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Subject: Eclipse alternative for two rss

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Thomas
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I really wanted eclipse but it seems the game is really better with more players so I am looking for an alternative. I've heard about Exodus: Proxima Centauri but don't know much about it. What else is there?
 
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Mike Watne
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What about Eclipse are you hoping to achieve with 2 players?

- If you simply just want Eclipse and would love to see it work well for 2 players, go ahead and pick it up as well as the expansion, Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients. It features a modular option to include "Ancient Homeworlds" which, when used in a 2-player game, adds more than enough scope to counterbalance the problems a 2-player base-only game experiences.

- If you want an epic showdown between variable, customizable player races and lots of colorful cubes, try Dominant Species. The 2-player game is one of the most brutal (and awesome) conflicts I've encountered, and you will absolutely be interacting with each other.

- If you want all 4 X's and don't care about the setting, 2-player Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game has a lot to offer.

- If you want "SPACE!" and don't care too much about the X's, I'm a huge advocate of Eminent Domain, and it plays wonderfully with 2.

I haven't tried Exodus: Proxima Centauri, but I've heard good things.

Hope that helps. Cheers!

[Edit: Abbreviated Exodus turns into an emoticon. Opted for Geeklink]
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Thomas
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Thanks Mike, all good suggestions. Though I am hesitant about buying an expansion for a game I am unsure about.

I guess we want an epic space adventure feeling with lots of interaction and some explorations and development. Not to sure about the whole economic aspect though we don't have any games with that mechanic so it's intriguing.

What about Hegemonic, it's coming out soon. It seems influenced by Eclipse, I wonder if they improved or streamlined any of the mechanics?
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Mike Watne
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I am also really looking forward to Hegemonic. I was soooo close to backing the KS, but it hit me at a bad time and I opted to wait a bit. But I'll be keeping my eye out for certain.

From what I recall, Hegemonic takes a pretty different approach than Eclipse. Variable player powers are strictly optional and based on cards, so if you prefer, all players can begin on the same footing. While Eclipse centers around (among other things) customizing your fleet and engaging in direct, dice-based combat, Hegemonic instead seems to involve customizing your empire directly, and using it to engage in a variety of combative interactions based on accumulated power rather than dice.

The interactions in Hegemonic seem rather complex and interesting, and I feel like it will bring some very cool things to the table. I don't think it will overlap too much with Eclipse in terms of the feel of the game, so it should stand well on its own in any collection. I've been following the designer, Oliver Kiley, a bit, and he seems like a sharp guy with a knack for interesting designs. He is currently trying to implement a simplified "Hegemonic Express" of sorts within the Decktet system, and it looks intriguing enough that I just ordered a Decktet setup to give it a try.

Of course, I have no idea how well Hegemonic works for 2 players. With so many ways to upgrade your different factions, it might well require 3+ in order to allow a given strategy enough options to fully exploit it. We'll see.

Lastly, I guess another of the reasons I didn't ultimately back Hegemonic was because I already have Eclipse, and while I believe in the differences I've stated above, my gaming group absolutely LOVES Eclipse. I think trying to get any other space-themed 4X game into play will be a tough sell when gatherings are rare and a beloved favorite is already available. But then, I'm a bit of a collector. I'll probably pick up Hegemonic on principle when next I encounter it.

Sorry for the book
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Thomas
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Are these my only options?
 
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Jordan Fraser
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I may be in the minority, but I enjoy Eclipse as a two player game. It's certainly better with more players, but still worth playing with two. I love the economic system of Eclipse; it's one of my favourite parts of the game, but I really enjoy economic games and euros, so your mileage might vary.
I've heard great things about Space Empires: 4X as a two player 4x game, but I can't vouch for it personally.
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Mike Watne
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This might help a bit: Top 10 Space Empire Games

Some of these obviously won't work well for 2 players, but it is a place to start the hunt.

