Babylon 5: A Call To Arms - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    resident iconoclast Left of West's Avatar
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    159 (x3)

    Babylon 5: A Call To Arms

    This is a spaceship combat game published by Mongoose and based in, obviously, the fictional universe of the Babylon 5 television show.

    I've got a friend who's doing some of the writing for this game, and I think I'm going to be getting my hands on a Shadow fleet box sometime soon. A fair number of other people I know already have some ships or are interested in picking some up and playing a bit.

    Anyway, it looks like a good game. It has some interesting maneuvering and initiative mechanics, and its damage mechanism is pleasantly intuitive and straightforward--even though it incorporates a fairly detailed 'critical hit' chart.

    Further, this game is cool because it really has rules for just about any ship from the show you can imagine. There are lots of factions, and they're all fairly competitive.

    One of the things I don't like is the balancing system, which is rather like taking a standard 'point buy' system, but making every model cost 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 points. It's kinda clunky.

    Even so, I'm kind of excited about starting to play this game--it promises to fill the spaceship-shaped hole currently showing prominently through my gaming reputoir.

    I've also used, a little, the Victory at Sea rules from Mongoose (a WWII naval simulation) which are virtually identical to these in form.

    Anyway, I just figured I'd toss this out there and see if anyone had any input about this game (acronymed as ACTA) that they'd like to share?

    Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!

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  3. #2
    Dethskullz Warboss Morden's Avatar
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    I havent played this version of b5 wars yet but hoping to get my hands on the rule books in a few days, I did used to play b5 wars with agents of gaming rules were hell of alot more advanced and even small games with only a couple of ships took hours to play.

    I have got a small centari fleet (4 vortchas(sp?), 4 primus's, 2 kutitai gunships and about 50 sentri fighters) some shadow bits, 2 battle craps and thats it.

    My mate tho has a hugh EA fleet, enough fleets to make IA fleet of narns, braikri, pakamara, minibairi, drazi.

    I hope to get more ships now. Can you tell me how long does it useally take to get a game say around 5000-10000pts done with these rules?.

    Cheers
    Morden.

  4. #3
    resident iconoclast Left of West's Avatar
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    Compared to the B:5 Wars game, the current incarnation of A Call To Arms is positively simplistic. While Wars played a lot like battletech, with each ship having multiple hit locations and armour and weapons and systmes and whatnot to keep track of in each location, ACTA treats the ship as a single location. It actually plays a lot like Battle Fleet Gothic, if you've ever played that.

    Further, ACTA has done away with a traditional point system and gone to a significantly worse, but simpler costing system which they dub the 'priority level' system.

    Each ship has a priority level, ranging from Patrol at the lowest to Armageddon at the highest. Each ship costs one point of the appropriate level, and you can split up 'larger' points to create multiple smaller points.

    It's silly, and it's difficult to explain, so let me use an example instead.

    You say you have four Vorchans and 4 Primuses. Each Vorchan is a Skirmish level ship, and so costs one Skirmish point. Each Primus is a Battle Level ship and costs one Battle point.

    (For referrence, the entire range is: Patrol, Skirmish, Raid, Battle, War, Armageddon.)

    So, lets say you were playing a Raid level game with five points to spend.
    Each Battle point costs two Raid points, so you could turn two of your five points into a Primus.
    Each Raid point could turn into two Skirmish points, so you could spend two of your remaining points to get four Vorchans.

    That would leave you with one Raid point. Now, you've got a bunch of Sentriis, and we can buy those, as well. You get two for each Patrol point. You get two Patrol points per Skirmish point, and two Skirmish points per Raid point. Further, you get two stands of Sentriis for each Patrol Point.

    So, your last Raid would turn into two Skirmishes
    which would turn into four Patrols
    which would turn into eight Sentriis

    So a 5 Raid fleet, which is a pretty standard 'smallish' game would be a Primus, four Vorchans, and eight Sentrii fighters (plus however many the Primus might carry)

    That game will probably take about an hour to an hour and a half.
    Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!

  5. #4
    Dethskullz Warboss Morden's Avatar
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    211 (x5)

    Wow it sounds alot simpler, Look forward to reading the rules for myself on thursday. Thanks putting in the effort for giving me example of game is like. I had a idea of intergrate some star trek ships now in to it i am big fan of crossovers battles movies. I hope to get a few new ships to mayby a fleet pack or something.

  6. #5
    resident iconoclast Left of West's Avatar
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    It is quite simple. After playing a lot of Aerotech, I have to say that I prefer a slightly simpler, more streamlined system to one with a bunch of extraneous and unnecessary detail. It's just more fun to play.

    Also, the manner in which ACTA's ships have limited movement capabilities and firing arcs manages to add a significant amount of interesting decision-making to the game play.

    All in all, I think it's a fun experience. Centauri are certainly awesome, too.

    Out of curiousity, though, Morden, why aren't you going with the Shadows?

    They have a great box set.

    (I think I'm going to get a shadow box, here in a bit ).
    Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!

  7. #6
    Dethskullz Warboss Morden's Avatar
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    211 (x5)

    Neato, I really wanna play! i miss space battles , Also my plan was to collect a centari fleet then a shadow fleet for my allies like the tv show Shadows were so cheesey in b5 wars to, Are they similar in call to arms?. Ill post tommorrow with update on what i buy .

  8. #7
    resident iconoclast Left of West's Avatar
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    I couldn't really say whether they're similar or not.

    What they are is obnoxiously fast and maneuverable and very tough.

    On the other hand, they have bad fighters, no anti-fighter, and they're a little undergunned. The guns they have are good but they're only front mounted and each ship only has one.

    Still, I've been having fun with them.

    The Shadow Scouts are fantastic.
    Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!

  9. #8
    Dethskullz Warboss Morden's Avatar
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    211 (x5)

    Hmm, hey i bought the rule book and armylists to start me off at least, I havent got a game yet been to buzy playing mordhiem anyways.

    I am gonna try for a test game tonight the point system is bit confusing but the more i read it the more i understand it :p it will most likely be earth vs centari, the small mission ambush hyperion vs 2 vorchans should be a good fun.

  10. #9
    resident iconoclast Left of West's Avatar
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    It's worth noting that the Fleet Allocation Point system has been re-written since the initial printings of the 2nd edition book. On the Mongoose Publishing website, in their forums, in the Babylon Five: A Call To Arms section, there's a sticky that contains a downloadable document which explains the point-system very clearly. You might look for it.
    Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!

  11. #10
    Dethskullz Warboss Morden's Avatar
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    Great i found thanks Left of West. I managed to get my centauri fleet together so far i have 5 vorchans, 2 primus, 1 ocutorian, 1 kutai gunship, a good amout of old sentri's, ratarians modals, 1 covent scout ship and Ordered some other ships from moongoose website 1 dargon attack cruiser, 2 haven partol boats, sulust escort ship and some more of the new sentri's

    Finally getting a game tonight after putting it off cause of stupied mordhiem.

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