Recommend
61 
 Thumb up
 Hide
28 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Eclipse» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Dream Sci-Fi Game vs Eclipse rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Donald Davis
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
In the years I've owned TI3 plus the first expansion, I've played exactly 3 times. Not because I didn't want to but because the game requires a group of dedicated gamers ready to stick it out through hours and hours with their butts getting numb in their chairs.

I've given a lot of thought to how I feel about TI3 and here is my conclusion:

TI3 is layered with many elements of gameplay and has a very rich background and theme. This is what made it appealling to me and made it my dream game that I had to own even if I only got to play occasionally. But... after having played my dream space opera game a few times I can tell you, the fun has a hard time coming through because of the slow pace brought on by all the options and procedures. It's like going to Disneyland with a few too many family members and on a busy weekend, the fun is so close you can almost touch it. And though there is territory building and space battles in TI3, it's like studying a car chase frame by frame rather than at normal pace that would convey a sense of action and drama. Even as the owner of the game who prefers sci-fi over fantasy any day and who has an "all-weekend no problem" patient attitude toward something I'm determined to love... TI3 is a game of watching your pie wedge gain more plastic for hours and is not the experience I wanted.

Eclipse however; thank you, thank you. Finally, I can sit down with the average gamer and enjoy the 4X space opera that is fun without the headaches. Do not worry like I did that there is not enough here. There are many things to think about and decisions to make and you usually have to change your strategy to meet the dynamically changing situations. Its not just the rules themselves which are great but the design of the game interface that makes it a joy to play. The design allows you to see all the information that's important at a glance so you can focus on decisions and gameplay. This also allows the game to move forward without slowing down for cumbersome or confusing bookkeeping.

So if you want to explore space, build and manage an empire, research new technology, customize starships, battle other empires (or negotiate peace), battle ancient races and learn their unique secrets, build mega-structures for your legacy... and all this in a modest amount of time with a self-managing game system... then Eclipse is it my friend.

If you want to drool over a bunch of cool bits and awesome art (I also like to do this) and immerse yourself in a many layered, richly realized sci-fi universe... I suggest reading the rules for TI3 then taking a nap and having a daydream that you are playing your favorite game and it is oh so fun and satisfying. Then wake up and get Eclipse.
72 
 Thumb up
1.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really like both games.

But, I agree with you entirely and TI3 might not be coming back for more.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Tesser
United States
Miami
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I own both. Love both. They are very different though. With all expansions TI3 is muh more warlike and has a political aspect that Eclipse doesn't. I have 3 others in my house capable of playing both though so finding players is never a problem :-)
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay Sheely
United States
Hayward
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Can you compare Eclipse with Space Empires: 4X (which I own)? I have played it twice and enjoyed it both times. I've also played TI3 once and thought it was okay - but for the same reasons you gave, I'm not terribly excited about it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Davis
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Sorry, haven't played Space Empires, but if I do in the near future I'll try to get back with that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddie B
United States
Unspecified
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I am no expert, but I played Space Empires 4x and Eclipse both once, and I prefer the latter. Space Empires 4x felt really clunky with how you need to keep track of all your stuff with pen and paper. I also felt that SE 4x had more randomness. Visually Eclipse is just a lot nicer too. SE 4x looks like an old Avalon Hill game from the 80's.

Eclipse is just a great clean design with very simple rules and a great space opera feeling.

After one play I would give SE 4x a 6.5 and Eclipse an 8
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Dolan
United States
Highland Lakes
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SE4X is a better game.

It is more challenging than Eclipse with more tension due to the unknown builds of each player.

There is also too much down time playing Eclipse.

Also you don't have those cheesy minis laying about.

SE4X has several scenarios including solitaire. You can also adjust the size of the scenarios.

Plus it doesn't cost $100.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I own both Space Empires 4x and Eclipse. I have played both multiple, but not many, times.

They have a common theme but very different mechanics. I will not pass up an opportunity to play either one, but if I had a choice between the two, I would probably go with Eclipse.

SE is more like a chit and hex wargame. Eclipse is more area control. Eclipse has a definite nine round turn limit and SE is more open ended... you play until someone wins. I think Eclipse will play faster, and probably have less "downtime" because of the way the turns are structured. SE battles are more detailed, and there is more variances in ship types. There is "bookkeeping" in both, but Eclipse handles it with cubes, markers and discs on the board while SE handles it with paper and pencil. Tech gains are secret in SE, not revealed until the tech is used (thus, along with hidden stacks of ships) providing some uncertainty in battle while everything in Eclipse is public.

They are both good games in my opinion. They are quite different. Your preference will probably depend on your own tastes and what exactly you are looking for in a space strategic space game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddie B
United States
Unspecified
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Phlegm wrote:
SE4X is a better game.

It is more challenging than Eclipse with more tension due to the unknown builds of each player.

There is also too much down time playing Eclipse.

Also you don't have those cheesy minis laying about.

SE4X has several scenarios including solitaire. You can also adjust the size of the scenarios.

Plus it doesn't cost $100.


Too much down time in Eclipse? I didn't feel that way at all. Every player takes anywhere between 10 and 45 seconds or so to take one action, so usually after 2 minutes or so it is your turn again...
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Phlegm wrote:
It is more challenging than Eclipse with more tension due to the unknown builds of each player.


I find more than enough tension when I know the builds of every player, or usually more frightening the potential builds of a player when he has 2 more actions than me this turn! surprise
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Richardson

Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmb
I'd say the 30 mins per player thing is overstating it, that's more of like a limiting case. Seems more like 40 mins per player even when everyone knows the game. Nevertheless, still quite reasonable.

I feel bad for TI3 since it sounds really fun. Maybe it would have worked better as a computerized game?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Lewis
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
NFHS Football & Basketball
badge
Dread Our Coming, Suffer Our Presence, Embrace Our Glory (Solonavi War Cry)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ParticleMan wrote:

I feel bad for TI3 since it sounds really fun. Maybe it would have worked better as a computerized game?

It just depends on your gaming preference. In my opinion, TI3 has a deeper player interaction experience than Eclipse (especially once you add the expansions), but it pays for that with a much longer game experience. At least, I feel it does.

Both games have their place, though; they are so dissimilar in terms of mechanics and strategy that neither really detracts from the other's enjoyability.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hugh Grotius
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like all three games mentioned in this thread: SE4X, TI3, Eclipse. But Eclipse is my favorite of the three, for many of the reasons stated in the original post. The shorter play-time, the elegant design, the Euro feel, and the lesser emphasis on combat: all of these are a big hit with me and my house of gamers.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Remy Gibson
United States
flag msg tools
http://boardgametop10s.com/audio/bg10.xml
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Man or Astroman wrote:
Can you compare Eclipse with Space Empires: 4X (which I own)? I have played it twice and enjoyed it both times. I've also played TI3 once and thought it was okay - but for the same reasons you gave, I'm not terribly excited about it.

Eclipse is much more similar to TI3 than to Space Empires.

Let's draw a line and mark little hashes on it numbered one through ten. Let's assign Space Empires to position 1 and call this the "war game" side. (Note: The only war games I've ever played are SE:4X and Twilight Struggle. Bear with me.) Let's assign Eclipse to position 10 and call this the "Euro game" side. I'd put Twilight Imperium at around about a 7.

Eclipse is chock-full of Euro-game mechanics. TI has some of those as well (notably the Victory Point system). SE:4X doesn't have any of that. It's a war game through and through.

Similarities: Both Eclipse and SE:4X have modular ship technology, exploration, and combat against non-player characters, none of which is true for Twilight Imperium. But the way combat is run, the way resources are generated, the way ships are built (and the types of ships you can build), and the driving goal of the games are very different between Eclipse and SE:4X. Space Empires is much more granular; Eclipse abstracts a lot of that detail.

All 3 games are great. Yes, I do have a hard time justifying owning all three of them, but I can't bear to part with any of them, either.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Grotius wrote:
The shorter play-time, the elegant design, the Euro feel, and the lesser emphasis on combat: all of these are a big hit with me and my house of gamers.


