The primary objective of the module is to remove as many game-piece markers as possible.
Counter clutter is a huge downside to playing this system as published. Each combat unit typically carries around at least two markers (fatigue and strength) and can have as many as six (adding disorganization, supply, ammo, and entrenchment).
I see no reason to import counter clutter into the VASSAL module.
This module departs from previous GCACW modules that mimic the printed game's counter handling. Instead, it replaces game-piece markers with dynamic properties and layers that are manipulated via the right-click menu.
Another objective of this module is to de-clutter the toolbar by using only stock VASSAL buttons and icons. Custom toolbar icons distract from the main purpose of a module, which is to provide a digital version of the map and counters.
No charts or tables are included; just the map and counters. (Buy the game!) Keep the printed charts from the game at hand during VASSAL play.
Strength markers have been removed and replaced with a dynamic property that is set manually by Ctrl-V on each unit. Strength is visible in the Mouse-over Stack Viewer.
Fatigue markers have been removed and replaced with a game piece layer on each unit.
Ctrl-F to increase fatigue level. Fatigue removal is automated when the Recovery button is clicked (see Multi-action Button below). Manual override (not shown on right-click menu) is Crtl-Shift-F
Demoralized markers have been removed and replaced with a game piece layer on each unit, covering the artillery value.
Ctrl-Z to add demoralization. Removal is automated when the Recovery button is clicked (see Multi-action Button below). Manual override (not shown on right-click menu) is Crtl-Shift-Z.
Exhausted status is applied automatically when the Recovery button is clicked (see Multi-action Button below) - a white stripe under the unit name. Manual overrides (not shown on right-click menu): Ctrl-X to add exhaustion; Crtl-Shift-X to remove.
Low Ammo: a cyan stripe (and box) at the bottom of the piece. Ctrl-M to deplete; Ctrl-Shift-M to replenish.
Out of Ammo: a black stripe and an artillery value of zero.
Hex Control: The flag on top indicates the side currently controlling the hex. The number and flag at the bottom are the hex VP value and the side that gets the points for controlling the hex. Shift-click to select the marker and enable the right click menu.
The above changes do eliminate the mnemonics of the cardboard markers. Gone are:
- ORG, DISORG, and soldier/artillery icons on the strength markers.
- Extended march reminders on fatigue markers.
- Combat value and artillery modifiers on demoralization markers.
All of these are superfluous. For example, any strength value that includes a parenthesized number signifies disorganization. If you can't consistently remember the effects of extended march and demoralization, take these markers from your copy of the game and park them near you computer monitor as reminders.
Having removed all these markers, there is no longer a need for Force markers (standard rule 6.4), so they have been left out of the module, along with Force Display windows. It is assumed that no fog of war variants will be used (as none were included in Balkoski's original design).
The only remaining unit markers are Flanks Refused (which applies to all units in the hex) and Leader Activation (a temporary indicator).
Multi-Action Button for Recovery Phase
Click the Recovery button on the toolbar one time only to trigger four Global Key Commands corresponding to steps 3b, 3c, 4, and 5 of the Recovery Phase:
- 3b: Remove exhaustion if F0 or F1
- 3c: Reduce demoralization if F0 or F1
- 4: Apply exhaustion if F3 or F4
- 5: Reduce fatigue level by three
Note: Step 3a of the Recovery Phase must be done manually (DISORG to ORG if F0 or F1). Automating this step is not feasible because unit strengths are text strings, which can't be incremented numerically like the other recoverable factors.
> TIP: A Movement Point tracker (in the game-piece palette) can placed on the map where needed. Also, a Victory Point tracker game piece.
> TIP: To select non-movable game pieces, such as objective flags or bridges: Shift-click on them.
> TIP: Reduce the Mouse-over delay under File > Preferences to 250 ms for snappier display of hex contents.