Norbert Chan
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I said I was sorry for being late, and Tim said "Not as sorry as you'll be", and there was some nervous laughter. I was drawn to go first, so to my right, Tim chose Orion, Don chose Terran using the Hydran board so he could deny Hydrans to everyone else, Jean chose Mechenama, while I decided to go with Planta. I knew that I would be attacked early since Planta was always a target when they do a bunch of explores, but I wondered if I could manipulate the explores so that the entry way into my system was only through one or 2 hexes.

Going first, I bought an improved hull, while Jean bought the second and last one. On my turn 1 explores, I foudn a flux shield (-3 on rolls against me) which I mounted on the cruiser. Tim had found some ion cannons (two ion cannons) while exploring, built another cruiser using his 5 material, and went after an ancient on turn 1, and was scucessful. So Orion was off to a great start. I didn't think building a cruiser with all 5 build points was efficient, since you could save up and build more on turn 2, but now that I think about it, this allows you to attack ancients much quicker. I can't remember Tim's reward for conquering the ancients, it might have been the conformal drive (move 4 spaces).

On turn 2, I attacked the ancients with 2 cruisers and got a +5 research which I kept. However, I did lose a cruiser in the process, since I did not upgrade the improved hulls yet. I did find a +8 money and +6 material counter which I kept. My plan was to get my economy going so I would have money to pay for my actions and not lose influence discs from planets. I supplemented this planby buying advanced economy on turn 3. I had this vision where Planta would have to spend a bunch of influence actions to "recover" their explored planets, and thought if I kept my money high, I wouldn't have to do this.

By turn 4, I had dispatched another ancient, but Tim had already dispatched 3 ancients himself, and was not launching himself into the galactic core with 3 cruisers, armed with shard hulls, conformal drive, antimatter cannons and ion cannons. Tim takes the galactic core, and I build two starbase on my level 1 tile in case he gets any ideas.

It was around turn 5 that Don points out to me that Planta can use 4 colony ships, not just the 3 colony ships I was using the whole game. I certainly could have used an extra colony ship. It might have saved me from having to take the +6 material for instance, and take the straight 2 VPs.
Lesson learned: Make sure you understand your Alien powers, and those of the opponents. The first time I played against Planta, no one told me that all population cubes are destroyed if there is an enemy ship there at the end of combat. I had paid the price then, by wasting a turn to destroy the cubes (I didn't have a neutron boomb) and now I paid the price for not knowing my power. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself, but make sure everyone understands all the Alien powers in play.

By turn 6, Tim has worked out an agreement with Jean and Don: Tim will attack me, and the others will leave Tim alone.

On turn 6, Tim buys the wormhole generator, and now he has 3 spots in the map that he can get at my system. I thought I had sagely sealed out all entrances, but now I was exposed.

Tim is having a ball of a time. When he watches me put my starbases on, he quotes like a great warrior: "He who defends everything, defends nothing". It's hard to defend against ships that move 4 hexes, and the opponents don't do anything against him.

I built starbases on the other two entranceways. That pinned one cruiser, but Tim's other 2 cruisers were able to wreak havoc, taking my home planet (3 VPs) from me, and the rout was on. One of my starbases, armed with anitmatter cannon and 2 improved hulls was able to take out one of Tim's cruisers. I tried my best at defending, but I was getting ripped to shreds, since all my starbases were committed on the map. Which leads to another lesson learned: Never commit all your starbases. Try to leave at least one for defence, especially if it is powerful, which you can spring on your opponent.


On turn 8, Don attacks Tim in the galactic core which has been abandoned. But Don can't take it since he has run out of influence discs. This lets Tim build some starbases on turn 9 to defend some areas. (Later Tim sent out an e-mail saying to us that he didn't think he starting race has built in starbases (they don't), and he didnt' recall building starbases. So it was good for Tim to be honest about this, he wasn't sure if he could build starbases). In one of those victories, where Don's dreadnought was destroyed, Tim pulled out a 4 VP chit which surprised me since I thought there were only 1's and 2's left in the bag.
Lesson learned: Make sure your opponents have the ability to buils starbases and the power for all the upgrades. We have played a couple games where this was missed.

