OK ladies and gents, I'm doing an apollo domination game. Somehow I survived long enough to the very late game, and it is GRUELING (I should've made a story about this but Junior year is pummeling). This thread is long, just warning you. If you hate that, just read this TLDR in brackets [Stay isolated, go industry and might, use spies liberally, forget diplomatic relations, and have a well balanced army.] In any case here's what you gotta do (or at least what I did): STAY ISOLATED! This is a big one. An AI opponent is just someone waiting to invade you. The diplomatic overhauls are completely irrelevant since the AI always b!tches and moans about how you don't trade alot, or your military, size, ect. Forget the AI. Stations are your new best friends in the early game. At least they don't backstab you. Bottom line is to expand only when necessary and keep away from the AI for as long as possible. The AI can't kill what they don't see. GO INDUSTRY AND MIGHT! This is another big one. Industry will allow you to get a substantial amount of energy from trading with stations. They are also stable sources of money due to the fact that they never go to war. If you're in a war, that'll probably change since the AI will hunt your trade routes. There's also the fact that industry will get you more energy and production, maybe even sneak in a few wonders. As for might, you need that so you can reach a high affinity level ASAP. For me this level is purity since I can kill the alien hordes and get science with the might boosts. The science is great for getting affinity techs and unit techs. Might will also grant you double resources, half the army maintenance, a free affinity level, more unit strength, orbital coverage, and lots more. It just might be the best path there is. If at first you don't succeed, SPY SPY AGAIN! Spies are your friends. Get them ranked up and farm those steal tech&science/siphon missions. Once again, getting high tech is crucial to your survival, because when the AI goes to war you want to match them pound for pound. Having lots of energy is crucial for maintaining those large armies as well. That also means having enough energy to rush critical infrastructure and buildings. Having that extra patrol boat or recycler can make all the difference. Rush buying is crucial to beefing or propping up cities, as well as getting more resources. DON'T TRY TO SUCK UP TO THE AI! Seriously. As I mentioned earlier the AI will hate you regardless of what you do. Any relationships that reach cooperating are painfully brief, and being allied is a hell of an anomaly. You should invest in killing your neighbors, not being friends with them. And finally, HAVE A WELL BALANCED ARMY! The AI will SPAM Naval and Ground units like never before. Sea based cities will be lost in 2-3 turns, tops, if you don't have a significant naval presence in that area. Since my cities are usually near resource hotspots it's crucial that I defend them well. That means getting tacnet hubs, orbital lasers (then planet carvers) 4-5 units and a ranged unit each, and the latest in defense buildings. I guarantee you that your stockpiled floatstone, titanium, firaxite, xenomass, and oil will come in handy in the late. Use it well. So that's it people. If you want to add anything, go ahead. But this is how I survived and thrived.