Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sloppy Expansion

After a day of packing, loading, driving and general shifting, Ian and I (Sam) were a little worn out. But we wanted something more memorable out of the day than marginally chapped hands, so we invited Andrew to my house for a little gaming, plumping for another go at Eclipse.

I came down from bedtime reading for the boys to found the unexplored universe ready for plunder, and we were away. With two or three recent plays under our belt, our decisions were faster: we knew what we were doing, and all of us set about creating monstrous war machines in a sad reflection of humanity's true nature. I went big on plasma missiles. Andrew built a fleet of wasp-like interceptors. And Ian built the Eclipse equivalent of a massive hammer hitting you over the head rapidly until you expire.

Wasp-like Interceptors

But the first big battle was me against the ancients GCPD or whatever it's called - the central hex, with rewarding planets and points. However Ian - up until this point rolling appalling dice for his own ships - rolled for the aliens and obliterated me in short notice. I retreated, tail between legs. In the following round Ian moved in himself and despite an initial hesitancy, took the hex and set about reinforcing it. Andrew and I circled warily, but in the end Endersby chickened out and left me to surge in, fuelled by a ludicrously vain optimism. He made the right decision:

Andrew (yellow) cleverly decides not to get involved

Andrew 33
Ian 28
Sam 26

Andrew's cautious expansion and Swiss-like stance on the big battle worked well.

We still didn't have it quite down to the alleged 30 minutes per player, but we'd knocked a whole hour off our last playtime (33.33 mins per player!) , and it was barely 9pm. There was talk of Tinner's Trail, but as it currently resides at Adam and Hannah's house we played Istanbul instead. I think the set up and pack away took longer than the game: we all raced to four gems and I nabbed a fifth as Andrew pipped Ian to second on a tie-breaker:

Sam 5 gems
Andrew 4 gems, lots of money
Ian 4 gems, not much money

Then we intended to play Love Letter - but a visit to the cupboard reminded me this is also currently holidaying in Easton, so instead we set up the rarely-seen Mord Im Arosa. For those unaware, the unusual mechanic at play in this game is listening: trying to work out first where the bodies (red cubes) are in the Hotel Arosa, and then attempting to either implicate your fellow players (their investigators (or cubes)) or clear your name (your cubes) by guessing those colours will be on a certain floor. But: get your guess wrong, and you've made a sloppy investigation. You now have to add another of your own cubes to the hotel and the risk further implications...

I don't know how Ian did it, but over halfway through Andrew and I were implicated all over the shop, whilst Mr Hickman never seemed to get his accusations wrong. As a result, his investigators remained back in the station, drinking tea:

Ian's unused investigators massively outnumber my guys

I was accidental king-maker when I accused both of them on a certain floor and Ian - Ian! - wasn't there. Points are bad in this game:

Ian 9
Sam 13
Andrew 14

A lovely thing to revisit - thanks Joe, who bought it for me many moons ago. We must play again!

Andrew here: I couldn't help but notice the sexy lady having a shower on floor five. How very risqué.


  1. We all came first, second and third! How lovely.

    Eclipse was epic, as only Eclipse can be. I'm still a little sad I didn't send my swarm of wasps into the final battle, but I won anyway, so my sadness is tinged with the glorious taste of victory.

    I misjudged Istanbul, since I thought we had another gem to collect, but it would have made little difference. And Ian's performance in Mord Im Arosa was impeccable. I'm sure he had no cubes in the tower at all.

  2. Call me crazy, but I felt Eclipse was almost over too quickly! I wanted to gather my forces and make some sneaky move. But I think perhaps we were all over-cautious in blocking each other with hex placement, so the interaction between spaceships was pretty minimal. Still fun though.

  3. Eclipse was great, I didn't screw up my resources at the start this time, though by the end I seemed to be constantly running low.

    In a previous blog I think it was Chris who mentioned that every game of Eclipse has a story, and the story here was one of three military empires heading for a glorious final battle in the centre of the galaxy. But then Andrew (wisely) decide to just sit it out.

    Really good to play Istanbul again too. I still rate it quite highly. And I'm confused as to why Mord Im Arosa hasn't been seen more often, it was great fun!

  4. It was me! And I'm envious of all this Eclipse you're getting to play :)

    The Plasma missiles are often a real solid route to go. Its been mooted that they can unbalance the game a bit so it's good to see here that's not the case. (Not because you lost Sam!). Apparantly the expansion, which I can see myself getting, deals with this. Somehow.....

  5. Yeah they def didn't clinch anything for me. I like the fact that at the heart of this big 4x game there's dice-rolling though.

  6. Funnily enough Mord Im Arosa pooped inot my head on monday night as I watched The Bridge series 3 - there was a lot of Scandi noir 'Mord' involved. it's a unique game, I'd like to play again soon.

  7. ...and kudos to Sam for a faintly filthy blog title.

  8. I hope your head has recovered from the pooping Joe... Yeah it's fun. I played with the boys last night - last again!