Launching Season 5 of the X-Wing Vassal League!Author: Earthworm
After a long summer break, we’re ready to begin signups for the Vassal League. Signups are open to all players, new and returning.
- The End of Challonge and Reddit!
- Our new website home: xwvassal.info
- More Prizes!
- New Sponsors: Team Hooters (Germany), Gold Squadron Podcast, Mynock Squadron Podcast
- New Prize Vendors: Curled Paw Creatives, Magic Game Works
- Player Voluntary contributions, with really cool prize incentives!
What stays the same
- Our Founding Sponsor, the Scum and Villainy Podcast
- Our Basic Prize and League structure
Welcome back, and thank you for your patience! We’ve had a busy time putting many new and cool things in place, but now we’re ready. Here are some new things (and please read through, as I’ve saved the biggest for last)
Please welcome MysteriousRacer_x to the staff. He is joining to take on the public relations/cheerleading/herder of cats role that Kdubb filled last season. You’ll see him answering questions on league issues on the slack channel and on the usual forums as well. He is also going to be making sure that people get their games in and occasionally highlighting really exciting games you’ve played. He survived a lunch with my three sons, so I’m sure he’ll be able to help keep you lot in line! (Kdubb, by the way, is still with us, but new job, new house and new baby are keeping him busy- congrats to him!)
Challonge and Reddit:They’re gone! Our Tech team, headed up by Sozin and Mu0n, have been hard at work creating alternatives for us, and all of the league’s data features will now be handled in-house. ListJuggler is now our single repository for data and results, and Mu0n’s new xwvassal.info site is now the League’s official ‘home’ and your League dashboard. Newsletters and official documents will no longer be posted on Reddit, which was a formatting hassle. At this point, the only logon you’ll need to participate in the league is for our Slack Channel (new players can auto-generate an invite here).
Money and sponsors:
With great power comes great responsibility. With great prizes and websites come great costs…
We are continually surprised that the league has continued, and become as large as it has. We are very excited about our new technology (there is even more amazing stuff happening in the background, bringing together Vassal, the squadbuilder pages and the meta analysis pages- stay tuned!).
While we are saying goodbye to our founding range ruler prize sponsor, Team Covenant, we are happy to bring on a few new vendors for our prizes: our new prize rulers (and templates!- more on that later) will be produced by Curled Paw Creatives. We are also excited to have Magic Works Games on as an additional sponsor for special prize templates. They both do awesome work and we are excited to be working with both of them.
The Scum and Villainy Podcast was our founding sponsor, and they continue to support us with money, prizes and technical assistance. Joining the Epic ranks of Podcast Sponsors are the Mynock Squadron Podcast and Gold Squadron Podcast, both of whom have become pillars of the X-Wing community in the past few years. Their financial and prize support is allowing us to expand our line of prizes to reward more than just winning divisions.
Our final and most generous sponsor is a game club from Germany called “Team Hooters.” This is a group of league players who have stepped up and offered an incredibly generous level of financial support for the next couple of seasons. This support is going to guarantee the availability of our current line of prizes, and ensure that we can do so without having to require a fee for play. They came through with this pledge immediately after we began the money discussion, and it was great knowing that we were going to be able to maintain the same level of prize support that Team Covenant donated during our first four seasons.
Here’s where you come in:
With all these sponsors allowing us to continue our current levels of prizes, we’re looking to expand what we’re doing, and ensure that we recover our costs for doing so. The League has been a labor of love for all of us and we’ve enjoyed this challenge, and have gladly donated our time to this project. However, several of us have also spent a fair amount of money (now getting into the hundreds of dollars) on this project, and our pocketbooks (and wives) are encouraging us to move to a more sustainable model.
I (Earthworm) have handled all the mailing of prizes, and while I’ve asked recipients of larger prizes to help with the costs of their packages, have been mailing all of the smaller packages myself. They’re not that expensive, but with hundreds of prizes, including a large number going to international destinations, that has added up quickly.
Sozin has maintained ListJuggler features that provide the technical backbone for the league, and while we’ll no longer be paying for Premium Challonge accounts, his costs also enter the hundreds of dollars, and will increase as we begin to host logfiles and reporting for ALL games played.
Finally, Mu0n had been hard at work on a new landing page for all things Vassal, which will serve as your frontpage for all of your league needs. This is added to the costs of his previous website, from which many people entered the world of online X-wing.
