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Can Someone Explain ACTS to Me?

PostPosted: December 29th, 2019, 5:06 am
by RobS
I've seen many posts wherein people wish to pbem using "ACTS"? Presumably, they are referring to this website, or is it something else?
I don't see anything at the above-linked site that could be used as a dice rolling mechanism, although I'm not a member.
Could someone explain exactly how this dice rolling mechanism works?

Re: Can Someone Explain ACTS to Me?

PostPosted: December 29th, 2019, 3:51 pm
by JoelCFC25
Yes, that is the site. You have to register in order to use the dice-rolling. There are a number of "modules" for games--mostly the common card-driven wargame titles. Most game modules have features for handling what cards are in the deck, sometimes automatically adding new ones when required, removing cards played when required, tracking certain game status values, etc. It's run on Visual Basic and for anything other than very basic modules I think it requires coordinating with the site owner/administrator to design something new.

The appeal is largely in the running game log (including all dice rolls and their results) that is generated for all game participants to review. ACTS aficionados are very keen on the "no takebacks" security of the dice rolling--i.e., when trying to play games in PBEM fashion exclusively using VASSAL, there's no safeguard against an unscrupulous player just abandoning a logfile he's making if some dice rolls don't go his way and starting over repeatedly until he gets the desired result.

Re: Can Someone Explain ACTS to Me?

PostPosted: December 29th, 2019, 6:13 pm
by RobS
Thanks for the information, Joel. That website is a complete mystery unless a person registers, which I now have. I'm not sure I like the fact that the dice roller apparently retains people's email addresses for anyone to see, but that's not a big issue for me.

Are you familiar with this dice server and why players wouldn't use it instead of ACTS? It doesn't look like a person has to register to use it. I only ask because ACTS seems to be only dice server ever mentioned around here.

Re: Can Someone Explain ACTS to Me?

PostPosted: December 29th, 2019, 7:25 pm
by JoelCFC25
The draw of using ACTS is a hybrid of the card-tracking *and* dice rolling. It maintains your hand of cards and provides card playing/discarding so that VASSAL (or Cyberboard) ends up getting used only for the game map and movement of units themselves. If people were in the market for dice rolls only, I don't think ACTS would be the top choice. But cards, dice rolls. the logging, and email notifications combine to form its niche.

I've long been mystified that it has such widespread appeal for what little it provides, but I'm in an extremely small minority on that.

Re: Can Someone Explain ACTS to Me?

PostPosted: December 29th, 2019, 11:31 pm
by RobS
Okay, thanks.