40K 8th Army Builder Shuts Down at GW Request

One of the early 40K 8th Edition army construction tools is no more at the request of Games Workshop.

The popular Warhammer 40k Army List Builder is no more.

Creator Reepy took the tool down with the following notice:

 

“Hey guys,

A big pile of bad news now…

I was contacted by GW Legal. They requested that I remove the website and I did. It is their right and I must comply.

I was infringing on their IP with:

  • GW artwork (featured in the background of your website)
  • Photographs of GW’s painted miniatures (taken from the GW web store)
  • Legion logos/ iconography
  • Army points and stats for 40K units
  • The Warhammer 40,000 logo

Seeing all of these I feel lucky they didn’t actually sue me.

I didn’t actually remove the site but, as you can see, it is unusable – I am leaving it for now just for this news so you know what’s going on.

I cannot say I wasn’t expecting this. I really did use a lot of their data. But I have to say I just cannot use the new points without some kind of list builder. And using things like BattleScribe is total bullshit. Those lists are UGLY as hell.
This was a labour of love for me. I have a patreon but hardly any body has been using that. This project is now more than three years old. The last month with the coming of 8th edition I was spending almost a full work day extra supporting it – crunching data and developing. I am lucky to have an understanding and supportive girlfriend. I even left my painting to update to 8th (I have about 500pts of Tyranids, 1000pts of Space Marines and 500pts of Harlequins and Craftworld eldar waiting for me).

I really hoped if GW contacted me it would be for some sort of collaboration. Not removal 🙁

I want to thank all of you for all the gratitude and some of you really helped with the data.

If you think something can be done about this maybe you could all send emails to Games Workshop saying you really want this… There are 12 000 of you each day on here… It may make a difference.
Someone posted these emails in my blog as comments. I have no idea which of these are real:

  • uk.custserv@gwplc.com
  • licensing@gwplc.com
  • infringements@gwplc.com
  • reception@gwplc.com

I am so sad… 🙁

Happy Wargaming,
Reepy

P.S. On the bright side, now I can do much more painting and actual gaming.

If any body wants to contact me for some reason: wh40kroster@gmail.com

I want to point out the email I got from GW was not a Cease and Desist order. It was a polite notice of infringement with which I complied. They didn’t just throw the book at me.

I did brake many infringement rules.

If you send mails (and many of you already have) I would very much like it if they are not negative towards GW but more on the soft “we rally liked that” side. This company has given me personally a lot of joy and I will continue playing. I am actually playing my second 8th edition game in a few hours (saturday). I don’t want all of this to become too negative. It’s our hobby and I feel we must protect it even if we don’t like something that’s happening.”

Looking Forward

I can’t say this is too much of a surprise  move by GW with their own official 40K 8th army construction tool just around the corner. With this tool shuttered, it leaves two choices going forward for online tools for army construction.

1) GW’s official 40K Army Builder, which should be coming along any week now… and will almost certainly join the Age of Sigmar builder on the Warhammer Community webpage.

2) Battlescribe, which is trucking along just fine, and there are already community datafiles for 8th Edition. It’s a no frills approach to army construction for a variety of game systems, but it gets the job done.

Of course I’m still confused by all this need for a tool in the first place. Back in my day if you wanted to build an army you did it with these tools:

~Have at it.

 

  • Ronin

    Didn’t be also set up a Patreon for this project?

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      He mentions that.

    • BT

      To quote a friend of mine ‘What was he thinking setting up a Patreon? That is making money off of GW’s IP. No wonder they shut him down…’

  • Mike X (Official)

    For the record, no, BattleScribe 2.0 is not “trucking along just fine.”

    It has a 3.2 rating at best, and my phone has been barred from downloading it via Android because it no longer meets such ridiculously hefty requirements.

    Jon Taylor screwed up big time when he dropped the fully functional BattleScribe and left Pro members in the dust. It’s just a moneygrab now, and it takes some people up to 10 minutes to load a roster.

    Inexcusable.

    • Sounds like making my own personal app wasn’t the worst decision I made in my life 😉

      • Put it up for people to download!

        • The app is public in the PlayStore: ArmyPicker. The data files for download aren’t though due to Copyright.

          • ZeeLobby

            You tease. Lol. App looks promising tho.

          • 🙂 You know where you can find me.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Isn’t even compatible with Chromebook.

    • Hussein Alobaidi

      ^ THIS

    • Ravingbantha

      You must be using an old phone, cause I know my cheap @$$ is, and it works just fine with battlescribe.

