Recently I’ve been playing a fair bit of Shadow War Armageddon, so it came as serendipitous when Derby based @CadianShock (AKA Jake) got in touch and asked me to look at his free web app!
Shadow War Zone is a free browser based web app that allows to you to build and manage your kill teams for Shadow War Armageddon. You start up by creating an account, just an email and password, then you get taken straight to a screen that prompts you to create your team. This has been very cleverly thought out with Jake’s attitude towards this being very beta testing focused.
Indeed, this writer was approached via twitter to provide feedback a few weeks ago – not that I’ll be letting that cloud my judgement! Needless to see, the small issues I highlighted were picked up très rapide which gives me great confidence that Jake means business when it comes to keeping this tool supported and alive.
As you can see from the above, currently the interface is very basic and clean. I’m told by Jake that his partner is working on GFX which will be implemented at a later date which should add a splash of colour. This obviously won’t impact the important stuff, but the first taste is with the eyes so they say.
I’ve been using this tool primarily on PC through Chrome, but it has also been neatly optimised for Mobile for when you’re on the move.
Creating a Kill Team
Upon logging in you can play with one of your previously created teams, or you can create a new one. The attitude towards usability appears to have been refreshing simplicity, with an easy guided step by step process which invites you to pick your faction, name your team, add models, and then finally customise their gear. You can also optionally add a team photo, and photo’s of the individual models for a nice personal touch.
Managing a Campaign
Once made, hit “Finalise your team” and they’re ready to game with. Each time you finish a battle, log on and click “Complete Battle” and again you’re asked a simple of clean questions which guide you through the post battle recording sequence.
I played a game with my Flesh Tearers last night, and Keiloan leveled up his quickness. Jake’s system makes recording this painless.
Hitting “Save Changes” takes you back to the team screen, where in my case the software invites me to add new recruits to my roster to the tune of 100 points. Had I chosen in the previous screen to “Trade Promethium for Points” I’d have had 200 points to play with here. Give a big “Waz ‘Ere” welcome to Levictus who joins the team toting a shotgun…
The Elephant in the Room
Battlescribe. If you don’t use Battlescribe, fine, don’t worry about it. But if you do, you might be wondering what makes this any different. Well that can be summarised quickly in six points:
- Campaign management feature – Battlescribe doesn’t have one in it’s free software
- Browser based, no additional software or downloads required. Can be accessed from anywhere
- You don’t have to find your own data files and upload them anywhere
- Free, and no ads (In the version I reviewed)
- Currently Shadow War Zone doesn’t provide you with descriptions of the relevant applicable special rules that Battlescribe does. I’ve spoken to Jake and there is a legal concern here. However, it is his intention to include this feature soon, in a way that does not publish the rules publically.
- Printing. I think Battlescribes printing is awful, it doesn’t intelligently break up the individual unit prifles at all per page so you end up with one profile crossing two pages which is just butt ugly and makes usability hard. Currently Shadow War Zone doesn’t have an easy print manager, but again, I’m told one is in development, which is going to replicate the appearance of a printable Games Workshop profile. I’m assuming this means we can look forward to something like this:
This is not to say Battlescribe is redundant, it obviously caters for infinite tabletop games, where Shadow War Zone is very focused on Shadow War Armageddon only.
I think it’s clear that I’m pretty sold on this. Jake’s done a really nice job and I’m really looking forward to later additions with graphics, rules synopsis, and easy printing! Considering this is free and doesn’t bombard you with ads, there’s really no reason not to love it.
If you want to give it a go, head over to https://shadow-war.zone and make yourself a team. Jake is still very much accepting feedback, so feel free to get in touch with him via Twitter @CadianShock or on his Facebook Page if you have questions or suggestions.
Thanks for reading. If you want to consume more of my words, typed with my very own fingers you should check out my guide on how to make a simple two part mold. Until next time, take it easy folks.