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Subject: TI3 is dead to me...Eclipse has killed it. rss

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Rob Bradley
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I had rated TI3 an 8. I loved to play it and it was always an awesome time. So why was it an 8? Well, to tell you the truth the system isn't that good. The experience was a 10, the rules were maybe a 6 and they kind of met in the middle at an 8.

Well all that has changed. Eclipse has come along as a better game, and it is not even close.

I am not kidding when I say that Eclipse is better in almost every way.

Resource management is better. The graceful cube placing mechanic offers an intuitive thematic method of controlling resources.

Action Resolution is better. The way influence is managed is brilliant. As a player gain new systems, placing influence gets prohibitively more expensive, so the players that jump to an early lead, (although still powerful) don't get to do as much each turn.

Ship Building is better. Sure there are a couple more ships in TI3, but that doesn't compare to the variety and strategy that is opened up when you can research and upgrade your ships in eclipse. Man oh man is this brilliant. I can choose to have better weapons or hull, or computers in my ships! It gets me giddy just thinking about it.

Combat is better. No special fiddly rules for each ship Just compare initiatives and start rolling by ship type. The combat is Faster, and more accurately depicts that superior ships can outgun numeric advantage.

Research is better. There is no tech tree! I don't have to memorize the tech tree to figure out what series of techs I need to unlock a specific tech! The 'tree' aspect is still there to some degree, as you research techs of a type, future techs of that type get cheaper. It works and it fast and easy. Wow what a difference!

Exploration is better. Yes there is exploration! And you can even manipulate the explored hexes to block opponents. Taking over new worlds gains you VP's or some other advantage like ancient alien techs. Cool stuff.

Diplomacy is better. Not only is it worth a VP, but it grants you resources. And when you break a trade agreement, you lose the VP, the resources, and you get the traitor tile. It is better, faster, and doesn't take up a game phase like in TI3.

After playing Eclipse, I have come to realize that the gameplay in TI3 is horrible. Eclipse does it all better and in less than 1/2 the time. I have revised my rating of TI3 to a 4. As I will never seek out to play it again and it will take some serious arm twisting to get me to play it if my group recommends it.

BTW, I have a copy of TI3 and Shattered Empires for trade. LMK if you want it.

Disclaimer: This article is meant to give information to fans of TI3 to show there is another alternative out there and in my opinion, it is a far better game. If you feel differently, I am sure we can have a rational discussion; and although my opinions may sound rash, I am just really excited that Eclipse is as good as it appears to be, so please be nice.
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Scott Lewis
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I know some people are going to be in the same boat as you. For me, it's not even close. I like Eclipse, but I've found Eclipse to be lacking in the depth and inter-player relations department. Eclipse is certainly better for a shorter game, but TI3 will still be my go-to game for epic experiences.
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Edwin Priest
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With only one play of Eclipse I shouldn't render an opinion, but hey, here goes anyway.

Eclipse is an amazing game. I have it on order and am anxiously awaiting the reprint. It offers a wonderful streamlined play that TI3 doesn't.

TI3 is also an amazing game that will remain in my collection for years to come. It offers player interaction, diplomacy and the feel of a real epic that Eclipse doesn't.

Stop comparing these two games.
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So what you are saying is you like simpler games... fair enough.

-M
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Can I have your minis from the games then? devil For me, TI3 is salvaged by a revised set of rules but I could use another set of the pieces and counters for it.
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Chris Schafer
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malloc wrote:
So what you are saying is you like simpler games... fair enough.

-M



+1

I'll keep TI.
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Scott Davey
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C'mon! I just got my copy of TI3 for Xmas, never played before, and am very excited to play the game. However, all I keep hearing is how awesome Eclipse is. Is Eclipse the Tim Tebow of boardgames?
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Guido Gloor
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TI3 has lots of things that Eclipse doesn't. More ship types, more races, politics, trade, and most important, more table politics. TI3 is a space opera in many ways that Eclipse isn't and doesn't want to be.

