Skirmisher: A D&D Miniatures Table Top Utility

Posted on Aug 12, 2009

This will really make sure everyone knows how much of a nerd I am: I collect and play the Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures game (and play the RPG as well!).

As I’ve delved deeper into the skirmish game I’ve come to be annoyed by certain things. Firstly, sorting through my collection for specific card attributes and assembling war-bands in a smart and efficient way is too difficult. I’ve come to rely on a process of elimination while shuffling through my card deck that is just too slow. Finally playing the game itself, while fun, can be tedious if you’re playing with or against an effect or condition-heavy war-band. Keeping track of status effects and their durations can be a real pain! What is a die-hard skirmisher to do?

Actually what is a die-hard skirmisher with programming skills to do? Create a companion application!

To that end, I started working on a little pet project I call, “Skirmisher.” It’s still really early in its development, but I feel I’ve come far enough to share some screen shots and talk a little bit about it. It’s not something I’m able to work on full-time unfortunately, but it has been fun to work on in my off-hours and I’m actually quite happy with the rate of progress. Open source for the win!

[caption id=“attachment_244” align=“alignleft” width=“300” caption=“This screen shot is an early preview of Skirmisher”]This
screen shot is an early preview of Skirmisher[/caption]

Skirmisher has a near-complete database of all the cards! The majority of them at this time contain just the text data, but a good portion of the cards also have their card images as well (mostly the 2008 sets). It’s already possible to do simple searches and sort by columns (things you get for free from GTK). As you can see from the preview screen, you can add minis from the database to your war-band and get a running total of the cost. I’m still rounding out the rest of the UI and basic features, but currently you can create a war-band from this screen and save it.

This is hopefully only the start. Eventually I want to add a “detail” view where you can check out the attack, ability, and power text as well as view the card image if there is one. I’d also like to add a more detailed “find” dialog where you can assemble more complex queries. Other nice things I’m working on are more UI polish such as customizable key bindings and output formats for printing out war-bands to PDF, HTML, and others.

There’s a whole other section of this application that I haven’t even touched yet: the game engine. Eventually you will be able to load up a saved war-band and hit the “Play” button. This will start up the game engine which you can use at the table to help you track turns, phases, activations, effects, and so forth.

The only drawback I have is the database. While all of the card data and images are clearly available freely to the public, I’m not sure if WotC or the DDM Guild have given license to redistribute the content. I’m not really a master of legalese, so I don’t know if this database would be distributable and legit. If anyone knows the answer to this, please fill me in! At the least I figure that distributing the script which I use to build the database would still be legit to distribute… but it’s a pretty hacked together script and needs a fair bit of hand-holding to work. Ideally I’d just want to distribute the database with the application.

If you like the idea of this little utility I’m working on, feel free to email me feature requests, comments, praise, or criticisms!