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Hi all.
I was always wondering about myself. :)
I use to play MOO 1 and MOO 2. But when I play, I select small, at most medium size galaxy. And I never have the patience to go through all the technologies. When I can, I build a fleet and I strike when I can. I do not always win, it is a challenge, I never know.
But when I see people talk about their settings, they all prefer big to huge galaxies. Why? When I see game videos I see the latest technologies.
Gosh, when it is that time I am either emperor or dead. :)
The small\medium setting, especially with 8 races, feels claustrophobic. Very little room to manuver before you bump into the others.
Post edited December 11, 2011 by H2IWclassic
I always thought MOO2 was unplayable on anything but small. WAY too many colonies to manage otherwise.

Unless you really want to hand things over to the dumb AI.
I personally prefer a small to medium sized galaxy. As an earlier poster says, for my level of ability it allows better control of colonies due to not having a huge number that you may have if you played on larger galaxies.

I always founds I'd concentrate on my colonies for the first half of the game but then end up with tonnes of colonies I'd just neglect due to not having the patience.
I prefer large galaxies because I prefer long games, and play mostly as Elerian, who need time to start up properly.
Even then, I rarely find myself with more than 10 colonies to manage, I just stick to large\huge planets regardless of climate (<3 terraforming). Also I leave the other races alone unless they attack me first, so I don't have to deal with tons of conquered colonies.
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Avogadro6: I prefer large galaxies because I prefer long games, and play mostly as Elerian, who need time to start up properly.
Even then, I rarely find myself with more than 10 colonies to manage, I just stick to large\huge planets regardless of climate (<3 terraforming). Also I leave the other races alone unless they attack me first, so I don't have to deal with tons of conquered colonies.
Hmmm?? Drawing the game out to build up is the LAST thing you want to do with Feudal races. That research penalty really hobbles your long term strength. Better to rush attack as much as you can in the beginning while you're still even in tech.

Elerians are the only race I actually take troop pods over battle pods. Build cheap troop pod ships with no weapons, being sure to have at least one cruiser. Go around rushing other races' homeworlds when their fleet is away. Board and capture the star base, mind control the planet for an instatn conquest.
I usually go for a standard size galaxy too with 3 other race, but I like maxing out the techs. I often play more or less peaceful and beat the Antarans. The reason why I play this way is that I don't like to play the bad guy. But sometimes I just want to conquer the galaxy too.

As to the Elerians: I think feudal races that have no way to balance the research penalty (e.g. huge population like the Sakkras) are simply no good. I'd really like to know how they could get good in the long term.
Post edited December 13, 2011 by RFS81
I actually play a variant on the Elerians:

Telepathic
Warlord
Feudal
Rich Home World
+20 ship offense
+25 ship defense
-10 spying

or variations on that theme (for instance: switching out rich home world for +50 ship attack or +50 ship defense, but -10 Ground combat)

This works out pretty well - when you have to choose, you have to get the research tech when it becomes available and you have to always build the subsequent buildings in your colonies. A higher percentage of population may have to go towards research, however, with conquests and trade, you don't end up so far behind in tech that your position is untenable late game. The genetic engineering and confederacy techs also help offset your research penalties late game. So with some adjustment you can barely keep up research wise and also field massive fleets - especially with telepathy you never have to build troop ships and with warlord you get the extra fleet points. So its good for an anti-antaran/galactic conquest build.
Making the Elerians viable as a custom race?

Give them the max ground combat bonus and the max attack penalty. Go for every possible ground weapon tech. Do not bother with standard weapons on ships and go with anything that facilitates boarding enemy ships. Your goal is to capture ships instead of destroying them. being telepathic means you get control of them right away plus you can make up your research penalty by scrapping them.

As far as I can tell though you do not get any captured tech fro mind control planets like you do from invading them. I guess it makes sense balance wise but sure as heck not logic wise.

You might want to make android scientists a priority because I'm pretty sure they aren't affect by government type.
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fahbs: Making the Elerians viable as a custom race?

Give them the max ground combat bonus and the max attack penalty. Go for every possible ground weapon tech. Do not bother with standard weapons on ships and go with anything that facilitates boarding enemy ships. Your goal is to capture ships instead of destroying them. being telepathic means you get control of them right away plus you can make up your research penalty by scrapping them.

As far as I can tell though you do not get any captured tech fro mind control planets like you do from invading them. I guess it makes sense balance wise but sure as heck not logic wise.

You might want to make android scientists a priority because I'm pretty sure they aren't affect by government type.
Hmmm ... I'm pretty sure I've gotten tech from mind controlled planets.
That sounds cool, I'm going to try that, but I did not doubt that feudal races can be powerful in the short term. Barely keeping up is not what Avogadro sounded like.

EDIT: Wouldn't it be better to drop the Attack and Defense boni to switch from Feudalism to Dictatorship?
Post edited December 14, 2011 by RFS81
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RFS81: That sounds cool, I'm going to try that, but I did not doubt that feudal races can be powerful in the short term. Barely keeping up is not what Avogadro sounded like.

EDIT: Wouldn't it be better to drop the Attack and Defense boni to switch from Feudalism to Dictatorship?
I've played it that way too. It would certainly help on the research front. It's really the combination of Telepathic + Warlord that is very powerful for a military conquest build.
Post edited December 14, 2011 by crazy_dave
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fahbs: Hmmm?? Drawing the game out to build up is the LAST thing you want to do with Feudal races. That research penalty really hobbles your long term strength. Better to rush attack as much as you can in the beginning while you're still even in tech.

Elerians are the only race I actually take troop pods over battle pods. Build cheap troop pod ships with no weapons, being sure to have at least one cruiser. Go around rushing other races' homeworlds when their fleet is away. Board and capture the star base, mind control the planet for an instatn conquest.
Once you get Autolabs the research output is not really that bad (the government malus is only applied to scientist-generated RP), and it's not impossible to obtain them before the AI. Eventually the other races will catch up, yes, but usually at that point I've conquered Orion already and am preparing an invasion against the Antareans.

That boarding rush you mentioned sounds very cool though, gotta try it out sometime.
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RFS81: That sounds cool, I'm going to try that, but I did not doubt that feudal races can be powerful in the short term. Barely keeping up is not what Avogadro sounded like.

EDIT: Wouldn't it be better to drop the Attack and Defense boni to switch from Feudalism to Dictatorship?
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crazy_dave: I've played it that way too. It would certainly help on the research front. It's really the combination of Telepathic + Warlord that is very powerful for a military conquest build.
Hmmm, when you upgrade Dictatorship to Imperium, you even get double Control Points. That would be a nice advantage in the long run. Also, one could try to squeeze High-G Homeworld in somehow, for stronger soldiers. I think I know what I'm going to play next time, maybe in a bigger galaxy.

@Avogadro: Alright, but I'm still curious about what you meant about the Elerians needing time to start up.
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RFS81: Hmmm, when you upgrade Dictatorship to Imperium, you even get double Control Points. That would be a nice advantage in the long run. Also, one could try to squeeze High-G Homeworld in somehow, for stronger soldiers. I think I know what I'm going to play next time, maybe in a bigger galaxy.

@Avogadro: Alright, but I'm still curious about what you meant about the Elerians needing time to start up.
I tend not to emphasize soldier strength with Elerians because their telepathy means I can take over a planet without ground troops. The exception is if I want to do a lot of ship to ship boarding. :)