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Subject: The snapping turtle rss

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Peter O
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This will be a brief session report for a brief 4 player game of Eclipse.

I won the die role and chose to pick race last and be first to play. First pick was Hydran, a favorite in our group. Up next was a Mechanema pick followed by humans in black. This left me with Eridani, Draco, Human or Planta. Most of my recent games have been teaching games where I don't get to go full out due to both managing the game (answering questions, updating things, the like) and not want to go too strong with new people. The guy to my right who picked Hydran was relatively new so I choose not to be Eridani even though recent board discussions have been about it and I wanted to get more ideas. Picking it would have had a large enough probability of me needing to attack Hydran which I didn't want to do. So I went Planta. And still became the aggressor, just not towards the Hydrans.

Turn one opens pretty normally except for a complete lack of IH (improved hull). I choose to explore my Tier I, find a double ancient and choose to keep it then expand out to my Tier II. I then grab the 'neutral' tier I between me and the Humans plus the tier II there as well. I have no choice but to connect into the humans due to the Tier I gate layout. I then go wild with the tier IIIs and get a good number of systems. The humans get slightly miffed at me for "cutting them off" at one point even though he had plenty of other explore routes. He was also getting all double basic explores except for a Tier II double ancient.

Turn two continues the explores, the tiles run out and the Mechanema and Hydrans are mostly surrounded by ancients, the humans have 4 good tiles and a double ancient to gear up on. I have the Planta crazy amount of explorations, including four separate discovery tiles including +3 computers (went on the cruiser blueprint), a free cruiser, +6 materials and a tech that I choose gauss shields with.

Turn three opens with still no IH available, I had chosen to prioritize keeping research planets on my many one basic planet hexes with the hopes of getting Advanced Labs. The labs didn't show so I instead buy Plasma missiles with the intention of taking on the double ancients this turn and the core on turn 4.

Instead, the human player complains about my missiles and proceeds to build two basic dreadnoughts next to my space. I ask him if he's coming for me and he says yes. I then build two cruisers next to his space instead of next to the double ancients. I stall with upgrades, he eventually passes and I then break our diplomatic ties and attack his dreadnoughts. 12 PM with +4 computers, versus dreads with no shields or advanced hulls. He goes down in flames losing 16 materials worth of ships. Me without neutron bombs means I can't take his system (nor did I really want to). Meanwhile both Mechanema and Hydrans fail at their ancient attacks for whatever reason.

Had he built his dreads in a less threatening position and not made noise about coming after me even after I made offers not to, I would not have attacked. He was adamant about threatening me without fully thinking through the consequences.

Turn 4 I make an agreement with the humans that I would cease fire and withdraw in exchange for a verbal nonaggression pact. He agrees (not really having a choice) and I go on to take the core, with the double ancients near me ready to fall in turn 5.

Turn 5 opens with advanced labs (which would turn on 4 different advanced sci planets for me and no one capable of preventing it) and a round of concessions. The concessions were not completely warranted VP-wise but people apparently didn't feel like the uphill battle of the VP leader with the superior economy as well.

Moral of the story; FEAR the PLANTA! arrrh
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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Boo! Concessions are sad. They could have totally kicked your butt. You just don't have enough ships to hold off 24 ints, 12 Cruisers, and 6 Dreadnaughts.
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Peter O
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Jythier wrote:
Boo! Concessions are sad. They could have totally kicked your butt. You just don't have enough ships to hold off 24 ints, 12 Cruisers, and 6 Dreadnaughts.


That's what I thought but it was getting late. I'll still take it as a win. I posted more to offer an example of Planta not just turtling.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
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tranenturm wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Boo! Concessions are sad. They could have totally kicked your butt. You just don't have enough ships to hold off 24 ints, 12 Cruisers, and 6 Dreadnaughts.


That's what I thought but it was getting late. I'll still take it as a win. I posted more to offer an example of Planta not just turtling.


I liked your post. Getting other to concede is a win.

I played the other night until 1 am. We had started at 8pm with the rules. It was a 3er (posted the session). Now that's getting late. But we finished it! My group has AP... wah.
 
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Ivan Myers Jr
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Some more details from that game:

The reason for conceding the game was because the new player (playing the Hydrans) lost his first battle with ancients. He was using a terrible interceptor build with only 2 ships. Everyone else at the table advised him against it but he did it anyway. After losing he realized that he had lost all his invested resources and was only producing mats on his home hex, effectively taking himself out of the game for 2 to 3 rounds. He didn't want to play along for the next hour or so without a real chance to win, which I can't blame him for, so he conceded.