On turn 9, I ran out of influence discs to influence some empty planets, so I try to attack Tim, and have to buy a neutron bomb to make sure I can eradicate his cubes. At the end, I owe 18 money: I have 14 money, 11 research and 1 material (yes, don't end the game with 11 research, try to use it wisely). I thought I could pay 3:1 using the combined 11 research and 1 material for 4 money, but the others told me I couldn't combine different goods. So I had to pull out an influence disc costing me another 2 VPs (1 for the planet, 1 for Planta bonus). It seemed like I didn't have a good plan at the end. I couldn't influence without Tim just landing on me, and if I attacked and won, which I did, I had no influence discs to settle the planets. Planta really needs those 2 extra discs provided by the quantum grid, and I should have strove to buy it

Scores:
Tim 34 (18 reputation, 14 planets, 2 research),
Jean 31 (9 reputation, 4 VPs, 13 planets, 5 research),
Norbert 29 (10 reputation, 4 VPs, 8 planets, 1 research, 6 Planta bonus),
Don 22 (9 reputaiton, 2 VPs, 12 planets, 1 reserach, -2 traitor).

Tim played a great game (despite the apparent starbase blunder) , being able to get at ancients on turn 1, the core on turn 4, and get the wormhole generator to rip me to shreds. Don said one thing about Planta, he wanted to see if it was possible to have one long straight line of planets so they would be 'safe'. This works if you don't draw too many ancients to slow you down.






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Jim Richardson

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Norbert Chan wrote:
I said I was sorry for being late, and Tim said "Not as sorry as you'll be", and there was some nervous laughter.


Do you think he introduced external aggression into the game? That's pretty crappy if it's the case. I don't play with people who are like that. I also ban people from gaming with me for personally insulting me for game decisions.

Norbert Chan wrote:
I knew that I would be attacked early since Planta was always a target when they do a bunch of explores, but I wondered if I could manipulate the explores so that the entry way into my system was only through one or 2 hexes.


It's extremely hard to completely block off your territory, even with Planta. It's not that hard to create a block AROUND the galactic center, but also blocking off the center itself often can't be done. You need to luck into Capella sector at least.

Norbert Chan wrote:
On turn 2, I attacked the ancients with 2 cruisers


I don't remember Planta often attacking the ancients on turn 2 in a 4p game. Usually they seem to go ape-*** for ring 3 explores and build up a huge economy, waiting until later to bother spending actions on Build + Upgrade + Move.

Norbert Chan wrote:
I had this vision where Planta would have to spend a bunch of influence actions to "recover" their explored planets, and thought if I kept my money high, I wouldn't have to do this.


Not sure what you mean here, but definitely look into strategies involving tactical bankruptcy.

Norbert Chan wrote:
By turn 6, Tim has worked out an agreement with Jean and Don: Tim will attack me, and the others will leave Tim alone.


LOL. Well they ended up losing to Tim, so I wonder if they will rethink this strategy of "letting Orion beat up the leader without consequences" in the future. My opponents' promises don't mean much of anything to me in Eclipse, or any strategy game, and similarly I am always looking for the best opportunity for myself. If that is taking your system after you abandon it to attack someone else, so be it. It doesn't benefit me to honor a verbal agreement to then sit back and watch you attack the leader & then proceed to beat me. If this encourages turtling, then so be it. The game mechanics need to work on their own IMO. Verbal agreements are meaningless to me and I generally just don't make them (I don't really like open betrayal / lying.)

Norbert Chan wrote:
Tim is having a ball of a time. When he watches me put my starbases on, he quotes like a great warrior: "He who defends everything, defends nothing". It's hard to defend against ships that move 4 hexes, and the opponents don't do anything against him.


Again, seems like where your overall game failed. Orion became the leader and was unopposed.

Norbert Chan wrote:
Never commit all your starbases. Try to leave at least one for defence, especially if it is powerful, which you can spring on your opponent.


Well, sort of. The more general rule would be: never commit starbases incorrectly. Sometimes it's efficient to place all 4, especially if you have a proper bottleneck made. Just not when they can be circumvented.

