Sorry, Charlie - Armada, Fief, Eclipse, Greed, and Seekers of a Hidden Light

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02 Jun 2015 09:44 #203236 by charlest

A look at a mound of games tormenting my table and a brief indulgence of Fury Road.

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02 Jun 2015 10:34 #203237 by Black Barney
yay fun article!

Man, saying that Mad Max is up there with Aliens has really made me need to this now. I'm going to go today at 4pm I think.

The first Harry Potter movie is TERRIBLE. I hope you felt the same. It's awkward as hell watching Emma Watson at that age too. Have you seen the others? If not, just watch the 3rd one and the last one. Both of those are excellent, the rest are run of the mill. The first two are awful.

I love Eclipse and don't have it anymore. I think that's a game that plays better in a video game but I'm not sure.

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02 Jun 2015 10:42 - 02 Jun 2015 10:43 #203238 by charlest
I have the Eclipse iPad app and it's not better. It's a solid app but I'm annoyed with having to constantly check other's tech lists and having to mess around with scrolling all over the place. Trash talking is also integral to the experience in my opinion, including harassing people over making a move towards the center hex and warning a neighbor who appears as if he's about to attack me.

Oh god, yes. My wife and I quit Harry Potter half-way through. Having never seen any of them before I felt it was very weak. Terrible, clichéd plot and crappy acting. Nothing even interesting going on. I think I'll try and get through it again when my daughter's old enough if she's interested.
Last edit: 02 Jun 2015 10:43 by charlest.
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02 Jun 2015 11:02 #203239 by Columbob

Black Barney wrote: Man, saying that Mad Max is up there with Aliens has really made me need to this now. I'm going to go today at 4pm I think.

So I spend a week away from this place and what do I see when I get back? Barney intending to see Mad Max a whole 4 days earlier than previously stated!?! I'd better leave again, this is just too much.
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02 Jun 2015 11:11 #203240 by Gary Sax
Interested in Fief. Sounds kind of cool.

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02 Jun 2015 11:41 #203245 by charlest

Gary Sax wrote: Interested in Fief. Sounds kind of cool.


One of the reasons I really dig it is because I've kind of sworn off Game of Thrones due to the pace and length of the game. It just moves too slowly in my opinion and our 5 hour games weren't dynamic enough. Fief has consistently hit 3 hours with 5-6 and the map and situation changes more rapidly. It's a long game that doesn't quite feel long.
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02 Jun 2015 12:10 #203249 by Black Barney

Columbob wrote:

Black Barney wrote: Man, saying that Mad Max is up there with Aliens has really made me need to this now. I'm going to go today at 4pm I think.

So I spend a week away from this place and what do I see when I get back? Barney intending to see Mad Max a whole 4 days earlier than previously stated!?! I'd better leave again, this is just too much.


Hehe, there's still a floating plan to see it this Saturday and now some friend(s) want to see it next week. So I might end up having to see this 3 times in less than a week.

I still think I want to see it by myself today just to make sure I see it in case the other two plans fall apart. I need to start seeing more movies in theatres, I've been lacking as of late.

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02 Jun 2015 12:35 #203251 by ChristopherMD
I'd like to hear more about the benefits of discarding explored hexes. I've played a handful of times and don't recall anyone actually doing that.

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02 Jun 2015 13:16 - 02 Jun 2015 13:20 #203254 by charlest

Mad Dog wrote: I'd like to hear more about the benefits of discarding explored hexes. I've played a handful of times and don't recall anyone actually doing that.


Sure, so performing an action in Eclipse is a cost, one that players of course easily recognize and cognizant of. The action economy is the main engine of Eclipse and the most important element to success. A player who is competent strategically and settles a ton of economy-granting planets will have a huge advantage over someone who downplays the economy.

So it's not surprising most people don't even want to remember the discard hex rule as it has an apparently significant cost of wasting an action.

Now, I'm not suggesting players should be discarding hexes all the time or that it's a huge strategy element of the game, but it's part of the depth and another nuance to be aware of. I'd say there's at least 1 instance every game where someone should have discarded a hex but didn't.

When exploring the inner ring (the 1 planets), you should be more willing to discard than when exploring the 3rd sector. The 1 planets are a huge boon to an empire and provide a potentially large amount of resources. If you draw a 1 tile that doesn't have a grey or an economy, I'd almost instantly consider discarding it unless the rest of your empire is setup to make up for this (economy flush). There are instances where you may want to keep it also if you really need some more science or if you're going monoliths and it has two brown planets, etc. Typically though, you NEED economy and I wouldn't accept an inner ring planet that didn't offer the most precious resource in the game.

Also, wormholes affect the quality of a hex. If you grab an inner ring hex that has tons of connections when you're race is not built for war (or the opposite), it may further be an impetus to discard. I would value the wormhole connections much lower than seeking out economy but it's another factor. I've seen players lose the game because they left themselves too open to invasion with too many connected wormholes to neighbors. Make your neighbors fly through the center hex exposing their ass to other players or pay out the nose for wormhole generator. Of course, reverse this if you're Orion Hedgemony with an Antimatter cannon and you want to blow the shit out of people.

