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Subject: 2 players: Using Rise of the Ancients to create the best possible 2-player experience rss

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Jeremy Avery
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There are (as you are probably all too well aware) many 2-player threads, and a great many of the comments from fans of the 2-player version are some variation of "the expansion is a must-have" and "the expansion makes the 2-player game much better". But this doesn't help newer players because it doesn't give much specificity.

So here it is: vote on which modular expansions to include from Rise of the Ancients to make the best possible 2-player game. This will help newer players to decide on which RotA modulars to include.

Poll
For the best possible 2-player experience playing Eclipse, use the following modular parts of the Rise of the Ancients expansion:
Rare Technology Tiles
Developments
Ancient Homeworlds (with Cruisers)
Ancient Dreadnought (in Center)
Ancient Hives
Warp Portals
New Discovery Tiles
Predictable Techs variant
Secret Homeworlds variant
      48 answers
Poll created by familygaming


Note that the poll options are listed in the order they are found in the rulebook. Direction of Play, and Small Galaxy are not included because they are not pertinent to the 2-player game.
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Shawn Burk
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All of them. Pretty easy answer.
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Jeremy Avery
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Deadsider wrote:
All of them. Pretty easy answer.


If that proves to be the case, I'll delete the thread. I'm new to the game, and prefer some of the options and not others for the 2-p game based on the perceived balance.
 
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Dan Regs
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You know I answered this poll, but then I thought that the right answer isn't really a yes/no question. It's more like:

Which module(s) do you deem most important in 2p
1 = Never / rarely use this module.
2 = Sometimes use this module.
3 = Take it or leave it - use the module about half the time.
4 = Use this module most of the time.
5 = Use this module almost all of the time.

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Jeremy Avery
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I can see the benefit of a gradient scale, but I just wanted something simple. Some people's game time is limited (like me!), and those people may not have the time to play 6-10 games with different mixes of expansion parts to try and find a good 2-player experience. I might get to play this once a month. I want the 2-player playings to be as enjoyable as possible.

I hope my rationale makes sense - and thanks for answering the poll!
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Must:
Rare Techs
Developments
Warp Portals
New Discoveries


I would throw everything else in (give or take on the variants though), but the above four are the most important.

 
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Jim Richardson

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Haven't played the expansion. But the main thing I'd want (which I didn't see listed) would be to add the 3 extra advanced colonization techs for 2p. In the base game, I feel the advanced colonizations are too unpredictable & infrequent, and I've seen a lot of games won or lost on them.

For a similar reason, I think I'd exclude the rare techs from the expansion. But I'd have to play it to be sure.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Deadsider wrote:
All of them. Pretty easy answer.


Actually, I will not recommend Ancient Hives for just 2 players... A bad tile draw and lucky scatter can wipe out 1 side...and that's not fun...
 
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G B
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No to the ancient hives.

In my recent game, I lost to them because of the first turn explore of them:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/975429/stupid-ancient-hi...
 
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Jim Richardson

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ghbell wrote:
No to the ancient hives.

In my recent game, I lost to them because of the first turn explore of them:


Couldn't you have just discarded it?
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Jonathan Madison

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The Ancient Homeworlds is what makes the 2-player/3-player games better. The rest of the expansion is fun, but it modifies all Eclipse games equally. The Ancient Homeworlds does a solid job of making the combat aspect of the game more interesting in a 2-player game.
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G B
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We use the Ancient Homeworlds every time, but we use 1 in play for each side, and then we put the others into the sector 2 pile for a bit of hidden.
 
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G B
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Jim, I could have. But I was cocky and wanted to kill it for the rep/tile. I got greedy.
 
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Jeremy Avery
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ParticleMan wrote:
Haven't played the expansion. But the main thing I'd want (which I didn't see listed) would be to add the 3 extra advanced colonization techs for 2p. In the base game, I feel the advanced colonizations are too unpredictable & infrequent, and I've seen a lot of games won or lost on them.


I included all of the modular additions from Rise of the Anicents from the instruction manual, in the order they were listed there. (If I'd listed every possible permutation of partial-inclusions, the list would have been unwieldly and not as useful (especially for new players).
 
