Hello and welcome Humans to a journey that will bring you to Victory in Horizon.
So first turn I normally try and get a good number of things done.
First I build a scout and an assualt ship (med ship with assault shuttles) so I can start scouting and digging around me and also get all the tech from the probe on turn two. I also start construction on industry, trade, and entertainment/farming. And I buy out Industry so I can allow industry to build stuff and I don't need to buy out as much. As the game progress I normally buy out things that take forever after industry has worked on it for a bit and I have the credits to spare. Industry + Ship yards really let you pump out the ships but if you get a good Econ going you can easily buy out most things by mid game. I find Industry to be useful on ship making planets and early game. Credits are the main way of getting ships and buildings completed most of the time though.
After that I go into techs and focus on things I find imporatant. Robotics, Engines, Armor, Waste Disposal, Lasers, Translators, and set Construction to priority, or Electronics.
I also go in and design all my ships. For the most part I focus on Lasers or other beam weapons as I get new tech and stay away from most else. I really haven't been successful at invading a world tbh so really just have some ships with a supply or two and all weapons. One heavy one Regular in the front and as many Lights as I can fit. I also try and fill the ship with weapons as well instead of having one slot with 4 lights I would rather have for slots taken with 1 light in each so I have more hard points if weapons get damaged and more rolls of the dice for successful hit. But I don't do really anything fancy for ship design for most of the game.
On turn 2 you have an assualt ship ready to take over the probe. Click on Engage to engage the sector and on to next turn.
In combat I move over to Pluto and just take over the probe.
On turn 3 I get rid of the Assualt ship as it costs too much money per turn to keep around and start pumping out scout ships. I like diplo so I normally go for Communication so I can keep open lines with people, but its not required even if you want to go the diplo rought. Focus on techs that will help your econ and get ready to start doing some exploration.
For the next few turns I just build scout ships and start looking around at near by systems and also sending a scout to the Kor so I can start talking to them. If you place a ship in a system with another race living there you can talk to them or if they send a ship to your planets you can talk to them. This is very important for getting into the diplo game early.
I try not to send scouts into areas that will provoke a response and gtfo if I stumble across a hostile race. The Tantik are the only ones that cant be tamed though the rest you can always diplo your way into their hearts and wallets. If you come across the Tantik early don't worry just keep your distance from them and try not to engage them in combat. One combat and your at war with them. Also talk to the other races you find and have them declare war on the Tantik. I found that most every one was happy to go to war with the Tantik even if I wasn't at war with them if I just requested the war.
So for the first 50 or so turns I just get scouts out to talk to people and more scouts to find me cherry systems. Any system you find with Gold or Gems make sure to get a colony ship out to it ASAP as you get major money boosts from these planets, even its its a tiny poor artic world its still worth it to mine that gold/gems. Also any special Terran worlds out there and the Huge Terran/Ocean worlds out there are great to set up shop.
For World construction I have done very well with a balanced approch. I try and get everything to the point where it costs 30 bc to 40 bc to do an upgrade. You normally only have a few upgrades left after that and Trade/Entertainment I focus on for the early game. This will help you get the cash flow going so you can bust out the big stuff later and focus more on research or construction at a later time. Also remember to visit all alien colonies to help boost trade and tourist income on your planets. As you start to make friends in the Galaxy your hard times with money are over around turn 100 give or take.
Now on to diplo which on Normal scenario with Missions on is really going to help your way to the top. Make sure to get ships out to any races you cant talk to via Communication range and take it slow and easy. I always start out with a gift of tech, normally my power system since power isn't currently set up proper so you never need to worry about finding new power supplies and leveling them up. I then close out and dont talk to them for a turn or two.
Look at the bar below them, Left of center is they are heading towards hostile with you, right of center is they are moving towards Ally Status. I think the three states an Alien can be in are Hostile, Neutral, and Friendly. I also believe the bar resets to center after you change from one state to another in diplo. While Hostile they will for sure shoot at you. At Neutral its situational if they will attack or not. For the most part not to cause issues consider Neutral Aliens to be Hostile but know its going to be allot easier to get them to Friendly then a Hostile race.
