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Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients - Board Game Box Shot

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients

| Published: 2012
Expansion for Eclipse
127 25 3

While the galactic conflict escalates and several new factions are trying to get a foothold on the galaxy, the adversaries suddenly need to find allies among themselves to face the rising threat. The systems previously thought to be empty are suddenly swarming with Ancients – whole worlds of them, with ship capabilities way beyond anything seen before.

They are not willing to negotiate.

The expansion introduces several new additions to the base game, such as Rare Technologies, Developments, Alliances, Ancient Homeworlds and Warp Portals. There are also three new player boards with four new different alien species to choose from. New components allow up to nine players in one session.

Due to the modular design, you can use all of these additions or just some of them in any game of Eclipse, according to your preferences and play style.

The Ancients are rising. Will your civilization rise to the occasion and emerge victorious?

User Reviews (2)

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I Love Playin' Games
38 of 39 gamers found this helpful
“An excellent expansion offering a number of balanced options to an excellent game.”

The Rise of the Ancients expansion to Eclipse is what all game expansions should be; it’s a sizable and weighty box with lots of tiles, chits, ships, cubes and discs, it actively expands the game by offering the scope for additional players beyond base game’s six, and it offers a number of balanced, modular rules that gaming groups can use or not as they see fit. With no material being mandatory for play, groups can pick and chose the direction they want their game to go in, and what strategic options they’d like to add to their game.

Improved Alien Ship design: new Alien Cruisers and Dreadnoughts are a very welcome addition to the base game. Alien Dreadnoughts are a much-needed step up from the underwhelming GCDS, and Alien Cruisers have multiple/variable upgrade specifications, making battle with the ancients on critical hexes tougher, and less predictable.

Alien Homeworlds: a variant for use when playing with less than six, Alien Homeworlds fill out Middle Sector hexes where additional player’s homeworlds would have been, balancing out the gaming space with higher risk/high reward hexes. A second variant suggests shuffling unused Alien Homeworld hexes in with the general Sector II draw pile, making exploring the middle sector a little more risky.

Ancient Hives: High value/high resource hexes with multiple, mobile ancient ships that actively move to invade neighbouring hexes. With Wormhole Generators and Neutron Bombs. It can be a bit of a shock to wake up next to these guys on your doorstep, but if your fleet is ready, the resources and alien technology potentially on offer make keeping the tile more than worthwhile.

Rare Technologies: New, unique technologies that sit outside the usual tech draw, but contribute to filling a player’s tech tracks, and can even lead to prematurely completing a tech track and so blocking acquisition of additional tech on that track. Many are designed to balance commonly-perceived imbalances in the base game (Point Defence, anyone?), but all add interesting options, variation and balance to fleet upgrades. And as there is only one of each Rare Tech type per game, these will have players looking at the tech drawn each round with renewed interest, and eying up the First Player pawn.

Developments: Alternate tech-like upgrades that are bought with Money and/or Materials instead of Technology on a Research action, these are a boon for Technology-low/Material-high races. The limited array of development tiles available for the game are laid out during game setup, adding a strategic element to gameplay.

Alliances: Variant rules allowing for team play, to the extent that allied players average their total scores at the end of the game, either wining or losing together. Players may move ships into or through hexes occupied by their allies’ forces without aggression, and in battle fight together, meaning multiple players can finally gang up on an obvious leader. Like Diplomacy, being in an Alliance is worth VPs in itself, or negative VPs to the player who decides to break off an Alliance and seek the glory alone.

New Races: Three entirely new races (in three new colours), and three varietals of a more balanced, human-like race. The Enlightened of Lyra (Beige) can build exclusive “shrines” on inhabited planets for bonus techs, the Rho Indi Syndicate (Grey) are highly mobile space pirates that can’t build Dreadnoughts but receive money in addition to Reputation tiles when they destroy opposing ships, and Exiles (Magenta) whose Orbitals are treated as Starport-like ships.

7-9 Player Game: Variant rules that let up to three more players squeeze around the board, including a Simultaneous Play variant for use in such large games that essentially permits two players to have a turn at the same time.

Variable Play Direction: Variant rule that allows the second player to pass determine the direction of play in the subsequent round. This adds an extra tactical consideration to the game — especially when playing Alliances and swinging the play order to favour your allies while simultaneously depriving your opponents can be a strong tactical move — and promotes strategic management of a players economy over bleeding it dry.

Rise of the Ancients is an excellent, weighty expansion. Its balanced, modular variants allow gaming groups to add what rulesets they wish to maximise their enjoyment of the game and enhance the strategic options of their play, making it a worthy addition to any Eclipse game.

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My First Heart
6 of 14 gamers found this helpful
“Adds a lot to the base game. More races are always awesome!”

Same great fun from the expansion.
New races were added with minimal/no disruption to existing ruleset.


Pro’s –
More races and additional players are always a plus.
Expansion incurred minimal changes or unnecessary additions.


Con’s – Seriously my only gripe…
The manufacturers used a lighter stock for the race cards.
Not a huge deal overall, but durability is always good if it’s in heavy rotation.


If you own the base version of this game, get the expansion your gaming group will thank you for it!


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