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el_cazador
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Subject: VASSALage   PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:25 am Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
El_cazador and I are on VASSAL right now! Very Happy

That was a fun game; expect a battle report soon.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:26 am Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
El_cazador and I are on VASSAL right now! Very Happy


We finished the game! It was a smashing success!!

Battle Report coming soon! B.J. actually reached out to me on the same day I was going to contact him again! How ironic! I'll tell him about the game, and post some stuff soon.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:34 am Reply with quote

I just created an account on the VASSAL forum and posted a topic about our rekindled Pirates module. It said the moderators still have to approve it, so hopefully they will. Smile Somewhat unlikely that it will garner any further interest, but perhaps some people over there remember playing the real game and didn't know there was a module for it.
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Subject: VASSAL IS HERE! The first modern VASSAL BATTLE REPORT!   PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:26 am Reply with quote

A HUGE thanks to el_cazador for reaching out to me! And once again, a HUGE thanks to B.J. for getting this module up and running. I literally had VASSAL on my to-do list for today (part of a series of VASSAL ironies that keep happening - el_cazador literally PM'd me a few minutes after I responded to B.J.'s email), where I was going to experiment with it and play around a bit. Instead, my (and el_cazador's) first game was played on VASSAL!!

I think VASSAL is going to be an extremely valuable tool. It's the only known reliable way of people being able to play Pirates remotely, which is huge. This forum is full of the absolute, hardcore, diehard fans of the game that are still left supporting it and keeping it alive. The fact that we can play games of Pirates with each other for free and without the hassles of traveling is so cool!

This is a Battle Report of the game that myself and el_cazador played on 1/29/2015. It's my first BR using "pictures" of a virtual game, which is crazy cool and crazy unique. You can't get angled shots or closeups, but the pros include not needing a camera of any kind, not having to worry about how the shot will look, and of course the nature of an overhead shot: every picture gives the viewer a great idea of what's going on everywhere on the ocean.

Neither of us had much experience at all with VASSAL prior to this impromptu game. Nevertheless, we were determined to see it happen!! (I'm very excited about this lol.)

First, we didn't even know how to set up the ocean. I'll make a post within the next 24 hours where I do my best to give a comprehensive sort of "setup guide" for everyone. For now, I will focus on the report. This will eventually go in Battle Reports, but I think that this first game should definitely go in this thread, not to mention xerecs' massively epic Economy Edition game going on right now. As always I'll post it on BGG and Pojo (and I think reddit this time too!), so hopefully that will drum up additional interest.

I began creating a fleet. A day or two I was on VASSAL very briefly, and I created HMS Dover just to refresh my memory of how to create a ship and its associated deckplate card. As a result, she was the first ship I chose. My fleet was constructed somewhat randomly and haphazardly, but the English are my favorite faction and the Lord Algernon is my favorite ship, so it should come as no surprise that my first game on VASSAL featured them.

English: (Ben)
HMS Lord Algernon + Administrator Scott Bratley, captain, helmsman
HMS Dover + Thomas Gunn, explorer
HMS Hound + explorer

el_cazador, on the other hand, had a fleet ready.

Spanish: (El Cazador)
Spanish Cursed Seas Showcase

At this time it is necessary to explain the dumb setup. Once we had an ocean created, we got excited and started dumping stuff everywhere! However, once you place islands and terrain on the ocean, you can't move or delete them. (Edit: You can move them by shift-clicking.) To my knowledge, everything else can be deleted and/or moved, but not islands and terrain. As a result, the setup was very abnormal and unfairly biased in favor of the English. Once our first ship was introduced to the sea, we both simply gravitated towards the nearest islands, so the HI placement was random as well. However, the treasure distribution was fair, with 4 coins on each of the 4 wild islands. There are no native canoes in the module so they're represented by the 1 masted galleys.

The English rolled to go first, and the fleets were off! The Hound and Dover were quick to exploit the bad setup, docking and exploring nearby wild islands on the first two turns. The Lord Algernon headed out as the most dangerous but also slowest ship in play.

