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Red Star Rising: The War in Russia, 1941-1944» Forums » General

Subject: RSR PBEM rss

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Bill Lawson
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I'm getting ready to play this on vassal. Has anyone PBEM that might have some tips to speed up or make play easier?
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Jason Cawley
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I haven't used the Vassal for Red Star Rising for a full game, only for a short scenario (the intro one, turn of the tide Stalingrad fight). I found a couple of issues with that vassal module that you might want to be aware of.

First, the counter mix shouldn't be so restricted in the small games, but it is. Apparently the module designer thought it sufficient to include only the units present at the start of the scenario, and its scheduled reinforcements. But this isn't enough. The German player, in particular, often wants to "make change" by e.g. splitting a Panzer corps into its two KGs, to envelop something or screen a longer frontage. The counter mix is meant to be a limit on this in the whole game, but needs to be available in the smaller scenarios. In a full one this would not arise, because the whole counter mix is there. The best way to address this is to edit the module file to add extra KGs etc, to enable the players to "make change", before starting the game.

The second issue I found was that the random draw of Russian strength counters from their various strength type "cups" has not been implemented - or if it is, I couldn't find it. The Vassal for A Victory Lost implements this correctly, so it is clearly possible to get it right in Vassal. It is just a module design issue. Without that, one needs some mutually agreed way to draw the strength counters.
The easiest is simply to trust the other fellow to do it manually, correctly, and that is all I did to handle it. It is more cumbersome but possible to use the die, keeping track of the draw pool, announcing assigned chits or subsets before the recorded roll, etc.

I hope this helps.
 
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Jason Cawley
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Oh, and as for speeding play... the admin phase interfers a bit, but otherwise you can think of the German armor move and normal move as following each other, with the Russian move coming after. If in any admin phase there aren't strategic options for the Russian player, the German can just give him his replacements and reinforcements etc, and continue straight on to the German movement and combat phases. Then the Russian player fights and moves, and you turn back over to the German for the German armored movement phase.

If there are options, two ways to handle it - slow the game with another file hand over and turn around, or the German player just explains his armor move verbally and the Russian can announce his admin phase choices. This cuts the turn over to one per turn. The only admin phase actions that aren't mechanical for the Russian player are the choice of which armies to upgrade when he has shock or guards available for it, evac of factories, and placement of partisans. But these typically do not arise every turn, and sometimes the Russian choice is obvious and not dependent on the details of the preceding German armored movement phase.
 
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Bill Lawson
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I posted this a month ago before starting a game as my opponent was worried that an extra file would be needed to handle retreats and or losses. In practice it works easily.
Heres how we have been doing it. Axis supply,move,combat. Next if the Russians need to handle any retreat/loss decisions and advance after combat I just write in where the advance should be. This is a rarity but doesn't require an extra file. Than the Russian does his combat, reinforcement and move.Back to the Axis for exploitation and Admin.
Next the Russian does Admin moves the turn marker does his next turn supplies and places his strength markers in the cups.

I guess we could speed it up a little as it takes 4 files a turn but 2 of them are really quick. I don't understand why you are having issues with the strength markers and breakdown units? Its all included. In fact everything is there. This mod does everything but make you breakfast! Maybe you are using the older playtest mod?

1. Axis: Supply,Move,Combat
2. Russians: (Retreats if needed) Combat, Reinforcement, Move
3. Axis: Exploit, Admin
4. Russians: Admin, Move turn marker, Supplies, Strength markers
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Jason Cawley
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I found breakdown markers missing for small scenarios, they are there for the full size game. On the cup, perhaps it is there and I just couldn't find it or how it is supposed to work. I am used to the way A Victory Lost implements its chit draw for HQs. I'd appreciate direction to that feature in the vassal for RSR if it is there...
 
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Bill Lawson
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I guess there are no breakdown counters for the Stalingrad 19.1 scenario. I only played it once or twice to learn the game but they are there for all the other scenarios. On the top of the RSR control screen the 7th box to the right has the cup and the breakdown counters (except in 19.1).
 
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Jason Cawley
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No, I am just dumb - lol. The top of the German units selector shows "armor" and has full corps only. But it is a menu bar, and selecting it brings up all the other items in the German force mix, so you can get at them.

With the chit selection, you simply drag from the stacks on the off board display to the map, where the strength counter is to go. I was trying to double-click in the off board box, as you do for A Victory Lost, since HQ selections stay there, rather than going onto the map. It was counter-intuitive (for me, I'm special lol) to drag from the off board boxes to the map.

But it is all there and it works. Sorry for causing confusion. One just has to learn the interface for the specific game, a little.

Now I'm ready to use it for full sized games...
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