This is take 2 for me playing as all 13 standard races again. Hopefully, this time, I'll be able to win all 13 games , but seriously I expect to lose a couple of them at least as things get bad quickly when using the weaker races and if I roll a bad start. All games will be on my typical Cluster Map and Impossible, PreWarp, 8 players and if I roll a bad start...too bad I have to keep it. I'll start with the easier races first as I am a tad rusty. Perhaps some other players would also like to try this. Silicoids are clearly the easiest standard race for my production oriented style to win with as Lithovore and Tolerant are an awesome combo. Starting out I can have either 24 production or 24 research or any combo of and no worry about pollution nor saving up production. No worry about early freighters to ship food to my colonies although I will want them to transport people to other systems and I'll need to feed conquered planets. Anyhow, I played Coid last night. Yuck, my starting system only had one other planet and it was poor. I still wanted to get rolling quickly so I sold my SB which I don't need yet and like with any other production race, I will build colony bases first. After 4 turns I had 104 production remaining and it didn't cost much more than twice that ammount so I bought the base and started my research path (computer, research labs, build labs (usually buying when half built as $$ permits) then reinforced hull and factories and build them (hopefully buying when half built). Then the basic techs so I can get out 2 scouts and then build colony ship(s). Silicoid -50% growth can really slow you down, but I can overcome some of that with pop-1 housing early on so I set my lone colonist on the new planet to housing while I waited to research to build labs. In retrospect the gain per turn from housing was so small that I think I'd have been better off researching with the lone colonist until I had a factory built. With a factory built I was able to make a new colonist once every 7.5 turns and transfer him over to my home world while continuing pop-1 housing. One of my scouts died quickly at a nice monster planet and another found Kronos, a good leader with Galactic lore. Hmmm.. boxed in ..Humans to my left, but they seem to want to play nice and Trilarians above me don't seem aggressive. Lizards to my right and their allready at war with the Bugs to their right. Lizards seem to be the uber-race here with added attributes of tolerant and high-G and no wonder they are doing well quickly. I colonized two nearby systems and each soon made a colony base so I had 6 planets and in each of three systems, one planet initially doing pop-1 housing with factories and lab in each system for a while and soon I had reasonable overall population. Now it was time to get ready for combat and if I don't have some ships the AI's will view me as weak and attack. So I research Deut cells (I felt I could wait for Zort armor later for armor,as I wasn't in combat yet) and Merc missiles and rebuilt my star base at home and had my Nuke 18 (battle ship with MV nukes) out by just after turn 100. I couple turns prior the Lizards had made peace with the Bugs and sure enough a Sakkra CC was headed toward one of my systems, but a rush built DD with 5 MV nukes ended that problem. The Humans and Trilarians had a brief war and traded planets and didn't seem concerned with me so it was full speed after the Saks. One BB and one or two more DD's were plenty enough to destroy their SB's and even MB's that they had on planets. Soon I took all three planets in their closest system and none of them warm farming planets and I had many hungry purple lizards to feed and ended up with my home world entirely devoted to farming after a while. As I progressed thru Sak systems he some had Battlestations but I had added another two more battle ships and easily destroyed them. I had a few spies and noticed the human had battle scanner so I took a chance and got a quick steal in a couple of turns and he tolerated it. Now I could get Tachyon Comm and the CP gain and not go without battle scanner later and this helped me afford more ships and transports as did the Battlestations I upgraded to on a few planets (ground troop steal from Saks). Onward to Sssla and soon I had a big population of very talented and fast growing Sakkra slaves and I spread their goodness to a couple of other systems as except for needing food, they were a better race than my own. As usual, I also had a bunch of stolen techs. Now I could crank out more ships and research and had Zort armor so it was time to upgrade my ships to Merc 18's and go after the Trilarians, Humans and nearby Orion. I soon had EMG and left a couple EMG DD's back in Lizard Land to hopefully not leave me open to Klackon ambush. The races below me seemed to be fighting and trading planets back and forth. On 213 I went after Orion with 3 Merc 18 BB's and 6 EMG 2 Merc DD's. The Guardian killed two DD's with his first shot and my first salvo of EMG's didn't kill him even though my Mercs easily knocked his front shields down. Darn lightning field so I had to face a 2nd attack from him. On my turn after knocking the shields down again, I was able to move an EMG DD right next to the Guardian and poof...engines blown. Yes..beloved Xent armor so refit ships and to war while letting Locknar's ship defend Orion for a while so it could build up. Trilarians died easily and Humans offered little resistance. Hmmm...I didn't have enough defense for Sssla (my mistake) with one DD and even though I now had Weather Controllers, much of that pop 30 planet was farming to feed my conquered empires so it was slow building the SB and I failed to see the Bugs ambush.. bye bye Sssla but he didn't DOW me until I counterattacked with Locknar's ship and a couple Merc ships and Death Ray ships a few turns later. Locknar could easily kill 3 enemy ships/turn and teleport up to the SB, blast it with Death Rays killing all marines (deselected earlier) and board and take it over. As I was rolling up the Klackons the GC vote came up on turn 251...hmm 34 votes is more than 2/3 of 48 so this easy game was over. By conquering most enemy planets with transports, I steal many techs and get a big population built up and easy wins in the GC, speeding up the game if I want to. I was completely dominant by that time and with autolabs all over and two Death Ray Titans just produced. A couple things about Advanced Gov't for dictatorships which I'd researched a few turns before the game ended. That +20 moral everywhere is very nice! Defensive agent bonus only goes from +10 to +15% however. Psionics, of course was very useful with +10 moral and +10 spying helping to make sure my Orion techs weren't stolen. My own spying was early as I stole a couple from the Humans (democracies have agent penalty) and a couple from the Saks as they have -10 spying and after that there wasn't much I needed to steal and a couple spies had died so I just concentrated on keeping what my accelerating research was providing. Next game in a week when I return from vacation.... not sure who I'll play. .. neilkaz ..