Vassal playing thread v1.00

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Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 01 Dec 2017 14:09

Hi all, I am posting this in the Original Starfire forum, as that is what the current vassal modules have. I just had a great time playing a worthy foe! And the best part of it was, we were 1,000 miles and three time zones apart! :lol:

Not surprisingly, I was out smarted, out maneuvered, and outrun! It was a great time!!!

Not surprisingly, there were some issues, and in this thread, I would like to post some screen shots of the things that were a very slight problem for us.

So, a first take on writing up lessons learned from playing using the vassal platform!
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 01 Dec 2017 15:26

I had wanted to get the first set of images uploaded before heading to work, but I got distracted by pizza and stargate atlantis, so images after work, but for now...
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:)

USS = United States Ship. Anyone remember what OAS is?


********************
Lesson one, "How to get Vassal on your computer"
********************


So, before my power goes out again...
Google search it...
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Follow the link...
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Download the Vassal engine, then go to the Modules...
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Select the topics link...
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Then choose science fiction...
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And then, we get here:
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Grab them both!

End of lesson one...




gg
Last edited by VoidStalker_WoE on Sun 03 Dec 2017 10:12, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby Cralis on Sat 02 Dec 2017 01:39

OADC is the Ophiuchi Association Defense Command. I'm guessing that OAS is an abbreviation you are using to mean "Ophiuchi Association Ship" ?
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Sat 02 Dec 2017 04:10

Cralis wrote:OADC is the Ophiuchi Association Defense Command. I'm guessing that OAS is an abbreviation you are using to mean "Ophiuchi Association Ship" ?
Yep!
All I could remember was the "Ophiuchi Association" part. While I like the new graphics, I should have used the retro, so folks would see the black counters with white silhouette, and be able to associate the color with the race, lol. I'm in the process of throwing a quick group of images together to post a step-by-step of how you get into a game with someone online using vassal, for the first time users. It is so easy and simple, once you have the vassal engine and the SF module installed on your computer.

For the first time user, start vassal, and then open the module. Once the module has been opened by vassal, you can just start vassal by clicking on the module itself. When vassal loads, select look for game online, which takes you into the 'main room'. Once in the main room, open a new room by typing a name into the input window, and your opponent clicks their way into that room with you. Finally, go up to the top left and click on file-Play Scenario-New Scenario, and that will allow you to get to choose your side/map, then just click finish and your ready to start using the controls to enter your ships and start playing!
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Sun 03 Dec 2017 08:31

Here is where I will provide 1 of the three lessons for Vassal.

Lesson one, "How to get Vassal on your computer", needs redone, and was presented in another thread. I'll go ahead and provide better images at some point for when/if the whole vassal play kicks off.

Lesson two is "How to open the starfire module, go online, and get a game open", will be presented in a moment.

Lesson three will detail "How to use the in module controls to enter your forces, fight your battles, and save your games", will be presented at a later time.

Keep in mind, I don't want folks to see this thread as a finished product, but more like a very crude, extremely limited 1st attempt, to provide the minimum information needed to be able to say: "Yes, I can play starfire online using the Vassal platform". My hope is that by putting in some effort, I can get other players to spend some of their time working on additional starfire content, that can use the vassal platform for every version of starfire, and perhaps allow for fans to be able to work with SDS to publish a variety of "House rules", New and interesting tactical battle scenarios, and perhaps even, some small scale strategic scenarios down the road.

The reason to do that is, getting folks playing starfire, talking about starfire, buying starfire :!: :!: :!:

Previously, the idea of something, call it a merit badge for lack of a better term, was mentioned in another thread. If such were to be worthy of consideration, we would have to show some results of folks 'getting into' playing starfire on vassal. And right now, the only version folks can play is SF 1 & SF 2. Once more options become available, folks will eventually be able to pick the version of starfire that best suits their playstyle and available playing time. I would think that as the simplest and easiest version of starfire to ever exist, Original Starfire one should always be the first stop on the new players road into the starfire franchise. If folks like what they get with SF 1, and don't need anything more, then fine and dandy, they have become a starfire player/paying customer! Keep SF 1 available, and you offer folks that extremely easy first step on the path, eliminate/reduce the availability of this easy first step, and it is like shooting oneself in the foot, rather than getting that first step.

