[Update 7/19/2012]
Another full game of Eclipse last night, this time 4 players (Steve[Planta], Dave[Hydran], George[Orion] and me[Mechanema].

I did the opposite of last game, and cut a path right across the board, bisecting it in two. I was able to get some alien tech (ion missiles) by battling an ancient hex. I upgraded my cruisers and attacked the center hex. I was able to conquer the center hex with my upgraded cruisers. That gave me another tile with something like +9 mineral resource.

Alliances were made with Hydra and Planta, so I attacked Orion. But Orion upgraded ships bigtime, and came back at me. Even with my battles, I failed to get good VP tiles (lots of “1″s!). I even had enough resources to build a monolith. As I was now exposed to everyone, Planta and Hydra (in that order) broke alliances with me and attacked (that hex with monolith and 3VP was tempting).

By turn 8 I think I was just on 3 little isolated hexes with no ships built, and no way to get resources to build them. I think I had previously brought Orion down to just a few hexes via battles, but he was wise enough to keep resources to rebuild. In the end I had only 13 victory points, and most of those were the chips won via battles (9 pts). I had researched almost nothing, so no VP from those. I think Hydra had researched ALL rows of tech so got like 15 VP just for those.

Turns out I pretty much played a similar strategy as Dave had done last game (with the yellow alien) in that I expanded (for me it was via battles mostly) but then lost all the territory. I will eventually learn. I’m having fun in the meantime. :)

I spent too much time/resources building (deploying) my upgraded ships vs. researching more tech for better weapons. Orion upgraded to a point where he was rolling something like 12 dice to attack with missiles before the regular battles even started! I’ve figured out: don’t let yourself get spread out, and rely on alliances to protect you. Alliances WILL be broken, especially at end game when a nice, juicy monolith is on a 3VP hex. If you build a monolith(s), be sure to be able to protect them, as they will be very attractive points.

I’d like to play Mechanema again, and change my strategy. Then play some different aliens! :) Great time last night, even though by round 8 I was out of the running. Total game time was like 5.5 hours (8p -1:30a). I think the scores were something like Planta: 45, Hydra: 41, Orion 36, and Mechanema: 13.

[Orig post]
We managed to get a full game of Eclipse in last night! 5 players: 2 humans and 3 aliens. Game lasted about 4 hours, and made for a great game night. I ended up “turtling” (blocking myself off from the rest of the galaxy; playing defensively). This is not a good strategy for this game, as many of the victory points are won by participating in battles. I came in (next to) last – I was only in 2 battles, and although I won them, I ended up with the fewest victory points at the end. The yellow alien (Dave) was eliminated in ~round 8 (expanded too a lot, but then lost all the territory). Next time, I will play more aggressively!