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Turn 7: The Minbari Stand Alone

Posted in A Call to Arms, A Call to Arms 1e, ACTA Campaign, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 20, 2009 by redcoat668

The new year saw the beginning of a new turn in the A Call To Arms campaign, as the League made a concerted effort to wipe out the now isolated Minbari.

Having removed the Earth Alliance as a factor with a convenient peace treaty, the League of Non-Aligned Worlds unleashed four major battlefleets, hitting the Minbari at Volk’s Star and Rilus V, as well as sending re-enforcements to finish the Minbari fleet at Wuj. In the face of this massive wave, the Federation could only re-enforce their main fleet at Volk’s Star and their treaty starbase at Caesar’s Folly and pray to Valen for deliverance.

In the meantime, the Centauri, readying themselves to open hostilities with their major rivals the League, found their plans interrupted by a Tza’sol Narn raid on Defiance which pinned their system fleet and forced the Centauri battle fleet targeting Henders to return to fight the renegade Narn.

Still smarting from their turn 6 defeats, the Kha’ri Narn brought their heaviest ships into Ancona and awaited the inevitable League counterthrust into the system, which came in the form of another huge (4 points Armageddon huge) fleet.

And so, the stage is set for the final battles of the MinbariLeague conflict. Can the Minbari, alone,  hold off the hordes with their superior technology? Or will their presence in-sector be reduced to the single starbase in Caesar’s Folly…a base situated in the uneasy neutral space between the Earth Alliance and Centauri Republic


Turn 7 Battles:

Volk’s Star (D6): League vs Minbari

Rilus V (A6): League vs Minbari

Wuj (D8): League vs Minbari

Defiance (F8): Tza’sol Narn vs Centauri

Ancona (G7): League vs Kha’ri Narn


The Second Battle for Defiance: Centauri vs Narn

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2008 by redcoat668

Transmission begins:


<static> “…hold your fire.  We are a commercial passenger ship carrying civilians.  We are not armed.  We <static>…” 


Recompiling data burst.  Error Rate increasing by 27%. Compensating for lost packets.


“This is the HMS <static>… to any Centauri ships in the area.  We are under attack by the Narn.  The vessel has identified itself as the Kal-Berr. I do not know how much longer we can hold out.  By the great maker, please, no…” <static>  


Transmission ends:



Prefect Socinus’ vidcomm chirped. He looked up from the after action reports on the main screen of his desk.  “What now?” he grumbled, glad for the respite from the mind-numbing reports.

He turned and saw it was Pro-Consul Elishaen Garinus, and stabbed the “talk” button. “Good morning Pro-Consul.” Socinus said as pleasantly as he could.   At the same time he silently commed his adjutant, Aduitor Melinor.

“Good morning Prefect, I wish I had time to exchange pleasantries but something has happened I felt you should be aware of immediately.”  Socinus glanced at his adjutant as he entered and then back at the screen. “Please go on.”

“Less then an hour ago a civilian convoy came under attack by a Narn Bin’Tak, the Kal-Berr. While the lives of all citizens of the Centauri Empire are of equal importance, this particular convoy contained a ship carrying the son and grandchildren of Consul-General Valentin.  Needless to say he is extremely distraught over this.”

Socinus looked at his adjutant again. “Get the Primi Pili.” He turned quickly from his position near the door and disappeared to find him. Looking back at the screen Socinus said, “Please continue Pro-Consul Garineer.”

Elishaen cleared his slender throat.  “It appears that not all the Narn in your area were eliminated.  The following communiqué indicates that a single Narn warship survived your stunning success at the Schatzman Jump Gate within the Defiance Star System.”

“Yes Pro-Consul.”  Silence fills the void as both men contemplate a response.

“Your task force has performed admirably thus far and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do so.” Socinus thought for a few seconds before softly saying, “Thank you Pro-Consul.  What do you want me to do to stop them, Pro-Consul Garineer?”

Elishaen Grainer’s face took on a hard edge, “Whatever you deem necessary Prefect.  Exterminate the Narn from this system.  Leave no quadrant of space untouched.  Avenge the lives of those lost to the immortal void.”

“And thus guaranteeing no single force here in Defiance is strong enough to move against us directly,” Socinus finished.

“Exactly, Prefect.” 

The vidcomm faded to black as the Primi Pili and Melinor walked back in.  “What’s up Sir?” Centurion asked.

