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Paths to Victory Strategy Guide by mi64

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 01/22/2007
Highest Rated Guide

                      Paths To Victory Strategy Guide (v1.1)
                Galactic Civilizations II: The Dread Lords (v1.4X)
                                    by MI64
                          email: tsbproject@gmail.com
Table of Contents
I.    Introduction

II.   Victory Conditions

III.  Game Setup

IV.   First Turns

V.    Early Game

VI.   Mid Game

VII.  End Game

VIII. Version History, Credits, Legal & Contact Info.

I. Introduction
This guide is designed with the newcomer to Galactic Civilizations II, or
GalCivII in mind. It is my intention to assist a new user in building his or
her civilization in such a way as to allow for ANY of the 4 different paths to
victory. The four paths of victory being either: military conquest, influence,
diplomacy, or research. This guide is intended for the "open-mode" version of
the game and does not apply to the "Dread Lords" campaign.

In writing this guide, I make the following assumptions:
1. You have read the entire game manual.
2. You have watched all the tutorial videos.
3. You have updated the game to at least v1.4x.

It is strongly recommended that you read the "Beginner's Strategy Guide" that
can be found in the GalCivII directory on your hard-drive. This simple guide
discusses much of the game interface that will be important to understanding
some of the terminology used here.

Disclaimer: Do keep in mind that this is one guy's opinion on how to achieve
the type of victory you want. Once you've gotten into the game more, and 
developed some of your own methods, you may disagree with some of the advice
I give here.

II. Victory Conditions
Before getting into the actual game, it is important to understand the victory
conditions and how they are affected by the initial setup of the game.

A. Conquest Victory: 
Requires that you completely destroy all of the other MAJOR races in the game.

The difficulty or ease of a conquest victory is most profoundly affected by 
the number of other major civilizations. Obviously two civilizations would be
easier to conquer than eight!

B. Influence Victory:
Requires that you spread your sphere of influence (outlined as your races
primary color) to at least 75% of the galaxy and maintain this percentage for
at least 10 consecutive turns. This victory cannot be achieved if you are at
war with any civilization.

The difficulty or ease of an influence victory is affected by both the number
of other civilizations and the galaxy size. Other races have spheres of
influence that must be overcome through various means, so more civilizations
equals more to overcome. In addition, a larger galaxy means more area to cover
with influence.

C. Diplomatic Victory:
Requires that you form alliances with all the remaining MAJOR races. You can
achieve a Diplomatic Victory by allying with only one race (or as many races
as you want) and then destroying the remaining civilizations either through
military force or cultural conquest.

Much like the conquest victory, the diplomatic victory is most profoundly
affected by the number of other major civilizations. Again, it is easier to
ally with two civilizations than eight.

D. Research Victory:
Requires that you research the ultimate technology at the end of a long,
expensive branch of the tech tree.

The difficulty or ease of a research victory is most affected by the size of
the galaxy. A larger galaxy provides more planets, more planets allow for more
research. A small galaxy has fewer planets and therefore less potential for

Keep these observations in mind as you progress through this guide and your

III. Game Setup
In this section, we will setup the game. Begin by starting a new game (topmost
button on the main screen.)

A. Setup Galaxy
This is the first screen you will see when you begin a new game. Set the size 
of the galaxy to either large, huge or gigantic. Smaller galaxies can still
be fun, especially if you want to play a quick game, but this guide is written
with the larger galaxies in mind. Make sure the scenario is set to normal and
that all the victory conditions are checked. You may want to disable minor
races, but I feel they add some extra flavor to the game. Do not change any-
thing else. Click next to go to the civilization selection screen.

B. Pick Your Civilization
For the purpose of this guide, we will use the Terran Alliance. The Terrans 
are a good choice because they are pretty well rounded. The only place they
lack is militarily, but this is easily remedied. Click next to go to the 
civilization customization screen.

C. Customize Your Civilization
Keep the abilities and the political party the same. The default abilities
that the Terrans have are good for a beginner. Whenever you gain more play 
experience you can edit these as you see fit, depending on your play style. If
this is your first time playing with the Terrans, or any civilization for that
matter, you will notice you have three extra ability points to distribute.
Spend these as you see fit; however, as a word of advice, you may want to put
those points in "Military", "Social" or "Economic" related abilities.
The Federalist party provides a boost to your economy which is good for a 
beginning player. Feel free to change the name of your leader, planet data,
ship type, etc. as you see fit.

Click the next button to go to the choose opponents screen. 

D. Choose Opponents
For the purpose of this guide, we will use all the races. Set the number of
opponents to nine. Set the difficulty level to normal. Anything less than
this, and the AI is just plain stupid. Click next to advance to the game.

IV. First Turns
In this section, we will setup your home world and your initial strategies for
maximizing production, colonization, research, etc.

|A. Technology Tree |
This screen will pop up after the initial quarterly report. You'll notice that
the Diplomacy branch of the tech tree is at the top. I don't think that this
was done accidentally. The diplomacy branch is perhaps the most important of
all the branches. It can mean the difference between having your butt handed
to you and complete domination. You should ALWAYS do at least some research in 
this branch. 

For your initial turn, you should select "UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR". This will be
important because it will allow you to communicate (and trade) with all the
civilizations basically from the start. It takes about 5 turns to research
this particular tech.

Once you have completed researching "UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR", you should select
"DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS" or "XENO RESEARCH" as your next tech. Since you will
most likely colonize your first planet while researching this tech, we won't
discuss more tech research for now. We will, however, discuss more techs in
the "Early Game" section of the guide. 

|B. Colony Management |
This screen shows a picture of Earth with eight green tiles and one yellow
tile. Ignore the yellow tile for the moment; it will be available later when
you do some more research. (You may have more than eight tiles available if
you chose the "Planet Quality" skill.)

Step 1. - Planetary Projects

Some of your green tiles may or may not have small icons in the lower left 
hand corner. These small icons represent bonuses that these tiles provide. 
ALWAYS build on your bonus tiles first with the appropriate type of planetary 
project, and then build on your other tiles. The one exception to this rule
would be tiles with "population" bonuses. In general, you will really only
need to build one farming sector per planet, so, if you have more than one
tile that provides a population bonus, only build a farming sector on one and
use the other as you see fit. Obviously when given the choice between a tile
that provides a higher bonus than the other, build the farming sector project
on the higher bonus tile.

Here is an example of how you could distribute your projects on Earth, your 
available tiles/bonus tiles may look different from this example.
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |  M  |     |  R  |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |    G|     |    G|     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |  M  |     |     |  R  |     |     |  E  |     |  N  |     |
|     |     |B   G|     |     |    G|     |     |    G|    Y|    G|     |
|     |     |     |  M  |     |     |     |     |     |     |  F  |     |
|     |     |     |    G|     |     |     |     |     |     |    G|     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
KEY: G=Green Tile Y=Yellow Tile  B=Manufacturing Bonus M=Factory R=Lab 
     F=Farm E=Market Center N=Entertainment Network

Make sure your factories are near the top of the build queue, as they will
allow you to build other projects more quickly. The farm should be near the
bottom, as Earth still has plenty of room for the population to grow. You may
want to wait until later in the game to build a farm when your population is
closer to the cap. The labs, market center and entertainment network should be
in the middle of the build queue. We will discuss planetary project strategies
more in-depth in the Early Game section.

Step 2. - Focus Production

In the first turns and initial colonization of ANY planet, it is best to focus
production on "Social" projects. This allows you to build planetary projects
more quickly. Click on the social production focus button to enable this. This
button can be found at the top-center of the Colony Management screen at looks
somewhat like a "V" with two concentric circles around it.

Once you've finished this step, you can either proceed to Step 3 below, or go
to the main window that shows your initial Colony Ship and Survey Ship by
clicking "DONE" (Step 4.). 

