Eclipse Combat Phase

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Eclipse Combat Phase

During the combat phase in the game of Eclipse, it’s time to clash with your opponents and engage in thrilling battles for dominance. As the epic space opera unfolds, I find myself eagerly anticipating this phase, as it is where the true test of strategy and cunning lies.

Once it’s time for combat, you and your rival players will determine the outcome through a series of calculated moves and tactical decisions. The stakes are high as you deploy your ships, marshal your resources, and unleash your weaponry.

Eclipse combat phase is a double-edged sword, as it requires careful planning and meticulous execution. You must consider various factors, such as the strength of your fleet, the superiority of your technology, and the terrain you’re fighting in. All these elements play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the battle.

Engaging in interstellar warfare is not mere child’s play. It demands a deep understanding of the game mechanics, strategic thinking, and adaptability. Are you prepared to make split-second decisions that could tip the scales in your favor, or will you succumb to defeat?

One of the key aspects to victory lies in how you interpret your opponents’ intentions and react accordingly. By analyzing their moves, reading their tactics, and predicting their next steps, you can gain a vital advantage. In this combat phase, it’s not just about brute force but also about using your wits to outmaneuver and outthink your rivals.

As you navigate the complexities of the Eclipse combat phase, remember that it’s not always about annihilation. Sometimes, a strategic retreat can be just as effective in preserving your forces and regenerating your response for future engagements. A well-timed withdrawal can buy you the time and resources needed to come back stronger and more prepared than ever.

In conclusion, the combat phase in Eclipse is a thrilling and pivotal moment in the game. It challenges your strategic acumen, tests your decision-making skills, and rewards adaptability. By understanding the nuances of this phase and mastering its intricacies, you can emerge victorious and claim your rightful place among the stars. So gear up, commander, and prepare for battle. The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.

When it’s time for the Combat Phase, that’s when battles happen. A battle occurs when more than one group occupies a hex. The groups can be players, the Ancients, or the GCDS (Game Control Decision System).

If there are battles in multiple hexes, we resolve them starting with the hex with the highest number and work our way down. Look for the number in one corner of each hex to determine the order.

If there are more than two groups in a hex, we first resolve battles between the players’ Ships. The last player standing will then fight against either the Ancients or the GCDS.

If there are more than two players’ Ships in a hex, we resolve battles between two players at a time. We start with the players who entered the hex last and work backwards.

So, here’s the deal. When you and another player both enter a hex, you’re gonna have to battle it out. The winner gets to keep going and take on the next player who entered before you. And this keeps happening, with each survivor taking on the player who showed up before them. Finally, when there’s only one person left standing, they’ll have to face the Ancients, if there are any around.


Example: So, here’s the situation: the Red player is already in the hex. Then, Green swoops in and claims it first, followed by Blue. But hold on, Green and Blue are going to have a good old fashioned showdown before Red gets a shot at them.

But hey, let’s say the hex already has an Influence Disc and someone’s already in control. Well, in that case, that player is always considered the defender and will fight last, no matter who got there first.

Main Idea

Okay, now let’s talk activation. Each player’s Ship types (Interceptor, Cruiser, you know the drill) are activated in a specific order called Initiative. The Ship type with the highest Initiative goes first. Simple as that. And if there’s a tie in Initiative, well, the defender gets the upper hand.

Speaking of the defender, it’s always the player with an Influence Disc on the hex. But what happens if there’s no disc or it’s a hex with more than two players? In that case, the defender is just the player who moved in there first. Makes sense, right?

Example: The Red Interceptor’s Initiative is 6: 2 for the Ship’s default Initiative, +2 for the Computer and +2 for the Drive. The Blue Dreadnought’s Initiative is 3: 0 for the Ship’s default Initiative +1 +1 +1 for the three Drives.

So here’s how it works: you roll dice for all your Ships of the same type at the same time. The number of dice you roll depends on how many Ships you have and what weapons they are equipped with. For each symbol on your Ship’s blueprint, you get to roll one die of the corresponding color. The different colors represent different weapons, and rolling all the dice at once allows you to attack multiple enemy Ships simultaneously. After rolling, you decide which enemy Ship you want to target with each die. You can assign multiple dice to the same target if you want.


This is how it goes: When it’s my turn, I roll three yellow dice – one for each of my Interceptors’ Ion Cannons. On the other hand, you, as the Blue player, would roll two yellow dice and two orange dice.

What happens when we hit?

When I roll a 6 on the die, it’s always a hit, no matter what. But when I roll a 1, it’s always a miss, even if I have any bonuses on my Ships.

Now, for other results on the die, here’s what you do: add the amount of Computers you have to the roll, and then subtract the amount of Shields the target has. If the final number is 6 or higher, the roll is a hit!

The Dangers of Damage:

Data loss is a common problem that many of us face.

