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Subject: Is Eclipse a good two-player game? rss

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Kirk Andersen
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Would two players be sufficient to carry on a decent game?
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Daniel Hammond
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In short yes, but it one player can get an edge and 1 on 1 it can be hard to fight back if you get behind.
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Cole Wehrle
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dlhammond wrote:
In short yes, but it one player can get an edge and 1 on 1 it can be hard to fight back if you get behind.


+1. Asymmetry is easily balanced in multi-player. That's not the case in 1 on 1s. I find the contest is interesting enough, and fast enough, that the game is still worth playing this way. The three player game is excellent.
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Loren Cadelinia
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I've had the privilege to experience the upcoming expansion material from a friend who is playtesting. 1v1 with the expansion playtest material adds quite a bit of variety, without getting into specifics, but more things to do for each player, but also less of chance for the game to enter "stalemate". The warps, as has been discussed before, adds a LOT of tension and depth, and FUN.

I enjoy this game quite a bit with just two players and the expansion material has solidified that, but it definitely shines with more.
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Frank Pelkofer
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I've played a few 2 player games and found them to be pretty fun. I walked all over my opponent in the first one, but the last couple have all been very close. As we play more, we've been exploring less and fighting more.

In the last game, my opponent got the only plasma cannon and the only starbase tech that came out. I got the axion computer. So, it was a very interesting exercise in how to upgrade the ships to maximize our chances against each other. Things like that really add to the replay value, IMO.
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Scott Lewis
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I've found it to be a decent 2-player game, still a lot of back-and-forth. There isn't nearly as much direct conflict as higher-player games, though, simply because you start further apart and are often separated by the center tile until the mid-game, and there's not a lot of incentive to strike first (and, in fact, depending on how the map unfolds, it could even be detrimental to do so, since if you strike first, you leave your systems a bit more open for counterattack).

A good game, and probably worth getting even if 2 players will be your main number, although it's MUCH better with more than 2.
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Andy Andersen
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Simple - yes
 
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Eirik Johnsbråten
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sigmazero13 wrote:
There isn't nearly as much direct conflict as higher-player games, though, simply because you start further apart and are often separated by the center tile until the mid-game, and there's not a lot of incentive to strike first (and, in fact, depending on how the map unfolds, it could even be detrimental to do so, since if you strike first, you leave your systems a bit more open for counterattack).

I don't have many plays under my belt, but that's not my experience. I've played 2 2p games with my son and he loves to fight in this game. So our games are very combat heavy, and I really have to focus on getting the good military tech to be able to keep up, rather than expanding my territory and teching up "the right way". In the one 4p game I've played the other players were really afraid to attack and open themselves to counterattacks. I was the only one picking fights.

So I guess it all depends on the players and how they prefer to play.
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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My experience was that it was interesting to try out the different aliens in head-to-head contests against each other. However, often it was clear who was winning by turn 6 or 7.

I wouldn't buy it for the two-player experience alone.
 
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Loren Cadelinia
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Salo sila wrote:
My experience was that it was interesting to try out the different aliens in head-to-head contests against each other. However, often it was clear who was winning by turn 6 or 7.

I wouldn't buy it for the two-player experience alone.


That's interesting. I guess my gaming group doesn't calculate each other's score down to the "t" when playing eclipse. We sort of estimate a bit, but we're not counting hex points as early as turn 6/7. We can only guesstimate the points awarded from reputation from battle; also, the fact that there are 2 or 3 more turns, especially the last turns having MANY actions, makes it difficult for us to see a clear winner by round 6/7. Or perhaps we aren't so aggressive that the winner is obvious by turn 6/7.

All but 3 of my 2-player games have been extremely close, usually the difference being one 3-point hex battle or less. 2 of the 3 were with expansion material, which has changed a bit since those 2 games. Thus, the last few turns feel like we need to grab all the points we can, cause it's anybody's game by round 7.
 
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In my experience Eclipse is a good two player game but I probably would not get it if I was only going to play two player games.
 
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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dyepbr wrote:
Salo sila wrote:
However, often it was clear who was winning by turn 6 or 7.


