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Eclipse

The Stratagem Compendium

Preface

Hey yall! Eclipse is one of my favorite games, and I often enjoy looking up strategies and tactics for specific races to employ in my games. I love games that have wildly divergent strategies depending on the character/race that you choose, and Eclipse is no different. However, I have realized that although there are many different “strategy” threads for all the various races, they are scattered all over the place, which can make research less than wonderful.

Hence this thread. My goal is for this to be the “one stop shop” for Eclipse strategies, created and run by the community. I by no means claim to be an expert in using all the races (I don’t even own RotA!), and therefore will rely on the community to help add depth and insight to the content of this post. I will continuously edit and adjust this first post so that users can quickly access the content they desire to read. Initially, I am going to focus on strategy for each of the races, but I am more than happy to expand upon that into general strategy independent of the race you choose to play!

Please note also that this is meant to be unbiased content. For example, many people believe the Eridani are irreparably handicapped. The strategy section for the Eridani is not going to say, “Don’t play them they suck”, it is going to give you the best possible strategies that the community has decided upon, should you choose to play Eridani!

I’m sure that this will be a rapidly evolving post, but without further ado, let’s jump in!

Race Specific Strategy


Hydran Progress

Strengths: Strong proclivity to research
Weaknesses:

Turtletech Sweater Strategy

This is probably the most popular and most natural strategy to use with the Hydran. The idea is that you stay put in your corner of the galaxy, and grab all the best techs that you can. Late game, you should ideally have the potential to build ships of death, and can come out of your shell and wreak havoc.
There are a few things to bear in mind with this strategy.
1. Don’t go for cheap techs early! Grab the expensive ones early on, than use the cheap techs late game to fill out your tech tree for VPs.
2. Box yourself in. Try to create a bottleneck entrance into your empire. Aggressive neighbors (I’m looking at you, Orion) can really ruin a Hydran’s glorious day of research. If you do have aggressive neighbors, get your sector II’s placed ASAP, followed by your sector I.
3. “I can haz two techs!11! Gimme gimme gimme.” This piggybacks off of point number 1, but again, don’t feel like you have to grab two techs whenever you research. That one big juicy tech is much more worth it than two cheaper ones (generally speaking).
4. Utilize the idea of the virtual fleet. Just because you don’t have them physically on the table doesn’t mean you can’t plunk them down at any time! Focus on researching, and then eventually upgrading your ships. By the time you do put your fleet on the table, they should be ready to dish out some serious pain.
5. Bully other players with your research. You see that Orion eyeing that Improved Hull? Not so fast pal. Oh well, he will just pick up the Plasma Cannon. Nope, not that one either buddy! You won’t need to utilize every single spot on your tech tree for your own means, so feel free to grab those techs that other races covet. Besides, the two I mentioned above are great for you too!


Descendants of Draco

Strengths: Rapid expansion, capitalization of high value hexes
Weaknesses: No reputation from ancients, no discovery tiles on ancient hexes

War Machine Strategy

This strategy assumes the fact that Draco needs to fight people to win. You have some pretty serious drawbacks in the form of not getting reputation for killing ancients, and not getting discovery tiles in ancient controlled sectors. However, you do get a major advantage in that you can expand your empire rapidly with high value hexes. This will allow you to get your economic engine churning pretty early, and this in turn will allow you to quickly start producing mass numbers of ships, as well as gaining a steady supply of valuable techs.
Early game, focus on exploring and grabbing all the best hexes. Prioritize hexes that have ancients on them, as by doing this you are not only denying your opponents reputation and discovery tiles, but you are also getting a little VP bonus at the end of the game. As Draco, you aren’t under too much pressure to build ships early, unless you have a very aggressive neighbor, and even then there is usually a better, squishier target for said neighbor. Therefore, instead of focusing on mass producing ships early game, focus on expanding your empire and developing your techs. By mid game you should be able to throw down upgraded cruisers and dreadnoughts like it’s nothing.
Come late game, you are on the war path. The players that you target will vary tremendously from game to game, but generally you want to aim for either A) the squishiest player near you, or B) the biggest threat to stealing victory from you that is near you. Take care not to overextend yourself, as with any military conquest. Also, I want to note that in the late game you should continue to explore, if possible. There are easy VP’s to be found in the sector III’s, and even more if they contain ancients! Just make sure not to neglect those opportunities.


Planta

Strengths: Immense expansion capabilities, star base starting tech
Weaknesses: Weak ship designs, everyone has Neutron Bombs against them

The Reclusive Expansion

Author: Washington319
Playstyle: Defensive
Conditions: none (this is a general-purpose Planta strategy)

More than any other race the Planta want to be left alone. They have a considerably weaker military than the other races, and will not win any games through direct conflict. Instead, they want to get as far away from everyone else as they can, and attempt to create a bottleneck. As Planta, your rapid exploration and expansion over all the known galaxy will quickly cause your neighbors alarm. Therefore, it is imperative that you get your sector I and II hexes placed quickly to keep aggressive neighbors from ruining your day. In the perfect world, you won’t even have any half-wormhole entrances into your kingdom, however this will practically never be the case. Therefore, in those few spots where enemy ships might slip through, drop down as much defense as you can.
Late game, you should focus on trying to get any lingering ancients that are within your borders, as well as securing any cheap techs that might give you research VP’s. Be aware that in the final turns of the game everyone is going to be out for your blood, and you need to anticipate where the attacks will come from. The nature of the Planta is that you should have a very strong economy, and it should not be difficult to deploy a sizeable defensive force. Keeping an eye out for advantageous techs throughout the game should also allow you to bolster your strength. While you still might not be able to stand toe to toe with a militaristic race like Orion, the main idea is to not be the best choice on the menu.

