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83 out of 90 gamers thought this was helpful

I don’t have a lot of experiences with 4X games, I’ll open with that. So playing Eclipse was a new experience for me, and I very much liked it. Here’s a few thoughts after two games:

– It plays quicker than I expected. Not to say it’s a short game, it still took 3ish hours, but typically these games take entire evenings. It also helps that play generally flows fairly quickly. Players alternate taking actions rather than full drawn out turns. The actions tend to be quick: explore space, move, research, build ships, that sort of stuff. Unless you’re playing with someone who takes their forever, you won’t have a ton of down time.

– While it may seem daunting at first, the rules actually pretty simple. There’s a lot of little things that you’ll likely need to look up throughout the game, but the basic actions and symbology are easy to figure out. After a complete turn or two, you’ll know what you’re doing. Why, however, will remain a concern for a while longer.

– There are a lot of technologies, and what you’ll want will really depend on what everyone else takes. However, missiles seem like the obvious strategy. I don’t think they’re overpowered as some may say, but it’s not hard to get and it’s easy to make a glass cannon interceptor that can take down most anything before it can return fire. Without the expansion, the best defense against missiles becomes getting missiles yourself (if you can). This just creates mutually assured destruction, and it’s not as fun. The expansion does address this, but it is a concern the whole game. When you see one person jump for missiles, you’ll have to start considering your options.

– And getting to combat, it can really be a detriment to your progress. If you get involved in a combat early in the game while everyone else is expanding, you’ll have a lot of ground to make up later. You’re not automatically out of the game, especially if you draw some higher reputation tiles, but you can miss out on exploring. There’s a limited amount of space to explore, a.k.a. limited tiles. You really need to colonize planets to increase your production.

– The missiles, the combat, they are small problems on a great, great, game. My only real frustration with the game is the amount of luck involved. I’m not against luck in a game at all. In fact, I like a bit of it. The luck involved in combat is fine, and it can be mitigated with technology. There’s a good amount of luck in pulling reputation tiles, but you can always keep fighting to get better ones. The frustrating kind of luck is in exploring. If you don’t get space tiles with any planets, you’re going to fall behind. Again, you won’t be in an unwinnable spot, but it’s frustrating when you are struggling to keep up. Others will get the bigger research tiles before you, or they’ll be able to build bigger ships, or they’ll explore more space. It’s my only real problem, and in two games I’ve seen it happen to two people.

Overall, again, the game is great. The expansion does help to address some of the issues I mentioned, and none of them ever put a player in a spot where they are out of the game. The myriad races also help keep the game fresh. I’m sure this one will see the table often in the coming months.

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