Sending Eliminated Unit to Dead Pile(s)

Howdy Gents,

I hope you will forgive me for asking what so many of you will consider to be “stupid questions”. I’m new to Vassal programming, almost as new as I am to using it in games.

I’m trying to do a good turn for two good men and a new good game, Demyansk Shield. The game was designed by Vance von Bories and published by Randy Lien (Legion Wargames). Sadly, neither of them, having so many irons in the fire making new games for us all, have the time to spare to make a Vassal Mod.

So, I’m doing my best and learning alot along the way.

I’ve a couple of situations I am going to need a bit of direction.

  1. There is a handful of German units that are described as “untried”. In game terms the German player places units drawn from a “cup” onto the board in specific set up positions without knowing the ultimate strength of that unit. The opponent doesn’t know either.

What I think needs done is to create a “draw deck” that contains the various possible counters (units) on the board in a Zone. From that deck, the German player can randomly draw those units during Set Up, and at any time in the Reinforcement turns following when such “Untried” units appear. The stack must contain at start ALL of the possible units, though as time passes on, the number left in the stack (or deck) dwindles until you are left with the final one. The deck cannot be renewed.

So, doing my best boy scout imitation has placed me in a position where I will occasionally be “over my head”. Thus I hope you all will help guide me to the correct solutions. I do wish to do a good job for these two venerated gentlemen (Vance and Randy).

So, how to I properly construct such a “deck” so that it renews the mix (reshuffles) with each beginning of a new game?

  1. How do I properly choose the correct “Available Trait” to get a unit sent to a “Dead Pool” (in fact there are multiple in the case of the Soviets). There are separate Zones for each Dead Pool.

If I’m not understanding something correctly, let me know.

  1. The initial draw deck can be set up on the main board or on its own map, and it can be set to auto-shuffle by assigning Reshuffle to always (so units will always be selected randomly from it).

If you need the German player to remain in the dark about the exact make up of the units they are placing, then use an always active layer (most likely instead of an actual Mask trait) in order to hide the units to both players during this action. I can elaborate on this.

  1. If the dead pools are decks, then they don’t really need their own zones. I don’t really understand the ‘available trait’ part, sorry, but units can be sent to any deck or zone or location based on certain criteria, no problem. Is that what you’re asking? And, if so, do you want the units sent one at a time (via their own right-click menus) or through a button on the main toolbar that can send multiple appropriate units to multiple areas, depending on whatever trait?

#1 The German player needs draw the unit from the deck unseen until he places it on the board. Each such unit appears at a specific set up location. But you don’t want the German player to be able to view the unit and then place it in a less threatened location based upon its combat values. The unit needs to be unseen by either player until it is placed on the map. Once placed, then the German player must be allowed to know what it is (and only the German player). Only when the Soviet player attacks a stack containing an unknown unit is he allowed to see it, and only at the instant he declares combat, but not before he ends movement (this way he cannot see it before combat and add more units to the attack).

#2 The Dead Pools are Zones on the Main Map. The units drawn from the deck need to go to the Main Map from which they will not return to the deck. Yes, the units move from the Main Map when the unit is attacked and eliminated. So, each unit individually needs to be “sent” to a Dead Pool upon Elimination. Such a unit may be rebuilt with replacement points and thus return to the game (Main Map) by moving from a Dead Pool to a “Building Pool”. There is no separate Zone on the Main Map for the Building Pool because it is simply a small spot painted within the various Dead Pools. This means the players will manually choose a unit in a Dead Pool and move it half an inch to the requisite Build Pool.

Thanks Much for Helping,

Sorry for being brief…

#1 Try the units with just a default Mask trait first - see if that allows too much information for the German player drawing them. The deck should be set to Reshuffle=Always and Draw new cards face up=unchecked. Use the Help button (and/or Designer’s Guide) for more info on these and the Mask trait for the units. Try it with just two or three units first - don’t try to do too much - just set up a deck, with 3 masked units in it, and then try drawing and placing them on the board.

#2 sounds like the units can just be moved manually for now. But to right-click send a unit to a zone, use a Send to Location trait using ‘destination=Zone on selected map’ (again Help button will detail the properties).

If I think of something to add myself, I’ll do so when I can, but feel free to ask for clarifications, more info, etc… just not sure how much/when I can help at the moment.