Saturday 30 June 2012

AB + GW != ©

Last weekend I was contacted by Lone Wolf Development and informed that all GW related data files had to be removed from the datafilecentral. You can read the public announcement at

I moved the WFB3 data files to a new home at

Is this just another way for GW to alienate themselves even further from their fan base or are they up to something?

Monday 25 June 2012

This month's figure...

I'm a new dad, so painting is hard.

But, it appears that the stars have aligned appropriately, as Venus ascends through Basingstoke*. Or something. The point is that time, paint, an unpainted figure and myself all appeared to find ourselves in the same place and the same time.

We decided to hang out.

This is the result:

Another chaos dwarf. This plus this and this means that I now have a unit of 10 (painted).

And, off the back of the advice I received on the 'Warhammer for Parents' topic linked above, I also experimented with inks. Or washes. Or whatever they're called. So this is a goblin, painted just in basic colours, and washed in GW brown (I forget what its called, its the new one) and then highlighted with the same base colours as before. The point of this exercise was speed. I won't lie, I'm not thrilled with the outcome, but it is better than I thought it was going to be. And, it only took about 40 minutes (not elapsed time, mind, but total) to do. So...something to think about.

This is a hobgoblin that I decided to try GW black (I forget what its called - its the new one) with. Again, base, wash and highlight with base. I think it turned out better than the brown.

Again, the point was speed - nothing else. This is a comparison with one of my Groms, which was painted without washes:

For interest, the chaos dwarf was painted using my regular layering approach, in order to maintain consistency with the rest of the unit. Assuming my other experiments go well (the two goblins above were a huge fight against my OCD first and foremost - the bases are not done because I genuinely thought they would be in Nitromors by the end of the day!), I think I could really get these washes to work.

*I don't know, but I have it on good authority that a gentleman's club may be found there, from which an especially suitable view of Venus may be appreciated. Venus appears on Fridays and Saturdays.

Monday 18 June 2012

Army Builder: WFB3 - v2.0

Hear ye, hear ye!

Version 2.0 of the WFB3 army builder data files have been published. They can be downloaded through a licensed Army Builder or manually at the Data File Central. Just open the file with AB and follow the installation instructions.

Roster sheets made by previous versions are not compatible with this version. This version includes the following features:

Version 2.0 18th June 2012

  • RoC: Added Champions of Chaos of all Chaos Patrons.
  • RoC: Added 125 personal Chaos Attributes, except: Chaos Were, Duplication, GM'S Choice, Siamese Twin & Invent Your Own.
  • RoC: Added 67 Chaos Gifts, except:Daemon Weapon, Chaos Spawn, The Eye of God.
  • RoC: Added Spells & Magic Items of all Chaos Patrons
  • General: Categorized spells based on level instead of lore.
  • General: Added categories for Race, Abilities and Traits.
  • General: Remake of Ld,Int,Cl,WP bonus system.
  • General: Fixed incorrect stats.

Submitting Bugs
PLEASE include the race the problem occurs with, and any info I need to reproduce it (e.g. units to add etc.). You can report bugs on this blog post or at


Sunday 17 June 2012

Link: Crimes Against Miniatures

Crimes Against Miniatures. Most of us resolve these problems with Nitro Mors or Dettol. But, for just £2 a month, they could be resolved with phallic space guns...

Thursday 14 June 2012

Oh, the (peer) pressure! So, a top 10 list!

For whatever reason, the blogosphere appears to be on steroids. I watch with amazement as people post again and again, sometimes two or three times in one day. Relentlessly, this pace continues, until peer pressure forces me to capitulate, abandoning reason (and sleep - that vital currency which new dads crave so desperately) in order to post my own personal top ten wish list sort of thing. It seems to be popular elsewhere. That said, I refuse to post my desired army lists. That resource is a rich vein of untapped goodness, that we shall explore another time.

Of course, you have no notion of a top ten. Or, because your lust for lead is insatiable, your top ten only refers to the top ten you're thinking about right now - this very second. Already, your mind is filled with despair at only being able to choose ten, so you've just reshuffled it, haven't you? In ten seconds, you've re-arranged a hundred figures in your head.

Anyway, It seems there are some common contenders. My number 10 is one of those:

10: Elven Attack Chariot

I am collecting a High Elf army. It must have one of these chariots. It can't have more than one.

That's just weird.

I don't think these chaps are that hard to get hold of, but I've just had to focus my money on other things, higher up in the list.

9: Mounted Elven Generals

I also love the mounted elves - very specifically, the three mounted generals (top row). I have one, but I need the other two. I have had opportunities to acquire these, but again, money has been routed elsewhere.

8: Skaven General With Warplock Rifle

Really? I have to explain?

