File naming conventions
Some file naming convention between yourself and your opponent will be necessary... here is a suggestion: "[scenario#]-[turn #]-[side]-[phase] .vasl"
- RPh Rally Phase
- PFPh Prep Fire
- MPh Movement
- DFPh Defensive Fire Phase
- AFPh Advancing Fire Phase
- RtPh Route Phase
- APh Advance Phase
- CCPh Close Combat Phase
Example: "AH17-3-A-PFph.vasl" or "CH45-2-X-Aph.vasl"
The Log File
Postal VASL is achieved through the mailing back and forth of a Log File. The Logging feature must be turned on to capture the moves. Create a logfile by selecting Begin Logfile from the File menu at the top of the VASL Control window. The current map position will be saved, and VASL will record all your moves, actions, and comments. They will be seen by your opponent as (s)he Steps through the log file. Hitting the Undo button will back you up to the last move, but your text comments will not be erased. When finished with your moves, select End Log from the File menu to save the moves into a file using the above naming system. Be sure you give the logfile a different name from the scenario savefile or you will overwrite the savefile.
Sending the Log File
After closing the log file, exit VASL and start your mail program. Create a message to your opponent and attach the log file as an attachment.
Stepping through a Log File
Upon receiving a VASL log in email, save the attachment into the subfolder for the scenario. Your opponent activates the logfile by choosing it after selecting File > Load Game. A logfile is technically just a savefile with moves tacked onto the end, so if the file contains moves the Step button will appear automatically. If the button does not appear, there are no moves recorded in that file.
Each time you hit the Step button, a single move or comment will be executed until the end of the file is reached. The Undo button takes you back to the last move. Step through your opponent's log file until you see something to which you wish to respond (a comment, an error, or a defensive first fire opportunity). Back up to the location where you wish to start logging (possibly several lines back where the target unit starts moving) and write a new logfile. As you now step through your opponent's logfile, his moves will be echoed into the logfile you are creating. Step down to show your opponent's comment/error/move, then enter your response. [Note: the reason for not writing your log immediately after loading your opponent's is to avoid copying your opponent's valid actions to your log file unnecessarily and thus to keep each log file to the minimum size possible.] If your response significantly changes the situation in the game, end the log and send the logfile to your opponent for any adjustments. Otherwise, enter the actions for your phase(s), end the log and exit VASL.
If playing or observing a live game on the server, a logfile may be opened to record the game as it progresses.
Like all mail/email games, a version of the "On My Honor" rules will be used. For instance, the players must agree not to step through the log file to determine the best defensive first fire opportunities before applying the shots. They must also agree to stop stepping through their opponent's MPh if a significant defensive action takes place. In other words, both players must agree to play the log file as it comes. So no peeking!