Der Weltkrieg’s Vassal Module allows owners of the games to play live on the Internet or by email. It requires use of the free, open source Vassal Game Engine.
I only ever played a wargame against anyone but my brother twice in my entire life (not counting Risk , Diplomacy, and Axis & Allies). Most of my wargaming remained solo. In the early 90’s I pretty much stopped playing wargames all together.
One night in early January of 2008 I googled one of my old favorites (Fire in the East). This led me to BGG. At the time I was barely computer literate. I learned quickly! I discovered a whole world of wargamers and many, many new wargames. I was totally infatuated. I soon heard about Vassal. “You mean I can play my games against opponents on my computer?” My life of wargaming isolation was over!
I quickly began to find opponents . My first was in a playtesting situation with a developer of a game. He taught me how to play PBEM; he was patient and nice. After about 3 files I had it down more or less. I played (and still do on occasion) solo games on vassal and began to find more opponents for PBEM on BGG and a bit later CSW. After a short while I began to try playing live games to (without Skype). This was fun too, even better than PBEM!
One day I got an email from a fellow who saw some of my posts on BGG. He suggested I buy a headset and try Skype. After a couple of days I went down to Walmart and bought a headset for around $30. An hour later I was talking with my new friend (Bob). This was around 3 years ago. After this I started playing live games on Vassal with Skype regularly.
This has been a life changing experience for me. I have a whole new world of buddies and play most of the games I want to against real live opponents. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me in many years.
I have been transformed from an isolated, solo gamer with no one to even talk about games with into a member of a large community of gamers and new friends.
In my real life I have always been a very social outgoing person and wargaming was like a secret, solitary, and yes lonely hobby. That has all changed because of vassal.
I hope after reading this that you will have a better understanding of why I am such an advocate!
Thanks for listening!