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Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Has power creep occurred with the expansion? rss

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I just today finished my first game with the expansion. I was Magellan, the other players were Lyra, Exiles and Mechanema. I won hands down, not due to good play or due to my species, but rather due to fairly isolationist exploration by everyone else that was broken up by the three of them getting connected by warp portals. Whereby they kept grinding at each other while I grew all-powerful on my own, sweeping in and crushing everything before me on the last turn with wormhole generators.

Anyway, we somehow were left with a feeling that the new races might be slightly overpowered, at least some of them. That power creep has happened.

Take the Magellans. What do the Terrans have that they don't? An extra move and one more point of trade rate. Meanwhile, the resource-manufacturing colony ships of the magellans give them a steady stream of free production with the odd unused colony ship (even at start, you'd get to use all of them for colonization far from every turn), and even the ability to occasionally when you just *have* to have that one or two more points of something to get what you want. And the ability to get both VPs and discovery goodies, and the free discovery at 4 techs.

And the Lyrans. The Lyra player didn't play them as I suspect they were intended to, but oh my, wormhole generator for effectively only 6 resources and no need for a research action. You could have it by turn 3. An exploration strategy would naturally suggest itself: Place tiles so that your borders to other empires are via half-wormholes. They won't be able to touch you, but you can invade at your leisure. And if you go all-in against another player, you won't get stabbed in the back from a third player, since he can't cross the border.

And the Rho Indi Syndicate. What's their disadvantage relative to humans? One colony ship, meaning just that they might have to pay a bit for Influence in order to expand fast. And what do they get in return? Super-awesome strategic mobility, neat ships, and money whenever they blow up stuff.


Mind you, I'm not asserting power creep per se, I'm just storming thoughts and wondering if anyone else has thought of the same.
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Michael Marchand
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I haven't played the expension yet, but I can point out a few things you forgot.

Magellan have one less space for diplomatic relationship than the terrans, that by itself is probably worth 2-3 points. They also have a much weaker influence action (turns only 1 colony ship up), I use this at least 1-2 times a game as terrains. When considering those factors in I don't think the magellans are much stronger than the terrans, they're just both very differant.

For the lyra and rho indi, they are much harder to analyse. The key point is that they have a weaker home sector than the terrans. That by itself gives alot of ressources in the course of a game.

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Petri Savola
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Konrad von Richtmark wrote:
I just today finished my first game with the expansion. I was Magellan, the other players were Lyra, Exiles and Mechanema. I won hands down, not due to good play or due to my species, but rather due to fairly isolationist exploration by everyone else that was broken up by the three of them getting connected by warp portals. Whereby they kept grinding at each other while I grew all-powerful on my own, sweeping in and crushing everything before me on the last turn with wormhole generators.

Typically, an isolated player would lose the game horribly due to no access to ambassadors and low reputation. It's important not to wage war in such a way that both players lose. If you wage war with a player who is not leading with poor odds, then you probably deserve to lose.

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Take the Magellans. What do the Terrans have that they don't? An extra move and one more point of trade rate. Meanwhile, the resource-manufacturing colony ships of the magellans give them a steady stream of free production with the odd unused colony ship (even at start, you'd get to use all of them for colonization far from every turn), and even the ability to occasionally when you just *have* to have that one or two more points of something to get what you want. And the ability to get both VPs and discovery goodies, and the free discovery at 4 techs.

Magellans are strong, that's true, but their poor influence action significantly weakens them. Especially when researching adv. mining/economy/labs I would often like to use influence action several times just for the colony ships, but Magellan can't do that.

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And the Lyrans. The Lyra player didn't play them as I suspect they were intended to, but oh my, wormhole generator for effectively only 6 resources and no need for a research action. You could have it by turn 3. An exploration strategy would naturally suggest itself: Place tiles so that your borders to other empires are via half-wormholes. They won't be able to touch you, but you can invade at your leisure. And if you go all-in against another player, you won't get stabbed in the back from a third player, since he can't cross the border.