The second ring, again, I'd be more likely to discard than a third ring. Not quite as much as the first ring though.

Third ring I will only discard if it's a planet without a discovery token and that only yields build and/or science. If it offers both build and science I'd have to think long about it. I'd always recommend grabbing the discovery token sectors though and just abandoning them with an Influence action or through tactical bankruptcy if needed. Those discovery tokens are huge (also, value the 2 points correctly as that's a large amount and you may not need that 8 science on the other side).

Another reason you may need to discard tiles is too many ancients building up around you. If you start out as humans or a weaker alien race (such as Planta) placing that third hex around you with ancients will hurt your momentum much more than spending an action to explore and then discard.

Back to the action economy in the game - if you drop ancients nearby you're going to need to spend actions to upgrade your ship blueprints as well as actions to build (usually a dreadnaught early). These are actions you could have used exploring anyway. Furthermore, these upgrade actions are wasted if in a couple turns you get improved hull and need to totally reconfigure your ships.

Don't get me wrong, ancient occupied hexes are great and if you can get one or two around your hex (and not exclusively) you will be fine. They generally yield greater rewards and the VP from combat is always welcome. Just make sure you will win and don't throw a cruiser and interceptor against them if you haven't upgraded. Typically I'll go with building a dreadnaught and upgrade it with another couple points of hull and send it with my interceptor. If you're fighting two ancients you'll need more.
Last edit: 02 Jun 2015 13:20 by charlest.
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02 Jun 2015 18:45 #203280 by stoic
I used to feel the same way about Eclipse until I purchased and played Space Empires 4X along with its Close Encounters Expansion. Now, I'd gladly just keep Space Empires 4X et al because you can scale it down for a small, quick game or you can scale it up in complexity for an all-day affair. Plus, Space Empires 4X is soon going to get a face-lift with its upcoming Replicators expansion which will make it look as chromed as Eclipse.

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02 Jun 2015 19:03 #203283 by ChristopherMD
So Space Empires 4X is going to be the Eclipse-killer? Can I shit all over SE4 now like the TI3 fans did to Eclipse?

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02 Jun 2015 19:36 #203285 by stoic

Mad Dog wrote: So Space Empires 4X is going to be the Eclipse-killer? Can I shit all over SE4 now like the TI3 fans did to Eclipse?


Not a killa, just becoming unnecessary in my collection. ;-)

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02 Jun 2015 22:33 #203292 by KingPut

charlest wrote:

Gary Sax wrote: Interested in Fief. Sounds kind of cool.


One of the reasons I really dig it is because I've kind of sworn off Game of Thrones due to the pace and length of the game. It just moves too slowly in my opinion and our 5 hour games weren't dynamic enough. Fief has consistently hit 3 hours with 5-6 and the map and situation changes more rapidly. It's a long game that doesn't quite feel long.


Nice write up on Fief. I wasn't sure if I liked Fief 24 hours after I played the first time. But now that 4-5 days have gone by I'd like to try it again soon. It's that type of game that you just have to embrace the random craziness and go with it. I swore off Game of Thrones after a few plays. I think Uba's one sentence review of GoT was perfect. "You spend 7-8 boring turns arranging the furniture and dusting then you attack and back stab everyone and everyone goes home mad and grumpy except the person that won"

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02 Jun 2015 22:43 #203295 by Deleted
We should play Eclipse at Origins.

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03 Jun 2015 14:05 #203340 by jgriff

KingPut wrote:
Nice write up on Fief. I wasn't sure if I liked Fief 24 hours after I played the first time. But now that 4-5 days have gone by I'd like to try it again soon. It's that type of game that you just have to embrace the random craziness and go with it. I swore off Game of Thrones after a few plays. I think Uba's one sentence review of GoT was perfect. "You spend 7-8 boring turns arranging the furniture and dusting then you attack and back stab everyone and everyone goes home mad and grumpy except the person that won"


Fief is really an old school game. Despite the kickstarter and the Euro-style components, it's from 1981 originally. The zany "a player loses every single family member to the plague" from random die rolls from a random event is both the charm and bane of a game like that. It creates a memorable moment but it feels like shit when it happens.

The big issue in our group is the time commitment. I suspect it's alot like TI3 in the huge playtime at first and then it gets to a manageable timeframe after a few plays. Also, like TI3, I think the number of players is a huge factor in playtime. It's listed as 2 hrs and I've heard alot of people play it in 3 hours. Our first play was like 5 hours (5 player) and the one last week (6players, 5 new players) was over 7hrs. I think the full 6 player table extends the game significantly since the board is tighter and it's harder to get to the magical 3 or 4 vps. In a 3-4 player game, I imagine everyone is at 2 VPs rather quickly so the endgame is alot faster.

If it's a 2 or 3 hour game, then the randomness isn't a big deal. In a 7 hour slugfest, losing on a random event sucks.

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