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PBF or PBEM Pax Pamir 2nd ed. game 2 recruitment & discussion thread

In Pax Pamir, each player assumes the role of a nineteenth-century Afghan leader attempting to forge a new state after the collapse of the Durrani Empire. Western histories often call this period “The Great Game” because of the role played by the Europeans who attempted to use Central Asia as a theater for their own rivalries. In this game, those empires are viewed strictly from the perspective of the Afghans who sought to manipulate the interloping ferengi (foreigners) for their own purposes.

In terms of gameplay, Pax Pamir is a pretty straightforward tableau builder. Players will spend most of their turns purchasing cards from a central market and then playing those cards in front of them in a single row called a court. Playing cards adds units to the game’s map and grants access to additional actions that can be taken to disrupt other players and influence the course of the game. That last point is worth emphasizing. Though everyone is building their own row of cards, the game offers many ways for players to interfere with each other, both directly and indirectly.

To survive, players will organize into coalitions. In the game, these coalitions are identified chiefly by their sponsors. Two of the coalitions (British and Russian) are supported by European powers. The third coalition (Afghan) is backed by nativist elements who want to end European involvement in the region.

Throughout the game, the different coalitions will be evaluated when a special event card, called a Dominance Check, is resolved. If a single coalition has a commanding lead during one of these checks, players loyal to that coalition will receive victory points based on their influence in that coalition. However, if Afghanistan remains fragmented during one of these checks, players instead will receive victory points based on their personal power base.

To play the game, all you really need to do is read the rules (14/20 pages, it’s a surprisingly easy and short read, the first page is quoted above in full, and we won’t be needing the 1-2 player rules), and commit to seeing it through to the end.

Rules: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CpZyDlXgVpAvZEUoHH2slXxPL_ZoBMDK

Game 1 went well, with @Quoc coming out on top of the heap, the heap being @LaLunaVerde, @InkyBloc, @Cokho, and @whistle_pig.

This time though, I’m opening up the options to include PBEM. We can either play by sharing logfiles of our moves by email, or through screenshots I’ll provide to the forum. PBEM will require that participants install and learn to use Vassal, but it’ll be easier on me and I’ll get to see how new users get along with the module. PBF allows people to play on their phone. Either way, I’ll be fielding rules questions and keeping the game flowing here, while a game thread will contain all negotiations and screenshots. I’ll probably play too, depending on the number of participants.

So, who is interested, and in which format? 3-5 players.

I’m interested (again) in either PBF or PBEM, but stick me in the queue behind anyone who didn’t get to play last time :slight_smile:

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I’ll join in.

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I’ll wait a little longer for people away on a long weekend to respond, but I’m up for a three player game if you two are.

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I was leaning towards another PBF, but I think a small 3-player game would be a good chance to give the module a work-out in PBEM.

@whistle_pig and @ryz0283, could you familiarise yourselves with the 0.35 build of the module, linked in the first post? Please be sure to read the (short) help file “How to use this module”, which is where you’d expect it to be from the control window.

If you aren’t familiar with Vassal PBEM, (or Vassal!) let me know and I’ll provide a rundown of how it works.

I’ll give it another 24 hours to see if anyone wants to join, then create a game thread. I think we’ll use that thread to announce our turns, negotiate, post screenshots if you like, and, well, just replace the email part of PBEM entirely. This thread for rule questions, as in the previous game.

Oh, and please pick a colour - Red, Blue, Black, Tan, or Grey.

Blue please!

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Of course, the game starting with 3 players requires @ryz0283 to reappear.

We could play a 2-player game and give the Wakhan bot a test run.

I’ll take black. Sorry for the slow reply I’ve been really really sick the last couple of days.


The game is on.

I hope you feeling OK now.

@ryz0283 I take it from your question you are unfamiliar with Vassal.

You need to download Vassal and the module from the links I provided, run Vassal on Windows or a Mac, load the module, and play around with it a bit to familiarise yourself. Refer to the “How to play this module” helpfile from the module itself if you get stuck.

You can also try loading the setup file I linked in the game thread. That is a simple saved game state, and the only one we’ll use in this game. As we play, we’ll be sharing log files. When it’s your turn, load the logfile linked, click through it, and when it ends you’ll be prompted to start a new one. I suggest a simple naming convention like 1 2 3 etc. to keep track of turns. Play your turn, and when you are done select end logfile. Drag and drop the logfile onto a reply on the forum to share it with us.

I have a feeling this explanation is a bit scatty but I have two crying babies on me. Literally.

If none of this works for you or it all seems like too much hassle, I can switch the format to a pure PBF and post screenshots like I did for the last game.

Thanks for this. I downloaded and used Vassal and loaded the setup module you linked to. My only problem came when trying to create and save a logfile. It didn’t seem to work, but I will give it another try now.

Ah OK. Start log, do stuff, end log, that’s the process.

@whistle_pig is up.

I’m having trouble opening the module in Vassal:

Well, that’s weird. Literally just opening it by double-click? Like you would any other module?

Maybe try downloading it again in case there was something wrong with the download? Dozens of other people have been using it without problems.

Just as a precautionary note: If either of you are following the module’s development (now up to v0.38), please do not install the later module versions. If you do, loading logs will by default load the later module version, so you’ll have old version pieces loaded into new module architecture, and stuff will break.

I mean, you can have multiple versions installed like I do, but if you do, please load module v0.35 before loading any logs from this game.

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Having a bit of a problem with my hand. It has two cards in it and they are stacked, but when I try and drag one it drags the whole stack and there doesn’t seem to be a way to separate the two cards so I can play one individually?

Fixed it. For whatever reason double clicking on a card let’s you drag it separately out of the stack.

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Just a heads up, I won’t have access to my laptop (and therefore Vassal) now until Sunday night.

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@ryz0283, please do read the help file. I tried to make it as concise and informative as I could (and I would appreciate feedback if you think it could be improved).

FWIW, Vassal is made by wargamers for wargamers, so creating stacks of counters is a core part of Vassal. Stacks in my module only occur in player windows, and were a way to allow prizes, cards, and rupees to be sent to specific XY coordinates (“take prize”, “purchase card”, “take rupee”) without obscuring any piece already occupying the same coordinates. Double-clicking to splay and separate a stack is just an unintuitive part of the UI that I can’t change, although the distance and direction cards are separated in stacking and splaying has been customised.

@whistle_pig, I’ll provide a screenshot so you can tell us your move if you find the time to do so.

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