Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Eclipse» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First play and initial impressions... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jacob Walker
United States
Idaho
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I've had my eye on this one for some time now, and was unfortunately not lucky enough to get it on clearance at B&N. Having been so close to finally owning the game, I couldn't give up, and finally broke down when I saw it drop to $61 on Amazon. That whopping $3 difference from the previous price might not seem like much, but it did allow me to buy a plano to efficiently store the game components.

Now, finally owning the game, I had only to actually play it. Prior to receiving the game, I had read through the rulebook once online, and then read through it once more before playing. In a lot of games, this might not have been enough; props to the writer of this rulebook, as it is very clear, and very thorough. It took some cajoling, but I did finally convince my wife (Nicole) to sit down and play with me (the issue being less game complexity as it was exhaustion from her day at work).

Setup: As it was our first game, I decided we would just use terrans and avoid any undue complication. I also set us up on opposite sides of the board to reduce conflict and make things a little friendlier (I want her to play again). I grabbed starting player since I knew the rules best.

Early Game: Nicole got out of the gate with some strong explore draws, helping her build up a fairly strong economy. Subsequent rounds showed her being very free with her influence. I meanwhile, wasn't having quite the same luck. By the second round I had influenced only one additional hex, where I grabbed a discovery tile that added to my materials. Using those materials, I built two cruisers, and then spent two more actions researching shields and adding them to my cruisers and interceptors. It was a costly turn given my limited economy, but it had become clear my only way out of my starting sector was going to be by force.

On the 3rd round I made my way into a previously explored sector to battle a pesky ancient. He took out my interceptor, but my remaining cruisers finished the job. I grabbed a 3 point reputation tile, and an alien computer I never ended up using. Nicole, meanwhile, had expanded conflict free, and wrested the start player from me.

Mid Game: Losing start player ended up hurting a little bit when Advanced Robotics became available at the start of round 4. Nicole grabbed it, helping mitigate her slight over-extension in future rounds. I meanwhile, managed to expand a little more, building up my economy, and importantly, my science as well. My attempts to build up a strong fleet were stifled by the complete lack of useful power sources (eventually, fusion sources would become available, but not until the final round of the game). If I wanted my ships to pack any punch, I was going to have to forgo interceptors. I researched improved hull and plasma cannons, added a second nuclear source to my dreadnought blueprints, and then upgraded its hull and cannons. Finally I built a dreadnought and moved all my ships to take on another alien. Battle was successful, and this time I scored an ion turret, which I immediately added to my cruisers. At some point in here I also nabbed Advanced Economy, allowing me to throw population down into three advanced spaces; this is the only reason I avoided bankruptcy. In the meantime, Nicole had expanded her empire to cover 4 of the starting sectors, and I was growing worried. Deciding my fleet was up for the task, I decided to push into the galactic center. My fleet was not up to the task. You wouldn't think it would be so hard to roll 6's (or 5's for that matter).

End game: My fleet now decimated, Nicole dealt a further blow to me by grabbing nanotechnology and building 3 monoliths in one turn (having had nothing to fight, she had wasted almost no materials on ships). The point balance had now swung radically in her favor, and though I had sworn to a friendly game, I now had only one option. I might not have been able to take on the galactic center defense system, but I knew her fleet didn't stand a chance against mine. Of course, I didn't exactly have a fleet, so I quickly built 2 dreadnoughts and made my move, but not before grabbing neutron bombs to seal the deal. In two turns I rested control of a start sector and another hex, wiping the populations from each and sending her economy into a free-fall. Still being start player, she was able to mitigate this by grabbing Quantum Grid on the 8th round, but things still looked grim. She had the same problem as me where power sources were concerned, but I had been able to mitigate that with a few lucky discovery tiles and by beefing up my ship hulls. She had yet to research improved hull or plasma cannons, so her ships never really stood a chance. Meanwhile, the wormholes were laid out in such a way that her only way to my undefended starting area was through my fleet, or through the galactic center. At this point she became despondent, and I started feeling guilty. On her final round, Nicole scrambled to explore additional hexes far away from my fleet, as well as building an additional monolith. I had not managed to actually take a monolith from her (though I had built 2 of my own); she had built them carefully far away from the reach of my fleet. And so I had a choice to make. By researching the wormhole generator, I could have pushed into one of her starting hexes, nabbing 3 points for the hex, and 3 more for the monolith it contained. But feeling so guilty at her despair (man was she wailing), I chose my other option, going for some quick outer sector exploration.

