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Digital Gaming => Ally/Opponent Finder => Topic started by: ArizonaTank on July 23, 2017, 09:02:51 AM

Title: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 23, 2017, 09:02:51 AM
Any interest in a learning game of GMT's Time of Crisis?  So far I am pretty far into my first game, and that is it for my experience.  The game lends itself well to PBEM (asynchronous) play. 

I have a copy of the game, the rules are brief, about 16 pages and can be downloaded.  The Vassal module has everything else needed.

Would be great with 3 - 4 players

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4296/36109408135_851d17db30_h.jpg)
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Barthheart on July 23, 2017, 09:50:20 AM
I might be interested in that. I'll download the rules and give them read.... need something to do on this weeks business trip.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Staggerwing on July 23, 2017, 09:55:36 AM
I found a link to the rules on BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/file/download/uhks4urr7x/ToC_Rules.pdf


AZ, were you thinking a turn every day or two? If so I'd be interested.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 23, 2017, 10:15:59 AM
Ditto!
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 23, 2017, 02:51:36 PM
I found a link to the rules on BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/file/download/uhks4urr7x/ToC_Rules.pdf

The rules are a pretty easy read, but for me anyway, took some time to understand / digest because in some areas they introduce new concepts. 

Card Flow was my personal hard nut...  the BGG forum link below helped me:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1812277/card-flow (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1812277/card-flow)




AZ, were you thinking a turn every day or two? If so I'd be interested.

Yes, every day or two per turn.  One of the nice things about the game is that you complete your full turn before going to the next guy.  The only thing we would have to agree on...this being a friendly learning game...would be that you roll for your opponents battle dies to keep things moving.

Although the rules are short they are not always clear.  Sometimes you have to look at the examples to see the intent.

Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 24, 2017, 07:39:53 AM
Dl'd the rules. I'm hoping I can score a crazy-early win by steadily building up quiet support while other players shoot at each other and not at me.

...I have, uh, precedent for this strategy.  >:D
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 24, 2017, 10:30:53 PM
Dl'd the rules. I'm hoping I can score a crazy-early win by steadily building up quiet support while other players shoot at each other and not at me.

...I have, uh, precedent for this strategy.  >:D

In ToC...sh#t happens...so sometimes even the quiet strategy doesn't work....you'll see...:)
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 25, 2017, 06:04:35 AM
So far one player confirmed - DM

Sounds like JP is in.

Staggerwing?

Am thinking of a Friday start 7/28 if that works. 

Rather than use drop box, I will set up a shared google folder to pass files


Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Barthheart on July 25, 2017, 06:49:18 AM
Reading the rules it sounds like a more sophisticated version of Conquest of Empire II by Eagle games.

If you need a fourth or a spare I can play.
 
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 25, 2017, 07:53:04 AM
Exxxxcelllent!

Next up: learning how to run the VASSAL thing I downloaded years ago... :-[
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 25, 2017, 10:45:25 PM
Reading the rules it sounds like a more sophisticated version of Conquest of Empire II by Eagle games.

If you need a fourth or a spare I can play.

Great you are in!!! 

Don't know about Conquest of Empire, but ToC is actually much deeper than it appears.  The mechanics are not bad once you get the hang....but the interplay of the parts can be intense.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 25, 2017, 10:45:53 PM
Exxxxcelllent!

Next up: learning how to run the VASSAL thing I downloaded years ago... :-[

OK, you are in!!!
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 25, 2017, 11:12:49 PM
OK, the players are:

Barthheart
JP
DM
and me

I will set up a google folder and give everyone access for downloading / uploading turns etc.  So Barthheart and JP, please PM me your email addresses, so I can send you an invite.

I have been using Facebook messenger to send notifications out...if you are OK with that...let me know your facebook name as well.  If you would rather not, we could use gmail messanger.  Just use your existing one, or create a throw away one.

