Official B5W Tournament
These rules are in effect for 2001 Tournaments and any
other official tournaments sponsored by AOG. Individual players who wish
to judge their own tournaments at other conventions may, but are not required
to, use these exact rules. However, we recommend that they list in the convention
schedule any such alterations, or at least insert a line mentioning that
adjustments to the official tourney rules have been made and will be explained
when the game starts.
Tournament Setup Specifications
- The official tournament
fleet is 3,500 points. No more than this
can be spent, although players can select fewer points if they wish. If fewer
points have been chosen, they will be counted for purposes of any tiebreakers,
as explained later in these rules. Some tournaments may specify a different
- All units a given player chooses
must be of the same race. Allowed races at this time are Earth, Narn, Centauri,
Minbari, Abbai, Balosian, Brakiri, Descari, Dilgar, Drazi, Gaim, Llort, Markab,
Raider/Belt Alliance, Pak'ma'ra,
and Vree. Once the appropriate supplements have been published, the Cascor,
Ch'Lonas, Deneth, Grome, Hurr, Hyach, Ipsha, Kor-Lyans, Koulani, Lumati,
Orieni, Torata, and Yolu will be allowed. Shadows, Vorlons
and other ancient or pseudo-ancient races (e.g., Tal-kona'sha) are not permitted
in the tournament. Players are responsible for bringing all rules needed
to play their chosen race, and are required to give their opponents a reasonable
amount of time to review these rules upon request.
- The Raiders are permitted as
a tournament race. They
can fly any combination of warships from standard Raider forces or the Belt
Alliance, and can use armed civilian vessels such as the Q-ship, Wolf Raider,
and auxiliaries. Special ships from specific Raider groups (e.g., the IML,
JYD, etc.) are not permitted at this time. The Raiders may use only
Delta-V, Double-V, or Starfox fighters (and may use the Starfox only on a
Belt Alliance carrier). If Q-ships are in use, they can buy up to two standard
freighters for each Q-ship for deception purposes. They must obey all other
rules herein (e.g., they must have a capital ship and a jump-capable ship).
- All units must be selected
from existing official products (including any
products which have shipped from AOG at least two weeks in advance of the
start of the tournament). Ships posted on the AOG Web Site are NOT allowed
in the tournament unless they have been officially published, or are specifically
noted as tournament-legal.
No items still in playtest, or from unofficial
sources such as player-operated web sites, will be allowed. The point costs
used will be the official values published by AOG, not those calculated by
unofficial spreadsheets or other applications. In all cases, the most recent
version of the ship will be used (e.g., Ships of the Fleet overrides anything
that came before). If official values change
from those published in the books, the new values will be found on this web
site (check the FAQ) and will appear at least two weeks before the convention.
If a ship control sheet contains an error that has been corrected by published
errata (either in a book or on the official web site), it is the player's
responsibility to use the correct version.
- Bases, OSATs, mines, and other
fixed defenses may not be used, unless a mine is specifically noted as being
deployable during a scenario. Minbari and other races with tractor beams
cannot tow OSATs or other immobile units into a tournament battle.
- Supply craft (e.g., the Lias,
Arcismus, Hermes, cargo shuttles, etc.) may not be used unless included with
an otherwise legal ship. Armed Pak'ma'ra warships
are not considered 'supply craft' and are permitted unless specifically noted
otherwise in this space.
- Civilian ships are not permitted, except as noted in the rules for Raiders.
- ELINT vessels are allowed.
- At least one ship must be jump-capable and at
least one must be a capital ship (both these restrictions could be met by
a single jump-capable capital ship, if present). Note that this makes an
all-White Star fleet illegal! Jump drives may not be deactivated for extra
power in the tournament.
- The availability restrictions
for uncommon and rare units (explained in Variants-1) will be respected,
as will the deployment limitations found in Ships of the Fleet.
In addition, no tournament fleet can use more than one rare unit (regardless
of type) OR more than two uncommon units. To clarify, this means a fleet
could contain at most one rare unit and two uncommons, but no more of either
- A given ship may not be used more than three times in any tournament
fleet. (This rule is intended to prevent fleets of 7 or 8 police cutters,
which are unrealistic. Note that this refers to ships--fighters are not limited
by this rule.) Variants of a ship are treated as that same ship type, so
you could not, for example, bring in a Vorchar and three Vorchans.
