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Subject: And we thought Draco were bottomfeeders rss

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Travis R. Chance
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Last night 5 of us sat down to a game of Eclipse. Everyone had played prior, most of us together. Everyone opted to play alien races. I played the Hegemony, Steve the Eridani, Andy the Mechanema, Chris Descendants of Draco, and Brian the Hydran Progress.

Before we began talk of a house rule to give the Draco a legup was passed around. In a game three of us had played prior, the Draco's inability to engage the Ancients had proved more of a draw back than the fast habitation of Ancient-occupied sectors. At a glance, this is a fair argument: the Draco player isn't drawing victory tiles for those early battles against Ancients, as well as not claiming the Discovery Tiles on which they sit. It was agreed that we should just stick to the rules in case we were missing something. And then the Draco player used their other ability to look at two hexes and pick one.

Within the first round, the Draco player had effectively surrounded himself if a cluster of Ancients, quickly influencing each sector. The Hydrans explored outward, creating a bottleneck into their holdings. The Hegemony was eager for a dogfight, pressing into the inner sectors, but only managed to find slim pickings. The Eridani went for broke from the onset and dropped their income via exchange rate to fart out a couple of interceptors. Mechanema explored outward as well, uncovering a hex with an Ancient within spitting distance of the Draco.

I passed first, due to my failed war charge inward. My economy was in bad shape as it was, so I figured I would just keep looking for a fight, draw some victory and plop down on a juicy sector. This didn't happen. The Eridani jug handled into an adjacent sector; I declined to ally with them. The Mechanema built a couple interceptors and laid claim to their sector, finding a boost in Materials (bingo!). The Draco player continued to explore, capitalizing on their ability to choose which hex to lay. The Hydrans pushed out a few more sectors and began their turtling. I managed to find a Shard Hull on a discovery tile only hex. I then built a couple of cruisers which plowed into a substantial hex owned by the Eridani, who in like fashion researched Starbases, built two WITH a cruiser, upgraded the lot of them, and then whipped me like a naughty school girl. I drew my tile for fighting: 1!

The following round I managed to trade ambassadors with the Hydrans to push my economy out of the crapper. Everyone else steadily advanced, buying research, exploring, upgrading, all of the usual fare. The outer sector hexes were pretty much gone by this point as Draco had pushed in every conceivable direction to profit off their ability. I hunkered down and counted my pocket change for the upcoming turns.

The middle portion of the game saw me max out my economy (thanks to Advanced Economy), but stagnate on research and materials. I had to give up multiple sectors at one point, using my Influence to consolidate what few good sectors I had, as I was spread thin across insubstantial sectors. Draco started outfitting their ships with Plasma Missiles. They took the Center tile without issue. By the end of the game, each of his ships had computers (one had the Axiom Computer and a Positron) and as many missiles as each could hold. This strategy backfired when Draco attempted to take my homeworld with no way to retreat. I was forced to compensate with Improved Hulls on as many slots as I could manage--the though Shard Hull on my interceptors saved me on multiple occasions. I was crippled, and forced to go after Starbase tech just to pin any ships that wandered toward my homeworld. Oh, I drew another 1 pt. victory tile.

The Hydrans maxed out Nano tech, and nearly managed to do the same with Grid tech. They had orbitals, and, were it not for the Draco taking the Artifact Key due to going first, they would have had a massive amount of resources that would have rocketed them to a more decisive stance.

The Mechanema started raiding the Draco and Eridani, taking out one sector from the latter. However, they were blown to scrap by Draco missiles. In the end the Mecha took a few sectors, but mostly by the omission of Draco not wanting to bother. An Ancient even managed to hold down the fort. At the end of the game the Mecha had all but one Dreadnought in play, but never really marched a substantial force into any hexes of note. Their lack of Neutron Bombs proved an issue, as they managed to remove one Draco interceptor and an Ancient, but crapped the bed on wiping out the population. Bad things happen to traitors, right?

The Eridani filled up their remaining spaced on the victory track rather quickly, but seemed to be scrambling to go for Monoliths in the final round. Though his civilization was stable, he never really went on the offensive.