What‘s up, Centurion, is us.” Socinus looked at the adjutant, “Full alert please, recall all the patrols and notify Task Force Ultor to start getting everything we’ve got ready to move out in a moments notice.  Also order both Provisional Fleets to scour their respective target areas.” The adjutant nodded and started for the door.

“Oh, and Aduitor?”

“Sir?” He said, turning. “Tell them they have an hour to find these Narn.”



Turn/Time: Turn 5/April, 2261


Scenario: Annihilation


Terrain: Planet Nobuhisa – A Dead World whose pollutants from the extensive abandoned heavy metal mining operations give the world an orange tint.  Some of the open mines are even visible from space.


Situation:  A small Centauri fleet receives important orders from Centauri Command in the Defiance Star System. Find the Kal-Berr and destroy it. Unfortunately, they arrive too late.  Hyperspace signatures show a Narn warship leaving the area.  While they do not find the elusive Bin’Tak they do find an equally worthy target: two Ka’Bin’Taks and lone G’Vrahn leaving orbit near the dead world of Nobuhisa.  Elements from Task Force Ultor en-route and redirected to the area and the second battle for the Defiance Star System begins.




Tza’sol Narn:

  • 2x Ka’Bin’Tak
  • 1x G’Vrahn

The Narn Fleet deploys near Defiance


Centauri Republic:


Task Force Ultor:

Flotilla Primus Gladius:

  • 2x Octurion (HMS Ariss, Promitor

Flotilla Secundus Gladius:

  • 1x Tertius (HMS Tarquinius)
  • 1x Prefect (HMS Erastes)

Flotilla Tertius Gladius:

  • 1x Strike Carrier (HMS Mutina)

Flotilla Areani:

  • 1x Corvan (HMS Tusculum)

Provisional Fleet Vulcan:

Flotilla Primus Gladius

  • 2x Octurion (HMS Vatrenus, Impluvium) 

Flotilla Areani:

  • 1x Corvan (HMS Eliphas

 The Centauri hunt down the last remaining rogue Narn


Turn 1:   The Centauri commander grouping his Octurions into a central strike force maneuvers them through void chasing down the Narn ships.  Flotilla Secundus Gladius and scouts sweep out along the flanks while the “recently acquired” Strike Carrier moves off to the side.  The Narn are caught off guard by the Centauri’s sudden appearance and are slow to react.


The Octurions close the distance fast and draw first blood, damaging the G’Vrahn’s engines and reactor slowing it slightly.  The return fire from the Narn energy mines impacted harmlessly off of the Centauri armor plating.



Turn 2:    The Narn admiral is quick to capitalize on the Centauri’s overconfidence and seize the initiative.  The Centauri fleet is still able to avoid the Narn targeting of their bore sighted weapon systems.  Closing the distance the Narn energy mine and ion torpedo fire provides to be somewhat ineffectual against the Centauri.  Only one Octurion starts to show any cracks from the constant pounding.


The Octurions commit themselves well as mega-joule after mega-joule of battle laser fire tear into then through the G’Vrahn.  Within in moments a massive explosion consumes it so that no trace of it remains (Note: I set a new record here: 35 hits of which 9 were criticals. I inflicted enough damage with the 35 hits that there was no need to even roll the criticals).



Turn 3:  The Narn, enraged by the sudden destruction of one of their ships or maybe it was the Centauri being distracted by the pretty explosions, continue to take the initiative.  Both Ka’Bin’Taks pour all available fire into HMS Vatrenus, crippling its superstructure.  The Centauri in turn relentlessly pound one of the two Ka’Bin’Taks, dealing some internal damage.



Turn 4:   Still on the initiative (this seems to be pattern – I win the first round and then loose the next several after that) the Narn press the attack against Vatrenus while HMS Eliphas moves out of the scope of the battle for a more important task.  The badly damaged Ka’Bin’Tak lays waste to Vatrenus, setting her adrift.  In turn the 1 of the 3 remaining Octurions avenge this loss by destroying the Ka’Bin’Tak while Flotilla Secundus Gladius along with the other 2 Octurions directs their battle lasers and matter cannons into the remaining Narn ship.



Turn 5:  The Centauri are able to get the upper hand on the Narn for Initiative for what is figured to be the last round of this battle. (Turns out it was.)  The 3 Octurions score several critical hits on the Ka’Bin’Tak and manage to reduce the ship down a skeleton crew.  Sneaking in the aft is a Corvan, HMS Tusculum, which hits with one shot of its twin particle array scoring not only a solid strike but a critical one at that.  With this one blow the last of the Narn crew are taken out and Ka’Bin’Tak is turned into a floating mausoleum.  Needless to say HMS Tusculum’s crew is honored in the following celebrations and feasts.



