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Read-Me File for Army Builder (R) V3.


This document outlines important details that were not able to be incorporated
into the manual, plus a few that simply warrant repeating. For full information
on the Army Builder product, its requirements, and how to use it, please refer
to the manual, which will be found in the file "abmanual.htm" in the directory
"docs\manual" beneath where you installed Army Builder.

System Requirements
In order to run the Army Builder product, your system will need to meet the
following minimum requirements:
1. PC running Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
2. 500MHz Pentium III class processor
3. 64MB RAM memory
4. 16-bit color video with minimum 800x600 display resolution
5. 15MB free hard disk space (plus additional space for data files)
6. Mouse or other pointing device
7. Internet access (for licensing and to obtain data files)
8. Web browser supporting style sheets to view documentation
(minimum of Internet Explorer 4.0, Netscape 4.0, or equivalent)

Product Installation
If you have purchased the CD-ROM version of Army Builder, the installation
program should automatically launch a few moments after you insert the CD-ROM
into your system. If this occurs, simply follow the instructions presented to
install Army Builder. If you are installing Army Builder after downloading it
from the Internet or obtaining it from a friend (or if, for some reason, the CD
does not automatically launch the installer), you will have to invoke the
installation program manually. To do this, please follow these instructions:
1. Click on the "Start" menu in the lower left corner of the display.
2. Select "Run..."
3. Click on the "Browse..." button.
4. Navigate to the location where the installation program is located. If
you are installing from a floppy, this will likely be the "a:" drive. If
you downloaded the program, this will be the location that you saved the
file into. If you are installing from the CD-ROM, go to the CD-ROM
5. Double-click on the "ab32c_install.exe" file which contains the Army
Builder installer (this should be the file that you downloaded). The
file name may be slightly different if you have a newer version.
6. Follow the instructions presented by the installation program.
Once the product has been installed, you can launch it via the "Start" menu. It
will be found in "Start->Programs->Army Builder EX->Army Builder".
NOTE! If you intend to install BOTH Army Builder V2.x AND Army Builder V3.x,
they MUST be installed into SEPARATE folders on your computer. If you install
them both to the same location, both installations will become corrupted.
Authoring Kit
The Authoring Kit, including the ABCreator and ABExport tools, is installed
automatically when you install Army Builder. You can find out more about the
Authoring Kit by checking the Authoring Kit documentation, in the "ab_kit.htm"
file in the directory "docs\kit" beneath where you installed Army Builder.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2d (End-User Features)

1. Added a new option to disable the expanded unit/item tips, under the "Basic
Settings" section of the "Settings" menu.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2d (Authoring Features)


Bugs Fixed in V3.2d (End-User Features)

1. Some tooltips would appear over controls even when normal tooltips were
2. The unit/item tips no longer obscure the unit you mouse over when they

Bugs Fixed in V3.2c (Authoring Features)


Enhancements and Changes in V3.2c (End-User Features)

1. The Check Internet Connection diagnostic now uses https to verify
communication with one of our servers, just in case normal http works but
secure http does not.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2c (Authoring Features)

1. If you include a 0-byte file in a Army Builder import file, Army Builder
will delete the file after import. This allows you to delete pre-existing
files in the game system's folder by replacing them with 0-byte files, which
will be deleted after import.
2. Army Builder now detects whether it needs to be run as an Administrator on
Windows Vista / Windows 7, and warns you if you need to run it as such.
3. When ABCreator is launched from within Army Builder, it automatically
enables data file debugging. Also, ABCreator warns you if data file
debugging is not enabled when it runs.
4. If the PDFCanvas component is not present in the registry, Army Builder now
tries to load the appropriate DLL from the standard windows locations
before giving up. This allows you to simply place the DLL in the product
folder if you are not permitted to make changes to the registry.
5. The announcement display on the updates form now changes to the "hand"
cursor if the mouse is over a clickable hot zone.
Bugs Fixed in V3.2c (End-User Features)
1. Fixed a bug that meant certain runtime tags would not be found just after
adding a new unit to the roster, meaning that the unit would display
incorrectly for its first evaluation cycle.
2. Tooltips should no longer interfere with dragging and dropping units.
3. In squad validation rules, testing tags will now test both the accrued tags
AND the squad tags, instead of just the squad tags (an erroneous change
made in 3.2b).
4. The - (dash) character is no longer being incorrectly accepted in game
folder names.

