I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to my lists, I like having it neatly written out either on paper or printed on A4. But, when everything is going digital it might be the time to spread out and investigate my options. As all gamers will know there is a plethora of army builders out there, famous ones like Lonewolf's Army Builder or the specific ones for games systems like War Room by Privateer press. Everyone has their favourite. I have an aversion of paying for something when I can just use a calculator and a pen and paper to produce, so for me I found a free alternative; Battle Scribe.
As with all these kind of programs when you download it you get a shell. You get the frame work of a working, useful program but it lacks the fuel to make it run. This is due to legal issues, that most companies (GW in particular) are not fans of having their IP copied up and given away for free. Understandable, but it does make choosing a list for your next army or forgetting your book, or seeing what the opponents might come up with difficult. These programs then, lack any data on the GW, privateerpress and other systems factions. These you must find for yourself. Luckily it isn't that hard to find them, while Battle Scribe cannot give you direct links, they do make it clear that they are easy to fine. Once you found them, all it needs is a quick address dropping in the repository section and bingo, you have your fuel.
The UI also has the basic details you'll need to know for your list, at the bottom is a list of warnings or illegal options; so telling you that you have too few troops choices or over spent on the special section allowance. Useful to know and quite clear to see. One thing I do wish was clearer is the total points, it is just a single red light on the right hand side. I would have preferred to see it as an individual box, or at least for it to be bigger text. It isn't that noticeable. There is also the confusing part where they add named units in. By this I mean units that are given a bonus by a special character, the best example I have is from the Orcs and Goblins book; the Deff Creepers. This unit is an upgraded spider rider unit due to a special character. This however is not explained, just a named unit. It's a tad awkward but not a deal breaker.
The roster gives you a number of options for the end product. You can do a straight print or you can convert it to a html file. It also has options for removing bits and pieces from the roster to streamline the look and feel of it.
Now briefly on the phone app. I found it a little fiddly, as I had issues with the data files to begin with and rather than being able to add a whole directory I had to add each system one by one. The buttons also seemed awkward, remembering which ones added more models or brought up the option menu was something I struggled with slightly. But aside from those, it seemed pretty good. The roster output seemed crisp and clear on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S2), and the scroll ability is nice. It also means that they have one less item to carry, it's all on the phone. The only issue with this of course is continual use will drain the battery quickly and dead phone means no list. So, it should just be an aid not a replacement.
Overall I give the program a good rating of: 7.5 out of 10
It is good, does all you need but a few niggling items catch my eye and brings it down a little bit. The learning curve however is pretty quick, making it easy to use and quite simple.