I'll start a new thread here for strategy walkthroughs as I've been asked to detail my start up for my typical production oriented but tech capable super race that I use to play IceX. The game is Huge/Imp/8/Prewarp with other stuff average default. This race is Uni/Prod+2/Food+1/LRAHW. My 21 negs come from LG and Repulsive. Note that I am only using 44 out of 45 positives. I could go with +1 res instead of Arti, but I usually want the better home world and quicker early techs from Arti and my early colonists don't spend much time in the labs anyhow. This super HW needs only 2 farmers and can grow once and still need only 2 farmers. 6 scientists can provide 30 rp/t and 6 workers can provide 63 pp/t !! which pollution reduces to 36 pp/t. A single worker rounds up to 11 pp/t but loses 1 to pollution. I am playing as Elerian pic, so my HS is Draconis. I'll refer to my HW as D2. OK I spawned in along the upper edge about 1/3 of the way to the right of center. My HS has two more planets to colonize. Both are pop 5, one being Large/Rad/UR/HG and the other being Med/Bar/NG. I'll make good use of that UR planets especially later when I can build a gravity generator and of course if given time, this will terraform into the production gem of the universe. My strategy here is basically economic build up. I hope to settle a couple/few systems and take a couple monster systems. I would like to move towards my right into that corner where if successful, I could have a large empire and not have to fight wars on several fronts. If there's an AI in that corner, I may have to switch gears for a quick war. Please forgive me, but I have no clue how to take a screen shot, let alone attach one. T0 I sell the SB for 250 BC to also save 2 BC/t maintenance. I want the early cash. I will also sell both barracks as cash is needed to buy buildings or CB. Research is set for colony bases and freighters of course. After two turns I am 80% to finish the tech so I move one guy from the lab, to bank pp working on rebuilding my SB. I'll gamble on being 70% to get my tech next turn. T3 I have my CB tech, and now all workers will build it. I will buy it on the turn when it is half built or more. T7 I buy my first CB spending 192 BC for 96 PP. Next turn I'll buy freighters more than half built and then onward to my 2nd CB to finish colonizing my HS. T8 I colonize the UR/HG planet D3 and wow, the lone worker provides 10 pp/t. I am now shy one freighter so I am losing .05 pop growth/t. However, by setting this high production worker to build housing, D3 will grow by .15 p/t. I spend 28 BC for the 14 pp remaining for my freighter so that all 36 pp will go towards the next CB. Now D3 will grow by .20 p/t. My 2 farmers on D2 provide 9 food so when my next worker is born, it will have to go to farming. T12 I spend 212 BC for 106pp to buy my CB for D4. (D1 is an asteroid belt). I now move all 6 workers on D2 to the lab to get the computer tech that is pre-req for the Lab tech. Last turn, a new farmer was born on D2. Pop-1 housing on D3 will soon give me a newborn to transfer over to D2. I believe it is best for this high production race to now tech for Labs and build them while teching for factories rather than going for factories first. I'll save the game here so I can test that later to make 100% sure. It is also possible to research to get a quick scout out, but I don't want to slow my economy down this game with that gambit at finding something useful early. T13 D4 colonized and set to housing at .136 p/t with it 6 production. Next turn a newborn from D3 is moved to the labs. T15 I am 90% to get the computer tech so I move one guy to production and gamble on 80% being good enough and was. The game says it should take 7 turns for me to the Lab tech. I won't have quite enough cash by then to buy all 3 if only half built. I just need to store up 30 pp on my two great planets to do so for 60 BC each. I think I'll stop housing now on D4 as it isn't close to giving birth so I can store up somewhat more than 30 pp to spend the last of my cash on that Lab. I want my labs and the 5 rp/t each provides for just being there. T19 A newborn from D3 was made a scientist on D2. I should be 3 turns away from getting the Lab tech now so I stop housing on D3 to save up 30 pp. I have 10 pp banked on D2 so I will move one guy to production next turn. T21 I lucked out and got Lab tech with 43% chance. I need one more turn to have them half built on D2 and D3. I spend 48 BC to buy lab on D4 and set it back to housing. Cmdr. Hawk is looking for a job but no reason to hire him until the last minute as he isn't needed now. Research set for R.Hull as