Bugs Fixed in V3.2c (Authoring Features)


Enhancements and Changes in V3.2b (End-User Features)

1. Army Builder now respects the Windows "Set custom text size" feature in
many of its controls (some, like buttons and droplists, are exceptions).
This means that if you tell Windows to show text larger than normal on the
screen, text within Army Builder will now be larger too. (Note that you may
have to increase the size of the Army Builder window to display the same
amount of information as you used to see.) The maximum scaling factor
obeyed is 150% of normal.
2. Mousing over a unit or item in the Available Units list or Roster tree will
now display a tooltip containing information about that unit or item,
instead of the general tooltip for the control.
3. The "nag" screen that displays on unlicensed copies of Army Builder now has
an additional option to launch the "Activate License" wizard, so that
it's easier for users to find.
4. A new "Check Internet Connection" diagnostic can be found under the Tools
menu, to help diagnose problems that are occurring with an internet
5. If you try to reassign your license before the waiting period is up, a
large prompt message now invites you to visit our web site and fill in a
simple form to request a reassignment.
6. The minimum resolution checked for is now 800x550, to allow netbooks with
very small resolutions to run Army Builder. The "Disable Resolution Check"
menu item has been removed.
7. The data file FAQ is now displayed in slightly nicer colors.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2b (Authoring Features)

1. In ABCreator, when you duplicate a link, it now brings up the editing form
for the new link immediately.
2. ABCreator now acts in "strict mode", reporting more potential errors when
editing data files.
3. In ABCreator, when you create or duplicate a record, the focus is set to
the first control in that record, to get you started editing.
4. In ABCreator, when you create a new definition file, ABCreator auto-creates
the "Nature" tag group, since one is required for all game systems.
5. In ABCreator, option categories are now sorted in the order they appear
within Army Builder.
7. The unique ids of the "new_roster" and "edt_roster" skin resources have
been changed to "newrsthdr" and "edtrsthdr" respectively, due to conflicts
with skins written for previous versions of Army Builder.
8. You can now launch ABCreator and ABExport from the Tools menu within Army

Bugs Fixed in V3.2b (End-User Features)

1. Installing a new version of Army Builder from the updates mechanism should
now prompt for UAC elevation (if required) in Windows Vista and later
2. A scroll bar is no longer displayed on the "Access Code" page of the
License wizard.
3. The filter contents and live filter text are now cleared when you create a
new roster.
4. Fixed a bug which meant that Army Builder might crash if you launched with
a skin written for Army Builder 3.0 or 3.1.
5. Under obscure conditions, saving out units with links selected in a
specific order would cause Army Builder to fail to load the unit back in.
(This occurred when child entities, chained links and contingent links were
used in combination.)
6. Certain errors (such as errors caused by changes in the data files) that
caused parts of the roster to become invalid were not being reported when a
roster was loaded.
7. Fixed an error which would sometimes cause Army Builder and its tools to
crash on exit.
8. The "Specify Model Count" dialog now obeys the correct minimum / maximum
limits for the unit.

Bugs Fixed in V3.2b (Authoring Features)

