Thanksgiving is coming soon, so I’ve started to think about my list for this year’s Thanksgiving Warhammer 40K Apocalypse game. I still have some models to put together, but I also need to figure out how I am going to create my list this year.
A while back, I created my own Warhammer 40K army list creator database in Microsoft Access. This was a great planning tool for me as it allowed me to pretty easily select squads and equipment and it would compute points for my army. It also allowed me to print out easy cheat sheets with model stats, weapon info, etc. so that I could come to the table prepared to play. Unfortunately, the biggest part of creating this database was actually data entry – I had to enter in the point costs for each option under each unit profile; this meant that the database was tied to my codex, and became out of date as soon as a new code was released. Additionally, since data entry is the most annoying part of any programming project, once it’s out of date, I am not very motivated to update it.
Based on how much time I have left, I don’t think I’ll be updating it in time for this year’s game. Instead, my plan is to do it the old fashion way – with Microsoft Word/Excel (Ha!). Excel will allow me to compute points, but the hard part will creating some reasonable cheat sheets, which I think I’ll have to do in Word. I’m going to shoot for a “numbers of the front, descriptions on the back” index card approach where the front has the unit statlines, weapons, etc. Then, on the back, have the salient rules – like the definitions of cavalry, rampage, or rapid fire.
Everything after that is pretty much gravy, but there are some things that I’ve used in the past that were quite nice. In particular, my old database had a report with all my model profiles, so that I could easily see condensed statlines all in one place. It also had a report for weapon information, similarly condensed. These are both similar to the summary pages in the back of the codex, but more useful because they were loose-leaf. I’ve also always had a goal that if I didn’t have to pull out my codex during a game, that was the ideal case; flipping through pages to find what you’re looking for is an action-killer, and isn’t fun for anyone at the table.
The last thing that I really want this year is to get my list up on this blog. At the very least, I plan on putting up an HTMLified version of my Excel sheet with what units/options I brought and their points costs and some pictures of all my models.