Instructions to get started:
1)   if you haven’t done so already, download and install the latest version of vassal, I think the version is 3.2.17.  You can find at  http://www.vassalengine.org/
BTW vassal doesn’t really care if you and I have a version mismatch for minor revisions.  So 3.2.15 and 3.2.17 talk to each other nicely.
2)   check that you have the latest version of Java.  You can check that here  https://www.java.com/en/download/installed8.jsp
3)   Next download and install the vassal module for Time of Crisis.  The module version is sensitive, so we will need to be on the same one.  I am using version V1-01  You can find it here:  http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Time_of_Crisis 

Double clicking the module should install it.  The first time you use the module it will ask you for a name and password.  The name can be anything you want of course, but it is used for the online meeting rooms.  I use my real name…but not everyone does.  The password is to encrypt the files, you won’t need it again.  Just so that if we were playing a serious tournament game, you couldn’t hack into other folks files to see their stuff.

One note, you will probably use vassal quite a bit.  So it is probably a good idea to start a vassal folder on your computer, and create sub folders for each game.  I usually keep all sorts of stuff there, old game saves, copies of the PDF rules etc.

The next screen you will be looking at will ask you what type of game you want to play.  Offline would be if you want to play solo, or start a new PBEM game.  It also works for hotseat games.  Look for a game online is when you want to play “real time”.  You can also load a saved game.  This is what you would use to load a game file from me.

4)   And now a short vassal tutorial:  Vassal is great just because of its simplicity.  It supports real time play and play by email.  It has two types of game saves. 
a.   One is a static “snapshot” in time.  This a “save” file that you create under the File menu as “save game” or “save game as”.  For our purposes we likely will not use this type much.  But they are very small, and easy to create, so there is no harm in saving often.
b.   The other file is a “log” file, that when loaded, allows you to “view” the moves it recorded.  This is done with a step button (the step arrow on the toolbar).  With each button push it plays one step of the other player’s movement.  When you play our first file, you will actually see my initial set up being stepped through on the board.
c.   When you get to end of a log file, a menu pops up to ask if you want to start a new log file.  This is so that you can start recording your turn to send back to the next player.  So typically you will say “yes.”  However if you forget, or want to start a log file out of sequence, you can start one under the “File” menu “Begin Logfile”.  One “bad” thing that can happen is that you forget to “begin” the log file, and play your turn.  In that case it will not be recorded.  Don’t panic, just use a regular save.  It will only be a snapshot but I should be able to figure out what you did.  “End Logfile” is how you stop recording your turn.  The file you create can then be sent to me.
5)   And now…the game: 
a.   I will set up a google folder and share with you.  You should get the invite in your email.  I will upload new files there.  I believe you will get some notification when I do it. 
b.   To get the game going, I will put a start file together and set up as the red player.  Then I will pass around to have everyone else set up. 
c.   When you get the game start log file, you should be able to just double click on it, and vassal will load the module automatically.  If not, you can start vassal.  Select the module, and load a saved game file; pick the log file you just downloaded.
d.   Once you get the file loaded, it may ask you what side you want to play (for the first time), so select the color I give to you.  Then you will see the board, and a running log.  BTW, you can type messages in there to either log action, or send the next player a message.  You will have to use the step forward button (2nd from the left on the toolbar) button to step through my turn.  When you get to the end, it will ask you if you want to start a log file…say yes, and give it a name.  If for some reason you missed this, don’t panic.  You can start the log using the “File” menu “begin log” item.  The naming convention we use is date time color or name.  So “0725 2210 Blue ToC.vlog”  That helps them sort correctly in the google folder.  I guess OK to use your name as well…0725 2210 Barthheart ToC.vlog”
e.   BTW, since this is a friendly game, you can actually change sides if you ever need to (ie. some auto script is waiting, or we decide to let it happen to make the game go faster.  To do that, there is a toolbar item.
f.   For the initial file, we will just be setting up.  Pick your province, pick your starting hand, set up your on board pieces, governor, general, and legion.
g.   A note on how to use the card decks in the module.  On the toolbar you will see a button with your color.  If you hit it, you will bring up a new window, with your “hand”.  It will not have any cards the first time.  In ToC, you are managing three separate piles of cards.  Your hand, your available pile, and your discard pile. You can only select cards for your hand from your available pile.  At game start, you have nine cards in available.  3 of each type.  To select them and put in your hand, hit the select button.  You will get a scroll down list of each card available.  You “select” them for your hand by right clicking on them and selecting: “select this card for your hand”.  For now, select five cards for your hand.  This is a learning game, so no wrong choices. We will worry about discards later.
h.   Then, do not forget to end the log file you started in “d” above.  Upload the file to me and we go to the next step.  The file will be saved, so just upload it.




Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 26, 2017, 04:20:21 AM
You should alert GJK about this, too; he loves vassal!

My email is easy, just click on the little envelope icon in my sidebar under my photo.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Barthheart on July 26, 2017, 06:50:17 AM
PM sent.

Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Staggerwing on July 26, 2017, 05:12:13 PM
Sorry I didn't check back in the thread sooner.  :(

I hope you guys post some regular updates on how this goes. I'll be watching for them.  O0
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 26, 2017, 10:02:01 PM
Sorry I didn't check back in the thread sooner.  :(

I hope you guys post some regular updates on how this goes. I'll be watching for them.  O0

We will.  Keep your powder dry...I mean your pilum ready.  If somebody needs to drop out...we can slot you in.

Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 26, 2017, 10:20:17 PM
JP, DM, and Barth. 

I sent out invites for the Google Drive folder, so you should have access.  I put a copy of the rules there, if you want to test downloading.

We had a request to use Google messenger rather than FB. So I sent out gchat invites to everyone as well.

A good pace is one person moves once per day, but not in a hurry.  I have no objection to moving at a faster pace.  Life happens.  Just good form to let everyone know by chat if you are going to take longer.  I have a bit of businesss travel that comes up

You will likely want to review all the log files before you do your turn...but it is not required.

I'll set up the first file tomorrow.  Along with some basic instructions on using the module.
Good Luck gentleman! 
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 28, 2017, 08:14:02 AM
Hi Guys,


I uploaded my start file (basically picking my starting province) to the google drive.  DM will set up next, then Barthheart and finally JP

When you do your setup file, vassal will have you select your color. 

Colors and order are:

AZTank - Red
DM - Blue
Barthheart - Yellow
JP - Green


You have one real task in the first file, and that is to pick your starting province.  There really aren't any wrong answers in this first game.  Being closer to barbarians means you may get invaded...but at the same time...you can recruit federoti.  So there is some benefit and also risk.

You can also pick your starting hand.  Although strictly going by the rules, you can wait to pick your hand until everyone has placed their initial province.

I started a gchat this morning with everyone...  Comcheck with Barth and DM are good.  JP let me know if you are not getting them.

I'll talk everyone through setup and the first turn or so, until you get your sea legs...

BTW, seeing some good press on the game from WBC. 

Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 28, 2017, 03:55:13 PM
Barthheart is up to complete his setup file. - Yellow

JasonPratt "stand in the door" - Green

I am sending these notifications out on gchat as well.  Once we get gchat humming along, I'll stop posting here.

I will post pics with our progress here from time to time.

Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Barthheart on July 29, 2017, 05:24:20 AM
At work and on a plane most of the day yesterday.
I'll setup today.

Maybe we should start a tread in the board game AAR section and post out thoughts as the game progresses.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 29, 2017, 08:12:27 AM
Was out yesterday finalizing my car buy, and will be out this morning until sometime late this afternoon, whereupon I should be able to start with this at last!
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Barthheart on July 29, 2017, 10:22:23 AM
Off and running.  O0
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 29, 2017, 11:20:24 AM
Everybody has checked into Google chat (hangouts)

Jason your turn to set up.

I like Barth's suggestion to move to an AAR thread. 
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 29, 2017, 06:08:44 PM
Back from finishing up car buying things, and a day-trip to Shiloh National Battleground with the nieces. Whew.

Should do my initial stuff tomorrow morning. Need to recover and maybe just shoot some things tonight.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 30, 2017, 09:55:14 AM
Back from finishing up car buying things, and a day-trip to Shiloh National Battleground with the nieces. Whew.

Should do my initial stuff tomorrow morning. Need to recover and maybe just shoot some things tonight.

