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Subject: Which to buy?? rss

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Gamee McGee
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I'd like to get a good space boardgame. At the moment, I'm torn between three options:

Twilight Imperium
Battleship Galaxies
Eclipse

TI appeals because of theme and epicness. But it looks looooooong, which isn't a problem for me (I love long games), but it would mean that it would rarely hit the table.

Battleship Galaxies looks pretty sweet, especially component-wise. The mechanics looks pretty straightforward, and allegedly it can be played inside an hour, which means there's an outside chance my wife might actually play it with me.

Eclipse looks sweet much in the way of TI - it's pretty epic (although not as much as TI), mechanics are allegedly straightforward and elegant, and components look great. The official time of 2 hour play should also be more feasible in the context of work/family commitments.

Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Doug Bias
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Well, you're going to have a hard time finding Eclipse right now for a reasonable price. And I'm not that crazy about Battleship Galaxies.
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Chuckhazard
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How many players do you want to support? 4p for BG, 6p for Eclipse, 6-8p for TI3 depending on expansion. My personal preference is Eclipse, but as Doug said you'll have a hard time finding it. I love TI3 but never have the time to set aside for an epic game. BG doesn't support enough players - also I think technically it's a 2p game, and if you want to play 4 you just split each side into teams. I might be mistaken about that.
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Dennis Engilis
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Since you mentioned a desire to play a space game with your wife and you are concerned about complexity and game length let me add a few suggestions not mentioned ...

Galactic Emperor ... realtively short boardgame with an interesting turn mechanic.

Ascending Empires ... a dexterity/strategy empire building game.

Core Worlds ... a deckbuilding empire builder, not too complicated, fairly short and a lot of fun.

Eminent Domain ... another card game with a deck building component.

Good luck with your quest.

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Sigma Nil
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Twilight Imperium is a great game, BUT:
A) It takes a loooooong time to play.
and
B) I feel it only shines with a LOT of players.

Eclipse is shorter, no matter how many players you have, and it works well with as little as 2 players (after some practice).

I'd say that TI at its best is better than Eclipse at its best, but I've only ever experienced TI at its best twice over the 4 or 5 years I've been playing it. Indeed, during those years I've only managed to find the time to play six or seven games of TI.

Since I bought Eclipse about a month ago, I've already played it as much as I ever played TI, and every game has been a blast. None of the games has been quite as good as the best two TI games... but the Fun/Effort and Fun/Time ratios are WAY better with eclipse.

Therefore, I think Eclipse is a better game. Also, Eclipse is way easier to learn. But if you and your large group of friends have the time and patience for TI... well, I envy you. ;-)

That said: Don't believe the "official play time" for Eclipse... The 30min/player playtime is achievable, but only if you play with all experienced players and everyone is actually trying to make it go fast. It'll take a bit longer. Still, it's WAY faster than Twilight Imperium.

As for the wife playing, there has been several threads made by surprised people (myself included) who have found that their better halfs actually enjoy eclipse, even though they didn't think they would. There's something about eclipse that appeals to people of the female persuasion, although I'm not sure exactly what. Of course, your mileage may vary.

I don't know anything about Battleship Galaxies, so I'll refrain from commenting.

-- Edit: Moderated the number of years I've been playing TI. Time doesn't fly quite as fast as I think sometimes. ;-)
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John McLintock
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rtalb079 wrote:
Eclipse looks sweet much in the way of TI - it's pretty epic (although not as much as TI), mechanics are allegedly straightforward and elegant, and components look great. The official time of 2 hour play should also be more feasible in the context of work/family commitments.

Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!

Eclipse's mechanics are every bit as good as they're cracked up to be and a play time of 30 mins/player looks feasible once everyone is up to speed with the game, although that might take a few plays. Talk on these forums also suggest that the game scales well for any number of players from 2 to 6. You should download the rules and check out the designer blog for deeper insights. Other than that all I can say is that Eclipse won itself 4 instant fans in 2 games at my table, so I can give it my own wholehearted recommendation.
 
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Jim Richardson

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Eclipse is really great, but if you are considering any other games, I would go with almost any other game right now - simply because you're probably going to be paying $150 for Eclipse until April. The only people that should pay that are the ones that absolutely desperately need to play Eclipse NOW.
 
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Sigma Nil
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Or who live somewhere it's available. I hear it's still obtainable in certain parts of sweden, for instance.
 
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Eirik Johnsbr├ąten
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Not sure why you compare Battleship Galaxies to the other two. I mean, it's not a civilization type game at all. Mind you, I'm not necesarily saying it's not better or anything, I just thought it's a strange comparison.
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John McLintock
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Tjohei wrote:
Not sure why you compare Battleship Galaxies to the other two. I mean, it's not a civilization type game at all. Mind you, I'm not necesarily saying it's not better or anything, I just thought it's a strange comparison.

Well the OP does talk about wanting a space game, not a CIV game, nor even a 4X game.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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JMcL63 wrote:
Tjohei wrote:
Not sure why you compare Battleship Galaxies to the other two. I mean, it's not a civilization type game at all. Mind you, I'm not necesarily saying it's not better or anything, I just thought it's a strange comparison.

