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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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Dethskullz Warboss
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1,245 Posts
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.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.
 

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Dethskullz Warboss
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1,245 Posts
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 :p i am big fan of crossovers battles movies. I hope to get a few new ships to mayby a fleet pack or something.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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 ;)).
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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.
 

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Dethskullz Warboss
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1,245 Posts
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.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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.
 

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Dethskullz Warboss
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1,245 Posts
Great i found thanks Left of West. I managed to get my centauri fleet together :D 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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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome! Hope it goes well. That Dargan, by the way, is an awesome ship (though it's hard to compare to those Vorchans).

Actually, a word of advice: while the Vorchan is awesome, the Demos (the varient of the Vorchan with the missiles) is almost certainly better. You might consider giving it a shot.

Finally, if you're looking at more ships, the Liati advanced cruiser is a sick piece of equipment. It's really good.
 

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Dethskullz Warboss
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1,245 Posts
Hmm, been bit of a necro here but hey. Finally bought a ton of stuff from and Friend, mongoose, etc.

Here are some pics so far.








Thats all so far but i'm still waiting for some stuff from mongoose hopefully get it soon. Did you see the closedown sale? This is crap i just got in to the game so i'm scrambling for all the ships i can get before it closes :p.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hah! Yeah. Fine time to get back into the game, eh?

Well, at least you're getting a reasonable discount because of it. Hopefully you'll get all the stuff you need before they shut it off entirely.

So, have you played any games with the 2nd ed rules, yet? If so, what do you think?
 

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Dethskullz Warboss
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1,245 Posts
Yea, i have the gamers curse - crap dice rolls and games close down when i start collecting, expect GW of course.

I've had 2 games so far. first was small raid game 2 vorchans vs 1 tigeria. Result - I got totally wasted. I hate the stealth rule and couldnt lock on to diddly squat. I done some damage but lost both ships

Second game, it was big 3 way 5 battle priorty pts. Centrauri vs EA crusade era, vs Minibari. I won this once having learned the dreaded stealth rule. Covern became my new best first for the first 2 turns. EA and Minibari just went for each other and trashed each others fleets. I list non and they close about half a fleet each in the end.

The thing that really annoyed me most was turn 3. I finally got most of my fleet in range of a sharlin. Even with a lock-on bonus. I have 20 odd guns trying to shoot it needing 4s to lock on. Not a single fricking on managed to a whole fleets weapons wasted. But i managed to destroy a olmupus corvette with 2 vorchans the only ships that done anything good.

The rules were cool and fast for a change only took us about hour and a half to play it. Still working out the merchanics of the game and Getting rules wrong ans such. I just figured out we were playing the turn system wrong. Instead of playing it ship after ship we were playing it like 40k a turn each, etc.

But the lack of range on centauri weapons is a major let down compare to EA and Minbari my fleet will get pounded to dust form afar. But up close i guess i would kill loads.

The more i hopefully play it the better ill learn to use my fleet better.
Cheers.

What about you any luck with games lately?
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, the Centauri are definitely an up-close-and-personal fleet. They're usually fast enough to pull it off well, though.

I played a 3 way game the other day with my Shadows against an EA Crusade fleet and an Abbai Matriarchy fleet. It was a seven raid game. I started in Hyperspace and they went after each other from the get-go. My Shadow Ship popped in on turn one and, with some good dice, wiped a Marathon from the table before it even got to shoot. My Ship used its long range and Super Maneuverability to stay in spots where it wasn't a good target for anything and take pot-shots while the other two sailed towards collided in a big meat grinder. I had three Shadow Scouts, too, who came in and cleaned up smaller ships as they broke away from the main battle.

It was the first time I've had anything resembling decent luck with the Molecular Slicer on that Shadow Ship.
 
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