Step 3. - Build a better Colony Ship. (Optional)

Before leaving the colony management screen, you might want to build a faster,
longer range Colony Ship. Go to the Ship Yard (click the button that looks
like a ship on the lower button bar) and click "NEW". Select the topmost 
"CARGO HULL". Click the "MODULES" tab and add one "COLONY" module. While still
under this tab, add two "BASIC SUPPORT" modules, which will increase your
range. Now click the "ENGINES" tab and add two "HYPERDRIVES" to your ship,
which will increase your speed. Click on the "EXTRAS" tab and add whatever
eye-candy you want to. Once you're finished pimping out your new ship, click 
"SAVE" and name your new ship and type a little description if you so desire. 

Now, not only have you used the (really cool) ship builder option, but you've
created a faster, longer range Colony Ship that is only slightly more costly
than the stock Colony Ship! Now it's time to go out and colonize those distant

Once you've finished this step go to the main window that shows the Earth and
Solar System along with your initial Colony Ship and Survey Ship by clicking

Step 4. - Set Tax Rate & Industrial Production 

Once you've finished building your new colony ship, or, if you decided not to
do that, finished focusing production, it's time for a few house housekeeping
chores that you will need to do before you colonize your initial planets.

During your first turns in establishing your home planet and initial colonies,
it is important to have steady cash flow and MOST important to stay out of the
red (deficit spending). If you start deficit spending at this point in the
game, it will put you so far behind the other civilizations that you may never
catch up. You will need to constantly adjust the tax rate and production
sliders each and every turn for the first several turns until some of your
projects are completed and you are generating a more stable cash flow.

For the first turns, set your industrial capacity to 100% and your tax rate to
a level that keeps your approval rating between 45 and 50%. You will need to
click on the "DOMESTIC POLICY" button on the lower button bar to access these
sliders. Since you are running under the "Imperial" form of government, the
approval rating isn't as important as it will be later in the game. However,
if the approval rating drops too low, designated by a red number on the main
screen, the population will grow very slowly. At some point in the first
turns, you may need to adjust the industrial capacity slider to less than 100%
to continue to generate income rather than losing it. Try to keep capacity at
LEAST 50% or higher at all times. If capacity is lower than this, some
projects will take months to complete and some major projects may NEVER be

Set your "Military Production" slider to "0". Set your "Research" and "Social
Production" sliders to "50" each. Since you will be buying Colony Ships out-
right for the first several turns, this will allow you to build Social Pro-
jects and complete Research more quickly. Once you have reached the point were
you can no longer buy Colony Ships outright, set the "Military Production" and
"Research Production" slider to around "40" and the "Social Production" slider
to around "20". You should be able to leave these sliders in place for most of
the game. During times of war you might need to boost "Military Production".

Close the "Domestic Policy" screen. The main game screen will now be visible.

| C. Main Game Screen |
Once you've finished adjusting your Tax Rate and Industrial Capacity, it's
time to start colonizing worlds and expanding your empire.

Step 1. - Manage Survey Ship 

Double click on your Survey Ship. This will bring up the management screen
where you can set some parameters. Click on "AUTO SURVEY". This will allow
your ship to survey anomalies, which provide anything from money to technology
boosts, automatically. You won't have to worry about your Survey Ship again
until about "Mid Game" when you are informed that there are no more anomalies
to be explored. Once you get this message, select "AUTO EXPLORE" on the
management screen. This way, even though you can't explore anomalies, your
Survey Ship can uncover more of the map, revealing vital information about the
other civilizations. 

Step 2. - Buy Colony Ships

At the beginning of the game, it's all about colonization. The more Colony
Ships you have, the more planets you can colonize. Start out by clicking once 
on Earth and then clicking on the "Build Ship" button. Select your Colony
Ship, if you've improved the ship, select the new version. Choose to "BUY" the
ship. Buy the ship from the first option. It's more pricey than the others,
but there is no interest accruing. You really don't want to buy from the other
options, because you don't want to have that interest hanging over your head
the rest of the game.

You'll continue to buy Colony Ships over the next several rounds until you've
nearly exhausted your funds. Remember though, NO DEFICIT SPENDING! Once you've
reached the point where your nearly out of money, just let Earth build the
ships until your funds are sufficient to buy another Colony Ship outright. You
should almost always build or buy Colony Ships on Earth as they build faster
and are somewhat cheaper than buying them on new colonies. 

You will stop buying Colony Ships when it becomes apparent that there are no
more planets to colonize.

Do NOT buy Scout Ships. You will uncover much of the galaxy with your Survey
Ship, Colony Ships and (eventually) Freighters. Therefore, it is an utter
waste of money to buy Scout Ships!

Step 3. - Look at your Star System

Take a quick look at your Star System on the main screen. Click on the various
planets and look at the Class ratings. You can see that Earth is a Class 10,
unless you have the "Planet Quality" skill, and Mars is a Class 4. The other
planets are all class 0. If you click on the Sun (called Sol here), you will
see the total number of planets in the system, total number of habitable plan-
ets, and which civilizations own the planets, if they have been colonized.

A few observations here about your Star System and ALL the star systems you'll
encounter throughout the game that you will need to remember:

1. You can see how many HABITABLE planets are in a system by clicking on the
   central star. This means you only need to be able to see the star on the
   main screen to tell if there are habitable planets near by, and if they can
   still be colonized. No need sending a Colony Ship to a system where you
   can't see the planets, but you can see the star and it shows no habitable

2. Habitable planets are ONLY found around two types of stars. The most common
   type is YELLOW. The second, much rarer type, is PURPLE. The difference
   between the two is that planets around PURPLE stars are almost always a 
   VERY high Class. Usually in the very high teens or even into the twenties!
   If you see a star that is NOT one of these two colors, don't even bother 
   sending a Colony Ship to that system. (Special events can change this rule,
   but at the beginning of the game, only Yellow and Purple systems are habit-

Step 4. - Look at the Star Chart (mini-map in the right-hand corner)

This step is VERY important. You need to know where your home planet is in 
relation to the rest of the available star systems and the rest of the Major
Civilizations. If you ended up in a remote corner of the Galaxy with little or
no other star systems around to colonize, you may want to restart the game to
get another randomly generated galaxy; otherwise, you're most likely in for a
challenging game!

The main reason you need to look at the Star Chart is to determine your
strategy as to where to send your Colony Ships, and in which direction to try
to expand your Empire's borders.

Most times you will find yourself in a cluster of systems with one or two
Major Civilizations within a 3-5 quadrant radius. Note the clusters of star
systems around your neighbor's home worlds. This is difficult to explain, but
many times one or more of your neighbors will have their path of expansion and
colonization oriented away from you. Still, others may only be able to expand
toward you. You need to determine which of your neighboring civilizations will
most likely expand toward you and send your Colony Ships that direction first. 

Here is an example using a few quadrants and 2 neighboring civilizations.
|          |          |          |    E     |          |          |          |
|      O   |          |     (3)O |          |          |          |          |
| O        |          |          |   O   O  |          |          |     O    |
|          |          |          |          |  O       |      O   |          |
|          |          |          |        O |      (1)O|         O|   D   0  |
|  O     A |          |          |   O      |          |          |          |
|          |          |          |          |          | (2)O     |          |
|          |          |          |          |          |          |          |
KEY: O = Star Systems  A = Arcean Home  E = Terran Home  D = Drengin Home

As you can see in the example above, the Arceans most likely will expand away
from Earth, towards the three systems to their left. The Drengin, on the other
hand, will most likely expand toward Earth. With this in mind, your first
colony ships should be sent TOWARDS the Drengin. You would probably want to 
send your ships towards systems (1) or (2), at the furthest extent. If you try
for the systems closer to the Drengin, you will probably end up empty handed,
as they will most likely be colonized before your ships ever get there. System
(3) will be a concern after you send 3-4 colony ships towards the Drengin. 
You don't want to wait too long before colonizing this system, as the Arceans
will eventually start exploring in that direction. Remember, balance is
important! You will need to expand in ALL directions, it is just important to
take care of potentially contested systems first!

