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Subject: Eclipse Tournament Suggestion Box rss

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Tahsin Shamma
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I'm running a big Eclipse game (limited to 9) players as a tournament. Any suggestions for modules from the Expansions. I have all of them.

Specifically, how would you feel about Anomalies (Shadow of the Rift) or Ancient Hives (Rise of the Ancients) being included?

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Walt MacEachern
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Just played 9 player last weekend and it impossible to keep track of what is going on except for the players to your right and left. Unless all the players are familiar with a race or a special hex I'd leave it out. We had many instances where several turns in players had been "doing it wrong" and the leader and those most familiar with the new stuff could not track it. Very frustrating if people are playing with different rules and you get 3-4 turns in.

If you are going with 9 you also want an easy way to announce and pass tech around with the researching turn marker. We used a card sorter labeled for this purpose. Despite this, the non-researching turn marker usually caught up to the researching marker by the 2nd or 3rd action sequence, so things ground to a halt. The mechanic of 2 simultaneous turns is better than nothing at all, but it fails to keep things going because researching tends to take much longer to think through. Staying with basic tech will help keep it easier to decide.
 
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Locke Balenska
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veector wrote:
I'm running a big Eclipse game (limited to 9) players as a tournament. Any suggestions for modules from the Expansions. I have all of them.

Specifically, how would you feel about Anomalies (Shadow of the Rift) or Ancient Hives (Rise of the Ancients) being included?


I would definitely include the Deep Warp Nexus and Anomalies. In a big game, it's really nice to have another high-value "nexus" other than the GC for players to fight over and the Anomalies make for a nice bit of variability.

With the Deep Warp included, you may indeed want to not include Ancient Hives. Definitely don't put any Ancient Homeworlds in the Middle Sectors pile. It can lead to far too many neutral ships in the galaxy and less overall player interaction/direct competitiveness. I think if you're randomly shuffling the Deep Warp hexes into the piles (so they may or may not come out) the Hives would be okay, but if you're seeind the Deep Warp hexes then remove the Hives entirely.

A lot of people find Supernova 2 over-powered, so you may not want to include that.


I find Special Reputation Tiles are the most different "new thing" that affects everyone. Not only does it complicate reputation drawing a lot, but it also adds players interrupting each other's actions and the timing issues inherent to that. That one may be easier to leave out of the game for now.



waltermac wrote:
Just played 9 player last weekend and it impossible to keep track of what is going on except for the players to your right and left. Unless all the players are familiar with a race or a special hex I'd leave it out. We had many instances where several turns in players had been "doing it wrong" and the leader and those most familiar with the new stuff could not track it. Very frustrating if people are playing with different rules and you get 3-4 turns in.


I haven't had much trouble with new players not doing things correctly, as long as I've described things very thoroughly beforehand. Maybe don't let a player who hasn't played much Eclipse before take Pyxis or Dorado, as those are the most rule-specific. I've had a big game with Octantis across the board from me, and after I explained it all at the beginning she had no problem using all their rules correctly, despite that she had only ever played Eclipse a few times before. Likewise, an experienced Eclipse but first time SotR player had no trouble following the Dorado rules correctly. You'll just have to decide how reliable your group is, I guess.

If you have an Octantis or Dorado player, definitely give them the Evolution/Distortion Tiles overview cards to have as a reference.


DO insist that all players that have special tiles/bonuses place them in front of their board, above their ship blueprints, so they're easier to see. Makes it a lot easier for other players to see what shrine bonuses they have, what's in their evolution pool, what discovery ship parts they have that aren't on blueprints yet, nova burst, etc.


waltermac wrote:

Despite this, the non-researching turn marker usually caught up to the researching marker by the 2nd or 3rd action sequence, so things ground to a halt. The mechanic of 2 simultaneous turns is better than nothing at all, but it fails to keep things going because researching tends to take much longer to think through. Staying with basic tech will help keep it easier to decide.


Indeed, go ahead and use the Simultaneous Action variant to speed things up. However, do NOT let the markers "catch up" to each other, as waltermac describes above. If one marker is 3 players away from "catching up", that player should hold onto it and only pass it along when the other marker moves, too.

If there are many unexperienced players, it may be wise to do the first round the "normal" way, and only introduce the Simultaneous Action variant starting in Round 2.

Also, my main group finds the RotA simultaneous action variant rules too restricting, as sometimes you want to research a lot in one round, so we play instead with the rule "each round: the first time you have the grey marker, you may not research" which is nice and simple, allows you to use all but one of your actions on research per round, but still preserves the research advantage of the pink marker.


Supply Board visibility is definitely going to be your biggest issue. The game is simply too big that not all players will be able to see the board from their seats, or even standing. It will really slow the game down as players will have to walk around the table to decide what to research. My solution is to setup the player board behind me on a small side-table, aim a webcam at it from above and display the webcam feed on a big TV next to the main table. Then everyone can see the supply board on the TV and just tells me "hey, can you throw me the Shellworld tiles". It speeds up big games a TON!

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