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riotgirl
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PBEM / VASSAL

Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:39 pm

It is a given that the majority of PTers will be familiar with async play via a number of digital adaptions of board games. How many PTers have played board games via VASSAL?

I've recently got back into board gaming through playing Eclipse with my fellow PTers. I've noticed a shift in my tastes away from non-conflict Euros - I have yet to play Agricola and Le Harve iOS apps - towards games that fall into the 'wargames' arena - even if some of them re: Twilight Struggle are more hybrids. In the case of TS, it really doesn't matter because it is a fantastic game period.

My gaming group is my fiancee and family members, thus gateway Euro games such as Catan, TTR and 7 Wonders. My tastes are more towards the substantive end that feature more interaction with agonizing choices. I tend to steer away from heavier Euros because these have become a bunch of mechanics in a box. Whereas I'm looking for a narrative element in my games.

From reading the 'wargaming' sub-forum on BGG, wargaming is popular on VASSAL. I'm thrilled that PBEM is still proving popular, albeit in a different manner than when I paid KJC money to partake over 20 years ago.

Have any PTers played via VASSAL? If so, what games?

I noticed that OBollocks has a fairly healthy wargaming collection, and a number of PTers have expressed an interest in the COIN system. Is there interest amongst PTers - OBollocks in particular - in running a game via VASSAL? Would a COIN title be a suitable choice?

Obviously it would have to be a game that at least one of the participants actually owned.

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OBollocks
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Location: UK

Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:00 pm

In finest PT fashion I have challenged Alex Connolly to fight me. In the politest way possible. Over VASSAL. So this is timely. He's only just starting out on his cardboard quest too.

I'm currently playing Paths of Glory over VASSAL; it's a card-driven design like TS, but it's a full-on wargame with plenty of rules exceptions, so it may not be the best starting point. Rulebook, map etc will be online if you want to have a look.
I noticed that OBollocks has a fairly healthy wargaming collection, and a number of PTers have expressed an interest in the COIN system. Is there interest amongst PTers - OBollocks - in particular in running a game via VASSAL? Would a COIN title be a suitable choice?
Could do. Some caveats though. They're fairly weighty games; not actually that complex to play, but the strategies and situations that come up can be difficult to grasp at first. They're all four-player, with two of them (Fire in the Lake, Liberty or Death) having four factions that line up more or less neatly into two sides, so they play two-player as well. I don't think they're a great entry point because the added focus on conventional warfare seems to have created enough complexity to be a significant stumbling block for some players. Take a look at a rulebook/playbook for any of them and see what you think. If you're totally baffled, it's too early for you. If you still fancy it, we'll see about a game. There is a forthcoming two-faction game coming out, Colonial Twilight, which looks to be simpler and lighter than the average COIN and may very well be a better intro simply because of the lower number of possible interactions.

All that said, they're amazing games, and A Distant Plain in particular I love. They're quite atypical for wargames, though, with relatively little direct combat.
The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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riotgirl
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:07 pm

Hi folks,

I may be late to the party, clutching my bottle of wine whilst half of the party have passed out on the floor, how many PTers are signed up to Board Game Arena (boardgamearena.com)? There are approx 95 boardgames that are available completely gratis! That said, a few - inc expansions - can only be played if the person who created a virtual table (game) is a subscriber.

There are 11 games that pique my interest from 2 player fillers to Puerto Rico. Games can either be played live or via PEBM.

My scheduling attempts with a friend to get round to playing a plethora of F2F games are proving problematic due to juggling work and family responsibilities (the Little Man). It may be easier to use a vehicle like board game arena [BGA] to ease gently into PEBM, before diving into VASSAL for some of the more longer and complex games.

I would also like to play with PTers. I'm Riotgirl73 on BGA. Very few games I can play live due to the demands of the Little Man and my fiancee, however PEBM should be ok - although my last PEBM game with OBollocks was stretched out way too long due to me developing a cold. Once we eventually got back to playing Twilight Struggle, I played a card and immediately lost the game at the end of my turn!

In terms of a 2 player: Polis: Fight for the Hegemony
3+ players: In the Year of the Dragon

I will likely subscribe to support the site once my beginner account expires after 30 days (do not have to subscribe after 30 days in order to play - however, only subscribers can save their stats for their played games), given that an annual subscription is 28 euros. A fricken' bargin to support a site that allows so many games to be played via the web either live of PEBM with rules enforced.