In my final round I decided to go for broke, I used Influence actions to pull up stakes in 4 sectors, which allowed me to move my freshly manufactured Dreadnoughts and sole interceptor into the Center tile for a brawl. The first volley managed to take out one Dreadnought (it took 7 hits to kill them). The second volley appeared to falter when only 1 out of 6 hit, but then the next 6 hit thanks to computers that were significantly better than my complimentary Gauss Shield. Boom went the second fattie. My Interceptor was render subspace ash shortly thereafter, and the Hegemony was left with debts they could not afford.

In the End the Draco won by a landslide (38 pts.). The Hydrans were at 29. The Mecha at 27. I don't recall the Eridani, but it wasn't very high, even with the single monolith.

The moral of this story is as follows: Just because your guys look tough and have awesome ships from the get-go, doesn't mean that this comes with any guarantees about playing the role of bully. Secondly, the Draco can be navigating stalwarts, esp. when their ships are all bombers. Kudos to Chris!
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Greg Lott
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Action Phase wrote:
Last night 5 of us sat down to a game of Eclipse. Everyone had played prior, most of us together. Everyone opted to play alien races. I played the Hegemony, Steve the Eridani, Andy the Mechanema, Chris Descendants of Draco, and Brian the Hydran Progress.

Before we began talk of a house rule to give the Draco a legup was passed around. In a game three of us had played prior, the Draco's inability to engage the Ancients had proved more of a draw back than the fast habitation of Ancient-occupied sectors. At a glance, this is a fair argument: the Draco player isn't drawing victory tiles for those early battles against Ancients, as well as not claiming the Discovery Tiles on which they sit. It was agreed that we should just stick to the rules in case we were missing something. And then the Draco player used their other ability to look at two hexes and pick one.

Within the first round, the Draco player had effectively surrounded himself if a cluster of Ancients, quickly influencing each sector. The Hydrans explored outward, creating a bottleneck into their holdings. The Hegemony was eager for a dogfight, pressing into the inner sectors, but only managed to find slim pickings. The Eridani went for broke from the onset and dropped their income via exchange rate to fart out a couple of interceptors. Mechanema explored outward as well, uncovering a hex with an Ancient within spitting distance of the Draco.

I passed first, due to my failed war charge inward. My economy was in bad shape as it was, so I figured I would just keep looking for a fight, draw some victory and plop down on a juicy sector. This didn't happen. The Eridani jug handled into an adjacent sector; I declined to ally with them. The Mechanema built a couple interceptors and laid claim to their sector, finding a boost in Materials (bingo!). The Draco player continued to explore, capitalizing on their ability to choose which hex to lay. The Hydrans pushed out a few more sectors and began their turtling. I managed to find a Shard Hull on a discovery tile only hex. I then built a couple of cruisers which plowed into a substantial hex owned by the Eridani, who in like fashion researched Starbases, built two WITH a cruiser, upgraded the lot of them, and then whipped me like a naughty school girl. I drew my tile for fighting: 1!

The following round I managed to trade ambassadors with the Hydrans to push my economy out of the crapper. Everyone else steadily advanced, buying research, exploring, upgrading, all of the usual fare. The outer sector hexes were pretty much gone by this point as Draco had pushed in every conceivable direction to profit off their ability. I hunkered down and counted my pocket change for the upcoming turns.

The middle portion of the game saw me max out my economy (thanks to Advanced Economy), but stagnate on research and materials. I had to give up multiple sectors at one point, using my Influence to consolidate what few good sectors I had, as I was spread thin across insubstantial sectors. Draco started outfitting their ships with Plasma Missiles. They took the Center tile without issue. By the end of the game, each of his ships had computers (one had the Axiom Computer and a Positron) and as many missiles as each could hold. This strategy backfired when Draco attempted to take my homeworld with no way to retreat. I was forced to compensate with Improved Hulls on as many slots as I could manage--the though Shard Hull on my interceptors saved me on multiple occasions. I was crippled, and forced to go after Starbase tech just to pin any ships that wandered toward my homeworld. Oh, I drew another 1 pt. victory tile.

