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Subject: The Eclipse Variant rss

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Toomai Glittershine
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People said in the past that eclipses were a sign that something bad was happening or about to happen. This carries into the cosmic universe as well - eclipses cause aliens to lose track of time, either repeating already-completed actions or missing the chance to do them.

There are a total of thirteen Eclipse cards, seven Solar and six Lunar. Three Solar Eclipses and three Lunar Eclipses are chosen at random at the start of the game and placed into the Reward Deck. Eclipses are discarded once used.

Solar Eclipses have always acted as a distraction, causing temporary chaos. When played, they cause a phase to be skipped. They are played in the phase preceding the skipped one; for example a Solar Eclipse that skips Destiny is played at the end of the Regroup phase.

Lunar Eclipses usually cause weird stuff to happen. When played, they cause a phase to be repeated, after which the game resumes where it left off. They are played at the end of the phase to be repeated or any time after that; for example a Lunar Eclipse that repeats Launch can be played at the end of Launch or during Alliance, Planning, Reveal, or Resolution.

There is one Eclipse for each phase except for Start Turn (although only one Lunar Eclipse for both Planning and Reveal).

Solar Eclipse (Regroup): Skips the Regroup Phase. The offense does not retrieve a ship from the warp. This card may not be played if the offense has no available ships.

Solar Eclipse (Destiny): Skips the Destiny Phase. The offense may either have an encounter in the system the hyperspace gate is already located, or may have an encounter in his or her home system as if his or her own colour was drawn from the destiny deck. If neither is possible, this card cannot be played.

Solar Eclipse (Launch): Skips the Launch Phase. The defense points the hyperspace cone. The offense launches a single ship.

Solar Eclipse (Alliance): Skips the Alliance Phase. No allies are invited or accepted.

Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Main players play encounter cards face down as usual. Required actions (such as the defense having to draw a new hand) occur as usual. These actions are considered to be used in a "limbo" phase; therefore they may not be altered by other effects.

Solar Eclipse (Reveal): Skips the Reveal Phase. Encounter cards are not revealed and are treated as Attack 00 cards. Mandatory powers are still used when determining the winner of the encounter.

Solar Eclipse (Resolution): Skips the Resolution Phase. Encounter cards return to their owners' hands. No compensation or rewards are collected. Ships establish colonies, return to colonies, or are sent to the warp as usual.

Lunar Eclipse (Regroup): Repeats the Regroup Phase. The offense retrieves a ship from the warp, which may be placed directly into the encounter.

Lunar Eclipse (Destiny): Repeats the Destiny Phase. Destiny is re-drawn and the offense re-aims the hyperspace gate. All ships in the encounter (except those of the original defense) move with the gate. The original defense is no longer involved; the new defense may have ships on both sides of the encounter and is unable to collect rewards. This card may not be played after Planning.

Lunar Eclipse (Launch): Repeats the Launch Phase. The offense may re-aim the hyperspace gate and launch an additional 1-4 ships.

Lunar Eclipse (Alliance): Repeats the Alliance Phase. Allies may send an additiional 1-4 ships; they may ally with the opposing side if invited, giving them ships on both sides of the encounter.

Lunar Eclipse (Planning/Reveal): Repeats the Planning and Reveal Phases. Encounter cards are selected in addition to the ones already played; a new encounter card only interact with the opponent's new encounter card and vice versa. A negotiate card is ignored if a player's other encounter card is an attack.

Lunar Eclipse (Resolution): Repeats the Resolution Phase. Compensation and rewards are collected a second time. Ships are not moved a second time.

Effects cannot be used if their phase is skipped. On the other hand, if a phase happens twice, you can use your power twice. Phases happening twice does not let you use a flare twice.

You may play a Solar Eclipse to cancel an opponent's Lunar Eclipse (or vice versa), but they must share the same phase (the Planning Solar Eclipse is good enough to cancel the Planning/Reveal Lunar Eclipse).

Original version:
Toomai Glittershine wrote:
People said in the past that eclipses were a sign that something bad was happening or about to happen. This carries into the cosmic universe as well - eclipses cause aliens to lose track of time, either repeating already-completed actions or missing the chance to do them.

There are six Eclipse cards, likely placed in the Reward Deck. Like Artifacts, Eclipses are discarded once used. There are three Solar Eclipses and three Lunar Eclipses.

Solar Eclipses have always acted as a distraction, causing temporary chaos. When played, they cause a phase to be skipped. They are played in the phase preceding the skipped one; for example a Solar Eclipse that skips Destiny is played at the end of the Regroup phase.

