Eclipse Board Game Strategy: Eridani Dreadnaughts

I’ve recently fallen in love with the Eclipse board game. Well, really, I should say that I’ve fallen in love with a board game entitled, Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy. The reason I have to be so specific is that if you go to amazon and type in Eclipse Board Game, you will quickly discover that there are two separate Eclipse board games. One is the one pictured to the right.

While the other is a board game version of the sparkly vampire genre. That game I’m less crazy about.

Part of the strategy for the non-sparkly vampire Eclipse game is to chose your which race you want to play. The race that is recognized as the hardest to play are the Eridani. They start the game with two fewer influence disks than the other races and therefore are severely restricted in the number of actions they can take. This is why they are the most disliked of all the alien races.

I devised a strategy for them that seems to work reasonably well. It involves taking the middle in as little as three turns using as few moves as possible. Possessing the middle gives you a tremendous amount of resources and costs precious few of your already scarce influence disks. Once there you can hopefully hold the middle as well as use it to start moving against your more vulnerable neighbors.

The Eridani suffer not only from a lack of influence disks, but also disks, their problem is compounded by a lack of minerals. The middle tile does have a mineral spot as well as another advanced mining spot. I have finished entire games having these be my only populated mineral resources on the board. Those games are never pretty, but holding the middle can still pull you through some games.

The scarcity of resources means if you ever suffer significant loses in a fleet on fleet battle then it’s very difficult to recover. Therefore, Eridani players should be particularly careful not to engage opposing fleets unless they are a solid favorite. It also means that you need to carefully shepherd your starting interceptor. You poor resource production means you have to squeeze the most life out of your starting interceptor you possibly can.

So if we’re gonna take the middle on turn 3, we need to have some idea of how to build toward that. Fortunately, there are a few programs on the internet that will allow us to simulate Eclipse combats and give us a probability of success. First we need to understand that the Eridani love Dreadnoughts. Dreadnoughts are the only ship design where the Eridani get any bonuses (the one built in power). They are also the most survivable ship to build, and the Eridani’s restricted influence disks means they can’t move mass number of smaller ships efficiently.

So if the most likely initial battle fleet the Eridani can build is comprised of their starting interceptor and a dreadnought, then let’s see the best course of action to take with that fleet.
Continue reading Eclipse Board Game Strategy: Eridani Dreadnaughts

Examining Socialist Myths: Tax Cuts Don’t Stimulate the Economy

Aw Hell. It’s election season again. As someone posted, “It’s a great time to pare down my Facebook friends.” I’m sure a fair amount of that goes on. As an acquaintance of mine recently described it, “Political beliefs are largely an echo chamber. Election season is an invitation to everyone else to enter your personal echo chamber.”

I’ve gotten better about things. I enter fewer political discussions on Facdbook and have greatly reduced my objectives. The truth is that as a Libertarian, I disagree politically with well over 90% of the voting public. So if I responded to every invitation to enter a political argument, I’d never have any to time to myself.

And some arguments are really subjective and not worth discussing. If you think Obama’s the best President in history, good for you. If you think Mitt Romney is the voice of sanity in the political wilderness, good for you. I’m not here to debate things like that. I’m never going to win the argument, first off, because these beliefs are not subject to change. They are part of political identity that people have absorbed and they’re sure as hell it giving them up for me.

But then, sometimes, I just can’t help myself. Sometimes political beliefs are so out there that I just can’t help myself. If a NeoCon is arguing that invading the entire Middle East will usher in a new American Golden Age, I just have to wade into the fray. I can’t say I have any success in converting people, but occasionally people do tell me that they find discussing things with me enlightening.

Which brings us to today’s political Facebook discussion, “Do tax cuts stimulate the economy?” I find it strange that this is a real question, but I am going to treat it as legitimate and go forward from there. Continue reading Examining Socialist Myths: Tax Cuts Don’t Stimulate the Economy

A Couple of Back-to-Back No Limit Hands

So I’ve been running poorly and am down a bit in a $200 buy-in NL game. I’ve been there for hours. The people there know I’m only playing the good hands. I pick up Ah Kd with $270 in from of me and decide to isolate a early limper. I raise to $20 (BB is $5), and get one caller after me, the SB, and the limper. Together the 4 of us see the flop with $80 in the pot.

Flop is As Qc 8h.

It’s checked to me and I bet out $35 into $80. That flop hits my raising range and these players, fishy as they are, realize it. There’s not much to draw to, so I feel a relatively small bet is in order. The player after me folds, and the SB (who has me covered) raises to $110. The player in the middle folds and it’s back to me.

My instincts and experience tell me that my hand is no good here, but I saw this flop with an SPR of just over 3, and at some point I feel the SPR just demands that you get it in. Should I fold here with an SPR of 3? I guess in hindsight, maybe I should.

Anyway, I put the money in bad versus the small blinds AQ and suck out a King on the river.

The SB had $47 left after paying me off. So that brings us to the next hand. A grinder with $200 in front of him raises to $20 from UTG. I look down at JJ. I pretty much flat my entire range against him because I want the weaker players to take the flop with me, because I feel I make my money from the soft spots in the game and not the good players. So I call. It folds to the button, the guy I just beat, and he’s steaming. He puts in his $47 all-in. The blinds fold, and the grinder makes it $110.

This feels like an AK move. He wants to shut me out and take his hand heads up against a weak hand with my money as a sweetener. I ponder if he could be making this move with AA or KK, and it just doesn’t seem likely. I feel like he’d want me in the pot in that case. So I move all-in. He calls with AQ. The button has 69 of clubs. My Jacks hold up, and now I’m up for the day.

I’d make the moves I did willy nilly. I had reasons for why I did them, but I am open to discussing them if you have any questions or comments.