[Edit: It's over a year old and therefore won't speak to any of the newer stuff, and with the huge surge in KS popularity of late, I'm sure there are plenty of solid new titles (like the afore-mentioned Hegemonic). Still, great games usually remain great games.]
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Thomas
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Poserdisposer wrote:
I may be in the minority, but I enjoy Eclipse as a two player game. It's certainly better with more players, but still worth playing with two. I love the economic system of Eclipse; it's one of my favourite parts of the game, but I really enjoy economic games and euros, so your mileage might vary.
I've heard great things about Space Empires: 4X as a two player 4x game, but I can't vouch for it personally.


Too bad it looks like garbage, I just can't get past the surface on this one. Good to hear some positive feedback on Eclipse with two, maybe that's still our best bet.

thegreybetween wrote:
This might help a bit: Top 10 Space Empire Games

Some of these obviously won't work well for 2 players, but it is a place to start the hunt.

[Edit: It's over a year old and therefore won't speak to any of the newer stuff, and with the huge surge in KS popularity of late, I'm sure there are plenty of solid new titles (like the afore-mentioned Hegemonic). Still, great games usually remain great games.]


Cool, never heard of someof these. Too bad my girlfriend isn't a fan of cards games but I may see if I can get a copy of Eminent Domain. Is that better than Core Worlds? Unfortinately all the other options seem to be 3+.

 
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Mike Watne
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EmDo and Core Worlds are very different beasts. I don't have a ton of experience with the latter, but I found it to be a pretty enjoyable, albeit standard-fare deck-building game.

EmDo is a bit different. You have the option of playing a card as an action each round, and then you must perform a role. During the role, you take the appropriate card from the supply, and can then boost that role by playing similar cards from your hand, to achieve a variety of effects.

Therefore, the more you do a particular role (colonize/research/trade/etc), the more of that card you'll have in your deck. It is something of a "learning deck" deck builder.

Plus, the player interaction is great because when any player performs ("leads") a role, the other players have a choice. They can "dissent" the role, drawing an extra card to help them on their own turn, or they can "follow" the role by discarding appropriate cards from their hand to perform essentially the same action.

What you end up with is a pretty dynamic environment in which players are trying to optimize their plays during both their own turns as well as during the opponent's turn, and it provides some very rich tactical card play. Add to that some attractive space-themed artwork and a pile of plastic ships, and it makes a great 2-4 player, 30-ish minute game.

[Edit: Last sentence cut off by a n00bish placement of an HTML bracket.]
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If a space game, Space Empires: 4X. If it can be any 4X, I have experience with and love Clash of Cultures.... a ton of fun
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Kai Mölleken
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I've heard about Exodus: Proxima Centauri but don't know much about it.


What you should have heard about it, is that the production quality isn't that good. Or if you ask me... it's too bad for the price tag of the game.

Then I had some minor issues with the graphical design. All planets and asteroids in a line are connected by some sort of cosmic nebula which looks pretty odd. But that's minor like I said. Nothing to dismiss a game for.

The gameplay... was okay for me. There were several aspects which were pretty neat. I won't argue that. But the fact that you have to spend population permanently in order to research was a design decision I did not like. It forced you to do some strange moves that didn't make much sense other than giving you back your cubes so that you can do certain actions again. I have a hard time explaining it since I only played it once and that was in January. But I DO remember that I disliked that aspect.

Bottom line is... I didn't get all that excited about it. I bought Eclipse instead.
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Shawn Allen
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Empires of the Void has proven to be fun for 2 and certainly creates the space empire-building atmosphere. I would second Eminent Domain and would absolutely recommend Core Worlds, especially with the Core Worlds: Galactic Orders expansion. With two players, we've also really enjoyed the space-empire theme of Race for the Galaxy as well.
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Ben Rubinstein

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If you can lose the space theme, I put in another vote for Clash of Cultures.

I backed Hegemonic, so I'm very eager to play it! I'm not sure how it will play with with 2, though. Although I'm willing to venture a guess that it might play a bit better with 2 than more representative games like Eclipse as it's more abstract.
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Thomas
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epilepticemu wrote:
If you can lose the space theme, I put in another vote for Clash of Cultures.

I backed Hegemonic, so I'm very eager to play it! I'm not sure how it will play with with 2, though. Although I'm willing to venture a guess that it might play a bit better with 2 than more representative games like Eclipse as it's more abstract.


