Wow, one of the most intense and protracted games I have ever had in DW. Took most of Sunday to play out. Ran until 2819.02.17.
-1400 Stars on a 15x15 grid, laid out as Varied Clusters
-Chose Cyborgs as my start.
-Guaranteed the Humans, Eva, Grun, Merch and Fasce would appear.
-8 Additional random empires.
-All other settings left on normal default.
-Added 4 fuel cells to explorers
-Doubled the Labs on R&D bases and removed all extraneous systems, shield and weapons included, then built 1 of each at the Home world. Redesigned them periodically to keep ahead of R&D capacity. Removed Labs from SSP and LSP designs, later removed them from MSP as well. Only other sources of R&D were randomly discovered outsystem bases.
I started in a cluster in the SE corner. Sadly, also in the same cluster and between me and the rest of the galaxy were the Humans and Eva. The Eva and Humans soon started a nearly continuous chain of Trades Sanctions. The Eva periodically declared War, but only half heartedly killed a few mining bases and then petitioned for peace again.
To counteract that 'bad', I quickly found and conquered 2 Lost Colonies, and even more importantly a Ruin yielded the 'Way of the Ancients' government type which I quickly adopted.
Being trapped in, I built a huge swarm of Explorers, had 25 running about... matched it with 15 Construction to utilize what is found.
An abandoned Supply Depot and 2 Debris fields provided a stream of ships I retired for many Tech bonuses.
Mid Game (early): (Cyborg 15 -> 31 worlds, Eva 15, Human 20, Ikkuro 57)
Finally did an end run of the Eva to the south and found 2 empty Star clusters along the southern map edge that soon fell to my colonization and conquest waves. Cleared any and all Pirates I found, AFTER I bought all Lost colony and special info, usually just minutes before my fleet came to pick up the info. :)
The I found a Lost colony near the center of the map, and conquered it. As my troops were landing I met my great Bane, the 'Great Ikkuro Union'... They landed troops seizing the Lost colony out from under me and destroyed all my ships in the Lost fleet.
Paid dearly for it, but the Kiaden sold ShadowGhost ECM 1,2&3 to me, and then later GAVE me 4 and a Gas mine for a Mining station. Who was I to say no?
Mid Game (late): (Cyborg 31-> 71 worlds, Eva 13, Human 20, Ikkuro 57-> 90+, Cyborg Empire 19)
The Ikurro suborned all the other empires so that if I so much as looked crosseyed at the Ikurro all the others would demand I cease any Sanctions, Blockades, Wars...
Then I found a Ruin that gave me the secrets of 'Super Lasers', already had the 'Death Ray', instantly my reputation plummeted from somewhere in the good range to Diabolic. My new colonies went into Rebellion and stopped paying taxes, as well 19 Colonies split off as the 'Cyborg Empire'.
I built 4x super fleets, 15 Capitals(1100sz), 10 Carriers(1650sz), 10 Transports(800sz), 200 troops, in each fleet.
End Game: (Cyborg 71->140+, Eva 13->0, Human 20->2, Cyborg Empire 19->24->0
The fleets made short work of the Cyborg rebels and their new worlds. Then I turned 1 Fleet on the Eva and Humans which destroyed the Eva totally and nearly the Humans by the game end.
The other 3 fleets turned on the Ikkuro and like Piranha ate their way up the chains of Ikkuro worlds until as I was no longer expecting it the game ended.
The Grun, Merch and Fasce, never really factored in the game at all, they were clustered in the NW map corner and I really never dealt with them. Will try another game playing one of them later.
There NEEDS to be a cooldown period on War weariness, the AI gets tired of war, sue for peace and declare war all fresh and rested almost instantly. Bah!
Was really rather surprised the Ikkuro didn't make their Victory conditions long long before I did, they were literally twice my size for much of it.