Daryl (Pyxis, gray), me (Lyra, beige), Shu (Mechanema, white) and Nikunj (Hydran, blue) played a game of Eclipse. We played with both expansions, but we took out the evolution technologies and developments. We played with 2 alien homeworlds, one between me and Daryl and one between Shu and Nikunj.
Board Around Turns 3 or 4:
There were 2 improved hulls available, so Daryl and I picked them up. More improved hulls came out pretty quickly, so their shortage was not an issue this game. We were all impressed with Daryl’s ability to both explore and upgrade his ships with the same action.
Playing Lyra, I tried to build a wall between me and Shu, but unfortunately, Shu got a wormhole through. To my surprise, Shu offered a trade agreement with me, which I eagerly accepted. Daryl was also surprised by this offer. I think Daryl's initial plan was for Shu to attack me and Daryl attack Nikunj. And then it would be Daryl against Shu in the end game.
Nikunj was expanding well. He found a good amount of tech worlds and was able to build his technology very well. He also walled himself off between him and Daryl. He also had a good wall going between him and Shu.
I did a terrible job trying to block off my faction from the others. I had a direct connection to Shu. I had 2 connections to the center. I had a 3rd direct connection to Daryl. Plus I had 2 warp points which connected to Nikunj’s territory. It seems to me very difficult to wall off your space. I should have discarded the second wormhole I found. It was only a single tech planet. I did get a 2 point discovery however (I didn't take the free cruiser, I was planning on building Dreadnoughts instead).
Daryl had the most interesting first turn. He built a cruiser and put improved hulls on both his cruiser and interceptor (2 on the cruiser and 1 on the interceptor). He then moved 1 ship of each into an ancient world. Nikunj, rolling for the ancients managed to destroy Daryl’s cruiser and Daryl retreated his interceptor. This was a serious blow to Daryl and the result would leave both me and Nikunj in peace for the first half of the game because Daryl was now too weak to attack us early. This really set Daryl back. Daryl only had 1 resource income at the end of his first turn, so he couldn't do much during his second turn. The resource management for Pyxis is very different and takes some getting used to.
Board at middle of turn 5:
On turn 5 I built 2 dreadnoughts and moved them into an ancient homeworld. I rolled terribly (50% chance to hit I roll 2 out of 8) for myself and Daryl rolled very well for the ancient (50% chance to hit he gets 8 out of 9) and I ended up losing one of my dreadnoughts. This was probably my most vulnerable time because I was short on resources which I needed to build shrines. I was happy however to get a +5 technology discovery there. Giving up 2 points was hard, but my faction really needs resources so I took the 5 technology.
Daryl explored the neighboring hex (to me) and found an orbital. He also connected this hex to my territory. I had wormhole technology from my shrines, but this wasn’t a big factor in this game. Daryl then offered a trade agreement with me, and I was surprised but I eagerly accepted. Daryl takes his trade agreements seriously and I didn’t think he would break it. This meant I only had to worry about Nikunj attacking me for the rest of the game.
During this time, Shu was exploring a lot of tier 3 hexes which were basically ignored by me and Nikunj. Shu was going for a monolith strategy and wanted a deep hinterland in which to protect them.
Board at the middle of turn 6:
Nothing much happening at this time. Shu built 2 dreadnoughts preparing to take the northern alien homeworld. Daryl was also building a big fleet.
Shu successfully conquered the alien homeworld and got a drive that allowed her to jump to neighboring hexes even if they don’t have a wormhole connection. She put this on her battleships.
Board at the middle of turn 7:
During turn 7, Shu researched Monoliths and built 2 of them.
As you can see from the picture above, Daryl sent a big fleet of 2 dreadnaughts and 2 cruisers to attack the center. These ships were basically only upgraded with improved hulls and not much else, so Daryl wasn’t sure they would win the center.
Nikunj also amassed a large fleet of 2 dreadnoughts and 2 cruisers and followed Daryl into the center. Nikunj’s ships were much better upgraded with plasma guns and positron computers as well as improved hulls. The ensuing engagement was less of a battle and more of a slaughter. Daryl was able to retreated his 2 dreadnoughts, but he did lose his 2 cruisers. Nikunj chipped some paint off a dreadnought. He then easily defeated the galactic center and reigned supreme in the middle.
Board at the middle of turn 8:
Daryl combined his 2 dreadnoughts to form a death moon and retreated it to his deep space.
Nikunj was faced with a choice of whether to attack me, Shu or both. By this time I was ready for Nikunj. I had fusion source, positron computers, tachyon drives and antimatter cannons – Nikunj had better energy, but he only had fusion engines and plasma guns. I had my dreadnoughts and starbases fully upgraded and a lot of resources for a big virtual fleet. I even had nanobots. So I was just waiting for Nikunj to attack me and I would put down 3 starbases right on top of him.
Nikunj decided to attack Shu and he sent his ships north. I think the reasons for this were because Nikunj would get points by taking over Shu’s monoliths, unlike my shrines. Also Shu’s ships were weaker than mine, and Shu had spent a lot of building material constructing the monoliths, so she didn’t have as much of a virtual fleet.
Nikunj was successful attacking Shu.
Board at the middle of turn 9:
Shu jumped her 2 dreadnoughts deep into Nikunj’s territory as retaliation. Nikunj responded by moving ships out of the center to defend his homeland. I then took this opportunity to send 2 dreadnoughts of my own into the center to try to take it. It turns out, this is what Nikunj wanted me to do. He purposefully weakened the center in order to draw my ships in, and then built 2 starbases and moved in a cruiser and dreadnought to take out my 2 dreadnoughts and 2 interceptors. He would have initiative because he was on defense.
Board during the first combat at turn 9:
It turns out that Nikunj was dominant everywhere. He beat Shu in 3 different battles. And then came the final battle with me and Nikunj beat me as well. Once again I had terrible rolls. It turns out that Nikunj had an item which would give him +2 to a roll that he forgot to use. But I had 3 colony ships that I could have turned over to give myself 3 re-rolls which I forgot to use.
Board at the end of the game:
However, despite Nikunj not losing 1 battle in the entire game, I still won the game. I was able to complete all 9 of my shrines which gave me a total of 12 extra points. I was able to beat Nikunj by 4 points. Shu was only 2 points behind Nikunj so Shu lost out the most by me losing the battle in the center.
I had a lot of fun. We finished the game in under 4 hours, so it wasn't too long. I'm not a big fan of the Lyra - they are more of a passive faction, and I prefer to take the initiative and attack early. I feel other races should attack Lyra early to disrupt their shrine construction process and at least prevent them from building one of their 6 cost shrines to prevent the extra 3 bonus points at the end. I think Daryl's big mistake was attack the ancient too early once again. He could have waited 1 turn and attacked with 2 cruisers instead of a cruiser and interceptor.
I think Shu's mistake was that she should have been better prepared for Nikunj's attack. I also think she may have gotten too many tier 3 hexes which hurt her economy, although I can understand that she would want to keep her monoliths protected.
Nikunj had a very difficult end game. He had 2 powerful enemies that he had to fight (me and Shu), and he couldn't fight them both at the same time, but he had to. I think Nikunj did very well - he did end up fighting us both, but he did so on his terms and ended up winning all battles, but it wasn't quite enough to win the game, although it was close.
I had a number of mistakes I made during the game which I explained above: too many openings into my territory, losing a dreadnought early, falling into Nikunj's trap in the middle, not having enough initiative on my ships. It was a really close game and I am luck to have won it. I doubt I will get lucky next time.
- Last edited Fri Dec 2, 2016 1:20 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 4:54 pm
Nice write up. I still can't believe Shu offered you that trade deal ("Caverna in space"). Also, part of me died inside when I had to offer you that trade deal, but by then I had no chance of fighting both you and Nik like I originally intended. Nik with all that tech was the one I would have had to focus on.
Also, playing the race I played really requires a different way of thinking about the game because of the way their economy is structured and that definitely takes practice. Even ships on the board are really an economic asset. It's really a complete change from any other race in the game.
- Last edited Fri Dec 2, 2016 4:20 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 2:30 pm
Push Cubes. Blow Stuff Up.
I really enjoy reading the Eclipse reports from your group.
Also, those Lyra Shrines. Man, it is so satisfying to build all nine.
Thanks Jim! We have more write-ups here, if you are interested.