Step 5. - Moving your Colony Ship

Now that you have determined which way to expand first, it's time to send your
Colony Ship towards a system in the proper direction. Select your Colony Ship.
Zoom in to about 300-500X on the Star Chart and right-click on the star system
you want to send your ship to. 

At this point you may be asking, "Why not colonize Mars first?" There are two
reasons NOT to colonize Mars first:
1. Mars is ONLY a Class 4 planet. You always want to colonize higher class
   planets first!
2. Mars is easily reachable from Earth. In fact, Mars will probably be one of
   the last planets you colonize.

Step 6. - Click the "TURN" button! (Finally...)

Congratulations! You've just finished your first turn in GalCivII! I know
you're probably thinking "big whoop...", but trust me, it gets better.

Your next several turns will be very similar to the first turn outlined here.
I consider the "First Turns" section of the game over whenever you colonize
your first planet. So, with that in mind, continue following the guidelines
until your first Colony Ship reaches your first potential colony, then, onto
the next section! 

V. Early Game
As stated previously, "Early Game" begins when you colonize your first planet.
"Early Game" ends whenever it becomes apparent that there are no more planets
to be colonized.

In Early Game, your primary objectives, in order, should be:
A. Colonization
B. Planetary Projects
C. Resource Starbase Construction
D. Tech Research & Tech Trading
E. Early Diplomatic Relations
F. Early Ethics Development

| A. Colonization |
Colonization should be your number one goal during "Early Game". We've already
discussed a little about Colonization in the "First Turns" section of the
guide, now we will go a little more in-depth. As a review, remember to keep
turning out Colony Ships during the first several turns, and sending the first
Colony Ships toward the civilization that most likely will expand toward you. 

Once you have reached a star system with habitable planets, you will have a
few options to consider before colonizing your first planet. These are general
rules of thumb that work well in most colonizing situations:
1. Colonize higher Class planets first. When given the choice between a Class
   5 and a Class 10, well, it should be a no-brainer.

2. Check neighboring star systems for higher Class planets if the other star
   systems are relatively near (ie. clustered close together). You never know,
   that star system that is less than a turn away could have a Class 26 just
   ripe for the taking! Disregard this rule if it is apparent that another
   civilization is making a bee-line for a habitable planet in the system you
   are currently exploring. You don't want them to colonize the planet you saw

3. Don't colonize nearby habitable planets right away. (See the note on Mars
   above.) Your first wave of Colony Ships will likely uncover some habitable
   planets on the way to their determined, more distant star systems.

4. Along the lines of point 3, don't be afraid to have your first wave of
   Colony Ships take little detours on the way to their destinations to un-
   cover star systems that may not be in their direct flight path. Remember,
   you only need to be able to see the central star to tell if there are any
   planets available. Send your later Colony Ships to these systems if planets
   are available.

5. Exception to Rule 3. If you see any planet Class 16 or higher, COLONIZE IT 

The last point that needs to be made here, it is okay if you end up with a few
too many Colony Ships. Any extras can be upgraded to Constructors and, event-
ually, Freighters.

| B. Planetary Projects |
Once you have started to colonize planets, you will want to start building
Planetary Projects right away. In doing this, it is important to consider the
Class of the planet that you are building on and the amount of each type of
project that you will build.

I divide planets into three different categories, based on class, which
effects what projects I build on them:
1. Class 7 or less = Lower Class Planets. Most Lower Class planets will pro-
   gress no higher than Class 10 with "PLANETARY IMPROVEMENT" techs.

2. Class 8 to 13 = Middle Class Planets. Most civilization home worlds, and
   most habitable planets for that matter, are found in this Class range.
   Most Middle Class Planets will progress no higher than about Class 15 or 16

3. Class 14 or higher = High Class Planets. These are generally rare. If you
   see one of these, go after it! The sky is seriously the limit on these with
   "PLANETARY IMPROVEMENT" techs. (The highest Class I've ever seen was 36.)

Before we discuss what types of projects to build on a certain category of
planet, it is important to know the various types of projects. The projects
can be divided into the following categories:
1. Basic = Includes projects that can be produced multiple times on multiple
   planets. Examples are Factories, Labs, Farms, Entertainment Networks, etc.

2. Special = Projects that can only be built once by every civilization, or
   projects that can only be built once by any civilization (ie. there can
   only be ONE of this particular project built in the game.) The following
   projects fall under this category: Galactic Achievements (eg. Temple of
   Light); Super Projects (eg. Manufacturing Capital); Trade Goods (eg. Aphro-
   disiac). Special Projects become available throughout the course of the
   game, and depend greatly on which technologies are researched.

Now, finally, we will discuss how and what to build on your new colonies. Keep
in mind that you do not have to follow these guidelines exactly. Also keep in
mind that you may need to adjust the percentages somewhat throughout the game.
Example 1: You might need to upgrade a Factory to an Entertainment Network to 
keep a planet happy. 
Example 2: You might not have colonized enough planets to build all of your
Special Projects.

The following table provides insight on how to build a balanced empire:
| Class of Planet |      Basic Projects      | Special Projects |  Starport  |
|   Lower Class   |          R=100%          |        NO        | Only if    |
|      (<=7)      |                          |                  | necessary.*|
|  Middle Class   | M=40%    R=20%    P=10%  |       YES**      |    YES***  |
|     (8-13)      | I=5%  L=5%  D=5%  E=10%  |  Remaining 5%.   |            |
|  Higher Class   | M=40%    R=20%    P=10%  |       YES        |    YES     |
|     (>=14)      | I=5%  L=5%  D=5%  E=10%  |  Remaining 5%.   |            |
| KEY: R=Research M=Manufacturing P=Population I=Influence L=Loyalty/Morale  |
|      D=Defense  E=Economics                                                |
NOTES on Chart:

*Only build a Starport on Lower Class planets if strategically necessary.
Example: You only managed to colonize a few worlds and need more ship product-
ion; or, your Lower Class planet is on the frontier of a hostile civilization.
If you need to do this, disregard the 100% Research suggestion, and only build

**Middle Class planets should be your second choice for building Special Proj-
ects. The simple reasoning behind this is Higher Class planets have more manu-
facturing capability and, thus, can finish Special Projects more quickly.

***You may not want to build a Starport on a Middle Class planet if the planet
is located in a system with other Middle Class or Higher Class planets AND the
Middle Class planet in question is on the low end of the Middle Class scale.

Finally, three special notes on Lower Class planets, Construction queue and
Higher Class planets.
1. Lower Class planets, due to the lack of available area for building Factor-
   ies, are best used as Research colonies. In order for Factories to be use-
   full, you need to have Military and Social projects to construct on that
   particular planet. You won't get much out of a Class 4 planet with two
   Factories and a Starport, as far as military production or social product-
   ion is concerned. You will get more use out of 3 Labs, however.

2. In the Construction queue for your new colonies, the order of projects
   should be Starport (if you are building one at all), Factories, and then,
   in any order; Influence, Loyalty/Morale, and Economic projects. Only build
   projects that increase Population once you begin to near the population 

3. Don't build on every available tile on Higher Class planets at first. You
   will need to leave some space for new projects as they become available. 

| C. Resource Starbase Construction | 
Throughout your empire's expansion you will run across galactic Resources that
can be mined by Resource Starbases. In the "Early Game" it is important to
claim these as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the other Major, and
even the Minor, Civilizations will claim them. However, colonization is still
the main goal. Don't sacrifice control of a star system just to get that re-
source nearby. 

Here are some general guidelines to use for Resource Starbase Construction:
1. In "Early Game" you only need to build once on each resource. You will up-
   grade these Starbases in "Mid Game".

2. In general, wait to build Constructors when it looks as if you won't have
   many more planets to colonize.

3. Along those same lines, DON'T buy Constructors outright. If you follow #2
   above, you should be able to build Constructors normally in just a few
   turns, rather than buying them.