Corrupted devices: Have you ever plugged in a USB drive only to see a message telling you that the device is corrupted? Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s frustrating and can lead to permanent data loss. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you.

Physical damage: Your phone slips from your hand and crashes to the ground. The screen shatters, and you panic about all the precious photos and memories stored inside. Relax, I’m here to help you through this.

Accidental deletion: Ever accidentally deleted an important file or folder? It happens, we’re only human. But guess what? I’ve got your back, and I’ll show you how to recover it.

Software glitches: We’ve all experienced those frustrating moments when our computer freezes or crashes, and we lose everything we were working on. But fear not, there are solutions you can try.

Power outages: Picture this: you’re in the middle of an important document, and suddenly, the power goes out. Boom. Just like that, all your progress is gone. But don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to avoid this nightmare.

Hey there! Let’s talk about weapons and the damage they can do. When you use different weapons, they all have the power to hurt your opponent, but they don’t all pack the same punch. Just like in a video game, each weapon has its own strength. Here are some examples: the Ion Cannon, represented by a yellow die, can deal 1 damage. Then there’s the Plasma Cannon and Plasma Missile, with an orange die, which can dish out 2 damage. And finally, we have the Antimatter Cannon, represented by a red die, which can really pack a punch with 4 damage. So, when you’re choosing your weapon, make sure to keep in mind the damage it can do. It’s important to think about how much power you need to defeat your opponent. Happy battling!

Weapons deal different levels of damage, and this is shown by the star symbols on their tiles.

Hey there! Let me explain how Ship damage works in a way that’s easy to understand. When it comes to Ships, they can take some hits before being destroyed. Each Ship has these things called Hull symbols on its parts, and each symbol can absorb one point of damage.

For example, let’s say a Ship has two Improved Hull parts. That means it can absorb two points of damage before being destroyed. So, if the Ship takes five points of damage, it’s a goner.

You might be wondering about attacking with weapons like Plasma or Antimatter Cannons. Well, when you use a weapon like that, the damage can’t be split among different targets. It’s all concentrated on one Ship.

So, in summary, a Ship can take damage equal to the number of Hull symbols on its parts before it goes down. And remember, attacks from weapons like Plasma or Antimatter Cannons can’t be divided among different targets. It’s all or nothing!

If a ship gets damaged but isn’t completely destroyed, you can mark the damage by putting Damage Cubes next to the ship.

Old Ships

Every old ship has:

  • I have 2 Ion Cannons
  • I also have an Electron Computer
  • My spaceship’s hull is strong
  • My initiative level is 2

The Galactic Center Defense System

The Importance of Understanding Ship Battles in Space

When it comes to engaging in epic space battles, choosing the right strategy is crucial to your success. It’s not just about firepower; you need to analyze various factors and make informed decisions to ensure victory. By understanding the mechanics of ship battles and considering key elements, you can increase your chances of coming out on top.

Key Elements to Consider

Before diving into battle, let’s familiarize ourselves with the components that play a significant role in ship battles:

  • 4 x Ion Cannon
  • Electron Computer
  • 7 x Hull
  • Initiative 0

Fighting The Ancients And The Gcds

Now, let’s talk about fighting against the Ancients and the GCDs. When engaging these powerful opponents, it’s important to understand their attack patterns. One of the other players will roll the dice to determine their actions. Their goal is to destroy your ships, starting with the largest ones if possible. If this is not possible, they will assign dice to inflict maximum damage to your ships, prioritizing the largest ones first.

Developing Your Strategy

Creating a winning strategy requires careful planning and adapting to the ever-changing nature of the battle. Here are some tips to help you formulate an effective approach:

  1. Analyze your opponent’s moves: Observe their actions and deduce their patterns. This will allow you to predict their next moves and plan accordingly.
  2. Protect your biggest ships: Since the opponents will target your largest ships, you must prioritize their protection. Deploy defensive measures to shield them from damage.
  3. Focus on offense: While defense is crucial, don’t neglect your offensive capabilities. The best defense is a good offense, so make sure you have enough firepower to eliminate your opponents swiftly.
  4. Stay agile: Adaptability is important in space battles. Your strategy should be flexible, allowing you to adjust your moves in response to unexpected developments.

Remember, a successful space battle is not just about luck; it’s about skill and strategic thinking. By following these guidelines and understanding the intricacies of ship battles, you can increase your chances of emerging victorious in the depths of space.


For example: The Ancients rolled a 5 and a 6, which means they hit twice. The Interceptor can be destroyed, so I assign one of the dice to it. The other dice goes to the largest ship, which in this case is the Dreadnought.

The Battle Unfolds

Every battle starts with the Ships firing their Missiles (if they have any). After that, there are multiple rounds of Engagement until only one side remains in the hex.


