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B5 CCG Tournament Rules
revised April 24, 2000

Change log

April 24, 2000

Battle for Earth is back, and Spoo has been added.

Official Tournament Types

There are five types of tournaments that can be run for the Babylon 5 Card Game: Sealed Deck, Basic Constructed Deck, Third Age, Spoo, Battle for Earth, and Social.

Sealed Deck

Sealed Deck Tournaments

Sealed Deck Tournaments are played with unopened starter decks which are usually purchased at the location of the tournament. Several booster packs for each player should also be purchased and used. These boosters can be from any set that is available. Deck distribution should be geared toward as close to an equal number of each race being represented as possible. The Opposing Faction deck is not recommended for use in Sealed Deck tournaments. The method for deciding which players get to play which races (random, consensus, etc.) is at the discretion of the Tournament Sponsor.


The Ranger in charge of the tournament may choose to allow a trading session before play begins. Players may only trade with the cards purchased for the Sealed Deck tournament. After any trading session, players should be given an amount of time (usually 20-30 minutes) to construct their deck and reserve. Their deck must conform to the standard deck construction requirements in the rulebook (45 card minimum). The reserve/sideboard for sealed deck tournaments is not restricted to 20 cards; it includes all cards purchased that did not go into your deck.

Virtual Kosh

The Ranger should announce whether the Virtual Kosh rule is being used before trading and deck construction begins. Under this rule, an invisible version of Kosh Naranek, and a counter-Kosh counterpart for the Shadows, are considered to be in play at all times. Any player may apply any amount of influence as an action. For every 3 influence applied, the character gains 1 Vorlon Mark or 1 Shadow Mark (if legal to do so) for the rest of the turn. The character must purge one such mark at the end of the turn. This Virtual Kosh rule is intended to make cards with Shadow/Vorlon Mark requirements easier to use in sealed deck play.

Basic Constructed Deck

Basic Constructed Deck Tournaments require that players use their own preconstructed decks during the tournament. A preconstructed deck must conform to the customizing your deck rules in the Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game Standard Rules booklet. However, minimum deck size for official Constructed Deck tournaments is 60 cards. Alternate factions will be allowed unless the tournament notice excludes them. To be guaranteed a seat in the tourney, a player must sign up with his race in advance, or bring at least three playable decks of differing races. Players bringing a lesser number of decks will be seated as places are available. Upon registering before the tournament, each player must list next to his name their deck preferences in priority order. The goal is to have as close to an equal number of races represented for each table. It is the coordinator or judge's decision as to the method used to even out the races. Once a player's race is decided, that is the race that will be played throughout the entire tournament. Tables should generally be filled in combinations of 4's and 5's (see Table 1 at end). Two player tables at tournaments are not desirable (except in the case of Battle for Earth).

Third Age

Third Age is a variant of Basic Constructed Deck, with the following addiitonal rules:
  1. Any card, except for characters and fleets, that was printed in Premier or Deluxe is banned in this format. Cards which were in Premier/Deluxe and were reprinted in the Non-Aligned or Psi Corps starter decks, such as Earth, Universe Today Feature, and Trade Pact, are banned (again, characters and fleets are NOT affected, so Drazi Sunhawk and Talia Winters are still allowed).
  2. Zhabar is banned.
  3. Promotional cards released at the time of Premier or Deluxe are not banned as they are not part of the standard print run.

Battle for Earth

Battle for Earth Tournaments use the standard Basic Constructed Deck Tournament rules, with the following exceptions:
  • There are three factions, all Human. The starting factional ambassadors are Jeffrey Sinclair, William Morgan Clark, and Bester.
  • All factions have a starting tension of 5 towards all other Human factions.
  • Babylon 5's influence start the game at 0, and no effect in the game can raise or lower this starting value.
  • There are no effects that can generate a Babylon 5 vote. Effects that would do so are ignored.


Spoo is a variant of the Constructed Deck tournament where you can only have one copy of any card in your deck (including sideboard). This is also know as "Highlander", and is listed in the event listings as such.

Running the Event


Each round in the tournament will be a maximum of two hours. See Floor Rule #2 for more information on timing.

Number of Preliminary Rounds

Play as many preliminary rounds as you have time for, allowing time for the final round. We recommend at least two preliminary rounds -- three is preferred. After each round is scored, try to seat players at tables where they will play with at least 50% new players.