- Except as noted elsewhere above,
there is no limit to the number of ships of any given type which can be present
in a fleet.
- Fleets must remain the same for each round of the tournament. Between
rounds, all losses and damage are replaced/repaired automatically.
Fighters & Shuttles
- Players may not use fighters unless those fighters have a carrier
can bring them on the map. For example, an Earth Force player who wished
to use 24 Starfuries could do so if he had an Omega Destroyer, or other units
whose hangar space totals 24 or more fighters.
- One-half of all fighter complements
of all ships must be represented on the map in actual fighters. For example,
if an EarthForce player could use two Omegas and a Hyperion (which carry
24, and 6 fighters respectively, totalling 54 fighters), he must bring 27
or more fighters into the game. This restriction does not include assault
shuttles or armed shuttle complements, e.g., Minbari are not required to
use armed Flyers, and Narns are not forced to use T'Khar shuttles if they
bring in a T'Loth. Armed shuttles cannot be used to replace fighters for
the above limitation.
- Fighters may
only be brought onto the map aboard a carrier that can use them. For example,
Thunderbolts can only be used on certain Earth carriers (not the Nova, for
example), and the Rutarian can only be used on the Dargan or Balvarix.
- Fighters must be purchased in flights, although one flight (and only
one) can be less than six fighters in order to round out the point
total and to fit in the restrictions listed above.
- Shuttles, armed shuttles, breaching
pods, and other small attack craft may
be used. Unarmed shuttles are free, although assault shuttles, armed shuttles
(like the Flyer), breaching pods, etc. must be paid for if a cost is listed
for them. If
an unarmed shuttle is launched, it cannot be told apart from an armed shuttle
until/unless it fires a weapon. Shuttles can always be told apart from breaching
- The board is set up in the usual fashion. There is no terrain.
- Players toss a coin to see who begins placement first. The loser of the
coin toss chooses one short side of the board (i.e., the left side or the
right) and places one ship (his choice, but it must be a ship, not a fighter
flight) in any hex along that edge, at a facing of his choosing. The
second player then matches this by placing one of his ships along his map
edge. This process then repeats itself until all units are placed. All ships
must be placed first, and then fighter flights, each flight counting as one
- Fighters need not be placed on the map; they can begin play aboard their
carrier if desired. If this is done, the player need not announce their presence,
though he must document where they are in secret, and reveal this written
record the moment they launch. Even if they are not used during the match,
they still count as part of the fleet point total.
- Shuttles of any type, including breaching pods, must begin
play aboard their carrier. They cannot begin play already on the map.
- As each unit is placed, its exact type (Narn G'Quan, Earth Starfury Flight
with 6 fighters, etc.) must be announced to the opponent. There is no secrecy
or duplicity here, even with variants. (Exception: The Dargan strike cruiser's
suite allows it to appear as any other Centauri ship. The Centauri player
simply announces it as another hull type; he does not need to say it is a
Dargan.) If the opponent wishes to review the ship control sheet, he
can do so at this time (Dargan players should have another control sheet
ready for this purpose). If there is a dispute over whether the ship is legal,
the judge should be consulted before play begins. If the ship is illegal,
it must be changed immediately (before the next unit is placed) to an equal
or lesser-valued unit, or the player forfeits the match.
- As each unit is placed, its speed must also be announced. Units can begin
at any desired speed or facing, to a maximum of speed 10.
Rules of Play
- The official B5W Second
Edition Rules are in force except as noted
hereunder. Rules from the
Rules Compendium always apply unless specifically updated or modified by
in a later supplement.
- Missile loadouts on fighters
and ships must be recorded in secret before the game begins and placed face
down on the table (or in the hands of the judge) for review after the battle.
If this is not done, all missiles in use are basic missiles. The owning player
must tell his opponent where his loadout sheet is so that no changes during
the game (i.e., cheating) can be accomplished.
- Other than those listed above, no optional rules will be used. Note that
this includes ramming (not allowed), ship enhancements (not used), or
any other rule listed as an "alternative" or "option." Note also that critical
hits are NOT an optional rule, and will be used in the tournament!
- The judge of the tournament has the final word on rules decisions. These
should, however, be consistent throughout play...
- It is assumed that players participating in the tournament already know
how to play B5 Wars. Rules will not be taught. Also, as no house rules or
options will be used, players who use these frequently should practice without
them at least a few times!
