Eclipse

Future battles

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MAGNA
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Eclipse

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:32 pm

This is a quick snort about a new game we have just tried.It's yet another space explore, colonise, and generally belt the hell out of someone
whenever you get the chance type.

It's similar to games such as Twilight Imperium. At least the general stuff is.

There are tech and economic upgrades so you can increase your income and the power of your vessels.
Combat is good too.

The real improvements in this game are as follows ;

1. Easy to learn as you play.

2. You win by final victory points so things can stay tight all the way through.

3. There are only nine moves in the game then it comes down to who has the most victory points.

Many of these games are hard to housekeep. You do upgrades and then try to track where you are. This may involve having a hand of
cards which show what upgrades your vessels have or what special things you can do. This is a pain as it is so easy to forget that add
in a battle or that you collect extra income because your froozledoober has an extra star credit suction attachment...

Eclipse solves a lot of this as each player has a large sheet which shows each type of vessel. On the vessel are various squares for
power, shields, weapons, and computers. The basic values are already there.

You can buy tech upgrades using tech points. You then pay to upgrade the vessels as you go. When you do this you place the correct
upgrade counter on a square of the ship. This shows straight away what that ship has and what it can do.

Income is split into three categories. Money, tech, and production.

The tech is used for buying tech as in the upgrades just mentioned.
The production level determines what you can build - usually ships - which will cost so much production each.
The money is different.
Each move is made up of phases. As the play goes around you choose one thing to do during your phase. This can be build,
research (buy tech), move, upgrade to new tech. Each time you use a phase you must pay a disc. The discs are placed along a line
of circles. The circles start at zero then go up in cost as you keep doing things in your phase. At the end of the turn you collect money
on the income line. The money you collect has to cover what you spent during the move. This stops players spending and moving
too much. If you can't cover your costs that is the end of you.

As you explore you find systems that increase one or more of your income streams. Each system is also worth victory points. A really
good system of cubes is used for this. Let's say a star system has a spot for one tech income. You take one cube off your tech income
line and place it on the square in the star system. The tech line square uncovered then shows how much income you get for tech at the
end of the turn.

Money and production are the same. Easy to track and easy to learn.

Now, back to the discs you use to explore and so on. Not only do the discs uncover how much you will need to pay at the end of the turn,
they also don't all come back to cover the amounts at the end of the turn. Why ? Well, when you explore a star system you pay one disc
to do it. That's easy enough. But, when you want to control that system you have to place another disc on the hex to show you control
that system. At the end the of the turn it doesn't come back. At the start of the game your first couple of moves are zero cost. Looks good then.
The third might bring up a total of one followed I think by three, five, seven, ten, and on.

After I had taken control of four systems using four of these discs I was starting on 5 at the beginning of each turn! Ouch. The turn was going
to cost me even if I did nothing.

This ends up being a good thing as no player can increase their income without increasing their expenses. Unlike Monopoly you don't get
someone dominating through income.

Combat is actually at the end of the turn. You can only move certain numbers of ships at a time. This costs too. The number you can have
is also deliberately low to stop domination. Two Dreadnoughts, four cruisers, eight fighters and four space stations. That's it.

There are sometimes alien belligerents to overcome as well as the other players.

A few upgrades help here.

I've got a few pics which may help and there is a lot more to the game play than what I have here.

All in all, if you want a space game which allows you to pursue victory in different ways and you want to concentrate on the game rather
than the housekeeping this is a really good mix.

We had five players to start with and after four hours play with only one player having payed it before we were finished with move six.

The last couple of moves take a fair while as things get tense. Most of the better central hexes will be under control of players by then
so the only way to keep getting those points is to wallop someone else. And that is what it's all about really.

