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Subject: How does the gameplay of this compare to Twilight Imperium? rss

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Michael Weaver
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I've convinced my game group to try an epic strategy game, and now I need to buy one. TI3 is the obvious choice, but I've really heard good things about Eclipse. They seem very similar. What are the major differences?

(I don't think I can justify getting both with my gaming group. I'm looking at 10 games in the next couple of years)
 
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Bartow Riggs
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Eclipse uses many eurogame mechanics. Twilight Imperium is great Ameritrash.

I prefer Eclipse because it is playable in a short time but Twilight Imperium has much more theme.

Like most things, it depends on what you are looking for. Both are great games.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Despite the theme and the fact that both come with plastic space ships and card board hex spaces, they have absolutely nothing in common.
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charlie riegle
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Unless you have 5-6 hours to play a game, don't get Twilight Imperium. Eclipse is a real gem, and playable in 3 hours.
 
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John Ibarzabal

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You said one word: Epic

TI3 imo is epic all the way. Long sessions? Yes, but epic indeed.

Eclipse is a great game, but at least for me, it is not really an epic feel.

Both games, apart from the theme, are very different.

I love Eclipse, it is shorter, but i can hardly compare both and give you an advice on: buy this one if you want shorter games, this one if you want a longer one.

TI3 has a lot of optional stuff you can add and remove and change, adapting the game, making different experiences.

Eclipse is a very smooth game, easy to grasp, great resource management, nice exploration...

Both are in space, in both you want to expand your empire, but well... in very different experiences...

I advise you on watching dice tower's eclipse, and undead viking's eclipse videos... and also dice tower two part review on twilight imperium, to help you decide...

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Mathue Faulkner
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Mestre dos Magos wrote:
I advise you on watching dice tower's eclipse, and undead viking's eclipse videos... and also dice tower two part review on twilight imperium, to help you decide...

I recommend Drakkenstrike's video for Eclipse:
http://boardgamegeek.com/video/11054/eclipse/drakkenstrikes-...
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Brian Cwikla

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My vote goes with Twilight Imperium. Sure, it's a long play time, but every time my group plays it, we are always surprised how much time went by when we finish. It's a very engaging game and never feels long. We've played Eclipse and shrugged it off, but that's our group. It's not that Eclipse is a bad game, rather it just didn't click with what we were looking for. We wanted something richer and deeper (epic!) and we're very willing to play a longer game.

Something you should ask yourself: how often will you be able to get a group of six together to play a 5-6 hour game? Perhaps the shorter time play for Eclipse is ideal for your group and someday you can graduate up to Twilight. However, we've had four experienced player games of Twilight in 3-4 hours.
 
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Scott Bragg
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Eclipse has tokens and less card reading, whereas the gameplay of Tiberium gets interrupted by having to read new cards in the hand and rejigger strategy to suit.

Both are epic.. And if I'm in for a long game I'd go for TI3 but I can get more games/variants played by the faster gameplay of Eclipse.
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Łukasz 'farmer'
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I always wanted to play board game about making galaxy empires.
I knew, that there is a game about this, but I thought, that it's too long (8-10 hours --> not true) and needs 6-8 people (also not true) to play and becouse of that it just not fit for our game group.
So, when Eclipse arised, I was very excited.
TI was my dreamed game, which I thought, I'll never play,
but Eclipse might be for me a dream which comes true.
So, I experienced Eclipse first.

And I found Eclipse just a good compromise, a game which gave me a fealling of making galaxy empires, with our group...
But... than, like 6 months later, one of my friends bought Twillight Imperium, and it was like earthquake!

THEME
TI: (races are more differenced and more interesting, there is great story behind the game, more variety in plantes, technologies etc)
Eclipse:

GRAPHICS
TI:
Eclipse: (graphics are more ascethic, but overall are fine)

EPIC FEEL
TI:
Eclipse: (just don't believe to people, which claim, that Eclipse is so epic. It simply isn't )

ELEGANCE OF MEHANIC
I thought, that Eclipse is a master piece in this category - all those euro mehanics and stuff. But I was very suprised, when I recognaized TI... it's also has very elegant, card-based mehanic!
TI:
Eclipse:

SHIPS (IN OVERALL: FIGURES AND VARIETY)
TI: (this feeling, when you have got a War Sun! WHOA!)
ECLIPSE: (projecting and building your own shps is fun at the beginning, but than it starts to be annoing - "get rockets and rule the space")

SPACE BATTLES:
TI: (ground forces, rocket systems, faster battles, more variety - carriers for example)
Eclipse: (more dices, more factors to consider, more time needed)

PLAYING TIME:
TI: (it took us about 4-5 hours on 4-5 people)
Eclipse: (about 45 minutes per player, so on 5 people it's like 3,5 - 4 hours. Don't impress me much)

TABLE SPACE:
TI:
ECLIPSE: (both games needs a lots of space)

NUMBER OF PEOPLE NEEDED:
TI: (I say 4-6 is good)
ECLIPSE: (3-6 is good, 2 is fine, but...)

