Babylon 5 Wars
|Designer(s)||Robert N. Glass, Bruce H. Graw|
|Publisher(s)||Agents of Gaming|
|Players||2 or more|
|Setup time||5 - 10 minutes|
|Playing time||1 to 4 hours|
|Random chance||Dice rolling|
|Skill(s) required||Strategy, Tactics, Arithmetic|
Babylon 5 Wars (B5W) is a science fiction tabletop miniature wargame, produced by the gaming company Agents of Gaming. Play centers on miniature figurines based the TV show Babylon 5. In 1999, it was nominated for the Origins Award for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures Rules. The miniature produced of the Babylon 5 station won the award for "Best Vehicle Miniature of 1999" of the same year.
The first edition of the game was published in 1997. The two men responsible were Bruce Graw and Robert Glass. The original rules were complex and the ship selection was minimal. The second edition was produced less than one year later. In it were several key rules revisions and clarifications. Over the lifespan of the game many supplements were released. With the supplements many new races and ships came about.
Due to the cancellation of the Babylon 5 television show Agents of Gaming chose not to renew its contract. The game is out of print and with a new B5-based game "A Call to Arms" being produced by Mongoose Publishing, an official comeback is unlikely. However, a relatively strong player base continues to produce new, free content for the game system.
Babylon 5 Wars, the Game
Each player assembles a fleet, represented by counters or miniatures, which equal to a set point limit. A player is generally limited to a single race to choose his ships. There is also a limit to ship usage based on fighter space, rarity, and year.
The game is broken down into turns. Each player interacts in a turn at the same time. A die roll with certain bonuses determines movement order. Actions such as drift; power usage, electronic warfare, thrust, and fighter operations must be done every turn. A turn can be very long and complex. Some turns can take up to hours depending on fleet sizes.
Supplied by supplements and rules expansions historic scenarios can also be played out. In a scenario, specific fleet composition is spelled out for each player along with map geography and objectives.
Compared to other games in the tabletop miniature wargame genre the cost of a fighting force is relatively cheap. The majority of the ships published had associated minis made for them. A chronic problem with Agents of Gaming though was finding a reliable sculptor. Sometimes throughout the life of the game no miniatures would be released for months at a time.
The only current source for B5W miniatures is online auction houses and discount bins at local gaming stores. Mongoose gaming is now producing some of the line of miniatures using, in many cases, exactly the same molds that Agents of Gaming used to produce them.
A strong point of the game was its models. The ships were made with a high degree of quality. All ship models were released in pewter. Some ships were very large, taking up several base stands on the playing map.
This is a list of playable races (including one-off "Ship of the Month"s). This is for the most part complete, but is in the process of being revised.
Please also note that there are a large number of races, both canon and non-canon, that have been made and developed unofficially. These include the canon Drakh and Lumati, possible takes on an independent Mars, and many more. Conversions have also been made to bring fleets from other universes into the game, including the TV shows Star Trek and BattleStar Galactica, as well as computer games such as FreeSpace and Star Control. See the external links below for more details.
- Abbai Matriarchate
- Alacan Republic
- Balosian Underdwellers
- The Belt Alliance
- Brakiri Syndicracy
- Cascor Commonwealth
- Centauri Republic
- Corillani Theocracy
- Deneth Assembly
- Descari Committees
- Dilgar Imperium
- Drazi Freehold
- Earth Alliance
- Gaim Intelligence
- Grome Autocracy
- Hurr Republic
- Hyach Gerontocracy
- Ipsha Baronies
- Kirishiac Lords
- Kor-Lyan Kingdoms
- Llort Scavengers
- Markab Theocracy
- Minbari Federation
- Narn Regime
- Orieni Empire
- Rogolon Dynasty
- Sorithian Commune
- Torata Regency
- Torvalus Speculators
- Usuuth Coalition
- Vorlon Empire
- Vree Conglomerate
- Yolu Theocracy
- Origins Award Nominees Announced
- 1999 - Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Archived 2007-11-05 at the Wayback Machine.
- Graw, B. and Glass, R.: "Babylon 5 Wars Second Edition Rules Compendium.", page 1. Agents of Gaming, 2000
- Babylon 5 Wars: official game site.
- B5Wars.net: Formerly hosted by Agents of Gaming, this is a heavily trafficked forums site for the B5Wars game system.
- Planetside: Home of the 'BabCom' and 'The Great Machine' webzines, which include a vast amount of new races, ships, and crossovers from other TV shows and games, by Tyrel Lohr.
- Rich Bax's Site: A collection of very in-depth additions to the game, from one of the game supplements' leading developers, Rich Bax.
- B5Wars Vault: A collection of all currently available fan-made ships and background information. Compiled by Kevin Muñoz.