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Old February 11th, 2003, 09:24 AM
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There are 8 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Hello, I'm new...
From: "terminax01 <terminax@cogeco.ca>" <terminax@cogeco.ca>
2. Re: Problem with Inquisitor file and 'ztbl' attribute
From: ImhotepTheArchitect <imhotepthearchitect@yahoo.com>
3. RE: Problem with Inquisitor file and 'ztbl' attribute
From: "Michael Earley" <ace@madbomber.net>
4. RE: Hello, I'm new...
From: "Michael Earley" <ace@madbomber.net>
5. Mordhiem dwarf and general problem.
From: "Gobbo <lee@ogresforge.com>" <lee@ogresforge.com>
6. (unknown)
From: "mad_dog_of_michigan <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>" <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>
7. Re: (unknown)
From: Ol Torgy <Torgon02@yahoo.com>
8. Re: Hello, I'm new...
From: "mad_dog_of_michigan <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>" <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>


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Message: 1
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 17:22:35 -0000
From: "terminax01 <terminax@cogeco.ca>" <terminax@cogeco.ca>
Subject: Hello, I'm new...

... and I have no idea what the heck I'm doing.

I bought Army Builder at the bequest of several of my players,
wishing for me to make an AB version of my unit rules for Shattered
Sphere, a Battletech-theme game.

I'm not really a database person and to be honest, the PDF documents
accompanying the software left me more confused that I was when I
started this. I can see the potential use of the software but I'm
absolutely stymied as to where to start.

Is there anyone who could give me so help in getting my feet wet?

Thanks in advance,

Terminax



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Message: 2
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 09:33:17 -0800 (PST)
From: ImhotepTheArchitect <imhotepthearchitect@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Problem with Inquisitor file and 'ztbl' attribute


Just a note... I used tables for options (Mark of Chaos etc.). I have also used tables for tweaks, specifically when upgrading a pintle weapon. I have noticed some quirks with ztbl... notably that it won't show your Text description beyond the First 3 characters.... maybe rename the description part of the ztbl (The part before the tweak name) so they are all unique.
It may have been me, but I had an awful time getting ztbl to work.
Cheers,

"Mike E <ace@madbomber.net>" <ace@madbomber.net> wrote:OK, I need the assistance of the group, because I'm stumped.

David Brons and I are in the process of completing all of the
Inquisitor file updates I've been too lazy to make over the past
year . However, one of the requests i've received is to create
a "custom weapon" option, so that players can create their own
weapons, where one is not available.

I think this is a great idea, and am in the process of implementing
it. However, I didn't want there to be a 20 page list of options to
select, so I'm trying to borrow an idea that I saw in the new 40k
chaos file--using the 'tabl' attribute.

Specifically, i'm attempting to use 'ztbl', which is the "tweaks"
version of 'tabl'.

What I'm trying to do is this:

For a custom pistol, there is only ever one range for the weapon--
it's either Range A, or Range J, for example. So I want the user to
select their range using the 'ztbl' attribute. Looking at the code
for the chaos.40k file, I believe I've put the attribute together
correctly, and it lets me save it (meaning there are no errors in it).

However, I've specified a list of about 20 ranges or so to appear in
the table/list--all but one of those "tweak" options are in
the "inquisitor.inq" file, while the last one is in
the "customweapons.inq" file. When I launch AB to look at what I've
created, the tabled tweak/option shows up for "Custom Pistol", but it
only has 2 options, and they don't correlate to anything that I've
created (they do, somehow--but I don't get it!).

So--what am I doing wrong? I've put a folder in the files
section, "temporary inquisitor file problem", if you're interested in
taking a peek. I can't figure out if it isn't working because some
of the tweaks are in "customweapons.inq" and some are
in "inquisitor.inq", or because I've keyed the data wrong, or because
of some other reason? I believe I've spelled all of the tweaks
correctly, and now I'm stumped!

Any help is appreciated.


