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Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: First time with 8 - what should I include? rss

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Kristian Pesti
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Heya.

We're heading off to our cottage to do some light boardgaming. Voting for the games has ended and Eclipse is one of the chosen ones. The problem here is the number of players, it's eight. There are two new players which I'm hoping to introduce to Eclipse before the trip.

Now with the Eclipse, the greatest problem is the length, it's an awesome game, but we have some (well, uh, me) APs and last time we played with 7 it took maybe 7 hours. We ate in the middle and stuff, but it was still too exhausting...

Now this time I don't want it to last that long. We already have one solution that has helped, DGT Cube that has SERIOUSLY cut the playing time, from 4 hours with 4 players we've gotten down to 2 hours. So, this helps a bit.

But is there anything else I can do to shorten the game? The simulatenous turns, do they work or are they too fiddly?

Second question, what should I add from RotA to the base game to make it as fun as possible? We have played very little with RotA stuff for some reason, so I'm not sure what to include.

I was thinking of skipping development tiles, few players still have some problems with the normal techs so I think it'd give too much of an advantage.

Warp gates, should we add them? They seem fun and will open more interactions between players, right?

Ancient hives, are they good with 8 or do they add too much fiddling?

Alliances, these I really want, we've played with them once and they seemed nice. But should I skip them? Do they add too much "choices" and negotiation to make the game drag and the amount fun they would add wouldn't be enough to make up for the lost time with this big group? Or do they open the map up which might be a bit "tight" with this many players.

Thanks a lot for your answers!
 
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Justin Farkas

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I have not played 8 players of eclipse yet but I would recommend all the expansion stuff except for the alliances. If you are worried about time and dragging the game out, alliances in my gaming group have often doubled the length of our games. Once we had a 4 player game last over 7 hours! It was fun for different reasons and offered some interesting player interaction, but it did make more downtown time between players actions. It was kind of funny having some strategy sessions in a separate room or whispering our plans to your ally tho.

I have not used this yet but I heard of some players using timers to clock in the time during each players action phase.
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Sam Cook
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I think there is something in the rulebook that suggests what modules to use with 7+ people. I think we followed that when we had 8 people, and it worked out fine.

At the very least do use the developments, new races, and simultaneous turns. We used the alliances too and liked it. I think the alliances can sometimes help with AP since people don't have to worry as much about a boarder with one of their allies.
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Thomas NORMAND
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Diffler wrote:

But is there anything else I can do to shorten the game?

- Ask the other people to read the rules before the game, if possible.
- Install the game in advance.
- Eat shortly, a sandwich!!!

Diffler wrote:

The simulatenous turns, do they work or are they too fiddly?

- Never tried, but I think it is very helpful

Diffler wrote:

Second question, what should I add from RotA to the base game to make it as fun as possible? We have played very little with RotA stuff for some reason, so I'm not sure what to include.

- Add the races, of course, maybe not Lyra which is quite long to explain
- New techs can be avoided except anti-missiles techs, IMO
- Do not add developments, not mandatory
- Add ancient hives
- Do not use ancients worlds, or not all of them
- Add warps

Diffler wrote:

I was thinking of skipping development tiles, few players still have some problems with the normal techs so I think it'd give too much of an advantage.

- I agree

Diffler wrote:

Warp gates, should we add them? They seem fun and will open more interactions between players, right?

- Don't skip them, it's too huge!

Diffler wrote:

Ancient hives, are they good with 8 or do they add too much fiddling?

- Keep it, it worths it.
Diffler wrote:

Alliances, these I really want, we've played with them once and they seemed nice. But should I skip them? Do they add too much "choices" and negotiation to make the game drag and the amount fun they would add wouldn't be enough to make up for the lost time with this big group? Or do they open the map up which might be a bit "tight" with this many players.


- I think you can skip it, but keep the diplomatic relations!
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Christopher Melenberg
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Diffler wrote:
, DGT Cube that has SERIOUSLY cut the playing time, from 4 hours with 4 players we've gotten down to 2 hours. So, this helps a bit.


What the heck is "DGT Cube" and how has it cut your play time in half?! If this magical device cuts player time down from 1hr to 30mins then I think that is all you need...

However: If you are REALLY concerned with time
New Races: you'll have to use them - you have 8 players...
Hives: I would say keep them out as it is another thing you need to remember to roll for at the end of each turn and some players may find them "fiddly"
New Techs: If you have to teach all the players the new rare techs this will add a bit of time - however the rare techs imo are in the top end of additions for ROTA.
Warp Portals: a must - more conflict, but more choices for dip so may add a tiny bit of length (negligible)
Harder Ancient worlds: a must - and no extra time to explain
Alliances: this will likely add a fair bit of time to your game as players have to negotiate with each other. Skip this if you really care about time. BUT if you want more verbal player interaction and your group really likes this type of game experience the time won't matter much.
Developments: not a big deal, easy to explain, but if this is just another thing that new players need to think about... then it may have subtle slowdown.
Simultaneous play: haven't used this yet, but I've heard varying things. It will likely speed things up, but also potentially add a bit more of a chaotic/panicky/confused feel. Depends on the players playing I imagine.

Again what is this DGT Cube?
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When in doubt, google it: http://www.dgtcube.com/
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Kristian Pesti
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http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/984746/dgt-cube-eclipse
 
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Kristian Pesti
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Now I can properly answer and thank you as I was on with my phone earlier. So yes, thanks for everyone's input!

Thanks forwarding me to the rulebook, I had completely forgotten that it had part describing what to include, I have to check it out too!

So far I'll be sure to include the warp portals. Ancient worlds, yeah, I'll put 'em up! I might add the hives for extra fun depending on how people want it, but probably skip them for now. I'll skip the new technologies and developments. (Not to make it harder for the two new players, there's much to learn already!)

Alliances...that's a hard one. I really love them but they indeed add negotiation time. But maybe with the clock, the negotiations must happen with the time you have. You can of course talk about them when it's not your or your target's turn.

And the simulatenous turns, hurr. I just realised we can't use the clock and that at the same time, hmmmmmm. I'll read how it works and decide which is better.

How are my choices so far? Week and a half to the game!
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Christopher Melenberg
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Looks like you are ready for a good time! Enjoy!
And post back about how long it took to play out your 8 turn game - this always intrigues me. Probably won't get to have a large game until the end of the year
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Lord Blackadder
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I played Eclipse for the first time with 8 players, we started at 12:00 and were finished shortly before 18:00

Out of these 8 players, 4 were veterans and the other 4 were new players or had played 1 time before. I was surprised to see how quickly I could pick up this game as a new player. I even ended up in 3rd place. (The new players do have experience with other large strategy board games, so it's a bit easier for us to learn new games. Also the experienced players usually give some strategy tips about what to buy, build or research to the newer players to prevent easy walkovers.)

We did not use the 2 turns-at-once variant.


Fun game! We will play again tonight.


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