Merchant of Venus - Player Ship Window

I´m a newbie to VASSAL and after playing around a little bit with it I would like to start my first boardgame → VASSAL conversion. It will be “Merchant of Venus” from AH and I would like to use Dathkada’s redesign which can be found on BGG.
Now I have come to the question of how to design a players ship window. Every player has a ship with storage spaces for goods, passengers, weapons and relics. There are different kinds of ships with different amounts of storage spaces. Every storage space can only hold one good or two of everything else. A player can only have one ship at a time. If he buys a new one the old one is replaced.

  1. Question: How do I create a player window, which shows the actual ship mapboard? It should be possible that every player can see the ships of the other players.
  2. Question: Is it possible that the ship mapboard is replaced if the player buys a new ship?
  3. Question: I’ve planed to use a irregular grid on the ship mapboard, where the storage spaces are different regions. Is it possible to have different layouts of this irregular grid, which depends on the actual ship mapboard used?
  4. Question: Is it possible to restrict the amount of pieces on a region depending on the type of piece? I’m thinking of a storage capacity number of 2 for every storage region. One good fills two capacities and everything else fills only one. So that it is not possible to have more than one good or two other things on a storage space.


I don’t know Merchant of Venus very well, but it sounds similar to other games where the players get a vehicle and then can customize it or change it during the game.

Create either a Map Window for each player. Alternatively, you could create a Private Window for each player–this would restrict players from messing around in each other’s map windows. You can set Private Windows to be visible to other players, as well.

Boards can’t be changed once a game starts, so I don’t think you want to use ‘boards’ in the player windows. Instead, you might leave the private windows blank and create Pieces for each type of ship diagram. At game start, players would use the diagram piece corresponding to their starting ship–they would just select it from the Pieces palette and place it in their private window. As they upgraded or changed ships, they would delete the old diagram and drag a new one from the palette. They would place the goods markers on top of the ship diagram counter (it would be a good idea to use Game Piece Layers in the ship windows) to denote cargo being carried.

I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe there’s currently any programmatic way to restrict the number of pieces allowed in a grid space. You’d have to enforce this the way you would with the physical game–in other words, ask players to comply with the rules.

Thanks for the tips! I will try it with a private window for every player.
It doesn’t matter that the number of pieces per region can’t be restricted. As I gave it some thought I decided that it feels more like a “real” boardgame if you can’t (don’t) restrict it. You don’t need that kind of restrictions if you have fairplay. :slight_smile: