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Subject: Random end turn? rss

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Michael Noakes
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Has anyone tried playing with a variant that adds some variation or randomness to the final turn of the game?

I've only played a few times so fully accept I may be wrong here, but Eclipse feels as though it suffers a bit from that last-turn rush that plagues many games... no matter what carefully constructed economy, empire or general strategy you've built, everything gets tossed into battle that final turn because, hey, why not? You don't need to survive another turn, and that extra point from participating in an unwinnable battle might just win you the game.

It's a bit theme breaking. So just wondered, anyone play with randomizing the final turn? How would/could this work?

-M.

 
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Scott Lewis
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I've thought about trying a variant like this. One I've been considering uses the blank Tech tile. Basically, my variant would be that on turn 6 or so, add the blank tile to the tech bag. From then on, as soon as the blank tile is pulled, the game immediately ends.

This would mean you have to treat every round from that point on like it's potentially the last.

With 2 players, this could end up extending the game rather than shortening it, but I don't know if that's bad. In 6-player games, on the other hand, it COULD in theory go to a 10th round, but is much more likely to end sooner.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'd like to.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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There was a variant like this posted before. I don't know where it was discussed, but it was something like, on Turn 7, roll a D6. If it is a 6, game ends. Turn 8, roll 5+, Turn 9 4+, etc.

I don't think that's the exact method they used but similar.
 
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David F
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I don't have a problem with the final-round VP rush. It tends to result in several exciting, climactic battles. The 9-round length has also hit the sweet spot every time, just enough conflict, without it starting to get repetitive.

What I'm less enamored about is that science and material production are basically useless on the last round (just for tiebreaker), and also as a result, science and material cubes sent to the Graveyard in Round 8 don't hurt you at all.

Only thing I'd do to improve the game end is to allow resources to be converted at some ratio into VPs for the Final Scoring. Maybe using the resource exchange rate of each race (between 2 and 4 resources to 1 VP).
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Volker S.
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Vanish wrote:
There was a variant like this posted before. I don't know where it was discussed, but it was something like, on Turn 7, roll a D6. If it is a 6, game ends. Turn 8, roll 5+, Turn 9 4+, etc.

I don't think that's the exact method they used but similar.


That is how we tried it. It was fun as well, but in our two tests, the game ended too early (it actually feels like ending to early most of the time).

The end wasn't so bad after we figured out, that we missed the rule that you cannot balance your income with not already collected income in science or resources - that reduced the amount of final actions a lot. We play it RAW now.
 
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Scott Lewis
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VolkoV wrote:
Vanish wrote:
There was a variant like this posted before. I don't know where it was discussed, but it was something like, on Turn 7, roll a D6. If it is a 6, game ends. Turn 8, roll 5+, Turn 9 4+, etc.

I don't think that's the exact method they used but similar.


That is how we tried it. It was fun as well, but in our two tests, the game ended too early (it actually feels like ending to early most of the time).

If it was ending too soon, you could just wait until Turn 9 to start the rolling; that way it won't be any shorter, but may be a bit longer. I wouldn't mind that approach myself, as I don't mind the LENGTH of a 9-turn game, just the deterministic nature of the end-game. I just prefer a little uncertainty about the end (though the game as-is still plays well).

Quote:
The end wasn't so bad after we figured out, that we missed the rule that you cannot balance your income with not already collected income in science or resources - that reduced the amount of final actions a lot. We play it RAW now.

I'm not quite sure I get what you are saying here.
 
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Volker S.
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sigmazero13 wrote:

I'm not quite sure I get what you are saying here.

In the beginning we thought, that e.g. if you had no ressources left and will receive 10 money, 10 science and 10 resources as a human player, you could do actions until reaching -20, since you would be exchanging the income later on.

That made the last round last very long, since everybody maxed out his actions this way. Playing by the rules helped a lot here.


Another thing happening in the first games was alot of turtling and no attacking leading to empty victory point spaces on all player's boards. Therefore we had a lot of Kamikaze attacks in the last round. Now everybody nkows that attacking earlier is the key to get a lot of VPs, so not a lot of Kamikaze is going on in the end.
 
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Pouria
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We played a game last week and this exact discussion can up. Two suggestions cam up, the already mentioned D6 die rolling and also the possible use of marked tiles on the turn track itself.

The simplest of these would be to have say 3 markers, one of which ends the game distributed face-down at random on turn 8, 9 and 10. At the end of each round, the marker is flipped and may end the game. As players can never be sure the round is the last, they need to balance committing resources this round with a potential for a next round. I guess even better might be to find a way to slightly tweak this to change the portability from 33%/33%/33% to something like 25/50/25%, i.e. the game would end in turn 9 half of games but sometimes may end early or later.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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2grve wrote:
I guess even better might be to find a way to slightly tweak this to change the portability from 33%/33%/33% to something like 25/50/25%, i.e. the game would end in turn 9 half of games but sometimes may end early or later.