END GAME AND WINNING CONDITIONS:
TI: (it's difficult to catch up the leader if you're far behind him)
Eclipse: (and game anti-climatic, syndrom of "the world ends in this turn so make every "stupid" move becouse there is no penalty)

MY "LIKE THE GAME":
TI: (it's outstanding! Since we get TI in our game group, we didn't play Eclipse even once :O Why to play a younger, worse brother, when there is a better veriosn of 4X game on the shelve?)
Eclipse: (it's good, solid, and may be played in shorter time, but no too much shorter)

I'm really sorry for my englisch.

yours,
farm
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Ivo Pescia
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farmeriusz wrote:
EPIC FEEL
TI:
Eclipse: (just don't believe to people, which claim, that Eclipse is so epic. It simply isn't )




I think the 'problem' here is the term epic, which in recent years has been overhyped. "I upgrade my iPhone. EPIC!", "I got a good grade in school. EPIC" etc.

Therefore TI is Epic in pre-hype terms
while Eclipse is Epic in the post-hype terms, meaning more the game is awesome (but not really Epic).


My reply to you is Epic! devil
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Cole Wehrle
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What do you mean by epic?

I've logged many, many plays of both games. I would say that TI is easily the more immersive game. There's plenty to act out and lots of room to goof around.

However, its also a pretty terrible game. It's simply not that interesting. TI has huge, huge problems which begin to show once a group logs around 10 plays. The the opening turns are slow and the endgame is turgid. So, in a standard five hour game, really only one or two of those hours is very interesting. Eclipse is much, much more interesting and rewarding. I've played about 15 games in the last year with many different player counts and have been completely surprised by its depth.

So, is TI the game you are looking for? I don't know, that depends on your group, but I'd say you might better qualify what you are really looking for in a title. For many groups, FFG's cobbled together game-kit is enough to convey a sense of "epicness" but, personally speaking, it rarely measures up to a close game of Diplomacy, 1830, or the real Titans.
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Andy Wright
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My main advice I think would be to try whatever game you plump for before you buy it if you possibly can. This could be tricky though, even if you can get to a convention (the most excellent places for trying such thinge), although you will almost definitely find someone playing Eclipse, TI might be more problematic (due to the time element).

TI I think is very group dependant, far more than Eclipse.

If you have one (or more) players who suffer from AP or are just a bit slow TI can last forever. The game I played had me seriously considering starting a side game of something so we could polish off a game or 2 of Power Grid whilst 2 players in particular took their turns.

I think players also need to have the same sort of knowledge level in playing TI to enjoy it. You need a few turns to get "in" to any game - but TI I found to punish new players mercilessly early in the game with little or no chance of recovery or range of options. Again, this will be very group dependant. Playing a 2 turn trial game beforehand or having the most experienced player not play but act as coach and "referee" the first game could well evangelise the game.

As you may have gathered - TI is a game that has all the elements I ought to have loved, but the one game I played was a horrible, horrible experience for me! One day I'd like to try it again - but the time investment...........

With Eclipse I just didn't get that - the system is so smooth and routes to victory so numerous that everyone seems to pick up the system within 2 turns at most and the game is still wide-open at that point.

So, if I had entire game playing dayas where I want a single game to play and will do so reguarly with the same people I'd probably buy TI. For something that's 3-4 hours long and is about as deep as a game could get in that time and will usually have at least 1 newbie at the table I'd defienitely go for Eclipse.

Hope that makes sense/helps!
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Wim van Gruisen
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farmeriusz wrote:
MY "LIKE THE GAME":
TI: (it's outstanding! Since we get TI in our game group, we didn't play Eclipse even once :O Why to play a younger, worse brother, when there is a better veriosn of 4X game on the shelve?)
Eclipse: (it's good, solid, and may be played in shorter time, but no too much shorter)

My experience is the opposite.
I have had TI on my shelves for a long time, but never got to play it, until last year. It takes something to have people give up a day to play the game. We played our first game a few weeks before I got Eclipse at Essen. Got the first expansion for TI there as well. Played the game once more after that, but for me Eclipse is by far the better game. I sold TI3 + expansion yesterday.

Pros for TI: Great setting, good art and beautiful miniatures.
Cons: I found the whole thing a hassle. With players new to the game there was just too much stopping to reread the rules, checking cards, making choices that one cannot gasp the consequences of, and so on. It would probably get better when people get more experienced, but in my situation I would often play with people new to the game. And besides, the game will only rarely see the table, so there's not much chance to get experienced.
Then, I don't the role selection mechanism (OK, it's called 'strategy cards') in this game. To me it was a bit hamfisted way to make sure that most rounds have one politics phase, one trade phase, one technology phase, and so on. It also feels unnatural; why can people make only one invention per round?

I like how TI clearly has different ships for different purposes. The build-your-own-ship approach of Eclipse is good too, but does lead to ships that can be 'samey' except for their size.

