Tabletop Babylon 5 War game?

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
Guest

Tabletop Babylon 5 War game?

Postby Guest » Fri Jan 30, 2004 1:28 pm

Is there any truth to the rumors of a Babylon 5 table top wargame from Mongoose Publishing?
Since Agents of Gaming lost their Babylon 5 Wars license from Warner Bros there has been a big void in my life.

Babylon 5 as a RPG is an awesome game MGP continues to amaze me with the quality of their products.

A table top war game would be a great product to be released to compliment the RPG!
User avatar
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8849
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:27 pm

Well, Matthew Sprange mentioned it in one of his posts here, so I assume it is true. I imagine it won't be out for a good while yet though.
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
Ibram
Shrew
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:27 am
Location: standing right BEHIND YOU!

Postby Ibram » Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:46 pm

I'm fairly certian that one does exist (i've seen minis for it before). However I have no idea who made it or if it is still being produced
User avatar
Morgan_Keyes
Stoat
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:32 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
Contact:

Postby Morgan_Keyes » Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:54 pm

Ibram wrote:I'm fairly certian that one does exist (i've seen minis for it before). However I have no idea who made it or if it is still being produced
Done by (the now defunct) Agents of Gaming. They had three games: Babylon 5 Wars (individual ships), Fleet Action (ships 'simplified' a bit and done for larger engagements; over simplification, I know), and GROPOS (ground combat).
Win the Mind, Win the Day
Airborne All the Way
User avatar
Mayhem
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 611
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:07 pm
Location: A large rock surrounded by rough seas.
Contact:

Postby Mayhem » Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:35 pm

I usec to love B5 Wars! Viva la Centauri Republic! Give me a Primus and room to sail her, etc...

And my name appears in Gropos as a playtester. Wondering why Valkyries didn't appear in the basic rulebook? My fault, I'm afraid...
Tales of Legend - A forum for play-by-post gaming with built in dice roller. Any system welcome!
Stad

Re: Tabletop Babylon 5 War game?

Postby Stad » Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:43 am

Anonymous wrote:Is there any truth to the rumors of a Babylon 5 table top wargame from Mongoose Publishing?
Since Agents of Gaming lost their Babylon 5 Wars license from Warner Bros there has been a big void in my life.

Babylon 5 as a RPG is an awesome game MGP continues to amaze me with the quality of their products.

A table top war game would be a great product to be released to compliment the RPG!
I believe they just announced it to be in the pipe.

They will continue to B5wars scale (which if you have a local hobby store, can probably get some of the older minis for mundo cheap)

I look forward to the new rules, which might be more Fleet Action oriented (say having a big battle done in 2-3 hrs)
User avatar
August
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:46 pm

Postby August » Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:25 am

Having a large battle done in 2-3 hours is exactly what I am shooting for, so never fear... you'll get what you are asking for.

-August
"This is a blanket apology to every god I can think of and all the ones I don't know. I have no idea what I did or in which life I did it, but I am really sorry. Ummm, my bad."
ronbogard
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:29 pm

Postby ronbogard » Sat Feb 07, 2004 10:08 am

Mongoose August wrote:
Having a large battle done in 2-3 hours is exactly what I am shooting for,
So what do you consider a large battle?
User avatar
August
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:46 pm

Postby August » Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:08 pm

While I would not consider the Battle of the Line or the end of the Shadow War to be doable with the new system in a few hours, any smaller engagement (10-12 ships on each side plus fighter flights) should be easily managed. Something like the ill-fated attack on Gorash 7 by the Narn comes to mind...

-August
"This is a blanket apology to every god I can think of and all the ones I don't know. I have no idea what I did or in which life I did it, but I am really sorry. Ummm, my bad."
chrisweuve
Shrew
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA
Contact:

Postby chrisweuve » Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:00 pm

Mongoose August wrote:While I would not consider the Battle of the Line or the end of the Shadow War to be doable with the new system in a few hours, any smaller engagement (10-12 ships on each side plus fighter flights) should be easily managed. Something like the ill-fated attack on Gorash 7 by the Narn comes to mind...

-August
Is this game going to look more like _Babylon 5 Wars_ or _Earthforce Sourcebook_? The latter was a LOT of fun, and did an excellent job of replicating the feel of B5.
User avatar
Jal
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 774
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:05 pm
Location: In space, slicing up your Sharlins.