Well the OP does talk about wanting a space game, not a CIV game, nor even a 4X game.


"Space" game is pretty vague. That could be anything from ship-to-ship combat with miniatures, to expansion-based card games, to monster-sized, grand strategy games (such as Federation & Empire), and a veritable cornucopia in between.
 
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Gamee McGee
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Thank you, everyone for the suggestions!

I was considering TI, BG and Eclipse simply because those are three games that I heard of recently and was interested in. And yeah, I'd like to add something space-related to my inventory. No rhyme or reason to it otherwise.

From the sounds of it, I might go with Eclipse, if I can find it. It would be awesome to have a long session of TI, I think, but that's not realistic for me right now. So Eclipse is the next best thing -- it plays okay with 2 players?
 
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Doug Bias
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If you're just looking for space-related, Alien Frontiers is a great game!
 
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Chuckhazard
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I enjoy Eclipse 2p, although it eschews the diplomacy rules, which I miss some.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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chuckhazard wrote:
I enjoy Eclipse 2p, although it eschews the diplomacy rules, which I miss some.


Ah yes, after playing with more players, we missed them in 3p as well.

Eclipse as 2p has very different strategies, but still good, in my book.
 
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stu ma
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I own Battleship and Eclipse. A friend of mine has Twighlight Imperium.

I like Battleship, but most other don't. If I can choose between Battleship and Eclipse, I take Eclipse. TI simply takes too much time. IMHO the trade off between invested time and fun is not as good as what you get in eclipse.

 
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Sigma Nil
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rtalb079 wrote:
(...)it plays okay with 2 players?


Yes. We've been impressed by the two-player game actually. Of course, there's absolutely no diplomacy, but it can still be tense and exiting.
 
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Eirik Johnsbr├ąten
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JMcL63 wrote:
Tjohei wrote:
Not sure why you compare Battleship Galaxies to the other two. I mean, it's not a civilization type game at all. Mind you, I'm not necesarily saying it's not better or anything, I just thought it's a strange comparison.

Well the OP does talk about wanting a space game, not a CIV game, nor even a 4X game.

Ah, that's pretty wide, then.

But how can you actually compare TI3 and BG and say that one is "better"? I can say for sure which of these three I want to play the most, but that'd just be a personal preference. I couldn't base that on anything, as I couldn't say "this thing is better in Eclipse than in Battleship" because it wouldn't be in Battleship...

Sorry for complaining, though. Personally I'd say go for Eclipse, as TI3 is too big, and I don't care for pure wargames/ameritrash.
 
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Washington Irving
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on time: I found both games to take 1 hour per player once everyone knows the rules.

On price: I can buy Eclipse at my local store for $99, and even at $150 it is comparable to TI3, since I would recommend getting Shattered Empires for the additional objectives, strategy cards, tiles, and races.

On rules: Eclipse has simpler rules with a strong internal logic. TI3 has a mess of rules with thematic logic, but getting any single rule wrong is not game breaking. TI3 also has a huge number of variants so it is easier to customize the play experience to meet your preference.

On theme: Eclipse is sexy and sleek, but since it is language independent it lacks TI3's mass of flavor text. I love the flavor text in TI3, others ignore it.


Overall I found it hard to interact with my non-neighbors in Eclipse, which frustrated. In TI3 there are many ways to interact with non-adjacent players, and the wormholes allow additional adjacencies.

BUT, Eclipse has an amazing rule set, technology in particular is done miles better, with far more desirable techs, easier to remember techs, no confusing tech tree, and a greater diversity of tech effect.

I expect it is harder to have a bad experience with Eclipse.

EDIT: My girlfriend much prefers TI3 and won't play Eclipse anymore.
 
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David
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KalKraken wrote:
EDIT: My girlfriend much prefers TI3 and won't play Eclipse anymore.

That way round? Really? I'd have expected the exact opposite.
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Washington Irving
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Yeah, she likes to play TI3 about once a month, but after playing Eclipse once she swore it off.

Her impression was that TI3 rewarded her more for playing the game she wanted to play (build ships and smash your neighbor) than Eclipse did.
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Ed Bradley
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KalKraken wrote:
Yeah, she likes to play TI3 about once a month, but after playing Eclipse once she swore it off.

Her impression was that TI3 rewarded her more for playing the game she wanted to play (build ships and smash your neighbor) than Eclipse did.


My wife is quite similar. "Why give me spaceships and war, but not enough ships and only 9 turns?". She'd rather have more scope for a proper ding-dong.
 
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Nate
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I have never played it, but you might look at Space Empires 4x It's another new game this year that has been getting some buzz.
 
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Jim Richardson

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I think I know maybe 5 people that would have the attention span for TI3, and I don't actively game with any of them. Most of my play group starts getting restless after 1-2 hours depending on which of them you're talking about. TI3 would be an expensive paperweight / dust magnet for me.
 
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Gamee McGee
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Thank you, everyone, for the sage counsel.

After much consideration, I took the $100 (yikes!) plunge and bought Eclipse. I scored a copy at an FLGS that had been hidden behind something else. Lucky me!

I fully expect a life-altering, mind-blowing, Earth-shattering experience now that my expectations have gone through the roof and over the, erm, moon.
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