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Subject: PBEM Vassal Wargames (2+ players) rss

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Piero
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I have to confess that my days as a face to face wargamer are gone. I've recently moved to a new city and my friends are far away. I seldom have time for a face to face Vassal game.

So I decided that PBEM, from now on, is the medium I want to play most of my future games.

I was playing A Victory Lost right the other day, and one of my tank spearhead has just been blunted. I'm frikking blown away!
I thought: "wow, this game really does it for me. This game is beautiful PBEM!".

Now I wonder what other games are there that can do what A Victory Lost has done for me? Also, are there multiplayer wargames that work well on Vassal PBEM?

What do you think I should get get getttt!, what should I try it out, what should I steer clear from, and finally what should I touch this only with a stick game ?

Thank you for your advice.
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Daniel Lamb
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If you have the motivation to play a lot of PBEM (and, apparently, you DO have the motivation) then I would offer the following:

Get get get: Twilight Struggle, any Standard Combat System

Try: Pure card-driven wargames such as Wilderness War, or Clash of Monarchs

Steer clear: Manoeuvre (tooo slow via PBEM) or Conflict of Heroes (opportunity fire means a lot of back and forth).

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Judd Vance
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If it helps, I have a list of every single game that I ever played on VASSAL:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/140405



I only play PBEM.
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Piero
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Thanks guys for your advice!

Paths I do play a lot PBEM and I concur about its sheer awesomeness.

I think that most tactical combat games fall a little short PBEM since the op-fire make things go back and forth all too often. What's your experience?

Curious about Up-front, and always waiting for a reprint that will eventually never come... sigh.
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Michael Lucey
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I have no problem playing ASL by PBEM. The ability to log within a log helps out with any game utilizing opportunity fire type game mechanics.

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Tom Willcockson
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Best way to play ASL and ASLSK other than FtF IMHO is to do it with Skype using your real boards & counters, with the honor code for die rolls. You don't need to have your camera trained on the board or even turned on at all. Just speak you moves carefully, be strictly honest on the die rolls and it really works great, as close to FtF as you are going to get. I'm doing it this way with regular games of ASL and SK and am really enjoying it. Have done the same thing with several other games as well including Battles of the American Revolution, GCACW and GBACW. One of these days I may even try it for something like Bitterwoods.

PBEM with the CDG games on ACTs using VASSAL to keep track of the games is also a good way. Even though it can take weeks or months, it seems like that style of play is more suited to the strategic nature of many of the CDGs. I fact playing them FtF seems too hurried.

Anyway, that seems to be how I am doing most of my games these days along with the bi-monthly get together of my game group.
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Malcolm Cameron
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Operational Combat Series

A great game system which handles VASSAL very well.

I play almost all of my OCS by VASSAL.
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Piero
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Malcolm C wrote:
Operational Combat Series

A great game system which handles VASSAL very well.

I play almost all of my OCS by VASSAL.


Never got into it, but may try it soon, what's the best to start out with (and, yes, to START out with, so no Case Blue suggestion)
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Piero
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What about multiplayer games, like Virgin Queen?
 
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Gorgoneion wrote:
What about multiplayer games, like Virgin Queen?


I don't think they work very well. They either move too slow (no explanation required), or they move too fast: ie. You may be sleeping while one power takes their turn. In real life you'd play a response card, but in the meantime the next two powers also took their turns, revealing their hands and intentions. Now it feels cheesy to wind the clock back that far, so you just think, "Stuff it. I won't play a response card, too much hassle". Even if you don't look at the following logs, the other players would/could have.

This isn't as much of a problem in 2-player games, as you can just stop and truncate the log. But in multiplayer games it's more of an issue. Multiplayer IGO-UGO without "interrupt/response" cards would be much better.

I know a lot of people play HIS/VQ PBEM, as it is likely the most convenient (only) way to get 6-people, but I don't think PBEM is the best medium, but it sure beats not playing at all!
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Joe Thompson
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You need to try a few games and work out what size of log suits you best. Small logs require frequent turn around and can seem like too much effort. Big logs will require much more time in one block to prepare, as such they'll turn around much slower and you risk forgetting about the game. The correct size of log is a personal choice; eg, many people like playing Warriors of God pbem, but I find it has far too many little logs.

Games that _I_ find work well are: A Victory Lost, A Victory Denied, any SCS, smaller OCS games (Burma is great), Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939.

I tried Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? and found the turn around to quick, though a more meaty CDG like PoG could well work.



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Zhe Leng
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ShallowThought wrote:
You need to try a few games and work out what size of log suits you best. Small logs require frequent turn around and can seem like too much effort. Big logs will require much more time in one block to prepare, as such they'll turn around much slower and you risk forgetting about the game. The correct size of log is a personal choice; eg, many people like playing Warriors of God pbem, but I find it has far too many little logs.

Games that _I_ find work well are: A Victory Lost, A Victory Denied, any SCS, smaller OCS games (Burma is great), Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939.

I tried Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? and found the turn around to quick, though a more meaty CDG like PoG could well work.



I tried PoG PBEM (or PB-Dropbox).

Work nicely. It's just that, when starting a combat, you need to stop and ask the other side whether he/she want use a combat card. Still fast and enjoyable.
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Marià Pitarque

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Ciao,

Hai dato un'occhiata a questa lista?