That's interesting. I guess my gaming group doesn't calculate each other's score down to the "t" when playing eclipse.


We weren't keeping track of the scores: in almost all our games, one player was pounding militarily on the other, and the weaker player had no come-back.
 
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Daniel Eig
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The majority of my games has been 2 players - its still a lot of fun, and I've had a lot of games decided in the last turn.
 
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Richard Ham
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countertorque wrote:
I've played a few 2 player games and found them to be pretty fun. I walked all over my opponent in the first one, but the last couple have all been very close. As we play more, we've been exploring less and fighting more.

Would 2p fans generally agree with this? 2p with this is attractive, but not if it ultimately descends into space warfare between me and my wife...
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Frank Pelkofer
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I've found it to be a decent 2-player game, still a lot of back-and-forth. There isn't nearly as much direct conflict as higher-player games, though, simply because you start further apart and are often separated by the center tile until the mid-game, and there's not a lot of incentive to strike first (and, in fact, depending on how the map unfolds, it could even be detrimental to do so, since if you strike first, you leave your systems a bit more open for counterattack).

A good game, and probably worth getting even if 2 players will be your main number, although it's MUCH better with more than 2.


In the 2 player games I've been in, we spend the first few turns building up specifically to try to get the center. So, we explore and fight ancients as necessary to build up a fleet that can beat the GCDS. This leads to a well connected map and a lot of back and forth over who can hold the center. Of course the guy holding the center can't hold everything else very well, so the other player has to choose between overpowering him in the center or running all over the map stealing his other hexes. So, there's a lot of combat.

We haven't found it all contentious. But, I guess depending on your personality, others might. If you see your starting system as "yours," then it can be an emotional blow when your opponent takes it. We just see it as 3VP and look for 3VP somewhere else.
 
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Paul Paella
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I've played many 2 player and 2+ player games and enjoy them both for different reasons. 2 player games are FAR less chaotic and generally results in less controllable influences determining the winner.

In multi-player games you are sometimes at the mercy of the other players on how well you can do. For example, If you cannot convince multiple players to stop attacking you, or you can't get other players to attack them, you are doomed. You almost always can't fight off multiple players at once, and certainly not more than 2. This phenomenon doesn't occur in 2 player games. We played a multi-player game where one race was way ahead but none of the players near him would do anything about it. The player(s) across the map and too far away to do anything were at the mercy of these non-aggressive players and the player that was way ahead coasted to an easy victory, with the players across from him unable to do anything but watch it happen.

Alternatively, there is usually a lot more opportunity to do well in a multi-player game if you have terrible luck early in the game (wipe out combats, the worst sectors, etc.). In 2 player games, early bad luck should result in you losing, unless your opponent doesn't exploit your vulnerabilities or goes easy on you. For example, in a 2player game if your opponent gets lucky and easily wins a battle he (statistically) shouldn't have, he's at a huge advantage. Top compound the problem, lets say you then lose a battle you should have (statistically) easily won. You should lose this game.

I prefer 2 player Eclipse over multi-player, but I do enjoy multi-player. 2 player games can be completed in a short amount of time (~0.5-2 hours), where multi-player can take a while. 2 player games have less chaotic player influences on you doing well but the chaos can cause lots of fun and funny play.
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Daniel Hammond
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2 player Eclipse has plenty of room, so conflict isn't forced on you. You can often get most Rep draws by fighting ancients which makes combat a little less important, but if you are playing to win and you can see after all exploration is said and done you are losing... Attacking will be your best bet (especially if no other advantages can be pushed such as monoliths and maxing tech).
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Vivienne Raper
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We've played exclusively with two. The aggression level is controllable. You can play multi-player solitaire, explore, develop and never start a fight... Or you can both head into the galactic centre and slug it out.

Personally, I find combat in Eclipse unfulfilling. I don't know whether the spaceship pilots are drunk or merely incompetent, but they couldn't hit an elephant at two paces in most of our games.
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Eirik Johnsbråten
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They can't all have Jedi reflexes, you know. Better turn the targeting computers back on.
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Charlie Chuckle
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So far, NO.