The Spanish sailed out, with the San Pedro easily navigating a reef successfully. The native canoes, however, couldn't explore on the first turn.

The Dover docked home treasure, while the Lord Algernon moved within firing range of a native canoe!!

(Important: Photobucket was having major issues when I was typing up this report, so I used postimage.org instead. Click on each picture to see the full-size version.)


The Lord Algernon easily blasted the canoe to smithereens, and war was on! The remaining canoes had no choice but to run from the English flagship, but the Castigue had something to say about the Lord Algernon, hitting 2/3 to take out a mast!


Here the San Pedro docks and explores. a7xfanben, commander of the English forces, knew how valuable the +1 and +2 gold abilities (aboard the canoes and San Pedro) are, and therefore prioritized eliminating those ships from the game.


The Hound has docked home while the Morning Star takes gold from the western island. However, the English used their two gunships to sink the Castigue! This netted them 1 gold for eliminating the Ransom crew Anita Amore. The dots on the islands are explored markers, something el_cazador was brilliant enough to think of and find on the module. Nicely enough, they're color-coded by player, and here they turned out to match the nationalities as well!


Surprising the English, the Spanish now attacked the Lord Algernon with their treasure runners! The San Pedro rammed and boarded. However, she failed with both rolls, losing her explorer. The canoes began to head towards the Lord Algernon, which El Cazador would later admit was a "canoe screen" to help shield the Morning Star. Mid-turn, you can see the S and L rulers in the directions ships have moved and are going to move.


The English strike again, and sink the San Pedro! After a brief discussion, it was decided that any gold on ships would sink to the bottom with the vessel carrying it. (Woelf does this and it's obviously more historically accurate.) At this point the English finally remembered to use the Hound's ability and revealed a 2 on the Morning Star, who was heading towards the southern island while the English were distracted by the canoes.


Here, the Morning Star has docked at the southern island, where she explores and finds some UT's that were placed by a7xfanben. However, I didn't define what they were when I placed them, so I decided to let El Cazador use them as "wilds" since the setup was so biased in my favor. This meant he could pick any value for the two "UT's" from 1-7. Naturally, he picked 7 for both of them.


With a powerful broadside, the Lord Algernon stays put and sinks the remaining native canoes! The Dover returns home for the time being, while the Hound added to the English treasure haul.


The Morning Star began sailing away, but the Lord Algernon shot two of her masts off. The Dover docked home, only for me to realize that she didn't have any gold on her after all!


The Morning Star continued to run, but the English continued to shoot! The Lord Algernon connected twice more, and the Dover moved into position to end the game.


The Dover fired and hit, sinking the final Spanish ship! The Royal Navy reigns supreme! (My shoot action die rolls were much better for this game than they are in the physical world, a promising sign for me lol.)


This image simply shows the English gold revealed on their HI, and they won by a 24-0 blowout! (The gold in the water is from the sunken San Pedro.)


Again, another post about VASSAL coming soon!


Last edited by a7xfanben on Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:45 pm Reply with quote

I believe shift-clicking allows you to move the islands. Because islands aren't meant to move, it prevents accidental "budging" while still allowing them to be moved if they were placed in an undesired location (ie prematurely releasing the mouse button).
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:32 pm Reply with quote

captain_vendari wrote:
I believe shift-clicking allows you to move the islands. Because islands aren't meant to move, it prevents accidental "budging" while still allowing them to be moved if they were placed in an undesired location (ie prematurely releasing the mouse button).


Yes, and B.J. just got back to me today about that as well. Definitely a good thing!

I'm going to start working on that big post soon. In the meantime, if anyone wants to play a game on the module, I can any time today! Idea
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Subject: VASSAL   PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:16 pm Reply with quote

This is a megapost. I'm hoping that people check this thread a lot, because I'll definitely continue to post here even if it directly follows my previous post.

