Archive through June 11, 2009

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Federation & Empire: F&E COMPUTER PROJECTS: F&E with Vassal: Archive through June 11, 2009
By Jason E. Schaff (Jschaff297061) on Sunday, February 08, 2009 - 02:17 pm: Edit

A note for anyone using the new module: _Definitely_ download the 3.1.0 beta 7 version of the Vassal game engine. The startup and load speed boosts are impressive, at least on my system (Powermac dual G5 - OSX 10.4).

Go to www.vassalengine.org , select "forums" and do a search for "beta7" and the download page for this update should be near the top of the list.

Cheers,
Jason

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Sunday, February 08, 2009 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Actually, the top stickied thread there is for the beta 8 download. And yes, 3.1 is a drastic improvement for this module.

Thanks for pointing out the missing LGE... sigh. The ENGs are left out on purpose; while the current OOB gives them in the at-start forces, SO says they are activated on the first turn of war....

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 12:04 pm: Edit

James -

Do you have a change list for the new version? I was wondering whether it would be worth it to get the update in the middle of a game, or wait until later. I'm running the previous build, and have been happy, except for the minor nitpick of the S168 start.

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 01:01 pm: Edit

Sorry about that, the last few weeks have been a bit crazy for me. (Including two computers deciding to become very unhappy last Monday....)

Version 1.0

Change log:
-Changed duplicate F-NVH to F-NHV
-Changed duplicate L-DCS to L-NDS
-Fixed mark moved problems with various fleet boxes
-Added Lyran Fire Squadron marker/box
-'Send to Gorn Capital' option put into submenu on Klingon ships
-Added Z-NSC
-Added L-DND
-Fixed K-RKL image
-Fixed T-STB image
-Fixed T-OPB image
-Fixed R-FHC image
-Fixed R-SPS image
-Fixed R-KRE image
-Fixed R-PE image
-Fixed G-HD DF
-Added 'recovered' layers to Devastated markers
-Fixed Lyran Admiral 'Return to Deck' & Stat reporting
-Cleanup graphics of Klingon Chart
-Redid Fleet Marker menus
-Refreshed map, added bands to make the commercial convoy routes more obvious

There's really no reason not to go to this version, as there's nothing here that will break previous games. (Though things like the Lyran Admirals will require a new game for you to see the fix.)

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Monday, February 09, 2009 - 02:13 pm: Edit

James,

Thanks for the update!

John.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Vassal 3.1 is out: http://www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php?option=com_downloads&Itemid=26

John.

By Jason Langdon (Jaspar) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 07:50 pm: Edit

Do both players need to be running the same version of Vassal and the F&E module for it to work?

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 04:12 pm: Edit

No. But it would help. :)

There's occasions where an earlier version of Vassal doesn't support something a newer version of the module has, but that's rare and the only nasty recent one is that 3.0 added the turn tracker. I really, really recommend that everyone at least use 3.1—it really is that big an improvement for performance. Some of the RC module versions had some trouble with renaming on the fleet boxes, so they normally work together, but occasionally you'll have ships in a box the other fellow can't see.

Just get the 1.0 version from the link at the top of this page. ;)

By Mark Schuster (Markk3441) on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 08:04 am: Edit

This is some really nice work you guys... My friend and I have pretty much put our F&E board away due to how well this is set up.

I have a few questions that I can't seem to wrap my brain around although I read around as best I could...

a) I notice that when you put ships into a battle line on the Battle Mat, the function that lets you see the COMPOT (click and grouping them) seems to stop working. If you put the ships in the Reserve area on the Battle Map, it works fine, but once they hit Battle Line on the Mat, it seems the little mouse-over COMPOT stops working... Am I missing something here that will easily give you a COMPOT for a battle line? Or do I need to just have a calculator handy?

b) I was trying to actually make counters for the Kzin 'early CLE escort' groups instead of leaving the Label like it is. Is there an easy way to do this since it's just a copy of the counter with different values on it? I see where to edit values on an existing counter, but not how to easily just copy a counter and then edit it.

Thanks again to everyone who made this module and scenarios. This has probably saved my buddy's marriage...

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Monday, April 13, 2009 - 02:39 pm: Edit

You might be getting more use out of the Reserve area than I anticipated.... ~_^ I'll need to take a look at the BattleMats and see what can be done about improving utility. I also need to remember to bug the Vassal team about improving performance on the inventory function....

Carrier groups are a long-term bane for me. :) The counters are images (including the printed factors), with the stats programmed in. You could edit the module to create a new counter—you'd need new images, and then create a new copy of the counter in the menus and plug in the new numbers, image and replace rules.

My general approach is to just put in the group counters that have actually appeared in the game, and not try to 'predict' other common carrier groups, or work out designations so you can remember what's what. The at-start counters/labels are so you can use the counters if you're not using AO, and remember what they really are if you do use AO.

By Mark Schuster (Markk3441) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 12:58 am: Edit

Well, the fact that you have all the right ships in there when you breakdown the counter is fantastic. I figure we can ALWAYS just use the labels on 'exotic' carrier groups, like you have already, if nothing else.

