Today I am going to offer a quick review of one of my hobby tools: BattleScribe Army List Builder.
Whenever I need to build an army list for Warhammer Fantasy, this is what I use. It is quick, easy and it does all of the necessary calculations for you. It’s constantly being updated, and the newer army registries include not only points values and full statlines, but special rules and abilities, including the relative page number of the book it came from. I don’t care for the print-out that it provides, as it takes up too much space for my liking. Not sure if that is something that can be fixed.
Speaking of fixes, there are errors or bugs that pop up on occassion. For instance, when I was working on an Ogre list last night, it turned out that when I clicked on “Ironfists” for the Irongut unit, it only added the points for one model, and not all of the models. Well, after spending not even 5 minutes reading how to make the approrpiate changes in the Catalogue Editor, and a minute later it was fixed. So you do have to keep an eye out for things like that, and the better you know your army, the more likely you’ll spot any errors. However, they don’t come up much, which is great.
Here is a screengrab of a sample 800pt Ogre Kingdoms list:
I’ve scrubbed out all the points values, as apparently GW doesn’t like people sharing such information. Anyway, as you can see the setup is pretty easy to navigate. When you choose “New Roster,” you’ll choose your game system, army and points value. Then it’ll bring you to this screen. On the left are all of the available units and characters in the army book, and where they belong (Heroes, Core, Rare, etc.). Hovering your mouse over an entry you get a little pop up that shows their basic stats, a list of their abilities (with page references), saves and weaponry. If you double-click the entry, they end up in the middle section, which is your current list, under the appropriate heading, and with a point value. On the right is where you make changes, like adding members to a unit, upgrading the command, adding equipment or Magic Items, etc. Sometimes you’ll add something, like a Standard Bearer for instance, and then to give him a Magic Standard you’ll have to click the new entry in the middle column. Anything in the middle column that is in bold includes something that can be changed. So if you click on Magic Items under the Firebelly, you’ll get a list on the right of Magic Items he can equip. Under Ogres, you can increase the number of models and equip them with Additional Hand Weapons or Ironfists, and add command. Etc. etc.
Again, it’s easy to use. Just point and click. At the bottom it will tell you if there are any errors in your list, like if you’ve gone above the 25% mark for a category, or if you don’t have enough Core yet.
Once you have finished your list and it’s all good, you save it. Now, I usually just write down what I’ve got on a piece of paper and take that to my game. Which is probably why I usually forget when I have a Champion or not, or what Magic Item I gave a Hero. Oi. The better choice is to print out your list right from the Editor, which ends up looking like this:
As you can see at the top, the entry for each character/unit lists the models, any extras you gave them, and their special rules/abilities. At the end of the list is the Profile Summary, giving you what you see above, stats, saves and explanations. Very helpful indeed, although as I mentioned, for my taste it uses up too much paper. Sometimes I do print them up, though, especially when I’m new to the army or the units. I used to use a spreadsheet made with Excel that I borrowed from Rob, but I haven’t created the templates for Tomb Kings or Ogres, so it’s been a while.
Whatever way you choose, starting off with BattleScribe to create your army is a great way to save time. And money. Wait, did I not mention that it’s free? Yup, it’s free. And it’s well-supported, I find. The forum is busy enough, and there are people out there working on the catalogues regularly to keep them updated. Kudos and thanks to all of those that work their butts off to help me with my gaming.
I’ll note that the Roster Editor can be used for other game systems, but I have not tried any of those yet. Go download it and try it out yourself, and let me know how it went.
Well, that’s it for this review. I think next time I will take a look at BattleChronicler, the program I use to make my battle reports. Come back for that one.
Thanks for reading.