Okay, I agree with these, but completely disagree with that last one. I actually feel Eclipse has way more emphasis on combat than TI3 with its artificial limitations on movement and "activation." The beauty of Eclipse (to me) is that it's a very elegant "efficiency-engine" euro-game until about turn 5-7 (depending on the techs available, aliens chosen, and exploration tiles) when all of a sudden it becomes a horrific, free-for-all, and often vicious wargame Ameritrash dice-fest. The economic engine of the game drives one of the coolest combat systems I've ever seen in a game (and I am a gamer who loves cool combat systems). The upgrading, reaction-upgrades, countering, combined-arms effect of this game is just incredible, and the game really rewards combat in general and victory in a dramatic way.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Lewis
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
NFHS Football & Basketball
badge
Dread Our Coming, Suffer Our Presence, Embrace Our Glory (Solonavi War Cry)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the games I've played, Combat in Eclipse has never been a big factor against other players. Against the Ancients, sure, but in all my games, there have only been a few conflicts against other players.

Granted, most of my games have been 2 players, with one 4 player game, so maybe in 6-player games where players are closer together it may be different. But it's very easy and lucrative to just explore your own section of the galaxy and get your Reputation tiles from ancients.

IE - I haven't noticed any significant difference in combat emphasis between the two games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
sigmazero13 wrote:
Granted, most of my games have been 2 players, with one 4 player game, so maybe in 6-player games where players are closer together it may be different. But it's very easy and lucrative to just explore your own section of the galaxy and get your Reputation tiles from ancients.


What do you do if you get a bunch of production then? In one game, I was getting 10 a turn early on, more than both other players combined. How do you leverage that into victory points after the 3 tiles are gone and you've conquered the center? In our last game, a 3 hex conquest brought a player from first to last and vice-versa, and even taking the center from somebody puts you up 4 and brings them down 4. We've been bouncing between 25-35 points a game, so that's pretty significant!

edit: on reflection, most of our games have resulted from the winner taking at least one additional player hex and owning the center; also ancients and the GCD can be beaten with the starting techs or maybe the first cannon/hull upgrade; what's the point of getting all those combat techs if you're not going to use them?!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Lewis
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
NFHS Football & Basketball
badge
Dread Our Coming, Suffer Our Presence, Embrace Our Glory (Solonavi War Cry)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not I can give an accurate accounting, as it's been about a week since I last played and I don't remember the details. But our scores have been in the 30ish range each time despite the minimal fighting. Part of it has been getting points from techs, from ancients, from keeping the 2 VP most of the time.

Part of the problem has been that it's pretty easy to build the map so that the players don't even have a lot of avenues to attack each other, and if Wormhole Generator never shows up there's not much you can do about it.

In 2-player games especially, there seemed to be more investment and risk in trying to gun for the other player's territory than just exploring locally first. Sure, it could pay off, but it could bite you big, too.


That doesn't make it a bad game, though; it just means that in my experience, combat isn't any more emphasized in either game. It is a means to an end of getting VPs when needed, but there are other avenues as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
sigmazero13 wrote:
That doesn't make it a bad game, though; it just means that in my experience, combat isn't any more emphasized in either game. It is a means to an end of getting VPs when needed, but there are other avenues as well.


That's my question, I can't figure out what! In a 2/3 player game, usually players are only connected through the center or maybe the 1 ring (though that's why aggressive exploring is important, to keep the path open!). However, even then I don't see where these extra points are coming from. We get around 25-30 points per player, with the extra push for the winners (in the low to mid 30s) coming from stolen hexes pushing those players into the low 20s.

edit: in our last game, a player did build a bunch of monoliths but only after getting massive building potential and a fleet stationed outside the center to protect himself
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Antti Autio
Finland
Helsinki
flag msg tools
badge
Gina, Escher gang leader (Necromunda). Don't mess with her or she'll kick your ass.. actually, she's gonna do it anyway!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BagpipeDan wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
That doesn't make it a bad game, though; it just means that in my experience, combat isn't any more emphasized in either game. It is a means to an end of getting VPs when needed, but there are other avenues as well.


