A Battle Report Generator / Writer / Formatter that is perfect for sharing Warhammer Fantasy Battles.Battle Chronicler Reviews).
First and foremost, many thanks to the designer he has done an outstanding job and must have invested literally hundreds of programming hours into this work. Before I go any further I'd like to say that I'm in no way associated with the designer, I have "talked" to him once via his forum but that's it. So, this is an independent review of his excellent Battle Reporting Program.
http://www.battlechronicler.com/download/ (paste into your browser)
The security stuff for the sensibly wary.
While the Battle Chronicler includes a declaration that there is no spyware, adware, viruses etc in the software... I thought I'd check for the benefit of my own paranoia and my readers.
I use Windows 7 and Microsoft Security Eseentials (which I think works with Vista and Windows 7 and you can download here:- http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/). I ran a full deep scan before downloading Battle Chronicler and another deep scan afterwards and I'm delighted to report that Microsoft didn't pick up anything malicious at all - I'm delighted because it means I can carry on with my review and use it for my Nautican Battles :)
Tech Bits :-
The installer (.msi) is 1.5mb. It uses up about 5.3mb once installed so is pretty tiny really. The components (which you will want, eg. the images like hills, rivers etc) is 22mb. Installation only took a few seconds for both.
Battle Chronicler Review Summary
Easy to use, flexible, great for Warhammer Fantasy and 40k and very precise. I have played with it for an hour so I'm not certain of all of the features yet but it only took me 30 mins to draw up a deployment screen (see above image) and the "game turn" screen thereafter should be fairly quick (maybe 10 minutes per turn for a 2,000pt battle ?) because you're only moving units not placing terrain again.
You can customize the appearance of unit base sizes, colours, embedded images, unit types and associated text (usually the unit names). You can move, resize and rotate all terrain and scenery such as hills, woods, rivers, buildings and likewise for the counters such as arrows, flame templates, skulls, explosions.
There are also built in unit properties which helps you to follow the course of the battle. For example you can mark a unit as shooting, in combat, routing or destroyed etc. There is even a line of sight marker that draws itself from the front of the selected unit to wherever you want on the tabletop. A very nice feature is the way you can mark models in a unit as casualties and once a full rank has been lost the unit automatically resizes on the map to represent this - very cool.
Another very impressive feature is the way that the text (if you want to give a unit a name) will flip so it's still readable even if you rotate the unit 180 degrees (nice attention to detail from the designer).
The Battle Chronicler Website
To download the software you need to provide an email address but it doesn't get authenticated you go straight into the download screen. Personally, I gave my real email because I'm keen to receive updates when new versions and especially components (eg. terrain images) are released.
The website has a whole host of handy links like "getting started", examples of what you can do with the unit editor with colours, text and images and some excellent examples of battle reports written using the Chronicler.
Criticisms so far
Not many really. Initially (for the first 10 minutes or so) I found it a little bit awkward to rotate stuff but what you need to do is select the unit or terrain feature and then move your mouse further away before rotating (I was keeping my mouse pointer too close to the selected item).
I'd like to see some more counters to specifically represent Warhammer Fantasy. I cannot really aim this criticism at the software designer because he's clearly focused on creating a generic all purpose battle report generator and he truly has done a fantastic job of it.
It's really up to the Warhammer Fantasy community to build upon this awesome software by submitting their own images (components) to the Battle Chronicler site for others to use in future component updates.
As it stands there are some nice terrain features but we Warhammer folk would probably like to see some more swords, arrows, axes and maybe something to reflect war machines and psychology tests such as fear.
I cannot credit the creator of this software enough. Not only is it brilliant but it's FREE and there are NO catches. It must have been a very meaty project to embark upon and I bet the developer's programming skills have gone through the roof since he started !
I whole-heartedly recommend Battle Chronicler.
PS. I've just added the Battle Chronicler link and logo to the top right of the Fantasy Battle Reports hub so you know where to look if you want to try it out in future.