2 Variant Scenarios for Eclipse: The Galactic Council & The Age of the Ancients
These two scenarios involve changing the rules for sector 001. They both impact the value of exploring tier 1 sectors. These scenarios are designed for experienced players who would like some new challenges to overcome and exploit, or players interested in trying games that are paced slightly differently to a standard game of eclipse.
I have playtested both of these scenarios (the galactic council in a 4p and age of ancients in a 3p). They were fun and unusual games and the feedback from the table was that they worked and we would play them again. I will post the session reports for these games in this thread soon. We didn't feel that the variants overly privileged any race over another, although of course, we have not tried every race combination and I am sure some races might be privileged in one or both of these scenarios. I think circumstance probably plays a bigger role than race, at any rate.
Scenario 1 - The Galactic Council
In the Galactic Council Scenario, the influential Galactic council occupies the galactic centre. Players can choose to work with the council and benefit from the peace and prosperity through trade that it brings, or to destroy it and declare themselves unilateral rulers of sector 001 and risk bringing bloody war to the Galaxy.
Play the Galactic Council Scenario of you want to try a game which promotes peaceful cooperation and a trade mechanic. If you are interested in trying a game that features 'soft' alliances, allowing fleets to cooperate in certain circumstances without entering into a full alliance.
Base game and the trading track by fre3man. Works best with the GCDS from ROTA.
- So long as the GCDS is still standing, when a race places an influence disc adjacent to the centre they may place an ambassador on the Galactic council board which has space for unlimited ambassadors.
- When you have an ambassador in the Galactic Council, you may use the trade system as outlined in this thread (basically, as an action you may trade on a 1:1 basis with the resources on the trade track): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/907906/trade-system-for-...
- If you have an ambassador in the council, you may also move freely through the Galactic centre, and act as an ally for the purposes of defending the GCDS from attack. You are also considered have diplomatic relations with every other race who has an ambassador in the council. If you attack one such race, then your ambassador is removed from the galactic council and you pick up the traitor card (and you can no longer use the trade system).
- The exception to this being that in the centre all ships from races with Ambassaddors in the Galactic Council may peacefully coexist, do not pin each other and act as an alliance in that hex, for the purpose of defending the centre.
- When the GCDS is destroyed, all diplomats (and their pop. cubes) are returned to their owners. The galactic council has fallen, so the diplomatic ties that it created, as described above, are dissolved. The trading system is no longer available for any player to use.
- The Galactic centre has one or two extra discovery tiles on it, to make up for the increased difficulty in taking it. Additionally, the player that destroyed the GCDS gains the resources that were available on the trading track, but only at their races normal trade rate.
Example: if Orion (4:1) conquered the GCDS, and there was 6money, 5sci and 4mats on the trade track, they would gain 1 money, 1 sci &1 mats.
- Whilst "allied" with the Galactic Council, you may still make regular diplomatic relations with any other player (be they part of the council or not), with your remaining diplomats as usual.
The trade system provides a big boost to players who ally themselves with the centre, particularly if another player finds themselves trading into the system the resources you need, but it rules them out of being able to attack the valuable centre unless they take the traitor card.
Players may also be able to make use of a friendly centre to launch earlier aggression against a non-council member, safe in the knowledge that the GDCS blocks a counter-attack.
Deposing the council brings its own appealing rewards, but players who have ambassadors in the council may react to protect the centre, and their trade privileges...
Scenario 2 - The Age of Ancients
Set in the ancient era, the spacefaring races take their first steps through the wormholes to explore the galaxy. However, the ancients are at the height of their power - controlling the all important sector 001, and raiding the surrounding tier 1 sectors in deadly surprise assaults.
Play this scenario if you want to try playing with ancients that have a little more bite or if you want to slow down or add hazard to tier 1 expansion.
The base game and Rise of the Ancients expansion
- at setup remove one of the ancient hive sectors and place it on top of sector 001.
- place 9 standard ancient ships and the original GDCS and a single discovery tile on the ancient hive centre
- unlike the normal ancient hive, roll to move the ancient ships at the beginning of the combat phase - not the beginning of upkeep - so if they move to an undefended hex, they will kill the population immediately. Move one of the Ancient ships into the sector indicated by the dice. If the number on the dice points to an as-yet unexplored sector, do not move an Ancient ship.
- the GCDS never leaves sector 001
- As per the standard Ancient Hive rules, Ancient ships are considered to have wormhole generator and neutron bombs.
