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Subject: How is Vassal? Is it easy to keep track of everything? rss

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David Goulette
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Hi all,

I have played Cuba Libre solo on vassal but I have not played against other humans. How hard is it to keep track of what everybody is doing? Do you have to trust that people execute their turns correctly and legally? How do you know exactly what people did on their turn (other than going through the log)?

Thanks!
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Andrew P
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The best way is to run/save a logfile that you then share wit the other players. I'm currently in a four-player game of Fire In The Lake using Vassal. We're communicating via email and sharing the logfiles via DropBox. Each player records and uploads a new logfile when they take their turn, then email everyone to tell them who's turn it is next. You can load the saved logfile and go through each move step-by-step, thus gaining a reasonable understanding of what was done. It's not quite as good as the real thing, but it's been working well for us.
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David Goulette
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Hmmm... thank you. That doesn't sound ideal but I would give it a try.

I need to figure out how the log files work. I have never paid attention to the saved files.
 
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Michael Auton
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The way the poster described above, I think is the way Vassal generally works across distributed players.

I have played 3 vassal games (across 3 different groups & game types) - and it all worked like that.

We had a central dropbox folder which the logfile was uploaded too. Each person would then play the file through and basically watch over that rules were being followed.

It actually is a good way, as it helps teach other people or point out rules that they have missed.

Except for using the logfile and a bit of trust I dont think there is any other way with a group.

Regarding trust - it's a bit of effort to play vassal remotely, so I dont think someone would join a game with the purpose to cheat in mind. Seems like wasted effort.
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Rex Stites
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anaturalharmonic wrote:
Hmmm... thank you. That doesn't sound ideal but I would give it a try.

I need to figure out how the log files work. I have never paid attention to the saved files.


There are two formats: .vlog and .vsav. A log file records all the steps that you carry out when executing your turn, including if you undo something. It also allows you to type messages. This allows you to explain what you're doing so the other players can follow along easier. When I play, I try to note what I'm doing as I do it. For example, in a game with an odds based CRT, I'll say where I'm attacking, the factors for each side, what the rounded ratio is, and what the DRMs for each side are. After I roll, I write out what the result is from the CRT. This makes it much easier for other players to easily verify what is happening. Doing it this way is really no different than how you'd do it if playing FtF.

The COIN series really isn't that bad because your actions are fairly small and generally deterministic. The game itself has a lot of mnemonics that ease communicating what you're doing. (Placing a cylinder to select your action, placing pawns to select destination spaces and determine resource expenditure, etc.). As a result, you don't have to explain much--typically just typing the operation and special action you're executing.

Playing COIN on VASSAL also has some advantages over the physical game. All the games automatically keep track of VPs, so there's no need to count Opposition/Support. Control is also typically automated based on pieces in an area. As a result, you never have to spend time verifying that the scores are up to date with the current board position.
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Ron A
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COIN over vassal is pretty straightforward. I think I have a dozen or so games played that way.

As somebody else mentioned, it is better to trade log files, vice save files.

One thing that can be/is a pain is if some players are not really up on the rules. You play a turn, the next player goes, and you need to trust that the 3rd player will catch any errors, OR else you need need to load every log file yourself to double-check-- that is a major pain point, but usually a needed poison point.

Playing vassal live over Skype is probably the best/easiest way to go. Everybody is on the same page, and errors are caught instantly.
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Andrew P
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I'd be happy to play a COIN game over Vassal with you, David.
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David Goulette
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Thank you all for your replies! This was helpful.

Andrew, thank you! I just might take you up on that. I will message you soon. Maybe we can try to get four. I have played Cuba Libre and LoD. I feel I understand CL much better.

Cheers!

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Nathan Forget
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I am interested in trying any of the coin games over Vassal. I own Liberty or Death, Falling Sky, A Distant Plain, and Fire in the Lake. I've played all of them face-to-face except FitL, and have a decent grasp of rules and strategy.

Please PM me if you're looking for another player for your Vassal game.
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David Goulette
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Nathan,

I will contact you and Andrew soon. I'm pretty busy through Friday but then I will have some time to get things going.

By chance do you live in the SF bay area? I live in Santa Clara.
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Michael Auton
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I am interested in LoD via vassal.
 
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David Goulette
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I would be interested in LoD too. It would only be my second time playing though so I may not be the best player!

Let's try to work something out soon.

Cheers!
 
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The Mirror
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Hey all, I know that it's a month later, but I'd be interested in joining a game on Vassal if you're still looking for more players.
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David Goulette
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Thanks for posting! I will contact you... eventually.

Alas, I was not able to set up a game. But I intend to connect with the people in this thread sometime soon. Life/work blew up a couple weeks ago.

My real-life/gaming ratio is seriously out of whack right now!
 
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