Looking for a patient opponent for old SPI games, mostly from 1973 - 1979

I am new to VASSAL, but very familiar with old SPI wargames. I’m looking for someone patient to help me learn how to use VASSAL to play old SPI wargames from 1973 to about 1979. I know a few SPI games from the 1980’s, and Avalon Hill Panzerblitz.

I’m based in the UK, but I believe that VASSAL allows asynchronous play? There will be occasional times when I am too busy to play, and I have a regular commitment on Thursday evenings. I have Discord (l_c_jackson #2418), but I don’t use it a lot.

I hope that covers everything, but if not please say so.

VASSAL does allow for asynchronous play. However its usefulness depends on how much interactivity is designed into the game. Things like opportunity fire can sometimes make it impractical. It is possible to mix modes though, doing parts of the turn by swapping log files and others jointly.

Do you have any specific games in mind?

Hi cdeBork

Thanks for the tip about interactivity. I tend to prefer strategic over tactical anyway, so the interactivity issue might not be a problem.

I did not have any specific games in mind. I would have liked to get the old SPI classic “Napoleon at Waterloo” working, but the VASSAL modules I have seem to be non-functional (on my VASSAL 3.4.11 installation). I was looking for something really simple, that didn’t last long, just as a learning tool. Frank Chadwick’s “Battle for Moscow” (just for example) is small, and only runs for 7 turns.

I’m running 3.6.7 (most recent) in Linux and “Napoleon at Waterloo” seems to run just fine. You need to update VASSAL to the latest version - it just makes life easier as newer mods are not always backwards compatible.

NaW was my first wargame back in 78 quickly followed by Panzer Armee Afrika, the original copy of which I still own!

Thanks very much for the reminder to upgrade, it got NaW working on my 64 bit Windows 10 machine. It’s great to see it again, as I only have PDF files.

I originally received NaW back in about 1973, followed by my first subscription game “Year of the Rat”. As a Brit my interest in the Vietnam War was about as small as my interest in American football (“Scrimmage”)! However, I learned to appreciate the fine game design, depicting asymetric warfare.

I was about to suggest other SPI Napoleonic games as an alternative learning tool, or one of their five from the 30 Years War.

Panzer Armee Africa is another great game, but it is quite long.

I’m no VASSAL guru. Last time I used it was some fifteen years ago playing Advanced Squad Leader. I just happened to get on this forum at the same time as you and for much the same reason.
I’m based in Australia. However time difference should not be an issue. I have a very flexible schedule - an understated advantage of not having a life or job :slight_smile:

If you think I can be of any help, you can contact me directly at louflelli (at) gmail (dot) com.



Hi! Would you like to try Napoleon at Waterloo or Battle for Moscow as an introductory game to learn how Vassal works? Happy to teach and work at a leisurely pace. As the above commenter notes, vassal for async tends to be well suited to games with low interactivity, which actually means the classic SPI you move/I move are perfectly suited to Vassal Play by email/async!

Thanks for the offer Lou, and you have my sympathy (as a prematurely retired IT person). When I have some idea what I’m doing with VASSAL I may get back to you to play something more complicated (preferably not as complicated as ASL though).

Just to clarify, I am new to playing VASSAL with an opponent, but I’ve used it solitaire (particularly “The Fall of Rome”, and “Operation Olympic”). So I’m not using the features for 2-player use.

Hi abordes, could we have a go at “Battle for Moscow”? The number of counters is about the same as Napoleon at Waterloo, but it’s shorter, and I have played it much more recently (solitaire). There is no rush (I must re-read the user manual first), but how do we get started?

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The manual makes obvious what I should have worked out already - you will need my e-mail address to play asynchronously. For what are probably large files I would prefer you to use my Gmail address:


I opened the account before “.gmail” was a thing, and I have always been male despite the confusingly unisex forename. :slight_smile:

I’m very sorry folks, I had a senile moment and accidentally deleted a couple of your e-mails (permanently!) If you don’t get a reply could you please try again. Mercifully I don’t do this very often.

I also am in the UK. I have a modest amount of VASSAL Experience and would be happy to try some old SPI Games. We can go as slowly as you like, and I am happy to be toernt about mistakes etc - I make enough of my own!

NAW would be fine as a start, and we can see how it goes after that.

if you want to contact me directly

Andrew McGee

I live on the east coast of the United States and am an early to bed, early to rise kinda fellah. I probably would be available 8 PM to 10PM your time on Thursdays. I have played SPI games since 1972 and have played VASSAL for three years. More than happy to teach; I’d just liked to get some gaming going!

Joseph Grills jjjgrills@cox.net

Hi Joseph

Thanks very much for the offer. I’m sorry if I was unclear, but Thursday evenings are the time when I am NOT free to play! Also, I wanted to play asynchronously partly because there will be the odd time (like yesterday) when I am busy with something.

It’s great to know that so many people still appreciate SPI wargames from the 1970’s onwards. I hope to get back to some of you for future games.

Kind regards

Lindsay Jackson

Hello Back Lindsay:
Thank you for the clarification. Please know that I am available between 4PM to 1AM (LOL) your time for uninterrupted gaming. I prefer SPI or any other games published in that era, because I really don’t need a thick rulebook, voluminous amounts of counters and a gaggle of maps to know that the Germans will have a hard time winning the “Battle of the Bulge” and the Japanese can run wild for a year or two in “War in the Pacific” and then it’s “lights” out. You have a standing offer to contact me at this address if you’d like to game!
Joe Grills

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Greetings. I would be willing to play a nice simple, friendly slow game. Let me know. My personal email is: jedwong@yahoo.com

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