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Subject: Expanding the game without adding mechanics rss

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James Mackerness
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I love the elegance of Eclipse, and wouldn't want to introduce complexity by introducing new mechanics. So I'm mostly interested in adding components which simply give new options when drawn, just like any other currently existing piece.

With that in mind, here're a couple of ideas I like. Some I've found here, some I believe are original ideas of my own, and some I thought were original but then found out that others had thought them up first.

STRUCTURES:
* Stellar Harvester Development, which grants a materials population space.
* Gravity Net Development, which pins all opposing ships moving into its hex.
* Wormhole Lock Development, which replaces any full wormhole you influence at least half of with a half wormhole. (Must leave at least one full wormhole in both influenced hexes. Still traversable via Wormhole Generator.)
* Factory World Development, which reduces the material cost of ships built in this hex by 1/1/2/1.

STANDARD (COMBAT) SHIP PARTS:
* Networked Computer Discovery, grants +1 computer per other ship with this part in the hex. (Can stack with other computers.)
* Resonance Shield Discovery, grants -1 shield per other ship with this part in the hex. (Can stack with other shields.)
* Repair Module Discovery, heals one point of damage on another ship (of a different class) per combat round.
* Analytics Module Discovery, grants one reroll per ship with this part per combat phase.
* Interceptor Mount Discovery, fits external to blueprints, carries one interceptor with activation.
* Sensor Drone Swarm Discovery, fits external to blueprints, grants three initiative.
* Unstable Generator Discovery, grants 3 power, and deals one damage to a chosen enemy ship each time a ship with this part is destroyed (either by the enemy or by Explosive Payload suicide).
* Regeneration Module Rare Technology, heals one point of damage on your own ship per combat round.
* Shielded Hull Rare Technology, grants -1 shield and one hull per ship part.
* Adaptive Hull Rare Technology, grants one hull and two initiative per ship part.
* Ion Broadside Rare Technology, grants one hull and one ion cannon per ship part.
* Stunt Drive Rare Technology, grants one move and three initiative per ship part.
* Slaved Sensors Rare Technology, replaces the ship's initiative with the initiative of a starbase (owned by the player) in the same hex.
* Explosive Payload Rare Technology, gives the option of destroying the ship during the missiles phase (instead of firing missiles, if it has any) to deal 1 damage per ship part to your chosen enemy ship(s). Effect is cumulative if blueprint contains duplicates. Point Defense may be used against it, but shields have no effect. Opposing ships destroyed only using explosive payload damage do not grant their additional reputation draw.
* EMP Missile Rare Technology, roll like normal missiles and for each hit disable all powered systems of a single opposing ship for the first non-missile round of combat (including drives for the purpose of retreating at the start of the following turn).

NON-COMBAT SHIP PARTS:
* Wormhole Probe Rare Technology, lets you draw one more hex while EXPloring adjacent to a hex containing a ship with this part (but still only choose one to place). Not cumulative. Does not grant its bonus to Descendants of Draco (since they already have it).
* Planetary Scanners Rare Technology, lets you colonise a hex containing a ship with this part for free (without flipping a colony token), up to one colonisation per ship with this part in the hex per turn.
* Salvage Module Rare Technology, grants you [Reputation draw -1] materials after each combat. (The same as Rho Indi's racial ability, but with materials instead of money.)

OTHER TECHNOLOGIES/DEVELOPMENTS/DISCOVERIES
* Defensive Formation Rare Technology, allows the owner to redirect any hull damage to Cruisers and Dreadnoughts to their own Interceptors in the same combat instead.
* Quantum Logistics Rare Technology, grants +1 ship activation on a MOVe action.
* Colony Fleet Development, grants +1 colony token.
* Media Network Development, grants +1 reputation tile draw (max 6 draws, still choose only one) per combat.
* Wandering Warp Portal Discovery, is placed in the hex it's discovered in (or homeworld otherwise), and during upkeep moves on a die roll, ignoring Wormhole restrictions.

RACES
* Scavengers who start with the Salvage Module outside all ships but draw one less tile for reputation draws, and always fight last in a contested hex.
* Poison-breathers who, when removed from a hex, leave damage cubes in their place, requiring their new occupants to flip an additional colony ship before placing a population cube to clear the atmosphere.
* Diplomats whose ambassadors carry two population squares and whose ambassador spaces have an additional population square next to them.
* Historians whose ambassadors are worth two artifacts but carry no population square.