I just got clash of cultures in an epic trade for a great deal. Excited to play. Was hoping for a space themed game as well.

Herme123 wrote:
Empires of the Void has proven to be fun for 2 and certainly creates the space empire-building atmosphere. I would second Eminent Domain and would absolutely recommend Core Worlds, especially with the Core Worlds: Galactic Orders expansion. With two players, we've also really enjoyed the space-empire theme of Race for the Galaxy as well.


Which of the card games would you recommend Eminent Domain or Core Worlds for people who generally don't like card games? I just watched some videos for Empires of the Void and it looks like it could be a winner. There are some mixed reviews though. Tom and Sam said its what eclipse should have been. There interesting.
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Shawn Allen
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I think Eminent Domain is probably the more straightforward of those two for those not really into card games. The cards come in fewer types with less unique text than those in Core Worlds. While this gives Core Worlds more variety and flavor, it does make Eminient Domain more streamlined and accessible. They're both great choices as space empire building experiences, though.
 
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Which of the card games would you recommend Eminent Domain or Core Worlds for people who generally don't like card games?

Out of these two I'd pick Race for the Galaxy, with Glory to Rome a close second (but no space theme). Seriously, RftG has a dedicated two-player variant that may just be better than playing with 3 or 4 players (in short: both players pick two roles per turn, and some roles can be picked twice per round). EmDo is often accused of just being a blend of the RftG and GtR, and I fail to see the point of Core Worlds.
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Thomas
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mondauge wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Which of the card games would you recommend Eminent Domain or Core Worlds for people who generally don't like card games?

Out of these two I'd pick Race for the Galaxy, with Glory to Rome a close second (but no space theme). Seriously, RftG has a dedicated two-player variant that may just be better than playing with 3 or 4 players (in short: both players pick two roles per turn, and some roles can be picked twice per round).


I like the idea that this game can be played solo but the iconography seems to be a steep learning curve. Ther art isn't that impressive either.
 
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
mondauge wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Which of the card games would you recommend Eminent Domain or Core Worlds for people who generally don't like card games?

Out of these two I'd pick Race for the Galaxy, with Glory to Rome a close second (but no space theme). Seriously, RftG has a dedicated two-player variant that may just be better than playing with 3 or 4 players (in short: both players pick two roles per turn, and some roles can be picked twice per round).


I like the idea that this game can be played solo but the iconography seems to be a steep learning curve. Ther art isn't that impressive either.

I think the solo part is in fact crap. The iconography however is very useful once you get it, cause you can see it from anywhere on the table without reading upside down card abilities. Also, the art is way better than in Eclipse; does that even have art (and let's not talk about the ships...)?
The main point, though, is that Race is by far dominating the card game category that you asked for since there is so much game to it. It strains the game space that a card game should be allowed to generate.
 
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Jonathan A.
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
mondauge wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Which of the card games would you recommend Eminent Domain or Core Worlds for people who generally don't like card games?

Out of these two I'd pick Race for the Galaxy, with Glory to Rome a close second (but no space theme). Seriously, RftG has a dedicated two-player variant that may just be better than playing with 3 or 4 players (in short: both players pick two roles per turn, and some roles can be picked twice per round).


I like the idea that this game can be played solo but the iconography seems to be a steep learning curve. Ther art isn't that impressive either.


My wife and I learned how to play RftG in an hour just last week. Neither of us thought that the iconography made learning the game difficult. On the contrary, we both found the iconography very intuitive.

BTW, we both LOVE the game now.
 
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I recommend Space Empires 4X, too. It is a great scenario based 4X game even for two players and a worthy grand-son of the honorable Stellar Conquest (which is also a good two players game):
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1708/stellar-conquest

But we play Eclipse often and without any problems just with two players. We use some houserules to reduce the luck factor and like this game variant very much. If you have an iPad, you should get the Eclipse app.


Card games: Core Worlds and Race for the Galaxy.
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Thomas
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Mortifikator wrote:
I recommend Space Empires 4X, too. It is a great scenario based 4X game even for two players and a worthy grand-son of the honorable Stellar Conquest (which is also a good two players game):
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1708/stellar-conquest

But we play Eclipse often and without any problems just with two players. We use some houserules to reduce the luck factor and like this game variant very much. If you have an iPad, you should get the Eclipse app.


