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Subject: What I miss in Eclipse (compared to TI3) rss

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Wim van Gruisen
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Last week I played in a seven player game of Twilight Imperium. It gave me a good opportunity to compare the game with Eclipse. Yes, I know that they are completely different games and should not be compared, but everyone is doing that anyway, so here's my five cents.

What I like in Eclipse:
* The rules are more streamlined and cleaner. The rules in TI3 are more baroque, with small embellishments all over the place, but less of a uniform, consistent whole.
I have played Eclipse three times now, each time with other people. In every game, players picked up the rules quickly and took their turns swiftly. In TI3, the rounds were slower and people needed more time to decide what they wanted to do. Sure, I hear people say that the game goes faster once everyone has played it a few times, but with an eight hour game, how many people will find the time to play it regularly?
* Eclipse offers more freedom to do what you want. In TI3 you can only build ships or research technology at one time in the game. There is a role (or 'strategy') selection system that drives the game, but it feels awkward. These constraints are not present in Eclipse.
A caveat: the constraints can be manipulated. A player can choose to play his strategy card at a moment when other players cannot take that action. In Eclipse you cannot block other players in that way.

What I like in TI3:
* There are more ships. Ships have different functions and this brings variation to your fleet.

What I really like in TI3, and miss in Eclipse:
* The races in TI3 feel more 'real' to me. In Eclipse you have the vanilla race, the race that exploits research, the race that exploits building, the race that exploits warfare, and so on - each alien race focuses on one aspect of the rules and gets an advantage in that aspect. In Twilight Imperium, races are generally not built around rules exploits. Therefore, even the Universities of Jol-Nar and the Emirates of Hacan have more of an identity to me than the Hydran Progress or the Eridiani Empire.
Part of this are the names. Somehow, 'Barony of Letnev' or 'Elozonax (L1Z1X) Mindnet' sounds much cooler than 'Planta' (which BTW was the name for a brand of margarine in the Netherlands some twenty years ago) or 'Mechanema'. Part of it is that TI3 offers more choices in starting position than Eclipse - there's tech combinations, ship types for your fleet, customized rules, and so on. More variants to build combinations with. But the main part is that (I feel that) in TI3, the designers started with a focus for a race first, and then looked what combination of tech, ships, home planet and special rules would fit that focus. In Eclipse, the designers did not start with a focus on a race, but with a rules exploit.

This is why I like the Lost Souls of Argalon - Vanish's variant. To me it looks like the rules were built around the idea of 'let's make a cool race - now, what rules do we need to make that concept work' and not 'let's find another way to exploit the rules'. With the result that the race feels much more real to me. It may be the old roleplayer in me, who likes a bit of story in a game next to all the strategy, but nevertheless I would like to see more of this.
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Dan Bigmore
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Whymme wrote:
Somehow, 'Barony of Letnev' or 'Elozonax (L1Z1X) Mindnet' sounds much cooler than 'Planta' (which BTW was the name for a brand of margarine in the Netherlands some twenty years ago)

Funny, because "Elozonax" was a brand of laxative over here.

Nah, just kidding.
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Scott Lewis
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Whymme wrote:
'Elozonax (L1Z1X) Mindnet'

[well_actually]
For what it's worth, it's "Elwonzewonex", which is basically a literal pronounciation of L-1-Z-1-X (ell-one-zee-one-ex").
[/well_actually]


(Granted, a lot of people just pronounce it "lih-zix", even if it's not correct!)
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Rasmus Crumb Sheik
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I agree completely with this, I love the races in TI3 while the Eclipse ones are very meh. The bigger amount of fluff text also helps TI3.

Game-wise I guess I prefer to finish two games of Eclipse than being pressed for time to complete one game of TI but I think I am finding that theme is very important to me in board games so it's a bit of a sore spot in Eclipse.
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I agree with this mostly, but I would not call humans a "vanilla" race. Their exploit is extreme mobility, since 3 moves is very powerful (especially later in the game), and their 2:1 trade also makes their resources very "liquid."

I actually find the humans one of the most fun races to play (the second being Eridani, but that one to me does seem like somebody said "here's a cool idea for an alien, how can we make this work" which is why it's so interesting)

edit: also I would say ships in Eclipse have more variation because you can design them how you want. For the most part you end up with certain "set-types" that work the best, but with a funny mix of technologies you can get some fun combinations.
 
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[R-DEV] Spearhead
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I just played a 6p game of TI3 this weekend. I agree to many things you wrote here. I also have a few additional thought on the difference between those games:

In Eclipse you decide what "objectives" you want to go after while in TI3 you always have to see what comes up from the objectives deck. This can be very helpful for some races.

