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Subject: Obligatory "So hows does this compare to TI (or Eclipse)?" thread rss

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Reaper Steve
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I'm genuinely curious. If this game will scratch the TI itch, I think I'll jump in on the second Kickstarter.

FWIW, I've been intrigued by TI for years, but finally played my first game this month. I enjoyed it... except for the fact that I had to block off a whole day to play it. (6P, 11 hours...) I think it was worth it, especially knowing that the playtime will decrease with repetition, but I rarely have the opportunity for anything that lasts longer than 4 hours.

I started looking at Eclipse recently, thanks to all the hype surrounding it. After reading several reviews, I get the impression that it is a good-even great--game, but I don't think it will scratch the TI itch.

Any comparisons or opinions would be appreciated!
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Mike Watne
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Exile Sun isn't really a 4X game. It allows for a single victory condition (most VPs), although there are a variety of ways to score VPs that owe to individual strategies. There are technologies, but these are not acquired in a typical 4X "tech tree" fashion, and for the most part function as one-shot abilities to use during battle or movement. The different factions are loaded with thematic backstory, but aside from a single unique ability and slightly different starting characteristics, they all play and develop the same. The map changes each game, relative to player-selected "home tiles", but there isn't much exploration, as the only unknown element on the board is the disposition of the enemy fleets. There is no diplomacy system to speak of, and no real way to interact with other players outside of combat (barring a mini secret-auction mechanic that occurs during supply rounds).

So, if you're looking for a massive, immersive 4X-type game to work around Eclipse or TI, Exile Sun will probably come off feeling a little simple.

However, the game should offer a much faster, much more interactive combat system than any current Space 4X game. Further, the push to grow and expand the reach of your empire is strong, as it makes the acts of cornering your opponent, completing optional agendas and missions, and obtaining the oh-so-crucial VP much easier. Lastly, there is some customizable control over your fleets, and your emphasis on building existing ships or designing better ships could have a big impact on the later battles.

Consider, of the 4 X's:
- Explore: Not much happening, but the unknown deployment strength of enemy fleets does provide some fun on this front.
- Expand: There is an incentive to spread your influence and control more area. Plus, you're adding planets to your empire, which is always good times in the thematic arena. There is little in the way of individual "character development", but the existing structure is rich and affords some variety.
- Exploit: There isn't a huge system of resource management, but you do have a fleet that must be maintained and upgraded through your allocation of "supply points". There are also critical decisions you must make in terms of your ability to secure those supply points. The resources available to you in any given turn are certainly affected by your earlier decisions.
- Exterminate: Here, the game excels. It is first and foremost a space combat game, and the unique system they've developed is sure to make it a hit on that front.

Keep your forces up to date, position them well, and crush your enemies. With all of the options available, the game will rarely play the same way twice, and the level of tactical and strategic depth should keep detail-oriented players interested in spite of what it lacks on the traditional 4X front.


I hope that gives you what you need to consider your decision.

Also, and as a supporter, I'm biased here: I hope you decide to kickstart. The game only gets better as the funding increases, and in that, we all win. Cheers!

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Eric A Martin
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I have to say that Mike did a good job of highlighting many of the differences in Exile Sun and the traditional 4x game. I discussed some of these differences in these posts here and here.

Conceptually Exile Sun is quite different in what it tries to accomplish than most 4x style games. I personally love the idea behind epic conflict game experiences but often they are more like drawn out tests of luck and unequal starting positions than real strategic contests.

Players in Exile Sun face decisions based on risk management. Managing the possibility of gaining more victory points vs the chance of losing a resource that will cost them points. This same experience is delivered through the battle system. The possibility of damaging your opponent weighed against the risk of taking damage yourself.

Everything else about the game, the simultaneous auction during the economic round, the hidden unit deployment, the objective based victory points, all elements designed to give meaning to those decisions and to balance each players opportunity. The result is victory based solely on each players incremental decision throughout the game and how it performed against opponents. Victory was never so sweet.
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Mike Watne
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Nicely said. The risk management aspect is really the key to the system, as it eliminates luck as a function of chance, and instead pits you directly against your own tolerance for sacrifice and reward. A very worthwhile idea.

Oh, and thanks to everyone for the tips! Always a pleasure to know that a post was appreciated
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Reaper Steve
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Thanks, Mike and Eric!
I don't consider myself a '4X fan,' but neither do I have anything against the genre. I'm not on the lookout for a 4X game, per se. Therefore, the fact that Exile Sun isn't 4X doesn't bother me... in fact, it may be a small plus.

So, the comparison to TI isn't a valid one in that aspect, but from your posts it does have elements of resource management and tech growth, while focusing on military conquest. Most importantly, I like the risk management focus.

Alright... I'm in!
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