Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
28 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Eclipse» Forums » General

Subject: First play - 2 player eclipse; doing it wrong? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife and I just tried to play eclipse for the first time.

At the end of the game the score was 22-16. We had each built just 2 ship upgrades... I had built 6 research tiles while she had built 2... she had 2 combats vs neutrals while I had 1; we never fought each other...

The supply board was overloaded with tiles... we started with 12 and added 4 per round. Yet in the entire game between the two of us we only bought 8! Is that normal? Why am I adding so many to the board?

In general we were only able to make like 1-3 actions per turn because our influence disks were costing us so much money and we had so little income. At one point my wife could do nothing because she was out of resources even factoring in the 2-for-1 trade in on other resources. Were we correct that when you explore you put one influence disk on the explore circle on your game board, as well as one on the new tile should you choose to settle it? (explore effectively costs 2 influence)

Most of the extra builds/upgrades were useless because we couldn't afford more than one. I never used my nanobots once.

On the last turn of the game I fired down two monoliths for 6 points "out of nowhere". Is this a common move? It seems like building them at any other time is a risk since the person who controls the tile scores them rather than the person who builds them?

Upgrading ships was painfully slow and difficult. First you have to build up to get the research tile for a better energy source, then the research tile for a useful upgrade, then upgrade, then actually build the ships... That's like easily 3/9 turns if not more given how squeezed we were for resources and unable to keep deploying influence disks :/

We never had all 3 colony ships flipped over. We never used the influence action.

I'm going to read more of the threads here but I'm trying to figure out where we might have gone wrong or if this is really how the game plays







 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Lacey
United States
Portage
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Biggest thing, is explore early and often. That should get your economy rolling (unless you have really bad tile draws). The rules do allow you to intentionally bankrupt yourself (then give up a system to avoid the bankruptcy) and that can get you an extra turn. As for ship upgrades and combat that really is more about your draws and play styles. Eclipse can be "turtling" game, or a battle game depending on how you play, but economy wise you're going to be limited in everything if you don't explore early and often.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Collegeville
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aitrus wrote:
We never had all 3 colony ships flipped over. We never used the influence action.

This sounds wrong. Colony ships begin the turn face up and available to be used. Influence allows you to flip them back over if they've been used during your turn, but you also flip them over at the end of the turn so that you should have all of them available every turn. If you weren't playing that way, then it would explain why you had no income.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Motz
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also it doesn't sound like you ever pulled any disks back off the hexes. You probably should do that at least once or twice - "bankruptcy" is not always a negative consequence!

You should definitely be taking four or more actions per turn usually. Don't keep hexes with one planet generally, and never keep empty hexes influenced unless its the last turn.

Give it another try! Just be sure to double check the rules about upkeep again, and plan on intentionally overspending once or twice. See how it goes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You either explored way too much or not enough; sounds like "way too much". You definitely should have been using Influence or bankruptcy to pull fiscs back off; bankruptcy probably would have been more effective.

Sounds like you likely had something wrong wrt paying for actions, placing population cubes, or the upkeep phase. Hard to say what, though. You weren't using money as you removed discs and then again in upkeep, were you?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Riku Koskinen
Finland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, seems like you did something wrong, either rules-wise or, more likely it seems, tactics-wise. When you explore, you indeed have to put one disc on the EXP-action and then draw a hex from the stack and put it on the game board. However, in case the system doesn't have any ancients, it is not mandatory to put an influence disc on the system. It's also legal to discard the drawn hex if you don't like it, but that will still cost the EXP action. Sometimes it could be the correct move if you wish to get a better hex on the spot in question.

Anyway, there are generally two reasons to take control of the explored hex by putting an influence disc there: The first is that the system contains good planets (which means that you can place at least two population cubes in there), and the second is that it contains a discovery tile.

