Okay, so this isn’t the deep strategy and tactics write up for this race. However, if you are new to the game then here are my honest thoughts about how to win regardless of the starting race.
During the Game:
Be Consistent; Defence or Offence can work as a strategy but you have to be consistent. You either build a strong defensive barrier or you build a force that can consistently attack. If you attack, and don’t push forward then your opponents can rebuild and will easily push you back – seize the ground, and get the objective. Only yield when the points are on the board.
Movement; The movement of vehicles in this game is key. Either through wormholes, technology or through vehicle upgrades – you need a bit more movement than the starting profile to opportunistically seal those objectives. Decide how your fleet will function – the balance of ships and the balance of carriers, and then look at the map to see if there’s a vantage point over a wormhole. These give you quick movement and access to more planets than normal map movement.
Economy; For new players I would advocate a focus on resources over influence. Influence can dictate the late game, but with a very random walk of political agendas, you are going to want to build resources and use these to build the fleet. Don’t ignore influence completely though because the secondary of leadership requires it for more command tokens.
Rex; First to Mercatol Rex will have a target on their back. Do not do this in your first game – it can help with influence, and it can score you victory points, but unless you are truly ready and willing to defend it, your home and nothing else – then don’t invade.
Home Systems; That unstoppable plan of your opponent – it’s never unstoppable. It’s a simple case of invading their home planet. Good players will defend these planets heavily just before game end, but if they are exposed (or can be) then this can stop any big scoring plan.
Capacity; Fleet capacity is key to late game battles. Initially carriers move in with fighters screening the important ships, but eventually you need a mix of carriers, dreadnoughts and perhaps even a war sun to fight with. This can only be achieved by increasing the capacity of your fleet. Don’t go too high though – beyond 4/5 spaces is an unparalleled invasion force, but also too many resources in one place!
Leadership for the win; The leadership strategy is key at the last minute – it is the tie breaker if there are multiple players going for the win. However, this is only in a long game with a big final turn of objectives (where players are close) where this will impact the game.
Trade & Tech; If these are in your strategy then play to it early. People will generally let you get trade early, let you tech early, but once you are a threat these are easily blocked or challenged. When trading, also be sure to be forceful – a poor trade in the early game might cost you the final turns.
Good Neighbours; They might not become good friends, but they will allow you to trade. Even a single cruiser will give you enough to trade – just park it next to your opponent and use it to trade.
Demilitarised; The notion of a demilitarised zone is compelling, but the reality is different. This will hurt both players, prevent trade and ultimately doesn’t really provide you protection. The only way to trust a player is to not have something they want, or have a bigger force.