Linux/Mac versions more sluggish

I use Vassal primarily for the Warmachine/Hordes module.
I have tried it on each of my boxes (Windows 7, Ubuntu 10.04, and Mac OS X (Leopard)).
Whenever I play on my Windows 7 box (even when it was Windows XP), I have no problems when I pick the option “Show CTRL Area”.
However, whenever I play on my Ubuntu or Mac boxes, if any “Show CTRL Area” is up, the entire game is slowed down.
All three boxes have comparable hardware. The sluggishness is with anything pertaining to Vassal, even scrolling the viewing area or moving a window. The lag-time on it is anywhere from 1 to 3 seconds and immediately stops, returning to normal, as soon as the CTRL Area is no longer visible.

For those who don’t play Warmachine/Hordes, “Show CTRL Area” displays a large, colored circle around the model, distinguishing the range of its CTRL area. Those models even partially in that CTRL Area are lightly shaded the color of the circle to indicate that they are within range.

This makes me believe the sluggishness could be related to one of the following (and likely due to difference in libraries on the systems):

  • Constant recalculation of the CTRL area and models within in
  • Inefficient library functions for the CTRL Area calculations
  • Constant reshading of models in the CTRL Area
  • Inefficient library functions for applying the shading to the models in the CTRL Area

However, as I have not delved into the source code, these are just speculative ideas on possible causes of the problem from my own code experiences and intuition.


I was running Vassal on Ubuntu 10.04 which, by default, uses java-6-openjdk.
I fixed the sluggishness by installing:

  • sun-java6-jre
  • sun-java6-plugin
  • sun-java6-fonts
  • sun-java6-jdk

and then setting my system to use Sun Microsystem’s Java 6 via:
sudo update-java-alternatives -l
sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun

You can check your version after doing this by typing in a console:
java -version