Outcome: The lesson I've learned here is that mercy is a weakness. Nicole ended up winning 41 to 37. I was done in by her carefree exploration, which netted her 8 points worth of discovery tiles. Had I successfully taken the galactic center, or just given in and attacked her once more, I could have gotten enough points to swing things in my favor. Ah well, next time I won't be so kind.

Impressions: Though I had heard lots of great things about this game, I had done my best to avoid learning about the actual mechanics prior to my purchase, so this first game was very much unguided. I'd like to try it with more players (though I have no idea where I'll find the players or the necessary space) so I can see a more crowded galaxy with more early player interaction. Still, as a 2 player game this was a joy to play, and very easy to teach, primarily because of exceptional game design. For a game this complicated, I am quite impressed by how natural everything feels. Each of the available actions makes contextual sense, and the graphic design supports the gameplay very, very well. The way the player board reveals your income and upkeep costs is very clever, and I am also enamored of the varied tile shapes that help differentiate between tile functions. I'm hoping I can get this one to the table very often.
17 
 Thumb up
1.30
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
I protect the sheep in our society from the wolves.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have never played this even though I had the box in my hands once at a 50% off sale at my FLGS. One of my gaming buddy's wife came in and said that was the ONLY game her hubby wanted for Christmas and she really wanted to get it for him. Needless to say at 50% off there was only one copy for sale. I handed it to her and said Merry Christmas. So I blew my chance to get my own copy but after reading your session report, I really want to play it. I was very curious how fun it would be with only 2 players and you make it sound like it was pretty good.

Great session report and good job on NOt attacking your wife and beating her on the last turn. You may have made an Eclipse gaming partner for life.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sky Zero
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Omahavice wrote:
I have never played this even though I had the box in my hands once at a 50% off sale at my FLGS. One of my gaming buddy's wife came in and said that was the ONLY game her hubby wanted for Christmas and she really wanted to get it for him. Needless to say at 50% off there was only one copy for sale. I handed it to her and said Merry Christmas. So I blew my chance to get my own copy but after reading your session report, I really want to play it. I was very curious how fun it would be with only 2 players and you make it sound like it was pretty good.

Great session report and good job on NOt attacking your wife and beating her on the last turn. You may have made an Eclipse gaming partner for life.


Game is fantastic with 2 player and Rise of the Ancients. Had my most memorable game yet last weekend with 2 player.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian D
msg tools
Great review.

I've only played once myself and we had similar issues where certain technologies just didn't come up until super late in the game. Not that that's a flaw necessarily, just a part of the game none of us had really planned for properly and had to adapt when only one person could get plasma missiles or upgraded power sources for several turns. I'm looking forward to playing again (and to trying out a 2 player game which seems significantly different).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Collis Jeppesen
United States
New Windsor
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
arrakis328 wrote:
Great review.

I've only played once myself and we had similar issues where certain technologies just didn't come up until super late in the game. Not that that's a flaw necessarily, just a part of the game none of us had really planned for properly and had to adapt when only one person could get plasma missiles or upgraded power sources for several turns. I'm looking forward to playing again (and to trying out a 2 player game which seems significantly different).


I'm playing 2 player mode via single player on Vassal. Really hope they release the expansion to Vassal soon. Having a lot of fun, regardless, but can see how limited availability of tech can sway you wanting to engage other empires that have more advanced tech (i.e. better weapon, power, shield, computer, etc.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.