Now, if we can all work to getting everyone up to speed with the existing starfire module for vassal, then when new content is eventually added, folks will already be capable of grabbing the new module, and getting right down to playing it! If ever version of starfire can be made available, then folks might just be willing to buy them all! I am assuming here, of course, that the SDS will be making PDF sales available to the public, once the dl section is back up and running.

****
On a side note, SF 1 and SF 2 PDF versions are available for purchase immediately, without any new work needed on them? Is this correct? I know SF 1 is in PDF format, as I myself bought that, and IIRC, SF 2 is also out?
****

Ok, so enough of my ramblings, lol. On with lesson two...
First, you already have Vassal and the existing starfire modules loaded up on your computer, so now:

Open it up,
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then select.
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Those two initial steps then get you to the Vassal server, where you will be in a {Room} called the main room. Note, as of this date, I have not been able to test whether or not all starfire modules lead to the same main room, so if you and a friend are both trying to hook up for a game, then make sure that you are both using the same module, unless we can determine that all starfire modules do indeed lead to the same room on the server. Once we have at least two folks willing to work on this, or I get a second vassal capable computer, we will know for sure, and can update this information in a new and improved thread.

Now then:

On the server,
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Now we see some "welcome to the server blah blah blah" in the left side of the chat window, and on the right side, we see two other sections. The one on the far right shows me, Voidstalker in the "Current Game", in the main room folder. To the left of this section, we see something called "Active Games", and directly below that, a text entry box titled [new game]. Click in this box and enter whatever you like. As a tribute to the time and effort a well known community member went to to provide new players struggling with the SSF rules, I chose:
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As you can see, as soon as you enter your new game name and hit [enter], you are moved into that room. Note, I have not been able to experiment as of this date, to determine how many folks can enter a given room, nor anything that can only be done with two or more people. Also, AFAIK, this new game name has nothing to do with any save game feature, but is rather just the name of the folder on the vassal server your fun will be taking place within. Just something to keep in mind, once you get further into the learning to play starfire online with vassal.

Finally, you can take the last step in getting ready for your first game:

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In the upper left hand corner, you want FILE >>> Play Scenario >>> New scenario and this will take you into your actual game selection screens below.

I feel like playing...
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And I want to play on map...
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And that looks like this...
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Then hit [enter] and you are there!

This is what you should see at this point:
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This concludes lesson two, hope I can get some feedback on how to tweak this and make it better, and like I said, I will work on getting lesson one redone and ported over to this thread.

How am I doing so far? Any thought, ideas, or whatnot?
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Sun 03 Dec 2017 14:49

Any one got time this week to play some starfire I? I'm hoping to get some folks that I know to play this month.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby Cralis on Mon 04 Dec 2017 16:22

VoidStalker_WoE wrote:Any one got time this week to play some starfire I? I'm hoping to get some folks that I know to play this month.


This is one of the times of the year when my family gets busy with Christmas parties, dinners, church activities, etc. Like yesterday. But I'll see what I can do.
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Mon 04 Dec 2017 16:52

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:
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby Cralis on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:15

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...

What did you mess up?
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Re: Vassal playing thread v1.00

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:27

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...

What did you mess up?
A better question might be, what didn't we mess up, lol.

The server doesn't enforce simple things, like moving and doing facing changes for our ships, and both of us being out of practice, and my friend being a first time user of Vassal, we messed up movement AND facing changes. At least three times, one or the other of us would click on a ship, and try to move it into a new hex, but release it to soon, and the message would display that our ship had moved...to the hex it was already in, lol.

My friend didn't seem to be really getting the whole "turn mode" concept, and was always trying to turn sooner than he could. At least the log helped me get that straight, but then again, the log file had the errors mentioned above along with others in it, like when he could turn his ship the wrong way. Good fun, but need to work on both our experience using the vassal engines, and hopefully getting modifications into the actual module that will keep us from making those kinda mistakes in the first place.

Well, I'm not looking to make something bad, so tell me more?
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