1.2 adds automatic* support for Spec Ops† and Mission bonuses‡. I’m incredibly happy with how it works: just play your games, pick your mission and Tac Ops§, and it handles everything for you. Before, it was easy to simply not notice that you’d fulfilled the criteria to receive a mission bonus, or to forget to update your progress in an operation. But since the app already knows all that stuff—what Spec Op you’re on, what cards you picked—it can just do it for you. Reducing the need for you to be the one doing that sort of bookkeeping was the whole reason I build the thing.
This update is a bit of landmark in that it more or less rounds out all the basic functionality of the app. Development on it will continue, of course, and new teams and balance patches will go in, but it’s now at a place where I think it’s satisfyingly full-featured. The goal was always to remove as much of the bookkeeping and tedium surrounding managing your team.
I’m sure there are bugs because coding in all of those Spec Ops and missions was a ton of work. Please reach out if you find behavior you don’t expect.
* It’s automatic wherever it can be, but the app obviously doesn’t know the physical state of the board. If a mission wants to know if you ended the game with operatives in your opponent’s deployment zone, for example, you’ll have to tell it whether you achieved that or not.
† Confession: there are small handful of Spec Ops I simply threw my hands up and gave up on. Warpcoven’s Labyrinthine Plans—because every single aspect of Warpcoven requires custom code—and the Void-dancer Spec Ops that wanted too much stuff about your performance. You’ll have to advance those manually.
‡ Only the pre-built narrative missions from the books are supported. If you’ve written custom missions you can of course decide what bonuses to give your players and have them award themselves RP, XP, etc. manually.
§ Big caveat here: out of the box, Spec Ops are designed to work with Tac Ops from the Core Book. I’ve ported all the cards that have obvious analogues in the Critical Ops deck over, but if you’re playing with Critical Ops, you might find that some cards aren’t scored automatically. If GW ever provides guidance on how to map the cards, I’ll add support, but I don’t want to go off on my own on this one. You can always manually adjust your progress in an operation on your team’s page.
Full release notes:
- Automatic tracking for (nearly all) Spec Ops
- Missions: You can now select which mission you’re playing
- Mission bonuses: If you select a pre-made narrative mission, its Mission Bonus, Tac Ops Bonus, and/or Spec Ops bonuses will be applied if you meet their criteria.
- The list of team data slates can now be sorted by team name or by faction.
- Most places where rare equipment can be added now let you add a random piece of equipment as an option.
- It should no longer be possible to acquire duplicates of rare equipment.
- Spec Ops teams can now choose “Strict Equipment Drops.” If enabled, the Equipment Drop requisition will enforce that items are bought in groups of 5 EP. Unused EP is wasted. (Off by default.)
- Added Undo functionality to the Equipment Drop button.
- Warpcoven: A symbol will appear next to Sorcerer operatives that haven’t picked their Boons or Psychic Disciplines.
- Hierotek Circle: A symbol will appear next to Cryptek operatives that have not picked their Cryptek Actions.
1.1 adds the Soulshackle teams, Hand of the Archon and Exaction Squad, as well as game history and stats. The stats page shows your overall win rate, win rate vs each other faction, and tracks the average victory points you score for each different Tac Op card.
- Added Exaction Squad and Hand of the Archon teams.
- Clicking on a battle honour or battle scar on the in-game view now brings up a sheet describing that honour/scar.
- Games History and Stats added to each team’s info (for games played on this version forward).
- Clicking on a battle honour on the operative’s datacard now shows a confirmation message reminding you to check whether you’re allowed to change this honour before doing so.
- The close quarters switch on the pre-game screen will now set itself to whatever your last game was.
- Added a few options to the menu when you right click/long press on an operative in the team list.
- Elucidian Starstriders: Family Chronicle asset only displays on the datacard for Elucia Vhane.
I’ve published an FAQ document for Teammate. You can find it here.
I’ll keep it updated as I get actual questions from customers. See also the in-game user manual, acceesible from the question mark icon on the top-most screen of the app (iOS) or the Help menu (Mac).
Hot on the heels of 1.0.2 comes 1.0.3, which fixes a small bug for teams using the accelerated ranks custom rule, and adds in some UI for a few assets.
- Enhanced support for the War Shrine and Stimms Stash Strategic Assets.
- Expanded Supply Bay (Imperial Navy Breachers) and Vermin Nest (Gellerpox Infected) assets now show the extra items in the stash.
