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Subject: Improved hull uses one energy? rss

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Chase Unruh
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Some friends and I recently decided that improved hulls (and any two hulls for that matter) should use one energy each; it just makes sense that more mass you put on a ship, the more energy it takes to maneuver. We certainly do not think Eclipse is broken; improved hulls may be slightly too advantageous for too little. (Yes, yes, we know there are ways to counter hulls, so no need to argue about it. We also know that improved hulls help early on with Ancients.)

Has anyone tried this? If so, what were your results? I'll do a post-game summary.
 
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Jason Adultman
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I haven't tried it but I don't think improved hulls are particularly good as it is, and with an energy cost I would never use one.
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Jefferson Krogh
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Sounds like a group play style issue to me. Improved hulls are very nicely counteracted by several other technologies, including plasma cannon, antimatter cannon, plasma missiles, and computers.
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Chase Unruh
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
I haven't tried it but I don't think improved hulls are particularly good as it is, and with an energy cost I would never use one.

Why don't you think they're good? For my group, they have been extremely practical for ship longevity, intimidation, and a cruiser/dreadnought with two or three improved hulls, two cannons, and a computer is tough to kill. I am truly baffled (no disrespect).
 
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Gandalf the Grey
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One lucky shot with the plasma missiles can kill 4 hull points.
Or more specifically if an opponent has a single unmodified plasma missile your chance of taking 4 hits is 2.78%, add a (+1) and it becomes 11.11%.

I don't want to pay energy for shields.
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Sounds like a group play style issue to me. Improved hulls are very nicely counteracted by several other technologies, including plasma cannon, antimatter cannon, plasma missiles, and computers.


I agree. For the ships you will generally focus on either hulls or weapons or computers or shields. Only dreadnoughts have the space for most of these IF they have the right power plant, but you can only build 2 dreadnoughts. I will actually fear lots of little interceptors with neutron bombs and fast movement (at least theoretically, since I haven't encountered these, but it's something I would like to pull off in my next game.) Besides, you will have this kind of hull in the Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients expansion, as there is a hull that generates a force field, and THAT requires energy.

 
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Jason Adultman
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I don't like them because I have found that late in the game people inevitably go for computers, at which point shields are a better defense. I like improved hull early to take out ancients, but once the computer rush starts I rely much less on hull. I've seen this happen in games with different groups of people, so I don't think it is a result of group think.

In fact the big appeal of improved hulls is their lack of energy cost: I get them to use early game before investing in greater power sources. A few interceptors with improved hull is a great way to trash ancients.

If you have to get a better reactor to use improved hull (which I realize is not necessarily the case with ints.), they will be available later and hence less useful. This is because you now need to rely on two tech tiles coming out and being able to afford both. I think the best thing about improved hulls is their early accessibility.
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Chase Unruh
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
I don't like them because I have found that late in the game people inevitably go for computers, at which point shields are a better defense. I like improved hull early to take out ancients, but once the computer rush starts I rely much less on hull. I've seen this happen in games with different groups of people, so I don't think it is a result of group think.

In fact the big appeal of improved hulls is their lack of energy cost: I get them to use early game before investing in greater power sources. A few interceptors with improved hull is a great way to trash ancients.

If you have to get a better reactor to use improved hull (which I realize is not necessarily the case with ints.), they will be available later and hence less useful. This is because you now need to rely on two tech tiles coming out and being able to afford both. I think the best thing about improved hulls is their early accessibility.

I completely agree with everything you wrote. We just take a different approach. If a six is rolled, I would rather have an improved hull than shield. A hull guarantees extra hits; a shield guarantees a less probable roll, but probable nonetheless. Hulls require no energy; shields (at least the better ones) require energy. I don't over emphasize the statistics; if a six is rolled, the statistic is irrelevant. Will I ever play enough Eclipse that I actually see the statistics for the dice become relevant? Who cares? In one game there will not be enough rolls to play the statistics. If it makes some people feel better to play them, that's great. Statistics don't matter when Lady Luck is on someone's side.

When fighting ion cannons or plasma cannons, an improved hull leaves more energy for your own cannons and computers without sinking any research, upgrades, and energy into shields. When fighting plasma missiles and antimatter cannons, yes, of course, you must have shields. We don't often use plasma missiles because we think they are high risk, high reward when compared to the other techs you can buy that give you something more cost effective just from the simple fact that plasma missiles are a one hit wonder.

Regarding the two techs (upgraded reactor for the energy sucking hulls), yes, that is the entire point. It may not work, but that's okay. We don't think the game is broken; we want a variant for our group's style.

I wonder, if we combined our groups (three from each), who would have the higher point total using our differing strategies? You must understand from my thinking that giving up something certain (hulls) for something uncertain (shields) is a bit unnerving.
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Sam Cook
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I think improved hull adds a nice wrinkle to the game. Practically everyone wants it and everyone can afford it by at least the start of the 2nd round.

It makes the decision to pass first more enticing. It makes initial race selection quite a bit more strategic if you see hull out there. People will snap it up just to keep the more aggressive races from getting their hands on it.

