Saturday, 2 June 2018

Babylon’s Burning Revisited

Welcome back to my blog, 

Over on Facebook a friend has started a Babylon’s Burning Revisited page. 

So what is Babylon’s Burning? It was a 28mm post apocalyptic wargame by the sadly long gone Hetzerdog games, released back in 2003. It was set in what remains of San Francisco, five years after the world was destroyed by a fragmented Asteroid. The player could play Enclave (the last fragments of law and order), Mob (remaining maifa/other organised crime families), Street gang, Scavengers (gangs who dig for salvage), Cultists and Ghouls (half mad feral cannibals). 

Reading the FB page has made me all nostalgic. It was one of the few post apocalyptic tabletop Wargames out there. I was a fan of BB back in the day. I even set up the yahoo group and wrote a few house rules. My version was set locally in what remains of the UK. The army lists needs quite a bit of tweaking as automatic weapons are a rarity here outside the military.

BB as a game was a insanely detailed simulation. I think the main failure was that it was more suited to a RPG and not a squad to platoon sized game. I liked the rules back in the day as it what I wanted then.  Now I prefer games that have limited charts and rules to consult. 

The initiative phase in BB worked well for a squad and officer per side but got clunky and time consuming when running multiple squads, officers, medics, runners, snipers and heavy weapons teams. As a game aimed at squad to platoon level sized games, the intuitive rules were far too complex. In later games I used a playing card system, with a card assigned to each element which speeded things up. 

As the game background is set in the USA there is a fair amount of automatic weapons available for the factions. Auto weapon fire was deadly. The most deadly of any game I have ever played. Get caught in the open and it was game over. A game required a terrain heavy table to ensure the game wasn’t a massacre. The auto weapon rules was complex with tables and ranges to be consulted. It could be smoothed out (and speeded up) with a simplified range rules and a autofire system similar to other games such a Necromunda. 

I loved the background and it removed many of the nuked world elements (but not all) that would make survival impossible.

When I get a chance I will share pictures of my miniatures from back in the day and the details/ideas of my BB in the UK games. Expect more Babylon’s Burning posts in the future. 

Thanks for reading. Stay safe out there.

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