Veni, vidi, vici. In space. Eclipse is a 2-6 player game that’s best played with 4+ players. In Eclipse, you lead a galactic civilization to greater glory by exploring the universe around you, sending out colonists to claim the planets you discover and obtaining valuable resources from them, and then building your mighty space armada to wage war against those who dare stand in your way! Or for the common defense. Whatever floats your boat.

In that vein, Eclipse embodies the 4X space genre through and through. As you expand your territory, empire management becomes critical to make sure you can stay operational. At the same time, based on what your opponents are doing, you’ll want to increase your science output. Part of it is to gather resources more efficiently, but what you really need to do is to get the technologies that will allow you to outfit your ships better, whether it’s giving your ships faster movement, more protection, or simply arming it to the teeth.

But beware. Other players will be after the same things you are. You’ll need to create strong enough ships that can serve as a deterrent and keep you from being attacked. Setting up the map to create choke points will also be vital. Just watch out for that crafty player who researches wormhole generators and uses that to sneak into your sparsely-defended back door and neutron bombs your capital out of existence…

Core Mechanics: Action management, territory control, economic management, war management.

Victory Condition: Eclipse is yet another example of a straightforward game when it comes to determining who’s the winner: the person with the most points wins. As you might expect from a space game that focuses on exploring territory and controlling it, you’ll be getting a good chunk of your points from the planets that you control. However, other sources of points comes from researching technology at a sufficiently high level, getting special discovery point chips from planet hexes, and, of course, by destroying enemy ships in combat.

Ease of learning: Slightly on the Heavy side – Non-gamers in general will have a difficult time figuring this game out, but for those who’ve had experience with either video games or board games, the learning curve isn’t too steep. What helps out a lot is that the actions players can take are fairly straightforward and self-explanatory aside from maybe the influence action. Maybe the technologies need a bit of explanation, but again, it’s not too hard a concept to explain once people understand what all those symbols mean.

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Basic Eclipse Strategy Guide
Eclipse Review
Eclipse Video Guide

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