Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Invaluable Warhammer tools; Battlescribe Roster builder

One of the most useful tools that I would recommend to fellow players of Wargames is Battlescribe. This is a mobile and PC based list builder that I really would struggle to live without, and heartily recommend to all (not an Ad you’ll be surprised to learn! Just really like it).

So Battlescribe is a third party app that has been around for a couple of years, and is incredibly useful to keep your lists and rules in a nearby format.

Essentially, it uses data catalogues uploaded by the gaming community to allow regular joes to build viable gaming lists.

It presents itself in a simple (low CPU demanding) app.

You select a game system, (in this case 40k) select your force organisation, and then select your army.

From there you are shown a simple page which prompts you to start adding your forces. The best bit about this app is that it keeps you within the guidelines of the force you are using.

If we take a 40k army for example to begin with it will tell you (through red alert notices that flag what you’re missing) that when creating a Combined army Detachment you need to add a unit to include at least 1 HQ, and at least 2 troop choices. way. You select the unit from the relevant section (from Non-Force org HQ, Elites, Troops, Fast Attack, Heavy support, Lords of war) and then hit add.

At this point, everything is presented as their minimum codex entry and size and loadout with nothing further added, the core unit and nothing more, this includes its points as a ‘naked unit’.

If this was an Allied group that would be 1 HQ, and 1 Troop choice. Likewise it alerts you when you go over your requirements, so if you add one too many Heavy Support choices, or troops.

For the other diverse detachments that are available like an Officio Assassination force or Flesh Tearers detachment, its requirements are presented as they are in the codex/data slate, if you don’t include the mandatory units, your list is marked as invalid.

That is the basic level of Force organisation. As you look deeper to the army level it alerts you further, and keeps you within the rules still. So if you have a codex unit which is unique, or your force organisation only allows 0-1 in the detachment, it will alert you.

When you get deeper down at the squad level, it will warn you if your squads are over their maximum number. For example you should only have 10 guardsmen, but you have selected 9, and a two man heavy weapons team.

Deeper down to the individual, like the Sergeant, did you know you gave him two chainswords? No? Alert! If you must pick between loadouts its marked down as a necessary requirement, if you have to pick a specific rule they have, then its listed too. Every  upgrade is represented and selection defined.

You can then view the list as a whole, with stats, basic rules (I.e. rending, rage) and if the catalogue creator has the time, explanations of the specific rules that apply to the specific units, if not, then most likely a page link. Your choices will be shown in a nice listed format that shows stats across the board and can be put into html, notepad, email and because they are exportable you can send this to your tournament organiser as read-only, send it to your friends, send it between compatible devices and save it in many places.

This all means that you can create lists you actually want to use, and not only that, you can create multiple variants themed in slightly different ways. I.e. I have a Cults list. I have a Cults list themed towards heavy Armour, towards hordes.

There is a premium version which not only removes ads, but also enables custom naming conventions, custom lists, custom squad builds that can be saved and included in the armies standard roster and (probably) more.

The key and the champion of this is that the catalogues are created and uploaded by the community. This means that when new codex’s come out the list detail very quickly become available to play around with.

With this app you are able to cope with game changes on the fly, such as a scheduled gamer forgetting part of their list, or wanting to scale a game upwards. Additionally, it’s a really handy referral mechanism that means if you forget your codex, you have a backup.

Now I’m a low-cost, low-load gamer, which means I want to turn up to a game with dice, templates, an army and an app that covers everything. I don’t want to bring a stack of books, nor do I want to have printed sheets of rules. I have a few codexes in PDF format, but as I also use the enhanced and ereader formats in the main so I can bring very little along.

One thing to note is that this app is in no way endorsed by Games Workshop, despite the incredible flexibility it adds to their system, so be mindful of using this around Warhammer World or shoving this in their faces. They are getting there with the builders available in their Enhanced codexes, but they have yet to make a sensible alternative to this community created option so watch this space for theirs.

The app is available on Android, IOS, as well as desktop versions for Mac and PC’s and I really recommend it, I couldn’t play Warhammer as comprehensively as I do without it

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