Analysis:  Having 9 ships to Scott’s 3 pretty much allowed me to dictate which ship or squadron was in the necessary firing arc.  Or in Scott’s case not letting him line up for his bore-sighted weapons.  I did make one minor movement issue by not determining the distance from remaining to the board edge on Scott’s side with my one Corvan.  With the Annihilation battle we fought it is assumed the neither fleet will leave the battlefield and I ended up sending one Corvan off the board.  While it was not technically destroyed I am going to put it out of action for a turn/two at the most.  I think this is the fairest thing to do.




             “You have your orders.  I expect you to follow them to the letter.” stated Prefect Socinus, signaling that the conversation was over.

“We live to serve…”  the commander of the HMS Eliphas replied before their hyper-comm connection was terminated.


“…and we serve to live.” Optio Tetanus finished, his voice barely above a whisper, completing the regime’s motto with the unofficial ending.  He glanced quickly at his CO to see if he had overheard, but the commander betrayed no sign that he had.


Turning to look at the expectant faces of his crew, masked in the harsh red half light of the battle stations condition set on the bridge, the commander stabbed a button on his chair’s command console activating the ability to address the entire crew.


“Legionaries of the Centauri Republic…” he began.  “We have an important honor placed upon our ship, on us – to find the Kal-Berr.  Already our skilled navigator has begun to plot a course to follow the faint remnants of the hyper-space jump point used by the fleeing Bin’Tak.”


He stopped briefly to look his bridge crew but all had busied themselves with the tasks at hand.  ‘As well they should’ he thought.  “We have the honor of being the tip of the spear.  The entire of Task Force Ultor waits for our finding the Kal-Berr.  FAILURE is not an option.  WE …LIVE …TO …SERVE.”


“We live to serve.” rejoined back from all the crew before the All Hands channel was closed.


“Engineer, redirect power from weapons to the stealth generators till we have cleared any sensors in this system.” the commander directed as he settled back into the command chair.


“Yes, commander.”  With this, HMS Eliphas’ hull shimmered slightly before fading out of existence, at least to the electronic eye.  The hunt was back on.


 Thanks to Rich for the Battle report, pics, and fluff!

The Battle for Newport: Minbari vs League

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2008 by redcoat668

The scene:  Imperial throne room, League of Non-Aligned Worlds: 

Prime minister:   “My Emperor, it is my solemn duty to inform you that the Minbari infidels have violated our most sacred time of reunion.  I present to you the personal log of Captain Bluescale of Sunhawk 23, on extended patrol in the Newport system.  He was recording a message to his granddaughter in his personal log, which recorded the attack…    

The log Plays…

“My granddaughter, we are orbiting  (Planet name) in the Newport system.   I am sorry that I cannot be with you on this rare holiday.   The duties of war are very demanding of an old Drazi like myself.  We can only hope we will be victorious, and that I may resume my retirement and return to you soon.   I hope to be there when you graduate from school…(voice of a deck officer breaks in.)  “Captain, jump points opening ahead and astern!”

Captain:  Evasive Maneuvers!  (Speaking aloud to himself) Who would dare?  Weapons officer, Identify them!

W.O.:  The signatures are… Definitely Minbari… Four ships: Tinashi, Leshath, Tigara, Sharlin…   By the Gods!  We have positive IDs on them.  That’s the squadron from Volk’s Star!  How did they get here…

Captain: (finishing the thought) “From so far away”…  To himself:  “We are clearly overmatched, but cannot let them have a system so close to home.   Com: Put me on speaker to the crew”… “The infidel has come to our very homes!  For the preservation of our nation and the lives of those we love, we cannot retreat.  We will hold them here as long as possible, and strike when we can!”

“Com: Speaker off, Launch log buoy”…

The visual changes to an exterior of the battle as recorded by the buoy… The battle is mercifully short.  The Sharlin fires a single neutron beam into the dodging Sunhawk with deadly precision, returning Sunhawk 23 to the dust from which she came.

Log playback ends.

Emperor:  Prime minister, go and prepare the people for an audience.   Tonight we embark upon a dark journey, one of Jihad!  We will exterminate every Minbari to the last man, woman, and Child.  Only our death as a people shall stop us! They of all the infidel races we had believed to be a civilized people, capable of respecting our religious beliefs.   It is proven not to be so.  To my people, I pledge our military will find them wherever they may hide and destroy them!  

