About BoardGameGuru

BoardGameGuru is a UK based online retailer, specialising in board games.

To use the shop, please follow the link below:


To read the full articles below, please follow the link to their own pages.

Call off the search!

...Because the perfect 4x, Ti3 space opera 'Lite', has been found. No need for gaming wild goose chases, no false reports of grail sightings at ZippoCon XXVI, no need for any more mixed metaphors. 'Eclipse' has just catapulted to the top of my Essen games pile, heck to the top of the 2011 pile - and this based on one incomplete 2 player game. Opening a lot of games can make me a little jaundiced about new releases, if not even cynical and having watched the hype for 'Eclipse' grow on the 'Geek, and from an unknown designer to boot, my response has been of the 'yea right' variety. Until I heard there were only 150 English language copies at Essen and then lemming mode kicked in and I immediately pre-ordered, if only to sell it on after the show to a friend who might want it. After queuing for what seemed like the whole of Friday morning at the show (25 minutes) I was close to abandoning the line but was persuaded not to - and how glad I am.

My bias is to Euro design but I do like a story and a bit of conflict. 'Eclipse' takes the best of Euro design and melds it into a Sci Fi universe, not quite Opera but certainly richly populated. What do I like so much that it makes the game my current squeeze?

1) Action selection - do one thing and on to the next player, limited down time (the curse of Space opera is that it can take a lot of pages of libretto until you get to sing). Repeat until you pass (and you can repeat the same action at no penalty) - then you can comeback in with half actions if anyone gets nasty whilst you were resting.

2) Resources v Actions - there is a balance between what you want to do and what you can afford to. Despite the game only lasting for 9 rounds (believe me it feels like 'only') you can vary the intensity of actions by saving betwwen turns, or trading between resources (especially for the Terrans)

3) The tech to upgrade ships cycle - This is the piece de resistance. There are a lot of juicy technology upgrades in the game - however at the beginning of the technology board is seeded with a small random set of advances (with more coming out each turn) - so you might see a mixture of expensive and cheap techs, or multiple copies of one of the techs (each player has to take a tech chit to benefit). It creates real tension in the timing of the 'Research' action (so often an uncontentious one) as there may only be one of the tech you need out or along the discount path you want (there are three branches of technology - but no prerequisite you just get a progressive discount on future purchases of techs from the same row). Once you have acquired the technology then upgrading is a separate action - just grab the parts that the tech. has entitled you too (well two pieces max) and place them in your ship templates. Customising your ships becomes a puzzle in itself, and your strategy in the game can be determined by a couple of synergistic early tech. grabs - in my one half game I had fire power but my opponent had manoeuvrability.

4) Upkeep is really simple - can I afford to pay for the actions I took in the last round?

The only down side to the game that I can see is that its not on general release yet

No comments:

Post a Comment