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Eclipse» Forums » Strategy

Subject: I have a serious problem with this game, please give me advice rss

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jay cutler
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eclipse is my favorite game, but I can never win a game, I read a lot on the forum, however my friends who have not read the post on bgg, continue to win

this is frustrating, I seem to play well and then at the end I always lose. this morning, after the game I had 3 territories and my opponent had 9.

I think I know the theory but not knowing how to put into practice, it seems to me, at times, to do actions not very useful, and almost always have a few materials, science and money.

I never know when to wait or attack, I always try to take the territories opponents and every time I lose fights leaving empty even my territories.

-I do not know what to do if an opponent has many materials or much money or many sciences, how to stop it?
-I do not know whether it is worth to upgrade often, I happen to do it 3 times in one turn
-while exploring what are the hexagons to be discarded? I do not waste anything, even hexagons by 1 point with 1 cube orange, but during the game becomes difficult to withdraw the token from these hexes because there is a cube orange ..
-not ever build monoliths and orbital, because I prefer to build more spaceships, this is wrong? should build these even if they are not protected by spacecraft?

please give me some advice, I need to start winning
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Gleb Semenjuk
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Play a couple of games in "Cosmic Encounter". Diplomacy is the key to winning Eclipse. devil
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Harold Coleman
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I'm kind of with you on this. I want to like the game. I want to be able to develop my own winning strategy. But the last two games have turned me off. The player who got the most fortunate early draws, i.e. lots of easy resources, with his Explore actions won both games handily. Those that drew ancients to defeat before they could plunder the planet were slowed a turn or two. The resource-heavy player was able to pretty much do whatever he needed to advance and win the game. To counter this, you say, build more ships and attack him... but that requires materials to build and research to upgrade and that requires more controlled hexes. You might say build orbitals and monoliths in response to the runaway player, but they require huge amounts of both research and materials to pull off; you need more controlled hexes for this, too. It's a vicious cycle that favors the player who got easy control of the early hexes. In the last game, three of the six players attacked the runaway unmercifully the last two turns, but all he did was attack them back at their weaknesses to recapture tiles they took. He was also able to build monoliths and won by 12 points. I'd love for someone to point out the fault of my observation, but you'll have a hard time convincing me I'm not right.
 
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James
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Jay; I've seen you post before so hang in there!. Harold, I don't have any interest in proving anyone right or wrong and it does sound like you have the correct strategy - diplomacy - as Gleb noted. What your example seems to indicate is that the runaway player continued to be a runaway player even after being attacked on two fronts. My guess is that the players should have ganged up earlier, as he was beginning to pull away from the pack. Surviving and being able to retaliate after a two front war suggests a player who already had the game in hand. Jay and Harold, get your buddies to make nonagression pacts with each other so you can have undefended borders, marshall all your forces and go after early those lucky jerks with all those great hex draws. If you do it early enough, they will not be able to recover a turn or two of building back their engine. Then all you have to do is fight over the spoils. This kind of table-talk might offend some other posters in recent threads on the topic, but I think it makes Eclipse just blossom as a game experience and offsets the luck factor.

For what it's worth, I don't win all that often myself. In the meantime, until your win percentage goes up, enjoy playing the game - and that you have a copy of Eclipse and friends to play with.
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Kelvin Lau
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the very first thing to do is to forget the 'fact' that you are "good". get a note book and start jotting notes on every move u could have done better. which i think most should do it in real life remembering in your heart.
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Gleb Semenjuk
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JohanCarstensen wrote:
It's simple get the most resources, build the strongest ship, win the game. Think 4X.

Sometimes, you don't need a ship. Having 20+ resources in stock and PM+Computers researched makes you a very unpopular target for anyone capable of thinking.

P.S. Always go for extra discs techs, they make it possible to retaliate properly, if someone still tries to attack you.

P.P.S. Once I won a game having only 2 cruisers built through all the game. They were enough to clear ancients and noone risked attacking me because of lots of accumulated materials.
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Petri Savola
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bodybuilder wrote:
eclipse is my favorite game, but I can never win a game, I read a lot on the forum, however my friends who have not read the post on bgg, continue to win

this is frustrating, I seem to play well and then at the end I always lose. this morning, after the game I had 3 territories and my opponent had 9.

3-4 territories can be fine on turn 8 as long as they are very good territories. Then you just need to capture a few more on the last turn for points. If you have 3 territories on turn 9 and your opponent has 9, you will have 6 actions more than him. Use these actions to your advantage (attack after his actions run out or just influence empty systems for points).

