opacity with line of sight, and inverted units

Model: MacBook Pro 15" Feb. 2008
OS: Mac OS 10.6.8
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Memory: 4 GB
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
VASSAL: 3.1.19
java version “1.6.0_33”
Java™ SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_33-b03-424-10M3720)
Java HotSpot™ 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.8-b03-424, mixed mode)

Module: Panzerblitz/Panzer Leader module 3.5b05

The module comes with the LOS Thread set to “Hide Pieces while drawing” and opacity of hidden pieces 0%.

I find it helps to give pieces some opacity, so I set it to, say, 30%. (Right click on module in Vassal module library > Edit > Expand Mapboard > Line of Sight Thread > Opacity of Hidden Pieces. Change value, then save.)

Now I go to scenario 2 or 3. These use inverted pieces during the beach landing so that the German doesn’t know what he’s shooting at. Put an allied unit on the board and then click the LOS/LOF button.

Expected behavior: the allied unit will be made transparent but the silhouette and values won’t be visible.
Actual behavior: the allied unit becomes transparent and its silhouette and values are visible.

Workaround are to either go back to 0% opacity or to turn off the “hide pieces” option–neither is ideal. I’d like to see where units are on the board when I draw LOS (so I can easily see what hex to draw to), but I’d also like to see underlying terrain.

It’s a bug in the module, not Vassal.

The Command to Hide a unit from the other player (Flip Ctrl P) has been incorrectly implemented as a Layer instead of a Mask.

Using a layer to hide a unit does not hide it at all, there is nothing to stop the other player from just flipping it over, therefore it is not really hidden at all. The transparency option of the LOS mask is making every layer transparent including the top layer.

When the hide option is correctly implemented using a Mask trait, the other players don’t have access to flip the counter over and look at it and the LOS transparency option correctly hides the lower layers and you only see the transparent top layer.


Thanks very much. Do you know how I might contact the module creator? I’ve noticed a few other problems (mainly in some of the unit mixes for the preconfigured scenarios), and I’d be willing to help with a new version–but I wouldn’t want to remake it from scratch.

You can try and email the maintainer and contributors listed on the Panzerblitz module page (click on their names). If you get no joy there, the module may no longer be actively supported and you may have to go it alone.


Can’t click their names, but I can identify them in the forums, so I’ll try PMing them.

If that doesn’t yield results, what’s the policy on submitting an updated module that tweaks someone else’s work?

By the way, can you “hide” a unit but let the other player look at it if they need to? In the PL invasion scenarios, you declare you’re shooting at inverted unit X, then you turn it over and resolve the attack. For casual PBEM play, the honor system is good enough and avoids excessive back-and-forth.