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Eclipse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Squad formations rss

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Jeb Boh
Finland
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After dosen or so games of Eclipse by publisher rules we decided to spice up the battles with further options and designed a squad formation house-rules. However, they still need a lot of playtesting, despite the initial few games turned out alright.

General idea is that in the beginning of the combat phase, players may divided their combat forces into three separate subgroups (recon, main and rear forces) that all have some combat-effecting rules.

Recon force:
Occupies maximum of 3 ships
+1 initiative to all ships
Missiles fired from here, by-pass the opposing recon force and hit straight to main force
No retreat possibility

Main force:
Occupies any amount of ships, at least 1 ship has to be stationed to main force before occupying recon or rear forces
Normal battle rules, except missiles fired from here, hit first the recon opposing recon force, if any

Rear force:
Occupies maximum of 2 ships
-1 initiative to all ships
Instant retreat possibility
Cannot fire missiles
Cannot be targeted with missiles, unless recon and main forces are already destroyed.

Any thoughts or ideas?
 
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Sounds interesting but will obviously change the nature of the game. I would guess lots of people will find this an unnecessary complication of combat which lengthens playing time - but each to his own, as they say.

I also think you would need to tighten up these rules as they are somewhat vague in certain regards. Can ships transfer between groups? Can rear groups of opposing sides engage each other? Why can Recon group never retreat - could they not just fall back to the main group and retreat from there? As always with these sorts of variants, they become complex beasts which require a whole rulebook of their own.

If you are going to these lengths, have you considered going the whole hog and transferring all ships to a "tactical display" for combat? The game Starforce used this approach quite well as I recall. Here's what it looked like:



My feeling is that it's an interesting experiment for a bit more variety in combat but it detracts from one of the original design goals of the game (that it be quick playing) and will therefore not appeal to most players.
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Jeff Thompson
United States
Homewood
Illinois
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It might be fun to spice up a two player game, but any more than that and you'll have some disinterested parties during combat.
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