The games of Eclipse last a predetermined time. Everyone can estimate what he may or may not do before the end. In TI3 the end can come up spontaneously due to someone hitting 10 points with their secret objective or with the Imperium Rex card coming up. Also the objectives can be much harder or easier to fulfill depending on one's race or the build of the universe.

In TI3 combats happen directly when players move ships to a system. This can make wars a risky endeavor if other players exploit a freshly weakened system.

Eclipse has no ground troops or ground combat at all.

There is no electoral political system in Eclipse. But I have to say that the way it works in TI3 hardly results in anything interesting coming from it no matter what official variant we tried.

I agree that the races of TI3 feel more organic and interesting. Also the strategy cards feel very "gamey" compared to Eclipse where you are free to choose your strategy and not depend on other players picking or not picking things you want to use.
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Bo Ejdesgaard
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Well I don't have a problem with the races is Eclipse. The reason for this is that Eclipse has the great feel of Master of Orion written all over it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Orion)
So for me the Mechanema are the Meklars, the Hydran Progress are the Psilions, Planta are the Klackons (or Silicoids), the Orion Hegemony are the Bulrathi (or Alkari) and the Eridani Empire could be the Mrrshans. Don't excactly know were to put the Descendants of Draco, but they could be the Guardian.
The obvious similarities to MOO is what makes the day for me.
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Scott Lewis
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DrMercy wrote:
Well I don't have a problem with the races is Eclipse. The reason for this is that Eclipse has the great feel of Master of Orion written all over it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Orion)

While for me Eclipse does have some of it, I get far more "Master of Orion" feel out of TI3.

About the only thing that feels more MOO to me in Eclipse is the customized ships.
 
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Volker S.
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Spearhead wrote:
Eclipse has no ground troops or ground combat at all.

Which is one of the things I would love to get rid of, although I love TI3 a lot.

I agree a lot with the original poster. As I posted somewhere else: Everytime I play Eclipse I want it to be as deeply flavoured as TI3 - everytime I play TI3 I want it to have such streamlined rules and design as Eclipse.
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[R-DEV] Spearhead
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VolkoV wrote:
Spearhead wrote:
Eclipse has no ground troops or ground combat at all.

Which is one of the things I would love to get rid of, although I love TI3 a lot.

I agree a lot with the original poster. As I posted somewhere else: Everytime I play Eclipse I want it to be as deeply flavoured as TI3 - everytime I play TI3 I want it to have such streamlined rules and design as Eclipse.


Seems there is still room for a hybrid out there. Maybe in TI4 they'll implement some aspects of eclipse instead of Puerto Rico.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Thanks for the nod in the OP!

I love Eclipse, but the Alien Races don't excite me that much, hence why setting out to try making my own.

The oddest part is I want to really want to make Eclipse deeper, but then I realize that would probably detract from the game's best asset, its streamlined play.
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Benson Propst
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Spearhead wrote:
VolkoV wrote:
Spearhead wrote:
Eclipse has no ground troops or ground combat at all.

Which is one of the things I would love to get rid of, although I love TI3 a lot.

I agree a lot with the original poster. As I posted somewhere else: Everytime I play Eclipse I want it to be as deeply flavoured as TI3 - everytime I play TI3 I want it to have such streamlined rules and design as Eclipse.


Seems there is still room for a hybrid out there. Maybe in TI4 they'll implement some aspects of eclipse instead of Puerto Rico.


Interesting. So I'm relatively new to the BGG community and this is one of my first few posts. I'm intrigued with the TI3 vs. Eclipse comparisons, even though as the original poster said they shouldn't be compared.

I'm a huge fan of Puerto Rico (I got it for Christmas), and I also go TI3 with the Shattered Empire expansion via a trade. Eclipse is pre-ordered. So what elements of Puerto Rico were implemented in TI3? Is it the role drafting mechanic (i.e. The Mayor, The Settler).

Cheers.
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Bendalf wrote:

[...]

I'm a huge fan of Puerto Rico (I got it for Christmas), and I also go TI3 with the Shattered Empire expansion via a trade. Eclipse is pre-ordered. So what elements of Puerto Rico were implemented in TI3? Is it the role drafting mechanic (i.e. The Mayor, The Settler).

Cheers.


Yep. And the fact that un-selected "roles" receive a bonus every round that they are not picked.
 
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Benson Propst
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Tretiak wrote:
Bendalf wrote:

[...]

I'm a huge fan of Puerto Rico (I got it for Christmas), and I also go TI3 with the Shattered Empire expansion via a trade. Eclipse is pre-ordered. So what elements of Puerto Rico were implemented in TI3? Is it the role drafting mechanic (i.e. The Mayor, The Settler).

Cheers.


