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Shadowcrunch
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Posts : 902
Join date : 2011-06-23
Age : 41
Location : Wisconsin, USA

PostSubject: VASSAL   Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:35 pm

This is a tough one. Do I post this in video games? Do I post it here? Do we get a new subject header just for this? Screw it, it goes here for now. I want to tell you about Vassal. VaderXanth and I played our first real game (of any kind, but Warmachine specifically) online together using Vassal last night. I'm impressed enough to share the info. I posted a screenshot battle report of sorts in the Warmachine category if you want to see the maps and graphics.

The description of vassal, direct from their site, is: Vassal is a game engine for building and playing
online adaptations of board games and card games. Play live on the
Internet or by email. Vassal runs on all platforms, and is free, open-source software.

My own words: Vassal is free. It has a list of hundreds (thousands??) of game modules, with the ability to build your own if you have the patience to learn. The game handles all aspects of the tabletop action, including dice, boards, pieces, monies, ETC...but players still have to know the rules, have character cards, or other statistical errata the player would normally have on hand. The module designers do this to avoid getting their asses sued. Basically you still have to own a game to know how to play it on vassal...there's of course ways around this, but if you like a game, support the game makers and buy the damn thing!

That said, two or more players can engage in a game of whatever and play it through. They can play for two hours, SAVE the game, and come back to it whenever they want! They can save a log file of each movement, die roll, or card drawn, send the log file by email, and the other player can then play it back before logging their own move...actual gaming by email. The games are hosted on the official Vassal server by default, so unless the server goes down, it's pretty simple to get online with it. If there's more interest, Vader or myself will be able to provide some info on how to get things rolling. I should also point out that there is a chat box, but it works really well with voice-chat software (like Skype).

The link to Vassal is: http://www.vassalengine.org/ I should also add that one of the big draws to Vassal is the awesome number and variety of available modules. The link to the modules page is: http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Category:Modules

There are currently 963 modules listed on the site. Certain game manufacturers monitor this site, and do not allow any of their games to be turned into modules, so you will not find games from those companies here. But with 963 other games available, chances are you have the rules for SOME of them! Other modules are actually made by fellow Vassal players as homemade game designs, and these module/game makers include the rules for their games for free! If you're looking for a game module and it's not found on the module page, it is still possible it might exist, you just might have to use other search methods. Again, if you want to know more, drop a reply and we can probably help you out!

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