Wednesday, 31 July 2013

All books now available on Google Drive!

A truly joyous occasion! Google drive is now finally usable as a valid hosting service, allowing me to sync up all new documents directly from my computer! This means that you can both preview and download all books without having to be logged in to Facebook, Scribd or Issuu. Huzzah! I will still keep supporting the Scribd and Issuu versions, but for future reference, I suggest you use Google drive to download the books directly.

Download:

Albion
Amazons
Araby
Bretonnia
Cathay
Chaos Dwarfs
Cult of Ulric
Dogs of War
Estalia
Fimir
Kislev
Nippon
Norse
Halflings
Hobgoblins
Kingdoms of Ind
Empire Knightly Orders
Regiments of Renown
Classic Regiments of Renown
Special Characters

Development Update: Sartosa

Sort of a re-post, but figured it would be a hassle to have to go to the second page just to check how the progress is going. Just finished the last bestiary entries, which pretty much just leaves the Special Characters and army list left to finish. Unfortunately, special characters tend to be one of my weaknesses (unless I have a strong idea before hand) and Stefan is currently unavailable to help me out, but hopefully it won't take that long to get those done as well. It's still looking like a release mid-August will be plausible.


Current Progress:

Contents/credits - done
Society - done
History - done
Timeline - done
Geography - done
Bestiary - done
Special characters - don
Spell Lore - done
Magic Items - done
Army list - done
Summary - done

The book is currently awaiting final proofreading before being released. Expect it later today.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Annoucing: Storm of Chaos

Well here's some nice news: I've been asked to do the PDF for the upcoming Storm of Chaos 2014 campaign, due next summer in commemoration of the original Storm of Chaos campaign (which was incidentally the same year I got into Warhammer...time sure flies fast!).

While I won't have much to do with the actual rules here (I might do a little consulting, but that's about it) you can still look forward to having another really good looking book to go through. And, if there's time, I might make a redux version myself at some point after the campaign is finished with the complete background for the campaign as well.

Bear in mind that it will take quite a while until you'll see the finished product, seeing as that's not up to me. I'll will of course keep you posted when I know more. Meanwhile, you can check out the campaign and the current playtest lists here in the meantime:


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Spotlight: Other fan-made Army Books

While this may or may not be news to you, there are actually *gasp* more people than me who have made their own army books, and I am going to dedicate this post to do a little review of some of my favorites (of those updated for 8th edition).

(Note: I have tried to be as impartial as possible, and I'm well aware that my own books are far from perfect. If I could make an unbiased review of them as well, I would!)

Chaos Dwarfs

by Thomas Heasman-Hunt



This book has been supported for a very long time and seen a ton of revisions, and is today one of the best unofficial books out there. There's a multitude of choices all nicely laid out, and it's pretty well balanced too. The author also wrote the whole thing himself, which is more than I can say for my version, where I only wrote a few unit entries from scratch and edited the rest. The layout and formatting is also incredibly well done, with every row on the pages being filled and each paragraph ending right at the border of each page or column. It almost feels like a machine made it, in that it looks almost too perfect!

Criticism would have to be against the somewhat lackluster presentation in the page backgrounds - they are not bad, but the simple parchment feels rather generic and could use a bit more of a "Chaos Dwarf feel" to it in my opinion. Then again, I'm a sucker for graphic design, and this doesn't really affect the overall quality of the book that much.

I do think that some of the units lose their charm with war machines simply being divided into "mortal engines" and "daemonic engines" with upgrades to allow you to build your own unit. While this was understandably partly done to avoid IP-infringement on GW, it feels a bit impersonal to have to build your own Deathshrieker rather than picking "the real one" from the bestiary, as the background generally suffers for it. All in all though, it's a really great book.

Summary:

Layout: 5/5
Graphics: 3/5
Rules: 4/5
Background 4,5/5

Overall: 4,5/5


Tribes of Norsca

by Grim Squeeker



A truly all-encompassing Norse book, containing 2 whole army lists, one for the southern tribes, and one for the northern ones. Though this diversity comes at a cost, as the lists feel a little stretched thin in places. With Norse essentially being a sub-army of WoC, having two Norse lists stretches the material even further to a point where it feels both rather overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time, with a multitude of choices that ultimately feels rather samey.
That's not saying that either part of the list is bad, only that it would probably have been a bit more flavorful with sticking to making one great list rather than two merely good lists. That said, there's quite a bit of cool stuff to find, and each unit do have it's own unique special rule to make it stand out, even if many of the units from Ejsgard and Midgard are essentially mirror versions of one another.

