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After siding with losers and biting the dust on my first two games, I finally figured out a winning combo:

1) Do a shitload of quests and sell all the loot I don't use

2) Use the ridiculous amount of wealth I have acquired to buy the loyalty of whoever becomes the top dog (must be non-ancient)

3) Crush everybody else with the help of my "friend".

PS: Are some races predisposed to losing? Utopians and dragonmen (whatever they are called) got owned quite badly in all games where they were present.

Lost the second game because I sided with the utopians and almost lost the third because I sided with the dragonmen, but thankfully, I had 30k in the bank, so I just purchased peace with the humans once the dragonmen become extinct, then did a bunch of quests for them and used the proceeds to purchase an alliance with them and then won the game by helping them wipe out everyone left standing.

btw, winning with an alliance that includes several races must be pretty hard. In all the games I played so far, I don't recall seeing the computer ally with one another. It's like those guys have two possible types of relationships between each other: stranger and nemesis :P.
Post edited January 17, 2015 by Magnitus
The only sectors I've won so far were tiny ones via legend or fear. Legend wins on tiny seem fairly straightforward: there are a lot of bosses to kill, and sometimes you run into multiple ancient ships (those things are deadly but give a lot of legend/fear points).

You get a medium chest, and it doesn't take long.

Anyhow, cheers on your win! Still figuring things out here; been a lot of fun so far. :)
Making computers ally each other:
at the planet screen choose rumor, positive, toward second race.
after bringing to 60, do this to second race. At this point start the war from both ai against third one. Use negative rumours if needed. Killing enemy improves influence, bond would grow stronger.
There are several way to win a sector, and those gives you different amount and/or class of rewards. The easiest way is the Military: be allied with one race, and destroy all other. Maybe Fear win will be faster, since you just using terror against any other race.

I prefer the more diplomatic win. Not because it gives you better end-game loot, but it is more unique and harder compared to toher rogue-like game's main goal. I have a lvl 100 heavy flagship, just for combat it would be boring for me, since most of the other ships can't destroy it too fast. XD