Ships of the Minbari Federation


Ships of the Minbari Federation

Of all the younger races, none is more feared than the Minbari. Their fleet wields some of the finest weapons in the galaxy and their ships are like ghosts flitting across the battlefield.

Two primary attributes define the Minbari fleet: stealth and beams. Both of these systems rely heavily on luck. So work very hard to tilt the odds in your favor.

Every vessel in the Minbari fleet has a Stealth rating, even the fighters. Most ships have a 5+ rating, though there are some variations. To compensate for this defense most Minbari ships are a bit less tough than an adversary of the same class. Stealth is a fickle thing, though, and you should not lean on it as your sole defense. Any ship in your fleet is a lucky roll away from taking enemy fire. Use every tactical trick in the book for victory and treat the stealth as a bonus.

The upshoot of this feature is that opposing fleets will be working feverishly to reduce the stealth advanage. This means that their tactics will be somewhat predictable. Expect fighters to come into base contact with your ships, where they can ignore your stealth. Expect the enemy to try and close range quickly to offet range penalties.

Energy mines are the devil incarnate. Begin diplomatic negotiations to have them banned from the galaxy entirely. Until then, realize that Narn and Gaim fleets will give you headaches.

The Minbari use Beams, and Mini-Beams, as their sole primary armament. This allows them to largely ignore the hull ratings on all enemy ships as well as interceptors. An enemy ship's only defense against Minbari fire is its pool of damage points and the luck of the dice.

Neutron Laser
This is the long range ship killer so famously portrayed on the show. With its long range, high damage output, and propensity for scoring criticals it is rightly feared. Ships below War priority level have this weapon in the fore arc only, making it useful for standoff fire or during the closing phase. Keep this weapon in arc as long as possible, issuing All Stop! orders if needed. Several turns of fire from this weapon will seriously impact the enemy order of battle.

Fusion Cannon
Every Minbari ship (excepting the Shantavi) has these weapons firing in all arcs. When the fighting finally gets to mid range and close quarters these will do the talking. For secondary batteries the range is excellent (18") far outstripping the 8"-12" batteries of most other fleets. Don't forget that Mini-Beam weapons can be Twin-Linked by a scout or Concentrate All Firepower! (CAF) order.

Other Features

Peace through Superior Firepower
Due to the massive advantage of their technology Minbari ships tend to be very powerful for their size. Thus even their smallest frigate is a Skirmish level ship. This means that Minbari fleets tend to be numerically outnumbered on the battlefield. This is compensated for by excellent firing arcs and the best Initiative rating this side of Vorlon space. prepared for your enemy to have enough init sinks that your most valuable units will move before theirs. Another side effect of the lack of Patrol level ships is that Minbari tend to buy fighters to fill in the purchasing gaps.

Mind the Gap
Every ship in the Minbari fleet has the Advanced Jump Engine trait. This allows them to perform many "silly jump point tricks" with great accuracy. When a mission allows, the Minbari player should take advantage of this. Nothing says "boo!" better than a Minbari cruiser jumping in to the middle of the enemy formation.

Hello, Computer
Another trait common to all Minbari ships is Flight Computer. This means crew losses are far less of a concern for Minbari than most other races. Thus, in the same way that Minbari see enemy ship defense as little more than a damage count - the same applies to their own ships' crew ratings. Until the entire crew is gone, there is little to worry about.

Round One...Fight!
The Minbari have no dedicated assault craft. But the Warrior Caste don't let that get in the way. Every Minbari ship has at least 3 Troops on board and some have even more. This makes them very resistant to assault by enemy troops. Keep an eye open for opportunites to overwhelm a surroundes ship with your own abundant troops.

Minbari Ships:

Auxiliary Craft:
Having a fighter pilot as their greatest historic figure made an impact on the Minbari. Their fighters are the finest in the galaxy, better even than the Ancients. All the fighters have Mini-Beam weapons, making attacks against the toughest hulls a viable option if there are no other duties to attend.

This is the bargain basement fighter of the Minbari fleet. It depends on its stealth and speed to survive as it has average Dogfight and below average Hull and Dodge ratings. In a pinch it can serve as an escort for a ship or as an attack fighter against poorly defended ships. Use Scout channels to enhance the Mini-Beam attack.

A real contender for best fighter in the galaxy. This is a well-rounded craft which excells in either the interceptor (fighter hunting) or capital ship attack roles. Its expense means that it should only be risked against enemy Anti-Fighter when there is nothing else for it to do.

Extreme specialization means that this ship has only one mission: killing enemy fighters. If you expect to face high quality fighters (Vree or Psi Corps come to mind) taking a few flights of Tishats will guarantee your dominance of the skies. Otherwise the Nial should be your "go to" fighter for space superiority due to its better hull and weapons.

Skirmish Ships:
The minbari have a single class in this category.