This scenario makes for a game of surprises - tier 1s with ancients may find themselves getting boosted up by the centre, whilst colonized tier 1 hexes are in constant danger of being destroyed - players who dare occupy tier 1 will need to station ships in every hex.
It is not all bad though - for races that are able to withstand the assaults, there is easy reputation to be gained. Choose carefully when to attack the Galactic Centre - it gets easier to take as time goes on.
- Last edited Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:23 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:21 am
Galactic Council Scenario session report (reposted from the Trade Track thread)
Exiles, Orion, Hydrans and Draco in a 4p - we had a really tight and interesting game.
Draco & exiles allied with the centre fairly early and both made use of the trade action (Draco to get sci and Exiles to get mats for their orbitals). Orion took Hydras tier 1 double ancient, blocking Hydra from the centre. They went on to destroy the centre in round 5, long before Draco or Exiles were in a position to help defend it. Orion scooped up the two discovery tiles for the points but, due to their poor trade rate, were only able to plunder a couple of money from the trade track.
Exiles made diplomatic relations with Orion to defuse the tension of their new border and a recently opened up warp portal connection. After that, Orion launched an attack on Draco that failed, but no other players were able to capitalise on it. It was looking like a very tight game between the top 3 (Orion, Exiles and Draco), by the final turn. Exiles bought wormhole generator and attacked Orion (taking the traitor card). Orion counter attacked, successfully seizing a warp portal hex with an orbital, but lost their home sector to the Exiles. Draco was able to steal the centre from Orion.
Exiles - 44
Draco - 41
Orion - 37
Hydra - 32
We would try this scenario again - it didn't disproportionately affect the game but structured the early game in an interesting game.
Age of the Ancients Scenario session report:
3p - featuring Terrans, Mechanima & the Enlightened.
For the first round, players were unwilling to explore tier 1, so there was more tier 2 & 3 exploration than normal at this stage.
Mechanima uncovered a couple of ancient hexes, and enlightened found an ancient homeworld, then an ancient hive (which they opted to discard). Terrans research neutron absorber with their first action, investing in their endgame, but also creating a little insurance against raiding ancients...
In round 2, Mechanima and enlightened both explore their tier 1 hexes - revealing double ancients and single ancients respectively. In this round, one ancient flies out from the centre to reinforce the ancient colony blocking Mechanima space.
The following round, Mechanima attacks their tier 1 with a dread and an interceptor - but before the fight can begin, the ancients are reinforced again by the armada in sector 001. Mechanima is now fighting four ancients and cursing their bad luck - I looks like they will lose everything - however, their bad luck before the combat is balanced by their good fortune in battle and they emerge victorious, against the odds!
4 - Terrans explore their tier 1, a white planet and an adv. economy. It is around now that they build the research station and manage to pick up the only quantum grid of the game. Enlightened makes a move on their single ancient, and also manage to snag cloaking device. Terrans put off building ships to defend their tier 1, and live to regret it, as their system is invaded by an ancient ship. Although they have neutron absorbers, it does them no good - the ancients are able to bombard the planet and take the system.
5- Mech builds another dreadnaught and tries to take out an ancient cruiser, but fails. The Terrans reclaim their tier 1 hex, and pick up adv. econ to make it more worthwhile. The enlightened economy continues to struggle under the spiritual burden of building shrines.
6 - Mechanima tries again to take the ancient homeworld, whilst the Terrans make a play for sector 001, armed with rockets. One of the ancients leaves the centre, neutron bombing a Mechanima tier 1 hex, and the Terrans succeed in taking the centre.
7 - Terrans, upgrade, build up defenses and explore two tier 1s that they had been saving - both are 3 VP systems with artifacts. Mechanima begin to stockpile mats with a view to monolithing up or building a defensive fleet should they so need. Enlightened continue to work towards completing their shrines, but will not now be able to complete the wormhole generator set.
8 & 9 - no significant military activity - Lyra mounts an attack against the Terrans, but it is not credible- it is just to gain some rep. Mechanima are hopeful that they can steal the victory if they can build their monoliths - the Terrans look towards peaceful VP maximisation, lest they risk losing valuable hexes - artifact key and artifact link help them do this. They also have luck on their side - with their 3rd to last disc they explore the final tier 2 hex and find an ancient homeworld. With a final move action (after the others pass) they are able to take the hex, netting an extra 7 VP (3 from the system, 2 from the discovery tile, 1 from the cruiser and 1 from the artifact.
Terrans : 54
Mechanima : 42
Enlightened : 37