Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Eclipse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant Alien Ideas rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jeremy Diachuk
msg tools
mbmbmb
Hello everyone!

I know I'm excited to start playing the game, and I know that it's hard to make any kind of balanced variants without playing it first... so I hope some of those people lucky enough to have played the game already would enjoy taking a look at some ideas I had for some new Aliens for the game! And I encourage everyone else to share ideas for new Aliens as well. This thread should be aimed at Alien ideas only; other rule variants or ideas should probably deserve their own thread.

I only have a couple of ideas:

Arbiters of Zuben (Purple)
A mysterious race discovered as a result of Hydran experiments involving unstable wormhole generation, the Arbiters of Zuben have suddenly expanded their region of control and seek to control all wormholes, suggesting to the other races that their superior knowledge of subspace and wormhole travel makes them ideal for controlling space.
- With the Move action may move up to two Ships, or one Ship twice
- Reputation Track: Dual / Dual / Dual / Reputation
- Initial Technologies: Wormhole Generator
- Trade rate 3 : 1
- Starting Storage : 3 Money, 2 Science, 2 Materials
- Starting Hex : [3VP+Artifact] {6 Wormholes instead of 4} 1 Money, 1 Advanced Science, 1 Advanced Materials

Notes * Their starting technology makes them potent explorers (though their starting hex having all wormholes open leaves them open to attackers who engage them early) but they may trouble getting other technology or materials at all in the early game to make up for this powerful free technology as they don't get those resources from their home system.


Mordanta Cruci (Grey)
A scourge of a cybernetic basis with an exo-galactic origin, the Mordanta Cruci make no attempt at negotiation or peace wherever they are encountered. As such, very little is known about their society or plans. However, it is now obvious they are vying for galactic domination and their ships are particularly resilient to complete defeat.
- With the Move action may move up to two Ships, or one Ship twice
- Reputation Track: Reputation / Reputation / Reputation / Reputation
- Initial Technologies: None
- Ghost Ships: When a Mordanta Dreadnought or Cruiser is destroyed, it is placed on the Graveyard instead of returning to the stock. In the Upkeep Phase, return these ships to the stock and the Mordanta player may place one Cruiser for free in any hex in which he has an Influence Disc for each Dreadnought returned, and may place one Interceptor in the same way for each Cruiser returned.
- Trade rate 3 : 1
- Starting Storage : 3 Money, 5 Science, 3 Materials
- Starting Hex : [3VP+Artifact] 1 Money, 1 Science, 1 Materials, 1 Advanced Materials

Notes * Their power isn't particularly relevant until later in the game, but it could work out to a number of free resources over the course of the game, plus some strategic placements for the reincarnated ships. The downside of having no diplomats is alleviated by having all three resource types available in their Home system without any research necessary (unlike five of the six base aliens, as only the Planta have all three by default, although the Hydrans do get both Technology resources). They don't have any starting technologies either, but have extra starting Science resources to help them get started.



Well, what do you think?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Riku Riekkinen
Finland
Jyväskylä
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Arbiters of Zuben seem extremely weak to me. Their home planet is way too bad, combined with theit low starting resources. Theit only advantage seems to be Wormhole Generators, witch isn't a very good tech at the start (yes, its very good atthe end).

Mordanta Cruci are much better thanks to their better start planet & resources. However I still think their power is too weak to justify the lack of enchanced action (humans - move, planta - explore... etc) & lack of start tech. Frankly I see their special ability worth less than Mechanemas cheap build only.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Diachuk
msg tools
mbmbmb
I feel early Wormhole Generators early could be better than you suggest, since you can easily close yourself off from other players while still being able to travel around at your leisure. Considering you can orient your hexes almost however you please, you can make it a right pain for anyone who wants to invade you.
They might be a bit too weak early on, though. I would probably give them a Science planet to begin with as well, plus boost their initial Science to 4. That might help.
The Arbiters would need the most playtesting, I think, to determine just how advantageous free Wormhole Generator technology works out to be.


