September 12, 2021

Hood Strikes North: vmod

Here at Consim Comment, we're not particularly interested in the western theater of the USCW. So we quickly off-loaded BAC and AIO. But with HSN being billed as a simpler one-map campaign suitable for newbs, we are giving it a close look. This gives us something new in GCACW-land while waiting for the new version of On to Richmond!

What makes it simpler? Mainly the lack of supply rules. The campaign objectives are easily understood, too - the CSA is pushing all-out to cripple the Union army before it can escape to the Nashville fortifications. Victory conditions are not elaborate: a single territorial objective and manpower losses. There is an automatic victory for the Confederates if they capture Nashville, but this is fairy-dust, since Nashville was one of the most fortified cities in America by 1864. The two armies are relatively small, actually, the smallest we've seen in a GCACW game since Stonewall in the Valley

Our HSN vassal module is another in the series of "no-markers" modules.

Download HSN vmod file.

The map is adapted from the HSN 3.10 module on the vassal website. Hex numbers have been removed from the map as much as possible to reduce visual clutter. Wargame publishers gave up significant map aesthetics when they started printing a four-digit number in every hex. Was SPI the first to do this? It is helpful when working with cardboard map and counters, but unnecessary in vassal. in the module, hex ID numbers appear in the mouse-over stack viewer.

Units are scratch-built in vassal using the Game-piece Images component, which scale better than imported images. Combat units resemble the cardboard originals, but leaders have been redesigned in contrasting colors, and without tiny bust portraits.

Status markers have been replaced (almost entirely) with game-piece layers - fatigued, demoralized, disorganized, exhausted. The only commonly used unit markers still found in the module are flanks refused, breastworks, and forts.

Union cavalry have a horse problem in this game, which the Union player needs to address. Horse status is a new rule in GCACW unique to HSN. The rules for remounts are no more complicated than foraging. Union cav units have a layer to indicate horse status: worn-out or unhorsed.

August 31, 2021

GCACW vmod Summary

I've always taken a learn while doing approach. In this instance, I wanted to learn how to make VASSAL modules so I started with a favorite game series: Great Campaigns of the ACW.

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August 19, 2021

Anzio (basic game) vmod

After a muddled 1st edition in 1969, Anzio was rescued from oblivion and improved over the years by its dedicated fans, most notably Tom Oleson.

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August 13, 2021

Defending Anzio

This is a reaction to an unfavorable video review of Anzio posted today on youtube by a veteran wargamer with 50 years experience in the hobby.

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June 27, 2021

St-Lô: vmod

Before he became a leading historian of the US Army in Normandy, Joseph Balkoski was well-know in the wargaming hobby as a game designer and developer. Years prior to the publication of his first book, Beyond the Beachhead, Joe demonstrated his research into the subject matter in two grand-tactical wargame designs: Omaha Beachhead (Victory Games 1987) and St-Lô (West End 1986).

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June 3, 2021

Sixth FLEET Play-by-ACTS

A method for playing Sixth Fleet remotely.

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May 14, 2021

Fjord: vmod

Fjord is one of four in Paddy Griffith's Book of Sandhurst Wargames. It consists of two hidden-movement game designs that portray the broad strategic situations in the North Atlantic during WWII.

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May 10, 2021

Aquitaine: vmod

Edward, the Black Prince (EBP), was the only king of England who was never king of England. As the eldest son of Edward III he was destined for the throne, but he died (at age 45) before his father, so the crown went to EBP's 10-year-old son, as Richard II.

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