1. Units with global tags were not being handled properly when added to the
roster, which meant that their global tags would not cause appropriate
2. When loading a saved roster, the list of rules to apply for the new army
would not always be rebuilt, even if the roster race or points total had
changed. This meant that innappropriate rules for the old roster would be
applied to the new roster.
3. Unit stat values are now verified to be within their bounds during
compilation, so that they are correct at the start of evaluation.
(Previously they could be incorrect until the first time they were set in a
script, at which point they were bounded - if the stat was never set, it
would remain unbounded.) Non-default stat values defined in definition and
augmentation files are also verified. If a stat value has a minimum and
maximum but no default, the default will now be bounded automatically.
4. The "Target Id" was not being obeyed for rules in the merge context,
resulting in the rule being applied globally instead of just to the
specified entities.
5. Squad tags can now be tested in the validation context of squad rules.
6. Squad tag groups can no longer be marked as accrued.
7. The "tagnames", "tagabbrevs" etc target references now work correctly in
unit stat finalize scripts, and no longer crash when used on certain tag
8. Extraneous "<live/>" elements are no longer created for elements (links,
linksets, etc) without live tests in ABCreator.
9. ABCreator no longer incorrectly shows that you can access the "entity"
context from unit stat finalize scripts. Instead, it correctly shows the
details for the "unit" context.
10. When you save a record in ABCreator, the edit overlay (for editing unit
stats) automatically accepts your changes and is dismissed. This prevents
you from saving a record with pending changes to a unit stat.
12. Costs in ABCreator are now limited to a maximum of 20 characters, because
13. ABCreator now requires you to specify description text for a ruleset.
14. In ABCreator, trying to enter a large number of unit stat values or
exclusion counts quickly by pressing the down key would sometimes yield
inconsistent results.
15. In ABCreator, resummoning the "Find" form when it is already showing now
just activates it, instead of activating and resetting it.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2a (End-User Features)

1. Added the "Faded Earthtones" skin to Army Builder. This is a dark on light
skin, which some users prefer.
2. You can now change the skin on the "Select a Game" screen when you start
Army Builder. Whichever skin you choose from the droplist is immediately
3. Changed the "Open" button on the "Select a Game" form to say "Load", and
made it a lot bigger. This should make it more obvious what to click on the
form during normal use.
4. Costs for non-top-level entities are now displayed in a dimmer text color.
This allows you to more easily distinguish costs that are being charged to
the total points cost, and costs that are being charged to their parent
5. Added a magnifying glass icon beside the 'live filter' text box, and moved
the text box to the left of the Filter button. When text is entered into
the live filter text box, the icon becomes a button which clears the text
when clicked. You can also press "Escape" to clear the live filter, and
Ctrl+Q to switch to the live filter text box.
6. Moved the "Open Floating Info Window" button upwards, to more efficiently
use the space beside the roster grid.
7. Combined the 'filter' button and 'clear filter' button into a single oval-
shaped button, to make it clearer that they are related to one another.
8. Expanded the 'allies' button into an oval-shaped button that includes a
second button to clear the current ally selection.
9. Floating info windows are now larger by default.
10. Removed two options from the Settings menu to disable bitmaps and colors on
the screen. These options were intended for supporting old hardware that
Army Builder no longer runs on.
11. Pictures are now saved to the "My Pictures" folder by default, instead of
"My Documents".
12. Removed the "Quick Search" menu item from the View menu. The new Live
Filter mechanism can be accessed more easily, and provides the same search
13. The sample skin is no longer included in the list of skins displayed,
because it's not meant to be used as a "real" skin. If you make a copy of
it, the copy will still show up in the list, and can be modified and used
as a base for a new skin.
14. The "Select Skin" form now shows a screenshot for the default skin.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2a (Authoring Features)

1. Added the "checkpoint[tags]" and "checkpoint[stats]" target references.
These list all tags and unit stats available in the current context, which
can be useful for debugging.
2. Rule contexts can now specify a display priority, allowing you to re-order
them without relying on alphabetical sorting.
3. Added the "overall.tallyid" target reference, allowing you to count the
total number of units, items, models or instances with a specific unique id
in the entire roster.
4. Added the "initcost" target reference to links, to retrieve the initial
cost of the link.
5. Linksets can now be added to units, items and options in extension files.
6. Entity notes now support encoded text. They now appear after the
description in the entity info window, as well as in printed output.
7. Leader units are now assigned the "runtime.isleading" tag once for each
unit they lead.
8. Added a "@cost" special symbol for the "squad done" script, allowing you to
change the cost of squads based on arbitrary criteria.
9. The "Link Summary" debug info window now shows the visibility and
enablement counts for links, giving you a better view of what's happening
within the engine.
10. Added the "default" attribute to unit stats, allowing you to set the value
of a unit stat for all units that didn't specify it.
11. 10 standard colors are now available in encoded text. These colors can be
changed by the active skin, and used instead of literal color values (e.g.
"{text bright}" instead of "{text ff8080}"). This allows your data files to
look great, regardless of the skin that's being used.

