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Hail, battle brothers!
I recently decided to hunt for a way of making my battle reports actually followable and looked into ways of drawing maps in the same manner as White Dwarf. The result is Battle Chronicler and I plan to start using it for regular battle reports that will go in a "Battle Reports" thread. See what I did there?
So, just wanted to let you know that this thread is a practise thread for battle reports. I'm going to be playing around with Battle Chronicler, getting the hang of different options and working out how I want to use it.
If you want to chip in with thoughts or opinions on any of my faux-maps, that would help me know what works best for the community. If not, then just be aware there may be periodic updates in this thread that have more to do with me working out the programme than anything of actual gaming-interest.
Hopefully soon I'll be generating exciting new battle reports to a Battle Report thread near you!
Repeated use brand slogan: CHECK
Informal language to relate to audience: CHECK
The exciting new ____ Coming Soon to a ____ near you: CHECK
Self-referencing (pun intended et al): CHECK
You sir have a natural gift for spin, have you ever considered a career in advertising?
“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley
I consider it on occasion. Then I hear my soul crying out in horror and remember I planned to open an orphanage in Africa.
Deployment. Stuff was placed down. Then more stuff was placed down. It was fun.
Red Turn One
The units totally moved. Red Unit Two shot ranged stuff at Blue Unit Two and did some damage. Bazinga.
Blue Turn One
Blue Units One and Three charged an improbable distance to multi-charge Red Unit One. Blue Unit Two totes did some ranged damage back at Red Unit Two in retaliation. Raaaargh.
Red Turn Two
Continuing the theme of improbable moves, Red Unit Three swung across fully three sections of board, covering a good 40". As you do.
Red Unit Two continued to shoot at Blue Unit Two and destroyed the unit! [I removed the icon for Red Unit Two before adding a big skull. Would you prefer the big skull to be placed on top of a faded icon? I've done that in Red Turn Four for comparison.]
Red Unit One broke from combat and ran for their lives. (As an aside, what in heck is the past participle of "flee"? "Fleed"? Oh, hang about - "fled". Duh.)
Blue Units One and Three restrained their pursuit move and reformed to face the danger from Red Unit Three.
I've listed each action separately here. Does it help clarify stuff?
Blue Turn Two
Does the list look nicer?
- Red Unit One forgot it wasn't his turn to move and fled off the board. [This graphic hasn't come out properly - the unit ought to have been more clearly at the edge of the map and the movement arrow should be yellow. I'll look into that.]
- Blue Unit Three charged Red Unit Three in the front, while Blue Unit One set-up for a flank charge.
- Fighty stuff happened, though you might not be able to tell due to the lack of explosions on the map. [Do you think I need explosions in combat situations? It might help to clarify if one unit is hurting the other and taking no wounds in return. Thoughts?]
Red Turn Three
Red Unit Two shot up Blue Unit One and totes did some casualties. The fighting continued between Red Unit Three and Blue Unit three. More killing happened and this time, there were explosions. [Do the explosions help, improve or detract from the image?]
Blue Turn Three
Blue Unit One charge Red Unit Three in the flank. The combined force of Blue Units One and Three caused Red Unit Three to break from combat and flee. Blue Unit Three pursued in order to clear out the way of Blue Unit One. Blue Unit One restrained its pursuit roll and reformed to threaten Red Unit Two.
Red Turn Four
Red Unit Three reformed and turned round to face off with Blue Unit Three. Red Unit Two wiped out Blue Unit One with ranged attacks. (You can tell because of the skull and the faded icon. Truth.)
Blue Turn Four
Blue Unit Three charged Red Unit Three and wiped it out in combat. Kaboom.
Final score: 2-2 (draw)
If anyone has feedback on that sample report, I'd appreciate it. Too many pictures? Should I aim for one per game turn, rather than one per player turn? Any thoughts on the specific questions I've got throughout the report?
