Mongoose Publishing announced today they will be ceasing all miniatures production. Considering that there are no other sources for Babylon 5 miniatures this cannot be a good sign for the game (Note: The new Hyperion models will be available until March 31st). Players who do not mind proxies may wish to check out Ground Zero Games’ Full Thrust line of miniatures (their free rules are good as well). There are also Games Workshops’ Battlefleet Gothic ships but that line is also almost dead. Lastly are ADB’s Starline 2400 Star Trek ships but that line has no fighters.
Babylon 5: A Call to Arms has been a truly successful game over the years, especially for a space combat game (which never enjoy the same limelight as 28mm skirmish-based games). There are thousands of players all over the world, and if you gathered all the ships sold into one place and laid them out flat, they would cover an area the size of Belgium to a depth of four inches (maybe).
We started with roleplaying games but, having a passion for miniatures games, we soon branched out. This is why we do the games we do. However, we also have to run a business – otherwise, there will be no more games, ever.
The reality of A Call to Arms, despite its popularity, is that a miniatures production facility cannot be run on B5 alone these days. We had hoped to bolster the capacity of the facility with Starship Troopers (it needs 2, maybe 3 miniatures games to run for the long term), but rising production costs mean we simply cannot continue to subsidise it. That is the hard nature of business – something can sell well, and still not be selling enough. If the hole is not plugged in good order, we risk losing the whole ship.
To be brutally fair about things, the A Call to Arms miniatures range has had a good run. There are thirteen different fleets, and few games can boast that many forces. There are around 200 different ships, not including variants. There is a good community for the game.
I want to emphasise that we have not dropped the game itself. We’ll continue to support it in S&P, sure, but if there is sufficient demand, we will continue with book releases as well, covering different campaigns, variants and scenarios. We will also keep running events for as long as there is interest. In addition, we will be using the rules for future games.
Note: IronWind Metals now has the Babylon 5 miniature line back in production.