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Subject: The Jaws of Defeat (Isleworth Boardgamers) rss

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Philip Thomas
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Gareth had borrowed a copy of Eclipse from a friend and he and I roped Sean into playing. Sean was new and took the Terran Federation. I had played half a dozen games or so and took the Terran Alliance. Gareth said he'd played four or five games and took the Mechanaema.

After explaining the rules to Sean we randomly determined who was to go first. Gareth's cube was drawn, but Sean objected to this method and insisted on rolling dice. I won a roll off against Sean and started the game by taking the only available Improved Hull. The rest of the techs were either too expensive or unsuited to early play, so Sean explored Ring I, finding a science+advanced science hex. However Gareth had left two Ring I hexes in the box, so we reshuffled and dealt Sean a science+advanced science hex. Sean insisted on a third shuffle and dealt himself...the same science+advanced science hex. Sean grudgingly accepted the result- and discarded the hex.

Gareth also discarded his Ring I hex (double Ancients). I was perfectly happy with my single Ancient, and Sean and Gareth now drew more acceptable hexes (without Ancients).

By the end of turn 2 I had found 3 sectors with one Ancient, one sector with 2 Ancients (in Ring III) and one sector with a single money planet. Sean and Gareth meanwhile had expanded to occupy several systems, carefully blocking themselves from contact with either me or each other. Both had picked up at least one 2 VP chip and chosen to keep them.

By careful saving I was able to build 2 Cruisers in turn 3, upgrade their Hulls and take out one of the Ancients- drawing a helpful 8 money. In turn 4 I took out another Ancient, drawing 6 Materials. In turn 5 I built a couple more Cruisers and took out the double Ancients, losing a Cruiser in the firefight but gaining one on the Discovery tile. Unfortunately I had also overspent, meaning I lost a system. Meanwhile I had been researching the 2nd line of techs- Gauss Shield, Fusion Source and Tachyon Drive. In turn 7 I explored the remaining Ring II hex and was able to find a backdoor to Sean's empire, guarded by a single Ancient.

Sean and Gareth had both invested in Orbitals and were rather light on ship, though they had some fairly advanced techs. However, I chose not to attack Sean and simply took out the remaining Ancient, finding a free Neutron Bombs tech which I took as 2 Vps.

In turn 7 I bought Quantum Grid and stormed the Galactic Centre with 4 Cruisers and an un-upgraded Dreadnought. I left a starbase to guard myself against Sean- who was busy fortifying his own sectors with Starbases. Gareth took out an Ancient at this point, finding Shard Hull. The Galactic Centre was destroyed at the price of the Dreadnought and I discovered Hypergrid Source which I installed on my cruisers.

In turn 8 I warily watched Sean build 2 Dreadnoughts- but he sent them to attack Ancients rather than me. Gareth also held back from attacking me, so I was able to pick up Advanced Economy and retake the system I'd abandoned earlier. Gareth's ships would probably have smashed my Ion-Cannon equipped Cruisers at this point- he had a mix of Plasma Cannons and Plasma Missiles.

Fortunately in turn 9 I was able to buy and install Antimatter Cannons on them. Gareth urged Sean to attack me- Sean's dreadnoughts now had Conformal drive so could reach the heart of my empire. Sean paused to research Neutron Bombs, allowing me to build interceptors so I could pin him at the edge of my space. But two could play that game- Sean also built interceptors and in the end he was able to overwhelm my pin and send a Dreadnought to my undefended home system.

Gareth was not idle- he moved 2 Dreadnoughts and 4 Cruisers into the Galactic Centre and upgraded them some more. The final fight in the centre pitted his force against 4 Cruisers and 3 Starbases on my side. His Plasma Missile took out one Cruiser- his Dreadnoughts benefiting from 2 Positron Computers. However, I was able to destroy both Dreadnoughts and in the end it came down to a single cruiser vs a single starbase- with the cruiser victorious. I also lost the mass interceptor fight against Sean- his Dreadnought being the deciding factor. And of course I lost my home system.

So, the once-mighty Terran alliance lay in ruins, its homeworld lost, the Galactic Centre torn away. Only a few peripheral systems and no ships remained.

And yet... the strain of the all out attack on the alliance had bankrupted the enemy economies. The Federation survived, only losing 2 systems, but the Mechanema were forced to abandon everything except their home system. The Galactic centre lay unclaimed.

Philip 32 Sean 22 Gareth 9.
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Sean
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Philip Thomas wrote:
After explaining the rules to Sean we randomly determined who was to go first. Gareth's cube was drawn, but Sean objected to this method and insisted on rolling dice.

I won a roll off against Sean and started the game by taking the only available Improved Hull. The rest of the techs were either too expensive or unsuited to early play, so Sean explored Ring I, finding a science+advanced science hex. However Gareth had left two Ring I hexes in the box, so we reshuffled and dealt Sean a science+advanced science hex. Sean insisted on a third shuffle and dealt himself...the same science+advanced science hex. Sean grudgingly accepted the result- and discarded the hex.


Ha, boy was I a grouch In my defense, dice vs cubes? No contest! Secondly I have played games with Gareth before and he is way too sneaky arrrh Look how he convinced the poor hapless Eclipse newbie to gang up on the other humans! whistle
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