X-Wing Vassal module v8.2.0 (Full 2nd edition)

Usual links

X-Wing guide to installing and playing:  xwvassal.info/guide

Module alternate download (fast) page: https://github.com/Mu0n/XWVassal/releases/

Module download page (1-2 day delay): http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_X-Wing_Miniatures_Game

X-Wing Vassal league (currently off season between season 6 and 7) hub: xwvassal.info

Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/mu0n

Paypal Tip jar: http://paypal.me/mu0n

CliffsNotes (the TL;DR version)

  • 2.0 is fully playable! Yay new era
  • 1.0 is still playable/watchable after 1 step
  • internal squad builder
  • the newer firing autoranges are missing, read the ‘Known Issues’ section

Thanks to all the help I got

This module is hundreds of hours from yours truly spread out over the months since May 1st. A lot of code from past collaborators had to be adapted, forked and in some cases, bug-fixed in order to make 2.0 a reality in Vassal. Mike Murphy’s content checker and autospawn revisions in early 2018 were key to making this possible. The content checker is an oddity for most players, since it was only briefly used around the time of wave 14’s release, near the end of the Vassal League season 6. However, everyone will eventually see how it will play a key role in bringing the new 2nd edition content as it trickles in from previews and market releases.

Thank you to my patreon supporters who have stood by me and made this sting a whole lot less. The pledges are now on a monthly basis, ranging from $1 to $10 and I buy prizes for raffles. So far, 10 ship packs have been awarded, 7 bought and paid for, 3 pending on the winner’s decision. If you want to support the module, here’s the link again.

Before the launch of this v8.2.0 module, I got a lot of useful feedback from many players and users of the module inside the Vassal league slack. Thanks to the 50+ people who were active and supportive in my #vassal2e_alpha channel. It really helped me push this out a day before the IRL release of 2.0! Yay! We beat them to the race!

Things you must learn first in order to be functional in 2.0

1. There’s a different Squad spawning button for 2.0 lists called ‘2.0 Spawn’ inside the player windows. Use this instead of the old ‘Squad Spawn’ button (which I should rename to ‘1.0 Spawn’ to avoid confusion).

2. The best way to build a list is still with the 3rd party community squad builders and to bring your list with the XWS format (X-Wing Squadron – a structured way of writing a squad’s composition using a unique naming scheme that avoids ambiguity, e.g. Han Solo pilots / upgrades, etc.). That functionality has been present since early 2017, but was often not used, because you could paste a squad URL inside the 1.0 squad spawn and the module would figure out your list. Simply build your squad in an external (web or app) builder that supports the XWS format, export to it, copy that text and paste it inside the 2.0 spawn textbox:

The suggested builder list is dynamic and polled from the web! Contact me if you know of a new squad builder which supports export to XWS!

 

3. I added another way by making my own internal squad builder (more info below) where you can select your stuff, export to XWS in a textbox, then spawn your list. It can create an illegal, cross-faction list that doesn’t care about upgrade slots for any ship – this is great for very custom scenarios, whereas squad builders try to force you to have legal lists.

4. When in doubt, the right click menus are still king. They’ve been significantly improved since last edition.

5. If the ‘Content Checker’ flashes black, then DO CLICK ON IT and go add the content. It will only take a minute or so and it will give you some missing image files. When you spawn a list, you’ll no longer use placeholder images and other players who are checking out your list in your window will no longer see placeholder images either. Everyone should get all the content ASAP to make it better for all.

What happened to the 1.0 content?

The Pieces window is no longer used to manually spawn your list. The autospawn is where it’s at (and has been since early 2017). While the 1.0 ship-related content inside its tabs relatively looks ok, it’s static by nature and can become deprecated – it will all be phased out soon and I will simply keep tabs for tokens, asteroids, missions, templates for when you need those things in a jiffy. Better is to just use the ‘Squad Spawn’ button to fetch all your pieces like has been done by all players. My main collaborator Mike Murphy has done an awesome job of tying the autospawn to the xwing-data community repo (think database) in early 2018 – it might not sound all-important but it was VITAL to convincing me that adding 2.0 support to the module was even feasible.

