Archive through June 30, 2009

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Federation & Empire: F&E COMPUTER PROJECTS: F&E with Vassal: Archive through June 30, 2009
By Mark Schuster (Markk3441) on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 02:23 am: Edit

I second the ability to calculate the compot. Not sure WHY the compot calculator works everywhere EXCEPT the battlemat, it's wierd.

And yes, for SIDS or notes like 'No FTRS' as the combat goes on, we just use Labels. We also use labels for carrier groups instead of using the regular markers... 20-24 (6) for example fits on top of the counter perfectly.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 02:36 am: Edit

Mmm. I need to remember to see what's up with the battle mats. That's been remarked on before.

As for the fleet markers, I hope to have them gain the stats of their box contents, so that the hover-stats will report them, but that has to wait for them to add an advanced math module to Vassal (which is planned). The stuff Java allows it to natively report isn't up for the job. :P

By Stephanie J. Wilkinson (Tempest112) on Friday, June 19, 2009 - 11:51 am: Edit

I am look of for SFB Campain Game that includes the system development, economics, research and space exploration.

By John de Michele (Johnad) on Friday, June 19, 2009 - 11:55 am: Edit

Stephanie:

I don't think there is a VASSAL module for that. You can double-check though at http://www.vassalengine.org .

John.

By Jean Sexton (Jsexton) on Friday, June 19, 2009 - 08:04 pm: Edit

Stephanie, are you looking for SFB Galactic Conquest? It is a campaign game and it has those aspects.

By Stephanie J. Wilkinson (Tempest112) on Friday, June 19, 2009 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Maybe it has be a long time since I have played. But I am working international and I need some simi-constructive intertainment time. The management of the game requiers thinking which is constructive as opposed to zombing out watching the Boob Tube.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 01:48 am: Edit

You may want to look into F&E Early Beginnings.

By Ken Rotar (Sir_Krotar) on Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 01:20 pm: Edit

What is F&E Early Beginnings?

By Lawrence Bergen (Lar) on Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 07:07 pm: Edit

Essentially Early Beginnings is an F&E variant that begins like a game of Civilization or Master of Orion 2. Almost all of the established techs are unknown to your Nation of choice. You start with a preset amount of ships and EPs as well as a Capital system and single province (all done by prelim die roll). You are to branch out and survey the space around you and in doing so can get a positive, negative, or no event. You also have the opportunity to find points that are colony worthy. As you develop these points an discover more space you will gain EPs and use them to build a nice fleet and technology tree. You control how most of this happens so each game is different. There are NPRs that can be friendly or hostile and of course there are other nations (players). It is a race for dominance. There are several variants to this granting some very interesting scenarios. Playtest rules have been included where possible to allow Multi-sided combat (3 or more), Andros, ISC, and Monsters...its really well done for a player designed alternate.

By Eric Silverman (Thorsilver) on Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 07:40 pm: Edit

Lawrence, that sounds pretty interesting. Where can we find this variant? A few Googles haven't brought up any useful info so far.

By Mike Curtis (Nashvillen) on Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 08:26 pm: Edit

Most current set of Total War EB rules http://web.me.com/krager/Project_EB/Welcome.html

By Eric Silverman (Thorsilver) on Sunday, June 21, 2009 - 01:37 pm: Edit

Thanks Mike! Just downloaded them. That is quite the extensive variant... this will take some time to absorb.

By Bill Carroll (Peewee) on Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 09:26 am: Edit

Hi everyone. I am new to the board and also new to F&E. Powering my way through the rules and I have also downloaded vassel. Question is, what is the best way to find someone who is patient enough to show a beginner the ropes of both vassel and F&E at the same time? Just looking for advice on getting the ball rolling. Thanks.

By Jason Langdon (Jaspar) on Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 10:09 am: Edit

There are always people looking for a game.

But the best way to learn may be to check out the "Reports from the front" section of the F&E BBS and read through games others are playing. They will often mention where they set up their ships, what they buy each turn, and their tactics behind their moves.

Thats how I picked up a lot of tactics.

By Thomas Mathews (Turtle) on Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 11:25 pm: Edit

Bill, read the Tac Notes section as well. There are some good ones there. The best ones are published in Capt's Log. I've picked up a bunch of new tactics from both Reports from the front and from the Tac Notes and even an idea or two to try from the general discussion section.

By Tony L Thomas (Scoutdad) on Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 08:11 am: Edit

Bill,where are you located?

There may be an active group near you... or another player hopefully seeking a new opponent.