7: Iron Claw Stone Thrower

Yes, I also fantasise about the Man Mangler and the Skull Crusher, but this "poor man's" Man Mangler has always stood out to me.

6: Chaos General on War Griffon

A Marauder figure. It's just such an unexpected combination. I had the option to buy one of these once. Idiot.

5: Chaos Dwarf Whirlwind

I've already got a Tenderiser. The Whirlwind is really to complete the collection. Also, it looks cooler.

4: Helwud and Jaek

Now things start to get interesting. I never saw any of the Kaleb Daark stories, so I know nothing about these characters. But, having seen them, I think they're great. Must get the whole set!

3: Slann Wizard

Another common one. I don't have any slann. But, compared to the giant floating frogs of the current lizardman range, this figure is pure gold. A must have for the discerning (and wealthy) collector.

2: The Lothern City Guard

The pre-slotta Lothern City Guard. Not to be confused with the Lothern Sea Guard, although these are no doubt the progenitors of that unit. Again, part of that High Elf fetish I have. A lovely chunk of history, methinks.

1: Heinrich Kemler and Grimwald

You look surprised?

Sunday 10 June 2012

Terror of the Lichemaster: 15 / 17

It seems that we're nearly there. The two outstanding Bogels arrived on Friday:

Which really means that we're missing only two characters. The insidious Grimwald, and the Ace of Spades himself, Heinrich Kemler. This is the updated sheet:

Only two to go!
Now in this instance, my scrounging was noticed by the benevolent Wardy-La, who transacts in bits and bytes over at Level 2, amongst others. This kind gentlemen hails from the mysterious dimension of Essex, where the preconceived stereotypes do little justice to the honourable residents of that fine county.

Having heard my desperate mewling in the night, he took pity on me and posted the Bogels as soon as was possible, desiring nothing other than the satisfaction of seeing this project lumber one step closer to its inexorable conclusion.

To you, Mr Wardy-La, I say thank you.

I do have some things that Wardy-La may be interested in, so I'll be posting those off by way of recompense. If, however, you find something that I may be able to help with, Mr Wardy-La, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Realm of Chaos: Army Builder

Since Thursday, 28 july 2011 I've been added to this blog as a new contributor. Months have passed and I've contributed precisely nothing. What I've been doing instead was working feverishly on what is probably the most impossible and least awaited project of 2012. That's right, a complete implementation of the Realm of Chaos books within the WFB3 Army Builder files. Now before I delve into the intricate details of this, let me first explain Army Builder for those unfamiliar with it.

Army Builder is a software product created by Lone Wolf Development. I quote from their website:
Army Builder streamlines the creation of army lists, providing "point-and-click" simplicity and virtually eliminating mistakes. Instead of spending an hour to create a roster, it now takes a few minutes. Army Builder's validation engine constantly checks your roster against the rules for the game, flagging any errors with pinpoint accuracy.
Since Army Builder takes care of the math for you, you can quickly experiment with different ideas and refine your army list. Add a new item, subtract some models from a unit, change the rules for the roster - Army Builder instantly recalculates points totals and revalidates the roster, allowing you to make changes in seconds.
When your roster is complete, Army Builder can print out an invaluable "quick reference sheet" for use during game play, saving time and reducing costly errors. Between games, you can harness all this power and easily experiment with new army ideas.
The software allows so called data file authors to create data files for virtually any point-based system. The data file central shows a list of all the currently available point-based systems for Army Builder. Anyone can become a data file author. Being a programmer myself I thought it fun to create the data files for Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd edition. Little did I know that this "fun" project would take years to finish. The first version was published in October 2010. I believe I started somewhere in 2009.

I completed the implementation of the Warhammer Armies book with version 1.32 on June 2011. This is around the same time when Gaj coined the idea of including the Realm of Chaos army lists. Thanks dude. After a quick investigation I figured it wouldn't take a lot of time if only including the rank & file troops. The Khorne and Slaanesh army lists where included in version 1.51 on July 2011.

Being fairly content with the result, I thought myself finally finished with the latest version 1.65. Until, Gaj started complaining he couldn't select a "Champion of Chaos" from the RoC army lists. Obviously, the implications involved in adding CoC to the list are paramount. I wish I just neglected him and went on with my life. Needless to say, I didn't and this is where my decline into the Realm of Chaos started. Ooh the horror...

To be honest, I really don't know where to start explaining all the work done so far. At the time of writing I've implemented 115 attributes and almost all common gifts. All effects of the attributes are calculated and applied to the selected starting profile. There's still a lot of work to be done, like patron gifts, daemon and chaos weapons, war bands and the remaining attributes. Before continuing with this project and exposing myself to a certain insanity, I would like have some feedback on what has been made so far.

To demonstrate the potential of the RoC data files, I present to you "Ellen Degenerate" made in Army Builder.

