Eclipse is not a new game but since another expansion is on the way for it and I recently reacquainted myself with the game let’s have a look at it….
I bought Eclipse a couple of years back when it came out quickly followed by the first expansion Rise of the Ancients. Eclipse is a 4x space game. It features a very clever economic model and it does play out in a respectable time( player numbers and experience dependent). It’s quick to figure out despite the large amount of counters and tokens even for new players.
It’s got all you would expect from a 4x game and a good bit more. Research and ship design is a wonderful addition. Players can pimp their rides in a wide variety of ways and there’s no one killer combo. Fancy lightly armored gunned up cruisers? No problem. Hulking Dreadnoughts with massive shields? You got it! Zippy cloaked missile boats? It’s all in there. I love the ship design. Because you’re all grabbing from a limited randomly doled out set of tech blueprints you’ll never be up against the same ship designs as any other player. One of the complaints about the base game was a race to build one shot missile boats that dominated battles. this has been effectively patched by a host of new techs introduced in the expansion. I like when a game company listens to players and does this sort of thing.
The game we played last night was great there was a wide range of designs. The most interesting was one players cruisers which were heavily stealthed and in their first battle they annihilated a much bigger force of ships who couldn’t draw a bead on them (after that everyone was racing for aiming tech to counter it).
The other star of the show is the economic model. Specifically the control disks. You get a limited amount of these and need to allocate them to Sectors to keep control and Harvest resources from them. The control disks are also spent to take actions. The more you use the bigger your bill at the end of the turn will be in resources. So a bigger empire will become costly to run and less able to act than smaller more agile ones. It’s a stroke of genius.
Throw in some rules for alliances, traitors, ancient AIs and alien abilities and you have a top TOP game.
I love Eclipse. For me it’s got everything I look for in a 4x game and more to boot. We need to play more of this and we will
Great game well worth the entrance fee