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Vassal vs TTS - which one and why?

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I have posted in other threads about needing more practice and am trying to get to grips with both Vassal and TTS but to be honest, neither is very intuiative and both feel cumbersome to use.

It got me to wondering which one people use most and why, as well as any advice you might have.

Thanks in advance,

GamingMonkey

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Vassal because I got used to it and there is a thriving community. And the Vassal league is one of the most fun things in X.Wing that I participated in.

how did you get beyond the initial learning curve?

What tips/tricks do you have for a newish Vassal player?

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I think so, I found a tutorial on YouTube that I think covered that (it's been a few weeks) but setting up a squad still took me a good chunk of time. Is it much quicker once you have the hang of setup? How long does it take to get a game going from when you launch to getting to the first move?

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I think so, I found a tutorial on YouTube that I think covered that (it's been a few weeks) but setting up a squad still took me a good chunk of time. Is it much quicker once you have the hang of setup? How long does it take to get a game going from when you launch to getting to the first move?

Tested it right now, assigning dials for my squad of four different ships takes me less than a minute, then there is the init roll, obstacle placement and ship placement, but that's just like in a normal X-wing.

The assigning dial process doesn't take long to get used to, in my first game the setting up took forever as well, but after two, three games you should get the hang of it.

EDIT And the mod gets updated from time to time, it is much more comfortable to use than when I first started a few weeks ago.

Edited by eMeM

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Vassal is pretty hard to figure out, TTS looks really good and the most complicated thing is storing dials, it's super easy. The angles are also life like so you won't get thrown off like Vassal. I'd pay four times the price for TTS if it meant I didn't have to use Vassal.

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Try squadron benchmark if you need some practice and can't find an opponent.

You fly your squad against the computer.

Sure, sometimes the AI does some seemingly random moves. But all in all I think it's a great tool. Especially since you can play a match anytime you want without having to wait for an opponent. And it's really easy to use unlike Vassal.

You can take a pre-built squad or build your own. And it's as easy as building a squad on most squadron builders.

The one downside I've noticed is that if you face a squad with multiple upgrades/synergies the AI won't use all of its abilities. But if you face a simple squad it works great. Especially 4 TLT.

That match can be a real challenge. Unless you run Palp-Defenders like me .

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Thanks for all the repaonses so far. I am working today and have no game time but am curious for those using TTS, what was the learning curve? An hour? Two? I'm (admittedly). Not technical and I fumbled around for 45 minutes and got no where, is that PEBKAC?

Also, might just be me but is squad benchmark broken right now? I don't seem to be able to build or edit certain squads and the computer is dropping certain upgrades when I go to play so I have really a 94 point squad.

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Using TTS. Watched couple yt videos to set it up. As mentioned earlier auto list spawner is very handy. It takes a moment to deploy squad. Ships are pretty rendered. Automovement and autobumps are speeding the play. Also there is Gunboat ;)

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I'm surprised more Vassal people haven't spoken up about it.  It is intimidating but I've taught several people to play and their reaction invariably is that it wasn't as hard as they thought.   I learned by playing against myself for a game.

 

I'm sure the TTS players are great as the Xwing community is in general, but Vassal has most of the best players in the world playing there.   I've had several opportunities to play that caliber of players because of that.   I can't recommend it enough.

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I think vassal is very simple, once you got a hang of it. The hotkeys are intuitive, and within a 3-5 games they become quite natural. 
Learning to save a list should not take more than 10 minutes, and then you are ready to go. Vassal isnt as pretty as TTS but it is used by a lot of good players and it is free. 

A quick guide to hotkeys that save a lot of time: 

Maneuvers:

Forward= SHIFT+1-2-3-4-5 to get the corresponding straight maneuver

LEFT BANK= CTRL + 1-2-3-4-5 for corresponding bank maneuver left.
LEFT TURN = CTRL+ SHIFT +1-2-3-4-5 for corresponding hard turn left.

RIGHT BANK = ALT +1-2-3-4-5 for corresponding bank maneuver right 
RIGHT TURN = ALT + SHIFT +1-2-3-4-5 for corresponding hard turn right. 