- Cleaned up the text formatting for some strategic assets and battle honours.
- Fixed a bug where operatives in Spec Ops teams with accelerated ranks wouldn’t be shown their battle honour options at the right XP tier.
Teammate 1.0.2 is available now.
This version adds support for most faction-specific Requisitions and Strategic Assets, all universal Requisitions, Medic re-rolls, and the Med Bay Strategic Asset. You’ll find buttons for all of these in the appropriate places in the app. For example, if an ability allows an operative to re-roll a casualty test, there should now be a menu item next to the failed test’s result. If a Requisition is applied after a game, it will appear at the bottom of the post-game screen if its conditions have been met.
Of the 57 faction Requisitions, Teammate now supports 53! The remainder tend to be ones that involve in-game effects that the app doesn’t concern itself with, or those dealing with Spec Ops Commendations. You can still of course manually adjust your RPs when you want to activate these. These are: Negotiate, Debt Owed (Farstalker Kinband); Negotiate (Elucidian Starstriders); Mark Assigned (Hunter Clade); Grand Role (Void-Dancer Troupe).
Since so many of these require recognizing very particular circumstances, there’s a fair chance I’ve missed a few. Please let me know if you find any bugs or strange behaviors: mastodon.social/@davextreme.
- Added support for the Recuperate and Medivac requisitions in the appropriate menus on the post-game screen.
- Medivac’d operatives are required to sit out one game before they can be selected for deployment. You can override this by turning off list validation on the pre-game screen.
- Proficient Operative, Weaponsmith requisitions now have buttons on individual operatives’ pages when they reach the correct rank.
- Added support for nearly all faction requisitions.
- If you have the Med Bay Strategic Asset, an option will appear in the casualty menu after rolling a test.
- Medic re-rolls are now an option in the casualty test menu if your team deployed a medic that wasn’t incapacitated.
- All faction strategic assets that affect things Teammate tracks—XP, injury rolls or adjustments—are now handled automatically if they’re part of your base of operations.
- Added a new menu for scoring Tac Ops on the in-game screen—you can now score them in the list of Tac Ops or on each operative’s entry.
- Taking a Tac Op that requires an operative to be selected before the game starts (Deadly Marksman, Interloper, Plant Banner) now presents the option to pick that operative.
- Re-rolling a casualty, battle scar, or recovery test will now show a confirmation dialog to remind the player to check the rules and be sure this test is allowed to be re-rolled.
- Operatives that roll a 1 for their battle scar test are no longer marked as slain until after you finalize the game. This gives time for you to re-roll or use Recuperate before they’re moved to In Memoriam.
- Legionary: Marks of Chaos added to the pre-game operative selection list.
- Warpcoven: Randomly-selected Boons of Tzeentch can now be any boon (even if an operative already has that boon)
- Warpcoven: The button for adding a second boon (for Sorcerers) and a first (for Tzaangors) now only shows if the Boon/Mutation battle honour has been chosen.
- Warpcoven: Changing a battle honour to an honour that’s not Boon/Mutation will delete the previous boon that had been gained.
- Warpcoven: Boons and psychic disciplines added to the operative’s entry on the in-game screen.
- Reduced the disk space operative images take up.
- iPad: Fixed a few confirmation dialogs that had become detached from their buttons.
Teammate 1.0.1 is available now.
The big features are enhancements for people who primarily do Matched Play games, and list validation.
When you create a new team, you can now choose whether your roster will be used for Matched Play or for Spec Ops. If you pick Matched Play, the app will hide all the Spec Ops features and will just let you make a list and keep score in games. I think that for basic Kill Team list-building and sharing it’s the best option out there.
List validation (for non-Compendium teams) means that when you create a new Spec Ops team, the app will make sure your starting roster is legal. If your team only allows you to take a certain number of a given operative (ex. one leader, one plasma gunner), Teammate will disable the ability to select more once you’ve hit your limit. This also works when you start a game—start selecting operatives and invalid choices will dim. You can turn this off if you don’t want it, which might be needed if you’ve written a narrative scenario requiring something unusual.
Tac Ops scoring has been improved a little, too. Some cards, like Rob & Ransack, require the operative who scored to the first bullet point to also score the second. In this case, the second bullet is now a toggle switch, which prevents you from assigning that point to the wrong operative. Other cards, like a few for Warpcoven, can only be scored by a specific operative type. The list now limits itself to just valid operatives. And for Matched Play rosters, Tac Op scoring is just a series of switches now. No need to designate the operative who scored it, since XP isn’t a factor.
