This is a repost from xwingminiaturesgame.com.
The popularity of FFG’s X-Wing game has lead to a large, worldwide community of players. In the Netherlands you can play in a store-run tournament almost every weekend. Given X-Wing’s target audience (age 30+ Star Wars fans with disposable income, technology-minded and a little geeky), it’s no surprise that this community has also resulted in a number of useful software tools. These range from squad builde
rs and tournament software to a module that makes it possible to play X-Wing online using VASSAL.
Being active in software development myself (mostly processing of huge amounts of geographic data produced by laser scanning), I can appreciate the amount of work that has been put into these programs. I’m also happy to report that, to my knowledge, FFG has so far not interfered with any of these projects, even though e.g. the VASSAL module makes it technically possible to play X-Wing without buying miniatures.
This will be a multi-part series, part 1 covers squad builders.
While you can sit down with your collection of ship & upgrade cards and do the math in your head (or on a calculator, for those who are numerically challenged), it’s much easier to design new squads using some sort of software tool. Since FFG doesn’t provide this, several people decided to make their own and share them with the rest of us. This being the 21st century, with the World Wide Web everywhere around us (or in our pockets, thanks to a smartphone), it’s only logical that these are all web-based.
Voidstate’s Squadron Builder
It’s the de-facto standard, and interfaces with the X-Wing List Juggler (more about that in part two). It can build lists for all three factions, stores them, saves your collection (and shows what you have available when you build a squad), and export the XWS format that several squad builder programmers have decided upon. It does of course offer both printed and ASCII output, generates statistics, uses your Facebook account (so not another account to remember), and, most important of all, has a very nice drag & drop interface – which can be a little fiddly to use on a phone screen. Voidstate is also sometimes a bit slow in adding new stuff.
Geordanr’s Squad Builder
This is were my number two comes in. Less eye-candy, but essentially the same feature set as Voidstate. It also offers a handy card browser and is multi-language. It works just fine on a small phone screen, so whether you are on a lunch break or sitting in the train, squad design is always at your hands.
Fab’s Squadrons Generator
I’m not very familiar with Fab’s builder, and find it a bit less intuitive to use than the two others. I think it’s geared more towards the creation of random squads. The two previously mentioned programs are quicker to use when building squads and show more information about the ships & upgrades. It’s worth mentioning that Fab is working on a fleet builder for Armada
Did I miss anything? Another on-line squad builder out there (except for Jason Fuller’s, which hasn’t been updated since Wave 3), or some stand-out feature that I forgot to mention? Let me know in the comments!