pre-req to Factories. T22 I have the money to buy my lab 60/30 on D2 where it will help my many scientists greatly. Next turn I can buy it on D3 and set its colonist back to housing. Soon my lone colonists will start to save up pp to build factories. T23 Almost finished with R.Hull tech so one guy leaves the lab to store 10 pp on D2. I decided that since I won't have adequate funds to buy 3 factories half built in a few turns, I'd better start saving PP now on my other colonies. I want factories there asap to improve housing. I think this is better than housing now for a few turns and getting those factories a few turns later. T26 Factory tech came early and next tech is Chem for Fuel cells for my scout and other ships. T27 I only have cash to spend 40/20 for factory on D3. Soon I will be able to buy the other two. With 63 rp/t just this turn I will be 26% to get the Chem tech. Next turn I will be 100% to get it, so I will move a few guys to work on the two remaining factories. T29 I am still just about broke but spend 8/4 to help my factory on D2 along and just finished hard building the factory on D4. Next turn I will have just enough to spend 18/9 for my scout. I redesigned the scout to have no computer as I don't see why it needs one. Teching now for colony ship. Housing on D3 is now .280 p/t. It is nice to start T30pw with labs and factories built on 3 planets. If one dilly dallies around and doesn't have a good start up procedure, it is possible to be a few turns or more slower. T32 Colony ship tech done, I decide to use my UR planet as the ship yard and use my Arti HW to tech towards D-cells and Pol Proc. Soon I discovered a great system better than my own with 5 planets many really good. D3 is set with 5 colonists building my CS (needed a 2nd freighter) and I also made a 2nd scout. D4 is housing at a very nice .248 p/t. Once I get D-cells I will likely meet an enemy or two, but this will guide further play. Of course I will then need a spy or few. D2 is saving pp with one worker for that. T39 D-cell tech done. I will now check out that corner where I hope to be able to expand into safely. 19 total pop now so I need that 5th farmer. D3's 5 workers produce a total of 60 pp/t but 23 is lost to pollution. This coming CS will the only one I build prior to some pollution controls as only the Lurnis system is awesome. Other systems surely will be colonized, but I don't want to waste too much pp to pollution. T41 I have done all the scouting I can do without some colonies to extend my range. No AIs met yet. Since I don't plan to blitz that is fine with me. I should be able to buy my CS in two more turns. My scouts are also heading to Lurnis. I don't expect Pol Proc for at least 10 turns but when I get it, I can pump out CS with less waste. I want to colonize every nearby space rock and now with factories available they will get a factory and then a lab. T 44 I bought that CS with two turns remaining and sent the workers to the labs on D2. I now have 20 pop. 18 on D2 (maxed with 5 farmers, 1 worker saving pp building towards my SB and 12 scientists) The other 2 colonies are housing. I built another freighter so I will be able to send 2 colonists quickly to the Med/Terran/Rich planet in Lurnis which will help jump start that system. T 48 L3 colonized. I made a 3rd spare freighter and now 3 excess colonists from my HS will arrive in 3 turns. My scouts can reach 6 unexplored systems from Lurnis. I expect to meet a future enemy and his relations and proximity will determine whether I need a defensive fleet (most likely). It would be nice to find a monster planet or two. T 49 I hire Hawk before he leaves. Cats are met two systems just above galaxy center. Amiable relations. I said, "hello" as Rocco recommends and we'll see how relations go. Cats don't have stealthy ships, but I think I need to make some FF with stored pp and head to Lurnis so the Cats don't think I am weak. T 52 I buy the factory at L3. Started Pol Proc on my UR D3 which will be my Colony Ship Yard for now. I finished the early Physic tech in one turn with a 62% chance, getting it out of the way. I plan to continue using my Arti HW mostly for research. L3 is also useful for farming. Defensive FF are heading to L3. They will be upgraded in monster killing FF once I have Atmos Ren and BP's. There's an Amoeba on a nearby system that is close to the Cats. T 55 I needed a Pol Proc on L3 which is finished. Next is Lab and then 4 CB's. 4 FF should there should be adequate for now. I am quite dominant in the stats compared to the Cats but this is a great start. Am not wasting pp to pollution on D3 and can buy that Pol Proc and next I