4. Disregard guideline #2 in the case of a resource that is near another civ-
   ilizations borders. Build a Constructor, it may be necessary to build one
   on a new colony, and get a Starbase around that resource ASAP. This can be
   treated much like how to determine which direction / destination to send 
   Colony Ships discussed in the "First Turns" section of the guide.

5. Don't worry about building on nearby resources right away. Just like with
   Mars, they will be easy to reach and so should be built on a little later.

We will discuss Starbase Construction more in the next sections.

| D. Tech Research & Tech Trading |
For "Early Game" you will want to research technologies in a balanced manner.
Hyperdrive, Xeno Communications, & Xeno Engineering are techs that are already
researched by the Terrans when you start a new game. There are a few general
rules of thumb that work well for "Early Game" tech research. 

General Guidelines for Tech Research:
1. Research techs that take no longer than 10-12 turns. You want to research 
   as many techs as possible so you can trade with other civilizations. If
   you spend 50 weeks researching one tech, you will be at a serious dis-
   advantage when trying to trade for other techs.

2. In "Early Game" certain areas of the tech tree are somewhat more important
   than others. With this in mind, you will want to spend slightly more time
   in the branches that are deemed most important. However, remember it is all
   about BALANCE!

3. In reference to #3 above, the Diplomacy, Propulsion, Planetary Improvement,
   and Research branches are somewhat more important than the Logistics and
   Military branches in "Early Game".

In "Early Game" you want to trade for as many techs as you can get your hands
on. What this will mean is that you will need to offer the other civs that you
come into contact with either techs that they don't have, money, influence, or
a combination of the three. This philosophy will change in "Mid Game" and "End

A few guidelines for trading:
1. Get the most out of EVERY trade. Try different combinations of offers and
   try to get the best combination. Remember, money, trade goods, influence,
   etc. can be traded for. Try to get the most bang for your buck!

2. Try NOT to trade for techs that you can easily research on your own or that
   you are currently researching. It would be a waste of time and money to do
   this. In general, trade for techs that would take you awhile to get too on
   the tech tree, or that you don't plan on researching for awhile.
   (eg. You are researching New Propulsion Techniques and will probably ignore
   Xeno Research, trade for techs from the Xeno Research branch, but avoid
   techs from the Propulsion Branch. However, if the Propulsion tech you trade
   for is significantly more advanced than what you have, it is okay to trade
   for it.)

3. Avoid trading your military technologies or technologies that will allow 
   other civilizations to resist your cultural influence. Trading either of 
   these away can and will cause you some serious headaches later in the game.

| E. Early Diplomatic Relations |
This section will be brief for "Early Game". In general, make nice with every-
one at the beginning of the game. You need to be able to trade for techs, so
don't start asking for tribute (free money or free techs) at this point in the
game. Don't attack other civilizations ships or colonies either, even if the
colony is located in a system you own. The other civilizations, for the most
part, will be nice to you as well. Most civilizations won't start threatening
you or demanding tribute until "Mid Game". Luckily, you will be well prepared
for that when the time comes!

Sometime during "Early Game" you will have your first "United Planets" vote.
The "UP" is an organization that helps to promote relations between races. It
will often vote on anything from the type of government that the galaxy civi-
lizations will run under to whether or not to equip Constructors with weapons.
Quite simply, vote for the choice that is best for your empire. Depending on
what is presented for voting, this may be an easy or very tough decision. Your
vote is directly proportional to your population and the planets you control.
In general, by the time you progress to your 3rd or 4th "UP" council meeting,
you should possess the most influence of all the civilizations. Thus, you will
be able to control just about every vote presented before the "UP".

Finally, a note on espionage. In most cases you will want to wait until your
economy improves, sometime in "Mid Game", to start spending much on espionage.
If you feel you need to learn more about a particular civilization due to a 
threat or close proximity to your empire, spend the least amount of money on
that particular civilization and then increase it when your economy improves.

| F. Early Ethics Development |
This section is included here because, by now, you should have run into your
first "Moral Dilemma". "Moral Dilemmas" are decisions that must be made that
effect your ethical alignment as well as various aspects of gameplay; anything
from population to tech research to morale, etc. What these decisions will
ultimately do, aside from the obvious gameplay changes, will effect how you
are viewed by the other races as well as effect how much it will cost you to
align your civilization under the "XENO ETHICS" branch of the tech tree.
Choosing a specific alignment, (good, neutral, or evil), allows for some big
gameplay bonuses and some previously unavailable technologies as well. The 
good news here is, no matter how far you lean one way or the other, you can
always choose what alignment you want to be, it just might cost a lot to
choose the one you are furthest from.

A few points about ethics for "Early Game":
1. Always weigh the pros and cons of each choice. The "best" choice is often
   varied from dilemma-to-dilemma. Sometimes good, sometimes neutral, some-
   times evil. (I generally only pick the "Evil" choice if it improves planet
   quality or gives a soldiering/starship bonus.)

2. If 2 choices seem equally as good, always choose the one that is the best
   for your people. Keeping your population happy, healthy and growing is the
   most important aspect to keep in mind. (Basically, this means you will be
   able to collect more taxes.)

3. Be careful not to sway too far one way or the other in "Early Game". If you
   end up leaning heavily "Evil" or "Good", it will seriously degrade your
   relations with civilizations whose alignments are ethically opposed to you.

4. Along the same lines as #3 above, in general the "Neutral" choice is most
   often the best choice as far as how it will effect your people and your
   relations with the other civilizations. 

As stated previously, "Early Game" ends when you colonize your last planet. At
this point you should be well on your way to establishing your empire. Hope-
fully, the suggestions you have learned here have assisted you in doing so.

VI. Mid Game
Once "Mid Game" begins, it will be time to change your focus from the "Early
Game" objectives and start establishing your powerbase. It is more difficult
to define, but for our purposes, "Mid Game" ends when the first Major civ-
ilization has been defeated. 

For "Mid Game" your objectives should now be:
A. Develop Military
B. Develop Colonies
C. Research Strategies
D. Establish Trade
E. Starbase Construction & Development
F. Diplomatic Relations & Espionage
G. Ethical Alignment

| A. Develop Military |
By "Mid Game" you have hopefully researched or traded for technology that will
allow you to start developing your military. It is VERY important for you to
have a strong military presence in the game for a number of reasons, even if
you are seeking a research oriented or diplomatic victory. The first reason is
obvious, if you need or want to attack a planet, colony, or fleet, you will
need ships to do this. The second reason is less obvious; having a strong
military keeps other civilizations from attacking you, (or at least they will
think twice about it before doing so), demanding tribute or making threats. On
top of that, weaker civilizations will start giving you little "gifts" to make
nice and hopefully keep the "big boy" (aka YOU) from attacking them.

A few pointers when developing your military:
1. Start building military ships as soon as they become available. Usually the
   "Defender" is the first ship available.

2. Don't overspend on your military. You pay upkeep costs for every ship in
   your fleet. Unless you are going to war, or an invasion is about to occur,
   there is no need to produce more ships than it takes to garrison each plan-
   et in your empire. (See point 3 below.)

3. Garrison your planets. There is nothing worse than a Troop Transport coming
   out of nowhere and dropping an army on your undefended planet! In general,
   garrison your planets to the point where the spaceport is at least 50%-75%
   full. (Leaving a little space to build other ships when necessary.)

4. Quantity can be as good as Quality. Most of your military production should
   be focused on smaller ships. Big ships are nice but, logistically, smaller
   ships can end up packing much more of a "wallop", especially if you keep
   upgrading them. In most cases, about 85% of your military should be smaller

5. OPTIONAL. Build a better fighter. Just like with the Colony Ship, whenever
   your first military vessel becomes available there is a good chance that
   you will be able to produce a significantly better version with the techs
   you possess. Try different combinations in the ship yard for the best out-
   come. Continue to upgrade your fighter as new components become available.
   There will be some pointers in the "End Game" section about building

| B. Develop Colonies |
The primary goals in developing colonies center on planetary projects, influ-
ence growth, and population growth. 