The Fungal Absorption

Author: Locke
Playstyle: Early Aggression and Hold
Conditions: Neighbours on both sides are races which are weak-militarily and many neutron bombs are widely available at the start

While in the mid-game and late-game the lack of initiative and fewer ship part slots makes Planta's fleets much weaker than any other race, the built-in computers and power can actually make them stronger in the early-game before your opponents acquire any military tech. Planta also benefits from having three starting population slots, 4 colony ships and their explore ability which usually allows them to grow their economy more quickly. Players can use this combination of more resources (or discoveries) and stronger ships in the first couple rounds to aggressively attack one neighbour before that neighbour gains a military advantage.
You will want to use your exploration ability to block one neighbour as much as possible (usually the neighbour towards which your tier 2 wormhole does not point and, if possible, explore the tier 1 hex in front of the neighbour you will attack. If possible, continue exploring around that neighbour's other side, cutting them and you off from whomever is beyond them so no one else can interfere. These explorations are more easily accomplished if you take your first turn before the target player, of course. Additionally, you can explore on their outer-sectors side to cut them off even more - your goal is to limit the target player's growth as much as possible, reducing the number of planets they can find and therefore the amount of resources/discoveries they can acquire. For example, a strong result is that the target player only manages to explore three other hexes, one of which contains an Ancient and is initially useless to them.
Once the target player is encircled, focus on military development. The planta Interceptors and Cruisers are particularly effective compared to their standard counterparts, so you do not necessarily need to use Dreadnaughts. You will also want to acquire Neutron Bombs and a military tech which does not cost energy (Gauss Shield or Improved Hulls) to upgrade over your default Nuclear Sources. Some Discoveries may make acquiring these tech unnecessary (ie Shard Hull, or with Axion Computer you may not need Neutron Bombs).
Once your military is built and ready, attack! The sooner the better - ideally you will be ready by round 2, at which point your opponent should only be able to muster a couple ships in defense. Once the target's homeworld falls the remaining hexes should be easy enough to take. (It is indeed recommended to eliminate the player entirely, if possible, so they do not remain a thorn in your side. The sole exception might be if their remaining hexes are between you and another foe, and there are no alliances in the game.)
By the time your conquest is complete, the game will have progressed to the mid-game state. You will likely now have a military disadvantage compared to the other remaining players, who have now teched-up. At this point, you are in a strong position, with two homeworlds, two inner sectors and several mid- and outer-sectors - all worth much more points and providing lots of resources compared to the usual Planta empires that only use outer sectors. You have also acquired early reputation tiles from fighting - probably a couple 3s or 4s. You are in a very strong position, now you just need to hold it.
Use your ample resources to directly research the best techs (especially Advanced techs and defensive military tech like Plasma Missiles), build up your virtual materials and fight any ancients remaining in your space for more discoveries and resources. If you did not perfectly block yourself off from your other neighbour and the target's other neighbour, fill any chokepoints with starbases or interceptors. You probably do not want to attack the GCDS unless no one else has a fleet ready to hit you as soon as you do (and in most cases, another player will be ready by this point to attack it before you, anyways). You have two inner sectors, so unless you got lucky both of them will probably connect to the galactic centre - put some ships in each one for pinning but hold materials in reserve ready to drop a virtual fleet as soon as anyone attacks. Also check your artifact count as Artifact Key may be very profitable (and Artifact Link).
Continue as per the above, focused on defense and solidifying your position. At the end-game, if someone attacks you defend yourself and try to send some scouts to counter-attack and take high-value sectors on their side. IF no one attacks you, try to build monoliths as your last action(s).
VP-wise, you should end with high reputation, hex points, racial bonus and possibly monoliths, as well as a middling amount of research and discoveries.


Eridani Empire

Strengths: Strong starting techs, above average ship designs, tons of money, draw 2 reputation at start
Weaknesses: 2 less influence discs than other races to start

Ancient Hunting Strategy

The primary way that you as Eridani will earn VPs is through reputation tiles. One easy way to start racking those up is to go hunting for ancients. Hit up your sector I and II’s immediately, and rejoice if you see an ancient! Pump out a dreadnought on turn 2, and go to town. Additionally, as Eridani, you need to maximize the value you get out of your hexes, since you are not designed to be an expansive race. Ancient-controlled hexes will generally offer decent resources, plus high VP value.
Tech Priorities: Advanced Robotics, Quantum Grid, Advanced Economy
With this strategy, you need to be patient and take your time. Don’t tick off your neighbors, as you can’t afford to lose any ships until you are ready for war.


Orion Hegemony

Strengths: Strongest ship designs, starts with a cruiser
Weaknesses: 4-1 exchange ratio, poor starting planet

Strategies Coming Soon!


Mechanema

Strengths: Cheaper everything, 3 build and upgrades for a single action
Weaknesses: Below average ship designs

Strategies Coming Soon!


Humans

Strengths: Versatile, star base starting tech, 2-1 exchange ratio, 3 ship movements-upgrades-builds
Weaknesses: None major

Strategies Coming Soon!


Magellan

Strengths:
Weaknesses:

Strategies Coming Soon!


Enlightened of Lyra

Strengths:
Weaknesses:

Strategies Coming Soon!


Rho Indi Syndicate

Strengths: Start with 2 interceptors, four ship movements, money from defeating ships
Weaknesses: No dreadnoughts

Strategies Coming Soon!


Exiles

Strengths:
Weaknesses:

Strategies Coming Soon!

General Research Strategy

Dymond Kyng's excellent work on the topic!
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1361979/general-tech-strate...

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