      • Walter Vining

        yeah I have 0 issues with BS 2.0

    • E65

      I validated in 2.0 with my old key after not gaming 40k for some time and the new registration is lifetime membership.
      So you are doing something wrong.

      • Sergio Celi

        Exactly, I’ve been using Battlescribe for a year or so, and when they changed the version, I still had the licence intact, without issues. Yes, It crashes sometimes, but I’m overall happy with it. I use it on my iPhone, iPad and PC.

      • Stefan Pietraszak

        “BattleScribe 2.0 is going to be a “new” app, separate from the old one, and will require you to pay again to unlock Pro features on all the various platforms.”

        “Existing Pro users who’ve already paid for the old version may well be upset, particularly if they only recently bought the previous Pro version. And justifiably so – I completely understand why you might feel this way.”

        Both quoted from “BattleScribe 2.0 is Coming” on their site. Not sure how you validated with an old key. Good for you, I guess, as it doesn’t seem to have been the intention. This was the end of the line for me.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. That sucks. It’s been working fine for my group since day 1.

    • mysterex

      Free version works fine for me on my cheap android Samsung.
      Datafiles are getting updated fairly regularly to remove errors.

  • rtheom

    Well, in fairness, back in the day, your army consisted of 5 units which were two sets of 10 tacticals, a 5 man of jump packs, a 5 man of terminators and a rhino. And each of those had like 2 options max. :p

    • Korvalus

      I think that it was more like “I have X unit formed by N miniatures that cost Y, EQUIPMENT INCLUDED”

  • Zachary Alvarado

    Battlescribe’s UI is just too clunky and convoluted for me. At least at first glance for 8th Ed (other game systems I find are just fine to navigate…usually).

    I’m waiting/hoping Army Builder (by Lone Wolf) gets its 8th Ed update soon.

    • ZeeLobby

      The data files are being updated daily. It’s def getting better as they go.

      • Walter Vining

        AB sucked through 7th I quit using it for BS and wont look back

        • ZeeLobby

          Ah, yeah, I meant BS. Dunno where AB is. It’s crazy that AB hasn’t updated it’s interface, like, ever. LoL

  • BloodAngel

    It wasn’t a request.

    • euansmith

      I think it is unfair to expect the 800lbs gorilla to say, “Please”. 😀

  • Sleeplessknight

    Have it hosted in China, Russia, or some other place that doesn’t care about copyrights. Make it accessible through deep web alongside other shady businesses like the drug trade, human trafficking and hitmen for hire.

    • Bootneck

      China definitely do care. There version of ebay/amazon – Aliexpress was selling copies of GW/FW models.

      GW’s legal team got them to take it all down.

      • Sleeplessknight

        Okay, good for them. They’re starting to behave like a real country.

        Just Russia then. What’s Russia done lately to protect intellectual property rights?

        • What have the Romans ever done for us?

          • Sleeplessknight

            They gave us pizza, lasagna, and spaghetti.

          • OK, this Monty-Python reference obviously failed.

          • E65

            Was a valiant effort though.

          • Sleeplessknight

            Oh very well. They also gave us sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, fresh water system and public health.

          • benn grimm

            The colosseum? Noses? Candles? 😉

          • Me

            Noses?!
            °0°

          • benn grimm

            Yeah Roman noses, my good friend Giovani has one, it’s very…well, Roman… 😉

          • Me

            Doh! That’s what I get for reading these forums during quick breaks from frying my brain (a.k.a. trying to fix someone else’s code).

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            The aqueduct?

          • Patriarch

            Shaddap!

      • Dstinct

        Better systems have been implemented. There are at least 7 active large scale recasters now, and fake mtg cards are sold under unsuspecting names to avoid watchful eyes. You just have to know how the system works.

      • AwesomePizza

        You don’t even need to go to China. eBay is full of fakes. Even caught some US game stores reselling them.

      • Lebowski1111111111

        china only cares because alibabab the company that owns ali express (where chinaforge was easy to acess) wanted to get listed on the NASDAQ a couple years ago, so they need to follow american style guidlines. They did not give a crap for the 5 years before it went public.

      • Admiral Raptor

        Sure, they all got taken down. That’s definitely what happened 😉

      • stinkoman

        i literally bought some GW terrain off of aliexpress 2 months ago.

  • Rob brown

    Try Quartermaster. Easy to use and customize. It took me about two hours to load all the tyranid stuff on there and the rules. Or you can load fan made templates. I use it for every game.

