Archive through September 29, 2013

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Federation & Empire: F&E COMPUTER PROJECTS: F&E with Vassal: Archive through September 29, 2013
By James Lowry (Rindis) on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 02:54 am: Edit

Glad you're liking the module!

The 'Show Units' command brings up a "spreadsheet" (it isn't one, but Vassal calls it that) where you could type in the actual contents of the fleets. It's an old feature I put in before the fleet boxes were done, and I never got around to taking it out again.

The New Fleet is a normal fleet marker (yes, they're all hard-coded in, there's no way to tell a module to create an entirely new map window). The idea is that it's a fleet where you can put all your new production (and capital repairs). Park the marker on the capital, move ships out of it if they move, and then at the end of the turn, you know that anything in there is eligible for free Strat Movement.

I recommend looking over the User Manual (not User's Guide) in the help menu of the module. It doesn't format correctly (sigh), but it does give a bunch of thoughts and advice on how the module is meant to be used.

By Lawrence Bergen (Lar) on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 11:59 am: Edit

James, FYI over the Christmas holidays I relocated to Benicia. This is about 70 min north of you.

We should meet for lunch sometime.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Yes, we should. Hopefully, the meeting of the Cyberboard & Vassal guys won't result in a space/time slip.

By Lawrence Bergen (Lar) on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 12:15 pm: Edit

Probably safe just having lunch unless a FTF game breaks out.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 09:06 pm: Edit

So, I have a stack of 5 CAs in the Lyran Home Fleet. I want to move one CA to the Foremost fleet. How do I do this?

Do I have to delete the entire stack from the Home Fleet and rebuild it with 4 and one ship in Foremost Fleet?

By Andrew Bruno (Admeeral) on Friday, March 29, 2013 - 02:45 am: Edit

Open up both fleet boxes and just move from one to the other. If you want to break down a 3-ship counter, just right click and select "break into ships". Using the drop down menus from each empire to pull up fleet boxes for moving units around between them is really just like cardboard counters and fleet charts on your table top. :)

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Friday, March 29, 2013 - 07:00 am: Edit

Yeah, I right click a stack of three counters and don't see that option.

By Jason E. Schaff (Jschaff297061) on Friday, March 29, 2013 - 05:24 pm: Edit

For three individual counters in a stack, double-click on the stack. It will telescope out, and you can select an individual counter, or shift-click to select multiple counters, and drag them off someplace else.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Well, I had to erase my hard drive and reinstall Vassal (among other things).

For some reason, it doesn't bring up the F&E map. If I do a screen shot, it DOES show the map on the screen shot. Is there some toggle that turns the map on and off?

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 04:14 pm: Edit

I figured it out, the map had been given zero screen space.

By Peter D Bakija (Bakija) on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 07:00 pm: Edit

James wrote (over in my current game):
>>I note you're just using Tholian colors for the disrupted markers. My thought was to use the native colors, just a reminder that you're not getting the full income of the province. I assume that you're just not going to the bother to change the nationality before putting them down? >>

Ah, see, I don't think either one of us realized that you could change the colors on those counters. The default is red and white, and I think we both just assumed that the disrupted counter was just red and white.

>>Peter - you can always use the text labels to mark counters with important info (such as recording the number of SEs on a fleet marker). >>

Yeah, I don't know how to do that. How do you add text labels to things?

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 07:41 pm: Edit

First bit of advice: Always right-click on counters so you can see what commands are available to them.

Control-L should bring up the text label dialog. The label will appear as white text on black along the top of the counter.

Hmm.... how did the disrupted marker end up defaulted to Tholians? Must have saved some personal setting of mine while I was doing scenario set ups. Control-[ and -] will cycle through colors in R# order.

And... since you've missed those, I'll point out that you may want to go through the unit summaries, which can give you the contents of the fleet boxes.

Also, go into the help menu and look up the user's guide (I forget the exact menu item title, and there's also the Vassal user guide in there...). Sorry about the poor line-wrap, but I've got some advice on using the module in there.

And of course, please give me any usability feedback on the module. With me trying to gear up to v2.0, it's more important now than ever.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 07:50 pm: Edit

I like using the Tholian color, it makes it stand out.

