Found my new proxyin’ tool: Vassal!

Warmachine on Vassal
Warmachine on Vassal

Recently I came across Vassal.  Well, in actuality I’ve known about it for some time.  Let’s say I re-found it.  When I tried it the first time months back, the interface and trying to figure it out overwhelmed me.  But lately I decided to give it another go and was pleasantly surprised by it.

This time I sought out some tutorials on how to use it and in about ten minutes I was playing my first 15 point game (didn’t want to leap right in) with a couple of players from around the world.  It replicates the table top very well as it was myself and another guy playing but there were 2 others in the room with us shooting the breeze.

Vassal is a very unique environment as it just facilitates the game but it contains no logic.  You have to know the rules of the game and stats of your force.  You communicate with your opponent as you would in real life through a chat window, ie. “Juggernaut charges Defender.  MAT 6.” “ok, DEF…”  Vassal does provide you with the models, templates, tokens, dice (1d6-6d6 and 1d3), damage grids to keep track of hitpoints, tape measures and so on.  Moving you troops is easy because each model is set to move 1 inch at a time using the default arrow keys.  Again though, you have to know the rules!  No 20 inch charging Butchers!  It’s a fantastic tool, but I have some gripes although they are minor.  The chat window is fine for normal games, but be forewarned that it will increase the time it takes to play a game.  Usually by about double.  If playing with friends (or organizing some kind of worldwide tournament), I definitely recommend using an outside chat system, be it Skype, Ventrilo, whatever.  It’ll alleviate this immensely.  Also again, you need to know your army’s stats and rules! Vassal only gives you the models and damage grids, but there is no logic dictating how they can be used.

Overall, Vassal is a great tool for practicing your lists or trying out lists or armies you aren’t sure you’ll like.  It can be a little overwhelming at first (uncheck “use unified window” in the preferences for a lot more ease), but it actually isn’t that bad and you can get a game going in no time.  Below are some links to help you get stated:

So far I’ve only used Khador on it as that is the faction I’m used to and figured it would be easier to walk before running.  But what is going to be my first proxied army?

I can’t believe I am about to say this but…Cygnar.

Yes, the filthy swans.  I was talking with Demitra the other night after our game and realized that all the lists and armies I have are heavily melee oriented.  It got me thinking that I wanted to try out something on the complete opposite spectrum.  So I came up with this:

Faction: Kara Sloan – Gunslingers
Casters: 1/1
Points: 35/35
Tiers: 4
Captain Kara Sloan (*6pts)
* Cyclone (8pts)
* Defender (8pts)
* Defender (8pts)
Long Gunner Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
Long Gunner Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
Rangers (5pts)

Yup, a Kara Sloan Theme list.  I’ve always been a fan of Kara’s model and her rules.  And the Cygnar jacks have been growing on me.  Well, except for the Minuteman.  I love that warjack, looks and rules.

I like that boom boom pow.  Oh God help me...
I like that boom boom pow. Oh God help me...

This list is all long range game right here.  It would be completely out of my comfort zone.  But I welcome the challenge and who knows, if I end up liking it, maybe I’ll pick up the models in the future…


6 thoughts on “Found my new proxyin’ tool: Vassal!”

  1. What kind of learning curve does Vassal have if you’re unfamiliar with it? I’ve been curious for a while about the program, just never had a chance to get into it. Also, do you happen to know if it works on Macs? Might be a great alternative to trying to get down to the LGS, and like you said, it seems perfect for trying out lists…

    1. There is a Mac version available, so I’m sure it should work.

      As far as learning curve though, it can seem kind of daunting at first when you see all the screens and buttons, but watching those tutorial vids will give you a good basis. Then after that everyone I talked with was super helpful in getting the game going and helping me work out my kinks. It seriously took about 10 minutes to get up and running in a game. After one game, you’ll pretty much know what you are doing.

      Oh did I mention that it’s also FREE!

    1. I put a link to your vids in the post. They helped me out a lot. I’ll have to catch one of those games some time. Maybe I’ll learn me something 🙂 !

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