«Eclipse» review

Eclipse

Yes, my friends! Today we are in deep space… again. It’s a whole world of galaxies far away, interstellar wars, aliens and etc. You’re going to love it!

We proudly present you the «Eclipse» board game published by «Asmodee»! It was created by the Finnish designer team. They are Touko Tahkokallio, Ossi Hiekkala and Sampo Sikiö.

Touko Tahkokallio is a famous Finnish designer who has won the Golden Geek Board Game of The Year in 2012.

Sampo Sikiö has a big illustrative talent. He made the arts for such board games as «Town Center», «Open Rails Origins: 18 AL», «Zombie Crisis: Party Edition».

Ossi Hiekkala did the artworks for Lautapelit.fi’s board games company.

Eclipse Fight

Inside the Box

The «Eclipse» board game has a typical set of contents for a strategy game. Be very attentive with it because it’s easy to miss the items from it!

  • 84 plastic spaceships;
  • 24 starbase chits;
  • 264 wooden population cubes;
  • 96 wooden influence discs;
  • 18 ambassador tiles;
  • 6 player boards;
  • 1 supply board;
  • 96 Technology tiles;
  • 154 ship part tiles;
  • 21 discovery tiles;
  • 22 colony ship tiles;
  • 21 ancient ship tiles;
  • 1 GCDG tile;
  • 32 reputation tiles;
  • 22 orbital/monolith tiles;
  • 2 crowded hex tiles;
  • 6 summary cards;
  • 1 traitor card;
  • 4 info cards;
  • 18 plastic dice;
  • 18 wooden storage markers;
  • 12 wooden damage cubes;
  • 1 start player marker;
  • 1 round marker;
  • 1 rulebook.

Eclipse Gameplay

Gameplay

Peace has been remained in galaxy for many years… until the Terran–Hegemony War (30,027–33,364). Many efforts have been made by all galactic races to prevent the violence from repeating. The Galactic Council was created to keep the galaxy in peace. But tension and hatred are growing among the seven species and in the Galactic Council. Which race is going to win and lead the rest of the galaxy into the peaceful feature?

In The «Eclipse» board game you play as a big interstellar race. You compete for success with rival species. You will have to explore new star systems, technologies and build spaceships to conduct warfare. You have a lot of different ways to reach victory. You will need to develop a plan of your strategy taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of your race and don’t forget to watch for rival species too! It is vital in this game and it’s for you to decide which strategy you will use.

Eclipse Gameplay-1

Rules

Now it’s time for the most interesting section. The «Eclipse» provides a system of hexes like in the «Twilight Imperium» for example. This system is clearly described in the rulebook and we will take a look at the game phases, rounds order and etc. Here we go! Don’t miss our tutorial, my friends!

The rounds of this game have the following structure:

  • Action phase – players make one action or pass in a clockwise. Actions effect on the Upkeep you pay at the round’s end. Remember to use all the actions thoroughly!;
  • Combat phase – In the Combat Phase players start battles. A battle will happen if a hex is occupied by more than one party (player, the Ancients or the GCDS).
  • Upkeep phase – In this section players collect Income and pay their Civilization Upkeep cost.
  • Cleanup phase – Players move all the Influence Discs from the Action Track back to their Influence Track.

Eclipse 2 Player Game

The Game End

The game ends after the 9th round. The player with the most Victory Points is the winner.

Victory Points can be earned from:

  • Reputation Tiles (1–4 VP per tile);
  • Ambassador Tiles (1 VP per tile);
  • Hexes with an Influence Disc (1–4 VP per hex);
  • Discovery Tiles (2 VP per tile that was kept VP side up);
  • Monoliths on own hexes (3 VP per Monolith);
  • Progress on the Technology Tracks:
    • Technology Tiles on a track = 1 VP, 5 tiles = 2 VP, 6 tiles = 3 VP, 7 tiles = 5 VP;
  • Traitor Card (–2 VP!);
  • Species bonuses.

Eclipse Play Scene

Also, the game’s manual has the examples of each phase, so it would be a lot easier to play it!

«Eclipse» Races

Eridani Empire

Epsilon Eridani, the capital system of the Empire in its better days, was not ever rivaled. Their wealth was above anything ever documented.

Hydran progress

Hydrans are never satisfied with everything – the Progress is their obsession. They constantly look for a new ways of improving the society system and new technology inventions. The speed of their technological progress is outstanding.

Planta

The Plantas are steady Council members. Their true intentions are difficult to understand.

Descendants Of Draco

The Descendants are believed to be the heirs of the Ancients.

Mechanema

The Mechanema have only recently been accepted as a full member of the Council. The Auriga system has been declared as their territory by the Council. But there are still many discussions about that.

Orion Hegemony

The Hegemony is from the Orion system. But their fleets are actively patrolling most of the galaxy.

Ancients

There are no truthful documents about the Ancients origins. Most of the theories are based on the relic documents found in the systems that they have conquered.

Eclipse Personal Board

iOS version

«Eclipse» was released on iOS platform in 2013. It is the official iOS version of the board game and it has the same name. It was designed by the game designing company called Big Daddy’s Creations from Poland. They are well-known for their other projects transferred on other platforms like Caylus and Neuroshima Hex.

The iOS version of «Eclipse» has exactly the same gameplay like the original. Other features are the AI opponents with 3 difficulty levels, in-game tutorial and so on. And of course you can play it online with multiplayer option!

Eclipse iOS App

Expansion Packs

You may be surprised but this game has 11 expansions! It makes this game much more interesting than many other from the strategy genre. Let’s get into it!