OK, I'm around today if you have any vassal questions. 
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 30, 2017, 11:39:22 AM
In the process right now. I've dl'd Vance (Barthheart's) logfile, I think.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 30, 2017, 11:44:21 AM
Well, crap, I'm clearly doing something wrong.

 - Republic of Rome version 2.03

 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Red Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Dot [Basic Piece] - Map not found mapId=Red Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Blue Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Dot [Basic Piece] - Map not found mapId=Blue Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Dot [Basic Piece] - Map not found mapId=Yellow Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Yellow Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Green Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Dot [Basic Piece] - Map not found mapId=Green Hand
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Red Mat
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Blue Mat
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Yellow Mat
 - Bad Data in Module: Could not find map Green Mat


Edited to add: nvm, I'm a moron.  #:-)
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: Barthheart on July 30, 2017, 12:25:11 PM
Well... umm.... Republic of Rome VASSAL module might be yer problem....  :2funny:
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 30, 2017, 01:10:36 PM
Well, crap, I'm clearly doing something wrong.



I uploaded the correct vassal module for Time of Crisis onto the Google drive if you still have trouble finding it.  File name:  TimeOfCrisis_V1-01.vmod

You will need to install the module first.  You can do this just by double clicking it (assuming you have already installed vassal)
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 30, 2017, 02:24:06 PM
I've got it already, thx. Just funny that I loaded the wrong module.

My only question now is whether I'm supposed to "end turn". I've done that and ended logfile, but then I went back and kind of worried that no one else ended turn.  :-\

Possibly "end turn" means nothing in this game? Or not in the initial setup? Nothing random was done, so if I made a mistake by ending turn, I can go back and just begin a new log file.

I assume henceforth, what will happen is that Larry (AzTank) will advance the logfile down to where he finished out, and then when Dave starts Az will begin his logfile so that Az as Az steps through everyone else's moves and comments those will be recorded for Dave; then Az makes his moves (still recording); then ends the logfile (but next turns first?). Then Dave loads it up, steps through his prior move, then begins a new logfile with Vance (Barth's) move, stepping through Barth, mine, and Az's moves, then through Dave's own new moves, then ending logfile (with an end-turn first?)

And so on. That way each of us will be able to see a reminder of what we did one turn ago, plus what everyone else did between then and our turn.

Have I got that right?
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: JasonPratt on July 30, 2017, 02:29:03 PM
I've uploaded my logfile, assuming for now I did everything correctly. Obvs if not, erase that and let me know and I'll quickly replay from after Vance's Turn zero with proper fixes.
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 31, 2017, 06:39:29 AM
I've got it already, thx. Just funny that I loaded the wrong module.

My only question now is whether I'm supposed to "end turn". I've done that and ended logfile, but then I went back and kind of worried that no one else ended turn.  :-\

Possibly "end turn" means nothing in this game? Or not in the initial setup? Nothing random was done, so if I made a mistake by ending turn, I can go back and just begin a new log file.

I assume henceforth, what will happen is that Larry (AzTank) will advance the logfile down to where he finished out, and then when Dave starts Az will begin his logfile so that Az as Az steps through everyone else's moves and comments those will be recorded for Dave; then Az makes his moves (still recording); then ends the logfile (but next turns first?). Then Dave loads it up, steps through his prior move, then begins a new logfile with Vance (Barth's) move, stepping through Barth, mine, and Az's moves, then through Dave's own new moves, then ending logfile (with an end-turn first?)

And so on. That way each of us will be able to see a reminder of what we did one turn ago, plus what everyone else did between then and our turn.

Have I got that right?

The file was good. 

I hadn't paid attention to the "end turn" button before...  basically it cleans up the counter cards that appear in the middle of the board when you play cards.  This feature is just to help you keep track of unspent points.  The button cleans them up.   If it doesn't get pushed, no tragedy, but it is a good habit to finish your turn with it. 
Title: Re: Time of Crisis: Vassal Learning Game
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 31, 2017, 06:40:49 AM
I've uploaded my logfile, assuming for now I did everything correctly. Obvs if not, erase that and let me know and I'll quickly replay from after Vance's Turn zero with proper fixes.

It was good.  DM and I have done our turns.  Waiting for Barth

BTW, I am going on a brief business trip.  Back Tuesday night