Friday, 18 January 2013

Babylon 5 campaign - First Battle

Following on from an uneventful first turn, the Centauri launched an assault on the only industrial world in the system, hoping to gain an early advantage in resources by capturing it. The Narn were not prepared to stand by and let this happen, so launched a counter strike. Now, this is where things got messy.

When a battle is to be played out, three things are initially determined. The Scenario, the Priority Level and the Fleet Allocation points. The Priority level effectively sets the cost of the ships, so it is cheaper to buy the heavy cruisers and battleships at 'Battle' or 'War' level, than it is at 'Skirmish' level, for example. Within this framework, the fleet allocation points determine the size of the game. This is a novel points system which means players won't always be buying the biggest and 'best' ships.

The only downside was that, for the first game in my campaign, I rolled that it would be 9 points at War Level. Given that you only start with a fleet worth 10 points and Battle Level, it meant that every ship on both side would be involved. From a narrative perspective, I guess that both sides were really keen on seizing this planet! The scenario rolled was 'Call to Arms', basically a straight up fight.

So, following on from the swift capture of the important jump gates, the stage was set for an initial battle that would no doubt have repercussions for the rest of the campaign...

Initial deployment (well, most of it)
Two Narn Bin'Tak class dreadnoughts formed an anchor point at the centre of the line. To their right were a long range destroyer and three G'Quan cruisers. The left was where the lighter ships deployed: three patrol cruisers and two missile frigates (out of shot).

The Centauri deployed five Primus battlecruisers in the centre while their flagship, an Octurion class battleship hung back, defending two fleet carriers. The other flank again had lighter ships, consisting of destroyers and attack cruisers.

Both sides deployed all the fighters they could and the stage was set...

The lines break up in a general melee
 From the beginning it looked like the Narn were outclassed on their left flank and they soon sustained the first losses of the game. Their other ships held their own, but seemed unable to make a huge impact on the Centauri forces.

An inconvenient critical hit.
 Soon after, one of the Bin'Tak dreadnoughts had its jump point generator knocked out, closely followed by its engines. Suddenly, instead of fighting to win, the Narn were fighting to survive. With the bulk of the Centauri cruisers swinging round to converge on the G'Quan heavy cruisers, the Narn were left with no real option but to create jump points and hope the Bin'Tak dreadnought could repair it's engines in time to move through the jump point created by the Narn flagship.

The Centauri have no qualms over destroying a fleeing Narn Vessel
 Before the remains of the fleet could escape, three Primus cruisers opened fire on the trailing Narn cruiser, obliterating it.

The rest of the Narn fleet jumped to safety, but the battle had been an absolute Centauri victory. The Narn were left with four of their initial eleven ships, while only three of the Centauri fleet had been destroyed, leaving them with 9 ships. And to add to the defeat, the industrial world was now firmly in Centauri hands.

All in all, it was a good game with the only downside being it was a lot larger and took a lot longer than I was expecting!


  1. Nice batrep. Main thing is you enjoyed

    1. Oh yeah, for sure. Sometimes it's a better game when it turns out to be unexpected. Will be interesting to see if/how the Narns recover...

  2. great battle report, i have tons of b5 counters i have downloaded. including based on the centauri-earth war set in 2301, they were done by b5 fans on mongoose line, drop me a pm if your intrested and blog is my spaceship miniatures, amoung the counters is centauri valerius battleship and a g'kar fast heavy cruiser and other new ship counters for earth and more centauri and narn new ships counters.

  3. Sounds like a great game. Never settled on a Babylon 5 game that I really liked but love the counters that Mongoose provided...not to say anything against A Call To Arms mind. An enjoyable game though it is, I wasn't "hooked".

    1. Well, let's just say that I posted this in January and have not played since. Lots of factors contributed to this, however, so not saying it is a bad game. Now I think of it I play one or two games with any given rule set before moving on to something else! Hmmmmm....