Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Inspired to try VASSAL rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Don Barree
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
General Bonkers says the War on String may be unwinnable. Detractors worry that his statements will embolden string.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was inspired by the recent post from
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
badge
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
and have decided to give PBEM with VASSAL a try. I won't be able to start anything until after the holidays but plan on dipping a toe in the water (limiting myself to one or two games) in January. My experience with VASSAL so far has been to download the latest version and the modules for the games I own. I signed up for an ACTS account but don't know really how to use either VASSAL or ACTS, I've read the generic users manual that comes with VASSAL but don't know anything about the specific game modules.

I'm hoping there is some patient souls out there that are willing to play and teach at the same time. I've listed the games I have below that I thought might make good PBEM games. The ones that have an asterisk before the title are the ones I've played face-to-face and have a good grasp of the rules.

Some specific things I have questions about in PBEM play are how to resolve interception and retreat before combat, how combat is resolved where a successful attack allows continuation of movement, how random chits are drawn. how cards are drawn from an opponent's hand, how response cards get played and how negotiations are handles in multi-player games.

Anyway, here are the modules for games I own:

* Twilight Struggle
* Labyrinth
* Sword of Rome
* Here I Stand
* Successors
* Unhappy King Charles
* Washington's War
* Sekigahara
* 1960: Making of the President
* Hammer of the Scots
Paths of Glory
Wilderness War
For the People
Andean Abyss (P500)

If anyone is interested in helping a PBEM noob get started let me know here or via email what game you're interested in playing. I'm not sure how quickly moves get turned around in these games but I would probably not be able to do more than 2-3 moves a week because of real world commitments. I won't be able to start a game until the first week of January but will respond before then with questions about how to set up a game and get started.

One last thing. I know Cyberboard is also an option but know even less about it than about VASSAL. If you'd prefer to use Cyberboard, I'm willing to give it a try, but I would appreciate hearing from you why it is preferable to VASSAL.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Thompson
England
Winchester
Hampshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I'd be happy to teach you. Maybe start with Labyrinth?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel K
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dbarree wrote:
Some specific things I have questions about in PBEM play are how to resolve interception and retreat before combat, how combat is resolved where a successful attack allows continuation of movement, how random chits are drawn. how cards are drawn from an opponent's hand, how response cards get played and how negotiations are handles in multi-player games.

Just come to an agreement with your opponent on how to handle these things before you begin a game. Common sense applies--you either slow down the game by waiting for him at every intercept/avoid/response point, roll up attempts for him if you think it would make sense, or carry out your turn and allow him to "rewind" if he intended to make some sort of interrupt (and it succeeds). This is just the nature of asynchronous play, and people make allowances.

People find ACTS very convenient for handling card decks, random draws, random discards, and dice rolling that can't be tinkered with. In most VASSAL modules you can do all these things without ACTS, but they'll be more cumbersome and often require the honor system. If you're forced to discard something at random, you'd have to rely on some method of choosing--e.g., roll a die, it's a 2, so you discard the 2nd card from the left in your hand.
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
badge
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd happily play a game of UKC with you in the new year!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I didn't see it in your game collection, but if you have ever played Memoir 44, I created a Vassal log file with it that teaches you how to use Vassal. Just let me know and I can e-mail it to you.

I choose M44 to teach VASSAL because the game is so easy that you can focus on learning Vassal rather than the complexity of the game (since it ain't). And once you know how to play VASSAL for one game, you pretty much can play any game (other than Twilight Struggle that has a level of automation that is nice, but makes it harder to figure out).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Stearns
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why not schedule to meet up with someone live utilizing ventrillo (gmt has a server) or skype and let them walk you through vassal and pbem options. Will be much faster than trying figure it out with emails back and forth. Many of the titles you listed can be played in 2 or 3 hours live. Also, with games you are comfortable with load them up for solo run throughs so you learn how vassal works with each game. I think you will find it isnt nearly as difficult as it might seem at first glance.

