A couple of my friends have been trying to get me to write something about Vassal and why I think its the best thing (combined with skype) that has happened to this hobby in years (or for me the best thing ever).

For starters I know many, many gamers who will not buy a wargame unless there is going to be a Vassal mod. I don't know anyone who won't buy a game because there is a vassal mod.

There are lots of games now days on many topics. It used to be very hard for me to find opponents, now it is easy because of vassal. I buy games because I want to play them. In my particular case I  have no opponents living closer than an hours drive away and they don't always want to play the same games that I do (but they do like mostly the same stuff).

Also in my case I like to play big complex monster games. For reasons of space and finding opponents these were not getting played. I needed a tool to do that. Now I have it. Its called Vassal. I don't have to worry about company coming over or cats or kids. I just keep it saved on my computer. I don't have a problem finding guys to play these games with because I find them on CSW or BGG or Facebook!

The gaming companies should really take a look at Vassal and take advantage of it (I know several that do and they are doing quite well GMT, MMP).

The monster games that have vassal mods are getting played, talked about, and seen online by lots of gamers and customers! There are a couple companies that were against vassal and have still not embraced it (I'm trying not to mention names, we know who they are). These companies are really missing out on all the free advertising they would be getting on these games if people were able to play them! Why worry about the tiny amount of games that might get played by folks that  don't buy them? The overwhelming amount of gamers that play on vassal BUY the games first.

I'm sending this out to those companies that have yet to embrace vassal and have released few or no mods.

You have some great games! I own them ! I want to play them! I am not alone! The last time I looked there were 294 members on Face Book vassal gamers alone! I think these companies would be doing themselves a huge favor if they started releasing mods.

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Comment by Judd Vance on June 10, 2013 at 9:31pm

Speak some truth, wise one!
I looked at "Caesar's Gallic War" for years.  I held it in my hand, but couldn't buy it because of no Vassal mod.  Sad thing was, Worthington was fine with Vassal, but lacked the resources.
When they put it on the Black Friday sale, I bought it and loved it so much that I set out to learn Vassal, so I could play people.  Now, I will only refuse games from those anti-Vassal companies.  Anything else is open because I know I can create it.
I just wish I could Vulcan Mind Meld with the other players and teach them, so we could have a Vassal mod for everything!

Comment by Steve Arthur on March 3, 2012 at 8:50pm

I agree with everything Bill has said..like him I live in a rural area far from any large cities..until I met up with my present single FtF opponent I was TOTALLY alone opponent wise..Vassal has literally opened up the world to me and played a very big part in reigniting my passion for (and spending on) the hobby..I think most gamers are only interested in playing games they already own or want to own so what better way to push them down the purchase path than to give them at taste of the real thing with a Vassal (or a program like it) module..for example I've recently been playing 'Ardennes 44' using the excellent module provided..as a direct result of this I have pre-ordered the 2nd edition of the game from GMT..thus they have already benefitted..

Comment by Steve Trauth on March 3, 2012 at 6:55pm

... and, I will add in that it also allows for market expansion, as some people don't live in areas where opponents are readily available. In my case, I'm just an old solitaire gamer -so I am not speaking from the point of having a vested interest -but I know a lot of people that are in that situation.

Basically, it (or software like Vassal as well) amounts to expanding the market for products, in my view.

Comment by Kev on March 3, 2012 at 6:08pm

No game enters my house any more unless it is VASSAL or equivalent (Zun Tsu etc) ready.

I rarely play by VASSAL, now that I have a ready audience. But some titles work better on Vassal - OCS and some other Gamers titles, particularly given you can play VF2F (live), start a log file, finish up miscellaneous bits and send a PBeM file to your opponent. Could I play all the TCS titles for free! (well except Omaha and Force Eagles War) but I bought everyone. 

Additional Benefits:

VASSAL also allows the vendor, designer, publisher to market his product!  What better way to expose the fun, game play or accurate history or key benefits than via live Demonstration play with Ventrillo/Skye, and recorded efforts then published to you tube!

Development time can be reduced also! By using a VASSAL module you can expand (cheaply) your game tester pool, and provide access to detailed review of components, rules and play ability that can be looked at via log file. No more asking players to print a test kit, make counters and print rules. Boom - it is all there in digital glory.

This should lead to reduced development cycles eventually. 

Comment by Bill on March 3, 2012 at 5:37pm

I know lots of vassal wargamers they all own the games they play on vassal and buy as many or more games than anyone else. Only the uninformed believe in the myth of gamers playing games on vassal and not buying them.

Comment by Steve Trauth on March 3, 2012 at 5:22pm

Where's the Thumbs up button?

Comment by Jon Jimjams on March 3, 2012 at 2:53pm

Ahhhhhhhh.......

But it is true. I have "met" many a good friend via PBEM play. Another bonus.

Comment by Bill on March 3, 2012 at 11:53am

Its also how I got to be friends with great guys like you Jon!

Comment by Jon Jimjams on March 3, 2012 at 11:51am

Very well stated and I could not agree more.

VASSAL and online gaming in general has revamped/rebooted playing for me. I cannot imagine not being to use these tools. As a result, I have never been more happy and satisfied with this hobby.

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