Going forward, should an operative pay the ultimate price and roll a 1 for its battle scar test, you can visit the “In Memoriam” page to remmeber their sacrifice. There’s even a notes field where you can fill in some details aobut your departed operative’s demise.
New Spec Ops teams can also set custom campaign rules to increase XP generation and/or decrease the XP needed to level up.
- Matched play teams: When you create a new team you can now designate it as a Matched Play list, which will hide all Spec Ops features.
- List validation: New non-Compendium rosters will now prevent you from taking an illegal initial list.
- Pre-game team selection: Added an option to validate the list as you select operatives.
- Custom campaign rules: When creating a Spec Ops team you can now adjust how much XP operatives get in a game and/or how quickly they gain ranks.
- “In Memoriam”: Slain operatives now have a resting place in the team’s Info section. (This only collects operatives slain since upgrading to this version.)
- Tac Ops: Cards that are “all or nothing” will now automatically fill in both bullet points when scored (Interloper, Plant Signal Beacon, Blow It Up!)
- Tac Ops: Cards that require the same operative to score both points will now prevent you from selecting different operatives (Escort Operative, Rob and Ransack, Executioner, Courier, Challenge, Hero’s Path, Champion of Mankind)
- Tac Ops: Cards that can only be scored by a specific operative type will now only allow you to score them with an appropriate operative (Reputation to Maintain, Investigate Motive Force, Scry Secret, Sorcerous Ritual)
- Added an option to make a copy of a Spec Ops team as a new Matched Play team (and vice versa)
- When you first create a roster, a confirmation dialog now appears to make sure you know it’ll cost RPs to add operatives going forward.
- Fixed a bug where adding an operative that has no wargear options wouldn’t cost RP.
- Fixed a bug where deleting a strategic asset would sometimes try to delete the wrong asset
- Fixed a bug where Cerebral Affliction battle scars would persist after a game’s end.
- Revised the formatting of exported rosters.
- Greenskin: Added Boy Gretchin operative.
- Warpcoven: Team selection will now determine whether security or recon Tac Ops has the star next to it.
- Elucidian Starstriders: Elucia Vhane canned be added to your roster if you already have one on your roster.
- Gellerpox Infected: Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed cannot be added to your roster if you already have one on your roster.
- Legionary: Marks of Chaos are now color-coded
- Legionary: The new operatives menu now disables the Balefire Acyolyte choice if the operative’s mark is Khorne, rather than hiding the entry entirely.
- Legionary: Dark Desecration is now disabled for close quarters games.
- Hierotek Circle: Epithets are now combined with the operative’s given name so they alphabetize more sensibly.
- Kommando: Blow it Up! is now disabled for close quarters games.
- Imperial Navy Breachers: C.A.T. Units and Gheistskulls no longer default to having human names.
Teammate: Kill Team Spec Ops Aide is out now. This is an app I’ve been working on throughout the fall. It helps you manage narrative campaigns in Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team.
You can download it now for free from the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Like many, the pandemic found me at home in need of a hobby, and wound up picking up a brush and painting Warhammer miniatures. I’d started playing 40K in high school during 2nd edition and had from time-to-time wandered into game stores, my army sitting in a few boxes in a closet.
when 9th edition came out, I was drawn to the idea of smaller narrative games, and Kill Team’s Spec Ops rules seemed ideal for telling stories about your squad of little friends. Right away, though, I found the work required to track experience, battle honours, strategic assets, etc. to be cumbersome.
Teammate is deisgned to streamline that bookkeeping. You still need to know the rules for how the Spec Ops mode works, but it should be able to replace having to lug a clipboard around.
There’s a little more information on the About Teammate page, including a video demo.
- iPad keyboard shortcuts: Use the “[“ and “]” keys to move back/forward a page. ⌘-T shows the Table of Contents. ⌘-W closes the Table of Contents, if open, or closes the book.
- Fixed a bug where the application badge count didn’t reset to zero after a new chapter notification is received.
- Removed the “What’s New” page since 2.0 has been out for a while.
The Wallachia app does not collect any information about you. It doesn’t track you. It contains no third-party code.
Wallachia Chapter 15: Death and Burial Customs of the Wallachian Peasant
Chapter fifteen of Wallachia is out. You can read it in the app or listen to the audiobook chapter.