Torotha Assault Frigate
The Trotha has good damage output for a Skirmish level ship. It is a fragile craft, however, and will lean heavily on Stealth (read luck) for survival. Don't count on many of these ships making it home. Their best defense is the much scarier larger ships which the enemy may decide to shoot instead. This ship will likely see a lot of action as it is the smallest ship in the fleet, filling in FAP gaps.

Raid Ships:
Here we see the technology of the Minbari begin to truly assert itself. This level includes the specialist ships found more commonly at Skirmish level for other fleets.

Ashinta Heavy Escort
One of the best escorts. It has Stealth, a good hull rating, and decent damage points combined with an incredible 6 points of Advanced Anti-Fighter. This ship is only needed, though, when a massive enemy fighter presence is expected as the Web of Death ability combined with the excellent Minbari fighters is usually more than enough. It is worth noting that the Ashinta is the same speed as Flyer squadrons so it can accompany them on an offensive attack run if desired.

Leshath Heavy Scout
Bar none, the best Scout in the galaxy. This ship has it all. A 6+(!) Stealth rating, excellent Anti-Fighter defenses, Agility, and decent speed; plus a figther thrown in for good measure. If you can't get the job done with this scout turn in your admiral's stripes. The Leshath is a "must have" for most battles. Remember that you need a scout on the board to pull off effecient jump point attacks. The special scout rules for this ship means it can all but eliminate the stealth of any enemy ship. This can allow you to destroy opposing scouts early on with long-range laser fire. When there is no enemy stealth to counter, redirect fire for your ships with Fusion Cannons and Molecular Disruptors.

Teshlan Fast Cruiser
This is the smallest craft in the Minbari fleet that sports a Neutron Laser. It is also fast and agile enough to deliver it where needed. Use this manuverability to stay in the 15"-18" range bracket, outside of enemy secondaries but able to fire with both the powerful laser and the Fusion cannons.

Tigara Attack Cruiser
The Tigara is a brawler. It operates best in close quarters where it can bring all its armament to bear. Note that every weapon system on this ship can benefit from either a scout redirect or the CAF order.

Battle Ships:
Long range firepower is heavily featured in the Battle class, weather it be from heavy lasers or clouds of fighters. The main battle strength of a Minbari fleet will be found in this category.

Morshin Carrier
Though it looks like a sea slug the Morshin is an excellent carrier. It is a natural counterpart to the Avenger or Balvarin with Command rating and a strong fighter compliment. The massive wing of Nial fighters should be sufficient to handle nearly any enemy fighter threat. It has below average hull and damage rating to offset the Stealth. This makes it a bit riskier if you wish to stay in close support of your fighters as Stealth protection is reduced by proximity. It is armed with a Neutron Laser so it can contribute meaningfully to your fleet's firepower.

Shantavi Heavy Battle Frigate
This ship is little more than a delivery system for an Improved Neutron Laser. Even its AF defenses are sub-par. Keep it at optimal range and out of the thick of things for as long as possible. The massive damage caused by its laser will make it a high priority target. The All Stop! and All Stop and Pivot! orders are your friends.

Tinashi Warship
The "original Sharlin", this ship has an excellent primary weapon in its Neutron Laser. While not quite as impressive as the main laser on the Shantavi, the Tinashi also has a powerful all-around array of twin-linked Fusion Cannons. Don't be afraid to take this ship into mid-range or even close quarters if the opportunity arises to strike multiple ships.

Troligan Armored Cruiser
Big brother to the Tigara, fly this ship much the same way. Get into the middle of the enemy and fire in every direction. The Troligan is very tough and can withstand a lot of punishment. Look at its Stealth rating as an occasional lucky dodge but you shouldn't count on it. As with the Tigara, scout redirects and CAF orders are useful for all weapons on this ship. If you get an opportunity to enter via jump point in a battle, bring this into the enemy formation and enjoy the fireworks.

Veshatan Fast Gunship
This ship could be considered a specialist craft. It has similar weaponry to the Tinashi, but trades some combat capabilities for speed and agility. If fighting a very manuverable enemy with limited fire arcs (Vorlon, Drazi, Shadow) this ship may be able to manuver out of enemy fire while bringing its weapons to bear. For more standard fights, the Tinashi's better stealth and twin-linked cannons are a better bet.

War Ships:
When one imagines the stately Minbari fleet in action, these are the ships that most often come to mind. Massive and powerful, any one of these ships could serve as the anchor of a Minbari task force and serve as the centerpiece of a battle.

Neshatan Gunship
Largest of the brawler ships, the Neshtan is also very tough with good all-around firepower. It is only marginally tougher than the Troligan, but it has both fore and aft Neutron Lasers as well as twin-linked cannons. In most circumstances, you would be better off with the Troligan and another Battle level ship than a single Neshatan.

