Bonus Eclipse Game
Got in a game of Eclipse … 4p, two relatively new. I drew Draco (randomly), and since I hadn’t played it in a long time (because they are terrible). Orion was my neighbor, so I explored sector I and II to force them to join the long way around, and explored. I had pretty mediocre draws (considering I get to pick tiles) and so I lost a bit of time, but just slighlty unlucky, I think. I researched Plasma Cannons, Gauss Shield and Tachyon Sources, so I went into the GCDS on T4. Orion threw in some ships to weaken me (she had the Ion Missles Discovery, 3 Yellow missiles), but only one ion cannon. The missiles whiffed, so I smashed her ships, then the GCDS (my build was 2x Plasma Cannons, Gauss Shield, Computer, Tachyon Source, Hull, Hull. More than enough against base game GCDS).
At this point I was economically pretty, but I had … two DNs. The other experienced player had a solid Magellan build, and was threatening me, so I offered a truce to the (now depleted) Orion player to solidify my side and researched the only Plasma Missiles to give him pause. He attacked, but I responded with three missile starbases. I lost, but managed to take out a roughly equal part of his fleet and now I had more starbases available, and I outfitted my cruisers as pure defense bait (2x Missiles, 2x +2 Computers). In the end game he made a mistake (IMO) by using artifact key for mineral, when he already had ships in my sector. If he had used it for money I would have been forced to commit defenses, as he could afford to wait for me to pass before attacking. The next turn I artifact keyed for money so that I could withstand the waiting game, and managed to defend my homeworld and pick off a human world.
I got some early VP draws, but also managed to improve my 3 tile to a 4 at the end, which was lucky. That one point was my margin of victory. As always, faster weapon upgrades played a big part. (I did manage to get Improved Hull before Magellan did, too, but only by a turn, but having no other missiles show up helped, and Magellan was a few turns behind on Plasma Cannons).
Edging close to fifty games on this.