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Subject: Vassal gaming? rss

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JR
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For anyone interested, there's a Hive module up on vassal now. It's relatively new and just a pretty simple implementation, but it functions. A few people in a boardgaming IRC channel have been playing with it for a few weeks with no problems. Module includes mosquito and ladybug.

If anyone's interested in a game of Hive, I'll be hanging around on the vassal hive server most of today (slow week between xmas and new years). All comers welcome. I'm not great, but I've played a bit and can hold my own.
 
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Dave Dyer
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-- In the spirit of inquiry, what possible advantage is there
to using a vassal module instead of playing at Boardspace?

Or are you the type who makes your own chips starting with a bucket of sand,
just for the challenge.

 
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JR
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ddyer wrote:
-- In the spirit of inquiry, what possible advantage is there
to using a vassal module instead of playing at Boardspace?

Or are you the type who makes your own chips starting with a bucket of sand,
just for the challenge.



Despite the fact that your followup comment suggests to me you're just being a dillhole, the honest response to #1 is that I've simply never heard of boardspace. I have used vassal to play various games for a few years on and off. It works. There's a vassal module. It also works. If anyone wants to join in playing it, they know where to go. If they want to play with you, I guess they also know where to go now.
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Dave Dyer
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Fair enough. Hive is the most played game at Boardspace. There's
a reasonable robot opponent, and there are human opponents available
most of the time.
 
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JR
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Thanks for the impartial observations.
 
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Dave Dyer
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I'm not dissing Vassal in general, I've used it myself when nothing
more automated is available.
 
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bog danov
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I agree: I don´t see a reason to play Hive on Vassal either, although I appreciate the OP sharing the information. However, I think the Hive community would benefit from having one single site to play on. Seeing how it seems to be a popular game, I´m surprised that there aren´t more players on Boardspace playing it already.
 
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Dave Dyer
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There's so much clutter in the information space, the stuff you want to know diffuses very slowly.

Hive has been at Boardspace for over 5 years, yet the OP was not aware of it, and had expended the considerable effort to create a vassal box.


 
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JR
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ddyer wrote:
There's so much clutter in the information space, the stuff you want to know diffuses very slowly.

Hive has been at Boardspace for over 5 years, yet the OP was not aware of it, and had expended the considerable effort to create a vassal box.




I did not create the vassal module. I just used it. I never even suggested I created it and if you looked at the module page, you'd see that also.

I was going to not even continue this discussion in the first place, but since you're still at it - I suspect you feel slighted when you see other people re-creating electronic implementations of Hive because you feel yours is the best and that people should be using it and not wasting their time making alternatives which may cut in on your user base. Your avatar, badges and user profile show how much personal interest you have in promoting and growing your gaming portal.

Your first message made this message pretty clear and following it up helps confirm. As a software person myself, I can understand your attachment to your project and I'm sure you feel very sincere about all of your claims about its greater appropriateness. You need to keep in mind that everyone has different tastes and, in software, there's no pleasing everyone. Also, in software, alternatives are a Good Thing.

For piece of mind, I wandered over to boardspace briefly yesterday to check it out and to be perfectly honest with you, I found the hive interface to be pretty unremarkable. Applets in my browser is a pretty big turnoff to begin with but being greeted with silly audio files right away and then the clunky applet UI didn't help either. Once actually in the game, I suppose it worked, but I fail to recognize your claims that it works much better than a vassal module would (I also predict that you didn't even load up the Hive module for vassal before immediately discrediting it as a lesser implementation). The only possibly benefit is the enforcement of rules, but as I've stated this has zero value to me because I'm quite used to playing games with humans moderating the rules. In a gave as simple as hive, it's particularly inconsequential. I tried it out without bias and didn't like it based on my personal preferences for ways to game. Vassal is also no perfect machine either, but it works quite consistently and has great features I make use of, such as the ability to save a game state or to play games over email using log files.

I wasn't going to bother giving this feedback because I didn't think it was necessarily productive to continue this discussion at all given how your opinion on the matter was already pretty obvious. In any case, you want to keep talking about it, so there's my thoughts. FWIW: I also greatly dislike the interface for gokgs.
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Victor Behar
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I for one am glad to see Hive in VASSAL as I use a large number of other modules there, especially for wargames. I like the option of one stop shopping login to play. I also like the feel of VASSAL and its interface with other players, especially in conjunction with skype. That said, I have yet to see anyone actually using the Hive VASSAL module. Module will only be as useful as it is populated.
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Mr Bug
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I made the module. We mostly play short games after deciding to play in #boardgames on freenode (IRC) rather than idling in the game chat to wait for opponents.

There's a pretty big update in the works that adds probably about ten more tile types. It's almost ready, so it should be available within the next month. About VASSAL vs boardspace... I didn't know about boardspace and using VASSAL allows us to add fan expansions relatively easily.
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Let me add few comments to this discussion.

I agree, that playing Hive at Boardspace.net is great. I visit it often myself. One has bots there, as well as many human opponents. There are even tournaments held there.

Nonetheless, I think that we need a good VASSAL module too. One thing that is not supported at Boardspace, are unofficial pieces. Currently, there are almost twenty to be found in Variants section of this forum. All need a thorough testing - to what extent are they useful, how do they affect game balance, how should one play Hive when using them? If you read some threads here at BGG, you will find that there is a demand for online testing of fan made pieces.

Of course, one could use a review room at Boardspace and use a Mosquito or Ladybug as a Dragonfly, Moth or Mantis, however there are some problems with this approach. First - it can be tiring, second - one won't be able to use more than two additional pieces, third - there are some unofficial creatures (Mite, Walking Stick, Scorpion) that differ in mechanics from the official ones and won't be playable there, finally - a review room at Boardspace is deprived of most advantages this site offers - no more bots or suggestions where to move your tile next. IMO, a review room at Boardspace is inferior to VASSAL module.

VASSAL offers two valuable features: it allows to introduce a great number of additional pieces (including the pieces unplayable at Boardspace) and the players can play the game as they like (alternative variants including the number of tiles played or special placing rules are possible - both sides must set the rules before the game starts). It's not automated and not advisable for beginners, however playing Hive with additional creatures requires some skill and experience, so these who are interested shouldn't have problems with that.

To conclude, I think that VASSAL is not a competition for Boardspace, but rather a creative alternative for those who seek new ways for playing Hive. They just occupy different niches: Boardspace is wonderful for beginners, those who want to play an official game and not to worry about an opponent cheating or for holding tournaments; VASSAL is good for testing unofficial pieces and alternative game rules. IMO, this applies for all board games, not only Hive.
 
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