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Subject: Some ideas for Eridani rss

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I think Eridani is a very hard race to use(I can't think a way that it can get the final victory) So, how about this? When researching adv. robotic and quantum grid, it can get additional one disc. (So, if it researches adv. robotic at the first turn, it can have the same amount of disc that other races have but it needs to burn 9 money)

For Eridani,
adv. robotic: get two disc
quantum grid: get three disc
 
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Gleb Semenjuk
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So, advanced robotics could ba taken on turn 1 and then they are overpowered. What's the point?
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Nat Brooks
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billcwl2000 wrote:
I think Eridani is a very hard race to use (I can't think a way that it can get the final victory) So, how about this? ...

Right on cue: http://xkcd.com/1112/
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Daniel Hammond
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billcwl2000 wrote:
I think Eridani is a very hard race to use(I can't think a way that it can get the final victory) So, how about this? When researching adv. robotic and quantum grid, it can get additional one disc. (So, if it researches adv. robotic at the first turn, it can have the same amount of disc that other races have but it needs to burn 9 money)

For Eridani,
adv. robotic: get two disc
quantum grid: get three disc


The disks are what pay for the huge amount of cash and 3 military tech at the start of the game. You just need more experience, I assure you they are playable.
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Jelle Kaptijn
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natbrooks wrote:
billcwl2000 wrote:
I think Eridani is a very hard race to use (I can't think a way that it can get the final victory) So, how about this? ...

Right on cue: http://xkcd.com/1112/

Thumbs for the chesslink. :-)
 
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Jeremy Steward
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   I really do agree that the Eridani need help and I have been experimenting with a few different things. The one thing I have discovered is that the margin between underpowered and overpowered is very small with the Eridani. I agree with the others in that your proposed change is not only too much, but it goes against the original design philosophy and I guarantee you it will break them. |  In my opinion, they only need a small nudge (your proposal is a gigantic shove) to bring them in line, with say, Orion. The houserule I am currently testing is increasing the starting science of the Eridani to 5. The Eridani really need 3 key techs in the early game to be competitive; Improved hull (which is the case with all races wanting to go a military route), Fusion Source (which allows you to actually use plasma cannons and fusion drives), and Advanced robotics. Currently you have trade money to get them which cuts into the compensation you have for the -2 inf discs. With 5 starting starting science, it makes it much easier at the beginning to get going and actually compete militarily with Orion. But, I need to test it more to be sure it doesn't make them too strong, because like I said, it doesn’t take much.
 
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James Motz
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Absolutely do not agree that they need any help. Keep trying. At some point you will utterly decimate your opponents.

Try some of these ideas out if you're stuck.

Attack early. WAY early. You and Orion are the only ones who can attack Ancients Round 1 with a reasonable chance of success.

Nothing to fight? Explore a LOT. You get extra actions in the beginning compared to everyone else. Use them to your advantage to find the hexes you want.

NEVER keep a hex with space for only one cube for long. You can't afford it - you need multiple cubes for each influence disk you commit to a hex.

Obviously, Advanced Economy is HUGE for you. Plan ahead so you can get it as soon as it shows up!

Money is the most important but least useful resource in the game. You're all about converting your huge stockpile to allow you a giant headstart over everyone else.
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Jim Richardson

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LazyJ wrote:
Absolutely do not agree that they need any help. Keep trying. At some point you will utterly decimate your opponents.


Nope. Of course they can win individual games with luck. Doesn't change the fact that they are disadvantaged. Notable veterans agree with this.

LazyJ wrote:
Attack early. WAY early. You and Orion are the only ones who can attack Ancients Round 1 with a reasonable chance of success.


Of course you should attack ancients early. Round 1 is a bit hard though due to only 2 starting materials + interceptor; only the dread is worth using and it's way too expensive to bring that out in round 1.

Compare to Orion who gets cruiser + 5 mat instead of interceptor + 2 mat, gets their Gauss Shields freely equipped instead of requiring the action, has initiative advantage and can actually be aggressive against players' systems in the first rounds without requiring Neutron Bombs being available on the pulled techs + 2 sci + action to research it.

LazyJ wrote:
Nothing to fight? Explore a LOT. You get extra actions in the beginning compared to everyone else. Use them to your advantage to find the hexes you want.


... extra actions if you want to burn out all your money and have nothing left. Like any race, Eridani should always use their resources in the best possible way. Consensus seems to be that they shouldn't go crazy for explores. If they're going to sit around repeatedly exploring for the hexes they want, they should have just been Planta or Draco, and are then clearly inferior to both of those races.

LazyJ wrote:
NEVER keep a hex with space for only one cube for long. You can't afford it - you need multiple cubes for each influence disk you commit to a hex.


But that's true for any race.

