VASL 6.4.1 beta 6.2 - Colour (or not) your stacks

DougRim

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Thanks to Zoltan Grose, VASL 6.4.1 beta2 (get it here) contains a preference that allows players to choose whether counters underneath a stack show as white or as coloured (with those pesky black bits of information!).

To set the preference:

Click on the File menu.
Click on Preferences.
Select the General tab.
Select/Unselect the "Disable full color stacks" option.

Note that you must restart VASL for your choice to take effect.

This is a test, so feedback appreciated.

This is the only change from 6.4.1-beta1.

Carry on. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
 

hongkongwargamer

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Folks .. I am not a programmer .. but here's a crazy thought.

Right now the way VASL counters are stacked, they are "slanted" up (offset slightly from the bottom).

What if VASL counters are stacked "slanted" down (offset slightly from the top) .. wouldn't that make for much less "info leak"?

It's probably hard as hell to change that .. may be not .. just thought I should ask. But thanks!
 

zgrose

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You would just be exchange "see underlines" for "see the names of SW" probably.

The most "cardboard" way probably minimize the slant to a pixel but it would be really hard to count how high a stack is. Some examples at 100% zoom. 1x1 then 2x2.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 8.59.40 AM.png Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 9.01.50 AM.png

1x1 looks like a stack of counters, but too hard to tell if that is 3,4,5 counters, etc, IMO. 2x2 looks plausible at 100% zoom BUT when you zoom in some more, because the lines are *right on the edge* we get the below and back to square one.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 9.02.04 AM.png


In summary, I don't think there is a simple win-win solution using existing VASSAL. The nationality color and the counter art/values/positions are part of a single image file. Per my comment in the other thread, barring some imaging wizardry or dynamic content fill (which seems the more plausible path since the fill color is a setting, see below), putting the choice into the user's hands seems the best bet right this second.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 9.12.47 AM.png
 

zgrose

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Understood. Which I think would mean you'd see the tops of the MTR and BAZ text, etc. I suppose I could plug the values in but I'm guessing it wouldn't be a popular choice. :)
 

Maxwelk1

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We got a showstopper here, folks!

When we stack units with the color preference enabled, we can see any and every bit of underlined whatever (fire power, range, morale) on that counter. That is more information than I think you want your opponent to have.
 

Michael R

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We got a showstopper here, folks!

When we stack units with the color preference enabled, we can see any and every bit of underlined whatever (fire power, range, morale) on that counter. That is more information than I think you want your opponent to have.
You are joking, right?
 

Maxwelk1

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Yes, really.

Put a 8-3-8 squad on the "board", then put a SW on top. You will see the underlined notations peeking out.
Try it yourselves.
 

Michael R

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Yes, really.

Put a 8-3-8 squad on the "board", then put a SW on top. You will see the underlined notations peeking out.
Try it yourselves.
Most people know this already. You can have things this way or the "white counters" way. This beta gives us the choice now to do one or the other. Removing the bit of intelligence on the stacked counters is too difficult to undertake at this time.
 

Maxwelk1

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My apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere, but my only access to this matter is thru Game Squad, and thanx to that devil Putin, the site's been down for several days.
 

hongkongwargamer

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My apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere, but my only access to this matter is thru Game Squad, and thanx to that devil Putin, the site's been down for several days.
It's actually stated here on GameSquad, in this thread - the very first post. It's given as an option - you can have the stack whiteout as well.

The other two threads are here:
http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/vasl-6-4-1-beta1-available-now.132820/
http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/counters-white-out-when-under-other-counters.132152/
 

sfcmikej

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Max

The issue is whether the underlined information shows or the underlining counter is white. Look at the link above for the extended discussion. Seeing that information is not really an issue. If your counters are concealed then you cannot see that information. If they are unconcealed, then even if the underlying counters are white you can see the information on a mouse over of the stack. The issue I have found with the white counters is that it makes it a bit more difficult to see what is going on at a glance. This is particularly true on a high counter density map. A motion counter on a tank whites out the tank and maybe you miss moving it because you have forgotten that one is yours. With out the white out your eye is drawn to your country color as you scan the map. Either way I feel the issue is relatively minor but truly appreciate the gnomes addressing this giving each player the option he prefers. Thanks again for all your hard work.

Mike
 

bprobst

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Seeing that information is not really an issue.
Except, of course, when it is. If you're able (by the rules) to inspect your enemy's stack (i.e., it's in LOS, and it's not concealed) then of course it's not an issue. If you're not allowed to inspect the stack (it's out of LOS) then although VASL allows you to "mouse over", the player should not do so (and I hope most players do not do so) -- it's the equivalent of picking up one of your opponent's stacks and taking a look at it in a FTF game. You Just Don't Do That. Nevertheless, VASL with the "colour" option enabled will allow you to look at your opponent's stack without mousing over it and you MAY pick up some info from doing so that you're not supposed to -- as if, in a FTF game, your opponent has a very "untidy" stack and is revealing info thereby. The difference being, in a FTF game you could tell your opponent to neaten the stack (or not, depending on your inclination) but in VASL there's nothing that can be done about it -- the game option is forcing you to reveal that info, no matter what your opinion on the subject is.

Obviously some players are less concerned about this than others. To each his own, I guess. However, please don't say "it's not an issue" when it really, truly is. You may play plenty of ASL scenarios where the info revealed is really not a big deal, but there are also plenty of scenarios where knowing exactly where your opponent's 8-3-8 is (or isn't) could be very important. VASL works best when it's not forcing players to break the rules of the game -- I hardly think this is a radical position to take.
 

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One thing to remember is that the ASL rules were written for cardboard, face to face play. People have to accept that VASL takes place in an entirely different environment and some things are simply going to be different.

There are other areas where more information may be revealed than in cardboard play. For example, a HIP counter in the middle of a stack can reveal it's presence when the stack is expanded by created a visible gap in the stack.

And other basic ASL rules like using the width of a counter to determine if bypass is legal obviously won't work in VASL.

The best bet is to look at VASL as a more casual form of ASL and not get too hung up on small differences between VASL and cardboard ASL. If you want ASL to be precisely 100% by the book then stick to face to face play.
 

Maxwelk1

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Having stirred the pot on this, I will definitely be using this feature when doing scenario setups, as I no longer play competitively, so the only person benefitting from the extra intel is myself.
 

sfcmikej

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Points taken Bruce. Perhaps I shall amend my comment to "Seeing that information is not really an issue for me"

Mike
 
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You can fix this in the stacking part of edit VASL.

If u want I can send you the fix variables.. Its very easy.
 
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