If you get the wormholes at the end of turn 3, you will not be able to achieve something else, which would most likely benefit you more than the wormholes. Besides, if you isolate yourself in the beginning, you will have a huge disadvantage for having no ambassadors.

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And the Rho Indi Syndicate. What's their disadvantage relative to humans? One colony ship, meaning just that they might have to pay a bit for Influence in order to expand fast. And what do they get in return? Super-awesome strategic mobility, neat ships, and money whenever they blow up stuff.

One thing I'm pretty sure about is that the Syndicate is not overpowered. Their ships are ridiculously expensive, they can't even build the best ship type and their home sector is worth 0 victory points. Besides, it's often difficult to plunder a lot of money without losing ships in the process. They're my favorite race, but I don't consider them (too) strong.
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Purple Paladin

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Already, OP posts?

You can pretty much go back to the original game forums, and re-read those posts and answers too. Perhaps playing more than one game will give more information on the matter.
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Is that you, Paladin, up there on that high horse?

You might like to reread the OP and notice that I was not asserting OP, nor implying that nerf is needed, just sharing first impressions. Are we all supposed to play a dozen games on our own and form independent educated opinions before we can come here?
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And Petri, I hear what you are saying. I did not mean to imply (actually, I'm pretty sure I said the exact opposite) that my Magellan victory implied OP. It was just an impression gathered from how they worked, not how they turned out.

I had to go back and recheck the rules. I somehow thought that a half wormhole was sufficient for diplomatic relations if either party had wormhole generators. Apparently I was mistaken. Granted, that would decrease the potency of the proposed Lyran strategy of taking cover behind a one-way traversible barrier and choosing when to break out of your bubble.

But I'm really not sure there's such a significant opportunity cost in getting wormhole shrines after turn 3. It only costs 6 resources, about the price of one cheap-to-midrange tech, or a cruiser. And, mind you, no actual action is needed to build the shrines, and early-game actions in themselves cost about 1-2 money.
 
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Petri Savola
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Konrad von Richtmark wrote:
I had to go back and recheck the rules. I somehow thought that a half wormhole was sufficient for diplomatic relations if either party had wormhole generators. Apparently I was mistaken. Granted, that would decrease the potency of the proposed Lyran strategy of taking cover behind a one-way traversible barrier and choosing when to break out of your bubble.

Even if you isolated yourself (which is quite hard to do, actually) you could most likely get 1-2 (poor) systems outside of your own isolated area and form the diplomatic relationships then. But by then, you're already on turn 4, so others might not want your ambassadors anymore and even if they do, you lose 2-3 turns of production. I'm not saying you should never do that, but it doesn't seem like a strategy that would be (too) strong.

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But I'm really not sure there's such a significant opportunity cost in getting wormhole shrines after turn 3. It only costs 6 resources, about the price of one cheap-to-midrange tech, or a cruiser. And, mind you, no actual action is needed to build the shrines, and early-game actions in themselves cost about 1-2 money.

2 less materials can delay your attack against ancients by 1 turn, or make you vulnerable for early attacks. Last time I played the game (as Terrans), Lyra built the material shrine on turn 1 and they had only 5 materials on turn 2. Starbases were not available. I purchased improved hull and neutron bombs and took Lyran home sector with a dreadnought on turn 2. So you need to be extra careful when spending your early materials on shrines.

Also, 2 less science might mean that you get some juicy tech 1 turn later or not at all. Both of these effects can be big.
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I wasn't aware that people tend to get close enough to form diplomatic relations that early on. Maybe the people I've played with so far have been more cautious than an average (or more competent) group would be.
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Petri Savola
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Konrad von Richtmark wrote:
I wasn't aware that people tend to get close enough to form diplomatic relations that early on. Maybe the people I've played with so far have been more cautious than an average (or more competent) group would be.

It's a double-edged sword. You get huge benefits from ambassadors, but you need to be careful that you always can deploy a reasonable defence if needed. As long as the opponent sees that you would be able to defend if he attacks, he usually does not attack.
 