It creates excellent drama devil
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Daniel Hammond
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Improved hull is the best tech in the game (especially for the cost). As many as come out are bought in the first turn of every have played. Missiles make them optional, but those are getting bought in the first turn. Hulls help defend against every weapon. Shields only help as much as your enemy has computers. Against missile fleets you need improved hulls (or missiles and higher initiative).

They are worth losing science or materials over to buy them in the first turn IMO. The only way one is available in the second round is if it is drawn that round or if all players already bought IH on the first round and there are some left over.

That being said, they don't need an energy requirement, because you need them earlier than you can get the extra energy which makes them not very good.
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Jeremy Steward
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I agree that improved hull is the most cost effective tech and I really dontlike the fact that it is a "must have" and the fact that is better in every way than shields.

I honestly think there is no good fix for it however. Adding an energy req to imp hulls would drastically alter the current upgrade dynamics. Imp hull is such an essential ship part when deal with orange and red dice and energythat is used on hull, takes away from offense. Also, imp hull is a filler after you have hit the energy cap. With this variant, i fear that youwouldnt really be able to fill all the slots and have a decent ship.

I have thought a lot about what to do about hull, and my conclusion is to just accept the fact.
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Chase Unruh
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We just played a game last night using the rule that improved hulls require one energy, and it worked so well that we will now play the game with this house rule.

The only drawback is that plasma missiles were out of control (two dreadnoughts, each with two +3 computers and six plasma missles). So, we're going to require that plasma missiles also require one energy.
 
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James Motz
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I was going to post something really snarky here, but I don't want to disrespect anyone. If you really feel the need to house rule than who am I to stop you?

I would just ask you to consider: Perhaps if your house rule requires another house rule to bring things back into balance, it might not really be necessary to add either one.
 
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Jim Richardson

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LazyJ wrote:
Perhaps if your house rule requires another house rule to bring things back into balance, it might not really be necessary to add either one.


Although I don't support the 1-energy IH rule, pairing it with a 1-energy PM rule is clearly warranted and not by itself evidence that the original rule is bad. IH and PM are arguably the 2 best ship parts and certainly the ones people complain about most; nerfing IH pumps missiles. It's easy to see why the PM rule would have to go with it.

A better fix would be to just pass and play more wisely, and choose races so as to deny turn 1 IH to Orion and perhaps to other military aggro races... OP, you do know that techs are drawn before race choice, I hope.
 
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Chase Unruh
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ParticleMan wrote:
LazyJ wrote:
Perhaps if your house rule requires another house rule to bring things back into balance, it might not really be necessary to add either one.


Although I don't support the 1-energy IH rule, pairing it with a 1-energy PM rule is clearly warranted and not by itself evidence that the original rule is bad. IH and PM are arguably the 2 best ship parts and certainly the ones people complain about most; nerfing IH pumps missiles. It's easy to see why the PM rule would have to go with it.

A better fix would be to just pass and play more wisely, and choose races so as to deny turn 1 IH to Orion and perhaps to other military aggro races... OP, you do know that techs are drawn before race choice, I hope.

Of course, anyone is free to disagree. It's a house rule that we're going to try. I'm not making an argument that everyone should play the game this way.

Also, we did discuss that since we would be increasing the energy for improved hulls and plasma missiles, doesn't that mean we should just play the game by the rules? We don't think so. The reason being that both IHs and PMs are not balanced.

Playing wisely has nothing to do with a game whose techs allow such an imbalance. I had the -3 alien shield discovery tech and used it. So, my opponent just added another +3 computer (he already had one) and more plasma missiles--the resulting Planta deadnoughts, which already have an extra +2 energy and +1 computer, included two +3 computers and three PM's firing at a two or higher with a six PM volley...and there were two dreads. In addition, he had cruisers with +3 computers and the ion turret (and PMs), interceptors with computers and missiles too. I'm sorry, but I just don't see how anyone can defend the rules in this circumstance. Hence, we are adding the energy requirement for PMs. Also, we have played the game 17 times in our group, and, while I know it is not as much as you have played, Jim, we are not inexperienced and/or thoughtless players.

I would also add that Eclipse is our favorite game, but, that being said, we do think there are some unintended situations that have arisen (though no fault of designers), and we want to prevent the game from devolving into the same strategy each game.
 
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James Motz
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Your opinion is not uncommon.

I do think someday you should try again someday with base rules. If you're inclined, there are many (probably too many) discussions here about dealing with the mega-military guy. I think the hardest part to come to terms with is that you're basically right: sometimes you can't win a fight in a given hex. That doesn't mean you can't beat that player in the game, though.

I'm just glad you guys enjoy the game. Play the way you want and have fun with it!
 
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Chase Unruh
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LazyJ wrote:
Your opinion is not uncommon.

I do think someday you should try again someday with base rules. If you're inclined, there are many (probably too many) discussions here about dealing with the mega-military guy. I think the hardest part to come to terms with is that you're basically right: sometimes you can't win a fight in a given hex. That doesn't mean you can't beat that player in the game, though.

