• Home - See the latest news from Lone Wolf Development
  • Hero Lab® - Character management software for traditional role-playing games
  • Army Builder® - Point and click army construction for tabletop miniatures games
  • Realm Works™ - Streamlined RPG campaign management for players and GMs
  • Online Store - Buy Army Builder, Hero Lab and Card Vault here
  • Forums - Post your questions and comments about our products here
  • Technical Support - Having problems? Check here for solutions
  • Retailer Info - Important information for retailers, including free in-store licenses for all our products
  • More - Information about the company, other resources, and information on our discontinued products

–  Solutions To Common Problems  –

This section of the web-site outlines various problems that users have encountered with the Army Builder® brand roster construction tool. For each identified problem, we have attempted to provide one or more recommended solutions. Please take a look at the list below, since more than 90% of all reported problems are addressed here. If you have a more general question about the product and are looking for answers, please check out our FAQ for more information. If you have questions that are not covered on this web-site, or if the information provided is not sufficient to solve your particular problem, please contact technical support for further information.

IMPORTANT! Army Builder is constantly evolving as a product, and bugs are usually fixed very quickly after they are reported. Please make sure that your first objective is to upgrade to the latest version of the product. If it's a bug that has been reported, it most likely has already been fixed.


There is an error in the data files for game system 'XYZ'. Who do I notify?


Errors in data files need to be directed to the author of those data files. Usually, you can find contact information for the author in one of three places. First, check the game system FAQ within Army Builder. You'll find the game system FAQ listed under the Help menu. If the author's contact information isn't there, check the author information for the data files. With the data files loaded, go to the Help menu and select "About Loaded Files". The author's contact information should be included for one or all of the data files. As a last resort, go to the Supplemental Downloads section of the site and look at the entry for the game system. As part of that entry, the proper contact information for the author should be listed.


I can't find data files for a particular game system. Where are they?


All of the data files that we know about are identified in the Supplemental Downloads section of the website. If you are unable to find your favorite game system listed in that section, then it is likely that no data files exist at the present time. For relatively new game systems, this may simply indicate that the files haven't been completed yet. If the game is relatively old and/or obscure, it may indicate that we simply aren't aware of the game's existence. In the former case, ask technical support for the status on game system. In the latter case, let us know and we'll look into the possibility of creating data files.

If you'd like, you can always create the data files yourself. We'll do our best to support your efforts, since every additional game system for which data files exist represents added value to the product.


When I try to download data files from my web-browser, I get a bunch of garbage on the screen.


This almost certainly indicates that you are attempting to download an Army Builder import file with Netscape Navigator. Netscape has a nasty habit of handling import files incorrectly. Instead of properly downloading the file to your hard disk, it tries to display the contents of the file within the browser, resulting in garbage text being displayed. To correct this, please right-click on the download link (instead of the normal left-click). A menu will appear that lists a number of options. Select the "Save Target As..." menu item. This will prompt you to specify where to save the file normally and then download the file correctly.


When I import data files, Army Builder warns me that the files have been corrupted and fixes them. What causes this?


Most likely, you are using the Netscape Navigator web-browser to download your import files. Netscape makes a rash assumption about all files that it downloads. It assumes that any file that does not have a file extension it recognizes must be text. Since the PC uses a different text file format from Unix (which is used to host the majority of web-sites), Netscape thinks that it must convert the supposed text file and does so without asking permission or even allowing the user to change the preference setting. The net result is that Netscape corrupts the binary import file when it downloads it, and the user has no idea this is happening. Army Builder detects this form of file corruption and is usually able to reverse the effects introduced by Netscape. However, making changes to files without permission is NOT something that good software should do (in our opinion), so you are asked if you would like the corruption to be corrected before Army Builder makes any changes.


I can't get Army Builder to read the data files I downloaded.