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Jeremy Avery
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ParticleMan wrote:
ghbell wrote:
No to the ancient hives.

In my recent game, I lost to them because of the first turn explore of them:


Couldn't you have just discarded it?


In the 2-player game, I suppose the decision would usually be easy, wouldn't it? If I have nearby military, play the Hive; if I don't have nearby military (or it's early game and there's no military!) discard the hex.

 
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Mathue Faulkner
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I think the Ancient Homeworlds (and the Dread) are a bit of a catch-22. They do make the combat more interesting, but they also slow the progress a bit for the 2 players to interact. I may also ensure that there are a few ways that Warp Portals are involved, and may even house rule that Warp Portals can't be discarded.

I kind of like ghbell's idea of only using 2 Homeworlds face-up.
 
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James Motz
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Warp Portals are the only absolute include if you want a more interactive 2 player. The rest is fun variety but not as important unless you think Missiles are broken, then you will also want the Rare Techs.

But seriously, does anyone play with the expansion and intentionally leave out more than one thing? That would surprise me. I mean, I have all these cool bits in the box. They're literally right there waiting for me to play with. I shouldn't use them?
 
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Jim Richardson

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LazyJ wrote:
does anyone play with the expansion and intentionally leave out more than one thing? That would surprise me. I mean, I have all these cool bits in the box. They're literally right there waiting for me to play with. I shouldn't use them?


I've played the base game over 200 times and still enjoy it. I think it would be sad to miss out on having a comprehensive experience with just the base game.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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LazyJ wrote:
Warp Portals are the only absolute include if you want a more interactive 2 player. The rest is fun variety but not as important unless you think Missiles are broken, then you will also want the Rare Techs.

But seriously, does anyone play with the expansion and intentionally leave out more than one thing? That would surprise me. I mean, I have all these cool bits in the box. They're literally right there waiting for me to play with. I shouldn't use them?


Yes...just because you have them doesn't mean you should use them all in 1 game...no all may fit with every group, and thus it's the reason designers made them modular instead of mandatory.

That being said, my group has tried out everything except the alliances rule. For some reason they have always vetoed having alliances...but I am sure we will get to try it one day.
 
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G B
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ParticleMan wrote:
LazyJ wrote:
does anyone play with the expansion and intentionally leave out more than one thing? That would surprise me. I mean, I have all these cool bits in the box. They're literally right there waiting for me to play with. I shouldn't use them?


I've played the base game over 200 times and still enjoy it. I think it would be sad to miss out on having a comprehensive experience with just the base game.


Ditto. I am not at 200, but how about "a lot," like, a really lot. And I still love it.
 
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James Motz
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Well, that's what I mean. I like the base game a lot. I like the expansion a lot too. And since I paid for and like all these modules in the expansion, I use them.

I guess what I was getting at was how common it was to exclude more than one "module" out of the expansion. In my mind, if you're only adding one or two things... why did you buy the expansion in the first place?
 
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G B
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Each module tweaks the game a bit, and to some it is fun to play the game tweaked differently each time.

Some have played it so much in base set up, and in full ROTA set up, that a tweaked hybrid set up can be fun too.

 
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Michael Johnson
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Quote:
But seriously, does anyone play with the expansion and intentionally leave out more than one thing? That would surprise me. I mean, I have all these cool bits in the box. They're literally right there waiting for me to play with. I shouldn't use them?


We use Ancient home worlds only to fill in starting spaces if we have less than 6 or 7-8 players.

We do not use simultaneous play...to much going on, or predictable techs.

We use reversible turn order for greater than 4 players.

We use Alliances only for greater than 6 players.

Hives, rare techs, developments, center dreadnaught, warp portals...always

 
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Jeremy Avery
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I'm really surprised at how low the votes are on Predictable Techs. I would think that knowing when missiles will hit the table would change the decision about passing for the round. (One of several potential key techs that Predictable Techs helps to mitigate the luck of.)
 
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Thomas
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I have eclipse but still haven't learned it and plan on teaching it to my girlfriend (my main game partner). Is this expansion really a must have? Should I get it before we try eclipse? Does it make learning the game harder?
 
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