In case it contains a discovery tile and at most one planet slot to colonize, the most efficient play is to put an influence disc on the system to grab the discovery tile and then play your round so that you will tactically bankrupt. That means that you deliberately use enough influence discs from your track (by taking actions and/or taking control of other hexes) so that you cannot afford to pay the upkeep; therefore you will have to pull a disc from the game board back to your track as per the game rules, and in this case you actually want to have the influence disc back from the hex you have no further use for. The other way to remove discs from the game board without losing combat in a hex is to use the INF action, but that itself costs an influence disc so it is less efficient than tactical bankruptcy.

It's important to note that the bankruptcy is efficient only when you have little money stored, which is one weakness for the Eridani species. If you have a lot of money, you probably have to use the INF action instead; otherwise the influence disc will remain on the bad hex for the next round, too, decreasing your usable actions then.

There of course are scenarios in which you might want to have a one planet system to increase your science or materials production (a single money-producing cube is always going to produce less money than it costs to keep an influence disc in the system, so it is not a good idea to occupy a system which lets you place only one money cube and nothing else), but a good rule of thumb is that you should only have systems which let you put down at least two population cubes in them.

Edit:
In a nutshell: Every hex you control makes you have one less action each round, so make the hexes count. Especially in a 2-player game where there is lot of room in the galaxy for both players, you should not control everything you can. You should be able to have at least 3-4 actions each round before passing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eetu Immonen
Finland
Helsinki
flag msg tools
"Ain't nothing to it / microbadge made me do it"
badge
"Move the Pawn, Luke"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, explore early and try to conquer Ancient sector(s) on round 2 and/or 3. Improved Hull and/or Plasma Cannon helps with this.

Abandon low income sectors as others have said. Advanced Mining/Economy/Labs help you get the most of your sectors.

Grab Advanced Robotics (and Quantum Grid) if they pop out from the tech bag.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Richardson

Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmb
My best advice for you is to take some time and carefully read through the entire manual again. I'm thinking you might have missed quite a few things which messed up how the game worked for you (like colony ships refreshing during every cleanup phase, perhaps.) Also sounds like you extended your empire way too much, probably keeping 1-planet systems (usually a bad idea) and not focusing enough on extra disc techs or advanced economy.

22-16 is extremely low score-wise. Usually with Terran you could expect something in the realm of:

16 from territory VP
5 from science VP
4 from discovery VP
13 from reputation VP
Monoliths (possibly)

A balanced 2p game might score something like 45-35? A lopsided one maybe 60-20?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks everyone:

Re: colony ships; We populated so few tiles that we never "used" all 3 of them and never came close to needing to burn an influence action to refresh them. We could have played the game with 2 ships each (or no ships at all with "infinite populate") and it would have made no difference. Effectively the colony ships seemed like a junk mechanic that served no purpose. There was never even an opportunity to populate more than 3 planets in a turn.

Re: influence disks; we definitely placed disks on every tile we could as we were both starved for resources and felt like we needed to hunt down any way to get more money/mat/res. I would guess this is the biggest error in strategy since as someone pointed out, certain tiles don't even pay for the disc that sits on them.

What about the glut of research tiles on the supply board? By the end of the game we had put 48 out but only actually purchased 8 between the two of us... is that normal? Likewise for all the piles of ship parts available each of us ended up buying just 2 :/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Can you describe how you played the upkeep phase and how you paid for actions?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You didn't actually "pay" any resources for upgrades / ship parrts, did you?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Riku Koskinen
Finland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
aitrus wrote:
Thanks everyone:
What about the glut of research tiles on the supply board? By the end of the game we had put 48 out but only actually purchased 8 between the two of us... is that normal? Likewise for all the piles of ship parts available each of us ended up buying just 2 :/


There is always going to be an increasing amount of tech on the supply board, but 8 researched techs total for two players is very low indeed. Maybe the majority of your hexes were single planet ones, and you just couldn't do much of anything during your turns before passing? For each of you, do you remember what were the approximate amounts of accumulated money, science points and materials per turn, at the end of the game?