This report is pretty awesome. Very clear, and the pictures combined with the play-by-play really give a good gist of the action. I do like the skull to signify a destroyed unit, that's pretty cool. So... about this Battle Chronicler thing. I'd like some more info on it, and if the price is reasonable I'd look into getting it. Please tell me it's Mac-friendly.
here. It's a little complicated, but I found I had a reasonable understanding after half an hour or so of fiddling about. You can download a component package from the same site that gives you more in the way of icons to dot around the battlefield.
I'm now thinking about paying for Army Builder, which is sadly not free. Apparently it links quite nicely with BC. As much as I love my pen/paper combinations, I think if I'm going to start doing regular battle reports using BC, Army Builder may be extremely useful to have. Currently looking to see if I can get a download somewhere for free. Will report back if I find something.
As to the skulls signifying a destroyed unit, which of the different methods did you prefer?:
- Red Turn Two: Blue Unit Two is destroyed, the icon is removed and replaced with a large skull and two explosions.
- Red Turn Three: Blue Unit One is destroyed, the icon is faded out and a small skull and two explosions are added.
- Blue Turn Four: Red Unit Three is destroyed, the icon is faded out and covered with a large skull.
Personally, I think that option number 2 is clearest, but option number 1 looks best. And since it's hardly a challenge to work it out, I think I'll stick with option number 1. I may mix the two slightly - leaving the unit icon on the table but faded, then overlaid with the large skull and two explosions.
Edit: I have no idea if it's Mac-friendly or not. Hopefully so! When you find out, can you let us know?
Last edited by el_don; December 18th, 2011 at 21:06.
I still use Battle Chronicler for reports, but it's a bit time consuming. My last report (that I posted) using BC can be found HERE. So that's a sample for how I've always done it.
My first suggestion is that, in order to save on pictures and therefore load times, you get used to running turns simultaneously. In my report, if you look in the top right, you can see a faint green square titled "untitled". That is the entire force composition of "army B". The other two armies are both created using the 'Custom Color' options for Army A. This way, whenever I move units, they both keep their arrows in a single picture.
The game already color codes the arrows to differentiate between Moving, Charing, and Fleeing, and I also leave little text blurbs below each picture explaining exactly what's going on. This way, the arrows don't get too confusing. Furthermore, if you 'destroy' a unit, it leaves a ghosted image in your turn. When running simultaneous reports, you still see these images for the "next player's" turn.
I also zoomed in until I could see individual boxes for the models, and then used the different sized skulls (you can resize them) to keep tabs on models killed. I did this before I reduced the unit size, so that I had nice, orderly lines of skulls to make counting the casualties easier. Having the "tag along skulls" makes it easier for people to keep track of units as they shrink in combat. Otherwise, I keep my "shiny bits" to a minimum - even the explosion from my miscast was sized properly to give an idea of how much the template was covering from the unit, rather than just being there to look cool.
I had a read through your report and I think I prefer to keep my turns distinct. Also, I spent some time wondering whether I wanted to find a way to reduce the size of units (such as your example of using appropriately-sized skulls) but I think I prefer to leave it a little more cartoony and less precise. Do you think my style is going to be too difficult to follow?
I noticed as I was uploading photos that the total size of my uploads was getting pretty high. Perhaps I can work something out. Maybe I only keep the most current battle report with full pictures and replace old pictures with links? Presumably I can also reduce the size of the pictures.
I hasten to add that I do think your style is cool and I can definitely see the benefits. For now, though, I'm going to experiment with my own style.
No problem - your method definitely works, there's nothing wrong with it. It's more of an "illustrated battle report" where people can get a good idea from looking at the pictures and then read into the text if they want more details. I try to get as much detail as possible into mine and keep the overall uploads down. My computer is a little slower, uploading 12 pictures to Photobucket or what have you, so that I can share them here, takes far too long. My method gives me 7 pictures for a standard 6-turn game.
If you're going to use Battlechronicler, I'd definitely either start a new thread for each battle report, or definitely create links to the pictures of old battles - as you said. This is as much for yourself, as it is for anyone trying to read your thread. It can be frustrating to have to wait for dozens of pictures to load on each page.