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Subject: Trial windows app to find scenarios rss

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Mark Tomlinson
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If you use Eddy del Rio's (edelrio) spreadsheet of ASL scenarios:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/52031/asl-scenario-speadsh...

then you might be interested in this little app.

I wrote it to speed up searching for scenarios to play based on modules and maps that I own and then easily print out results in a concise way. I personally find this better than using the scenario archive. I wrote it for my own amusement and utility, but thought others might like to try it. I am not a professional programmer or anything and it needs testing. I have successfully run it on 2 Windows 7 machines and Eddy has run it on a Vista machine. There is also no reason why it shouldn't run in XP either, but I don't have access to an XP computer.

Eddy has given permission for it and his data to be used. It is completely free. I would appreciate it, if people use it, to give me comments on any problems and bugs they find. I will do my best to improve the program if there is demand. Eddy and I will keep the program/database up to date and post upgrades from time to time.

Here is a screenshot of the application:



It can be downloaded from my website:

http://marktomlinson.org.uk/ASLAPP/asl1.2.zip

The zip file contains 3 files. The application as an exe file, the database and the instructions as a text file. This text file is reproduced below:

Help for ASL Scenario Finder V1.2

For Windows

---------------------------------
Mark Tomlinson 26th November 2011
'CletePurcel' on Boardgamegeek.
---------------------------------

This simple application allows you to find scenarios to play depending on what maps you own and which side you want to play and then to print out or edit a list. It uses the data provided by Eddy del Rio (edelrio) on BGG. It is thus restricted to Eddy's (albeit large) collection. I am planning to add more data when I have time. Eddy has seen the program and given permission to use his data.

If people want me to add data not in the original then they can send it to me (in the same Excel format as edelrio's spreadsheet). I will try and add it when I have time.


Installation:

Make a new folder. Copy the program ('asl1.exe' file) and the database file 'db1.dat' to the folder and preferably this text file. Double-Click the exe file and the program will run. If the database is not in the same folder an error will occur.


How to use:

First select the modules and editions, SKs, HASLs or APs that you own in the upper left box. You can skip this step and select maps directly in the bottom left box.

This turns the maps on and off below (the selected maps appear highlighted in blue).

You can just select/deselect additional individual maps directly if you wish using the bottom left box. So you can add extra maps to any module selection that has been made or select/deselect maps as you require. You cannot directly select or deselect maps in the selected modules box.

If you wish to choose a side(s) to play then select it in the Allies and/or Axis boxes. You can select more than one item in these boxes, but be aware that it filters the selected scenarios by ALL sides selected. So if you choose German and Italian it will only show those scenarios that have both Germans AND Italians in the scenario. If you choose ANZAC and Japanese it will show only records between ANZAC and Japanese etc.

Note that if you just choose a side or sides and no maps, no scenarios will be selected. At least one map has to be highlighted.


Go!

Press Go! and a list of all scenarios in the database (along with Eddy's notes) matching your criteria will appear in the white window. You can then print this out by pressing the print button. You can also cut and paste this into a word processor and edit it yourself. Control C will copy highlighted text and control V will paste it.


Clear Text

Pressing 'Clear Text' clears the output window.


Clear Maps

Pressing 'Clear Maps' clears the map and module selection.


This is work in progress and probably has some bugs and errors. If you spot anything or have any suggested improvements drop me a Geekmail. If people, like it then we will probably improve it's functionality. I initially wrote this for my own amusement and utility. If other people find it useful then that's great.

DISCLAIMER: This program is free, but is used on the understanding that it is at the user's own risk.
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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Blimey Mark. You'll be running MMP in a couple of years if you aren't careful.
 
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Mark Tomlinson
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LOL

Actually this didn't take all that long. It is really Eddy who does all the hard work with his spreadsheet.
 
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Mark Humphries
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Have you tried the Advanced Search feature of the ASL Scenario Archive?

http://www.aslscenarioarchive.com/adsearch.php
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Mark Tomlinson
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Mark_WH wrote:
Have you tried the Advanced Search feature of the ASL Scenario Archive?

http://www.aslscenarioarchive.com/adsearch.php


Yes. As I said in my original post I don't find it so useful personally. I use the archive a fair bit for specific things, but I prefer my search criteria based on maps. For example, my friend has Yanks and BV 2nd edition. What scenarios can I play with him? I can't do a search on that very easily on the SA (unless I am missing something). I think the SA could be made to do it though.

