Solo Triumph & Tragedy

I am trying to learn GMT’s T&T game. Sadly, I am unable to use the only table in the house that will accommodate the board game. So, I am attempting to play the game on Vassal but there appears to be no way I can play all players’ sides in one game. I can join the game as the Axis, West or USSR player or an observer but the first three options won’t allow me to play more than one side and the observer seems to be able to do nothing.

Does anyone know of a way of achieving my objective? I’m willing to attempt to do some editing but my abilities in this area are limited.

I would edit the module to create a new player side called Solitaire, Referee, or whatever name you like that can access all parts of the module. Adding the side is quite easy and fast. I’m not familiar with either the game or this specific module, but some investigation would be required to see what hidden elements are restricted by player side. That could be player-specific hands of cards, flipping (masking) of pieces, or a couple other things. If you don’t get somewhere on your own I may have time tonight to swing back around to this and provide more specific guidance.

The quite good Module Designer’s Guide on the wiki page should have sufficient information on how to add a new player side: … rguide.pdf

In the interim, you can still start a game and make progress by using the Retire feature to drop out of a player side and join another one (but this does get obnoxiously repetitive).

Thanks, Joel. You’re always responsive and helpful! Your suggestion makes sense but I’m not sure I have the capability of discovering what hidden elements are restricted by player side. I’ve got the guide saved on my PC and will get around to searching through it for guidance. I’ve already tried the retiring option but, as you say, it is obnoxiously repetitive.

The module listing is large and extensive and I shall have to summon up some courage to dive into it. I appreciate your offer of further guidance but, I realise your time is limited. I’m trying to contact the original module author (Craig Besinque) but it’s proving difficult.

I stole a few moments to do some quick investigation. You will want to add a player side named “Referee”, as it turns out. It likely existed at some point, possibly during testing or an earlier version of the module, but I seem some remnant traces of its existence.

Once you add the side, that will provide access to all player hands simultaneously–they are already configured to allow access to a Referee player side, it just doesn’t exist at present.

The remaining work will be going through all the Game Piece Prototypes one by one and looking for the following:

Restricted Access traits: These lock down pieces entirely from everyone other than the listed sides–if you aren’t on the list, you can’t move them, flip them, etc. Add the Referee side to the list.

Mask traits: Some of these are configured to prevent masking by anyone other than listed player sides. Add the Referee side to the list.

Unfortunately since prototype (and by extension, piece) editing is required, that means whatever changes you make will NOT be reflected in any predefined setups–the files loaded when you choose a scenario to start a new game–nor will they be reflected in any saved game files corresponding to ongoing games you have. After making all changes, you’d have to load your game, then go into the Tools menu, Refresh Counters, and hope for the best.

That’s great, Joel. Thanks. I’ve been in touch with Brian Evans (Furyn) who designed module 35.2. He says: “Going from hazy memory. The problem is with the setup system. It’s handy in that it allows a game to be started quickly but I believe I was having trouble getting it to assign block ownership correctly when using a solo mode. You could of course go into the module editor and delete the setup blocks and triggers, etc. And then add a solo player.”

I’m working on a “trial and error” basis and have a work-in-progress module that I’m experimenting with. I have added a “Referee” (solo) player and this comes up as an option when choosing which player to play. It does indeed allow me to access all players’ hands of cards but I can’t access the “at start” (“set up” presumably?) counters on the map board.

There’s only one scenario, so that’s not a complication. I’ll have a look at the Game Piece Prototypes next and see if your suggestion makes sense to me (me being the dumb one). Are you willing to pursue this project with me or will time prevent that?

One other thing that will need to be changed is in this module’s Global Options (as configured in Editor mode). There’s a setting controlling who can unmask pieces that needs to be changed from “Never” to “Always”.

Here’s an example of a prototype containing a Restricted Access trait that needs modification (going by best guess):

Hi Joel:
As ever, you’ve come up trumps - many thanks. I wouldn’t necessarily have thought about some of this. I’ll have a look at the module and make the changes you propose, then I’ll check to see if there’s anything similar I should adjust. This kind of stuff requires a broader or deeper understanding than I think I have; but nothing ventured…

As luck would have it, I had picked up on the second of your suggestions and added “Referee” to the players that can access these blocks.
I am unsure of something else. There are items dealing with the number of players. At the moment, these seem to give options for 1 or 2 players. Once the referee is added, will these need changing to 1, 2 or 3 players? E.G. “Global Properties>NumPlayers[GI”

I made a mistake - the items referring to “number of players” give options for 2 or 3 players, not 1 or 2.

Not being familiar with either the game or module, I don’t have any guidance here, I’m afraid. It would help to know in game rules terms what things are enabled/disabled/altered by the player count, then from there how that translates into which module features/abilities are affected and where you’d find them.

I’ve played around with the suggestions and one or two of my own ideas and have succeeded in doing what I want. I’ve also adapted it to work in a module I’ve started from scratch to form part of a project I’m working on. This will allow the play of a miniatures wargame, a board game and the Vassal module all using the same basic rule set. It’s for Napoleonic battles and will be called “Napoleon’s Soldiers”. The Vassal module is ready for play testing and this will simultaneously allow my colleague and I to play test the main rule set.

I’d like to thank you very much for your help and wish you a safe and healthy outcome from this wretched Corona Virus.