- The time limit for each tournament match is three hours. If no winner
is obvious at this point, the players will consult a judge who will make
a ruling. The judge may, but is not required to, call in two other judges
(if available) to make a group decision. The judge(es) should evaluate the
following: positions and damage levels of ships and fighters, number of units
killed, point disadvantages (if one player chose to fly a significantly smaller
force than the scenario total), and the player's own explanations of how
they expect to win the game in the coming turn(s). Player explanations should
be made in private (player to judge); this is not a debate between the opponents!
In all cases, the judge's ruling is final. In non-elimination tournaments,
the judge may rule the scenario too close to call, and score it as a draw.
- In order to keep match
times from dragging out due to long-range
duels, ships may not leave the map. If a unit attempts to move off the map
edge, it disengages and is lost for the remainder of the scenario (and is
counted as destroyed for purposes of tiebreakers). Ships may not be forced
off the map by tractor beams or other devices--any attempt to move a ship
off the map in this way simply fails.
- Ship control sheets may be examined by opposing players at any time,
to inspect damage levels, half-remembered statistics, weapon damage outputs,
and so on. For this reason, players should not record any "secret" information
(such as the target hexes of energy mines) on the control
sheet itself. This information can be recorded on any handy sheet of paper
or form, but should be kept available for examination at the end of the scenario.
A judge can, at any time, be asked to examine this record sheet for confirmation
and to prevent cheating. If mistakes (deliberate or not) are made, the judge's
ruling on the result is final.
Tournament Victory (Elimination Style)
- In elimination tournaments, the tourney is arranged in a standard
tree, with winners advancing to the next round while losers are eliminated
from play. Play continues for as many rounds as needed until the championship
has been determined. For example, if 32 players sign up for the tournament,
there would be 5 rounds involved.
- If not enough people are available at the start of play for a fully filled
tourney tree, byes are drawn at random. There is no pre-tournament seeding.
- The judge should record the following information for each match: name
of each player, their race, the point value of their fleet, and whether they
won, lost, or drew against their opponent in that match. For the final two
rounds (semi-finalists and finalists), the judge should also record the exact
units used in each fleet.
Tournament Victory (Non-Elimination Style)
- The judge should record the following information for each match:
name of each player, their race, the point value of their fleet, and whether
they won, lost, or drew against their opponent in that match. Each win is
worth two victory points, each draw is worth one, and each loss is worth
- Each player must play a specific number of matches, usually four (this
number may be higher or lower depending on the length of time available for
the tournament). Each match should be against a different opponent (and
preferably against a different race than his own). Playing extra matches
will not improve a person's record; only the first four matches will count.
- Ideally, matches should be between players who don't already know each
other (although if the number of players in the tournament is too low, this
may not be possible). This is for two reasons: One, you can play your friend
any old time, and two, it prevents "sandbagging." If sandbagging (getting
someone to play against you and lose on purpose, to boost your record) is
discovered, both players will be booted unceremoniously from the tournament.
- Matches must be concluded by a specific time and date, after which the
judge will assemble and calculate the victory point totals. The top four
finishers will then play in a short single-elimination tournament, with the
#1 player playing the #4 player and #2 playing against #3, followed by the
final championship match. Any ties in victory points are broken by comparing
the point costs of each player's fleet. If, for example, all four top finishers
had 8 victory points, then they would be seeded in order of point totals
(lower values being considered better). If ties still exist, they are further
broken by comparing the point values of the opposing players. If there is
still a tie, use a coin toss.
- If, at the appropriate time for the semi-finals, any single player does
not show up for his match, the "bye" goes to the #1-seeded player and the
remaining two play each other. If two of the four semi-finalists don't show,
the remaining two play the championship game immediately. Obviously, if only
one semi-finalist is present, he wins by default.
After the Tournament
- The judge should record the exact makeup of the fleets used by each
finalist and semi-finalist, and report the tournament results to AOG. These
will be posted on this web site. The results should list all data on the
finalists and semi-finalists, as well as the number of people in the tournament
and a breakdown of races chosen. If desired, more details can be added, although
the above is the bare minimum.
- The judge is responsible for the awarding of any prizes. Prizes (if any)
usually depend on the convention. Gen Con, for example, provides dealer
certificates for every event. AOG might also provide gift certificates or
specific prizes in some cases.