I'm sure you'll find many games that are worth playing.
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武士に二言無し
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Gorgoneion wrote:
Malcolm C wrote:


Never got into it, but may try it soon, what's the best to start out with (and, yes, to START out with, so no Case Blue suggestion)


Ciao Piero,

Se sei interessato ad OCS e vuoi fare qualche prova, possiamo incontrarci via vassal+skype in orari umani e fare qualche turno insieme.
Ti avviso che non amo il pbm, secondo surrogato del f2f, mentre con il gioco in tempo reale via vassal, primo surrogato del f2f, diciamo che riesco a convivere ...
E DAK (scenari minori) e/o Tunisia possono essere un buon inizio.

Saluti

F.
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Piero
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Pitarque wrote:
Ciao,

Hai dato un'occhiata a questa lista?

I'm sure you'll find many games that are worth playing.


Wow this is what I was looking for! (and somehow missed when I did a thorough research before posting this post)

I've added it to my favorite geeklists!
 
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Piero
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Filippo Chiari wrote:
Gorgoneion wrote:
Malcolm C wrote:


Never got into it, but may try it soon, what's the best to start out with (and, yes, to START out with, so no Case Blue suggestion)


Ciao Piero,

Se sei interessato ad OCS e vuoi fare qualche prova, possiamo incontrarci via vassal+skype in orari umani e fare qualche turno insieme.
Ti avviso che non amo il pbm, secondo surrogato del f2f, mentre con il gioco in tempo reale via vassal, primo surrogato del f2f, diciamo che riesco a convivere ...
E DAK (scenari minori) e/o Tunisia possono essere un buon inizio.

Saluti

F.


Hei there Filippo! Thanks a lot for your offer but as I said I really don't have the time to f2f. And when I have it I'm either tired or not able to match the other person's schedule.

I would love to have this game taught from you!!!
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武士に二言無し
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At least you can try!
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Marià Pitarque

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Gorgoneion wrote:
Pitarque wrote:
Ciao,

Hai dato un'occhiata a questa lista?

I'm sure you'll find many games that are worth playing.


Wow this is what I was looking for! (and somehow missed when I did a thorough research before posting this post)

I've added it to my favorite geeklists!



I knew you'd like it...

Hope we have the chance to PBEM some of those games in the future, so I'd be able to refresh my Italian (that would be killing two birds!)

Salutami ël Caval ëd Brons!
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Piero
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Filippo Chiari wrote:
At least you can try!


Yeah I can try if you have the patience.

PM me to set things up and try to manage a date of some sort.
 
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Piero
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Pitarque wrote:
Gorgoneion wrote:
Pitarque wrote:
Ciao,

Hai dato un'occhiata a questa lista?

I'm sure you'll find many games that are worth playing.


Wow this is what I was looking for! (and somehow missed when I did a thorough research before posting this post)

I've added it to my favorite geeklists!



I knew you'd like it...

Hope we have the chance to PBEM some of those games in the future, so I'd be able to refresh my Italian (that would be killing two birds!)

Salutami ël Caval ëd Brons!


Yup, I'd be happy to. I'm trying to get into: Thirty Years War: Europe in Agony, 1618-1648 since I got it through the last european math trade. Interested?
 
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Justin Hoffman
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Hey. Don't forget that you can play *live* via VASSAL too. If you can teach some of your old crew how to use vassal, you can schedule live games. No log exchanges needed in that situation and it opens the door to games like Combat Commander, Up Front, and even things like Arkham Horror, Descent, and others...

You can chat [typing] in game or use a service like Skype or even GMT's ventrilo servers [they've been *very* good about letting wargamers use their voice server to play non-GMT games in private rooms] to talk to each other.

In my mind, Cyberboard and VASSAL (and now ZunTzu, which I think has some of the most beautiful gameboxes but is more limited in selection and in platform support at the moment, anyway) have done as much or perhaps more to revitalize our hobby than the explosion of publishers and new styles of wargame. If you ever want some help setting up for a live game, shoot me a PM [I work at home most days and late into the night US east-coast time, which means I'm often online at "normal times" for continental Europe and can take a break from my "day job" for a little gaming]

Cheers
Justin
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Judd Vance
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Gorgoneion wrote:

I think that most tactical combat games fall a little short PBEM since the op-fire make things go back and forth all too often. What's your experience?


Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles works very well PBEM.
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Malcolm Cameron
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Gorgoneion wrote:
Malcolm C wrote:
Operational Combat Series

A great game system which handles VASSAL very well.

I play almost all of my OCS by VASSAL.


Never got into it, but may try it soon, what's the best to start out with (and, yes, to START out with, so no Case Blue suggestion)


Hi Piero,

I think the best learning scenarios in OCS are the U-Go scenario from Burma and the Kasserine scenario from Tunisia.

I would offer to play a PBEM game of either - but I am in Rome on holidays!

Ciao!

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Don't know if you're interested in block games at all, but I think that EastFront II is a good candidate for PBEM. If you're playing solo, you can hide the blocks on the opposite side, and then hide the opposite blocks when you switch sides. Not perfect, but pretty good.

The game system itself is pretty simple with not a lot of interactive steps so that when you take your turn you can do a lot in each segement and don't have to break it down into a lot of small steps waiting for the other person to react.
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