At long last, the new version of the F&E Vassal module is out! You can download it from ADB here:

Please save the zip package to where you keep your modules, and then extract everything. The extensions will then be seen by Vassal (as inactive) once you open the main “F&E 2.1.vmod” file through the module manager. There is also a new version of the User Manual PDF, which I recommend you look through.

Right after releasing 2.0 I started work on a 2.0.1 to fix some problems (most notably LDR ships initially reported as ‘Tholian’ in the inventory windows), and then went to 2.1 when I added some new features while playing “Konya wa Hurricane” with Byron. I got some feature requests that, along with the need to upgrade all the save game files, made the finishing touches drag out until the project backburnered itself. And then Tactical Operations came out.

I have, in fits and starts, spent much of this year adding all the new units from that to 2.1, finished off the upgrades, and a couple new extensions. The full list of changes is in version history file (look in the Help menu), but here’s the main highlights:

    • Each empire’s Home Fleet now has a bigger box, so they can take bigger collections of ships without all the fleet boxes chewing up screen real estate.
    • Reserve fleet boxes are smaller, but now have a grid to lay out your force in.
    • The large map now has sector and cordon borders that can be turned on/off, like the small map.
    • There is a new ‘Control Panel’ window where you can manipulate the scenario borders, Orion Enclave, and turn off unneeded ship capture dialogs.
    • Units from Tactical Operations have been added, including moving BBs from an extension to the main module.
    • There are new extensions for the Carnivons and Paravians.

Warning: Some changes require careful handling to use a 2.0 game in v2.1. Notably, I fixed the spelling on the two Kosnet fleet boxes, so units in there will disappear when going to 2.1. Just move everything out of them in 2.0, save, open in 2.1 and move them back. Also, sector borders will disappear from games using the large map, and fixing that is a little tricky. The entire upgrade procedure for a saved game is in an appendix of the User Manual, or just send me a message and the current saved game file, and I can do all the upgrading for you.

Another hidden change to the module is I ended up with an insane number of prototypes to handle all the variations in tracked stats. I’ve gone to a system that is messier on the piece side, but only needs a couple of prototypes. The old pieces still use the original prototypes, so cleaning that up is a long-term goal for the module. Past that, further set up files would be good to do, and I want to do an extension for the Romulan Civil War scenario in Captain’s Log #50.

I’ve also contemplated adding background graphics to the fleet boxes (like has been done for the reserve fleets), but a unique one per fleet would make the module size balloon even more (this is about twice the size of 2.0), though a common one per empire is possible.

I’d like to hear thoughts on that and any other features that could be handy. One that I need to look into is giving each fleet marker a command to open the appropriate fleet window.