ASL Vassal and hearing impairment

heliodorus04

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I am hearing impaired and therefore I have no use for dialogue with my opponent.
For the longest time I thought I would leave Vasl ASL alone for that reason.
It may still be a bad idea, but, what do ASL players anticipate will be the difficulties of playing ASL in the Vassal medium with an opponent who cannot hear or speak to him (or her)? How would you navigate those difficulties?

Defensive first fire is the easiest example, and a work-around might be to count to 3 as each hex is entered, or roll dice 3 times and if the opponent doesn't declare DFF, continue. That could be quick and easy.

I'm only now figuring out Vassal ASL, setting up Tettau's Attack (ASL A33) and trying to see how the interface functions.
 

hongkongwargamer

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Heya - I played a few games with a player in Japan. His spoken English is not the best and my Japanese is worse. So we play by keyboard .. and there's actually a lot less typing than you think.

It will go ..
(Move)
I then hit <ENTER> in response .. putting out a cursor with a blank line, meaning "ok"
(Move)
<ENTER>
(Move)
FF .. from Q10 .. FP4-2
(Roll VASL dice)
1MC

and so on .. :)

Rgds Jack
 

heliodorus04

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Well, I'm looking for a game of ASL, OR, Hell's Highway (both via Vassal).
For ASL, I want to play scenario A33 "Tettau's Attack" (from ASL Annual 91) because it's small, it has a combined 15 squads, and no ordinance, plus I need to learn the interface. I have already created a file with the board and counters needed to play, so I think all I need now is an opponent.

Obviously, someone who will be comfortable playing via a keyboard, and someone who knows the rules reasonably well.
I would really appreciate someone who has a patient approach. I am in the Mountain Time Zone and I would prefer to play at night, for no more than 90-120 minutes in a sitting.

Ultimately, I'd love to have a long term opponent who finds my approach natural and enjoyable. But then ultimately I'd like to have a neighbor who loves ASL and wargaming.
 

zgrose

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If you PBeM, then you'll find neither hearing nor speaking to your opponent in realtime is the norm. :)
 

heliodorus04

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I will have to look up a tutorial for playing by E-mail then. I'm again having trouble imagining how defensive first fire works, but I'm sure I can figure it out. Thank you all for replies.
 

zgrose

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I believe there are some tutorials out there, but the jist is that you play "ahead" a bit.

So let's say I'm moving a squad from his building, down the street, and into the woods. The log would look something like:

- NAM from G5
<move the counter>
- 1
<move the counter>
- 2
<move the counter>
- 4


But my opponent will start a new log when they get my file (or will start the log when they decide to do something). So'll I'll see a log that says something like:

- Ok, I'll drop HIP and fire on them in the street
<reveals HIP unit>
- 4-2
<rolls dice>
- PTC
<rolls dice>
- pinned
<pinned counter goes on the unit>

At this point, my opponent could stop the log and send the file back to me. He'll never see the 3rd hex of movement.

Once you've gotten a feel for it and for how your opponent likes to play, you can send nearly an entire MPh of moves in one log as a batch. Clearly if one move depends on another, you would stop midway through the log.

Statements like "stop the log on any break or HIP reveal but keep going on pins, no one enters RFP" are also helpful. The granularity of the log is just a function of the context. You're letting the opponent roll the dice when he's reading the action and you're rolling the dice when you're reading the action and it works out pretty well once you've gotten the hang of it. Most scenarios will be done in 100 emails or less.

Good luck!
 

heliodorus04

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Makes sense. Do you find that it 'trains' you to play differently than if you were playing Face to Face?
 

Jazz

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Makes sense. Do you find that it 'trains' you to play differently than if you were playing Face to Face?
Very much so.

Seasoned PBEM players tend to make preliminary moves all across the board to see what transpires and continue the turn in a subsequent log after they see what has happened. When someone is *really* good, they will tell their opponent to go through the whole log without stopping and send it back when done for the rest of the turn. It usually takes multiple logs to complete one movement phase.

PBEM is a way for a lot of folks to get in a lot of gaming. That being said, it is just a bit too much like homework for my taste.....but that is just me. ASL is ASL....;)
 

zgrose

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If you mean do you change your ASL play tactics, I don't think significantly so. I do all the same things in ASL whether FtF or PBeM, but when I have the luxury to take 2 hours for each move instead of trying to play in a reasonable time FtF you can silly stakes easier. On the other hand, it's easy to forget what you were trying to do 3-4 days ago.

But mechanically it plays different with the batching, yes.
 

Philippe D.

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One thing that is sometimes frustrating with PBEM is that sometimes you'll go ahead with your MPh and do some great Bounding Fire, but then your opponent stops the log file earlier than that and you'll end up in an alternate universe where your roll never happened...

Of course, just as often the opponent stopping the log file early will give you an opportunity to redo a bad roll.

Surprisingly enough, if you don't have access to voice it's actually simpler to play PBEM than live, because of the "forward one step" function.