Eclipse: Elders of the Solstice

Eclipse Elders Of Solstice

Adds a new race called Elders of the Solstice. Elders have a big ship that can fly around the galaxy and bring gifts to other players.

Eclipse: Minions of the Solstice

Eclipse Minions Of The Solstice

Adds 4 ambassadors. They can be bought for reputation tiles. Each ambassador has benefits, such as population cubes or VP bonus.

Eclipse: Nebula

Eclipse Nebula

This expansion provides two Nebula hexes, one Ancient Monolith Discovery Tile and one Development / Rare Technology Board.

Eclipse: Pulsar

Eclipse Pulsar

The expansion provides players with two Pulsar sector hexes and one Nova Burst Discovery Tile.

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients

Eclipse Rise Of The Ancient

The First full-size expansion for «Eclipse». It introduces some additions to the original game. They are some technologies, portals and etc.

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients – The Tractor Beam

Eclipse Rise Of The Ancient The Tractor Beam

The first edition of Eclipse: Rise of the ancients had 5 misprinted tiles. «Lautapelit» sent out the corrections that had 5 tiles with corrections. This expansion tile was included with those sheets as a bonus.

Eclipse: Rockets of Celebration

Eclipse Rockets of Celebration

They are powerful single-use Missiles. They can be bought at a certain phase of the game and used in Combat.

Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift

Eclipse Shadow Of The Rift

It has a several new mechanisms to «Eclipse». It includes Time Distortion, Evolution and Anomalies, and many others.

Eclipse: Ship Pack One

Eclipse Ship Pack One

This pack includes six unique sets of plastic ship models such as Interceptors, Cruisers, Dreadnoughts and Starbases.

Eclipse: Ship Pack One includes one hundred and eight new plastic models! It is really enough for every player to have different kinds of ships!

Supernova

eclipse-supernova

The expansion has two Supernova sector hexes and one Discovery Tile. The Supernova hexes are mixed with the other Outer Sector hexes before building the Outer Sector stack.

Eclipse: The Galactic North

Eclipse Galactic North

Scientifical breakthrough in the Wormhole Stasis Travel Stabilization technology opened the possibility for travelling to the unknown and distant Galactic North. It brings power and glory to those who worth it.

«Eclipse» Erratas

Starbases: because of a production error, the first edition main punch sheets do not have the blue Starbases. Instead they have four extra green. Now they are available on the separate sheet.

Monolith/Orbitals: There should be 22 Monolith/Orbital tiles. Originally there were a little more, but they are definitely enough for the game purposes. We decided to include some blanks instead for players.

Reputation Tiles: the VP list on page 21 of the rule book is not very right. There are 32 Reputation tiles in the game.

Ship Part Tiles: there are seventeen Ship Part Tiles. Not eighteen as in the component list on page 3 of the rule book.

Page 6, Component limitations: Orbital / Monolith tiles are not limited.

Page 10, Influence: The rules say that during the Influence action players can place an Influence Disc to a hex that has not an Influence Disc or an enemy Ship and is adjacent to a hex where players have a disc or a Ship. They can also place the disc in the hex itself.

Page 14, Reaction: The plan of the Upgrade action should also mention that players may return as many Ship Parts as they want, just as in the normal Upgrade action.

Page 16, Upgrade: “Plasma Cannon” should be read as “Ion Cannon”. The illustration is right.

Page 21, Influencing hexes: The Influence Discs placed at the Combat Phase’s end. A better description for this would be: “At the Combat Phase’s end, if a player has at least one Ship in a hex that has no population, the previous controller’s Influence Disc is removed. Then, player can place his own Influence Disc there. Also, if at Combat Phase’s end his Ship is in a hex without an Influence Disc, he can place a disc there.”

Page 22, Combat example: In the last chapter “Plasma Cannon” should be read “Ion Cannon” and in the opposite way.

Page 24, Colony Ships: This chapter should be read as like this: “First of all, player can activate one or more of the remaining Colony Ships and move Population Cubes to hexes contrary to the Action Phase. Player may not move cubes to hexes that contains enemy Ships”.

Similar Games

Eclipse has a lot of similar games because its genre is so popular. Of course, it’s «Twilight Imperium»! Many players say that «Eclipse’s» play time is shorter and it has slightly easier mechanics. Usually, it takes about three hours to play in «Eclipse» and «Twilight Imperium» takes about 4 hours to play it. It’s not so shorter I guess! Also, «Twilight Imperium» has more interesting trade and political mechanism and «Eclipse» has much more warfare in gameplay and it has a better balance. You should try them both before you make your decisions.

Also, many players say that «Terra Mystica» really looks like the «Eclipse». It is because you have a lot of ways to achieve victory just like in Eclipse and it is slightly shorter. Player’s quantity is 3 to 5 too and it’s difficult to play when you have 2 players.

F.A.Q.

So, this game is complicated to understand it from the first view… Let’s read some frequently asked questions about this game;

Q: Can the diplomatic relations be performed right after the Combat Phase but before the Upkeep Phase?

A: Yes.

Q: What happens if player wants to place a Population Cube on a hex and that Population Track is empty? Can he take the cube from another track?

A: No.

Q: Can one Orbital and one Monolith be placed both in one hex?

A: Yes.

Q: Can a player destroy his own ships?

A: No.

Conclusion

In this article we have a specific kind of strategies. The thing is that the opinions are very opposite. Some say it’s too long and difficult, but many people know how to play in it and they are ready to spend their time to enjoy this wonderful game! So, it’ time for you to decide on which side you on! Check out the price or buy this outstanding game here.

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