This is v1.1 of the Vassal module for Mark Herman's game Churchill - Big Three Struggle For Peace, published by GMT Games. It offers the complete gameplay through standard Vassal functionality with a great deal of additional automation added (see below for details).
© GMT Games, LLC 2015 and Mark Herman Design
Please read the module instructions below before emailing with questions. Thanks!
1. IMPORTANT: The three scenarios (Training, Tournament and Campaign) all start with the correct Conference card decks set up. Do not select that conference from the menubar. All three scenarios also start with all of the game markers correctly set up.
2. Players can play any of the three factions or solitaire (solo), however, in accordance with GMT's wishes, the Bot charts for solo play are not included in this module. Thank you for understanding.
3. After drawing a conference card from the current conference card deck, players may leave that card on the board for future historical reference, or right-click and select "Discard" at any time. If the conference card is discarded, however, it will be removed from the game and not be available to view on later turns.
4. For the Agenda Segment, players should right-click a Staff card and select "Play for Agenda" to automatically love the card from your hand to the board (next to your chair). Players should then simultaneously "unmask" them to determine the winner based on card value (+1 value for the UK national characteristic).
5. For the Meeting segment, players should right-click on a Staff card or your Leader card to play it from your hand to the board. This will automatically announce the name of the person and unmask the card played.
6. IMPORTANT: To discard staff cards from the board once the agenda, or meeting issue movement and any debate is complete, right-click on the staff card and select "Discard" to move it to your discard pile (or back to the leader space) on your player board. IMPORTANT: Do not move discarded Staff cards manually from your discard pile back to your draw deck (that function has been automated at the start of each new turn).
7. Many of the game's necessary pieces can not be deleted from the game board. For example, players can not delete leader blocks (except Roosevelt), issue counters, global markers, etc. The two Japanese Navy and one Italian Army reserve piece can be deleted by right-clicking and selecting "Delete", but they are removed permanently when that is selected (so don't delete one of these by accident).
8. To make a leader Inactive, simply right click on their block and select that option. They will be automatically made Active again at the start of the next conference.
9. Chief of Staff card values can be rolled by right-clicking on their card and selecting that option. The resulting 1d6 value will show to all players in the main window log.
10. Some Staff cards requires a 1d6 or 2d6 roll for them, or the Staff card following them. These functions are available by right-clicking on a played Staff card.
11. When playing a two-player game online, one player must select Solo player as their side. This gives that player the opportunity to play two sides (one nation and the Bot).
12. Click on the Draw 7 Staff Cards button on your player board to automatically draw seven random staff cards for the current turn. Only the appropriate player can cause the draw to happen.
13. "No advance, only debate" and "Pass" counters are shown for each player on the main game board next to their leaders. Right-click to "activate/deactivate" these to show if they are currently in effect or not.
14. Counters are available in a separate window for the option Secret Agenda variant, rule 10.0. Drag three counters from the stack onto the appropriate spaces in your player hand/board so that they remain hidden from the other players. They may be flipped over to examine them, but remeber to flip them back over again to hide them.
15. Offensive support and Naval markers are located in the centre of the map half of the board. These counters have a right-click command to return them to their respective piles.
16. Clandestine and Political Alignment markers are located in the separate player boards. These markers have a right-click command to return them to your hand.
When a player selects a new conference/turn to start, the following functions are automated and require no player interaction:
- Unselected conference cards from previous turn removed, new conference cards shuffled and ready to draw from
- Leader blocks flipped back to their Active state
- Issue counters move back to their original positions
- Axis reserve markers move back to their original positions
- UK, US, USSR production markers (including Stategic Materials and two USSR special supply counters) move back to their original positions and their unused sides
- Offensive and Naval support markers move back to their original piles
- Staff discards reshuffle back into Staff card deck (odd-numbered conference turns only)
How To Play Churchill Using Vassal
In all games, one player should select one of the three scenarios to play. Then, in a three player game, each of the players should each take one of the nations, as normal. The game should proceed as normally played. Games can be saved at any time.
In two player games, the recommended way to play after selecting a scenario is as follows: One player selects a nation to play, and then the second player selects "Solo" as their side. The second player will now play one of the two nation they control normally, and also control the placement of staff cards etc from the third player side, using the normal Bot rules. The Solo payer wil be able to view and interact with the first player's hand ... obviously, don't do that, it's not really cricket old chap.
Regardless of the number of players, once a scenario has been selected, the game board will be set up ready to play. All counters, markers are in their start positions, and the required Conference deck is on the board ready to draw a card from. At the end of each turn, one player should select the next conference from the menu bar, and everything will be reset for the next conference (see Automated Features section, above for details).
