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Post mortem analysis

Topics related to the main Vassal engine.

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Post mortem analysis

Postby peyrol » February 27th, 2016, 5:38 am

When playing on Vassal by email, It is my understanding that usually players each keep a saved game file, and each move is a log file which contains one player's move. All I have played so far is Twixt. In abstracts, after the game is over, players may want to access and comment on a log file which contains all the moves from the beginning to the end of the game. They can discuss variations with alternate moves. To facilitate this, players use a different protocol when playing. When it is your turn, instead of loading a saved game, you start a new game offline and choose the appropriate board. Then you begin a log file which will be numbered according to your upcoming move. Then you load the continuation which is the file your opponent sent you. This log file will have all the moves by all players in the game so far. Then step through the log file to the end, make your move, and end your log file.

This process is a bit awkward, but tolerable for Twixt. I imagine it would be more than a little awkward for some massive war game. But has anyone tried this? Is there much general interest in analyzing the moves of a game afterward? How difficult would it be to modify Vassal to make this process more user-friendly? For example, instead of having to step through every move to reach the end, maybe just click on a button which takes you to the end of the logfile right away? Or back to the beginning?

How about a log file which is not just a single sequence of events, but a branching tree of variations? I can undo moves as part of the log and show different variations that way, but it would be handy to be able to jump directly to another branch, especially a branch early in the game, instead of having to step through all the intervening moves and undos in the tree crawl. But this would be a ton of work with little benefit if no on else cares about post mortem.

Another problem I have noticed is with regard to the "emphasis border" Vassal places around the most recently placed or moved piece. The Twixt module has red pieces for the first player and blue pieces for the second player. When I am making my move as blue, my pieces are emphasized in blue. But when I step through a logfile of the entire game so far, all the pieces are emphasized in red, even the blue pieces. Is there any way to get Vassal to emphasize a piece with the same color as the piece it is emphasizing, when stepping through such a log file?

It seems to me this is potentially a great feature which Vassal could take advantage of. I welcome your opinion!
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