Planetary Projects:
Many of your projects will upgrade automatically as you complete research;
however, projects are not built automatically so you will need to survey your
planets every now and then and build when new projects are available. In order
to not get bogged down checking every planet every turn, do a quarterly survey
of all of your planets and build new projects as they become available. Keep
in mind the suggestions from the "Early Game" section when deciding what new
projects to build on certain classes of planets. It is important to check on
new projects periodically because you do not want other civilizations building
"Galactic Wonders" and "Trade Goods" before you do. Once either of these are
finished, no more can be produced.

One additional point, build EVERY project that is available. Don't neglect
certain projects because you don't think they will be useful.

Your influence is affected by many things: population, type of government,
techs researched, planetary projects, influencer starbases, other outside
civilization influences. In consolidating your empire, it is important to have
your influence be as strong as possible. This will allow you to control your
colonies more effectively. Your influence should grow throughout the game, un-
less other civilizations begin to gain the upper hand. 

There are many ways to increase your influence:
1. Build planetary projects that increase influence, such as Embassies. Read
   the descriptions of the projects to see which give increases to influence.
   If you have followed the outline for building on your planets this should
   not be a problem.

2. Change your government to a more open society. You get HUGE bonuses for up-
   grading your government. Do keep in mind that in order to maintain control
   of the government your party must hold the majority of the seats in the
   Senate. The best advice here is keep your people happy and you won't have a
   problem. Your government should be at least a "Star Democracy" by the end
   of "Mid Game". 

3. Build influencer starbases and research the influence branch of the tech
   tree. These two go hand-in-hand. You can use influence spread by starbases
   to peacefully bring colonies NOT under your control into your empire.
   Excellent for use when an ally has a colony inside your empire's borders.
   Influencer starbases are also good for bridging gaps between systems if one
   of your systems is too far away to fall under the influence of the central
   part of your empire.

4. Increase your population. The more people you have the more influence you
   have and can exert. Increasing your population is VERY important. Discussed
   more in the next section.

As stated above, increasing your population is VERY important. This allows you
to increase your influence as well as collect more taxes. Researching techs
and trade goods that increase population is important. Keep in mind that you 
will need to check your planet's population limits periodically and build
farms as necessary to keep the population growing.

Increase your approval to 100%, if even for a short time. Once your economy
starts to run more efficiently, try decreasing taxes, research entertainment,
build projects that increase birthrate, or that improve morale, and watch your
population soar! You will not be able to keep your approval at 100% for the
entire game because you will start deficit spending. However, getting your
approval to 100% for even a few months will help to increase your population
immensely! In this situation it is okay to be losing money to grow your pop-
ulation; however, don't allow your treasury to go into the red (negative num-
bers) as this will prevent you from doing Research, Social Projects and Mili-
tary Projects.

| C. Increase Research |
At this point, you can pretty much research what you want. However, remember
balance is key. You don't want to spend too much time in any one branch of the
tech tree. A few pointers on Research:

1. There is ONE exception to the "balance" rule, if you are planning on
   pursuing a "Technological Victory", it may be a good idea, even in early
   "Mid Game", to start down the "Technological Victory" path and simply trade
   for other techs. 

2. With tech trading in mind, by "Mid Game" you will want to almost always buy
   techs from the other civilizations outright. That is, don't trade any of
   your techs away if you don't have too. Remember though, no deficit spend-
   ing. This will allow you to obtain techs and strengthen your position while
   essentially weakening, or at least maintaining, the other civilization's
   position. The AI doesn't handle money as well as you do, so it's better to
   give them money for techs than to trade tech-for-tech to them directly.

3. Certain techs allow for planetary project upgrades to occur automatically.
   While these projects are upgrading, they will cause a significant strain on
   your economy. With this in mind, while the new projects are upgrading, con-
   centrate your research on techs that will NOT cost money once they are
   finished being researched. See the example below:
   (Example: You have just finished researching "GALACTIC STOCK EXCHANGE". Now
   all of your colonies with banks on them will begin upgrading. Some will
   finish sooner than others. While you are waiting for the upgrades to com-
   plete, you could do some research in the "Military Branch" of the Tech 
   Tree, which will not cost you money when finished researching. Once all the
   Stock Markets are built you can focus research on another tech that will
   allow planetary project upgrades.)
   Basically, alternate back and forth between techs that will cost you money
   when they are finished being researched and techs that will not cost you
   money when they are finished being researched.
4. Remember how I said "don't spend too much time in any one branch of the
   Tech Tree"? Well, that still holds true; however, you will notice through-
   out the course of the game that your opponents will concentrate much of
   their Military research on a particular type of weapon and defense. With
   this in mind, concentrate your Military research on whatever techs will
   counteract their weaponry and defenses. On higher difficult levels, the AI
   will change it's research tactics around to counteract your military re-
   search, so make sure you stay on your toes as far as keeping up with
   changes as needed.

5. Focus production on your research colonies to "Research". Once your colon-
   nies that are primarily research oriented are done upgrading/building 
   planetary projects, change production on that planet to "Research". This
   allows you to research techs more quickly. 

| D. Establish Trade |
Hopefully you have researched the trade technology by the early part of "Mid
Game". If not, do so right away. Establishing trade routes with the other civ-
ilizations, both Major and Minor, can end up being a HUGE source of income. 
Many times you will be able to generate enough income from trade to decrease
your tax level into the teens, thus making your population happy and more

A few suggestions when establishing trade routes:
1. Build all your Freighters on one planet. This will allow you to tax trade
   routes more easily. (Discussed more in the starbase section below.) Usually
   Earth is a good choice, or another well defended planet deep inside your

2. Send Freighters to distant planets. The further a planet you are trading
   with is from your origin, the more money the route generates.

3. Establish routes with planets that have high revenue. Planets with higher
   revenue make trade routes more profitable.

4. Don't neglect Minor civilizations. Minor civs often times provide very high
   profit from trade routes.

5. Don't be afraid to kill a route. Kill routes when it appears that you can
   establish a more profitable route elsewhere, once you've reached your trade
   route limit.

6. Spread your trade around. This does three things: 1)Improves relations with
   more civilizations; 2)Uncovers more of the galaxy (free espionage...); 3)
   If something happens to one of the civs you are trading with and trade
   routes are lost, it won't hurt your income as bad. You might want to call
   this "diversifying your portfolio".

| E. Starbase Construction & Development |
The amount of Starbase construction varies from player-to-player. Some players
build many, some build few. Despite what your playing style is or will become,
you will have to build at least a few of these.

Here are some suggestions for each type of Starbase:

Resource Starbase: 
Upgrade these to the fullest extent of their mining capacity. These will do
nothing but help your empire, plain and simple. When military modules become
available, it is a good idea to upgrade these fully as well. You will want to
protect these starbases as much as possible.

Influence Starbase:
Influence Starbases are both the most useful and expendable of the Starbases.

1. Upgrade to the fullest cultural influence extent when attempting a cultural
   conquest of a planet. 

2. Destroy the Starbase if you have conquered all the planets in the system.
   Once an Influence Starbase has served it's purpose, there is no reason for
   it to take up some of your Starbase logistics score.

3. Build an entry level Influence Starbase in other civilizations empires
   to extend your ships, (both military and trade), ranges. Low level In-
   fluence Starbases are generally not viewed as threatening by other civ-

4. Build Influence Starbases close to your planets that are located in other
   empire's systems. This will help to keep your population loyal and offset
   the other civilization's influence on that planet.

5. Do not build defenses on these starbases as you will end up destroying most
   of them anyway.

Economy Starbase:
Economy Starbases are extremely useful and should be maintained throughout the

1. Economy Starbases are most useful if their area of effect covers more than
   one colony. Therefore, build these where you find colonies that fit this
   description. Do not build these around lone colonies, unless there are
   trade routes that pass through their area of influence.

2. Build Trade modules on EVERY Economy Starbase that has a trade route pass
   through it's area of influence. Easy money.

