75 Star System Galaxy. Spacing set high forget how much exactly (between 6000 and 8000 spacing). Remnant density set to .4, strength set to 25 or 35. Pirate strength set to 3.0 . Otherwise i play with games settings at default.
I really have had an easy time of it. Only 1 hour and 38 minutes into the game and I don't see any chance of loss. I have managed to stay #1 in Military Economy, Colonization, and Research through the entirety of the game, though my military rating dropped to #3 for a bit.
I start every game paused by pressing the pause hotkey before the game finishes loading. Obsolete all vanilla blueprints, and import all my own. Set default planetary Governor to balanced. I queue up Research in this order: 3 General Science; 3 Economy; 3 Metallurgy; 3Ship Construction; 3 Engineering; 3 Projectile Weapons; then back to General Sciences to lvl 5 and then raise all remaining sciences i want/need to lvl 3. I Keep General Sciences one or two lvls above all other sciences, to save time in research. I like to have projectile weapons, engineering, and ship construction at at least lvl 3 before I build my first combat ship. Fledgling Empire is one of my race traits so I have to queue up my homeworld structures. Then I un-pause. My first colonizer pops out in 2 Min's followed by more and 50 XR-101c Recons.
When I colonize a new planet, I change the Governor to renovate only, load a queue named "Base": shipyard, spaceport,3 cities,4 metal mines, 2 electronics, 1 adv. parts. I then specialize from there on each planet, adding what i need. The planet closest to the star gets one extra shipyard, 2 cargo storage, an ammo depot, eventually a fuel depot.
The first warship I build is my FF-M1a scale 6, they are the first ships to patrol my home system. I build/fleet them in groups of 5 and send them out to the systems I am colonizing. Not only does this keep me from having a single pirate incursion, it also gave me a great advantage when wrestling the control of early contested systems. While expanding I declared war on each AI to clear them out of the systems I was also colonizing, and intercept colony ships. All systems were cleared of enemies with token resistance.
The first attack came from orange who sent a fleet of 30 ships into a system next to my home system. There only 5 FF-M1a stood against them. I sent a group of 10 destroyers DD-M2a from my homesystem to help. Lucky me though, the Orange fleet was too impetuous, and outran there supporting tanker ships. One by one they went grey and my frigates had them whipped before DD reinforcements arrived. The orange had another fleet on the way to another system on the opposite side of my homeworld, but offered a treaty right before they arrived which would give my economy a bit of a boost( I think food and research) not much but i took it. So orange just parked his fleet there. As soon as the treaty expired I destroyed this fleet in a controlled situation to test my DD-M1b, which utilizes external mounts, and I found it to be a very solid design(1st screen shot).
Purple, obviously upset with me
had launched an attack of its own in one of the 2 systems we shared. In that system they killed one planet and started for the other, again lucky me I had built a shield generator on that planet along with a planetary cannor and laser before the blockade started. The planet held its own very well. In the meantime I was organizing a fleet, to reinforce the system. Let them fuel up and I sent them on their way, I then noticed purple had a treaty for me(2nd screen shot). Pretty Nice!!! The best part about the treaty was its length, it would allow for just enough time for my reinforcements to reach the system. Once they arrive I declare war purple sends its fleet straight at my planet I send mine straight at theirs, our ships pass by far enough apart they don't fire at eachother. Unfortunately for the purple, (3rd screen shot on next post) its fleet still could not crack my planets shields, and now in addition the the planetary weaponry I had a scale 30 artillery station built which helped ravage them(The Artillery Fortification M2 is exceptional). After clearing purples planet i noticed I lost a singe FF and a fuel tanker to planetary weapons fire, then turned the fleet to finish off the purple fleet, with no more losses. Another battle is decided in my favor against the purple in a neighboring system, but was so easily won, hardly worth mentioning. So far I have lost between 5-10 FF-M1a , 2 small fuel tankers, and a DD-M2b(I let orange fleet destroy this one for the sake of knowledge).
I build an Artillery Fortification M1/M2 around each planet ; build orbital metal refineries around planets that have high amounts of ore or are in a system with and asteroid belt, and crank out 10 TS-M5a Miners in systems with asteroids(screen shot in next post) ; build a Deep space miner that is completely self sufficient, and is sent to asteroid system in the confines of my empires influence, with light cruiser escort. I set up 5 minor ship assembly systems, and am about to finish my primary ship assembly system.
Orange is on the ropes. Green is small and passive. Purple is recouping. Blue is 2nd to me, but still only a little over half my size.
Have fun wiping the floor with them, or at the very least import the ship designs you like. theres about 75-80 designs in this save, low-tech to high-tech and they are the very best I can make.