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Not as epic as Twilight Imperium 3rd edition, but still a hell of a fun game. You can shape the gameplay according to the mentality of the players. Those who hates confrontation will find solace in alliances and the fact betrayal is quite punishing to do. Aggressive players will also find their thirst of battle very rewarding. The passive-aggressive manipulative person like myself can also find home in the scheming and conspiracy, despite the punishment of betrayal, when done right is definitely going to be satisfying.

Components
– Player mats is where half of the stuff happening. The layout is functional, but the same couldn’t be said for the horrible color codes. The quality of the paper could be better. I’d rather have a thick cardboard player mat than a thick cardboard player aid.

– There are lots of cubes and discs representing resources. I’m not an euro gamer at heart so the sheer amount of these are quite overwhelming.

– The ships miniatures is hard plastic and look great.

– The rest of the stuff is up to the quality standard.

Gameplay

– Eclipse is a 4X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) focusing on the first three X.

– The strategy is deep and complex. There are various ways to win the game and every one of them requires long planning. The tactical aspect of the game is simple and the chance of you getting in this situation is few and possibly none.

– You are encouraged to form an alliance and discouraged to betray your allies.

– The tech focuses more on battles. But the way we do upgrades is smart. Too fiddly in the setup, though.

– Battles are hard to win. Without the appropriate tech, you are hopeless to win, even against neutral army.

– in theory, the downtime is quick. but the people i’m playing with took forever in their turn. they think too much and too long i could plan 2 rounds ahead while waiting. it’s that long. (note that each rounds contain several turns of varying number depending on your resources)

Where’s the fun?
– In planning your move. there isn’t much outthinking to be done, but it’s more than enough to make you busy.

– In the metagaming aspect: even though it’s not much compared to other games; the table politics, hidden agenda, under-table-text-message conspiracy, and trying to manipulate your opponents to make the wrong move complements the gameplay perfectly.

– The replayability is high. we’re playing with modular boards and with each player mats contain two character to choose from: human or alien.

Do I want to play the game again: I definitely hope so!

Am I willing to purchase the game: No. the game is of the expensive end and I prefer the more epic Twilight Imperium 3rd edition if I ever have the spare money to buy a game of this genre.

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