The ship parts don't cost anything, by the way. When you research the corresponding ship part technology, you are free to use any amount of those parts in your ships. The only limit is that you can only upgrade at most two parts per upgrade action (barring one alien race that can do three), but there is no other cost to place those parts in the blueprints than the influence disc required to perform the action. And of course a ship must have sufficient energy production to support the energy-consuming parts.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I agree that it seems like your big problem would be holding on to systems that cost more than they're worth and not using bankruptcy efficiently.

The technology tiles building up like that are normal. If you had both been doing better economically you could get 5-10 techs each during a game. More if you're doing really well. There are meant to be more than you can possibly research, not to mention lots of extras because there are only two of you. The purpose of the mechanic is to randomize and limit the availability of new techs.

Nanobots isn't always really useful, especially early on (though that's when you want to research it because of its cost). I've had it and never used it. But if you're doing well late in the game or want to build lots of interceptors you would want it.

For upgrades, you don't need a power source for many of the inital upgrades. The best early parts are plasma cannons, improved hull, and the -1 shield. Improved hull and -1 shield cost no power, and plasma cannons can be added to some ships without a power upgrade. Some of the initial ship parts can be quite useful too, like an extra +1 computer or a regular hull if you can't get improved hull. Also, you can add an extra +3 power generator.

Like the previous poster said, upgrading just costs one disc and you get to put 2 parts (either initial or that you have tech for) on your ships with no other costs.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eetu Immonen
Finland
Helsinki
flag msg tools
"Ain't nothing to it / microbadge made me do it"
badge
"Move the Pawn, Luke"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remember to also apply the discount for each technology track.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
NateStraight wrote:
Can you describe how you played the upkeep phase and how you paid for actions?


Upkeep we looked at influence track to determine cost (say -5), then we checked money track (say 3), and then added/paid the difference - in this case we would move the money cube back 2 spaces, or if we couldn't we'd use a different cube and move it back 4 spaces (trading).

We then collected our research and materials. After that we just slid our influence disks back onto the track, flipped any used colony ships back up, added 4 research tiles to the board, advanced the turn marker 1 slot, and resumed play.

At the end of the game we were both only bringing in like 3-4 money, and 8-10 of research/materials. We were chronically converting the other things to money to pay for our influence use :/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Hawks
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why did you have so little money? Did you just never find planets with money income? Orbitals are also a good source of money, did that tech ever come out?

Remember, when you explore, you may discard a tile if you do not want it. If you are really that money starved, it may be worth discarding any tile without an orange or white planet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like you got all the rules correct, at least.

I suspect your problem was a mix of drawing very few money / orange planet tiles and overextending your empire / overexploring without a corresponding contraction period.

How many tiles had you each colonized by the end of the game? What negative cost / influence track space were y'all starting off each round from as you began to take actions?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife had colonized 8 tiles, I remember because she thought her point value for those was 8 and I had to tell her each tile had a value written on it and that's what counted rather than just 1 per tile.

And yes I had every planet I could populated, including advanced pink and advanced brown. The advanced orange tech didnt come up until a bit later and by then I had other things that needed doing
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aitrus wrote:
My wife had colonized 8 tiles.


Yeah, that's pretty nigh unsustainable. 5-6 is a good upper limit in my experience.

Note that the costs on the influence track rise more quickly as you go further down.

The difference between taking 3 actions with 6 colonies and 3 actions with 8 colonies is a whopping 8 additional money, for instance.

If those 2 extra hexes aren't pulling in the equivalent of 8 money, this is a losing position and you're not going to be able to do anything.

Bankrupt yourself if you need to to save the influence action, but pull those discs back.

