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Subject: My first victory! rss

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Starkiller
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I am very pumped this month about my boardgame group. My careful cultivation has paid off handsomely! I bought my first new board game this year-Eclipse-expecting to only play it with my brother and a couple friends. Because of theme and confrontation I didn't expect it to be played by the whole group. It came in and my wife agreed to try it after looking it over, and also discovering it only had 9 rounds.
She loved it.
Then she convinced my sister-in-law, who prefers non-confrontational games, to give it a try.
She enjoyed it too!!!
Maybe my family is ready to go beyond Catan! Whoooot!!! It might help that I lost the first 4 games.

So, new awesome game night story. Eclipse with 5 players-2 brothers 1st game (Humans) wife Hydrans, brother named Orion playing the Orion Hegemony for the first time (2nd game, he won his first) and me playing the Planta for the first time. We're all rather new at this, but everyone is playing fairly well. I made peace with one brother (red) and explored toward the center hex, plopping a double ancients between me and the Orions (orienting it so he was blocked from the GC) figuring I would fight him later. devil
Eventually I captured the galactic center. Meanwhile my wife had managed to lose against a single ancient with two upgraded cruisers and an upgraded interceptor, trapping her with almost no resources on two systems, surrounded by ancients. This hurt her bad, she was struggling the whole game. My red neighbor was fortifying his borders with huge fleets (afterward he said he was thinking of risk and waiting for an attack-it never came) but not attacking even though I had thinly defended borders. Therefore, I trusted our diplomatic relations (stupid-this is my brother, I should have known better) and wound up exploring past the galactic center, leaving me with a long territory mostly a single hex wide stretching through the galaxy from one side to the other. For all the new players out there....this is stupid. There was no way I could defend all that, once borders and ancients were crossed. Crucially, I discovered the ancient 11power source, and placed it on my dreadnought.
Right about then the sabers the Orions and Planta had been rattling came out. He had his ships upgraded with several computers and lots of shields, and steamrollered over my advanced hulls ships. Things were looking rather bleak for the greens.... soblue With his fleet massing on the galactic center, I franticly bought the sole antimatter cannon tech and changed the design of my ships, discarding computers and adding shields & the antimatter cannon.
Meanwhile my poor wife had scraped together an upgraded dreadnought and supporting ships, beaten an ancient ship, and then lost her fleet again to another single ancient ship!gulp I hope to never see so many 1s vs. 6s rolled again...in one battle....never mind every one....she was almost in tears (well, sorta) and started to rebuild. Again. My Human brothers did the gentlemanly thing and...wait, no, they attacked her while she was down and pushed her back to her home system, one of them taking the traitor card.sauron They could have wiped her out if they weren't so worried about their backside.
The Orions were feeling pretty good about their fleet and didn't adapt to meet my upgrades-bad mistake. My counter-attack tore him apart, regaining all my territory and sweeping deep in his unimportant systems in truly masterful pinning/striking moves, before taking his home planets, and soon leaving him with a single (albeit well-defended) system.
The once-fearsome Orions (angry - arrrh=zombie) appealed to his other brothers for help against the 'moss infestation'....which they did with gusto, red smashing into many undefended systems with his wormhole generator and taking the traitor card without a qualm.sauron
Things were looking bleak for the peaceful (not) plants once again.soblue Few systems, three vs. one and no chances of allying with my lady. She was quietly ignoring her enemy-occupied systems and exploring the last few available hexes, trying to scrape together VPs. (Is it normal to have unexplored hexes in the 8th round? I doubt it....me being planta, I guess I did badly there.)
Last round....I have lots of discs, ships, and materials...the Orions make a strong bid for the Galactic Center....the Humans are advancing on all sides....In a fury of pins, moves, builds, counter-moves, and general mayhem I manage to destroy ALL THREE of my attackers, winding up with nearly all my and the Orion's original systems.surprise
VICTORY MY FIRST AT ECLIPSE !! IN 3 VS 1 BATTLE !!
To be fair, my two noobie brothers didn't play terribly well; they each had a couple unused ships at the end of the game, and just didn't spend the money to use them. (I even pointed out the money in the bank does nothing at the end of the game.) Even with that, however, my VP lead was tremendous, and it wouldn't have mattered. Also, my 5 games are not exactly a wealth of experience, and my first time as Planta was definitely played poorly.
Aprox scores:
Planta: 32
Hydrans: 25
Human: 14
Orions: 12
Human: 11
The real surprise there was my wife. She was within striking distance of a victory, despite being on ~2 systems THE WHOLE GAME. Awesome play. She was concentrating on techs of course, but she built a monolith on the last round (she had one interceptor on the board here!) and kept her head down. With meaner players she would have been eliminated, but it is still amazing.
Any playing tips would be most appreciated.

