There are several applications on the various app stores, each with their own positives and negatives. In this post we will explore what the more common options are to players – though it should be noted that not all are Pan-OS, with some locked to Android or iOS. Without further adieu it’s time to take a look at five of the best choices for players of Horus Heresy gaming systems.
General List Building For Starting Players; BattleScribe, Free – Pan-OS
BattleScribe is synonymous with Warhammer due to its community nature and most importantly, the fact it has almost all of the rules you need to play the many units in game. This, combined with the fast update time for new units or errata items means that it’s fairly easy to get started and have a full summarised reference of the rules for your units. It’s also got a large reference library for roster files, for many gaming systems, though these aren’t as easily editable by the end user.
BattleScribe has the ability to output natively into several different standardised types, from a plain text file to bb code, including the more common HTML output. There’s also an ability to set more advanced features for the output product by pressing Output and selecting options listed in there. Depending on how much you’re willing to fiddle with the settings depends on how messy the output is. Overall, BattleScribe does have the messiest output interface, but it does have rules. It would be difficult to implement an alternative interface without losing the readily available information it provides; so it’s a case of the best of both worlds, just tempered by the messy nature of it.
Whilst it has gotten better in recent years, BattleScribe does suffer from time to time with rules errors and in inaccuracies. Part of this is potentially down to the rapid release cycle for new content, and partly down to its community nature. It also suffers from being rather slow performing. This is down to the amount of data the application is dealing with due to the rules.
Overall, the application is a solid performer and the fact it provisions the rules for the player means that as a quick reference card it’s incredibly useful. Players should always check the errata and Red/Black books prior to playing to ensure accuracy however. The fact this application is free and driven by the community is one of its core drivers; also providing protection to it from the Games Workshop Cease and Desist Team.
General List Building For Seasoned Players; Quartermaster, £5.99 – iOS only
A paid app, Quartermaster is often overlooked due to the fact you don’t actually get any rules included. It’s also a little slow to update with new content compared to other, larger platforms. It has a wide gamut of systems available in “roster” form. This includes Adeptus Titanicus, Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40,000 as well as some lesser seen systems.
What you do get with Quartermaster is a fast performing application with all the right bits built into it. Ok, it might be slow to update with releases (normally updating around the 1-2 week mark); but it gives you the ability to live edit the Roster file. This means that if you don’t want to wait, you’re about five minutes away from adding the key data you want yourself.
A genuinely glorious feature of the app is the interface. Not only is it simplistic, but it has some absolutely clean outputs. There are two main outputs; list summary and roster. List summaries display the basic information about the list that you’ve entered, in pictorial form. This is perfect for sharing quick information about your chosen army with friends or for events. It lists each item in a linear fashion and the total points cost for the unit. Hidden in the Settings – Quartermaster options of iOS, is the setting to itemise each entry; meaning if you need a per-option breakdown of points, you can get it by enabling this function.
The second option, Roster, adds the familiar stat line, along with any rules that are attached to the unit. Basically a mini version of what you find in the Red/Black Book. Note, that there are no explanations of the rules, so you will still need the books if you’re unsure of any. With digital versions, this isn’t a hardship – if only they’d release the Black Books in digital form!
This lack of rules and more importantly, any list validation tools is what makes this the seasoned players choice. You need to understand how to build the army before you can understand the rules as a result. For those who like protecting their eyesight, the application has a dark mode that also applies to its list summary output, basically changing the white background and white text to a black background and white text. Overall, it’s a great application.
Adeptus Titanicus Terminals; TiTerminal, Free – Android only
Adeptus Titanicus is a brilliant game that does have one minor quibble; the Titan Terminal Cards. For those looking to minimise space, create battlegroups and use an application to track damage, there are only a few viable options out there currently. TiTerminal is one of them, and markedly better than most.
First off, it allows the creation and saving of battlegroups – which is inherently useful. The quality of the Terminals themselves is pretty much identical to the physical items, making it a simple application to pick up and play with.
