New AVID Assistant Codebase Open Beta!

The AVID Assistant Version 2 is now up for testing, with a new lead developer. (Jon Barson is still working on the project, never fear!)

You can find the new AVID Assistant here:


Hello all, I'm Mike. I'm the third and first programmer on this project. I'm the third one to head up this effort and the first one on AVID Assistant 2. AA2 started life as a private project of mine and doesn't share any code with AA1.

I first met Ken at Origins 2002. I was on my way to run one of my 12-player games of Twilight Imperium when Ken tried to recruit me into play Delta V (the playtest version of Attack Vector:Tactical). I'm also the guy behind SSPDF, the software that takes the output from the SS Ship Spreadsheets and turns them into PDFs.

Design Philosophy of AA2

1) The purpose is to speed up game play.
2) Real world usability is more important than looking pretty or being clever.
3) AA2 is a game-aid and not the game.
4) Where there are multiple valid design choices, add a configuration option if possible


There are three variations on AA2 planned.
1) AVID Calculator
This is the variation that is releasing today. It is generic enough to support all of the AVID based games on the market. It's roughly equivalent to the AVID Assistant Version 1

The most important thing to remember is that the AVID Calculator only cares about the Now. It doesn't care about the past or the Future. Think of it as a pocket calculator for firing arcs.

2) Squadron Strike

This is the next variation that will be added. It will support multiple unit types (Ships, Missiles, Torps, etc...) as well as Mode 0, 1, and 2 plotting.

3) Attack Vector:Tactical
This is the final variation to be released.


Coordinate system:
AA2 uses a coordinate system to track where the ships are. I simply place a poker chip in one of the hexes on the map and call it the Origin Point (0,0,0). The coordinates are written using the AVID directions. For example: (4A, 3B, 5+) would be 4 hexes in direction A, 3 hexes in direction B, and 5 levels above the Origin Point.

The coordinate entry system is very lax and accepts lazy entries. For example, it will accept (3F, 2D, 3E, 3-). The software will then normalize it to (5E, 1F, 3-)

Multiple ships:
AA2 can support an infinite number of ships. The practical limit is much lower unless you really like scrolling through ships and have lots of memory on your device. Ships are arranged into Squadrons with each player leading a squadron.

Multiple positions per ship:
Ships can defined a current location, mid-point, and EOT location.

Shared data:
While it is possible for each player to enter in the coordinates for each ship every turn, it is faster to sync data via the internet. AA2 connects to a database at Google that allows players to share data. This is done without accounts.

To share data, one player goes to the setup page and enters a password in the Game Password field and clicks Game Id. The server will then generate a Game Id. This password and Game Id is shared with the other players in the game, allowing them to share data.


A series of tutorials on how AA2 works can be viewed here:

Plan going forward
1) Release Web App of AA2 as a beta build
2) Gather feedback and make improvements
3) Release the Android/iOS Apps
4) Release the Squadron Strike Web App as a beta build
5) Gather feedback and make improvements
6) Update the Android/iOS Apps for Squadron Strike
7) New Kickstarter for AV:T version
8) Release the AV:T Web App as a beta build
9) Gather feedback and make improvements
10) Update the Android/iOS Apps for AV:T

So how fast is this going to happen? I really don't know. This release is actually a few days ahead of what I had planned and I'm already testing out the Android App on my phone.

The 3D rendering code is being worked on by Jon/Tom and there isn't a timeline for completion for it.


I need feedback. Complaints, compliments, feature requests, improvement suggestions, etc... are what keeps me motivated to work on this project. is the email address to use. Please note that this address is for the AA2 software only. Questions about anything else will simply be forwarded to Ken at

All feedback will be added to our issues list and discussed at the development team's monthly meeting.

I'll try to have a monthly update from this point forward, most likely after one of our monthly meetings, to keep folks updated on the progress and to act as a running FAQ.

I can also be found on the Ad Astra Games Fans page on Facebook (