Bugs Fixed in V3.2a (End-User Features)

1. After returning from a 'choose entity' form summoned from the Options
panel, can now scroll the options panel with the mouse wheel.
2. Info windows on the main form now increase and decrease in size by more
consistent amounts.
3. When dragging and dropping units into the roster, all tooltips are now
disabled, to stop them interfering with the drag-and-drop operation.
3. The Roster Keywords form was not displaying properly.
4. AB would crash when you tried to save a unit image to your hard disk.
5. Saving a PDF from the Print Preview form now properly launches it.

Bugs Fixed in V3.2a (Authoring Features)

1. Fixed an issue where using square brackets [] in certain places (such as
tag names) could make ABCreator crash.
2. Tallying an instance count now works properly.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2 (End-User Features)

1. Select Game System form now includes built-in notification of updates to
Army Builder and the data files, keeping you informed about new releases.
2. New Roster form includes pre-set lists of points and rules, allowing you to
create and configure armies with fewer clicks.
3. PDF Output allows you to save your roster to a PDF for distribution to
friends, tournament organisers, and internet sites.
4. Mobile Output lets you view saved rosters on your mobile device wherever
you go.
5. Model Lists display a list of all the models in your army, ideal for use as
a "what to pack" list or shopping list.
6. Summary Output can now copy to the clipboard in text, HTML or BBCode format.
7. Printed Output now includes a validation flag at the top of the page,
allowing you to instantly see whether a roster is legal or not.
8. The "Change Rules" and "Change Roster Size" options on the Roster menu have
been updated with the same functionality as the "New Roster" form.
9. The composition group breakdown info window now displays the minimum and
maximum limits for each group underneath the totals.
10. The "Live Filter" text box above the available units list allows you to
quickly search for text within unit names and descriptions.
11. The "Clear Filter" button has been moved to beside the Filter button.
12. The first entry in the Favorites list is now "All Units", which resets the
filter to show all units in the roster.
13. The first 10 entries in the Favorites bar can now be triggered with F1-F10.
14. The main form now uses space more efficiently at higher screen resolutions.
15. The options list now uses a tree structure, allowing you to see more
options on screen at once. Option categories can be collapsed or expanded
by double-clicking them.
16. The list of options now scrolls normally, instead of using up/down buttons
at the bottom of the list. The "Summary" button has been moved to the top-
right of the list to save space.
17. Right-clicking an invalid option will (under some circumstances) show you
the reason why the option is invalid.
18. Updated look and feel - Many buttons and other areas of the interface have
been redesigned for a more modern, cleaner look and feel.
19. Allied Units are now displayed in green, making them easier to distinguish
from other units in the roster.
20. Extra Data allows game systems to append damage tracks or stat cards to
printed output.
21. HTML Output now generates smaller, more efficient files.
22. New Print Setup form allows you to choose a default watermark, paper size
and orientation for your printed rosters. Many options from the Settings
menu now live on the Print Setup form, which can be accessed from the Print
23. The size of the Launch Notes window is now determined automatically by
Army Builder.
24. Print Preview now generates more accurate results, but uses more memory and
CPU time. This change can be reverted by choosing "Fast Print Preview" on
the Settings menu.
25. Army Builder no longer supports Windows 95/98/Me.
26. When the focus is on a button, pressing the <Enter> key will now activate
the default control on the form instead of doing nothing.
27. The "Delete Game System" option no longer selects the current game in the
list, since you can't delete that game.
28. The "Edit Value" form now uses an incrementer instead of a simple edit
29. All preference settings are now stored in a separate file within the product
installation directory as "herolab.prefs" instead of using the Windows
Registry. This eliminates problems with multiple users on the same computer
having separate settings, such as activated license numbers. All users on
the same computer that share the same installation of Hero Lab now share the
same settings. To have different settings, install Hero Lab into different
30. Army Builder now defaults to larger starting dimensions for the main window
(i.e. 950 x 700), but it will automatically shrink on smaller display sizes.
31. There is now a "Reactivate License" wizard option on the License menu to
streamline re-activating a license that has already been initially activated
32. The mouse wheel now scrolls multiline edit controls.
33. Tooltips now appear after hovering the mouse over the control for about a
quarter of a second.
34. Attempts to runs multiple instances of Army Builder while in demo mode will
now report an error. Only a single instance of the product can be run at a
time when in demo mode.
35. Individual errors that occur during loading of a saved portfolio are now
reported to the user and saved to a log file. If something goes wrong, the
user can send us the portfolio and the error log file to investigate.
36. On multiple monitor systems, Army Builder will now reposition a window if
it was last opened on a monitor that is no longer present.

