Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Discussion of Electronic Resources for Alpha Strike, and What We Need Out There!

Hi all,
 This is another article to take a break from unending company writups (as much as I enjoy doing them, they aren't all this website it about!) . Today, I wanted to do a writeup of all the electronic aids such as spreadsheets, programs and websites that can help the new, or experienced Alpha Strike player out.

  Some of them are well-known in the community, such as the Master Unit List, while some, well, let's discuss them, shall we?

  Master Unit List

Photo and IP by Catalyst Game Labs
  The Master Unit List is something that grew out of a fairly unwieldy sheet you had to print out back in the stone age, to the high powered thing it is today. All it needs now in my opinion, is an Android/iPhone app. It really is the one stop shop for many of your Alpha Strike needs, from the AS Builder, to the multiple search options one can use in force building. I have yet to discover a way to add unit and pilot SPAs to the cards, but I suspect it's a feature I just don't know how to use.

  It's all seamless, well maintained, and the Custom Card Builder is an awesome touch that adds just that "bit of class" to the whole thing, and with the cut and paste of a link to a bit of artwork, you can put just about any pic into an Alpha Strike card. I did it for my custom Alpha Strike card pages. 

  If I could add anything to the wish list, other than an iPhone/Android app? I'd want the random skill builder to port over better to the Alpha Strike side. But that said, it's still a solid tool and essential to anyone who plays Alpha Strike. I'd also like the ability to group the cards into lances, and maybe even have the benefits of the type of lance added to each card if applied?

   But all in all, it's a good tool indeed, one that is really essential to play Alpha Strike.

Battletech to Alpha Strike Excel Sheet

 This simple sheet takes a lot of the guesswork out of doing design conversions, and gives you an output that you can plug into the Custom Card Builder on the Master Unit List website. The interface is simple, solid and if you have used Excel in the past (who hasn't?), then this should be a no-brainer.

  I guess my only disappointment here is a small one. I wish it calculated point values for you. It's a little frustrating to try to do it by hand out of the book, and my own Excel-fu is not strong enough to add that as a feature myself to this program. 

  All in all, beggars can't be choosers, and this excel sheet really does fit the bill nicely.

Army Builder Roster Software

Picture and IP are by Lone Wolf Productions
  Army Builder is to, put it simply, a very powerful tool. It has a bit of a learning curve, but it's not steep and once you do get the hang of it, you will be putting together rosters in minutes. I love this tool because the rosters are very customizable, and they have all the rules for all the special characteristics ON THE ROSTER. No more having to go through the rulebook to figure out how to use the MHQ ability, for example. This alone makes the program worth it for folks who are serious Alpha Strike players.

  They even have an app where you can view rosters for free, which allows you to take your rosters on the go. Pretty useful in my opinion. I have been reliably informed that the program even prints the Alpha Strike cards, but I have not tried that feature yet. If someone could inform me as to how that works out, I'd appreciate it.

  My only complaint is that I wish the interface was a bit smoother, and that more skills were covered, but the later is a moving target, and as such, is difficult to keep current.

  What else is out there? And what do we need?

  In conclusion, there is more out there, I am sure..I tried to download and test Battletech Engineer's custom card maker, but all of his links on his blog are dead. If someone could let me know why that is, I would appreciate it.

  I am also sure I have missed tools out there, so if you know of any, reply below in the comments section with a link to the tool and I will go check it out and add it here.

 As for what do we need, a dedicated points tabulation system for custom designs would be very welcome, MUL does a great job for established designs when you assign skills, but something that did that for customs? That would be a war-winner, so to speak.

 Are there ideas for electronic aids you would like to see, or know of one out there we haven't covered? Chime in in the comments section!



  1. I would really like a PV calculator so I can do my own custom variants and mechs, for example I printed a Roughneck from MWO and I want to make my own stats that feel correct for the kind of machine it is, having something count the points automatically would be amazing.

  2. I'd love for the MUL to be able to print cards for Battle Armor in groups other than 4.

  3. I need the MUL and not more. I ´m using the MUL and her Force Builder. Not more. (Since 2013) I dosen´t need a lot of other things.