Jason Henke
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Once upon a time I wrote a journal entry enquiring about what Cyberboard was and I thought the information I got would be of help to others. The VASSAL engine and the ACTS system also came up. I wanted to share these with you as well. I've recently been tipped to another one called "Thoth" by Cark Rodeffer and have decided to add it in here as well.

Quote:


Bookmark 'em.

I don't know much about Thoth and have added it because it was brought to my attention...so, follow the link with me and we'll have to learn about it together. Here's how I learned of it:

Clark Rodeffer wrote:

I know its strength is card games (and a few Euro-style games) rather than war games, but don't forget Thoth in your list:
http://digilander.libero.it/zak965/thoth/


Each of the other systems are kind of similar. They are applications that allow interested people the ability to create the gameboards/cards/units used for any boardgame they might wish to play with others from across the globe, or across the street.

Both the VASSAL and Cyberboard systems handle dice rolls and manage cards (shuffling, tracking what's left, etc.) and I believe ACTS does as well (I know ACTS handles cards, but am unsure on the dice).

As I understand it, none of them take care of managing the rules for you and they aren't meant to. It is assumed that you know how to play or have the rules at hand. You can record your moves and send them to the next player or play the games in real time (VASSAL at least) and watch the pieces move while you chat.

They are a great way to play the games with people all over the place. It's a better option to me than Play by Mail, but they can be played that way as well.

I'd say that Cyberboard, ACTs, and VASSAL are worth checking out for the play. I hope to become much more active with them myself.

I should note that you can create modules for VASSAL if you are interested in trying your hand at it. I'm not sure if you can do that for the others though.

In my quest to get people gaming and to make more friends, I pass this little knowledge of mine onto you. Go out, have fun, and let the dice roll.

My original question was:
Quote:
Just out of curiosity, what is the cyberboard and how does it work?

I've seen it on some games and am unfamiliar with it. I thought it might help others (and myself) to ask what it is and how it works.

Forgive me if it's been well covered before. I plead ignorance twice.

Thanks!!



From: Chester Ogborn(cornjob)
Quote:
Someone that knows a lot more about it than me will hopefully come later and give some details. You can find sites to download the program from by googling 'cyberboard'.

Basically, its a system that allows a person to create a computer version of a gameboard to save piece settings for a long game. Its easy to email moves back and forth to play games that way. I've been involved in a couple games of Barbarossa to Berlin that way.

Cyberboard is the basic program...then someone needs to create a 'gamebox' for a specific game...which is downloaded separately. The latest versions of Cyberboard have a mechanism for dice-rolling and keeping track of a deck of cards. There is a way to create the board in such a way that each player can see his/her pieces and the opponent sees the backs of the cards or blocks. You can choose to show things when you need to. The game will shuffle your cards as well.

There are many many sites with collections of gameboxes of popular games. I'm not sure what the legal issues are, but it appears that most of the time these have had permission given to create them. While its conceivable to download rules and play a game without actually owning a tangible copy of the game...at least for me I've only played games I do own. Sometimes I set up the board and keep it out, playing along.

There are other systems, some that cost money, but Cyberboard does not. (Aide de Camp is a for-purchase program...but I don't know much about it or why anyone would prefer that to a free version.)

All in all, I think Cyberboard is GREAT as it has allowed me to get to play some of my games that have been sitting collecting dust due to lack of opponenents...and its allowed me to meet some great new gamers over the web.

I should add, there are also websites that are purely for deck-tracking for a Play By Email (PBEM) game that require you to have the game set up to play. You email your moves and then move your board at home. Cyberboard tracks the deck/pieces AND has a representation of the board.

Each game's representation is a product of whoever was willing to create the gamebox. Some are excellent. Some are mediocre.

The cyberboard does NOT 'know' the rules or enforce legal moves. You're free to screw it up as much as your ignorance allows....just like real life. Here's a link to a site that has Cyberboard on it. I think this is where I downloaded it from.

http://pbem.brainiac.com/

Here is one of many sites that have a list of gameboxes. This is by NO MEANS exhaustive. I should also note that GMT has a lot of gameboxes available for their games right on their website.

http://www.geocities.com/darksan/cbdesign.htm


From: Gerald Cameron (Linnaeus)
Quote:
Now that Chester has offered such a nice explanation of Cyberboard, you may also be ineterested in a very similar program called VASSAL.

VASSAL got it's start as a PBEM aid for Advanced Squad Leader, but has since gone on to add modules for other games. If you get some use out of Cyberboard you may get some out of VASSAL as well.

The main site for VASSAL is http://www.vassalengine.org/

You may also find http://digilander.libero.it/zak965/thoth/ interesting as well.


From: Chris Udziela(chrisu99)
Quote:
I have both cyberboard and ADC II, and I far prefer ADC II. Cyberboard just has you move the pieces on the board, ADC II keeps track of which hex a piece is in, what turn it is, and it can "replay" moves so you can see which piece went where when.

If you like hex and counter games, the $50 is a small price to pay. You WILL use it.


I hope this is of intrest to someone. It was for me.

Take care and enjoy the day!
--Jason Henke
 
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Michael Von Ahnen
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Check Yahoo Groups also
There are several yahoo groups associated with these tools also:

vassalengine (VASSAL SW support)
CyberBoardML (Cyberboard SW support)
cbarchivecentre (Cyberboard gameboxes)
 
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Jason Henke
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Re: Are you wondering what Cyberboard and VASSAL are?
Great tip!

Would you mind posting some direct links to them for people?
 
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Jorgen
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Re: Are you wondering what Cyberboard and VASSAL are?
VASSEL
http://www.vassalengine.org

Cyberboard
http://cyberboard.brainiac.com/index.html
 
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Jason Henke
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Re: Are you wondering what Cyberboard and VASSAL are?
The links for the Yahoo support groups mentioned by Michael Von Ahnen
(mvonahnen) above follow:


VASSAL Star Wars Minis online:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/starwarsoncardtable/
A website related to it: http://www.swminisinfoworld.com/Onlineplay.html


CyberBoardML Yahoo group:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/CyberboardML/


cbarchivecenter(Cyberboard gameboxes):
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/cbarchivecentre/
 
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