The best "defense" is a good offense. This is why I finally decided to be brave and play a Tiny Map as the Hive. I practiced on a 16 wide by 32 high (for reference, a Tiny Map is 24 wide by 48 high) map for my new strategy. The strategy itself is obvious: ICS (Infinite Colony Sprawl) if possible. Basically, you just plant as many cities as you can until your landmass no longer has room. Once you have Level 2 Weapons and Armor, you will have to start conquering everyone on your landmass. You should be able to research and manufacture the new units fairly quickly, because the Hive has ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY Impunity. This means you can have a Planned Economy and be a Police State with no disadvantages, making this combination the best one with our strategy. Falling behind in tech early on is inevitable however, because of your -2 ECONOMY. However, you get a free Perimeter Defense at every base you found, and +1 to GROWTH and INDUSTRY. You get the +2 INDUSTRY and another +1 GROWTH from the Planned Economy. If you can get the Cloning Vats, you can use the Power Values without the -2 INDUSTRY. With the +2 SUPPORT from both that and the Police State, base size >4 can support until the city size for free, and base sizes 1-4 can support 4 units freely. With the +2 MORALE, all your defenders will have +2 Morale and your attackers +1 Morale. With that many units with such high Morale, your military is basically invincible. Best of all, the +2 POLICE from the Police State means you can have 3 units as "cops" in all of your bases, saving you what little money you make for other purposes. With the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, your bases and units are completely immune to Probe Teams. This lets you use Knowledge Values without the need to worry about the -2 PROBE. The +1 ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY and +2 RESEARCH let you discover new technologies at a decent rate. This lets you compete on higher difficulty levels. With +2 GROWTH and +3 INDUSTRY, your cities can grow and manufacture at good rates. With another +2 GROWTH from those Children's Creches, your cities can grow their populations at absurd rates.