And minister, dispatch the Home Fleet to Newport.  Draw as much support from the outlying systems as necessary.   What was ours shall be ours again. 

PM:  So it shall be done.

Emperor: (Lost in his own thoughts) “Why did they attack such a small world?  They could have chosen any number of more important targets.  And yet, they came here.   Certainly it is close to home world, but insignificant at that.  I wonder, could there be outside influence like the Vorlons?  They certainly have a hyperspace mastery that would explain the jump from Volk’s Star to Newport in a single jump.  They could new technology also.”

The Emperor summons a common assistant.   “Take a memo to the PM, the science minister and archeology minister.  They are to prepare an expedition to Newport, have them coordinate the operation through the PM.   He is to arrange military escort.  Schedule the mission for A.S.A.P. once Newport has been taken from the infidels.”

Thanks to Marc for the nifty fanfic writeup.

Turn 4 EA Retrospective

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2007 by redcoat668

The hammer has officially fallen just as I’m starting to get my economy up to speed. The League approaches an economic victory, while the Centauri are now trapped in a three-front war. The Earth Alliance clearly lives up to both of the classic Chinese curses: “May you live in interesting times,” and “May you attract the notice of the powerful.”

After the end of the Turn 4 moves, the strategic situation for the EA now looks something like this:

The EA on Turn 4

Having picked up several new systems this turn, I now have to fend off the advancing Centauri juggernaut long enough to begin reaping the benefits. In particular, the strike at the Raider base in Moshelle is a win-or-die situation. I have to punch through this turn or watch the area get carved up between the League and Minbari.

Thoughts on Fleets

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2007 by redcoat668

With the premiere of Spider-Man 3 pre-empting this week’s movement, I have some extra time to consider fleet organization. While there will be some tweaking when I recieve my resource points for this turn, I think my basic concepts are sound.

I’ve chosen in general to follow a “carrier group” strategy rather than trying to fit in as many beams as possible. In this approach, you pick a capital or special-role ship as the flag of your task force and then design the rest of the fleet around it as escorts and support elements. This has the advantage of producing an integrated and fairly versatile fleet, which is important when you don’t know exactly what you’ll be facing. It also has the bonus of being more “fluff” appropriate, at least for the Earth Alliance. This model has served me pretty well in past games, and many posters on Mongoose’s ACTA forum recommend it.

With that in mind, I constructed both “carrier” groups and “scout” groups, the one for potentially contested targets and the other to explore the backwater Minor Systems near my homeworld. How well this works in practice, I won’t know till Turn 2. In particular the scarcity of ships with the Jump Point trait amongst my scout groups concerns me. Hopefully the influx of cash will allow me to bring in a few more Hyperions to bulk things out.

The Players and the Stage

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2007 by redcoat668

The Stage: the Shannedam County map cunningly reworked for Babylon 5.

The Players:

Rich: Centauri

Scott: Narn

Bob: Narn (you can never have too many Narn)

Marc: League of Non-Aligned Worlds

Rob (A lot of people in our circle of friends are named Rob or Bob…it’s like a Russian novel): Drazi

Gary: Minbari

And, of course, Me: Earth Alliance

Thrilling Backstory

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23, 2007 by redcoat668

*tap tap* Wow…is this thing on?

I guess the best place to start is with the backstory. It worked well enough for Lord of the Rings. And Conan. And Krull, although much of the rest of that movie did not quite work so well.

 I’m one of a group of six friends who live in and around the Philadelphia area and who regularly play games together at our local game shop. We’ve been kicking around with Mongoose’s Babylon 5: A Call to Arms rules, and have at last decided to break down and run a campaign. But not any campaign, mark you…a MEGA campaign. A campaign with multiple star systems and fleets the size of which would beggar both the imagination and our bank accounts.

Naturally, I felt that such an undertaking needed to be brought to the eyes of a public already starved for accounts of geeks playing with spaceships. Hence – this blog. Thrill to our exploits! Marvel at our miniatures! And most importantly, for those of you who are considering starting up your own wargaming campaigns…learn from our mistakes.

This blog is intended to chronicle the progress of our campaign, be it long or short. It is also here to provide an opportunity for me to spout off about topics I find interesting. Most of these have to do with geekery and library work, so if those things don’t rub you in feel-good kinds of places then you probably won’t find much of interest here.

If they do…welcome! And…uh…try not to make a mess.