And then I also like being able to print a concise list with all the details, which I think is the great advantage of using Eddy's spreadsheet. Just my opinion. As I said I wrote this for my own amusement and to keep my hand in at windows programming. If you don't like it then don't use it

I am in the process of adding more search criteria to the program, but it's not meant to be a substitute for the SA and it will never have the extensive database that the SA has, but it's OK for me.
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Dave Terhune
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By the way, for anyone else who might care it runs just fine under Wine on a Linux box (Wine 1.2.3 on Ubuntu 11.10).
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Al Cannamore
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This is really cool and very helpful! Thanks Mark. BTW, I'm envious of the ASL time you've been putting in
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Mark Tomlinson
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Thanks, guys.

Has anyone got it to run under XP - just curious?

I am in the process of upgrading it a bit to include more filters (on scenario size, vehicles, length, guns etc).
 
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Petri P
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I couldn't get it to run under wine (Ubuntu 10.04) -- but it does run in a Windows XP virtual machine (VMWare Player) under Ubuntu.

Tried it, and one bug report -- board 29 is included in West of Alamein.

One enhancement request - allow filtering by scenario publisher?

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dachda
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Very cool. Thanks to you and Eddy. One question, is there any way a user can add some TPP scenario packs of their own?
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Mark Tomlinson
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petrip wrote:
I couldn't get it to run under wine (Ubuntu 10.04) -- but it does run in a Windows XP virtual machine (VMWare Player) under Ubuntu.

Tried it, and one bug report -- board 29 is included in West of Alamein.

One enhancement request - allow filtering by scenario publisher?



Thanks for spotting that map error. I have significantly upgraded the program and included that bug fix. Unfortunately Eddy's spreadsheet does not have publisher information so I cannot filter by publisher.

It is now ASLAP version 1.3 and can be downloaded here:

http://marktomlinson.org.uk/ASLAPP/asl1.3.zip

Same procedure as before. Just unzip the files into a common folder and click on the application.

It now has more search filters such as scenario size, HIP, concealment and so on, and a save button to save the list. It also remembers which maps you selected last time so you don't have to keep re-entering them.

There is also a text search facility.

Read the enclosed pdf file for details.

A screenshot:
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Mark Tomlinson
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dachda wrote:
Very cool. Thanks to you and Eddy. One question, is there any way a user can add some TPP scenario packs of their own?


Thanks for your kind words. There are 2 ways that users could add data. If users send me data in the same format as Eddy's spreadsheet (as an Excel file) then I will add it to the database.

I could add a function to the program to allow users to add their own records.

I guess I would prefer the 1st option then the data could be shared with more people, but I don't mind adding the second. But it will take a little time...
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Petri P
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Thanks for the bug fix.

I tried, out of curiosity, to find the scenarios which would be playable with just BV3, but the scenario list gave several which need overlays, which are not included in BV3 ?

There seems to be an "ovr" filter now in 1.3 based on the screen shot - but v1.3 no longer runs in a Windows XP virtual machine. (It crashes at startup, just tried it). The original one still runs.



 
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Eddy del Rio
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Mark,
It's not opening for me either on Vista.
 
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Looks like the 1.3 version requires some non-standard VisualBasic .NET assemblies that aren't distributed with the application. Here's the missing assembly from the error message I got:

Microsoft.VisualBasic.PowerPacks.Vs
 
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Mark Tomlinson
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Sorry Guys. And thanks for getting back to me.

It works on my Windows 7 machine fine. I think this is because I added some file handling routines to v1.3 that must not be backwards compatible with other setups or my machine has these routines installed, but they are somehow non-standard. I will sort this out.

The problem with the Microsoft environment I am using is that it doesn't tell you whether the modules you incorporate are compatible with all operating systems. I may be able to deploy the package as an installation routine rather than just copying the files. This will hopefully solve the problem.

So keep using 1.2 until further notice.

More later...
 
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Mark Tomlinson
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OK. I think I have solved it.

You need to include a Microsoft dll file with the v1.3 application. This facilitates the extra features I added after v1.2. The file just goes in the same directory as the other files. My PC already has this dll installed in the system so I didn't notice that the app would not run on other computers.