And no, actually we haven't even used the battlemats yet (just getting started). I just noticed that putting the black line around the force when the ships were in their respective spots didn't make the compot show up like when they are in the fleet areas or in a stack.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 01:21 am: Edit

James,

I've been noticing for a while that certain Lyran fleet markers are being put on the base layer. Is there a way to get them back on the ship layer?

These markers are affected (there may be others):

Home Fleet
Foremost Fleet
Far Stars Fleet

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 01:17 pm: Edit

John, I just checked, and I'm not having that problem. Try pulling out a new copy of the affected counters from the counter pallet and see if they're affected. You might be using some old counters that have poor settings. (Remember, if you load a saved game in a new version of the module, existing counters keep their pre-existing traits, they don't update to match the settings of a newly-created counter.)

Mark, I usually just end up breaking the groups up sooner or later, and then keeping them grouped in stacks to remind me of my escort organization. :)

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 01:32 pm: Edit

James:

I'll try that. I forgot to mention that I'm using the counters from the fleets, rather than the counter palette, if that makes a difference.

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 02:43 pm: Edit

It means that there's some old counters stuck in a saved game that I need to update. >.< Which saved game are you using? (The Base Setup and GW Start games seem to be fine when I checked them.)

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 03:02 pm: Edit

James:

Neither. IIRC, I just started from the base setup with all of the .mdx modules loaded, and did all of the counter setup myself.

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 04:17 pm: Edit

Well, if you didn't load any game at all, you'd be pulling out all the bases and fleet counters from the counter palette (there wouldn't be any placed in the fleet boxes). If you used the Base Setup file... well, I thought I just checked it and didn't see a problem. I'll check it again in a bit.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 07:10 pm: Edit

James:

I guess I used the base setup file, then, because the bases were definitely there, just not any ships.

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 05:37 pm: Edit

Hmm. I just looked through everything again, and I don't see it. The fleet counters in the base setup file stack and disappear properly for the ships layer.

I suppose it's possible that the file I have have is updated from the one in the zip already.... In which case the next version will certainly fix it.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Sunday, April 19, 2009 - 01:32 pm: Edit

James:

It's certainly something that can be lived with. Thanks!

John.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 05:05 pm: Edit

James:

Would it be possible to add a SIDS step counter and add no fighter/no PF steps to the fighter and PF chits? I've been using the BIR steps for both of these, but they're not quite as elegant a solution :). Thanks!

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 06:30 pm: Edit

Hmm. You do know that bases have a properties box you can bring up and track the SIDS steps there, right? ~_^ And you can always just use the text label to mark it more directly, if that's just not good enough (I'll admit, I end up doing the latter).

The fighter markers were meant to be used just for independent squadrons and the like. Carriers and FCRs again have property sheets for keeping track of the fighters (and be careful with that--the hover over stats are linked directly to the property sheet). Outside of keeping track of longer-term out-of-supply problems, I again just use text labels as a memory aid during a battle.

The theory (I haven't actually played in the PF-era yet) with the PF-chits is that you use them to represent all the PFs you have. (The PF factors aren't equated into the PFT counter stats at all, and there's no property sheet for them in this case.) Of course, that probably means the markers are going to get entirely out of hand....

Obviously, you're using the module differently than I envisioned, which is fine. In fact, I don't want to lock it into 'one right way', so I'll take a look at what you want, but I might need a little convincing, especially on the SIDS-chits. Either way, I'm interested in hearing about how you're trying to use it.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 07:41 pm: Edit

James:

Actually, I never considered using labels :). That would be easy to do. As for the property sheets, I've never used them, and from your warning, that's probably been for the best. In general, I've been playing the module like I would play the board game; that is, using counters to indicate 0 fighters, SIDS steps, and such. IMHO, having a counter is more visually apparent, so it would be nice to have the option, but not a necessity. Thanks!

John.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 08:02 pm: Edit

Well, I actually do suggest using the properties for anything long-term (beyond the current combat). So, I generally use labels and properties for SIDS. I usually use labels for fighters, but if a fleet was cut off I'd start with the properties. The real trick there is that it feeds the stack-viewer's stats, so you need to remember to set the sheet back to full or it will continue to report the depleted stats.

I need to remember to bug (literally) the Vassal folks about affecting the properties sheet with key commands.

I'll probably give the fighter and PF chits '0' levels soon. You asked at the right time, I'm hoping to push v1.1 out the door before Origins!

SIDS I think I'm going to stay away from for now.

I would appreciate any insights as to good ways to keep track of PF supplies in the module. And any other observations you've come up with. :)

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 12:33 am: Edit

James:

Some of this came up in my game with Ahmad Abdel-Hameed (Battle in Seattle). He is new to VASSAL (he usually uses CB), so there has been a bit of a learning curve with the transition. One thing he brought up that would be nice would be to have the ships in a fleet area displayed when mousing over a fleet marker, similar to what happens when you mouseover a stack. I personally tend to 'recycle' fleet markers quite a bit, rather than try and maintain them, so it gets a bit difficult to keep track of what each fleet has.

Another 'nice to have' which he brought up was having the COMPOT calculated for the battle mats.

For the PFs, maybe a set of PF tracks, with a track for each turn in the PF1/PF2/PF3 schedule (and of course, F111s for the Feds), which could be part of the basic setup.

John.

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