I think you'll be alright next game if you make sure not to just colonize everything in sight.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's especially unsustainable if you got to that point very early in the game and weren't selective with which tiles you chose to colonize [i.e. had a bunch that were single planet or even empties].
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mb
Did you have the tile mix right? If you took all the tiles from the III ring, I could see a game working this way. But the I ring tiles are much more valuable and give access to the very valuable Galactic Center (which has too many planets to colonize with just 3 colony ships). I take it neither of you ever took the galactic center.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
NateStraight wrote:
aitrus wrote:
My wife had colonized 8 tiles.


Yeah, that's pretty nigh unsustainable. 5-6 is a good upper limit in my experience.

Note that the costs on the influence track rise more quickly as you go further down.

The difference between taking 3 actions with 6 colonies and 3 actions with 8 colonies is a whopping 8 additional money, for instance.

If those 2 extra hexes aren't pulling in the equivalent of 8 money, this is a losing position and you're not going to be able to do anything.

Bankrupt yourself if you need to to save the influence action, but pull those discs back.

I think you'll be alright next game if you make sure not to just colonize everything in sight.


Absolutely right. Colonizing everything is a rookie mistake. It is much better to reject poor tiles than to place them. This situation happened in our 2nd play and we wondered why the game was so tight with money. These days, it still IS tight with money but we get to do more things now....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
slashing wrote:
Did you have the tile mix right? If you took all the tiles from the III ring, I could see a game working this way. But the I ring tiles are much more valuable and give access to the very valuable Galactic Center (which has too many planets to colonize with just 3 colony ships). I take it neither of you ever took the galactic center.


We did exhaust the 5 level III tiles fairly early because it seemed logical to stay away from each other until we had a resource engine up to build ships. My wife lost 2 raptors (or whatever the mid-size ship is called) trying to take the galactic center around turn 6. My whole fleet consisted of 2 dreadnoughts and my starting viper so I wasn't keen on losing all of my ships to it either so I just stayed clear. You need like 8 hits to kill that thing and it takes 4 swings at you each time :o



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kris Wiggins
United States
Kingwood
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Uh! It's this darn dice tower!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ScottB wrote:
Influence allows you to flip them back over if they've been used during your turn


Full disclosure, I only skimmed this very long thread. I'd like clarification on the quoted statement. When I read the rules this is exactly how I interpreted them as well. But in the iOS version, where I assume the rules are hard-coded very intentionally, I've noticed that you just get 2 extra colony ships. If you have all 3 colony ships available and use the Influence action, and then you place a population cube, it does not flip or "use" a colony ship. It's like you have 2 in reserve. Once those two in reserve are used, then it starts flipping colony ships. I have only observed this WHILE taking the action, I don't believe you get any "left overs" in subsequent turns.

So is this the correct interpretation of the physical game rules? If you have all 3 colony ships available, and then take the Influence action, do you effectively have 5 colony ships for that action?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
krakrs wrote:
ScottB wrote:
Influence allows you to flip them back over if they've been used during your turn


Full disclosure, I only skimmed this very long thread. I'd like clarification on the quoted statement. When I read the rules this is exactly how I interpreted them as well. But in the iOS version, where I assume the rules are hard-coded very intentionally, I've noticed that you just get 2 extra colony ships. If you have all 3 colony ships available and use the Influence action, and then you place a population cube, it does not flip or "use" a colony ship. It's like you have 2 in reserve. Once those two in reserve are used, then it starts flipping colony ships. I have only observed this WHILE taking the action, I don't believe you get any "left overs" in subsequent turns.

So is this the correct interpretation of the physical game rules? If you have all 3 colony ships available, and then take the Influence action, do you effectively have 5 colony ships for that action?


That's bizarre. Does it actually show you 2 extra colony ships?

"Effectively", yes, you have "5" colony ships [providing your 3 are all face-up to start with] while taking an influence action, because as soon as you're done flipping one of the 3 over, you can use the colony-ship-flipping part of your influence action to turn it back [so it does flip over, just immediately refreshes, in the app and game].

Seems like they just figured no one would want to not flip their ships.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.