game the 10th legion Vth cohort is placed for example.
- He is killed in the first assault period and is sent to the Roman dead pile.
- His casualty victory points are accounted for, then he moves to the Replacement Randomizer Dead Pile.
- He is NOT selected
- He is sent to the permanent dead pile

Here is where I need a strict understanding of what happens next to this unit:

A. Once in the permanent dead pile he remains there forever and the 10th Legion Vth Cohort can never return to the main map.

Or

B. The 10th Legion Vth Cohort returns to the Permanent dead pile temporarily (I know...don't get lost in the terminology here) but returns to the Replacement Randomizer Dead Pile following any or all subsequent Assault Period Interphase (API) for possible selection as a replacement.

I currently have both Roman and Judean permanent dead piles automatically returning in the next AIP for randomization. Is this correct?

Quote:
Is it possible to make control markers for BUs as well? Ones that stay after you hide the units.
- When I conquer a city area, I have to cover each and every tile with 'razed' markers. Is it possible to drop a 'layer' of cleared markers at once - perhaps automatically when the Roman conquers an area for the first time. Note that the area should still be recognizable as former BU, for recapturing purposes.


This does not seem like an impossibility, but I'm gonna hold off on this for a while (Version 2.3 maybe). It would certainly be time consuming to design and it might not even be possible because of the global nature of the hide pieces application. That is a built in general feature for Vassal, not a user defined one.

However, I did enhance the cleared markers so that they are transparent or translucent so players can decide how they prefer their destruction. Too me it is kind of a boxers or briefs question...to which I always answer...depends. whistle

Quote:
For the HP and TQ we need control hexes for the edifices as well.


This is looking like a version 2.3 thing as well.

Quote:
There are 6 ramp hexes in the campaign game, but only 5 are needed.


Thanks, I was adding the physical counter limit. So to be clear, The Romans can build only one ramp segment...and it can only be 5 hexes wide...right?

The module is pretty much finished now, but I am going to wait until this weekend probably to release it as I am still going over it for errors. Also, I hope to make a video demonstrating the entire interphase, scorekeeping, and victory conditions functions.

Rob
clanmacrae9

 
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Martijn vR
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clanmacrae9 wrote:
I added a fort. Looks pretty convincing I think. Additionally, I made the fort a gamepiece similar to the cleared hex pieces that allow you to toggle to your hearts content wherever you believe the stairs lead. you can select 1, 2, 3, or the ridiculous 4 stairway directions...or none. With no guidance from the game, I thought it would be cool to allow player interpretation.
Cool! Though I think it should be one staircase towards the Tyropean cit.


Quote:
This one comes with a bit of compromise from the module. The cockeyed Avalon Hill hex numbering system meant some sacrifices to the main map. I think it is worth it, especially since identifying each individual hex cost me about 6 month of my life. Ultimately, it will not allow for free placement along the edges. I did however add a box for off board Roman retreat which should serve quite well for that purpose. Additionally I added a send to location command for each Roman unit to go to the off board retreat location.
And do you have a place for escaped units as well?

Quote:
Howsoeverbut!...and this is important to the module. Units must follow the module life cycle for the dead pile to be counted for victory points so using the off board map for dead Romans defeats the entire scorekeeping mechanism.
Clear.

Quote:

I would say that there is in fact only one Roman dead pile in actuality, only my Romans transition through different phases of it, not unlike Dante's navigation through the underworld.
devil

Quote:
Another important thing you can help with!
Take another look at the life-cycle of a specific unit. I may be misinterpreting something here.

Sure!
Quote:
Beginning of the game the 10th legion Vth cohort is placed for example.
- He is killed in the first assault period and is sent to the Roman dead pile.
- His casualty victory points are accounted for, then he moves to the Replacement Randomizer Dead Pile.
- He is NOT selected
- He is sent to the permanent dead pile

Here is where I need a strict understanding of what happens next to this unit:

A. Once in the permanent dead pile he remains there forever and the 10th Legion Vth Cohort can never return to the main map.

Or

B. The 10th Legion Vth Cohort returns to the Permanent dead pile temporarily (I know...don't get lost in the terminology here) but returns to the Replacement Randomizer Dead Pile following any or all subsequent Assault Period Interphase (API) for possible selection as a replacement.

I currently have both Roman and Judean permanent dead piles automatically returning in the next AIP for randomization. Is this correct?
Yes! B for sure. Every Roman unit, except Titus/Tiberius Alexander, can be recycled to a new life.. (automatic for leaders).

Dying
But now the Judeans.. here is a summary.
1 A Judean unit is killed and send to the 'current' dead pile.
2 When not chosen during levy, he moves to the permanent dead pile next AP.
3 This does not apply to Ben Yair (killed forever) or leaders (automatic return).

Levy
Before Levy, remove Garrisons of which the area is captured AND there a no more spaces left to put the garrison unit in (in case of HP and TQ - this can't apply to AF, because capture means possessing all fortresses)- and this is an error I made in my tool (new version coming up soon). For the TQ the Judean must decide if he wants to keep the zealots or regulars in case there is (for instance) only one redoubt and 4 units remaining.. the other one is removed from the game.

Reserves
This is the hardest part.
1. First, units are taken from the reserve pool.
2. If you run out of units, you must take lower quality units.
3. Theoretic case: when you run out of militia but still have higher quality units in the pool, but roll for militia, you may take militia from the dead pile.
4. After the reserve pool is exhausted, you may take from the permanent dead pile (not from the current AP dead pile, no direct 'recycling').


Quote:
Quote:
Is it possible to make control markers for BUs as well? Ones that stay after you hide the units.
- When I conquer a city area, I have to cover each and every tile with 'razed' markers. Is it possible to drop a 'layer' of cleared markers at once - perhaps automatically when the Roman conquers an area for the first time. Note that the area should still be recognizable as former BU, for recapturing purposes.


This does not seem like an impossibility, but I'm gonna hold off on this for a while (Version 2.3 maybe). It would certainly be time consuming to design and it might not even be possible because of the global nature of the hide pieces application. That is a built in general feature for Vassal, not a user defined one.
Okay.

Quote:
Quote:
There are 6 ramp hexes in the campaign game, but only 5 are needed.


Thanks, I was adding the physical counter limit. So to be clear, The Romans can build only one ramp segment...and it can only be 5 hexes wide...right?
Yes

Quote:
The module is pretty much finished now, but I am going to wait until this weekend probably to release it as I am still going over it for errors. Also, I hope to make a video demonstrating the entire interphase, scorekeeping, and victory conditions functions.
Can't wait! Thanks for the work!

Martijn
 
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Rob McCray

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I'm sorting out a problem with the Roman leaders I just discovered. Can't post until I resolve it. Hopefully today but sometimes tracking down these individual issues can take a while to resolve.

Rob
clanmacrae9
 
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