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Subject: Most popular variants? rss

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Victor Caminha
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After playing Eclipse more than a few times, I browsed a bit of the variant forum I shouldn't be surprised by the sheer ammount of alternative rules I encountered. So I wondered and ask the Eclipse Hive Mind: what are the most popular variants of the game? Is there a consensus of certain variants that really rock?

I also became interested by a specific few and would like to know your output whether they suck, are okay, or are a welcoming novelty:

- Supernova as Starting homeworld: This reminds me of Race for The Galaxy Doomed World. While this tile eventually will bite you in the a## and won't reward any VP, perhaps it can be interesting to play a race that starts on it with three techs (one for each tree) and maybe its initial location be on the outer ring?

- All tiles revealed: I have no problem with the tile exploration. It is part of the game and you must adapt your strategy around what tiles you get. But more than a friend moaned about the luck of the draw, so is there a radical variant that starts the game with all tiles revealed (or just ring I and II) without weakening too much Planta and Draco and strenghtening the already powerful Orion (the uncertainty of the unexplored map was a bit of a deterrent).

- Antaran Attack & Homeworld: Well, those who played Master of Orion II know what I am referring too. That OMG "those crazy tech-advanced ships are coming to my sector" feeling whenever those AI ships appeared. The Rise of the Ancients offered the Ancient Hive worlds and a bit of foray from Ancient Interceptors, but it wasn't enough for me. I would love a more aggressive ancient invasion but with enough planning from all players so it wouldn't wreck havoc in the game strategy.

Also, an ancient mega homeworld would be present on a tile outside of the game, acessible anyone who develop a certain tech. More heavily armed than GCDS, but also earning a discovery tile and a good (3 VP) if controlled at the end of the game.

Thanks in advance.
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James Motz
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There's a whole section of people actively promoting Masters of Orion races, I would be shocked if the race you mentioned wasn't in there.

Interesting take on the starting Supernova world. That's worth someone thinking up a variant.

I would say however that you DON'T include the "face up" explore variant. There's not really that much "luck" in the tiles, it only seems that way to new players. The more experience you get, the more you can take advantage of whatever you draw. And Exploring wouldn't be Exploring if you knew what you were going to get.

Try a couple of more games on hidden hex draws before you change it. I promise you that it's like that for a reason - your friend just needs to embrace adaptability.
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Victor Caminha
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Regarding the Master of Orion adaptation, the Antarans are definitely Ancient material: old vanished race, agressive to all players, controlled by the game. I would be happy to see them more pro-active in their aggression, though meeple.

And I am satisfied with the exploration tiles as it is, no need to convince me, if only my friend liked the adaptability aspect. For me, the positioning of the tile is more important than the quality of the tile per se.

 
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Andy Szymas
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The most popular was probably modifying turn order so it would be by pass order. That's basically an official variant now in the Ship Pack One box, I believe.

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Starkiller
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LazyJ wrote:
I would say however that you DON'T include the "face up" explore variant. There's not really that much "luck" in the tiles, it only seems that way to new players. The more experience you get, the more you can take advantage of whatever you draw. And Exploring wouldn't be Exploring if you knew what you were going to get.

Try a couple of more games on hidden hex draws before you change it. I promise you that it's like that for a reason - your friend just needs to embrace adaptability.

Quoted for truth. Very few of the sectors actually suck....players just don't use them well.

And I second the idea that a starting home system as a supernova is a cool idea....
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Wim van Gruisen
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akinfantryman wrote:
And I second the idea that a starting home system as a supernova is a cool idea....

I still have an idea for a race for that. Haven't gotten much further than the idea, though.
The race that I have in mind gets a free "influence" action when they pass as well. That gives them the chance to rearrange the resources on the white planet in their system. Also, the race would be tech-based, so that they can research stuff and so postpone the explosion of their system.

Oh, well, new thread perhaps.
 
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Łukasz Madaj
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AndySzy wrote:
The most popular was probably modifying turn order so it would be by pass order. That's basically an official variant now in the Ship Pack One box, I believe.



yes, this one is good. And "warp sector" or what-it's-name that you can use in 5p game, to cover part of a map to make galaxy more symmetric. And The Map itself makes game so much nicer and clearer, event though it's not a variant, but pimping :-)
 
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Mistah Frooza
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My group tried a variant we made up that had an Antaran Attack feel and required us to make nothing but a special round counter, here's how we did it:

The game lasted 12 rounds instead of 9. We created "decks" for two galaxies instead of one. We limited the III tiles to well under what they would normally be, and replaced the galactic center with a hive with a warp portal in it. Then we made a second galaxy in effect with a huge stack of ancient ships, including some cruisers. We also laid out the I tiles in advance in the main galaxy. Then, we mostly played the game like normal though we gave the ancients some extra activations (I think just 2 instead of 1). So basically, ships came through the portal to the center, then spread out the the I tiles. The number of II tiles was normal, but the number of III tiles was severely limited, so even though the ancients didn't spread past the I tiles, it was still quite difficult to deal with and things got very crowded very quickly. By the end of the game we had busted through to the other galaxy and defeated the ancients, and spent the last few rounds exploring and fighting over the new territory, which was a refreshing change over the normal endgame. For the record, since we made sure and shuffle in some random warp portals and the development was available there generally wasn't too much competition over the ability to reach the other galaxy, but it wasn't the most elegant solution to force the RNG in this way.

Overall, it stayed pretty balanced over the 12 rounds and we had a lot of fun, but it took about 6 hours and parts of it weren't as satisfying as others. We'd like to revisit the idea though, as we felt it had a lot of potential.
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Victor Caminha
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Well, that sounds really cool, even though the extended time is not. How many players were involved in that session?
 
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Ivan Alaiz
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The official Variants I use:

- Turn order
- Knowing next turn technologies
- Ancient homeworlds in less than 6p
- Advanced galactic center

Plus the homerules/Home variants I use

- Pulsar Sectors: Pulsar action can be used after passing, also pulsars count as if having a warpgate
- Initial explores: On tier 2 and tier 3 sectors adjacent to your homeworld, once per turn you can flip 1 colony ship to discard the sector drawn ad draw another one.
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Mistah Frooza
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It was only three players, which makes the time the game took even worse! Of course, we were figuring a lot of it out as we went, and I think we could bring the time down considerably by making a few aids and components to simplify things and writing everything down, etc. When we only have three players we can sometimes get through the regular game in as little as two hours (not including setup/teardown), but that is exceptional. Still, I'd bet we could do it again in four hours.
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