In this game, you will get to explore new stars, research new technologies, construct spaceships, and war against your rivals to ensure peace in the galaxy.
To be successful at it, it is essential to learn how to play eclipse in a concise and simple way without any fluff.
So, in this article, we will learn how to play the eclipse board game, its rules and strategies, and the ins and outs of the game. So, sit back and let’s do this.
How to play Eclipse board game
- 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
- 54 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
Place the ship part tiles and round marker on the supply board. After placing the technology tiles into the bag and shake them. After shuffling them, draw random tiles taking the numbers of players into account. Then place them on the spots – their respective spots and the research tracks on the board. Place similar tiles on tiles similar to them.
In another bag, place the reputation tiles and shuffle them. Also do the same process with the discovery tiles, shuffling and placing them face down on the supply board. After that, place other tiles like the ancient ship tiles, orbital, monolith tiles, damage cubes, and traitor cards on the supply board.
Now it’s time to set the Galactic center in the middle of the table. After, continue by placing a discovery tile on the Galactic center hex and the galactic defense system tile on it. In three stacks, place the Sector hex tiles face down. The three stacks include the inner, middle, and outer sector hexes.
Spending the least amount of time on planet Terra in the Sol system gives you the opportunity to receive the starting marker.
Every player will then choose their starting index and their board beginning clockwise from the starting payer.
The starting player will place his starting sector hex in any of the six starting spots located in the Middle sector area.
You have to place your hex at a starting point close to you. If any starting hexes and boards are left, put them back in the box.
After this, each player must take these below and place them next to his or her board:
- All Ships, Ambassador Tiles, discs, and cubes which are of one color
- 3 Colony Ship Tiles
- A Summary Card, Action Phase overview
Everyone will also place the following on his or her board:
- Influence disc – Each circle of the influence track
- Place of each population track namely money, science, and materials one population tube.
- Place the storage marker, money mark, and the materials on their respective spots.
Every player will then move onto his starting hex the following:
- One Interceptor Ship miniature
- One Population Cube on each of the Population Squares
- Influence disk on the influence circle from the influence track
Simple concepts you need to help you play the game well.
Your civilization’s populace is represented by small wooden cubes according to the color you have chosen.
You expand by moving your wooden population cubes to the sector hex.
The number of resources you have is directly related to the population cubes you move to the hexes.
You have kinds of resources.
You use this resource to maintain influence, control your zone, and take the actions required.
This resource is necessary for conducting research for new technologies.
To build new ships and structures, you pay with this resource.
These disks represent the number of hexes you control.
There is a limit to your resources.
They are as follows:
- Population tubes
- Influence disks
- Technology tiles
- Reputation tiles
- Ambassador tiles and
- Discovery tiles
So, remember if you run out, you can use a substitute
When you research technologies, you gain the advantage of building better ships and structures, making you more efficient.
You place research technologies on your board.
You use ships for fighting your enemies and for conducting explorations.
There are four types of ships.
- Interceptors – Eight for each player
- Cruisers – only four available
- Dreadnoughts – only to available
- Starbases – only four available
You use more resources to build bigger ships but they store more parts. Starbases are immovable ships.
Using ship parts, you can upgrade your ships for more abilities.
Here are the ship parts in the game and upgrades you get from using them.
- Energy sources
Structures include objects built on the hexes you control. There are orbitals and monoliths. The orbitals shelter your population.
You gain points from monoliths at the end of the game.
You earn discovery tiles when you place the influence disks in newly discovered and controlled hexes.
The discovered tiles are double-sided, with a face side and a backside. The face side gives you a benefit and the backside has a value of two points. You decide which side to use when you receive a discovery tile.
Here are the benefits you gain from discovery tiles.
- Three ancient technologies
- Six ancient ship parts
- Three ancient cruisers
- Three times plus 8 Money. 3x plus 5 Science and three times plus six materials
You earn reputation tiles after winning a battle. Victory points from these tiles are awarded at the of the game.
To develop diplomatic relationships with others you use the ambassador tiles. They expand your population and also give you victory points at end of gameplay.
You can trade resources for other resources. For example, you can trade for one unit of materials using two units of money.
Crowded Hex Tile
If there are more ship miniatures than can fit a hex, place them at another place on the table and mark it with this tile.
The wormholes are used to jump galactic distances. This is the only way starships in eclipse can reach distant galaxies.
The game board is composed of hexagonal tiles. Each hex represents a sector of star systems and may contain a number of colored Population Squares which represent star clusters with worlds producing Resources.
Every round in the game has four phases.
Action Phase: Players take actions clockwise, one action at a time.
Combat Phase: Battles are resolved and sectors conquered.
Upkeep Phase: Civilization Upkeep costs are paid and Resources produced.
Cleanup Phase: Players move Influence Discs from the action spaces back to their Influence Track and new Technology Tiles are drawn.
Each player can either take an action or pass starting with the player with the starting marker. This goes for each player until everyone is passed. If you were the first player to pass, you get the starting marker for the next round.
Move your influence disk from your influence track to your attack track during an action. You can perform an action more than once
The possible actions you can do:
- Reaction – either upgrade, build, or move.
Having been passed, a player cannot take other actions apart from the reaction. And the reactions are weak versions of the actual build, upgrade and move actions.
End of the action phase
Each player having flipped their summary card side up, the phase ends immediately. No reactions can be taken.
In this phase, battles are resolved.
Battles will spur when more than one colony occupies a particular hex.
If more than a single battle is taking place in multiple places, you must resolve them in descending numerical order, from the highest to the lowest. the hex in the center has the lowest number so it will be resolved last.
In this phase you can:
using ancient ships, galactic defense systems.
You can also retreat and repair your damages in this phase.
Activate any remaining colony ships and move population cubes back to hexes. If cubes contain enemy ships, you cannot move them back to hexes.
Collect your income and offset your population or civilization upkeep cost. To do this, compare your positive money income and the cost of your influence.
The money storage market cannot go beyond zero. However, you can trade other resources for money or reduce cost by taking away some of your influence disks from hexes and bringing them back to your influence tracks. You can bring them back when your influence cost comes down.
Your civilization will collapse when you don’t have influence disks to remove. If that happens, the game ends.
Science And Materials Production
After offsetting your civilization upkeep cost collect your storage, and materials produced, and move storage markers appropriately on the storage track.
Clean up Phase
In this phase, new technology tiles are drawn and placed on their spots on the supply board.
Players move their influence disks back to their influence tracks and all cubes back to their respective population tracks.
Each player will then flip their Colony Ships face up and the Summary Card the Action overview side up. Move the Round Marker a step forward and a new round begins.
End of Game
The game ends in the ninth round. Having the highest victory points makes you the winner.
Victory points are gained from the following:
Victory Points are gained 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: 4 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
Video Tutorial on how to play eclipse
Over To You
Master the mechanics of playing eclipse using this step-by-step process. Learn more about this hobby by visiting our board game page.
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