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Subject: Encounter while patrolling the Galactic Center rss

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Valtteri Pirttilä
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"Sir! A huge enemy fleet is closing in! They have a full fleet of cruisers with dreadnoughts up front and interceptors backing. What are we gonna do?"

"Hmm... looks like we're outnumbered. Have a look at the battle manual, what does it say?"

"Very odd. It just has two lines, no matter what the situation, sir."

"Well, what's the first line saying?"

"Fire Missiles! Sir."

"Very well. Form up cruisers, inform starbase. Everyone, fire missiles!"

A huge torrent of missile barrage ensues. Amidst the flaming debris of crushed enemy hulls, a single dreadnought pushes forward with it's armour plating trailing behind it.

"Ha! That showed them. Just a single ship left and even that one's barely hanging on to existence. What's the next line in the battle manual? Probably gonna say 'Fire Twinkies'"

"Um... no sir. it says 'run'. With exclamation marks. 'Run!!!'"

"What? Belay that one, I'm taking charge here. Stupid manual. Everyone, fire twinkies!

"Um.. it appears our ships are no longer equipped with twinkies sir. Sir! The enemy dreadnought just blew up one of our cruisers with a single twinkie blast! There appears to be no shields or armor protection on our cruisers!"

"What? You mean our Cruiser class 'Glass Cannon' has absolutely no shields, no armor and no close combat weaponry?"

"Um... yes sir. And same goes for the star base, class 'Fragile Jaw'. Looks like we're just filled with missiles and targeting computers."

"Very well. Everyone, Run!!!"

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

To put a long story short, we had a five player game of Eclipse yesterday. Everyone explored plenty in the beginning. One of my neighbours found a good hull tile in a discovery and his cruisers became invincible for a while.

Then everything changed. I had just a good engine for ship speed found, but then I found a +3 computer that required no power. I researched plasma cannon, hoping to get a power source next. Tech draw brought one power source and plasma missiles. My neighbour grabbed the power source on his turn, so my plasma cannons became useless and I picked plasma missiles. Oh boy, was I up for a treat.

A single upgrade action gave two missiles to the cruisers. So they had superfast engines, +3 computer, a previously fitted +1 computer and two missiles. Most of the others were still in beginning style ships (it was turn 3). I would hit anything with a roll of 2 (no shields drawn yet). Each cruiser would get four dice to roll. Combined with neuron bombs and the fast engines, I think I could have destroyed just about anything in the galaxy.

I took out the remaining ancients quickly, and the center hex which needed two cruisers. Then layed low. There was plenty to produce and research and I didn't want to excite the others to a common alliance.

Above battle is what happened when one player fully outfitted all his ships to counter my designs. I had made small changes by then, replaced power sources and +1 comp with +3. Even though he "won" that battle, He lost a dreadnought, four cruisers and four interceptors. I lost one cruiser and retreated the rest.

It was a great first game, everyone really enjoyed it. Personally I found it a bit boring that the plasma missiles were so 'easy' to use, especially in ship designing. Managing power requirements is such a big thing in the designing. The 0 requirement of the missiles makes it very quick and easy to just strap on everywhere, resulting in nothing but missiles in the ships. One or two upgrades and you're set with both interceptors and cruisers.

Point tally was 49 for me, 21 - 29 for the rest.

Edit for disclaimer: Writer of this session report was woefully unaware he was stepping into the middle of a religious war between pro-missile conservatives and pro-"yell broken" activists. This session report does not contain opinions regarding the aforementioned war. And the game Pauli is referring to below was not the same game. In addition, all ships were designed with engines according to the rules and no Tribbles were harmed during the game.
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Pauli Vinni
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Similar experiences is our game with a tweak...
2-6 missiles in each ship and starbase...
Best computer and some shield and no drives at all...

- - - - - --

Heavily edited, because of some major rule reading mistake.

So you need a drive... makes sense. I was looking rules, if there would be something that would not allow taking drives of ships and missed that part miserably. *sigh*

But think that fast ship with high iniative with missiles can be a real pain in the... space... Just hitting and then jumping away. Have to play more, if we can counter them somehow...
 
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Timo Hohkala
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If that was the last turn assault, then there's no harm in losing almost entire fleet, especially if it's Galactic center at stake.

You have to realize three things. First, missiles are fairly expensive late game tech.

Second, they can be countered with fairly cheap technologies like improved hulls and shields.

Third and the most important, war is just a small part of getting victory points. Tech and discoveries play important part too. You can only conquer so much of the galaxy with your limited amount of influence discs.
 
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Pauli Vinni
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In our game missile ships game around round 5 or 6... with little upgrages all the way to round 9. The leading player got Galactic senter around round 3 and expanded very rapidly. After that he did just go defensive. (Ultimete lead in production, and small lead in technology)
 
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Valtteri Pirttilä
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twibs wrote:
If that was the last turn assault, then there's no harm in losing almost entire fleet, especially if it's Galactic center at stake.


It was the turn before last. For the last turn, I upgraded the cruiser power source and changed one missile for a plasma cannon. Nothing ever managed through the missiles, though.

twibs wrote:
You have to realize three things. First, missiles are fairly expensive late game tech.


Um.. I'm not sure why I need to realize something? I just said I felt they were a bit too easy to strap on ships, that the designing of missile ships is somewhat boring compared to the other parts.

