Vassal playing thread v1.00

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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:29

A question: the movement phase is supposed to be, spend a movement point, then make any facing change allowed, if you want to, then play moves on. You can never, for instance, make a facing change, and then expend a movement point into the new direction you ship is facing, correct?
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby coldsteel on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:31

Cralis wrote:
VoidStalker_WoE wrote:Not to worry, I was busy last night playing with an old friend. Found that if I'm going to play him much, I'll need to add some features into the module, as our playing will require the module to enforce the rules. Otherwise, we will mess up things so bad, lol. Just like we did last night. :lol:


You can mess up using a pencil, paper, counters, and an actual mapboard.

Keep in mind that Vassal is just designed to display the map, counters, and some information. If you develop it to follow the rules, it is no longer just a map display but a game. Potentially an unauthorized game...



^ That. All Vassal should be doing is providing a virtual mapboard and possibly a notepad for tracking SSDs. Anything else you'd have to deal with without tweaking the module, or you could end up doing a Walmsley...

Yeah, you turn if possible after expending the MP by either staying in place or moving to a new hex.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:35

coldsteel wrote:All Vassal should be doing is providing a virtual mapboard and possibly a notepad for tracking SSDs. Anything else you'd have to deal with without tweaking the module, or you could end up doing a Walmsley...

Yeah, you turn if possible after expending the MP by either staying in place or moving to a new hex.
A WHAT :?:

Who (or what) is Walmsley?
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:51

One of the key problems my friend is having, is remembering to make a facing change after expending his MP, and NOT trying to suddenly change his facing and move in the new direction. :shock:
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby Cralis on Tue 05 Dec 2017 18:33

VoidStalker_WoE wrote:One of the key problems my friend is having, is remembering to make a facing change after expending his MP, and NOT trying to suddenly change his facing and move in the new direction. :shock:


Many thousands of moons ago, I played both SFB and Starfire with the same group of friends. Turn then move? Move then turn? It was always a fiasco swapping between those two games...

That is just something you learn to remember as you play. Always remember that in Starfire you can always burn an MP "in place" and then turn. We had one guy who could never remember that one.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Wed 06 Dec 2017 01:03

My buddy and I have stopped playing chess, as his memory is worse than mine, and you know how bad my memory is getting. :o

I went back over our game log from the other night, and there was much that was just plain wrong. Impossible to reconstruct what all was done incorrectly, what with the server claiming ships had moved into a new nex...that just happened to be the same hex that they were in to start with, lol. My friend seems to be lost in trying to turn first, and then move, and so I suspect that he has been playing some SFB on the side, lol. He is struggling with the concept that he cannot turn whenever he wants, especially that he cannot turn---move at all.

He also thought that, because in space there is no gravity ( :!: ), that all ships should have a turn mode of 1. I just had to shake my head. Umm, momentum...A body in motion tends to stay in motion...??? All that kinda jazz?

Looking back at how he maneuvered his ship, and left me in his blind spot for three turns in a row...

I don't think that I have been quite able to explain to him how movement points work and get expended, or how turn modes function. Either he knows all this stuff, and is playing possum (He is exactly that kind of guy) or he really is suffering worse than I am from advancing age.

When I was younger, I was all into AD&D, video games, and starfire. When I went off to active duty infantry, and got stationed overseas, I left all my starfire notes games, and hand crafted counters (Yes, I used to cut up old shoe boxes, and take different colored magic markers, to make extended fleets of ships, and just use an ink pen to write the designation on the counters, no ships, just ES-1, ES-2, ES-3....ES-36), and when I got back stateside, I finished up my enlistment and came home, and found out he had "lost" all my starfire stuff :!: :roll:

What I also found out, was that he had been regaling folks, for years, with stories of how he had sucked me in in a starfire battle, to point blank range, and then surprised me with his massed force beam armament, on the premise that I would just naturally want to close in, with an all missile armed fleet, mind ya, because reasons...

He doesn't tell that tall tale anymore, at least not when I'm around, but god knows, he has many a tale to tell of all the stupid and dumb things we did as kids/young adults, lol.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby Morpheus on Thu 07 Dec 2017 00:41

Great tutorial!

I like the modules on the Vassal homepage, but I mainly use the Vassal module that used to be on the Starfire downloads. I modified it with some added features like the combat tables and the fighter kill tables, so that made it "undistributable".

In the end, I mainly ended up playing with my cheat sheets of the combat tables though because it became a nuisance to constantly flip between the game board on screen and the tables, especially when I was playing via laptop.