Players must use the same deck that they began with throughout the duration of the tournament. However, players may alter their decks between games, if they feel the need, utilizing a reserve (or sideboard) of no more than 20 reserve cards. The reserve may never exceed 20 cards, but it may go below 20. A player may begin a tournament with no reserve and later choose to switch cards from their deck to their reserve between games, so long as their reserve does not exceed its maximum size and their deck does not go below its minimum size. Moving cards from deck to reserve (and vice-versa) does not have to be on a 1-for-1 basis.

Using reserve cards and choosing starting hands works in the following order:

  1. Players are seated at a table with their opponents for the next round.
  2. Players select their starting ambassador. They may select an ambassador from their reserve as long as it is from the race they are designated to play for this tournament.
  3. All players reveal their starting ambassadors (if there are multiple Non-Aligned players in the same game, use the procedures in the rulebook under Opposing Factions).
  4. All players may alter their decks using their reserve.
  5. All players choose their starting hand, and play commences.


After each preliminary round, the following scoring method is applied to the players at each game:

  1. Each player gains a base score based on their placing -- see the table at the end of this section. A player automatically places first if he scored a Major Victory. Otherwise, it is based on power, ties broken with influence, then initiative. If multiple players win (possible with certain agendas that grant victories not based on power), average the scores.
  2. The winner receives (only if a victory was achieved) +4 points. If multiple players win, each receives the +4 points. In a Battle for Earth Tournament, this bonus is +1 point.
  3. If the winner won by Major Victory (winning by 10 power or by Major Agenda) then he/she receives an additional +2 points added to his/her base and receives an additional point to give to one of the other players.

Players are not merely playing against the people in their game, but against all the other players of the same race in other games. Record the player's ending score on a record or tracking sheet. While each preliminary round is scored independent of other rounds, a running total is kept for determining the winner of each race.

# of
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
3 12 7 2 - -
4 12 8 4 1 -
5 12 9 6 3 0
2 (BfE) 3 1 - - -
3 (BfE) 3 2 1 - -

Final Round

All formats except Battle for Earth

Determine which player has scored the most points for each race. If two players tie for top score in their race, both move on to the final. Each will play a different faction of their race. If they do not have the necessary ambassador to do so, they will be supplied by the Ranger running the event. If both players want to use the same ambassador, the Ranger will choose between them randomly. It is recommended that players put cards in their reserve to prepare for this situation. In the event of a tie amongst three or more players of a race, break ties to get down to two (three Humans are allowable with Psi Corps, and up to 4 tied Non-Aligned players could conceivably be in the final) by distance traveled to the event or other method announced by the Ranger-in-charge before the tournament begins.

Assemble the winners of each of the five races. The final round plays until complete. Earlier scored points are not relevant, and victory is strictly determined by normal means rather than point scoring for this round. Ties, for purposes of distributing prizes, should be broken using a player's total score going into the final round.

Battle for Earth

The top player of each faction will progress to the final round. Ties will be broken by a method announced by the Ranger-in-charge.

Assemble the winners of each of the three factions. The final round plays until complete. Earlier scored points are not relevant, and victory is strictly determined by normal means rather than point scoring for this round. Ties, for purposes of distributing prizes, should be broken using a player's total score going into the final round.

