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Subject: Nebula Initial Thoughts rss

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Paul Olson
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So my group has played with Nebula several times now. I have to say I'm not super impressed, and we will probably stop playing with them. I was very excited about the tiles at first, but here are my reasons I don't care for them, and if you are on the fence about getting the promo expansion, I'd say pass.

1. Connects every hex
While I don't like to turtle normally, this tile stops you from turtling at all. Yes, it takes extra moves to get to you, but it doesn't slow people down that much. It works if you are trying to get to an opposing player, but even then, it's going to take you extra moves to get to them, not to mention you will want to stop your ship on a discovery tile to claim it. Which brings me to point 2...

2. Your ship has to be on a sector to claim the discovery tile.
This really is a bummer as you have to spend an extra turn just to move your ship to claim the discovery tile. Normally, you don't have ships to spare just to move on a discovery tile let alone use the action to claim it. Sure, there are some great discover tiles, but you can get screwed even in what you get. Which brings me to point 3...

3. Several tiles you can only take for points on Nebulas
Specifically, the orbital, monolith (which comes with this expansion which makes no sense), and warp portal discovery tiles. This is probably my biggest problem with this hex. Sure, you could leave the warp portal for some interesting dynamics, but three out of the four times I've gotten the Nebula, I've either seen orbitals or the monolith on one of the tiles which I then have to take for points. Points are great for late game, but early on, you're wanting ship parts or resources. Basically, you've wasted a turn moving to claim it as you could have done so late game if needed, but turns are very valuable early on.

I'm all for expansions however small, but I like supernova and pulsars so much more. Both of those have their challenges, but I never pull either of those hexes and consider rejecting them.

Maybe I'm missing something which I'd love to hear about, but regardless, what are others opinions?
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Variety is the spice of life...
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Dymond Kyng wrote:

1. Connects every hex


Don't want to be connected - discard hex. In other cases, it can be a great gift.

Dymond Kyng wrote:

2. Your ship has to be on a sector to claim the discovery tile.


That's not the correct rule. It says, that the ship has to be in a particular sub-sector. You clearly don't have to spend extra actions to move, as you can lay out the sector in a way that you will end up in at least one sub-sector with discovery. Obviously, if you want to get the other one, you have to move, but getting 4 VP for the price of one explore and one move, without needing to maintain a disc there - VERY NICE. Yes, you have to go for it, but otherwise it would be too strong. It's a price for not having to influence it.

Dymond Kyng wrote:

3. Several tiles you can only take for points on Nebulas
Specifically, the orbital, monolith (which comes with this expansion which makes no sense), and warp portal discovery tiles.


I have no idea what you mean by that. Yes, the hex doesn't have VP points printed on it, but it has 4 VP points resting on it. Why Monolith discovery makes no sense? I don't get it. It doesn't have to be connected with the tile, none of previous discoveries in expansions were.

I think all 3 expansions are very nice additions, allowing for more variety, non of them particularly strong or imbalanced, but introducing a nice tempo change in certain areas of the galaxy.
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Christoph M.
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rattkin wrote:
Dymond Kyng wrote:

2. Your ship has to be on a sector to claim the discovery tile.


That's not the correct rule. It says, that the ship has to be in a particular sub-sector. You clearly don't have to spend extra actions to move, as you can lay out the sector in a way that you will end up in at least one sub-sector with discovery. Obviously, if you want to get the other one, you have to move, but getting 4 VP for the price of one explore and one move, without needing to maintain a disc there - VERY NICE. Yes, you have to go for it, but otherwise it would be too strong. It's a price for not having to influence it.


It is 1 explore and 2 move - the exploring itself doesn't grant you a move, so you cannot pick up the first exploration tile.
Or am I wrong?

rattkin wrote:
Dymond Kyng wrote:

3. Several tiles you can only take for points on Nebulas
Specifically, the orbital, monolith (which comes with this expansion which makes no sense), and warp portal discovery tiles.


I have no idea what you mean by that. Yes, the hex doesn't have VP points printed on it, but it has 4 VP points resting on it. Why Monolith discovery makes no sense? I don't get it. It doesn't have to be connected with the tile, none of previous discoveries in expansions were.


You only get the VP for monolith and portal or the use of orbital if you own the sector. Since you cannot place an influence disc on nebula, you can never own it, making those explorations (more or less) useless.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Chris Coyote wrote:


It is 1 explore and 2 move - the exploring itself doesn't grant you a move, so you cannot pick up the first exploration tile.
Or am I wrong?


Yeah, you're right, it's explore and 2 moves (or 1 move with 2 ships). I was of course assuming you have a ship in near.