Sharkaan Advanced War Cruiser
If you would rather use stand-off tactics with your Minbari flagship, this ship is better suited than the Sharlin. The massive power and range of its Advanced Neutron Laser will wreak havoc with the enemy. Don't worry about closing with the enemy, they will eventually come to you. And that's when you can demonstrate the not-unimpressive supplemental firepower of the Sharkaan. Once in close don't forget this ship has the same aft laser as the Sharlin.

Sharlin War Cruiser
This is it! The most famous blue fish-like ship in the galaxy. The Sharlin sports a massive amount of firepower accompanied by a strong fighter compliment and decent defenses. The massive Neutron Laser should be used at range for as long as possible, but since this ship is so expensive it would be a waste not to utilize its Fusion Cannon armament as well as the second laser in the aft arc. Fly the Sharlin toward the enemy utilising Close Blast Doors! when only the laser is in range. Once you are close, maneuver to bring multiple weapons to bear, getting use from both lasers if at all possible.

Sharoos Heavy War Cruiser
While the advertising on the package says this ship is built for fighting in the middle of the enemy, I prefer to use it as a stand-off vessel. With good manuvering it is possible to have one enemy ship in the Fore arc and another in the Stbd/Port arc allowing you to fire two Neutron Lasers. As with the other ships in this category once things do get close and personal the Sharoos is no slouch.

Armageddon Ships:
Given their increased involvement in galactic affairs, the Minbari have been forced to design their own massive ship in order to keep up with their galactic neighbors.

Neroon Heavy War Cruiser
From a firepower standpoint, the Neroon is impressive but hardly stands out when compared to the other ships in this category. But it also has a huge fighter wing and all the capabilites of a fleet carrier plus a command bonus. All of this makes the Neroon a strong candidate for the most powerful ship in the galaxy. The one weak point of the Neroon is that it is much less rugged than any of the other Armageddon ships. The stealth is supposed to compensate but this ship needs to be in the middle of the enmey to optimize its effectiveness. Proximity will somewhat reduce the effectiveness of the stealth.

Special Actions
The unique nature of the Minbari fleet means that certain Special Actions will be of more use that others.

All Hands on Deck!

All Power to Engines!
On occasion a Minbari ship will want to go that extra distance to get targets in multiple arcs. This order can help get into the middle of the enemy formation.

All Stop!
For ships armed with the massive Neutron Laser this order can buy an extra turn or two before the enemy closes in.

All Stop and Pivot!
This order can be used to keep a flanking enemy in the forward arc for one more turn of Neutron Laser fire.

Close Blast Doors!
Minbari ships tend to be a bit fragile and Stealth can be fickle. When firing only the primary laser, this order can help mitigate any damage that makes it past your stealth rating.

Come About!
This order can help keep the primary weapon(s) in arc once in close quarters with the enemy. Every opportunity to fire a Neutron Laser should be taken.

Concentrate All Firepower!
There are a few ships (Torotha, Tigara, Troligan) that have multiple weapons which benefit from twin-linking. Use this when they have only a single high priority target in their sights.

Ramming Speed!
Given the excellent damage output of Minbari ships. This is seldom needed. Minbari are usually the ones being rammed.

Initiate Jump Point!
All Minbari ships have Advanced Jump Engines. This order can be used with precision when bringing ships onto the board.

Intensify Defensive Fire!
In the rare circumstance that you are facing too many fighters for your normal defenses, this can boost your anti-fighter to astounding degrees. Remember the Web of Death rule that makes all Minbari ships a "pseudo-Escort".

Launch Pods and Shuttles!
Minbari ships have a good number of troops on board. Always keep an eye out for the opportunity to take out a scout or other ship with poor defenses against boarding.

Manoeuvre to Shield Them!
The Minbari have practically made an art form of self-sacrifice. One of the most effective things a Torotha can do is take a massive hit from an enemy battleship, sparing a heavier unit.

Run Silent!
It is a rare circumstance when this is needed, but the Minbari can use it to leverage their normal Stealth for extreme survival. If a ship simply needs to live for one more turn (such as in a Space Superiority mission) this can be even more effective than CBD.

Scramble! Scramble!
This action is most commonly used by the Sharlin to get its entire compliment of Nial fighters into the air. Both fleet carriers can alsu use this command to completely empty their hangars in the first turn. No other ships will need it.
Great work - well crafted and interesting information thanks :)

few minor Suggestions / addiitons:

Fusion cannons being minibeams make a mockery of armour, always hitting on 4+

The Ashinta is an excellent all rounder and damage sink that really excells in low level games - especially against Earth Force where it can plug away at range even whilst moving away (as arcs mean little to it).

Shantavi is in trouble if outmanevered

All Power is also useful if you want to speed away from an enemy which has reached your lines, many Minbari ships have extremely powerful rear guns.