Quote:
I think I know the theory but not knowing how to put into practice, it seems to me, at times, to do actions not very useful, and almost always have a few materials, science and money.

Actions are very useful, but you need to seek a balance between money, science and material production. It's difficult to score well if your science and material output are both low.

Quote:
I never know when to wait or attack, I always try to take the territories opponents and every time I lose fights leaving empty even my territories.

Attack and defend if you have a decent chance to win. If your odds are low, don't fight. If you see Hydran, Descendant or Planta player turtling efficiently in a corner, somebody needs to attack them before they get too strong.

Quote:
-I do not know what to do if an opponent has many materials or much money or many sciences, how to stop it?
-I do not know whether it is worth to upgrade often, I happen to do it 3 times in one turn

It sounds that you upgrade too much. Choose 1-3 ship types and upgrade those. Usually it's not good to upgrade every ship type.

Quote:
-while exploring what are the hexagons to be discarded? I do not waste anything, even hexagons by 1 point with 1 cube orange, but during the game becomes difficult to withdraw the token from these hexes because there is a cube orange ..

Only consider discarding tiles with 1 normal cube slot and 1 advanced cube slot and you don't already have any other advanced cube slots of that color. Keep all other tiles.

Quote:
-not ever build monoliths and orbital, because I prefer to build more spaceships, this is wrong? should build these even if they are not protected by spacecraft?

Orbitals are much better than ships if you don't use the ships for anything. However, if you use the ships to gain new systems from ancients or other players, the ships are probably better. Building orbitals and monoliths depends heavily on the situation and you cannot start the game by deciding whether you will build them or not.
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James Fung
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Firstly, I enjoy playing Eclipse even if I lose. In fact, I lose more than my fair share of almost all games. I still love games.

bodybuilder wrote:
this is frustrating, I seem to play well and then at the end I always lose.

...

please give me some advice, I need to start winning

This reminds me of my students who say they knew the material on the exam, but they do worse on the exam than they expected. And reason is generally that they think they know the material, but they actually don't know the material well enough. Believing in a statement ("I play well") is not the same as that statement being true.

I find that Eclipse is an interesting mix of tactical and strategic play. For alien races, their long-term strategies are pretty fixed, though some have some flexibility, like the Mechanema can turtle or take the offensive. But even with a particular strategy in mind, what you do right now this action depends on circumstances. Maybe you should grab a tech before your opponents do (or pass first so you get first pick next turn). Is it worth it to squeeze out one more action this turn? Exactly how much research/upgrade actions do you need to make to deter someone from attacking you? It depends. But maybe you shouldn't listen to me since I'm only an average Eclipse player.

My suggestion: play a Play By Forum game on BGG and have people kibitz. Perhaps something you're not mentioning, because you think is unimportant, actually turns out to be important.
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Daniel Hammond
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I would say I have won around 60% of the games I have played. As my friends' get more experienced it is falling more to 50%. I almost never attack another player, unless I need to to win. I stay just upgraded enough and with enough ships to discourage being attacked. I create usually 1 hex entrance to my system and I don't take the middle (again unless I need to). Launching major battles is counter productive unless you get something major for it (like filling a reputation slot, taking a valuable hex that you can defend). I never build orbitals. Conquering is very often counterproductive because you stretch your empire creating more places you can be attacked, use more influence disks (limiting your future options) and give your opponent resources and influence disks (graveyard bonus). That is my 2 cents.
 
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Brian Bankler
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bodybuilder wrote:

I never know when to wait or attack, I always try to take the territories opponents and every time I lose fights leaving empty even my territories.
-I do not know what to do if an opponent has many materials or much money or many sciences, how to stop it?


You need to know your advantages and disadvantages.
* You have more or less material (both short and long term)
* You have better or worse upgrades.
* You have more or less action discs (or money so you can take more actions).
* Who has a virtual fleet?

If you have all disadvantages then either either luck was against you or you are playing the opening wrong. (Explore! Explore! Explore! Tactically bankrupt! Grabbing an Improved Hull or Advanced Robotics in there is fine).

In any case, find an advantage and press it. If you can't find it, then you need to take on a bit more weakness to gain a new strength (or, if you have long term advantages and short term weakness, defend until then situation changes). If you are being outspent on science and have a few actions, turtle for a turn or two and then get a game changing upgrade (plasma missiles are the most obvious) instead of making small upgrades. If you have a lot of actions (or income) wait to attack until after your opponent passes. Etc.

