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Subject: First fight after 3 hours in 5 player game... rss

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Tom Jones
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Finally I got to place this game and it took the whole table. We were 5 players and everyone knew most of the rules (everyone is human), except some rule look-up the game was smooth. But, it took 3 hours into the game to get into the first interesting fight, conflict was avoided with diplomacy and turtling. Even if someone really wanted to attack he could not due to the worm hole configuration. It was disappointing that the game took so long to get interesting and at the end we stopped the game at round 5 because we ran into 1 AM and everyone was dead tiered.

I wonder if the expansion fixes some of these problems, if yes I would like to know more on how and if it is worth investing in it.

The game is good, it just long and has a "build up" effect that probably explodes in the end of the game - I just wish I could actually see it.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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m_peretz wrote:
Finally I got to place this game and it took the whole table. We were 5 players and everyone knew most of the rules (everyone is human), except some rule look-up the game was smooth. But, it took 3 hours into the game to get into the first interesting fight, conflict was avoided with diplomacy and turtling. Even if someone really wanted to attack he could not due to the worm hole configuration. It was disappointing that the game took so long to get interesting and at the end we stopped the game at round 5 because we ran into 1 AM and everyone was dead tiered.

I wonder if the expansion fixes some of these problems, if yes I would like to know more on how and if it is worth investing in it.

The game is good, it just long and has a "build up" effect that probably explodes in the end of the game - I just wish I could actually see it.


The pace of your game is a bit slow, but then again more plays should speed this up. In addition, the the tendency during the first few plays is really to turtle. Later on you guys will really up the ante (including placing explored hexes better into directions where you want to attack) and early attacks will become more frequent. I had a game where I was Rho Indi and I managed to pull out a first turn attack versus a Planta player, and that turned out fantastic for me!

 
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Andrei Ivanesei
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I think the problem was the play-style of your group, not the base game. I've sen this lack of aggression a lot with new players.

Usually, by turn 5, you should have at least 2 people contesting the galactic center and preliminary alliances taking place - people joining forces against the most developed player.

TBH, I'd recommend you play the game again, with the same group. Now everyone will know what to expect and everyone will at least have an idea of what won your first game.

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Shawn Burk
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First few games with my group, and the very first in particular, everyone played defensively and was too scared to engage people early. New players get this "I can't fight until I have a perfect fleet" mentality, which is kind of a waste when you get experienced. Our second game, I pushed for offense by turn 2 with an imperfect fleet and wound up riding the others into playing imperfectly too, and that's when the game clicked for us and everyone had that light switch moment that you can have a lot of fun before waiting for the final turn for a couple massive battles. Since then I'm still probably the most aggressive, but we have more rounded players that know to expect and fight back by turn 3. Give it a couple plays and you'll find that too, especially if you lead by example to show it can be done.
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Cracky McCracken
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You need to fight in Eclipse. The game's scoring system is designed that way. You get a serious amount of VPs from blasting Ancients and each other.
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Jeremy Avery
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I'll back up all the other's posts: it's a beginner tendency to turtle, and turtling does not lead to consistent wins. Some players will be teching up military faster than others, and they should be aggressively exploring into others' zones of control. Good luck with your turtle strategy once I've taken your 3-point home world on Round 4, collecting discovery chips from Ancient hexes as I go.
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G B
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We usually finish 5 player games in 3-4 hours. That you had so few turns implies slow play.

Also, for fighting to happen, all that people need to do is explore towards the center early, and each other of course. Configure the wormholes to your liking by exploring more.

Explore to your neighbor to exchange diplomats and then betray him after a turn or two.

Fight for the center. I guarantee there will be fighting if people see fleet on their doorstep.

Above all, remember that for fighting to happen, move to the center.

Don't take too many planets backwards as your economy will be weak since the systems out there have fewer planets.

Move forward, out resource, overwhelm.
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Alexander DeSouza
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I've also found my friends reluctant to attack early, leading to stale games that often unfold so similarly that the game nearly lost its enjoyment.

We adopted a couple of minor House Rules to aid with this, removing the Traitor Card from the game to make Diplomatic Relations less penalizing, for instance. We also adopted a variant of the Warp Portals from Rise of the Ancients to open up the board significantly (I posted about some time ago here: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/11345597#11345597), granting Players easier access to each other (thus encouraging conflict as well).

Small adjustments like these can incentivize otherwise "shy" Players to being more aggressive. Our games since have been much better for it.
 
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Jeremy Avery
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Honestly, I don't believe it even needs a house rule. All it needs is for one person to take the initiative, arm themselves, and go for the Center. The Center is loaded, and from there you are a threat to everyone, so they have to respond - or lose. I can't figure out for the life of me why in a 3+ player game, one person isn't gunning for the middle. And if they take it: 4 points, and 5 (or is it 6?) cube placements! Plus Reputation tiles!

The game is designed to encourage battles: Ancients encourage you to arm and build, and once you've armed and built, attacking other players takes points/resources from them, gives points/resources to you, plus Repuation tiles (which is all the points of a planet without have to worry about holding on to it!

As for the Traitor card - are you sure you are playing Diplomacy correctly? If everyone is turtling and preventing entry into their areas, then they are not allowed to exchange diplomats - no penalty/Traitor) if they do attack.

TL;DR - Someone should attack the Centre by Round 3 - and that should drive steer the game into greater interaction.
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Wheels
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From my experience (and from what others have said above) it's not uncommon for newer players to avoid combat for as long as possible.

However, as you get more experience you become more confident in when and where to attack. These days my group and I will tackle Ancients or other players as quickly as possible, in order to get VPs and expand.

Remember, with more territory comes more resource production. The Ancient hexes in particular are resource-rich, and a player conquering lots of them will find themselves accelerating ahead of others who restrict their empire by turtling.
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Mike Campbell
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Another thing to add is the beginner mentality that it is always best to close yourself off from other players in the 1st and 2nd ring. This can be effective in limiting access to your space, but it also deprives you of movement options.

Keep in mind, it's generally easier for you to defend your space than it is for someone else to go out of their way to attack it without opening themselves up to others.

Also, Wormhole Generator is most effective by far when everyone tries to close themselves in. The 1st player to get this tech will have a huge advantage in such a situation in that they will be free to move into other people's "closed space" and the defender has few or no options with which to counter-attack. Thus, by going out of your way keep players out, you really only end up keeping yourself in. By creating some open wormholes between players, you can generally keep each other more honest. You also limit the value of one of the most powerful techs in the game if it is to be used against you.
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