Dawn of War Badges & Banners


For regular players, the options for adjusting the look and colour schemes of your army is very good (although not a patch on painting the original tabletop figurines). Unlike other games, you get to pick five different colours for your force's colour scheme, and select not just a badge to proudly adorn your units, but also a separate banner for all the flags that flutter over their heads. Unfortunately, while you can tweak colours to your heart's content, you are stuck with the default "skins" for the models. Some badge and banner sites do actually let you change this, but this involves modifying your Dawn of War install and only you will be able to see the custom skins on your own computer online. Changing skins should be completely harmless for the Online game - its a cosmetic graphics change that does not affect unit stats or game balance.


Badges & Banners

Custom badges and banners are simply .tga picture files. Badges must be 64x64 pixels in size; saved out in uncompressed 32bit .tga format. That's RGB colour (i.e. millions of colours), not colour-mapped, and the 32bit means it has RGB colour channels (Red-Green-Blue i.e. your actual colours) and an alpha channel. If you save it out in 24bit, it'll only have the RGB channels and no alpha. Badge images are simply saved into the games Badges folder in order for Dawn of War to see them when it starts. Banners are exactly the same as badges, except they're bigger at 64x96 pixels. They're kept in the Banners folder. Its all very straightforward.

You can easily make your own with any paint program that can handle .tga format and understand what an "alpha" channel is. An alpha channel is simply a matte channel (like an invisible fourth colour, except its entirely black and white) that hides part of your image so that you can stamp your badge on the side of a tank without it sitting inside a solid square. There are occasions where your badges won't appear - this might be because you've saved out the wrong image size, or it had an alpha channel that was completely black, or you saved out a compressed .tga, and so on. Any part of the alpha channel that is black will cause the image to go completely invisible; all the white areas render the badge is full visible, and any shades of grey make it partially transparent. You make some super "clean" looking badges by just using a solid block of colour (or a colour gradient) and then "cookie cut" out a symbol using the alpha channel.

Notes: The Banner Bug

Sometimes in networked games you won't see any badges or banners on a player because of a small bug in the badge system known online as the Banner Bug. I find if I play Random online, there's a good chance I'll wind up with no badges or banners in game, especially when I'm using one of my own customised armies or a modified default one. (I'm not sure if this has been fully addressed in the Dark Crusade expansion. With luck it has.)

The workaround is to join a game like normal, then open up the Army Painter and "jog" the game into re-selecting your favourite scheme again. Once "refreshed" you should see your banners and badges in all their glory!


Colour Schemes

Colour Schemes are files that record all the custom armies assign badges and banners to and "paint" up inside the Army Painter screen. They're separate from badges and are stored inside your Profile, where your game saves, current position in the single player campaign and tutorials, your last set of Multiplayer settings and options and all your army schemes are kept.

Badges and Banners, by virtue of being stored in folders in the "main" area of the game installation folder, are available to both the original Dawn of War and the Winter Assault expansion, plus any custom mods you install. Badges and Banners are considered to be a common resource, accessible to all the versions of the game.

But your Profile stores separate settings and saves for each and every mod, usually because they're incompatible with each other. Open up the Profile folder in your Dawn of War install. Inside you'll see your Profile (which is usually called Profile1 if its the only one in there). Inside, you'll find a number of folders and files.

The W40k folder stores all your settings, colour schemes and saves for the original Dawn of War.

The wxp folder keeps all your settings, colour schemes and saves for the Winter Assault expansion.

The DXP2 folder, found inside the Dawn of War - Dark Crusade game folder, does the same for the Dark Crusade expansion.

Some mods will also have their own folders. For example, the DoWPro mod has a folder called DoWpro, while the Dawn of Skirmish AI mod has one called dowai.

Inside each folder is the Schemes folder which stores all your custom painted armies. These are the files called Scheme_0.teamcolour, Scheme_1.teamcolour and so on. If you want to transfer your favourite armies across to a new mod or expansion, simply copy all the .teamcolour files from it's Schemes folder to the Schemes folder of the game or mod you want.


Notes: The Tau

In spite of having a nice set of Tau badges you can select with the Army Painter, the Tau as a side can not use any badges! They're hard wired with the default Tau symbol. You can get around this by using Adonis's Tau Badge Mod.


