We played a Game! Eclipse

The galaxy has been a peaceful place for many years. After the ruthless Terran–Hegemony War (30.027–33.364), much effort has been employed by all major spacefaring species to prevent the terrifying events from repeating themselves. The Galactic Council was formed to enforce precious peace, and it has taken many courageous efforts to prevent the escalation of malicious acts. Nevertheless, tension and discord are growing among the seven major species and in the Council itself. Old alliances are shattering, and hasty diplomatic treaties are made in secrecy. A confrontation of the superpowers seems inevitable – only the outcome of the galactic conflict remains to be seen. Which faction will emerge victorious and lead the galaxy under its rule?

A game of Eclipse places you in control of a vast interstellar civilization, competing for success with its rivals. You will explore new star systems, research technologies, and build spaceships with which to wage war. There are many potential paths to victory, so you need to plan your strategy according to the strengths and weaknesses of your species, while paying attention to the other civilizations’ endeavors.

The shadows of the great civilizations are about to eclipse the galaxy. Lead your people to victory!


Brian (From Board N Brew)

I played Eclipse a few times around 5 years ago when my Brother got it. At the time it was the heaviest game we knew complexity wise. Then I didn’t play it for a few years, and Twilight Imperium 4th edition came out. After playing that I thought to myself, well I never need to play Eclipse again if we have this.

Playing it again I can better see the differences between the two and appreciate Eclipse again. I found myself really enjoying the ship customization, and honestly the tech tree and ship customization are the main points of the game. So that better be my highlight from the game. All of my big fights in the game were against Kevin, and each round we would spend the last of our command tokens upgrading our ships to try and counter each others latest change. And as slow and painful a expensive a process that was, I found myself really enjoying it. The last 4 rounds of the game became “If I can only spend 2 more influence chips, and I win the fight and take over the system I’ll get enough resource income to BARELY be in the hole. I can live with that. I can fight him. Crap it took 3. Crap I lost. I’ll kill him next round and it’ll be fine.” I came in… 3rd of 5? But I had fun so I’d say in the end it definitely was fine.

It’s hard not to compare the game to Twilight Imperium. Both are big ol space combat games where making deals and alliances and blowing up plastic are really important. But I enjoyed what Eclipse did differently; the actual space exploration, ship customization, shared tech pool, and point system. I still prefer Twilight Imperium, but before I would look down on Eclipse. Now I wouldn’t mind playing it every so often, to make more ships that each fire 4 shots that hit on 2’s with no defence.

Dave (TheRatHole.ca)

Eclipse. It seems like a million years ago, not a week. I think my biggest memory of playing Eclipse with the Pawn & Pixel team is that I played like crap. Despite my constant misjudgment, I somehow managed to come in a very close second place. More importantly I had a ton of fun the whole time.

The game itself is one of the more elegantly designed monstrosities on the market. It’s a big game, and it takes a long time to play. But once you get moving, it MOVES. Time flew by and I would be happy to play it again soon. Playing these larger games is something I don’t get to indulge in nearly as often as I’d like and if you’ve never really been interested in long games, Eclipse is something you should take the time to experience.

Zach

Yeah it’s alright I suppose.

 Eclipse is a game that executes its concept effectively enough, but is still held back by issues other games in its genre have. While I feel that Twilight Imperium manages to escape the gravity of common Ameritrash tropes, Eclipse has decided to stay in a comfortable orbit. What this means is that if you’re the type that likes dudes on a map 4X games with dice based combat, Eclipse might be a jewel in your collection. However, there can be swings of unlikely dice rolls that do monumentally change the flow of the game as well as other issues relating to starting exploration that could make players feel like the game systems have randomly constrained them in unfun ways.

 What Eclipse does do right is craft an interesting set of systems revolving very heavily around the upgrading of ships and the ensuing combat. Ship customization is the largest part of the game and it is very interesting to have a system that is fluid enough to allow for quick reactions to opposing players. It can pose quite the entertaining problem to try and match the new technology an opponent on your border just fitted into their ships while also keeping in mind how any changes you make will affect your ability to deal with the fleets of other players. I can’t recall that particular puzzle being presented well in any other game. Once learned, the other systems are simple enough to stay out of the way of the core combat. If these types of games are you Jam, then I feel that Eclipse is interesting and smooth enough to stand out positively in its genre. 

Kevin

We played Eclipse recently. It’s a game I’ve enjoyed for a while, though shows its age rather a lot. Aspects I enjoy include exploration hexes, npc enemies to combat and the intense modularity of ship design. Love it and hate it, the late game often comes down to frantic deploying of ships and even more frantic modification of ships. It’s a cool and unique experience, though a little dated and swingy. Nevertheless an old favourite.