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Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients» Forums » Rules

Subject: Alliances rss

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Ryan McGechaen
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So I'll start by saying I haven't actually had a chance to play the expansion yet, but I've been keeping up with the news as it came out and I've read the manual now that I have my copy.

My question is about Alliances - it seems like there might be a flaw in them. It almost seems like it's beneficial for a 'weak' player to ally a 'strong' player, but only for the weak player. The stronger one would actually be better off staying solo.

Even in the cast of two evenly-scoring players, there doesn't seem to be any mutual benefit.

If I'm playing a game and I know I have 45 points (for argument's sake) and I'm fairly confident everyone else has less, I wouldn't bother entertaining an alliance. Even if three players have 44 points each and ally, they're still only going to have 44 points.

EDIT: Ok, in this example I forgot that each allied player gets a +2, so a 44 would become a 46 and therefore win, but still.

Am I missing something? Just seems like if I'm confident I'm already in the lead, it would only handicap me.
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Josh Lacey
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Portage
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The missing point is maybe that pesky 32 point "weak" player could now be a threat to your overall score. Not only could he attack you and cause you to lose points overall, but the threat of him potentially attacking could cause you to stretch your defense very thin, which could in turn cause you to lose more overall. So now instead of scoring 44 you lose a couple regions and finish with say 38.

The key thing is had you joined him, you could have "confidently" focused elsewhere...and so could he. Perhaps his 32 could have come from him thinning his lines for fear of being attacked by you. As a team he in turns focuses all of his energy elsewhere and in turn cranks his score up to 40, you sit around 46, and together score 43. His focus elsewhere knocks your closest opponent down from 44 to 40 and now you two are joint winners.

On the flip side you could be right. I think the big thing is Alliances in most situations are going to be most beneficial when formed earlier in the game. Later on, it may sway more in your viewpoint, but not necessarily...you just have to read each game as it goes and make the best decision you can to help yourself win.
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Mike Watne
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Burlington
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I agree with much of what Josh said. Alliances will probably be most fruitful, or at least feel like less of a drag to any given participant, if they form early.

However, not every player will be in a strong position late in the game. Alliances might be a great way for two weaker players to pool their resources to help take down the power player. When you have 44, and two 20-point players can now combine fleets to assault you directly, every 2 points you lose brings them both up a point, and that can be very attractive if they've otherwise been stuck in a corner for the whole game.

Alliances will definitely not make sense for every player in every game, and there will even be times that a previously allied player will seriously benefit from betrayng the alliance to get their fat score back (even after the -3/-5 penalty). They aren't really intended to benefit everyone. But the options that they provide for players who very much would benefit from them are now possible, and that is a good thing.
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brian giese
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oops. wrong thread..
 
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