K-turns = CTRL + ALT + 1-2-3-4-5 for corresponding K-turn. 

A good way to remember directions on maneuvers is that CTRL is left on your keyboard, and ALT is right on your keyboard and corresponds to that maneuver. 

General stuff:

CTRL + F firing arc
CTRL + V = Auxiliary firing arc
CTRL + L 'target lock'/turret arc

SHIFT+A = First action
SHIFT + Z = clear first action 
SHIFT +CTRL + A = 2nd action
SHIFT +CTRL + Z = clear 2nd action
 

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I have no idea what TTS is like.  I started with VASSAL (only option at the time) and discovered a great online community.  The number of quality players on there is astounding.  In fact, I owe VASSAL for elevating my game and making me as good at this game as I am now.  If you want to get good, play against the best and log your games.  Reviewing what you did wrong (and what the good players are doing) improves your skill more quickly than anything else.  

 

I'm not saying that there may not be good players on TTS, but I know quite a number of the 'big names' in x-wing are on VASSAL somewhat regularly, and getting to play them does way more for you than playing against a really sh!tty AI (such as squadron benchmark).  Okay, that last remark probably doesn't apply to TTS...I dunno.

Edited by blade_mercurial

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I've never played TTS... but I use Vassal a lot.

 

I can't directly compare the two, but my opinions of Vassal:

 

Regularly updated by the amazing Mu0n, including Heroes of the Aturi Cluster and all the scenarios from ships.

 

MASSIVE playerbase, including some very big names in the x wing world.

 

Vassal league is the best thing ever - I get regular games, for free, against a wide variety of players, worldwide, and a chance to see where I stand worldwide in terms of skill. And they do prizes!!!

 

However... It's 2D top-down which can be an issue, although personally I love being able to exactly see if something will fit or not - you just need to work out how to judge moves. It's fairly simple and due to the template accuracy it's applicable to real life.

 

The interface is clunky, but I can move quickly now, it took me a few games to completely memorise the keyboard shortcuts but that's second nature now.

 

My tip would be to print a list of the KB shortcuts and keep it for your first few games, it'll speed things up great.

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The fact that Blade posted here reminded me that not ...only is the Vassal community full of big names, it's also given me a much larger pool of people to discuss lists and strategies with. (Blade is one of a couple of people giving me great feedback on my World's list. We'll even hop on and wast half each others' games, if only for a bit, and then follow-up later. This probably happens on the Simulator, too, but the breadth and experience of the Vassal crew is astounding.

Edited by AlexW

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Is TTS prettier?  Yes.  

I also envy the collision capabilities, and I absolutely commend the people who have put the work into the TTS module for X-wing.

 

Nevertheless, in the past month, 1,333 unique players were on VASSAL for X-wing, and 2,814 games were played.  I don't know if that kind of data is even available for TTS, but I doubt it can post those numbers, and I don't know how many top players play TTS.  Go to any region and show us ten top players, and we can probably list 6 or 7 Vassal handles.

 

Yes, I understand the irony of favoring a legacy platform, just because that's where all the users are, but that's how life works.  Besides, it's not a zero sum game.  Vassal is free, and TTS isn't all that expensive.  If you and your old buddy want ot play games across country and you like TTS, go for it, and if you want to meet new people or test lists against top people, you can use Vassal for that too.  They're both easy enough to learn if you practice for three or four games.

 

Besides, just because Vassal is older and simpler doesn't mean it is less useful for getting better.  Though TTS looks nicer, and Vassal is essentially late 90's technology, I think that trying to actually simulate the table view is more of a distraction.  I'm already on a different perspective with my screen, I don't need another layer of forced perspective on top of that.  Actually, Vassal has helped me learn ship moves in a much less subjective manner, in terms of base lengths and as fractions of the table size, something I would not have picked up in a forced isometric view.)

 

Bottom line:  If you want to always be able to go on and get a game, Vassal is for you.  Everything else is detail around the edges.