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Which was my original thought about why it was being done. And I want to think about that. And if I go to a 'generic' disrupted marker, then I will want to find a color scheme that doesn't match any empire in the game.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 08:04 pm: Edit

Use three colors, perhaps orange purple and yellow.

By Peter D Bakija (Bakija) on Monday, June 03, 2013 - 08:46 pm: Edit

James wrote:
>>First bit of advice: Always right-click on counters so you can see what commands are available to them. >>

Ah, see, I suspect the main reason that Vassal gets used (as Cyberboard seems to be more popular; I think Vassal is excellent, personally) is that it works with Macs. And Macs don't generally use right-click. You can still do all that stuff with ctrl-click, but it isn't always immediately intuitive to right click on things. As you don't generally do that on a Mac :-)

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Overall, Vassal is at least as popular as Cyberboard (really hard to tell for sure). The other advantage it has is handling both on-line and off-line play. Here, the Cyberboard gamebox was done before I even started the Vassal module, so it has the 'first out the door' advantage.

Vassal is strongest with the ASL and Commands & Colors: Ancients communities. Though there's hundreds of modules, and there's some real technical excellence in A Victory Lost and Here I Stand and many others.

And in all of them, I recommend right-clicking on the pieces to see what the options are.

By Peter D Bakija (Bakija) on Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - 01:46 pm: Edit

James wrote:
>>Overall, Vassal is at least as popular as Cyberboard (really hard to tell for sure).>>

Oh, sure--for the sake of clarity, I was in no way slagging on Vassal; I'm super glad it is here and that you are working on it. And totally pleased with the results.

I think for the purposes of F+E, it seems like most folks seem to use Cyberboard (as you point out, it was the first one that worked). But Vassal seems awesome to me.

>>And in all of them, I recommend right-clicking on the pieces to see what the options are.>>

Which is an excellent thing to know about--I now know how to add text labels to things (like indicating that bases have existing SIDS damage or whatever). Which I didn't know how to do before. Thanks!

By James Lowry (Rindis) on Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - 02:42 pm: Edit

No worries, I just gave the bigger picture for informative purposes. And I'm certainly glad you're enjoying the module. ;) Certainly come back with any further feedback.

By Scot McConnachie (Tangentrw) on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 04:19 pm: Edit


I have been inspecting the later versions of your module. In addition to providing a lot of functionality for F&E it is one of the best demonstrations of VASSAL's capabilities out there.

I have one quick question: How do you create the PF and attrition unit counters?

I cannot find any entry for them on the ships or the marker menus, nor can I find any menu command on their mother ships for 'launching' them.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Click the ships button (without the Fed CA silhouette), select the Empire involved, select the Support Units & Bases drop down menu, pick the Chits tab and there they are.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 11:50 am: Edit

Yeah, go dig around in the Ships button menus, and there are tons and tons of counters for everything--captured planets, captured provinces, PDUs, bases with fighters, bases without fighters, fighter squadrons, PF squadrons, whatever. Just dig around in that section, and you'll find tons of useful stuff.

By Chris Jones (Generalgrog) on Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 08:24 pm: Edit

I finally got around to purchasing F&E (2010 version). I have been wanting to buy this game for many years since I played the first edition back in 86?

Anyway, I have the vassal module loaded and am very familiar with vassal, but as can be expected still need to refamiliarize myself with how to play the game. As an engineer I love the detail of this game by the way.

So my basic question is this, is there some time that a group of you guys get together to play online?

Or is this primarily PBEM?

I would very much like to observe some games on vassal if there is anything going on there.

Otherwise anyone have any suggestions for new players to get some game time/learning time in?


By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 08:40 pm: Edit

I use Vassal for PBEM F&E (and only if my opponent can't use Cyberboard).

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 10:57 am: Edit

Yeah, Vassal is very good for PBEM. I'm pretty sure it has the capability to have players logged on line and chatting in the Vassal interface, but I have never used it like this.

So here is a question for the folks who might know these things:

How do you *remove* map overlays? The Romulans start with overlays in play for their unexplored provinces. I can figure out how to *add* overlays (the same way you add everything else--just drag it from the box it is in to the map), but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get them off the map once they are there--I've tried clicking on them with any number of buttons held down/right clicking/whatever, but nothing. Ideas?

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