Enhancements and Changes in V3.2 (Authoring Features)

1. The new "Develop" Menu consolidates authoring options into a single, easy
to find location for data file authors.
2. Quick Reload allows rapid iteration while authoring data files, by
reloading the current game system, army, and saved roster in one easy
3. Tag groups can now be designated as "squad" tag groups. Squad tags work
like global tags, but are only visible within the squad to which they were
4. Rulesets can now specify an "entityhide" child, containing a tag
expression. Any entities which match the entityhide tag expression are
hidden as long as the ruleset is active. This is a quick and easy way to
hide certain entities based on the presence of a ruleset.
5. "Extra Data" can now be specified for an entity. This data will be game
system specific, and can be manipulated by the "entityextra" global script.
The intent of this element is to allow damage tracks and stat cards to be
generated by running scripts on the extra data.
6. The "perform" statement was added to the scripting language, simplifying
many common operations.
7. The "debug" statement was added to the scripting language, along with a new
debug info window. This allows data file authors to view debug information
generated by the execution of scripts, allowing them to easily identify and
fix problems.
8. Link sets can now specify a live expression. If the tag expression fails,
no links in the linkset are shown.
9. Live tests on options, links and link sets can now specify a message. This
message is displayed to the user if he tries to select a link that is
10. Many new capabilities have been added to encoded text.
11. Many new intrinsic functions were added to the scripting language.
12. Added the "EntityExtra" global script, to set or modify the "extra data"
for an entity. This allows the printing of limited stat cards and similar
items after the roster.
13. Added the "@message" and "@summary" special symbols to the validation
script, allowing you to customize the validation message displayed by the
14. Added the following new script targets: username, assignstr, deletestr,
tagcountstr, tagvaluestr, tagminstr, tagmaxstr, taguniquestr, tagnames,
tagabbrevs, tagids, tagsearch, idstring, assignident, bonuspoints. You can
read more about them in the authoring kit documentation.
15. The size of the launch notes window is now determined automatically, so the
"nature" attribute of the notes has been removed.
16. Added the "points" element as a child of the "structure" element, allowing
you to specify pre-defined points costs for the game system.
17. Added the "extracolumns" attribute to the "structure" element, allowing you
to choose how many columns extra data is displayed in at the end of the
18. Added the "terminate" attribute to macros, allowing you to revert to the
pre-AB3.2 behavior of using them as shorthand for font color / style
changes in the text following them.
19. The "width" attribute of tag groups is now optional.
20. Rulesets can now specify an "abbrev" attribute, containing an abbreviated
version of the name to use in situations where the full-length name might
not fit.
21. Rule contexts can now specify an "abbrev" attribute, containing an
abbreviated version of the name to use in situations where the full-length
name might not fit.
22. Sort sets can now specify a seventh tag group to sort on.
23. The "equipmodels" attribute on options counts how many models a piece of
"equipment" is represented by. For example, if a missile launcher requires
2 crew to operate, this attribute would be set to 2.
24. The "equipname" attribute on options sets the name of the models carrying
this equipment. For example, the "Musician" equipment might change the name
of its bearer to "Musician" to distinguish him within the unit.
25. The "equipment" attribute on items allows the item is treated like an option
with the equipment flag set.
26. The "equipcollapse" attribute for units controls whether this unit is
collapsed into its parent for model list output. For example, a Sergeant
model might set this attribute to "yes", so that he was included with his
parent unit in model list output, and not as an independent model.
27. The maximum squad name size is now 100 characters, up from 25.
28. Option category names now support encoded text.
29. Added the "doneif" and "validif" script constructs to simplify data file
30. The scripting language now supports +=, -=, *=, /= and &= in assignment
statements. "x += 1" works exactly the same as "x = x + 1", but it's a lot
shorter to type.
31. Scripts now support the "notify" statement that reports an event to the user

