Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Eclipse» Forums » General

Subject: Theme in various elements rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gandalf the Greyjoy
Poland
Warsaw
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love strong theme in games. Eclipse has lots of it, but on very high level. Do you have your own thematic explanations for various game elements?

1. What exactly is Key Artifact? Why does it creates resources? Any book/cinema relevants?

2. How does Orbital looks like? Is it a ring like in Elysium movie, or in Larry Niven's Ringworld (a book)?

3. What is GCDS? Is it a space station (death star? ) or place on a planet? Why do we fight it if it's not an Ancient? Isn't it suppose to be on player's side?

4. If you remove a disk along with population cubes what happens to the people? Why do they leave their planets?

My friend just found out the answer why Plantas are such great navigators. They always know exactly where north is
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tahsin Shamma
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Libero03 wrote:
I love strong theme in games. Eclipse has lots of it, but on very high level. Do you have your own thematic explanations for various game elements?

1. What exactly is Key Artifact? Why does it creates resources? Any book/cinema relevants?

2. How does Orbital looks like? Is it a ring like in Elysium movie, or in Larry Niven's Ringworld (a book)?

3. What is GCDS? Is it a space station (death star? ) or place on a planet? Why do we fight it if it's not an Ancient? Isn't it suppose to be on player's side?

4. If you remove a disk along with population cubes what happens to the people? Why do they leave their planets?

My friend just found out the answer why Plantas are such great navigators. They always know exactly where north is


1. I think of the Key Artifact like some kind of power source of the Ancients. Once you know what energy signature to look for, you can unlock more materials, science, and/or money because you're able to exploit it. Unfortunately, once the discovery is made, you utilize it and it becomes a one-time benefit.

2. I think of it like Ringworld.

3. I think of it as a world created by the Ancients to keep the peace.

4. The people leave because they're people of your race and not of the opponents. They certainly don't want to live under the rule of a non-Hydran/non-Planta/non-Blue Terran
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Locke Balenska
msg tools
Avatar
veector wrote:

1. What exactly is Key Artifact? Why does it creates resources? Any book/cinema relevants?


Yeah, I think of it like any hex (or ancient orbital) that has an artifact has a secret cache of supplies hidden away somewhere. Artifact Key is your scientists and space-archaeologists finally developing a way to translate the Ancient writings (wow this is really starting to sound like Stargate... ) or a way to detect the secret Ancient cache's energy signatures. You find all the caches you have and loot them for resources.

And, uh, everyone else knows you have Artifact Key technology so if they don't have it they bomb the caches if you invade their hexes

- - -

The GCDS is supposedly a big political united-nations-esque space building where representatives of the 7 recognized species make economic treaties and whatnot.

Which is kind of weird that it is in the middle of the galaxy, away from everyone. And if we can send representatives all the way there, why do we start with just our homeworld solar system influenced and colonized?

My story/explanation is that wormhole technology (the ability to use the wormholes for fast travel between solar systems) is invented at the very beginning of the game. Up until the start of the game, the races have much-faster-than-light communication and a-bit-faster-than-light engines, but it is still far too costly and takes too long for major interstellar travel that none of the races have more than a handful of people on other planets. All the races work together to build a life-supporting installation at the galactic center, and representatives live there while communicating back to their home governments, but other than that there is not much interstellar travel at all (I'm sure a few crazy merchants try and do longhaul trade of exotic goods between races though).

And the galaxy is pretty peaceful because interstellar war is pretty pointless when you can't afford the huge ships and years necessary to move a sizeable population to your conquests.

Then, at the very beginning of the game, the joint-research task-force at the galactic center finally finishes developing its wormhole drives, which can be used to move a ship through the mysterious wormholes found all across the galaxy. All the seven races receive this technology from the joint task-force, with big speeches about a peaceful and prosperous expansion of all races across the galaxy.

