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Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift» Forums » General

Subject: 1st Game with Shadow of the Rift rss

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Peter Bakija
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So I finally got Shadow of the Rift, so we played a 4 player game last night. We were using everything in RotA and everything in SotR except for Deep Warp Hexes and Anomalies (I still haven't quite figured them out yet, basically due to not reading those rules pages yet...). Two of us were moderately familiar with the SotR rules; two of us had never seen them before.

We had a Team Evolution player, a Team Time Rift player (I don't remember either of their names off hand yet), a Mechanema player (me), and a Draco player. The game moved like a pretty standard 4 player game, with a lot of early ancient killing, and the last turn being an orgy of violence (mostly perpetrated by me against my two neighbors...). Team Time Rift managed to get some speed 3 engines and a +3 computer from the future, but then failed to pay for those when the bill came due, so he ended up more or less breaking even at 0, VP wise, from Time Rift tiles (he got a ship from the future, sent a ship to the future, explored the future, and did a couple other minor things that he did fulfill). Team Evolution got the "I'm Instantly the Hydrans" early (i.e. get an extra tech with a research action), and then cheap cruisers, and then late in the game he got cheap Monoliths. And +1VP per monolith (both of those were in his initial Evolution draw, so he built his game around that). Draco looked very solid all game, and was in the lead most of the game as well. As the Mechanema, I was doing pretty well, and stumbled into a free Evolution discovery, which got me +1VP per Orbital (which I totally maximized), and also picked up Rift Cannons fairly late. On the last turn, it looked like Draco was winning, and I had the most actions of anyone, so I ended up building a giant fleet of Rift Cannon interceptors (which sadly did not have extra hull, 'cause I needed double engines for speed), and went on an intergalactic jihad, attacking both Draco and Team Evolution with impunity, as I had 3 or 4 more actions than either of them. Meanwhile, Team Evolution and Team Time Rift built a bunch of monoliths, while Draco built ships to defend with. Most of my Rift Cannon interceptors failed to do anything other than kill themselves, but I did manage to take a Team Evolution hex with a Monolith in it (scoring me +5 points and costing him -6). But it didn't really matter, as apparently having, like, 4x +4VP monoliths makes you win. Final scores were:

-Team Evolution: 57
-Team Time Rift: 55
-Mechanema: 44
-Draco: 41

Team Time Rift looked like he was losing most of the game, but he pulled off 2 or 3 Monoliths on the last turn, and I was the only one attacking anyone, and he was the least dominant looking opponent. Team Evolution was looking modest until the last turn, when he built 5 monoliths (I also didn't notice that he had maxed out science, as he was on the other side of the table). Draco looked really solid all game, with maximum science as well, but he didn't get to build monoliths as I swarmed his space. I got the highest score with the Mechanema I have ever gotten, but probably 'cause of the +5VP from the Orbital bonus evolution I scored.

Rift Cannons look like they could be pretty scary, but I needed speed more than extra hull, so most of my Rift Cannon interceptors blew themselves up (I was not real lucky with the Rift dice). The Time Rift counters are really fun, but it seems like the real advantage of the Team Time Rift race is that their ships start with +5 energy and Soliton Cannons. Which is huge. The Evolution bag seems *very* powerful, and it looks like, really, if someone picks Team Evolution, someone else *needs* to pick Team Evolution as well, so there is competition for the Evolution tiles; if just one player gets the Evolution bag to themselves, they can just churn through it freely until they find the ones they make them win.

All in all, the new expansion seems pretty awesome. Again, we ignored Deep Warp Hexes and Anomalies (maybe next time), but all the other stuff was totally solid. On the down side, we usually play 4 player games in 2 hours or less, including set up and clean up, and this game took 3 hours including set up and clean up. But there was a lot of figuring new stuff out, so that probably dragged our time down.
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Peter Bakija
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Tonight we played a second 4 player game with SotR. Also very entertaining. The players were:

