Right now we are in the thralls of 6th edition, but there is a bit of news that needs to be shared... What is going on with the beloved product Army Builder. I wont go into all the details (they are below), but this product is a wonderful, and the only reason I can see it being harrassed to be taken down, is so that Games Workshop can release a similair product for their games.

A big thanks to Jason for bringing this topic to my attention.

via Lonewolf Development from here http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=21779
A few days ago, we learned that www.datafilecentral.com, a hosting site for Army Builder data files, has been notified by Games Workshop that all GW-related files need to be taken down. This was completely unexpected, as the site has been operating for many years without complaint from Games Workshop (or anyone else). The AB user who manages the site informed us about this over the weekend, and he said that he has no choice but to comply with GW's demands.

We've already notified the data file authors for any games that are impacted, allowing them to migrate their files to new hosting sites. If all goes smoothly, nobody will even notice the change. However, given the number of game systems involved, it's possible that there will be a temporary hiccup with at least one of them. In the interests of transparency, we want to give everyone early warning of potential problems.

For those users who aren't already aware, it’s important to note that Army Builder data files for games are not part of the product itself, being instead created by independent data file authors who are not affiliated with us. Lone Wolf Development creates the Army Builder software, and dedicated gamers then create AB data files for their favorite games. The model is very similar to creating spreadsheets for Microsoft Excel, with game system data files being created, maintained, and distributed by volunteers who want to leverage AB themselves and enjoy sharing their work with the rest of the gaming community.

If there ends up being a problem with migrating the data files for a game you play, it means that the data files for that game will be temporarily unavailable for download through the updates mechanism. Once the files are removed from datafilecentral.com, they won't be available again until they are hosted on an alternate site and the author has updated Army Builder to know where they can now be found. Once that's done, the files will again be available.

Please note that if you already downloaded the data files for a game system, you won’t experience any interruption in your use of Army Builder for that game. Your saved rosters will also not be affected. You simply won’t be able to download the data files again until they’ve been re-hosted by the author.

The best way to safeguard against being inconvenienced by any potential hiccups with data files for any game system is to immediately grab all the data files you might need as a backup so that you won't need them during any temporary outage. If you then discover you need the files due to a system failure or upgrade, you can easily copy them from your backup, even if they are temporarily unavailable through AB. You can find a complete list of Army Builder data files on our web site here: http://www.wolflair.com/index.php?co...ntal_downloads

For new users seeking data files that have not yet been re-released, there will be no way to access the data files via AB. The only option for new users will be to obtain the data files from other users that have them.

As for what this means at GW, we know as much as you do. Army Builder has greatly enhanced the enjoyment of a vast range of miniatures games for 14 years now, GW's games included, and it's been a symbiotic relationship where everybody benefits. This could easily just be someone on the GW legal team doing a zealous sweep of anything that uses GW's IP, without any awareness of the long-standing allowance of AB data files. Or it could mean something has fundamentally changed in GW's philosophy towards AB. However, given that they have not contacted any of the data file authors themselves, including the high-profile 40K data file team, it seems to us that it's probably the former, and that's our working assumption right now. We're in the process of reaching out to GW to learn more, but we've heard nothing yet from GW ourselves.

Please note that the removal of data files from www.datafilecentral.com only applies to GW's games. All other games that are hosted there will remain, as other game publishers continue to view Army Builder and the fan-created data files as complementary assets that make their games easier and more enjoyable to play.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by these events. Since we’re unable to work directly with the Army Builder data files for GW's games ourselves, they are unfortunately beyond our control. We’re doing everything we can to minimize the disruption caused by this to our users, and will continue to do so in the future.

Thanks in advance for everyone's patience and support as we work through this!

Sincerely,
The Lone Wolf Staff

29 Comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. And again GW tightens their powerfist around others....maybe GW is pulling thia down so tgey can start their own? Or are they afraid of piracy of upcoming books....hmm

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    1. More then likely, it is afriad it will be a piracy issues on the new books to come. You can go almost anywhere and find pdf f any book out there.. so pretty sure that what it is.

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    2. Yeah, GW has had two generations of their own AB style programs. Both were fantastic, and both were dropped after a couple years support. If anything, I think GW is closing any loopholes that may come from IP infringement. Perhaps AB files being made sets up a precedent.

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    3. @Cain - I saw GW's 40K program. It was clunky and buggy compared to AB and it was *VERY* slow to update (as in months behind) when GW came out with new updates or rules changes. It never really got the support from GW that it needed to be successful.

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  3. Army Builder is my favorite game!