That's my question, I can't figure out what! In a 2/3 player game, usually players are only connected through the center or maybe the 1 ring (though that's why aggressive exploring is important, to keep the path open!). However, even then I don't see where these extra points are coming from. We get around 25-30 points per player, with the extra push for the winners (in the low to mid 30s) coming from stolen hexes pushing those players into the low 20s.

edit: in our last game, a player did build a bunch of monoliths but only after getting massive building potential and a fleet stationed outside the center to protect himself

There are many ways. Monoliths are certainly one, as well as maxing out Tech tracks if you have a good Science production set up (Orbitals help a lot here). Last time we played one player got 14 extra VP from Discovery tiles alone (he found 7 and kept all as VP). I was the last in that game with 31 VP, the three others all had 40+ VP in the end, with the winner possibly going over 50.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
aautio wrote:
There are many ways. Monoliths are certainly one, as well as maxing out Tech tracks if you have a good Science production set up (Orbitals help a lot here). Last time we played one player got 14 extra VP from Discovery tiles alone (he found 7 and kept all as VP). I was the last in that game with 31 VP, the three others all had 40+ VP in the end, with the winner possibly going over 50.


Well the player in our last game had 12 points from Monoliths but only because he couldn't expand. The monoliths only made him a bigger target for attack, though, and I would have if Planta hadn't been such a problem and needed a little cutting back.

I could see this game being possible without combat, but I think the rewards are way too tempting, especially if you're the only one focusing on a powerful fleet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Lott
United States
Little Elm
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Man or Astroman wrote:
Can you compare Eclipse with Space Empires: 4X (which I own)? I have played it twice and enjoyed it both times. I've also played TI3 once and thought it was okay - but for the same reasons you gave, I'm not terribly excited about it.


I own and have played both a number of times. They are really way too different to compare and are only similar in theme. They just scratch different itches.

SE4X is cool because of the whole fog of war thing you have going on. It's awesome the way opponent techs are discovered in sort of an "Oh crap!" kind of way. The tension comes from really not knowing what your opponents are doing.

Eclipse is just a very elegant game with great theme and finite turns. Really an awesome game.

Their biggest similarity is, though, that both reward you for not turtling, which is DEFINITELY a good thing if you ask me. But beyond that it's sort of like comparing 7 Wonders with Civilization.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hamilton
United Kingdom
Stockport
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played SE 4x and enjoyed it. I was considering buying a copy. Then I played Eclipse and immediately knew that even though SE 4x is a good game (very much a GMT wargame) that I would get a lot more play from a copy of Eclipse than one of SE 4x.

I now own Eclipse and am thinking about buying SE 4x

For me SE 4x is probably the second best space empires boardgame I have played. Eclipse is the best.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
flag msg tools
badge
The best things in life aren't things.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't played TI3 but it's just RuneWars in space, right?

I've only played Eclipse once. So here are my ill-informed opinions!

- They're all space opera games.
- If you prefer Euro-style mechanics and/or have a short-ish time to play, pick Eclipse.
- If you want a game focused entirely on war pick Space Empires 4X.
- If you want an epic AT-style game play TI.

I enjoyed my first play of Eclipse. There's a lot to like. My only reservation is the euro framework. Especially the fixed number of turns and the VP victory conditions. They seem very un-thematic to me and somewhat restrictive. I prefer my space opera games to end by player elimination. And that they end when this occurs, not through some arbitrary turn clock.

That said there seems to be plenty of very cool stuff in Eclipse. Probably enough to overcome my small gripes.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
detroit cobra
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
well, ok, wooden cubes and discs seem very euro, but i wonder how much this game would have been when there would have been miniatures instead of cubes and discs...

player elimination... i remember some big discussion about this topic on Warlords of Europe, which is a pure wargame. since eclipse is more than that and maybe better compared with Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game i do not think that it would be just as good as it would last until the elimination of a player...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.