-Orion
-Octanis (me)
-Exiles
-Pyxis

Early on, Orion built a second cruiser, attacked an Ancient Cruiser with his 2 cruisers, had a good chance of winning, but got unlucky and lost both cruisers without killing the Ancient, and was convinced he was done. Exiles got off to a quick start, building a bunch of orbitals. Pyxis expanded a lot and looked to be doing well. As Octanis, I got the +1 research counter immediately, but failed to do anything good with it for a while, as I was surrounded by Ancients, and didn't have much science. Eventually, it saved me a bunch of actions, but I never filled my science track. I also found the Nova Bomb discovery, and the Soliton Turret, both of which were significant, and then researched the -1 shield/+4 power rare tech (also significant). I ended up taking the Galactic Center pretty early (T4, maybe?) with a swarm of Soliton Turret cruisers, and held it till the last turn. Meanwhile, Orion got back up and killed a bunch of Ancients (including an Ancient Hive). Late in the game, the Pyxis built a bunch of Death Moons, ending up with 4 of them (which we think they can do?), and the Exiles built a giant horde of Rift Cannon interceptors, attacking me in the center with a mob of them carried in by Interceptor Bay dreadnaughts. After turn of him savaging my ships, we both remembered that I had the Nova Bomb, set it off at the start of the next round of combat, and saved the hex. On the last turn, I abandoned the Galactic Center (as I was down to a single dreadnaught and starbase in the hex, and couldn't keep it anyway) to go attack a yet unkilled Ancient Cruiser (which cost me 4VPs but gained me 6VPs from the hex I took). The Orions moved into the Galactic Center. The Exiles sent swarms of interceptors to attack Pyxis, but only cost him a VP. Orion took the center, and in the end, the scores were:

-Orion: 47
-Octanis: 45
-Pyxis: 41
-Exiles: 36

Orion had a lot of combat VPs and some ancient cruiser heads and a few discoveries left as VPs, as well as a reasonable amount of science. Pyxis had 16VPs worth of Death Moons.

As Octanis, I ended up with 6 evolutions: +1 research, +1 upgrade, +1 ship move; +1 combat shield slot; +1 VP per combat shield; +1VP per evolution. The +1VP per combat shield got me +4VPs (as I had 4 combat shields and a trade pact still); the +1VP per evolution got me +6VP, although I had to mortgage all my resources to get it on the last turn, spending 4 mutagen, and then 9 science and 3 materials. The 9 science could have got me, maybe, +2VPs in research at that point; the 3 materials wasn't going to do much there. So I ended up with +10VPs from evolutions, or really, probably +13, as I had a 4th combat shield (which was a 2+1). So that was pretty good. The +1 research evolution didn't actually help me that much, as I never had a ton of science, due to the hexes I ended up with. Once I took the center, I got some good science, and took multiple double research actions, but I didn't come close to filling my science tracks (I got 4VPs from science tracks).

Again, the game took about half an hour longer than usual (we used to play 4 players games in under 2 hours, including set up and clean up; this one took, like, 2.5+ hours, including clean up, which is more complicated now).
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Edward Kendrick
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I'm intrigued by your mention of the Nova Bomb discovery. I can't find this in RoTA or SotR - where did it come from? And what does it do?
 
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Robert Purdon
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I believe he meant "Nova Burst" discovery, which came from the Pulsar promo.

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Edward Kendrick
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Ah! Thank you.
 
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Peter Bakija
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After a couple months of not playing Eclipse (a lot of real world getting in the way...), we played a 6 player game last night, using the full expanded game (except for Alliances).

The players in order:

-Dave: Draco
-David: Mechanema
-Peter (me): Planta
-Matt: Magellan
-Ben: Pyxis
-XLP Ben: Octanis

The game started as usual, with everyone exploring, folks making trade agreements, and not much combat. As Planta, early on, I shot myself in the foot (roots?) with exploration, by essentially closing myself off with an Ancient Cruiser hex, and then drew the III hex Deep Warp Portal hex, after seeing Draco discard both the I and II Deep Warp Portal hexes. So I kept the Deep Warp Portal hex, essentially closing off my ability to grow at about 5 hexes. On the upside, I managed to cut off my neighbors almost totally, having one point of access to Magellan into my I hex which also led to the Galactic Core (and my I hex was the new one that had nothing but Advanced planets...). Things were looking not good for my side, except for a protected position, an accidental discovering of the Rift Turret (immediately placed on my dreadnaught), and sole access to the Deep Warp Nexus.