We start by selecting a new Chaos roster, and choosing the "RoC - Chaos Army of Slaanesh" army subtype. The other options are left untouched.

The new roster has the following units available.

Selecting the "Champion of Chaos" unit from the roster presents us with the following options. Text marked in red means the option is invalid. In this case the validation roster reminds us that these options are mandatory.

To create a CoC you need to select a starting profile and mark it with the Mark of Chaos. As explained in Gaj's blog post on Ellen Degenerate, she starts her rise/descent as a level 10 Dark Elf Wizard. The Mark of Slaanesh gives her the default gift of Slaanesh (+1 WP) and one random attribute.

The starting profile is added as a child node to the CoC unit. Notice how the name has changed to "Champion of Slaanesh" after selecting the Mark of Slaanesh, the profile is still that of a standard Dark Elf with the exception of the default gift of Slaanesh.

Changing the profile to a level 10 Dark Elf Wizard is done by selection the "Level 10 Wizard" option.

It's also possible to change the default unit names into something more appropriate.

The random attribute is not added immediately after selecting the mark. This has to do with the way Army Builder works. Although AB supports random numbers, it cannot remember the number once generated. Random numbers are recreated each time the roster is updated. Basically every time you select or add something to the roster. To circumvent this problem, the user has to supply AB with the results. This means the user still needs the RoC books for consulting the various dice charts.

Reward 2 - Attribute 1: Chaos Lord
We know Ellen rolled the "Chaos Lord" attribute as her first random attribute. The attribute is selected by clicking on the "Select Attribute" option. Notice that this is mandatory for completing the startup profile.

A dialog appears in which the user can select an attribute. There are three different types of attributes. Those that affect the profile and those that don´t and those that are horribly complex. The Chaos Lord attribute falls under the latter.

Each attribute has a description. The first part is a copy of the description as written in the RoC books. The second part describes the effects.

Attributes are added to the profile unit as child items, prefixed with "attr:".

For this attribute the users needs to roll a D6 for each option presented and select it on a roll of 4+. Now, I'm not sure if Gaj rolled these dice, since he didn't mention anything about it in his blog post. Though he did mention he got the options 1,2,3 and 4. So, for the sake of this demonstration let's assume he did roll the dice.

Selecting the "Chaos Armour" option adds the "Chaos Armour" item as a child to the profile unit. The first CA received gives it bearer a +2 armour save. Consequently normal armour options under the profile unit have now been disabled.

Selecting the "Magic" option adds a +1 Magic Level, giving Ellen a total ML of 2 and access to Level 2 Spells. If Ellen was a follower of Khorne she would have received a Fleshhound and a Collar of Khorne  instead, crazy right?

Selecting the "Attributes" option causes a dialog to appear, asking to enter a number. This number represents the number of attributes. Ellen received 5 extra attributes. These additional attributes causes the "Select Attribute" option under the profile unit options to appear enabled and madatory once again.

Although you can select it, the "Daemon Weapon" option is currently not supported. This leaves us with the following.

Reward 2 - Attribute 2: Long Neck
The "Long Neck" attribute is one of those attributes that does not affect the profile. The easy ones.

Reward 2 - Attribute 3: Bestial Face
The "Bestial Face" attribute needs some special attention. Again, the red text indicates this. Let's have a look at the attribute description and options.

Just as with the "Chaos Lord" attribute, this attribute requires user input.

However, these options are mandatory and only one can be selected per attribute.

There, Ellen now has a "Face of a Goat", gaining +1 Fear Point and +1 Gore Attack.

Notice that the +1 Fear Point and +1 Gore Attack are accumulated under the Traits and Abilities categories

Reward 2 - Attribute 4: Zoological Mutation
Two D100 need to be rolled, the result can be entered by the user.

One part is replaced, and +1 Fear Point is added to her profile.

Reward 2 - Attribute 5: Limb Transferance
Another one of those complex attributes that need user input. Again, this attribute adds another +1 Fear Point to her profile.

Reward 2 - Attribute 6: Plague Bearer
The Shakes cause -1 WS and A, but the stats cannot drop below 1, so A stays the same. The Plaque does add another +1 Fear Point.

The spells are selected under the appropriate Level categories.

Exporting the roster to PDF creates the following document.

This concludes the creation of Ellen Degenerate. This demonstration only shows a small part of what is implemented. I'm not completely confident in publishing it yet, I guess I'm just looking for some feedback and mental support. If there're enough people actually wanting to use this, I might actually finish it, otherwise I'm not so sure.

If you're only interested in the CoC creation, but don't want to spend money for an AB license, don't worry. The trail version allows the creation of up to 3 units. The CoC only occupies 1 unit, meaning you can create up to three champions without needing an AB license.