  • Drpx

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • euansmith

      Lawyers? 😉

  • Tshiva keln

    I doubt anyone is surprised at this happening, but still have to give lots of respect to the creator. Not many people would handle it so sensibly and maturely given the obvious disappointment. Especially when he calls for support but not nerd rage. If I was wearing a hat, I would tip it to you, bravo sir.

    Having said that, the internet is no place for positivity and reason so let’s burn some miniatures. I suggest Ultramarines 😉

  • Andrew

    Battlescribe doesn’t really function with 8th edition’s detachments too well on my phone. Overall that app isn’t great, but it works I guess…

  • Chris Chave

    I’d glanced at Battlescribe before but drastically preferred 40k Army Builder as it wasn’t butt-ugly. Now that I’ve actually downloaded Battlescribe, I see that it’s giving away the full stats for every model, including special rules and weapon stats – way more than Army Builder was ever doing. Unless only the pictures are fodder for the lawyers, you’d have to expect Battlescribe is going down next.
    The style, layout and formatting of Battlescribe is far worse, it has a far clunkier way of adding equipment (if I give a scout a sniper rifle without unequipping his bolter it’ll nag at me, but it can’t just unequip it automatically?), and it won’t allow you to create an army spanning multiple Factions (like “Imperium”, “Chaos” or “Tyranids”) in the same detachment, which really blows.

    • gordonshumway

      Firstly it most certainly does allow you to create broad faction detachments, it’s just really unintuitive. You have to select an existing detachment and add a new attachment to that instead of just adding a new detachment to your roster. So to do a unified Chaos you select say a Daemon detachment and then add a CSM detachment to the Daemon Detachment. It is clumsy but it does work. They are working on a more 8th friendly “mobile” version with unified detachments but it currently is super buggy.

      Secondly, the developer has created the app, a community team maintains the data files which are not for profit. This is how (so far) the creator has avoided legal action. Now I don’t want it to sound like I am defending the creator, I think he is a pretty slimy guy for the way he rolled out 2.0. I also think Battlescribe is hideous and clunky. But it also happens to be the only real option for list building on mobile. Although for 8th I have taken to just using Google Sheets.

      The real moral of the story is that GW is completely full of it when they claim to have been working on 8th as long as they say they have. If that were true they would have had an army builder app ready at release, even if the initial rollout was just power level based(I mean for petes sake AoS did!). It is simply good business. Seems like they are playing catchup.

      • Chris Chave

        Oh! Thanks for the pointer, all I saw when I Googled it was Reddit posts from the creators saying you can’t do it yet, but having just tried it the way you suggest, it does indeed work. That’s something at least!
        If I recall the AoS one was a Community one they brought in house – it’s a shame they weren’t prepared to do that with this one.

        • ZeeLobby

          Also gotta remember that their constantly updating the data files as they’re tweaking a lot of fixes. It’s almost daily at this point. Eventually it should be much clearer. 7th edition was pretty good, but brand new armies always started out rough. I mean it’s community driven so there’s always some issues.

  • Rainthezangoose

    Stuff like this really urks me. I mean its great to see what happened to GTAV on steam after their management threw the dummy out of the pram and sh*t were it ate. Wish GW would get its comeuppance for once.

    • Darth Bumbles

      YES how dare Ganes Workshop politely say “you’re using our intellectual copyright without permission, please stop”.

      • Simon Chatterley

        Indeed. It disgusts me when corporations don’t allow people to use their stuff for free and then try and make money from it.

        Don’t get me wrong I love the guys devotion to what was clearly a labour of love but you can’t go to the level he did and not expect the banhammer

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      Give them credit that they did it with a glove this time. They are fully within their rights to use the hammer. Sad but true. Maybe if he had tried contacting them first with a business proposition?

      • They would have refused or asked him to pay for a license.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          Thus making money for both?

          • Xodis

            Word is that GW doesnt give out a licence for cheap. So in order to even break even on something like this, he probably would have had to price himself out of the market.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Exactly! A friend of mine worked for GW and the employee discount is 50%. If you can afford to give every employee a 50% discount and still be making money then your product is costly to the average buyer. They are getting “better” but this is something that would get people more into the game and get money flowing. As is the GW product when/if it comes out then it will be costly but all of the profit will be theirs. It’s their business who are we to tell them how to make more money and gain better public relations…

          • Severius_Tolluck

            well Regardless of that, still wan’t in the right. In any case , the average red shirt does not get a full 50% anymore as far as I understand. They also got rid of bit orders where the real abuse was, as that was 80%.