The different questions you asked about how to handle in pbem is one reason i abandoned playing via email and only play live games with vassal.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Arthur
Australia
New South Wales
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gohrns wrote:
Why not schedule to meet up with someone live utilizing ventrillo (gmt has a server) or skype and let them walk you through vassal and pbem options. Will be much faster than trying figure it out with emails back and forth. Many of the titles you listed can be played in 2 or 3 hours live. Also, with games you are comfortable with load them up for solo run throughs so you learn how vassal works with each game. I think you will find it isnt nearly as difficult as it might seem at first glance.

The different questions you asked about how to handle in pbem is one reason i abandoned playing via email and only play live games with vassal.


What he said...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Don Barree
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
General Bonkers says the War on String may be unwinnable. Detractors worry that his statements will embolden string.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gohrns wrote:
Why not schedule to meet up with someone live utilizing ventrillo (gmt has a server) or skype and let them walk you through vassal and pbem options. Will be much faster than trying figure it out with emails back and forth. Many of the titles you listed can be played in 2 or 3 hours live. Also, with games you are comfortable with load them up for solo run throughs so you learn how vassal works with each game. I think you will find it isnt nearly as difficult as it might seem at first glance.

The different questions you asked about how to handle in pbem is one reason i abandoned playing via email and only play live games with vassal.


Not a bad suggestion. Unfortunately, I do not have a microphone or camera capability on my computer at the moment. I'm not familiar with either of the services you mentioned. Are either Ventrillo or Skype text based? If not, I suppose I can upgrade for a minimal cost.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Pence
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don-

No camera needed. I would recommend getting a nice little headset earphone/microphone combination from Logitech. I bought one a few years ago, and its all I've needed.

Ventrillo is a voice/chat meeting center application that is free, similar to Skype. (Ventrillo is nice because you can use Push-to-Talk settings, which help minimize background noise). GMT has set up several Ventrillo rooms for their customers to use free of charge. You can get the details and links to the software from their site.

We play a lot of Combat Commander live (EST), and the Vassal Wargamers Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/vassalwargamers/) has taken off lately. It helps act as a clearing house and message board for perspective players (Thanks,
Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
go2 Youtube Historical Gaming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
!)

I would highly recommend trying VASSAL live first, and then working your way into PBeM recording. It is great for both, but would be more helpful to you to have folks show you the nuances in real-time.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dbarree wrote:
gohrns wrote:
Why not schedule to meet up with someone live utilizing ventrillo (gmt has a server) or skype and let them walk you through vassal and pbem options. Will be much faster than trying figure it out with emails back and forth. Many of the titles you listed can be played in 2 or 3 hours live. Also, with games you are comfortable with load them up for solo run throughs so you learn how vassal works with each game. I think you will find it isnt nearly as difficult as it might seem at first glance.

The different questions you asked about how to handle in pbem is one reason i abandoned playing via email and only play live games with vassal.


Not a bad suggestion. Unfortunately, I do not have a microphone or camera capability on my computer at the moment. I'm not familiar with either of the services you mentioned. Are either Ventrillo or Skype text based? If not, I suppose I can upgrade for a minimal cost.


You can use Skype for instant messaging. But invest $10 in a cheap headphone for your computer - I have played a LOT of Vassal games live with skype to allow us to talk, and it beats the heck out of typing messages to one another. (Typing is ok for PBEM, the other guy isn't waiting for you!)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Arthur
Australia
New South Wales
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The other good thing about incorporating Skype is others can join in on the conversation with helpful banter,commentary and jolly fellowship...helps make gaming the social experience it was meant to be...

A drawback is the background noise...my Texan pal Tom had an extremely squeaky office chair that he persisted in 'accidentally' rocking back and forth in while it was my turn...a visit from some cricket bat armed 'heavies' from the Australian consulate in Houston worked a treat in convincing him to get out the WD40 can...
4 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.