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papabearshane
16-11-2009, 04:08
Whats the best army builder program?

Tenken
16-11-2009, 04:12
A piece of paper, a pen, and a calculator.:p But seriously the only army builder I even know of is that one by lone wolf, or whatever the company is called. It's okay, but not worth 30 dollars in my opinion.

papabearshane
16-11-2009, 04:19
ya ive always been a pen and paperer my self kinda like the printouts though might make a better looking army layout for myself someday

Stuffburger
16-11-2009, 04:30
I do all my army lists on a spreadsheet- first column is the unit name, second is number of guys , third is price per unit, fourth column is the total cost (so number of guys times price).

Under each unit i do stuff like command groups, etc. The spreadsheet totals everything up, and once I spent a few minutes setting it up I just punch in prices and number of troops and I never make mistakes.

Geep
16-11-2009, 04:39
I just use Excel- I've made a fair few army building spreadsheets. If you know what you're doing you can make them quite complicated and, having made them yourself, you can update them easily when a new book comes out.
Also- it's free (assuming you have an average PC)

InsideReticle
16-11-2009, 04:42
There are probably premade spreadsheet programs out there, too, if you care to search around for them.

mdauben
16-11-2009, 05:52
Yeah, Army Builder by Lone Wolf is the only dedicated army list creation software available right now that I know of. There were one or two other freeware packages that used to be available, but the support for them stopped and they are pretty much dead. Its also easy enough to do on a spreadsheet like MS Excel, if you just have a limited number of armies and/or games to do it for.

I find AB a great tool to use for creating and tweaking lists (and I'm a compulsive list tweaker), plus it stores all your lists for you, and prints them out nice and neatly. It does not really do anything you can't do with pencil and paper, it just does it more neatly, more conveniently, and often more accuratly*

*Before someone jumps in about "all the errors in AB" I'll just say, yes there are a few but not nearly as many as some people make out and generally there will be less than I see in most handwritten lists. :rolleyes:

Idle Scholar
16-11-2009, 11:42
Army list calculation is a good way to keep your mental arithmetic up to speed ;) Other than that excel. I've never bothered but a days work should build you an automated drop down menu and select style list builder in excel, or even going one better and using VB would be pretty easy.

The Clairvoyant
16-11-2009, 13:02
i use army builder for large games
There are groups who cater for 2.2 still (which is the one i bought many moons ago and see no reason to upgrade) and any bugs are quickly found and fixed.

i used to create funky spreadsheets that worked everything out for me back in 2nd ed 40k/4th ed WFB, but rarely actually used them. The fun was making the clever spreadsheet in the first place. (Yes, i do need to get out more!)

Upto 1500pts 40k or 2000pts WFB i tend to just work it out in my head and scribble on a piece of paper. Anything larger, the game has been probably been planned for a while and so i've done it in AB

The Clairvoyant
16-11-2009, 13:05
Before someone jumps in about "all the errors in AB" I'll just say, yes there are a few but not nearly as many as some people make out and generally there will be less than I see in most handwritten lists.

yeah i've seen these comments, but rarely actually found any errors - probably because the files are fixed so quickly.
If i do find an error, i just fix the file myself.
They're usually only wrong for a couple of weeks after the file is released. After that, everything is fine.

PaddyF
16-11-2009, 13:05
Just use Google Docs so you can get access to your lists online.

Baggers
16-11-2009, 13:13
Army Builder by Lone Wolf is my choice. I occassionly do spreadsheets or bits of paper if I have an army book lieing around, or the book is just out and the file not in the Army Builder.

Keller
16-11-2009, 13:26
I use Army Builder by Lone Wolf for Warhammer, most of the time. Its great, but I probably wouldn't buy it these days.

Excel, or whatever spreadsheet program you use, works wonders as well. I use it for WH when I have an on-going roster, since I can easily modify it and add/subtract special features not in AB.

I also use Excel for most of my other games which aren't supported in AB. It lays them out in nice columns, is fully customizable, and doesn't take too long. Just make a master list up from the books, then you can copy and paste among the workbooks and bang out lists in no time.

Gimp
16-11-2009, 13:39
I really like my Army Builder

Its really good to check out the other options of armies you dont play against to get to know what you are against.

Keller
16-11-2009, 13:42
I really like my Army Builder

Its really good to check out the other options of armies you dont play against to get to know what you are against.

True. Its also a great way to experiment with other races/armies that you may be interested in w/o shelling out money for the books. Just play around in AB to figure out what unit and options they have, then if you like them enough, buy the book and take it from there.

defunct
16-11-2009, 13:43
Yeah, Lone Wolf's Army Builder is just too expensive. I have constantly delayed my purchase, I just can't do it. :D

It doesn't help that it's "license" system is very discouraging. :( For example, how many installs you are able to do and so on.