I find the two player game far too random.
 
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Romain Kelfus
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A few thoughts after about ten 2 player games :

The first thing I'd like to mention is the 2p configuration must be played Terran vs Terran. Assymetry is way too powerful for one of the two players, as it already has been discussed, a good start for one or the other and the game is mostly done.
The designer rule for a 2p game is Draco and Planta are banned because of their special explore abilities. I definitely add Orion hegemony in this list !(in a game vs a serious opponent, at the end of the turn 4 he gave up cause there was nothing to do,believe me, there was absolutely nothing he could have done to counter Orion supremacy.)I admit that I did not test every possible confrontations with every factions but I think you need at least 3 players for a balance assymetric game.

Let me be clear : I Love this game !!! and I really like to play the 2p version but it is clearly better from 3p because of the diplomatic aspect of the game (not only the diplomatic relations you can form during the game , but also the tabletalk between players, negociations to attack the supposed leader together and that sort of things...)

The 2p game strategy is strongly military based because what you want is to put pressure on your opponent and contain him in a small empire. Therefore, passing earlier to grab (hopefully) the most useful technology must be seriously considered. In addition you can't turtle so much in a 2p game because of the only 5 "sector III" tiles, you need to go forward ! The galactic center is not a high priority, I'd rather enter an opponent's sector because what he's about to lose is to my advantage only, and the gap between us is getting bigger... 5 games out of 10 ended with an extermination of one player (mostly on turn 7, one time turn 4arrrh, but I admit my opponent was weak and made bad mistakes).

To sum up and conclude, I will consider the 2p game only in a terran/terran point of view although I read the expansion is gonna bring some important changes for 2 players so we'll see that later. Yes the 2p game is worthy, because you can play it under an hour if you're fast and because ECLIPSE's ratio in terms of fun, strategy and feeling compared to the time investment regardless the number of players is tremendous.

Have fun !



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Jim Richardson

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ikar2002 wrote:
the 2p configuration must be played Terran vs Terran. Assymetry is way too powerful for one of the two players, as it already has been discussed, a good start for one or the other and the game is mostly done.


Asymmetry is still very possible in Terran vs. Terran. In fact, it's actually MORE fair to allow SLIGHTLY more powerful races to be picked, since that can counter the advantage of playing first. Terran vs. Terran where one gets the only Improved Hull is already pretty lopsided.

You're right that Orion does break the game, especially in low player counts, as they have simply been given too many military advantages. Draco and Planta are broken in 2p, as mentioned in the manual, and IMO are also somewhat unfair in 3p (unless it's something like Orion / Planta / Draco.)

I haven't seen any problem with Mechanema, Hydran or Eridani in 2p. They win or lose based on their choices and luck, just like Terran. Eridani is actually like a balanced version of Orion in 2p - able to rush the center / muscle the opponent, while hampered by their disc disadvantage. They can't just breeze into a win like Orion, they have to actually work for it like everyone else. In fact, 2p is probably the only player count which balances Eridani against the other races (read Hydran, Mechanema and Terran), allowing them to take the center without immediately facing multiple opponents + lack of actions.
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EDG
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Sorry for the bump, but this is a question I was wondering about too.

I was wondering how well 2-player Eclipse would worth with some of the stuff in Rise of the Ancients. The Ancient Homeworlds might make things a little interesting (though it may shut off both players from eachother).

What about the Ancient Hives? I guess using both Ancient Homeworlds and Hives would make a two player game more about surviving against the Ancients that against eachother?
 
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Max Lampinen
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Ancient Hives don't necessarily come up in the game (they're mixed in exploration pile). Ancient Homeworlds are very good for 2p/3p games, someone could say essential. I think Eclipse is fun as 2p too if you don't mind that the whole diplomacy aspect isn't there.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Yes. It is still fun.

Take note that in my last 2P game I was playing Hydran, and got tile draws which surrounded my homeworld with double ancients. People can curse the randomness but I saw it as a challenge. I dealt with them but my worlds later fell to my Magellan opponent. Despite the loss I had a good time and had I rolled badly versus the Ancients I may have enough ships to buy me more time.
 
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