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Subject: Star Trek: Fleet Captains vs. Eclipse vs. other? rss

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Darth Mallen
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Damn all of these awesome looking space sim boardgames--I want them all, but how do you justify the cost? Space Empires 4x also seems to be an option worth considering?

I am looking for something close to the PC game Sins of a Solar Empire--without the 6 hour play time that will scare most of my friends off (I'm looking at you, Twilight Imperium...)

Reading the reviews--Eclipse seems to fit the bill, but I don't want to discount Fleet Captains as the Star Trek theme certainly wins it some points. It looks like Fleet Captains captures that best part of Sins well and that is the Capital ship battles? The fact that I can actually buy Fleet Captains for under $100 is also a plus. Why is there not a Star Wars boardgame like this--or is there?

Appreciate the feedback--thanks in advance!
 
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Matt Shinners
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As someone who regularly plays SoaSE and Fleet Captains AND Eclipse, here are my thoughts:

Fleet Captains, while a great game, doesn't give you the SoaSE feel. It's more about having an awesome story arc in the Star Trek universe, but it doesn't feel like empire-building and space battles in the way that SoaSE does.

Eclipse is closer to the feel of SoaSE, and it might be what you're looking for. It feels like a slightly stripped-down and streamlined SoaSE.

I would also look into Exile Sun. You'll lose the build-up and exploration of SoaSE, but from what I can tell from the previews (watch the video from Dice Tower for a great overview of the game), the battles will give you a feel of the capital ship battles in SoaSE. It's also currently on Kickstarter, very close to getting plastic ships.
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Jeff Dunford
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Star Trek: Fleet Captains isn't a "4X" space empire game. It's really more of a "2X" (explore, exterminate) adventure game. I often find that in Star Trek: Fleet Catpains, I'm often playing against the game as much as against my opponent.

If you want more of a space empire game, I'd recommend checking out these lists:
Top 10 Space Empire Games
Lost in Spaaaaaace..... my Top 10 Galactic Games in the Universe

If games like Twilight Imperium and Eclipse are too long and/or heavy, I'll once again recommend Ascending Empires. It takes the 4X elements and puts them in a game that plays in about an hour, has virtually no downtime, holds everybody's attention, and is fun for gamers and non-gamers alike. Sure, it doesn't have the depth or complexity of the "epic" space empire games, but it sure is fun to play!
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Eric B.
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I don't know the computer game being referenced, but if you're looking for a Star Wars "space battle" game the old Star Wars Minis: Starship Battles set has been redone by a player committee, I believe, with new rules up on various forums like Star Wars Gamers.

The original game is one of the worst excuses of a game ever (I'd place it down dangerously close the the LOST boardgame), with absolutely no strategy (no cover, all ships can see the entire board and can shoot at literally anything they want each turn). The redone game is supposed to be pretty good, I hear, and has things like landing troops on planets with transports and the like with the rules more akin to something like Axis & Allies: War at Sea. Though, it's more for a Star Wars themed one-off space battle, and doesn't offer any sort of campaign or empire-building features.

Cost might be pretty high (~$15 per most capital ship minis), but you might get lucky and find lots going on auction sites for rather reasonable prices. Anyways, I think it's the closest thing to a decent Star Wars space game, which you mentioned.
 
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