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James Motz
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Definitely a risk / reward situation to link up to someone early. But getting that early population cube out without an action or colony ship can be key.
 
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Edmund Ward
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My opinions on the new races:

Magellan - the strongest all rounders, and yes, broadly probably better than most of the original races - solid starting tech, and ever-useful abilities.

Rho Indi Syndicate - These guys are really solid and it's great to have another combat focussed race. I played them in a 2p vs Orion and Orion won, so I wouldn't say there's evidence of significant power creep when compared to the original gangstas of Eclipse

Enlightened of Lyra - ot my cup of tea. Way too much stress trying to ensure you have the resources to build those shrines. I really don't think these guys are better than: planta, draco or hydra. Maybe marginally better than:

The Exiles - OK. Cloaking device is the best rare tech. But those orbital designs suck. 6 materials? For a 3-slot starbase with NO initiative? You're only building these oribitals for the VP and the sci/mon. There is almost no defensive benefit to having them because they will likely be destroyed before they get a shot in AND you can only have one per hex. I houserule them so that their orbital design is a normal starbase design. No complaints about this being OP from my game group.
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Petri Savola
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hudcrab wrote:
The Exiles - OK. Cloaking device is the best rare tech. But those orbital designs suck. 6 materials? For a 3-slot starbase with NO initiative? You're only building these oribitals for the VP and the sci/mon. There is almost no defensive benefit to having them because they will likely be destroyed before they get a shot in AND you can only have one per hex. I houserule them so that their orbital design is a normal starbase design. No complaints about this being OP from my game group.

I found that the combination of those Orbitals and Cloaking Device can be really powerful when combined with Neutron Bombs. If somebody attacks your sector with an orbital, your ships will not be pinned unless the sector is attacked with 4 ships. This creates very interesting opportunities for nice counter attacks.
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JT Call
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Petri wrote:
hudcrab wrote:
The Exiles - OK. Cloaking device is the best rare tech. But those orbital designs suck. 6 materials? For a 3-slot starbase with NO initiative? You're only building these oribitals for the VP and the sci/mon. There is almost no defensive benefit to having them because they will likely be destroyed before they get a shot in AND you can only have one per hex. I houserule them so that their orbital design is a normal starbase design. No complaints about this being OP from my game group.

I found that the combination of those Orbitals and Cloaking Device can be really powerful when combined with Neutron Bombs. If somebody attacks your sector with an orbital, your ships will not be pinned unless the sector is attacked with 4 ships. This creates very interesting opportunities for nice counter attacks.


Is this assuming that you have one ship protecting the orbital? If not, wouldn't that mean 2 ships would be needed to pin the orbital and 1 ship could then proceed to the next hex?
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Petri Savola
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talusproteus wrote:
Petri wrote:
hudcrab wrote:
The Exiles - OK. Cloaking device is the best rare tech. But those orbital designs suck. 6 materials? For a 3-slot starbase with NO initiative? You're only building these oribitals for the VP and the sci/mon. There is almost no defensive benefit to having them because they will likely be destroyed before they get a shot in AND you can only have one per hex. I houserule them so that their orbital design is a normal starbase design. No complaints about this being OP from my game group.

I found that the combination of those Orbitals and Cloaking Device can be really powerful when combined with Neutron Bombs. If somebody attacks your sector with an orbital, your ships will not be pinned unless the sector is attacked with 4 ships. This creates very interesting opportunities for nice counter attacks.


Is this assuming that you have one ship protecting the orbital? If not, wouldn't that mean 2 ships would be needed to pin the orbital and 1 ship could then proceed to the next hex?

The attacker can proceed to the next hex, but he cannot pin any Exile ships in a sector with an orbital unless he brings in 4 ships. Therefore, it's often very difficult to attack the Exiles, because you cannot attack with all your ships if the Exile player has Neutron Bombs.
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Though, if the Exiles player chooses to counterattack to revenge-bomb the sector the attack came from and the attacker doesn't back down because of it, both players should end up worse off because of the attack. Kind of a chicken-race situation, from a game-theory perspective.
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I have to say that Magellan does seem pretty strong relative to most other races. I will reserve judgement until seeing them in action, but they do seem very good; their upsides seem to far outweigh their weaknesses.