Norbert Chan wrote:
In one of those victories, where Don's dreadnought was destroyed, Tim pulled out a 4 VP chit which surprised me since I thought there were only 1's and 2's left in the bag.


Rep tile draws are supposed to be secret, only revealed at the end of the game during scoring.

Norbert Chan wrote:
Make sure your opponents have the ability to buils starbases and the power for all the upgrades. We have played a couple games where this was missed.


Yep, this is a common error I've made myself. None of the other ships need techs, and Terran always has Starbase, so it's incredibly easy to forget this after learning the game using all Terrans.

Norbert Chan wrote:
Planta really needs those 2 extra discs provided by the quantum grid, and I should have strove to buy it


Definitely. Quantum Grid is probably the best tech in the game overall. Especially for Planta and Draco, but really for anyone.

Norbert Chan wrote:
Tim played a great game (despite the apparent starbase blunder) , being able to get at ancients on turn 1, the core on turn 4


Don't want to scare you, but Orion can often take center in round 2 or 3.
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Anthony Boydell
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God I need to play this game more!
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Norbert Chan
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ParticleMan wrote:

Do you think he introduced external aggression into the game? That's pretty crappy if it's the case. I don't play with people who are like that. I also ban people from gaming with me for personally insulting me for game decisions.


We have known each other for at least 10 years. So the "taunts" are all in good fun, or at least I hope they are. :-)

ParticleMan wrote:

I don't remember Planta often attacking the ancients on turn 2 in a 4p game. Usually they seem to go ape-*** for ring 3 explores and build up a huge economy, waiting until later to bother spending actions on Build + Upgrade + Move.


Yeah, I thought I would try a more balanced approach with Planta, and attack ancients early. The usual trend is to explore as fast as possible, pick up ship upgrades, then upgrade/move/attack, etc. But I wanted to clear out some ancients early and get some reputation, and be ready for more offense.

ParticleMan wrote:

Not sure what you mean here, but definitely look into strategies involving tactical bankruptcy.


I should have been more clear. What I mean is that successful Planta games involve lots of influence actions at the end of the game to "reclaim" planets. I was hoping to keep high money all the way to the end, so that I would not have to go bankrupt to voluntarily remove discs from hexes. I was trying to keep all my hexes with influence discs, but I think the more normal approach of going bankrupt, then removing discs from not valuable planets works better.


ParticleMan wrote:

Rep tile draws are supposed to be secret, only revealed at the end of the game during scoring.


Yes, we do draw them out secretly. It's just we thought there was nothing left but 1's and 2's that Tim was excited to pull out a 4 in round 9 he showed it to everyone.


ParticleMan wrote:

Don't want to scare you, but Orion can often take center in round 2 or 3.


Yeah, we are only at the stage (after 7-8 games) where we can take the center by turn 4. Turn 2 or 3 would definitely be scary. I'd defintely want to get more games under my belt before playing with those Orion players. :-)
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Kelvin Lau
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Norbert Chan wrote:

On my turn 1 explores, I foudn a flux shield (-3 on rolls against me) which I mounted on the cruiser.




seems you still have lots to refine.
 
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Norbert Chan
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lofung_hk wrote:
Norbert Chan wrote:

On my turn 1 explores, I foudn a flux shield (-3 on rolls against me) which I mounted on the cruiser.




seems you still have lots to refine.


Okay, so I'm assuming that the two better choices are : 1) take the tile for 2 VPs, or 2) put the flux shiled on a dreadnought. Maybe I should create a poll for this question.
 
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tonyboydell wrote:
God I need to play this game more!


Tony, I have Eclipse, if you can make it to the club some time and give me advance warning I'll bring it. I'm sure someone will join us for a three-player game.

Congratulations on Snowdonia incidentally.

 
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Norbert Chan wrote:

Okay, so I'm assuming that the two better choices are : 1) take the tile for 2 VPs, or 2) put the flux shield on a dreadnought.

or 3) Keep the flux shield in reserve for a later upgrade.

It may be more useful as a deterrent available to any of your ship designs at a moment's notice than it would be on any one design if placed immediately.

