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Subject: Campaign Rules? Let's make em! rss

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Johan Grimm
United States
New York
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I'm getting ready to begin an Eclipse series with my gaming group, and came to the Geek looking for campaign rules -- but haven't found much.

I found one dead thread that had a few rudimentary (yet promising) ideas, but nothing fleshed out:

So, I'm gonna throw it out there to you all. What follows are some rough brainstorms I've had around the idea. Let me know what you think.

Eclipse: The Generations War
A campaign of Eclipse games, each representing one century of time in the history of the galaxy. As the centuries go by races will rise and fall from power, in an epic bid to become masters of the galaxy for millennia.

The series would begin at year 91,000 for example (or whatever date you want) and progress forward in time with every game played, no matter which players were running each race (which nicely incorporates a true phenomena where terrible leaders inherit great empires and promptly drive them into the ground...).

Some early thoughts:

Races or alliances that win a game begin the next game of Eclipse not in their standard starting hex, but rather in the center of the galaxy.
I think this might work -- although I've never tried it -- since the middle hex is a great space to begin on, but if you are surrounded on all sides by hostile contenders you are in a really tight spot and could use the boost.

Races that lose a game of Eclipse are removed from future games until all other races have been removed from play -- at which point all races would become available for another shot at running the galaxy. Or maybe the race/alliance that came in last place is the one that is knocked out until all other races are either taken or also knocked out during race selection.

Should technology be affected? This is a major part of the game and I would hate to do anything that screws up the beautiful flow of Eclipse, but how cool would it be to have technologies last between games and slowly accrue over the course of time? It would definitely cause some serious changes to the early games if you were somehow limited in what you could develop. Possibly the technologies simply take longer research or are vastly more expensive.

Or, maybe a better solution, you can keep 1 extra technology from generation-to-generation as long as you race is not defeated. That might be a simpler, gamier solution but I wonder again if the longer build up wouldn't make for some really interesting games -- and continuity over a campaign.

Should there be meta game? On one hand I think that the very simple rules outlined above probably are sufficient to run a campaign on, but I wonder how well that structure could hold up a metagame. I think possibly quite well. Somehow create a Galactic Senate part of the game which could be a short mini-game (like, 10min) where votes are power and the beginning of alliances can be formed for the coming century.

This also could possibly allow for subtle rules manipulations over time through a system of laws that players propose and then stump for. Seems like a great way to layer long-term diplomacy onto the game.

And the best part is that you end up with a potentially long and storied history of the galaxy with the rise and fall of great empires, sometimes flashes in the pan, sometimes spanning long spans of time, and all led by actual emperors with names to back them up. Use last names or code names of players and add numerals as they play through the centuries

Still a lot to develop here, but I think there is a lot of promise in this approach. Please share any thoughts you might have on the subject, or if there are materials out there that I don't know about please share those as well!

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James Motz
United States
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Holy cow - please let me be Orion starting in the center hex. Game, set, match.

OR let me start as Orion with Improved Hull. Or Eridani with Advanced Robotics / Quantum Grid. Or either with Advanced Economy. Or anyone with Plasma Missiles.

Also lets assume I'm in an alliance of 3 players. Which of us gets in the center next game?

Its an interesting idea. But it would need a lot of playtesting to make it work. You'll end up playing some broken and less fun games while you get it right. If your group enjoys testing variants, that might make up for it - or it might just sour the experience for everyone.

For me the meta game is the real-life player history. Remember when Joe-Bob takes Planta he's virtually unstoppable. Jim-Bob never wins with Hydran. Remember when Jake-Bob flubbed his attack on the center with all those missiles?
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Locke Balenska
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Disclaimer: The following is absolutely ridiculous... but would probably still work (more or less). I mostly made this up for fun and have not playtested it nor had it peer-reviewed.

I think it would work fairly well though, other than a huge amount of time required for game 7. At the very least, if it is totally broken it would be equally broken for everyone, and ergo balanced.

Also, it would require at least the base game, SP1 and 2 copies of RotA, and you'd need to be willing to use a lot of paper sketches/substitutes. In order to play the whole thing without substitute pieces you'd probably need 5-6 copies of Eclipse, 1xSP1, 3xRota, 3xPulsar, 3xSupernova, and 3xNebula.