LazyJ wrote:
Obviously, Advanced Economy is HUGE for you. Plan ahead so you can get it as soon as it shows up!


... if you have enough advanced economy squares. Focusing on Adv Econ is not a given.

Once you play the game more and see Eridani fail; see just how much Quantum Grid helps to win games, you'll see why the reverse (-2 discs) is so bad. Just because the OP had a poor idea of how to fix Eridani doesn't mean they don't need fixed. They do.
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jkdvfnbvgiler bnerioglino
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Ya, seems like adding one more disc when researching adv. robotic makes Eridani too strong.

Maybe I should change a little bit. How about whenever Eridani research the fourth tech in a tech. track, it gains one disc? (Up to 2 disc)

So, when Eridani has two technology tracks that have four tech, it can become a normal race(recover the two disc it lost)

Alternative idea,
whenever Eridani research the fourth tech. or a full tech. track, it gains a disc.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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If it can become a normal race, why did it start with all that money and the extra techs?
 
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Let me just say this: One of the first times my group played, we had a 3 player game with Orion, Planta, and Eridani. Since this was the first time we brought in Planta and Eridani, we failed to realize we were supposed to remove the 2 influence disks from their track. Long story short, Eridani completely dominated that game, bought dreads and cruisers very early, and took the Galactic Center by about Turn 3 or 4.
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Riku Riekkinen
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I don't think Eridani getting +1 disc for Advanced Robotics (or starting with just one disc deficit ; which would be my answer) would be clearly OP. I think it would be far closer to other races than the current form.

Eridani +1 disc:
Starting techs: Plasma Cannon (6), Gauss Shield (2), Fusion Drive (4) ; so 12 science & 3 actions
Starting resources: 26 money, 2 science, 4 materials

Now Eridani researches Advanced Robotics: 17 money, 0 science, 4 materials (note that Eridani still loses an action on the first turn). Since the disc goes just to patch weakeness, I won't count its science value to the end result:
17 money, 12 science, 4 materials, 2 actions

Mechanema for comparsion:
Starting Techs: Positron Computer (8)
Resources (with starting tech): 3 money, 11 science, 3 materials, 1 action

So the end result is Eridani has: 14 money, 1 science, 1 material & 1 action more. Is modified Eridani clearly OP? No. While Eridani has two insignificant abilities above those, Mechanema has reduced build costs (which nets more than Eridani start resources through the game) & enchanced actions (which net far more than Eridani's one extra in the whole game).
 
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Jim Richardson

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Counting the "forced" action against the free actions doesn't make sense. Getting a tech without an action is +1 action, while getting a tech normally is -1 action? I think you need to revise that.

Otherwise - yes, it's still overpowered to let Eridani erase its disc disadvantage with 5 science. The only disadvantages then are the "forced" action in round 1 and the fact they can't get another advanced robotics. Not enough to balance out their military tech and remaining resource bonuses.

Another thing you have to factor in is that having 26 money gives a ton of freedom. It can be 8 science + 2 money, 8 materials + 2 money OR 26 money paid for influence. Whenever you give options, the resources have to be considered more valuable than any one of the options.

I don't think they need an enormous tweak, maybe a moderate one, and I don't think it should be disc replacement of any form. What's the point then?
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Riku Riekkinen
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ParticleMan wrote:
Counting the "forced" action against the free actions doesn't make sense. Getting a tech without an action is +1 action, while getting a tech normally is -1 action? I think you need to revise that.


I mean that the Eridani don't really get tech bonus when they take Advanced Robotics. They just get even with the others. Then there is two edged sword of Eridani getting discounts later (after Advance Robotics) & others being able to take the Advanced Robotics to reinstall the advantage over Eridani. I counted those even.

ParticleMan wrote:
Otherwise - yes, it's still overpowered to let Eridani erase its disc disadvantage with 5 science.


We clearly disagree

ParticleMan wrote:
The only disadvantages then are the "forced" action in round 1 and the fact they can't get another advanced robotics. Not enough to balance out their military tech and remaining resource bonuses.


Actually I don't think Eridani military techs are huge bonus at the start. Plasma Cannon & Gauss Shield don't combo together. Fusion Drive will be useless for a long time. Compared to mechanemas Positron Computer, I don't even see Eridani ahead.

ParticleMan wrote:
Another thing you have to factor in is that having 26 money gives a ton of freedom. It can be 8 science + 2 money, 8 materials + 2 money OR 26 money paid for influence. Whenever you give options, the resources have to be considered more valuable than any one of the options.


The money also makes bankrupting after discoveries hard.

ParticleMan wrote:
I don't think they need an enormous tweak, maybe a moderate one,


What are your thoughts for a moderate tweak?

ParticleMan wrote:
and I don't think it should be disc replacement of any form. What's the point then?


