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From: "Mike Wikan" <mww@n...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 04:53:44 -0400
Subject: B5Wars..

<This review is based upon my genuine experience with the game. I am 
involved in it's production in an art-related capacity and thus have 
a vested interest in it's success, but I am giving my genuine opinion. >

I've had my copy for about a month or so. (I'm involved in it's 
production in the Art area) and can give some commentary as to it's 
play, having been a tester. Firstly, a fleet battle game it's not. 
Unless you have an entire day to give over. However, if you like small 
numbers of ships (2-3 Cruisers + Fighters per side) i think it's 
quite enjoyable. It is much quicker than the playtest version to play 
and has certain neat things like variable Beam weapons where higher 
tech races can choose to fire them in sustained or raking mode, etc. 
I really like the way they did the fighters! (Although I will only 
use the squadron level rules. Who really wants to keep track of 
dozens of fighters individually) There is a damage strip with 
branching criticals that are applied depending on which direction 
they are hit from. It IS NOT LIKE SFB. No Positron 
flywheel/UIB/Scatterpack shuttle crap. I think that Rob at AoG 
really, really wants to take the good bits of SFB (ship detail) and 
keep out the kludge (10,000 pages of rules) I also have the first 
blush copy of the Narn Centauri War supplement (I just finished 
illoing the 10 color maps) It contains 24 or so new ships, all 
approved by the B5 folks. There are a plethora of smaller support 
ships with definite strengths and weaknesses. My favorite is the Narn 
Missile cruiser with the clusters of e-mine launchers, but I digress. 
Overall, having been a Gamer for 16 years (!ACK!) and buying the tons 
of garbage put out by many companies (as we all have, I'm sure) I 
think that it's a worthwhile buy. The teething problems of getting 
product out have been entirely miniatures-related. i have a feeling 
that the guys probably wish they had either packaged the box w/out 
minis and lowered the price or had gone with another company. 
Hindsight being 20/20 it's easy to criticize. Just try to keep in 
mind this is their first real big time mass market product and we 
should endeavor to try to give them a decent run at it. In this age 
of GW monolithic companies running roughshod over smaller folks, i am 
going to keep payin money to the smaller folks.

My 2 Pesos worth (thanks, NAFTA...)
Mike Wikan
Game Design\Conceptual Art
n-Space, Inc.
A Producer of 3D Entertainment Software

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