Play the following six games, in this order:

Game 1:
Terran Alliance
Terran Republic
Orion Hegemony: Imperial Sector
Rho Indi Syndicate: Raiders' Lair
Descendants of Draco: Serpos Tribe
Wardens of Magellan

Game 2:
Terran Federation
Terran Conglomerate
Planta: Kanti Phyllum
Orion Hegemony: Executive Sector
Mechanema: Resolution Caste
Enlightened of Lyra: Atavism Convent

Game 3:
Terran Union
Planta: Guani Phyllum
Defenders of Magellan
Orion Hegemony: Judiciary Sector
Hydrani Progress: Faculty of Excellence
Eridani: Promtic Dynasty

Game 4:
Terran Directorate
Keepers of Magellan
Eridani: Secuntic Dynasty
Mechanema: Interface Caste
Exiles: The Diaspora of Sadness
Hydrani Progress: Faculty of Achivement

Game 5:
Sentinels of Magellan
Descendants of Draco: Ventos Tribe
Planta: Ashumi Phyllum
Mechanema: Connective Caste
Eridani: Tertiatic Dynasty
Enlightened of Lyra: Prophecy Convent

Game 6:
Terran Seperatists
Rho Indi Syndicate: Wreckers' Cove
Guardians of Magellan
Exiles: The Diaspora of Despair
Descendants of Draco: Araknos Tribe
Hydrani Progress: Faculty of Advancement

Use all RotA rules except:

-no alliances
-no ancient homeworlds
-simultaneous turns and the SP1 turn order variant are optional

Use the following variations from the canon rules:

-base cost of all research is tripled
-minimum cost of all research is doubled
-all research discounts are doubled
-all 9 developments are always included

(the goal here is for most players to be able to end the game about halfway as far into technologies as a normal game. You'll start with lots of ion battles, by round 3 have a couple upgrades, and by the last few rounds be fighting with improved hull, fusion source, plasma cannon, etc. But saving up for AMC, PMs, QG, etc will mean getting little else in the game)

At the end of each game, record all VPs and document the ending position of the board (ie take a good quality photo(s)).

After all six games have been played:

1. Add up all the VP of each player from all their games. The player with the most total VP can choose any of the races he played in one of the six previous games and he will play as them again, beginning the next game with the same setup that he ended that game with. The player with the second-most total VP now does the same, but he cannot choose his race from game that the first-place player picked. Repeat for the next 4 players (last player will have no choice).

2. Create a 7-hex Super-Galactic Center (SGC) made of 6 regular GCs surrounding a Nebula. Place two random ancient cruisers in each GC hex. Place a Warp Portal in each Nebula sub-sector. Place an Advanced GCDS and two Ancient Dreadnaughts in the middle of the Nebula - until they are destroyed treat the Nebula as one regular hex with a warp portal (without sub-sectors). The Advanced GCDS and Ancient Dreadnaughts pin all ships, as per normal. The Ancient Cruisers and Dreadnaughts grant VP for being destroyed, as normal.

3. Rebuild the ending position of each of the last six games around the new SGC - place them with their local GCs on tier 10 in a straight line from the SGC hexes. Have them in the order 1 4 2 5 3 6. Orient the rotation of each game so that the faction being replayed is on the far side from the SGC. Include all previously-explored hexes, even if they were not influenced at the end of the former game. If some games overlap, keep the one that belongs to a faction being replayed, otherwise flip a coin. If you don't own 6 entire copies of the base game+rota, recreate the hexes on paper and use the real hexes just for the places still unexplored.

Example layout. Orange is Magellan factions. The darker magenta is Exiles while the lighter pink and chartreuse are Terran factions. The light grey is Mechanema and the dark browny-green was an attempt at the "natural" of Lyra. Other races have their usual colours.

In this example, being replayed in game 7 (and clockwise from top left) are:
From game 1: Orion Hegemony: Imperial Sector
From game 4: Keepers of Magellan
From game 2: Enlightened of Lyra: Atavism Convent
From game 5: Planta: Ashumi Phyllum
From game 3: Terran Union
From game 6: Exiles: The Diaspora of Despair

4. Add an unremovable Warp Portal to each local GC.

5. Player a 10-round game, with each player continuing one of their previous factions, as selected above. Use the following variants:

-no alliances
-base cost of all research is tripled
-minimum cost of all research is doubled
-all research discounts are doubled
-all 9 developments are included again, even if already bought in a previous game
-1 of each rare tech becomes available again, even if already researched before
-give each player a second set of ships (so they can build a total of 4 dreadnaughts, 8 cruisers, etc)
-every Move action allows two additional Moves (humans: 5, syndicate: 6, others: 4)
-all outer sector hexes available are included in the Outer Sector stack. Keep going until they run out, then start using excess tier 1 and 2 tiles. If they still run out too fast, go buy yet another copy of the game.
-players cannot explore beyond tier 10.
-whenever a hex with ancient ships is explored, place 3 times the number of ancient ships indicated. When ancient ships move out of a hive, 3 of them move at once.
-all the ships, discs and cubes from previously-played factions that are no longer being played stay where they were on the board at the end of the former games. They are now neutral forces that pin and fight any player, but otherwise do nothing (again, if you don't have enough parts just mark these with a substitute and save the real ships for the doubled fleets)

The player who accrues the most VP in game 7 (irrespective of how many they accrued in games 1-6) wins.
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