Just using the demo version with the 3 unit limit. I just copy the unit information into Notepad manually and clear the AB list again and calculate three more units. Works well. :) haha

Condottiere
16-11-2009, 13:56
Pen and paper.

Though I once did create a spreadsheet, but lost it when my PC crashed - probably not too difficult to recreate it.

Zilverug
16-11-2009, 15:09
Why doesn't GW provide a good online service?

It might even be a 5 GBP/EUR/USD per month subscription service (providing it's good and it contains all non-fluff army book information).

Gives their web developers something useful to do instead of making their website worse at every new version.

Mercules
16-11-2009, 15:11
Army Builder.

I don't care what people say about Pen and Paper. I have run many "Pen and Paper" lists through Army Builder and found out they had shorted themselves on points or spent way to much.

"How did you spend 105 points on Vampire powers?"
"Huh? I didn't, did I?"
"Yeah, this one costs 20 points, not 15."
"Oh crap.. I'm sorry."

The errors you find in Army Builder are human errors in creating the files. They are often fixed quickly. If not it is one error that pops up numerous times and you learn to work with it, such as taking a Bruiser and a Hunter and having it state the Bruiser can't be the General because he doesn't have the highest leadership. The Hunter can NEVER be general so the Bruiser has to be.

So we have human error creeping into AB files. However, EVERY time someone writes a list on their own you have human error creeping into their list. I know I wrote out a list on the bus, checking the costs, dropped it into AB and just shook my head at how off I was on points. Whoops.

mdauben
16-11-2009, 15:16
Yeah, Lone Wolf's Army Builder is just too expensive. I have constantly delayed my purchase, I just can't do it. :D
Its a matter of personal choice of course, but the way I look at it is that compared to the hundreds of dollars a year I spend on miniatures, supplements and other hobby related stuff, the cost for AB is pretty trivial. In addition, I activly play at least a half dozen different games, so I get a lot more value out of AB than somebody that just plays one army in one game.


It doesn't help that it's "license" system is very discouraging. :( For example, how many installs you are able to do and so on.
It sounds worse than it is. I've upgraded my computer several times since buying AB3 and never had any problems. I put up with it becuase I figure LW is due some return on the time they put into the product, and too many people were hacking (i.e. stealing) the pre-licence AB2 program.

Still, its certainly not a mandatory accessory. If you don't like it, pen-and-paper or Excel work, too. ;)

shelor007
16-11-2009, 15:34
Army Builder by Lone Wolf is a great product.

Perfect? Not hardly. Neither am I.

Thorough? You betcha. AB reminds me about all the little details I forget when I am in a hurry.

Where AB shines, and I cannot compete, is the beautiful, well organized lists AB creates. Sure, I can type something up, even create a spreadsheet to do all the work, but there is no way I am going to spend the time to do so when it has already been done for me. Now that AB has added PDF support, list sharing is simple and easy.

I can hand an opponent an AB list, and they usually accept it without comment as accurate and legal. They may harumph about AB "not being Canon," but I am yet to have an opponent find a mistake in an AB list I played.

I cannot say the same for handwritten lists. Illegible words, crossed out upgrades, fuzzy math, and good old fashioned screw-ups abound. Even a typed list from a spreadsheet or word processor is likely to contain human error.

AB is not expensive, especially considering the cost of our hobby. I cannot think of a single unit worth fielding in 40k or WFB that costs less than AB. Add the fact that AB supports numerous games for one price, four of which I play, and the price is dirt cheap for what you get.

Blizzinam
16-11-2009, 16:03
I use Army Builder, sure it's not perfect, but it is pretty close. I love how easily read the lists are, how easy i can just tweak around on a list and how it simplifies the most tedious step of the game, making the list.

Zoolander
16-11-2009, 16:23
Army Builder vers 3 by Lone Wolf. It's awesome, I highly recommend it, and find in invaluable for playing around with lists (tweaking here, tweaking there). Much easier and better than pen and paper (not to mention hells more accurate!)!

http://www.wolflair.com/index.php?context=army_builder

I dislike players that use "pen and paper". More often than not, I find they mess up on something. Either they forget to pay for upgrades like shields, they don't add or multiply properly, they forget that you can't take unit X without this character option, etc. I'd say more than 70% of the time when I've bothered to check after a game I find their list is wrong (unless they use AB, if which case, they are almost always correct).

I really dislike people that don't have a list at all, but "have it all up here". I can't even check if their lists are correct!