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Message: 3
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 14:09:58 -0500
From: "Michael Earley" <ace@madbomber.net>
Subject: RE: Problem with Inquisitor file and 'ztbl' attribute

Nope, that's what it is doing, exactly--showing the first 3 characters only!
Luckily, for this feature, I think I can fix that. Thanks for the help, and
the inspiration in the first place!
>
>Just a note... I used tables for options (Mark of Chaos etc.).
>I have also used tables for tweaks, specifically when
>upgrading a pintle weapon. I have noticed some quirks with
>ztbl... notably that it won't show your Text description
>beyond the First 3 characters.... maybe rename the description
>part of the ztbl (The part before the tweak name) so they are
>all unique.
>It may have been me, but I had an awful time getting ztbl to work.
>Cheers,
>
> "Mike E <ace@madbomber.net>" <ace@madbomber.net> wrote:OK, I
>need the assistance of the group, because I'm stumped.
>
>David Brons and I are in the process of completing all of the
>Inquisitor file updates I've been too lazy to make over the past
>year . However, one of the requests i've received is to create
>a "custom weapon" option, so that players can create their own
>weapons, where one is not available.
>
>I think this is a great idea, and am in the process of implementing
>it. However, I didn't want there to be a 20 page list of options to
>select, so I'm trying to borrow an idea that I saw in the new 40k
>chaos file--using the 'tabl' attribute.
>
>Specifically, i'm attempting to use 'ztbl', which is the "tweaks"
>version of 'tabl'.
>
>What I'm trying to do is this:
>
>For a custom pistol, there is only ever one range for the weapon--
>it's either Range A, or Range J, for example. So I want the user to
>select their range using the 'ztbl' attribute. Looking at the code
>for the chaos.40k file, I believe I've put the attribute together
>correctly, and it lets me save it (meaning there are no errors in it).
>
>However, I've specified a list of about 20 ranges or so to appear in
>the table/list--all but one of those "tweak" options are in
>the "inquisitor.inq" file, while the last one is in
>the "customweapons.inq" file. When I launch AB to look at what I've
>created, the tabled tweak/option shows up for "Custom Pistol", but it
>only has 2 options, and they don't correlate to anything that I've
>created (they do, somehow--but I don't get it!).
>
>So--what am I doing wrong? I've put a folder in the files
>section, "temporary inquisitor file problem", if you're interested in
>taking a peek. I can't figure out if it isn't working because some
>of the tweaks are in "customweapons.inq" and some are
>in "inquisitor.inq", or because I've keyed the data wrong, or because
>of some other reason? I believe I've spelled all of the tweaks
>correctly, and now I'm stumped!
>
>Any help is appreciated.
>
>



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Message: 4
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 14:27:03 -0500
From: "Michael Earley" <ace@madbomber.net>
Subject: RE: Hello, I'm new...

The most important part to ANY database is to first have a plan for how you
want to implement the database. The key is a solid understanding of your
ruleset.

Here are some questions you want to consider:
- How complex do you want the file to be? AB can be "simple", with very few
validation rules, points calculations, custom options, etc. It can also be
very complex, as can be seen in some of the larger files like the 40k files.
- What are your ruleset limitations? In many games, there are "races" that
have their own army lists. Do any of the lists have common characteristics,
mechs, etc, that could be implemented into a common file?
- How much time do you want to spend building the file, and updating it as
new rules become available? This isn't a small job, even infrequently used
files can require quite a bit of management if the ruleset they encompass
has frequent updates.
- Are there features that you could "delay" to a later date, in order to get
the file available quickly?

Here is what I think you want to do...in a semi-particular order.
1) Look at existing files for games that you are familiar with--warhammer
40k, or whatever other game you may play, even remotely. It helps quite a
bit to look at the end-structure of a game system that you are familiar
with.
2) Think about how complex you want your file to be. Think about how you
are going to divide your races/armies up into separate selections. Think
about how you want to render "optional" features--adding weapons to mechs,
adding veteran drivers, etc.
3) Think about what statistics you want to display and print for users. The
3 big keys of army builder are a) statistics; b) cost; c) configurability.
The main reason folks use AB extensively is that it allows them to configure
armies together, in different formations, until they get something that
meets a cost requirement. Then, when they print it, they receive all of the
relevant statistics and "on the fly" game rules necessary to play the game.
So how are you going to deliver these 3 features to your end-user?

Once you've thought through these things, you want to move to your
"implementation" phase.
1) You have to create a "datadef.xxx" file. Using the PDF's as a guide, you
will create a datadef.txt file in notepad or something similar. Follow the
specifications of the PDF files, or use "abundef" to "deconvert" a datadef
file into text format, so that you can look at an example. For example, you
can deconvert the datadef.inq file (it is not protected--some datadef files
are). Look at the structure of the file, compare it to the specs in the
PDF, and you will begin to understand what you need to do.
- to use abundef, go to a command line (start-->run-->"cmd" then enter).
At your c:/ prompt, go to your c:/armybuilder folder (type cd/armybuilder).
>From c:/armybuilder, type "abundef c:\armybuilder\data\datadef.xxx
c:\armybuilder\data\datadefxxx.txt (then hit enter) (where xxx is the file
you are trying to deconvert--datadef.inq for example). This will deconvert a
data file into a text file, into the location you specified
(c:\armybuilder\data\datadefxxx.txt in this case).

