We had been waiting eagerly for this game. When the store called and said the delivery arrived early I felt like christmas was here! This session was two nights ago, so please excuse the lack of details.
3er with variably skilled players. We anticipated possibly a tight match between Th and Lauri with the Lady keeping us company and providing another variable on the board.
- Th (me), about 13 games of eclipse under his belt, half of them 2p - enthusiastically claimed the Rho Indi Syndicate
- Lauri, about 8 games, most of the 2p - Enlightened of Lyra
- Veera had played only 3 games, one of them as the Elders of Solstice, because she does not enjoy playing aggressively due to bad karma. - Wardens of Magellan
The pulsar were included in the tier 3 hex shuffle, the supernova were not. Three ancient homeworlds were placed in the sectors missing human players.
The first half
During the first half of the game the Syndicate explored without any hindrance from other players a grey planet on tier 3, two discovery tile hexes taking a cruiser and 2 points and colonising materials, a pulsar hex and two single ancient hexes in tiers 1 and 3 and double ancient tier 1 hex. Ancients were attacked starting from round 3. No science planets, but many material / mat+eco hexes. Economy shifting and discoveries resulted in the most actions, four cruisers on board along with the 2 starting interceptors and a few orbitals. Science resource was very scarce during the first half, but there was enough to acquire improved hulls, positron computers and orbitals. Trading money to science with the 3:2 rate was often used.
The Magellan explored ancients on three sides of the starting hex and got trapped in a five-hex area for most of the game. Ancients were attacked rather late and bad luck with the dice slowed down expansion. Colony ships were often turned to other resources. The Magellan only did on average about 3 actions per round, whereas the Enlightened did about 4 and the Syndicate about 5-6.
Enlightened of Lyra had a prechosen strategy (which is not recommended in eclipse) of exploring as much as possible and turtling. Planets were not favorable to this, but a few ancient hexes and a homeworld kept the wise guys busy. Instead of building shrines every round, the player built only three by round 6, getting the prosperity influence disc.
The latter half
The Syndicate researched diplomatic fleet for the 6th reputation tile slot, conquered 2 ancient homeworlds, took Galactic Center guarded by the double plasma cannon dreadnaught with 4 cruisers armed with ion cannons only. IH, shields and positron computers made the odds somewhat favorable. Pirates dug in and collected points using orbitals and artefact key to research more tech. Discovery tiles and success against rising ancients complemented total points.
The Magellan destroyed the surrounding ancients. The rules were unclear and some rash decisions were made due to lack of patience. Instead of pressuring the clearly leading Syndicate, the purple fleet engaged the wise guys through an outer rim route. Only in the very end did they engage the leading faction in an unsignificant tier 2 hex with their jump drives.
The Enlightened got stuck in a border skirmish with the red cabbage race and were unable to mount a credible threat against the newly updated antimatter pirate ships and starbases. Discovery tiles, tech and developments augmented the score. In the end they built three more shines for 3+3 vp.
51 to Rho Indi Syndicate
34 to Enlightened of Lyra
26 to Wardens of Magellan
The victor was accused of having good luck with hex draws and dice rolls. To this I have no objections, hexes suited the race giving me a clear strategic path (in this case aggressive expansion) and dice rolls were usually slightly better than odds would have dictated. Game would've been more even if opponents had been more eager to discard bad hexes and hadn't chosen a strategy (turtling, limited aggression) based on their initial feelings rather than the varying conditions of the galaxy.
- player experience greatly contributed to the results, remember this when considering the further comments
- the Syndicate ships appear very strong, perhaps partly due to the luck of drawing two cruisers from discovery tiles and thus not having to use materials to build them, but mostly by having a gauss shield in an extra slot throughout the game in each ship
- two players explored and used the pulsar, but they seem unimportant hexes; it's better to pass or use a normal action as usual instead of getting a sci/mat cube and a limited choice half-action (only 2 options between mov/bui/upg at a given time, and can't make the same half-action twice in a row), since the cost is still 1 influence disc - perhaps an orbital would make it worthwhile
- Syndicate move action is very strong, apparently more so in an open 3-player game with plenty of space to explore and fight the ancients, the moves enabled the pirates to easily fly around their third of the galaxy and efficiently fight in all corners of their empire
- the demise of Magellan and the success of the Syndicate highlighted the importance of sufficient economy / actions
- a good economy seems key to the Syndicate, especially with the strong 3:2 trade rate between eco : sci/mat resources and the need to colonize several areas to find battles and vp-valuable hexes
- the pillage was only a minor profit throughout the game for the Syndicate, it was time consuming to estimate probable gains and how much actions could be overused, the pillage complicated tactical bankruptcy when not at 3/6/9 money resource, in those cases the money was traded to cheap sci/mat immediately after combat to force a bankruptcy during upkeep
- Magellan ability to turn colony ships into resource looks like a very flexible tool in experienced hands
- Magellan 1 point for a discovery tile plus the hidden bonus instead of 2vp seems VERY strong when the race gets to explore and battle ancients adequately, say, for 5+ discovery tiles
- which choice would be better for the Enlightened of Lyra: build expensive 4 resource shrines during rounds 1-3 and hinder early growth of the empire to get 6 rounds with an extra action, or start with the cheaper 2 resource shrines and aim for the total 12vp by the end of game? naturally this needs to be weighed against all the relevant conditions in the galaxy.
- Last edited Wed Dec 5, 2012 10:41 am (Total Number of Edits: 5)
- Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012 9:12 pm
in our first game with expansion (everyone had 20-30 games played with base game) the enlightened of lyra built all 9 shrines starting from cheapest, first claming WH tech and then disc and the 3 points.
He lost 6 shrines at the end though