Eclipse has been one of the stand out 4x games since its release in 2011, consistently rating in the top three of the type and always within the top 100 games on BoardGameGeek. Its closest peer within the class, Twilight Imperium, was released in 1997 but has benefitted from 4 major revisions since that time. Eclipse has had several expansions, but no revisions since its release. No more! An new Kickstarter from Kolossal Games has been opened that will update and expand the original version to create Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy.
“Second Dawn”, as the name might indicate, will go well beyond an update or minor revision and is therefore being billed as a game of it’s own. It will have game play and art that will be familiar to fans, but will include an extensive number of revisions to streamline play. The producers have kindly posted a list of the revisions to the game for long time fans that want to consider upgrading.
Just some of the components. Head to the KS to see them all at the various pledge levels
The Kickstarter includes quite the array of deluxe components, including special trays to organize play, and a larger number of modeled ships and minis than the original version. There is also a Galactic Counselor level pledge that will provide additional upgrades for those who are ready to make the investment. Language throughout the page indicates that the offering is a ‘retail version’ of the game. At this time nothing indicates any Kickstarter exclusives but that could always. It looks like those not ready to fire the plasma cannons will still be able to get the game retail some day.
Visit the Kickstarter page and Kolossal Games for more information.
Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.
The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.
Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.
Creating New Galaxies and Federations
Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.
Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.
Starting on the Cutting Edge
You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.
Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.
Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.
A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.
A Legacy of Success
Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:
The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists still include Terra Mystica on a frequent basis, including these appearances:
- The 2017 Top Ten from 5 Years Ago list had Eric placing the game at #2 and The People ranking the game #2.
- The 2015 list of the 100 greatest games had Tom listing the game at 39, Eric listing the game at #19 and The People ranking the game at 15.
- Eric ranks the game as the 7th best Long Game.