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Subject: Revised edt. session. rss

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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Played my first game today, and the 3-player instance took us more than 4 (yes: FOUR) hours.


Although we were optimistic at the start and we had a lot of fun for the first couple hours, the latter half felt more like a chore.

It's possible that we made a few mistakes so please correct me if we played it wrong.


So here goes the story of a heroic galaxy conquest going horribly wrong:

In the beginning, there were only a few feeble planet-systems, originally named "home systems" and the population was happy and started to clone themselves and soon, they were in need of lebensraum.

Some space-faring contraptions called ships were build and clones were transported to nearby planetary systems to harvest the abundant resources.

Space was at ease and mighty technology was very, very, very (x20) soon unveiled.

When all of a sudden, out of the blue, the three intelligent civilizations got a chance to build a free tech to better the lives of their citizenry.
And two of them promptly opted for a nice and shiny WMD called "graviton rocket of doom"
The beautifull uberdice-cannon developed by No 3 was looked down upon with pity and laughter.

So here we were at turn 3 or so and all went downhill, soon our beautiful 2-dimensional universe was reduced to mostly empty space. Player 3 built lots of bacteriological rockets and started to destroy all that was achieved, we responded with even more graviton rockets and as you can expect, if we had one more round, there would've been nothing left but empty space and 3 magically resistant homeworlds. (deus ex machina anybody?)


So my questions and remarks:

- Is it normal that you can buy the biggest techs so soon? (talking turn 2 or 3)

- Is it normal that players can get like 50 cp in the first few turns?

- Is it normal that those rockets are so cheap and powerful? I mean: shouldn't it be limited to one rocket per planet or so?

- the 5's or 6's felt very risk-y

- the blind-movement is nice but it doesn't work with the tokens, it's horrible and time-consuming.
Without reading any review we quickly decided that only 2 out of 3 needed to place tokens and the player with the most ships moved first.

- the political cards felt very random and unbalanced our game.


And conclusion:

I'll take eclipse over exodus anytime, probably I'll try to trade this away since I now own both. (Just like I'll take clash off cultures over sid meiers civ boardgame if I want a civ game)


I hope others enjoyed it but for me personally, this game shouldn't take so long. Destroying systems is only fun for so long, afterwards it gets boring.


cheers.
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Tex Hammack

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My group and I have just started playing this game and love it. We only have 1 copy among us so far but it is still a blast.

The piloting mechanic with tokens is clumsy at best so we each have notepads to log our course in our "Star Charts"

WMD's are tricky. Remember that whoever has the most POP on a planet controls ALL of the nukes on that planet. you only get 1 die to see if the nuke lands at all then you get the other dice to try to do the damage. 1-2 spaces away is almost always a hit but further than that chance really gets to be in the defenders favor. But WMD are supposed to be risky.

A note on currency in the game. It is not normal for you guys to all have that much so quick no. Some things you may be missing doing are,

Paying Taxes - every time you earn red or green resources you must pay 1 blue resource.

Income is only 5 Blue each Blue planet you own not for each colony on the planet.

Elections and Laws are where a lot of the money sink is. You have to outbid your opponents for beneficial laws and for the Chancellor seat. Remember that having a law that benefits EVERYONE ultimately hurts you.

Another huge money sink should be discoveries and buying upgrades for your ships. It really sux when you and your opponent wind up in a space occupied by an enemy Alien faction. You have to fight all of your opponents before you fight the Aliens.

The last thing is BONUS ACTIONS!!!! You DO NOT have to approve any bonus actions the Vice Chancellor offers you. Again, if it helps everyone it hurts you.

I really like this game. It is leaps and bounds ahead of Twilight Imperium and we had the Same experience with 3 people. Took 4 hours but our 3rd person was new. We have the game down to just about 1 hour with 2 people playing.



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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Well, looks like we had a strange sequence of events that we all profitereed from so our bidding was mostly straightforward and very cheap as we mostly wanted the same events.

1. a free tech was received soon (cp refinery)
2. a free upgrade followed soon after: 2 choose graviton rocket on heavily defended planet and the other got gravity canon.

We payed our taxes and all the rules you mention were followed if I remember correctly.


I only have 1 3-player game so it will need another run anyway, I don't think 2-player would be much fun though.


thanks.
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Severijn De Wilde
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We've played a couple of games and we've noticed that you can usually get one of the most expensive techs rather quickly, but you will have to ignore other fronts to do so. We had a player who got graviton rockets really quickly, but because of it he could never have a space navy to speak of.

I do think that there are a couple of balancing issues with the game. There is a lack of a tax for the wealthy. In one game, I built some anti-population rockets and decimated two of another player's four planets. This was both cheap and convenient and at this point the game was basically over. He could not recover so quickly and I had more than double his income because I had four-five planets. The very next turn I inflicted the same the third player who couldn't stop it in the slightest.

Maybe we're playing it too passively, and think we have the time to get all our surrounding planets. Maybe the better path is to go on the warpath early and get in their hair before these shenanigans can take place.

I'm thinking of adding a couple of rules to stop this though. I think the biochemical rockets specifically are busted. Similarly I'm thinking of implementing a tax per non-homeworld planet you're occupying. That way there's at least some penalty for people who are expanding right away.
Though I might be wrong, and the correct way to play is to get in the fray right away. Maybe I should play this game like there is no real building-up stage.
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Lieven De Puysseleir
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The nail on the coffin! That's exactly how we felt about it too.