Graphics are quite nice as well, with quite a bit of Norse influences to go around. The normal pages can feel a bit empty sometimes, and the unit entries can be a little light on fluff in some cases. There's also quite a lack of colour images in the book, and the art selection is a bit uneven in terms of quality. Layoutwise the book is pretty damn good though, even if some images are stretched more than they should. The background is - like my version - a mix of Citadel Journal, Tome of Corruption and other sources, though the author also wrote quite a bit himself in the unit entries. He expanded upon the differences between the Chaos-influenced northern tribes and the neutral southern tribes, whereas I made more of a "generic" Norse list myself - which you prefer I'll leave up to you. All in all, the background is nicely done, so no real complaints in that department.

Summary:

Layout: 4/5
Graphics: 3/5
Rules: 3,5/5
Background 4,5/5

Overall: 4/5

Nippon

by Tyler Stone

 

A rather newly released book, this version of Nippon is brimming with personality - a little too much perhaps. This book focuses heavily of Japanese culture and mythology rather than historical accuracy realism, making it a good choice for those preferring the more exaggerated nature of  the Samurai from anime and manga, though history buffs are likely to be a bit disappointed in how unrealistic it is. Each Samurai is at the same power level as a Chaos Warrior, which is personally not something I would have done myself, though I'm sure some people will prefer it over the more realistic Samurai. There are a ton of mythological creatures as well, even more so than my book, for those who like that aspect. The background was also written from scratch and is mostly really good, although I was not a fan of the portrayal of Cathay as it felt rather haphazard and illogical in some places.

Graphically speaking, it's really good-looking, even more so than my own version in some places to be honest (though I have a patch planned to remedy that ;). The artwork is mostly from L5R which feels a little out of place since the clans are wholly different, but it is of high quality at least, even if some of pictures are a bit low-res and blurry. Layout fares a little worse though, with images often being to close to each other or the text, or not reaching the page borders properly. Fluff blurbs also clip through each other some times, and have a bit too thick borders to really fit properly. That said, it is generally a gorgeous book to look at it, and really evokes that Japanese feeling.

Rules-wise it's very interesting, but also cluttered. The list has a ton of flavour, perhaps more-so than mine, but unfortunately the sheer number of rules might deter new players. There are special rules for weapons, general Samurai special rules, unique Kei special rules for each unit, Taiko Drum bonuses, spell bonuses, Clan Mon bonuses, you name it. Coming from a similar early version of Araby, having to remember that many rules for each unit (sometimes 8 or more!) I fear the gameplay would be stifled and more time would be spent looking through the rules than actually playing the game. Sometimes streamlining is for the better, even if it means trimming down features. Points costs have been rather uneven, but have mostly been patched now from the looks of it.

Summary:
Layout: 3/5
Graphics: 4/5
Rules: 3/5
Background 4/5

Overall: 3,5/5

Other mentions should go to:
Dwarfs of Chaos by Kevin Coleman (7th ed)
Cathay by Stefan Rarton-Ross (6th ed)
Estalia by Rodrigo Merino (Spanish, 7th ed)

If there are any other fan-made army books out there that you think should be added here, let me know in the comments, it's very much possible I've missed a few!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Regarding FAQ's

Seeing as I have gotten quite a few emails over the years regarding the Warhammer Armies Project, I figured I'd just make a small mention to answer some of the more common questions publicly for future askers.

Question: Can I translate these books to my own native language?
Answer: Of course, but you will have to re-do the layout yourself in that case. I can only take responsibility for the English version.

Question: Do you want any help with editing/grammar fixes?
Answer: Most certainly! Just email any bugs you find or revisions you make to me and I'll update the books in question.

Question: Do you want playtest feedback?
Answer: Definitely! That's the best way for me to see what needs changing in the books to make sure they are balanced.

Question: Can I use parts of this book for my own project?
Answer: No problem, as long as credit is given. Depending on how much you use, it would also be a good idea to mention the people in the "additional materials" section of the books, or simply link to the book in question.

Question: I'd like to change a few things in this book, is that okay?
Answer: Absolutely! These books are more or less just my take on the Warhammer World, based on what GW has originally written. Anyone who wants to tweak them to their own liking are most welcome to do so.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Development update: Sartosa

Just letting you know the project hasn't died down or anything, since it's been almost a month since my last post. I and Stefan Wolf have been going through the basics of the army list so far, and are pretty much done as far as unit selection goes. Rules have been discussed on a more basic level, but are yet to be finished. Most of the background for the bestiary is done as well, and so is the main background. Magic items and lore are still on the to-do list.

I don't think we will be able to finish the whole thing this month since it requires a lot more work than just updating an old list, but hopefully it should see an August release at least. And from what we have so far, I can rather safely say that it is going to look great, so stay tuned for more updates later on!