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Subject: Why should I buy this over eclipse rss

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My group is 2-4 time isn't an issue unless it has to be 4 people in which case nothing over 4 hours. I am looking into everything from descent to AH to earth reborn to mage knight (both incarnations) we like heroscape,munchkin and MTG.

I have put in an AP inducing amount of research and have narrowed my 4x need down to the aforementioned and omega centauri.

as for cash it's better to save and spend $100+ once than $50 each on a bunch of games that never hit the table. Also we like expasions if they are worth the money.

Replay value and meaningful descisions are musts. I am also personally a sucker for modular boards,ship design, tech trees and variable powers.
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Ed Bradley
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Given your criteria I think SE4X is better when you have two players (Eclipse is pretty weak 2-player) but Eclipse would be a better fit for when you have 4 players.

Bullets!
- SE4X is a better 2p game.
- You're more likely to finish a 4p game of Eclipse in 4 hours than a game of SE4X.
- Both games have good replay value and meaningful decisions.
- Both games have tech trees.
- Eclipse has modular boards and more ship design variability than SE4X (though the latter is probably arguable).
- There are no variable powers in SE4X until the expansion comes out later this year.

All IMHO and in my experience.
Also FWIW I sold Eclipse after less than 10 plays. I won't be selling SE4X (15 plays and one more in progress).
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Guido Gloor
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You should buy Eclipse if...

* you like to have economic tradeoffs between short-term and long-term planning
* customizing your three ship types in detail sounds exciting to you
* you like a game where combat is just one of many ways to victory
* you like decisions of the sort "if I research this now, he won't be able to" and aren't bothered that they might make no thematic sense
* you like having the option of mutually beneficial peaceful relationships with your neighbors
* you want to decide what benefits each particular planetary development gets you

You should buy Space Empires if...

* combat in space sounds exciting to you
* you like games with fog of war, where you have to scout out your opponent for knowing what they're up to
* you want an exciting back-and-forth struggle between border colonies
* you want to be able to play with two
* you want to be able to play solo
* you are not bothered by a strong focus on combat with no trading or politics to speak of
* you want stealth ships, and carriers, and mines, and multiple tiers of standard ships, and planetary bases, and doomsday machines out to get you

Personally, I prefer SE:4X by quite some margin, mostly because it concentrates on doing one thing and doing it right, instead of doing many things and feeling less epic than other games that do exactly the same. I'd much rather play TI3 than Eclipse for scratching that empire building itch and the sole reason I'll play Eclipse at all is that it plays in a much shorter time frame, but on the other hand, whether I'd prefer playing TI3 or SE:4X depends on what kind of experience I'm looking for: space opera => TI3, space wargame => SE:4X.

Currently, I'd much rather play a space wargame than a space opera, too. I've only played Eclipse once, and don't plan to purchase it, while I've played SE:4X apparently only 6 times face-to-face, but can't wait to play again and would immediately purchase it if I didn't own it already.
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Chris Wilcoxon
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gamer667788 wrote:


Replay value and meaningful descisions are musts. I am also personally a sucker for modular boards,ship design, tech trees and variable powers.


Let me run down these criteria.

Modular board: toss up, Eclipse has a truly modular board with each player deciding exploration to exploration what goes where; SE4X has a flat board with modular counters, the universe is preordained at setup and revealed by exploration. In either case you never have the same universe twice.

Ship Design: advantage Eclipse, in SE4X your design is simply a decision of what to comprise your fleet of while Eclipse lets you change each component on a ship type. I just realized that's more of a window dressing though, it still gives the same advantage as researching technologies in SE4X. It comes down to do you want to see a pretty chit on a ship blueprint or a record on a research page?

Tech Trees: IMO advantage SE4X because I like to have control over my research not cede it to luck, if I pass first in Eclipse, or my opponents, if I don't pass first.

Variable Powers: At game start advantage Eclipse due to the fixed variability of the player boards, however it can be argued that you develop your own variable power in SE4X by what you research over the course of the game and can change those powers.

Replay value: That is a completely subjective call, but I have logged more plays of SE4X (but it came out first blah, blah, blah)

Meaningful decisions: Both games allow for meaningful decisions but Eclipse's set end point artificially raises their meaningfulness.

In the end I would echo Haslo: get Eclipse if you have 4 players more often than 2 (or only an evening to get a game in) and SE4X if you have 1-2 more often or can invest more time (at least initially) in a play.
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Jim Krohn
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Everyone pretty much nailed this. I'll add:

- Avoid SE if you can't stand using a log sheet.
- 3 and 4 player in SE can be almost as short as a 2 player game if you play teams or if you play the Colony Point victory condition. If you don't play teams or any of the alternate scenarios, 3-4 player can be longer than eclipse - depending on the group.
- Go with SE if you like the idea of designing your fleet and springing a technological surprise on your opponent that could win you the game.
- SE is won, not by maximizing your resources, but by your tech and fleet decisions (and combat).
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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SE4 here as well, and plays really well two player, great two player space combat game.
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Shawn Garbett
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gamer667788 wrote:

as for cash it's better to save and spend $100+ once than $50 each on a bunch of games that never hit the table. Also we like expasions if they are worth the money.


Or go broke and buy them all. Maybe that's why I'm back to ramen noodles for dinner.
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Collis Jeppesen
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CyberGarp wrote:
gamer667788 wrote:

as for cash it's better to save and spend $100+ once than $50 each on a bunch of games that never hit the table. Also we like expasions if they are worth the money.


Or go broke and buy them all. Maybe that's why I'm back to ramen noodles for dinner.


Or "Father's Day" is just around the corner and damn if Eclipse 2nd printing is still not available.......but still on backorder and you have to have something to open in June
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Chris Wilcoxon
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Collis68 wrote:

Or "Father's Day" is just around the corner and damn if Eclipse 2nd printing is still not available.......but still on backorder and you have to have something to open in June


That's how I got Empires in the first place: Fathers day #1
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Thel Schuhart
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I own Space Empires and enjoy it quite a bit. I have played Eclipse a number of times. My issue is that I like war games and prefer conflict. Eclipse does not do it for me in this department. It just does not offer enough of what I enjoy in a war game.

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