Our early-released graviton rocket was effectively countered by the 3th player when he researched the biochemical rockets and built 5 or 6 of them thanks to a great and cheap trading move.
Then he wiped many of our planets clean of population which was impossible to recover from.

I have yet to play another game but I feel like it would go the same direction.
- expand to cp producing planets
- research cp refining facility
- research (too cheap?) biochemical rockets
- trade your lots of cp for the green stuff (soylent green?)

The problem I think I see is that except for the biochemical rockets, you have no way to quickly kill someone's rocket-base-planets population.
Yes you could move your population cubes there also ...


Just thinking while writing...

Definitely have to give it another try or two.


... but all this is not going to change the downtime and fiddly issues with the movement system. I don't own some ipad and could not see any reasonable alternatives show up on the exodus-movement-thread.

And I don't want to spend much more than 2 hours for a 3 or 4 player game of this either. Probly will not play this ever with more than 4 for the same reason.

*conflicted*
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Severijn De Wilde
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We solve most of the movement by just skipping the tokens placement whenever our ships are certainly not going to meet. And asides that, we declare most of our movements ahead of time when they're not important for combat situations.

What we're concretely thinking of is the following:
-increase the cost of the missiles by a vast amount. We're thinking to add 10 to the base cost.
-You need to exceed the range check by one more. We're also considering reducing the amount of damage dice to 2 for biochemicals.
-Each non-homeworld system adds an upkeep of 1 to your population. Though this upkeep system still doesn't feel quite right. We might go for an upkeep for the amount of population on the board on non-homeworld systems. We hope that at least this way there is a way to get back in the game for people who got nuked. At the very least we need a rule to keep the rich from getting richer and completely destroying everyone else.
-Alternatively to increasing the cost of missiles, we might implement a SDI technology in which a player can intercept missiles with a dice rolls, so that players can at least have a chance against someone who techs nukes and builds a handful of them.

Though before we're going to test this, I'm gonna try to organize another game and assure everyone that there is no turn of "building up", that we should get into combat right away. I think we're in the wrong mindset because of Eclipse which disapproves of early game aggression. After all, people can tech these missile techs because nobody is really interfering with them until turn 3 or 4.
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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Seems like a hell of a lot of rulings to add to make it suit our needs more. :-)

Let me know how it turns out. If I get a chance to play it again, I'll probly go another road anyway.

Not 100% behind the solutions you provide for the fiddly movement for the moment. There's got to be some reasonable alternative without overhauling the game's movement system completely? shake

Maybe we'll have to change it anyway...

 
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Severijn De Wilde
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Well, if you want to save time with it, you could just write down the movement on pieces of paper in a table with a row for each ship and using the columns for different turns. Or just do movement from lowest senator to the chancellor.

The solutions are just our initial thoughts. I don't think we'll find a good replacement right away. Honestly, I hope that we just figure out that the nukes are easily dealt with through fleet maneuvering. Even in the game with nukes, the player with the most nukes(about 6 planet nuking nukes) lost the game because he had no fleet to speak of, and all his ship lay-outs were very vanilla. I think that the nukes have a certain window in which they are good. Though I still think that they're a little bit too good in that window because there really is nothing you can do about it.
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Idaho Falls
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Our play group had a hard time with the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WoMD's). Looks like there is going to be some more counter measures for them in the expansion .

A variant we decided to add was only to allow 1 of each type of WoMD per planet. This really helps with the home world buildup, and also makes it so you have to spread your population around to keep control of the WoMD or lose control of them. So the more you have the greater chance you have of them being taken over and turned on you.

This has helped some, but not completely.
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Robby Timmermans
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Don't research rockets, let the others do this. Then move your population to that world and take control. Defend the planet so other players don't have a chance to add population.
Normally your ships will be better equiped since you invested in this while the other player(s) were busy with their rockets.
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Hugefoot 00
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I just got the revised edition after selling my original game and I just wanted to add my personal experience with the game. I have only played it 3 or 4 times due to my (and everyone else's) busy schedule, but I had lots of fun every time.
I want to talk about the 2 player game I played because I think it was the most fun of all (surprisingly).
I played with a friend of mine who is quite cerebral and thinks long term and likes chess and stuff... and it went like this:
1. In the first couple of turns I focused on mining and exploration, so by the 3rd I had the money/resources to build my armada, which totally overpowered him.
2. He was in a tight spot, with my army being superior and dominating most of the airspace, however he researched cloaking, which allowed him to drop pop on any planet he wanted, rendering my ships useless in the process.
3. Having wasted the bulk of my resources (and not played the mining action) I was going through a financial crisis while he was steadily catching up w. me in terms of firepower.
4. He then invested in WMD's and whipped 1 or 2 of my planets (around turn 5 or 6).
5. It all seemed lost for me and he was getting ready to proclaim victory, when I researched cloaking myself and managed to gain control of his main planet, which had like 4 antigraviton rockets. To do so, I had to build some anti population rockets on one of my planets and try to kill the pop controlling the antigravitons, prior to unloading my people.
6. In the end I won by a hair, due to a couple of lucky die that allowed me to take control of his WMD's and wipe a couple of his planets.

The experience was quite fun/intense (at least for me) and there was no feeling that you were out of the game (even when apparently you were in deep trouble, or had your fleed wiped out)

When more players are involved, politics matters more (IMO) as you can win/lose a game by how u can influence the voting of a law - see the law that makes you lose all your red/green resources just one round before you wanted to build ships/wmd's and had like 8-10 of them saved up.
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