Drew Heath
United States
Galesburg
Illinois
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A Victory Lost has one of the best - if not the best - VASSAL modules around and is frequently played by PBEM. This poll seeks to identify customer feelings on this topic.

Please answer seriously and honestly.

Poll
1. Choose the statement that best applies to you:
I have played AVL by PBEM. (skip next question)
I have played other wargames by PBEM, but not AVL.
I have never played a wargame by PBEM.
2. If you chose the 2nd or 3rd answer above, please choose the statement that best applies to you:
I am not interested in playing AVL by PBEM.
I may play AVL by PBEM in the future.
I am certain to play AVL by PBEM in the future.
3. Approximately what percentage of your AVL plays have been PBEM?
0%
1~10%
11~20%
21~30%
31~40%
41~50%
51~60%
61~70%
71~80%
81~90%
91~100%
4. Do you own AVL?
No.
Yes, it was a surprise gift.
Yes, it was a gift I requested.
Yes, I bought it for myself.
Yes, other (please explain in a comment if possible).
5. Before you owned AVL, were you aware that it could be played by PBEM?
Yes.
No.
6. If before you bought the game you were aware that it could be played by PBEM, did that positively influence your decision to buy/request/get the game?
No.
Yes.
7. If before you bought the game you were NOT aware that it could be played by PBEM, do you think such knowledge would have positively influenced your decision to get it?
No.
Yes.
8. If MMP decided to prohibit PBEM play of AVL tomorrow, and requested all such clients remove their modules/gameboxes/etc., your reaction would be:
No reaction, I wouldn't care.
Ambivalence.
Opposition.
9. "Denying PBEM support infringes on the rights of the customer."
Strongly disagree.
Disagree.
Neutral.
Agree.
Strongly Agree.
10. "PBEM support should be at the publisher's discretion."
Strongly disagree.
Disagree.
Neutral.
Agree.
Strongly Agree.
11. "I do not consider the existence or non-existence of PBEM options when purchasing board wargames."
Strongly disagree.
Disagree.
Neutral.
Agree.
Strongly Agree.
12. "Given two comparable series, my decision is swayed by the existence of PBEM options."
Strongly disagree.
Disagree.
Neutral.
Agree.
Strongly Agree.
13. "I view PBEM as the realm of PC gaming, separate from the board wargaming hobby."
Strongly disagree.
Disagree.
Neutral.
Agree.
Strongly Agree.
14. "If 2 people are playing a PBEM game of AVL, they should both own a copy of the game."
Strongly disagree.
Disagree.
Neutral.
Agree.
Strongly Agree.
      100 answers
Poll created by Shad


Thank you very much.
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Michael Lucey
United States
Ellington
Connecticut
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I do not own AVL and do not play this title but all of my wargaming is done through PBEM right now. I play what I own and buy before I play becuase I hold this as a temporary situation and future FtF will open up. I now require a vassal module for my wargame purchases. I only play wargames via PBEM due to time managment decisions because I have children. Euro's are different, I only FtF them so my purchase is not based on PBEM ability. Getting back to wargames, if it does not have a vassal module (or potential) I will not buy it or pre-order it, and MMP in particular has lost a couple of my pre orders (and all future non ASL pre orders) due to the possibility of just that. I'll now wait and see if a module exists before purchasing any more games through them.

On a different note though I wonder why the double standard imposed on virtual gamers compared to the FtF counterparts? Where is the requirement of FtF gamers to each own a copy of a game? Do game clubs have a copy for each member? Do companies not allow people to 'test drive' new games at conventions in the hopes of future purchases? Why should I pay for a game and play it for free FtF but somehow be required to pay more money to play it on my computer like some people speculatewe could see in the future?
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Drew Heath
United States
Galesburg
Illinois
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Thank you for the comment. Just to be clear, I have no inside information nor am I speculating about MMP's PBEM policies now or in the future.

I chose AVL for this poll because it's a widely-praised & recently released wargame with nearly 900 registered owners on BGG and a fantastic VASSAL module.

Of recent titles, I figured AVL would be a good place to start to try and get some decent data on PBEM's effects on game ownership.

So again, this has nothing directly to do with MMP. This information may be used with respect to OTHER companies though...
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James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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"If 2 people are playing a PBEM game of AVL, they should both own a copy of the game."

At least one should own a copy of the game, both is preferred.
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Jonathan Moody
United States
Kent
Ohio
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I do 75%+ of my gaming PBEM. If I really want a game, I buy it regardless. However, if I am looking to get into a genre, or I am deciding between several game options, online play weighs very heavily.