I'm just glad you guys enjoy the game. Play the way you want and have fun with it!

We have all come to terms with that fact that you can't win every battle, and I countered by using the wormhole tech to backdoor his sectors. Also, I used interceptors to pin his dreads for the game. My problem isn't with countering any given strategy; my problem is with a big imbalance.

I completely agree, though, we should all play the game to enjoy it.
 
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Clwe
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chuckyd1859 wrote:
Playing wisely has nothing to do with a game whose techs allow such an imbalance. I had the -3 alien shield discovery tech and used it. So, my opponent just added another +3 computer (he already had one) and more plasma missiles--the resulting Planta deadnoughts, which already have an extra +2 energy and +1 computer, included two +3 computers and three PM's firing at a two or higher with a six PM volley...and there were two dreads. In addition, he had cruisers with +3 computers and the ion turret (and PMs), interceptors with computers and missiles too. I'm sorry, but I just don't see how anyone can defend the rules in this circumstance.


I think the imbalance appears more severe than it actually is because you're trying to fight fire with fire. Yes, there are certain fairly obvious (if science-costly) tech combinations that are very difficult, if not impossible to defend against in a fight. There are, however, a few ways to counter someone with killer ships, assuming that all players are alert.

1) Don't let any one player easily research these technologies.
2) Have two or three players gang up on the one with the overpowered ships. This should come natrually once the other players realise that any one of them can be screwed over by the killer ship guy.
3) If you have to fight said overpowered player on your own, use stalling tactics like pinning his ships with a bunch of cheap interceptors or something.

Now you might not like any of those options (as it involves a bit of player self-balancing and meta-gaming), but they're pretty much unavoidable in most games of this kind. Still...having said that, if you feel your changes shake up the game for the better, then go for it. I dare say your group will find some other seemingly over-powered strategy before too long, though.

EDIT - guess I got beaten to the punch about not taking an overpowered opponent head-on...
 
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I'd be against this, simply because of ship design considerations. As it is, there are very few ways to improve your ship without increasing its power requirement. With improved hulls also costing power, there would be even one less.

If you want to represent the bulkiness of having a heavier hull and add a penalty to improved hulls, you could make each improved hull component decrease ship initiative by one. Starbases would be excepted since their initiative isn't based on mobility anyway.
 
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Also, penalizing Improved Hull might make Sentient Hull overpowered in turn. The point with Sentient Hull is that you can put two of them for +2 computer and +2 hull, instead of having separate hull and computer components.

As it is, 2x Sentient Hull differs from 1x Positron Computer and 1x Improved Hull in that the latter has +1 initiative at a cost of 1 power. And, naturally, that having hull and computing separated gives more versatility in ship design. But that's fair since the latter requires two separate 8/5 and 4/3 techs, rather than just a single 5/5 (which has the advantage of being rare and helping you get discounts to the branch where you want it most).

If Improved Hull is nerfed though, Sentient Hull just becomes overpowered. Which is even worse, since Sentient Hull is rare and only one player can have it. Improved Hull is something several people can have.

But overall, I don't see anything game-ruining about Improved Hull. Yes, it's a very powerful tech for its price. But it isn't game-breaking, it just gives an incentive to make an effort to get it, such as via early passing. And there are ways to compensate for not having it, not only the aforementioned Sentient Hull but also going for hull-less shoot-first-and-hard builds.

And frankly, there are several cheap techs that are very valuable for what they do. Advanced Robotics and Plasma Cannon rise to the top of my head. If you go for one such tech, you forego an opportunity to pick up another, so it evens out.
 
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Chase Unruh
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Konrad von Richtmark wrote:
Also, penalizing Improved Hull might make Sentient Hull overpowered in turn. The point with Sentient Hull is that you can put two of them for +2 computer and +2 hull, instead of having separate hull and computer components.

As it is, 2x Sentient Hull differs from 1x Positron Computer and 1x Improved Hull in that the latter has +1 initiative at a cost of 1 power. And, naturally, that having hull and computing separated gives more versatility in ship design. But that's fair since the latter requires two separate 8/5 and 4/3 techs, rather than just a single 5/5 (which has the advantage of being rare and helping you get discounts to the branch where you want it most).

If Improved Hull is nerfed though, Sentient Hull just becomes overpowered. Which is even worse, since Sentient Hull is rare and only one player can have it. Improved Hull is something several people can have.

But overall, I don't see anything game-ruining about Improved Hull. Yes, it's a very powerful tech for its price. But it isn't game-breaking, it just gives an incentive to make an effort to get it, such as via early passing. And there are ways to compensate for not having it, not only the aforementioned Sentient Hull but also going for hull-less shoot-first-and-hard builds.

And frankly, there are several cheap techs that are very valuable for what they do. Advanced Robotics and Plasma Cannon rise to the top of my head. If you go for one such tech, you forego an opportunity to pick up another, so it evens out.

Yes, I agree with everything you wrote. We think that, since the rare tech in the expansion for a triple hull requires two energy and a single hull requires no energy, having the improved hull require one energy just makes sense.
 
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