It's weak against ancients and the GCDS - weaker than adding an ion cannon to your cruiser for example. It's ok against opponents with lots of computers, of course. But it's even better if your opponent doesn't know if he's going to face computer-proof starbases if he attacks your sectors.

It's probably worth keeping. If you can convince one opponent to attack someone else rather then you, you've earned at least 2 VP.
 
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Jim Richardson

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natbrooks wrote:
3) Keep the flux shield in reserve for a later upgrade.


I've faced this down and it is indeed a useful deterrent. Because it's defensive and conditional, keeping it floating seems like the best place for it. And I would say it's most useful if your opponent has, or is likely to have missiles. Still, I'd often take the VPs.
 
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James Motz
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Speaking to several of your lessons learned - you're spot on.

Especially make sure you are checking power requirements. That one is SO EASY to do wrong - and the consequences are pretty major. Get everyone to just glance at other blueprints and do a quick tally of power requirements once in a while.

If it helps, I think only Planta and Terrans get to start with Starbase tech. Everyone else needs to pay for it. Letting Orion build them without the tech is a massive advantage. Huge. Combine that with no one else attacking Orion and it should have been a cake walk for him.

-3 shield on your first pull as Planta? Hmmm... I don't know that I'd place it on a blueprint honestly. Don't Planta ships have less space for upgrades? Probably 2VP for me - especially since you got the Improved Hull first turn. It sounds like your whole group likes taking the reward instead of the VP. Shake it up and go for 2VP on ALL of your discoveries once and see how many more points you have at the end.
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Kevin Walsh
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Norbert Chan wrote:
It seemed like I didn't have a good plan at the end. I couldn't influence without Tim just landing on me, and if I attacked and won, which I did, I had no influence discs to settle the planets. Planta really needs those 2 extra discs provided by the quantum grid, and I should have strove to buy it

If there were empty hexes to be influenced, I think I would have influenced them. No player can attack everywhere, and if he splits up his forces to attack your empty spots, you can concentrate to counterattack his divided fleet. The Influence action refreshes Colony ships, so the action isn't necessarily as expensive as you think.
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Norbert Chan
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LazyJ wrote:
Speaking to several of your lessons learned - you're spot on.

Especially make sure you are checking power requirements. That one is SO EASY to do wrong - and the consequences are pretty major. Get everyone to just glance at other blueprints and do a quick tally of power requirements once in a while.

If it helps, I think only Planta and Terrans get to start with Starbase tech. Everyone else needs to pay for it. Letting Orion build them without the tech is a massive advantage. Huge. Combine that with no one else attacking Orion and it should have been a cake walk for him.

-3 shield on your first pull as Planta? Hmmm... I don't know that I'd place it on a blueprint honestly. Don't Planta ships have less space for upgrades? Probably 2VP for me - especially since you got the Improved Hull first turn. It sounds like your whole group likes taking the reward instead of the VP. Shake it up and go for 2VP on ALL of your discoveries once and see how many more points you have at the end.


Yes, the Planta ships have one piece missing compared to the other ships.

That's a good suggestion to take all your discovery tokens as 2VPs. I hope to try it out next game.
 
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stephen biggs
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Norbert Chan wrote:
Tim is having a ball of a time. When he watches me put my starbases on, he quotes like a great warrior: "He who defends everything, defends nothing". It's hard to defend against ships that move 4 hexes, and the opponents don't do anything against him.



An effective tactic for defending multiple hexes, is don't defend any. Wait till your opponent moves into your territory & then build starbases in the attacked hexes (research nanotech so you can build 3 starbases in one action)
For the defense to be creditable, you should upgrade the starbase to an effective weapon configuration before you need them built.

If possible create a single choke point in the wormholes & build all the starbases in that one hex. Planta sometimes follow a strategy of only exploring ring-3 (no ring-1/2 hexes) And using their homeworld as the choke point.

It's also a good idea to save tech-points to research the first wormhole generator that is drawn.

And to encourage players on the opposite side of the map from you to reseach the 2nd/3rd of the wormhole-counters.It's often easier to persuade other players to research a tech that a strong attacker (Orion) needs than it is to persuade them to loose ships attacking Orion.

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