The game continues. Octanis looks very strong, getting the "+1 tech with research" evolution, along with some cheaper ships. Meanwhile, Pyxis ends up in a fight with Magellan, and ends up getting demolished due to some bad dice, and begins a long slide backwards into virtual extinction. Draco seems to be doing a good job of avoiding conflict and generating a lot of science, but has zero combat shields for VP, and not a ton of space, and few Ancients are surviving. My Mechanema neighbors (who are cut off from me completely) are doing ok, but have a significant lack of Material worlds, so can't really maximize their construction bonuses, and fail to pay off their debt to the future when they find an Orbital on T2 that was sent back from T5, losing out on some VPs. Meanwhile, I'm kind of flailing about--I manage to kill an Ancient Cruiser with a dreadnaught that consists of Rift Turret, Speed 1 Drive, and 5x Improved Hull, getting a good system and a leg up, finding a +6 Materials discovery. I use that to build a second dreadnaught and go to attack the immobile Anomaly in my backfield Deep Warp Portal. I get Advanced Money, upping my Money production due to having 3x Advanced Money planets (well, 2 and the Advanced Gray planet in my I hex). I spend turns 5 and 6 kind of floundering, as I have killed all nearby NPC ships, don't wanna fight Magellan, and am cut off from everyone else, and lunging for the core seems dubious. Octanis, continuing to ride the wave of awesome moves in and takes the galactic core, threatening me (and, well, everyone else).

T7, the Advanced Genetics rare tech comes up, and I immediately buy it, using my "Super Go First Action" victory shield that I had drawn earlier in the game (i.e. Priority Action), infuriating Octanis. I use Advanced Genetics to get 3 Money>2 Anything trade Evolution, which turns out to be huge, as I had a giant pile of Money saved, due to not doing much in the mid game, and later, I got the +1 move Evolution. I built 4 starbases in my 1 hex (which weren't fantastic, but at least were blockers), and then sent a fleet of my 2 dreadnaughts (which along the lines of Rift Turret, Fusion Drive, Fusion Source, 4x Improved Hull at this point) and three cruisers (Plasma Cannon and some Improved Hull) into the Deep Warp Nexus, killing all three Anomalies without losing a single ship.

We get to T9. Octanis holds the Galactic Core with a significant fleet and is probably in the lead; Draco has close to maxed out science, just got Monolith Tech, and has a bunch of Materials (but no fleet whatsoever); I (Planta) have secured the Deep Warp Nexus and have a solid fleet and a good number of VPs in dead enemy ships (Ancient Cruiser and 4x Anomalies); Mechanema has a fleet and some space, but mostly is concerned about the Ancient Hive that is still alive in his back fields; Magellan has mostly wiped out Pyxis in a galactic jihad. There is a lot of trying to maximize VPs. I eventually send my dreadnaughts into the Galactic Core. Octanis sends a cruiser to go and attack Draco's I hex (which has 2 Ancients in it) after Draco spends all his Materials on Monoliths. I use my last action to build the Shellworld development in the Deep Warp Nexus. There is a lot of fighting. I manage to win the fight in the Galactic Core, destroy Octanis' population there (removing it from his possession), but can't colonize it due to a lack of discs. Octanis takes Draco's I hex, actually coming out ahead in the trade (losing Galactic Core, getting the Traitor Card and losing Trade Agreement cost him 7VP, taking a 4VP I hex, a 2VP discovery, and a 2VP combat shield gained him 8VP...).

