Sunday, March 11, 2012

No, "Eclipse" Most Certainly Did NOT Kill "Twilight"

Andrew missed our inaugural play-through of Eclipse so, when he started to threaten the rest of us with random nut shots if any other game was tabled last week, it didn't take us very long decide.  Besides, the first game was so fun that we didn't exactly need to be water-boarded in order to play it again.
So, with Chad away on bidness, me (yellow), Andrew (red) and Dean (blue) ran the game again  Wednesday night.  Here's how it went...

Oh, if you need a rules overview, you'll find one back on the first post.  

Part One

I kick the game off by exploring an "Outer Rim" system that gives me a quick jump on victory points and a meager cash prize.  The second is a core world that boosts my other resources.  I also prove to be a sucker for star destroyers and fembots, but not necessarily in that order.     

Meanwhile, Dean discovers a planet full of Reed Richard-types, explores a system rife with hostiles, constructs his own army of  Kelly LeBrocks and hits the science lotto after stumbling across an otherwise mediocre system.

Andrew, in his first game, does his best to explore the game's boundaries.  He bumps into a galactic hornet's nest, claims a decidedly-less-hostile world, declares his contempt for victory points, finds a derelict ship, keeps turning up danger and then cobbles together his own Battlestar.

Bonus: the destructive power of a miss-heard earworm is revealed!      

Part Two

Andrew builds a pair of little red space corvettes, buys upgrades as a preamble to fighting "shitheads", mobilizes for invasion and then promptly gets his ass kicked up around his ears.

Dean institutes his trickle-down theory of Dean-O-Nomics, bumps into more aliens who aren't keen on the concept of "annexation", builds some sweet new rides, performs a foreclosure on a colonist and then gives Andrew a great big paper cut and pours lemon juice all over it.

I plant my flag in two juicy new resource worlds, discover monies in deep space, slap together some plasma cannons and keep mindlessly gobbling up victory points like a fat kid with a bag o' Smarties.  

Bonus:  We humbly propose a bold choice for the inevitable soundtrack to Eclipse: The Motion Picture.  Plus: COOKIES!!!

Part Three

I give my economy a hummer, build some cruisers, upgrade my ships to run on pure awesomonium, install some BFG's, strap on some ablative armor and finally discover some innocent locals to slaughter.  

Dean hires Space Dwarves, sneakily researches and upgrades in silence, gets his ship assembly line a-crankin', moves his armada into position and then proceeds to annihilate indigenous aliens like an Intergalactic Conquistador.      

Andrew begins the painful rebuilding process by funding his brainiacs, discovering a planet filled with Stephen Hawking clones, settling a prosperous system and performing a power upgrade.  He's also mortified to learn that his costs aren't cumulative after all.  Whoops!  

Bonus: The Hulk Hogan sex tape becomes an unfortunate topic of conversation and Andrew destroys half the galaxy with a Z-Ball-shaped Death Star.       

Part Four

I finally venture into hostile territory, cobble together a few DS-9's, build a shit-ton of new ships, tap a system for untold riches, win my first battle decisively, make an ill-advised non-aggression pact, explore deep space and promptly find myself painted into an interstellar corner. 

Dean's production goes into hyperspace, he invests in some non-pregnatable shielding, keeps upgrading his ships in silence, frets about subjugating Coruscant, subjugates Coruscant and then horns in on Andrew's revenge.

Andrew snags a money planet, buys (used) sexbots to celebrate, goes missing for a bit, hires professional excavators, christens a dreadnought, upgrades the bejesus out of his ships, rallies his fleet to take on his old rivals and then proceeds to destroy his own game board.

Bonus: The immortal phrase: "Turtling is the ticket to second place" is uttered.         

Conclusion and Review

I buy a figment of Arthur C. Clarke's imagination, start grasping at victory point straws, engage in a self-fulfilling prophecy and then stand by helplessly as history repeats itself.

Dean stealthily follows suit, keeps piling on the build actions, transforms his ships into Voltron and dishes out a shellacking.

Andrew finally confronts his old nemesis but it turns out to be a kamikaze action.  

The General Consensus: Eclipse is a pretty awesome little galactic empire building game that, unlike it's big brothers, can easily be played in one evening.  The at-a-glance reference card simply and elegantly simulates ship customization, tech development and the game's clever economic engine.

But comparing it to Twilight Imperium is like comparing Green Day's "Coming Clean" with "Only In Dreams" by Weezer.  They're both awesome, but for totally different reasons.

Speak of the devil, next week on "YAFGB", it's Part One of our epic series on Twilight Imperium.  

Well, it was nice knowing y'all.   

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