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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > May 2018 (#18) > ECLIPSE


Seven years ago, Touko Tahkokallio’s vast sci-fi strategy game found its place among the stars. As Eclipse returns, is there still space for its grand vision?


Eclipse’s individual species and factions have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages

In 2011, Eclipse dared to step out of the shadow cast by Twilight Imperium.

Like the game considered by many to be the definitive epic space strategy experience for more than a decade, Touko Tahkokallio’s sci-fi creation was a sprawling simulation of a Star Wars-esque space opera on the tabletop. Players would lead their individual factions from a modest base on a single home planet to a systemspanning empire able to exert its political, economical and – when it came to it – military might across a universe of tiles that would reshape from game to game, juggling exploration and diplomacy with the management of resources and upgrades to a fleet of spaceships.

Although clearly inspired by Twilight Imperium and other giants of the genre, Eclipse was a space game playing by its own rules. Whereas Twilight Imperium’s lengthy matches were powered along by the social fuel of political manipulation, trade, deception and lots of dice rolls, Eclipse stuck to a more traditional Eurogame core, blending worker placement gameplay and enginebuilding with just a sprinkle of luck in its dice-based combat, which often took a precedence over pacifism. It was also a good deal shorter, while still providing a grand civilisation-building sense of progression that could still stretch up to (or over) three hours or so.

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About Tabletop Gaming

It’s time to play the game of thrones in the May issue of Tabletop Gaming magazine, as we venture into Westeros with A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. Get an exclusive look at the sprawling battle game and hear from its co-creator about tackling George R.R. Martin's epic series of fantasy novels and making it a wargame like no other in our massive lead interview. Moving from fantasy to sci-fi, we blast off with a first look at Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy, the much-anticipated sequel to the acclaimed 2011 space strategy hit. Creator Touko Tahkokallio tells us about making the massive game even bigger and reveals what’s in store for both old fans and newcomers alike. Whether you’re headed to Birmingham’s NEC this June for the 2018 UK Games Expo or not, you won’t want to miss our round-up of must-see games at the show – including a surprise appearance from Noggin the Nog! After reinventing ‘80s sci-fi, the creators of RPG phenomenon Tales from the Loop return with their nostalgic take on classic fantasy roleplaying. We venture into Forbidden Lands to find out how the game combines the best of the past with modern sensibilities for a truly stunning experience. There’s plenty more to enjoy, including a look at the making of rom-com board game Fog of Love, a preview of competitive legacy game The Rise of Queensdale and a chat with quirky British party game studio Big Potato. We also have the first part of our Star Wars: Legion painting guide, offering essential tips on bringing your army of stormtroopers, speeder bikes and AT-STs to life. All this, plus our thoughts on the biggest games you should be adding to your collection, with reviews of The City of Kings, Munchkin Collectible Card Game, Empires of the Void II, Star Wars: Dawn of Rebellion, You’ve Got Crabs, Dark Souls: The Card Game, Dungeon Alliance, Sonar and more. It really is the best way to get your summer started early!