Casualties Bin

DougRim

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One idea that has been floating around is to create a "Casualties Bin" where KIA/dead units could be placed and then viewed. This would have particular application to CGs which almost always require a CVP count. It could also be useful in scenarios where CVPs are part of the victory conditions.

I have been playing around with this and would welcome some early feedback as to whether or not this is going in the right direction, and how it could be made more useful.

So far I have developed the following:

(1) Units would be placed in the Casualties Bin through a popup menu item. The example below is for an infantry unit but it could be applied to vehicles, guns, any counter that counts toward CVP.
9573

This seems fairly simple to me and works with either two mouse clicks or a key combination. It would not actually be the top item in the menu.

To display all "Casualties", players would click on a button (the "Cas Bin" button in the image below). The Cas Bin window would display casualties ordered by side and then by type.
9574

What the Cas Bin window can't do right now is actually calculate the CVP value of the units displayed. While that would clearly be a great addition, is the Cas Bin without CVP calculations still worth it?

Is this the right sort order? What might be more useful? Is the unit's location when it met its demise useful or just clutter?

Thoughts, reactions and suggestions for doing it better would be most welcome.
 

BigAl737

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One idea that has been floating around is to create a "Casualties Bin" where KIA/dead units could be placed and then viewed. This would have particular application to CGs which almost always require a CVP count. It could also be useful in scenarios where CVPs are part of the victory conditions.

I have been playing around with this and would welcome some early feedback as to whether or not this is going in the right direction, and how it could be made more useful.

So far I have developed the following:

(1) Units would be placed in the Casualties Bin through a popup menu item. The example below is for an infantry unit but it could be applied to vehicles, guns, any counter that counts toward CVP.
View attachment 9573

This seems fairly simple to me and works with either two mouse clicks or a key combination. It would not actually be the top item in the menu.

To display all "Casualties", players would click on a button (the "Cas Bin" button in the image below). The Cas Bin window would display casualties ordered by side and then by type.
View attachment 9574

What the Cas Bin window can't do right now is actually calculate the CVP value of the units displayed. While that would clearly be a great addition, is the Cas Bin without CVP calculations still worth it?

Is this the right sort order? What might be more useful? Is the unit's location when it met its demise useful or just clutter?

Thoughts, reactions and suggestions for doing it better would be most welcome.
No feedback just yet but I’m loving the effort. Thanks Doug!
 

hongkongwargamer

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One idea that has been floating around is to create a "Casualties Bin" where KIA/dead units could be placed and then viewed. This would have particular application to CGs which almost always require a CVP count. It could also be useful in scenarios where CVPs are part of the victory conditions.

I have been playing around with this and would welcome some early feedback as to whether or not this is going in the right direction, and how it could be made more useful.

So far I have developed the following:

(1) Units would be placed in the Casualties Bin through a popup menu item. The example below is for an infantry unit but it could be applied to vehicles, guns, any counter that counts toward CVP.
View attachment 9573

This seems fairly simple to me and works with either two mouse clicks or a key combination. It would not actually be the top item in the menu.

To display all "Casualties", players would click on a button (the "Cas Bin" button in the image below). The Cas Bin window would display casualties ordered by side and then by type.
View attachment 9574

What the Cas Bin window can't do right now is actually calculate the CVP value of the units displayed. While that would clearly be a great addition, is the Cas Bin without CVP calculations still worth it?

Is this the right sort order? What might be more useful? Is the unit's location when it met its demise useful or just clutter?

Thoughts, reactions and suggestions for doing it better would be most welcome.
Are there plans to put in a number next to the counters for identical units?

How about a TOTAL CVP that does a running sum for infantry?
 

Pacman Ghost

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One idea that has been floating around is to create a "Casualties Bin" where KIA/dead units could be placed and then viewed. This would have particular application to CGs which almost always require a CVP count. It could also be useful in scenarios where CVPs are part of the victory conditions.
I used to track dead counters by simply dragging them off-board to an unused area. Ugly, but simple and no code required :) The hassle with that was always casualty reduction, since I had to reduce the squad, then dupe it for the "casualty bin".

What the Cas Bin window can't do right now is actually calculate the CVP value of the units displayed. While that would clearly be a great addition, is the Cas Bin without CVP calculations still worth it?
I'm far from an experienced player, but isn't CVP calculation the only reason why you want a feature like this? e.g. why would you need to know where a unit died?

Right now, I just keep track of VP in a label e.g.
9576
The HTML is structured so that the current number is the last thing in the label, so I just need to:
  • select the label
  • press Ctrl-L, Left-Arrow, new number
But having VASL keep track of VP's for me would be awesome. Maybe the half-squad problem could be handled by having a "reduce this squad and send the other half-squad to the Casualty Bin" option, or "deploy this squad to two half-squads" (which would be useful elsewhere), and then manually send one of the to the Casualty Bin...?
 
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Pacman Ghost

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Another thing is remembering to update the current VP count - how about when deleting a counter, or reducing a squad, asking the user "do you want to send this to the Casualty Bin"?

Or, VASL could just maintain the VP count (since AFAICT, the exact counters don't really matter), and ask if you want to update it every time you delete a counter.