Lunar Eclipses usually cause weird stuff to happen. When played, they cause a phase to be repeated, after which the game resumes where it left off. They are played at the end of the phase to be repeated or any time after that; for example a Lunar Eclipse that repeats Launch can be played at the end of Launch or during Alliance, Planning, Reveal, or Resolution.

When a player uses an Eclipse, he states which phase he is affecting. There is one effect for each phase except for Start Turn, and a Lunar Eclipse must affect both Planning and Reveal (because repeating only Planning has no effect if you don't repeat Reveal, and repeating Reveal has very little if any effect).

Solar Eclipse (Regroup): Skips the Regroup Phase. The offense does not retrieve a ship from the warp. This effect may not be played if the offense has no available ships.

Solar Eclipse (Destiny): Skips the Destiny Phase. The hyperspace gate remains in the previously-attacked system; the defense is the same player as the previous encounter. This effect may not be played if the offense was defending in the previous encounter or there has been no previous encounter.

Solar Eclipse (Launch): Skips the Launch Phase. The defense points the hyperspace cone. The offense launches a single ship.

Solar Eclipse (Alliance): Skips the Alliance Phase. No allies are invited or accepted.

Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Encounter cards are played face down as usual.

Solar Eclipse (Reveal): Skips the Reveal Phase. Encounter cards are not revealed and are treated as Attack 00 cards. Mandatory powers are still used when determining the winner.

Solar Eclipse (Resolution): Skips the Resolution Phase. Encounter cards return to their owners' hands. No compensation or rewards are collected. Ships are moved as usual.

Lunar Eclipse (Regroup): Repeats the Regroup Phase. The offense retrieves a ship from the warp, which may be placed directly into the encounter.

Lunar Eclipse (Destiny): Repeats the Destiny Phase. Destiny is re-drawn and the offense re-aims the hyperspace gate. All ships in the encounter (except those of the original defense) move with the gate. The original defense is no longer involved; the new defense may have ships on both sides of the encounter and is unable to collect rewards. This effect may not be played after Planning.

Lunar Eclipse (Launch): Repeats the Launch Phase. The offense may re-aim the hyperspace gate and launch an additional 1-4 ships.

Lunar Eclipse (Alliance): Repeats the Alliance Phase. All allied ships are returned to colonies before allies are re-invited.

Lunar Eclipse (Planning/Reveal): Repeats the Planning and Reveal Phases. Encounter cards are selected in addition to the ones already played; a new encounter card only interact with the opponent's new encounter card and vice versa. A negotiate card is ignored if a player's other encounter card is an attack.

Lunar Eclipse (Resolution): Repeats the Resolution Phase. Compensation and rewards are collected a second time. Ships are not moved a second time.

It kind of sucks that descriptions are necessary for each effect, which would have to be placed in the rulebook. But the alternative is thirteen Eclipses, one for each effect (with the text printed on them), which takes up a fair bit of space in the Reward Deck. Even if put into the regular deck, they might become too limited.

Effects cannot be used if their phase is skipped. On the other hand, if a phase happens twice, you can use your power twice. Phases happening twice does not let you use a flare twice.

There should probably be a rule about only one Eclipse being playable each encounter, or things might get confusing. On the other hand, playing a Solar/Lunar Eclipse in order to cancel out another player's Lunar/Solar Eclipse might have some value.
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Jack Reda
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I think you need to have the effects on the cards, and I would suggest individual cards... but they don't all get shuffled into the deck. Choose six Eclipse cards at random and shuffle those into the Reward deck (or whichever deck you choose to put them in).

Can you clarify for me:
Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Encounter cards are played face down as usual.

Thanks! Great idea.
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Toomai Glittershine
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That's a pretty good idea, allowing only six Eclipses into the game at a time.
The Warp wrote:
Can you clarify for me:
Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Encounter cards are played face down as usual.
I felt a Planning-skipping effect would be too strong if it simply ignored encounter cards, and any form of auto-select (such as "both players automatically play their highest attack cards") or random select is kind of lame. Still, any game is almost certain to have someone who can do something you may not want in Planning, such as Sorcerer, Loser, Oracle, Plant, Magician, and so on.
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Jack of Clubs
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Solar Eclipse (Destiny): Skips the Destiny Phase. The hyperspace gate remains in the previously-attacked system; the defense is the same player as the previous encounter. This effect may not be played if the offense was defending in the previous encounter or there has been no previous encounter.