By Bill Carroll (Peewee) on Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 08:21 am: Edit

I am just north of Houston, TX in a town called The Woodlands. Only supposed to be 102 here today:)

By Bill Carroll (Peewee) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 09:28 am: Edit

I've started working through my first game of F&E on Vassel with the gracious help of Paul Middleton. We have been scratching our heads on a few items. First is does anyone have any suggestions on how to do the battlemats? We have each been using seperate ones and then when we are ready, clicking on the opponents battlemat to see his setup. Seems a little clunky. Does anyone have a better suggestion of how they are doing secret setup of battleforces? We have also started doing economics and production on our own and emailing it and then doing movement and combat together in the interests of speeding up play and reducing downtime. Anyone have any suggestions on speeding of play? Thanks again. Fortunately for me Paul is very patient and the light bulb is starting to come on for me:)

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:50 am: Edit

Doing econ and production off-line would be recommended. ;)

Hmm. I've been contemplating cutting apart the BattleMats so it's easier not to see what the other person is doing. However, part of the idea is to have the ability to work on two battles at once (presumably in different theaters), and I'm not sure anyone wants to contemplate keeping straight which one is part of which battle. So far, I've just been able to keep my attention on my part of the BattleMat until I'm done with building my line. Sure the other guy's is there, I can mostly tune it out.

Anyway, since I'm in the middle of working up v1.1, now's the time to come forward with any suggestions on such things.

By Jason Langdon (Jaspar) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 07:07 pm: Edit

We have been scratching our heads on a few items. First is does anyone have any suggestions on how to do the battlemats? We have each been using seperate ones and then when we are ready, clicking on the opponents battlemat to see his setup. Seems a little clunky.

I play with a friend and we just use the same battle mat. You can put all your stacks on there, and then make your fleet for each round of combat. As James said above, zone out to what the other guy is doing and stick to your game plan. A little bit of good faith in your opponent also being fair will save you an enormous amount of time.

And lets face it, F&E takes a huge amount of time as it is. So any time you can save time... is a big win.

Also as James said, do your econ and production offline. There are a few spreadsheets which have been made which will simplify the economics side of things. Maybe some others reading this have some new ones. Mine are a few years old but Im happy to email them to you.

You do your econ and production, then just send an email to your opponent letting him know what you bought. Then you can update your Vassal game and when you play, he syncs with you and gets the updated version.

The other thing, is to save each time you play, but with a new filename, so you have a history of the game in case you ever need to roll it back. A friend was 5 turns in to a solo game and somehow overwrote his single save file and lost his entire game and had to start again.

Setting up each game can take a while, even using the premade game files (took me a long time to convert the premade file to what I use to start each game) but then the game will move fairly quickly.

If you plan your moves in advance, especially as Coalition, you can also save time.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 01:19 pm: Edit

A friend was 5 turns in to a solo game and somehow overwrote his single save file and lost his entire game and had to start again.
Gah! In the solo game I poke at too infrequently, I generally have ~4 log files per turn. One big one for movement, one big one for combat, and then all the stuff that happens before and after those.

Setting up each game can take a while, even using the premade game files (took me a long time to convert the premade file to what I use to start each game) but then the game will move fairly quickly.
Are these changes just your standard fleet deployments, or is there something practical you're doing that I'd like to see? ;)

If you plan your moves in advance, especially as Coalition, you can also save time.
I have still got to figure out how to keep track of everything I'd like to be doing three phases later.... Oh, right! I need to add a notes window to the module. This game needs it. (And yes, Vassal supports public and private notes.)

By Chris LaRusso (Soulcatcher) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 05:26 pm: Edit

re: the problem with the battlemats may be either the mat doesn't have areas defined for the calculator to work, or the calculation syntax is bugged with the current Vassal version. I will see if I have a little time to look at in the next week or so.

By Chris LaRusso (Soulcatcher) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 05:40 pm: Edit

re: multiplayer
I've only played single player, but there are tutorials on how to do hidden movement, either on the vassal forum or website. The way I was doing was placing flagship candidates then typing the fleet in the comments, then revealing the comments. IIRC I saved prior to fleet selection and after moves and damage...no need to record moves while selecting fleet

By Chris LaRusso (Soulcatcher) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 05:46 pm: Edit

re playing in vassal
I keep a sequence of play in excel that I use to keep track of my plans and status

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 08:08 pm: Edit

Battlemats: Yeah, I still need to look at the COMPOT reporting. My first thought is that everyone's expecting to see the stack viewer pop up like it does on the main map, but that one is specifically set to show even for single unit stacks. I don't think I ever moved the battle mat from the default to that. Of course, the comments seem like it's more than that even.... :P

Hidden movement isn't at all hard to implement in Vassal (it was needed for the parent ASL project), but I don't know that it should be included just for shuffling things around on the battlemat. Note that via email it is easy: record a log, tell the other person when to set up his force, then set up yours. He'll set up his force *and then* step through you doing yours. (And yes, you have to trust him; otherwise this won't work anyway.)

Excel: Yeah, I've been thinking of doing that, just haven't come up with an idea for a format that would do what I want. :P

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