The licence for the Babylon 5 Fleet game has been much kicked around and abused over the years, being released by AoG before their demise as Fleet Action, then Babylon 5: Wars and finally picked up my Mongoose Publishing and re-written as A Call to Arms. Don’t be fooled by its somewhat haphazard history however, as what remains is a real gem of a solid space combat game built around the rich background of J Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Universe.
To support the game, Mongoose released a massive line-up of miniatures covering all of the series main races. A number were simply re-releases directly from AoG’s original molds, but many were also brand new designs which over the past four years grew into a substantial range in their own right. Sadly, the miniature range came to an end at the start of 2008, although they should still be available for years to come online. Unless you are a truly determined collector, or die-hard fan, the range is a bit too broad to collect fully fleshed out fleets for all of the factions. However, I have tried to select enough of the key ships in order to be able to pull together a few decent campaigns with friends and it is those that I will feature here as I work my way through them.
The ‘Call to Arms’ rules themselves are still supported by Mongoose and I highly recommend giving them a go if you haven’t already. Unfortunately Mongoose have since announced that they will not be continuing with the Babylon 5 licence in the foreseeable future, but will be continuing to develop the rule set, albeit for another as yet un-named miniature range and background. Watch this space as they say.
The Narn Regime – Not a fleet to collect and paint if you are not happy painting a really fiddly patchwork pattern over pretty much everything! That said, the Narn are a great fleet to play (especially against their primary protagonists the Centauri). What they lack in beam weaponry, they make up for with fighter busting e-mines and sheer resilience. This was the fleet I took to Mongoose Halls for my inaugural ACTA tournament and I am still adding to it all the time.
The Centauri Republic – Warmongering and politically astute, Centauri ambition is only matched by their appetites for all that is fine in life. Former slave masters of the Narn, the Centauri are not as powerful amongst the younger races as they once were when their advanced fleets cut a swathe through the galaxy having suffered greatly from the Narn uprising and their own political in-fighting. Nevertheless, supported secretly by the ancient and enigmatic ‘Shadows’, the Centauri are still a powerful race.
The Earth Alliance – The earth fleets span such a large time period, that it was decided for practicalities sake to divide them up into three distinct fleet lists. This fleet represent the ‘Early Years’ around the time of the Dilgar and Earth-Mimbari wars and contains iconic vessels such as the Hyperion Class cruiser and Oracle Class scout ship as well as the infamous Nova Class Dreadnought.