Postby Jal » Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:04 pm

Is this game going to look more like _Babylon 5 Wars_ or _Earthforce Sourcebook_? The latter was a LOT of fun, and did an excellent job of replicating the feel of B5.
i asked a question very similar to yours last week on this very topic........ and i`m still waiting for a reply. :roll:

hopefully it will be similar to Earthforce Sourcebook. :wink:
User avatar
August
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:46 pm

Postby August » Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:01 am

Guys, a lot of questions get asked and while we try to get around to them all, please don't be upset if some slip through the cracks. :D

Right now, the game is in the planning stages, so it is hard to tell exactly what it will be like. I would say if you are a fan of either B5 Wars (I am) or the Earthforce Sourcebook (which was also excellent), you should be happy with the end product.

I am taking inspiration from a lot of different sources, so never fear, if there are elements of a given wargame you like, post them here and I'll see what I can do to work them in.

-August
"This is a blanket apology to every god I can think of and all the ones I don't know. I have no idea what I did or in which life I did it, but I am really sorry. Ummm, my bad."
User avatar
Jal
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 774
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:05 pm
Location: In space, slicing up your Sharlins.

Postby Jal » Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:51 am

Guys, a lot of questions get asked and while we try to get around to them all, please don't be upset if some slip through the cracks.
many thanks for the reply, i always knew i was a petulant child at heart! :lol:
I am taking inspiration from a lot of different sources, so never fear, if there are elements of a given wargame you like, post them here and I'll see what I can do to work them in.
movement: hexless VMS, Earthforce Sourcebook/Full Thrust style is always at the top of my list, but it isn`t really everyones cup of tea.

even the option of it being easily adaptable to those systems would be nice.

level of ship detail: something less than B5Wars and more than Earthforce Sourcebook would give you a feel for the ships without sidelining the RPG for most of the day. :wink:

number of ships: i think you got that one right already (10-12 ships).

bigger fleets would be nice but you could end up feeling as if player characters were lost in the crowd and unable to exert any influince in the battle.

sort of defeats the purpose of having them there in the first place.

can`t think of anything else at the moment. :shock:
User avatar
Dag'Nabbit
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 908
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:41 am
Location: Bryan, TX
Contact:

Wargaming Preferences

Postby Dag'Nabbit » Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:07 am

I really do enjoy a good game of ship to ship combat that Agents of Gaming let me do with B5 Wars. It was no where near as complicated as the Star Fleet Battles game which ended up taking a good chunk of your day just for a one on one fight.

B5 Wars simplified things a great deal when it came to taking damage and dishing it out, and even more so concerning movement.

B5 Fleet Action was a really good idea, but definitely lost all sense of the importance of the character. Which, unfortunately for roleplaying games, often has very little impact on a fleet scale engagement once the first shot is fired. I think that you're right on August regarding the size of an average engagement, I think a good deal of attention should be paid to squadron scale engagements of 2-4 ships with escorting fighters. These are typically picket forces or standard reconnaisance forces likely to be met. This will probably be a very common engagement size for a lot of gaming groups if they don't just function with one ship.

And Jal I gotta agree with you, at least in part, that the Velocity/Vector method that is used in Full Thrust is definitely a good thing. However, it has a few drawback. First, you gotta admit that when people here words usually associated with physics classes they tend to shy away from getting into the action. Not saying they're not smart enough, but that they probably just want to keep it simple. Second, I have never played Full Thrust with 24 ships and escorting fighter flotillas, but I would imagine that would end up taking a lot more then 2-3 hours to complete.

August, just thought of something else, most people who just throw down a fight are going to be more than happy to pummel eachother into space debris. There does need to be an emphasis somewhere that most fights do not see the total loss of someone's fleet. That, in fact, most commanders will withdraw as soon as they see that the battle is lost. This is reinforced by the Shadows withdrawing after losing to the combined fleet under Sheridan. There are of course exceptions when this type of withdrawel is not going to happen, Earth-Minbari War anyone.

Well, that's all I got for now, but I'm sure I can come up with more.

PS If you need a playtester August, I'm here for ya'!
Yummmmm.....Flan! It's really just styrofoam. Tasty styrofoam, like twinkies, but somehow better for you.
chrisweuve
Shrew
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA
Contact:

Postby chrisweuve » Mon Feb 09, 2004 11:41 am

Mongoose August wrote: Right now, the game is in the planning stages, so it is hard to tell exactly what it will be like. I would say if you are a fan of either B5 Wars (I am) or the Earthforce Sourcebook (which was also excellent), you should be happy with the end product.
Err, what if you are a big fan of one and, um, somewhat less a fan of the other?