Why not just treat it the same as if he'd flipped his own color in Destiny? (And maybe even that if he chooses not to make a challenge have an encounter in his home system, the defensive system becomes the color *before* that one, which is easy to determine by looking at the destiny discard pile.)

Quote:
Solar Eclipse (Resolution): Skips the Resolution Phase. Encounter cards return to their owners' hands. No compensation or rewards are collected. Ships are moved as usual.

What does this mean "ships are moved as usual"? If winning offensive ships land on the planet and losing ships go to the warp, then you're really only skipping part of the Resolution Phase.

Quote:
Lunar Eclipse (Launch): Repeats the Launch Phase. The offense may re-aim the hyperspace gate and launch an additional 1-4 ships.

Lunar Eclipse (Alliance): Repeats the Alliance Phase. All allied ships are returned to colonies before allies are re-invited.

There seems to be little point to repeating the Alliance Phase. Why not let the repetion work the same way as the Launch phase? Allied ships remain in place and allies are invited again, and may be accepted with another 1-4 ships.

These Eclipses (the Solar ones) made me think of another possible idea, similar to Solar Eclipses but simpler. Call it a "Phase Zap" card, which should probably be only in the Reward Deck. It doesn't prevent a phase from happening, but it prevents ALL powers of ALL players from being used for that phase only.
 
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Gerald Katz
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I like this but with personal bias. I created a power years ago that is essentially your Solar Eclipse. Great minds think alike.

It would be easier to have Lunar Eclipses only be played in the phase they are to affect. This way, if Destiny is redone only in the Destiny Phase you need not worry about who has ships on the cone and so forth.
 
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Just a Bill
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The Warp wrote:
I think you need to have the effects on the cards, and I would suggest individual cards

Same here. I think they'd fit just fine; here's a quick mockup of the longest one (with just a bit of editing to remove the text made obsolete by the phase icons):

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Jon Gon
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Lunar Eclipse (Alliance): Repeats the Alliance Phase. All allied ships are returned to colonies before allies are re-invited.

I agree with Phil. Simply repeating the alliance phase will (most of the times) result in the exact same ally distribution. I think that allowing an additional alliance phase is more interesting.

Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Lunar Eclipse (Planning/Reveal): Repeats the Planning and Reveal Phases. Encounter cards are selected in addition to the ones already played; a new encounter card only interact with the opponent's new encounter card and vice versa. A negotiate card is ignored if a player's other encounter card is an attack.

I would remove the highlight during Reveal Phase for simplicity. Another change that I would suggest; if at least one of the selected cards is a negotiate, then that player played a negotiate. This is consistent with Deuce’s power.

Toomai Glittershine wrote:
It kind of sucks that descriptions are necessary for each effect, which would have to be placed in the rulebook.

I think that it is possible to integrate all effects into a single card including short descriptions, at least for Lunar Eclipses. For example:

Lunar Eclipse (As Any Player)

Replay Phase. Used in:

Regroup: Current player retrieves 1 additional ship from the warp.
Destiny: Redraw from the destiny deck. The first drawn card is ignored
Launch: The Offense may re-aim hyperspace gate and launch up to 4 additional ships
Alliance: Allies are invited again in addition to previous alliances
Planning: Both main players may select one additional encounter card. If at least one card is a negotiate then that player played a negotiate.
Resolution: Compensation and rewards are doubled.

* I would remove the activation during reveal.

A final thought. These effects could also be integrated as artifacts, perhaps something related to time expansion (or loop) and time contraction.


 
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Jack Reda
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I rather like the Destiny Eclipse:

Solar Eclipse (Destiny): Skips the Destiny Phase. The hyperspace gate remains in the previously-attacked system; the defense is the same player as the previous encounter. This effect may not be played if the offense was defending in the previous encounter or there has been no previous encounter.
 
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Adam McLean
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The Warp wrote:
I rather like the Destiny Eclipse:

Solar Eclipse (Destiny): Skips the Destiny Phase. The hyperspace gate remains in the previously-attacked system; the defense is the same player as the previous encounter. This effect may not be played if the offense was defending in the previous encounter or there has been no previous encounter.



I like this one as well ... except that I would allow it for the offense to get an encounter in his own system. It can sometimes be difficult to get the opportunity to attack in your own system, the Wilds and Specials don't allow it, and often you don't need to when your own color comes up.

