The thread is to facilitate a PBF/Vassal game of Phil Eklund’s High Frontier 3rd edition. This first post will be in flux for a bit while I get everything set up. I’ll keep it updated with instructions and file locations.
We currently have the following interested players, with room for a fifth:
Software and Logistics
Rulebook pdfs and any other important files are available in our Google Drive folder here:
There is also a “vlog” folder inside the Google Drive folder, which is where log files will be stored. The initial setup file is already there. If you wish, you can download the Google Drive desktop app here. This will allow you to automatically synchronize a desktop folder with the Google Drive folder, just like you can with Dropbox.
We’ll be using version 3.2.17 of Vassal (the most current version.) You can download it here:
We’ll be taking turns using version 1.4 of the the High Frontier Vassal module posted here (and also in the Google Drive folder):
Log File Name
Please use this format: “RC-0001-Y01-ESA.vlog”
- RC is a game descriptor (Remember the Cant)
- 0001 is a sequential identifier so that the log files can be sorted in order by name. Please use the next number in sequence when you save a log file
- Y01 is a year identifier
- After the year something descriptive, like faction name
How to Take a Turn
- Retrieve the latest vlog file from the Google Drive folder.
- Double-click on the file to open it up. (You must have Vassal and the High Frontier module installed)
- If this is the first file you’ve opened, it will ask you to choose which player you want to play. Please choose your color.
- Each vlog file is a log of the previous turn. You have to step through the log file so that you can add your turn to the end. Do this by either clicking the right arrow on the left side of the toolbar, or pressing the PageDown key.
- Step all the way through the previous turn, checking as you go to be sure it was done correctly.
- Once you reach the end of the log, Vassal will prompt you “End of logfile. Start new logfile?” Choose “Yes”
- Input the name of the new log file and then take your turn.
- Feel free to use the chat bar in Vassal to comment as you take your turn. The comments are saved to the log.
- If it’s the end of your turn (and not an auction or other mid-turn point), increment the turn counter in the game.
- Once your turn is done (or has reached a stopping point, like an auction), choose “End Logfile” under the file menu and exit Vassal.
- Upload the new log file to the Google Drive folder.
- Make a post here, summarizing your turn and tag the next player.
@Grunden, as the final player, you’ll be responsible for advancing the sunspot cycle marker after your turn and rolling for any events.
- When auctioning a card, move it to the auction area of the patent deck page.
- Right click on a card (or the top of a deck) and you can choose “Send to my playmat” or “Send to discards” as appropriate.
- When a patent deck is empty and you need to draw a card, right-click on the discard pile and choose “Return all to deck”.
- When the rules say to place a card on the bottom of a deck, send it to the discard pile instead.
- Patent decks should never be shuffled.
- If you need to examine a particular card that is in or on one of the decks, please start a new separate game for this purpose so you don’t mess up the decks in the log files.
There’s an (ahem) excellent (though not comprehensive) player aid here:
A very nice summary of all of the cards is here:
And a summary of all the sites and spaces is here:
I tend to run PBEM/PBF games pretty loosely. These are for fun, and I trust the other players to not try to ruin the experience by cheating (otherwise, why play?) So, we’ll use the following guidelines:
- All random actions (deck draws, prospecting/hazard rolls, etc) taken in Vassal. Decks will be initially shuffled and we can just trust each other not to peek ahead or cheat on dice rolls. This makes taking turns so much easier and efficient and facilitates just playing rather than going back and forth to an external die roller/deck shuffler.
- Auctions carried out here on the forum, in free-for-all bidding: bids can be placed at any time and in any player order, but must be a “winning” bid. Once a player passes, they’re out of the bidding. Auctions last until all players but one have passed.
- Rule ambiguities will be decided by vote among players. Ties broken by me. I tend to vote against my own advantage.
- We should be checking the previous player’s turn for errors. Errors in play should be corrected, if they can be with minimal disruption to the game state. If not, I’ll try to decide on a suitable correction that we can vote on. This tends to work out pretty well.
- We are playing a full Colonization game including all modules.
- Hazard rolls fail on a 6 rather than a 1. This makes low dice rolls consistently beneficial throughout the game.
- I have locked-in-time pdfs of the rules. The pdfs are identical to the printed rulebooks shipped with the 3rd edition. (The one difference I’ve found is that the Glossary is in the back of the reference manual in the pdfs and in back of the Colonization rulebook in the printed edition.) These locked-in-time rules, and not the living rules are what we are using for play. I’ve posted them here: