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Subject: Twilight Imperium or Eclipse... rss

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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) or Eclipse?

We are looking to add at least one of these two games to our collection and I thought it would be best to ask you veterans your opinions. Should we go with the tested classic or the new hotness? Here are some things about us:
-My wife and I usually lean towards heavier euros. We also play twilight struggle, deck builders and party games.
-We most often play 2p games but get together with friends for 4p games about once a week and 6p games about once a month.

I understand that twilight imperium is only listed as a 3-6p but I also read that their are 2p variants. any experience with these? are they worth it?

Any help/ suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
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Matt Shinners
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From what you say, I think Eclipse is your answer.

Eclipse is a little more Euro-y, whereas TI is pure Ameritrash.
Eclipse will play better with 2 than TI, hands down.
Eclipse lines up a little bit more with TS and deckbuilders - streamlined, easy mechanics, straightforward.

That being said, everyone should experience a smooth game of TI at least once in their lives. It's messy and complicated, but epic!
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Curt Carpenter
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First printing of Eclipse is sold out at many places just on preorders. If you want it, you better act quickly. They're talking about April or later for next printing.
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Nick R
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Having just ordered Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) as a Christmas present for myself I think I would have to put my vote that way.

Which ever you go for have fun.

Regards

Gnome
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Tom Randell
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My first and only play of Twilight Imperium was a two player variant. Although enjoyable it felt as though a large portion of the heart of the game was torn out. Trading didn't work, politics was... Unbalanced. I guess it could have been the variant I played but ultimately I doubt it. I haven't played eclipse but based on what people have said here it sounds like your best option. However, if you're playing with more than two I think twilight Imperium would be brilliant!
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Curt Carpenter
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Gnome01 wrote:
Having just ordered Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) as a Christmas present for myself I think I would have to put my vote that way.

Having ordered TI3 many years ago, played it, not liked it, sold it, and ordered Eclipse as a Christmas present for myself, I think I would have to put my vote that way.

I don't really want to turn this into a TI3 bash, but I'll just say to the OP, TI3 is a very long game; longer than any "Euro" that I can think of, easily twice as long as Le Havre, for example. TI3 is not a game you just whip out when you "get together with friends". It's a game that people dedicate a day to. Maybe not take a full day for experienced players, but on that order. So make sure you understand that if you decide to go the TI3 route.
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I have just TI3, and I have mixed feelings about it. I like to play it, but the length of the game is often an obstacle and the paths to victory are not so satisfactory...

What will happen in a game of TI3 is that each player builds an army as huge as possible, claims the surrounding planets and the easier objectives as points. There is an imperial strategy card which grants you a hoopy 2VP. You need 10 of them, so you're basically forced to take it if it's available to you. The winner is usually the first to claim his secret objective.

I'm not doing much right to the game by stating that this is what it's about, but it didn't really catch me. It is said that the game play becomes much more interesting by adding the first expansion, but I've not come to the point of acquiring that expansion yet as I'd rather invest in games that I like already. On the other hand, if you're willing to go into the expansions as well... didn't the second expansion win a BGG-award this year?
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Jordan Stewart
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Much respect for TI3 and the epic design of it, but it's not really a game I look forward to.
I'd rather play 3 or 4 2-3 hour games than one 8 hour one. That's just me though.

edit: Which... doesn't really answer your question at all. Don't know much about eclipse, but it looks super cool.
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Sim Guy
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curtc wrote:
Gnome01 wrote:
Having just ordered Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) as a Christmas present for myself I think I would have to put my vote that way.

Having ordered TI3 many years ago, played it, not liked it, sold it, and ordered Eclipse as a Christmas present for myself, I think I would have to put my vote that way.

I don't really want to turn this into a TI3 bash, but I'll just say to the OP, TI3 is a very long game; longer than any "Euro" that I can think of, easily twice as long as Le Havre, for example. TI3 is not a game you just whip out when you "get together with friends". It's a game that people dedicate a day to. Maybe not take a full day for experienced players, but on that order. So make sure you understand that if you decide to go the TI3 route.


Being a fan of long games (I'm an old wargamer, you can't intimidate me with a game that 'only' takes a day) this thread is leaning me toward TI3. That said, getting my three or four friends together to play a day (or weekend) long game is a two or three times a year event - so the game better be worth it. Shorter, say a mere evening-long, games have their advantages in this respect. I may not like them more, but they'll get more play.

But I'm not kidding anybody, I'll likely buy both eventually.
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Noshrok Grimskull
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Never played Eclipse, so...

But TI3 is not something I'd try as a 2-player game, no matter whether there are rules for it or not.
It's a great game with 4-6 players though, but you have to keep in mind that it can take a long (and I mean: looooooong!) time to finish.
And for best results, you should at least get the Shattered Empires exansion, too.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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I wouldn't get Twilight Imperium for 2 playeres. I don't know how Eclipse is for two.

If you get Twilight Imperium the Shattered Sun expansion makes it better. I would not play without it.
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Why don´t buy both?

They are boardgame jewels!
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Heisenberg wrote:
Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) or Eclipse?

We are looking to add at least one of these two games to our collection and I thought it would be best to ask you veterans your opinions. Should we go with the tested classic or the new hotness? Here are some things about us:
-My wife and I usually lean towards heavier euros. We also play twilight struggle, deck builders and party games.
-We most often play 2p games but get together with friends for 4p games about once a week and 6p games about once a month.
Caveats: I played TI3 once, for about 10-12 hours, several years ago (with curtc, who also opined here). Then played Eclipse once at bgg.con. Don't really play 2p games.

I really like long games (D&D, Adv Civ, 18xx, etc.). I hated hated hated TI3. It felt clumsy and uninteresting. Eclipse felt much more like what I had hoped TI3 would be.....
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CW Lumm
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+1 for Eclipse.

It's quicker, it plays very well with two, and personally despite the shorter playtime I've just found it to be a more satisfying experience. TI3 has more chrome, the political system and nicer plastic minis, but it just doesn't play nearly as smoothly. David has killed Goliath.
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Martin Larouche
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TI3 is more expansive. I wouldn't recommend it without it's first expansion, which brings it's asking price to around 150$.

It doesn't play with less than 3 players outside homemade variants that are only so-so IMO.

It's also longer, for better or worse.

However, Twilight Imperium 3 is the more epic of the two. It just has everything one can look for in a 4X game. It is widely varied with tons of options and official variants to try.

Eclipse, is more recent and is suffering the cult of the new syndrome right now. Any and all opinions are to be taken with a grain of salt regarding it until we see those: "A year with Eclipse: has it stood the test of time?" reviews.
Not a lot of people have played Eclipse, so all opinions are mainly based on hype right now. I have no doubt that it's going to be a great game... but flaws in it's gameplay will only emerge with more play time. For example like FFG's Sid Meier's Civilization: will there be a broken path to victory that makes most other strategy almost useless? No one can tell right now...

On paper, the game sounds great. Will it hold true after repeated plays?

As such, i wouldn't recommend Eclipse unless you are ready to take a chance.
Twilight Imperium 3 is a more known value... Read it's more than numerous reviews and judge for yourself.

I would recommend TI3 though. The only game i rate a perfect "10" on BGG.
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CW Lumm
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deedob wrote:
Eclipse, is more recent and is suffering the cult of the new syndrome right now.


Eclipse: 624 recorded plays
Twilight Imperium 3: 10,145 recorded plays

Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea how far into those 10,145 plays people realized the game needed a $50 fix to be properly playable? I'm not being facetious - I'm actually wondering.

Also, you've played Eclipse, right? I know you haven't recorded any plays, but not everyone does. How do you think it falls short exactly? What aspects do you think might be broken, and in what way?
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Martin Larouche
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kamchatka wrote:
deedob wrote:
Eclipse, is more recent and is suffering the cult of the new syndrome right now.


Eclipse: 624 recorded plays
Twilight Imperium 3: 10,145 recorded plays

Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea how far into those 10,145 plays people realized the game needed a $50 fix to be properly playable? I'm not being facetious - I'm actually wondering.

Also, you've played Eclipse, right? I know you haven't recorded any plays, but not everyone does. How do you think it falls short exactly? What aspects do you think might be broken, and in what way?


The base game is certainly playable. There is, however, one card that tons of people hate: the imperial strategy card.
This card is very powerful and is meant as such. People take the initiative card in order to get the imperial on the next turn... always. Failing to pick of the imperial when it's your turn to pick it will cost you the game 4 times out of 5 in our experience.

This isn't so bad by itself, but the game also include random action cards that can prevent a player from getting imperial... THIS is what's annoying about the base game itself. Getting a random card that can prevent someone from winning singlehandedly.
Either remove those nasty action cards from the base set, or play with the variants included in the first expansion, which removes imperial completely.

That said, the issues with Imperial got up real quick. They occured in our second game if i remember and were confirmed in the third that it was "very annoying".

