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Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 6 Player Game rss

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Jeffrey Knoll
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We played a 6 player Eclipse game. The players were:

Mike - Magellan (cream)
Quentin - Hydra (blue)
Jeff (me) - Descendants (yellow)
Shu - Rho - (gray)
Nikunj - Mechanema (white)
Daryl - Orion (black)

We wore clothes to match the colors of our factions.



This was Quentin's first game. It was going to be a tough one for him.

Turn 1. This turned out a little more interesting because Shu bought neutron bombs and took over one of my hexes. It was undefended. I mulliganed twice to try to find a tier 2 tile that would block Shu, but I couldn't find a tile with the correct wormholes and I suffered a -1 penalty. It was terrible. Quentin found a good hex that had a pink planet with 2 squares so that was very good for him. Shu and Nikunj made a trade agreement and Daryl and Mike also made a trade agreement. Nikunj and Daryl were exploring their hexes in such a way so that they did not connect to eachother. This was interesting for both players because they both have aggressive factions and they made trade agreements with the players on their opposite sides, so they didn't have anybody to fight.



Turn 2. I couldn't do much this turn because I researched starbases and built two starbases on my tier 1 hex - the only hex that bordered Shu. I also upgrade my starbases to put 2 more ion cannons on them, and covering up my +1 computer which was useless against Rho's shields. This, along with the ancient, was enough to deter the conservative Shu. We all did a lot of exploring and we didn't get into any fights at all, with ancients or other players.



Turn 3. Shu and I kept our cold war cold during this turn. Shu got plasma cannons and I got a power source that generates 1 shield too. Quentin researched advanced mining. Nikunj kept exploring, building a huge hinterland - with the possibility of monoliths later. Nikunj also got a discovery which allowed him to build 3 interceptors for free. But the big move this turn came when Mike attacked Quentin with a cruiser and 2 interceptors. Quentin had prepared by building an interceptor and cruiser of his own, but he didn't upgrade them. Quentin had already passed when Mike attacked, so Quentin had to use reactions to put single hulls on his interceptor and cruiser. His big advantage was he had the blue cannon discovery which gave him a blue turret, which he put on his cruiser. Mike also upgraded his ships and put improved hulls on both his interceptor and cruiser. The combat was close, but Quentin was not lucky, and only got 1 hit with his blue cannons, which he used to destroy an interceptor. Mike rolled well and was able to wipe out all of Quentin's 3 ships, even his single interceptor that tried to retreat. Mike had already purchased neutron bombs, so he took over the tile and took the lead in the game. This attack shocked us all. Mike is usually one of the most conservative players and like to hang back and improve his economy and attack towards the end of the game. This time Mike took a huge risk on turn 3 and it paid off big for him. He was later heard saying, "Nobody plays Hydrans but me."



Turn 4. I was able to make a deal with Shu to get her off my back so I built a cruiser and sent it into the tier 1 space next to Quentin. This space had 2 ancients on it. It was my plan to fortify this hex with 2 starbases and hold it off from Mike, or at least deal Mike some heavy damage if he tried to attack me. Mike's faction gets a bonus for discoveries, so I thought that Mike would attack me eventually, but earlier on turn 4, Mike committed to attacking another tile with ancients on it and he didn't have the ships to attack 2 spaces at once. Unfortunately, I had to move my ship through one of Quentin's hexes which forced me to break my trade agreement with Quentin and take the traitor card. Quentin was more upset losing the trade agreement than me going through his territory. He thought my cruiser was for him and he was going to build a starbase on the hex, but I convinced him I was only passing through. Nikunj attacked an ancient world with 2 ancient ships on it. He defeated the ancients and got the rift cannon turret, which he put on his interceptors. Daryl had a big turn and attacked 2 hexes at the same time. One was an ancient hex with 1 ancient on it - he attacked with 2 cruisers. The other was the center hex which he attacked with 2 battleships. All of his ships were very powerful with improved hulls, although they didn't have good computers. Daryl's actions and my cruiser gave Shu a moment of pause about her course of action, but in the end she committed to attacking the center with 2 cruisers and 2 interceptors. They didn't have improved hulls, but they had high initiative as well as positron computers. The cruisers had plasma cannons. First Shu fought Daryl and defeated him soundly. Daryl lost one of his dreadnoughts and retreated the other. Then Shu fought the galactic center. At first she did well, getting 2 hits and I rolled 0 hits in return. But then Shu rolled 2 misses and I got 2 hits which destroyed one of her cruisers. Then Shu couldn't get another hit with a plasma cannon and the galactic center kept healing, which spelled doom for Shu's fleet. It was interesting too because when Shu drew victory tokens from the bag after fighting Daryl she drew 2: Priority Action and Bonus Targeting. She kept Priority Action to get improved hulls, but if she had kept Bonus Targeting, she would have won the battle.



Turn 5. Shu was reeling from the defeat in the center. She only had around 6 or 8 mining production and it would take a long time to rebuild her fleet. Daryl took advantage of the situation and moved in 1 dreadnought and 2 cruisers into the center. We were all expecting Nikunj to contest Daryl in the center - he just got sentient hulls the turn before and he had a lot of ships and buying power. But for some reason, Nikunj did no offensive operations on this turn. Daryl easily defeated the galactic center without losing a ship. Mike attacked the tier 1 hex that I took on the last turn with 2 cruisers and a battleship, but I was able to defeat him losing only a single starbase. This was Mike's first setback, but it would not be his last.