I was able to buy the missiles on turn 3 or 4. I had starbases, plasma cannons and neutron bombs for a discount, so they cost 11. Others didn't get a shot for missiles until turn 7 when a second one turned up.

twibs wrote:
Second, they can be countered with fairly cheap technologies like improved hulls and shields.


I'm not entirely sure about that. After getting the single tech for the missiles, it took me one upgrade action to get the cruisers up to snuff. At that point, others needed to study shields, improved hulls and probably a power source. Then upgrade everything. That's a lot more actions that I took. And my need for spending valuable actions upgrading was lessened. But I'm just a newbie, this was my first game and I haven't called anything overpowered, just somewhat boring on the design side. Besides, I got a lot of lucky help by the +3 ancient computer.

twibs wrote:
Third and the most important, war is just a small part of getting victory points. Tech and discoveries play important part too. You can only conquer so much of the galaxy with your limited amount of influence discs.


Definitely true. Part of my decision not to go neutron bombing the others.
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Petri Savola
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Remember that it's illegal to design ship blueprints without drives.
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Antti Autio
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Petri wrote:
Remember that it's illegal to design ship blueprints without drives.

^ This.

It's worth reading the rules properly before the first game, otherwise it's going to be a lot more difficult when everyone just learns the rules wrong...

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
Similar experiences is our game with a tweak...
2-6 missiles in each ship and starbase...
Best computer and some shield and no drives at all...

So there was sitting missile platforms with very good iniative and computers that just destroyed everything that tryed to attack them... and when someone got good drives and computers, there was so little power left in their ship for anything else that it was easy to counter balance with minor upgrade... two peases of best computers and iniative was again gained...
So missiles are huge with high iniative and good computers...

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
Really usefull to anyone who get the lead! With huge empire you can easily rebuild anything you luse and if needed put drives on for one round and retake anything you have lost and upgrade again...

As the rulebook clearly states: Not permitted.

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
Example:
Dreadnough:
6* plasma missile tile (12 missiles)
2* Gluon computer (+6 to hit, +4 iniative)
1* Fusion source (6 energy)
upgrade:
5* plasma missile tile (10 missiles)
3* Gluon computer (+9 to hit, +6 iniative)
1* Fusion source (6 energy)

Both illegal (no Drive).

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
Gruiser
3* plasma missile tile (6 missiles)
2* Gluon computer (+6 to hit, +4 iniative)
1* Fusion source (6 energy)
upgrade:
2* plasma missile tile (4 missiles)
3* Gluon computer (+9 to hit, +6 iniative)
1* Fusion source (6 energy)

Both illegal (no Drive).

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
Interceptor
2* plasma missile tile (4 missiles)
1* Gluon computer (+3 to hit, +2 iniative)
1* Fusion source (6 energy)
upgrade:
1* plasma missile tile (2 missiles)
2* Gluon computer (+6 to hit, +4 iniative)
1* Fusion source (6 energy)

Both illegal (no Drive).

Hannibal_pjv wrote:
Starbace
4* plasma missile tile (8 missiles)
1* Gluon computer (+3 to hit, +2 iniative)

Well, look at that: this one's actually legal!

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Juho Snellman
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twibs wrote:
You have to realize three things. First, missiles are fairly expensive late game tech.

I don't think the "late game tech" argument really holds. I've seen missiles be bought as early as on round 2 with a bit of luck, and on round 3 without any special heroics.

Whether buying missiles that early is a good deal is a different issue, and depends a lot on what technology is available. There are things of a similar cost that I'd rather buy with that science that early on, even if it means missing out on missiles completely. E.g. an advanced production tech + something else or the quantum grid.
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Valtteri Pirttilä
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aautio wrote:
Petri wrote:
Remember that it's illegal to design ship blueprints without drives.

^ This.

It's worth reading the rules properly before the first game, otherwise it's going to be a lot more difficult when everyone just learns the rules wrong...


Oh yeah, I definitely agree there. That's why our game (the only first game in this thread so far) was played according to the rules and with the engines on.

Edit: Removed some snarkiness
 
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Pauli Vinni
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Petri wrote:
Remember that it's illegal to design ship blueprints without drives.


Yes I just find it out. It was mentioned in upgrade page and not in the ship part of rules. My bad... so no uber weapon platforms, but all in all fast missile gruisers are still guite devasting, but not so badly as we though after one player in our group make that "ultimate" blueprint change. He will be most unhappy when he hears this ;-)

 
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Jussi Mattila
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I was on the losing end in the game of the first post, which really was played by the (rule) book. In retrospect, we should have been much more vigilant and should have attacked the eventual winner early (no fighting at all until round 8), but early missile cruisers with alien +3 computers were just too much, especially for first time players with no prior knowledge of the game.

In case the same situation arises again, I would love if someone describes how you can attack (without access to missiles) a tile that has a starbase (+3 from computers, 4 missiles) and two cruisers (+6 from computers, 2 missiles). That is, 8 die at +3 and 8 die at +6, inflicting 2 damage per hit. I would say this was the average threat from mid-game onwards (there was a mix of missile interceptors and dreadnoughts as well). Also, I don't mean a suicide attack where you loose all but one ship to take hold of one tile for the final turn. I did that on turn 8 just for fun, since I knew I had already lost the game. Instead, I would like to know if there is a way to attack a tile like that with 'acceptable' losses? If not, I can at this point accept that missile-heavy strategies must be countered by other means.

Anyway, the game was a lot of fun, surprisingly easy to learn (but probably difficult to master), and well balanced between the four Xs. Bravo!
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