Babylon 5

I have started migrating across some of the legacy content from the Dropship website and the first candidate happened to be my old Babylon 5 miniatures. Mongoose Publishing ceased production and support of the Babylon 5 range after opting to not renew the licence a few years back, however the ‘A Call to Arms’ ruleset is still very much alive and well worth a look at if you have never played a skirmish fleet action game before. Currently the latest edition of the rules are wrapped around the ‘Fading Suns RPG’ background and has recently been relaunched with a new range of miniatures based on Noble Armada. Back to Babylon 5 however and liking the game as I did I invested in a fair few of the fleets/miniatures before they were discontinued which gives me a healthy collection to draw upon for a few years to come yet hopefully, as well as maybe get the odd friend or two into a few games.

I initially made a start on three of the races, including two of the key protagonists, the Narn and Centauri above. Both fleets were taken to around five raid points in size (a size roughly the equivalent of a 1500 point 40K game in tournament terms), so you can see not that many miniatures are required for a decent sized game of A Call to Arms making it quite a cheap game to get into, but still scalable for larger fleet games without slowing things down noticably.

The third fleet, to round things of was of course the Earth Alliance, it just wouldn’t be Babylon 5 without some of the iconic EAS ships such as the Hyperion or Star Furies to push around the table.

All of these I have covered in a lot more detail, including the colour palette and techniques in the individual fleet pages I translated across from Dropship. You can delve a little deeper and see individual photos of some of the miniatures following the main ‘miniatures’ menu at the top of the blog and I will certainly be adding to these galleries in the future as well as introducing new fleets to the range such as the Mimbari and League Worlds as well as the enigmatic Shadows.

I was a little disappointed the commercial numbers just didn’t stack up for Mongoose to allow them to continue with the Babylon 5 licence as it really was (and still is) a great product. The irony was it was only at the very end when the plug was being pulled that the surge of interest from collectors with last minute orders really demonstrated just how popular the game and range really was. I am sure Noble Armada will do well, but for me the background just doesn’t have the same instant appeal to it as J-Michael Straczynski’s universe and so for the time being I will be sticking with the miniatures I have.

For now though, it is back to painting up Saruman for my next battle in Lord of the Rings and adding the finishing weathering touches to the Ultramarines Dreadnought. Have a great week.

By | 2017-09-13T14:06:15+00:00 January 18th, 2011|Relics|7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Major_Gilbear January 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    So glad to see these ported over from from Dropship! The first time I saw these and took the game seriously was (ironically enough) only after you’d posted your fleets up and pointed out that the game was in terminal decline.

    I loved the show, and your models look spectacular – such a shame that getting hold of the models (even decent casts of the models) was so difficult at the end.

    Thank you for showing me the way though, and even if I have to scratch my own ships, I know where to come for ideas! =0)

    Looking forward to seeing any more ships that you managed to get done since these pix were taken (or even reading a battle report with some pics?) when you get the time.

    • Carl Woodrow January 20, 2011 at 10:42 am - Reply

      Thanks Major (great Volpone name by the way). It was a bit of a shame the timing on the demise of ACTA and the older Agent of Gaming moulds that Mongoose had inherited really were displaying the ravages of time by then I agree.
      I will look to get a few more of the Babylon ships up onto the site on the short term, even if only as blog posts as there are a few more I have painted since then including the Omega, Hyperion and some assorted League ships.
      Game wise I would love to get some more in this year, but I do need to make a new ‘space’ table as the one shown has long since been retired. I may look into one of the many pre-printed fabric ones that are available.
      Always liked the look of the Zuzzy rubber mats only they are texture ones so I doubt they make a space themed version.

  2. Major_Gilbear January 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I would certainly love to see what else you painted since the original article went up on Dropship! Did you ever get any Minbari ships?

    As for a space table to game on, I suggest that fabric is the way to go. I’ve seen the Zuzzy mats in person (didn’t really like them all that much actually; nothing sits flat on them, and the dice literally jump everywhere when you roll them…), and I have some felty desert/temperate mats myself. The felty-type ones easily win!

    Check out somewhere like Hotz ArtWorks; Eric does custom mats, and if you ask him I’m sure he could even do you a double-sided fabric mat (so that you can have different celestial vistas on them). He’s in the US though, but I think somewhere like Mat-O-War could help you out in the UK perhaps?

    Alternatively, if you’re handy with an airbrush, get some felt and spray some up yourself? Remember to seal the felt with a few heavy layers of matte varnish afterwards to stop it going too bobbly through use. =0)

  3. Jason May 21, 2011 at 6:36 am - Reply

    They truly were beautiful sculpts, and Mongoose made some great material out of them, they always have done rich worlds and put them to good use, plus their “A Call to Arms” system works pretty dang well. They also have some new stuff out there, Noble Armada.

    • Carl Woodrow May 21, 2011 at 10:35 am - Reply

      The ACTA rules were definitely very good, in many ways I believe they were what Battlefleet Gothic would have evolved into given a second edition. Matt often referred to them as BFG with chrome.
      I watched the Noble Armada range through development and the ACTA ruleset is as fun as ever, unfortunately the Fading Suns licence doesn’t engage me like Babylon 5 did so I just don’t have the same interest in the ship models.

      With Dystopian Wars, Firestorm and soon to be released Leviathan, fleet gaming is starting to be a surprisingly crowded and suddenly competitive market which is great.

  4. Erik July 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Where did you get the bases you used for the fighters? Like them a LOT more than the thick hexagons left over from B5 Wars.

    • Carl Woodrow July 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      They are actually just the standard Games Workshop small plastic flying stand bases. I attach the stem, then cut it off flush with the base, this then fills in the hole nicely and I used the discarded stem for making Necron crystals (nothing goes to waste!). The fighters are then just mounted onto the base using thin brass rod. Lengths of paper clip also work well.

      The only somewhat fiddly job is drilling all the tiny holes to mount the fighters.

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