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Subject: Tiphareth's Short Reviews - 002 - Eclipse rss

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Daniele Petrini
Italy
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A small, independent publisher ventures into the 4X genre with the objective of giving a complete experience in a reasonable amount of time. Let's see if they succeeded.

Components
Eclipse comes in a heavy and sturdy box with a lot of cardboard inside. I mean A LOT of it. Everything is top notch quality. The size ratio between the hexes and the miniatures is also quite functional, in contrast to Twilight Imperium which is way off in this issue, everything has its place and the graphics are very functional.

Rulebook
The rulebook makes a good job in laying out the rules, even if I usually prefer the more classic approach of having the rules in a strictly coded format, but for a game of this low complexity I guess that's good enough. There is little or no background information on the thematic elements of the story, just a couple of pages at the end. I would have preferred a more detailed back story, but I think that's more of a personal issue and in no way limits the enjoyment of the game.
The rules are quite easy and almost flawless, with no errata or clarifications needed.

Gameplay
The gameplay is very euro-ish and having a good economic engine is a prerequisite to be in competition to win. The combat is smooth and the game makes a good job in balancing a small amount of luck and a good deal of strategy. Basically the game is all about trying to influence your odds so that whenever a draw or a roll comes you're prepared.
The lenght is good but I feel that a couple more rounds of play could be beneficial to balance the possible roads to victory, in some instances, I've felt that a combat heavy player has no more that 3 turns of fighting to gather his precious victory points from the moment that he becomes strong enough to leave the safety of his system to the end of the game on turn 9.

Conclusions
Eclipse is a good game, easy to teach, quick to play and depp enough for my taste. I'm sure it will see a lot of expansions and variants coming out but I fear that adding more for the sake of selling more could ruin the delicate balance of the economy.
The game could benefit from a more detailed background and I hope that the expansion will add theme as well as components.
Overall a beautiful game, even for the steep retail price.

8.5/10
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Dan Moore
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Tiphareth wrote:
The gameplay is very euro-ish and having a good economic engine is a prerequisite to be in competition to win. The combat is smooth and the game makes a good job in balancing a small amount of luck and a good deal of strategy. Basically the game is all about trying to influence your odds so that whenever a draw or a roll comes you're prepared.


I agree about the economic engine but I think 'small' is not the word that comes to mind with regards to Luck. It's good to be able to alter your ship designs and improve your odds. It's not quite so good that you might, by way of luck, gain unique ship parts and become unstoppable..

I'll need to play many more games before I discover strategic depths. For now I'll take your word that they are there.

Good job with the review.
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