The Hydrans maxed out Nano tech, and nearly managed to do the same with Grid tech. They had orbitals, and, were it not for the Draco taking the Artifact Key due to going first, they would have had a massive amount of resources that would have rocketed them to a more decisive stance.

The Mechanema started raiding the Draco and Eridani, taking out one sector from the latter. However, they were blown to scrap by Draco missiles. In the end the Mecha took a few sectors, but mostly by the omission of Draco not wanting to bother. An Ancient even managed to hold down the fort. At the end of the game the Mecha had all but one Dreadnought in play, but never really marched a substantial force into any hexes of note. Their lack of Neutron Bombs proved an issue, as they managed to remove one Draco interceptor and an Ancient, but crapped the bed on wiping out the population. Bad things happen to traitors, right?

The Eridani filled up their remaining spaced on the victory track rather quickly, but seemed to be scrambling to go for Monoliths in the final round. Though his civilization was stable, he never really went on the offensive.

In my final round I decided to go for broke, I used Influence actions to pull up stakes in 4 sectors, which allowed me to move my freshly manufactured Dreadnoughts and sole interceptor into the Center tile for a brawl. The first volley managed to take out one Dreadnought (it took 7 hits to kill them). The second volley appeared to falter when only 1 out of 6 hit, but then the next 6 hit thanks to computers that were significantly better than my complimentary Gauss Shield. Boom went the second fattie. My Interceptor was render subspace ash shortly thereafter, and the Hegemony was left with debts they could not afford.

In the End the Draco won by a landslide (38 pts.). The Hydrans were at 29. The Mecha at 27. I don't recall the Eridani, but it wasn't very high, even with the single monolith.

The moral of this story is as follows: Just because your guys look tough and have awesome ships from the get-go, doesn't mean that this comes with any guarantees about playing the role of bully. Secondly, the Draco can be navigating stalwarts, esp. when their ships are all bombers. Kudos to Chris!


My initial impressions about Draco were the exact opposite. The ability to influence and populate those awesome ancient tiles is awesome.
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Travis R. Chance
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You get the bonus of them as defender, but the lack of drawing victory and discovery tiles is a pretty big setback. The Ancients not participating in the battles as active support, but, rather, once you have lost any present defense isn't a hot one. Ancients are pretty easy to kill. So though you are gaining that defense, you are priming adversarial invasion, as your opponents get more tile draws, a discovery, and usually a nice piece of real estate.

The real advantage is the ability to choose which hex you want. This was tremendous, especially in garnering the Ancient occupied areas to help reinforce in the early stages of the game.
 
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I always thought the best part of the Ancients sitting in your territories was their ability to pin enemy ships.
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Greg Lott
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Action Phase wrote:
You get the bonus of them as defender, but the lack of drawing victory and discovery tiles is a pretty big setback. The Ancients not participating in the battles as active support, but, rather, once you have lost any present defense isn't a hot one. Ancients are pretty easy to kill. So though you are gaining that defense, you are priming adversarial invasion, as your opponents get more tile draws, a discovery, and usually a nice piece of real estate.

The real advantage is the ability to choose which hex you want. This was tremendous, especially in garnering the Ancient occupied areas to help reinforce in the early stages of the game.


True, but you also get an early lead on the other races production wise if done correctly.
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Travis R. Chance
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I know; I touched upon this above. I get what the benefits are, but the issue is their inability to get discovery tiles (unless influencing crap systems) as well as the early victory tiles when most are bashing Ancients. You win the game with Victory points, so the inability to do this is kinda significant.
 
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Greg Lott
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Action Phase wrote:
I know; I touched upon this above. I get what the benefits are, but the issue is their inability to get discovery tiles (unless influencing crap systems) as well as the early victory tiles when most are bashing Ancients. You win the game with Victory points, so the inability to do this is kinda significant.