3. Build Economy Starbases with Trade modules where there are large amounts of
   trade traffic, even in other civiililzation's territories. Economy Star-
   bases are not viewed as threatening unless you are at war with the civ
   whose territory you are in. (Even more easy money...)

4. Economy Starbases need to be defended, but you generally don't want to add
   defense/weapon modules until you have maxed out your economy modules.

Military Starbase:
Military Starbases can be very useful both defensively and offensively. You
most likely will have less of these than any of the other starbases.

1. Defense: Build Military Starbases where their area of effect will cover 
   multiple systems. This will maximize their effectiveness, especially when
   coupled with multiple fleets around the planets in the Starbase's area of

2. Defense: You may wish to only build a few of these and maximize the ones
   that you have. If you decide to do this, build Military Starbases only
   around your systems that would be the first to be attacked in the case of
   an invasion. (ie Fortify the battle front!)

3. Offense: Military starbases are a little less practical for offensive pur-
   poses, since they don't move; however, a fleet of well defended Construct-
   ors can put up a powerful Military starbase in just one turn that will help
   greatly in the conquering of a system.

4. In the case of Defense, maximize the Military modules. In the case of Off-
   ense, build only modules that you need, since you will likely destroy the
   base after it has served it's purpose. 

| F. Diplomatic Relations & Espionage |
Sometime during "Mid Game" one or more civilizations will declare war on an-
other civilization, demand tribute, etc. Hopefully, you won't be the one that
is getting attacked or threatened. YOU want to be the one doing that! 

A few observations about how to keep your diplomatic relations at a high level
and avoid confrontation until you are ready for it.

1. Try to be peaceful. If you have a history of peace with a civilization,
   they will be less likely to attack you. (Obviously this will change if you
   decide to start pursuing a Military or Diplomatic victory.)

2. Have a strong military. This can be a double edged sword as some civs will
   respect your military might and others will view you as militaristic. 
   However, it's better to be viewed as militaristic than it is to be viewed
   as weak.

3. Maintain a high level of diplomacy. This can be achieved through research
   and planetary projects that increase diplomacy. The other civs will respect
   you more if you are "smarter" than they are.

4. Establish trade. This was mentioned above. The more trade routes you have
   with a particular civ, the better relations you will have.

5. Ethical alignment. This will be affected by your moral/ethical dilemmas. If
   you are surrounded by civilizations that are of a particular alignment, you
   may want to skew your alignment in that direction in order to maintain good
   relations. (Unless you are strong enough militarily to do as you please!)

6. Give gifts. This should only be used as a last resort. Techs, money and
   trade goods can be sent to other civs to help improve relations. However,
   your good-will can only go so far, so don't over give just to have your
   gift used against you in the next turn.

7. Form alliances. In version 1.4x this is much harder to do than in previous
   versions of the game. When possible form as many alliances as you can. 
   Obviously stronger allies are better, but weak allies are better than NO
   allies. If you follow points 1-6 above, it will be easier to ally with
   other civs. On lower difficulty settings, alliances generally will only be
   broken by the AI if one of their stronger allies goes to war with you or

8. Be careful who you make alliances with. Unless the civilization is very
   powerful, you may want to avoid allying with a civilization that is con-
   stantly going to war, as this will degrade your relations with the other
   civilizations if you choose to honor your alliance.

One quick point about espionage. As soon as you can afford to, spend a small
amount of money on espionage for EVERY civilization. Once you have reached the
"ADVANCED" level of espionage, stop spending money on that particular civ.
If you don't have enough money to spend on every civ, spend it on the ones
that appear to be the most threatening. Remember, "Know Thine Enemy".

| G. Ethical Alignment |
Finally, a word on ethical alignment. Sometime during "Mid Game" you should
research the "GOOD AND EVIL" tech. This will allow you to align with a
specific moral outlook. As mentioned above, keep in mind that this will affect
your relations with other civs who are ethically opposed to you. In general,
it is a good idea to wait until most of the other civs have chosen their
alignments before researching this. This allows you to adjust your outlook on
which direction to lean. Additionally, this will also allow you to gain more
bonuses from dilemmas. Once you have chosen an alignment, you will no longer
be presented with dilemmas. 

Again, you will want to research "GOOD AND EVIL" and it's following techs as
this will grant you many great bonuses to loyalty, trade, income, defense, re-
search, etc.

One final point about Ethical Alignment. If you are going for a Diplomatic 
Victory, it would be a good idea to make allies before declaring your align-
ment. In this way, you may be able to have an alliance in place with a civ
that you may not be able to ally with after choosing your alignment. Of course
you will have an easier time making allies AFTER declaring your alignment if
the civilization shares the same view. Therefore, use this suggestion accord-

As stated previously, once the first major civilization has been defeated, 
"Mid Game" ends and "End Game" begins. In the case of a civilization being de-
stroyed very early in "Mid Game", disregard this view until the next major civ
is destroyed. 

VII. End Game
Now that you have advanced into "End Game" it should become apparent that a 
few, say 2-4, civilizations have come to the forefront as the major players in
the galactic race. Hopefully your empire could be considered one of those maj-
or players. Much of what you have learned and done in "Mid Game" will carry
over into "End Game". With that in mind, in this section we will discuss 
strategies for each type of victory at length. Since "ship building" is useful
for each type of victory condition, it has been given it's own section below
as well. Review what is necessary for the victory conditions, if necessary, in
section "II" above.

A. Conquest Victory
B. Diplomatic Victory
C. Influence Victory
D. Research Victory
E. Ship Building 

| A. Conquest Victory |
The Conquest Victory is perhaps the most long and drawn-out of the 4 victory
conditions; however it can also be the most rewarding. Below are some suggest-
ions for strategies to achieve this type of victory. Some of these suggestions
have been mentioned earlier, but are brought up here again as a reminder.

1. Make and break alliances.
A military victory is significantly easier if you make even a few alliances
initially. Remember though, in order to achieve this victory condition, you
must destroy EVERY major civilization. This means that once your non-allied
foes are defeated, you will need to break an alliance with one or more of your
allies to continue towards this type of victory.

2. Spy on your enemies and adjust technology accordingly.
Simple enough, really. Click on your enemy's planets and their ships to see
what kind of weapons and defenses they are using. Research weapons and defense
that counter-act their weapons and defense. Again, while balance is key, you
will want to concentrate a little bit more on the areas of the Military branch
that allow you to exploit your enemy's weaknesses.

3. Maximize your soldiering.
A Conquest Victory is basically impossible without a good soldiering score.
Research BOTH branches of the Tech Tree that deal with soldiering fully. They
are "PLANETARY INVASION" and "PLANETARY DEFENSE". Make sure you build the "Tir
Quan" training center as soon as it becomes available!

4. Maximize your "Logistics" score.
Fleets are exponentially more powerful when you have more ships in them. The
higher the "Logistics" score, the better. Keep in mind that some Planetary
Projects can increase your "Logistics" score, so build appropriately.

5. Maximize "Miniaturization".
More miniaturization allows you to put more weapons, engines, defenses,
support modules, etc. onto your ships. This allows your ships to pack much
more of a wallop than without miniaturization. Again, keep in mind that some
Planetary Projects allow for increased miniaturization.

6. Focus planetary production.
The way the game works, if you are not currently building a "Social" project
the unused resources are diverted towards "Military" production. Basically
leave your production focused on "Social" on any colony capable of producing
ships. In the case of an overwhelming invasion, focus production on "Mili-
tary". On your "Research Colonies", colonies without Starports, you will not
need to change your production focus.

7. Adjust "Military Production" slider, if necessary.
In some cases, it may be necessary to bump this up to turn out ships a bit 
faster. In general though, if you followed the suggestion above in the "First
Turns" section (IV. B. 4.) you should not need to do this often.

8. Utilize Military Starbases.
Pretty much the same thing discussed in the "Mid Game" section (VI. E.
Military Starbase).

