• Dice Masters Online, Using Vassal

    I want to touch on a couple of things I missed in my first article that can help the game go a little more smoothly. But first, there's an introduction to be made.

    Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our newest member of the TRP staff, Dylan. Along with others, Dylan has helped update the Vassal Dice Masters module, so he is the go-to guy for questions. He e-mailed me a few weeks ago, and wanted us at TRP to inform others about Vassal. After playing around in it, I think it’s a great tool. Especially for testing out teams either before making a single-card purchase, or to just play online without having to physically get out your cards/dice. I can help with any questions you might have, but seriously, if there’s any troubleshooting involved, I will just pass your questions along to Dylan. I exchanged e-mails with him a few times, and then met him in person at U.S. Nationals. He’s a great guy who seems to genuinely care about the Dice Masters community, and I fully believe that The Reserve Pool will benefit greatly from having him on board. So, welcome Dylan! Now, on to Vassal...

    Rolling your dice and refilling your bag. Ok, here’s why you should always ask someone who has more experience than you to teach you something. Look at the play mat. See these two arrows I’ve circled? One is in the reserve pool labelled “Roll” and the other one is pointing from the used pile to the bag. Yea, those are handy shortcuts. For rolling your dice, you just drag your dice to the reserve pool, and click the arrow that says “Roll” and it automatically rolls all dice in your reserve pool. Then drag any you wish to keep down below the “do not reroll” line. Now, when you click the “Roll” arrow again, it will reroll everything still in the reserve pool, but NOT the dice you had dragged below that line. And that arrow that says “Move All When Empty” going from the used pile to you bag… you guessed it. Click that arrow and it will automatically take everything in your used pile and toss it in to your bag. That makes things a little easier than have to drag one at a time, or highlight everything and right click… this is just easier.

    Saving/loading your team more efficiently. Ok, this one is kind of important. Remember how I told you to save and load your team last time? Well, that works. BUT, instead of doing it in the main team window used during gameplay, save it using the “Teams” button instead. So, click the button that says “Teams”, it’s the sixth button from the left. It should open up this window. Now, just like before, drag you chosen characters from the cards and dice window to this window. Begin logfile, highlight everything, clone, end logfile. Now, when you “load continuation” to load your team, it will load in to this window. Then you can drag it to either the Player 1 or Player 2 side.

    Now, on to online play. First, the chat lobby. Looking at the two windows on the right, you can see the current games going on, and you can see I’m just chilling in the Main Room. If there are others in the Main Room, you can chat with them here to see if anyone wants to play, or if they are waiting for someone specific to log on.

    Hosting/joining a game. To create a new game, just type a room name in to the “New Game” text box. I created TRP Test. You can see in the Active Games window, that I am the only player currently in TRP Test. And if you forget what game you are currently in, the Current Game window reminds you.

    To get started, you’ll want to click File, New Game. Then you are prompted to pick Player 1, Player 2, or observer. Let’s go with Player 1.

    Confirm, and we get this familiar screen.

    Shrink down our windows with the magnifying glass icon. Click the “Teams” button to get that window open. File, Load Continuation to load up our team, remember to drag it to the Player 1 side, and ta-da!

    Phases. Ok, I know I’m not ACTUALLY playing a game right now, but I went over how to play a game last time. Now, this part is more about online etiquette. You should definitely click that little arrow at the top of your play mat to indicate what phase of the turn you are currently on.

    Wait/Pass/Think. So, I’m sure you’ve noticed the Wait (F1), Pass (F2), and Think (F3) buttons along the top. Thes are to let your opponent know what you are doing. After you’re reroll, if you aren’t sure what to do, be sure to click the “Think” button, to let your opponent know you are just trying to figure out what to do if it’s taking a while. At the end of your main step (remember to click the phase arrow over to main step) be sure to click “Pass” to pass priority to your oppenent so they can play globals. And if your opponent forgot to pass priority or is getting ahead of themselves during phases, or you just need to interrupt them, click “Wait”. This can be used to tell your opponent you need to play something in response, or go check on a crying baby upstairs.

    Always communicate through the chat. Clarify what globals you’re using. PXG (Professor X global), BEWD (Blue-Eyes White Dragon), RDG (Red Dragon global), MM (Magic Missile). These are all common abreviations to type in the chat box while playing to let your opponent know what exactly is going on. Feel free to type out longer explanations and exact text during your first couple games or against new Vassal players. Before long, you will see someone move a bolt to the used, a sidekick to the prep, and simply type “BEWD” and you will know what they mean.

    Enjoy! Last time I went through how to play a game, so I’m not going to give the same information twice. Remember, when in doubt, communicate with your opponent. If you’re playing an experienced player, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

    I’m not quite done with my How-To with Vassal yet. Next time we will wrap this series up with my look at Galactus. For those of you who remember, a while back I posted a custom Galactus play mode. It was designed to be a single or multi player campaign. Well, Dylan e-mailed me, informing me that he put MY Galactus mode in to Vassal. It is one of the most flattering e-mails I’ve gotten since joining TRP. Since Galactus mode is “my baby”, I will take a look at it, see if they did a good job translating my idea to the Vassal module. Thanks for reading. Roll on.
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. MarkB's Avatar
      MarkB -
      Can someone post a clear screenshot of the galactus card that is on vassal. It would be nice to print it out so I can fit it in my deck box if I wanna try solo play. Thanks
    1. Randy's Avatar
      Randy -
      Quote Originally Posted by MarkB View Post
      Can someone post a clear screenshot of the galactus card that is on vassal. It would be nice to print it out so I can fit it in my deck box if I wanna try solo play. Thanks
      Can't do it from my phone. I will do it tonight if no one beats me to it.
    1. MarkB's Avatar
      MarkB -
      Thanks Randy
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Do we know when DC is going live in Vassal? I've already added those cards to my deck designs that I would want to test on this system.
    1. Ledzhedz's Avatar
      Ledzhedz -
      As soon as we get the scan images we can start the upload process. Also, here is the Galactus mode cards I put on Vassal.Attachment 182Attachment 183
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      When are we getting a rainbow draft module? I have a way to do it with 2 players, but it relies on a fair amount of work and trust...
    1. Ledzhedz's Avatar
      Ledzhedz -
      We are always looking for suggestions on things to add to help make the modules better. A draft option will be something we will look into.