The human player pretty much mentally checked out after the plasma missile barrage. He was still in the game but lost a lot of resources trying to survive that battle. He could have moved his interceptor in and saved one of his dreadnaughts instead of upgrading, but his mind was completely out of the game by that point. His economy was strong and with some diplomacy could have salvaged that game.

The Mechanema player (myself) was actually really close VP wise when two bad rolls lost me a key ancient battle. This was my fault as I actually did my actions in the wrong order and ended up having my strongest ship out of the battle. Even with the loss I was still in good shape with a very good money and material economy going, though I was short on science. I actually wanted to keep going but I knew the human and hydran players were mentally done, no sense in continuing.

Overall, I think Planta may be too strong in anything under 5 players. The multiple explore thing, in the hands of an expert player, gives them incredible control over their economy. Combined with the discovery tokens and they can become a monster of a threat very easily.

Good play on Pete's part though. He consistently makes the best decisions at every point in just about every game of eclipse I've played with him...we'll catch up though buddy, you just wait!
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Ivan Myers Jr
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Jythier wrote:
Boo! Concessions are sad. They could have totally kicked your butt. You just don't have enough ships to hold off 24 ints, 12 Cruisers, and 6 Dreadnaughts.


I love Eclipse, but I must say that it's too unforgiving to early mistakes, which in turn causes these kind of concessions.

Alot of the folks at our venue hate it for that reason: an early misplay (which will be common with new players) will not only lose you the game, but will make the game completely un-fun for the duration. Having players want to concede within the first 2-4 rounds of eclipse isn't uncommon in my plays, and that sucks. A player shouldn't be able to completely destroy their chances of having fun within the first third of the game.

I've been thinking about coming up with some house rules to help make those first couple of rounds more forgiving for newer players. Normally I hate house rules but these wouldn't be necessary for experienced players. Just something to help newer players not get totally hosed by a bad decision early on...
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Well, it's like any other 4x. Whoever falls behind gets left behind. If you don't keep up, you lose. I hate that about 4x games in general but it's all right in Eclipse, mostly because we don't make mistakes.

Why did you play alien races with new players involved, anyway? That's asking for disaster. The ability to trade resources and not having to learn 4 races really helps out.
 
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Ivan Myers Jr
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Jythier wrote:
Why did you play alien races with new players involved, anyway? That's asking for disaster. The ability to trade resources and not having to learn 4 races really helps out.


He wasn't totally new, it was his second game. This was his first with the alien races though.
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
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MangaFox wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Why did you play alien races with new players involved, anyway? That's asking for disaster. The ability to trade resources and not having to learn 4 races really helps out.


He wasn't totally new, it was his second game. This was his first with the alien races though.


I will never get to play with aliens. We can't even make decisions with all humans...
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James Fung
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Jythier wrote:
Well, it's like any other 4x. Whoever falls behind gets left behind. If you don't keep up, you lose. I hate that about 4x games in general but it's all right in Eclipse, mostly because we don't make mistakes.

I thought the multiplayer aspect of 4X games is what's supposed to give people a chance to catch up.
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Kelvin Lau
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tranenturm wrote:


Instead, the human player complains about my missiles and proceeds to build two basic dreadnoughts next to my space. I ask him if he's coming for me and he says yes. I then build two cruisers next to his space instead of next to the double ancients. I stall with upgrades, he eventually passes and I then break our diplomatic ties and attack his dreadnoughts. 12 PM with +4 computers, versus dreads with no shields or advanced hulls. He goes down in flames losing 16 materials worth of ships. Me without neutron bombs means I can't take his system (nor did I really want to). Meanwhile both Mechanema and Hydrans fail at their ancient attacks for whatever reason.

Had he built his dreads in a less threatening position and not made noise about coming after me even after I made offers not to, I would not have attacked. He was adamant about threatening me without fully thinking through the consequences.


a good example of (un)intentional feeding. should he ever put his dreads in a less threatening position but reachable, you still eat him for breakfast. if he puts it too far away, he is wasting his own action. common mistake is that people put down something to 'threat' someone to not to attack them but turn out to be purely empty threat but feeding.

Quote:

Overall, I think Planta may be too strong in anything under 5 players. The multiple explore thing, in the hands of an expert player, gives them incredible control over their economy. Combined with the discovery tokens and they can become a monster of a threat very easily.


no. planta is strong but never too strong in multiplier games. however, notice the fact that it is banned in 1vs1s. although that there is 4 people sitting around the table, hydran is dead, human is dead. so it is actually a 1vs1 with 4 people around the table.

hence planta wins. straight forward. it wasnt anyones fault but hydran and human if you have to blame.
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