Guide to Vietnam Commander Chess in Vassal

Guide to Vietnam Commander Chess in Vassal

Founder VCC: Nguyễn Quí Hải

Programmer: Mark Platts UK

This guide is split in to three parts:

·        Part 1 shows you how to install and set up Vietnam Commander Chess (VCC) ready to use.

·        Part 2 shows you how to play a game of VCC using the internet, with both players playing at the same time.

·        Part 3 shows you how to play a game of VCC by emailing each move, for players who cannot be at their computer at the same time.

·        At the end are some final notes of useful things.

Disclaimer: I the author do not own Vassal or any rights to Vassal. Vassal is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License, version 2.1 or later. This document is intended as a guide on how to use Vassal.


Part 1:


The game is played on a computer program called Vassal whose web page can be found here:

Vassal allows people to make and play custom board games on a computer and over the internet. Each game is represented by its own ‘module’, and modules are run using the ‘Vassal engine’.




To install Vassal, run the installer (Figure 1) and follow its instructions. This installer can be downloaded from the link above.



Running a Module:

Now that Vassal is installed, run the program. You next need to tell it where the module is.

First take the module (Figure 2) from the email and move it to a permanent location on the computer.

Next go back to the Vassal program, select ‘File’ then ‘Open module’ (Figure 3) in the top left. A directory will come up, in this find where you have stored the VCC module and select it. The VCC module open and can be played.

Now you will see the welcome screen (Figure 4) for the VCC module.



Figure 3: To open a module


Figure 4: Welcome Screen


Part 2:


First one player must host a game, then the other player can join this game and play.

Starting from the welcome screen the hosting player chooses ‘Load saved game’, then they click select and find ‘setup.vsav’ (Figure 5), then they choose which seat they will be (blue, red, or observer) and click ‘finish’, this will start up a new VCC game.

Quick note: the bar in the middle of the screen can be moved up with the mouse by dragging up the bar (labelled 1. in Figure 6), this will allow the full board to fit on the screen.




Figure 6: Board View Bar

The hosting player should now click on the ‘show server controls’ button (labelled 2. In Figure 6), this brings up the Vassal server controls.

The hosting player now clicks the ‘connect’ button (Figure 7) to connect to the Vassal server. They then must make a name for their game, put it into the ‘New Game’ field and press enter. This now makes the game available on the Vassal Server.




Figure 7: Connect to Vassal Server

Now the other player, on their own computer should open the module and get to the welcome screen. Here they choose ‘Look for a game online’. This will bring up the server controls and show them current VCC games being hosted.

The player now finds the game they wish to join and double clicks on it. This will enter them into the game. If the board does not become visible to the second player, then they must right click on the hosting players name in the ‘current games’ box and click ‘synchronise’, this forces the game to show both players what the host player has on their screen.

More than two people can enter a game and all connected people can control the board.

Part 3:

The starting player follows the instructions for Part 2 to create a new VCC game.

Once this game is ready, the starting player makes their move.

Then the player selects ‘file’ and ‘save game as’, giving this file a different name than ‘setup.vsav’ to avoid overwriting the original.

This save file is then sent to the second player.

The second player then follows the instructions in Part 2 for setting up a VCC game. However, now when they choose ‘load saved game’, they choose the save file they have been sent instead of ‘setup.vsav’.

Once the second player has made their move, they save the game with ‘file, save game’ and then send the save back to the first player who then repeats the pattern.


Final Notes:

·        Vassal creates a virtual board and pieces, but otherwise things are controlled the save as they would be on a real table with real pieces; all players and observers can move pieces around and a piece must be deleted to remove it from the board (right click on the piece and ‘delete’). If a piece is about to take another piece, I recommend deleting the taken piece before moving the taking piece to where it was, as you would in a real game.

·        By clicking on the ‘pieces’ bar (circled in Figure 8), more pieces can be chosen and added to the board. This is to replace pieces that have been accidently deleted or to set up situations, examples, and theoretical positions of your choosing. You may have to drag the bar leftwards to see the pieces list.