Sunday, January 9, 2011

Heretical Thoughts
Tournament Etiquette: Part One - Army Lists

So, the holidays are over and hopefully everyone had a good one. Now its back to the campaign and well "Blood for the Blood God". OK, now that that is out my system, I wanted to touch on something that as tournament orgainzers we have come across quite frequently. Prior to any tournament starting we obtain army lists and have to sort through them to make sure they are legal. In order to do this we use a variety of software, but most notable Army Builder by Wolf's Lair. We understand that most people do not want to use Army Builder to make theie lists, but there are many other options out there that can be used. Though Army Builder is good to use, it is $40 for a 2 installation license. Not everyone wants to spend their money on this, especially when that equates to a box and half of berzerkers. However, from a tournament organizer point of view, this can be an issue. When going to tournaments, you must have a copy of your army list whether it is our tournaments or others. Some things to keep in mind with regards to this are as follows:
  • The list should include the total of the points for each unit
  • Each unit should be clearly identified
  • Abbreviations should not be used (All of us do not know what LRE/PS means - Leman Russ Exterminator with Plasma Sponsons in a guard list means)
  • It should be legible
  • 1 copy of the list for each round being played (for opponents), 1 for the judges and 1 for yourself - Therefore, for a 3 round tournament you should have 5 army lists.

We do not exclude anyone from entering our tournaments based on army lists for any of the reason above, but when organizers have to review 20+ army lists, it can slow down the start time of any tournament or in some cases, keep you from playing in a tournament. For our local tournaments, we will not keep you out playing in our tournaments, but the more we have to decipher, decode or ask questions about, the more time it takes to get started. So, that is the problem, but what is the solution?

You can buy Army Builder from Wolf's Lair which is an excellent program. You can also do a quick internet search for Army list programs that are free. There are a number of them out there. You can also just use MS Excel, which works wonders. An auto totalling spreadsheet works well - that is what I use for the most part. I also use the good old pen and paper method as there are times I just like to sit down and run through multiple options / lists at once and really no software easily allows this to be done.

If you need help in looking into any options, let one of us know as we use a variety of these programs. If you would like us to help build a spreadsheet that will auto total, let us know. We have some experience in doing so. If anyone has any other ideas as to how to generate army lists, please feel free to share.

Heretical Thought for the Week:

Let no good deed go unpunished

Let no evil deed go unrewarded


  1. Great article. I've been considering something similar myself for a while. I have a couple of thoughts to add/ comments to make.
    First of all, like Heretic said not having an army list done in Army Builder, a similar program, or Excel WON'T keep you from participating in an event.
    That being said let me throw in a cople of my thoughts. I personally very rarely use Army Builder (funny since it's by Wolf's Lair). I do almost all of my Army Lists in Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc. Both programs are very easy to use and you can either manually total your points or write a very simple script that will total everything up for you. Most of us have access to Microsoft Excel and if not don't fret because Open Office Calc is a free download and works just as well (even better for some applications).
    If you've never built an army List in Excel give it a try. It's easy and fun!

  2. there is also the good old calculator paper and pencil then transfering that to a microsoft office docuement