Known Bugs and Fixes
1.0 - "USA" vs "US" side definition error
1.01 - Fixed US player hand that could not be selected after selecting to play "USA" side
1.10 - Fixes and updates as detailed below:
- Right-click on global markers added to move them back and forth to correct positions on the global issue tracks
- Production, strategic materials, Arctic and Murmansk convoy counters now shown, in correct numbers, on main map board in stacks near leader chairs
- Zoom pieces on mouse-over/hover on main map turned back on (my bad)
- UK, US, USSR Leader cards can now be played from a player's hand, discarded, and will reset in player hand when new conference starts
- UK, US, USSR "No advance, only debate" and "Pass" counters now shown on main map board near leader chairs
- Roosevelt/Truman discard bug fixed
- Added more log actions and descriptions, edited some log actions to more plainly report what happened in the game
- Clandestine markers and Political Alignment markers are now on player board, in correct numbers; players can can drag them from these piles to the main map board for use, and right-click to return them from board to their hand as needed
- Axis reserves can now be deleted (this effect is permanent, so be careful)
- Added two more levels of map zoom out (33% and 25%)
- Modified USSR Clandestine markers and Political Alignment markers to be color-blind friendly by adding a small hammer and sickle icon
- Modified player hand windows to be visible to all players
- Added mask to UK, US, USSR Staff cards, drawing staff cards now shows them masked/hidden to other players
- Added standard "hide/show pieces" functionality to module
- Added standard Notes functionality to module
- Fixed the poor choice of SHIFT-number for the conference deck reshuffles. Turns out that lots of poeple use exclamations when typing in the chat window (I didn't think that one through in the first release)
- Appended version number to file name
- Only the proper side (and Solo) can now draw Staff cards into a player's hand
- Added custom die rolls for UK and US Staff cards where needed (1d6 and 2d6) for health issues, etc
- Added custom die rolls for USSR Staff cards to resolve executions and imprisonment
- Added "Remove from game" function to appropriate Staff cards (death, illness, execution, gulag; this effect is permanent, so be careful)
- Placed Conference Won counters on board (below Conference card deck); added right-clicks to send them to the UK, US, USSR player boards
- Placed three German 1 VP counters on board at the bottom of the Conference Won pile of counters; added right-clicks to send them to the UK, US, USSR player boards
- Placed Offensive and Naval support counters on board (between theaters); these automatically reset at the start of a conference
- Removed Pieces palette/window, since all of the necessary pieces are now on the game board (and reset automatically, where applicable)
- Numerous small bug fixes and little bits of polish here and there
- Updated scenario set-up files
- Updated help file
1.11 - Fixes and updates as detailed below:
- Implemented specific "Play for Agenda" and "Play for Meeting" actions on Staff cards ... "Play for Agenda" plays the card next to your chair and leaves it masked and unnamed in the log, "Play for Meeting" plays the card in the normal spot on the board, unmasks the card automatically, and announces the staff name in the log [Note: You still have to manually choose the Discard action for the staff cards once played to return them to your staff discard pile ... I'll automate this in the next version]
- Added a text label and change label command on each of the three leader blocks, so players can add player names during play/PBEM if they want
- Fixed USSR staff card issues (re: gulag, execution, die rolls where applicable)
- Added the missing "Discard" command back to the staff cards (lost because the previous update didn't bring the new commands into the cards)
- 2d6 now reports the sum of the two dice
- Global issue counters now flip back to their front side when the conference/turn is reset
- Added named zones to the main board so that when issues are moved it will report their original and new positions (i.e., "A-Bomb has been moved from UK 3 to USSR 1")
- When leader blocks are made inactive, that is now shown in the log
- When the Pass counter is made inactive, that is now shown in the log
- Fixed issue where resetting turn/conference flipped offensive and naval support markers back to their "one strength" side
1.12 - Emergency fix as detailed below:
- Fixed a problem with the US Roosevelt leader block disappearing when users selected "Roosevelt dies" command ... the block is now replaced with a Truman leader block.
1.13 - Fixes and updates as detailed below:
- Fix for UK staff cards that require 1d6 and possibility of death and removal from game
- Fixed to USSR staff card Valutin so the log does not report two 1d6 rolls
- Updated all prototypes for nation's staff cards so that removing them from the game (death, purge, gulag or killed in combat) offers a consistent UI
- Updated staff card prototype orders "Play for Agenda" and "Play for Meeting" so that it unmasks Play for Meeting" automatically when the card moves to the main map board
- Fixed two spelling errors
- Updated backgrounds for player boards to fix the instructions for playing Staff cards
While these are not a definitive list, the roadmap for future updates to the module might include features such as:
1. Automatic VP counting, Automatic movement of issues along conference tracks based on staff card values
2. Automating debate functions
3. Automatic placement of reserves during phase 7.6
4. Ability to place offensive support or naval support markers in the correct spots with a right-click
5. Automate drawing of optional Secret Agenda counters
6. Moving front markers forward using right clicks
- David Janik-Jones