This one was murder to write. First, I’d taken a lot of time off to get version 2 of the app ready, and then it took me a while to get my pen wet again. (Is that an expression?) Then, I wrote it, and it was just boring. It was just a list of events. Abraham visits Eugen in jail. He and Dragos go to the farm. Eventually I figured out that what it was really about was Abraham coming to realize how much he’d changed in the 15 or so years since he travelled with his uncle. He isn’t riding around Europe fighting vampires and then moving on anymore. He’s part of a community that he cares for and wants to protect.
Anyway, I’d like to promise that sixteen will be along soon, but we’ll see. I think it will be! In trying to work this one out I made a new, handwritten outline of the current plan for the book’s plot from here to the end, and I’ll say that for the new year I’m feeling a renewed excitement about getting this story told.
Not many notes this time. Emily Gerard’s The Land Beyond the Forest provides the funerary customs, which we also saw in chapter three. Carmilla describes Baron Vordenburg’s library.
21. Wallachia Chapter 15: Death and Burial Customs of the Wallachian Peasant
Abraham and Dragos visit Marian’s farm.
Oh, and a quick note: I’m now serializing Varney the Vampire in the app. Chapters come out Fridays.
Chapter fifteen of Wallachia should be out tomorrow. I’ve said before that one of the hardest parts of getting a chapter ready is thinking up the reader poll question. When I started this project, I pictured the polls working in a few different ways. One, they’d be a way to get me out of a jam. If I couldn’t decide on which direction to take the story, I’d have the readers vote. Fun! Two, they’d keep me on my toes, forcing me to never write too far ahead, since upcoming events would depend on how the votes went.
Naturally I expected that sometimes there would be things I wouldn’t want to put up to a vote. The story is planned out all the way to the end. There’s stuff I don’t know yet—that’s what writing is—but the big stuff, I know. So whenever I get to the end of a chapter, I usually know where the next ones are going, at least generally. Chapter sixteen, for example, doesn’t have a lot of action in it. There’s just some stuff that happens in it that follows from where we’ve been and sets up where we’re going. It’s not like it has a place where you get to vote which character dies.
As I was writing fifteen, though, I came up with something great. It was going to end on a cliffhanger. A decision was going to be put before a character, and you, the reader, were going to vote on what that character decided. The consequences would matter and really would change a few things about what’s coming up. But then as I was writing it, I realized that one of the parties involved in that decision had *absolutely no motivation*—no reason to be in the situation I was setting up. I agonized over it. I sketched out the scene longhand. I typed it, deleted it, rewrote it, and ultimately just couldn’t make it work. So I scrapped it and rewrote the whole thing, which left me—again—with no idea what to put up for the reader poll.
If this were a different book, maybe I’d have every chapter end on a big cliffhanger for you to vote on, but it’s not. I’ve said before how I think often about what Stephen King says about how you have to let the story tell itself. It’s in charge, not you. So for me, that means pacing around the house for the better part of a day trying to clear my mind until the answer comes to me—which I liked doing more when I had the house to myself and not a whole quarantined family trying to get their own stuff done. Alas.
Varney the Vampire
Happy new year!
Today we start publishing a “new” serial, 1845’s Varney the Vampire or, The Feast of Blood, A Romance.
Chapters will hit the app Fridays—Vineri in Romanian—so check back each week for a new spine-tingling, bodace-ripping #VarneyVineri.
Chapter six of Carmilla, “A Very Strange Agony,” is in the app now.
If you didn’t get a push notification this morning (and you’ve been reading Carmilla), please open the app manually. This should make it resume notifications. Yesterday’s 2.0.2 update should make sure this doesn’t happen going forward. 🤞🏻
Very small application update coming to the App Store today.
In previous versions, fi you had the table of contents page open and tapped the chapter you were currently reading, the table of contents would close and take you back to the page you were reading. Now, it takes you back to the first page of the chapter. If you want to stay on your current page, the “Resume” button at the top of the screen will do that. I like this behavior better because it gives you a quick way to go back to the start of a chapter if you do want to.
Toggling the buttons when you tap the screen should be speedier now.
Changed the way notifications are handled by the system.
My own little side project, Dracula Live, is in the home stretch now. The story concludes in early November.
Dracula: A Radio Play, “An adaption of the Bram Stoker novel, written and directed by Cruz Flores,” comes out twice weekly in October.