Chris Coyote wrote:

You only get the VP for monolith and portal or the use of orbital if you own the sector. Since you cannot place an influence disc on nebula, you can never own it, making those explorations (more or less) useless.


4 VP! Without disc! Are we playing different game? One of the best tradeoffs in game. I would love to explore all the nebulas around me could get.
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Christoph M.
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You can always chose between 2 vp and the bonus. With Nebula, in the mentioned cases, you don't have this option, you can only take the vp.
"No disc needed" is only a small issue in the face of "planned bancrupty", making it easy to immediately remove the disc.

Nebula is nice near the front where you only have a neutron bomber (interceptor) or the like. You can reap the vp, leave the hex, and there's nothing to gain for your enemy - and he needs additional movement the cross the hex.
It's a bad hex to discover in the back regions of your territory, where you usually don't have any ships.
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Paul Olson
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rattkin wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:


It is 1 explore and 2 move - the exploring itself doesn't grant you a move, so you cannot pick up the first exploration tile.
Or am I wrong?


Yeah, you're right, it's explore and 2 moves (or 1 move with 2 ships). I was of course assuming you have a ship in near.

In this case, spending the turns for moves in the early game especially when you can't go tactically bankrupt from this hex is a bummer.

rattkin wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:

You only get the VP for monolith and portal or the use of orbital if you own the sector. Since you cannot place an influence disc on nebula, you can never own it, making those explorations (more or less) useless.


4 VP! Without disc! Are we playing different game? One of the best tradeoffs in game. I would love to explore all the nebulas around me could get.

Yes, 4 VP is amazing, but if you take 4 VP that early, you put a huge target on your back usually with little to defend yourself with because you took the VP instead of any kind of benefit. Nebulas are great to claim late game for VP, but exploring usually happens in the early game. I am one who doesn't like the idea of rejecting tiles whenever I can help it, but for me, Nebulas are almost always rejected because you can get screwed easily and you have to take extra turns just to claim the discovery tiles.
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Matthew M
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Moved to Eclipse: Nebula
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Dymond Kyng wrote:

In this case, spending the turns for moves in the early game especially when you can't go tactically bankrupt from this hex is a bummer.


It's situational, I agree. But more often than not, I've found it to be useful and contributing to win and not an undesired obstacle.

Dymond Kyng wrote:

Yes, 4 VP is amazing, but if you take 4 VP that early, you put a huge target on your back usually with little to defend yourself with because you took the VP instead of any kind of benefit.


I don't follow? Why me taking some VP is making me instantly a target? It's not like others can take them from me. And VP are in general gathered via battles, so they don't necessarily have to fight me to get them. Early in the game, it's not that often to invade someone's hex (to debalance the end-game VP count, netting more for my loss) straight away, because chances are, you are not going to hold it. By the same token, you're not instantly attacking someone who found a hex with free discovery. The other thing is that you're not obliged to gather those 2 tiles instantly. I usually let them stay for a while, but always making sure that I'm the first to get to them, should the necessity arises. If you can make them to be "on your way" to other part of galaxy you're going to invade, even better.
 
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Peter Bakija
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Dymond Kyng wrote:
1. Connects every hex


And yet takes twice as long to get across--if you are really wanting to shun your neighbors, just reject the hex. If you aren't wanting to shun your neighbors, it seems totally reasonable.

Quote:
2. Your ship has to be on a sector to claim the discovery tile.
This really is a bummer as you have to spend an extra turn just to move your ship to claim the discovery tile.


Wha? You don't need to use a disc to get a discovery. If you find the Nebula early, you drop it on the table, and use an interceptor to collect either 4xVP or some cool stuff over two turns. With limited to no risk involved. Without using up a disc and/or needing to go bankrupt.

Quote:
3. Several tiles you can only take for points on Nebulas
Specifically, the orbital, monolith (which comes with this expansion which makes no sense), and warp portal discovery tiles.


There are a lot of discovery tiles. The likelihood of getting the Ancient Monolith discovery *on* the Nebula is pretty small. If you pick up a discovery that needs to sit in the Nebula (Monolith, Orbital, Warp Point), oh noes! You need to get 2xVP instead. Without using a disc to influence the sector. With your starting interceptor. And then next turn, you get to do the same thing. Seems like a good deal to me.

Quote:
Maybe I'm missing something which I'd love to hear about, but regardless, what are others opinions?


I think you are probably too caught up on the "it has doors in every direction and I want to hide!" and "I can't get the Monolith if I happen to find it there!" aspects of the hex. Try and focus more on the "I get 2 discoveries *and* an ancient to kill for nothing with one draw!" and "Yeah, it has doors in every direction, but maybe I'm playing the Orions or the Eridani or the space pirates and that is what I want anyway!" aspects of the hex.
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Locke Balenska
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I've played with it a couple times now and really like Nebula for pretty much the opposite reasons.


1) It can counter turtling -- A lot of the players I play with regularly have gotten pretty adept at turtling, and it can be really tough to pressure them early (and if you wait too long you'll never beat them). I had a game recently where I (Exiles) was adjacent to Hydra and the Hydra player immediately started turtling. Lo-and-behold, I explored a Nebula, placed it between us, and with so many wormholes on it the Hydra player gave up trying to wall herself off from it. I really like that there's a Nebula in tier-2, that this mini-expansion isn't just another two tier-3-only hexes.


2) It gives you two (usually easy) discoveries, but costs a little more to get them -- So yeah, it costs an extra MOV action to get your interceptor into the sub-sector and you won't be able to get that disc back with tactical bankruptcy like a disc you put in an empty hex, but that's good! It means you're getting the two discoveries really easily (you get two AND can orient the hex so the ancient ship blocks your neighbour), but it will cost you a little more or delay your plans. It adds a strategic element of "do I use my last action to grab that Nebula discovery now, or do I grab that rare tech I really want and hope the discovery is still there next round?" sort of thing. I've had one game where one of the discoveries in a Nebula placed between Orion and Pirates was still not picked-up until round 5 because they were in a big war and neither could spare an extra ship to grab it.


3) It spaces out the galaxy -- Nebulas are in some ways the anti-Warp Portal. Yeah, you can fly through them in every direction, but it takes a lot of movements. If the galaxy is laid out right, a Nebula becomes a big distancer between you and the empire on the other side. Big games in original-Eclipse could sometimes have a lot of "I've sent my fleet too far and don't have enough moves to bring it back to defend me!" situations. Warp Portals decreased that, but Nebulas bring it back. It adds more variety: you might have a game with Nebulas and no Warp Portals drawn, where the galaxy is very "big", you might have a game with 4 Warp Portals and no Nebulas that is very "small", you might get both, you might get none - but at the start of the game it could go any which way and there's wider possibilities for having Nebula included!


4) Yeah, the orbital, monolith and arguably the Warp Portal discoveries don't work. Just draw another discovery instead if you get them. There's 35 (I think) discovery tiles in the game at this point, you're not going to run out!!!***


***Well, you're extremely unlikely to run out, but if you do just shuffle the tiles that have been tossed into the box back into a new pile.
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Paul Olson
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skir wrote:
4) Yeah, the orbital, monolith and arguably the Warp Portal discoveries don't work. Just draw another discovery instead if you get them. There's 35 (I think) discovery tiles in the game at this point, you're not going to run out!!!***[/i]


I gotta hand it to you. You do make some good points and #4 is a great idea. Don't know why I didn't think of this in the first place. Well done. We'll have to try that in our next play group.
 
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Carl Pilhatsch
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We played with Nebulas yesterday. They really were not the blast. They are so-so at best.
The bummer is that you have to wait until the end of the combat phase to cash the discoveries in.
Well, I guess I'm just not too fond of them.
 
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Tamino Muth
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It feels pretty weird to me that so many people complain about the possibility of drawing orbitals or the monolith on the nebula. First of all, these tiles are a pretty big minority compared to all those other tiles that work just as usual on the nebula. Of course it will happen that you draw one of these tiles here but why is that such a big problem? The point of having the option of taking the two VPs instead is in the game because of exactly that. For example, if you draw an oribtal on one of those one planet hexes in sector 3, do you also complain about it being so bad on it and draw a new tile then? To me that sound's like saying: "meh, I found a cruiser but I play the Rho Indi and I just upgraded my interceptors. can i draw another tile?"

I really like the nebula and I find it to be a worthy mini expansion. I can't imagine wanting to discard it in a game at all (maybe the sector 2 version if it's very important to turtle - but that is the case with many tiles and has nothing to do with the expansion itself). Discovery tiles are so important in Eclipse. Finding a great technology early can instantly become a game changer. Eclipse is a rather random game where luck is very important and that's why you should look for many opportunities to get lucky - and that's the nebula! If you find the -3 shield or the 11 energy power source I'm sure you won't complain about having to place your often useless staring interceptor there for one turn.
 
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Alex Krasny
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Taking the monolith in ANY HEX is basically a huge mistake.

Is 1 extra point worth being the biggest target in the galaxy? Probably not.
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