In a move to drastically cut expenses Mongoose Publishing is halting all production of their Babylon 5 A Call to Arms miniatures on March 31, 2008. A Call to Arms was the 2004 Gamer’s Choice Winner at Origins designed by Matthew Sprange but even that couldn’t prevent the ax from falling. Mongoose released this information on their website citing the increasing costs with the extensive range as the cause.
From the time Mongoose began production on the range they expanded it constantly with models for the Vree, Dilgar, and ISA to name a few. Sadly, this will have a major negative influence on new gamers playing the game with real models. The core rules of the game do come with punch out cardboard chits of most, if not all, ships from the game. That will hopefully allow the game a continued existence. To further nurture the game Mongoose has pledged to support it through their online magazine Signs & Portents along with continued book releases.
I’m not much of a glass half full kind of guy but there is good news with the bad. Mongoose has implemented a sweeping 20% discount off MSRP of all Babylon 5 A Call to Arms miniatures. That makes this the perfect time to get into the game, add a new fleet, or snatch the ship you always wanted before they are gone forever. You will be able to buy models, while supplies last, from the Mongoose website and your Friendly Local Gaming Store. In fact I know that Battleground Games in Abington will be immediately pricing their B5 stock at 20% off. How do I have such great information? I heard this news and told Derek, the owner, who promptly stated his intent to reprice for all Battleground customers.
Naturally there has been discussion of this on the well read B5 A Call to Arms Yahoo group. Jason Coffey who is the SW US Advisor for the Mongoose Demo Teams had this to say.
1) Many retailers have retailiated at Mongoose for the way AOG had B5
Wars, and Fleet Action.
2) Many Distributors would ship AOG product from the backhouse,
before ordering from Mongoose. Later Distributors refused to
Distribute B5:ACTA without having the entire range “on consignment”.
3) B5:ACTA is a gamer friendly game, and not a fundraising game at $2
to $4 a basic Infantryman. They have tried to stay away from the
crazy over-priced stuff as much as possible, and keep fleet sizes low.
4) Space Combat games are hard to keep “popular” and on the shelf.
5) Lisencing costs fit in there too.
6) Mongoose is producing a new “generic” space combat game. It is my
understanding that in addition to those factions, it will also
provide continued support for B5:ACTA. Same rule mechanics, etc.
7) Mongoose is in the UK, with production facilities in the old AOG
plant in Ohio. Part of this has to do with re-evaluating that
process. Much like how Mongoose quit producing RPG books for a while
till a in-house printer came online. While QC issues have
significantly gone down… the control is still not acceptable for a
company of under a dozen people
So anyhow… there are a few things for now.
In the meantime, if you enjoy the theme or designs as much as I do,
it is time to stock up on the miniatures. I am sure that John
Coviello can also get some via The Little Shop of Magic pending a
discussion with Mongoose.
We will still be running our Tournament at ConQuest, regardless.
Likewise we will be continuing all of our slated events for this game
in Las Vegas, NV. I am pending some conversations before we look at
the Dilgar Campaign for this fall though.