Playing SPI Simultaneous Movement games in Vassal

How do people work such games in Vassal? I was looking at, for example, the StarForce module. It seems like one needs to write down one’s moves and then you have to take turns updating the game state with your move, and just have to go on the honor system. Is that right, or is there some Vassal magic that helps with this?


There is are a couple of features that I can think of that might be used for this:

  1. Simplest is called delayed Notes; players would record there moves on the Vassal module and reveal them at the right moment.

  2. Invisibility Trait - it is possible to built pieces that are only visiible to their owning player, until that player choose to reveal them.

There may be other ways by combining other Vassal features - such as global properties and layers.

Thanks. Number 1 sounds like the easiest way to go. Doesn’t #2 require action by the module author.

Also, I think #2 would only work for games where there’s no interaction between plotted moves, so that all the pieces moved get to their destinations. For games like the SPI Sniper you need to step through the movements hex-by-hex because effects may be triggered.

Such games may just not be well-suited for PBEM…

One follow-up – tried the delayed notes in StarForce, and it did not work well. The problem is that the delayed notes really pile up in the module, and there doesn’t seem to be a good way to purge them when they are no longer of interest.

Another problem is – and here I’m going from memory, which might not be exact – the rigidity of the delayed notes interface. It seems to be modal, so if you start writing a note and then need to hop back to the map, you can end up doing a lot of rework.

IMO delayed notes right now are only good for very limited uses, and managing SiMove games is too much for them.

This is a question of taste, and your mileage may vary.

Another option would be to use a different web resource – maybe something involving encryption or delayed delivery – to exchange the SiMove sheets.

Another issue with PBEM is that many of the games involve interrupting a plotted move (e.g., Opportunity Fire in Sniper). So it might be better to plot moves off line and have an on-line session to actually resolve them.

Yes. they where only developed with basic functionality in mind. There has never been much feedback on how they could be improved, so now work has ever been done on them. Your comments on purging notes noted!

Another option would be to use a different web resource – maybe something involving encryption or delayed delivery – to exchange the SiMove sheets.

In the short term, that is probably the best approach. Interested in what you find in this space.

There’s a spectrum. Some games work well as PBEM. Some can be played with slightly modified rules that make them OK for PBEM. Some games are just totally unsuitable for PBEM and can never really be played effectively in that form. Any sort of game that allows arbitrary interrupts of other players actions is a problem.