Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And so it begins...Babylon 5:ACTA miniatures


I've been seriously nerding out over Babylon 5 after my son and I started a marathon series watch at the end of last year. We get in a couple of episodes a week and are pulling up on the middle of season 5 now. If you haven't heard of it, then go check out that link and some YouTube vids, I can wait for you to come back. Basically it is a Sci-fi series built around a 5 season (compressed to 4) preplanned story arc set around a Great War between the forces of light and dark... with many twists. Obviously this is eminently wargameable. My one wargaming regret has been never getting into the major wargame (I did play a game of the earlier B5 wars) set in the series at the time it was supported and published. Well the trend for the last three years has been retro/'old' gaming...


 
My wife's reaction when she saw the courier packet was "I can never understand how such small stuff is so expensive". On the other hand that is a 23 ship order for official models for a long OOP game. The most recent version "A Call to Arms" by Mongoose publishing wound up about 2009? The miniatures are actually from an older game made by Agents of Gaming. One guy from that outfit is said to have bought up stock when Mongoose stopped selling it and maintains a storefront to this day. It has both the really big B5wars scale, the one Mongoose later sold, and the smaller fleet action, which I got. At the time it was an official game, company policy was you could play with cardboard counters, B5wars scale or fleet action scale ie it's just like Battlefleet Gothic where the stem on the base is the most Important reference. 

 
I really agonised over what scale to get for weeks. A good online scale comparison is here. What decided me in the end was a. Rumours some of the casts of the larger models evidenced a lot of mould wear and lack of detail and b. Pics of battles with a whole lot of large scale ships crammed together awkwardly overhanging each other. These fleetscale models may have a lot of flash but are crisp castings and the store photos don't do them justice, as they have a good amount of surface detail given the size. That is a Whitestar in the middle, sitting on a 25mm hex base. To its left are the unassembled Shadow ships (my sons favourites) and to the right Earthforce Omega Class destroyers and a Nova class Dreadnought. 

 
It may seem an eclectic collection but aside from extra Whitestars and the Earthforce ships, the ships I got are based around a battle Season 3 Episode 8. The extra ships were picked up because the boy and I also like the battle where the Whitestar fleet under Sheridan started to take on Earthforce forces at Proxima colony. To give you some idea, a 'standard' ACTA tournament game would be 5 raid points. The Shadow side of the battle I am modelling (I've omitted the first Shadow ship and just represented the later 4) is 4 War points. There are 4 raid points to a War point. So it's an 'aspirational' goal. But I have the ships!

 
I'm pretty keen to get going. The initial plan had been to get 5 Brigade models ships repainted for Battlefleet Gothic this week. However, it's been totally ruined by the poor service proved by Agents of Gaming. Honestly who ships an order made on Friday from the US to be at my house in NZ on the following Wednesday? I would never recommend shopping at such a great site with such an extensive range of official (ie not shapeways) models with such good service. Yes I've linked above. 

 
So I better get figuring where to start. It doesn't help that Whitestars have a pretty complicated looking paint scheme. The above pic is not happening. However, a 6 pt Raider level force with Sheridan as Admiral totally is. Unless I get sidetracked by Earthforce. That easy, easy Earthforce dark grey.  

 
One thing is clear. I need to get the Shadow ships done first. I wonder if I should be concerned my son is so fascinated by the bad guys? Or are they really the bad guys? Whatever, their ships look awesome. I know some people prefer the Whitestar (next ship up) but you have to remember the designer based the ship on a pelican. And the deadly Angel Fish design of the Minbari Sharlin (next ship above that) is amazing, especially in scenes showing scores of them opening jump-points and slicing up Earthforce ships by the dozen... but who else remembers watching the show (spoilers) and the great buildup they did early on with the mysterious evil looking ships that got spotted now and then in hyperspace? Then you see them hit the Narn the first time and... can't wait to get some done and play. Who's with me? 

Ok that's enough fanboy for one night. 

6 comments:

  1. Such a great show.

    I restrained myself to buying a few Sharlins and escorts when the line was winding up in 2007 or so, and they are excellent little models. (this is for the larger scale) I then got intimidated when it came time to paint, and like a lot of my projects that is where it ground to a halt.

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    1. I might get one a models of one or two of the iconic ships, just to have it. I don't think I like them as gaming pieces though. I'm probably better off with my meagre painting skills only having to face the smaller scale too...

      It is IMO the best show.

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  3. Hey Jamie I have all fleets except the vorlons at fleet action scale. Also have original babylonwars rules and think still have ACTA rules if you keen.
    Regards Martin

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  4. Hey Jamie I have all fleets except the vorlons at fleet action scale. Also have original babylonwars rules and think still have ACTA rules if you keen.
    Regards Martin

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    1. Real Keen. Played Chris Shadows vs EA (and a Whitestar) last night using ACTA rules and was damned fun.

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