9. Build/ Upgrade your ships wisely.
Sometimes you can't wait for that next good weapon and have to build with what
you already have. However, if a smaller, better version of a weapon or defense
is just around the corner, wait if you can.

10. Be careful who you declare war on.
This is where the "Save" feature is nice. If you declare war on one civ, you
may find that a bunch of the other civs that are allied with the civ you 
attacked, even if they are already allied with you, may attack you. It's not
very fun to have 3-5 civilizations invading your territory all at once. With
this in mind, hopefully you can see why maintaining good relations with your
allies is important. In general, if you can maintain a strong military the
other civs will not break their alliances with you when you attack one of
their allies.

11. Attack civs that are easy to reach, ie. don't spread your forces thin.
This should be a no-brainer. You don't want to fly half-way across the galaxy
to attack your enemy. This makes it very difficult to maintain your fleets if
they suffer losses. Additionally, traveling long distances opens your fleets
up to attacks along the way to their destinations. Start out close to home and
gradually advance as you take more and more systems.

12. Utilizize Influencer Starbases.
This tactic is particularly useful in reference to #11 above. If your potent-
ial enemy is just beyond the borders of one of your allies systems, use 
Cultural Conquest to bring the allied system under your control so that you
can advance into your enemy's territory later on.

13. Continue turning out ships.
You will need to keep a watch on this so you don't end up going bankrupt pay-
ing upkeep costs. However, if you are actively at war, you will need to keep
your production up to replace lost vessels.

15. Use rally points.
These make it MUCH easier to manage your fleets. See the in-game tutorial
about these.

16. Bribe other civs to go to war.
If your economy is strong/rich enough, you can often pay stronger civs to
attack weaker civs. This is usually VERY expensive and is greatly effected by
a number of factors, including: military strength of the civ you are bribing,
diplomatic relations with you, military strength of the civ the bribed civ
will be attacking, and diplomatic relations between the two civs that will be
involved. If you manage to do this, however, it will make your conquest vic-
tory that much easier because both civs will, at the very least, be weakened
after the conflict or one may even be destroyed!

17. Be the "victim".
You can often provoke other civs to attack you by degrading relations with
them through various means, such as Trade Embargos, demanding free money or 
techs, building high-level Influence Starbases in their territories, refusing
to aid them either with money or techs, etc. If another civ attacks you rather
than you attacking them, many times "neutral" civs will come to your aid. This
tactic is not always successful, however...

18. Be tactical!
Take out your enemies' starbases, especially if these help to increase their
range into your empire. Destroy enemy trade routes, build starbases on enemy
resources after you have destroyed their mining colonies. Try to conquer plan-
ets that have large manufacturing capabilities, trade goods, super projects,
galactic wonders, etc. Anything that will hurt your enemies' economy, military
or soldiering will help you immensely in achieving a Conquest Victory.

| B. Diplomatic Victory |
I like to call this type of victory the "Lazy Man's Conquest Victory". So, as
you can guess, this is my preferred form of victory. Many of the same suggest-
ions from the "Military Victory" section above apply here. With that in mind,
I will only touch on new strategies in this section. Most of these strategies
involve improving your relations with the other civilizations. You can click
on the "Foreign Policy" button and then on the "Reports" tab to see how other
civs view you and what factors effect that view.

1. Make Alliances (duh) and DON'T break them, unless absolutely necessary.
In version 1.4X this is significantly more difficult than in earlier versions
of the game. In pre-1.4X versions you could easily make allies with just about
any civ by giving them money or mid-level techs, now, it takes MUCH more than
that. In many games you will find that you really only have decent success in
allying with other civs of like-alignment. This makes this type of victory
much more challenging. With this in mind, be very careful about breaking 
alliances. In many cases, you will be unable to ally with that civilization
again. (And for good reason too, you dis-honorable weasel!)

2. Increase diplomacy.
As stated earlier, if you have increased your diplomacy through research and
planetary projects, the other civs will view you in a more favorable light.

3. Establish trade.
This is perhaps the easiest way to improve relations because it's easy for you
to control. As stated earlier, establishing trade routes with another civ im-
proves relations with that civ. Once, however, you are allied with that civ,
kill some of the trade routes to it and establish new trade routes with an-
other civ you are trying to "woo".

4. Hold off on the conquering, for awhile...
This applies to conquering both Major and Minor civs. If you have a reputation
for conquering other civs, this will degrade your relations with the civs that
remain. Keep in mind you can get this reputation through using influence to
take over colonies as well. Hold off on conquering until you have made a few

5. Hold off on declaring your alignment.
As stated earlier, you will have an easier time allying with civs if you have
a similar alignment. The best use of this strategy is to watch what the most
powerful civs are doing and then follow accordingly to help improve relations
with them. (eg. If the Arceans are clearly the most powerful civ in the game
by "Mid Game", your best bet is to lean towards or declare Neutrality as your
ethical alignment.)

6. Maintain your military.
This can be a double-edged sword when it comes to making alliances. Civs that
are militaristic (Drengin) will have an unfavorable view of you if your mili-
tary is weak. Civs that are peaceful (Thalan) will have an unfavorable view of
you if your military is too strong. With this in mind, the best rule of thumb
is "stronger is better". You basically have better control of your victory
strategy if you do not have the militaristic civs breathing down your neck all
game. With that said, once the militaristic civs are defeated or weakened sig-
nificantly, you can cut back a little on you military to help improve your re-
lations with the tree-hugger, peace-nik civs...

7. Be peaceful as long as you can stand it.
If you have a long standing, peaceful relationship with another civ, this will
aid your in relations, and eventual alliance making with that civ. Obviously,
if you have been at war off-and-on with another civ for years, this will hurt
your ability to form an alliance.

8. Provide aid when it is requested.
Many civs will come begging for help during times of war or will request money
for "peace-keeping" efforts, which differs from "give us money so we will let
you live." In these cases, provide aid, even if it's like 100 credits. This
will only serve to improve your relations with that civ. (I recently played a
game where the Drengin had become "Wary" of me, which means they would most
likely attack me soon. A few turns later they asked for money for "peace-keep-
ing". I gave them money and my status changed from "Wary" to "Friendly" in one
turn! Just a few months later and they accepted an alliance with me!)

| C. Influence Victory |
The "Influence Victory" should be called "killing aliens with kindness." This
particular type of victory condition often leads to big time money by the time
you achieve it, as you gain tourism income based on your influence's area of 
effect. Many of the suggestions in the sections above for "Military" and "Dip-
lomatic" victories apply in this section. As before, we will only bring up new
strategies here.

1. Research the "Government" & "Influence" branches of the tech-tree fully.
You will get huge bonuses to your influence by doing this as well as open up
new Starbase modules and Planetary Projects that increase influence.

2. Build influence planetary projects.
This is especially important for colonies that lie on the outer regions of
your empire, or that share a system with an opponent's colony. Examples of 
projects that increase influence: Cultural Exchange Centers, Political Cap-

3. Maximize Influence Starbases.
As stated above, build the maximum number of influence modules on a Starbase.
This rule mostly applies to Influence Starbases built to conquer colonies or
spread influence in another civs sphere of influence.

4. Build low-level Influence Starbases in empty space.
The parts of the galaxy that are NOT under any influence, that are not out-
lined by a race's primary color, can be brought under your influence by simply
building low-level Influence Starbases. Even though these areas don't have
any colonies, this will still count towards your overall influence.

5. Take colonies from other civs that have high influence.
Inevitably you will go to war sometime during your game; with that in mind, 
when given the opportunity to possibly conquer an opponent's worlds, go after
the colonies that have high influence, or that contain projects that boost in-
fluence. It really makes sense because you will greatly increase your in-
flunece by doing this, while greatly decreasing your opponent's influence. It
also makes sense on a tactical scale, if you take a very influential planet,
many times the other planets nearby will fall under your sway without needing
to be invaded. (I'm usually not that patient, however...)

| D. Research Victory |
I call this victory condition the "I'm-tired-of-this-galaxy-and-want-to-start-
over-victory." (Please excuse the long hyphenated word.) Of the 4 types of
victories, this is probably the easiest. Again, many of the suggestions from
the preceding sections apply here. New strategies are below.