Now that you gave them a gift you should see the bar slide to the right a bit. If the arrow points right its moving up and they will continue to get more happy as the turns go on. If its a line progress has stopped and may start to go down depending. With the arrow point left its starting to go bad and you need to start talking to them.
I normally keep things friendly or wary at first and only do one or two actions per race per turn(s), Like Ask to get trade and if they say yes thats the end until a couple turns go by. If they say no I always give them a gift (normally a silly tech or supplies) just to keep them in the happy zone. If you say no to them or they decline something they could start getting upset with you and as the new kid on the block try not to upset anyone until you get yourself a military. If people demand tech give it to them but for money at first and later ask for a tech in return. I was asked by the Tantik in my last game to go to Peace and was able to get Terraforming from them. Believe me took a 100 years of fighting and them saying no to any money/tech giving to make me end the war but finely they gave in and gave me the tech I really needed. They of course are getting smashed right now by all my friends.
Once you get aliens to friendly things should go smooth from there. I haven't seen any drastic changes and I stay neutral in all Racial galactic problems and Im currently friendly with the whole galaxy and even Neutral with the Tantik right now. I haven't had anyone back stab me yet even after declining many embargos or wars vs their enemies. Make sure to check diplo every few turns to make sure people are happy. Any positives interaction normally works in your favor. so take your trade treaties a bit slow and dont ask for everything to get all done in a year.
The reason I say this is because if you talk too much in one turn these older races get sick of your human pestering and you can lose friendly and quickly become hostile with an older race. Keep things slow and work on trade treaties every couple turns or so. If they say no to anything make sure to give them supply aids or some silly tech that they wont use or isn't any good at present and you will make friends quick.
Don't get dragged into other peoples issues and once you run into the Tantik get everyone to fight them for you. This frees up your military to explore the galaxy and find all the cool tech that awaits you. Make sure to keep you scouts busy and always check every planet to see if their is a special report on it. Dig all Special reports so you get the mission event. These can really get you some cool stuff like money or friendship at the start of the game.
If you end up starting a war with some one make sure to build star bases as defense and make sure to design your star base. I personally like to have a full set of Heavy Beams for each side with a full set of Lights for each side as well. I don't like fighters but if you want it can fit a ton of them.
A Star base should keep you safe at the start. Don't make the mistake of building Cruisers for defense as they are very costly to maintain per turn. You can get your war ships once you have the money to support them. Having a few scouts at home can help with defense but at the start I noticed the AI didn't seen huge fleets just yet and you really just need to fend off 1 or two ships. If you have a few systems undefended and you are at war with the Tantik get them defended ASAP. 1 ship with a few troops will easy take over your small outposts or colonies.
After turn 75 give or take you should start making some good money now from trade and if you found any gold mines your probably able to start building your armies.
Focus on having supplies and lots of beam fire power and you will be able compete with races you go to war with. Also as a young race dont go it alone. Make sure to invite your friends and take your your enemies together if you don't have the fire power. Remember to watch your wallet while building up huge fleets. Ships will start costing you more then you think if you don't watch it. But scrap a few ships and your normally in the black again or do what I did and throw huge fleets at the Tantik homeworld causing them some pain while I revamped my whole Military (thats how I got Terraforming).
After turn 100 or so you have a few good options for victory. If you have friended most of the galaxy you can normally get access to many of the mission sites or have good exploration access to try and find them. You can also start building an Alliance and destroy anyone that doesn't join you. Getting the Kor on your side can help you get the Diplo victory. You can also start to work on wiping out the races one by one. For the most part I have been focusing on missions and keeping the peace in the galaxy but you should easily be able to slowly work your way to victory with this base under your feet. Dont expect any easy win or quick one either even after 150 turns you will probably still have many more to go before your able to get the final missions done or everyone but your allies dead.
(Thats all for right now. Let me know if you have any questions or if anything is unclear above. This has worked out very well for me in my games and although you wont be the most powerful by mid game you get set up very well and paths to victory become easier. You don't need to be the most powerful race in the galaxy to win you just need to be their friends or get everyone to team up on the top dog for you
. I found that if I ignored diplo the more power AIs would wipe me from the galaxy before I could ever dream of fighting back)