The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
My wife and I have played a few games now where one of us has used a cosmic collision/supernova early game destroying a planet/star and the effect was disastrous. It was nearly impossible to catch up not because the opportunities for growth were not available but that the other player had managed to gain such a large essence lead that catching up was at best a futile attempt. The typical situation is that you need essence to play cosmic bodies; your essence constrained early game due to an unfortunate loss via cosmic collision/supernova; your opponent doesn't have this issue and can now target your next cosmic body easily as soon as you play it because they have an essence lead providing easier access to recourses during the purchase phase. You do have access to a focus token which protects a single planet/star of your choice from destruction but one cosmic body early game is just not enough.
I can definitely see that this would be a problem in a two player game. With say four players you get sort of a terror balance. No one dares fire the first shot, because there are so many who can retaliate. (Or perhaps the people I've played with have been to nice).
Additionally, possibly confounding this issue, we noticed that in the two player games it appears to be more efficient for players to play high-yield essence planets/stars early game while purchasing elements to build with as opposed to actually using stars to generate the needed building blocks via fusion. This occurred in nearly every one of our games and each time I attempted to fully exploit the stars while using purchasing as an augmentation, as opposed to a strategy, I quickly fell behind. [...] I think that for two player games it may be better suited to increase the cost of the resources by one, maybe two, essence to better balance the cost/pay out of each of the cards played. Although I've not attempted to incorporate this in our game yet it is one suggestion that may compensate for the apparent run away train that can occur in the two player Eons experience.
This is interesting. I have yet to play a two player game, but I can see the potential problem. Increasing the cost of the elements seems like an easy fix. I have yet to try a similar strategy in a multi player game. It might be an issue there as well.
In short, our experience is that Eons suffers from what all engine building games do; Early game advancements are difficult to overcome, which of course is part in partial the whole engine gig. Therefore, I'm not really sure I can fault the game for that as it happens to be part of the design of all engine building games.
Overall the lack of variety in the cards does leave me wanting more from a space themed game. After-all, space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is (Douglas Adams, Hitchiker's Guide). So lets have a bit more shall we? I know GN has some expansions in the pip line and I'm looking forward to backing them on KS.
Again. Agree completely.