In the specific case of AVL, I wanted to get into hex and counter games. Presented with several good started hex and counter options, I went with AVL almost completely based on the hype surrounding the Vassal module. WWII is not my favorite gaming timeframe.

Recently, several game purchases where I was on the fence were decided (with me not purchasing the game) by the lack of Vassal or Cyberboard support in the foreseeable future.

That said, I do not see denying support as an infringment of my rights, and I think a company should be able to support / deny support as they choose. Also, I think one of the two players should own the actual game before play.
 
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Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
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I have never played a game on vassal that I don't own. I have decided against buying games because there is no vassal mod though. No vassal mod or the possibility that there won't be one is a huge strike against a game in my book!
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James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
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billyboy wrote:
I have never played a game on vassal that I don't own. I have decided against buying games because there is no vassal mod though. No vassal mod or the possibility that there won't be one is a huge strike against a game in my book!

I don't consider it a huge strike against it. But it does mean that it goes down the priority list, and my purchasing money only goes so far.
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Skip Franklin
United States
Oklahoma City
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Rindis wrote:
"If 2 people are playing a PBEM game of AVL, they should both own a copy of the game."

At least one should own a copy of the game, both is preferred.


I don't particularly like to play a game I DO NOT own using VASSAL (or any other program) after getting a copy of the rules from the oppnent. I like having all the bits with me. On other hand a game designer sent me the rules to a game and three of us played online using VASSAL and he didn't require me to own the game. You can re-read the paragraph again starting now.

I have designed over a dozen CyberBoard gameboxes. The trick when doing so is not to include all of the game rules, charts and tables so that players must own the game. Most likely they will get the charts in downloadable version from the publisher's website, other websites or from their opponent. At least with something important missing from the gamebox (or module in the case of VASSAL) the gamer isn't given everything that the published version includes.

I do have a game (it went out of print this year) and use one of the PBEM utilities to play it solo. The gamebox/module DOES NOT include all that you need to play the game, the rules are on the publisher's website and Anything else I need is in a spreadsheet or document file that I genereated. I will not share the documents I made so don't ask.
 
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United States
Greensboro
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I'm shocked, shocked! that nearly 70% of respondents have never played AVL by email.
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Douglas Brunton
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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Technically one could play on-line and not by email. Right now I'm playing a game of Ukraine '43 using live one on one sessions on Vassal. The reference to email may be somewhat to restrictive.

I just bought AVL yesterday based on the existence of a Vassal module (and purportedly a good one). I don't have ftf opponents nearby and there doesn't appear to be any wargaming clubs in existence anywhere close by. So the existence of a Vassal moduel, or at least the impending development of one, is a make or break deal for me in terms of whether or not I purchase a game.

Now the existence of Vassal has actually brought me back into board gaming after years of pc wargaming. If not for Vassal there is absolutely no chance that I would have made any board wargaming purchases - at last count 11 since March/April plus several p-500 orders that I'm still waiting on.

I'm a strong believer that one should own the game if they intend to utilize Vassal. Some companies like GMT ask that a minimum of at least one person own the game so in the case of Ukraine '43 I own it by my opponent doesn't - and we're abiding by GMT's requested terms of use.

I will however from time to time load up a module of a game I don't own to take a look at the units and map when evaluating whether or not to purchase. However, this is restricted to a little solitaire tinkering and looking about rather than play sessions versus an opponent.

Best wishes,

Doug
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Scoobysnacks wrote:
On a different note though I wonder why the double standard imposed on virtual gamers compared to the FtF counterparts?


Virtual gaming isn't quite the same in my mind as face-to-face gaming... so I would suggest this is a "different" standand instead of a double standard.

In this specific case, I voted that both people should own the game because that is the only way to ensure that both people have a rulebook. If the rulebook is freely available online, then I do not think that both people need to own the game (one would be enough) because they both have access to the required materials.

Also I think that my opinion is affected by video game standards, where you typically need each person to own a copy of the game before playing together online. The benefit of playing online against opponents anywhere at anytime is (in my opinion) worth the extra cost. Also, I wouldn't be nearly as interested in playing a game I didn't already own anyway... there's something about not hving real game available that kills my interest.
 
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Jason Cawley
United States
Anthem
Arizona
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I own AVL and have played in solitary and face to face. I have played it using the VASSAL module, but didn't use it for PBEM play vs. a remote opponent. I used it to free up table space and stretch a game over multiple sittings, for book keeping, etc. I sometimes use VASSAL when playing solo, just to be able to play a turn or three on my laptop, at a coffee shop or while traveling, etc. The idea that the only use of VASSAL is PBEM needs to be dropped, it is flat inaccurate.

I think one player must own the game, just as with a physical game, but both need not.
 
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