From: Arlington TN U.S.A
I'll be back with commentary as soon as I change machines to my regular internet surfer. The keyboard on this machine is flaky.
This was the first game where I used state mining ships from the start - escorts with resource extractors and cargo bays. You have to give them orders for where to mine every time they finish a mining assignment by emptying their full cargo holds at the nearest spaceport. I'm still experimenting with designs, but I recommend a cruise speed of at least 20, turn of 20 degrees, and more massive cargo bays than the total number of resource extraction units on board. I design for 150 days of mining at 15/60 resources per day since there is a lot of overhead getting to the location and back for delivery.
After mining my top priority early game is exploration, with a goal of the galaxy being fully explored in the 4th or 5th year. For that purpose, my games always include one empire each of all the races, with every empire having a racial technology being at average distance and the rest being distant. I always give every empire (including mine) an excellent home system and the same other traits as I have (for a level playing field). I butter up all the racial tech empires by giving cash gifts of 5k until they have enough to buy a tech from me, then getting my money back by selling them tech. I use the money from tech trading for crash researching and empire expenses. After I've met three empires, I stop taxing anywhere, not even on my home world until about year six or so. That gives the civilians plenty of cash to buy ships as I colonize the galaxy. If your civilians have less cash than your state does, then you are taxing too high or expanding too fast.
I pay pirates protection bribes if necessary to avoid losing a mine or valuable ship. I don't molest them until after I have a size 500-750 destroyer in orbit around every colony, especially the independents and sometimes weak empires' colonies. In year 5 I buy (or retrofit) 100 explorers with ultra long range scanners so that I can park one per sector and see every location in the galaxy. Once I have visibility and dominance, I start sending cruisers out to destroy pirate bases. As my reputation improves to heroic, I start conquering independent colonies with troopships carrying 40-96 troops each, depending upon how many troops are available. The independents are important sources of troops.
Troop cloning is extremely important, so once you have a regular troop of strength 30k from conquering successive independent colonies, you want a cloning facility on every colony ASAP. That facility is the most important. Then I build a fortified bunker, giant ion cannon, and planetary shield. You don't need a terraforming facility unless you have a bombarded planet or have enabled disasters. The total cost of facilities exceeds the cost of a colony ship, spaceport, and defending warship, so that is really the limiting factor on how fast you can afford to expand, provided your civilians can afford their ships.
It is essential for you to find and colonize every super luxury planet - that's korobbian spice, loros fruit, and zentabia fluid. Also of great importance is the technology learned from scrapping repaired warships from the test zones and debris fields. I always blow up the three busted world destroyers as soon as I have the means to do so. You can get the devastator pulse tech from a nexus of the red claw, and the death ray from a fortress ruins. To get the super laser you need a game exploit, from reloading the opening of a research zone base until the random number generator delivers the advanced super weapons tech.
Rather than go into laborious and redundant detail here, see my quick strategy guide thread. If you are REALLY interested in this particular game, pm me with your email address and I'll send you a zip file of over a dozen saved games at 6-12 month intervals, size 500 megabytes.
Lonnie Courtney Clay
< Message edited by Jeeves -- 5/10/2013 2:24:18 AM >
Live long and prosper!
Lonnie Courtney Clay