And no, i didn't play Eclipse. It sounds like a really good game and it's on my wishlist, but i just say: "caution" in a new 4X game. Most of the recent ones had a big flaw that emerged only after some repeated plays.
Twilight Imperium had the Imperial strategy card flaw until the first expansion (and it really irritated me in a game i paid 100$ for). Sid Meier's Civilization has the economic victory that is imbalanced compared to the other paths to victory... Eclipse? i suspect no one knows. The older Eagle Game's Sid Meier's Civilization had a lot of hype too, turned out to be a not-so-great game.

4X games are complex affairs by nature. There's bound to be flaws in them. Just how big they are and how they dramatically they affect the game isn't something usually found after a single play.

'all i'm saying...
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Halden
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Eclipse.

I have played TI3 but I also have no intention to. A member of my game group puts it this way Eclipse has everything he likes about TI3, takes out the bad and can be played in a reasonable time so you will actually get some plays in.
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Remi Letourneau
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deedob wrote:
That said, the issues with Imperial got up real quick. They occured in our second game if i remember and were confirmed in the third that it was "very annoying".


Wasn't it in our first game at Le Donjon? When a vote passed where you chose the card of the next player?

That was an easy one... NOBODY got Imperial in that game (or almost nobody!)...

That said, I *REALLY* like what I saw in Eclipse's rulebook... now if the damned game can find its way to the store ASAP!!!
 
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Sébastien Gamache
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I do now own Eclipse and I may soon buy it (in a few month). I just bought Alien Frontier and Mob Ties that still need to be played!

As for TI3, I am very addict to it, but some comment need to be toned down a bit.

For newbie, it's a heavy game. True.

But once you get the drill done, a game usually take around 5 hours for a 4 players game.

What I like of TI3, it's the deepness of the game surrounding the Political machination. The combats are the least of our interest. It's there to threaten more than real bashing. Diplomacy : That's the real stuff with that game.

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To chime in, I have never played Eclipse but have played TI several times. I don't think it is as 'heavy' as some are making it sound. But it is not designed for two players. Sure you can play it with two, but much of the tension of the game comes from a large messy universe, negotiations, and choices that are too limited for two people. I would go with Eclipse just in the hopes that it is better suited for 2 people.
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Jesse W.
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I haven't played Eclipse, but TI3 is my favorite game of all time.

That said, if you are playing mainly with your wife (2 players total) and don't expect the rest of your group to really enjoy it and get into it all the way, don't go for TI3 now (you can always buy it later cool). It doesn't scale down to 2 very well, and all the fun stuff gets stripped out.
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Here's another suggestion, if you're looking for a 4x space game;

Space Empires 4X

I don't own the game and have never played it, but I've heard that it works VERY well with 2 and 4 players. It also plays within a reasonable time frame and is supposed to be filled with lots of tactical and strategic decisions.



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CW Lumm
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Dave Davies wrote:
I would go with Eclipse just in the hopes that it is better suited for 2 people.


My first play of Eclipse was a 2p, and it works great.

It's probably a little better with more - less zero-sum; since the game rewards both (a) peace agreements and (b) being involved in fights (win or lose), negotiation can be important. But it's substantially the same with two players.

I wouldn't play TI3 with two, though I've never attempted it. It would neuter the political system, and the game's a lot more fun when turn order matters more and there's a greater chance that someone's going to get the roles you want before you can.
 
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Trevor Gowe
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SimGuy wrote:
curtc wrote:
Gnome01 wrote:
Having just ordered Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) as a Christmas present for myself I think I would have to put my vote that way.

Having ordered TI3 many years ago, played it, not liked it, sold it, and ordered Eclipse as a Christmas present for myself, I think I would have to put my vote that way.

I don't really want to turn this into a TI3 bash, but I'll just say to the OP, TI3 is a very long game; longer than any "Euro" that I can think of, easily twice as long as Le Havre, for example. TI3 is not a game you just whip out when you "get together with friends". It's a game that people dedicate a day to. Maybe not take a full day for experienced players, but on that order. So make sure you understand that if you decide to go the TI3 route.


Being a fan of long games (I'm an old wargamer, you can't intimidate me with a game that 'only' takes a day) this thread is leaning me toward TI3. That said, getting my three or four friends together to play a day (or weekend) long game is a two or three times a year event - so the game better be worth it. Shorter, say a mere evening-long, games have their advantages in this respect. I may not like them more, but they'll get more play.

But I'm not kidding anybody, I'll likely buy both eventually.


Believe me... TI3 is definitely worth it. You'll want the right balance of people though. Four is better than five because you'll use all 8 strategy cards every round.

That said... getting both sounds like the way to go. Definitely different games for different occasions.
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