Cheers!

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whovian223
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:22 pm

I'm definitely up for that! I'm on BGA all the time.

I'm whovian223 there as well.

You mention 11 games that pique your interest, but only mention two. What other games do you play over there?

I'm very active in Seasons, Troyes, Targi, Takenoko, Colt Express, Tournay, Through the Ages, and Tokaido. But willing to try almost anything (I have played In the Year of the Dragon once, but didn't make a lot of sense out of it so would have to try it again).

Also, I suggest Boiteajeux.net for some meatier strategy games. I'm also whovian223 over there.

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riotgirl
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:51 pm

Hi whovian223,

Apologies for the delay in responding - usual demands upon my time. I can't even squeeze a quick game of HuniePop due to time restrictions!

Games that pique my interest:
In the Year of the Dragon
Jaipur
Kahuna
Polis: Fight for Hegemony
Puerto Rico
Race for the Galaxy
Seasons
Targi
Through the Ages

Ok, that's 9. I'm fussier than I thought! I actually really liked Hanabi [FTF], but would have to be FTF. I actually like 'Go', but haven't played in a very long time. I used to house-share at uni with then the 2nd best Go player in the UK! I've even got a picture of his Go set, after a group of us burst into his room after a night clubbing, and I arranged his Go pieces to form the name of a girl I quite liked back then. **

** Many, many years later, said girl turned up in my house as a political party candidate! But I digress.

I could be arm-twisted to play a game not on my list above, but not Caylus. Once was enough as I dislike heavy Euro worker placement.

I'll PM you to decide upon a game, and then read up on the rules. I'll check out the other site that you mentioned - checked it out, none of the games really appealed. There is also wargameroom.com - unfortunately, real-time only. My family commitments preclude a 6 hour game of 'Here I Stand'.

Cheers
Riotgirl
Last edited by riotgirl on Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EICJoe
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:57 pm

Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you guys from here. Always willing to help the community where I can :)
"Determining the appropriate level of influence in somebody else's war is never a simple matter."
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whovian223
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:45 pm

Riotgirl, I added you as a friend on BGA.

I have many 2-player games of Seasons and Targi under my belt, and would happily play either one.

I've never played 2-player Through the Ages (is it any good?), but would certainly be up for a multi-player game if anybody else wants to join.

I'll wait for your PM (posting this publicly in case anybody's interested in Through the Ages)

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riotgirl
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:39 pm

Hi Whovian223,

I'll add you as a friend on BGA. Let me read the rules for Seasons, and we'll set-up a 2 player game.

Cheers
Riotgirl

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riotgirl
Posts: 110
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:20 pm

We finished our Seasons game last week, 223 to 183 in Whovian223's favour (which is a nice piece of serendipity).

My impressions on my initial game of Seasons differed from the initial drafting at the beginning of the game to actual play i.e. choosing a die and taking any appropriate actions. I greatly enjoyed the drafting and trying to achieve synergies between the different card choices. The actual play felt rather flat because there is minimal interaction, and minimal interesting decisions.

The initial detraction is that the theme is pasted on; this is no different than many other Euro games. I felt a disconnect from the initial drafting (and lovely artwork) to the actual game play in choosing a die and taking appropriate actions. Any interesting decisions were taken at the start of the game, and game-play was actually waiting to be able to take an action.

My main bone of contention is that unlike a deck construction or drafting game, where you are receiving cards as you play, in Seasons all the decisions are largely made upfront, and you are using actions from the die to implement your strategy based upon the initial draft. However, unlike a deck construction game in which you are interacting with your opponent, there is no real interaction in Seasons.

Crystals are also given out like candy, leading to a points salad type experience.

Playing face to face may be better because the components (from reviews) look gorgeous, and the die are large, chunky and colourful providing a tactile experience. Also, the game plays quite fast, and I would estimate 45 mins to an hour face to face.

A 6 for me on the BGG scale, not troubling my Top 100.

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whovian223
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Re: PBEM / VASSAL

Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:29 am

Thanks for the game, Riotgirl.

I don't disagree with your criticisms, but I guess I just don't mind them as much. I do enjoy it.

Now to see if you're right about playing face to face. I just got it in a math trade, but haven't got it to the table yet.

I'll report back once I do.

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