Many players have reported getting error messages in the chat window when they browsed around inside the Pieces window, and this is a feature instead of a bug. The error messages look like this:

 

I took the decision to remove all images files related to:

  • 1.0 pilots
  • 1.0 upgrades
  • 1.0 ship base graphics
  • 1.0 dial images

This cut down on almost half the size of the module file and makes the infamous ‘image tiling’ process much faster when you load the module for the first time after a fresh download. I anticipated that the 2.0 content would add hundreds of new files, so having both editions’ worth of images inside the module would make the wait period much longer upon your first loading. I also anticipate a lot more players will be only interested in 2.0 going forward, but it really matters to me to keep 1.0 functional inside the module.

Therefore, if you do want to play a 1.0 game and see the images again, you have to download them back with the revised Content Checker (chat window button). Go into the second tab and follow the instructions and you should see a big list of images to download (the process takes a few minutes, be patient, vassal becomes unresponsive as it builds the list):

Uncensored cards and Order 66

Like many people, I’ve witnessed fellow computerized X-Wing platforms ‘TableTop Simulator’ and ‘Fly Casual’ enjoying uncensored cards for years. Here’s the list of reasons that made me reverse my thinking for the Vassal module:

  • I’ve created a simple way to censor all the cards within seconds without requiring anyone to download a new module, without requiring to download new content via the content checker or anything involved of the sort. It takes between a few seconds to a minute to activate and I call it my own brand of ‘Order 66’. It will make all pilot, upgrade and condition cards appear as black rectangles with white outlines and white card title text. If I ever get a copyright infringement warning email either directly or through vassal’s admins, I can activate what is essentially a killswitch for all those art assets.
  • The X-Wing Vassal module has always been and will keep on being free to use.
  • The official FFG squad builder offers everyone all the cards now at the same resolution we get them from their preview articles.
List spawning under Order 66

 

If the owners of this copyrighted materials (not me) would wish to protect their IP, I would understand and would offer to censor the cards back by flicking the ‘Order 66’ switch.

Over the years, this has been a hotly debated issue and many different people have weighed in but it seems I can never get ahold of a real (as opposed to armchair) specialized laywer in IP laws. If you are such a person, then please contact me with a PM.

New Internal Squad Builder

If you need a quick way to build a list, know your composition by heart and don’t need to check its validity, want to build cross-faction lists or have a totally open format, then the internal squad builder is for you. This is a 2nd method found in the window that appears after you click on ‘2.0 Spawn’ in a player window. You can even find unreleased factions in there. The ships and pilots are dynamically fetched from the community repo of xwing-data2, led by the one and only Guido Kessels.

To operate this builder, use the pull-down menus and buttons to add your pilots and upgrades. When you’re ready, click on ‘Export to XWS’, which will create a valid XWS json string inside your textbox. The final step is to click on ‘Spawn Squad’, which spawns the list from the texbox content (and not from the pulldown menus).

A Very Illegal List. The interface is crude but serviceable, much like Vassal’s general style!

 

New & Lean Ship Bases

I wanted to make the bases less cluttered so I removed the attack and agility stats, which can be seen from the pilots cards anyway. Attacks have become more complicated and can’t be represented by only 1 number anymore (such as the new Lancer-class Pursuit craft, which has a front arc of 3 and a single turret of 2).

Since I needed the hashmarks to be visible on the front, sides and back, I couldn’t use all the craft status tokens. This became way too cramped on a small chassis. This is everything that can be activated visually on a ship:

Left side (top to bottom):

  • Initiative
  • Stress with amount in white (shift-s increases, ctrl-shift-s decreases)
  • Charge (shift-c increases, ctrl-shift-c decreases; this shortcut used to set a crit token)
  • Lock indicator (equivalent to the blue target lock of 1.0)

Right side (top to bottom)

  • Hull
  • Shields
  • Force Charge (shift-i increases, ctrl-shift-i decreases; this shortcut used to set ion tokens)

The ship name tag has been removed and only the pilot name tag is present, at the bottom. At 100% zoom level, you should see the hash marks all around.

New Autospawn Token Management

The old way of spawning the relevant tokens with your autospawned list was to hard code which action, pilot, upgrade or ship brought which type of token. Every other module update, some people would complain that their favorite ship composition was missing a token and if I remembered, I’d add it to a source code file inside the module.

This has been replaced by something a lot more agile – I have a file somewhere on the web which contains these associations. Within seconds, it can be edited with new additions, and everyone with the module 8.2.0+ can spawn those tokens right away, without needing a new module update. You found a token which should (but does not) spawn with such-and-such pilot or upgrade? Then let me know (I’m reachable in the Vassal league slack, check the links at the top to get there) and I can quickly add it.

