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Subject: Isleworth Boardgamers defeat Plasma Missiles rss

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Philip Thomas
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This was very nearly a game of Ora et Labora, but I forgot my phone on the way to games club and missed Gareth’s text. By the time Gareth arrived I had set Eclipse up and so we reverted to plan A...
We had five Terran players. As most experienced I took the central slot with Barrie, the only other player who had played at all, on my right and Gareth on my left. Beyond Gareth was Johan and beyond Barrie was Ian.

The game started with the usual explores (the technologies being clustered at the expensive end of the market), and Gareth found an early materials cache, enabling him to build a Dreadnought and take on the Ancients. Most people had some Ancients to fight, except for Johan who hadn’t found any. The Ancients were generally defeated without any problem. Johan and Gareth exchanged Ambassadors, as did Ian and Barrie, and I exchanged ambassadors with both Gareth and Barrie, in Barrie’s case intimidated by his Cruisers equipped with Shard Hull... I was lucky enough to pick up an Axion Computer.

Ian had a pretty good economy going with a couple of Orbitals. Gareth had built up a large mixed fleet, while me and Barrie stuck to Cruisers. About turn 5 I stormed the Galactic Centre with my Cruisers.
Gareth, in the first player vs player combat in the game, moved a single Dreadnaught into my Galactic Centre, gaining the Traitor tile.
I responded by researching Plasma Missiles and installing 3 Plasma Missile tiles on my cruisers, who already had Axion Computers.
Gareth asked a few questions about how combat worked and then threw his entire fleet into the Galactic Centre, about eight ships total.

The entire fleet was destroyed by the initial volley of Plasma Missiles from the four cruisers. Rather a dramatic result for the first real battle of the game! Worse still for Gareth he had used many actions to launch the fleet and so had to give up a few outlying systems to break even. Gareth explained that he thought each ship could only target one enemy ship- if that had been true he would indeed have won the combat...

The following turn Johan kindly took the Traitor tile from Gareth and attacked his nearest system. Gareth managed to scrape together a Dreadnaught by burning all his resources. Johan moved more ships in. Uneasy peace prevailed in the rest of the Galaxy- possibly around this time Barrie bought Quantum Grid by swapping out materials for science.
In a sort of poetic justice, Gareth’s Dreadnaught, properly upgraded with Improved Hull and Plasma Cannons, completely wiped out Johan’s larger but less technically advanced fleet.

The uneasy peace continued during turn 8, apart from Gareth and Johan fighting skirmishes. I had built all my star bases and a couple of Dreadnaughts. Ian was saving his materials, while Barrie was massing a large fleet on my borders.

Turn 9 came and Ian built a couple of Monoliths. I then struck into the only system of his I could reach, which he had two star bases and three ships in. I had researched Gluon Computer and fitted it on my Dreadnaughts along with Plasma Missiles. Ian upgraded his ships with multiple shields, and I was distracted by Barrie launching his own attack on me. A three-way competition of upgrading and moving was won by Barrie, but at the price of using up all his discs.

So, although Barrie was attacking me in three systems, he couldn’t take a single system for his own. Despite his superior numbers he only defeated me in one of the systems- a 1 VP system I wasn’t defending. Elsewhere the combination of Cruisers with Plasma Missiles and Star bases with Plasma Missiles and Ion Cannons was victorious, although it was quite a close run thing.

The key battle however was for Ian’s system. Ian’s Shields paid off and my Plasma missile volley failed to destroy sufficient targets, leaving an uneven contest between Ian’s fully equipped ships and a single Ion cannon on each Dreadnaught.

Final Score was Ian 32, Me 31, rest in 20s. Ian had very bad luck with the combat VPs and I had good luck, getting three 4s.
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Philip Thomas
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Incidentally I think we played a rule wrong in that I thought Star Bases didn't count towards being pinned, only towards pinning (If I have 3 ships and you have 3 ships and 2 starbases, my three ships are pinned and 2 more of my ships would also be pinned. Three of your ships are pinned- but you can choose 2 of them to be star bases. I was playing you couldn't choose star bases to be pinned, in which case you too would be unable to move).