Yep. And the fact that un-selected "roles" receive a bonus every round that they are not picked.


That's right... the bonus tokens on the unused strategy cards. So I guess this raises a good question (open for anyone to answer). Aside from shorter game play (which I'm sure everyone would be in favor of), what elements from Eclipse would you like to see in a theoretical version of TI4?

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Elementary school teacher union.

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Wim van Gruisen
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Bendalf wrote:
Aside from shorter game play (which I'm sure everyone would be in favor of), what elements from Eclipse would you like to see in a theoretical version of TI4?

It may be a good question, but more appropriate for the TI forums. Turning it around, though, what elements from TI3 would you like to see in Eclipse?
 
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[R-DEV] Spearhead
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Whymme wrote:
Bendalf wrote:
Aside from shorter game play (which I'm sure everyone would be in favor of), what elements from Eclipse would you like to see in a theoretical version of TI4?

It may be a good question, but more appropriate for the TI forums. Turning it around, though, what elements from TI3 would you like to see in Eclipse?


I'd like a sort of political system in Eclipse. I think it did not work the way it way in TI3 but I also think it should be possible to do something along those lines. The main problem I saw with the TI3 politics is that most of their laws did not matter and since you have little influence on propositions there is also little chance of something interesting happening. If this could be improved I'd like to see something along those lines in Eclipse.

I also like the idea of objectives in TI3 (although some of the implementation was problematic). So I'd like the idea of having some TI3-Escque bonus objectives in Eclipse. (In addition to standard VPs). Since there are already VPs for several things in Eclipse it would have to be a bonus that complements the changes. E.g. secret objectives of controlling key systems, a number of artifacts or obtaining a large production or science income.

Lastly I think for longer and more epic games there could be a little more ship variety. My idea would be to add a fighter-class and a flagship. The flagship would be a single ship with 2 more slots than a dreadnaught and possibly racial specials (sorry TI3 but that comes straight from you). The fighter would be a small craft that could not move out of a system on it's own. It could protect local systems and be carried on ships with hangar modules. Fighters would get little customization options (maybe just the weapon module and you'd roll for a whole squad of them at once). I'd like the idea of them having a chance to intercept pre-combat missiles. (Maybe something like 50-60%). Since they can't take the hits like in TI3 they'd be used as missiles shield and also as high-initiative first strikers.
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Politics

I love the thought of politics, but with a maximum of 6 players I don't see how you could come up with anything useful.

More Ships

I also thought a Flagship would be a cool expansion idea. My idea was to create a set of blueprints with different base stats and layouts. Instead of choosing one specific to your race, you could purchase any of the flagships blueprints, but there is only one of each available.

Alternatively, same system except give racial bonuses to each of the flagships. You could purchase an opponent's Flagship BP as a defensive move.


 
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RoadHouse wrote:
Elementary school teacher union.



YIKES!!! How did you find a picture of my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Zonkey?!?! She still has that all too familiar scowl.
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Volker S.
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Whymme wrote:
Turning it around, though, what elements from TI3 would you like to see in Eclipse?


I would love to have some more storytelling "plugins" to the design - dismissable for those who just want to play the "pure" strategic Eclipse. Those plugins will for sure unbalance the game but enhance the experience for the more roleplayer type player like me.

Even though the scope of the game is intentionally different - why can't the systems have some nice planet names. Why can't the planets have some more colorful design (besides the colors and symbols for the cubes)?

I would love some planets or system giving you some new special actions bound to this system - like building a ship more (or cheaper) but only if you build all ships there, moving an ancient to an adjacent system, breaking other people's diplomatic agreements etc.

I don't need ground forces but would like more ship types. Something like a deep space cannon could be fun as well, if it does not stall the gameflow to much. Maybe those cannons are allowed to shoot once before missiles...

Some "real" wormhole connections between the ends of the galaxy would enhance the interactivity some more.

What I do not want from TI3 is the role selecting mechanism since this produces a lot of "stalling" moves just to not give the other players the secondary advantages - which slows down the game a lot. I like if a game takes long, but I do not like if it takes uneccesary long.

The net playing time due to the good, abstract base mechnisms in Eclipse and almost no rule exceptions should not be reduced. Therefor every "plugin" rule should be critically looked at for not making the base game to complicated.
 
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Dmitry Vensko
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Whymme wrote:
Bendalf wrote:
Aside from shorter game play (which I'm sure everyone would be in favor of), what elements from Eclipse would you like to see in a theoretical version of TI4?

It may be a good question, but more appropriate for the TI forums. Turning it around, though, what elements from TI3 would you like to see in Eclipse?


I disagree, as answering to the question highlights to us strong points of Eclipse (except rules and playtime).
 
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