Edited by Earthworm

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TTS is a superior program and module. It's quicker to setup, accommodates formations better, and has the advantage of being in 3D, which has a number of benefits all its own. The automation is also great.... it handles bumps like a champ. 

 

The community on Vassal seems larger however, making it easier to find games. Also the Vassal league is a thing. 

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Table Top simulator does have more of an X-wing aesthetic with 3D pieces. However Vassal has more support and easier to use than Table Top simulator of X-wing. Plus I think Vassal's policy to avoid possible copyright infringement keeps it safe from C&D orders while table top simulator might not have the same protection. Simply encouraging someone to purchase the game before downloading the table top simulation might not be enough.

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I have tried both Vassal and TTS, and as someone who uses a laptop with only touchpad capabilities, I found TTS painfully difficult to use. With that in mind, it's easy to understand that I am pretty heavily in the vassal camp. Having said that, I still understand there is without a doubt major benefits to both.

 

 

For TTS-

 

Aesthetically appealing. For many that is a big factor, but for others such as myself, who are far more concerned with the tactical game play, it is far less so.

 

Has automated collisions, which vassal does not have. Bumping ships on vassal must be done manually.

 

Has automatic list spawning with the use of a squad builder, which vassal does not have. This is a pretty big deal as squad building in vassal can take some time as you have to pull out each dial and card needed for your list as well as fill the statlines on the base for each ship (although this only needs to be done once as you then save your list for any future use).

 

Cards have full text available within the module, which vassal does not. For whatever reason, the creator of vassal (Mu0n, as he is known on these forums and on vassal), chooses to exclude a large amount of text from cards, including pilot abilities, upgrade card abilities, squad points costs, and ship stat lines. If you are unfamiliar with any of this material, you will have to load it in a squad builder or the like. I believe the main reason he has chosen to do this is to avoid any issue with FFG, but seeing as TTS has the cards in their module with full text, AND you have to pay for TTS, I'm unsure exactly why this is the case, but I trust he has good reasoning for it.

 

 

For Vassal-

 

-Vassal is 100% free. TTS isn't expensive by any means, but no reason to spend if you don't need to.

 

-the Vassal community is well established. The vassal league is fantastic, and other tournaments, such as the regularly held RXT (reddit x-wing tournament), the high profile Galactic Cup (a massive tournament which has included the likes of Paul Heaver among other worlds level players), and others take place here. You will hardly, if ever, at any point in the day, have trouble finding a game within a 1-5 minute time frame with no hurdle to jump through other than simply sending the player a message (on vassal) asking if they are ready to go.

 

-Spectator friendly. One of my favorite parts of vassal is how I can turn it on, and even if I am not sure I have the time for a full game of x-wing but still have the itch, I am more than welcome to watch any games that are going on (which there will almost certainly be multiple of). Often, you will find watching a match of two high level players is just as beneficial as playing a game yourself. Not sure who is a high level player? Just look for the game with the most spectators at any given time, and it's likely you are in the right place. Along with this, spectator input is often valued after a match. Players will ask for thoughts, and players and spectators alike participate in highly intelligent and valued X-wing discussion that is often difficult to find (yes, even on this forum).

 

-No Frills. As mentioned before, for some this is a negative. It's not "pretty", per se, but one thing is for sure- You will never find a cleaner X-wing visual than than the one you find on vassal.

 

-Vassal is updated with the latest revealed cards and ships within days. I don't know how quickly TTS updates, but vassal updates as fast as you'd believe possible with the latest material. All previewed material from the Rebel Tie and  Kylo Ren's shuttle is currently available in vassal, and I wouldn't be surprised if the material from the Quadjumper preview is available by this time tomorrow.

 

 

WASHES-

 

-Both take time to learn. I have a very hard time believing either option is fully "easier" to navigate than the other. Familiarity with either system will likely result in just as pleasant an experience as the other. Some things, such as "physically" grabbing the dice and then "rolling" them in TTS, for example, seems far more cumbersome to me than the click and get results method that vassal has in place. Similarly, having to manually place bumped ships may be far more cumbersome than anything TTS asks you to do.