Card games: Core Worlds and Race for the Galaxy.


What is the variant exactly? It's looking like there isn't an alternative to eclipse so we may have to just give it a try.
 
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JS
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These house rules are from Jukka Autio.
http://boardgamegeek.com/user/KukistajA
We use some or sometimes all of them and do not play original Eclipse any longer. Works very fine for us...

"Having played with house rules numerous times, stock rules feel more and more terrible. I probably won’t agree to play stock eclipse ever again.
I’ve been watching the game evolve and managed to get glimpses of it while it was still under playtesting. I felt I have to get to try it, it looked so good. Now I own my copy, just played it for the first time and how do I feel? Well, its a mixed bag. I found a lot of very nice mechanics, a lot of interaction, and a nice balance between actions and option the players have. I also found lots of luck involved, with a bit more luck and a little more luck.

The dice rolling is obvious. Its hard to feel good when your opponent luckbags 1 out of 36 shot with one try against your 1 out of 3 with two tries. There is no good fix for this, so I grudgingly have to accept it. The hex drawing is another thing. Getting only ancient tiles at the beginning is huge disadvantage, and having to discard explored tiles even more so. Finding ancient treasures is also purely luck, and they are not in balance. Pulling the reputation tiles from the bag is also totally random. By sacrificing one interceptor, a player might earn 4 VP where the winner gets just 1 VP. Drawing the tech tiles from the bag to table is also completely random.

We have now played several games with the following house rules, and the game works IMO much better:

1) Each hex stack is turned upside-down. This lets every player know where they are exploring to. This basically kills the luck factor in hex drawing.

2) Instead of placing discovery tiles face down, place discovery tiles face up. This reduces unnecessary randomness and lets you plan how large risks and / or sacrifices you should be willing to take to get the tile.
Also the ancient tech tiles are way OP. Either remove them, or make the following arrangement: Put all discovery tiles face up on the table, and use them normally on discovery hexes. When a player is awarded a discovery tile, he may take tile of his choosing for the discovery tile stack instead of having to take the tile on the hex with the following restrictions: If the hex had one or less ancient ships, the player may take any discovery tile but technology. If the hex had two ancient ships or more, he may choose any discovery tile.
We have decided to rather play without the tech tiles.

3) Instead of drawing reputation tiles from the bag, put 5 reputation tiles face down on the table. After each combat, the combatant who gets to draw most tiles (“the winner”) draws his from these 5, chooses one and returns the rest which are then shuffled. Then the rest combatants draw theirs in the same “most-order” manner. When everyone has drawn his tile, the tiles are restocked face down to 5. This greatly reduces the randomness in combat victory points, and rewards the winners of large battles.

4) Instead of randomly drawing the tech tiles from the bag, just make them all available at the start of the game (and ban hydran race), or make X/2 of each tile rounded up available at the start of the game, where X is the number of players (and still ban hydrans).

5) Ships need to have a VP value at the end of the game. Perhaps small, but anything that prevents the optimal strategy for the last round: Get into as many combats as possible with all of your ships, to draw as many reputation tiles as possible, and usually decide who wins the game. Starbases and interceptors ? VP, cruisers 1 VP, and battleships 1? VP, count ship VP’s together, and round up."
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Oliver Kiley
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epilepticemu wrote:
If you can lose the space theme, I put in another vote for Clash of Cultures.

I backed Hegemonic, so I'm very eager to play it! I'm not sure how it will play with with 2, though. Although I'm willing to venture a guess that it might play a bit better with 2 than more representative games like Eclipse as it's more abstract.


I missed this thread - thanks for mentioning Hegemonic.

You are right in that with 2-players Hegemonic plays, in some ways, similar to a 2-player abstract strategy game. The 2-player game can be very tense and competitive, but as with many other abstracts - once one player gets a signifcant upperhand victory usually follows in short order. I enjoy it quite a bit of course - it's a slightly different from playing with 3+ players, but it is a solid one nonetheless.
 
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