I dislike the combat in TI. I have the feeling that this is all more streamlined in Eclipse.

The mechanics in Eclipse are more streamlined. The price of that is the loss of things like a politics phase and trade mechanism. On the other hand, the politics and trade phases in TI feel to me like they're bolted on the rest of the mechanics, instead of forming an organic part with the rest of the rules.

But the largest problem that I had with TI is that in my two experiences the game never flowed. Too often people stopped to see what cards they drew, what technology paths were possible, to consider their options (and then forget one of the byzantine rules that would negatively influence their final choice), and so on. The beautifully streamlined rules of Eclipse ensure that people can pick up the mechanics easily and the game goes on without a hitch.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Cole Wehrle wrote:
For many groups, FFG's cobbled together game-kit is enough to convey a sense of "epicness" but, personally speaking, it rarely measures up to a close game of Diplomacy, 1830, or the real Titans.

Yeah. When I think of epic game sessions, there is little that beats a good game of Diplomacy. TI doesn't even come close, IMHO.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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One thing that confuses me here ... I keep seeing TI fans say TI takes 4-5 hours and Eclipse takes 3-4 hours. In my experience it has been more like:

TI: 8-10 hours (and Ive heard of plenty 12 or 14 hour games)
Eclipse: 2-3 hours (and less with 3 or 4 players)

Of course, I have heard of 5 hour Eclipse games as well, don't know what those people are doing!
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Andy Wright
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Vanish wrote:
One thing that confuses me here ... I keep seeing TI fans say TI takes 4-5 hours and Eclipse takes 3-4 hours. In my experience it has been more like:

TI: 8-10 hours (and Ive heard of plenty 12 or 14 hour games)
Eclipse: 2-3 hours (and less with 3 or 4 players)

Of course, I have heard of 5 hour Eclipse games as well, don't know what those people are doing!


Keyword here is "fans" I suspect!

After our first game of Eclipse the game sped up immensely as we started doing things like having the next player take their turn when someone made non-turn order critical decisions like a tech or upgrade purchase.

No doubt the same sort of time saving can happen with TI, but only when peope are familiar with it.

Like I said in my previous post - I found this very group dependant as well. 1 person with severe AP who has to re-analyse every aspect every phase (when they are making a single action decision) can easily double or triple the length of either game. (I suspect TI is in more danger of this than Eclipse and the effects more noticeale).
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Paul Rice
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My vote goes for Eclipse. Eclipse captures what I loved about the old computer game Master of Orion, but with more elegant game mechanics. T.I. is frequently described as more epic, but it never felt that way to me. T.I. has so many different rules to keep track of that I could never really get into any sort of headspace where the game felt immersive.
 
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stephen biggs
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TI-3 When I play TI-3 the impression I'm left with is that everyone made every tactical mastake in the booksoblue Some players getting the rules so wrong that they effectivly cheated. I'm left with the impression that that play session was a mess but the next one might be better, except with TI-3 it never is...
Overall it takes too long to play & it takes frequent playing to become familiar with the rules. If your play group has the time to play TI-3 for the entire day, frequently (at least once a month). It would be a great game.

Eclipse you can finish in an evening (3-4 hours) And the game startegy is often inovative to that game (strategy changes depending on research tech available)
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Horrid Beast wrote:
It's funny reading these comments. I prefer TI3 by a country mile. The game I played of Eclipse was terrible as I drew no Ancients in my explorations (and I explored as much as everyone else) and I find the whole cube thing really clunky (dials would have been so much better). The bits in Eclipse look average when compared to TI3 and there is just so much more one can do in TI3 which often leads to more player interaction (deliberating on new laws etc). I played a 6 player game of Eclipse and it was a very long game, in that I almost fell asleep (5 hrs). Our TI3 games only go for about 4-5 hrs with 6 players (we don't play Distant Suns variant btw). Even though both games play at about the same length (for us anyway) TI3 seems to go much faster and people really enjoy it. I have to admit that Eclipse was a big disappointment for me.

Anyhow there is my two bucks worth and I am happy other people have a different view to me meeple

On that note, I do not recommend playing your first game of Eclipse with 6 players. It is a definite way to ruin your first play.

Two rules with first plays:
- Everyone play Terran
- Play with 4 or less players. 3 players is ideal for a first game imo.

(Also, I think dials would've been ridiculously fiddly. I cringe just thinking about it.)
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Kevin Walsh
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I only played Twilight Imperium once, (with the base set, and the old Imperial card) and I got the impression that all the technology research, fleet building, etc., what I consider the fun stuff, was a diversion from winning. In Eclipse, researching technology and winning battles is winning, in the sense that it gives you VP. So from that point of view I think Eclipse is a better design.
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linh1987
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Can we just put a sticky thread for all TI3 questions like this:

"Despite the theme and the fact that both come with plastic space ships and card board hex spaces, they have absolutely nothing in common."

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