If playing live but without voice, the only part where it's tricky is Movement Phase and Defensive Fire, because most actions of the ATTACKER's will produce no reaction, and typing "no fire" each time is burdensome. But you can agree with the opponent to simply Ctrl-click (produces a "highlight" red circle somewhere on the board) on the moving unit as a way of saying "no fire, go on", this should be fast enough with a little practice. Most other actions would take a few typed words.
 

hongkongwargamer

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When doing live VASL with no voice .. we just hit the <ENTER> key to indicate "no fire, go on"
 

witchbottles

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1. I've successfully played out 5 CG dates of a monster game in KGP - La Gleize CG via only VASL ftf and typing, with an opponent in Australia, no problems at all, no hearing required.

2. PBEM does offer two advantages , especially to a newbie.
A. You have all the time you require before doing something to look up a rle and understand how to do what you wish to do in ASL IAW the ASLRB. FTF games do not offer such a luxury. End result - you learn more rules and how they interact, your game gets better.
B. You are forced to think "ahead", especially in the MPh - therby understanding the idea of seeing not only what you wish to do, but how your opponent might be able to stop or delay it. In plotting your moves, you begin to think what may occur if the enemy shoots at that, or does this. End result, you begin to play ASL with an eye to not only what you can do on the cardboard battlefield, but what your opponent can do as well. End result - your ASL game gets better.

Yes, players will plot beginning moves to see what might draw fire, so do "good" ASL players in a FTF match. There is no difference in the play of the game because of this. Do you use a HS to check out those woods when the enemy has HIP, or do you send a full kill stack with a 9-2 leader in without checking it first? - That aspect is NOT going to change in any way with PBEM or FTF - it is a personal decision of how you desire to move pieces in that situation present in your game, nothing else.

PBEM has two drawbacks:
1. It is S...L..O...W... The cost of the system. For me, any ASL is good ASL, and PBEM offers more opportunities to play than FTF, so I do both.
2. There are a few awkward moments that might crop up, when the system of ASL itself does something screwy and suddenly that unit that was moving is now berserk and must charge, even though it was only plotted to move 1 hex... so you work those out with logfiles and e-mails, nothing major, but the "resolution" is not instant, as it would be in a FTF game.

PBEM has its own flavor, but I highly recommend it to someone looking for more ASL in their life, once they understand the basics in A.1 to A11.1 ( the meat of "how to play ASL " rules).

KRL, Jon H
 

witchbottles

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One thing that is sometimes frustrating with PBEM is that sometimes you'll go ahead with your MPh and do some great Bounding Fire, but then your opponent stops the log file earlier than that and you'll end up in an alternate universe where your roll never happened...

Of course, just as often the opponent stopping the log file early will give you an opportunity to redo a bad roll.

Surprisingly enough, if you don't have access to voice it's actually simpler to play PBEM than live, because of the "forward one step" function.

If playing live but without voice, the only part where it's tricky is Movement Phase and Defensive Fire, because most actions of the ATTACKER's will produce no reaction, and typing "no fire" each time is burdensome. But you can agree with the opponent to simply Ctrl-click (produces a "highlight" red circle somewhere on the board) on the moving unit as a way of saying "no fire, go on", this should be fast enough with a little practice. Most other actions would take a few typed words.
We did it for decades on VASL before Skype or VOIP programs with no issues, a short pause to give the enemy time to respond between declariation of MF/ MP costs is all it requires - ( since they must type something like " stop" or "shooting"...) No real problems. Most people play the same way FTf , actually.
 

Earl_8minus0

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heliodorus04

Let me add my take on this matter as well.

What hongkongwargamer is saying and as you are talking with witchbottles both point out that ASL can be played without ASL (American Sign Language).

Key to HongKongWargamer is the missing entry that you would make within the VASL log - game report.

VASL would say something like Gamer 1 Squad X moved A2 to A3

You could hit enter "-" to indicate to Gamer 1 to continue - VASL would say/type something like Gamer 2 -

You could set up some standard responses with your fellow gamer such as - "W" for wait thinking - "DF" will Defensive Fire - you get the idea I hope.

To be honest as people have said when we started with VASL we only had ICQ no one had Skype or chat programs it was all text based - well beside PBM play by mail and we will not even discussed that.

PBeM allows you to research your play and not slow down the VASL game while the other player waits for your response - he/she is instead waiting for your return email.

Within VASL as long as you are keeping your partner updated on your status be it "-" or whatever short cuts you come up with it will be no problem.

When I first started out I was ASL-Earl and was surprised with all the deaf people that dropped me emails so I changed it over to Earl_8minus0.

Play a game solo between yourself on VASL offline and see what shortcuts you might want to come up with and keep a log and work that into your Player Guidance you will share with your fellow gamer - be it VASL or PBeM so they know them as well.

Would Dragon or another version of speech talking/typing that you might already have work in VASL chat window - or a relay within Skype?

Been a while but I know when I had deaf friends they could call someone and they would talk as they entered information in the touch phone (not sure of the name) - but also know that Dragon allows it to learn your voice pattern to type and it doesn't have to be perfect english.

Just asking if you know of options to chat/type - as I haven't been a part of the deaf side in a long time - late 1990's if not later.

In closing - You didn't ask but for the record you will find the same understanding players when you attend an ASL convention - see you later.

Sincerely,

Earl 8minus0 - Long time ago ASL-Earl@yahoo.com (No longer active I think).
 

Magpie

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You could just type in messenger chat while you are playing the game live
 
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