will max pop there at 5 and crack out some CS for my eastward expansion along the upper edge. I moved a couple guys from the labs to work on a spy at D2 since the Cats have one sneaking around my camp. T 56 Lab bought at L3. CS started at D3. What a nice econo-help that Pol Proc is. Now rather than losing 23 of 60 pp I am losing only 9 on D2. I said hello to the Cats again and while they greet me nicely, I still think that they think of my race as food. D4 still housing at .248 p/t. CB's started on L3. T 61 L2 an arid but rich planet colonized. I'll build a factory and then Pol P and then lab. Another Amoeba system is nearby. This and my desire to MIRV Nukes and have no pollution worries are why I am going after Atmos Ren rather than teching to building Supercomps first. I think I can get away with a big expansion here, but will needs ships so that my systems don't become AI systems. If I do find some race near that upper right corner, my ships will be very useful. T 65 L1 colonized, Rad and Rich. I'll carry on with the development of L2, but will use L1 for housing once I have a factory and lab. Cats have a new system but it is away from me. Emo showed up about this time and was hired and put to work in my HS. At +20% tech he's got his Masters Degree already. T 71 Atmos Ren tech finished. Now onto BP's. I have colonized Pomptina on the way towards the upper right edge and what I think is my corner. L4 has been colonized Abundant and Arid and OK. L3 and D3 are my ship yards and will get Atmos Ren. L1 factory and lab are done and now it will pop1 house. I didn't bother with any pollution control there since it would basically be wasted while housing for a while. I have a considerably better start than normal as there's lots of open space (I'll find out for sure in about two turns when scouts get further east). Any of these IceX super races with my starting spot would do well indeed. T 77 BP tech done and now I can refit to my monster killing and early defensive FF's. L5 has been colonized and is a poor world, but due to my great production race far from useless. I'd like to build a Nuke 19 BB soon but need a SB first and am working on two of them in the Lurnis system while slowly 1 worker at a time rebuilding mine at the HW. a scout was lost to a hydra guarding what is a good but not must have system near the corner. I can't yet make it to that corner planet, but saw a Human (not met yet) DD leaving from that area. Clearly they have a lot of range and are to the right of the Cats. Hopefully they get involved in a war. I'm teching for Biospheres now so my best planets can have 2 more pop. It is quite clear that in IceX 10n there's more arid and wet planets and fewer Toxic. I feel like I am in great shape here early on, but it all can come crashing down and I am monitoring the fleet strength issue. If I expand too much and can't defend it, I will be attacked. T 78 CS built and heading east. Next CS will go to Kif hopefully timed with my upcoming Amoeba kill there. This system is close the Cats and might cause war later. But I can't let an easy UR planet along with another decent planet go to waste. T 80 Biosphere tech complete and for now I will just put on D3 so I can add pop to keep cranking ships. FF are being refitted to kill the Amoeba soon. I need 5 but will make 6 so I can guard the newly captured system afterwards. T 82 Vhoorl colonized (Tundra world V1) and I can now finish scouting what I hope is MY corner. Teching towards Aug Engines with Ion Drive to follow as my ships and freighters are TOO slow. T 83 Horrors!! Humans have colonized that corner planet and are along that right edge with Sol to the right of the Cats. I continue to build housing on some pop-1 planets and freighter newborns to new worlds. They have Fighter Garrison tech and likely will have that and the SB buy the time my slow ships can attack. I'll wait for Ion Drive and then quickly to Z-armor. Then I can attack as they won't be able to easily shoot my currently cardboard armored ships out of the sky. T 85 A single human spy steals Biospheres. I then make two new spies and send them at the Humans in hopes that their's goes away or I steal something. I will still take Kif as planned but then all efforts are towards Z-armor and a couple of BB. Humans are at war with some Green Terror Bird species called Alkaris. I trust Birds hate Cats and will also soon fight them. A couple turns later they make peace with apparently no systems changing hands. T 100pw and break time for the night. I'm having trouble with enemy spies and changed plans to get Neural Scanner and then Supercomps to then rush to Z-armor. D3 has been