Mongoose August wrote: Right now, the game is in the planning stages, so it is hard to tell exactly what it will be like. I would say if you are a fan of either B5 Wars (I am) or the Earthforce Sourcebook (which was also excellent), you should be happy with the end product.
I am taking inspiration from a lot of different sources, so never fear, if there are elements of a given wargame you like, post them here and I'll see what I can do to work them in.
Be careful what you wish for ... :-)

Here's the short list:
1) It should be faithful to the kinetics of the show. (Don't laugh -- that *seems* obvious, but that never stopped previous designers from ignoring it.) By this I mean that you should be able to recreate the action on the show with the same feel.

2) Movement should be simple. That's one of the things I really liked about the _Earthforce Sourcebook_ -- you didn't have a laundry list of possible movement orders to memorize ("let's see, if I am stationary and I want to rotate it costs this much, but if I am coasting and moving it costs how much?" or "I sideslip for ten turns in a row, then take damage and can no longer pay for the sideslip, so I magically spring back to my previous course?!"), you had a very simple set of mechanics backed up by a few meta-principles.

3) Avoid hefty conversions, e.g., W reactor points run multiplied times X conversion factor equals Y thrust points expended through Z engines.

4) At the same time, avoid oversimplifications. The example in #3 is the somewhat inelegant fix to an even worse problem, that of W reactor points equals Y thrust points expended through Z engines. (This equation means that either the absolute value of a reactor point varies from ship-to-ship, or that all ships are the same mass.)

Dag'Nabbit wrote: And Jal I gotta agree with you, at least in part, that the Velocity/Vector method that is used in Full Thrust is definitely a good thing. However, it has a few drawback. First, you gotta admit that when people here words usually associated with physics classes they tend to shy away from getting into the action. Not saying they're not smart enough, but that they probably just want to keep it simple.
This is actually why I prefer EFSB -- it's a LOT simpler than some of the alternatives, while giving a more realistic feel.

There's this myth that vector movement is hard, because it's different than what we are used to, and because there have been a lot of games that use vector movement that also have a lot of other rules that ARE hard. (Someone once asked me "You did a vector movement game? How'd you handle 3D movement?" I handled 3D movement by *ignoring* it.) But vector movement is NOT hard.

Look at GDW's _Triplanetary_. The rules for movement take about 1/2 of a single 8.5x11 sheet of paper. Most of that text covers the special case of entering a gravity well. In that 1/2 page of text, you get rules that not only have ZERO holes, they also allow you to orbit planets (or the Sun) by virtue of following the same movement rules as you do in deep space, without any "spend a movement point to go into orbit" shortcuts.

The vast majority of tactical space combat games spend pages and pages of text on movement rules, *especially* if they claim to provide "simple" realistic movement by using movement points.

There are a lot of other claims made against vector movement as well, such as "without a top speed I run off the map" (why don't you run off the road in your car then? because you know not to go faster than you can control!) or "but then I have to think of my moves in advance" (you mean, like, you have to have a *strategy* you have to *think ahead*? heavens forbid!), but most of them are excuses rather than rebuttals.
Dag'Nabbit wrote: Second, I have never played Full Thrust with 24 ships and escorting fighter flotillas, but I would imagine that would end up taking a lot more then 2-3 hours to complete.
Depends on the group, but EFSB and some of the other similar efforts (there are a lot of them on the web, including one written by yours truly -- I have a LOT of experience with this) usually play faster than the alternatives. This is because they use pre-plotted movement, which means that (1) everyone is writing orders at the same time, and (2) everyone is executing at the same time, and (3) you get to skip the entire "initiative" thing (which, if determined at the ship level, can be quite time-consuming). There's a lot of parallel processing that takes place, and as a result, the larger the battle, the FASTER it is to play it out in EFSB or the other other similar efforts.
chrisweuve
Shrew
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:28 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA
Contact:

Postby chrisweuve » Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:00 pm

jal wrote:
movement: hexless VMS, Earthforce Sourcebook/Full Thrust style is always at the top of my list, but it isn`t really everyones cup of tea.
FWIW, I (along with my game design partner Arius Kaufmann) lay claim to coining the term "VMS" for "Vector Movement System." We came up with back when we were playtesters for _B5Wars_ and pitched an alternative movement system, which we named VMS. We had never seen the term in print before (well, there is the VAX operating system which shares the same abbreviation [grin]), and no one on SFCONSIM-L has been able to find a mention of the term that predates our usage. About ten seconds after we first used the term on SFCONSIM-L, though, it became a generic term referring to all vector movement systems.