Usually, this problem indicates one of two situations. First, it could indicate that the files you downloaded have been corrupted in some way. If you are using a browser OTHER than Netscape, please try to download the files again. This will often correct the problem. However, users of Netscape Navigator are likely encountering a different problem. Netscape it has a nasty habit of corrupting Army Builder import files (".ab") whenever downloading them. Beginning with Army Builder V2.0, this corruption can usually be corrected automatically by the import mechanism. One special case situation was not correctly handled by V2.0 and was fixed in V2.0b, so all Netscape corruption problems should be corrected by V2.0b and later. If you are using an older version of the product, please update to the latest release and try importing the files again.

The second reason that files may be reported as invalid is if they are not properly created Army Builder import files. Army Builder import files must be created with the special tool specifically for this purpose. In some rare cases, data file authors will not package up their data files in a proper import file. When this happens, the data files are usually made available as either a Zip file or as a standalone data file. If the files are packaged as a Zip file, you must manually extract the contents of the Zip file into the proper folder. Full instructions on what is involved can be found within the User Manual (installed with Army Builder). When you have a standalone data file, you will need to manually copy the lone file into the proper folder for Army Builder to recognize and use it. Again, the location of this folder is identified within the User Manual.


I have created a unit with many children and lots of items. Now the units/items at the bottom are cut off and no longer visible at the bottom of the screen. How can I view them again?


Due to a limitation of Microsoft Windows, it is impossible to create and readily edit a top-level regiment that has more than 15 child units/items visible at the same time (16 total lines). If you need to create a unit this complex, the unit itself will be tracked and printed fine by Army Builder, except that the 17th line onward will be inaccessible for editing. When this occurs, the program indicates the problem by displaying a small scissors icon next to the last unit/item displayed (to indicate that the list is cut off at this point).

To allow you to work around this limitation, you can selectively hide and unhide the special items attached to specific units. Select the unit you wish to toggle the state for and then press <Ctrl-H> or go to the Unit menu and select the corresponding menu item. All items for the unit disappear, making more units visible beneath it in the roster. As a reminder that the items have been hidden for a unit, a small icon is shown next to the unit's name. You can show the items for the unit again by pressing <Ctrl-H> a second time. By temporarily hiding the items for a few child units, you can make the child unit you are interested in viewing fully visible.

The above limitation is within the visual display of the main roster only. There is no practical limit to the total number of top-level regiments that you can have in a roster. The above limit only pertains to the total size of a single top-level regiment within a roster. When you print your roster or save it in another format (e.g. text, HTML, etc.), the entire unit will be included properly.


I started up Army Builder and I received the error message shown below. What is wrong and what can I do?


Launch Error!
Please notify Lone Wolf Development with the following information:
ABRSC #301 - abrsc.dll

If you encounter this message, then it is 99.9% likely that your system has been infected with a VIRUS. Many viruses insert themselves into program files on your computer - that's how they move from one computer to another. In many cases, Army Builder will catch this change and present the error message shown above. Should you see this message, the first thing you should do is obtain the MOST RECENT version of a good virus detection program and run it on your system. This should identify the virus and hopefully remove it.

Many users have existing virus checking software on their systems, but this software is often old and out-dated. New viruses a being created all the time, so please be sure to get the most recent version and the most recent virus definition files in order to successfully find and fix the virus. If you do not have any virus software, the McAfee VirusScan product has proven to be very effective for the problems that users have encountered. You can find VirusScan at www.mcafee.com.


I just updated my data files for game 'XYZ' and now my saved rosters won't reload properly.


This is normal, and you are warned about this likelihood before new data files are imported into Army Builder. The contents of the saved roster file are tightly coupled to the set of data files that are in use when the roster is created. It does not matter whether you go forward or backward in versions. If the data files are different when you load a saved roster from when that roster was saved, it is quite probable that the roster will not be able to be loaded. The only solution is to revert back to the original set of data files that were in use when the roster file was originally saved.