Standard Tournament Floor Rules

  1. The tournament will be presided over by a Judge, who may be assisted by as many Assistant Referees as they may need. A judge may be required to interpret rules, to terminate an excessively long game, to call time, to interpret a Declaration of Forfeiture, or make any other adjudication as necessary during the tournament. The Judge or a designated assistant is also responsible for maintaining the advancement/scoring chart, and only these people are permitted to write on the chart. Assistant Referees will aid by answering rules questions on the floor and being available to the Judge for any other assistance they may require. In necessary cases, the Judge may overrule any decision made by an Assistant Referee. The decision of the Judge is always final.
  2. Preliminary rounds will be time limited, ranging from 60 minutes to two hours. 90 minutes is the recommended length for most tournaments, 75 for tournaments with all experienced players. While rounds can be set for a lesser amount of time, once the amount of time is determined for the first round, all subsequent rounds must play for the same amount of time. Judges and coordinators are not to give minute warnings. When the time is up, all games stop immediately, as if Confusion in Chaos had just been played. Proceed to the Resolution and Draw rounds, including victory check.
  3. Players must take their turns in a timely fashion. Whereas taking some time to think through a situation is acceptable, stalling for time is not. If the Judge feels that a player is stalling to take advantage of a time limit, the Judge may issue a warning, or interpret the stalling as a Declaration of Forfeiture, at their discretion.
  4. During breaks, all participants wishing to leave the gaming area will be required to leave their game deck, labeled, with the Judge.
  5. The use of plastic sleeves or other protective devices on cards in a tournament is allowed, as is the use of cards embossed with the Precedence seal.
  6. Players may not have any outside assistance (i.e. coaching from someone not at his table) during a game. If a player is in violation, the Judge may issue a warning to the player, or interpret the violation as a Declaration of Forfeiture.
  7. All decks must conform to the Constructing your Deck rules in the official Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game Standard Rules Booklet, with a 60 card minimum (45 cards for sealed deck). Decks entered into a Sealed Deck format must remain sealed until the tournament begins and the Judge gives the official word to open the decks and wrappers.
  8. A Declaration of Forfeiture will result in the Forfeiting player agreeing to Unconditional Surrender conditions. If the Forfeiting player was currently At War with an opponent, that opponent will receive the benefit from the Unconditional Surrender. If there was no State of War or war with more than one opponent, then no players will benefit from the Unconditional Surrender. In all situations in which there was an Unconditional Surrender, all players' bases and bonuses will be awarded based on the Forfeiting player having participated in the game. Any card that the Surrendering player put into play, but no longer controls, remains in play. If that player wishes to retrieve his copy of the card, another may be brought in from out of play to replace it.
  9. Failure to adhere to the above rules, or any other rules specific to a particular tournament, may be interpreted by the Judge as a Declaration of Forfeiture. Only the Judge may make an interpretation of a Declaration of Forfeiture. The Zeta Squadron Council reserves the exclusive right to add, delete, or alter these rules, whole or in part, with or without notice, at any time that it is deemed necessary or desirable. The Council consists of members of Precedence Publishing, select members of the Rangers, and any other deemed authority. This right is non-negotiable.

Preferred Seating
Table Players
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
1 4 5 3 4 4 5 5 4 4 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 5
2 - - 3 3 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 5 4 4 5 5 5
3 - - - - - - - 3 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 5
4 - - - - - - - - - - - - 4 4 4 4 5

Preferred Seating
(Battle for Earth)
Table Players
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
2 - - 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
3 - - - - - 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
4 - - - - - - - - 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3
5 - - - - - - - - - - - 2 2 3 2 3 3
6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 2 3

Social Tournaments

The Social Tournament format de-emphasizes winning and competitive play, and puts the focus on role-playing and making the game fun for your opponents.

The standard scoring rules are completely disregarded. Instead, after each round, players will vote for another player at their table in 2 categories. The 2 categories are:

  1. The player who made the game the most fun for you.
  2. The player who was the best roleplayer / storyteller.

The judge may introduce additional categories as desired.

Any player willing and able to play more than 2 racial decks at the tournament automatically will receive a bonus vote for making the game fun for others.

Each player can award one additional bonus vote in each category once the preliminary rounds are over (each to any one player), if they desire to do so.

All votes are made by secret ballot and the Tournament Director will tabulate them only at the end of all preliminary rounds.

The final table will be drawn from the player of each race who had the maximum number of votes throughout the preliminary rounds for made the game fun. Ties will be broken with roleplaying.

The player who is voted best in each category at the final table will get prizes, as will the best overall roleplayer if they did not make the final table.

Additionally, some door prizes will be available to all other players / players of the final / one or more random players; there will be a similar total quantity as that awarded for a competitive tournament.

Players will be rated based on the number of votes in each category they receive in a sanctioned play system, with additional rewards for overall performance in the three main prize positions.

A judge in such a tournament is allowed to play and compete for the awards. If he can make the game fun for everyone and earn a prize, so much the better!

The Zeta Squadron Council reserves the exclusive right to add, delete, or alter these rules, in whole or in part, with or without notice, at any time that it is deemed necessary or desirable. The Council consists of members of Precedence Publishing, select members of the Rangers, and any other deemed authority. This right is non-negotiable.

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© 1999-2017 Penguin Flight Dynamics
This page was last modified on
Friday, 02 August 2002 at 11:57 PDT.