I think the features that I use the most are the overlay displays that I added to the counters to show if a ship was "shields down", "streaming atmosphere" or "inactive drive field". I played around a little with the functionality to calculate the damage based on range and weapon type fired, but that ended up being more trouble than it was worth.

The main thing that I want to do with the module that I am using is to add the System Map so that I can use it rather than the smaller rectangular maps.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Thu 07 Dec 2017 03:40

Morpheus wrote:Great tutorial!

I like the modules on the Vassal homepage, but I mainly use the Vassal module that used to be on the Starfire downloads. I modified it with some added features like the combat tables and the fighter kill tables, so that made it "undistributable".

In the end, I mainly ended up playing with my cheat sheets of the combat tables though because it became a nuisance to constantly flip between the game board on screen and the tables, especially when I was playing via laptop.

I think the features that I use the most are the overlay displays that I added to the counters to show if a ship was "shields down", "streaming atmosphere" or "inactive drive field". I played around a little with the functionality to calculate the damage based on range and weapon type fired, but that ended up being more trouble than it was worth.

The main thing that I want to do with the module that I am using is to add the System Map so that I can use it rather than the smaller rectangular maps.
Great news!

I had thought that there was a starfire module here at one time, I wonder if it is currently being updated? If my foggy brain is getting around to understanding things correctly, then a vassal starfire module that includes stuff other than the bare bones basics, is seen as a potential legal issue? As far as the three overlays, I would make that a bit more extensive if I could (in the sense of could do it with Marvin's blessings & in the sense that I knew how to do it), so my prefered overlays would have a basic 4:
1) Shields down. {No shields remaining}
2) Streaming atmosphere. {1st internal, non A system hit}
3) Drive field fluctuation. {1st engine hit}
4) Drive field down. {last engine hit}

After those 4, my wish list would be for these overlays:
1a) During movement, highlight the player's ships that have yet to expend their current movement point during their turn, on the rotating, player by player basis, one movement point at a time.
1b) After a player has moved a ship, have some change take place, like stop highlighting it, but showing that it's turn mode is met or not, and after a player has moved all their ships for the current movement point, but before passing movement to the next player, show (highlight) any ships that have met their turn modes, and NOT changed facing. Movement for dummies, like my friend and me. :mrgreen: In the logfile after my game with my buddy, there were many instances where one of use was trying to obey the rules and turn our ships after moving, but as the server doesn't have any built in feature preventing the other fellow from moving his ship after he sees your ships movement, the server log gets corrupted by "Alkzar moves to hex 1212, Discovery moves to hex 1414, Alkzar turns to port, Discovery moves..." kinda thing. When players are dumb, having the rules doesn't help if the module doesn't enforce them, because if you don't know the rules, or have trouble remembering them in the heat of battle, your log file will make it seem that Both players have no clue how movement/facing changes work, and other new players are not going to be able to use a log file to demonstrate how to properly play a battle, as it will have many mistakes in it, and will likely cause much confusion, rather than clarity and good, entertaining fun. Obviously, I have more in mind for my starfire gaming than just playing a battle, I want to be able to save my battles and let other see what happened. I also would like to be able to write AAR's, for development of fan fiction storyboards, like others have done, because this more than anything is a huge inducement to others that want to have such fun and memories, and a corrupted log file makes that all but impossible.

2a) During combat, have an automatic overlay of the selected units field of fire, and display range to target by hovering the mouse over enemy ships, as a popup.
2b) Allow/require a player to designate weapons fire, possibly against multiple targets, in the order they are being fired. In other words, "I want to fire my 2 GUNS at so and so, and then a LASER at this guy here, followed by my two MISSILES". This would keep things honest, so no, "Oh, that 2 is for my GUN, and the 9 is for my MISSILE" kinda thing. No, that didn't happen, but I know other folks where it might just happen. Over and over again, lol.

After these two areas were covered, there may be even more things I would want on my "Wishlist", but I realize that to get these things implemented, is most probably a tedious and time consuming task, may not be legal unless SDS does this work themselves, and/or authorises them to be done by others, and is totally out of my league. Best case would be to probably have these various overlays/features as optionals, so that folks that want a good, proper log file end up with one, and those that are more concerned with kicking a little ass can do so without all the fuss.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 08 Dec 2017 15:17

I'm available this weekend to get folks up to speed/play vassal, so just drop me a line about when you want to get going. Next week, I'll be very busy with work related activities, so chances of a game are not as plentiful, but still possible. After that, the holidays are going to have everything up in the air.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 08 Dec 2017 18:20

So, my buddy may be up for a rematch this sunday sometime...

But until then, I am up and ready for some vassal fun with starfire one! Eastern time, USA!
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