I am not thinking orbitals for ALL buildings, just for storing labor, like factories, and for creating food and water, at the same price scale as surface dwellers.
I too have occasionally gotten very lucky with cultivations and comets, but it feels like you are ten times as dependent on lucky asteroid/world distribution as well as lacking the ability to store labor. Storing labor is the difference between having a new flag ship in 30 seconds, or 10 minutes.
'agricultural stations' and 'distillation stations' would be a nice trick that would go a long way towards making the Nylli competitive, but a 'labor bank' or even the ability to store labor in shipyards (maybe using lots of ore to build?) Seems to be almost mandatory.
As it stands, my first couple of mothership/cash farms are always miners and I make a beeline for artificial worlds (which is a strategy that evens the battleground considerably, despite not being able to build resources weakening it... then again, the Mono get a lot less utility from artificial worlds too, and no one is complaining) which helps, but the lack of labor storage and the ability to rapidly deploy any labor using structures, including ships, is a fierce blow against the Nylli's feasibility, especially against races like the Mono.
Mostly though, I was hoping someone knew some tips unique to the Nylli that could make up for such a huge disadvantage. Other than 'build Mothership cash farms/ defense stations' which are not quite as powerful as orbital cannons.
Do 500 size motherships with monster torpedos make up, defensively, for the lack of planetary cannons? What sorts of mothership variations do you tend to use to make up for the lack of planetary use?