/end rant

Idle Scholar
16-11-2009, 16:49
I work my lists out on scrap, then transfer them to my big book of army lists so they look nice. It's really not that hard to get them correct and legible. I rarely use a calculator but generally add things up twice, once in the scrap version and once when I copy it out again. By having all the lists collected it makes choosing a new one pretty easy.

wolf40k
16-11-2009, 17:02
I'm on my 4th computer since I bought army builder and have only paid for it once.
They have been very good about letting me transfer it to a new computer and the only down side to their licensing plan is that when the license runs out I have to manually go on to their web page and download the update once it comes out.
Not a real hard thing to do.

theunwantedbeing
16-11-2009, 17:15
Pen & paper, plus the book I am writing the list from.

No mistakes about cost, the costs are all in the book!
No mistakes about totalling things up, I can do mental arithmetic just fine and I carry a calculator to double chack anyway.
No need to have a computer, so if I forget a list I can quickly and easily re-make one.
No need to worry about a printer not working or running out of ink.

Also, I also have the nessescary tools to make note of any spells I have and when I have used items and where assasins are hidden as I have a pen!

So yeah, pen & paper beats armybuilder, in the hands of somebody competant.
In my opinion anyway.

Others disagree, and I have to lend them my calculator and a pen and paper to re-write their list when they forget it.

ChrisAsmadi
16-11-2009, 17:21
Calc.exe and Notepad.exe for me.

Also, Army Builder's licence is shady as high hell anyway, so there's no way I'm touching that.

szlachcic
16-11-2009, 17:37
Also, Army Builder's licence is shady as high hell anyway, so there's no way I'm touching that.


:wtf: What are you talking about?

I have used Army Builder for years and have had absolutely no problems with the program or the license. Like others have stated about their own experiences, I have gone through 3 different computers since obtaining the license and it still works fine.

It is a great program and absolutely worth every dollar spent. If you can afford to play Warhammer buying a $30 piece of software isn't going to break the bank. However, I will say that there is absolutely nothing wrong about pulling out a pen, paper, and calculator to make up some lists.

Mercules
16-11-2009, 18:48
Pen & paper, plus the book I am writing the list from.

No mistakes about cost, the costs are all in the book!
No mistakes about totalling things up, I can do mental arithmetic just fine and I carry a calculator to double chack anyway.
No need to have a computer, so if I forget a list I can quickly and easily re-make one.
No need to worry about a printer not working or running out of ink.

Also, I also have the nessescary tools to make note of any spells I have and when I have used items and where assasins are hidden as I have a pen!

So yeah, pen & paper beats armybuilder, in the hands of somebody competant.
In my opinion anyway.

Others disagree, and I have to lend them my calculator and a pen and paper to re-write their list when they forget it.

Oddly enough I carry all that as well as my Sheet from Army Builder. I also carry the AB file in PDF format on a flash drive as well as in the roster format. Why? because if I show up to the shop I know they sell AB and have it in their computer. I can jump on one of the computers and redo the list in about 3 minutes should someone say, "Oh, I only have a 1.5k list with me." I can do that with Pen and Paper but it is MUCH quicker to do with AB. It also prints out this handy summary of what items and spells do so I don't have to reference a book in the middle of a battle.

Also, with my cryptic scrawl I would have to type up my list anyway. That way people don't believe I am trying to hide something in my tiny crabbed writing. (and I can read it when I get there)

Mercules
16-11-2009, 18:49
Calc.exe and Notepad.exe for me.

Also, Army Builder's licence is shady as high hell anyway, so there's no way I'm touching that.

Shady? I think you need to explain that as I have found LoneWolf Dev. to be very ethical and friendly as well as helpful, at least to those not trying to steal his work.

Zoolander
16-11-2009, 19:38
Calc.exe and Notepad.exe for me.

Also, Army Builder's licence is shady as high hell anyway, so there's no way I'm touching that.

Shady as hell? I'm not sure what you mean, so you'd have to offer an explanation. I haven't had any issues with them.

I will say that I do not like how they do renewals. If my registration expires in Nov, and I wait until the following Aug, I'd get to use the program for 3 months and then have to renew again. That blows. The renewal should begin on the month I pay for it, not the original month I signed up.

Also, for those that don't want to pay the renewal, you may still use AB 2.2. It's not as nice as 3.0, but it's free. And the files are released right after the books come out. Skaven files were released Mon and the book came out the Friday before. You can get all your army files for free by joining this Yahoo Group: Anarchistica (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/anarchistica/)


So yeah, pen & paper beats armybuilder, in the hands of somebody competant.

Well, I'm not incompetant, and I prefer AB over pen and paper most times. I will admit doing lists by hand every time allows you to memorize the cost of units faster, but other than that advantage, there really is nothing pen and paper has on AB. AB is better in nearly every way. If you'd like to compare and contrast, I'd be happy to.

defunct
16-11-2009, 21:26
Hmm, if the dev team included proper Mordheim files/lists with all the expansion warbands and other things (like in AB version 2), I think I'd buy it in no time, as I play Mordheim A LOT more than Fantasy or 40k.