The Planta forever!

The above image is not mine, it's arturi's but it looks cool and I'm getting some practice on pictures. I want my next report to have some images!
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Chase Toffee
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Nice report!

Did you happen to start before orion? meaning in round 1?
Planta can be just so evil and explore his neighbours (in this case preferably Orions) sector 1 hex and cut the orion player out in the start.

Otherwise I like to quick explore tier 3 hexes in a straight line : D and cut everybody else out with the tile placement, pick up as many discoveries and hopefully use the dicoveries to early advantage (for example pulled off once +3 computer, 11 source and 3 hull and took middle ^^) (4player game)

If you have supernovas, planta can be even more powerful while exploring 3 tier hexes, I had a 60 vp planta game where I did not have a single battle the whole game, since I had my own kingdom in the 3 tier hexes and only 1 chokepoint, where my whole fleet was sitting. (6 player game)


All in all I have played planta 4 times in a competetive group and never lost : ), I just love the race (my friends are always trying to deny planta/hydra from me xD)
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Starkiller
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The Orions actually started before me, but he explored a II hex. On my first turn I explored my #I and his #I, placing one no wormhole side between his HS and the other blocking the GC. This was the double ancient I mentioned, figuring I would fight him later. I reasoned that would hurt his chances of getting the GC, which would help my chances down the road.
After the game he said he was glad I did that, because he considered it saving him the necessity of exploring that hex-he could just conquer it. This was not entirely ridiculous-as I said, he had explored the II hex on the Human opponent side, so he was already infringing on the Human's access to the center. He also already had a wormhole directly into the hex I laid down from that II hex, and could move into the Human's I hex for access to the GC. (Which is exactly what he did. That human brother was mostly in the III hexes the whole game.) As I said, we're all pretty new at this, so I thought my action was still worth it and my brother was wrong. Glad to hear you agree.
I have somewhat tried going out in a straight line with other species, but have not played with more than 4 players, so there was always a little more room to expand/scrap in the middle. As soon as red tore into me I realized the folly of my position....I'll try your way next time.
I don't have supernovas, but it looks really cool.
Thanks for the tips!
 
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James Motz
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Hmm... make sure you're using the correct starting hex alignment. Everyone should have a link to zone I, their own zone II "spot" that no one else can easily reach, and a couple links to zone III.

Otherwise, if you are a player starting next to Planta there is a chance that they can cut you off completely.

And in fact, that's what you probably should have done if you got there first - rotated the zone I hex so that Orion couldn't come down into your space later, double ancients or not. But that's a pretty mean trick to pull on new players.
 
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Starkiller
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Ok, I just pulled out the game to flip hexes and check rulebook, and I think I know what you mean.
To make it clear, the Orion player COULD HAVE explored the sector I hex his first turn, he CHOSE to explore the sector II.
On that note, however, the rulebook does not actually specify the orientation of the HS, I have always assumed the player could choose it before the game starts. I don't know why a player wouldn't want access to the sector I hex, but it does not appear to be against the rules? Correction?
And as far as anything being a mean trick against a new player, well, this was only my 5th game and his 2nd. He won his first one....and I hadn't yet. I certainly will not pull anything like that on a brand new player when I am experienced, but at this point I figured we were about equal in skill. (I didn't pull that trick on my Red Human neighbor, for instance, because it was his first game.)
And as far as your suggestion to orient the hex I explored-if I understand you correctly, you suggest placing a non-wormhole side bordering my sector I hex?
I considered it, and it's obviously good. But it still seems like blocking the Orion's easy access to the GC is better in the long run, giving me better chances at the GC. Am I wrong?
 
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Chase Toffee
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Quote:
On that note, however, the rulebook does not actually specify the orientation of the HS, I have always assumed the player could choose it before the game starts. I don't know why a player wouldn't want access to the sector I hex, but it does not appear to be against the rules? Correction?

The orientation of the hex is defined rulebook page 5 look at the starting layout pictures. The orientation of the wormholes is defined there


If you have not played/want to play Mechanema here's a interesting discussion we had in another thread earlier

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1062613/mechana-start
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Starkiller
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Hummmm, I can see planta getting an advantage my way....but....I really don't have enough experience to be arguing, but please give me a second here; the only reason I'm dragging this discussion out is because in a 4 player game I thought this could favor two of the players.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but think about it....as per HS printed/placed as in rulebook, everyone has access to the sector II to their right. [Edit-I'm looking at the big colored HS here. Idiot. See bottom of post.]
Consequently, the two players [in a four player game] who do not have a player to their immediate right have more area to explore before bumping into an opponent.
One player has this advantage in a 5 player game. (I don't have the expansion with ancient home systems.)
Consequently, I thought it would be best to allow players to decide which way they wished to face...they could choose to contest the bigger area or be content with their closed-off section.
Or is this really not that big an advantage?
To be HORRIBLY finicky and back up my position, the rulebook doesn't say to place the hexes as per the picture.....
Am I the only one that thought this way?
Now I can see this giving Planta an advantage, though.
I should probably just shut up and deal with the fact that a couple players in a 4 player game have a little more exploring room.
Edit: your Mechana start is very interesting...hummm...

2nd Edit: I was VERY INCORRECT.blush The little inset box showing HS locations also shows wormhole orientation! I missed it and was looking at the big colored HS orientation.
 
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Chase Toffee
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I think reading this thread from top to bottom will answer all your questions : D

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/734443/starting-hex-orientat...
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Chase Toffee
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Oh, one point about playing planta, The more tier 3 hexes you explore, the less room you leave for others devil , for instance some of my friends were all in to gang me, in one of our 6 player games and I just rapidly took as many of tier 3 hexes as possible, making their homesystems so cramped they turned on each other, eventually throwing the game to me ^^
(I did point out some weak defences of their neighbors to some of them at times : D )
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James Motz
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As others mentioned and linked, there are some good forum discussions on why the orientation of hexes matter. There are also some fun "warp" tiles in the files section here on the geek that allow you to remove all the extra space like you noticed. It actually isn't a big deal usually, but it's a nice way to make the game completely balanced in layout.

akinfantryman wrote:

And as far as your suggestion to orient the hex I explored-if I understand you correctly, you suggest placing a non-wormhole side bordering my sector I hex?


Not quite. I was suggesting you take a non-wormhole side of the Zone I hex and border it with his starting hex.

I might have misunderstood your session report. It sounded like you maintained wormhole connections with his home hex, your territory AND the GDC.

akinfantryman wrote:

I considered it, and it's obviously good. But it still seems like blocking the Orion's easy access to the GC is better in the long run, giving me better chances at the GC. Am I wrong?


Absolutely not wrong. In almost all cases, you want access to the center and you are usually happy if you figure out ways to deny that access to others.

My intent was to maintain your access to the center while you keep him out of zone I for a while. That actually burns Orion worse than other races, because they need the combat and money that zone I tends to offer more than anyone else in the early game.
 
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James Motz
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Masterchief1 wrote:
Oh, one point about playing planta, The more tier 3 hexes you explore, the less room you leave for others devil


Yes! This is absolutely true!

The only problem is if they decide to turn on you instead for having such a big territory. But it's a very valid strategy.
 
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Starkiller
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Sooooo.....I'm blind. blush
I looked at the rulebook twice in the last hour with the little box displaying player orientation-and have NEVER noticed it has the wormholes! shake I've just been looking at the big picture....
On a side note, my thought process was similar to the designers, in that I was trying to allow everyone access to the more spacious areas. So I'm an intelligent blind guy.

Edit-@LazyJ, I clarified the position of the double ancients hex. I did position it to block him from it and GC. I could get into it, and he could from his other sector II hex, but you couldn't go from the double ancients hex to GC or his HS.
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James Motz
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We've all been there. Rules staring us right in the face. I actually took a copy of that page and cut out the orientation diagrams and pasted them in the top of my box.

Yup, you had the right of the placement. I just was unclear in my understanding.

Give the warp tiles a try sometime - especially for five players. Have fun!
 
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