We will definitely play this again as it is one of the best space games I've seen. Complex enough without detracting from the play and
still good fun as your decisions have as big an effect as the dice. A hard thing to balance but well worth a look if you are interested in
this sort of game.
My get up and go never got here in the first place

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Re: Eclipse

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:50 pm

IMG_0012.jpg


This is my game board. I played as an alien race who I chose due to the pic - obviously handsome and someone who is a military genius. Might
as well use someone who reminds me of myself (cough)...

The top shows four ship types including the engines, guns and so on.
next down are three rows for upgrades. Then you will see three rows of cubes - orange, pink, and brown. These are the levels of income for
money, tech, and production that you get at the end of each turn. As take blocks and place them on planets these numbers go up. This was early
in the game so my money was six, tech four, and production four. As an example, a dreadnought costs eight production, I had four so none for
me at this stage. The cool tech can cost ten plus so the pink line showing four means not much of that either until I get more star systems.

The bottom row shows the round discs you must use to pay during a phase. On the right in the orange circles you see -2, -1, 0, 0. I had a couple
of systems by this stage so I had placed discs on the hexes I found. This meant I was starting this turn already owing two income. I was getting
six but it meant I could probably only use a couple more discs before I would have to pass for the rest of the turn.

This is where you have to think (oops, just lost a lot of players with that word - come on - if I can do it you can). Do I explore, buy tech, move
military vessels to protect what I have, build ?? These all cost and you only have so much each turn so you have to temper your enthusiasm
for dice violence until later moves as your ships are not crash hot at the start.
My get up and go never got here in the first place

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Re: Eclipse

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:12 pm

IMG_0018.jpg


Here is a pic of the game area. A large sheet is placed first. When you explore a hex that connects to one of yours you pay your disc. The
hexes are in piles. They are better as far as income etc goes the closer you get to the centre. This helps tighten things up. There are three
piles of hexes. They are marked as I, II, and III with the III pile being the outer circles of systems which are the worst ones. This means
you can't really piddle around the outside of the galaxy exploring as you expenses will outstrip your income. When you explore you take
a hex off the corresponding pile and turn it over. If you like it you place it on the game board and spend more to control it.

When you buy ships you can place them on any hex you control. This speeds up play as well which is good.

You can see cubes have been placed on planets from the income streams. There are also some smaller black hexes with yellow squares
on them. These are alien vessels uncovered in the exploration phase. You cannot take control of a system until you fight and defeat them.
This can be a pain, especially if you lose. When you explore you don't have to have a ship next to the hex you are exploring so finding
these enemy vessels can mean a bit of a trip to send ships to get rid of them. As if there wasn't enough to do already.

On the flats of the system hexes you will see white half circles. When you place a hex down you can choose to match it up with other hexes.
If you don't you cannot travel across that flat to another hex without special tech. Most of us used this to block ourselves off from adjacent
players in early stages although it made it harder to get at hexes later in the game.

There is a lot more to this beastie but it should be a popular one as there are several race types to choose from and even several human types.
It's easy to get the hang of and plays well. Waiting for another player to have complete a phase doesn't take long as they have already had
time to work out what they are doing.

The main reason for this is having the combat at the end of the turn. No stopping while two players have a battle. Brilliant idea. The other clever
part to this is when a player moves a ship or ships into an area for a fight other players can use phases during the move to shift their ships too
or add tech upgrades. It's not just a case of sending more in and blasting. You really have to look at what other players can do to stop you
during the same turn. In other words each turn is sort of a game within the game.

If you get this one I hope you like it as much as we did.
My get up and go never got here in the first place

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Re: Eclipse

Postby Whiterook » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:23 pm

Holy cats!!!!! :shock:

...actually, I think it a quite elegant system!!! You are doing a lot, in a rather short period of time, and all depends on your ability to bring enough life blood (production) to be a power to be reckoned with. That about sum it up? :lol:

There's a lot behind this game that I wouldn't have guessed on first sight. I see what you mean about the Imperium connection. I've not played many systems that were so reliant on 'nation building', or power building, or whatever you want to call it. Point is, I love how this really makes you think in the grand-scheme.
If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning


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