          • More like asking too much for him to be able to pay for it and thus nobody earning anything and the app getting shut down just like it did.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Sadly true.

  • Horus84cmd
  • benn grimm

    Just redo it without so many blatantly unusable assets. When your USP is that you use lots of pictures, trademarks, art assets that you have no right to be using, that’s not much of a USP.

    • Troy G

      It’s the art that got him into trouble. If he just did text only it would probably have been fine.

      • benn grimm

        Yup, or used art/pics he actually has a right to use.

      • BaronSnakPak

        He also stated the use of “army points and stats” as a reason for the C&D. Without those you cant really build an army list.

      • Severius_Tolluck

        He might have even gone unnoticed as long as he didn’t have a patreon linked to it.

  • davidbrommer

    I agree about the pen n paper option. For me, it helps me understand the numbers and stats better.

  • Branahar

    Ah crap, that’s the one I use, dam…

  • Ryan Miller

    Welp, ima have to pay for Army Builder now… or play power level.

  • MechBattler

    I did all my army building on paper, because honestly, I can do math by myself.

    • ZeeLobby

      /golfclap

    • euansmith

      I use Excel/Office Calc, because I like playing with spreadsheets and being able to print out my army lists. It worked okay back in 5th, and I think it should work for 8th 😀

      • Mr.Gold

        Same…

      • MechBattler

        When I want a clean list, I just type it out in Word and print it.
        Honestly, I think those army program printouts were pretty sloppy and cluttered. I’ve not seen one that didn’t look like an unmitigated clusterf*ck.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Hell most of them were just a butchered set of spread sheets developed in an open source excel knock off! Who remember armies of the Imperium?

          • MechBattler

            We had to carry the books around anyway. There was no point to having all the stats and unexplained USRs shoehorned into a tiny box.

            My lists are simple – Number of models in the unit, additional gear and upgrades added, and how many points it all comes to.
            Extra rules and whatnot could be looked up.

            Why they felt the need to vomit everything into a tiny set of lines is a mystery to me.

  • Fraser1191

    I’m pretty sure the only reason it got shut down now is cause he had a patreaon. So he was making money off GWs property

  • Crablezworth

    Jervis was probably just personally offended that they included both points and power levels, as we all know, only waac tfg’s use points.

  • Kayreios

    Sometimes wonder how corporate shmucks in their ivory tower even think people on the front lines manage to use their products when they provide zero support to them. Learn from the people making it work already… gawd. Go around knocking over everybody’s flower pots and there won’t be much left to look at in your sad house…

    Shame, 8th is the change you deserve not the change you wanted… I was kinda getting hyped.

    And do people really think there is such a thing as submitting a paper f#$%ing army list by email to an RTO… wtf man.

    • DJ860

      You know GW are working on their own builder app right?

      Imagine being an artist that can just about make ends meet and then someone steals your art and uses it in their own product?

      Why should GW be lenient because they’re a successful business? They’re not a charity.

      They guy who built the app has handled it like an adult and been open and honest in knowing it was going to be taken down.

      • Kayreios

        Go ahead and hold your breath…

  • Dawid Brol

    BattleScribe is sshiet… It is crooked, Is not intuitive, graphically Primitive, And slow

  • Gunther Clone C

    Anyone else use Army Builder from Wolf’s Lair? Granted they don’t have files for 8th yet. I’m sure someone is working on them now.

    • CthulhuDawg

      AB was one of the best $40 I’ve ever spent on this hobby and I can’t even remember how many years ago that was anymore! I use it to both build lists and keep a running tally of my collection. How much of what unit and how they’re equipped blah blah. Also fun just to build armies to try out different combos within point allotments, even if you’re the one setting the arbitrary rules 😀 I’ve been on the lookout for the 8th update too.

    • stinkoman

      I do, just waiting on 8th files. you cant shut that one down because the files are community created.

  • The Bob

    WTF!!! the Sigmar army builder gets invited into the community and the 40k one gets shutdown, makes sense to me

    • EnTyme

      The AoS builder didn’t use copyrighted images. That seems to be the big difference.

      • MechBattler

        Yep. That’s how Chapter House painted a big bullseye on their heads too.

      • The Bob

        according to GW legal you cant use points either, warscroll builder uses those too

        • EnTyme

          I honestly think that was a secondary concern that the legal department felt the need to throw in just in case they ever decide they need to use that as a reason to defend the IP. Kind of crappy, but that’s how copyright law works.