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Amateurs to Arms!» Forums » General

Subject: How well does this play on VASSAL? rss

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Mattwran
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LONGMEADOW
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I'm really tempted by this one, but given the price I want to be sure I'll have a chance to play it. Does it play well PBEM on VASSAL?
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Rob Doane
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I'm playing a PBEM game right now and it's working fine. Just like with any CDG, you might have to pause sometimes to see if your opponent has a reaction card to play before you finish your move. But other than that, it's the normal back and forth sequence you get with most two player games.
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John Leggat
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Newbury Park
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I'm in the 9th turn in my Vassal game and it's terrific. I play a LOT on Vassal and this module is right up there with the best. Ideally, use Skype and the game moves right along.
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Edward Pundyk
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mattwran wrote:
I'm really tempted by this one, but given the price I want to be sure I'll have a chance to play it. Does it play well PBEM on VASSAL?



I've played an uncompleted game and am up to the March-April, 1814 turn in the second attempt, playing with Vassal PBEM. The first try we gave up when we realized not all the leaders had been programmed into the 1.0 version of the module. That has since been corrected, so make sure you're playing with version 1.1. Be aware, however, that the Peace Track in the latest version of the module is lacking the indications when the US player has to reduce his hand size. We've fixed that by putting fort markers of 1,2 and 3 strength on the relevant spaces of the track.

The second time around we had an easier time of it. The only problem we've found since is that one cannot examine one's opponent's Port Chart, although the rules seem to allow for this. We get around this by announcing when we are moving a building ship up the track and providing the opponent with a summary of how many and what kind of ships are available on each lake whenever asked about it.

It's true that there can be a fair bit of back and forth when a battle is joined to give the other side an opportunity to play cards that interrupt movement or change the battle factors, but that is a problem with most CDGs played on Vassal PBEM.

In general, however I've found the module works pretty well. The fog of war that the designers wanted to build into this game is, I believe, heightened when playing on Vassal.

I'm probably not the first person to do this, but I've found the best way to try to keep track of your opponent's forces is to open up a separate Vassal game and record all of your and the other side's moves on it parallel to the "live" game. Every time the other side recruits, you can alter the parallel game to conform with whatever information you have about what and where it was recruited. It's not a foolproof system, but it does help you estimate the size of your enemy's expeditions before committing to offensive action. Anyway, it works for me.

We don't play with Skype on all the time, but we do Skype one another if things are getting a bit involved and we're too lazy to type out a detailed explanation in the table talk box.

In summary, it plays well on Vassal PBEM and I would definitely recommend it. Not only that, but even if you only play it online, you'll want to own the hard copy of the game because the map is probably the most beautiful war game map I have ever seen in 40 years of war gaming. It is truly a work of art, suitable for framing.
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Mattwran
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LONGMEADOW
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Thanks for all the feedback! This purchase is definitely going to happen in the near future.
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Gilbert Collins
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Ottawa
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I can attest to the quality of this module. It is very well done indeed. Rob has done a very good job on it. We have completed about two turns and the thrill of playing face to face play is all there.
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Ed Wimble
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The only problem we've found since is that one cannot examine one's opponent's Port Chart,

Actually, I don't think you are allowed to do this, or view any of your opponent's charts.
 
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Rob Doane
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Kevin clarified on CSW that the port charts should be placed in full view of both players. Only the expedition chart is hidden from your opponent. I just posted v1.2 of the module which corrects this.
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Kevin McPartland
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Jessup
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Oliver Hazard Perry leader counter from Amateurs, To Arms! by Clash of Arms Games.
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Ed, we changed this since you last played a playtest version of the game. With further between-the-lines reading, we figured that each side had a very good idea what their opponent's forces where on the lakes. It's kind of hard to hide a frigate on a lake...

Kevin
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