One disc back would still mean one disc deficit, so the base thought is there. I could also see just powering the start as an option (without a disc bonus).
 
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jkdvfnbvgiler bnerioglino
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I think Eridani should not have its disc for the first few years as there are a lot of adv. of having so much money at the starting game. But I think Eridani should have its disc after burning almost all of its money. That gives it chance to win the game(as it need disc to conquer hexes. If it lacks of disc, it cant have much possibility to win at last)
 
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Antti Autio
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If there's some way of getting extra discs for the Eridani, there will be absolutely no point in the species at all. It is meant for playing a tight game and making the most of it.

In the near-final prototype version, when then last major changes for Eridani were made, they had +1 energy production in all of their ship blueprints (except Starbase, IIRC). This was removed after a playtest game where I won a landslide victory with the Eridani. I told the designer and developer that the outcome of that particular game session was very much due to circumstances and the way the opponents played (furthermore, my points total was significantly augmented by some Developments that were being playtested). I didn't think any nerf was needed, but eventually the extra energy was removed from everything except the Dreadnought in the final version.

I still think they should've kept the bonus energy for Interceptor and Cruiser blueprints (instead of just the Dreadnought), since that slightly increases the early potential of Eridani (the whole point of the species being how to capitalize their early advantage), allowing them to upgrade both the Drive and the Cannon without needing a better Source. If I could change something in the base game this would probably be it (well, perhaps for Orion -1 Science could be possible.. but I'm not really sure that's necessary).

Other than that I wouldn't really change a thing. The Empire is not a beginner's choice to be sure, but perfectly playable and competitive in my opinion (unless of course you are obsessed with "leveling the playing field" - however, I feel this type of game is much more about the story and enjoying the different ways to play than trying to make it absolutely balanced down to the smallest details).
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My friends and I think it is very hard to play Eridani and I can't get the idea of drawing two reputation tiles at the beginning. Instead of getting two reputation, we suggest getting two discovery tiles and Eridani can show its tiles at the beginning of its turn to get the bonus. At last, if there is any unused tiles, gain two victory points for one. We are going to test if this change makes sense or not.
 
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Jim Richardson

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aautio wrote:
In the near-final prototype version, when then last major changes for Eridani were made, they had +1 energy production in all of their ship blueprints (except Starbase, IIRC). This was removed after a playtest game where I won a landslide victory with the Eridani. I told the designer and developer that the outcome of that particular game session was very much due to circumstances and the way the opponents played (furthermore, my points total was significantly augmented by some Developments that were being playtested). I didn't think any nerf was needed, but eventually the extra energy was removed from everything except the Dreadnought in the final version.


... they nerfed the Eridani based on one game? Not even sure what to say to that. shake

Good info though, we know then that Eridani should at least have +1 power on the other ships, based on the more correct version which you playtested (and then poor conclusions were drawn based on one victory...)

I'm actually seriously tempted to immediately implement a house rule of restoring that lost power to all the Eridani ships. Did the Starbase have it too?

aautio wrote:
Other than that I wouldn't really change a thing. The Empire is not a beginner's choice to be sure, but perfectly playable and competitive in my opinion


I would almost outright dismiss your statement, but we really can't judge 100% accurately since we haven't played the full +1 power Eridani, as you have. Judging from how much the Dread gets prioritized just for a simple +1 power, maybe that would be enough.

I'm wondering what early setups you used to take advantage of this power? Definitely Fusion Drive on the cruiser to gain initiative over ancients, upgrade Ion Cannon to a Plasma Cannon, then what in the other 3 slots? Hull, Electron Comp and Gauss Shield? Do you remember any victories with the Eridani without having an early IH?
 
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Quote:
... they nerfed the Eridani based on one game? Not even sure what to say to that.


We did not. I can assure you that the game was tested much more.
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Jim Richardson

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kilgore wrote:
Quote:
... they nerfed the Eridani based on one game? Not even sure what to say to that.


We did not. I can assure you that the game was tested much more.


Well, I'll let those who were involved debate this matter then, since I wasn't there. BTW I never meant to imply you never playtested the game. Just that from Antii's account it seemed like a last-minute nerf was made which may have been too severe.

But what matters is now - in retrospect, after seeing people's opinions of Eridani (which I would summarize as being the intergalactic whipping boys of Eclipse) do you think they should have retained the across-the-board +1 power? Or do you stand by your decision?

I really like the Eridani race and wish I could legitimately use it. I'm already thinking of getting three "1 power" symbols printed out to stick onto the Eridani board.
 
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Touko Tahkokallio
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Eridani was probably the most difficult to balance from all species. We tried many small changes and found out that even a tiny change can make a big difference. We had many test games where the species simply streamrolled everybody.