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  4. hah, I knew they would pull something like this!

    No matter how detailed the Army Builder lists are, there is still no way to play the game without the books. This hand wringing and freaking out by Games Workshop gets so tiresome sometimes.

    Krisken of Scratchbuilt 40k

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  5. what dose that even mean?

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  6. Privateer Press did this also, they released their own software for their game and said that only that is offical in events.

    I suspect GW is jumping on the wagon now and trying again to bring a dead project back to life. For those old farts that recall, has to be at least 10 or more years ago GW put out two software packets that was a very poor attempt at trying to do their own version of Army Builder....it was horrible, I still have the CDs in a drawer somewhere. GW gave up the ghost and moved on letting AB do thier thing...looks like they are making another crack into that same market.

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    1. Yes, I remember. I also remember thay GW has a habit of getting into things for a month than abandoning them permanently....

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  7. To me, this sounds like if I don't write my army list out on some sort of sanctioned GW Army Sheet they can sue me for infringing on their IP. Am I infringing if I decide to use Excel or Word? Seriously, WTF are they thinking?! This is just a kick in the nuts.

    Even if they do shutdown datafilecentral.com, I would think there will be independent sites hosting new files in the future... hopefully.

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  8. Related question, why haven't we heard about a July release for the iBooks store? GW promised monthly updates but we haven't heard a peep about July

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    1. The Dropper strikes again!!!! :P

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    2. It's still June... I imagine that we will see digital releases in the next couple of weeks.

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  9. Stupid move imo. Make it harder for people to play your game by removing an extremely widely used tool that steamlines army creation - one for which you don't really currently offer a competitive alternative (everyone uses the books too). I don't know what goes through their heads over there.

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  10. Everyone was mostly happy about the FAQs being released in a timely fashion (although still with some holes in them), so GW went out and stupidly kicked someone in the nuts to piss off the public.

    Probably not, but it is as good a reason as any and makes more sense than most...

    As for using "official GW list making software", they can bugger off. I've got a text form I did that covers the relevant data better than AB, unless you have no clue how your special rules work. AB is great for that.

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  11. If you want a BA list builder, the one I have is free (for educational purposes only GW).
    http://www.onlybloodangels.blogspot.kr/#!http://onlybloodangels.blogspot.com/2012/06/blood-angels-list-builder.html

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  12. GW sure has turned recklessly squandering the good will of their fan base into an artform.

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  13. Has the old fashioned reading of books and using a simple pen and paper fallen so far out of favour? I feel in our quest to make everything run on electricity we are missing the the point of what a wargame is... People coming to gether to have fun with their toy soilders! If you enjoy it, just do it. If you don't, because someone won't let you do it the way you want, then stop and find a new hobby!

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    1. Wouldn't that similarly apply to your hidebound reliance on the ancient medium of paper?

      Get with the 21st century or find a new hobby@

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    2. Actually I clung on to pen and paper for years, before making the jump to AB. While I used to like claiming I was "old skool" turns out my maths was sh*t3. AB made it far easier to sit and work stuff out without destroying reams upon reams of trees (man).

      The older GW army builder products were really poor though. At least they could just make WolfLair pay a license for the GW products that they are supporting. Really hope GW see sense and allow them to keep running this fantastic product.

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    3. I am infinitely amused you wrote this on a computer to be sent on the internet. Maybe you should send this by post to all the GW stores and ask them to use a printing press to share your wisdom.

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  14. I doubt they're going to launch their own software. It's shown twice that it doesn't work so unless the digital version of the rulebook comes with one in-built I'm sure it's only a temporary measure.

    From a commercial viewpoint one of the biggest changes of 6th is the Alliance Matrix. With this in mind GW are probably hoping to minimise the amount of people using apps like Army Builder to work out which allies offer them the most without actually buying a codex.

    Considering they've only asked for the files to be taken down and not distributed I'd expect everything will be back to normal by August.

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  15. yep.. GW list builder app for ipad..look for it

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    1. Winner winner chicken Dinner. GW will release some Ipad only thing that only favors imperials.

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  16. The GW and the Lone Wolf are all the same garbage!

    Use BattleScribe instead, it's free, better designed and better supported (by us, the players).

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  17. Hey GW just do the obvious and work with AB or aquire them. Your IP is spread across the galaxy like a nid swarm so just do something right for a change.

    I fully support AB and I've happily paid for it and will continue to do so as long as i can get updated 40k files.

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  18. Dang it, i just paid for a one year extension to my AB 5 weeks ago.

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  19. Battle scribe is horrid, it has more mistakes then the GW faqs.

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