I think I will email them about this soon. :D

InsideReticle
16-11-2009, 22:09
Army Builder is awesome and all... but it's a glorified spreadsheet program where you're paying Lone Wolf Development $30 for the privilege of having someone else update the spreadsheets for you, especially when the person updating them isn't even an employee of Lone Wolf Development.

All the warhammer data files are updated by the warhammer playing community.

Mercules
16-11-2009, 23:44
Army Builder is awesome and all... but it's a glorified spreadsheet program where you're paying Lone Wolf Development $30 for the privilege of having someone else update the spreadsheets for you, especially when the person updating them isn't even an employee of Lone Wolf Development.

All the warhammer data files are updated by the warhammer playing community.

Yes, and do you understand WHY they are updated by the Warhammer community? Because LoneWolf went to GW and said, "Hey I made this nifty program that puts together GW armies for people so they can make their lists easier and standardize them. I'm willing to sell it to you." GW told him to take a hike we can do that ourselves and tried to sue him. So he talked to a lawyer who correctly told him that he could keep the software and remove all the GW IP from it and make it generic for army building. He could then sell it and ask community members to build the files and GW couldn't touch him. Which is exactly what he did.

GW missed the chance to have a nice little program and a cut of the profits. Nope... Had to be asses just like shutting down talkbloodbowl.com.Put out an electronic version of it and then **** off the people who would be most likely to buy it. Wise move.

It is a glorified spread sheet, but I don't see you putting out a glorified spreadsheet for us to use any cheeper... Me, I have more important things to do than update a spreadsheet every 2-3 months so I'll happily pay someone to do it for me.

outbreak
17-11-2009, 00:10
I use calc.exe and notepad too. I've used army builder before and some friends do. We've found quite afew incorrect costs/items/things not being restricted when using army builder. I don't trust it anymore.

wolf40k
17-11-2009, 02:50
My army builder 3.0 license expired 2.5 years ago and it still works. The only problem is that it won't let me update the files automatically anymore and I have to go and download them manually from the Lone Wolf website.

Mercules
17-11-2009, 05:24
We've found quite afew incorrect costs/items/things not being restricted when using army builder. I don't trust it anymore.

Yes, but once found and corrected they are fine after that and I have found more mistakes on a regular basis from hand done lists than I have found in Army Builder ever.

samael
17-11-2009, 08:46
Bought army builder 2 back in the days, then bought AB 3. loved the fact that I finally could scroll.


Then I went back to AB2.It gets updated a lot faster than 3 (for fantasy), mistakes are removed at least as fast as in 3 and I find the overall use of the progam more intuative.

I have decided I can live without scrolling.

For all those people that say that pen and paper is good enough , you haven't seen my handwriting have you, enjoy decifering my list during a tournament.

Stumpy
17-11-2009, 08:59
Wordpad or pen and paper. I have never made a mistake with them if my army book/codex is handy.

wolf40k
17-11-2009, 17:26
Wordpad or pen and paper. I have never made a mistake with them if my army book/codex is handy.

Of course, I know a lot of people who have never made a mistake.:rolleyes:

But in all seriousness. Army Builder makes a great calculator for see what can be done. Hand writing a list is good for people to remember what they have put in better than Army builder, but I still like it for its fast easy way of making a list at the last minute(a major consideration for me:D)

Zoolander
17-11-2009, 22:51
Yes, but once found and corrected they are fine after that and I have found more mistakes on a regular basis from hand done lists than I have found in Army Builder ever.

QF100%T. Preach the Word to the heathens! :D

cornixt
18-11-2009, 02:50
I'd recommend WAMIR (well, I did write it), which is stored on the Direwolf group. It is an Excel spreadhseet based program, and you can easily edit the army files yourself.

Armybuilder was okay, but looked awful, had a silly output (why add all those extra columns and not let me remove them?). The statline letters aren't even correct.

Warfoundry is a new free program, but it isn't finished or even close yet.

sholcomb
18-11-2009, 06:30
I prefer AB 2.2. You don't have any licensing fees to deal with. Bought this program about a decade ago, and still regularly use it.

Borthcollective
18-11-2009, 19:17
Shady? I think you need to explain that as I have found LoneWolf Dev. to be very ethical and friendly as well as helpful, at least to those not trying to steal his work.

Maybe it has to do with the promise of updating the program every year which is what you are paying a licensing and subscription fee for. I have had the program for almost 3 years, only recently resubscribing because of the 3.2 update.

I contacted them after my first year ran out asking why I should pay the fee since there had been no update only to get some whining answer about how they only had 2 programmers and were busy with Hero Lab. Not my concern. If it wasn't for the convenience and my laziness I would not have update. Oh and the fact that none of the new AB files are compatible with 3.1 now.

puppetmaster24
18-11-2009, 19:19
pen and paper