Reply To: Getting Started
On the Importance of Research: Research is key. You need research to improve construction speed, you need it to get better weapons, more money, more people, faster population growth, you even need it to generate faster research.
You should put as many resources into research as possible. For me it’s always a difficult decision when to scale back research and start producing bigger fleets. It’s tempting to keep researching just that one more tech that will give you an edge on your opponents. But if you wait too long, you may have all the cool tech but no ships to use it on. Nothing worse than a big fleet of ships 10 tech levels behind yours taking away colony after colony from you because you neglected actually building ships with your cool technology.
Don’t be afraid to build ships early on with early tech. As you progress you can refit your ships to use newer technology at a fraction of the cost and time a new ship would mean. Refit your ships regularly. Every research level of fuel cells and drives will be automatically made available to all your ships, but computers, armor and shields need to be manually updated (unless you disabled tactical combat as I suggested in the first post).
When you research new space ship technologies, they are very bulky. When you research more levels of the same research category, previous technologies get miniaturized. So it can often be a better idea to keep older weapons in your ship but then have a lot more of them, than to have the newest weapons but relatively few.
There is one technology for ships that you almost universally want to use: Battle Pods. Those don’t use up space but provide extra space, which is very useful for packing more systems or weapons into your ship.
When building your fleet, ships typically don’t cost any upkeep. That is, as long as you don’t have too many. How many you can have depends on the number of Control Points your empire produces. Each star base (or their upgrade levels) provide a certain number of control points, each ship costs control points. As long has you don’t use more control points than you produce, you don’t pay any maintenance for your ships. There is one race option that gives you virtually unlimited fleet sizes: Warlord. Races with that option generate control points from every colony they own. Very useful.
There are technologies to increase the number of control points generated from your star bases. Bigger ships use proportionally fewer command points per size. Like, four times the weapons for less than twice the command points.
Always keep in mind that in this game, almost every stat can be improved in one way or another, typically cumulative with other effects. You can for example add stuff to your ships that increases the percentage of damage that bypasses shields. You can then add stuff that increases the overall damage. You can add something to increase the probability of hitting. It all stacks!
On the defense, you can add missile evasion stuff like ECM jammers, combined with hardened shields point defence weapons to make your ships almost invulnerable to missiles.
You can increase the morale on your planet while at the same time providing production bonuses and reducing waste to easily triple the production output of a planet.
The whole game is build on those principles. Make the best of it 🙂