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Below is a step by step guide for installing and then launching your first VASSAL module under Windows. We'll also explore some of the basic things to do once you've loaded a module.

1. First, you will want to make sure that you have the latest version of JAVA installed. (VASSAL version 2.9 and earlier can be run using Java 1.4. Later versions require Java 5.0+) Click the "Free Download" button below, or click HERE to go to the JAVA website (in a new browser window). Once over there, click the same button that looks like:


2. Once JAVA is installed, hopefully with no problems, you'll next want to get VASSAL installed. You have two options: launch directly from your browser using Web Start or a manual installation consisting of a Zip file. The manual installation is pretty much fool-proof. The Web Start launcher can be run from outside your browser via a desktop shortcut (see below) , but some people's systems have trouble setting it up correctly. The last supported version of VASSAL that Web Start's is 3.0.17. To use a more recent version, you will have to use a manual installation. In both cases, you can choose among any past version of VASSAL.

To run via Web Start, click the image below to launch the VASSAL installer, or click HERE to go to the VASSAL site in a new window and then click on the same looking button there:

Vassal.gif Depending on which browser you are using, you will get an option to either (Firefox):


Or the download will begin immediately (Internet Explorer):


You may get a message about a "Security Certificate":


Click "Yes" to accept, or click "Always" and you'll never see this again (for this application).

Once the files have been downloaded, you will be prompted to add a shortcut to your desktop:


Go ahead and select "Yes", you can always clean up your desktop later.  :)

Next, VASSAL will install some documentation into your home directory. The exact location is system dependent (e.g. in C:\Documents and Settings for most versions of Windows). The online help for VASSAL will open browser windows that point to the installed documentation

Congratulations, VASSAL is now installed!