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"Ipad Army Managers: Good News and Bad News" Topic

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1,647 hits since 24 Jun 2012
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WaltOHara25 Jun 2012 8:54 a.m. PST

The Good news: There are some out there already, and they work, after a fashion.

The Bad news: Almost ALL of them appear to be specifically designed to be used with Games Workshop products. If you don't play WF or 40K, you are SOL, and that doesn't stand for Ship o' the Line.

In the following post: link I conduct a small survey of what I could find on the market (I did not bother with two of them, btw, as they were up front about not meeting my requirements).

If you want to skip ahead and not bother reading, in sum, results were disappointing. But I hold out some hope-- I think the Ipad is a great hobby tool for this kind of thing.


Walt O'Hara
Third Point of Singularity

Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2012 9:55 a.m. PST

I'm using spreadsheets generated in Numbers to track my projects. They work for my purposes.

WaltOHara25 Jun 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

Rich: that's probably anyone's best bet right now.


Personal logo Jovian1 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2012 10:41 a.m. PST

The game companies should really invest in having one of their programmers actually write an iPad application for use with their games – I am certain that for a $1.99 USD fee many of us would pay to download an App for a specific game with the ability to purchase linked codexes from the iTunes library as well.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member25 Jun 2012 10:48 a.m. PST

Jovian is totally right on this.
There could be some $$$ to be made.

"You know what the sound is? Angles printing money…"

VicCina Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2012 11:14 a.m. PST

I, like you Walt, use my iPad for as much as possible when it comes to my wargaming. I think that game designers will eventually start to produce my for the iPad once it is shown that it can be profitable. It will take a company like Battlefront to do it and market it to the younger generation as part of their next version and then it will start to catch on.

anleiher25 Jun 2012 11:18 a.m. PST

I use the Easy Army product for Flames of War on my IPAD. Best thing since sliced bread.

Mako11 Inactive Member25 Jun 2012 12:37 p.m. PST

Seems like it would be perfect for Gruntz, Tomorrow's War, or some of the other new rules out there.

nsolomon9925 Jun 2012 4:41 p.m. PST

Completely agree. I'm waiting patiently at the moment, ready to consume. I play Warmachine/Hordes with the kids – to wean them off GW – and Privateer Press have an iPad App that promises a lot coming in July they say.

Scott Kursk Inactive Member25 Jun 2012 7:36 p.m. PST

Isn't there a Gruntz electronic army builder on Kickstarter or one of those sites already?

Early morning writer25 Jun 2012 7:50 p.m. PST

Hunh? I play with toy soldiers as an alternative to technology.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2012 10:48 p.m. PST

What does an 'army manager' app do, exactly?

I can't say I've been desperately in need of one…..

AndrewGPaul Inactive Member26 Jun 2012 1:13 a.m. PST

Basically, for games which use published army lists with various restrictions, these programs will help you put together an army list, keep track of points values and which units have various options and flag up any illegal choices you might make. They also generally allow you to output your army list in various formats for reference, and for games which use reference cards will often generate custom cards.

So far, there are programs for Infinity, Heavy Gear Blitz and Battletech (and presumably plenty others) available for the PC, and there's Army Builder, which allows you to create data files for any game you may wish to play. None of these have yet been ported to iOS devices.

There used to be iBodger for Warmachine/Hordes, which was a 3rd-party app. It hasn't been updated in a while – probably due to the announcement of Privateer Press' own offering. Steve Jackson Games will be doing an iOS app to support the Kickstarter edition of Ogre, too.

Personally, I use the PC version, then export the result to pdf and upload to Dropbox.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2012 1:42 a.m. PST

Oh well, there you go then. I only play historical games and tend to use actual OOBs!

WaltOHara26 Jun 2012 5:35 a.m. PST

Before we start spiraling into curmudgeon-dom, I play historical games too, and could easily see a need for an "Army Builder/Manager/List-builder" whatever you call it for historical games. Purely as a management tool.. I've never been a big one for point based games unless out of necessity, for balance purposes. I remember a windows based shareware product which was excellent for army management. In those days it printed out paper but you could apply the same approach to a screen display on a tablet. Why is that important to me, personally? Because the average game I run these days generates WAY too much paper, and it's driving me nuts.



religon Inactive Member26 Jun 2012 9:53 a.m. PST

I have long written my own army managers in Filemaker Pro, a database development package. There is a product for iOS called Filemaker Go which can present such databases. Unfortunately the software will not present the lists in the best format, the "Layout" GUI. For this solution you must rely on the data presented in Excel-like tables. I am hoping for a more robust version of Filemaker Go for my solution.

AndrewGPaul's Dropbox solution seems the most practical with the current capabilities of iOS army managers.

GregFarrell Inactive Member03 Jul 2012 2:07 a.m. PST

There's full iPAD support for building Gruntz forces using

Even works on my Android smart-phone, although I can't do the actual card printing from my phone :) Although maybe if I got a wireless printer…

Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member06 Jul 2012 6:24 a.m. PST

"The game companies should really invest in having one of their programmers actually write an iPad application for use with their games I am certain that for a $1.99 USD USD fee many of us would pay to download an App"

"One of their programmers…?" What game companies are you referring to? The huge majority of miniatures rules are produced by little one- or two-man cottage industries, on shoestring budgets.

How much would a software developer charge for that? Seriously, I have no idea, but I'm assuming it would cost at least a few thousand dollars, plus potential support issues after its release.

Let's be really optimistic and say it only costs six grand.

Okay, what percentage of gamers own iPads or other interactive tablets?

Since nobody has any idea how many gamers there are in the first place, much less any demographic stats on them, we have to simply guess: Okay, let's be incredibly optimistic again and say that one-in-five gamers has a tablet. (Only one of the gamers I know, personally, has one, but Hey, maybe I game with Luddites.)

So: in order just to break even on your programming investment, you'd need three thousand gamers to buy your $1.99 USD app.

If only one-in-five of your customers has the requisite gear, and you need to sell three thousand downloads just to break even on the investment, then that means this is only feasible for games that routinely sell fifteen thousand copies or more.

That pretty much rules out historical gaming. I don't need all the fingers of one hand to count all the historical miniatures rules that have sales figures in that range.

That's why tablet-gaming, for the foreseeable future, is going to remain something that only the very large, established companies can afford. For the smaller and mid-sized ones, it will be a loss.

(And that's assuming my very optimistic estimates about the statistics AND assuming that EVERY potential customer for this game, who has a tablet, will want to play the game on his tablet. Those are very big, and probably unjustified, assumptions.)

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