Hive World Terra

The history of Hive World Terra

All things have a beginning, and for Hive World Terra it was something other than this site. The Hive World Terra site first started out on space some time early in the year 2000 under the name ''. It then gained a forum in around January 2001, which went by the name "Hive World Terra". (and hence my name) then came about in January 2002. Things progressed as they were until February 2004 when my host had pulled the website, and then was born. Everything then migrated away from the domain and expanded a little, with the release of Dawn of War adding the section to the site.

The turn of the millenium

Back then the site was known as, and it contained a variety of things that took my interest, including mini-sites about my favourite TV shows. Very little is known of what was and wasn't included back then. The only things that are known are that the design was poor, the HTML was terrible, and that the recorded updates weren't started until 2001.

2001 and the introduction of updates

January 2001 saw the introduction of the updates page, and February saw the site's first listing on Even by this stage the White Dwarf Article Archive had built up, a number of articles had been added for my armies, and several useful downloads were available.

One of the main announcements of January 2001 was the introduction of the Hive World Terra forums, then an forum. By the April announcement it had moved to using Ikonboard, and the Hive World Terra forums proper had begun. The forums then moved a few times to Netfirms and the

By the end of the year the Hive World Terra forums had moved again, this time to a new and self-hosted domain: The new domain meant more control and the potential to grow even further.

2002 and real life takes control

2002 was the year I took my final A Levels, and so the then clan-bertram site was neglected a little. Monthly updates became bi-monthly updates, and the end of the year saw a four-month update! Things were still ticking along, though, and the site was never totally forgotten.

It was also the year for a boost in the Rollcall army creator, as clan-bertram took on hosting of the download and increased the ADF files it hosted. This was the start of progress on making this site the home of the Rollcall army creator.

Unfortunately the end of 2002 saw some unclear emails from Games Workshop's legal department. They were taking objection to the Rollcall army creator's data files in their current state, but couldn't decide how they wanted them to be altered. The last word on the matter (which still didn't clear anything up) was in 2003 and promised a response. We're still waiting...!

2003 brings a flurry and then calm

By 2003 I had started at University, but clan-bertram saw a rush of updates. Waagh! Grimjaw had been started and February and March saw several updates of background for the army. Mid-March saw the last real update of clan-bertram.

On the forum front, 2003 saw very little change. We'd moved from Ikonboard to Invision Board in mid-2002 and most of the modifications we needed were in place.

2004: The end of clan-bertram and the start of

After nearly a year without updates, February 2004 saw my first attempt to update the site. Unfortunately my host (still for clan-bertram) had pulled my website but left the FTP running and I didn't realise that the February update had never been visible! A follow-up update in March moved the site to a temporary home on while I established the Hive World Terra site under the subdomain in place of the forum's mini-site.

An archive of clan-bertram as it was in March 2004 (with a few changes to remove broken links and other uninteresting/legally questionable material) is now available for those who want to reminise.

By June 2004 the last of the transfers had been completed and Hive World Terra as it is today was born. Towards the end of the year the site then became home to my initial Dawn of War graphical modding attempts, before they outgrew the website.

Hive World Terra was now progressing apace, and the new modular system was making things easier to maintain, hence an increased number of updates. The additional modules also helped with the downloads section, and the introduction of the Encyclopedia and FanFiction sections.

2005: Dawn of War splits and remerges

The start of 2005 saw the release of my first texture - a halved Space Marine texture, followed by the Characters. Fairly quickly it became obvious that the Dawn of War skinning was too large for my host at the time with my student budget, and so Skins@HWT was moved out to hosting at the start of February. By the end of May I'd found alternate hosting at a cheaper price with more bandwidth, and Skins@HWT returned to the HiveWorldTerra site under its own subdomain of the new domain. was now just my blog, and later (due to spam issues) just a website of my coding thoughts and releases.

With its own hosting of files of any size, Skins@HWT was then able to boom as the main place for unofficial Dawn of War modding/skinning tools and canon badges, banners and textures. The last of the migration away from and its popups and ads occured in July 2005.

The middle of the year also saw the Hive World Terra forums move to a subdomain of the main and get an update to use phpBB instead of the old and outdated (and heavily modded) Invision Board. As the year came to an end I put a big push on updating the Encyclopedia, and story contributions from a couple of other people helped the FanFiction section. December 2005 was also the point at which we joined the top list.

2006: The website matures

Having been on a modular system for over a year, 2006 saw several useful additions that hadn't made it into my initial basic modules. These included improved Encyclopedia submission and FanFiction reviews, and the new-look URLs from the end of 2004 were making navigation seem much easier.

2006 was a bumper year for definitions, with a lot from IBBoard and a flood of contributions from Simguinus. By September, Simguinus had been promoted from contributor to Chief Librarian and was given access to the inner workings of the site to add his definitions directly. The updates came in torrents compared to previous years, and all of it was new information instead of minor tweaks and changes. Unfortunately that isn't quite matched by the brief entry it gets here!

2007: Seven years of a website!

In website terms it's ancient, and while the whole website isn't seven (the domain was two in March, and the Hive World Terra website was three in March/May depending on whether you count start date or go-live) the forums were approaching six years for parts of the members list and topics and its predecessor were now definitely six. The original site that became Hive World Terra was born in the millenium and was now seven years old.

The new year promised many new things, and I was hopeful that things would continue to grow. Hive World Terra may not be huge, and the following may be comparatively small, but I was persistent and we're not going away any time soon.

2007 was also the year that my new, open-sourced, cross-platform WarFoundry army building application was released.

2008-2014: The ghost years

For many years, Hive World Terra just ticked along. The occasional article was updated, some definitions and content was contributed, but mainly we just quietly sat here and served content. Most of the effort was on WarFoundry (until June 2014, when I put development on hiatus because of the lack of community interest and my lack of gaming experience).

2015: So long, forums, and thanks for all the fish

The forums had been pretty much dead for a while with no-one visiting but me. While I never like to end things, I was never going to recover them - gamers have either moved to social media, or are just on one of the bigger forums. Rather than keep them open for spam, the forums were closed and archived in March 2015.

The most upsetting part was when I happened to notice that I was closing the forums just two days before their fourteenth birthday. The archiving completed on the 20th March, exactly 14 years after the forum was created and my administrator account was created. We'd been through at least three forum systems, but the final forum state is now archived as static content.

For the site's tenth birthday on its own domain, I gave it a reskin in May using a cleaner and brighter theme that is more fitting with the modern text-centric style of websites.

The future...

So, with fifteen years down at the time of writing (half of my life with a website!) the site is still running and serving content, but my big plans have fallen away. I won't find the big band of trustworthy people to make them happen that I used to plan for. People don't help and contribute. They just pass in the night and occasionally read something.

We've been around for fifteen years in various guises, and I don't plan on letting the information disappear any time soon! Lets see what the next year brings, and what can be added to this article in another year's time.