yes, it should be played like Diplomacy.
we could try to simulate this by exchanging PMs, for a game of deals, alliances and backstabs.
but in our game it was in fact impossible for me to find allies vs Spice.
one player nearly out of the game, another player ready to invade my center on occasion, and i was fighting vs the third.
basically it was of no concern for all other players if Spice or me would win the game.
so why should any other player ally with me, the dominant threat, vs another far away one?
should i have stayed away from the galactic center?
always the same old Eclipse question.
had the game lasted for 1-2 more rounds, it would have been very exciting.
btw in nearly all my finished games i had the feeling Eclipse ended too soon.