2) Once you have created a datadefxxx.txt file, you will want to "convert"
it into ab format. you'll use abdef instead of abundef, but the format is
the same. c:\armybuilder> abdef c:\armybuilder\data\datadefxxx.txt
c:\armybuilder\data\datadef.xxx (where xxx is the name of the "file
extension" that you want your file set to have. I used INQ for
inquisitor--they used 40k for warhammer 40k).

3) Now you can launch ABCreator. Simply do "File-->New", and then select
your game system from the list.

4) Create a race/army. Every file has to start here, as units are related
to races. Race is the top of the food chain after the datadef file. For
simplicity sake, just key in the main fields, and don't worry about any
complex restrictions.

5) Once you can successfully save your race, move on to creating a single
unit. Create a unit, and again keep it simple--don't worry about special
unit options or such--just get their main statistics, category, group
entered in. Save your work. You should now be able to launch army builder
and open your fileset from the list of available file sets (I think--you may
need to import...? can't remember, it's been a while ). Voila--your unit!

>From there, everything gets more complex. Just take it one step at a time.
Create all of your units. Then go back and implement the first option for
the first unit. Take a look at it in AB, etc. One at a time, files get
done.


>... and I have no idea what the heck I'm doing.

>I bought Army Builder at the bequest of several of my players,
>wishing for me to make an AB version of my unit rules for Shattered
>Sphere, a Battletech-theme game.
>
>I'm not really a database person and to be honest, the PDF documents
>accompanying the software left me more confused that I was when I
>started this. I can see the potential use of the software but I'm
>absolutely stymied as to where to start.
>
>Is there anyone who could give me so help in getting my feet wet?
>
>Thanks in advance,
>
>Terminax



__________________________________________________ ______________________
__________________________________________________ ______________________

Message: 5
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 20:41:25 -0000
From: "Gobbo <lee@ogresforge.com>" <lee@ogresforge.com>
Subject: Mordhiem dwarf and general problem.

First, Dwarf Slayers do not have access to the slayer skill
Ferocious Charge. This needs to be corrected.

Second, how do I add money and additional troups with out changing
my Roster size?




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Message: 6
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 21:28:42 -0000
From: "mad_dog_of_michigan <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>" <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>
Subject: (unknown)

Sorry, I signed onto the list initially under the wrong yahoo
account.

Anyways, I've got a firm grip on what I the stats of the units and
such work out to.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~shattered-sph...ules/military/ is where
I keep PDF copies of the unit stats.

Mostly, I haven't seen so far much that helps me in the way of
existing game files - I'm not a Warhammer person at all. But I will
look through your suggestions and see how far I can go with them in
the meantime.

Thanks for the advice and help,

Terminax



__________________________________________________ ______________________
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Message: 7
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 00:04:21 -0800 (PST)
From: Ol Torgy <Torgon02@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: (unknown)

I believe there are Battletech and/or Mechwarrior
files. You might want to check those out.

Torgon02

--- "mad_dog_of_michigan
<mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>"
<mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca> wrote:
> Sorry, I signed onto the list initially under
> the wrong yahoo
> account.
>
> Anyways, I've got a firm grip on what I the
> stats of the units and
> such work out to.
>
>
http://home.cogeco.ca/~shattered-sph...ules/military/
> is where
> I keep PDF copies of the unit stats.
>
> Mostly, I haven't seen so far much that helps
> me in the way of
> existing game files - I'm not a Warhammer
> person at all. But I will
> look through your suggestions and see how far I
> can go with them in
> the meantime.
>
> Thanks for the advice and help,
>
> Terminax
>
>


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Message: 8
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 14:43:00 -0000
From: "mad_dog_of_michigan <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>" <mad-dog-of-michigan@cogeco.ca>
Subject: Re: Hello, I'm new...

Okay, I took a crack at things last night and still am finding it
problemic at just creating the datadef.txt file. Meh.

Any chance somone could give me a shout on AIM or ICQ and walk me
through this key step? At 27 years of age I feel so stupid for
asking but I'm getting frustrated at getting stuck in the first
stage like I am.

David Nowell aka Terminax
EM: mad_dog_of_michigan@cogeco.ca
AIM: Terminax01
ICQ: 6434166

PS. I'm around online usually from 8am-10pm and 5pm to 10pm weekdays
and more on weekends.



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