Black Omega said:I don't think its a case of balancing out all the fleets. If you continue too far down that road then eventually all the ships will just become generic variations of each other with the only difference between races being the name of their ships and their shapes. Who wants to play a game like that?
A different approach is to look at the victory conditions for the game and try to come up with a system that works based on the strengths and weaknesses of the various races.
As an example, I have a historical wargame on my shelf which is based on the air war in Vietnam. One player plays the Americans and gets hordes of aircraft but his opponent playing the NVA gets some SAM batteries and at best a handful of fighters. In a straight shoot-out fight its impossible for the NVA to win but they gain victory points for simply disrupting the american air raids not necessarily destroying their aircraft.
Historically there are alot of cases of asymmetric warfare like this with one opponent superior to the other whether in terms of numbers or technology. Returning to babylon 5 you can apply the same logic. As an example, having an EA battle against the Minbari based solely on victory through destroying ships doesn't really cut it. We know the Minbari are vastly superior with their all-round arced beam weapons and stealth. I recently bought the Earth Minbari War book and although i haven't played the scenarios in there yet on a brief read through there are a few scenarios where the Earth Alliance player wins if ANY of his ships survive the battle with the minbari forces. Sure as the EA you can't win in a blaze of glory sweeping the minbari from your sky but you can still win through clever tactics and sheer tenacity. Going back to historical games for a mo' i have a world war 2 pacific theatre strategy game which uses the same kind of idea and works excellently. The japanese player faced with an evermore powerful US forces has to basically survive until the end of a number of game turns to win the whole game.
What i am trying to say is that with the different races i wouldn't want everyone to have an equal chance of winning based purely on their ships being reasonably equally matched. I'd much rather have a scenario based system where if i am playing the Minbari player i can win by charging in with my superior ships and wholesale wiping out vast amounts of the Earth Alliance or equally if not more technically satisfying by playing the Earth Alliance where I can win with my meagre and outclassed Earth Force by simply holding off the superior Minbari for a certain length of time etc.
I have seen systems like this before. It tends to work well in campaign and historical settings, but not necessarily so well in the one-off setting that many people play. Not a bad idea, but I am not sure it would fit in the ACTA setting.