Don't get me wrong, most of the time I'd rather play Eclipse than TI3 simply because I wouldn't have the time for TI3, and because the system of Eclipse is much more streamlined indeed. Eclipse is more elegant, quicker, and is a very good game of its own. But that doesn't make TI3 obsolete. In a game of Eclipse, you don't even have the time (nor the motivation) to have as many deals and negotiations as you necessarily do in TI3.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Where is the thumbs down button when you really need one? You're dead to me. :-;

Brian
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BuckShot Bill wrote:
C'mon! I just got my copy of TI3 for Xmas, never played before, and am very excited to play the game. However, all I keep hearing is how awesome Eclipse is. Is Eclipse the Tim Tebow of boardgames?


If you're comparing him to John Elway or Dan Marino, yes.

Brian
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Andre Metelo
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Again, I've played the game 1 time only and still waiting a couple more plays, but looking at the rules, Eclipse actually killed Galactic Emperor for me, as the streamlining in Eclipse is by far more elegant than what was done in Galactic Emperor (still a really good game IMHO.)

I find interesting that a lot of the arguments you made for why Eclipse is better are exactly the reason I don't see me stopping choosing TI3 as my first choice when I have 3 hours to play a game (yes, we play it in 3h, our shortest game was 1 1/2h with 5 players).


Spacehulk wrote:
I had rated TI3 an 8. I loved to play it and it was always an awesome time. So why was it an 8? Well, to tell you the truth the system isn't that good. The experience was a 10, the rules were maybe a 6 and they kind of met in the middle at an 8.

I agree with you on this one. TI3 rules are clumsy as hell. I guess the only defense here is that so many other games highly rated here (Brass and Power Grid comes into my mind -> yes, Love how First Sparks fixes a lot of my issues there) have the same issue.

Spacehulk wrote:

Resource management is better. The graceful cube placing mechanic offers an intuitive thematic method of controlling resources.

It is very elegant. However, I prefer the planet "tapping" in TI3. Don't get me wrong, the cube placing is very neat, very smart, and I bet it took a lot of play testing to balance. But it is very prone to error when you have a busy map with dice being rolled all over the place, or somebody dropping a cube in the wrong place around - go fat fingers!

How do you feel about Through the age citizen, production food system of moving discs around? Seems to be about the same thing for me (elegant, really neat, but requiring some dexterity - which I sure don't have enough).

Spacehulk wrote:

Action Resolution is better. The way influence is managed is brilliant. As a player gain new systems, placing influence gets prohibitively more expensive, so the players that jump to an early lead, (although still powerful) don't get to do as much each turn.

I guess we agree here.

Spacehulk wrote:

Ship Building is better. Sure there are a couple more ships in TI3, but that doesn't compare to the variety and strategy that is opened up when you can research and upgrade your ships in eclipse. Man oh man is this brilliant. I can choose to have better weapons or hull, or computers in my ships! It gets me giddy just thinking about it.

Not sure I would compare here, as the ship customization is part of the Tech tree, while Eclipse feels more like Master of Orion (FreeOrion for the folks that don't want ancient video game references).

It is like saying cookies are better than ice cream. One day you want one, another day you want the other.

Spacehulk wrote:

Combat is better. No special fiddly rules for each ship Just compare initiatives and start rolling by ship type. The combat is Faster, and more accurately depicts that superior ships can outgun numeric advantage.

Did not play enough eclipse to have a final opinion here. My big question is: just how long it takes? It seemed to take about the same time as a similar battle in TI3 for us. So I would say no advantage either way.

I do like the fact that the attacker pick what to destroy, thus reducing the whole fighter screen issue that some dislike in TI3.

Spacehulk wrote:

Research is better. There is no tech tree! I don't have to memorize the tech tree to figure out what series of techs I need to unlock a specific tech! The 'tree' aspect is still there to some degree, as you research techs of a type, future techs of that type get cheaper. It works and it fast and easy. Wow what a difference!

Here I tend to think completely the other way around. I hate the random tech design (even in GE). The chance to get hosed by turn order, or the tech never showing up. The Tech tree is huge plus for me (part of why I love CIV by FFG), as it allows you to control your future better. So It doesn't surprise me that this is one of the least favored factor in the game for me.

Spacehulk wrote:

Exploration is better. Yes there is exploration! And you can even manipulate the explored hexes to block opponents. Taking over new worlds gains you VP's or some other advantage like ancient alien techs. Cool stuff.

