VASSAL Tips

VASSAL Tips

Updated August 26, 2015 Home

Many People are already familiar with using VASSAL and its modules. But for those who are not, I’ll describe some features and offer some suggestions.

Module Versions: There are two Waterloo modules – the Avalon Hill artwork and the Cooper artwork module. The Cooper artwork is much prettier. But I recommend the Avalon Hill artwork module as it has less errors at the board edges compared to the Cooper version.

If you decide to use the Cooper artwork version be aware of at least the following problems at the board edges. Hex U48, the Braine Le Compte road entry hex, is shown as a full hex. It is not; it is a partial hex. The same is true for Hal at C57. The far northern partial hexes all along the board edge are missing. There probably are other similar errors at other hexes along the board edges. I believe all the interior map is correct but have not checked it 100%.

The AH artwork module is a copy of the original game board. I have found it to be accurate. There is one caution with it as well at the board edges. Hexes without all 6 hex sides clearly showing are partial hexes.

Useful Features: One feature is called a logfile. It records a step by step record of each piece moved. To turn it on, go to the file menu and click on logfile, give it a name (like what turn and side) and start moving. When you are done, go to the file menu and click on “end logfile”. You can also save the final position of each unit by saving the file. When your opponent gets your turn file, he will be able to single step through each move you made. I find this a bit cumbersome however especially if you change your mind about some unit movement.

So what I do (and suggest to others) is to use another feature which is “Movement Trails”. These can be turned on or off by clicking the button with the hammer and wrench. I have them on. When you move a unit, a faint red line will show up on the map showing its movement path. The same thing will occur when moving all other units. It will show where the unit started and the path to its final destination. That way your opponent can easily inspect your move for legality. By clicking on any individual unit, the movement trail shows up as a darker red easily seen.

If you change your mind on your move, you can move any unit back to its starting point, right click on the unit and click on “Mark Moved”. That removes the movement trail. Now move the unit(s) to wherever you have now decided you want them. Then save your file and send it to your opponent when you are done.

Your opponent can then inspect the movement trails, and point out errors if any. Some people don’t like the red movement trails cluttering up the board. They are faint enough that they don’t bother me, but your mileage may vary.

How I do it: I do not use logfiles for reasons noted above. You cannot erase part of a logfile. If you mess up you have to start all over. And I don’t think they are necessary with the movement trail feature noted above.

When I receive a move I check it over for legality. I return it if necessary for correction and resolving any combat. I let the attacker roll his own combat dice if he prefers it that way. Otherwise I roll the dice. After resolving any combat, I save a “combat” file.

Now I am ready to make my move. I erase all movement trails on the board by clicking on the button to the right of the 10 sided dice button. That removes all movement trails. Now I start moving counters. If I use road movement and normal movement I typically show an intermediate waypoint by stopping there momentarily. That makes it easier for my opponent to follow what I did. I do the same for all counters I want to move. Generally I will change my mind on some units. So using the procedure outlined above, I move them back to the starting point, remove its movement trail by right clicking on the unit and hitting “mark moved”, and reposition the unit. If I decide to make a lot of changes to my move, I may start over by going back to my opponent’s last move.

Hope that helps!