It is possible we made them a bit too week in the end. But early advantage is a tricky thing. I think the current situation is better than the situation, where a skilful player can always use the early advantage to win the game.
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Jim Richardson

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I can appreciate that general statement, and agree that small changes can have unexpected results. But given the current disparity between Orion and Eridani (the two races whose primary advantage depends the most on early combat) I really think the +1 power warrants re-examination. I've played over 50 games so I have SOME amount of experience with Eclipse (a lot more than average that is... many suggestions for changes I've seen on these forums are unwise and some just awful.) I also think that as much playtesting as you may have done:

1.) Most of it was probably with at least some older game dynamics which later got changed, altering game balance each time and rendering a lot of the old data obsolete.

2.) Once the game was released and the finished product played by large numbers of people, collectively discussing and perfecting strategies and ideas online, a higher level of refinement and depth of insight HAS to have been achieved (again I think this would be true for any game and any amount of playtesting.)

Again comparing Orion and Eridani, it's basically impossible for me to believe that the +1 power could vault Eridani (widely believed to be the worst choice in most situations) over Orion (widely believed to be the best choice in many situations.) Then the question arises - would it be a problem for Eridani to become somewhat competitive with Orion? Say 2nd place? (Again I firmly do NOT believe this would happen from this change, but I pose it for the sake of argument.) Would some overall game imbalance arise from the two aggro races being good? Terran can already go aggro pretty easily, so Eridani would have to wind up being significantly better than Terran for this to occur.

This is only 1 more data point, but I actually just tested the full-power Eridani in a 2p vs. Terran. Even though I went aggro immediately, I actually only made use of the +1 power a single time during the entire 9 rounds, running PC + Fusion Drive on cruisers and only benefiting from this fact during a single move action. I won, but it was really due to better use of resources + getting IH round 1 + favorable results vs GCDS + opponent inexperience. The power was almost meaningless.

Seems to me that the main thing that this change opens for Eridani is Plasma Cannon + Fusion Drive cruiser, to shoot ancients first in the very early game. Right now most Eridani strategies I've seen say to wait for the Dread for the +1 power and lower move actions. But since they start with only 4 materials and no material planet, this is possibly the hardest challenge they face. Either burning up too much money for a dread, or sitting around stagnating, bleeding from -2 discs while their opponents pass them up.

They definitely need something. Of this I am sure. Personally I love the power idea, and I'd ask the veterans in the community to start playtesting it and getting more data points for us to analyze.
 
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Touko wrote:
Eridani was probably the most difficult to balance from all species. We tried many small changes and found out that even a tiny change can make a big difference. We had many test games where the species simply streamrolled everybody.

It is possible we made them a bit too week in the end. But early advantage is a tricky thing. I think the current situation is better than the situation, where a skilful player can always use the early advantage to win the game.


It seems like now for Eridani, you must make no mistake, have luck to get the tiny chance to win. What I believe is that Eridani should use its early adv. to build up its adv. situation in order to cover the disadv. it has during the middle and the end of the game. However, it seems like a race that needs a lot of luck and make people confuse with the way how Eridani can do to win.
(BTW I really don't know the point of having two reputation tiles at first, it seems like Eridani have to fight a lot so it should not be lack of reputation tiles. I think it really needs discovery tiles instead so how about drawing two at first or drawing two and discard one )
 
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Antti Autio
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ParticleMan wrote:
... they nerfed the Eridani based on one game? Not even sure what to say to that. shake


I never said that. The finetuning that was done on Eridani was probably among the last changes that I noticed before the game went to printer, but it was certainly not some hasty last-minute call.

The session I mentioned sparked a long email conversation and probably eventually contributed to some tweaks (pure guesswork from my part), but by no means was it the only playtest game - I'm guessing there were at least a dozen more games, probably more - played in the following month before the game was finalised.

It was simply the last time I have played with the extra power and all I'm saying is I personally liked it and was sad to see it go. I'm still sure the developers made the right choices in the end.
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Jim Richardson

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aautio wrote:
I have played with the extra power and all I'm saying is I personally liked it and was sad to see it go. I'm still sure the developers made the right choices in the end.


I've been playing it as a house rule on vassal, a few games so far. This is definitely the kind of thing Eridani needs. It lets them DO something.

That said, I'd be willing to accept JUST the cruiser getting +1 power. That's where it's really needed vs. early ancients, to make something of their military advantage before it's too late to matter.

Were they ever tested with just cruiser and dread getting +1? If not, that was an oversight. Which is very understandable - you had a big new game to try to balance and get to market, and couldn't spend 3 more months fiddling endlessly with the knobs for one race. But this bit of fiddling needs to be re-examined. The Eridani need something.

Please at least consider restoring the +1 power to the cruiser. In the meantime I'll keep testing.

If any veterans want to test either full +1 power Eridani or just cruiser +1 power Eridani, please do so and post the results.
 
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