[messages] [Module Design] Fun with Negative Numbers

capi3101 capi3101a at netscape.net
Tue Sep 3 07:17:11 MST 2013


Good morning, VASSAL community.

For some time now I've been working on a mod of _Armada PNP_, a
pencil-and-paper reproduction of _Wing Commander: Armada_ that I put
together a few years ago (full rules here[1]). The hope behind putting a
mod together was to see if I could actually get folks to play the game
and to playtest the ruleset I wrote (to my knowledge, the game has never
actually been played). 

Okay, so as part of the rules, all counters have three main combat
statistics: Strength, Maneuver and Hits. The Strength of all of a
player's pieces in combat are added up and compared to those of their
opponent, which in turn determines which column of the Combat Results
Table is used when the dice are rolled. Maneuver modifies the outcome of
the die roll; again the total maneuver is added up for a side and
compared with that of the opponent. Hits determines how many times an
individual piece can sustain damage before it's destroyed. So, it's a
fairly common light wargame combat model at work.

So when it came time to do the mod, I came up with the brilliant idea to
handle Strength and Maneuver as markers, and Hits with layers. The idea
was to add Strength and Maneuver to a counter (using Global Properties)
as they entered the Battle Board (with GKCs and Trigger Action
properties), then display the ratio between the Strengths and the
difference in the Maneuvers. I finally got to the point last night where
things were mostly behaving as they should, except I've come up with a
problem with Maneuver ratings.

__So here's my problem:__ Some of my craft have negative maneuver
ratings. When it comes time to remove these craft from the Battle Board,
VASSAL throws me a Bad Data error message telling me that the Maneuver
rating is non-numeric.

Any idea what might be causing this? Bear in mind this only happens with
pieces with negative Maneuver ratings; those with positive ratings
behave as they should.

Still seeing three possible snags with the design as it is:
1) The removal from the Battle Board routine I have instated assumes
pieces leaving it are discarded; it doesn't account for pieces going
back to the map,
2) If I move a piece to another spot on the battle board, its ratings
get counted more than once, and
3) When it comes time to calculate the Strength ratio, what will happen
if one player hasn't put any pieces on the battle board yet (i.e. the
game things their strength is zero); trying to avoid a division by zero
error here.

Any help anyone can offer would be most appreciated.

[1] http://wcrpg.wikia.com/wiki/Wing_Commander:_Armada_PNP


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