Bugs Fixed in V3.2 (End-User Features)

1. Fixed a problem that would cause Army Builder to arbitrarily crash on
start-up for some users. This is caused by a bug in Windows which was only
documented on obscure programming blogs.
2. The "Duplicate Unit" command now duplicates units more accurately.
Previously, certain things were not being correctly initialized, which
meant that certain complex units would not duplicate correctly.
3. Unit / Item names longer than 50 characters would be improperly truncated.
4. After trying to load a file for a different game system and failing, the
wrong filename would be preserved by Hero Lab.
5. Changing to Landscape mode on the print preview form would have no effect
on the actual printed output.
6. The logic used for determining where word breaks should occur in multi-line
text was behaving poorly when various punctuation characters were involved.
7. The MRU list now uses the standard Windows logic for truncating filenames
and inserting "...", instead of the previous non-standard logic.
8. Trying to close Army Builder while minimized would sometimes result in the
product hanging.

Bugs Fixed in V3.2 (Authoring Features)

1. Changing certain unit stats in scripts would have no effect under certain

Known Problems
At the time of this release, the following problems are known to still exist.
Functional Problems:
Data Limitations:

Known Limitations
The following list of items are known to exist as limitations, but they are
currently not considered to be bugs. The nature of these issues goes beyond the
designed intent of the Army Builder product, and there are no current plans to
address these issues. They are all minor items that can be managed easily enough
by the user, as well.
Support Options
Technical support for Army Builder is provided only via email at this time. You
can contact the support staff at the email address below:
Please do NOT attempt to phone us for support, as we most likely will not be
available to help you when you call, and no support calls will be returned. We
do our best to ensure that all email support questions are answered in a timely
manner, so please contact us via email.
You can also find a great deal of information about Army Builder by visiting the
Wolf Lair web-site at the URL below. A link to this site is provided on the
'Help' menu within the program (see the 'Visit Company Website' menu item).
Another excellent source of support for Army Builder is the product support
forum, where users can post questions and share information. This forum is free
and is accessible at the following URL:

Accessing the Manual

The manual for Army Builder will be found in the file "abmanual.htm" in the
directory "docs\manual" beneath where you installed Army Builder. This file is
an HTML file, which can be viewed using any web browser. You can launch the
documentation via the "Start" menu.

Removing Army Builder

If you wish to remove Army Builder from your system, you can do so by clicking
on the icon labeled "Uninstall Army Builder" under the "Start" menu. This
shortcut is installed with the product. Once the uninstall program is launched,
follow the instructions presented to complete the task.

Legal Information
This software product is the property of Lone Wolf Development Inc. and is
protected by copyright laws and international copyright treaties. The software
is NOT sold, it is licensed. This license grants the licensee to use the
software on a single computer workstation and to make a single copy of the
software for archival purposes only.
This software is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, express or
implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of
merchantability and of fitness for any purpose. The user assumes the full risk
of using the software.
While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the correct operation of this
software, Lone Wolf Development does not warrant the accuracy, performance, or
results you may encounter by using this software. In no event will Lone Wolf
Development be liable for direct, indirect, special, incidental, or
consequential damages resulting from the use of this software or any defect
within the software, even if Lone Wolf Development has been advised of the
possibility of such damages. Any liability of Lone Wolf Development will be
limited to the refund of the purchase price.
Army Builder is Copyright (C) 1997-2010 by Lone Wolf Development, Inc. All
rights reserved. Army Builder is a registered trademark of Lone Wolf
Development, Inc. Lone Wolf Development and ABCreator are trademarks of Lone
Wolf Development, Inc.
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other brand or
product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective