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Subject: Fleets Variant (using six sided dice) has anyone tried this? rss

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Cracky McCracken
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I was just noodling around with Eclipse and i just happened to have cups of little 16mm six sided dice hanging around the table. I was just using them in fact to mark fighter flights in another spacey game called Klingon Armada.

Basically, if you look closely at the pic, you'll see two hexes, each with a starbase and two black cruisers and one hex with two gold cruisers. Instead of having two cruiser minis in the same hex, you switch one out for a die and return the extra mini to supply. You could have up to six cruisers in the same hex this way. They wouldn't be able to move at once, and you would still be bound by the actual limits of the pieces in the game

I suppose one could even get extra nifty and pick up some nice little, glowey looking four sided dice and use those instead of sixes... hmmmm meh, sixes are less fiddly

I originally put the dice on to clean up the board a bit. It wasn't until contemplating the subtle but imoprtant implications of what using six sided dice like this does to the game. For one thing... you could have a fleet of six Dreadnaughts! or two!!!

maybe that's not so subtle... i'll have to see how this turns out....



 
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Peter Bakija
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Cracky wrote:
Basically, if you look closely at the pic, you'll see two hexes, each with a starbase and two black cruisers and one hex with two gold cruisers. Instead of having two cruiser minis in the same hex, you switch one out for a die and return the extra mini to supply. You could have up to six cruisers in the same hex this way. They wouldn't be able to move at once, and you would still be bound by the actual limits of the pieces in the game


I suppose you could do that, but then you are increasing the number of ships available to everyone. Which is certainly something you can do, but I don't know what the advantages are, given that the ship limits are part of the design of the game. I mean, again, like, if it makes everyone happy, go nuts. But it is certainly changing the way the game works.
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Cracky McCracken
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The physical ship limits would still have an effect... you need to be able to "make change" so to speak.

You could overbuild! If you wanted to move two ships out of a four ship group, but couldn't make change, you would scrap the extra ships and just move what you were allowed.

Space Empires: 4X kind of works like this...
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Mistah Frooza
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I find this idea interesting but can think of no way to make it balanced. The strict ship limits imposed by the game is a significant balancing factor. It helps prevent runaway leader syndrome among other things. On the other hand, it would probably be hard to muster the resources necessary to build much more than the normal limits in general, but still. It would also encourage pekoe to focus on groups of only one ship (all cruiser fleets would be especially common), as the current ship limits force players to spend actions upgrading several blueprints of ships instead of just one.

Still though, I think there might be a good concept in here, I just wouldn't know what to do with it.
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Cracky McCracken
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here's the bottom of the ninth going into the combat phase... definitely fun and definitely works. No rule changes needed either, you're still bound to the amount of minis with the game.

I likey alot. It gave a needed "space fleet" feel to the game for me. Must continue to test out this variant.

(note that you could show individual ships with a die set to "one", but why? Just pull the die off since part of the goal of using the dice in the first place was to tidy up the board a bit)



 
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Cracky McCracken
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Game over man!

Orions (black) 28vp - Terrans (gold) 18vp.

I really love Eclipse. The game's economy is more than capable of keeping this little variant in line. Just because you can in theory build 6 dreadnaughts doesn't mean you'll be able to. And even if you did, launching huge scale offensives are mighty big undertakings in Eclipse.

I'll be playing this way again for sure



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Matthew Hart

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This is an interesting variant, however I like the idea of limiting the space ships. It makes players strategically place them. The other problem with the build up of ships is the "making change" you speak of. I don't think you can just scrap a ship to build one in a different sector. This is also something that affects with placement of ships. I have had occasions where I could afford to rebuild ships in a different locations (and really wanted to to save my butt) however I don't think this is possible.
 
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Peter Bakija
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Cracky wrote:
The physical ship limits would still have an effect... you need to be able to "make change" so to speak.


Well, sort of? If I understand your suggestion correctly, you could theoretically have in play:

14x Dreadnaught
28x Cruisers
56x Interceptors

Assuming the plan is you can have 1 ship on the map next to a D6, adding up to 6 more of that ship to the hex (although why couldn't you also add even more dice, for a hypothetical infinite number of Dreadnaughts in two different hexes…)

I suspect that the maximum of 2x dreadnaughts is built into the game for balance purposes, as dreadnaughts are the best unit in the game (due to the movement limits).
 
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Cracky McCracken
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You could defend with a stack of dreads...... but how do you move them all?

You need enough models to split the groups up.
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Peter Bakija
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Cracky wrote:
You could defend with a stack of dreads...... but how do you move them all?

You need enough models to split the groups up.


Ah, ok. I see how that works now. That is some kind of a limit, at least. So if you have a dreadnaught and a d6 set at 1 (2x dreadnaughts), a single move action (for aliens) could move both of them. But if you have a dreadnaught and a d6 set at 3 (4 total dreadnaughts), you could only move the stack if you made change with another dreadnaught and another d6.

So in a practical sense, if you are an alien race, you can really only double your ships (dreadnaught plus a d6 set on 1 as a pair that can move as a single move action), and humans can triple (dreadnaught plus a d6 set on a 2 as a trio that can move as a single action).

Still, a lot of extra ships :-)
 
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Cracky McCracken
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Actually, when it's just one ship, remove the die.

If you have a stack of six ships and you wanted to move three of them, you need to be able to break the stack into two stacks of three first. If you can't make change, you'll need to scrap three of ships. You've overbuilt.

But, the game's economy and your opponents will make it quite difficult to build up that many ships. And also remember... ships ain't victory points, don't build them if you're not going to fight with them.
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