Oh, it's absolutely significant. So, the answer (or at least one answer) is to use the early boon in resources to get a leg up on the competition fleet wise, and stroll over and attack them while you have an edge. If you expand and turtle, you will probably lose.
 
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Travis R. Chance
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Agreed. In both games I have played in which Draco were being used, the Wormhole Generator was used to ambush into cosmic culdesacs and mosh the turtle on the table.
 
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Chris McDonald
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As the Draco player in this game, I was really surprised by how good they are. Starting with 0 technology and with no chance to get at discovery tiles and kill points from ancients seemed pretty horrible. But they get awesome action efficiency from explore actions:

1) They can grab ancient hexes (which might have as many as 3 cube sites on them) on turn 1, with no extra actions beyond the explore
b) Their "pick 2 - choose 1" means they can often get exactly the tile they need under the current circumstances. So when I wanted more ancient hexes to grab, I got that, when I wanted an unprotected discovery tile, I got that, when I wanted to drop another orange cube, I got that.
 
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Travis R. Chance
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The other advantage is that since Draco can't capitalize on the Discovery tiles under Ancients, by pilfering hexes, they can effectively deny others discovery as well.

Needless to say I was impressed. No house rules are needed to adjust them; it was more a case of the first guy who played them in a game of which I was a part didn't play them optimally. Chris, on the other hand, did an expert job.

I was quite miffed that I didn't encounter a single Ancient. It was so bizarre to max out on economy, but be stuck at 4 on the other two tracks. And trust me, I tried to make aggressive, informed moves.
 
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Tom Cannon
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I didn't see this mentioned above, but they also score 1 point for any ancient ship left on the map during end scoring. So they have an incentive to defend hexes with ancients that are within their empire.
 
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Greg Lott
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wtcannonjr wrote:
I didn't see this mentioned above, but they also score 1 point for any ancient ship left on the map during end scoring. So they have an incentive to defend hexes with ancients that are within their empire.

Yeah, but I've never seen this reap too much in the way of rewards. Ancients are such juicy targets for the other players, it's hard to protect them all.
 
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Travis R. Chance
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Agreed. Essentially you make the Ancient hexes even better for your opps, in that by taking them they screw you. But, please, this whole post was about they are rad, so why stir the pot. We are on the same page.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Having played the Draco twice - and won with them twice - I'd say they need absolutely no extra help from a house rule. I've won with Planta and Terrans too; I don't remember having used any other races yet.

The key to winning with Draco - like all the others - is to play to their strengths (and the other players should try to interfere with this). One of my games was close - the other players were targeting the Ancients within my sphere of influence; the second game I did a better job of protecting those Ancients - by both the initial placement and my later fleet actions - and won by a landslide, without a single VP discovery (and only one 1VP reputation chip).

 
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James Hamilton
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I agree Draco are just fine although they can be beaten which is good.

What I am really struggling with is how to play Eridani. The minus 2 disks is a real killer. I have a feeling a few people conveniently forget that rule in which case they are way too powerful.

I am open to suggestions on better ways to do use the Eridani advantages. To me they really need 2 cruisers early but with only 2 resources in the bank and an income of 2 that is going to take either a long time or a lot of cash.
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Mikko Kaskela
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Nice read!

Quote:
I managed to find a Shard Hull on a discovery tile only hex. I then built a couple of cruisers which plowed into a substantial hex owned by the Eridani, who in like fashion researched Starbases, built two WITH a cruiser, upgraded the lot of them, and then whipped me like a naughty school girl.

You put shard hulls into interceptors (mentioned later in the report), but built cruisers and attacked with them so early in the turn that the opponent had 3-4 actions (research, build, upgrade at least once) time to react?

Definitely as valuable lesson learned than that the Descendants can be powerful when used right. Always save the surprise attack to the last action! In our first game one player made the same mistake, getting his fleet pinned by the GCDS early in the turn...ninja

 
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Travis R. Chance
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Thanks! I have written quite a few threads about the game. If you are interested, check out these threads:

About Orion Hegemony:http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/748913/orion-hegemony-bullies-or-brutes

About turtling: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/748975/the-turtle-or-the
 
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