Babylon 5 Diplomacy (st04)

by Theo Kermanidis

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Babylon 5 Strategy & Tactics Article

The Starting Units

Each power starts the game in Spring 2260 with the following units:

PowerUnits
Earth AlliancesEarth (Fleet)Mars (Army)Io (Fleet)Babylon 5 (Army)
Minbari FederationMinbari (Fleet)Chudomo (Army)Norsai (Fleet)
Centauri RepublicCentauri Prime (Fleet)Brakesh 9 (Army)Davo (Fleet)
Narn RegimeNarn Home World (Fleet)D Grn (Army)Dross (Fleet)
Shadow RealmZ Ha Dum (Fleet)Outer Rim (Army)Kepti (Fleet)
Drazi FreeholdDrazi Home World (Fleet)Draxis (Army)Zagro 7 (Fleet)
Vorlon EmpireVorlon Home World (Fleet)Berdina (Army)Virana (Fleet)

The listed worlds are the respective locations where new units are built in the build phase.

The Rules

The standard rules of Diplomacy® apply with regards to the following:

  • Movement
  • Attacks
  • Supports
  • Retreats
  • Convoys
  • Beleagured Units
  • Builds

The Phases

Like in standard Diplomacy® the game year is broken up into its various phases beginning with the movement phase in Spring 2260. The phases are as follows:

  • Spring Movement
  • Spring Retreat
  • Fall Movement
  • Fall Retreat
  • Fall Build

Note: All games years and seasons are in accordance with Earth Standard Time.

The Map

The total number of supply worlds is 74.

Some worlds permit armies to move between them without the need of a fleet convoy. These worlds are adjacent on the map.

There is only one no-go zones where units are not permitted to move. This area is called the Galactic Bulge.

Victory Condition

The victory condition is to capture 38 supply worlds.

Optional Rules

The above rules permit the variant to be easily adaptable to electronic judges and thus readily permit Play By Email (PBEM) diplomacy. Here are some optional rules that could just as easily be adapted to be used in Face To Face (FtF) diplomacy.

  1. Any power that is in control of Babylon 5 may use it for builds.
  2. All declared draws must include the power that controls Babylon 5.
  3. The victory condition must include control of Babylon 5.

Any or all of the optional rules may be used for game play.

Regions

Below is an alphabetical list of all the regions on the map and their respective three lettered name.

Abbai 4Abb
AkdorAkd
Antares SectorAnt
Aris ColonyACo
Arisia ColonyAri
Babylon 5B5
BerdinaBer
Beta DuraniBet
Brakesh 9Bra
BrakiriBri
Caliban SectorCal
Centauri PrimeCen
Centauri TriangleCTR
Ceti 4Cet
ChudomoChu
Coriana 6Cor
Daltron 7Dal
DavoDav
Deneb 4Den
D GrnGrn
DilgarDil
DrakhDkh
DraxisDrx
Drazi Home WorldDra
DrossDro
D TiraTir
Dura 7Dur
EarthEar
EnfiliEnf
GaimGai
Galactic BulgeGal
Gorash 7Gor
Grid EpsilonGEp
Hilak 7Hil
Ikarra 7Ika
Inner Centauri SpaceICS
Inner DrazuIDz
Inner SolISo
IoIo
IpshaIps
Janos 7Jan
Kazami IIIKaz
KeptiKep
Latig 4Lat
L GidorGid
L Gn DaortDao
Lorka 7Lor
LukanthaLuk
MalaxMal
MarkabMab
MarsMar
Minbar Inner RealmMIR
MinbarMin
Minbar Outer RealmMOR
Mirata 7Mit
Narn Home WorldNar
Narn Inner SpaceNIS
Narn Outer SpaceNOS
Nether RimNet
NorsaiNor
Omega 7Omg
OrionOri
Outer Centauri SpaceOCS
Outer DrazuODz
Outer RimOuR
Outer SolOSo
PakmaraPak
Praxis 9Pra
Proxima 3Pro
Quadrant 14Q14
Quadrant 20Q20
Quadrant 46Q46
Quadrant 48Q48
Quadrant 54Q54
Quadrant 55Q55
Quadrant 73Q73
Qudran 90Q90
Qudran 91Q91
Qudrant 13Q13
Qudrant 31Q31
Qudrant 32Q32
Qudrant 45Q45
Qudrant 68Q68
Qudrant 72Q72
Ragesh 3Rag
RalgaRal
Regula 4Reg
Rim SpaceRim
Sector 11S11
Sector 14S14
Sector 17S17
Sector 18S18
Sector 1S1
Sector 20S20
Sector 21S21
Sector 27S27
Sector 2S2
Sector 35S35
Sector 38S38
Sector 3S3
Sector 4S4
Sector 51S51
Sector 58S58
Sector 59S59
Sector 67S67
Sector 70S70
Sector 71S71
Sector 81S81
Sector 84S84
Sector 86S86
Sector 88S88
Sector 8S8
Sector 92S92
Sector 9S9
ShiShi
Sigma 957Sig
ThaliteneTha
Theta 49The
Tikar Home WorldTik
Tizino PrimeTPr
TokatiTok
Tripani 7Tri
VegaVeg
Ventari 3Ven
ViranaVir
Volron Outer SpaceVOS
Vorlon Home WorldVor
Vorlon Inner SpaceVIS
VreeVre
YoluYol
Zafran 7Zaf
Zagro 7Zag
Zander PrimeZan
Z Ha DumZhD

Design Notes

In a word, this variant was designed to capture the rich tapestry of the Babylon 5 series. Yes I am a fan of the TV show that had spanned for 5 series each with around 22 well crafted episodes.

In an attempt to capture the spirit of the Babylon 5 universe, I designed this variant to include the myriad of worlds and general place names mentioned in the series. It is anyone's guess as to what the intended Babylon 5 universe was ment to look like, but knowing the series and something about the sequence of events I placed my best foot forward in designing the map.

For example, it is known that the Shadow Realm did use Narn as a base for their expansion so that I could only conclude that the Narn Home World is strategically located close to Z'Ha Dum and the domain of the Shadows. The Vorlons and the Minbari once worked together to stop Shadow aggression, and it was concluded that they were co-located on the map. The Drazi Freehold and other members of the League of Non-Aligned worlds were once cannon fodder for the Centauri Republic hence most of those worlds would share a corner of the map. And so on.

It was tough going to get a map that looks playable with a general balance. It remains to be seen how successful those decisions were.

There will always be an argument against the use of armies in a fleet dominated game, so why do the powers begin with one useless army? A good question. The answer is that there are an abundance of connected worlds where armies may roam between without the use of fleets. It adds a dimension to the tactical question that requires consideration for the would be Napoleons amongst you. How can you use that army unit to a great effect? Naturally the winners would have an answer to that question.

There are many worlds, and probably there will be many a stalemate line. In time those will be discovered and an assessment will be made to the general playability of the variant. Hopefully it will not require too many revisions to get the overall balance right between offensive and defensive play.

Time is infinite, but we are finite. So get playing!


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