This would have allowed Ian to attack the Galactic Centre. Probably we would have swapped systems- which would have been an extra VP for Ian. But Ian won anyway so it is alright.
 
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Lance McMillan
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Sounds like a really enjoyable session.

I don't think the issue many people have with the missiles is that they can't be defeated, but rather that you have to very specifically tailor your ships to be able to counter them -- and that tailoring isn't necessarily the best configuration for fighting non-missile equipped fleets. Without the missiles, there's a lot of nuance and subtle variety in how even minor changes in ship configuration effect combat, but once someone has missles all that variety tends fly out the window since there are only a handful of ship configurations that seem to consistently work against a missile-equipped fleet.
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Philip Thomas
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This was actually the first game I've seen with Plasma Missiles used- fourth game overall. But I have seen numerous different methods discussed- Ian's being one of the more economical as compared to huge fleets of interceptors.
 
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Therron Thomas
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I have looked around and keep seeing this complaint about missles and honestly don't get it. Maybe someone can point me to the right thread or explain it better.

Here are my thoughts so you know where I am coming from.

Weapons = dice and hits = damage

You can also decrease you chance to hit or be hit.

You can increase your hit points.

These weapons and upgrades are available to anyone who chooses to take them of course IF they are available on that players turn and he has the resources.

So therefore I don't get the issue unless it is simply players getting upset that their opponent bought and upgraded to missles.

I suppose it could be that missles kill nice juicy ships somewhat easily?
I suggest buying faster (initiative) ships as gunboats so you have the same chance.

Simply put I don't understand how missles are an issue since they are available to nearly anyone. Please help me understand.
 
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Sami Liukkonen
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Two things that make missiles so good are:
1) they don't use up any energy, meaning you can stuff your ships full of them
2) they hit first, regardless of initiative

This means that a fleet of missile ships (or just one dreadnaught full of 'em) - preferably spiced up with the best computer you can afford - can wipe out an enemy fleet before they have a chance to act at all.

Our group hasn't seen the need to nerf missiles, but it is true that any player who has them rarely loses battles. It IS an expensive tech, so it should be good. I don't think it has ever made a big difference in final VPs.
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rock lobster
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when a player specs Initiative Upgrades *and* Missiles is when you need to worry.

first-strike x2.

not overpowered, but worrisome.
 
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Philip Thomas
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twthomas wrote:
I have looked around and keep seeing this complaint about missles and honestly don't get it. Maybe someone can point me to the right thread or explain it better.

Here are my thoughts so you know where I am coming from.

Weapons = dice and hits = damage

You can also decrease you chance to hit or be hit.

You can increase your hit points.

These weapons and upgrades are available to anyone who chooses to take them of course IF they are available on that players turn and he has the resources.

So therefore I don't get the issue unless it is simply players getting upset that their opponent bought and upgraded to missles.

I suppose it could be that missles kill nice juicy ships somewhat easily?
I suggest buying faster (initiative) ships as gunboats so you have the same chance.

Simply put I don't understand how missles are an issue since they are available to nearly anyone. Please help me understand.


There are only three Plasma Missile tech tiles in the whole game. It is quite possible for only one of those three tiles to actually appear in any particular game. In any event, in a 6 player game at leaast half the players will not get plasma missiles.

If you don't have plasma missiles faster intiative helps you not at all against them. Because the plasma missile player plans on destroying all your ships before you fire, he doesn't need hull or shields- so he can use those spaces for more plasma missiles.

There are ways to deal with them, but they take time and effort.
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Jim Richardson

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NorthSaber wrote:
Two things that make missiles so good are:
1) they don't use up any energy, meaning you can stuff your ships full of them
2) they hit first, regardless of initiative


And #2 leads to:

3) Since they hit first, you don't need spots for silly things like hull or shield (just computers), further increasing the power of missile ships.

I feel a bit bad after blowing away my novice opponents with missile ships yesterday. They never even got to roll against me. But, how else will they learn?

 
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