The Dreaded Minbari Fleet...or not...


Mongoose here's the thing that's been bugging me lately...apart from Hyperion the whole concept of the dreaded Minbari ships...

Now, in the show, and even in the description of the Sharlin, it says that one of these can take on a fleet of another races ships, even Earthforce ships... all due to that lovely little thing called a Minbari Jammer...aka: Cloaking Device....

Now, I love the idea...but here's how I see it in the game...

Hyperion cruiser wants to take a shot at a Sharlin Cruiser...the sensor operator tries to lock on using sensors but fails it loses its targeting computer bonus of....... +2.....

say what?

So i'm being told that because the Hyperion loses its +2 targeting computer bonus it will lose against a Sharlin...sure, one on one...but a fleet?

I must be missing something... I cannot for once second believe that because a fleet of earth or other ships loses its +1 to +3 or so targeting bonus, that that small bonus makes the difference between life and death.

Perhaps I have not read something somewhere...or misread it...I don't own the Minbari Source Book so I don't know if there is a better rule there...

I intend, at this point, to do the following unless someone shows me my error:

If a ship fails to target the Minbari Ship (which it most likely will fail to do) or any other ship for that matter, it will not only lose its Targeting Computer Bonus but suffer double penalties for range. This means the standard penalty of -2 per range increment becomes -4 per range encrement.

So, for example, a Hyperion fails to lock on to a Minbar Warcruiser 12 hexes away. It's normal attack value is BAB of 6 +2 (Targeting Computer) = +8 (for example). But since it can't lock on, it suffers a -2 penalty (no targeting computer) and a -8 penalty (for range) for an attack value of -2. Now, it becomes a rather difficult proposition to hit the Sharlin Cruiser.

If there is already a rule out there and I simply overlooked it, then disreguard...but if not, what do you all think?



Unless I'm forgetting something that sounds about right, the movie In the Beginning showed the Minbari carving up Earth ships like turkeys while the Earth ships couldn't do that much back to them. It's one of the few times it sounds like they got it right with how the Minbari are.


You're close to what I've been thinking about doing, but have not taken it as far as I have.

Space is BIG. As such, instead of doubling the range penalties, I square them. -2 becomes -4, -4 becomes -16, etc... I need to game this out a bit, and I am thinking it might be too harsh. The other alternative is to just multiply by 3 instead of 2. -2 becomes -6 etc... Again, I need to game it all out and see how each works.

Trying to reflect the shear ugliness that was the Earth/Minbari War.


Yes, space is vast and so is the distances. You can't shoot anything that you can't see and without the aid of a targetter you wont be able to fire on a ship say X squares away because it's too great a distance. You will simply not see the ship. Just rule that you can't fire unaided more than up to a max of 5 squares, or something like that, or make it 10. It doesn't matter, the minbari would stay outside of that range and shoot at their targets, while the targets would fire blindly.

One square in space must be several kilometers long and in the darkness it's probably impossibly to see a small speck (ok, huge close up, but really small far far away) and fire upon it. Hence the minbary gains the upperhand as long as they can stay far away from their enemies.

Just my thoughts.


If I remember correctly from the core rulebook, each ship must make a sensor check vs Stealth when another enters within a 100 square radius to be able to detect it. If they fail that, they won't even know a enemy ship is lurking on them. :shock:

This makes the Minbari a lot more powerful. They will almost succeed automatically in any surprise atack and their destructive weaponry will make any ripost negligable. :lol:

In other words, an Earth ship has to see the Minbari visually first before firing on them!!! :twisted:

El Cid

I seem to recalll that one of the gunners in the novels mentioned that he couldn't target the Minbari warships but was able to target the fighters with his heavy laser.


Damn..Thanks Picaboo...You put it in a way that makes the answer so obvious...if the enemy cannot see the Minbar ship, then they get that nasty free attack.

But if the 'enemy fleet' survives to strike again, will they not have a good chance of defeating the Minbari? I plan to have sensor operators making spot checks using visual cameras trying to spot the enemy, and will likely still impose a double range penalty to all attacks. Hell, when you can't just an enemy ships speed or heading, you have to do it all by sight. How da hell do you do that in space? I probably will allow laser weapons to have a lesser penalty..perhaps only 50% they fire and hit at the speed of don't have to judge a ships speed and trajectory as much. I'm certain that the EA added targeting reticles (crosshairs) onto their gunnery equipment to help their gunnery crews target Minbari ships during the war. Anything would have helped.



Yeah in B5W they had an enhancement for the Starfuries that literally were a set of crosshairs on the fighter to allow them to target Nials better.


Abraxus said:
But if the 'enemy fleet' survives to strike again, will they not have a good chance of defeating the Minbari? I plan to have sensor operators making spot checks using visual cameras trying to spot the enemy, and will likely still impose a double range penalty to all attacks. Hell, when you can't just an enemy ships speed or heading, you have to do it all by sight.

Think Submarine. Do they have external cameras, or just radar? Think Gunner on a Battleship, do they have cameras? If I remember right, you still have to punch numbers into a computer in order to fire. If you are using guess work, that is some big negatives, and could lead to friendly fire.



in my opinion here ... the large starships have a harder time without the computers... but the fighters could still target because first off they get ALOT closer.. and two they have that HUGE cockpit that they can try to eyeball things.. at a serious penalty that is but... they can still fire tho..... as you saw in the battles between earthforce/minbari most shots from the larger EA ships went astray or blew up the small fighters because id say the fighters have a smaller Stealth field then the larger ships...


In our game, you fail the roll, you are blind.

If you are flying a fighter and attack, you get penalty to hit the big ships (Nials are virtually impossible to hit).

If you are in a capital ship, and yo are in visual range (as in eyesight, no cameras) about 10% of your fire can hit your target. And the only way to knock out Nials is with energy mines, other than the sheerest of luck.

They are unstoppable, which is how they should be.



I would use the same rules. I'd say if you are going visual, go with % chance to miss. Like with ghosts. You roll to hit, if you land a hit roll %, give them a target % say 50/50 or say thaty have only a 20% chance of actually landing the hit.
I agree with the Nialls that they would be um, difficult to hit if you cannot get a target lock :)