That's it! I'm interested in folks' opinions regarding balance, costs, etc. I have a few spare pieces I'd like to try these out with, so I'd also appreciate any advice regarding designing and printing graphics for these (are there any 'template' files out there?) And of course, if anyone actually wanted to make images for any of these, I certainly wouldn't object!
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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Some interesting ideas here! I love the combat ship parts. The non-combat ones I probably wouldn't use, since the ship part slots are so few and precious.
Defensive Formation and Quantum Logistics sound very powerful, so should probably be fairly expensive.

And the Gravity Well - not a good idea. Eclipse already does little to discourage turtling, and this sounds like the ultimate turtling tool.
 
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James Mackerness
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Thanks for the feedback, glad you like them.

Regarding non-combat (and standard) ship parts, I considered in each case sitting them outside the blueprints, but I think that the negatives of them taking up blueprint slots is a positive overall for a couple of reasons: Firstly, that it means players don't deviate too much from the established Eclipse playstyle (but they still have the option if they think they can make it work), and secondly, that it encourages specialisation of different ship types. For example, you might send in your standard combat-build Cruisers just as you might normally, but supplement them with your Salvage Interceptors to make some materials back after battle. Or you may send in a suicide Dreadnought (packed with Explosive Payload) to take out a rival Dreadnought you'd otherwise have trouble with, before mopping up the survivors with your Interceptors. In essence, I think having them take up a ship part slot is in general a sufficient balancing mechanic because making a balanced combat ship is already tight enough.

I agree that a few of these may be very powerful and thus deserve high costs. I didn't put any costs in my post since I haven't tested any of these yet. Defensive Formation certainly should be expensive, but of course would be naturally offset by the cost of replacing your throwaway interceptors. Same with Gravity Well - it certainly deserves expense. I agree that it would help turtle, but that could be offset by high cost, and also by limiting it to a single build, immediately upon Developing, just like the Shellworld or Warp Portal.

I also like the idea of things which improve as you gain more artifacts like an Artifact Cannon, which on a hit deals [Number of Artifacts] damage, but that's naturally overpowered and unbalanced since it boosts the existing leader, and it's hard to justify thematically.
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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You are of course adding mechanics - every piece brings its own small mechanic into the game. And every piece can tip the balance of the game and bring about a new balance. So they would require testing to destruction.

That said, I like most of them. The gravity well is a bit strange (at least the name); every sun, planet and moon is a gravity well. Given the scale of most hexes, a gravity well that pins ships all over the hex would suck stars and planets toward itself as well.
 
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James Mackerness
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You make a good point, it doesn't really work thematically. And as was pointed out earlier, it's probably only ever going to be an annoyance. I think I'll drop that before I begin.

In general though these don't immediately fell unbalanced - though of course I do need to test them properly.
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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Whymme wrote:
The gravity well is a bit strange (at least the name); every sun, planet and moon is a gravity well. Given the scale of most hexes, a gravity well that pins ships all over the hex would suck stars and planets toward itself as well.


You could think of it as borrowing something from Star Wars. As I recall, there were specialized ships there that acted as gravity wells and pulled ships out of hyperspace, almost system-wide. And the ships in Eclipse almost certainly use some sort of FTL mechanism. If it's hyperspace, you could fluff it to be subject to such manipulations.
 
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James Mackerness
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Having thought about it, I've renamed Gravity Well to Gravity Net. What's a Gravity Net? Well, it [technobabble], therefore removing all of the concerns mentioned above.

I've added a couple of other ideas and refinements, since I'm close to fielding these pieces in a game...
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Mikko Setälä
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^^The Star Wars franchise calls these hyperspace controlling ships Interdictors.

I think somewhere else a tractor beam ship part was suggested, although if might have been only to disallow retreat, not auto-pinning of all ships.
 
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James Mackerness
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There's a Tractor Beam rare technology in Rise of the Ancients, which means your ships always pin. This would behave in the same way, pinning opposing ships in the one hex until you could either bring your own fleet in to defeat them, or they removed your influence from the hex.
 
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Marc Gaudet
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Some great ideas here man!

it goes without saying that the regeneration and combination parts would only make sense to appear in further expansions but I really the idea of the networked computer and the shield equivalent.

I also really like the idea of placing parts in ships for non-combat purposes like the one that lets you populate from the ship as a ship part, which also fits in really well with the tractor beam as a counter tech to that.

Buildings that make ship building cheaper (or any number of things) are also a cool idea as it'll make people fight over specific hexes, I always wondered why they didnt allow material cubes on the orbitals anyway.

Techs that upgrade your actions itself is also another cool untouched idea (besides nanorobots) that would get a lot of millage and make the game have some slightly RPG ish elements.


Expanding basic ideas already in the game is definitly the way to go rather than invent new mechanics. Much easier on the brain and lets you really learn how the game works.

Thanks for sharing I'm having a blast reading these variants today.
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