4 tokens 1 on turn 8 and 10 and 2 on turn 9. One of them ends the game. Although personally 9 turns feels just right.
 
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Pouria
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dlhammond wrote:
Although personally 9 turns feels just right.


The thing is, I think you are spot on, I am sure they settled on 9 for a reason. I would just like to see some mechanism that prevents World War 4 every time we get to turn 9. Then again maybe its just a question of playing differently in the first place. Seems people are generally a little quick changes rules rather than the way they play...
 
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Daniel Hammond
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2grve wrote:
dlhammond wrote:
Although personally 9 turns feels just right.


The thing is, I think you are spot on, I am sure they settled on 9 for a reason. I would just like to see some mechanism that prevents World War 4 every time we get to turn 9. Then again maybe its just a question of playing differently in the first place. Seems people are generally a little quick changes rules rather than the way they play...


The first couple of games I got hit a few times at the end of the game. That one learning game when you don't realize that single defensive ship protecting your inner areas is just a doorman to that large fleet next door...

Then came evolution, once I had one way in to my areas and 8 interceptors there, missiles can be defended by double hulls and stacking shields (and throw an interceptor into where he is attacking you from if it is a lower hex, now he can't retreat), in a battle of missile fleets initiative is king (assuming you can hit), best defense against a strong counter attack is more actions than your opponents. Don't neglect your ship upgrade tech and upgrade enough that you can be a threat if they decide to hit you.

I think the game builds perfectly for a turn 9 finish. I played Mechana last night and built 9 monoliths (8 on the last turn).
 
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Zippadeedoodah
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The one game I played really felt too short for us to build up empires, and the last 3 rounds were spent just chasing VPs using all of the meagre resources we had, mostly on buying techs.

I was toying with the idea of playing a longer game, by deciding beforehand if players want a short (9 turns), medium (12 turns), long (15 turns) or extra long game (18 turns). I actually went ahead and created an adapted version of the compact tech board to accommodate these game lengths.

The 15 or 18 turns could be a bit much, depending on number of players. In my case, it will normally be just 2 or 3 players, so game time is manageable. However, I do like the idea of combining it with a 'sudden death' rule: for instance, starting in turn 1, after each turn roll a die; on a roll of 4, 5, or 6, shorten the game by one turn (from 18 to 17, etc). As the game progresses, the turn marker and the 'sudden death' marker will thus approach each other at variable speeds, and the end becomes less predictable.

Then again, I might play one or two more 'vanilla' 9-turn games first, to see if they feel any differently from my first experience.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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rnijholt wrote:
The one game I played really felt too short for us to build up empires, and the last 3 rounds were spent just chasing VPs using all of the meagre resources we had, mostly on buying techs.

I was toying with the idea of playing a longer game, by deciding beforehand if players want a short (9 turns), medium (12 turns), long (15 turns) or extra long game (18 turns). I actually went ahead and created an adapted version of the compact tech board to accommodate these game lengths. :)

The 15 or 18 turns could be a bit much, depending on number of players. In my case, it will normally be just 2 or 3 players, so game time is manageable. However, I do like the idea of combining it with a 'sudden death' rule: for instance, starting in turn 1, after each turn roll a die; on a roll of 4, 5, or 6, shorten the game by one turn (from 18 to 17, etc). As the game progresses, the turn marker and the 'sudden death' marker will thus approach each other at variable speeds, and the end becomes less predictable.

Then again, I might play one or two more 'vanilla' 9-turn games first, to see if they feel any differently from my first experience.


The problem with this is the game isn't built to go that long. I have in 9 turns maxed 2 of the 3 tech rows and was 2 techs from filling it. I have built 9 monoliths. I have launched attacks deep into my opponent's unprotected "backfield".

If you were going to extend it even another 2-3 turns it would require more 2-3 more tech per type of a more advanced nature, with significant increase in power. I think that once you get your game play more optimized you will find by turn 9 the game comes to a natural end... my 2 cents.
 
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Thomas NORMAND
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We have playes this type of random end on our last game.
I must say it is a very good idea, as the last turn in Eclipse can be a big mess of ships moves ans fights everywhere.
This is how we played:

End of turn 7: roll a dice, keep playing if 2+
End of turn 8: roll a dice, keep playing if 3+
End of turn 9: roll a dice, have a last 10th turn if 6.

We had a 6 at the end of turn 9, and it was just great, as nobody was expecting it. Also, everybody stayed vigilant at the 9th turn and there were no rush to get the last point that could give the victory.
 
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