Other files

You'll find other files inside your Profile:

playercfg.lua remembers all your in-game menu settings, current single player campaign settings, including those for any installed custom mods.

teams.lua remembers your Online team settings (used in the Arranged Teams feature inside Automatch). However, in Dark Crusade it looks like it has vanished.

Inside each game and mod's subfolder, you'll find a KEYDEFAULTS.LUA. This is a text file that stores all the hotkey settings for that game. You can edit yourself if you like, and set your own custom keyboard shortcuts for your game. Online, there's the ever popular Grid Keys hotkey layout that a lot of high end players swear by.


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Banners & Badges tutorials
Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's some nicely detailed tutorials on how to produce your own banners and badges for Dawn of War!
How to make banners and Badges

Exactly as it says: this is the RelicNews forum post on the subject. Its gives you how-to's for three common paint packages, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro (the cheaper alternative to Photoshop) and the open source GIMP.Back

How to make banners and Badges

For more advanced users (i.e. those that don't need any pictures!) here's another how-to on building your own banner from Skins@Hiveworld Terra. There's a whole swag of tutorials in here that cover more than just badges. There's pretty much everything here, ranging from simple tutorials badge tutorials, how to draw wings for badges (hey! nifty) right through to pretty much retexturing the models and characters in the game.Back

Making Banners and Badges A Photoshop tutorial from a dawn-of-war.co.uk forum post. It takes you through detailed and illustrated steps of building your own Banners and Badges. This fan site seems to be on the way out, but some of its old pages are still accessible.Back

Banners & Badges links
Nifty sites to locate some badges and banners!
indicates the mod is for Dark Crusade.

W40K: Banners & Badges: This is hosted and largely organised by a talented chap known as Hangar-8. This site has pretty much become the default starting point for anyone interested in using a custom badge. Not only do you get smarter and flashier badges for the Space Marines, you also get more "authentic" colour schemes in line with the old tabletop colour schemes. These alterations are completely harmless and won't upset your online game. There's a lot of other custom badges for all sides, including a series of US Military badges, Gridiron (American football) NFL badges, and a lots more high caliber work. If you want to find a badge and banner - start here.Back

 

Adonis's Tau Badge Mon forum link
Before: default Tau texturing After with Adonis's texture mod
Adonis's Tau Badge Mod: For any Tau fans that broke open their new copy of Dark Crusade, discovering that the Tau army couldn't actually use any custom badges came as a rude shock. The Tau's official symbol (pictured left) had been hardwired onto all the units, even though the Tau badges for each Army Painter scheme was still available for selection! One of the moderators from the RelicNews forums, Adonis, created his own retexturing mod that fixes this problem, and lets you apply your own badges to some of the units of the Tau.

Being entirely cosmetic, you won't have any problems playing with this mod Online or in a replay. This is a work in progress based on a quick fix, so its possible there be some further amendments down the track. Tau badges were designed to be circular, so the only potential problems you may have with it will be aesthetic ones involving a black circle under your badges. But only you will see your changes - your modified Tau units will look like regular Tau units to all other players - unless they, too, have the mod installed.

Current version: 1.1. For full details and vital info (like installation instructions) you should chase up its RelicNews thread. The mod can be directly accessed from its host at Skins @ Hiveworld Terra.Back

Beezer's DoW Tools

Its a little old these days, but it works like a charm on Dawn of War and Winter Assault. Beezer's smartly produced Editor usings .NET 2.0, and comes in two parts: a DoW Scheme Editor editing, importing and exporting army Colour Schemes and a DoW Graphics Creator, a simple graphics program specialising in banners and badges. You can read up about it on its RelicNews thread here, or directly download the newest version DoW Tools Setup 4.1.zip from here.Back

DoWFiles.com weblink

DOWFiles.com's Badge & Banners page: from the huge file database for this game, this is the equally huge Badge and Banner section for it.Back

Skins @ Hiveworld Terra weblink Going beyond just simple colour schemes and decals, Skins @ Hiveworld Terra delves into completely new unit and vehicle textures, harking back to the original tabletop paint schemes, where possible. There are also tutorials and other resources here for budding skinners. Well worth a perusal if you think the almost mono-chromatic Space Marine look is a bit too ordinary...Back
Warbrother's Badges & Banners' weblink

.Warbrother's Badges & Banners: Another good, if not slightly smaller repository of custom DoW Banners & Badges. This is the ongoing work in progress of Jeff Spangler, graphic artist and illustrator.Back


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Last modified Sat, Nov 4 2006 by Lindsay Fleay