On the box, Eclipse says a game takes 30 minutes per player. We've only played it three times - two-player each time - and our games have taken between two and three hours, rather than the one hour predicted.

I don't think we're particularly slow players (we both get frustrated by slow players in other games), so I was wondering how long other people found the game takes. Does it take proportionally less time with more players? Does it get quicker with practice? (If anything it's getting slower for us as we understand the game better and realise more the consequences of our choices!)

  • Have you made sure to restrict the number of tiles available for the number of players you have? In one game we played, we forgot to do this and it dragged. Afterwards, when we remembered, it seemed more righties. Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 12:12
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    At a minimum with two players you have less time to think about your options between turns...!
    – Affe
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 20:09
  • Yep, definitely using only five region-3 hexes.
    – teedyay
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 14:16
  • You also need to reduce the initial techs and the refresh techs per turn. That said, Eclipse is really better with 4-5 players. Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 4:25

2 Answers 2


I think games companies often estimate the time based on players who know the game. My first few plays of a game will often run long compared to the estimated time on the box, but my tenth, fiftieth or hundredth play will often come in around the box estimate (or less).

Eclipse is a big game with lots of things to take account of (various technologies, balancing your empires, etc.). I'd expect your first five or ten plays to require extra thinking time while you get to grips with it.

  • 5
    At least one game company (the one I work for) does exactly this, estimating the time based on players who know the game. In my experience, new players' playing time is so variable that it isn't helpful to put it on the box.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 17:43
  • @Joe, I used to run my own games company and I did the same. Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 17:58

Once you know the rules and what the tiles do it speeds up considerably. With 3+ players every person should easily have an idea of what they plan on doing for their move before their turn comes up. As soon as it is their turn they should have their shit on the table. It only takes longer because the group is playing casually and not paying much attention. Which is not a bad thing, mind you-- it's why we get together to play games with friends in the first place.

Our first few games drug on for hours because of constant rule-checking and needing to read over each and every tile to know what each upgrade actually did. Once you know things by heart and by name it cuts the time down by half at least.

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