Issues whilst using VASSAL

I am getting an Exception Error, what do I do?

If vassal crashes, it creates an Errorlog file and an automatic bug report form, which you can fill out and send to the Vassal team. We take all bugs seriously so it is important that you send in those forms to help us improve Vassal.

How do I do a right-Click on a Macintosh computer?

If you are using a single-button mouse, you can use control-click to simulate right-click. This is a standard MacOS feature.

How does ‘Choosing Sides’ work?

When a module is created, the author has the option of defining Sides (e.g. German/Russian, Red/White). Not all modules have sides defined.

When you create a new game, or load a scenario file that does not have all sides allocated, you are presented with a pop-up menu of the sides to choose from. When you select to play a side, the current password you have defined in your preferences is associated with that side in that game and is saved (safely encrypted) in the save file. When you next load that save file (or a later save file produced by your opponent), your password is matched with the passwords associated with the sides in the save file, and if there is a match, you are automatically allocated to play that side without seeing the pop-up dialog.

When playing a game with sides, you have the additional option to Resign from the game. Resigning disassociates your password from the side, allowing the next player to load the save file (or syncronize if playing on-line) to choose to play that side.

IMPORTANT If you change your password in the preferences, it will no longer match the password for your side in the game and you will no longer be able to access your peices!

How do I create a Scenario start file with both sides not owned?

Choose a side, set up the counters, then hit the ‘Retire’ button before saving the scenario file. Then load that same scenario file and select the other side, set those counters up, click ‘Retire’ and save the final save game. No need to use different machines or passwords when doing this.

I can no longer access my Masked or Invisible pieces?

Have you changed your password in preferences?

The ownership of Masked pieces and Hidden pieces (and of Concealed counters in VASL or VSQL) is based on your password when the pieces are masked or hidden. If you subsequently change your password, you will lose ownership of those pieces and you wills see them as your opponent sees them.

The solution is to change your password back to what it was.

I’ve forgotten my password. How can I get it back?

Unfortunately you are out of luck. The passwords used in Vassal are secure and there is no way to recover them. You will have to try to figure out what you chose as your password.

Why can’t I see all the events and pieces when the other player moves?

This is usually caused by not being synchronized with the other player. When you start an on-line (server) game, all players must be synchronized.

One of you has to right click on the other’s name in the server controls and select synchronize. With multiple players everyone should pick a single player to synchronize with, such as the player who initiated the game. This will make sure that everyone’s game position is consistent.

When you synchronize, any side selection, piece movement and map selections you have performed will be reset and replaced with the game information of the player to whom you synchronized.

The map doesn’t appear when I close and reopen a game?

When opening a new game, the Chat Window is sometimes maximized and the Map Window minimized so you do not see the map at all. There are a couple of ways to fix this:

  • Open and close a Game Palette.
  • Move your cursor to the bottom of the screen until the double headed arrow appears, find the divider bar and drag it up.
  • Start a fresh VASSAL session.

Why are the dice rolls not random?

Actually, the dice roller in Vassal produces great random numbers. Players often suspect that there is something wrong with the die roller after observing a run of the same number. This turns out to be a common reasoning fallacy when observing random number generators. It just seems wrong for there to be that many consecutive numbers that are the same. But the opposite is really true. If sequences of the same number did not appear, then the randomness of the die rolls would be suspect.

Rest assured that the programming team has carefully tested the die roller code and it passes the ent statistical tests for random number generation. If you want to learn more about this, see here or the Wikipedia article