switched over to research helped by Emo while L3 will continue to produce a couple of BB to be refit as soon as Z-armor hits. They will become Nuke 27's and basically be ships of doom for any but a very strong IceX AI at that point. I have 12 planets in 5 systems and am working on my 2 final CB's. Pop is 68 and that is more than the other 2 AI combined . Fleets are equal to the other 2 AI's in strength. Tech is far superior to the Cats and slightly super to the thieving Humans. The discovery of Humans near and in my wanted corner put a stop to my early super REX plans and have caused me to steer towards an early mid game war. T 111 Supercomps going in very quickly on all my planets except the two brand new colonies that need factories first. Z-armor research started. Humans must have built a BB as their fleet rating jumped. Not a worry as I'll have a few BB with Z-armor in about a dozen turns. SB's are going in to give me CP and safety. T122 Z-armor! My BB is being refitted to be a Nuke 27 with BP, RHull and 27 MIRVed upgraded Nukes. In Vanilla I'd be making a Merc 18 or Nuke 36 now which were even more devastating. About 85 pop now. Humans just settled their 4 system which will make it easier for me to reach Sol. Getting some cheap techs now before my research rate gets so high that I have overflow from a single turn of research. T132 Darloks met and they have the entire lower right corner. This is the super Darlok with Prod+2 Tolerant and Telepathic and Transdimensional. If this race becomes a runaway it is game over. Humans lost a colony to them. They will soon lose several to me. As they have Trit-A and Class III shields I need some supporting ships with my BB to be sure of a conquest. T 142 The Human Conquest as not gone as planned as they got Z-armor and I needed a bunch of support ships along with the BB and had take out the Fighter Garrison and return, kill their BB and return, and finally charge their SB and raid it with many DD and FF which managed to destroy a few things including their missile jammer just before a cascade of missile hit. 4 transports were just enough as these super humans also have good GC techs. Of course my conquest stole NO techs from Elvarad (their planet directly in the corner. T 143 Emperor Baldy was kind enough to save me 500 pp by colonizing Diab for me which as it was brand new was taken with 1 transport. I killed the Hydra at Tycho with ease and will colonize it as I need the range to get to Ixion. Robotic Factory tech will be done soon and then those will be added to my good planets. In spite of Tach Comm I am using 6 CP too much and needing to tax 20% while also trading some goods. The 100 BC found at Tycho will be nice help. All along I have kept and ungraded a few FF at Kif, which is close to the Cats so they don't get any sneak attack ideas. They also lost a system to someone (might be to the Darloks). T 144 ROFL at my comment about defending Kif from Cat aggression. Here they come with a BB and 2 DD. Likely they will attack my new colony there that doesn't have a SB yet. I must quickly make some more ships at those two worlds. Just what I didn't need basically a two front war before I can finish off the Humans. T 146 I attack the Cat fleet first and every missile I have is shot at the BB and I manage to destroy it. Then on their turn their two remaining DD try to attack my few remaining ship at Kif but think better of it and turn tail. Tycho is soon colonized but I need to colonize a planet in the Hawking system next to Sol and owned by the Darlok. As I recall, Outpost ships in Ice now don't have extended tanks so I will have to spend 500 pp on the CS. T 152 Ixion falls to me and now all the Humans have is the Sol system. Very nice that I get Radiation Shield from conquest. I shift research to Warp Diss and as I now have Assault Shuttle and Powered Armor I will hopefully capture the next Cat ships that show up. I had to go back and forth a couple of times from Tycho to Ixion in spite of 2 nice BB's with support. Destroy defending ships and retreat, destroy fighter garrison and retreat and finally destroy SB aided by raiding. Hmm.. Psilons met across the galaxy down a very long worm hole. They are clearly ahead of me in tech and the reason most other AI's have many techs. T 156 A Cat BB and DD attack and I can capture the BB but not the DD but self destruct capture ships to destroy the DD to win the battle and keep my prize! Scrapping it yields much need cash plus Zeon Missiles and Neutron Blaster which is perfect as I was researching Neutron Scanner at the time. Now I have some better weapons and my SB's will have major punch if attacked. T 158 