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Subject: Valor & Victory PBEM rss

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Dennis Kahlbaum
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Ann Arbor
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I am just getting acquainted with Valor & Victory. I know the game has a Vassal module, but how suitable is it for PBEM? Any comments/information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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David Janik-Jones
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Combat Commander, Up Front, Fields of Fire, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!
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About the same as any other hex-and-chit wargame, to my mind. Vassal does make it easy to play non-FTF games, PBEM would be OK too.
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Dennis Kahlbaum
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Thanks, David.



After reading the rules, reviewing the counters, etc., I already see some PBEM issues and fixes:

1) Counter IDs. Most of the counters do not have any unique identification markings (such as the numbers used in PB/PL/AIW). This makes it difficult to log unit location, movement, and combat. (Solution: edit the counters.)

2) Snipers. Since they can become activated and can attack during the opponent's attack phase, this will result in additional PBEM exchanges. (Solution: avoid scenarios with snipers.)

3) Opportunity Fire. This aspect always makes PBEM difficult, since it requires numerous move exchanges to implement. Since Opportunity Fire appears to be quite important to V&V, this may be a problem that can't be easily resolved.

There may be more issues. Any additional insight/comments are welcome.

No doubt, V&V is great (except for perhaps via PBEM).

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Dennis Kahlbaum
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Via an enjoyable and informative e-mail exchange with Mr. Barry Doyle, the designer of Valor & Victory, I am now convinced that the game cannot be played using the traditional PBEM method.

However, Mr. Doyle believes that the game can be played via VASSAL's PBEM method. Since I have not yet used VASSAL on a game that contains OpFire and other such activations/events that can occur during the current player's turn, I don't know what the procedure is. Therefore, any detailed instructions on how to play Valor & Victory via VASSAL's PBEM system would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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Joe Kundlak
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Basically you start the in-program "recording" or "log" feature (so that player B is able to review all your moves and interactions) and when there is an OpFire opportunity, you save it and send the file to player B.

The exchange is indeed slow, but could be sped up through some conditional commands, like "I will wait until you move unit X...".

True, that might not be the most tactical play (revealing what player B might want to do), but when you do not play through Vassal in real-time, it would be the only way to avoid slow OpFire process.
 
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Joe Kundlak
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Just to add, after playing one game of Panzer Leader through Vassal using PbEM:

- we did not use Opportunity Fire in Panzer Leader, however if we did, it could be done yet easier than described above
- basically, as stated, you record your whole movement and send it to your opponent
- he starts to play through your moves and when an Op Fire opportunity arises, he intervenes and makes his attack, noting the result
- in this manner he continues through the whole of your movement phase and adjusts your units according to any Op Fire results, finally saving and returning the file to you

The only downside would be that you cannot react to his Op Fire by altering your intended movement with the following units, but if you both agree to this and keep it in mind, you can be more cautious around moving and not expose yourself too much, or account possible losses into your whole plan... Or you can expose anyway, if the scenario demands it and there is no other way.

I have yet to try the above (both in VV as well as in Panzer Leader), but I am pretty sure it would work in 98% of cases.
 
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