Is there room for one more on the Eclipse hype bandwagon?
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This is an exciting time for space empire games with the likes of Ascending Empires, Empires of the Void, and Eclipse either on store shelves or soon to be released. I figured that my game purchasing budget (which is mainly based on how many currently-owned games I can sell) could handle at most one new space empire game. And since I'm a very shallow sunuva gun, my initial plan was to pick up Empires of the Void based on its gorgeous components.

However, having read the rulebooks to all 3 of those games now, I've come to the realization that each game is vastly different from the other and fills a different niche. Ascending Empires is a simple, low-luck game with a significant dexterity component (fun!!), Empires of the Void is an easy-to-learn and quick-to-jump-into game for those who want minimal fiddliness (fun!!), and Eclipse is the Big Daddy empire management game for those who are looking for a decent amount of depth (fun!!). I still haven't decided if I'm going to buy 1, 2, or all 3 of them.

Initially though, I wasn't buying all the Eclipse mania. I don't do hype. I like what I like and I don't like what you like what I don't like. Plus, from all the photos I've seen, I think the artistic design looks downright hideous. (This is my very subjective opinion. As with all art, you will have people that will love it, people that will hate it, and people who are quite indifferent. It's a tough life being an artist. I should know - my family is full of artists and creative types. So I really hope that my comments don't offend the Eclipse artists. And no, I couldn't do better myself! I guess nobody reads GeekList headers anyhow...) But come on, tell me this doesn't look like it was drawn by a high school student with minimal art training:




And compare the Eclipse tile on the left with the Empires of the Void tile on the right:




But then I read the Eclipse rulebook and I instantly became a believer. There were just so many times as I was reading when I went, "WHOA!! What a great idea!!" This is a list of those game mechanisms that I thought were particularly cool.

So if ya'll don't mind scooching over just a tad, I'd like to join you on that Eclipse bandwagon.


(For a similar list relating to Empires of the Void, check out this one by BGGer unic: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/73500/empires-of-the-v...)



Hmmmm, I guess I should also mention that I am in no way affiliated with whomever is producing this game, nor do I have anything to gain by seeing a single copy of this game get sold.
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1. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
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INFLUENCE AND ACTIONS

Guess what? You can perform as many actions as you like during your turn! BUT... You'd better be prepared to pay your upkeep at the end of the turn! So there is no artificial game limit for your actions - just your personal management of your own economy.

Awesome!!
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2. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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PASSING

Timing when to complete your actions for the turn becomes an interesting strategic decision because the first player to pass receives the Starting Player Marker for the next round. BUT, the player who passes isn't completely out for the turn because they can continue to take weaker versions of a few of the actions.

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3. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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DIPLOMACY WITH CONSEQUENCES

Wheeling and dealing is a part of most 4X games, but there is rarely built-in motivation for keeping, or consequences for breaking, the deals. In Eclipse, if 2 players find themselves adjacent to each other on the map, they can exchange Ambassador Tiles, which are worth victory points at the end of the game. However, if one of those players later acts in a hostile manner toward the other player, both Ambassador Tiles are returned and the player who initiated the aggression receives the Traitor Card. There is only 1 Traitor Card, and whoever holds it at the end of the game receives a -2 VP penalty.

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4. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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SHIP CUSTOMIZATION

By upgrading components from their spaceships, each player can create totally unique ships without having to alter their physical representation on the game board. And don't forget that in order to power some of the ships' components you'll have to have other components that generate enough energy.

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5. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
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UNIQUE MOVEMENT

The formation of wormholes as the map is explored creates unique movement pathways in each game that is played! And you can only block the movement of as many of your opponents' ships as you have ships in a hex.

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6. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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DIFFERENT DICE FOR WEAPON TYPES

Ion Cannons are represented by yellow dice, Plasma Cannons by orange dice, and the powerful Antimatter Cannons by red dice. You can tell at a glance exactly how your fleet is being blown to pieces!

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7. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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FLEXIBLE TECH TREE

When researching advances for your galactic civilization, you can "skip" items on the tech tree, but the more you skip, the more you pay! So it's cheaper to research the techs in order within each category, but it takes longer to get to the really powerful stuff.

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8. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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ALIEN SPECIES WITH UNIQUE ABILITIES

In addition to the 6 basic human factions, there are 6 unique species of alien who each have their own special abilities. Sure, that's almost a "must" for this type of game nowadays, but it's still...

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9. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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VERY EXPANDABLE SYSTEM

The base game appears to be very complete and playable as it is, but there is still plenty of room for expansion if veteran players want an even more in-depth experience. Of course, there has already been talk of expansion ideas for quite a while now. You know how we game geeks are:

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10. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:38]
Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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LESS THAN 1 BILLION DOLLARS

So dang it man, how am I going to scrape together $90 for this game? I expect I'll either be running another game auction again soon, or buying my own Christmas present this year! Either way, when I'm finally frantically tearing the shrink wrap off this sucka, it's gonna be...

AWESOME!!!!
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