I build that colony on a planet in the Hawking system knowing it will lure the Human fleet away from Sol to destroy it. But giving me range to get to Sol. I'd better have plenty of transports as this will be a one shot chance for now as I will be forced to retreat if I can't take a planet in Sol once my colony in Hawking is gone. T 160 With 4 transports and my GC techs I can't resist gambling on taking Sol 2 rather than the toxic colony there. I just manage this, but to my dismay, the Human fleet is heading to Ixion. They will arrive in 1 turn, but I can't get there for two turns in spite of a Cmdr Hawk's help. Ixion will fall as they have many transports. I am building an Alien Center on Sol 2 and then a barrack so I can quickly put more troops to prevent revolt. I think I will send some of my fleet to Ixion as I think half of it can chase their fleet back to Sol where I can destroy some of it. My troops discovered Class III shields on Sol 2 and that will save me some turns of research later. As I wonder why I am having problems with this war a few things come to mind. 1) It is IceX. 2) I thought my initial ships would be adequate, but I needed more. Then the Humans upgraded from Trit to Zort armor and also had a better jammer than the basic ECM jammer. Toss in Class III shielding and I need a whole bunch of Nuke missiles. 3) Maybe I should've waited for another BB or two rather than sending in a bunch of smaller ships. 4) The AI tech level with a friendly Psilon and Human in the game is huge as their techs get spread around. 5) It is IceX. Onward to T 172 In the preceding turns the Humans took my 3 colonies near and in that upper left corner. I managed to get enough captures ships made there to capture two of 3 Human ships but I couldn't capture their BB I never won the battle but this did weaken them and as I recaptured 2 of 3 systems I destroyed that BB. The +75 computer was stolen. Darloks have jumped in to steal some easy systems and took Ixion from the Humans a turn before I could. Sol 1 will be mine in two turns and I now must stay away from their SB as it has transporters along with Neutron Blasters. Onward to T 190 and I won't be updating every few turns now. I had recaptured my planets lost to the humans and had landed a couple transports on Sol 2 to reinforce my ground troops there to prevent revolt. I stalled trying to take Sol 1 as the missile base was now shield with Class 3 and +5 from the Radiation shield. My Nukes are totally useless vs +8 shielding. So I made a BB with a bunch of normal unMOD (had not enough tech to mod) Zeon missiles. While this ship was heading to Sol, the Humans surrendered to the Bears. After that a huge Bear fleet slowly made its way across the galaxy to defend Sol 1. Then they got into a little scrape with the Psilons and headed back to their homelands in the west between the remains of the nearly dead Cats and the growing Psilons along the left edge. In the mean time, the Antaran have come 3 times, and only once could I destroy them so two more planets were ruined. T 216 and the idiocy of surrender once again as for some unknown reason the Birds surrendered a 3 or 4 system empire to the Darloks further increasing their near runaway strength! If Rocco can find the code and remove AI surrender from this game I will be very happy!! T 224 Bear fleet is back at Sol and with 14 BB and 1 DD he decides to DOW me and attack. I have just a SB and one Zeon BB there, but the Bear ships are basically no better than garbage scows. (most unusual this late in an Ice game) and they are all easily destroyed! But the bad news is that I have another enemy to worry about. Finally my spies stole a tech, Megafluxors from the Cats. Psilons have been spying and stole assault shuttles. I've had to place spies on them to usually cause their's to go back home. T 226 Cats are finally gone as I took their last planet. They'd also lost stuff to other AI's that dog-piled them to pick up a planet here and there. Onward now as I am tech'ing and gearing up to attack Orion, this time using Gauss Cannon BB's with HEF and Hyper X as used often by Markus. A couple of stray Bear BB find their way to Sol and are captured and scrapped. I get no useful techs but the BC is useful as I am suffering CP issues as usual this game. T 242 and I think I am less than a dozen turns from a Guardian kill and now, in spite of great looking relations with the Darlok and having voted for him several times in the GC he attacks me at Tycho and his ships rip my SB to shreds. Then his fleet splits up and I lose a couple more planets in the NE corner as my new planets didn't have SB's yet. This Telepathic