Quote:

-I do not know whether it is worth to upgrade often, I happen to do it 3 times in one turn

That can be fine, and sometimes it's worth it to make a bunch of upgrades on an otherwise waiting turn (power upgrades or improved hull), but as others have mentioned, best to focus. Early on I make my interceptors ok and focus on cruisers able to reliably take on an ancient (usually requires two cruisers, depending on tech). Depending on my position I'll put a spare upgrades on dreadnoughts or starbases, depending on what I'm more likely to get. About half my games I never upgrade my dreadnoughts, but that depends on which alien I'm playing.

Quote:

-while exploring what are the hexagons to be discarded? I do not waste anything, even hexagons by 1 point with 1 cube orange, but during the game becomes difficult to withdraw the token from these hexes because there is a cube orange ..

Single cube hexes are death. Sometimes I'll keep them if I will get the advanced technology soon, or if the connection is vital. Sometimes I'll keep them for a turn or two for a critical bump and then influence off it later (or wave it in front of an opponent). Hexes with no world and a discovery are fine, as you get the discovery then influence/bankrupt off. Aliens are usually fine, but plan on taking them out by T3 or so (at least one alien/turn).

Quote:

-not ever build monoliths and orbital, because I prefer to build more spaceships, this is wrong? should build these even if they are not protected by spacecraft?

Orbitals suck. Better to build a few ships and take a system (and get a technology that threatens others). Monoliths are pure points, but don't do it early.

I just wrote up a lot of Eclipse thoughts at my website this week
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stephen biggs
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bodybuilder wrote:
-I do not know whether it is worth to upgrade often, I happen to do it 3 times in one turn


In general upgrading is a bad thing, it wastes actionsshake

The perfect offensive strategy would be to have a sufficient tech advantage that your opponents cannot possible win. So they withdraw instead of fighting. So you never need to actually upgrade. Occasionally your opponents will get stubborn & you'll actually have to upgrade to show them the "error of their ways"devil

Their is an alternative startegy in Eclipse. You upgrade everything to be overwhelming strong but never actually build it. Again your opponents won't fight because they can't win. As a bonus, you keep the ore to build monoliths for VP's.
Be wary of mixing the two strategies, that costs losts of actions & lots of ore & gets you no VP's.

Key to both those strategies is to research the best combat techs. And do so before other players can. And the key to that is to save your tech points for the research you actually need.



If your playing Hydran you should of cource, research everthing.
 
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Sky Zero
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Eclipse is a game full of luck. The reality is that the "best" player isn't going to win each time. In order to win you need:

1. A good dose of luck
2. A good meta game
3. A thought out long term strategy coupled with calculated in-round tactics.

Unfortunately you can't control luck, but you can meta game and balance your long term strategy with in-round tactics. Will the best player win each time? Certainly not, but a skilled player should be able to position themselves to capture victory with just the right mix of the three points above. Play to enjoy, winning is just icing on the cake.
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Mikko Saari
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I wouldn't stress the luck too much. Player skill is still the most important factor. I've played against seriously good players — Touko, Sampo, Petri Savola — and I haven't stood a chance. Their play is way above me. There's no amount of luck that can bridge that gap. (Then again I'm so bad that given a chance to for example choose the perfect explore draws, I'm not sure I could do that!)

Of course, if Touko, Sampo and Petri would play together, I'm sure things like exploration luck or VP draw luck might have an effect in the results.
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James Motz
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The best recommendation I could give is to play Terran. Seriously. If you're unsure of yourself the Terrans give you the most flexibility to recover from "bad luck" and allow you to pursue any strategy. They also come with a Material planet on their home world, which is nice.

Even better: since you don't care which board you get, you can focus on denying a favorite race (Orion for example) from the other players during race selection.
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Purple Paladin

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@ Harold and w/James:

Yes, I only play Humans now. They are just so flexible. I have found that people new to the game, or even with a few games under their belt get the "The luckiest player won" syndrome.

This is because as an alien, you usually have one main strategy to win in your head from the start of the game; as opposed to humans, who can maneuver through most any type of system pick.

For example, you play Mecha as a somewhat new player, and you don't get a lot of minerals, you say "Hey, I'm unlucky, that other player is lucky; this game is all about luck". As a human, I don't get a lot of minerals and it's "Ok, it's SSMUD for me (Science, Starbases, Monoliths & Underhanded Diplomacy).

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