A new version of the Wallachia app should be in the App Store shortly. It requires iOS 14, but the previous version should keep working fine until you upgrade. 🤞🏻
Before I run down the features, I want to thank everyone who’s been reading and supporting me this past year. It’s been a ton of work but it’s been incredibly fulfilling. With this version finished, I’m looking forward to getting back to writing. (Though I’m sure there will be some bug fixes to do.)
New in 2.0, roughly in order of importance:
🎧Audiobooks have been removed from the app. This removes a lot of programming complexity for me. I don’t think a ton of people were using the audiobooks in the app, but if you subscribe to the podcast you’ll get the audio chapters the same day the prose versions go up.
📚The app now includes a library of “Essential Vampire Classics“: Lord Byron’s fragment of a novel, John William Polidori’s The Vampyre, J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There are many more pre-Dracula stories I could include, but this will get you started.
The books are from Project Gutenberg with a lot of formatting applied. I think they look fantastic but please let me know if you run across, say, a Latin word that hasn’t been italicized or a paragraph that’s not indented.
🆕Serialized classics. Starting with Carmilla, I’ll be releasing new chapters of classic books every week (assuming I can keep that schedule). Carmilla will run for a few months, then I’ll set up a new one.
🔔Notifications can be configured per-book. If you grant access to the app, you’ll see a bell icon in the toolbar for each book. You won’t get notified for books you haven’t opened, and you can turn them off for any book you don’t want notifications for using that icon.
🔢Handy page counter. Ebook readers tend to have a way to tell you how many pages are left in your current chapter. The trick was designing a way to show this without resorting to junking up the page with a progress bar. I reached out to Cat City Creative for some help designing ornaments for the page and we settled on a nice solution. The bottom-right page corner now features a little design that incorporates a countdown showing you how many pages are left in the chapter.
🏛Front matter pages are now properly numbered using roman numerals, and the book’s regular page numbers start with one after the front matter ends.
Elsewhere, every single page has been redesigned in some way or another, though you may not notice. The landscape view on iPhones has been streamlined to give you an extra couple of lines of text per page. The tables of contents are popovers again. The reader poll pages should work more reliably now (I hope—these are hard to test).
Under the hood, the entire app is now written using SwiftUI. I did decide to move to a simple fade animation for page turns rather than the skeuomorphic page flip the old version had. Part of this was necessity. The animation was provided by
UIPageViewController but I didn’t want to embed that, and partly also I think this is just cleaner.
Somewhere on my to-do list is the idea of doing a two-page view for landscape iPads, but it’s honestly not a high priority. I’d like to do some more work to speed up the layout/typesetting process, but it’s improved over version one at least.
Another small bug fix update should be in the App Store now.
This fixes a small bug in the Table of Contents view. It won’t actually manifest until I start the 2.0 upgrade process on the server, so I wanted to get it out now so that most everyone is updated when I do that. I’m trying very hard to future proof the app so that when 2.0 comes out people who haven’t upgraded to iOS 14 can still use the existing app without any glitches. Hopefully this covers it. 🤞🏻
20. Wallachia Chapter 14: The Trial
Eugen stands trial.
When I read ebooks on my phone, I usually do it in landscape mode. I prefer having a wider screen so that the text doesn’t wrap every tenth word. In the Wallachia app designed a different page footer that gets shown when you’re on a phone in landscape mode. It’s a little more compact, which lets me squeeze an extra line of text on the page.
Today, when I was making tweaks to the footer for the new version of the app, I had a small design realization: I don’t need the footer at all in compact mode. The page number can just go in the upper-left corner of the screen. Right now in version 1.2.2, on an iPhone 11 in landscape mode at the default text size, you get eleven lines of text. In the new version, I can fit thirteen in. That’s 18% more text, which means fewer page flips!
I noticed a bunch of vampire movie deals on iTunes today:
- $20 Hotel Transylvania 3-Movie Collection
- $25 Underworld Ultimate Collection
- $5 Interview With the Vampire
- $5 Bram Stoker’s Dracula
- $5 Blade II
- $20 Twilight: The Complete Saga
As I schedule the @live_dracula tweets, I’m getting to the parts of the book where much more happens in each entry. It’s quite the exercise to squeeze them into one tweet!
I’ve published a small update to the app. The next major version, 2.0, will require iOS 14. Today’s version ensures forward compatibility for those who don’t upgrade to 14 right away. You won’t get any of the new features, but the old version will still keep working just as it has.
19. Wallachia Chapter 13: The Mystery of the Blue Flames
Marley meets Dracula.