recent trends of recently-released module.

I monitor the Vassal module’s evolution, and I’m rather perplexed about the recently-established policy of allowing permission to publish modules only without the charts.

In my opinion, is a commercial dead-end, if not failure, because the avg. price of wargames (esp. in country like Italy, where the wargames market is basically a monopoly of an importer) led wargamers to be much more discriminating on their purchases, and I’m sure that the best solution is akin to the shareware market model:

whose, incidentally, fits well into niche markets, as the wargaming market actually is.

The shareware/try-before-buy model I think can easily implemented on wargames; for example, at least the multi-scenario (quadrigames, etc.) ones, one can release only one scenario, but complete, allowing potential buyers to assess if the wargame really is what they want.

OTOH, the general concept can be successfully applied to initiatives like GMT’s P500; I’m confident that a “public demo” (let’s say, a single scenario or even a part of it, but fully playable, more or less) can easily drive the prenotations above the threshold more quickly, if not actually much more quickly.

and, what about proofs of concept of new gaming ideas ? feedback is key in success of new products…

I guess I have given enough food of thought and constructive criticism, so I give my

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

What about games which actually have the charts printed ON the mapboard? Are these supposed to be redacted or rendered unreadable?

Thus spake “dott.Piergiorgio”:

I monitor the Vassal module’s evolution, and I’m rather perplexed about
the recently-established policy of allowing permission to publish
modules only without the charts.

To whose policy are you referring?


I noticed that many modules recently released of new or fairly new wargames (let’s say, of 2010-14 vintage) has all but the charts & CRTs. I guess is a sort of policy consensus and/or gentlemen’s agreement between wargame and module authors, and albeit I somewhat understand author and publishers’s wishes, I think this can potentially damage the wargame market.

Personally what I like to try before buying are the rules, because what matters for me is how to insert the inevitable scores of house rules, variant and general frankensteining (and incidentally, this imply that the lack of charts don’t impair much my potential “unauthorized playing”… but I’m mature enough to don’t delve in that piracy nonsense & partisanship) and is no wonders that a good chunk of my wargaming orders are to GMT (and other companies publishing living rules)

But few people are grognards AND military historians like me (aside living with 8 or so cats…) and generally the lacking of charts and CRTs for recent wargames don’t impair the use of Vassal as virtual board to ordinary buyers, but I think impair the prospective buyer’s decisions, for the reasons explained. in my initial post.

In other words, I look outside the confines of Vassal and into the general niche market of wargaming, and I notice the danger of a wrong (from my perspective) marketing trend. the general (and very big) media & entertainment industry is heavily poisoned by manglers (ab)using piracy for scapegoating flops and unrealistic sell projection. but the wargaming industry, as a small, if not tiny, niche market, I fear can’t survive this type of poisoning.

OTOH, Vassal can be a perfect venue for innovations and new ideas into this niche industry. One can test ideas with it, and even publish a module embodying the innovations/ideas, and get feedback crucial for deciding about forming a startup company…

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

That doesn’t mean it is a policy, consensus or even an agreement. It could simply be the authors choice because they just wanted to do it that way or felt you didnt need them (who knows why?), be a request by the publisher, or it even could be that they simply just forgot to put them in…it definitely doesnt mean it is a trend though :wink:

This just isn’t happening all that much. The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are the modules for GMT’s recent COIN series games that are leaving out the solo-play flowcharts. Not that big of a deal.