April 9, 2013

Online FOW army list builders - great sources

One of the great joys of wargaming is the endless time you spend with pen and paper list building, at least it was until I discovered that I could spend even greater amounts of time using various electronic sources - although pen and paper still remain the starting point. There are a range of options available for gamers looking for help building their lists, particularly if they (like me) want to build lists from sourcebooks they dont yet own.  So what sources are out there?

[click on each image to go to the website mentioned]

Army Builder
For the last several years I have relied on Lonewolf Developments Armybuilder as my principle list building tool - but primarily for Warhammer Fantasy.  Its not really free as the free version places severe restrictions on the size of list you can build but the subscription is reasonable. 



Pro's
  • Provides list building options for scores of different gaming systems including many slightly obscure rule sets.
  • Regular updates that cater for rule changes, FAQ's and new source books.
  • Customisable print and format options for each list - includes tournament formats.
  • Relatively easy to use.
  • Allows you to create and edit game system files i.e. the data behind each sourcebook and ruleset.
  • Lists also include special rules for individual units, armies and characters to help with gameplay.
Con's
  • It's not free, the annual subscription costs US$40 for the full programme and a years free updates.  After that you can extend your licence for a smaller fee.  
  • While it is easy to use it does take getting used to and it lacks a decent help file.
  • Updates are not always accurate and do include the odd error in relation to rules and points, so you do have to check your lists against the rules.
  • Better for some game systems than others - IMO it works well for WHFB but not for FOW.
Would I recommend it, yes I maintained a subscription for several years but have let it lapse as the file updates can be downloaded for free anyway the only difference is the process is no longer automatic and you can't download updates for the programme itself.

AV's Corner (FOW only)
This is one of my regular blog reads from a blogger in the Netherlands really great site for FOW players.  He also does some outstanding work providing Excel army list builders for various FOW sourcebooks and intelligence briefings. 


The Excel files are all well constructed, easy to use and free.  He doesn't cover every sourcebook mainly the ones he uses which is cool - but what he does provide is first rate.

Easy Army (FOW only)
If your a FOW player and you don't already know about this site then you have to check it out.  Basically they have taken every sourcebook, intelligence briefing and PDF update and put up an online version of it. What you get is basically an electronic version of the book as with the picture below.


Pro's
  • It covers pretty much every army list in FOW for every period.
  • Replicates the format of each book making it very easy to use
  • Saves all the lists you build online for you
  • Will email lists out to you in PDF format and/or allow you to print them
Con's
  • Not list is available free of charge, but then those that aren't only cost you a small PayPal donation of $1 or $2 per book which I think is more than reasonable and which I've happily paid.
  • Its highly addictive and you will spend hours on the site building lists.
Would I recommend it for FOW players - hell yes.  How it gets around the copyright issue with Battlefront I have no idea but Battlefront are aware of it and haven't stopped it so they must be OK with it - in fact I was told about the site but a BF staff member.  

FOW Lists Blog
A blog by a New Zealand gamer - Nick Bowler - which provides online Excel type army list builders for basically every sourcebook and intelligence briefing in FOW.  They are all completely free and you can download the entire collection as a Zip File.  The last update was 29th March 2013.

Format is the same as AV's Corner but with more options built in (as its primarily a web based source) for printing and formatting your list.

Pros'
  • Covers every book and briefing
  • Easy to use
  • Free
  • Can download all the files 
 Con's
  • Does require some familarity with the units in each list i.e. I like the books and Easy Army as I need the pictures to show me what is in each unit and what they look like.
I am sure there are other online list builders out there but these are the ones I the most - Armybuilder for WHFB and Easy Army for FOW - but still the old pen and paper is used the most and my wife often despairs at the time I spend scribbling away in a notebook with a intelligence briefing or armybook on my lap.

4 comments:

Scott said...

Must admit I am a big fan of easyarmy and spend a fair amount of time tinkering with lists online. As you say its addictive, and you can work through a myriad of list options in moments...

Hein said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog and armybuilder files. I like to mention that an other reason that I don't cover all sourcebooks is time and I don't buy all the books. But I do my best. ;-)

John Murrie said...

@ Hein - not a problem I always enjoy reading it .

lap1964 said...

Easyarrmy gets round copyright as i think he does some work for BF,so that maybe why they haven't closed him down?
I can highly recommend both Hein's and Nick's list builders,but always check your lists with the books.
LES