For those preferring to immediately check module link: RA Module 0.841.
The social isolation continues and with that inability to play the games face-to-face. It is over two months so far here in Poland and while some restrictions are being relaxed, we are far from coming back to normal. Thus as far as boardgames are concerned the main way to play them is online – for me usually using the Vassal modules.
Having your favorite games just sitting on shelves is depressing. Especially when you do not have completely any other way to get them to play because there is no online version. That was exactly the case with Red Alert, a Commands and Colors game by Richard Borg published by PSC Games.
Expressing on BGG my desire and longing to get the working Vassal module finally worked. Charlie Heckman took up the challenge and I was one of the first play-testers of the new design. But before we jump into specifics of this new vassal module, couple of words about the games for those who doe snot know it.
Following the official description:
Red Alert: Space Fleet Warfare allows two to six players to duke it out in space. The play of command cards drives the action and creates a “fog of war”, while battle dice resolve combat quickly and efficiently. Combat cards add an element of suspense and challenge players to maintain their star token reserves to power their Combat cards through the course of a battle. The action on a combat card may hinder the opposition forces, enhance a player’s units, or may instantly change the course of a battle.
An assortment of task force cards allow players to quickly deploy a fleet of starships. In addition to these task force units, players can augment and customize their fleets with support vessels.
There are some specifics in this system like Star tokens fueling battle backs or additional movement, red alert situations on ships or free deployment of forces. However, in essence this is more or less standard C&C game.
You can find more on:
The design itself is based on the Tricorne module created by Mark McG. It is in early stages, a lot of functionalities are currently being developed. Still, it is already a fully usable component thus exposure to larger audience to identify any possible bugs.
It can be downloaded form here: RA Module 0.841.
It already looks very elegant and neat:
And pretty function, as Tricorne module gave it a great background.
Some of the other things worth noticing:
- scenarios – all base games set-ups are there – with full description in notes; the Expansion and Fan made are still to be included
- reference sheets – we already have it for all base game and expansion ships; terrain one is still to be added
- additional feature for color-blind players – we were lucky to have one of the testers to draw our attention to this. In order to address this, a mode was created which allows you to switch-on additional
- based on my suggestion, a modified Victory Points stand was created – almost all Red Alert scenarios are to 21 points or 8 destroyed ships so it should be functional:
- when you set-up regular scenario (with free set-up at pre-designated spaces) if you drag a unit from your hand to board, it gets behind the marker so it is not visible to opponent – just as designed:
And many more things which you will be able to notice once you try it!
As mentioned above, I had been privileged to be in the first testers group and managed to go through module pretty thoroughly. Also, using it I played 3 sessions already with my usual opponent Marcin (stormwalker) introducing him to the game: Opening Salvo Uneasy Truce, DoW: Declaration of War and #1 Cardinal’s Belt.
All base game mechanics function very well, although the battles tend to last longer than in C&C Ancients or Medieval. Knowing each other pretty well we had a lot of fun of course, trying old trick in new environment and with some new cards. Thanks to the module, a lot of such meetings in front of us!
Of course, no software solution will replace the experience of playing that game live, on large map with those gorgeous plastic models! Still, I am really glad we have now this module and would like to express my sincere thanks to Charlie who took the effort to create it!