Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rushputin vs. Army Builder

I sat down to work up my Dragon Wars list for later this month.  The only catch: Skaven don't get a dragon, normally.  Armies that don't have dragons can (and must) take a generic dragon as a mount for a Lord at 320 points.

At first, I set the roster size to 2,000 points (the size of the tournament) with the plan of just, you know, building to 1,680 (leaving 320 for the dragon).  But that's inelegant and kinda crappy.

Then, I set the roster size to 1,680.  Well, that screws everything up because there are things you can take at 2,000 points that you can't at 1,999 or less.  Sure, I can ignore the warnings and errors but if I'm doing that what's the point of using Army Builder?

Maneaters are 80 points each.  So, I built the list with four Maneaters in it; 80x4 = 320 = 1 Generic Dragon.  Ugh, but that's sloppy.  I mean, sure, it's clear that I don't have any Maneaters in my army and that they're a placeholder but... sloppy.

So, I tried messing around with the ArmyBuilder files (after backing them up, of course).  The ABCreator is... nearly impenetrable.

Screw it: I'm a smart guy, and I can rock the XML.  So, I opened up the file, poked around, and got it working. Working with the XML directly is, I think, 1,000 times clearer than using the utility (though now that I have a better of idea of what the moving parts are, I think I'll be more comfortable with ABCreator.

I'd post the markup I inserted, but Blogger seems to be totally against my attempts to display XML in a post. Ugh.  Very annoying.

The point of the story is, editing the XML wasn't hard at all.  Now that I know how to do it (and now that I think I can probably scoot around in ABCreator with more confidence), a tiny part of me wants to build a Dragon Wars AB file, where each army that didn't previously have access to a dragon has the Generic Dragon entry for every appropriately sized Lord choice.  That part of me will probably be smothered by the part of me that's extremely lazy, however.
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