I thought I'd start with this. After corresponding with B.J. over the past day or so, I got his permission to share part of his email:

bj_o wrote:
As for modifying the module, I have no problem with that if anyone can figure it out. Vassal isn't the most user friendly program. The module isn't compiled or anything like that, so anyone should be able to edit it as-is. Vassal has gone through a couple of versions since this was created, but I don't think that will cause any issues.

I doubt I'll return, since there's really not much I can contribute, but thanks!


Very Happy This is great news that apparently anyone can make edits to the module! Now it will be up to us to do so and improve it. Idea

I think I'll reread the old thread soon.

Alright, here is the best sort of "Easy Startup Guide" I can do:

1. Download VASSAL and the Pirates module.
2.
el_cazador wrote:
From Vassal, you must use File>Open Module> (wherever you have bj_0's .zip file)>the .zip folder. Vassal should recognize and load it.

3. VASSAL is now open. The Welcome screen doesn't appear to have its own window that you can minimize. You can create a username and password.
4.
VASSAL User Guide wrote:
Select Play Mode: Under Select play mode, select one of the following:
a. Start a new game offline: choose this option for beginning an email game, playing
solitaire or hotseat, or to edit a module.
b. Look for a game online: to play on the Server or peer-to-peer.
c. Load a saved game: to play a previously saved game, or to review an email game log.


We're generally going to go with the middle option. Solitaire games would be the first option, while I would assume that the third option could work for campaign games that are saved.

5. Now you should be in the Main Room.

VASSAL User Guide wrote:
To join a game on the Server,
1. In Module Manager, in the
Module Library window,
double-click the module you
want to play. The Welcome
Wizard opens.
2. In the Welcome Wizard,
under Select play mode,
choose Look for a game
online, and then follow the
other Wizard steps as the module requires.
3. On the Toolbar, click Connect.
4. On the right side of the screen, the Active Games window opens. The Active Games window
displays the Main Room for the module, which is the default location for all players who are not currently in a game, and any active game rooms under that. Only rooms running the current module
are displayed. The number of players is displayed in parentheses.
5. Double-click the name of the game room you wish to join.
6. If prompted, enter the password for the room. (This password is generally different from your Vassal
password.)
7. Right-click on the name of a player who has already begun a new game, then click Synchronize.
You and the selected player will be synchronized and the game play can begin.


I hope that helps! You can also private message other users on the same module, which was helpful to el_cazador and I when trying to get the game set up. However, once the game starts, it's easier to just use the chat at the top of the window, which is where the game transcript thread came from.

In terms of Pirates, the setup gets easier. Go to File at the top left, and then choose an Ocean Layout. It's helpful to adjust the top panel and drag it up so you can see more of the water. At the top of the window, there are numerous command buttons, and the telescopes are very useful. They can be used for a basic zoom in and out, but the middle one allows you to fit the game to different percentages. Also very useful, the button to the right of the telescopes (looks like a map) allows you to see an "overworld" view of the entire game in a smaller box, regardless of how much zoom there is on the overall game.

To the left of the zoom buttons, there is a camera button where you can save snapshots of the game. However, it's a bit odd. It might just be my current computer, but the images saved as generic files, so I had to open them with Paint and Save As PNG file types in order to convert the pictures to usable files.

The question mark to the left of the camera button brings you to B.J.'s help guide, which is very useful when you're starting out.

The treasure chest button allows you to have a "locker" where you can flip coins over without other players seeing them. Other than that, there is some transparency in the game - you can keep your crew "hidden", but other players can still flip them over. Also, when crew are hidden, their names still appear below the crew chip, as long as you've defined their properties.

bj_o wrote:
Setup
-Placing Islands
The islands are available within the game piece palette ("ship" button) on the "Terrain" tab. Just drag and place them where you want them, rotating if necessary. After placement, islands cannot be selected unless you SHIFT+CLICK on them.
-Placing Treasure
Each player can drag the coins they want from the game piece palette. Unique treasure must have its properties (CTRL-P) defined before placing them on the islands. Once all players have selected their coins, make sure they are all showing the backs and not the values (flip if necessary with CTRL-F). Then one player can select all the coins and stack them (CTRL-S), which send them all to a stack in the upper left corner. A player can then pull coins off one at a time and place them on different islands.