So, by my calculation, I have 14:45 left on my 15 minutes of fame. :-)

Oh, one other thing I forgot to include in my last post:
5) The movement system should be independent of the notation system. In _Triplanetary_, for instance, you use colored markers to draw courses on a laminated map. In _Mayday_ and _Battle Rider_, you use past-present-future markers. In _VMS_ and _Attack Vector: Tactical_, you use a seven hex rosette (six hexes around a center hex) to mark thrust, current vectors, and facing. In (darn, can't think of the name) you use a _Crimson Skies_-like reference sheet to map out the current course. In _Jovian Chronicles/Lightning Strike_, you use a pseudo-mathematical notation to determine current vectors and facing. In EFSB you use a columnated, one-line per-turn sheet coupled with set movement commands. And in _Exordium Tactical_ (another system I have been working on), you use a columnated sheet like EFSB but with columns representing thrust and current course vectors.

All of these systems have essentially the same movement system -- with a few tweaks, they could be EXACTLY the same. The big differences are purely in the matter of notation. This means that each player can use the system which best suits his own personality and needs, and it means that the system can be easily adapted to email play.
User avatar
frobisher
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2046
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:41 pm
Location: Glenfarg, SCOTLAND

Postby frobisher » Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:43 pm

The only thing I can say, is if it's going to be "pure" VMS, then use hexes.

This game is aimed at roleplayers not died in the wool wargamers.

You can't cheat hexes but rulers can bend, measurements can be handwavy etc.

There's no arguing over the odd millimeter, where the ship is ("is it the front or rear stand of that Omega miniature?"), or fudging movement to avoid hitting obstacles.

Ranges become easy then as well (and before anyone says "you have to estimate this kind of thing...", remember that billion credit tracking system EA installed in your ship...)

Also, if it's going to be VMS remember that ships are not point masses (something almost all VMS seem to do...), and that thrust application is not instantaneous.

Alternatively, the B5W system actually works as a compromise between a VMS and an easily governed system :)
Paddy Sinclair

Us Yellowbeards are never more dangerous than when we're dead...
Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:47 pm

frobisher wrote:
Also, if it's going to be VMS remember that ships are not point masses (something almost all VMS seem to do...), and that thrust application is not instantaneous.
At the risk of disagreeing with someone who is agreeing with me [grin], I've never been particularly bothered by instantaneous thrust application. Ken Burnside and I have gone over this a couple of times on SFCONSIM-L, and while I agree that AV:T handles it as well as anything, I don't really *want* something that models the real world *that* accurately. You can get to the 95% level with _Triplanetary_.

The host of my game group summed it up best in something we've taken to calling "McCue's Law of Realistic Game Design":
"If the game is a) as realistic as it can be **for its chosen level of complexity** and b) induces in the players the **same kind of thinking** as would a fully correct game, then it is accurate enough, and the only thing that matters is the independent variable of how much complexity people are willing to stand."

That having been said, I agree with the comment about hexes. Even EFSB is better when played on hexes, because it decreases the fiddliness tremendously.

So maybe that should be #6 on my list of attributes I wouldf like to see in a new game: Minimal fiddliness.
Sundog
Mongoose
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: Western Australia

Postby Sundog » Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:59 am

In all honesty, I don't really care. I've managed just fine translating space combat to B5W so far, it and B5 RPG aren't that different.

That said, I'll probably get the new one anyway - if only for the completist in me! :twisted:
ThatOneGuy

Not B5 Wars

Postby ThatOneGuy » Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:50 am

I personally would like to see two versions of the game. Basically one that is fleet based and one that is squadron based. Maybe that could be an add on, but essentially you could scale down the rules so that (random example) a thunderbolt in the squadron level game handles like say an Olympus does in the fleet sized game. Something that allowed individual characters to take part in the action as something other than an admiral. I.E. Car Wars.

Also, I have to say that simple turning and seed rules would be greatly appreciated. Warhammer 40k simplified this stuff a ways back and I think it has helped the game personally. That might be a bit too simple as turning has very few specific rules in that game. Personally I’d like to see three speeds plus all stop, no more constant addition. I was fully capable of doing the math btw, it was simply less fun and made getting others into Babylon 5 Wars rather difficult. People were intimidated or frustrated by the complexity.

All I need is:

All Stop, Cruising Speed, Attack Speed and Full speed. With class or ship specific turning radiuses and speeds assigned to each I think the game would offer enough options for complex strategy. Realistic? No. Playable by a wider audience and potently fun? Yes.

I think a new game could turn out very cool if it were ‘dumbed down’ a bit. Particularly in movement.

When it takes ten minutes to decide how much thruster power your ship is using while balancing that with your weapons systems and everything else, few people stick around to fire their first shot. I never once managed to finish a game of Babylon 5 Wars, my opponents would always quit on me. Does that make me undefeated?

In closing I’d just like to say that if I want to play B5 Wars, I already have the books. I want something new from Mongoose.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests