Board Game Online – Playing Pirates CSG virtually
When it comes to playing a board game online, the VASSAL engine is a great way to go. VASSAL is an open source computer program that is used to play board games over their online server. You can build a module from scratch, or take an existing module for a game created by someone else and make modifications to it.
Why I love VASSAL
I absolutely love the VASSAL engine. Why? I can play with anyone in the world. There’s no need to have physical proximity to your gaming peers in order to have fun playing the games you love. If a gaming group broke up because of moving or other difficulties, play could continue with VASSAL. You could even use something like Skype or Discord to continue the verbal and even video conversation during play time.
I can start a game on one day, and finish it another day. I can play games that are longer than anything I would ever be able to play in real life. With no need for a physical setup, games can be as large or as long as you want them to be.
My Battle Reports Compendium post contains examples of the many games I’ve played using the VASSAL module. My favorite type of Pirates CSG games are large campaign games. This is where you spend gold to acquire new ships and crew rather than just having it sit as a score on your home island. The VASSAL module is great for playing these kinds of extended games because you can save the file (.vsav) and then reload it in the module to continue playing later on. This applies to any game that could take longer than one session or sitting to finish.
Saving the file is also a great way to play tournaments of similar games. In VASSAL Tournaments #1 and #2, Xerecs and I played many competitive games where the basic setup would remain the same between games. It was very convenient to simply save the file after each game and return to it for the next session. This saved us time because we didn’t have to recreate the setup for each game. To that end, if you play a game with a customizable setup, you can save specific “maps”/etc as files that can be easily reused.
Below you can check out the video I made looking back at the events of VASSAL Campaign Game 1 in a very condensed format. (the game took about 3 months of consistent play sessions)