If you feel the Mordanta are a bit weaker, I also have considered letting the reincarnation happen automatically in battle. That is, destroyed dreadnoughts will immediately become new Cruisers, and destroyed Cruisers will become new Interceptors. This could be very powerful, since anyone wanting to destroy a Mordanta Dreadnought would have to get through an extra Cruiser and Interceptor on top of that. If that were the case though, I'd have to make them weaker somehow to make up for it.
How would you feel about that change? It's not an extra ability, but the Eridani Empire and the Orion Hegemony don't have extra abilities either.
At the very least, I could give them some extra starting Money as well, to give them an easy chance to just use the Research action in the first round to get a nice pick at a starting technology. Or I could just give them a starting Technology of some sort. I wasn't sure what would suit them best, though. Maybe upgraded cannon or something...

I appreciate the feedback though!

I'd rather start by making a new variant race underpowered and then improve it slowly until it becomes viable, rather than creating something stupidly broken and try to nerf it, anyway.

What do you think about the concepts themselves?

The idea of the Arbiters is that they can move around as they please, of course. I could also give them the ability to move through hexes that contain enemy ships (that is, their ships never get pinned by ships in hexes they move through, but they still break trade agreements just by passing through and still get pinned if they end their move in a ship-filled hex or when enemies move in to pin them) which could be a very potent endgame ability. In this way, they could have a weak earlygame in exchange for a great endgame (sneaky ships, plus free wormhole generator) which is somewhat opposite of the Descendants of Draco.

The idea of the Mordanta is that their ships are just particularly hard to get rid of permanently and they don't have any particular major disadvantage except for a lack of diplomacy options.
Maybe they could just have it so that you roll a die for each ship in the graveyard in the Upkeep Phase, and if you get a 4, 5, or 6, your ship comes back for free?

Any thoughts to improve them?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Camelorn
Germany
Koblenz
Rheinland-Pfalz
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That wormhole generator puts a considerable strain on both neighbours! As an Arbiter i would try to get a neutron bomb early, thus forcing my neighbours to invest considerably in their defence early on.
This might easily destroy any game balance!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Riku Riekkinen
Finland
Jyväskylä
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
taggedjc wrote:
I feel early Wormhole Generators early could be better than you suggest, since you can easily close yourself off from other players while still being able to travel around at your leisure. Considering you can orient your hexes almost however you please, you can make it a right pain for anyone who wants to invade you.
They might be a bit too weak early on, though. I would probably give them a Science planet to begin with as well, plus boost their initial Science to 4. That might help.
The Arbiters would need the most playtesting, I think, to determine just how advantageous free Wormhole Generator technology works out to be.


Even the most expensive techs can be got early. In the latest play with Hydrans I had 12 tech production at the end of the turn 1 (Supernova hex & influence action to another hex). There are of course advantages in blocking you out of the reach of those who don't have wormhole generators, but I would guess it would be hard to position your sector 1, so that it couldn't be attacked (and sector 2 hexes also). Only a few (or one) target hex is enough for them to be threatened.

taggedjc wrote:
If you feel the Mordanta are a bit weaker, I also have considered letting the reincarnation happen automatically in battle. That is, destroyed dreadnoughts will immediately become new Cruisers, and destroyed Cruisers will become new Interceptors. This could be very powerful, since anyone wanting to destroy a Mordanta Dreadnought would have to get through an extra Cruiser and Interceptor on top of that. If that were the case though, I'd have to make them weaker somehow to make up for it.
How would you feel about that change? It's not an extra ability, but the Eridani Empire and the Orion Hegemony don't have extra abilities either.


I would test the ability as in the new form and wouldn't take anything from Mordanta. The Hegemony has a lot better ship blueprints, Empire has a slight advantage there also.

taggedjc wrote:
At the very least, I could give them some extra starting Money as well, to give them an easy chance to just use the Research action in the first round to get a nice pick at a starting technology. Or I could just give them a starting Technology of some sort. I wasn't sure what would suit them best, though. Maybe upgraded cannon or something...