Darlok is VERY OP!! T 245 now and several planets have been lost to the Darloks in the north east. My SB did destroy one of their BB's and I am not sure where much of their fleet is. This spy of mine, so cute in her purple and blue stealth suit, may be the savior of my empire as she's just stolen plans for missile bases from the Bears! These will add to planetary defense and are much quicker to build than a SB and won't get ripped to pieces so easily. Plans now as I build Gauss Cannon BB's are to soon finish the Barrier Shield tech. This will make Darlok attacks on my planetary surface basically useless until they get some very serious weapons. It will also allow for one more level of miniaturization of my Gauss. I've also bombed out a couple Darlok planets, needing to weaken him somehow and lure his fleet away from me. I don't have time to wait for transports. But I do want to retake my former planets with transports before they can build defenses. I fear that the Psilons will also decide to join in and that will be the end of me. There's Coid in the game as well, but they've been attacked by Darlok and others are seem contained. Psilon and Bear have had another skirmish but make peace quickly as usual. To survive I need to take Orion and then may just have to hunker down and defend every planet with missile bases and barrier shields. Hopefully with Sensors later maybe I can get some stealth detection. T 264 Rumors of my impending doom were false!! Darlok fleets have been beaten back and my former colonies recaptured. Orion just taken and colonized but not much of value gains except Death Ray and Dim. Port (if I decide to try to win that way). I must not have Markus' skill with Gauss Cannons as I needed over 20 BB with +75 comp and battle scanner but no helpful leaders to kill the Guardian. Each ship had about 15 heavy Gauss with HEF but they just didn't hit often enough. As things progressed to T 264, once I got the +20 spy tech, I sent spies to the Coids and the Bears and especially the Coids yielded many fine techs. I stole A-armor from one and T-cells from the other saving me 10k research. T 284 I had only 76 out of 90 needed votes to win GC. T 286 Six Antarans arrive and I am ready for them. I captured 5 and they all blew up with the drive explosions finally destroying the 6th. T 294 Anties back again and this time I got all 6 of them and 3 didn't blow up. X-armor, Dampers, and +150 comp obtained. As I have tremendous shield capability as part of my earlier efforts to stay alive and not get DOWed and attacked by Psilon I am unsure whether shields or Dampers are the way to go. I'd almost always go Dampers if my shielding wasn't almost maxed. I start making some BB's with shields and some with Dampers. T 298 Darloks are cleaned out of my side of the galaxy but have managed to take a few systems in the lower right corner to survive. Psilons and Coid fight them sometimes. T 303 As I am finishing off the Bears, I destroy much of their fleet with just 3 BB's. Bears didn't make nearly as good ships as most AI's make now. I think they were lacking tech. T 307 Bears gone and now many Psilon ships are headed to the system I share with them, having taken that last Bear planet there. Spy wars going on with the Psilons and I expect to have 63 on them and 63 to defend soon. I control more than the right half of the galaxy. I have almost 1400 pop and a trivial win once the GC meeting comes. Tech is about 12,000/t. I have some hyper-advanced techs but need a couple non critical techs that cost 7500. If I can't luck out and get that 7500 cost tech in one turn I switch to an advanced tech. In a dozen turns I should have a few DS with 3 Stellar Converters along with tremendous defense. These will be useful if I end up at war with Psilon or go to Antares. Anyhow, this game effectively is won. T 309 and I win in the GC with 145/189 votes by myself for myself. Well over 1400 pop, some of it Droid scientists (researched) on big P and UP planets and with a Droid farmer (stolen) (better than people) on farming planets to free up more workers. This game seemed to be touch and go for a while when the Darloks decided to jump on the band wagon and attack me but I survived with plenty of ships and by building more planetary defenses than I usually do. I ran a huge CP deficit for until near the game's end once I got Hyperspace Comm. Tachyon Comm is easily available now to help early on, but since I planned Hyperspace I later took Jump Gates. Those combined with the stolen fastest drive tech and mutating into Trandimensional this time solved any mobility issues. Star Fortress to defend key worlds also added to CP.