We are therefore asking for your financial support. While we are absolutely grateful for our major sponsors, we want to ensure that the league is able to endure in the long run on its own, as well as expand our line of prizes (we’re going to add maneuver templates to the sequence of division winner prizes, for instance).
Here’s how this is going to work.
FIRST, NOBODY WILL EVER BE REQUIRED TO CONTRIBUTE MONEY TO PLAY IN THE LEAGUE. I have no intention of running a business, and we want this to be as open to all of our community as possible. This will function in a fashion similar to how public radio and television works here in the US, with voluntary contributions and incentives for contributing. Players who choose not to contribute will continue to play in the league in all aspects as they had before, but will miss out on these new goodies, and will have to pay for their prizes’ shipping.
Here are the contribution levels (all levels in US dollars):
You are a supporter of the league, and we will list your name on the website or in newsletters as such. If you win a prize that fits in a standard letter envelope (alt-arts, tokens, range 1’s and low speed maneuver templates), we’ll mail you your prizes free. If you win larger prizes that I need to send as a package, we’ll ask you to pay the difference.
You get the same prize mailing incentives as you would at the $3 level. You also get six pairs of league-custom target lock tokens that we will be designing with Curled Paw productions.
In addition to the mailing costs and target locks, you can endow an achievement based prize- we'll work with you to set the condition and pick out an alt-art card as its prize for this season. Want to reward the player who wins the most league games with 8 Tie Fighters? This is for you. We'll ask for your help in monitoring the win conditions, but this would be a fun way of putting your name on the map and bending the meta to your will!
You are an institutional sponsor, your team gets a condition card, target locks and mailing, and your logo goes onto the league home page as a link to your own site AND on a custom game mat that will be included in the Vassal Module’s Map Pack. You’ll be famous!
Each of your individual dollar contributions will also count as entries in a random drawing for a beautiful template set graciously donated by Magic Works Games. I really want one of those (and my FLGS group will tell you I need one, given how my templates wind up everywhere….)
A few notes of legalese: your contribution is not tax deductible and we as an organization do not have formal bylaws or governance. On the bright side, we are not, as far as I know, listed anywhere as a criminal enterprise or terrorist organization, so you probably won’t get in trouble for contributing. We have no intent of making or retaining any profits, so any money left over after recouping our costs and paying for prizes will go to more prizes, whether third party products, or actual FFG items.
Also, if you choose not to contribute, please be aware that if you do win a prize this year, we’re going to ask you to contribute a minimum of $4 for mailing, up to the cost of actually getting it in the mail. We’ll apply that extra dollar to your next season’s contribution. (We actually had an interesting economics discussion about this part. Either way, $4 for a custom can’t-get-it-anywhere-else prize is a pretty sweet deal). You can contribute by clicking on the support level you’ve chosen, or by visiting paypal.me/XWVassalLeague. Note that the account has my name on it, but it is seperate from my personal PayPal. Please do this before you fill in the season signup form, as there’ll be an optional field for you to enter the email address you used through paypal, if it differs from the one you use for the league
OK, Enough about money, how do I sign up?
We have our usual form at https://goo.gl/forms/uF2rbTFwxKbx3jIB3
There are a couple of differences or notes. We are no longer asking for a Challonge username, as we’re not using that system anymore. However, returning players need to continue to use that name to signup, as all your records are based on that username. Once you’ve signed up and we get rolling, we can start a process of changing your username to something else (I know that some of you had to adapt your preferred handles to get on Challonge. Once we get fully migrated, we can start dealing with that). New players should use the username they play Vassal under (matching their username in our Slack, as well). We’ll get in touch with you if you’re duplicating with an existing player.
Please check your spellings very carefully, and if you do contribute financially, make sure you fill out the last question if it applies to you.
Signups are open as of now, and will close Wednesday, September 20. Play should begin within the week after that.
Personal note: I would like to acknowledge that we are beginning several weeks after I intended. I was offered a new job in mid-August, which involved teaching two courses that I hadn’t before taught, in a new district. The delay is mine alone- the other members of staff have been hard at work getting their pieces in place while I got my job in order. I thank you very much for your patience- this job is basically my dream job: it’s permanent, 7 minutes from home, in a great school, and I’m going to be in it and loving every minute until they drag my carcass from the classroom when I’m ninety-nine.
Season 5 league primer
Whether you are a new or returning league player and need to read (or get refreshed) on the general format of this league, go read the season 5 primer.