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Welcome: Introduction and Instructions

A Web Browser Army Builder
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Hawk Talon

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  • Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:45 am

Welcome: Introduction and Instructions

PostTue Aug 25, 2015 4:51 pm

Welcome to SCOLDZAP - Solomon Chang's OnLine DropZone Army Planner

You can visit the site here:

What is it?
It's a web-based, minimalist design, army builder utility for Dropzone Commander. Because it is made to run on little as possible resources, you can run this army builder in any mobile device that has a web browser. It even works on a Blackberry!

Design Notes
SCOLDZAP is designed with the mobile platform in mind. As such, I've made a conscious effort not to have any actions require right-clicking, or drag-and-drop. Everything you want to do should be accomplishable only with scrolling and tapping. This minimalist approach also excludes any graphics for the time being. I am making the assumption that you might have slow internet access or a limited data plan on your mobile device. However, you will still need an active internet connection whenever you change any dropdowns in the top bar - roster, faction, game size, or even famous commander. This is because the application is loading only the data pertinent to your chosen Force Org. Changing faction would require the application to retrieve new information from my back-end database relevant to the new Force Org.

How to use
When you first load the page, you should at the very least pick a Faction and a Game Size in the top bar. This will trigger the page to load some data about the faction you chose, and some of the Force Organization allowances based on the size of the game. You can also pick a famous commander if you want, which may further change the Force Organization allowances. You may also pick different Rosters (as some scenarios call for Defensive or Reinforcement lists), which will also change the Force Organization allowances.
Note: you will need an internet connection to change any information in the top bar and load any new Force Organization information. Some people complain that they want to use it offline. (Sorry. I wrote this app not just for my love of the game, but also to teach myself AJAX and the long term problems AJAX might have. And, well, AJAX requires ready connectivity anytime it runs.)

After the Force Organization info is loaded, a menu of battlegroups will be populated, with some mandatory battlegroups appearing below. Unit boxes with red letters are mandatory - you must fill these out. If there are any issues with your army list, a list of errors will show up below.

Choosing a Commander
Right below the Add Battlegroup area are two dropdown boxes. Each one will let you choose a Commander allowed for your faction and game size. You do not have to fill out both of them - the 2nd one is there in case you choose to have 2 commanders in your army, which is already an uncommon thing to do. There is technically no restriction to how many commanders you are allowed to field, but I have never seen anyone fielding 3 or more commanders. If you feel the need to field 3 commanders, give me a buzz, and I will add a third box.
Every time you select a commander, a Radio Button will appear in every unit box. This is to allow you to designate which unit will house your commander. If you choose two commanders, every unit box will have two radio buttons.
The commander's name, Command Value, and Radius will appear over the battle groups; and your points total will be updated accordingly.

Adding Battle Groups
To add new battle groups, click on the corresponding Add battle group button. This will cause a new row to appear below, representing a new battle group. One or more unit boxes in the new battle group will be marked mandatory, since you are not allowed to have empty battle groups.

Removing Battle Groups
If a battle group is not mandatory to your Force Organization structure, it will have a "Remove" button on the far right of the bar. Clicking this button with remove the entire battle group bar, and update your points accordingly.

Adding and Removing Units to a Battle Group
Every battle group's title bar will have buttons within, indicating units that can be added to that battle group. Clicking one of these Add Unit buttons will add a unit to the battle group.
Depending on the faction, roster, and game size, every battle group will have a maximum number of units allowed. This maximum is printed on the battle group's title bar to the right. If you add too many groups, this text will turn red, to let you know that you need to remove units to make the list legal again.
To remove a (non-mandatory) unit, click the "Remove" button in the top right of the unit box. If the unit is mandatory, this button will be missing. Note that this button can go missing for other reasons, such as going into Kill Point Calculator mode, or certain other features yet to be deployed.

The Activation Tracker
Every battle group has a checkbox beside it. This is to allow a player to check off his battle groups as they activate. To clear all activation checkboxes when you start a new turn, click the "Clear Activations" button at the bottom of the app.

Kill Point Calculator Mode
This is in Beta, but feel free to help me test. At the end of your game, you can hit this button. A lot of dropdown selections change, intended to not allow you to accidentally add more to your force than you already had. Now, go through the quantity dropdowns of each unit and change the value to however many are left alive. (There's even a "They're all dead, Jim!" option to indicate the whole force is dead.) The points total counts backward while you're doing this. The final points total should be what ever your opponent killed.

Load/Save Functionality
This is still in Beta. Feel free to test, but currently, I'm not recording everything on your sheet when you save. I have a few problems to iron out.
In order to use Load and Save, you need to be a registered user and log in. This is primarily to prevent a flood of strangers from filling up the hard disk the database sits on. And sorry, like the Hawk Forums, a couple of months can go by before I get to sending you a validation email when you register. However, you can ping me, either through a private message on this forum, or through my personal email, skevin521(at)yahoo. (Sorry for the email obfuscation. You just know the spambots are going to eat it up if I put it out there in plain text)

Debug Information
There's this ominous button labelled "Debug". That's for me typically. But hey, if you want to learn how this app works, maybe even run it on your own webserver, this is a pretty good place to start. Most of the time, its function is to barf out all the JSON data structure into the bottom of the screen. Usually, this is in response to people telling me there's a data mistake with X not having Y. However, you're welcome to reverse engineer whatever you can... I can foresee a day I might feel overwhelmed and ask for help keeping this page going. I'm also happy to answer any questions about design and development.

Known Bugs
[list=]Sharing in general is still buggy.
If 2 PHR Infantry that can normally share with each other take two different kinds of Junos, the Share option does not appear.
The Load/Save feature still needs work. Shared squads are not recorded.

Features Still Under Construction
[list=]Save/Load Functionality
Killpoint Calculator mode

Features Under Consideration
[list=]A Lock mode, to prevent changes from being made on accident.
Changing Point value of army to automatically choose Game Size... 1-999: Skirmish, 1000-1999: Clash, and 2000+ Battle[/list]
Last edited by Tenebris on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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J.D. Welch

Hawk Talon

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Re: Instructions for use

PostWed Aug 26, 2015 3:49 am

You need to have this made a sticky topic, so that it's always at the top...
I love my job (well, I love having a job), but a bad day of gaming beats a good day of work every time!


Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 236
  • Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:45 am

Re: Instructions for use

PostWed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 am

J.D. Welch wrote:You need to have this made a sticky topic, so that it's always at the top...

Still trying to figure out how. Haven't heard back from Hawk about that, yet.


Yeager Wolfmire

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  • Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:38 pm

Re: Welcome: Introduction and Instructions

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 2:39 pm

Now if you can tun this into an app for phones you'll be a true hero... it's sad but true, the computer one never wants to update for me since my computer is crap.
Death is written in these pages, and I'm the author

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