Friday, 24 December 2010

BattleScribe 1.09b Released!

Just in time for Christmas, here's the latest version of BattleScribe. There is a slew of bug fixes in this one that resolve a bunch of annoying issues in Roster Editor, whereby you sometimes couldn't select or edit certain selections. In addition, there are a few more features, including the ability to give your selections custom names and descriptions.
  • Added a modifiers system in Game System editor, so the properties of categories can be modified based on the contents of other categories, or the points limit of the roster.
  • Custom names and descriptions can be given to units in your roster.
  • Points totals for categories are now shown in Roster Editor and the view/print roster dialogue box.
  • Various bug fixes and tweaks around what can be selected and edited in Roster Editor.
  • Fixed issue whereby some root units (specifically those with modifiers) could not be removed from a roster.
  • Cleaned up Game System Editor to bring it more in line with Roster/Catalogue Editor. Also remembers it's window size/position and position of split-panes. 
  • View/print roster now includes "No Category" selections.
  • Fixed bug whereby some modifiers were not being applied if a parent entry also had modifiers.
 Available to download at

Thursday, 18 November 2010

BattleScribe 1.08b Released!

Another BattleScribe release today - they're coming thick and fast at the moment. There were a few annoying little bugs left in the last version so I decided to get them fixed sooner rather than later. There are also some nice new features added, including more improvements to the view roster dialogue box.
  • Added extra output options to the view roster dialogue in Roster Editor (show/hide points values, profile summary and rule summary).
  • Allowed modifiers to change the points value of entries in Catalogue Editor.
  • Added "min/max in roster" properties to entry groups, similar to those on entries.
  • Added "type" property to entries that indicates if it is a unit, model or upgrade.
  • Added exporting of rosters to other formats via XML stylesheets. It's under the file menu of Roster Editor.
  • Correct controls are now displayed to make selections from entries that only have collective children.
  • Fixed bug in Roster Editor where the duplicate button wouldn't work.
  • Fixed bug where converting game system files to the new format prevented profiles from being entered or being displayed correctly in catalogue editor (any profiles entered in a catalogue are OK though).
  • Fixed bug where some entry groups within entry groups would not be available to select from.
IMPORTANT: Because of the bug converting game system files, it is highly recommended that you head over to the data project site and download the latest game system files.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Help Updated

The help pages on the website for Catalogue Editor and Roster Editor have been updated to bring them in line with the newer versions. There should be some more useful information on there than before as well. If there is anything else you'd like to see on there, or if there is something you're not sure about, head over to the forum and let me know.

Forum Down For Maintenance (Updated)

The BattleScribe forum is going to be down for the next hour or so. This is because I want to move the news blog onto a Wordpress install on my web host, rather than use this external Blogger site. Both the forum and the Wordpress blog will need to share my one available MySQL database, and as luck would have it, Wordpress thinks the name of the existing database is too long. Nothing's ever easy is it?

I need to take down the forum, rename the database to something shorter and then bring it back up again. Hopefully shouldn't be longer than an hour or so, as long as I don't screw anything up too bad.

Wish me luck, and thanks for your patience.

Update: Looks like I'm restricted to one database, and Wordpress and the forum can't share. Oh well this will have to wait for another time. Forum back up and running.

Friday, 12 November 2010

BattleScribe 1.07b Released!

So it turns out there were a few bugs in version 1.06b, so here is a quick release to get things fixed up again. There's also a bonus new feature.
  • Stopped all controls from showing hiding themselves in Roster Editor. This also resolved a bug where entry groups were either not being displayed or were being hidden so they couldn't be further selected from in Roster Editor.
  • Fixed a bug when editing a modifier in Catalogue Editor where some fields were not being saved properly.
  • Bonus Feature: Copy and paste enabled between running copies of Catalogue Editor, so you can copy an entry or other item from one catalogue to another.
To help stop any particularly nasty bugs getting into future versions, I will start posting an "in progress" version to the forums for people to have a play with if they want.

Monday, 8 November 2010

BattleScribe 1.06b Released!

After a bit of a delay (I was "blessed" by Father Nurgle...), BattleScribe 1.06b is finally here. There are some big changes in this release (for those of you who edit catalogues anyway). This should be the last major change to core functionality for BattleScribe, at least for the foreseeable future. After this it's going to be all new features, and I should be able to start getting through the UserVoice requests.
  • Available options get shown/hidden in roster editor, depending on what you have selected so far. This is kind of experimental, so please let me know if you're a fan of this.
  • "Dependencies" have been replaced with "Modifiers" in catalogue files. This should allow for much more accurate and flexible catalogue files in future.
  • The format of the XML for game system, catalogue and roster files has been updated. Much less use of attributes and much more use of elements.
  • Automatic processing of pre-1.06b files into the new format, so you do not have to re-download all your files.
  • A few minor bug fixes and improvements.
Note: Since there are some fundamental changes to core parts of the program, there may be a few bugs introduced in this version. If something isn't working as you would expect, please let me know as soon as possible on UserVoice or in this forum thread.

    Monday, 25 October 2010

    Modifiers Progress and Screenshots

    The new changes to turn dependencies into modifiers is making good progress. I'm almost done and I'm hoping to get it released in the next week or so, real life permitting. There are a few bug fixes to do, and I want to make sure that existing files convert correctly to the new format. It's important that dependencies get converted correctly to the new modifier system to ensure there isn't too much work to do on the data files to fix them afterwards.

    Here's a few screenshots of the modifiers in Catalogue Editor to give you a better idea of where things are going. Hopefully you can see how much more flexible and powerful modifiers are than the existing dependencies.

    Modifier and conditions in the tree

    Editing a modifier

    Editing a condition

    Sunday, 10 October 2010

    Dependencies Suck

    Over on UserVoice, there are several requests for changes and fixes around dependencies. The thing is dependencies have deeper problems, and I didn't want to spend time trying to patch up a broken system. Instead what's needed is a complete overhaul. However only recently have I come up with a way to get them to work. 

    Warning: It's a bit of a long post. If you've spent time creating catalogue files and battling with dependencies, you might want to read on to see what's changing. I've set up a forum post to discuss the changes or ask questions.

    So What's Wrong With Dependencies?
    Restrictions on selecting units can change depending on what has already been selected. It wasn't until soon before the release of BattleScribe that I decided it would need some kind of simple logic system to represent these changes. Dependencies were born - the idea being that being able to select something depends on what you have selected of some other unit. The problem was, they were hastily dreamed up and just sort of added on at the last minute.

    Firstly, the dependencies' conditions can't be combined. This limits their flexibility to represent different situations - for example you can't say "apply dependency if you select Y and Z" or "apply dependency X if you select Y or Z". You can never quite seem to get them to do what you want.

    Secondly the error checking mechanism for dependencies is separate from that of the normal restrictions on entries (min/max selections, points etc). This leads to conflicting errors where no matter what you do, either the entry or the dependency shows an error. Essentially dependencies impose their own separate set of rules on what you can select in your roster. They aren't integrated into the general error checking.

    Finally, because it was rushed together, the dependency code is a mess - buggy and hard to maintain. It needs rewriting to make it easier to fix problems in future.

    What's the Solution?
    I've decided to change dependencies to something new: Modifiers. The idea is that a modifier makes changes to an entry if certain conditions are met. A modifier will can change any min/max restriction an entry or entry group. They can increment a value, decrement it or set it to a specific value. This change can be applied once, or multiple times depending on how many selections from another entry have been made. The normal error checking of entries then handles displaying a message. 

    A modifier can have one or more conditions that have to be met before the changes are made. They can also have one or more condition groups which join together a set of conditions (or more condition groups) with an "and" or an "or".

    A condition is based on either the number or the points value of selections from an entry or entry group. This can either be within the parent selection or in the entire roster. A condition has a value to test this selection count or points total against. The tests are "equal to", "greater than", "less than", "at least", "at most". So for example you could have conditions that say things like:
    • if points total of selections of entry in entire roster is greater than 100
    • if number of selections of entry in it's parent selection is at least 1
    • if number of selections of entry in it's parent selection is equal to 0
    An example. Death cult assassins in the Daemonhunters catalogue can only be selected if you have already chosen an inquisitor or inquisitor lord. To represent this, they could have a modifier that sets their "max in roster" value to 0. This would cause a "too many" error to appear if you selected any.

    This modifier would have an "and" condition group containing two conditions. The first condition would be "number of selections of inquisitor in the roster is equal to 0". The second would be "number of selections of inquisitor lord in the roster is equal to 0". Therefore, you would get an error if you selected the assassins, but you didn't have an inquisitor and you didn't have an inquisitor lord.

    This all means some major changes to the file format for BattleScribe. There were other changes to be made here too, so I'm wrapping it all up into one big change. Don't worry though - I'm working on a way to convert old format files to the new format so they'll still work. This will even convert dependencies to modifiers as best it can. I think there will be quite a few issues with dependencies after this change however, so a swathe of bug fixing catalogues might need doing.

    Thursday, 23 September 2010

    BattleScribe 1.05b Released!

    Just a bunch of bug fixes and little tweeks in this one. I have plans afoot for some bigger changes coming up which I'll write a post about in the near future. Included in this release:
    • Improved layout of profiles when printing/viewing a roster to save on space
    • Catalogue level rules are now shown in their own section when printing/viewing a roster
    • The decimal point portion of all points values is now only displayed if there is actually something after the decimal point
    • Fixed bug where you couldn't change the name and points limit of a roster after you created it
    • Fixed bug where you couldn't remove catalogue level rules in Catalogue Editor
    • Fixed problems around creating new categories in Game System Editor
    • Fixed bug in dependency logic that incorrectly reported some errors for "Must include x if you have selected y" dependencies
    Available to download at

    Wednesday, 8 September 2010

    BattleScribe 1.04b Released!

    A small set of changes in this release, but one of the highest voted requests on UserVoice has finally been addressed: printing. This one turned out to be much easier than expected after I stumbled upon a quick solution. There have also been a few usability improvements and changes to better support more game systems.

    • Printing directly from Roster Editor now supported.
    • Points values throughout can now have decimal places/fractions to support armies where points aren't whole numbers. For example Skaven clanrats have some options that cost 0.5pts.
    • Roster Editor now remembers which folder was last saved to/loaded from and displays this when you next save/load a roster.
    • You can now manually enter an entry/entry group id when creating a dependency in Catalogue Editor, so a dependency can now depend on any entry/entry group in the catalogue.
    • All BattleScribe programs now save their files as formatted XML to aid reading/manual editing and to allow SVN to merge changes line by line.
    • Improvements to the View Roster dialogue.
    • Uninstaller now correctly removes start menu shortcuts under Windows Vista and Windows 7. (Note: You may need to manually remove the old BattleScribe start menu shortcuts after you upgrade to 1.04b under Windows Vista or Windows 7)
    Available to download at

    Wednesday, 18 August 2010

    Tuesday, 17 August 2010

    Lizardmen Catalogue Released

    Available to download at

    High Elves Catalogue Released

    The first catalogue for Warhammer Fantasy!

    Available to download at

    Saturday, 14 August 2010

    Warhammer Fantasy Game System File Released

    So finally we have a game system file for Warhammer Fantasy! Available to download over at

    Disclaimer: I don't actually own a copy of Warhammer or even play it, so I have inferred the details from around the internet and from a friend's Skaven army book. Please let me know over at the UserVoice page if there are any problems, or even better, fix up the file and send it over to me at

    Friday, 13 August 2010

    Space Wolves, Tau, Tyranids and Daemonhunters Catalogue Updates

    Space Wolves
    • Wolf Guard may now take land raider dedicated transports
    • General bug fixes and improvements
    • Fixed mycetic spore weapon problems
    • Fixed tervigon weapon requirements
    • General bug fixes
    • Unit profiles and rules added
    • General bug fixes

    All available to download at

    Wednesday, 11 August 2010

    BattleScribe 1.03b Released!

    So a (fairly) quick turnaround for this one, mostly small improvements and extra features to help support Warhammer Fantasy and Warmachine.

    • Game system categories may now have percentage based minimum/maximum points values in order to support Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition (and others).
    • Entries may now have negative points costs in order to support Warmachine (where some choices give you points credit).
    • Rules may now be added to the catalogue root (rather than just entries) allowing for army-wide rules to be added.
    • Readability of the selections tree in Roster Editor has been improved with editable selections now displayed in bold, and the roster/category titles now larger text.
    • Positions of the various panels in Roster Editor and Catalogue Editor are now remembered between running the programs.
    • The various panels now have better resizing behaviour when resizing the main Roster Editor and Catalogue Editor windows.
    • Bug fixes around how some errors are reported (particularly minimum/maximum selections from collective entries and entry groups).
    • Various other minor fixes.
    NOTE: The BattleScribe setup program now installs to "Program Files\BattleScribe" rather than "Program Files\BattleScribe <version>". You may want to copy your existing catalogue and game system files into this new folder before running BattleScribe.

    Monday, 9 August 2010

    Space Marines, Space Wolves and Orks Catalogue Updates

    Space Marines:
    • Heavy Support Dreadnoughts added (if you have a Master of the Forge)
    • Troops bike squad added
    • Various bug fixes
    Space Wolves:
    • Wolf Scouts sniper rifle points fix
    • Kannon points fix
    • Meganobz now have dedicated transports

    Available to download at

    Friday, 6 August 2010

    What's Your Favourite Warhammer Army?

    With version BattleScribe 1.03b coming soon and including better support for Warhammer Fantasy, I'm interested to know what the most popular armies are. The BattleScribe Data Project team can then prioritize which catalogues to work on first and get the most people covered the fastest.

    Leave your comments on the BattleScribe home page, and thanks for your feedback!

    Thursday, 5 August 2010

    Blood Angels and Death Korps of Krieg Catalogues Released, Dark Angels Catalogue Updated

    General bug fixes to Dark Angels catalogue, plus new catalogues for Blood Angels and Forgeworld's Death Korps of Krieg Siege Regiment.

    All available to download at

    Tuesday, 3 August 2010

    Monday, 2 August 2010

    Website Update

    I've and added a few social networking features to the website using Google Friend Connect. It allows you to sign in and post comments on the home page or write reviews on the feedback page. I thought it might be useful to allow users to chat with one another to get help or just to discuss whatever elements of BattleScribe they fancy. You won't need to sign up for a new account if you have an existing Google, Yahoo, Twitter, AIM or OpenID account - you can sign in using one of these.

    There are also other useful Friend Connect gadgets I might experiment with in the future, such as a poll to get community feedback.

    If these features prove useful, I might create a separate page on the site just for community stuff. Feel free to let me know what you think - post a comment!

    Tuesday, 27 July 2010

    What's Next?

    So, I've had a busy weekend and a hectic few days at work so I haven't had much time to put into BattleScribe the last few days. I have to say, it's been a great release of version 1.02b - I think the number of downloads has doubled in the last four days! A big thank you to everyone who has posted comments and praise on the various forums and on UserVoice - it's great to hear that people are finding BattleScribe useful. Special thanks goes to Jeremy Olsen (aka ancientsociety on Dakka Dakka) for posting up a review on his blog.

    What's next then? Over the course of the next week I intend to get all the suggestions made in the forums onto UserVoice so they can be voted on. I'll also start accepting the ones that are going to be included in v1.03b. I want to make v1.03b a fairly small release mostly concentrating on bug fixes. I know there are a few problems with v1.02b crashing here and there and I want to get this resolved as soon as I can. There will be a few new features included too, but smaller ones that allow for a wider variety of game systems to be supported.

    I won't be starting development of the next version quite yet. To be honest with you I'd like a bit of a break as v1.02 was quite a biggie and I haven't gotten around to painting any toy soldiers for a while now. I have an entire 1000pt Space Wolves army still on the frame that I want to spend some time on, after finishing off a couple of chimeras I'm almost done with...

    Overall then, I'll mainly just be getting BattleScribe v1.03b organised over the next week or so before I begin development. Keep your votes and ideas coming in over at the UserVoice page - I'll be using the votes as an indicator of what to include in the release.

    Over and out.

    Thursday, 22 July 2010

    BattleScribe 1.02b Released!

    After a final flurry of testing and debugging, BattleScribe 1.02b is finally here - head over to the downloads page to get it. I've had a good rearrange of the internal gubbinz, allowing catalogues to be more flexible in the way they represent an army list. This means that when you're creating a roster, it can be more accurate at representing your chosen army. There have been a bunch of small usability improvements in both Roster Editor and Catalogue Editor that just make using them a little smoother. Finally, quite a few bugs have been fixed throughout.

    Since there has been a rather major overhaul of the internals, there may be a few bugs I've missed. If you find anything that doesn't seem to work properly or if you have any feature suggestions, head over to the UserVoice page to let me know.

    If you like BattleScribe, please show your appreciation by helping to spread the word! I've added links to the site to post to Facebook, Buzz, Twitter or whatever social networking or bookmarking sites you might use, so go ahead and tell your fellow wargamers!

    So What's Changed?
    • Entry groups can now contain other entry groups.
    • Collective entry groups now work in a better way - you can now select between the minimum and maximum number from the group for each parent selection.
    • Fixed a bug in Catalogue Editor where the dependant entry list is blank after copying and pasting dependencies.
    • Errors shown at the bottom of then Catalogue Editor window can now be clicked, causing the element in the catalogue that is causing the problem to be selected in the tree.
    • Window size and position is now remembered when you close Roster Editor or Catalogue Editor.
    • Catalogues are now listed alphabetically when creating a new roster.
    • Added Cut command to Catalogue Editor when you right click on nodes of the entry tree.
    • Entries and other elements are now sorted correctly in the Catalogue Editor entry tree.
    • Dependencies in the Catalogue Editor entry tree are now shown with the name of the entry they depend on.
    • The next element in the Catalogue Editor entry tree is now automatically selected when you remove the current item.
    • Various other minor bug fixes.

    Tuesday, 20 July 2010

    Tyranids Catalogue Update

    • Various bug fixes

    Available to download at

    Friday, 9 July 2010

    BattleScribe 1.02b Progress Report

    So the next version of BattleScribe has been in progress for a bit longer than I intended. The good news however, is that I'm close.

    First off, a whole lot of small usability tweaks and bug fixes have been finished, along with a few extra features. The list of what made it can be found over at the UserVoice page, under the "completed" tab. Everything that has made it in is commented with "Finished for v1.02b". This lot should just make things flow a bit more smoothly, and make things a little easier to use.

    The last bit to finish is the big one: I'm improving the way that collective entries and entry groups work, and allowing entry groups to contain other entry groups. This is should allow catalogues to be more flexible in representing an army's structure. The code for this has turned out to be pretty complicated and I'm going to need to find a day or so to sit and finish it off.

    With any luck, I'll find the time over the coming week, and we'll see BattleScribe 1.02b released very soon...

    Thursday, 1 July 2010

    Tyranids Cataloge Released

    Available to download at

    Daemonhunters Catalogue Update

    • Special rules and profiles added.

    Available to download at

    Sunday, 27 June 2010

    Daemonhunters Catalogue Released

    Available to download at

    Monday, 14 June 2010

    Catalogue File Updates and Fixes

    • Space Wolves catalogue fixed
    • Imperial Guard catalogue fixed
    • Space Marines catalogue - special characters added
    • Orks catalogue - special characters added
    All available to download from

    Sunday, 13 June 2010

    Space Wolves and Imperial Guard File Problems

    These two catalogue files appear to be corrupted and will not work. I should be able to get them fixed and replaced within the next 24hrs. I'll announce when this is sorted here on the news blog.

    Apologies for any inconvenience.

    Tuesday, 8 June 2010

    Imperial Guard Catalogue Update

    • Added special characters
    • Several bug fixes
    Download at

    Monday, 7 June 2010

    Space Wolves Catalogue Update

    • Added special characters
    Available for download at

    Tuesday, 1 June 2010

    BattleScribe 1.01b Released!

    The latest version of BattleScribe is now available on the downloads page. So what's changed?
    • Windows installer! This ensures Java is correctly installed and provides shortcuts to the various tools in the Start menu. It also creates shortcuts to the catalogues and gamesystems folders.
    • All panels in Roster Editor and Catalogue Editor are now resizeable.
    • The layout of the buttons in Catalogue Editor has been changed to be more like the layout in Roster Editor, making them much easier to find.
    • Selections are now shown in order of category when you view the roster or save it as HTML.
    • Selections can now have a minimum and maximum points limit.
    • Various bug fixes and tweaks to the internal gubbinz.
    So a nice set of new features and usability improvements. Find any bugs? Problems? Questions? Let us know over at the feedback page.


    Wednesday, 26 May 2010

    Chaos Space Marines Catalogue Update

    Download at
    • Added Summoned Daemons
    • Added special characters

    Monday, 24 May 2010

    Chaos Space Marines Catalogue Update

    • Fixed bug where you were unable to save a roster if you selected a squad of Chaos Space Marines
    • Added dedicated transports
    Download at

    Wednesday, 19 May 2010

    Another Catalogue File Update, Forthcoming Program Update

    Another small update to the catalogue files over at
    • Rearranged the categories in the Warhammer 40,000 game system file to have Fast Attack before Heavy Support
    • Bug fixes in the Eldar catalogue
    • Bug fixes in the Orks catalogue
    • Bug fixes in Chaos Daemons catalogue
    I have also accepted some of the suggestions at the UserVoice page that will be going into the next release of BattleScribe. I should get this done over the next week or so - keep an eye on the news page for announcements.

    Saturday, 15 May 2010

    Catalogue File Issues

    Thanks to the vigilance of some helpful users, several bugs have been found in some of the catalogue files. As I need to fix catalogue errors outside of releases of BattleScribe itself, I will be pulling the catalogue files out of the main download. This will allow me to release updates to them as needed.

    Sunday, 9 May 2010

    BattleScribe 1.00b Released!

    After a year of development in my spare time, BattleScribe version 1.00 beta is here!

    BattleScribe consists of a set of tools for creating and editing your army lists and supporting data files. It's free to download and distribute however you like. It can output nicely formatted lists in HTML to print out, or to paste into websites, blogs or forum posts. It's developed by a wargamer for the wargaming community.

    Give it a go and let us know what you think! If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, or if you've found a bug, let me know over at our feedback page. I'm keen to work with the community to make sure BattleScribe meets the needs of all the wargamers out there no matter which game system you play.

    Why BattleScribe?

    Hi my name is Jon and I'm a wargamer.

    I'm mainly a 40k player, with a love for Necromunda, who dabbles in D&D. My love for the Imperial Guard goes back some 15 years (at the time of writing) and can be officially classified as "unhealthy". Space Wolves and themed Chaos Space Marine armies pepper my past. They just don't have quite enough tanks to keep me interested however...

    I live in Canterbury, UK, and I'm a software developer. My preferred programming language is Java since I'm a bit of a software hippie who believes in freeware and open source software.