Also, you can edit a ship's properties in the pieces window before it's introduced to the game. In this way, you can eliminate masts and start fires before it even shows up in the ocean, making my fireship idea even more intriguing. Twisted Evil Also, forts can be on fire too! Very Happy

I think I'm going to slowly start investigating how to edit the module (Designer's Guide), and any help would be greatly appreciated! I'd love to add some more ship types.

I'm also going to start looking into the possibilities of playing a campaign game. I'm going to create a custom ocean as an experiment, to see how big I can make it. There can be up to 4 players on the module, but the side labeled "observer" seems to allow you to move other things around as well, so possibly up to 5 could play.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:21 am Reply with quote

It might be a good idea to edit the opening post with this guide as well, Ben. Otherwise, it will probably get lost should this thread ever become some kind of a mega-thread (though it's a good thing it's only four pages in at this point).
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:25 am Reply with quote

How did you download the Pirates module? I can go to the link but whhen I try to download the zip file my machine tries first with adobe which it says wont run. What did you download Bj's file with?

EDIT: never mind I got it to work. Anyone up for a game sometime this week?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:24 am Reply with quote

xerecs wrote:
How did you download the Pirates module? I can go to the link but whhen I try to download the zip file my machine tries first with adobe which it says wont run. What did you download Bj's file with?

EDIT: never mind I got it to work. Anyone up for a game sometime this week?


I'm open Friday night. I'll just need to put a fleet together.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:29 am Reply with quote

captain_vendari wrote:
xerecs wrote:
How did you download the Pirates module? I can go to the link but whhen I try to download the zip file my machine tries first with adobe which it says wont run. What did you download Bj's file with?

EDIT: never mind I got it to work. Anyone up for a game sometime this week?


I'm open Friday night. I'll just need to put a fleet together.


I'm prob good for Friday, message me details( build total?, faction pure?, etc.) is any one else down?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:26 pm Reply with quote

captain_vendari wrote:
It might be a good idea to edit the opening post with this guide as well, Ben. Otherwise, it will probably get lost should this thread ever become some kind of a mega-thread (though it's a good thing it's only four pages in at this point).


Thanks for the great idea! I'll do that.

xerecs wrote:
I'm prob good for Friday, message me details( build total?, faction pure?, etc.) is any one else down?


I'm good for Friday too.

I feel like we can simply put details right in this thread here - that way, people will see how hot VASSAL is getting, and it will also be easier for them to join in. Also, then people will be able to see what kind of game is being discussed - if they know a game is going on but don't know the size, it would be useful for them to know about how many people and points it would involve so they can make a better decision on whether or not they'll participate.

@xerecs: I'm good during the week as well - I'm free during some afternoons, but I'll generally be free after 8pm and through about 1am (so 5pm - 10pm for you).

For this game, keeping it simple would probably be a good idea - 40 points and faction pure would work for me, but I'm open to suggestions. Smile
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:52 pm Reply with quote

40 points and faction pure sounds good to me as well. keeping it simple. Would Customs be allowed or no for this first game betwixt me you and Capt. Vendari?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:54 pm Reply with quote

xerecs wrote:
40 points and faction pure sounds good to me as well. keeping it simple. Would Customs be allowed or no for this first game betwixt me you and Capt. Vendari?


I'm fine with customs, as long as they're within the realm of reason. (ie. If you're using the un-revised Gnat and Urchin I may have to edit my fleet lol.) Like I said, I'm available throughout the week as well if you want to play sooner.

We have 3 players right now, but anyone else is free to join!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:58 pm Reply with quote

I probably won't use those ones, but I might not open with custom cursed. I might go pirate however....
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