Agreed. Closest thing you have to exploration in TI3 is the domain counters. So not something that have a direct comparison between the two games. IMHO, the real issue here is: do you want the exploration or not? Eclipse, Space Empires 4X, GE give that to you, TI3 does not. Seems to me like the cookies X ice cream choice.

Spacehulk wrote:

Diplomacy is better. Not only is it worth a VP, but it grants you resources. And when you break a trade agreement, you lose the VP, the resources, and you get the traitor tile. It is better, faster, and doesn't take up a game phase like in TI3.

I'd say Eclipse approach is too dry. TI3 gives you a lot more option, it allows for a lot more negotiation and back stabbing. Something that I rather enjoy in the game. In Eclipse you do when meet the species for the 1st time and that's it.


To be honest, probably, Eclipse will be high up there in the games I want to play (and looking like another 10 for me, I'm a sucker for Space and Civ games), but not sure it will replace TI3 due to the variable player powers (I know, the aliens choice is not at the same level as it is done in games like TI3, CIV, Starcraft). On top of that there is my gut feeling that TI3 is way more open-ended in terms of how you can play the game.

On the other hand, I do think Eclipse killed Galactic Emperor for me.

As you said, I think we can make this a nice rational conversation. If anything sounded like an attack, that was not the intention, these are just my opinions, nothing more.
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Volker S.
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Spacehulk wrote:
After playing Eclipse, I have come to realize that the gameplay in TI3 is horrible.


Same here, but still I like the storytelling and politics of TI3 a lot more, as well as the (optical) design, the depth of background and all those flavor texts...

malloc wrote:
So what you are saying is you like simpler games... fair enough.


For me a game's complexity is not defined by the amount of inconsistent rules, exception to those rules and exceptions to those exception to those rules.

I want the best out of both worlds (work in progress):
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metelo wrote:

On the other hand, I do think Eclipse killed Galactic Emperor for me.


Playing Galactic Emperor killed Galactic Emperor for me
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Gustav Åkerfelt
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Love Eclipse, Love TI:3. I will play both, and don't think they compete in the same category to be honest.
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malloc wrote:
So what you are saying is you like simpler games... fair enough.

-M


lol...that was sooo evil ;-)
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Simon Bourigault
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Spacehulk wrote:


After playing Eclipse, I have come to realize that the gameplay in TI3 is horrible.


Took you a game of Eclipse to realise that ? laugh
Basically, a game of anything makes one realise that. TI3 isn't balanced or smooth or anything. But that is why we love it !

Spacehulk wrote:

Disclaimer: This article is meant to give information to fans of TI3 to show there is another alternative out there and in my opinion, it is a far better game. If you feel differently, I am sure we can have a rational discussion; and although my opinions may sound rash, I am just really excited that Eclipse is as good as it appears to be, so please be nice.

Don't worry, we don't live under a rock. laugh
I'll try Eclipse someday. I already know, after reading the rules, that it will never replace TI3 for it won't scratch the same itch. However, since everyone is so ethousiastic about that game, I'll wait. I know my natural reaction will be to dislike this game only because so many people find it so good and want to compare it to TI.
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I think I am the only person in the universe who doesn't have much interest in playing Eclipse. In fact change it to none.
Just seems like the big selling point is "it's quicker and better than TI3!" But for me what makes TI3 is the flavour. This doesn't look to have it in the (very brief) look I have had at this game.
I dunno, maybe I'm losing my boardgaming gene, but I couldn't muster up any more indifference if I tried. I'm glad people are enjoying it, but it's ranking as a 'whatever' on my radar.
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Exactly. I view it is a bad politician. Eclipse's biggest selling point is that it is "quicker and cleaner" than Ti3. When the best thing you can do for a game is to compare it to a game that doesn't have the same goals, it doesn't say anything good about that game. I am sure the game is a masterpiece, but I have zero interest in playing it. The last thing I want for my Ti3 is to become a Eurogame.
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muthrali wrote:
malloc wrote:
So what you are saying is you like simpler games... fair enough.

-M


lol...that was sooo evil ;-)


You may be inferring something that Malloc didn't intend. (Then again, you may be right on the money, too.)