I could give that also.

taggedjc wrote:
I appreciate the feedback though!

I'd rather start by making a new variant race underpowered and then improve it slowly until it becomes viable, rather than creating something stupidly broken and try to nerf it, anyway.


I think you are starting so far from the target that its gonna need a lot of plays to get to reasonable level. I would start as close to perceived optimum as possible, no matter if its slightly better.

taggedjc wrote:
What do you think about the concepts themselves?

The idea of the Arbiters is that they can move around as they please, of course. I could also give them the ability to move through hexes that contain enemy ships (that is, their ships never get pinned by ships in hexes they move through, but they still break trade agreements just by passing through and still get pinned if they end their move in a ship-filled hex or when enemies move in to pin them) which could be a very potent endgame ability. In this way, they could have a weak earlygame in exchange for a great endgame (sneaky ships, plus free wormhole generator) which is somewhat opposite of the Descendants of Draco.

The idea of the Mordanta is that their ships are just particularly hard to get rid of permanently and they don't have any particular major disadvantage except for a lack of diplomacy options.
Maybe they could just have it so that you roll a die for each ship in the graveyard in the Upkeep Phase, and if you get a 4, 5, or 6, your ship comes back for free?

Any thoughts to improve them?


OK ideas.

Lets see... I would try:

Arbiters of Zuben (Purple)
A mysterious race discovered as a result of Hydran experiments involving unstable wormhole generation, the Arbiters of Zuben have suddenly expanded their region of control and seek to control all wormholes, suggesting to the other races that their superior knowledge of subspace and wormhole travel makes them ideal for controlling space.
- With the Move action may move up to two Ships, or one Ship twice
- Reputation Track: Dual / Dual / Dual / Reputation
- Initial Technologies: Wormhole Generator, Tachyon Drive
- Trade rate 3 : 1
- Starting Storage : 3 Money, 2 Science, 2 Materials
- Starting Hex : [3VP+Artifact] {6 Wormholes instead of 4} 1 Money, 1 Science, 1 Advanced Science, 1 Advanced Materials

or:

Arbiters of Zuben (Purple)
A mysterious race discovered as a result of Hydran experiments involving unstable wormhole generation, the Arbiters of Zuben have suddenly expanded their region of control and seek to control all wormholes, suggesting to the other races that their superior knowledge of subspace and wormhole travel makes them ideal for controlling space.
- With the Move action may move up to two Ships, or one Ship twice
- Reputation Track: Dual / Dual / Dual / Reputation
- Initial Technologies: Wormhole Generator
- Different ship blueprints: Every Ship has an extra hexagon symbol
- Trade rate 3 : 1
- Starting Storage : 3 Money, 2 Science, 2 Materials
- Starting Hex : [3VP+Artifact] {6 Wormholes instead of 4} 1 Money, 1 Science, 1 Advanced Science, 1 Advanced Materials

or:

Arbiters of Zuben (Purple)
A mysterious race discovered as a result of Hydran experiments involving unstable wormhole generation, the Arbiters of Zuben have suddenly expanded their region of control and seek to control all wormholes, suggesting to the other races that their superior knowledge of subspace and wormhole travel makes them ideal for controlling space.
- With the Move action may move up to two Ships, or one Ship twice
- Reputation Track: Dual / Dual / Dual / Reputation
- Initial Technologies: Wormhole Generator
- Arbiters of Zuben Ships can't be pinned
- Trade rate 3 : 1
- Starting Storage : 3 Money, 2 Science, 2 Materials
- Starting Hex : [3VP+Artifact] {6 Wormholes instead of 4} 1 Money, 1 Science, 1 Advanced Science, 1 Advanced Materials

-----

Mordanta Cruci (Grey)
A scourge of a cybernetic basis with an exo-galactic origin, the Mordanta Cruci make no attempt at negotiation or peace wherever they are encountered. As such, very little is known about their society or plans. However, it is now obvious they are vying for galactic domination and their ships are particularly resilient to complete defeat.
- With the Move action may move up to two Ships, or one Ship twice
- Reputation Track: Reputation / Reputation / Reputation / Reputation
- Initial Technologies: Plasma Cannon
- Ghost Ships: When a Mordanta Dreadnought or Cruiser is destroyed, the Mordanta player may place one Cruiser for free in the battle hex for each Dreadnought returned, and may place one Interceptor in the same way for each Cruiser returned.
- Trade rate 3 : 1
- Starting Storage : 3 Money, 5 Science, 3 Materials
- Starting Hex : [3VP+Artifact] 1 Money, 1 Science, 1 Materials, 1 Advanced Materials
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Diachuk
msg tools
mbmbmb
I worry about this other Ghost Ships ability for the Mordanta. It feels like they would be getting a beast of a ship by getting a Dreadnought, but I guess that might be a bit fun and encourage them to make Dreadnoughts. The Plasma Cannon would also encourage them to start more aggressive.

I like the idea of the Arbiters of Zuben going with the extra hexagon symbol on their ships (for free extra movement speed) which helps offset their "Move two Ships" compared to the Terran's three.

Let me do a comparison between them and the Hydran:
Hydrans start with 2/5/2 resources, Money / Science / Advanced Science / Advanced Material squares, and Advanced Labs (a 10-cost Technology)
Zuben would start with 3/2/2 resources, Money / Science / Advanced Science / Advanced Material squares, and Wormhole Generator (a 16-cost Technology)

In this comparison, the Hydrans start with +1 Science production level and +3 Science, plus more easy access to science and extra Research ability.
On the other hand, the Arbiters start with +1 Money, +6 science in researched technologies, and +1 hex movement on all ships (this is like a free Nuclear Drive for each ship type, minus the initiative bonus)

I think this might be a fairer start. I just dislike a bit that they have the same starting hex layout as the Hydran, but I guess they would start at a slight disadvantage to them (as they don't have Advanced Labs) in exchange for a better starting technology and improved ships instead of the double-research power.


Also, you may be right about my original Arbiters, haha. I just worried a little bit too much about having them be too powerful, so started with too potent a nerf. As I haven't actually played yet, as I mentioned, it's much harder for me to create something at all balanced.


Here's another idea that I had for them, maybe instead of Wormhole Generator and maybe on top of something else like your +Hexagon ship improvements: Warpgate Power: Once per turn, as a Move action, you may move all of your (non-pinned) ships in one hex to any empty hex on the board (ie hex with no influence disc or enemy ships).

You could use it to backdoor easily?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Nice idea for a thread. When thinking about adding new races, it might be worth examining what we already have, so we can see what gaps remain to be filled. Here are the sci-fi staples we have already:

Orion Hegemony - The "Martial" race
Mechanema - The "Construction" race
Hydran Progress - The "Science" race
Eridani Empire - The "Wealth" race
Planta - The "Expansion" race
Descendants of Draco - The "Exploration" race

It's easy to see why the races already in the game are as they are - they each hook into one of the game's mechanics to gain a race-specific advantage, weather it be building ships, researching technologies, fighting battles, or exploring through sectors other races cannot.

This should be borne in mind when adding a new race. What game mechanic can they hook into that is not already catered for by another race?

Here are some suggestions:

- The "Trade" race - 1:1 Trade, but generally weaker in most other regards. Similar to the Ferengi in Star Trek?

- The "Mining" race - Start with lots of Materials; and ability to utilise Advanced Material population squares at the start of the game. Could be a confederation of Asteroid Belt miners ("Belters")

- The "Peacekeeper" race - Not sure what would be the best mechanics for this race but essentially they would gain VPs by "preventing" combat - possibly by being the last to enter a sector where a battle is about to take place.

- The "Xenophobe" race - May never establish diplomatic relations, very powerful ships, starts in an "outer" sector rather than a middle sector. A bit like the "Borg" in Star Trek.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Riku Riekkinen
Finland
Jyväskylä
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
NappyPlayer wrote:
- The "Trade" race - 1:1 Trade, but generally weaker in most other regards. Similar to the Ferengi in Star Trek?


