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Revealing hidden enemy units

Suggestions for additional features for the module editor and Vassal engine.

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Revealing hidden enemy units

Postby Omicron » December 6th, 2013, 5:42 pm

I'm an old board gamer, but new to this forum. My brother and I discovered Vassal a few months ago and are very impressed with what you folks have done. Thanks for providing such a great product for free!

I love almost all military games, but naval gaming has been my primary focus for a long time. One of the features that I would really like to see added is the ability to "hide" a unit on a shared board which allows an opponent to automatically detect it when one of his units either occupies the same hex, or is within a certain range of hexes from the hidden unit, during his turn. Perhaps hovering the cursor over the friendly unit/stack reveals enemy units hidden in the same hex or nearby? Not sure how it would be done, but it would eliminate the need for an umpire on many naval games. This way the positions of units at sea would be totally unknown until revealed by the presence of enemy units or a search of the hex by air units, etc. It would have many possible applications with other forms of board gaming as well.

To me, this would seem to be a very useful feature that should have been requested long ago, but I can't find any reference to such a request by search. Perhaps it is beyond the ability of the Vassal system to provide, but I thought I'd ask. If this has been covered in a previous topic, please direct me to it.

I have designed a few games in the past and am looking forward to learning how to design and produce a Vassal Module or two in the future.

Thanks again for Vassal!

EDIT: Ok, my bad. It appears you guys are already on top of this with #1856 on your list of planned alterations. Just now spotted that. I guess then that I can only make the request that such an addition be given priority. :mrgreen:
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Re: Revealing hidden enemy units

Postby reddeblu » December 6th, 2013, 8:09 pm

I have actually somewhat achieved this before in vassal. It's not easy, nor pretty, and borderline functional, but its possible. The immediate problem is that other players have no access to an opponents piece while its invisible, making it difficult to turn it visible with a command from the player who "spots" it.

The way I did it involves the invisible piece sending out a restricted range Global Key Command, which will hit any enemy units within its detection radius, which will bounce back another Global Key Command and tell it to turn visible again.

The problem with this is that the spotting enemy piece must be visible, and the invisible player must be the one who sends the command, so a visible opponent wont be able to see the invisible one, until the invisible one makes some sort of move. It's a very flawed and imperfect system, so I'm glad to hear its a planned alteration. :)
- Model: Custom Build
- Operating System: Windows XP
- CPU: 3GHz
- Memory: 2 GB
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
- Vassal version: 3.2.10
- Java: Version 7 Update 51
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