Or something like Ctrl-D = delete this counter, Ctrl-Shift-D = delete this counter and update CVP count (although you'd still have to remember to do it).
 

BigAl737

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Not too hard to add a global property to have vassal track cvp totals for you. It’d be a pain to add a cvp property to each piece however. Infantry not too bad, vehicles are another story. More brainstorming required. Good ideas so far.
 

hongkongwargamer

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Not too hard to add a global property to have vassal track cvp totals for you. It’d be a pain to add a cvp property to each piece however. Infantry not too bad, vehicles are another story. More brainstorming required. Good ideas so far.
Correct.. just CVP total just for infantry and guns .. but in a way that's secondary.

If the utility stacks identical counters for you and gives you a count, that will be useful enough.
 

Pacman Ghost

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It’d be a pain to add a cvp property to each piece however.
Infantry not too bad, vehicles are another story.
You'd only have to do it once, though :)

Squads and half-squads could probably be inferred from their position in the buildFile XML, and so done programatically.

SMC's would need to be done manually, since their modifier affects the VP.

For vehicles, you need to know if the MA is working, and the AF's. The latter would be a major PITA to add to the buildFile, however, I can provide you with this information, indexed by GPID, in JSON or XML (I extracted it as part of the vasl-templates project).

However, if you're going to the trouble of extracting this information from the counter images, it might be worth extracting all the information from the counters e.g. we could do things like:
  • detect squad/MG Long-Range Fire or out-of-range attacks (since we would know what the counter's range was)
  • (maybe) figure out the result of an IFT attack
  • figure out if To Hit or To Kill attempts were successful or not
  • figure out if a MG kept ROF, or how much residual fire to leave
  • automatically detect SW failure
  • automatically handle smoke grenade attempts (since we would know what the exponent is)
  • prevent SS squads from being Replaced (because we would know their morale is underlined).
Just get some kid in India to do it :) Or more seriously, I've already got code that extracts all the images from the VASL extension, so we could maybe put up a little webapp, get people here to enter the relevant data (each person does a bit, as much or as little as they want), and then insert the values back into the buildFile.

More brainstorming required.
My ideal workflow might look something like this:
  • after setting up a scenario, turn on a "track CVP" option (maybe also set a max. value)
  • the current CVP totals appear on-screen somewhere
  • if I delete a counter that has VP associated with it, a dialog box opens and asks me if I want to update the running CVP total. The suggested number of points is pre-filled, but I can change it if I want. OK to update, Cancel to leave the total unchanged.
  • ditto if I reduce a squad, or a vehicle becomes wrecked
  • there also needs to be some way to manually change the current CVP totals
OTOH, it'd be nice to be able to track Exit VP as well. You could just require people to delete counters as they move off-board, but that feels a bit icky. And how would we handle scenarios that need to track CVP and Exit VP? Maybe not bother? The running total is always going to need to be adjusted at Game End e.g. for prisoners and captured equipment, so maybe it should only just track CVP incurred during the course of the game.

Just thinkin' out loud. Can you tell I've got a bunch of things I should be doing, but just don't feel like doing...? :-/
 
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Michael R

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I use a HTML casualties box coded into a counter off board. Doug's solution is more elegant.
 

zgrose

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I put dead units above the turn track. Gives a nice histogram of the action. :)
IIRC, there is a "counter" dialog in VASSAL that you can reference so hold arbitrary values and has a - and + button built in for manual adjustments.
 

Justiciar

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I'm far from an experienced player, but isn't CVP calculation the only reason why you want a feature like this? e.g. why would you need to know where a unit died?
The use of the idea is more applicable than just CVP.
1) It can help you track the level of the OPFOR's ORBAT...ie get a feel for his remaining combat power....plus it can help crush your OPFOR will (PMC)...he looks in the bin and just gives up. ;)
2) Likewise, it can help track how many HIPsters there might still be out there (I have killed 2 of 8 squads in the OB...he received 2 squads HIP)...or ...likewise...
3) Dummy "?" used up, you should allow "?" to be placed in the Casualty Bin for this very reason....he had 12 ? at start, I have found 9 such, I know I killed 2 squads (he had 8 at start), I can see 5 others...likely then this or that stack is a dummy one. Crude EX but you get the idea.

I am Luddite and do not understand or use VASL...but your feature seems really cool, and is akin to what many ftf players do, which is stack casualties back on the scenario card in their appropriate places 458 on the 458 image...and this acts as the same above except for the maths of it...
 

Paul M. Weir

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The one thing that had me flumoxed about BI was what BPV you used. You kill a squad and inflict, say, 7 BPV. You kill the same squad by half squads (CR, double break, etc). Do you inflict 2 x 3 BPV (2 x HS) or 7 BPV (1 x Sq)?
 

DougRim

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The one thing that had me flumoxed about BI was what BPV you used. You kill a squad and inflict, say, 7 BPV. You kill the same squad by half squads (CR, double break, etc). Do you inflict 2 x 3 BPV (2 x HS) or 7 BPV (1 x Sq)?
Seriously, please stop talking about BI on this thread. You want to talk about, fine, but take it outside.

This thread is about a Casualties Bin. No way I am doing any work on coding BI.
 
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