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Subject: Surprising result in a 2-player game rss

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Sigma Nil
Norway
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I played another Eclipse-game with my girlfriend yesterday. Both of us played terrans, as we don't feel that we've "gotten" the game 100% yet. And this game was another example that we're right about that.

The game was fun, but we both thought that I was in the lead and that we had a case of "runaway leader". I had taken the center, built four monoliths, had a larger empire and a much better economy. Our science-VP were about the same. My girlfriend had a few more discovery VP than me (I believe 8 to my 2), but we were still quite certain I had won. So much that towards the end of the last round, we both passed even though we could both have squeezed some last few VPs from the game.

Counting the victory points, we were startled to discover that the game was a draw: 40-40.

What had happened? First of all, my girlfriend had had some luck on her side when it came to VP's from battles. She had 4-4-4-3 while I had 3-2-2-2 on our secret tiles. Considering I had more battles than her and fought most of them earlier than her, we're willing to call this luck.

Secondly, she had the VP advantage from discoveries, and I believe we had overlooked the individual values of the sectors: I had a lot of sectors with great productivity, but very few of them were worth many points. Her sectors weren't as great economically, but were worth more in the final tally. (Note: I THINK this must have been the case, but I'm not entirely sure - didn't think about this possibility until afterwards, wondering how it all happened.)

So - had she been less lucky with the draw, could she have won with some better descicions? I believe she could. First of all, she attacked my center at one point in the game, loosing four cruisers. Had she not done this, she might have taken more alien sectors. If she'd worked harder at having another way into my space than the center (she had closed it off deliberately when exploring), she could have been all over my backfield, ruining my game entirely. (Her cruisers moved 4 due to a discovered engine, while mine moved 1 due to no engines ever being drawed on the science board.) Even with the game being as it was, she could have gotten 2-3 more VP by exploring in the last turn, and another 2 VP by choosing different technologies to research in the last two rounds.

For myself, I could have invaded her, but I would probably have been shot out of the skies: Even though my economy was better, our fleets were fairly evenly matched, and her extreme movement advantage would let her focus her defense where ever I tried to invade. I could have gotten 3-5 more VP during the last turn by attacking an ancient sector (though that would amusingly enough have left my center open to attack and could have swung the game, as the center had a monolith tile...)

So the game was damned close, but it didn't FEEL close. I guess that shows how much we still have to learn about eclipse. But this lesson at least was well learned: Don't take anything for granted and fight to the bitter end. It may be sweeter than it looks.
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Jim Richardson

Pennsylvania
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Did you apply the tiebreaker of counting the total resource reserve for each player?
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Sigma Nil
Norway
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We didn't - I guess the shock at seeing a VP-draw led us to forget that rule. ;-)
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Agent J
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Coldwater
Michigan
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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 find it odd whenever someone decides they have lost a game before the end, when there is a chance due to hidden factors that one would win. For example, she knew that she had a lot of good VP tiles but still thought she was losing. Well, the point is, the game goes back and forth. One minute you have less VPs, one minute you have more, and just try to make sure you are on the more side at the end.

I am okay with games that are decided by epic battles for the center on the last turn. You've spent 8 turns trying to get your fleet together, and you have a 14 point swing in one sector, how can you not go for it?

 
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adebisi
Finland
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Eclipse does this. That's one of the reasons I love it so much. The game is thrilling until the very end. This happened also in our last game. I had the most hexes, was technologically the most advanced and my formidable fleet had more or less dominated the whole game. However, I finished only second because my neighbour successfully built and defended an admirable number of monoliths which gave him a 5VP advantage over me in the end.

Afterwards I realized that I had been blinded by my own power. My sole purpose in the game was to crush the second biggest skull in the galaxy. This made me overlook my neighbour who actively sought conflict to keep everyone on their toes but at the same silently built monoliths. Usually he theatrically announced his building actions and made sure everyone noticed his brand new fierce looking dreadnought at the border while a much less celebrated monolith was forged elsewhere. Cunningly he also often attacked the same player I did which made me sympathize with him but at the same time made sure he always lost the critical battles where a win would have made him look stronger and eventually would have drawn my attention into his direction.

Eclipse is so much more than just what's happening on the table.

Edit: typos
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