Personally, I don't see anything insulting in Malloc's statement. Just because a game is simple doesn't mean it's bad, nor does liking things that are easy to learn imply that the player in question is stupid.

I often think of gamers who believe "complex rules = better game" in the same category as drivers who believe "expensive sports cars = better ride." As long as they're happy with their choice, that's all well and good, although it does beg the question what they're compensating for.

Having said that, I do enjoy TI3 and I haven't yet had a chance to play Eclipse, so I won't actually be putting my hat in the ring concerning which is the better game today, I'm afraid.
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BuckShot Bill wrote:
C'mon! I just got my copy of TI3 for Xmas, never played before, and am very excited to play the game. However, all I keep hearing is how awesome Eclipse is. Is Eclipse the Tim Tebow of boardgames?


Be wary on reviews.

Some players can't handle the human interaction that TI3 demands.

They need the RULES to dictate a good alliance. In TI3 your WORD is what makes the alliance.


Eclipse is more combat oriented, obviously, to fill the need of those that think TI3 is a Risklike game...

It fills the void for some but lacks the full interaction for others.

Play it with your friends 10 times, to have reviews carry more meaning
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
BuckShot Bill wrote:
C'mon! I just got my copy of TI3 for Xmas, never played before, and am very excited to play the game. However, all I keep hearing is how awesome Eclipse is. Is Eclipse the Tim Tebow of boardgames?


If you're comparing him to John Elway or Dan Marino, yes.

Brian


TEBOW!! TEBOW!!! TEBOW!!!!

C'mon we all know the only reason Tebow is in the news because of his religious references at the end of each game!

Any QB that throws 6-20 for 69 yards during the game is a piece of garbage.

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Michal Michalowski
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Spacehulk wrote:
Well all that has changed. Eclipse has come along as a better game, and it is not even close.

I have played both game, own both. I think both are very good game, but can't agree that Eclipse is better. It's much more simplier game than TI3... it's faster, agree. But when I am ending game of TI3, I have felling that it was THE GAME.

Spacehulk wrote:
Resource management is better. The graceful cube placing mechanic offers an intuitive thematic method of controlling resources.

Well the idea is nice and this is the main part of Eclipse. In TI3 this is made in simple way (just one resources).

Spacehulk wrote:
Action Resolution is better. The way influence is managed is brilliant. As a player gain new systems, placing influence gets prohibitively more expensive, so the players that jump to an early lead, (although still powerful) don't get to do as much each turn.

Where you got this from?
Usually when a player got early lead, he has also more resources, so he can use more actions, produce more ships etc.

Spacehulk wrote:
Ship Building is better. Sure there are a couple more ships in TI3, but that doesn't compare to the variety and strategy that is opened up when you can research and upgrade your ships in eclipse. Man oh man is this brilliant. I can choose to have better weapons or hull, or computers in my ships! It gets me giddy just thinking about it.

Agree. It's very fun to build your own ships and then push them into fight.

Spacehulk wrote:
Combat is better. No special fiddly rules for each ship Just compare initiatives and start rolling by ship type. The combat is Faster, and more accurately depicts that superior ships can outgun numeric advantage.

The thing is that in Eclipse you usually fight with less number of ships than in TI3. Of course comparing weapons etc. is more fun but still fighting is in my opinion similar to what we have in TI3. You just roll dices and you hope you will be lucky. Also there is important thing to notice, that Eclipse totaly ignore ground units. Also in Eclipse you are focusing more on this how you should build your ship, in TI3 you are focusing more on this what ships you should have in fleet.

Spacehulk wrote:
Research is better. There is no tech tree! I don't have to memorize the tech tree to figure out what series of techs I need to unlock a specific tech! The 'tree' aspect is still there to some degree, as you research techs of a type, future techs of that type get cheaper. It works and it fast and easy. Wow what a difference!

You can't say it's better. It's simplier that's it. Also you can't plan what you faction will do. You can just look and pick one of few options... Also about memorizing, even before first play I have printed tech-tree for every player so that solve this problem.

Spacehulk wrote:
Exploration is better. Yes there is exploration! And you can even manipulate the explored hexes to block opponents. Taking over new worlds gains you VP's or some other advantage like ancient alien techs. Cool stuff.

