From: Montpellier, France
quote: I never needed to ally with anybody, so, I don't know this one. IIRC, Kiadians are very cautious, so they don't ally themselves easily. You may want to attack pirates and monsters to get your reputation even higher.
1) No matter how good my dealings with the Kaidan are I can't get them to sign a mutual defense pact.
quote: IMO, this is quite a big fleet you have only 25-30 worlds. But you said earlier you had lots of space ports, including medium and big. Space ports are good, but most of the time, I find I don't need to build anything but small ones, to both meet the demand of building of the private sector, help the spread of the resource in my empire (I'm not sure it helps a lot, but...) and boost the development level of high quality worlds. I don't really now what medium and big space port are for, unless you have to build a fleet in a hurry in a particular sector. Large space ports cost a lot, so they have high maintenance costs. You probably don't need them, so you may retrofit them to small space ports, which will save you some thousands of "K".
2) How can I repair my economy without cutting into my fleet.
Next, it seems that the constructor AI builds a lot of useless mines, that cost money to build and have maintenance costs for the private sector. If they had more money, they may build more ships, and gain your empire fresh cash. Check the mines stocks (ship and bases screen, cargo tab), and scrap the ones that are not needed. Be sure to colonize, or if you cannot, to build mines on worlds with luxury resources that you lack: this will make profit to your private sector, that will get you taxes, and it will help grow the development of your colonies.
If you did not automate the ship designs, it could be a good idea to upgrade the civilian ships designs. This sometimes cause the private sector to upgrade its fleet. (that is, if they have the money)
The private sector tends to build ships when you create new colonies. If you did seize Teekan worlds (with enough population if you're using the beta), they have the ability to colonize desert planets, so help yourself, and use the planer to colonize all you can; for what I read on the forum, the colonizing AI seems to be a little slow, so give it a hand. And explore a lot. Build a lot of exploration ships to find the precious habitable worlds, and especially the independent colonies, that may enable you to colonize new world types.
If you need some money in a hurry, you may sell your territory maps. AI empires love maps, and will give you good money in exchange. I did not find any drawback to this until now. Keep your galaxy maps, if you don't want to risk the others to colonize the habitable worlds you found.
quote: In this game, research is slow, very slow. To get it going anywhere, you need to either trade, or find derelict ships and retire them into your shipyards. So explore...
3) Research is not going well at all.
Later in the game, when your population start to be big enough, your potential research will be higher and more efficient. Check you potential research: by default, space ports come with research labs, and they have usually more than enough to reach the maximum research potential. There is no need to have more research labs than potential but to avoid wasting potential. You may want to scrap some your research stations to save maintenance.
Your problem with fuel, I'm not sure, I did not get that problem. Perhaps your private sector is bankrupt, so they don't spread the fuel efficiently ?
Note that you can order your ships to refuel directly at fuel mines.
quote: This problem is more or less solved in the beta, so I assume you don't use it. All I can advise you is to order your troop transports to orbit the target world before ordering them all to drop the troops.
4) Troop war, [...]my ships don't synchronize when dropping troops
Note that troops get experience when victorious, and get more and more powerful. If you lost several times trying to conquer a world, the defending troops may have become very powerful, perhaps train your troops on easy worlds before trying again, or, obviously, bring even more troops.
quote: Yes, shoot them ! They are pretty useless, if you ask me, excepted the ones that order troops and manage taxes. The option to do so is in... the options menu. It is not very visible, because these are presented in form of drop down combo boxes, where you can choose something like "fully automate/give advices/no automation".
5) My advisers[...] shoot them ?
quote: Yes, and no. I don't think counter-espionage get your spies any experience. Perhaps when they catch enemy spy, but I doubt it. You may have had bad luck, with you expeditions. I usually only send spy with chances of success over 85%. To "train" your spies, you may try to steal territory maps, and sabotage little things. Teekan have particularly bad counter-spying, so you may want to train them here. Forget stealing research, though, as it seem unless you are technologically very behind your target (2 levels or more), you won't get anything from it, but experience.
6) Do spy missions actually succeed? [...]Do the agents get experience from counterespionage as well?
quote:They bring income when private sector order new ships. The size of the space port will only make them build faster.
7) I noticed in the empire summary screen that spaceports can bring an income.
quote:If your resort base is not in a scenic point, they will never get any customer. Even on a good scenic location, you will need it to be quite near very populated planets to get any tourist.
8) How profitable are resort bases, if not necessarily in a scenic location?
As I design my space ports without labs, and that object granting research bonus often are scenic locations, I crate resort bases stuffed with research labs. They are more research stations with a resort part, but I fear that a base with research station beavior may not be able to get any tourists. So, if they get customers, it's all good for me, if they don't, well, a research base don't need to earn money to be valuable.