Especially if coming out of the rewards deck, it would give the player who earned it some flexibility with his turn.
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Toomai Glittershine
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Alright, I'm going to update the original post with some of the ideas other people have had. I'll keep the original text for completeness as well.
 
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Jack Reda
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These are the cards I created for my set:

 
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Adam McLean
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I don't quite understand how this one works:


Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Encounter cards are played face down as usual.





Isn't the planning phase where encounter cards are chosen? Would your encounter card be picked randomly (such as by Laser) ... or maybe the encounter continues without any encounter cards ---- just number of ships plus any re-inforcements that can be played during the following reveal phase.

Or is it more of your intention to prevent aliens whose power triggers during the planning phase from being able to use their power?
 
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Toomai Glittershine
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oatesatm wrote:
I don't quite understand how this one works:


Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Encounter cards are played face down as usual.





Isn't the planning phase where encounter cards are chosen? Would your encounter card be picked randomly (such as by Laser) ... or maybe the encounter continues without any encounter cards ---- just number of ships plus any re-inforcements that can be played during the following reveal phase.

Or is it more of your intention to prevent aliens whose power triggers during the planning phase from being able to use their power?
Preventing powers like Oracle, Sorcerer, and Trader was the intent. I didn't think that any method of auto-select was appropriate, and I also felt that just ignoring encounter cards was better handled by the Reveal Solar Eclipse - because it is played after encounter cards are.
 
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Just a Bill
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This one confused me as well. Is the intent one of the following?

* Skips the Planning phase. Select and place encounter cards at the beginning of the Reveal phase instead. Any actions required for the selection or placement of encounter cards that would normally occur in the Planning phase (such as the defense collecting a new hand) occur in the Reveal phase instead. Powers and effects that affect, but are not required for, the selection and placement of encounter cards may not be used unless they are allowed in the Reveal phase.

* Skips most of the Planning phase. The only Planning-phase actions allowed are the selection and placement of encounter cards, and any actions required for this such as the defense collecting a new hand. Powers and effects that affect, but are not required for, the selection and placement of encounter cards may not be used.

I'm sure there are other things besides a defense hand refresh that would be required for card placement, but the only other one that comes to mind at the moment is Doppelganger.
 
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Toomai Glittershine
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Reworded:

Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Main players play encounter cards face down as usual. Required actions (such as the defense having to draw a new hand) occur as usual. These actions are considered to be used in a "limbo" phase; therefore they may not be altered by other effects.

Basically, it replaces the Planning phase with the "Limbo" phase. This prevents people from using things labelled for the Planning phase, but does allow Deuce to get a new hand with one encounter card left, and the "required actions" bit lets Doppleganger work properly.
 
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Adam McLean
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Reworded:

Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Main players play encounter cards face down as usual. Required actions (such as the defense having to draw a new hand) occur as usual. These actions are considered to be used in a "limbo" phase; therefore they may not be altered by other effects.

Basically, it replaces the Planning phase with the "Limbo" phase. This prevents people from using things labelled for the Planning phase, but does allow Deuce to get a new hand with one encounter card left, and the "required actions" bit lets Doppleganger work properly.



Thank you, that at least helps clarify what you intended. I do think that when I add your variant to my set I will use the following, however:


Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. No encounter cards are selected and the defense cannot draw a new hand. The encounter continues into the Reveal Phase using only the ships involved.



It still prevents aliens from triggering their power during Planning, it is different than Reveal in that an encounter card is not ruined by being turned into an Attack 00 (which I really like for the Reveal Phase), but, it makes it a strong play against the defense in not allowing them to draw a new hand on that turn (maybe a little strong, but CE-ish nonetheless). When the encounter goes into the Reveal Phase, re-inforcements can still be played to add to each side of ships.
Alternatively, if you think that not allowing the defense to draw their hand you could have:


Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. The defense may draw a new hand if necessary, but no encounter cards are selected and played. The encounter continues into the Reveal Phase using only the ships involved.
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Just a Bill
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Solar Eclipse (Planning): Skips the Planning Phase. Main players play encounter cards face down as usual. Required actions (such as the defense having to draw a new hand) occur as usual. These actions are considered to be used in a "limbo" phase; therefore they may not be altered by other effects.

Creating a whole new phase seems to be contrary to the spirit of what Eclipse cards are intended to do. You're allegedly "skipping" a phase but really just re-creating a smaller version of it under a different name so you can prevent a few aliens from using their power. It feels like a brute-force exception and kinda ruins the whole Eclipse concept for me.
 
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