As an attempt at explaining this, consider the following. Data file set #1 uses an id of "xxx" for a particular unit. In data file set #2, a different id of "yyy" is used for the same unit. Any roster saved with data set #1 will be unable to resolve the reference to id "xxx" when loaded with set #2. Similarly, a roster saved with set #2 will have an unrecognized id ("yyy") when loaded by set #1.

This is a gross simplification of things, but it illustrates the problem going on within the roster files vis-a-vis the data files. Suffice to say, whether a roster remains readable is completely dependent on how the data files are changed from one version to the next. It also depends on whether your roster actually makes use of any of the things that are changed between versions. If your roster is all Elves and the new release of the files only changes stuff for Dwarves, then your roster will work fine across the versions, but some else's (that uses Elves) will not work any longer.


When installing Army Builder, I get the message 'Could Not Initialize Installation (CRC)'.


This error indicates one of the following five conditions exists:

  1. The installer is corrupt. Please download it again and retry.
  2. You are not launching the installer appropriately. Please follow these steps:
    a. Click on the "Start" menu in the lower left
    b. Select "Run..."
    c. Click on "Browse..."
    d. Navigate to the installation program (e.g. "abldr20.exe")
    e. Click on the "Open" button to select the installer
    f. Click on the "OK" button to launch the installer
  3. The "TMP" directory on your computer is not defined, is full, or is not writable.
  4. The Windows directory on your computer is full or not writable.
  5. One of the following 3 files on your computer is corrupted: "ver.dll", "version.dll", or "ddeml.dll". It is valid if your system only has a proper "ver.dll" file on it.


When I go to print out my rosters, I get a "printer out of memory" message.


This is most likely an issue with your printer driver. Army Builder uses very standard Windows mechanisms for printing. The same program code works for ALL printers, and it is up to the driver to translate the standard Windows calls to the proper instructions for the specific printer. Since Army Builder blends a combination of text AND graphics in the roster printouts, this can be more taxing on some older printers.

To resolve this problem, check the web-site of your printer manufacturer and make sure that you have the latest drivers for your printer. Drivers are always available as a free download update, so it's just a matter of retrieving and installing them. If updated drivers don't work (some manufacturers aren't very good about updating drivers for old printers), you might also try using drivers for a different printer that yours is advertised to be compatible with. For example, most laser printers are advertised as "compatible" with the HP Laserjet 2P printer. Some users have been able to correct various printing problems by using this driver instead of their regular one (which indicates that the driver they have from the manufacturer is buggy). This might be worth trying if updated drivers don't fix things for you.


When I print my roster, a big black box appears in the middle, obscuring the majority of the roster contents.


This problem is likely due to a printer driver issue. To resolve the problem, please refer to the answer to the preceeding problem.

Please note that the "black box" will appear only on the unregistered version of Army Builder and within the Lite version. Army Builder outputs a light grey "watermark" in the background on the printout. Some old printers drivers don't handle this properly and convert the watermark to a solid black box. If you are unable to correct the problem by updating your printer driver, the problem WILL go away if you use the licensed version of the full product (either registered version or CD).


When I try to load the data files for game system 'XYZ', I get an error message that claims there is an error within the data files. What should I do?


This error almost always occurs immediately after you import new data files into Army Builder. The problem is usually the result of a conflict between old and new data files. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to always install new data files via the "Import" mechanism within the product. When the confirmation dialog appears, make sure that you leave the checkbox checked that specifies that all existing data files for the game system should be deleted before the new files are imported.


I have upgraded to V2.x and my old saved rosters won't load anymore.


The saved roster file format has changed in V2.x and old V1.x rosters are no longer readable. When users launch the installer for V2.x, they are warned of this problem. They are also instructed on the steps necessary to handle the situation appropriately. If these steps were not taken prior to installing V2.x, then the files won't be accessible. In this situation, the only option would be to re-install V1.x, properly deal with the saved rosters, and then upgrade to V2.x again.