Turn 6. Mike was severely weakened after his attack on me, so I was trying to convince Quentin to use his 2 cruisers to take back his homeworld from Mike. But he thought it was too far away and instead sent his 2 cruisers to attack a neighboring ancient. This was the last ancient on the map that was not protected by me. Every time I saw an ancient lose a battle, I felt sad. Mike built up his ships, but didn't do any attack on this turn. Daryl fortified the center with 3 borg cubes - later it would go to 4, and also launched an attack against my tier 1 hex with 2 starbases with a cruiser and dreadnought. This caught me completely by surprise - I thought he would be too worried about Nikunj - but I had to trade science for building materials and build a starbase there. I managed to defeat Daryl - I destroyed 1 cruiser and he retreated his dreadnought, but this meant I couldn't fortify my space near Mike as well as I would have liked.



Turn 7. Once again Mike attacked my Tier 1 hex with 2 ancients with a battleship and 2 cruisers. His ships were now improved with antimatter cannons, although still no good computers. This time I only had 1 starbase and 1 cruiser to defend, and Mike was able to defeat me and then he defeated the 2 ancients, although Mike lost 2 cruisers. Once again there was an opening for Quentin to move in and retake his homeworld while Mike was engaged with me, but Quentin just stayed put on this turn. Shu and Nikunj built up. Shu didn't make a move. Nikunj moved in a dreadnought and cruiser to attack Daryl, but nothing more. Daryl had a huge fleet to respond to Nikunj's minor attack. Nobody at the table could understand what Nikunj was doing here, but Nikunj was soundly defeated - at least he got a victory point draw.



Turn 8. Quentin got some fusion drives and finally committed to attacking Mike and retaking his homeworld with 3 cruisers armed with the blue gun turret. I decided to help him and coordinate my own attack against Mike with 2 cruisers so Mike would have to fend off 2 attacks at the same time. Mike concentrated his defense against me and not Quentin. Mike allocated 2 starbases and 1 dreadnought to fight me, and 2 starbases and 1 interceptor to fight Quentin. Quentin defeated Mike without losing a single ship, but Mike defeated me without losing a single ship. I have to say, Mike rolled much better against me than against Quentin. Shu, Daryl and Nikunj kept building ships, but there was no engagement among them during this turn.



Turn 9. The last turn of the game was rather boring for me. I spent all of my resources attacking Mike in the previous round and I didn't have the building material or the economy to launch another attack, so I just tried to keep the hexes I had and get the most points as I could. Seeing Quentin's actions in this turn however, made me feel that the loss I suffered in the previous turn was worth it. Quentin built a 4th cruiser in his homeworld as well as 2 interceptors and proceeded to attack 4 of Mike's hexes on this turn - 2 of which Mike didn't have ships. Quentin ended up destroying Mike on 3 of these hexes and claiming 2 of them. But the most important hex, a 4 point hex, Mike was barely victorious. It should be noted that Mike had to leave at the beginning of this turn and he had Daryl running his operations at this point. This was a heavy load to put on Daryl considering Daryl was under sever pressure by Shu and Nikunj on this turn. Shu launched a major attack against Daryl's fleet in the center with 4 cruisers and 3 interceptors. She sent one interceptor against my tier 1 hex with 3 starbases to do another victory point draw. By this time Daryl had a huge fleet in the center. I think it had 4 starbases, 2 dreadnoughts, 4 cruisers and 4 interceptors. This was the only point of entry into Daryl's territory except for Mike, but that was not a concern for Daryl at this point in the game. Nikunj finally moved into action. After Shu committed to attacking Daryl and with all of her ships pinned, Nikunj launched an attack into Shu's space. This broke their trade agreement and Nikunj took the traitor card from me. I immediately formed a new trade agreement with Quentin - the first time 2 factions had a 2 trade agreements in the same game for us. Daryl, thinking he had more than enough to deal with Shu in the center, sent a dreadnought and cruiser to attack Nikunj's forces in Shu's territory. Nikunj also sent 2 cruisers into my tier 1 hex, mainly to try to make more victory point draws from the bag. Nikunj defeated Shu on my hex but then I defeated Nikunj. Then Nikunj barely defeated Daryl in Shu's territory, but he didn't have enough economy to claim the hex. Then, in a real nail biter, Shu barely defeated Daryl's forces in the center. This shocked us all. Daryl had a lot of trouble rolling 6's which he needed to hit Shu's ships. Shu's interceptors needed 6's too, but he cruisers hit on a 5 or 6, which made all the difference in the final battle. Shu took the center with a hero cruiser and 2 interceptors whose crews had a great story to tell their kids.



The results were:
Daryl: 25 points - winner by resources
Mike: 25 points
Nikunj/Jeff: 24 points - tied in resources
Quentin: 24 points
Shu: 19 points

I couldn't believe how close the game was. Congratulations Daryl! This was a phenomenal experience.


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Paul Brown
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That's a REALLY low scoring game, are you sure you didn't miss some scoring? I guess if you didn't battle much or do a lot of research your scores wouldn't be high, but most games I play everyone gets 30-50 points. Maybe it's just me.
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Doug DeMoss
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Looking at their score sheet, those research points are low across the board, which can certainly do that; I'm guessing they held on to their low value systems too often. Also, nobody built monoliths.
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mike m
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interesting comments about low scores. the winner typically scores in the 40s, so it is unusual that all were in a low, narrow band. do you think having more players could lead to lower scores?

i personally did a lot less research than normal (though i should also caveat by saying i am usually nowhere near the winner score, so more research is not really a winning strategy for me). i found myself frequently wanting to buy something that was sold out / unavailable - so thinking maybe research is harder to come by in a 6-player game? Also, explore tiles ran out even though i personally did a less exploring than usual.

As far as holding low value systems - i actually feel i dumped 2 systems too early, and as a result ended up imbalanced between action tokens vs resource generation. so my low score might have been a result of not enough resources being generated.
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