(If they are in play, the Exiles have spies that steal the blueprints of the wormhole drives, the Rho Indi raid some ships and reverse engineer them, the Lyra use their space-time-cognition powers to extract the technology from the minds of the researchers, and the Magellan already had such technology but they are landing their worldships in the galaxy right as the game begins)

all the races start using wormhole drives to explore the galaxy much more easily - a 30-month trip from Altair to Betelgeuse now takes only a couple weeks via wormhole. Colony ships can be built without housing decades' worth of supplies, refuelling ships can be sent out to scouts and fighters, etc. All the races begin a wave of peaceful exploration and colonization, but many are secretly planning or expecting that things will not remain peaceful for long. Most begin their own private research into new technologies, not shared with the rest of the Seven. With such ease of travel, some races even negotiate to setup embassies directly in each others' homeworlds rather than only sending delegates to the galactic center, and equip some of their civilian merchant ships with the wormhole drive technology to trade with the other race.

As they explore more and more, the Seven also discover that there are a lot more Ancients out there than they previously thought, as the Ancients, having long ago developed wormhole drive and wormhole generator technology, exclusively occupy solar systems where wormholes are present.

^^That is the first couple rounds - mostly peaceful exploration, some research, and establishing diplomatic relations.

All the races begin to build big empires with many economic, research or material-harvesting colonies, and soon the talk of peaceful expansion turns to arms-race fear-mongering, then all-out-war. The wormhole drives shorten the time needed for a military fleet to travel from, say, Rigel to Mu Arae, that conquest via space fleet is now terrifyingly affordable and potentially profitable. Chaos ensues.

The galactic center and its defense system remain where they are, but everyone starts ignoring the representatives left behind there. Eventually one race becomes so bold as to invade that system and destroy the last symbol of peace and coopeation between the races.

It's also worth noting that this is my explanation for why solar systems are placed on the board with no regard for where those solar systems really are in relation to each other (galactic-geography-wise). The board does not show the actual location of those stars being close or near to the galactic center, just the wormhole paths between them, which are fairly arbitrary (ie: Sigma Sagitarii and Antares are both stars near the galactic center but they could be in "tier 3" and on opposites of the game board - that's okay: though it takes a comparatively-short 10-year flight to travel between them directly using FTL drives they have no wormhole connecting them and it would still only take a few months to travel between them via successive wormholes instead, so they're galactic-geography locations are irrelevant).

At the end of the game, after a brutal long war, the other races finally give up and bow their heads in surrender to the glory of the greatest empire (the one with the most VP), brokering deals to pay exhaustive tribute in exchange for their continued survival.


9 
 Thumb up
7.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
flag msg tools
I'm a sheep.
badge
A lovely, fluffy sheep.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow, Locke, that's an awesome explanation!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
A bit late, but I still want to chime in.

Libero03 wrote:
1. What exactly is Key Artifact? Why does it creates resources? Any book/cinema relevants?

I always imagined it as a stream of information about new technologies. That allows for scientific progress (pink cubes), new mining technology or new material technology (brown cubes) or an economic boost because of that scientific progress (orange cubes). You ask for book relevants - think of The Ophiuchi Hotline, by John Varley.
But the mechanics of the game don't really reflect it. So a second attempt, modifying the first one.
Ancient artefacts can be found in space - relics of an ancient empire (the Ancients?). For a book reference, think of the stasis boxes in Niven's Known Space series. In that series, long before humanity and other races populated the galaxy, other, more ancient, races were there. They were wiped out in an all-encompassing war, but left those stasis boxes behind - items of their ancient empire that were conserved in bubbles of delayed time. Opening a stasis box gives you access to the technologies of those ancient races, which is often more developed than what the current races have.

In the Eclipse galaxy, the artefacts are similarly left behind by an ancient race. But the technology is incomprehensible to us. Or perhaps the artefacts are just pieces of information, like in The Ophiuchi Hotline. But we humans (or whatever other races there are) cannot understand that information, or that technology. The Artifact Key technology is not an object. Instead, it is the scientists of the world finally discovering the language of those pieces of information. Or it is them discovering the technological principles behind the artefacts that they found. It's like how plasma cannon technology doesn't give a race plasma cannons, but rather the scientific insight to produce plasma cannons.

That a race gets more resources if they have more artefacts is because they had more objects to study and therefore, when they finally understand it, they gain a deeper understanding, leading to a bigger boost.
Contrarily, artefacts discovered after unravelling the artefact key don't contain any new information and therefore don't lead to deeper knowledge.

Libero03 wrote:
2. How does Orbital looks like? Is it a ring like in Elysium movie, or in Larry Niven's Ringworld (a book)?

Definitely not ringworld-sized, I'd say. On a normal world you can place one, or perhaps two, cubes. Niven's Ringworld has a surface, the size of which is equal to the surface of three million Earth-sized planets (source: the Ringworld RPG). Also, to get the materials to construct the Ringworld, the makers used all the planets and moons in the solar system. So if an Orbital was Ringworld-size, the other planets in the hex would have to be destroyed if you place one.

I rather imagine an orbital being a large space station. Rama-sized, perhaps (Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama). Perhaps it is placed in one of the O'Neill points (stable points in the Earth-Moon system). And if large enough, in one of the O'Neill points created by Jupiter orbiting the sun.

Likewise, the Shell World from the expansion is not a Dyson Sphere, but rather a hollow world.

Libero03 wrote:
3. What is GCDS? Is it a space station (death star? ) or place on a planet? Why do we fight it if it's not an Ancient? Isn't it suppose to be on player's side?

It would be so much easier to explain if the GCDS was Ancient. My guess is that the designers didn't want it to be in order to avoid having to explain why Draco, friend with the Ancients, cannot simply fly up to the center square and colonise all the planets there. But later, with the expansion, they had to do that anyway.

So ... two explanations. Pick the one you like. The first is perhaps the simplest: the center square is held by a non-player race. They are not interested in expanding, but they will defend what they have.

The other possibility is that the center is defended by a UN-like power, with forces from the different races. When the races worked together, the center square was considered neutral. Now that the galaxy is at war, however, those old agreements are worth nothing anymore.
For this second explanation it would be nice if the race that conquers the center first would get the Traitor tile, BTW.

Libero03 wrote:
4. If you remove a disk along with population cubes what happens to the people? Why do they leave their planets?

Why do you think that they leave their planets? Cubes don't equal population. They equal the resources that your empire gets from their colonies. If a planet gets taken away from you, or if you decolonise a sector, you don't get the resources of that sector anymore.

----------------------

Skir wrote:
And, uh, everyone else knows you have Artifact Key technology so if they don't have it they bomb the caches if you invade their hexes

And then unbomb them again when they buy the Artefact Key?

Skir wrote:
The GCDS is supposedly a big political united-nations-esque space building where representatives of the 7 recognized species make economic treaties and whatnot.

Which is kind of weird that it is in the middle of the galaxy, away from everyone.

It is right in the middle between all those races. Every race is at the same distance as the others to it. Not so strange, really, and more conveniently located than a lot of the capitals of this world.

Skir wrote:
And if we can send representatives all the way there, why do we start with just our homeworld solar system influenced and colonized?

There are wormholes of different sizes. There are wormholes from each home system directly to the center hex, that are just large enough for a small ship (enough for a diplomat and his retinue) to pass through. But a war fleet wouldn't fit.

I like the idea of a galaxy that used to be riddled with wormholes, but due to some cosmic event / weapon that the Ancients used during the war, that whole wormhole structure collapsed. Only some small wormholes were left.
Races are recovering from that war and want to expand. They are opening new large wormholes and are eager to find out what's on the other side. This, BTW, is why you can place a new system however you like - you decide from what side you approach this new sector. And sometimes an exploration goes wrong - that's when you discard the hex.
Like Locke Balenska said, the Ancients are still hidden in undiscovered systems. By exploring the galaxy, the races sometimes encounter an Ancient fleet that they didn't know was there.

Skir wrote:
this is my explanation for why solar systems are placed on the board with no regard for where those solar systems really are in relation to each other (galactic-geography-wise). The board does not show the actual location of those stars being close or near to the galactic center, just the wormhole paths between them, which are fairly arbitrary

In complete agreement here. In this view, Warpgates are just the same as wormholes, but they just couldn't be shown as a direct connection on a two-dimensional map anymore (plus, of course, you can go from a warpgate to any other warpgate - it's not just a two-way connection). And let me add that this is why I don't like the Jump Drive. That piece of technology suggests that there is a geographical (cosmographical?) relation between two neighbouring hexes, while actually all that connects them is a wormgate link between the two.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.