The other 3 races seem absolutely fine though. Interesting strengths combined with interesting limitations.
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Rafael Hannula
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Mr Suplex wrote:
I have to say that Magellan does seem pretty strong relative to most other races. I will reserve judgement until seeing them in action, but they do seem very good; their upsides seem to far outweigh their weaknesses.

The other 3 races seem absolutely fine though. Interesting strengths combined with interesting limitations.


...but Hegemony and Hydra are strong too
 
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rayffis wrote:
Mr Suplex wrote:
I have to say that Magellan does seem pretty strong relative to most other races. I will reserve judgement until seeing them in action, but they do seem very good; their upsides seem to far outweigh their weaknesses.

The other 3 races seem absolutely fine though. Interesting strengths combined with interesting limitations.


...but Hegemony and Hydra are strong too


Yeah true...lol
 
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Ted Clark
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Petri wrote:
Last time I played the game (as Terrans), Lyra built the material shrine on turn 1 and they had only 5 materials on turn 2. Starbases were not available. I purchased improved hull and neutron bombs and took Lyran home sector with a dreadnought on turn 2.


I have only 40ish games under my belt (non-expansion), but I can honestly say I've never seen an upgraded dread take a homeworld on turn 2. You must have had some seriously lucky draws and tiles.
 
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tec805 wrote:
Petri wrote:
Last time I played the game (as Terrans), Lyra built the material shrine on turn 1 and they had only 5 materials on turn 2. Starbases were not available. I purchased improved hull and neutron bombs and took Lyran home sector with a dreadnought on turn 2.


I have only 40ish games under my belt (non-expansion), but I can honestly say I've never seen an upgraded dread take a homeworld on turn 2. You must have had some seriously lucky draws and tiles.

I had quite good luck in that game, getting neutron bombs from ancient tech discovery tile, but other than that it was an average game, until I realized that Lyrans had no chance to defend their home on turn 2, so I attacked them instantly and got traitor for that. I ended up winning, but only by two points.
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Klaus
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I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but the Lyrans ability to re-roll combat dice by flipping colony ships can give them a huge combat advantage. With AM cannons and computers, it's devastating.
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Mr Suplex
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I don't think any power creep has really occurred. I do think the Magellan's ability to flip colony ships for resources and their bonuses around discovery tiles are a bit too strong, but nothing that breaks the game.
 
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James Motz
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I don't worry too much about Magellan. Compared to other races, they have a very small sometimes nice bonus (flip ships for resources) and a very nice but extremely situational bonus (depends on finding discoveries). Find a lot of discoveries? They're going to rock! Find only 1 or 2 discoveries? Meh.

One really big bonus for Magellan that other races don't necessarily have is the Terran-like home hex, with all three resources out to start.
 
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LazyJ wrote:
I don't worry too much about Magellan. Compared to other races, they have a very small sometimes nice bonus (flip ships for resources) and a very nice but extremely situational bonus (depends on finding discoveries). Find a lot of discoveries? They're going to rock! Find only 1 or 2 discoveries? Meh.

One really big bonus for Magellan that other races don't necessarily have is the Terran-like home hex, with all three resources out to start.


This. Their resources out of the gate are STRONG. They are super flexible, and I believe they can adapt to any path the game throws at them. They are by far my favorite now.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/10890881#10890881

That session report will give more detail as to why I have come around to this.
 
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Mr Suplex
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LazyJ wrote:
One really big bonus for Magellan that other races don't necessarily have is the Terran-like home hex, with all three resources out to start.


Yes, I didn't mention this, but it is part of why the colony ship and free discovery tile from research are even stronger.

Personally, I do think they are slightly overpowered, but again, nothing game breaking.
 
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