Edited by Kdubb

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After playing with both, i personally prefer TTS by a thousand miles. The enormous inconvenience of not having text available(this is the biggest one. I have forgotten abilities at least 15 times just in my last two games alone, which has been an enormous issue. I also don't have damage cards memorized, so we have to take time to look up what the damage cards do before we can keep playing. This SUCKS. I understand why it's considered necessary, but it still sucks complete *** and TTS doesn't do this.), unautomated collisions, and the disconnect with regards to movement(scale is difficult to adjust to, so bumps will occur a lot) is a major deterrent for me. TTS has it's own quirks, such as(last time i checked), inability to adjust a ships position after automated movement has begun and the planning of maneuvers, but i don't mind having to physically roll dice and stuff when in Vassal i need to use a clunky, 2D interface with like, 4 critical windows i need to have open at all times(Dice rolling, player window, board, and movement shortcuts, which would be impossible to manage if i didn't have a dual monitor, which not everyone has), and have to manually adjust my ships position every time a bump occurs. 

 

Vassal is great for the community and not a bad program by any means. If i need practice for a tournament, and need it fast, Vassal. The TTS community needs to have time to get together to do stuff. People are always on Vassal, though.

 

TTS has some weird stuff that bothers me too, no doubt. But for the most part it's superficial issues. The mechanics of everything is so convenient in TTS, but i guess that's why it has a price tag. Which i think is ultimately the point here; Vassal, with all it's flaws, is FREE. You have to deal with some clunky stuff, but it's free. TTS is the more streamlined of the two, but you gotta pay for it.

 

At the end of the day, i'll play on both, though. 

Edited by Razgriz25thinf

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[...]

The enormous inconvenience of not having text available(this is the biggest one. I have forgotten abilities at least 15 times just in my last two games alone, which has been an enormous issue. I also don't have damage cards memorized, so we have to take time to look up what the damage cards do before we can keep playing. This SUCKS. I understand why it's considered necessary, but it still sucks complete *** and TTS doesn't do this.), unautomated collisions, and the disconnect with regards to movement(scale is difficult to adjust to, so bumps will occur a lot) is a major deterrent for me.

 

[...]

 

in Vassal i need to use a clunky, 2D interface with like, 4 critical windows i need to have open at all times(Dice rolling, player window, board, and movement shortcuts, which would be impossible to manage if i didn't have a dual monitor, which not everyone has), and have to manually adjust my ships position every time a bump occurs. 

 

[...]

[...]

 

I agree with the irritance of not being able to read card text, but it's not exactly difficult to have either a printout or another window (minimised) with your lists in a squad builder. Also, it takes maybe 10 seconds to find a damage card, copy & paste the text in with this: http://s93768914.onlinehome.us/xwing/crits

 

I've never used a dual-monitor setup, and it still all fits in the window - map, dice, player hand (I have mine open, and the opponen't is one click away) and chat window all fine.

 

I would argue that Vassal helps you learn movement in a much more unobjective manner in terms of ship bases, which is applicable to the real table. Like, my ghost can perform its 5K only if it's out of range of the board edge directly in front of it, or my 2 turn with a large base will have just under 1 small base between the corners on the inside.

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Nevertheless, in the past month, 1,333 unique players were on VASSAL for X-wing, and 2,814 games were played.  I don't know if that kind of data is even available for TTS, but I doubt it can post those numbers,

 

This is what it comes down to for me. I've played 5 games in the last week, which is great for getting practice in with a list. Or if you have a cool idea for a list one day at work, you can be playing with it that same evening without having to wait for the x-wing night at your FLGS. If you log on for a game, you will find one - and normally without even waiting that long.

 

I'm a little bit surprised by comments about how unfriendly the interface is but maybe thats because it is second nature to me now. That said, I do remember having felt pretty comfortable with it after the first couple of games. The lack of detailed graphics and the 2d view don't bother me particularly, it means I don't need a high end laptop to run it, and even better, there is a linux version.

 

I've got to admit I haven't tried TTS but I look at vassal as a tool to get some x-wing practice rather than a game unto itself and its absolutely excellent. There's very little reason for me to look past it.

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