1. Protect yourself.
This type of victory is easiest if you have managed to establish a strong 
military presence beforehand. This involves having your weapons and defenses
at a level that, while probably less advanced than other civs, will still make
them think twice about attacking you. 

2. Focus production.
Focus production on colonies to "Research". Once you are nearing your goal of
a "Research Victory", you may even want to focus production on colonies that
are actively building military or social projects over from "Social" or "Mili-
tary" to "Research".

3. Align with "Neutral".
If you declare "Neutral" as your ethical alignment, you will be able to in-
crease your research capabilities greatly with the "TEMPLE OF NEUTRALIY" pro-

4. Build Planetary Projects that increase research.
Aside from "Xeno Lab" and it's subsequent upgrades, you can build "Super pro-
jects" and "Trade Goods" that increase research.

5. Decommission some Planetary Projects to add Research projects.
If you have massive amounts of "Social Production", or any other type of pro-
ject in large amounts, don't be afraid to destroy these to build more research
oriented projects. Usually it's best to do this in "End Game".

6. Increase Research spending.
You can accomplish this by bumping up the Research slider on the "Domestic
Policy" menu. If you have followed the suggestion of 40% Military, 20% Social,
40% Research, the best way to increase Research would be to decrease spending
on Military, unless you are actively at war. I would not decrease any slider
to less than 20%. The one exception to this suggestion would be if you are
currently researching "Technological Victory", in this case you could bump up
the spending on Research to 100% if you wanted to, since the game will be end-
ing soon.

| E. Ship Building |
I highly recommend building your own ships. Not only is it fun, but it also
allows you to build ships that are usually MUCH better than the stock ships
the game provides for you. Everyone has a different way of doing things when
it comes to fleets, ship building and upgrading. Below is what I find works
for me on a regular basis. Read the "Five Keys To Ship/Fleet Building" and
then onto the table with recommendations for the 5 different sizes of vessels.
Keep in mind that these are ONLY recommendations.

Five Keys To Ship/Fleet Building (this is basically review).

1. Miniaturization
A better miniaturization score allows you to pack more weapons, defenses, en-
gines, modules, etc. onto your ships. Miniaturization is what makes your ships
truly powerful. It won't matter much if you have the ultimate missile, but can
only fit one of them on a ship...

2. Speed (aka BETTER & MORE Engines)
Speed does two things for you: 1)You can mobilize, defend, attack and re-
inforce better; 2) Your ships are less likely to get hit by slower enemy
vessels in battle.

3. Logistics
Not quite as important as the first two keys, but something to keep in mind.
A better logistics score allows you to build better, more powerful fleets.

4. Weaponry
Obviously better weapons allow for more powerful ships, but your weapons are
much more effective in larger quantities (miniaturization), on faster ships
(speed), and on more ships (logistics). Therefore, while weaponry is certain-
ly important, it is not as important as the first three key points.

5. Armor
Just like #4 above. But, a little less important since you really only should
use armor on "Medium" class ships or above.

TABLE: Ship Classes and Component Recommendations
| Class of Ship | Engine # | Weapon % | Armor % | Module % |    Best Usage   |
|     Tiny      |   1-2    |    95    |    0    |    5     |    Support      |
| Fleet % = 25  |          |          |         |          | Quick Strike    |
|     Small     |   1-2    |    95    |    0*   |    5     | Defense, Quick  |
| Fleet % = 35  |          |          |         |          | Strike, Support |
|    Meduim     |    2     |  75-80   |  10-15  |    10    | Assault, Defense|
| Fleet % = 25  |          |          |         |          |    Support      |
|     Large     |   2-3    |    70    |    15   |    15    |    Assault      |
| Fleet % = 10  |          |          |         |          |                 |
|     Huge      |   2-4    |    70    |    15   |    15    |    ASSAULT!!!   |
| Fleet % = 5   |          |          |         |          |                 |

NOTES on each Class:
Basically flying weapons that should be used as support, & protection for the
"big-boy" ships. Limited use in attacking enemy freighters, starbases can be
dangerous, particularly with attack capabilities. Armor is a complete waste on
this ship class. Modules should only be for life support. 

Small: (Most versatile ship class.)
Best used to defend colonies and quick strikes against enemy starbases. Also
can be used in support of larger ships, but not as good logistically as Tiny
craft. Good ships for escorting Troop Transports. Armor should ONLY be con-
sidered on rare occasions, and only in the case of colony or transport ship
defense. Modules should only be for life support.

Medium: (Second most versatile ship class.)
Primary assault ships. Useful in defense of colonies and especially starbases.
Can provide support for larger craft if logistically possible. (In this case,
this will be most likely your flag-ship's, and I don't mean the survey vessel,
fleet!) Again, smaller craft are better in support role than medium. Weapons
are somewhat more important than armor at this point. However, armor is useful
on these and should be equipped no matter what the role. Modules can include
both life support and sensors.

Assault ships. Usually 2-3 of these per fleet with higher level logistics.
These ships should be considered the "battle ships" of your fleet, so deck
them out with both weapons and defense accordingly. Too big to be a good sup-
port ship. Monetarily wasteful if used only as defense for colonies and star
bases. Expensive, so protect them with smaller craft and lots of defensive 
techs. Modules SHOULD include both life support and sensors. Additionally,
these make very good "Combat Transports", so add "Troop Modules" when needed.

The "big-daddy". VERY expensive. Maybe 1-5 of these in your ENTIRE armada. (An
armada is what you would call all of your fleets combined...) Basically these
are flying fortresses. Deck them out with both defense and weaponry. These are
so stinking expensive you MUST have defensive capabilities on them, and lots
of it. These are, of course, assault ships. They should be protected by small-
er craft and used in assaults on particularly strong enemy fleets, heavily 
defended colonies or if you are attempting to make a large push deep into
enemy territory. Modules SHOULD include both life support and sensors. Not as
good as Large craft for troop transport, due to cost and length of building.
The true "Flag-Ship" of your fleet.


"End Game" is over when, well, the game is over! Hopefully the knowledge that
you have gleaned from this guide has helped you to not only be the victor, but
has allowed you to choose the way you wanted to do it.

VIII. Version History, Credits & Legal
Version History:

- v1.1: Finished on 1/22/2007 @ 10:40 PM CST
        Submitted to GameFAQs on 1/22/2007 @ 10:50 PM CST
        Permission granted to the following sites to post guide:
        Super Cheats [http://www.supercheats.com]
        Neoseeker [http://neoseeker.com]

        Fixed some grammatical and spelling errors.
        Granted sites above permission to post guide.

- v1.0: Finished on 1/11/2007 @ 4:45 PM CST
        Submitted to GameFAQs on 1/13/2007 @ 9:25 PM CST

-Stardock Games- www.stardock.com 
Creators of GalCivII. A truly guilty pleasure of mine. Some of the most im-
mersive gameplay I've seen in a turn-based strategy game, or ANY strategy game
in a long time. Some of the best AI I've every played against too!

-GalCivII Forums- www.galciv2.com
Random tidbits of knowledge and strategy that I hadn't thought of.

-GameFAQs- www.gamefaqs.com
For posting this, my very first, guide.

This document is copyrighted by Matthew Miller (MI64) and may not be reproduc-
ed or altered, in whole or in part, by any other person or entity. This docu-
ment may only be posted on GameFAQs.com [http://www.gamefaqs.com], sites noted
in the Version History or the author's personal web-site. If you have found
this document on a site other than those listed in the Version History section
or would like to receive permission to post this guide on your site, please
contact the author at: tsbproject@gmail.com.

*This guide is dedicated to Jennifer and Brady, who have lovingly allowed me
to waste my time playing video games when I need to relax...*


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