 

Revamped right click menus for ships

A lot of shortcuts had to be learned from the guide website or from my preview articles – but this becomes completely lost information for new players not aware of the guide. Since I had to rework the ships from the ground up in the vassal editor, I also strived to make the shortcuts more present and universal. I’m still missing a few (they’ll be added in the next version) but you should no longer have to guess how to do a Tallon Roll speed 2.

This specific submenu ‘Place Side Curved Templates’ will make it into the next module version – sorry! You can still use those shortcuts anyway in v8.2.0 even if you don’t see them in the menu. The module will respond to those commands.

New behavior for Barrel Rolls and Decloaks

Before, in 1.0:

  • You could move the ship after a barrel roll/decloak into 2 positions per side: as forward as possible or as backward as possible.
  • You could spawn a centered template on the side (templates: straight 1 and 2, bank 1 and 2 towards the front or back)

Now, in 2.0

  • You can move the ship after a barrel roll/decloak into 3 positions per side. The big change is that CTRL-R is used to barrel roll left, centered (it used to merely spawn a template before, without moving; ALT-R for right side). For decloaks, ‘J’ and ‘K’ move your ship centered left and right respectively (it used to merely spawn the template)
  • (for now) You can only spawn the weird side templates using the same shortcuts as before. I’ve gotten a lot of messages about needing help for StarViper’s brand of barrel rolls. This information is both in the website guide and the How To & Shortcuts button inside the module, section on Weird Ships. Here’s a recap.

Full Bomb Spawner

After letting out a proper monster sigh after seeing these 2 cards being previewed in the last months:

 

 

 

 

I had to rework the Bomb Spawner and just add all remaining moves not already present: forward 4, hard turn 2 left and right.

Completely remade arc graphics

When the first kits were shown, the arc lines were consistently going to the cardboard corners. This is a little different from the 1.0 bases, so I accepted a slight change to all the arc angles. Here’s a recap:

First edition:

  • Small ship forward arc: 80.90 degrees
  • Large ship forward arc: 84.05 degrees

Second Edition:

  • Small ship forward arc: 81.24 degrees
  • Medium ship forward arc: 82.80 degrees
  • Large ship forward arc: 83.52 degrees

Alt-Paint Jobs for ships

There already was an easy way to add alt-paint jobs inside the module, but I made it so it’s even easier and tied to the Content Checker. If you are willing to add a ship and are SERIOUS about it, then you must provide an enough high quality image that will fit inside a transparent background .png file of the SAME SIZE as the ones that are used in the module for ship standalone graphics. I can provide you with an example for small, medium or large, then you give me your finished product back. Be mindful of resizing that can affect the level of details. I reserve the right to stop doing this if I get flooded with requests and to turn down images that don’t respect the above conditions. I love a good alt paint job like everyone else, but I do not need a ton of extra work of doing some hand holding to make your images work.

Known Issues

  • You’ll sometimes get “Image Missing… ” error messages if you go look around in the Pieces window, or if you see players playing a 1.0 game. I explain everything about how to solve this and why it happens in the above section ‘What happened to the 1.0 content?’
  • In my speedy removal of 1.0 content graphics, I removed the back dial images as well. Having a dial in hidden mode will appear invisible, but you’ll still see the text markings on it (and the mirror match do if you use it with CTRL-M). I’ll provide an entirely new style of dial in the next version or so of the module.
  • The banked barrel roll shortcuts are missing, but still functional if you do them anyway (see above in section ‘New behavior for barrel rolls and decloaks’)
  • We can’t paste a URL of a squad yet – I’m working on it for the future
  • Saved logs (replay files) will still have all the autorange firing option lines shown all stacked up in the map – I don’t have the faintest clue on how to solve this yet, and I did look a bit
  • Autorange firing options for single turrets and double turrets don’t work yet – all we have is the lancer-class style check (ALT-SHIFT-F), which uses both the mobile turret (now single turret) and the front arc – we need something that *only* checks the single turret arc. We need something totally new that checks the double turret arcs.
  • Autorange firing options for the full front arc is not yet implemented, but the 1.0 aux front arc + front firing arc is a good approximation (CTRL-SHIFT-N)

 

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