I have updated the zip file on the website:

http://marktomlinson.org.uk/ASLAPP/asl1.3.zip

to include the extra dll file.

So you just unzip all the files including the dll file into a common folder and run the application as before.

I also found that you need the Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 to be installed on your machine. Most PCs already have this as it's required by many applications. You can download it from Microsoft if you don't already have it (instructions are in the help pdf file in the folder).

I tested the program out on 4 different PCs this morning (one XP, one Vista, and two Windows 7) and it ran fine on all of them. They also all had the .NET framework already pre-installed.

If anyone tries it now can they let me know whether it works.

Thanks.
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Mark Tomlinson
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Volfield wrote:
Looks like the 1.3 version requires some non-standard VisualBasic .NET assemblies that aren't distributed with the application. Here's the missing assembly from the error message I got:

Microsoft.VisualBasic.PowerPacks.Vs


This pack is now included. Thanks for spotting it.
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Mark Tomlinson
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petrip wrote:
Thanks for the bug fix.

I tried, out of curiosity, to find the scenarios which would be playable with just BV3, but the scenario list gave several which need overlays, which are not included in BV3 ?

There seems to be an "ovr" filter now in 1.3 based on the screen shot - but v1.3 no longer runs in a Windows XP virtual machine. (It crashes at startup, just tried it). The original one still runs.


You are correct here. The database that Eddy produces does not include overlay data (only whether an overlay is needed). So at the moment the best I can do is filter those scenarios where overlays are not required which v1.3 allows. I don't like overlays much so this is fine for me. It would be possible to add the overlay data to the spreadsheet, but it would take a lot of work.
 
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Eddy del Rio
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Mark,
Looks and works great!
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Works fine here, too, using Linux + Wine + Mono (the open-source .NET implementation).
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Mark Tomlinson
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Excellent! Thanks for letting me know.
 
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Petri P
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Works again in a virtual XP

But, still bugs:

1) I repeated the simple test "what can be played with BV3 maps" (just clicked BV3 and Go!) ASL2 and ASL4 scenarios are missing.

2) If I choose Allied "Russian" and the BV3, then ASL4 is still missing (ASL2 is ZOB allied, so it should not be included this time).

3) Selecting BV3 + ZOB allied gives no scenarios (should give ASL2)

4) Finnish can not be selected, missing from Axis box. (But there is a Russian Axis choice..?)

5) If I choose German Axis and Russian Allied, ASL4 is still missing.

 
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Eddy del Rio
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petrip wrote:

Works again in a virtual XP

But, still bugs:

1) I repeated the simple test "what can be played with BV3 maps" (just clicked BV3 and Go!) ASL2 and ASL4 scenarios are missing.

2) If I choose Allied "Russian" and the BV3, then ASL4 is still missing (ASL2 is ZOB allied, so it should not be included this time).

3) Selecting BV3 + ZOB allied gives no scenarios (should give ASL2)

4) Finnish can not be selected, missing from Axis box. (But there is a Russian Axis choice..?)

5) If I choose German Axis and Russian Allied, ASL4 is still missing.


I have a suspicion. I tried adding Yanks and selecting American and German and ASL 21 did not appear. All three of these have one thing in common: turns are x.5. Mark, you might want to check your code on the turn numbers and see if it allows decimal.

Edit: My searches are not showing any turn # with x.5.
 
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Eddy del Rio
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petrip wrote:

Works again in a virtual XP

But, still bugs:

1) I repeated the simple test "what can be played with BV3 maps" (just clicked BV3 and Go!) ASL2 and ASL4 scenarios are missing.

2) If I choose Allied "Russian" and the BV3, then ASL4 is still missing (ASL2 is ZOB allied, so it should not be included this time).

3) Selecting BV3 + ZOB allied gives no scenarios (should give ASL2)

4) Finnish can not be selected, missing from Axis box. (But there is a Russian Axis choice..?)

5) If I choose German Axis and Russian Allied, ASL4 is still missing.


In ASL 50, the obvious Ally of Poland fights against Russia, which I elected to indicate as against the Axis Power (Column Title) of "Russian" [with quotes]. That's why Mark has it there. Also, I have in my data base for ASL 1, Allied Power: Russian vs Axis Power of "Finnish (not Axis)". Square pegs and round holes. Any suggestions?
 
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