Monday, September 07, 2009

Getting cyber on yer ass!

CC@VASSAL?-: not yet
Site-visiting readers alert to the sidebar content might already be asking themselves what and why questions about the new links recently added under the cybergaming heading:

Cybergaming? Not computer gaming as such, cybergaming uses ICT to faciliate playing boardgames via the web, using apps typically requiring ownership of the boxed game. Regular readers might remember VASSAL, where an fB friend and fellow BGGer and I last January played what was my first turn of transatlantic Combat Commander.

That first turn of CC@VASSAL is my last to this day, but cybergaming remains on the horizon: fB/BGG pal Rob Bottos and I are embarking on a game of Twilight Struggle. You might remember that I played and lost my first game of Twilight Struggle against Web-Grognards' grognard John Poulter at DiceConWest last year. I suspect this might be the game which weans me off my peculiar aversion to cybergaming, which has been one of the 'big things' in boardgaming in recent years:

  • A game I've long wanted to play more of, TS doesn't fit with the steady FTF diet the lack of which is what most drives the appetite for cybergaming.
  • And a game suitable for play by email instead of in the hotseat, which makes learning the interface more relaxing since there isn't someone sitting at the other end staring at their game waiting for your moves to pop up.
Cast as the Soviets by Rob I drew my hand using ACTS (Automated Card Tracking System), so I know what I've got to play with in those early postwar years of turn 1 (with up to 10 turns covering at most 50 years, turns represent 3-5 years each). I'm in the process of deciding where to place my discretionary 6pts of influence in Eastern Europe. And then I'll play my first card- the Headline Card, and we'll be off.

The confused newb in me wishes that I didn't have to start the game @VASSAL while juggling the peculiar combination of ACTS and VASSAL we're using, but the Soviets always go first so that makes sense really. And the USSR really is the side recommended for a Twilight Struggle newb, as I learned so painfully in that first game; not an accident, as this thread on TS@BGG shows.

More after I've sent off my setup. ;)


Anonymous said...

Twilight is one of the games I have hgeard good things about. I like the political aspect.

"A bit political on yer ass!" said...

The good things are unlikely to be overstated Aneliya; TS is a very good game. The cardplay makes for agonising decisions as you seek to manage the flow of events while you peddle your influence in search of that 'domino effect'. It has a reputation as a game rewarding serious study and is certainly multilayered and strategically demanding. I'm looking forward to getting into this first VASSAL game. ;)