Humans are currently the trade race. If I were to give better trade rate to a species, I would give 3:2. I actually think Humans trade rate is quite powerful already.

-----

Had a bit thinking time during work.... about Mordanta fluff.

Mordanta fluff is clerly in the "bad science" / space opera area. My guess would be that there will no such race in official expansions. Unless they do Eclipse: Space Operas expansion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Just a thought. "Cosmic Encounter" has loads of alien races in it with specific traits. I don't currently own a copy of that game but I'm sure with a little thought some of those aliens could be adapted to Eclipse.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
What about a Diplomat race? Alliances between this race and others are worth four points each, for each party, and cannot be broken by the other party. The Diplomats cannot get the Traitor card if they break an alliance; the attacked player can choose whether to break the alliance (which allows them to attack in return) or keep the four point alliance.

And a "Leech" race. They learn from combat. If they destroy a ship and win a battle, they can pay X (still have to determine what X is) to learn technologies from that ship. That means, if the destroy a ship with tachyon drive, they gain access to tachyon drive technology.

A "Descendants from the Ancients" race. Start somewhere in the outer rim, at the start of the game they draw two Discovery tiles. They get +1 for attacking Ancients
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Diachuk
msg tools
mbmbmb
I like the "Leech" race idea.

The "Descendants from the Ancients" are what the Descendants of Draco are supposed to be, though!

For the Leech race, how about they pay the minimum technology value for that technology, but only if that technology is available for research? That way, once they get a few technologies, it's not as valuable anymore (and, of course, can only be used on ship part technologies) although it does save them a research action.

They could also have a theft mechanism where during an Influence Action, they can choose to move one of their Population Cubes to another player's Player Board, placing it on the same track as it came from. The chosen Player must be one the Leech player has contact with. Since their Population Cube covers a number, that player receives less resource and the Leech race receives more. They can only do this once to each opponent (using up an Action each time), and at the end of the Upkeep phase, the Population Cubes return.

Could be interesting? Hmmm....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmb
The mechanical idea behind the Descendants was that their starting position is a gamble. They start with two discovery tiles, which could be anything. Having them start in the outer rim gives them some distance to the rest of the field. If they draw poorly, they cannot be overrun immediately; if they draw strong, it will still take some time for them to get to the heart of the action and be a threat to other players.


Some thoughts about races in general: There are two ways to come up with new races. The first is to look at mechanics in play and go to the extremes of those mechanics. Your Arbiters, my Descendants do that. The different standard alien races do the same. Each one concentrates on one part of the mechanics. However, during the game those mechanics are available to other races as well.

The second way for the new races is to break the rules. That happens with the Mordanta and with the leeches. They get special abilities that the other races cannot get. It's the way used for many races in TI3.

After having thought about it a bit, I'd say that Eclipse should be very careful about going that second way. The great thing about the game as it is now is its elegant and lean ruleset. The aliens in the game are truly different from each other, but still act by the same rules. By introducing races like the Leeches and the Mordanta you'd get exceptions to the rules. Privileges for certain races. And with that, the ruleset becomes less elegant and more complicated. It would dilute one of the strengths of the game and I don't think that Eclipse should go that way.

Perhaps a separate expansion with all sorts of rule-breaking elements would be fun. Make it clear that this expansion is very optional and makes for a different game than the standard game. Bring it out on April Fools Day
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
New Race: The Culture

Starting Technology: Orbitals, Advanced Robotics
MOVE action: 2 ships
Reputation/Ambassador Track: 1 Diplomacy-only, 3-Any
Trade: 3:1
Setup: Place Orbital in home sector with one Money population cube; place 1 extra Influence Disk on Influence Track.

Description:
The Culture is a humanoid race ruled over by benevolent AIs called "Minds". Under the governance of the Minds, the people of the Culture enjoy a hedonistic lifestyle, with most menial tasks being performed by machines. Citizens receive all the resources they require for a comfortable life from the state, leaving them free to pursue their own creative interests such as poetry and music.
 
 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.