Posted by: Zach Smith | January 6, 2012

Eclipse: Session Report and Game Discussion

After a fun game of Eclipse with Kevin, Ken, and Robert, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the game.  First of all, I really enjoyed playing this game, and the comparisons to Twilight Imperium 3 are valid.  Both are expansive space civilization games, and both give me a similar gameplay feel.  There are differences, though.  Eclipse’s play length is half that of TI3, and Eclipse has fewer components and a simpler rule set.  Also, Eclipse has more Eurogame mechanics than TI3 does.  I find the two games equally enjoyable, but because of the play length, I will be more likely to play Eclipse again in the future.

Eclipse’s components were nice, but not amazing.  I like the option of playing with or without the variable alien races.  It has an interesting economic system that takes careful planning and strategic play to ensure one has the resources needed to achieve one’s goals.  The rules are easy to grasp, but the strategy should take time to master.

I thought the combat system was decent, but could have been more fun.  Upgrading ships is interesting, but the upgrades of various ships seem to cancel one another out, often leaving the players trying to roll hard sixes to score hits.  Consequently, combat usually involved both players rolling dice over and over trying to hit sixes without any choices to make.  This grew a little tiresome for me.

While there is a technology building facet to the game, the vast majority of the technologies seemed to be ship upgrades.  I wish there were more techs that involved non-combat upgrades that would allow for more strategic options in the gameplay.  I am curious to hear if other players agree with this assessment of the technologies or not.

I would like to try Runewars and compare it to this game.  From what I have read and heard, Runewars is a similar game with a fantasy theme instead of space conquest.  I enjoy this type of game, but I am still looking for the one that is good enough to add to my collection.

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Responses

  1. I played Eclipse again last game night, and I enjoyed the game even more than I did the first time. The combat was more fun and quicker – everyone was not having to roll 6s. With four players (two new and two having played before), the game took 3.5 hours. Not too bad for an epic game.

  2. While I definitely agree that a few more non-combat upgrades would add a bit more strategy, I never felt that the combat was dull. This might have been due to the fact that most all of the ships in the game I played were fully decked out with enough weapons to warrant a UN sanction, or just because the amount of modifies that were available to us reduced the roll needed for a hit to 4+. We chose to only allow the human race in lieu of all races since two of us, including myself, were new to the game – I would like to play it again with the alien races to see what unique effects that would add.


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