After the smoke clears, the scores are:

-Planta (me): 46VP
-Octanis: 39VP
-Draco: 37VP
-Magellan: 35VP
-Mechanema: 30VP
-Pyxis: 19VP

This was the first game where we used the Deep Warp Nexus and Anomalies, and I think that was probably the reason I managed to win this one--Draco drew the I and II Deep Warp Portal hexes early, and didn't want to have a big hole in his space, so he discarded them. When I picked up the Deep Warp Portal III hex, I knew that the other two were never going to be seen, so I was totally happy to put in at the back edge of my territory. This set me back early, but by the end of the game, that one hex draw had gained me +2VPs (Portal Hex), +3VPs (Nexus Hex), +4VPs (dead Anomalies) for a total of 9VPs, not even counting the +2 VPs for being Planta, which was very significant, and knowing that no one else could realistically get there meant I could take my time going in to get the other three Anomalies. Seems likely that when using the Deep Warp Nexus hex, it is very important to *not* give someone sole access to it (as it is just worth too many points). But giving up your I hex for a Deep Warp Portal and Anomaly seems very risky, so I'm not sure what the good plan is. I suspect that if nothing else, if someone gets the III hex deep warp portal, you kind of need to start attacking them, so they can't just build up a fleet to go and take the Nexus hex.

Octanis did very well all game, getting a lot of solid mileage out of Evolution. I suspect if I hadn't yoinked the Advanced Genetics from him (which was only possible due to the Priority Action shield I lucked into earlier), he probably would have won for multiple reasons (he would have been able to afford the +1VP/Evolution tile he never got; I would not have had the 3:2 Money trade ability which was gigantic).

Pyxis didn't do so great, but he was the side that ended up getting attacked early, and then had bad dice luck (he failed to roll a bunch of 4-6 hits when his opponent managed to score a greater number of 5-6 hits in a vital combat...).

Rift Turret was kind of nuts--I lucked into it early (it was in my otherwise disappointing to draw early I hex), then put it on my dreadnaught, and 'cause I got Improved Hull on my first action of the game (my Mechanema neighbor spent his first action *also* buying Improved Hull, so I didn't need to worry about him taking my I spot), and due to the wacky Planta dreadnaught coming with free power, I got to make an all Improved Hull/Rift Turret ship. Which turned out to be amazingly good. One of those and a mostly default start interceptor killed the Ancient Cruiser with the Anti-Matter Missile (which nuked the interceptor, but then was instantly smashed by the Rift Turret), and in the end game, my pair of dreadnaughts (which were, at that point, Rift Turret, Fusion Source, Tachyon Drive, 4x Improved Hull) backed by a generic Plasma Cannon cruiser won the Galactic Center against some good, but more conventional Plasma Cannon dreadnaughts and cruisers (we didn't see Anti-Matter cannon till, like, T8, and Octanis never got any).

Shadows of the Rift continues to provide a great deal of solid entertainment value.
 
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Alex Krasny
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No computers on your rift cannon dreadnoughts? Seems so rare to land a hit right? You only hit on 6, and even after than rift cannons only do damage on 4/2 rolls. I am surprised you were so successful. I guess you had a ton of staying power to wait it out?

 
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Edward Kendrick
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Redditch
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VirtualAlex wrote:
No computers on your rift cannon dreadnoughts? Seems so rare to land a hit right? You only hit on 6, and even after than rift cannons only do damage on 4/2 rolls. I am surprised you were so successful. I guess you had a ton of staying power to wait it out?



There seems to be a misunderstanding here (unless it's irony and I missed it). Rift Cannon don't use computers and don't hit on a six - they just throw the special die:

Rift Cannon: Uses a special Rift Cannon die (see
die faces on the right). The Cannon ignores all
Computers and Shields. It may deal 1–3 damage
to the opponent, miss or damage you.

SotR rules p8.
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Peter Bakija
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VirtualAlex wrote:
No computers on your rift cannon dreadnoughts? Seems so rare to land a hit right? You only hit on 6, and even after than rift cannons only do damage on 4/2 rolls. I am surprised you were so successful. I guess you had a ton of staying power to wait it out?


That's not how rift cannons work.

Rift cannons ignore computers and shields. You just roll the die and see what happens:

-miss
-miss
-1 damage
-2 damage
-3 damage and 1 damage to you
-1 damage to you

You don't need to roll to hit with rift cannons, other than just rolling the dice. If you had to roll to hit with rift cannons and *then* rolled the dice? They would be horrible.

 
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