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All Forums>> Other Games >> Everything else >> Board and Table Top Games
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Joined: 5/3/2002
2611 Posts


  Posted on 10/8/2011
Wan, the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.  :)

I believe you are referring to Ace of Aces; yes... great fun that was!  Unfortunately, my books were among many valuable items lost to flood damage. :(

I'll have to check out Wings of War, sounds awesome!

LC, yes. :)

However, geeks are different from nerds, you see.  Nerds think that their lifestyle makes them look cool in the eyes of others.  Geeks realize that this is far from the case, and are absolutely ok with that fact! :)

Sometime this weekend I am going to bring you guys some print and play stuff, along with an explanation of how to use a service to play board games online.  I will also show you how to use one of those systems, Vassal, to play a really neat Sci-Fi board game called Space Infantry (think Starship Troopers) absolutely free!

Space Infantry was designed to be played solitaire.  That's why it works.  Otherwise, no, your PC does not play the other side or take care of any record keeping.  It simply a system where you can play various board games on your PC online (if it's two player) or offline (if it's a solitiare game or you have no problem playing both sides of a two player game).  You still have to do stuff like adjust the counters on the turn and ammo tracks and use various others to indicate various states of the game on the board.
  Edited on 10/8/2011
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Joined: 3/31/2002
3598 Posts


  Posted on 10/10/2011
Great to see all this stuff!  Looking forward to future installments!

Given that most computer game fans over 40 were wargame fans in days of yore, I bet we have a lot of notes we can compare.

There's a great wargame store down the road from my house.  I often go there and bask in the smell of fresh chipboard and plastic.  The sticker shock takes a while to get used to, but the games are much more visually stimulating than they used to be.  Case in point, I look at my old "exciting" game Source of the Nile - the original Discovery Games version - with a map of empty hexes, a box of crayons to draw on it with, and mimeographed rule book - and I wonder how I used to get so amped up over it.

I had Ace of Aces too, and the gunslinger set called Shootout at the Saloon.  I would take them with me wherever I had a long wait in line.

If you introduce people to gaming sites, don't forget Hexwar, for us old SPI fans!
  Edited on 10/10/2011
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Joined: 5/3/2002
2611 Posts


  Posted on 10/11/2011
Hose, I thought of you in particular when working on and playing Space Infantry.  BTW, Hexwar looks awesome, I just wish they had more SPI games to play!

Back in the day when you recommended the Battlecruiser series to us, you made a lot out of how the simple displays stimulated the imagination.  Sure, the display isn't great when your ship is boarded, but add a little imagination and what you have is like a movie going off in your head!

SI is just like that.  You select a mission and the enemy, and set up your squad which will contain a leader and various fire teams and specialists.  You equip them with an array of resources like med kits, information chits, grenades of many types, stim packs, etc.

Game play on the map tends to go fairly fast with an average scenario taking maybe 30 minutes.  Once in battle, the action is fast and furious and while you can mitigate the luck factor a bit with set up and good use of resources, sometimes the luck factor can seem a little high.

Nonetheless, it is as I said above, this is a story game!  

Another interesting thing too is that you draw the numbers from a pool of chits rather then rolling dice (though you can optionally use dice as well).  That means there are only so many good numbers and so many bad ones.  Thus as you draw the chits and get bad results you say "uh oh" because now the chits that you will draw for the enemy have a higher chance of being good.  When this happens I usually think to myself "dammit, I got flanked again!" or some such.  The reverse is also true.  Pull many good numbers and you are essentially setting the enemy up for a bad turn.

What I'm going to give you is a free way to play a more or less introductory version of the game.  It is commercially available for around $40.  Not a bad price and that game has a lot more to it, including "hive tiles" which are of course reminiscent of Starship Troopers.  These are underground tiles and are something like the Wrath of Ashardalon tiles described above.  So, essentially, randomized dungeons.  There is also a far more complete campaign mode than the one I designed for the basic game.  And the next expansion will bring us star ship tiles.

Now I'll show you how to get started.
  Edited on 10/11/2011
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Joined: 5/3/2002
2611 Posts


  Posted on 10/11/2011
First go here and download Vassal.


If you just want to play Space Infantry for now, just install it normally and accept the defaults.  You need a more complex set up if you want to use the system to play boardgames online against other players.  You can find those instructions on the Vassal site.

Next, download the Space Infantry module here;


Just leave it on your desktop.

Finally, you'll need the "Living Rules" which are constantly being revised by the designer.  You won't need all of these, but I'm sure you'll be able to figure things out.


You now have everything you need to play!

If you are interested, you can also look ay my basic campaign on Board Game Geek.  This is heavily based on the regular campaign although there are some important differences and it is still a work in progress.


Double click the Space Infantry Vassal module to play.  Vassal will automatically start up and load the module.

If you know windows I'm sure you can find your way around how to play.  There is also a how to play feature internal to the module.  I'll just give a couple of tips here and don't be afraid to ask questions.

When you are asked for a password by the module, type anything you want.  This is not an access password, it is simply there so no one else can screw up your side in a two player game.

There are not as many counters in the Vassal Module as there are in the commercial offering, so you have to work around that.  Instead of placing an "Event" chit in a node that has had one, what I do is place a generic counter up against the outside of the node to remind me that I have already traveled to that particular node.  If an event occurs, then I place that counter inside the box to reflect that.

Do not attempt to pull the enemy sheet out in to the game play area; there simply isn't room.  What you do is to press the enemy button and then a separate window pops up.  Choose "Draw Enemy" and the enemy sheet will appear.  Now just close the window using the enemy button again until you need the enemy sheet.  As long as you don't press draw enemy again, the same one will be retained in the window throughout the scenario.  What I usually do is to put my cards in between the turn track and the map.  When battle occurs I cover the map with the enemy window but I leave the tool bar on the top visible so I can use the arrow thing to return all the random chits on the board to the pool.  You might have to temporarily obscure the tool bar when rolling on the enemy tables but after that, pull it down a little.

Right clicking various counters may give you the ability to clone them on the board, depending on what the chit is.  This is particularly good for generics.  I also use generics to indicate impassable locked doors and looted resource nodes.  Right clicking also gives the option to remove things from play.

If you accidentally remove a character card or the enemy sheet from the game, it will not be available to re-draw!  Use the Undo button in the top left of the screen in that case to bring them back.

Right clicking a wound counter lets you change it from red to green.  This is useful for determining how many Armor Piercing hits you place on the enemy that cannot be affected by armor.  Use the other color to show regular hits which have a 50% of being mitigated by armor.

When you draw to see if your leader has any command points, I usually put a green "success 1" counter on the leader to show he has a CP to expend.  I usually place two of those near my leader card so they are easy to assign and remove during the game.  Remove expended CP chits from the card.

That's all I can think of for now.

Have fun playing Space Infantry!  I sure have and can't wait to get the commercial release!  Starship Troopers in a box!  What's not to love? :)
  Edited on 10/11/2011
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Joined: 3/31/2002
3598 Posts


  Posted on 10/13/2011
Thanks, Scrog for all the info!

LOL, I had read the other thread on the game, and was exploring around and already downloaded the Vassal module and docs before I realized you had spelled it all out here!  I guess that shows how right you were in that this is a game that fits right in the type I enjoy.

It was easy to get started, and although the first mission was a little rough referring back to the manual all the time, now that I've got the concept down I've been playing a few missions at home tonight and I have been enjoying it a lot.  I could say more, but everything you've written about it is right on point!

I'll have to see if I can get the game through my neighborhood store.
  Edited on 10/13/2011
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