Yeah, and that's the part of Eclipse I think is not working so good. Randomnes of exploration can ruin your game. I've got a game when one player was surounded by pirates or blocked (early turns). So he could wait or take risk and attack one of pirates. He lost... have to rebuild, and could again attack in turn 5... (half of the game)... For comparing other player got no pirates, so he just take easy lead, and because was not conected to other players (just one spot when someone could attack him), he control all this planets, almost all game. Let make it clear. The part of exploration is fun, but in my opinion is too random. Also in TI3 you are the one who is creating galaxy. You have influence on this which planet will be near you, and felling of explorations is when you are sending your troops to planets to check what's there (Distant Suns option).

Spacehulk wrote:
Diplomacy is better. Not only is it worth a VP, but it grants you resources. And when you break a trade agreement, you lose the VP, the resources, and you get the traitor tile. It is better, faster, and doesn't take up a game phase like in TI3.

I am usally playing with 5 people and this 1VP dont really matter. And you have it there just because that's the only thing which you can place in this spot. That's not a diplomacy that's just a one part of the game which state "how to fill this one spot for VP".

And now... things you didn't mention, and which I think TI3 have much more advantage.

1. Races - in TI3 you have much more felling of playing other race than in Eclipse.
2. Victory condition - In Eclipse you just control planets, fight to get random counters and every game this same. In TI3 all objectives: Public Objectives, Secret objectives, Artifacts, Fight for Mecatol Rex give you so many oportunities to get VP that you have to decide which way you will choose.
3. Depth of the game - You have pointed some arguments about why you think Eclipse is better, but must of them is because it's just simpler. There is so many "addition" to TI3 which make this game so awsome. You have unique systems, planets, deep technology tree where you can actualy choose direction which your races is going, Ground forces, wormholes, trade agreements, mercenaries, leaders and many, many more...

Conclusion.
One more time. Both games are great. Curently I have rated TI3 as 10 (with expansions), and Eclipse as 8. But that's just me. I am sure there will be expansions to Eclipse which will fix some things with it (early randomness), but right now TI3 is in my opion better and more challening as a game, and that's not just my opinion. I am not playing this game alone

Anyway, have many good games with Eclipse if you like it so much. I loved them both and hope to play them as often as I can
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Well I am now proud owner of both game and never one will replace the other. People already pointed out mechanics difference.
For me this is comparing apples to oranges on the long run.

Those games are for quite different situations and people (yes sometimes one can belong to both camps.)

Ti3 - for me require to get a group on weekend that is dedicated to spend time necessary for the game - very serious commitment.
Eclipse - I can play with people who looking at my shelf for a random game on weeknight and would never play something that take as long as ti3.

I can bring eclipse to small meetup and find people to play it and can explain rules in timely manner. Cannot do same in Ti3.

So for me one will never replace the other and I love both cause Sci-Fi master of orion style games are my weak spot.

So I expect a lot of people being happy with Eclipse and TI3. Some people will be happy with both! Overall I love variety and I happy that Eclipse came along - but I don't think it killed TI3. I think it might have given people who never really should have gotten TI3 in a first place a good alternative
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Andre Metelo
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garfielder wrote:
I can bring eclipse to small meetup and find people to play it and can explain rules in timely manner. Cannot do same in Ti3.



I guess I'm really lucky, as every time I went to a small meetup in the good old Hotlanta I have been able to squeeze in a game of TI3. (still love the sunday we played 2 games in a row).
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metelo wrote:
garfielder wrote:
I can bring eclipse to small meetup and find people to play it and can explain rules in timely manner. Cannot do same in Ti3.



I guess I'm really lucky, as every time I went to a small meetup in the good old Hotlanta I have been able to squeeze in a game of TI3. (still love the sunday we played 2 games in a row).


I would never call a meetup running on weekend "small"
Those are "Marathon gaming meetup" in my book
So when I say small meetup - I mean one meeting on Tuesday at 6pm with people going to work next day...

Also Eclipse for smaller events has one advantage - require less table space...

Again - in no way it killed TI3 for me But different never the less.

PS: It is possible with dedicated people to manage game of TI3 even on weekday evening, but there is exception to every rule.
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