When it’s time for each player’s Ship types to fire their Missiles, they do so in Initiative order. For every Plasma Missile Ship Part you have, roll two orange dice.

Engagement Round

During the Engagement Round, each player activates their Ship types in Initiative order. On their turn, each of your Ship types can choose to attack or retreat.

The Engagement round continues until one side has wiped out the other from the hex. At that point, the destroyed Ships are returned to their owners.


If you decide to retreat your Ships, move them to the edge of a neighboring hex to indicate their retreat. The hex you retreat to must have your Influence Disc and no enemy Ships.

If you want to use the Wormhole Generator Technology to retreat, there are a few rules you need to follow. These rules are outlined in the example on the right. Essentially, you can retreat through a hex edge that has a Wormhole on only one side. It’s important to remember that the standard Wormhole movement rules still apply.

The Green Interceptor decides it’s time to back off and retreats from hex A. It has a couple of options for where to go. It can go to hex B, which has its own disc. However, it can’t retreat to hex C, which only has its own Ship. Hexes D and E are out too – D is empty and E has an enemy Ship. Red, on the other hand, doesn’t have any options for retreat.

But hold on a second! Even though the ships are at the edge of the hex, they’re still technically retreating and vulnerable to getting shot. The next time it’s the retreating Ships’ turn, they must all move to the neighboring hex. Once they’re there, they’re fully retreated and safe from enemy shots.

Now, let’s talk about stalemates. If a battle reaches a point where neither player can destroy the other, something called a stalemate occurs. This can only happen when none of the Ships involved in the battle have cannons. In this situation, the attacker has a choice – they can choose to retreat as long as they meet the requirements for the hex they want to retreat to. If they can’t retreat, their Ships are toast.

Lastly, let’s touch on attacking the population.

Once the battles are over, you still have one last move available. You can attack the population in the hex with your remaining ships. Each ship can attack once using all of its cannons. However, missiles cannot be used for this attack. The standard rules for hitting apply.

The population in the hex does not have any shields to protect it. So, every point of damage you inflict will destroy one population cube. If you have the Neutron Bombs Technology, you have a special advantage. You can destroy all the population cubes in the hex without having to roll any dice.

When cubes are destroyed in the game, they are sent back to the Graveyards of the player who was defeated.

The destroyed cubes are then returned to their respective Population Tracks during the Cleanup Phase. If a cube is destroyed from a gray (wild) square, the owner gets to choose which Graveyard it goes to.

If a cube is returned from an Orbital, you have the option to return it to either the Money or Science Track. However, destroying Population Cubes does not result in gaining Reputation Tiles.

Orbitals and Monoliths

Orbitals and Monoliths cannot be attacked, nor are they ever removed from the hex. If there is any population on the Orbital, it must be destroyed in the same way as the other Population Cubes.

Reputation Tiles

I’m going to explain to you what happens after all battles in a hex have been resolved. It’s an interesting part of the game that involves drawing Reputation Tiles from a bag. Let me break it down for you:

  • First, if you took part in one or more battles, you get to draw 1 tile.
  • Next, for every Interceptor, Starbase, and Ancient Ship you destroyed, you get to draw 1 tile.
  • If you destroyed any Cruisers, you get to draw 2 tiles for each one.
  • If you destroyed any Dreadnoughts, you get to draw 3 tiles for each one.
  • If you managed to destroy the Galactic Center Defense System, you get to draw 3 tiles.

Remember, you can’t draw more than five tiles in total. Once you have the tiles, you need to choose one and place it face down on your Reputation Track. The remaining tiles go back in the bag.

If your Reputation Track is already full, don’t worry. You can return any of your Reputation Tiles, including the one you just drew or one from the track, back into the bag.

The tiles are arranged in the order that we, the players, entered the hex. This means that the person who entered the hex first gets to draw all of their tiles before anyone else.


Retreat Penalty

If you retreat all of your remaining Ships from the hex, you won’t receive any Reputation Tiles for participating in the battle. However, you will still get tiles for destroying enemy Ships.

Influencing Hexes

After the Combat Phase ends, if you have at least one Ship in a hex that has no population, you remove the previous controller’s Influence Disc from that hex, and you can place your own Influence Disc there. If your Ship is in a hex without an Influence Disc, you can also place a disc there.

Repair Damage

At the end of the Combat Phase, all Damage Cubes are taken off the Ships.

Player Elimination

In the rare event that you lose all of your Influence Discs and Ships from the game board, you will no longer be able to place Influence Discs on hexes.

When you play the game, you can continue to create Resources each turn, even if you don’t have any Population Cubes on the board. You can also take Research actions, which might give you some Victory Points.

Your score is unlikely to be high because the hexes alone often give you more than 10 Victory Points. If you want, you can decide to quit the game, count your score, and put all your game pieces back in the box.

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