If you’re looking for an application that seamlessly integrates Legio traits, stratagems, list building and terminal functions; this isn’t it. In fact, TiTerminal suffers like most of the Titanicus applications do. It’s incredibly ambitious to create an application that can include these features cleanly. Currently, BattleScribe does have a lot of this, but it is incredibly messy and slow performing – TiTerminal is definitely still the best option for Android users in this regard.
A lovely application that won’t hammer your battery, whilst outperforming other native Android Titanicus Terminal applications
Titanicus Terminal; TitanDataSheets, Free – iOS only
With TiTerminal only available on Android, iOS users have only two options available. Titan Datasheets is the more mature and useful product of these options for someone who wants a combined list builder and tracker application.
It’s worth pointing out that on iPhone, it simply isn’t optimised for such a small screen, even on a ProMax. On an iPad it is sublime. The list building element incorporates Titan upgrades and Legio Specific upgrades, though more on that later. It also doesn’t have a photorealistic version of the Terminal Cards, opting for a more standard interface type. That said, it works well here and all of the same functionality as the normal cards is present.
It would be remiss to mention that Titan Datasheets is under a year old, having been released around March 2020. Whilst the application updates have been rapidly implemented, there are still some issues being worked through. One of which being the Legio Specific upgrades. On some Titans, you simply cannot apply the upgrades to them or their weapons (Vulturum cannot equip Storm Frag Shells to Warhound Titans – despite being able to select the upgrade, the “choose weapon” option doesn’t work). Your mileage may vary with this aspect, as it seems more common Legio like Mortis for example work as you’d expect.
There’s no light or dark mode for the application, instead, the main display for rosters is a light grey and the main Terminal screen is more of a dark grey/black affair. This will please dark mode fans, but not for those who like light mode.
In short, Titan Datasheets is a solidly performing, mature beyond its age product that is still improving. For iOS, it is a good stand alone choice for a player wanting a combined list builder and Titan Terminal application.
Titanicus Terminal; Titan Tracker, Free – iOS only
I’ve mentioned one option, so I might as well mention the other for iOS. If you’re after a basic Titan Terminal tracker and don’t need a list building application, Titan Tracker is for you.
Titan Tracker offers a simple, yet effective platform for building a battlegroup and tracking the effects of a game. Whilst it doesn’t offer any points outside of weapons costing, or any Legio Specific information; it does get across the basic information well.
The information is clearly presented and as with the other two applications for Terminal cards, has all the relevant information you have on the physical cards.
Again, it’s a fairly young application, having been published circa February 2020; but receives constant updates to improve the interface and functionality of the trackers. Titan Tracker also has a light and dark mode built in, automatically selected by the application according to the device display mode.
Unlike Titan Datasheets, Titan Tracker has an optimised iPhone application, something which is a nice little bonus. It’s a nice application and is perfect for the player looking solely for a tracker.
Five applications across iOS and Android, all with differing negatives and positives. Which one you prefer is clearly personal preference. Regardless, they represent the best choices currently on the application stores for their intended purpose. If you’re new to the game, or just want a rules validation and reference card, BattleScribe is a wonderful, if slow performing and messy choice. If you want an fast performing, locally editable list writer with beautiful outputs; Quartermaster is your go to. Both of these have the ability to create lists for Adeptus Titanicus, but only BattleScribe has Terminal functionality – albeit incredibly messy.
For Titanicus you’re really looking to those three specific applications; TiTerminal, Titan Datasheets and Titan Tracker. If you’re looking for an all in one solution for roster building, with points and terminal cards; TiTerminal and Titan Datasheets are you solution on the respective platforms. If you prefer to use either BattleScribe or Quartermaster to consolidate all of your lists, and therefore just need Terminals; Titan Tracker is a fine choice.
Regardless, you can’t really go wrong with any of the applications listed in this article. Let’s hope that their development continues unhindered and that they continue to provide much loved functionality to players for years to come.